A Page -- May 22, 2011

In the battle of the unbeatens, Westlake’s 

Colton Buffington betters Cloverleaf’s 

Jacob Dunbar; Walsh Jesuit dominates 

doubles play; 9 of 18 Oberlin 2010 state 

qualifiers are returning to Columbus

By Norm Weber

OBERLIN COLLEGE – Westlake’s Colton Buffington won the battle of the unbeatens and Walsh Jesuit dominated the doubles contingent in the Division I High School District Tennis Championship held Thursday and Saturday here on Hunsinger Courts at The College.

Perhaps the marquee match of the day pitted Buffington against Cloverleaf’s Jacob Dunbar, both coming into district play as 20-match winners and undefeated on the season.

Buffington, a junior who finished third in the state last season as a 10th grader, made it “Dunbar Bookends” with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Jacob Dunbar  in the semifinals of the singles tournament. Buffington defeated Dunbar’s brother, Ethan, who now studies at and plays for the University of Richmond, in the consolation match at states for third place last year after taking a setback from Ethan in the district finals here in 2010.

Buffington takes instruction from coach Jeff Mannies

Dunbar getting the coaching insight

This time there was no setback as Colton Buffington went on to beat his USTA Junior Circuit summer doubles partner, Nolan Marks from Kenston High, in the championship match 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, to earn a No. 1 seed for next week. He goes into the state tourney 28-0 on the season.
District Champ Colton Buffington

Listen to interviews of Westlake Student/Athlete Colton Buffington by clicking and downloading


In doubles play it was all Walsh Jesuit. Warriors Garrett Cona and Matt Spittler earned their third consecutive trip to the state meet in Columbus with a 6-1, 6-3 championship match victory over Walsh teammates Matt Miles and Aaron Sandberg. 
District Doubles Champions Garrett Cona (L) and Matt Spittler

Dist. doubles runners up also from Walsh -- Aaron Sandberg (L), Matt Miles (R)

Listen to interview of Walsh Jesuit Student/Athletes Sandberg/Miles by clicking and downloading

In the doubles consolation match, St. Edward’s Jeffrey Williams and Mike Swartz, who have been playing as a doubles team for only the past three weeks, came back from a set down to Hudson’s Patrick Ohanian and Steven Boslet, to score a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, win to take third place.
Hoover's Carpenter (L), and Fockler (R)

Listen to interview of Hoover Student/Athletes Fockler/Carpenter by clicking and downloading

Nick Fockler and Justin Carpenter of Hoover eliminated Viking teammates Rob DeMarco and Chris Albertson, 6-1, 6-1, to qualify and Revere’s Peter Harris and Frank Jin, 6-4, 6-1, for fifth place. The Jin-Harris duo qualified with a 6-1, 6-2, win over St. Ignatius’ Mike Nichols and Yaw Boakye.
Revere's Harris (L) and Jin (R)

Listen to interview of Revere Student/Athletes Harris/Jin by clicking and downloading:


In the match for third place in singles, Dunbar was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over St. Ignatius’ James Oliver, who lost to Marks, 6-2, 6-4 in the semis.

Listen to interview of Cloverleaf Student/Athlete Jacob Dunbar by clicking and downloading


Joining, Marks, Dunbar, Buffington and Oliver in singles at states are Shaker’s Tommy Marx and David Gabriel, both making their fourth trip to states. This is Gabriel’s third time in singles play. He made it in doubles as a sophomore two yeas ago.


Listen to interview of Shaker Heights Student/Athlete Tommy Marx by clicking and downloading


Three of the four in the back draw today in singles were from Shaker Heights. First Marx beat fellow Red Raider Peter Smetona, 6-2, 6-3, to qualify and then topped Gabriel 7-5, 6-0 for fifth place. Gabriel beat Lake’s Ross Whittaker to qualify.

Marx will study/play at Cleveland State, while Gabriel is going Ivy League and will study only at Columbia University. He was on a team last year that finished sixth in the nation in the History Project Olympics.

Of the 18 Student/Athletes who qualified for states out of this district last year, only three were seniors. Of the 15 that returned to school this year, five are returning to states this year in singles and four are returning to states in doubles. 
Boslet (L) and Ohanian (R)

Listen to interview of Hudson Student/Athletes Ohanian/Boslet by clicking and downloading:


In singles, the only new one is Dunbar, but the bloodlines connection takes care of that one. Spittler and Cona return as do the Hudson team of Ohanian and Boslet. Whittaker, just a siophomore, was the only one playing Saturday who did not re-qualify.

There were some upsets in this district, but all four one seed doubles teams made it – Hoover, Eds, Revere and Walsh. Three of the four on seeds in singles also made it.




The Marks(x) Buddies (l to r) -- Nolan Marks, Charlie Marks, Tommy Marx

When it comes to Greater Cleveland 

tennis, Groucho, Harpo and Chico have 

nothing on the “Marks(x) Buddies” – 

Charlie, Nolan and Tommy from 

Hawken/Oberlin, Kenston and Shaker

By Norm Weber


OBERLIN -- Maybe on the making-people-laugh barometer, Groucho, Harpo and Chico might have something, but when it comes to tennis in the Greater Cleveland area, few could find a threesome that could match the “collective” talents of the “Marks(x) Buddies” -- Charlie, Nolan and Tommy.

Among the three, the surname is spelled two different ways M-A-R-K-S for cousins Charlie and Nolan and for Tommy it is – M-A-R-X, the same way pre-1950s comedians, the Marx Brothers, spelled their names. While the spellings might be different and the blood not all the same, the level of tennis play certainly hits the highest of heights for all three.

Photo downloaded from Wikipedia -- The primary Marx Brothers

Nolan, who studies at and plays high school tennis at Kenston High, and Tommy, who plays for and studies at Shaker Heights High, both qualified for next week’s state tennis tournament Saturday here at The College, Nolan Marks finishing second in singles competition and Tommy Marx finishing fifth in singles play, in Division I District high school tennis.

On hand to watch both of them here today and on Thursday was Charlie Marks, who just graduated last spring after a fine academic and tennis career at Hawken School, and just completed a tremendous year here at Oberlin College, both academically athletically, having a sterling enough rookie season to earn all league honors in the Westlake-based North Coast Athletic Conference.

Indeed, Nolan Marks and Tommy Marx will still be heard from since both have been good enough to earn Division I College scholarships. Nolan will study/play at Cleveland State and Tommy at Butler, which is in the Horizon League, bringing him back to Northeast Ohio when his school plays league matches against CSU and Youngstown State.

Charlie’s dad and Nolan’s dad are brothers and sometimes Nolan jokes that “Tommy and I are cousins, too,” even though not really by blood.

The fact that all three of them play tennis might be coincidental, but the notion that they are all three top-level players certainly goes beyond the happened-by-chance barometer. Nolan Marks has become a regular at the state meet in Division I and his cousin Charlie also had statewide success in D-II at Hawken while a high school Student/Athlete.

Poster photo from Wikipedia

This has drawn media attention as three years ago, a Cleveland publication drew attention to the notion that all three are strong players by stating, “Marks and Marx are on the marks.”

Tommy Marx has been one of the best high school players around here the past three seasons, but was troubled some this season due to a shoulder injury. Up until his two matches today, ironically against Red Raider teammates David Gabriel and Peter Smetona, Marx was serving underhanded this season but still managed to get in through the back draw and beating his teammates.

So Marx’s opponents today were fellow Red Raiders while two of the guys he hung out with between the matches both had the same name phonetically as his.

It might be kind of fun if Marc Glassman would get into the act. Glassman owns the chain of grocery stores named Marcs that were founded by Bernie Schulman.

They could go on a tennis circus tour and Glassman could function as the sponsor: “Marx, Marks and Marks, brought to you by none other than Marcs.”

 Now that would be something worth marking down and captured in print.

Wikipedia photo -- Actually there were six Marx brothers in all, but ionly three
had extensive theater/Vaudeville/Film career. Here are all with their parents 

Mittiga, Brown, Stuffel, Miletti, &

Nemer lead Warriors to District tuneup 


McMaster, Lundy, Snyder and Cioffi also contribute

to team win

CANTON – Walsh University was the gracious host to Walsh Jesuit Baseball on Thursday, as the Warriors defeated visiting Trinity by a score of 11-5 as sophomore RHP Mark Mittiga faced only one over the minimum in his two innings of sharp work to improve to 4-0 on the year. 

Nearly the entire pitching staff got work during the game, as fellow Sophomores Bennet Stuffel and Nate McMaster, as well as Freshman Frankie Cioffi, Junior Michael Marsinek, and Senior Kent State recruit Tim Faix also pitched well in the game. 

The offense also had a very good showing, with multi-hit, multi-RBI games by Sophomore Cassidy Brown, Juniors Anthony Nemer and Drew Miletti, and Senior Nate Lundy. Also hitting well in the game was Senior Slipper Rock recruit Kolton Snyder, Juniors Graeme Frye and Dane O’Driscoll, Senior Dan Keller, Sophomore Rory Ziegler, and Freshmen Nate Romans and Gino Sassano.
With the win, the Warriors improve to 19-2 on the year, and will take on rival St. Vincent St. Mary in the District Semi Final.