A Page -- July 28, 2010

Led by veteran Sean Blaine, 

Brooklyn's golf team expecting to 

rebound after re-loading year

July 28, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor



NORTH OLMSTED – Brooklyn’s golf program was re-loading in 2009 after having one of its top three seasons in school history in 2008 and with the added experience would once again like to challenge Lutheran West in the Stripes Division of the Patriot Athletic Conference.


Scott Urig, who also doubles as the school’s boys’ basketball coach, is now in his fourth season as the head golf coach and 12th with the program overall. The former Avon Lake High Student/Athlete has made great strides in putting both programs on the upswing, and, with the small size of the school, has many of the Student/Athletes in both sports, building great rapport.


Senior Sean Blaine was a big part of that team that posted a handful of tournament championships and reached double-figures in wins in 2008. He came in along with his older brother, Brian, who was one of the team leaders and now it is his chances to be the elder statesman on the team and lead through his smooth strokes and low scores as well his experience in the program.



Blaine is a 3 year letter winner, was a 2nd Team All Conference pick last year, and posted a 43.4 9-hole average and an 81.5 18-hole average.


Dan Grodek also has an older brother who was a key part of that 2008 team and if the success nut can get past down to younger family members, he could also play a big part in the Hurricanes whipping through the courses during 2010. The senior earned a varsity letter last year and now in his second season up is working to improve upon his 55.5 9-hole average and become a solid No. 2 or No. 3 player.



The senior group is also going to be aided by Nathan Smith, who also earned his first varsity letter as a junior last year. He had a 49.7 9-hole average and 100.5 18-hole average and also be a solid No. 2 or No. 3 player if he can shave off some strokes.


Others who were in the program last year and are returning are Mike Mina, a junior-to-be who had a 69.2 9-hole average, and Mark Anderson, a sophomore who earned a varsity letter in his rookie year with a 47.9-9-hole average and 98.7 18-hole average, and could be a challenger to the seniors for one of the top spots.


Newcomers to the Cane fold are senior Collin Mayda, senior Daniel Tomcik and sophomore Jeff Bayura.


“Sean Blaine, Dan Grodek, Nathan Smith and Mark Anderson all gained valuable varsity experience last season,” Urig said. “Our team goal is to improve on our finishes in tournaments and improve on our match record. The overall outlook is positive.  We learned a lot last season about competing at the varsity level.  Our success will depend on how well we can improve our scoring averages.”


Although the Canes went 2-12 during the rebuilding year, Urig’s teams have posted a three-year record of 21-19, so winning is possible for the Canes.


“I have been afforded the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of Student/Athletes,” Urig said. “They strive for the best athletically and academically and represent Brooklyn High School with great pride.”



July 28

By arry Plumer

WASHINGTON, Penn. — The Lake Erie Crushers dropped the opener of a three game series to the Washington Wild Things, falling 6-2 tonight at CONSOL Energy Park.

The Wild Things opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a Jon Kourie single that scored Eric Stephens with two outs to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Lake Erie evened the score in the top half of the fourth. With one out, Drew Saylor lined his second hit in as many tries to get aboard before Joel Collins struck with a double to left center, plating Saylor and tying the game at one.

But the Wild Things exploded in the ensuing half-inning, scoring five times on Crushers starter Esmelvin Jimenez in the process of chasing him from the contest. With two and two out, Wilson Matos worked a walk from Jimenez to load the bases for Billy O’Conner. O’Conner drew the count full before walking himself to plate Stephens for the first run of the frame. Michael Parker came up next and ripped a double down the left field line that scored Jon Kourie and Matos. After Parker’s hit, Jimenez was lifted in favor of Cristobal Mata, who was greeted by a Luis Rivera single that brought in Parker and O’Conner to put the Wild Things up 6-1.

Dom Duggan hit his second long ball of the season in the fifth, a solo homerun to left with one out, to bring the Crushers within 6-2.

But that was all that Lake Erie would muster against Zach Groh, who tossed seven innings allowing the two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking a batter on his way to his third win of the season.

The Crushers bullpen kept it close, tossing 4.1 innings of shutout baseball between Mata’s three frames, Ronnie Morales’s single inning and Phil Rummel, who appeared out of the bullpen for the second time in 2010 to record the final out in the eighth.

The Crushers and Wild Things meet Thursday night in game two of the three-game set. RHP Josh Roberts (6-1, 1.96) is scheduled to face Wild Things RHP Jeff Sonnenberg (2-6, 3.68)

Craig Collins gives instruction to Student/Athlete Pre-Schoolers

Preschool Sports at Avon Lake 

United Church of Christ provides 

niche for very young 

Student/Athletes  who want to learn 

T-ball, basketball, soccer and

football at ages 3-6

July 28, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


AVON LAKE – Any youth coach who has a group of Student/Athletes who are on an organized team for the first time at say age six would love to have some in the fold who understand the fundamentals of the game.

Usually such a coach has to start at square one with all 12, 15 or 20 newcomers to team sports, but could have part of that learning curve eased if those six-year olds have come through Craig Collins’ Preschool Sports Organization.

Just this past January, Collins, who played quarterback at Westlake High in the mid 1980s before going on to a Student/Athletic career at West Point, initiated Preschool Sports to teach the basics of sports to those aged 3-6 because he believed there was such a niche for this type of instruction.

Watch short video of Preschool Sports T-Ball version by clicking and downloading


“Some people would be surprised at how much they learn in just a few weeks and how well they do things after being told how to do it only a few times,” said Collins. “There are preschools all over the place in this day and age. So many children are already in that learning mode from starting school early these days that it only makes sense to bring it from the classroom to the playing field.”

Student/Coaches get fielders in right positions on the field

For six Wednesdays, including tonight and next week, Collins, along with Student/Athlete helpers, has been conducting the T-ball portion of the program at the Avon Lake United Church of Christ here behind the Jack and Jill Pre School.

Watch short video of Preschool Sports T-Ball youth get fielding instruction by clicking and downloading


“When I started this in January, I decided to do it with basketball,” said Collins. “Westlake has a good tot program with Jim Dispirito and Bay also has one as well. At first I started getting Avon Lake people, but soon they started coming in from Sheffield, Avon, Westlake and Bay. Before I knew it, I had over 200 children in the basketball program.”

Youth are set on the field

With basketball, Collins was going eight hours a day on Saturdays with a group of 20-30 new players coming in for every 45-minute session throughout the day.

Preschool Sports is hardly an authoritarian organization. Collins asks for feedback from parents and customizes the program to what the customers would like to see.

The Preschool Sports dugout
Watch short video of youngster S/A George get a hit at Preschool Sports by clicking and downloading

“By giving them what they want, we can stand out as something unique,” Collins said. “So far we have gotten good responses and made whatever was requested work the best we could.”

Basketball worked so well, that parents lobbied to Collins to start up T-Ball for their young Student/Athletes. At the same time they put in requests for soccer. Once the T-Ball is done next week, Collins will start the soccer program.

Watch short video of Collins get the next youngster S/A ready to hit at Preschool Sports by clicking and downloading


“Just as I got soccer all set up, parents started asking about football,” Collins said. “So right now I am developing a football program that we hope to get going by the fall.”

During this session of T-Ball, Collins has about 45 youth but had over 80 during the earlier session this spring/summer.

Watch short video of Preschool Sports T-Ball youth execute on the field by clicking and downloading


“It is very grassroots in teaching youth the fundamentals of having fun,” Collins said.

Also, timeouts become learning opportunities.

"If we see someone or a group of people not doing something right, we stop play right there and talk about the correct way of doing something," Collins said.

The entrepreneurial spirit has gone beyond adding sports. He is looking to lend out the idea to North Ridgeville and any other community in the Cleveland area that does not have s sports school for this age group.