A Page -- July 23, 2010

Defending state champion 

Magnificat reloading but should 

remain a league, sectional, district, 

and state contender; Noelle 

Kaufmann and Madison Hromada

to take over leadership role

July 23, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


ROCKY RIVER – The defending state champion Magnificat High School tennis team is returning about half of its startling lineup and with Student/Athletes moving up from stellar year with the Varsity B team, should at least again be one of the top area teams if not one of the tops in Ohio.

Chris Johnson, one of the top young coaches in the state who was named Coach of the Year in 2008, has built the Blue Streaks into a perennial state power over the past five seasons and in just the last two years had prepped the Lakewood High’s boys’ team to its best back-to-back seasons in five decades.


Under Johnson’s tutelage, .last year’ senior class was the winningest cohort group in school history with the best four-year winning percentage and record (70-4) ever . In the individual state tourney, the Streaks qualified five of seven girls, more than any other school.

However, out of those five state qualifiers, only Noelle Kaufmann. Two of the girls who were on two team state championship teams at Mags and qualified to state in the individual tourney have moved on t to the next level with four-time state qualifier Steff Hollis headed to St. Louis University and Chelsea Girgish going into the Horizon League with Wright State in Dayton.

The Jeff Mannies-coached Varsity B team reeled off a 19-1 record last year so replacements are primed and ready for the departed seniors.

In addition to Kaufmann, other returned varsity regulars are Madison Hromada, Mary Matthews, and Molly Doyle. Mannies is moving up Madalyn Lugli, Annie Foliano, Abby Lawless, Kelly Plagens, Sarah Patrick, and Veronica Johnson from his team to complement the four vets.

What they might lack in varsity experience and perhaps natural talent, they have the mental aptitude as polished Student/Athletes to learn and learn quickly.

This Mags group is a very strong academic team. The Blue Streaks have had several gold and silver racquet award winners for their achievement both on and off the court. Steff Hollis was featured as the Student/Athlete of the week by Sportstime Ohio. All 7 starters were named to the All Northeast Ohio Scholar/Athlete team.

Kaufmann was on a doubles team that qualified to state last year, but she will move to singles this year with No. 1 Steff Hollis finally relinquishing her perch through graduation. Hromada will probably start out at No. 1 and Kaufman at No. 2.

“From there, everything is up in the air and is open to competition,” Johnson said. “We lost our doubles teams, both of which were state qualifiers last year, so we will be looking to find players to fill these spots.”

Even with reloading, Johnson still expects to have one of the five best teams in the area.

“People say we have no shot since we graduated so many great players last year, so we are looking forward to surprising some people,” Johnson said. “The girls worked hard in the off season, but we will see if they worked hard enough to see results.”

Winning is always expected each time a Mags team takes the court, but it might be more challenging this year.

“We always look to win every match, this year will be more of a challenge since we are losing the most successful senior class in Magnificat tennis history,” Johnson said. “Our depth will be thinner. We are counting on players from our Varsity B team stepping up to fill the void.”

Johnson has set these goals for the Mags gals: Win our division of the Northeast Ohio Girls League, Make it to the final four of the Ohio Coaches Association State Team Tournament, qualify at least two players to the individual state tournament, show improvement throughout the year, and show good sportsmanship.

Healthy competition within the unit should make all those goals possible.

“We pride ourselves in having a deep team that handles adversity well,” said Johnson. “Since we have been successful lately, they have the confidence to do well.”

Meet Your Incoming Yeomen: Volume 3
Incoming Yeomen 3
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7/23/2010 2:54:34 PM
By Mike Mancini

Oberlin - In this installment of Meet Your Incoming Yeomen, we introduce you to two defensive players who first names both start with the letter 'K' in linebacker Kyle Kessler and defensive end Kirby Livingston.

NameKyle Kessler
High School: Bishop Guilfoyle
Hometown: Altoona, Pa.
Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Position: LB

2010 Ken Lantzy All-Star
2009 Altoona Mirror First Team All-Blair County
2009 Altoona Mirror Second Team All-Area
2009 Southern Alleghenies Football Coaches Association All-Star
2008-2009 All-Laurel Highlands Conference Team
2008 Altoona Mirror second Team All-Blair County
2008 Altoona Mirror Honorable Mention All-Area
2009 Southern Alleghenies Football Coaches Association All Star

Head Coach Jeff Ramsey

“Kyle Kessler is a big, fast, tough inside linebacker. When you go out recruiting, he’s the kind of kid that you’re trying to find at that position. He had a lot of opportunities and looks at higher divisions, but values the education and the opportunity to play early in his career and we expect him to do just that.
Coach Ramsey

"He is also a valuable asset as his high school. He was a member of the mock trial team and has big ambitions for his career after Oberlin. He comes in with a great academic pedigree and in addition to what he’ll provide for our team we expect him to contribute a great deal to our campus as a whole. He’s one of those guys who we’ll be telling recruits about how successful he is years after he’s graduated from Oberlin.

"With his dedication and work ethic along with his natural talent and abilities, Kyle will be a fun player to watch grow and develop within our program. We’re expecting great things from Kyle Kessler over his athletic and academic career at Oberlin College.”

Why Oberlin?

"When Coach Estep called me I was thrilled with the chance to play for such a great academic school. Pretty soon after that, I got a chance to meet the rest of the staff and some of the players and I realized that this was a great football school as well. The staff seemed like the most knowledgeable and informed group that I had come across in my college search. The players were great and I could easily imagine them being my teammates. The opportunities at Oberlin seem endless."

Kirby Livingston
High School:Tilton School
Hometown: Brookline, Mass. 
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 pounds
Position: Defensive End

Football Captain '09
Wrestling Captain '08-'10, '09-'10
Lacrosse Captain '09, '10
All-League Lacrosse '09
All-League Football '09
Team Coach's Award Football '09
Evergreen League Most Valuable Lineman '09
Team Most Valuable Player Award Lacrosse '10
All-League Lacrosse '10

Head Coach Jeff Ramsey
“Kirby Livingston brings a great amount of energy to our defensive line. He is exciting to watch and provides much excitement when he comes off the edge. He is a fundamentally sound football player who can chase the ball down from the backside. Kirby will also play lacrosse for us, so he brings the stamina and footwork needed to play lacrosse to the football field for us. Kirby's work ethic and commitment to excellence shows his competitive spirit and his win forever attitude. He will be exciting to coach and I look forward to watching his progress over the next four years.

Kirby comes to us from the Tilton School, so his efforts and discipline in the classroom will translate well at Oberlin. He displays all of the character traits we hope to develop further, and in all of my conversations with teachers, coaches, and administrators at Tilton, the common theme regarding Kirby was his character. He is the type of young man we want at Oberlin, and Kirby will have a positive impact on our campus and community over the next four years.”

Why Oberlin?
"Going into my senior year of high school, I was unsure which sport I wanted to pursue at the collegiate level. Oberlin first stood out to me as a place where I could play both football and lacrosse. Oberlin's size and location fit what type of campus I was looking for. After I visited a couple of times I knew I could see myself fully enjoying the next four years at Oberlin College. I'm looking forward to strapping on the pads this fall and experiencing everything else Oberlin has to offer."

Euclid native Jessica Beard presents 

running clinic to Student/Athletes, 

Mayfield's Nick Dilorio advances to 

tennis finals, Iggy wins two, 

St. Martin bounces back in

World School Games today

July 23, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


GATES MILLS – Mayfield’s Nick Dilorio advanced to tomorrow’s championship match of the tennis event and Ohio’s City’s St. Martin De Porres successfully bounced back from a setback to one the top basketball teams in all of the Eastern Hemisphere today here at Gilmour, in the Inaugural World School Games.

Aggie Jessica Beard (Far right) talks track tips

Although the tournament sports going on this week in the WSGs  include swimming and soccer in addition to tennis and hoops, the plans were to include volleyball and track, but not enough out of state and out of nation outfits could commit to make it worthwhile for the locals, so those two were turned into clinic sports.

Watch short video of Jessica Beard telling S/As the proper running form  in the World School Games by clicking and downloading


A special treat for local and international tracksters came in the form of Euclid High Alumna Jessica Beard, a six-time state champion who now runs for Texas A&M. Beard, who was named the Cleveland Amateur Student/Athlete of the Year in February by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (also the sponsor of this event), volunteered to give a free running clinic before returning to Bryant-College Station next month.

Jessica Beard engages runners ins stretching sessions

Listen to interview of Jessica Beard in the World School Games conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


Watch short video Jessica Beard telling youth the tricks of the track in the World School Games by clicking and downloading


Dilorio, who will be a senior for the Wildcats in the fall, defeated two guys from two different continents to get into the finals. He beat Hong Kong’s Jweng Chuck Yin, 6-0, 6-2, and Zambia’s Ammar Akberali, 6-0, 6-0 to get into the finals tomorrow morning at 9:30.


Normally a doubles player for Mayfield High, Dilorio has played singles this summer on the circuit but did have to adjust to some inordinate styles of play, including an underhanded server.

Listen to interview of Nick Dilorio in the World School Games conducted by Norm Weber and Paulina Berkovich by clicking on link below and downloading


In its first game today, St. Martin’s had to play Xinji High School, which has won the National Championship in Mainland China (People’s Republic of) each of the past seven seasons. Those championships have come over schools spread all over a land mass much larger than the U.S. and with a population of over two billion people, which is seven times the population of all 50 American states (57 if your name is Obama).

St. Martin became the third team that Xinji beat by more than 50 points, but it turned right around and a half hour later got into a game with St. George’s, an all-girls school out of Kenya and posted a 50-44 win. After starting out sluggish, the Lion gals dominated the final 25 minutes of the game.

The Lions opened up an early lead but then fell behind by six points midway through the first half (the game is played by international rules with 20-minute halves) before turning in one of the best defensive efforts of the tournament so far.

St. Martin gals (in blue) post up on defense

Watch short video of St. Martin de Porres girls hoopsters in the World School Games by clicking and downloading


They narrowed an 18-12 deficit down to one point and then went on a 12-2 run to end the half and, taking a 29-20 lead. The Lions shut out St. George’s the last five minutes of the first half and the first three and a half minutes of the second half.

With three-point goals, steals and fast breaks, St. M. led by as many as 13 points in the second half. The roster the school officials provided did not include uniform numbers so the players could not be identified.

In boys’ action this morning, St. Ignatius ran a two-game sweep, topping St. Martin, 80-49, and Nairobi, 57-47. The Wildcats are using only soon-to-be juniors and seniors to make it a varsity only outfit.

Alliance, Kenya beat St. George’s , Kenya 30-27. Alliance also lost to John Hay, 38-33. Hay also lost to China by more than 50.

Gilmour entered boys’ and girls’ teams to replace Team USA that backed out. The Lancer boys beat St. Martin, 60-52.

Also in tennis, Beachwood’s Dylan Heiser beat Hong Kong’s Wong Lok and Hong Kong’s Jeff Leung, both in straight sets. In all likelihood, he will play Dilorio tomorrow.




AVON — The Lake Erie Crushers dropped game one of a scheduled doubleheader tonight in All Pro Freight Stadium, falling to the Oakland County Cruisers 4-2. The second game was postponed due to severe thunderstorms.

The first game was the completion of a suspended game Thursday, which left off after four innings with Oakland County leading 2-0. Mike Epping scored the first run Thursday on a wild pitch and drove in the second to give the Cruisers the lead.

The Cruisers got back to work immediately after play resumed, as Martin Parra greeted Jeff Cinadr with a double to lead off the fifth before Mike Epping singled him home with his third hit of the game.

The Crushers got on the board in the seventh, loading the bases on a double, single and a walk against Cruisers reliever Phillip Roy. Arden McWilliams hit a sacrifice fly to left, which was subsequently dropped by Bobby Andrews, scoring Drew Saylor and allowing McWilliams to reach at first. However, all-star Adam Dominick relieved Roy and escaped the inning, limiting the damage to one run and keeping the score at 3-1.

The teams traded single runs in the ninth. Oakland County scored when Martin Parra trotted home on a bases-loaded catcher’s interference. Joel Collins homered to lead off the bottom of the ninth to finish the scoring at 4-2. P.J. Zocchi recorded his 21st save of the year for the Cruisers.