A Page -- Jan. 23, 2011

Kayla Rossman (left) and Rachel Rossman (right)

No. 18 in the NCAA (Mount Union) 

to face No. 1 in the OAC (Baldwin-

Wallace) tomorrow; old Bagley Road 

Buddies (Rossman and Rossman 

from Olmsted Falls High) to face 

each other in the same game

Jan. 23, 2011

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


BEREA – With the Olmsted Falls High School edifice where they studied and played their high school ball standing a few miles right down the street here on Bagley, where tomorrow night’s college basketball game between Mount Union and Baldwin-Wallace will be played in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium, the Rossman sisters, Kayla and Rachel, have quite a bit in common and should have a down-home feeling, but on the other side of that is that they will be wearing different color uniforms.

Kayla is in her second year athletically at Mount Union while Rachel is in her second year both athletically and academically at Baldwin-Wallace. Another commonality is that they are both on good teams, Baldwin-Wallace holding the fort as one of the first-place teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Purple Raiders are ranked 18th in the nation after making it to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams with a Rossman on each one, with the other times coming twice in the regular season and once in the OAC tournament during the 2009-10 campaign. How they wound up on opposite teams in the same league is a long story and it is best to let them tell it in their own words.

"The most exciting part of it is that both 

Rachel and I can be going through the same 

thing at the same time.”  -- Kayla Rossman 

The Rossmans are not twins despite being at an equal level in terms of academic eligibility. They are two years apart of each other in age. Kayla started out her college academic career at Kent State University, but when she found out that she missed being a Student/Athlete, she decided that the best route for getting back the other 50 percent of the conjoined roles was to transfer to a Division III school and since Mount Union was within striking distance of Portage County where she already was, it seemed like a natural move.

“While in high school, I was considering both B-W and Mount, but once I made my decision, I did not know that Kayla might be going to Mount,” Rachel said. “She’s always had an influence on me, but not really in my decision where I was going to go to school and play basketball.”

Rachel Rossman (10)

Rachel became an instant regular upon her arrival to B-W last fall. She had her share of starts and with the two-platoon system (or sometimes three-platoon) Coach Cheri Harrer likes using, she saw a hefty amount of minutes for a freshman.

Since she had nearly two years off of interscholastic play prior to her S/A status reinstatement, Kayla straddled between the JV and varsity at Mount but has been getting more and more time this year within a talented and deep program.


“I did miss basketball when I was at Kent and knew I could play if I were to transfer to Mount, but it was not a thing of if I were to do that, I would get to play against a team with Rachel on it,” said Kayla. “I guess I got caught up in just the excitement of getting back to the game that I wasn’t giving much attention to that aspect of it.”

The idea of meeting each other on the same floor but on opposite sides did not sink in immediately.

“I knew she was playing there, but did not think much about it as I was starting out with my practices here,” Rachel recalled. ‘Then when the first game between B-W and Mount began approaching, we started getting a little excited about it. The family was talking about it and a bunch of family members and a lot of friends from back home in Olmsted Falls said they were planning to come to the game. The best part about it was that by that time, it was a big game for us.”

It also sort of crept up on Kayla down in Alliance.

“I think a lot of people thought I was not serious about taking up basketball again so at first there was not much to make of it for anyone,” Kayla said. “Then when I restarted playing and got more time, the reality hit and people were talking about it and I began looking forward to it. Once it was about four games away, I started counting the days. The most exciting part of it is that both Rachel and I can be going through the same thing at the same time.”

Because she was able to learn quickly from having a talented older sister like Kayla, Rachel was able to play up and be teammates with her sister in AAU ball and by the time she got to OFHS as a freshman, she was skilled enough to be in the same starting varsity lineup with Kayla, who was a junior at the time.

“In addition to playing on the same team together, we got to do a lot of other things together as well for my last two years of high school,” Kayla said. “We knew how each other played and where each other would be on the floor and it really helped with our chemistry and the whole team chemistry.”

When it comes to familiarity of teammates and their playing styles, Kayla is in as great a position as anyone in college basketball, and as an opponent, Rachel also could benefit from the same knowledge. Kayla is one of six S/As on Mount’s team who played on a West Side Cleveland high school and one of five S/As who played at a current or former Southwestern Conference school. North Olmsted’s Kori Wiedt, Westlake’s Rosa LaMattina, Rocky River’s Marybeth Leitch and Avon Lake’s Bridget Lyons are the other four SWC alumnae (Leitch from the middle school SWC leagues). Also, Lakewood’s Megan Saunders joined the team this season.

“I like the B-W game the best because it is close to home and I would expect to see a lot of my friends there and a lot of my teammates are from right around there,” said Kayla. “We always like to talk about it with our other teammates, saying, ‘We are going to our place.’ It makes it more fun with a lot more fans attending the game than other games we might play.”

Also Berea is an SWC city with one of the conference schools (Berea High) right across the street from Ursprung. For Kayla, former opponents are now teammates and a former teammate is now an opponent, specifically Rachel.

“There was some rivalry in high school, but now we are all friends,” Kayla said. “Some of them have been joking around that Rachel is my sister. I know Kori gets excited about these games because she is friends with my sister. Rosa and Rachel have always been rivals. They were always two of the top five in the SWC and are now two of the top five in the OAC. To them, it is pretty big.”

North Olmsted's Wiedt (left) and Westlake's LaMattina

The knowledge of other players is a double-edge sword.

“It is an advantage that I know how Kori plays, but it is also an advantage to her that she knows how I play,” Rachel said. “With Marybeth it is different because I played against her in high school but was teammates with her in summer ball. I’ve known Rosa as well for a long time both outside and inside high school so it will be more of a fun thing than it will be anyone having an advantage or disadvantage on the floor.”

River's Leitch

In one of the three games last year, the Rossmans did meet face to face on the floor in the middle of the action.

“It was only for a split second that I was guarding her that one time last year,” Kayla said. “It was exciting for that split second and I wanted to smile at her but did not want to get yelled at for it.”

Kayla said their parents, Mark and Mary, joked about that one second of Rossman on Rossman and that they have also joked about wearing half purple and half brown and gold when attending the games.

“They like to joke with other people at the game, telling them they have a daughter on each team,” Kayla said.

Rachel added that on nights when both are playing, one parent will go to B-W’s game and the other to Mount’s game so each have at least one parent there. With this game, they’ll both be there and since with basketball, there are really not sides of stands, they don’t really plan on changing from one side of the stands to the other at halftime.

“We text each other before and after each game,” Rachel said. “We keep updating each other and so this will be exciting that we are both there at the same time.”

Kayla is also looking forward to it.

“I am so excited about this game; this is one of the things that keeps me going here,” said Kayla. “I wish I could be playing more, but hopefully I will get a chance to take her to the hoop on Monday.”

Mount finishes third at OWU meet

DELWARE, Ohio -- Seniors Scott Thomas (Salem/West Branch), Scott Wolfe (East Palestine/East Palestine) and junior Cory Hoover (Alliance/Marlington) each won events to lead the Mount Union men's indoor track and field team to a third place finish at the Ohio Wesleyan Quad Meet Saturday in Delaware, Ohio.

To Read more of this story, click below:


St. Ed Alum/Avon Lake Native Reid 

Anderson Scores 24, but Spartan 

Men are Clipped by Rochester, 86-72

By Nick Minerd

ROCHESTER, NY – Despite a 24-point effort from senior wing Reid Anderson (Avon Lake, OH/St. Edward), the Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team lost its second straight University Athletic Association game by a score of 86-72 at the University of Rochester today, January 23 at the Palestra.


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B-W Basketball Team to Sponsor 

"Take a Kid (child) to the Game" 

Day this Weekend

Jan. 23, 2011

By Kevin Ruple

BEREA --  This Saturday, January 29, the Baldwin-Wallace College women’s basketball team will sponsor the Third Annual “Take a Kid to the Game” Day and the men’s basketball team will celebrate the 30th Annual Al Sirat Grotto Day game to benefit handicapped children and their dental needs. All of the events will take place in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center on Bagley Road in Berea.  In addition, all of the events will be televised by SportsTime Ohio with B-W graduate and Cleveland Indians sportscaster Matt Underwood calling the play-by-play for the men’s game.

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Despite Late Surge, Spartan Women See Win 

Streak Snapped at Nationally-Ranked Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY – Despite narrowing a 23-point second-half deficit down to single-digits, the Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team saw its six-game win streak snapped at the hands of #14/#15 University of Rochester by a score of 82-73 today,January 23 at the Palestra.

Hoover alumna Erica Iafelice

The Spartans were led by sophomore guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, OH/Mount Notre Dame) with 22 points – bringing her weekend total to 49. Sophomore point Erica Iafelice (North Canton, OH/Hoover) totaled 13 points, six assists, three rebounds and a career-high seven steals. Junior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, OH/Chardon) also contributed 11 points.

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First and second place teams to meet in Berea tomorrow in OAC clash

January 23, 2011 

By Josh Reilly

BEREA -- The nationally ranked Mount Union women's basketball team will be on the road Monday when it visits fellow Ohio Athletic Conference contender Baldwin-Wallace for a 7:30 p.m. start.


The game pits the first- and second-place teams in the league; the winner will either own the top spot outright or via tiebreaker.

Nordonia HIgh grad Britt Kilgore, now a Purple Raider

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Hudson's Zach Barley gets top 

Student/Athlete award, Avon's 

Ryan O'Rourke Offensive MVP, 

Amherst's Ryan Kish Defensive 

MVP, Parma's Tim Miker Top 

Offensive Back honors at B-W 

Football Awards ceremony today

Jan. 23, 2011

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


BEREA – For a team that was picked to finish eighth in the 10-team Ohio Athletic Conference by both the coaches and the media, Baldwin-Wallace’s football team had quite a year this past fall, finishing in what would be considered by hearsay-led skeptics as a “startling” third place in the OAC, and were so honored today in the annual awards banquet.

B-W President Dick Durst addresses the B-W Football Family

Listen to audio of President Durst addressing the B-W Football Family at the start of the festivities, recorded by Norm Weber, by clicking link:

The coaches and administrators of the Yellow Jackets, who went from 3-7 in 2009 to 7-3 in 2010, honored all their players, families and support workers along with handing out special awards in the Student Union today.

The highest award for a Student/Athlete was earned by freshman Zach Barley, who was bequeathed the Lee. J. Tressel Academic Award for performing as the highest classroom achiever on the team, garnering a 3.9 grade point average in the fall while also spending hours playing football and traveling.


Watch video of Zach Barley receiving the Lee Tressel Award as the top classroom award for a Student/Athlete on the Yellow Jackets, filmed by Norm Weber, by clicking link below:


Barley did his secondary school studies and took on his pre-college athletic career at Hudson High School.

Normally, Dave Tressel, the long-time educator in the city here, presents the award in honor of his late father, but he was unavailable so instead Head Coach John Snell, an S/A at B-W prior to his years as s coach and educator here, presented Barley with the award.

Coach Snell at the Mic

Listen to audio of Coach Snell address the B-W Football Family, recorded by Norm Weber, by clicking link:


Reaping the top on-the-field awards were sophomore quarterback Ryan O’Rourke, senior running back Tim Miker, and senior linebacker Ryan Kish.

Left to right -- Kish, Miker, O'Rourke

Honored as the team’s Ray E. Watts Offensive MVP, O’Rourke, who transferred here this past fall from Slippery Rock, became the instant starting quarterback and threw a touchdown pass in his first offensive series as a Yellow Jacket. It went mostly uphill from there for the Avon High alumnus, who has applied for an extra year of eligibility.

He saw limited action in 2009, had a medical leave because of mononucleosis, and since Division II teams play more than 10 games and the NCAA sometimes considers “percentage” of a season, the 2009 could be discounted and he could become a sophomore again next year.

Watch video of Assistant Coach Tommy Watts presenting the Ray E. Watts Most Valuable Offensive Player Award to Yellow Jackets quarterback Ryan O’Rourke, filmed by Norm Weber, by clicking link below:


Getting selected as the team’s Ray E. Watts Defensive MVP, Kish, an Amherst native, was among the leading tacklers on the team and also named First Team Defense All-OAC, Second Team All Ohio and to the D-III Football All North Region Third Team.

Miker, a Parma native who alternated with two others, Kyrell Crook and John McGraw, at halfback, received the Bob Packard Offensive Back of the Year Award.

L to R -- Dugan, Bowen, Coach Watts

Mentor High product Ryan Dugan, who just had shoulder surgery, received the Defensive Back of the Year honor for the Second Year in a row, but this year shared it with Matt Bowen, since Tommy Watts, the defensive backs coordinator, believed he was blessed with two sterling backs and thus gave out co awards this year.

Incidentally, both the top offensive and defensive awards are named after Watts’ great grandfather, who was the B-W head coach in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Now that we are in the ‘10s, that spans 10 decades of Wattses at B-W.

Also on top of that, Dugan has applied for an extra year and has been granted it due to a partial season earlier in his career. Even though he will be a “Super Senior,” (fifth-year man, in layman’s terms) his reinstatement as team captain will not be automatic. S/As in the B-W football family must apply to be a captain as if they were applying for employment, usually put on a suit, go to an interview in front of the group and then are voted on by the rest of the S/As on the team.

St. Ignatius alum (at the podium) Kevin Johnson getting Special Teams Award

(L to R) Basar, Darbut, Hurd

Other awards included: Dick VanAlmen Offensive Lineman, which went to Parma's Jimmy Basar; Outstanding Defensive Lineman, which went to Keith Darbut; Outstanding Receiver, which went to tight end Aaron Hurd; Outstanding Linebacker, which went to Kish; Dr. A.B. Bonds Outstanding Special Teams Player, which went to Kevin Johnson; The Eloise Tressel “J-A-C-K-E-T” (team spirit), which went to Kevin Phipps; and the Roy Seitz Yellow Jacket, which went to Nick Clemons.

Clemons, Johnson (M), Phipps (FR)

Tommy Watts (at the Mic) and Roy Seitz to his left

Seitz, himself, who has had just about every job in the program from coach to clock operator, was there to present the award in his name himself. Seitz has been with the program for six decades and is on his way to breaking the late Joe Carlo’s record for Yellow Jacket longevity. 

Seitz presenting the Seitz Award to Clemons

In addition, Cheerleader Coaches Courtney Kania and Denise Roth presented the spirit awards to the cheer team for their support all season.

Cheer coaches Kania and Roth

Listen to audio of Cheer Coaches Kania and Roth presenting their awards, recorded by Norm Weber, by clicking link:

The large throng of freshmen receiving first-year awards

The sophomore group that sidestepped all superstitious jinxes this year

Today's juniors are tomorrow's leaders

The Seniors in their last official team meeting