A Page -- July 6, 2010

Coach Matt Mason gets HOS campers set for a new activity

Campers at Cuyahoga Falls HOS 

Camp get pointers from a linkage 

to one of top two college soccer 

programs (Akron U) in the country

July 6, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CUYAHOGA FALLS – Many of the youngster Student/Athletes participating in the HandsOnSoccer Camps attend each year at one of the two dozen sites around Northeast Ohio because they believe it will help them get a college playing opportunity five or 12 years down the road at some point.

At this week’s HOS Camp here at Waterworks Park, campers have today and yesterday learned soccer/life lessons from four different instructors now attending college or who have graduated from playing careers, highlighted by Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy alumnus Matt Mason, who was part of a program that went to the highest level possible in collegiate soccer last fall, when his Akron U. team made to the finals of the College Cup (national championship match in NCAA Division I-A).


Mason, who also played on state championship teams at CVCA, today was running the drills and games for the primary school age S/As (8 and under) along with HOS intern Alex Greger, who plays club at Kent State.

Listen to interview of Student/Athlete Coach Matt Mason at Falls HOS conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


In one drill, Mason took four campers and Gerger took the other four.They played a short-field match with small goals in which both the defensive unit and the offensive unit could score points.

Players were matched up one-on-one in which the field player tried to score a goal and the goalie would try to stop him. This presented nothing new on the offensive side with the field player earning a team point by scoring a goal.

Luke (r) of the Blue Fire Underwear team clears the ball
from Paul of the Yellow Smash Fire team in one-on-one scrimmaging

However, the goalie needed to not only stop the other player from scoring, but also needed to knock the ball beyond the cones and out of play in order to score a point for his team.

This not only was to hone goalie skills for the defensive guys but also sweeper and stopper skills in developing strategy and skill for clearing the ball and killing quality chances for the other team.

On top of that, it was not just an individual activity. Those not on the field had to learn the name of the player on his team and encourage him while out there by himself in order to get them more vocal and into a “team” frame of mind.

Also, fun games were included. Mason introduced an activity named “The Wolf.” Mason served as The Wolf and started the game with his back to the campers, about 15 yards away from them. The players stood at the goal line with their balls and had to yell, “What time is it?” The Wolf then said, “3 O’Clock,” which meant they could move their balls three steps forward.

Then they called out again, and said,. “What time is it?” The Wolf said, “5 O’Clock,” allowing the players to carry (move) the ball forward five steps.

Watch Mason with three cub wolves beckon the other players, by clicking and downloading


Finally, they yelled, “What time is it?” to which the Wolf replied, “Dinner Time.” At this point hey had to go backward toward the goal and The Wolf (Mason) chased them. If he could kick their balls out of play before they returned to goal, they then would join his pack of Wolves for the next round.

The game continued for the second round with three Wolves instead of one, and so on until all the players were captured into wolf-hood.

Both the youngsters and middle school/high school participants on separate pitches engaged in the popular HOS game of “Doctor, Doctor” in which all players run around the field with their balls and had to hit another player with their balls.

Watch Cuyahoga Falls MS Campers play Doctor, Doctor with Coach Smith by clicking and downloading


If they hit the other player, that player would have to sit on his ball and yell, “Doctor, Doctor,” and a teammate had to come over and tag him/her to get him/her back into the game. As soon as all players on one team were sitting on their balls at one time, the game was over since there were no doctors left to cure them.

Justin Smith sets up players for passing drills

On the older Student/Athlete end, run by former Ashland and Akron universities S/A Justin Smith, teams were pitted by genders, girls against boys. The girls had a slight advantage with nine Student/Athletes while the boys had only six.

Mason is a long-time associate of HOS. He attended the camps each year from age 7 to high school and then became a coach his freshman year at CVCA.

Leigh Sumner

Leigh Sumner, who will be a sixth grader at Chapel Hill in the fall, is attending her first HOS Camp. In addition to aspirations of playing college soccer, Sumner decided on this camp because she determined that the ad for HOS made it look like it would be a more fun camp than the ad for another camp right next to it.

Listen to interview of Student/Athlete Camper Leigh Sumner at Cuy. Falls HOS conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading 


Olivia Darrow

Listen to interview of Student/Athlete Camper Olivia Darrow at Cuy. Falls HOS conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


Olivia Darrow was also at the camp in the Waterworks location last summer and liked it enough to return this year. Darrow plays for Everest and Cuyahoga Falls Club. In two days this week, she said she has learned newer things to add to the soccer knowledge packed in last year.

Darrow is not a descendent of the Darrow family for which the main road running into town is name after.

Tyler Racey

 Listen to interview of Student/Athlete Camper Tyler Racey at Cuy. Falls HOS conducted by Norm Weber by clicking on link below and downloading


Tyler Racey is only 7 and is going into second grade but is already in his third year of attending HOS Camps. Racey is a midfielder, but he does switch around the field quite a bit.

Goalies Coach Cook

Four goalies at this camped worked with Ryan Cook, who was teammates with Mason on the championship teams at CVCA and now attends Calvin College in Michigan.

 For coverage of previous HOS camps this summer, check the A Pages of June 22, June 29, June 30 and July 5 by clicking on those A Pages on the left pane here.

Also, check the A Pages next week for full coverage of the Westlake HOS camp, complete with text, photos, audios and motion pictures.






July 6, 2010

By Harry Plumer

AVON — The Lake Erie Crushers are pleased to announce that four of their players have been selected to the East Division team for the 2010 Frontier League All-Star Game, which is set for Wednesday, July 14 at Rent One Park in Marion, Ill.

Pitchers Josh Roberts and Travis Risser, third baseman Andrew Davis and shortstop Jodam Rivera were the four Crushers voted into the game by the Frontier League’s managers, coaches, media and front offices.
Andrew Davis

Roberts, a former Student/Athlete at Portland University, currently sports a 4-0 record and a 2.29 ERA in nine starts during the 2010 season. This season marks the 26-year-old Snohomish, Wash. native’s first in the Frontier League after three seasons in the Florida Marlins organization. The right-hander is fifth in league in ERA and has posted quality starts in six of his nine outings.
Josh Roberts

Risser, who studied as an undergrad at both James Madison and Coastal Carolina, heads to the All-Star Game after winning his last five decisions dating back to a June 8 start at River City. Over that span, Risser has posted a 2.62 ERA and a team-high 26 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander hails from Palmyra, Penn. and makes his first All-Star appearance in his second Frontier League season after spending 2007 with the Washington Wild Things.

Travis Risser

Andrew Davis will start at third base and return to the Frontier League All-Star Game for the second consecutive season after another very strong first half. The 2009 Frontier League Championship Series MVP picked up right where he left off, posting a .325batting average with three home runs and a team-high 27 RBI. The 26-year old out of Kingston, Ohio is fifth in league in hits, seventh in batting average leads the Crushers in hits, walks, total bases, batting average and on base percentage.

Jodam Rivera will start at shortstop and make his All-Star debut in 2010 in his second season with the Crushers. The switch-hitting Arecibo, P.R. native hit .316 in 38 games, is second on the squad with 19 RBI and has also stolen seven bases for Lake Erie thus far.
Jodam Rivera

The three-day All-Star event at the home of the Southern Illinois Miners begins on July 12 with the All Star Concert. July 13 features a home run derby and celebrity softball game while the game itself is on July 14.

The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, play ball at All Pro Freight Stadium located in Avon, OH. Beginning in 2010, All Pro Freight Stadium is also home to the Cleveland State University baseball team. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 12 teams operating throughout the Midwest. Season tickets for the 2010 season are on sale now! For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.

Getting To Know Northern Illinois' Alex Kube

July 6, 2010

By Jeremy Guy

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 fourth installment in a series of articles on Student/Athletes from the Cleveland-based Mid American Conference 


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Last season, Kube recorded 60 stops and 6.0 tackles for loss.
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...Northern Illinois' Alex Kube
Alex Kube is a senior linebacker for the Northern Illinois Huskies. Last season, Kube recorded 60 stops and 6.0 tackles for loss. In 2007, Kube earned Freshman All-America accolades from The Sporting News as he ranked second in the nation in tackles among first-year players with 111. In 2008, Kube switched from playing strong safety to linebacker, where he made 59 tackles. The native of Cary, Ill., also lived in Germany for six years. Below is a closer look at the NIU linebacker...

1. What is the best advice you have received from your coach?
The best advice I received from a coach is to not be like everyone else, don't go with the crowd, don't be everyone's friend and don't do things to make other people happy. Do things that are going to make you and the man upstairs happy. 

2. What are your hobbies and off-the-field interests?

Hanging out with friends, especially people that I don't see a lot that are home from school during the summer. I like to play video games, mostly sports games. 

3. Who was your greatest athletic influence?
In terms of a player, growing up it was the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo. Before I played football, I played soccer and he was the one player I looked up to. I grew up in Germany, and Brazil was the one team I always watched and Ronaldo was the player who inspired me to work hard and go after my goals.

4. If you were a professor, what would you teach?
I would teach a history class. I am not a big fan of school, to be honest with you, but when I have enjoyed a class, the majority have been history. 

5. What was your youth sports highlight?

I was 13 years old and played on the soccer team that won the Youth World Cup in London, England. We were a group of players that the coach, who was from England, brought together - it was a 14-15 year-old team, but I played up. We played against some pro teams, and some really good teams from all over the world. We somehow won. It was played at a huge soccer complex outside of London and there were rows and rows of teams when they lined up to give us the medals. The amazing thing is that I was on that team with [NIU men's soccer player] Josh Karsten. 

6. What is your strangest superstition?
Probably my strangest superstition has to do with not attending class. My first two years here at NIU, I missed quite a few classes. When Coach Kill came in, he said I would never miss another class. I got class-checked all the time, so if the thought to skip class crosses my mind, I think about getting checked and I will not miss. 

7. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. I am not a huge family party person, but it is the one time of year everyone gets together, everyone is in a good mood, it's a good time of year and just a good time. I've never had a bad Christmas. 

8. Who is your non-sports hero ... why?
My mom is my non-sports hero. Before we moved back to the U.S., she was a single mom. She worked hard and was able to do things for me and my two brothers to give us everything we needed and more. The older I get, the more I see the value of things and appreciate her more and more. 

9. What is one movie you could watch over and over again and not get sick of?
"Law Abiding Citizen." The main actor did an unbelievable job, Jamie Foxx is in the movie and he's great. Throughout the entire movie, there is something going on. It is out of control; there is not one settled down moment. I also want to keep watching I wish there could be a different ending. The entire movie is awesome. 

10. What would your ideal job be? (outside of playing sports professionally) 
Coaching, because if I can't play [after college], that is what I want to do. The majority of my time here, aside from school, has been football and it's what I love and I have a lot of knowledge about the game that I don't want to waste. I think football will be a way for me to help people. 

West Geauga SC Seeks Youth Coach
"The West Geauga Travel Soccer Club is in need of experienced coaches for its u-11, u-13, and u-14 girls teams.  It is a salaried position with bonuses paid to "D" license or "C" license coaches.  Interested parties should contact Bill Bryan at bill.bryan@westg.org or 216-407-0677."

Mr. Bill Bryan
West Geauga High School
History Department
Girls Soccer Coach


By Harry Plumer

FLORENCE, Ky. - The Lake Erie Crushers dropped the opener of a three-game set with Florence tonight, falling 5-1 on the road.

Florence took the lead by scoring four times in the bottom of the third. Lake Erie starting pitcher Phil Rummel retired the first seven batters of the game before the Freedom put together three consecutive singles. Tim Grogan belted the first pitch of his at bat over the wall in right for his eighth homer of the season, a grand slam that put Florence up 4-0.

Phil Rummel settled in and kept the score at 4-0. Rummel tossed a season high seven innings and allowed just the four runs on nine hits. He struck out four. The Crushers broke up the shutout with two outs in the ninth, scoring an unearned run against former teammate Jacinto Gonnel.

Raphael Turner led off the inning with a  walk and scored as Kent State alum Andrew Davis singled with two outs. Turner came all the way around from first on an error in the outfield.

Lake Erie managed just four hits in the game, three of which belonged to All-Star Davis, who reached in all five of hisplate appearances.