A Page -- March 23, 2010

Norm’s Notebook


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor



Bennies, Chanel need to look for 

head hunters this weekend; Jackson 

and Mentor beware too

In over three decades of covering high school sports which includes 100s of trips to Columbus for state events, one thing this writer has come to learn is that high school sports fans in Columbus do not like seeing Cleveland area teams win state championships.

Of course, this is a natural instinct. When a team is closer to home, it is always a sensible thing to root for that team if the other team is 50 or 100 or 300 miles away from a given locale.


However, it just seems as if there is a sentiment of “anybody but Cleveland” that runs thick down there. If it is between a Cincinnati or Dayton or Toledo school and one from Cleveland, the tilt is inevitably toward the former, hands down. It is not just a Cleveland-Columbus-school thing.


Recall the early St. Edward wrestling days in the early 1980s when the late Howard Ferguson was in the midst of building the dynasty that still lasts today? Yeah, whenever someone from a school other than St. Ed would win a match, the usual applause in good-sport spirit would follow.


Not so when a St. Ed guy would win. They would get a chorus of jeers as if they were the Oakland Raiders of high school wrestling. This still goes on today.


The problem is, Cleveland really does not win that many championships in the final analysis. Don’t forget, our area went quite a few years without a football championship in any division until St. Ignatius brought another one home in 2008.


Maybe it is the “they have had it too good for so long” that it is a “good thing” when a team from that area does not win a bid for a championship; perhaps it is those from the “more progressive” type locales venting out some kind of superiority complex of some sorts.


The worst thing is that whenever they can’t win on the playing surface, they run to the OHSAA to see if they can wipe clean the boo boo by any means necessary.


There is only one thing that Columbus area high school fans hate more than a Cleveland area team coming down to the state capital to win a state championship and that is when a non-public school from the Cleveland area does it. If a student/athlete is on a team at a Cleveland private school (and those at religious and single sex institutions are the biggest targets), he’d better watch out if he has any state championship aspirations whatsoever.


To a man, one can be sure, little detectives are rifling trough the files of the St. Ignatius hockey roster and the Hathaway Brown basketball roster, looking for a t that was not crossed or an i that was not dotted or a hanging chad so that they can run to the OHSAA and have them confiscate the state title trophies.


Columbus schools were on such a nice run on the first day of the state soccer championships last fall with three Columbus area schools sweeping all the boys’ titles with victories over three Cleveland area teams. It would have been a shame not to continue it into the next day with the girls’ championships.


Those darn HB girls had to do it again though, winning the Division II girls’ championship. That didn’t last long though since the girls were stripped of the soccer title after someone just happened to find a paper shuffling error, deeming a certain transfer ineligible, regardless of the player’s impact on the outcome of the title match.


Maybe area fans were just tired of seeing HB come down every year in soccer. The nerve of those all-girls schools to think they should get to go to Columbus every year!


One thing is certain: they are tired of the hockey dominance by Cleveland area schools – particularly those from private, all-boys and Catholic schools. Hockey is maybe the only sport – save wresting – that Cleveland really dominates the rest of the state in, but the kibosh has been put on that as well.


When the state hockey championships were first moved to Columbus in 2003, Cleveland area schools had already begun a run that would last for six years in which the North Coast claimed not only the sate champion but also the state runner up. Finally that spell was broken in 2006 when it was Sylvania Northview that lost to Padua in the final game and in 2007 when Toledo St. John won the state title.


However, the first three state title games in Nationwide (2003-05) involved two Cleveland teams as did the ’08 game with Gilmour and St. Ed.  That became impossible the past two seasons when the two Cleveland district winners were paired up in the semis instead of in opposite brackets, making the semifinal the “championship” game each year. Gone after the semis last year was St. Ed and gone this year after the semis was University School. That put some smiles on some faces – sending Cleveland, Catholic, private and single-sex schools home early.


We know, they get tired of seeing the same people all the time.


This was evident in that they could not wait until Regina High (Cleveland/private/single-sex/Catholic) would close its doors for good at the end of this school year. We know: they got tired of them coming down in girls’ basketball every year and winning all those state titles, so they disqualified them early so they couldn’t come down for one last hurrah.


Certainly, Pat O’Rourke runs a tight ship at Ignatius (all four of the so-called black marks at this school just like Regina) and nothing will be found to strip away that hockey title. However, someone is searching for something as is the case with the HB hoop gals. Let’s hope they do not do a double “telling the teacher on you” thing on HB this year.


Certainly some brows were wiped when Mentor upset St. Ed in the regional hoops title game Saturday. “At least it is not St. Ed again,” (the school has won 39 state titles in four sports since the 1970s) they must have thought.


But wait. Wasn’t it Mentor that they took a regional title away from in boys’ soccer a few years ago? Oh, yeah, with Mentor it is the big-school thing. Mentor has always had one of the largest enrollments in the state and even though it has only one of the four big black marks, it’s that “Major League” school from a “Major League” city thing working against the Cardinals. North Olmsted has always gotten this in the Southwestern Conference, creating built-in underdog status for all others in the league not because the school has black in its colors but because of its relative large enrollment, as if sports are nothing but a numbers game. Ridiculous as it sounds, many on the lighter headed side tend to buy into that theory.


Remember, it was St. Ed that had to forfeit all those football games six years ago because Frank Edmonds transferred from Rhodes and was in on a kick off or two as a sophomore that year. Ironically, the paper shuffling error was discovered only a couple days after Warren Harding suffered a tough loss to the Eagles, which later became an off-field win for the Raiders.


Then a year later those Hawkeyes at Rhodes did it to their own program, making it forfeit all its grid games through the miraculous discovery of a paper-shuffling error  just to keep things copasetic and assure it is not just the private schools that are the target.


Chanel can be counting its lucky stars that it combined with St. Peter/Erieview a while back, at least getting the all-boys moniker off its back, but it still needs to be leery this weekend, wearing three of the four dreaded black marks on the sleeve going into the boys state basketball tournament.


Benedictine will not have that same luxury as it goes after a state hoops title, having all four of the Cleveland cooties coming into Columbus.


The interesting basketball game will be the eighth and final semifinal game between Jackson and Gahanna Lincoln. How much the Polar Bears get homered remains to be seen, but they can at least take solace like Mentor in the idea that they are “only” from northeastern Ohio.

First-Year Bloom Named NCAC Player of the Week
Molly Bloom
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3/22/2010 7:18:10 PM
By Mike Mancini

Westlake – Oberlin College first-year Molly Bloom was named as the North Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday evening. 

Bloom, a native of Sharon, Massachusetts, scored four goals and dished out a pair of assists in Oberlin’s 17-2 thrashing of Waynesburg last Saturday. 

Bloom, who was one of seven players to score multiple goals in the game, leads the team in goals (5), assists (2) and points (7) through the first two games of the season. 

She and the rest of the Yeowomen are set to host Trine University on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.



In seven starts, freshman outfielder Danny Kraus (Westlake, OH/Westlake) went 16-for-35 with nine runs and eight stolen bases to lead DENISON. In the Big Red’s 18-12 victory over Fontbonne, Krause went 5-for-7 (.714) with five runs scored and three stolen bases.

Westlake High alum Danny Krause

Freshman pitcher Tyler Dierke (Hudson, OH/Hudson) collected both of KENYON’S wins last week with 13 shutout innings.

Hudson grad Tyler Dierke

Garfield's Kyle Kovach

Senior Kyle Kovach (Garfield Hts., OH/Garfield Hts.) hit 8-for-15 (.533) with two runs scored and three RBI as HIRAM went 0-5

North Coast Athletic Conference

OBERLIN junior Ben Puterbaugh (Canton, OH/Jackson) hit 12-for-20 (.600) in the Yeomen’s 4-1 week. He scored seven and drove in eight, including four in a 10-9 win over Hiram.


 The sixth ranked KENYON Lords fell to third-ranked Emory, 6-3. Junior Jeremy Polster (Shaker Hts., OH/Shaker Hts.) posted Kenyon’s best win in singles play with scores of 6-2 and 6-2.

Red Raider alum Jeremy Polster

OBERLIN lost its only match last week to Baldwin-Wallace, 8-1. The Yeomen got their lone point from sophomore Joe Leffler (Norwalk, OH/Norwalk) as he won at No. 2 singles in three sets.

Bowling Honor Roll

Amateur Cleveland USBC Bowling Association honor scores through 3/22/10


Format: Bowler, Hometown, Date, Bowling Center


    300 Games

Matt Molzan, Cleveland, 3/12, Freeway Lanes of Parma;

Lou Kastelic, Broadview Heights, 3/17, Seven Hills Lanes;

Bill Keegan, Westlake, 3/17, Buckeye Lanes;

Brian Kaliszewski,, Garfield Heights, Cloverleaf Lanes;

Andrew Jendre, Independence, 3/19, Seven Hills Lanes;

Keith Mixter, Parma, 3/19, Fairview Lanes;

Rick Vapenik, Berea, 3/19, Buckeye Lanes;

Kevin Cowper, Strongsville, 3/19, Buckeye Lanes;

James Gallagher, Cleveland, Freeway Lanes of Parma;

Phillip Rossi, Parma, 3/22, Seven Hills Lanes;



    299 Games

Jim Leprevost, Cleveland, 3/16, Freeway Lanes of Parma;

Carly Graham, Strongsville, 3/17, Freeway Lanes of Parma;

Al Soderlund, Rocky River, 3/19, Red Circle Lanes;

Bill Goetz, Strongsville, 3/21, Yorktown Lanes;

Craig Hgedus, North Ridgeville, 3/21, Brookgate Lanes;

Norman Markiewicz, Maple Heights, Seven Hills Lanes;



    298 Games



    800 Series


Robert Wade, Cleveland, 3/5, Buckeye Lanes (808);

Robert SteeleParma, 3/5, Freeway Lanes of Parma (804);

Bret Van Dyke, Cleveland, 3/10, Freeway Lanes of Parma (826:

Tim Voytko Jr., Lakewood, 3/14, Brookgate Lanes (814);

Jim Smith, Garfield Heights, 3/14, Cloverleaf Lanes (802);

Bill Keagan, Westlake, 3/15, Freeway Lanes of Parma (802);

Bill Keegan, Westlake, 3/17, Buckeye Lanes (811);

Vikings' home opener tomorrow 

against Eastern Michigan in new 

home digs, Avon's All Pro Freight 


March 23

By Brian McCann

The Viking Report. . .

A Look At What Is Happening In Cleveland State Athletics


Liran Gross To Compete At NCAA Championships. . .

Baseball & Tennis At Home As Part Of A Busy Week In Athletics

Cleveland State's six spring sports have returned to Ohio following their respective trips during spring break and will resume the northern portion of their schedules in preparation for their spring championships, the first of which are just five weeks away.

The busy ahead features nine of the 15 events being played at home as baseball and men's and women's tennis each play multiple events at home this week.

Fencing takes center stage as senior Liran Gross competes in the foil competition at the NCAA Fencing Championships, which will be held Sat.-Sun. March 27-28 in Cambridge, Mass.  Gross previously missed out on competing in the NCAA's when he finished as the first alternate as a sophomore in 2008.

The baseball team returns home for the first time in 2010 when the Vikings play three games at All-Pro Freight Statdium in Avon, OH.  CSU starts the week with a 3:00 p.m. game at Kent State on Tuesday (March 23).  The Vikings then open up the home slate on Wednesday with a 3:00 p.m. game against Eastern Michigan.  CSU is home on the weekend, hosting Case Western Reserve on Saturday (March 27) at noon and Lake Erie on Sunday (March 28) at noon.


The softball team, winners of nine straight, will play just one time this week, traveling to Moon Township, PA on Thursday (March 25) for a 3:00 p.m. game against Robert Morris.


The men's tennis squad will be the busiest team, playing four matches.  CSU hosts Youngstown State on Friday (March 26) at 7:00 p.m. and Green Bay (1:00 p.m.) and Case Western Reserve (5:00 p.m.) on Saturday (March 27).  The Vikings then close out the week with a 6:00 p.m. match at Ohio State on Sunday (March 28).


The women's tennis team is at home for three matches, hosting Green Bay on Saturday (March 27) at 9:00 a.m. and both Milwaukee (10:00 a.m.) and Case Western Reserve (2:00 p.m.) on Sunday (March 28). All home tennis matches are played at River Oaks Racquet Club in Rocky River.


The women's golf team will be in Indianapolis, IN to play in the Butler Sping Invitational.  The first round was washed out on Monday (March 22) but play continues with a single round on Tuesday (March 23).


The men's golf team closes the week at the Ball State Invitational, playing 36-holes on Saturday (March 27) and a single round on Sunday (March 28).

Baseball To Host Eastern Michigan For Home Opener

Vikings To Play Three Home Games This Week


CSU will host Eastern Michigan in the 2010 home opener on Wednesday (March 24) at 3:00 p.m., playing their first game at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio. The Vikings will also host Case Western on Saturday (March 27) and Lake Erie on Sunday (March 28) with 12:00 noon starts to close out the opening week. Prior to the home opener, the Vikings will play at Kent State on Tuesday (March 23) facing the Golden Flashes at 3:00 p.m.


"This week is a big week for us, hosting Eastern Michigan in the home opener at All Pro Freight stadium," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "It will be a tough match up, but finally we are able to play on our home field and hopefully we can use that to our advantage this season. Traveling to Kent State will be a hard game for us on Tuesday, and we need to work on getting our pitching, offense and defense to work a complete game together."


The Vikings posted their second win of the season at Belmont (March 16), topping the Bruins 8-7 after recording eight runs on nine hits. CSU stumbled through the rest of their spring break trip in Tennessee, falling in the second game at Belmont, 18-11 (March 17) and dropped a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin. UTM outscored CSU 17-6 on Friday (March 19), 16-9 in game one on Saturday (March 20) and 20-11 in game two on Saturday (March 21).


Kyle Shaffer led the Vikings at the plate during the five games last week, hitting .381 (eight-for-21). Shaffer had three home runs, two doubles, nine RBI and five runs, including his first homer of the season in the 8-7 victory at Belmont (March 16).  His best performance of the week came at Belmont (March 17), going four-for-five with one double, one home run, four RBI and one run.

Kyle Shaffer

Akron native Kyle Shaffer


Anthony Sambula posted his second win of the season, pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief work at Belmont (March 16), striking out eight and allowing three runs in the 8-7 victory. Sambula started for the Vikings in game one on Saturday at UTM (March 26), working four innings and striking out three.

Anthony Sambula

West G. grad Anthony Sambula


Gross To Compete At NCAA Fencing Championship

Vikings Senior Earns The Honor For The First Time In His Career


The men's and women's fencing teams participated in the Midwest Regional March 13-14, with Liran Gross leading the Vikings with a sixth place finish in the men's foil, qualifying him for the NCAA Championship taking place March 25-28 in Boston, Mass.


"I thought everyone competed at their highest level at the regional meet and I am very proud with how everyone finished," head coach Andy Tulleners said. "Liran had a great day and will represent the Vikings well at the NCAA Championship and I can't wait to see how he competes against the top competitors in the country."

Liran Gross



Gross finished the day with a 7-4 record, including a 4-2 record in pool play with victories over competitors from Ohio State, Wayne State, Notre Dame and Detroit. Also competing for the men were John Marshall (10th place men's epee) and Patrick Weber (11th place men's epee).


Brooke Snyder was the only Viking to represent the women's team, ending the day with an 11th place finish in the women's epee. Snyder had a 2-7 record, with victories over Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Brooke Snyder



Gross will compete on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 in Boston, Mass. at the NCAA Championship in the men's foil. This marks his first trip to the NCAA Championship, though he did qualify as the first alternate during his sophomore season.


Women's Basketball Season Ends In NCAA First Round

Vikings Win 19 Games For Third Straight Season


Cleveland State's postseason run came to an end in the opening round of the NCAA Championships when the 15th-seeded Vikings fell at second-seeded Notre Dame, 86-58, on Sunday (March 21). It marked the second time in the last three seasons that CSU was playing in the NCAA tournament after claiming the Horizon League Championship with wins over UIC, Green Bay and Butler.


"I am so proud of my team and everything that we accomplished this season," head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. "The team believed in the goals we set and worked hard to accomplish them. We had an outstanding group of four seniors who carried us down the stretch and we will really miss them next year, but they showed that winning is possible at Cleveland State. They will always have a place in this program."


Senior Kailey Klein closed her brilliant career with 31 points and eight rebounds in Sunday's loss to the Fighting Irish. She concluded her career with 2,140 points, ranking second all-time in the Horizon League. Klein also ranked first in the CSU record books in free throws made (605), free throws attempted (762) and games started (114), while also ranking third in field goals made (686), field goals attempted (1,591), three-pointers made (163) and eighth in rebounds (733) and assists (311).


Senior Stephaine Crosley had seven points and seven rebounds in her final collegiate contest, while senior Angel Roque dished out a career-best eight assists against Notre Dame.

Angel Roque


CSU will return seven letterwinners next season, including junior Shawnita Garland, a two-time second team All-Horizon League selection.

Softball To Play Just One Game This Week

Vikings Have Won Nine Straight To Improve To 18-7


After going 10-1 during its annual spring trip to Florida, the Cleveland State softball team (18-7) will slow the pace a bit this week, playing just one game as the Vikings get ready for their Horizon League opener on April 2.  CSU will be in Moon Township, PA on Thursday (March 25) to play a 3:00 p.m. game against Robert Morris.


"Although we are winning a lot of games, we need to take this week to practice on some of the things that we aren't doing so well," CSU head coach Angie Nicholson said.  "We had good pitching and did some other good things in spurts, but we should have and need to be better when we start playing league games."


The Vikings enter the week having won nine straight games to improve to 18-7 on the season.  CSU was 2-1 at the USF Under Armour Showcase (March 13-14) and then won all eight games at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee.

Katelyn Ciminelli

Karalyn Ciminelli 

Senior pitcher Amanda Macenko was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week for the league record 12th time in her career after going 7-0 with an 0.88 ERA in 48 innings at the Rebel Games.  Offensively, the quartet of Alicia Nichols (.500), Tess Sito (.481), Mimi Mahon (.438) and Katelyn Ciminelli (.400) helped CSU to hit .354 as a team in the eight games last week.

Women's Tennis Returns Home For Three Matches


The Cleveland State women's tennis team (8-10, 1-0 HL) returns home for three matches this weekend, beginning with a 9:00 a.m. match against Green Bay on Saturday (March 27) at River Oaks Racquet Club. The Vikings will also host Milwaukee at 10:00 a.m. and Case Western at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (March 28).


"It will be nice to be back home this weekend, especially with two huge conference matches on the schedule," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We had a good spring break trip and although the results were not there in terms of wins, I thought we competed hard and will be able to carry some good things over to our league matches."


CSU went 1-3 on its spring break trip to the Midwest, losing to St. Louis, at Kansas and at Iowa State by identical 6-1 scores and knocking off South Dakota, 6-0. The teams played the singles matches first due to time constraints and didn't play doubles as the outcome was already decided.

Charlotte Gibbons

Charlotte Gibbons


The No. 1 doubles team of Catrine Bjerrehus and Charlotte Gibbons won all three of their matches over spring break and lead the squad with 11 wins. Freshman Maria Lazaris has continued to play well, leading the team with 14 singles wins, including a straight-set win at No. 1 singles against South Dakota.


Lazaris is one of five Vikings with double digit singles wins and is joined by Gibbons and Sanda Bjelan (12), Nicole Janek (11) and Bjerrehus (10).


Men's Tennis Has Busy Week With Four Home Matches


The Cleveland State men's tennis squad has a busy week on tap, playing four matches during a three day stretch over the weekend, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Youngstown State on Friday (March 26) at River Oaks Racquet Club in the Horizon League opener for both teams. CSU will also host Green Bay at 1:00 p.m. and Case Western at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 27) before heading to fourth-ranked Ohio State for a 6:00 p.m. match on Sunday (March 28).


"This is going to be a very busy week for us and we are going to have to remained focused during each point," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We want to come out strong to start the league schedule and put ourselves in good position in the league standings. Sunday's match at Ohio State is going to go a long way in showing how much we have grown as a team."


The Vikings went 1-3 on its Spring Break trip to Florida, knocking off Florida Atlantic, 4-3, in the opener on March 14 before falling to Indiana, Stetson and Embry-Riddle, all by 6-1 scores.

Yannick Goossens



Phil Orno and Yannick Goossens both went 2-2 in singles play on the trip, while Orno teamed with Ryan Hamning to go 2-2 at No. 1 doubles. Orno became the first player to reach 20 wins this season and leads the squad with 21, while Rob Fox is close behind with 20.


Women's Golf Heads To Butler Spring Invitational


The Cleveland State women's golf team is back on the course early this week, competing at the Butler Spring Invitational at the par-72, 5,445-yard Prestwick C.C. The event was originally scheduled for 36 holes, but Monday's opening round was washed out, shortening the event to 18 holes on Tuesday (March 23).


"This will be a good test to see how far we have come as a team so far this spring," head coach Steve Weir said. "We have been up and down and need to be able to go out and be more consistent as a team. We have to stay mentally focused every shot and stay focused."


The Vikings continued their spring season by placing 15th of 16 teams at the Jackrabbit Invitational at Primm Valley G.C. on March 16-17. CSU carded rounds of 338 and 348 to open the event before firing a 325 in the final round.

Laren Beese

Canton Central Catholic alumna Laren Beese


Senior Laren Beese paced the Vikings, tying for 52nd place at 240 (78-80-82), while senior Katie Broere tied for 67th with rounds of 90-81-77 (248).


Men's Golf Returns To Action At Ball State


The men's golf team is out of action until March 27-28 when Cleveland State competes at the 54-hole Ball State Cardinal Collegiate at the par-72, 6,859-yard Sultan's Run G.C. in Jasper, Ind.


"With two of our top three players out of the lineup, we are fielding a young team each time we take the course," head coach Steve Weir said. "But that is giving a chance for our younger guys to get some experience and I expect them to keep improving every time they are in the lineup. We will continue to work hard and improve with our ultimate sights set on the Horizon League Championship."


The Vikings placed 14th of 17 teams at their second spring event of the season, the Jackrabbit Invitational, on March 15-16 at Primm Valley G.C. The Vikings carded rounds of 318 and 316 to open the tournament, but came back to post a 295 in the final round as four players shot in the 70's, including a career-low 71 by freshman Jon Riemer.


Freshman Michael Klaric led the Vikings, tying for 26th place overall (226). He opened with a round of 81, but rallied to fire rounds of 72 and 73 to close the tournament. Senior Kyle Cobb tied for 32nd place at 228 (79-75-74) and continues to lead the Vikings in scoring this season with a 74.8 average.

Kyle Cobb

Strongsville High grad Kyle Cobb


Viking High Fives


Women's Basketball Seniors:  The quartet of Stephaine Crosley, Kailey Klein and Angel and Jessica Roque concluded their careers with a school-record 65 wins and two NCAA tournament appearances.


Jon Riemer:  The freshman men's golfer carded a career-low 71 in the final round of the Jackrabbit Invite on March 16.


Phil Orno:  The men's tennis senior reached 20 wins for the fourth straight season and now has 91 for his career.


Liran Gross:  Senior fencer qualified for the NCAA Championship after a sixth place finish in the men's foil at the Midwest Regional.


Alicia Nichols:  The softball sophomore stepped up big last week, hitting .500 (10-20) after being moved into the starting lineup.  She has a nine-game hitting streak.



Ben Stoper

Medina High alumnus Ben Stoper 

Excels as a Two-Sport Athlete

for Baldwin-Wallace

March 23, 2010

By Nick Minerd

BEREA, OHIO - Life isn't easy being a multi-sport Student/Athlete as well as a student in college. It takes great discipline andtime management skills if success is in store for the future. Fortunately for Baldwin Wallace College junior outfielder But these are qualities that he has learned throughout his college experience.

Stoper, who batted .316 in six games on B-W's annual spring trip to Winter Haven, Florida, has his foot sleeping on the gas peddle during his year-long grind.

"I've learned great lessons not only about sports, but about life in general," says Stoper, who also had a run scored, a double and a stolen base as B-W finished 4-4 at the RussMatt Classic that was held in the same complex that the Cleveland Indians utilized before moving to Goodyear, Arizona last spring. "It was quite a challenge at first, but once I got my feet wet it helped me move forward."

In addition to being an outstanding student and playing baseball at B-W, Stoper is the a fullback on the Yellow Jacket football team in the fall. Once his football campaign ends, he can not afford to apply the breaks as there really is no off-season between football and baseball.

"The two sports go hand in hand - the ultimate goal is to be the best player you can be in each sport," said Stoper, who carried the ball 14 times for 73 yards with a 5.3-yard per carry average this fall.  "That is what I strive and thrive for everyday in practice."

But with great power comes great responsibility. This season will be an important one, not only for Stoper, but the entire team. This challenge should be within its grasp. B-W is looking to build upon a 19-19 record it compiled last season and contend for the 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference title and a spot in the NCAA Division III Mideast Region Tournament.

"We know how talented we are," says Stoper, who has earned one letter in football and will earn a second this spring on the diamond. "We just need to put the product on the field every game. If we do that, I think we have a real opportunity to make an OAC title run."

"Ben is a powerful young man who has learned to excell as a student-athlete most importantly in the classroom, and also on the football field and baseball diamond," said veteran Head Football Coach John Snell, who also played baseball at B-W as a catcher. "He has outstanding work ethic and a great attitude."
Coach Snell

Ben is no stranger to challenges. He returned to football in the 2008-09 season after not competing the year before. Not only that, but his position of fullback on the field is one of the most physically enduring of all. But the battle wounds he would have experienced on the field did not discourage him. In fact, they motivated him even more.

"When Ben came back after missing a year, he was hungry to compete and succeed," said Snell. "Other players saw that and it made them hungrier too."

Last year, Ben earned his first varsity letter and became 42-year veteran Head Coach Bob Fisher's starting left fielder. In the 33 games and 28 starts, Stoper batted nearly .300 and drove in 18 runs with a pair of homeruns, and his fielding percentage was one of the best on the team. In addition, he displayed outstanding leadership skills. All of these characteristics led to Stoper earning the "The Yellow Jacket Award" along with senior teammate Chris Nealon(Avon Lake).

"It was an honor for me," said Stoper. "I think all of my achievements on and off the field helped me win this award. It feels great to know that I was not only a good athlete, but a good teammate in the dugout as well. That meant a lot to me personally."

In the classroom, Stoper is an education student who aspires to become a teacher and coach of potentially both sports once he graduates from the College. He already has his first lesson plan mapped out.

Try your best to get ahead so you don't fall behind is what Stoper plans to instruct his students and potential players.

"I will tell both my students and players to be prepared and organized," said Stoper. "I want to be in a profession and position where I can help young children learn how to play the game."

"Both of my parents are in similar positions in which they live to help people," said Stoper, who played football, basketball and baseball while at Medina High School. My mother is a nurse and my father is an attorney."

"I hope to follow in their footsteps and set the tone on and off the field for younger generations," said Stoper. "That's a big part of being a leader."

North Coast Athletic Conference

Westlake-based North Coast 

Athletic Conference continues its 

national dominance in small-

college swimming; Lords lead way 

with 31st NCAA title; St. Ed alum 

Zach Turch part of four national 


March 23

By Keri Alexander Luchowski

WESTLAKE -- The NCAC dominance of swimming and diving at the national level continued this past weekend as Kenyon captured its 31st NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship while Denison finished in second place. On the women’s side, Denison finished second and Kenyon finished fourth. Individuals from Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash and Wittenberg also represented the conference.
National champs for 31st time

Notes - Men:
KENYON accounted for nine event titles, five NCAA records, a clean sweep of the relay events and the largest margin of victory ever recorded at the meet. The Lords compiled 696 points to second-place Denison’s 272. The 424-point difference set the new standard, topping Kenyon’s 389-point margin of victory in 1995. Sophomore Zachary Turk (Strongsville, OH/St. Edward) won six titles and was a part of four NCAA records. Individually, he won the 50 (19.99) and 100 (43.79) freestyles, setting a national record in the 50 prelims (19.75). 
Strongsville native Zach Turk

He was also a part of four winning relays: the 200 medley and the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles. He paired with Ian Stewart-Bates (Moreland Hills, OH/University School), David Somers (North Potomac, MD/Quince Orchard), and Blair Withington(Hastings, New Zealand/Hastings Boys) to establish a new record in the 400 free relay (2:55.56) and with Somers, Michael Mpitsos (Newport, OR/Newport) and Collin Ohning (Greenville, SC/Christ Church Episcopal) for a record in the 200 free relay (1:19.05). Turk combined with Mpitsos, Ohning and Nat Carruthers (Longmont, CO/Shining Mountain) in a record-setting 200 medley relay (1:27.74). The 800-yard relay team of Stewart-Bates, Turk, Blake Preston (New Rochelle, NY/New Rochelle) and Kegan Borland (Vandergrift, PA/St. Joseph) touched first in 6:34.71. Sophomore Ian Bakk (MacFarland, WI/MacFarland) took home the 200 breaststroke title (2:01.14), while David Lazarus (Moens, France/Foundations of International) took the 100 (54.70). The quartet of Mpitsos, Lazarus, Carruthers and Withington touched first in the 400 medley relay (3:15.48).
 - NCAA -

DENISON logged the program’s seventh, second place finish and the first since 2007. Denison posted a rally on Saturday to take second away from Emory, who held the position for most of the meet. The Big Red came away from the meet with 22 All-Americans as well seven top-4 swims. Sophomore Dan Thurston (Ann Arbor, MI/Huron) placed second in the 400 IM while sophomore Robert Barry (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher’s) took a pair of fourth place finishes in the 100 and 200 backstrokes.

OHIO WESLEYAN came away with one All-American in senior David Gatz (Delaware, Ohio/Hayes). Gatz finished 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke to secure his third straight All-American honor in the event. He closes out his career with five All-America honors. Gatz also took part in the 200-yard breaststroke and finished in 20th place. Two WABASH swimmers come up just short of competing in the finals. Junior David Birrer (Indianapolis, IN/Brownsburg) finished 19th in the 200 butterfly and missed the finals by less than a second. Junior Evan Rhinesmith (McCordsville, IN/Mt. Vernon) missed the finals of the 100 breaststroke by 12/100ths of a second and ended up taking 17th place.

Notes - women:
DENISON posted their fifth second-place finish at nationals and recorded 32 All-America honors. The Big Red had 13 top-four finishes. Senior Olivia Zaleski (Corry, PA/Corry Area) became the first swimmer in the history of the women’s program to earn 28 All-America honors. An eight-time national champion, Zaleski defended her crown in the 100 backstroke (55.24) and was also a member of the winning 400 medley (3:43.94) and 200 medley relay (1:41.92) teams. Her eight national titles ties her with Mollie Parrish for the top spot.

KENYON ended their three-year reign on the national level. The Ladies started the championships off in fourth place after the first night and could not climb any higher. Alisa Vereshchagin (Solon, OH/Solon) took home fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Solon alumna Alisa Vereshchagin 

 Kati Meirs (Cream Ridge, NJ/Peddie) claimed her third consecutive All-America award in the 1,650 freestyle as she placed eighth. The 400 relay team anchored by Tina Ertel (Halle, Germany/Sportsgymnasium Halle) finished third earning Ertel her 22nd All-America honor. Lauren Brady (Tyngsboro, MA/Phillips Exeter) took fourth in the 200 butterfly and improved on her fifth place finish from a year ago in the 400 IM to bring home a fourth this year and now has 11 top-five finishes at nationals to go with 13 career All-America awards. Brady also helped the 400 medley relay team of Kate Haller (Mentor, OH/Mentor), Anna Connolly (Wayne, PA/Conestoga) and Vereshchagin to a fifth place finish.
Mentor alumna Kate Haller

OBERLIN freshman Grace Aheron (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry) competed in the 200 backstroke, 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly but did not qualify for the finals. Despite fighting an illness throughout, she set a personal best time of 2:08.02 in the 200-yard backstroke. WITTENBERG senior Adeline Brym (Mansfield, OH/Lexington) placed 43rd in the 50 freestyle and 27th in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes.

Softball at Franciscan Canceled
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3/23/2010 9:50:55 AM
Oberlin, Ohio – The accumulation of rainfall in Steubenville, Ohio, over the past two days has forced the cancellation of Tuesday’s scheduled doubleheader between Oberlin College and Franciscan University. 

The two teams are working on a potential make-up date, but it is unclear at this time if the twinbill will be rescheduled. 

The Yeowomen will now prepare themselves for their annual spring break trip to Clermont, Florida to participate in the NTC Games. Oberlin will play 10 games in five days starting March 28 against Loras College.

Yellow Jacket Senior Captain 

Andrea Essig Seeks Third OAC 

Title and NCAA Berth in Four 


March 23

By Emily Pelosi

BEREA -- Winning a pair of Ohio Athletic Conference titles and earning two NCAA Division III National Tournament berths has been exciting for Baldwin-Wallace College senior women's tennis Student/Athlete and co-captain Andrea Essig, and leading her team to a third crown and berth in the national tourney would be the perfect ending to a fine career.

To date, Essig and the Yellow Jackets have compiled a 4-7 overall and 1-0 Ohio Athletic Conference mark against the toughest pre-season competition in the program's history.

"I think we have a great chance to win the conference this year," said Essig with enthusiasm and prior to a match this Thursday, March 25 at home against Cleveland cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University on the "Pop" Collins Courts in Berea at 3:30 p.m.  "We are a strong team with a lot of depth in the line-up.  Our biggest competition in the OAC will probably be Otterbein College, but there are a few other teams that may give us a run for our money."

However, simply relying on the odds is not enough for Essig. "I believe if we work hard as a team all season we'll be at the top of the conference and hopefully on our way to the national tournament as well!"

Since Essig joined the Yellow Jacket program in 2006, she has been a vital part of the team's many successes. She has helped B-W to assemble an overall 54-24 record, including a school-record 25 victories three seasons ago.

She also has compiled a number of successes individually.

As a freshman in 2006-07, Essig split her time between the fifth and sixth singles positions. It was during this season she earned her first letter and fashioned a 14-14 overall record. She also made a few appearances in third doubles and achieved a 4-5 mark. Her efforts helped the Yellow Jackets compile a school-record 25-3 record, including a 9-0 OAC mark and the OAC regular season title, the OAC Tournament crown and the school's first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament. At the NCAA tourney, B-W beat Albion College of Michigan for the conference's first-ever win at the national level.

"Andrea was a big part of our success as a freshman," said veteran Head Coach Jack Bethlenfalvy, who owns a school-record 282 career wins and is the winningest women's tennis coach in both OAC and Ohio collegiate annals.  "It [her development] all began her first season and she's just gotten better and better every year."

As a sophomore in 2007-08, Essig started as a third doubles partner with current junior Katy Marshall (Medina/ Senior) and the duo combined for a 12-8 mark as a combo. Overall, Essig compiled a 15-10 total doubles mark. In singles play, she saw limited action at No. 6 and had a 3-4 overall mark. Again, Essig and B-W had a fine season with an 18-7 overall record, won the OAC regular season title with another 9-0 slate, captured the OAC tourney championship and advance to the NCAA Division III National Tournament where they lost at No.2-seed and Div. III power DePauw (Ind.) University.

"From the top to the bottom of our lineup in 2007-08, we might have had our strongest team," said Bethlenfalvy, but also making sure to note that it's tough to beat the 25-3 team of a year before. "We added Caitlyn and Emily [current juniors Caitlyn Pecinovsky  (Whitehall/ Bishop Hartley) and Emily Pelosi Uniontown/ Green)] which moved Andrea strictly to doubles. She responded by having another good season."

As a junior, Essig returned to singles play and responded by earning the No.3 position and posted a 10-17 overall mark, including a solid 5-3 slate against OAC foes, and teamed with Pelosi at third doubles to compile an 6-2 mark in OAC play. For her efforts, she was awarded honorable mention All-OAC honors.

"I think last season really gave Andrea the confidence that she can play at a high level at a high singles position and be a leader on the team," said Bethlenfalvy.

Essig is currently into her fourth season and is a starting player at fifth singles and has a 4-10 overall mark and joins Marshall at third doubles for a 5-9 mark. One of Essig's main attributes as a team leader is her positive attitude.

"The great thing about playing doubles with Andi is that no matter what [is happening in our match], she always says that's okay, head up, let's keep going'," said Marshall. "She always finds a way to stay positive when we are on the court together."

Fellow Co-Captain Pecinovsky also admires Essig's attitude on the court.

"Andi is one of the toughest competitors that I know," said Pecinovsky, who plays first singles and first doubles. "She never gives up, and she never lets her team give up either.

"People [opponents] may walk out onto the court to play her, and not get that instant intimidation factor, but as soon as she rips a return back at you, well, you'll start thinking otherwise," continued Pecinovsky. "Mark Twain once said 'Its not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.' Although she's small, Andi definitely has a lot of fight in her. I really admire her passion for the sport, and I'm so glad I've been able to compete with her on my side for the past three years."

The dedication and hard work Essig displays on the court, she also applies off the court. Her work in academics has placed her on the Dean's list for the past three consecutive semesters. She also is an active member on campus through various public relations events, including working for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, "Go Green!", and "Aluminum Cans for Burned Children".  She also is an active member of Greek life as a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority.

"Andrea is a role model for our younger players as a leader, good student and being involved on campus," said Bethlenfalvy.  "She has really, really been involved and we are very proud of her efforts. At a Division III school like B-W, the focus is on education and being well-rounded as a student and leader. Andrea has taken full advantage of her opportunities, and to her credit has done very, very well."

In the spring she will graduate with a dual major in public relations and sport management. She has an open mind and a positive outlook for her future.

"My future plans are unknown at this time," Essig says. "I am keeping my eyes open for job opportunities and hoping that something comes up in the near future.  I would like to stay in the Cleveland area, at least for now, but the future is unpredictable."

Former team captain and tennis team alum Alyssa Trampert '09 says of Essig "Over the past three years that I've known Andi, she's developed into a player that is not only a supportive teammate on the court, but also a supportive friend off the court. She understands the responsibilities required to be a captain and is a good example to all of the girls."

Following the match versus CWRU, Essig and the Yellow Jackets continue their busy schedule with a rescheduled match versus NAIA foeWalsh University on Friday, March 26 at B-W and an OAC match on Saturday at Capital University in Columbus.

"One of our goals is to compile the best possible overall record that we can, but the three main goals are to go undefeated during the OAC regular season, win the OAC Tournament title and advance back to the NCAA Tournament," said Essig. "I am really excited about the challenge of a third title and NCAA berth. It is a driving force with the entire team."

Falcons Spoil Home Opener for the Yeomen
Ben Kauder
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3/23/2010 7:18:33 PM

By Mike Mancini

Oberlin, Ohio – Cold and windy weather conditions didn’t prevent the visiting Notre Dame College Falcons from belting out 19 hits as they spoiled the homer opener for the Oberlin College baseball team with a 12-5 victory at Dill Field on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Yeomen managed just seven hits on the day with junior Ben Kauderleading the way by going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s. Oberlin (4-2) used six different pitchers with starter Grady Campion taking the loss after surrendering eight hits and four runs in three innings of work. 

Oberlin’s best pitching performance came from junior Ryan Mouch as he entered the game in the fifth with the bases loaded and nobody out and retired the next three hitters in order. He also worked a scoreless sixth and was a benefactor of a 5-4-3 double play in the inning. All-in-all, the Toledo, Ohio, native didn't allow a hit and 11 of his 15 pitches went for strikes. 

The Yeomen took a 2-1 lead in the home-half of the first on Kauder’s two-run double to score Robin Witjes and Brandon Cantrill. Unfortunately, OC would not add another tally on the scoreboard until the fifth on an RBI groundout byMax Phinney. However, in-between the two Yeomen scoring plays, the Falcons (15-5) posted eight runs. 

Trailing 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Yeomen would scratch out another run, but left two on-base to short-circuit any real comeback threat. 

Notre Dame would add three more runs to their cushion in the eighth to effectively put the game out of reach. 

Avon High alum Phil Brua worked a scoreless ninth on the mound and junior Kyle Buzzard had a pinch-hit double and later scored in the bottom of the frame.

Oberlin will now prepare for its annual spring break trip to Phoenix, Arizona. The first opponent for the Yeomen is Marian University on Saturday, March 27 at 12 p.m. EST.