A Page -- July 26, 2010

Aurora grid team has experienced 

starters but is short on depth and 

undecided at quarterback; 

Greenmen look to return to playoffs 

for sixth consecutive year and 

recapture state title from 2008

July 26, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


AURORA –After a year of rebuilding, Aurora High’s football team will be looking to recapture the sate championship it won in 2008 with a title game victory over Columbus Eastmoor.

Still, the Greenmen lost only two regular season games in 2009, the same amount they lost during the championship year, but this time they were bumped out of the playoffs in the first round.

Winning has become a tradition at Aurora under 10th-year coach Bob Mihalik and this year is sure to be no different. Coach Mihalik’s Aurora teams have turned in a record of 70-33 in his nine years of tutelage.


While an experienced Greenmen team brings back past success as well as tradition this year, the offense still needs to find a leader to take snaps behind center. While a few slots on both sides of the ball have some competition and half of the others have proven veterans in them, who will man the quarterback duties is still in question as camp is set to begin next week.

The top two in the running for the quarterback slot are senior Jake Smierciak and junior Blake Calcei. Both lettered last year since Smierciak is also a defensive end and Calcei also plays free safety.

That is virtually the only thing that needs much sorting since Mihalik will have the l0 starters returning, including nine of them that go both ways (as either part time or full time starters, or regulars on rotation  last year). Six of those 10 are multiple-year varsity lettermen.

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Those 10 are as follows: Alex Doherty- (SR, CB/WR, 2 letters), T.J. Pegram- (SR- CB/TB, 2 Letters), Nick Sivillo (SR- SS/WR, 2 Letters), Brian Wells (SR- LB/FB, 2 Letters), Zach Cole (SR- LB/OG, 2 Letters), Anthony Opet (JR- DL/FB- 1 Letter), Matt Stepanek (JR.- DL/OL- 1 letter), Brandon Widmar-(SR- OL/DL, 2 letters), Kevin Rahill  (SR- Kicker, 1 letter), and Anthony Melchiori  (JR- Punter/Kicker/WR/DB, 1 Letter).

The Greenmen’s top strength will come up front on offense, as this is the largest group of interior linemen at Aurora in 10 years. Conversely, the most experienced part of the team is behind the linemen on defense with five of seven starters returning at linebacker and in the secondary.

A major goal will be to keep the playoff string alive. The Greenmen have played in Week 11 in each of the past five seasons, but before that can become the primary focus, the Greenmen must fulfill the No. 1 goal in winning the Chagrin Valley Conference.

“We would like to win the CVC and qualify for the playoffs – those are our goals every year,” Mihalik said. .”Granted, we do return six starters on defense and five on offense including both specialists. However, we believe our lack of depth is a concern.”

While depth might not be present in terms of varsity experience, those moving up have also been tasting winning with the JV team going 8-2 and freshman squad going 7-2 last year.

The only difference in the schedule this year is that the Greenmen will open the season against Canfield.

While several alumni of Aurora have gone on to play football as college Student/Athletes, the vast majority have emphasized the Student part first and Athletic part second in their higher learning situations. Four of them have remained here at private Cleveland area colleges, while others have gone on to such prestigious schools as Lehigh (Patriot Conference/East Coast), University of Chicago (one of the top research schools along with Case Reserve), and Kenyon, one the top liberal arts schools in the country that plays in the Westlake-based North Coast Athletic Conference.

Others have gone on to top-flight Division III schools such as Hobart and Gannon, Division II schools such as Mercyhurst, and one of the top Christian schools in the county in Grove City. Still, two others are playing Division I ball at the 50,000-plus-student Ohio Sate University.

The current group of Student/Athletes also demonstrates the same academic excellence. The team GPA last year was 3.2. In the total program (grades 9-12) this year, 72 of 98 boys have a GPA of 3.0 or better, making this a well-rounded group of Student/Athletes.

Follow Joe Karlgaard on Twitter!
Joe Karlgaard-Web
Story Reported by Mike Mancini
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7/26/2010 4:40:07 PM
Oberlin, Ohio – You ever wonder what a day in the life of a collegiate athletics director is like? Well now you can find out by following Oberlin College Delta Lodge Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard on Twitter. 

Karlgaard will be offering up a wide range of tweets that will give you an inside look at the Oberlin athletics department as well as other news that may not be “OC” related. 

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Oberlin fans can become followers of Karlgaard for free by following the instructions below.

How to join Twitter and follow Joe Karlgaard:
1. Go to twitter.com.
2. Click on the green “Get Started – Join!” button.
3. Type in your name, create your username, make a password, and enter your e-mail address.
4. Enter the security words.
5. Click “Create My Account”.
6. You now have a Twitter account!
7. Go to http://twitter.com/jkarlgaard Press the FOLLOW button.

Getting To Know Temple's Colin Madison

Colin Madison is a senior offensive guard for the Temple Owls. Get to know more about Colin by clicking here.

The 2010 MAC Football season is quickly approaching and as part of its preview, the league would like to give an inside look into the lives of its Student/Athletes.


This is the 19th installment in a series of articles on Student/Athletes from the Cleveland-based Mid American Conference 


July 26, 2010

By Ken Mather
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Madison is a two-sport athlete at Temple and also throws the shot put for the Owls' track and field team.

2010 Football Summer Preview: Getting To Know...

The 2010 MAC Football season is quickly approaching and as part of its preview The MAC would like to give an inside look into the lives of its Student/Athletes. One can find the schedule of Student/Athletes we will preview by scrolling to the bottom of the page or by clicking the "Getting To Know" advertisement on the front of the MAC homepage or football page. Fans can also stay up-to-date with our player features via TwitterFacebook or tje new fan blog at MACFootballNation.com

Be sure to visit www.mac-sports.com on Friday, July 30 to watch live video interviews with the league's head coaches and Student/Athletes as it kicks off the season with the 2010 MAC Football Preview at Detroit's Ford Field.

Getting To Know...Temple's Colin Madison
Colin Madison is a senior offensive lineman for the Temple Owls. Madison has been named a 2010 preseason first-team All-MAC selection by Phil Steele's College Football and a 2010 preseason All-MAC honoree by Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. He is a two-sport athlete at Temple and also throws the shot put for the Owls' track and field team. Last season, Madison started all 13 games at right guard and was one of nine players to start every game. He was one of just two underclassmen to start every game. Below is a closer look at the Temple offensive lineman...

1. Why did you choose Temple? 
I chose Temple, because it's in the city and because of the coaches.

2. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far as an athlete? 
Being on a winning football team for the first time in my life. It's really a great feeling.

3. What is your favorite beverage/food/desert? 

4. What is your greatest fear? 

5. What are your pregame rituals? 
Ram jam Black Betty

6. Who was your greatest athletic influence? 
Coach Taylor, my high school track coach

7. Besides football, what sport would you have pursued for a college scholarship? 

8. What is your favorite vacation spot?
Belmar, New Jersey

9. What is one movie you could watch over and over again and not get sick of? 
Any of the Twilights

10. What is your most memorable moment in sports, either as an athlete or as a sports fan? 
When the Blackhawks beat the Flyers.


July 26

By Harry Plumer

CRESTWOOD, Ill. — The Lake Erie Crushers fell 5-4 to the Windy City ThunderBolts tonight as a bases-loaded walk to Gilberto Mejia in the bottom of the 10th gave Windy City the victory.

The Crushers kicked off the scoring in the top of the second, touching up Dustin Williams for two runs. Wayne Bond and Casey McGrew posted singles to lead off the inning before an Arden McWilliams groundout allowed Bond to scamper home. Jodam Rivera followed with a line-drive single to right to bring McGrew in and give Lake Erie a 2-0 lead.

Windy City scored in the third when Gilberto Mejia brought Ryne White home with a  single just past the outstretched glove of Drew Saylor to cut the Crusher lead in half. However, Lake Erie would restore its two-run lead in the fifth when a Saylor single fell just in front of Ryan Basham and plated Rivera to push the Lake Erie advantage to 3-1.

Crushers left fielder Wayne Bond led off the sixth with a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to extend the lead to 4-1.

But the home nine would answer with two runs of their own in the sixth, With Ryan Basham on first after a single, Jeremy Hamilton drove a Matt Smith fastball deep over the right-field fence to bring the ThunderBolts back with one at 4-3. Windy City loaded the bases against Ronnie Morales in the ensuing frame, but Morales got Brandon Anderson to bounce into an inning-ending double play and the Crushers held their one run lead.

However, the ThunderBolts would even things in the bottom of the ninth against J.J. Pacella as Ryan Basham singled with two outs to score Nick Kuroczko, who had doubled, to even the score at 4 apiece.

Pacella walked Pete Paris Ryne White and Kuroczko to set up the bases-loaded walk to Mejia that won the game.

Rivera, Bond and McGrew all had two-hit games for the Crushers in the defeat.

The series concludes Tuesday morning with an 11:05 a.m. first pitch. RHP Alberto Rolon (2-1, 3.10) will make his second start of the year for Lake Erie while Windy City counters with LHP Andrew Werner (5-1, 2.66)

>The loss dropped the Crushers to 2-4 in extra innings this season. Their seventh extra inning game hangs in the balance, having been suspended Saturday evening in the 13th against Oakland County.

>Including their doubleheader Saturday, Lake Erie has now played 39 innings of baseball over the past 3 days.
Kyle Harringer (left) and Felix Wright get campers started tonight

Campers get the "Wright Stuff" from 

Felix and former Westlake 

Student/Athletes John Kolesar, Dave 

Weisbarth, Kyle Harringer, Craig 

Collins and Dave Mathieson

July 26, 2010

 By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


WESTLAKE – If one wants to be a champion at football, it might be a good idea to get the “Wright Stuff” at an early age, which is what the youth of Westlake and surrounding communities did today here at the recreation center.

The “Wright Stuff” youth football camp began tonight and will run all week for boys in grades 3-6. It was named by Westlake Recreation Coordinator Jim Dispirito after Westlake resident Felix Wright, one of the quad founders of the Dawg Pound at the old Stadium in 1985.

Watch short video of Student/Coaches Dave Weisbarth (orange) and Kyle Harringer (green) and Wright get Westlake campers stretching,  by clicking and downloading


Wright and Dispirito run the camp that includes quite a cast of student and adult coaches. Wright was a Student/Athlete at Drake University, where he majored in education. After teaching for one year, he gave football anther try and wound up spending 12 seasons as a defensive back with the Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL), Browns, Vikings and Chiefs.

Dispirito graduated from Westlake High in 1982, coached youth locally while in college, and then was a high school coach in various sports at Westlake, Bay, Lutheran West, Lake Ridge, St. Joseph Academy and St. Augustine among other places.

John Kolesar was a running back and state qualifying sprinter at Westlake High, but after graduating in 1985, he went on full scholarship to the University of Michigan, where the late Bo Schembechler turned him into a wide receiver.

Craig Collins also graduated from Westlake High in 1985, where he split time with Wade Massad at quarterback for two seasons after both had to be called up as sophomores when three Demon quarterbacks went down with injuries in the same season. Among those three who went down were Kolesar’s older brother Doug, who later made being a pooch punter a specialty at Miami of Ohio, and the late Jim Given, who set 12 passing and total offense records at Bucknell, a school that has had football since the 1870s.

Craig Collins instructs on how to take the snap from center

Watch short video of Student/Campers go through quarterback skills with Craig Collins by clicking and downloading


Collins went on to a Student/Athletic career at West Point and now runs a youth Student/Athlete school in Avon Lake.

Dave Mathieson gives running back pointers to campers 

 Watch short video of Student/ Campers do running back skills with coach Dave Mathieson by clicking and downloading


Some of the youth attend parochial schools such as St. Bernadette, St. Raphael and others, and for those, the camp has Westlake native Dave Mathieson who was a Student/Athlete at St. Edward in the late 1990s and was then offered a track scholarship to the University of Akron. Mathieson is one of Dispirito’s top assistants at the rec center.

To bring in young men closer in age to the campers (at least within a decade of some of them) the camp has as Student/Coaches Dave Weisbarth and Kyle Harringer. Harringer graduated after a Student/Athletic career at Westlake High in 2006. He spent two years as a college Student/Athlete at Baldwin-Wallace for two seasons but did not agree with the weight program so put it behind him to concentrate on academics.


Listen to interview of Kyle Harringer at the Wright Stuff Camp Westlake conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


Soon Harringer will have his degree in exercise science and currently is a personal trainer locally. Weisbarth was a Student/Athlete at Westlake High and after graduating in 2008 also took the path of studying only, preparing for a career as an air traffic controller as a student at Kent State.

 A good theme for these camps might be to “never give up.” After his career at Drake, Wright thought he might never play football again because he was not drafted. In his education program, he certainly learned that perseverance was part of the total learning package.

Listen to interview of Felix Wright at the Wright Stuff Camp Westlake conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


Weisbarth gave up football some time in elementary school, but then decided to pick it up again in 10th grade and after hitting the recall buttons in his brain, got up to speed and had a nice career with the Demons.


Listen to interview of Dave Weisbarth at the Wright Stuff Camp Westlake conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


After the rotation on the four regular stations of quarterbacking with Collins, receiving with Kolesar, running backing with Mathieson and lineman skills with Weisbarth and Harringer, Kolesar taught basic running skills, emphasizing that speed does not have to be innate but rather one can learn to become fast.

Kolesar demonstrates running drills' Weisbarth is in orange and Harringer in green

Watch short video of “Wright Stuff” Student/Campers learn the high-knee walk from Coach Kolesar by clicking and downloading


Watch short video of “Wright Stuff” Student/Campers do the high-knee walk with Coach Kolesar and Coach Felix by clicking and downloading


Kolesar would be one who would know. He burned Ohio State defensive backs in both 1985 and 1988, catching late-game winning touchdown passes for the Wolverines both years.

The 25 campers were broken down into groups of six, rotating each station for 10 minutes at a time.

Mathieson taught them how to take the ball from the quarterback but first how to get into position to do so.

Watch short video of Student/Campers do lineman drills with Dave Weisbarth (orange) and Kyle Harringer (green) by clicking and downloading


Weisbarth and Harringer taught them how to get into three point stances, emphasizing the proper motions to get them to avoid false starts (formerly illegal motion) later in their careers.


The QB form

Collins had them take a partner and throw short passes. He also gave them instruction on how to take snaps from center, how to hold the ball, and move it up behind the ear with both hands to get set to pass.

Kolesar taught basics of not only how to catch the ball, but how to tuck it in to avoid getting the ball stripped by a defender. He also started them on running short routes.

Former Wolverine John Kolser shows the boys how to tuck in the ball

Watch short video of “Wright Stuff” Student/Campers learn receiving skills from Coach Kolesar by clicking and downloading


Wright was the rover and commented how this group listened well. Originally from Missouri, Wright made Cleveland his home by choice upon his retirement. His day job is financial consultation for professional athletes. He has a son at St. Bernadette and a daughter at Holy Name. Fellow Dawg Pound founder Hanford Dixon also lives in Westlake after living for a while in Bay, where he was an advocate of youth football while still a player.

Wright assembling the players

Kolesar lives in Westlake with his wife and children and works in sales, marketing and internet security. He’s also tired of hearing from locals about singlehandedly beating Ohio State twice.

Mike Filkill, who also graduated in ’82 from Westlake along with Dispirito, has also been helping with the camp in the past but is sitting out this year since he has been having some hip problems. Filkill went to West Virginia University on scholarship as a quarterback and later played in the baseball program at Brigham Young.

Not here tonight but expected to be the rest of the week is Westlake alum Brian Misencik, who played a year of college ball at Wooster, but also has sine moved on to concentrate on academics

The evening ended with scrimmages. Each of the four teams was given a number from one to four by Dispirito, who emphasized that he was giving Collins’ team No. 3 because he wore uniform No. 3 for the Demons. Kolesar wore No. 1 at Westlake, but his team was given a different number.