A Page -- July 28, 2011


Bay and Lakewood could once again have a true friendly rivalry of north coastal communities in a league along Lake Erie
Norm’s Notebook
By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


After a 20-year hiatus, Bay High School and Lakewood High will start playing each other in all sports starting with tennis next month.

The reason for this is that Lakewood is one of the new entries in the six-year-old West Shore Conference, which is made up of relatively small schools in northwestern Cuyahoga County and northeastern Lorain County. Leagues vagabond Fairview has for the second time in seven years left a conference for a “smaller-school” one, as has Firelands, leaving the door open for Elyria Catholic and The ‘Wood to join, starting this Student/Athletic season. EC starts in the league this year and Lakewood next fall.

Two schools from the old Southwestern Conference, Bay and Rocky River, are among the other six schools in the WSC as charter members.

Since most of the old SWC schools were geographically contiguous to at least one other school if not two or three in the same league, it also had a “West Shore” component to it and some would ask why Lakewood was not in that league as the only non West-Shore suburban community absent.

Part of it was Lakewood not wanting to be in it and part of it was some of the other SWC schools not wanting the Rangers in the league because it was “too big.” They said, “We already have one North Olmsted; we don’t need another one.” The erratic reference here is that North Olmsted always had more students than the other seven and had an “unfair” advantage; thus, the Eagles have continued to play Lakewood in non-conference events up to this day.


Lakewood is a solid Division I in every sport and at one time was the largest school in the state, peaking at 4,000 students in the 1970s. There was an opening in the SWC when Medina left after the ’85-’86 school year, but The ‘Wood was not in the cards from either end as a replacement.

 Bay was AAA and then Division I in most sports up to the late 1980s when enrollment began dwindling. Despite Lakewood and Bay not being in the same league, they played each other in many sports for decades. There was a reason they played each other nearly “all” the time and another reason why they stopped playing each other, both of which will now be explained.

Up until three years ago, Lakewood was for more than eight decades in the Lake Erie League and was even a charter member of The Quad Conference, whose remnants formed the LEL. In the early 1900s (‘00s and ‘10s), The Quad included Lakewood, Cleveland Heights, Shaw and University School. Then Shaker and a few other East Side communities and all the Parma public schools eventually joined to form what became the original and long-running LEL.

 Including all its in-and-out schools over the decades, the LEL remained a solid AAA/D-I conference with only Garfield getting smaller in the latter part of the 20th century.

 While Lakewood and Rocky River did not play each other in many sports in independent games/matches/meets, Bay and Lakewood did, as members of the north coastal strip along the Lake, making it a real “Lake Erie” hook-up at least in a more denotative sense than the LEL match ups, save Lakewood-Euclid and then later Mentor.

 The reason for this separation between Lakewood and the SWC is that communities were much different than they are today. The old Dover Township (in the early 1900s) was made up of Bay, Westlake and parts of North Olmsted. Incidentally, Westlake’s Student/Athletes got their nickname, the Demons, from this arrangement. It stood for “Dovermen,” (D-Men), contrary to what some might believe originated from a fictitious coven of devil worshippers in the Westlake area in the 1910s.

In the early 1900s, most of everything that was Cleveland centered in the downtown area. Most of the population spread a few blocks east and a few blocks west and that was it. All the waterways, railroads and plants for manufacturing led right to downtown. Most of the merchants (a good majority of them independent ones) were also downtown. People “lived” downtown.

If someone were to take a street car or his buggy or carriage or was lucky to have one of the few autos on the few roads here and go a handful of miles in any direction, he would say, “I am going to the ‘suburbs,’” which were then mostly a part of the city and how the neighborhoods of Cleveland got their nicknames. If someone was lucky to travel “far away” to the “suburbs,” he was going to places like Tremont, Kinsman, Old Brooklyn, Buckeye, West Park, Rockport, etc.

 They were “in” Cleveland, but they were still the “‘Burbs” -- at that time, much like places like Reseda, Chatsworth, Northridge, Encino, etc. are “in” of the city of Los Angeles but today still considered “suburbs” since they are also in The Valley, about 10 miles from Downtown Los Angeles but at times an hour away depending upon traffic.

Places like Dover Township (Bay/Westlake/N.O.) were not really considered “the suburbs” in early 20th century parlance but instead “out in the country” or “in the backwoods” or “hinterland.” The Westlake and North Olmsted parts had mostly farms and the Bay part had creeks, woods, vineyards, mud patches and cottages. People would go to Bay for a weekend trip to their cottages to go boating, much like people did later in the 20th century when they went to Vermilion and Sandusky, at a time when going to Cedar Point all the way down Route 6 was an all-day (counted in the plural “hours”) or overnight trip.

 Many of those who had cottages in the pre-Bay days in the land of Bay had regular homes in Lakewood, which then was considered the “outer ‘burbs” along with places like  Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. Lakewooders went to Bay on weekends for swimming and boating and Westlake for clubbing, land-based leisure activities and country-like relaxation. This explains why the private outfit Lakewood Country Club, established in the 1920s, is in Westlake and not in Lakewood or called “Westlake Country Club.”

By the time Bay incorporated into a city in the middle part of the 20th century, the Baymen (later renamed the Rockets) began playing Lakewood in football and other sports in non-league affairs. It was a friendly rivalry of rock-skip-over-River neighbors, including several Lakewood Student/Athletes with grandmothers in Bay.

This went on for several decades. In fact, for a couple years in the 1980s Lakewood and Bay Highs combined their softball teams and played as one summer group in Hot Stove leagues and tournaments. The girls could not come up with any other sensible name, so they called themselves the Bay Rangers.

Amy Chadwick (Manco) was an assistant coach at Lakewood in the springs and Don Chadwick the head man at Bay. Both members of the Baldwin-Wallace Athletic Hall of Fame, they are probably a set there are few of (father-daughter) in collegiate halls of fame nationally.

This was in a time that Student/Athletics was merely at the cusp of club, premier, select, tournament and other travel teams. Some of the Bay girls had better friends (based on common interests) from Lakewood than from their own school and vice-versa. It worked out just fine and most involved were very happy.

Now the separation of Bay and Lakewood came just a few years after that and had more to do with rapidly changing levels of sophistication than numbers of Student/Athletes in the two schools.

One of the last meetings between the two schools took place during the winter Student/Athletic season, 1988-89. It was a boys’ basketball game held in the Lakewood gymnasium, evolving as a tight game most of the way.

For some reason, Bay’s basketball team forgot to load its practice basketballs on the bus. Thus, for warm ups before the game and during halftime, the Rockets were entitled to use only the game balls. For the entire first half, the game seesawed with the lead changing hands several times. Lakewood, which ran off an 11-2 lead to start the game, eventually held a one-point halftime lead.

Then when they came out of the locker room for the second half, Bay Head Coach Rich Voiers and Assistant Dick Scott asked kindly if they could use some of the Lakewood practice balls for warm ups but were denied. Then one of the Lakewood balls rolled down to the north end of the gym, where one Bay S/A picked it up and started shooting with it. This lasted less than a minute.

One firmly entrenched Lakewood socialist studies teacher walked to the floor, grabbed the ball, packed it in like a running back avoiding a fumble, and walked it over to and tucked it under the scorers’ table, where he had one of his “side” jobs (one of many such side “jobs” in a school system, but that is for another column at another time). It was like the kid who could not play the position he wanted in the pick-up game and took his ball and went home, but only this time acted out by an “adult.”

Incidentally, it was the same guy who a dozen years earlier was punched out by Tom Cousineau Sr., and “rightfully so” claimed many on the scene and in the know. The late Tom Cousineau Sr., a Korean War veteran, was a class act who as the head football coach led the Rangers to a 9-1 season in 1975 but lost his job over the incident the following year. The eventual full-time replacement coach was in a fog that was the impetus to an 0-9-1 season in 1977.

 Just as Cousineau Sr., Voiers and Scott were also class acts their whole time in Student/Athletics, leading Bay boys’ basketball to 450 wins with an atypical demographic for said sport, the only exceptions having been the three Crayton brothers.

Coach Voiers, an Ohio Basketball Hall of Famer (L), and Coach Dick Scott (R)

 Both just laughed and shook their heads when the ball-confiscation escapade took place and just walked back to the bench. Led by Brad Friedel’s 19 points, Bay eventually won the game -- practice balls or none – by four points.

Friedel, incidentally, was born in Lakewood Hospital in the pre-St. John-West Shore days, but this incident was just six years prior to the start of his English Premiere days, which are still intact today. 

Brad Friedel today, signing autograph for young soccer fan

John Koz, who eventually became a collegiate All-American S/A and now lives in Bay, led Lakewood with 18 points including six consecutive late in the fourth quarter to shave a nine-point Bay lead to three.


 It drove the final nail into the Bay-Lakewood friendly rivalry. This “divorce” had nothing to do with the city of Lakewood, but instead stemmed from a huge raggedy knot in the Lakewood school system. Otherwise, Bay and Lakewood people continued to collaborate in mostly a normal way. Heck, Lakewood sent one of its favorite sons, Tom Jelepis, to Bay to eventually become the city’s mayor in the 1990s. Jelepis then ran the board of elections far more efficiently than it is run now.

Alas, here we are in 2011 and things have changed once again. Bay and Lakewood will do their Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor routine, recommencing to resume the friendly Student/Athletic rivalry in some independent contests this year and full-fledged in the league next year.

Esq. Markling

Things have changed in the antecedent of the Student/Athlete conjunction, as well. Esq. John Markling, a conservative, is now the school board president for The ‘Wood schools. Markling has the benefit of not only having advanced degrees in multiple disciplines, but also in growing up and getting schooled at the higher levels outside of Cleveland/Lakewood.

As an outsider adopting Lakewood as a home, Markling has the views of Lakewood that many an insider is blinded to and, thus, can fix problems before they unfold, instead of after they do or in many cases fail to get fixed at all. For the inside perspective, Markling has as his right-side men people such as long-time Lakewoodite John Kamkutis, who incidentally never played a second of basketball for the Lakewood Rangers during his four years in the overpopulated school but did have a fine collegiate hoops career at Bluffton.

Yes, now in the highest sense of the concepts, Lakewood and Bay Student/Athletes could have a friendly rivalry between two north coastal schools in a league with members stretching over 30 miles along “Lake Erie.”  Now that is really getting “far out.”  





















Hoban aims to turn it around on the gridiron after winning seasons by JV and freshman teams

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


AKRON -- After a season of losing some tight games and settling for a mediocre record, Hoban’s football team is expecting a winning season and satus as divisional contender in the newly aligned North Coast League.

The reason for the increased optimism is that Coach Ralph Orsini has 16 lettermen/starters/regulars returning form the 2010 unit that finished 4-6. On top of that he has a good number of underclassmen moving up after forging a 7-3 record in 2010 as a JV unit and 8-2 mark in ’10 as a freshman outfit.

Moreover, the  Knights have knocked down the antecedent of the Student/Athlete concept, collaborating for a combined 3.2 grade point average as a team in the classroom.

Defensively, the Knights will be led by Greg Mc Mullen (Sr./Three letters), who is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Last year McMullen had 10 sacks and 31 QB hurries.

Complementing him is LaTroy Lewis (Sr. /Three letters). Lewis registered 8.5 sacks and 22 QB hurries one fall ago.

Season Preview

While those two are on the quarterback, Ameer Hodoh (Sr./two letters). He hounded ball carriers for 80 total tackles.

Offensively, look for Myles Light (Sr./two  letters) and Dominick Orsini (Jr./1 letter) to handle the ball. They combined for 350 yards yards rushing, and 300 yards total offense and 3 TDs, respectively.

Field position is something the Knights will have an advantage in with Zack Reichert (Sr.) and his 38-net-yard punting average.

Other veterans include Jordan Cook (Sr./Two letters), Ben Sarkis (Sr./two year letters), Hayden DeYoung (Sr./two letters), Steve D’Andrea (Sr./1 letter), Phil Brett (Jr./1 letter), Jimmy Martter (Jr./1 letter), Jason Frimel (Jr./1 letter), Adam Gray (Jr./1 letter), Christian O’Neal (1 letter), and Daniel Lloyd (1 letter).

Hoping to contribute is Gio Palmero (Sr./transfer) along with Arron Abernathy (Jr( , Chase Hudak (Jr.), Jimmy Cianciola (Jr.), Pat Carabin (Sr.(, Brian Kavcar (Jr.), Tyler Potts (Sr.),  Daron Johnson (Sr.), Vince Buzzi (Soph.),Darshawn James (Jr.) and D’Angelo James (Soph).

“We have a lot of experience on our defensive line, and we have a strong punting game,” Coach Orsini said. “We have good overall skill and depth.”

The coach has laid out a plan for the boys.

“Our goals in order are to 1) win the opener, 2) have a winning season, 3) win the league, 4) defeat all rivals and 5) earn a post-season birth,” Orisini said.

The Knights will get a new opponent in league rookie Benedictine and will get great competition on the non-conference slate with the Jesuit Gonzaga College Prep. Out of D.C., the granddaddy of all high school programs in Massillon High and defending state champion Bishop Hartley.

And on the eighth day, God created football. Then He rested for He knew there could be only one Massillon.

----- Ancient words of Wisdom

“Our overall outlook is positive despite the tough schedule, which will make us competitive and enable us to challenge for league and post season birth,” Orsini said.

Case Reserve volleyball set for encore after most successful season in school history

Two-time Capital One Academic All-American Tricia McCutchan
Two-time Capital One Academic All-American Tricia McCutchan
CLEVELAND (U District) -- Following the most successful season in program history, the Case Western Reserve University volleyball team aims to take the next step during the fall of 2011. With 13 returnees and all but two players from last year's starting rotation, the Spartans are gunning for a fourth consecutive 20-plus victory season and a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Case finished at 24-11 overall in 2010 and earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in team history. The squad placed fourth (6-5) in the nation's top Division III volleyball conference – the University Athletic Association – and defeated No. 1-ranked Washington University (Mo.) in mid-October. Three players were selected to the prestigious All-Association team and head coach Karen Farrell and her staff were named the UAA's Coaching Staff of the Year.

2011 Spartan Volleyball Season Preview

 "Last year's success has switched our team's mindset into a higher competitive frame and the players' preparation for the upcoming season is more focused and intense," said Farrell. "Our team goals will be similar to last year relative to competing well with the top teams in the UAA and jockeying for placement in the upper echelon of the league as well as gaining wins versus top regional opponents in order to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament."

Headlining CWRU's veteran roster is senior middle hitter and two-time Capital One Academic All-American Tricia McCutchan (Hamilton, Ohio/Stephen T. Badin). Last season, McCutchan led the team with 529 kills and 136 blocks in addition to totaling 205 digs and 37 service aces. She earned second-team All-UAA honors for a third consecutive season and moved into second place on the CWRU career kills list with 1,460 – just 220 shy of Lindsey Deyer's (1998-00) school-record of 1,680.

"Tricia has been a consistent force as an attacker and blocker, and she has established herself as a top player regionally and in our league," noted Farrell.  "I expect her to take her all-around game to the highest possible level and continue to lead our team with confidence on and off the court."

Joining McCutchan is a pair of All-UAA honorable mention selections in senior outside hitter Rachael Suchy (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) and junior libero Rachel Gulasey (Cleveland, Ohio/Magnificat).

Suchy played in all 139 sets and finished second on the squad with 395 kills and fourth with 47 blocks.

Gulasey moved to libero full-time and led the squad with 666 digs – the fourth highest single season total in CWRU history.  

Also back from the starting rotation is senior middle hitter Ellie Lyman (Sawyer, Mich./Bridgman), junior setter Breana Freeman (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva), junior defensive specialists Kara Monnin(Minster, Ohio/Minster) and Olivia Stanton-Ameisen (Bryn Mawr, Pa./The Baldwin School) and junior middle hitter/right side Allie Palmer (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake).

Lyman finished fifth on the team with 181 kills and second with 67 blocks. Lyman will captain the 2011 squad with McCutchan.

Freeman was one of four Spartans (McCutchan, Suchy and Gulasey) to play in all 139 sets and led the team with a school single-season record of 1,391 assists. Freeman also totaled 437 digs and 107 kills.

Monnin was second on the team with 447 digs and Stanton-Ameisen was fifth with 229. Palmer finished third with 232 kills and fifth with 34 blocks.

Case also returns junior defensive specialist Alexandria Drake (Phoenix, Az./Shadow Mountain), junior right side Hanna Collins (Londonberry, N.H./Londonberry), sophomore outside hitter/right side Dana Coleman (Solon, Ohio/Solon), sophomore outside hitter Angela DeSantis (Brecksville, Ohio/Our Lady of the Helms) and sophomore defensive specialist Breanna Creegan (Euclid, Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph).

Before switching positions last season, Drake saw significant time as a freshman and totaled 208 kills and 31 blocks in 2009. Collins missed most of last year due to injury but totaled 18 kills and seven blocks in 25 sets played. Coleman recorded 28 kills and 10 blocks in 43 sets as a freshman. DeSantis and Creegan played in seven and six matches, respectively, as rookies.

"We are excited to have such a talented and experienced team returning, which should allow us to play at a very high level right out of the gate," said the head coach. "In addition to Tricia, seniors Rachael Suchy and Ellie Lyman have been starting players for years and understand what it takes to achieve our team's high goals. Our junior class also has gained a lot of experience over the past two seasons and all seven players will continue to contribute to the team's competitive success on the court. To have 10 upperclassmen who have the talent and have had the opportunity to grow together over the past couple of years is a valuable asset to our program that cannot be measured."

Farrell also welcomes five new players to the mix with the recruiting class of 2011.

"The incoming class is very talented and diverse in their positions," said Farrell.  "The new players will give our team great depth and increase the level of our practices.  I expect that players will adapt to the team's system quickly and make an impact on the court as well."

The Spartans open the season on Friday, September 2 on the first of the two-day University of Mount Union Tournament in Alliance. CWRU's home-opener is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 7 versus Mount Union and the team also hosts a home tournament during the weekend of Sept. 9-10.

UAA Round Robin action is set for October 1-2 in St. Louis, Missouri and Oct. 15-16 in Rochester, New York. The UAA Championship is scheduled for November 4-5 in New York City.

"I believe the players would see the season ending without an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament as a disappointment, but the road to get there is extremely challenging and the team will need to play at our highest level against every opponent we face to gain the wins we will need to make that a reality," noted Farrell. 

"All three teams ahead of us last year in the UAA finished in the top eight of the NCAA Tournament, and Chicago, who finished right behind us in fifth, was nationally-ranked during the season. With most of the top players back from each team, I would predict the UAA Championship will play out like a preview of the NCAA Championship. It is exciting to go into the season knowing we have the talent to compete with the top teams in the country and with such a strong schedule we will have many chances over the course of the season to face the best teams in Division III."