A Page -- Nov. 10, 2010 -- High Schools

St. Joe's basketball rebuilding; 

Jaguars get new coach, transfer 

from now-defunct Regina High

Nov. 10, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CLEVELAND (WEST PARK) --Although St. Joseph Academy’s basketball team lost a good part of its scoring and its starting lineup to graduation, the Jaguars will still  have some regulars returning and like most Catholic, single-sex and other private high schools in the area, are benefitting from the closing of Regina High School last spring.

Regina was an East Side all-girls Catholic school that was a state small-school power for more than a decade but had to close due to lack of enrollment. Thus, all the talented Student/Athletes in basketball as well other sports at the school, had to scramble to find quality academic/athletic programs where they could continue their education.


Sophomore Daija Jones has transferred in from Regina. In addition, the Jaguars have added freshman Greta Burry, who played for Lakewood Catholic Academy in eighth grade last season.

Also, the Jaguars have gotten a new coach for this season in Maggie Steadley.


Tillow in action (JPM Photos)

The Jaguars have a half dozen upper classmen returning in seniors: Alex Austin, Megan Seaman, and Farrell O’Malley; and juniors: Emma Tilow, Celine Mangan, and Rachel Schwind.


Austin in action (JPM Photos)

“We have a deep bench-and are looking to play a lot of girls,” said Steadley. “It helps to have a lot of upperclassmen. I have very high expectations and know we can be competitive.”


O'Malley in action (JPM Photos)

Even though the group lacks varsity experience, it might work in favor of the new coach since it might make it easier for them to learn the new coaching style and game system.


Schwind in action (JPM Photos)

“We might have no returning starters, but-we have a lot of very hungry and enthusiastic girls since-this will be their first year playing major varsity minutes,” Steadley said.

Steadley has a rather large coaching staff helping her. The members include Asst Varsity Coaches Bob Steadley, Chris Steadley, and Patti Haggeman; JV Head Coach-Dave Clarke and Asst JV Coach-Pat Clarke; and Frosh-Head Coach Maureen Adler and Asst Frosh-Coach Jim Harter.

Maggie Steadley comes from North Olmsted High, where her teams were 20-35 in three seasons. The Jaguars had an up-and-down season last year, finishing 11-11.


Walsh Jesuit blanks Strongsville to 

advance to state title match,3-0

Nov. 10, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


ROCKY RIVER – Walsh Jesuit will be going after the school’s fifth girls’ soccer (third in Division I) state championship Saturday after a 3-0 win over Strongsville, in the Division I state semifinal match tonight here on the pitch in the athletic complex at Rocky River High School.

Strongsville did not make any serious threats the first 10 minutes of the match as Walsh’s defensive effort from the midfield and front liners were able to keep the ball in the Mustang defensive zone almost the entire time.

Watch a few short videos of tonight’s Mustangs-Warriors match, filmed by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Still, Walsh could not manage a shot on goal in the early going as the ‘Stang fullbacks were also stiff even though the Warriors were able to dump a few good balls down toward and into the 18-yard box.

Finally after a couple Walsh fouls, Strongsville finally was able to get down near quality-shot territory, when Ashley Meier was able to get inside the box, but then tripped up, at least getting a corner kick out of it at the 11-minute mark.

After nothing shook off the corner Alexis Manoa launched, Walsh sped down to the other end and Sandra Yu was able to fire off a quality shot on goal, but keeper Cailyn Moore was right in front of it to make the save on the catch t 13:32.

Kelsey Smigel was able to stay onside, get behind the fullback and emerge for a short 8-yard shot, but went high with it at 14:35.

Walsh kept attacking, Maddy Anzelc attempting a short header at 15:54 that Moore saved.

Off a long free kick by Chelsea Stalter, Buffalo University-committed Megan Giesen tried a header at the other end, but missed wide at 18:41.

Walsh’s first corner was put into play by Smigel at 20:44. She tried to angle it toward the goal, but it sailed out of play on the far side of the corner for a Mustang goal kick.


Listen to post-match interview with Walsh Student/Athlete Sandra Yu from tonight’s Warriors-Mustangs match, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


The Warriors kept attacking and finally all the execution paid off as Yu got a great feed from Smigel, forcing Moore out of both boxes, giving Yu the open net, which she took and scored at 23:20 for a 1-0 Walsh lead.

Madison Franklin was able to manage a shot off a corner kick for Strongsville in the 32nd minute, but it was not on goal. Less than a minute later, Lizzy Ehrnfelt was able to manage another shot off a Manoa corner but not close enough to be on goal or for Erin Flynn to have to work for a save.

Elizabeth Bollinger took a free kick for Walsh at 35:52 from about 20 yards, was able to get it inside to Maddy John, who was able to knock back a 10-yard shot on goal that Moore saved.

The defenses of the two teams kept each other’s attacks at bay the rest of the half as the first 40 minutes went into the books in favor of Walsh, 1-0.

After the Mustangs tried to set up a play that broke when the ball skipped back out top, Jackie Campo fired a 40-yard shot toward Flynn that missed just a bit high at 42:48.

 Bollinger took a free kick at 45:14 that went on goal and that Moore played cleanly on one hop.

Yu missed wide at 49:02.

Strongsville finally managed its first shot on goal on the vaunted Walsh defense when Franklin was able to put it on net at 55:01, but Flynn slapped it away with one hand. Erin Peskura went high with a shot off a corner 30 seconds later.

Nicolette Griesinger took a 12-foooter in the 58th minute but it was too soft and high and Flynn just grabbed it out of the air.

Smigel was able to stay on side and get a nice feed from Yu on an odd-man rush, finding herself with the ball and one-on-one with Moore but the keeper was there for the save at 59:37.


Listen to post-match interview with Walsh Student/Athlete Kelsey Smigel from tonight’s Warriors-Mustangs match, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


It only prolonged the agony for Strongsville as Walsh executed the corner kick, setting up a play off the restart, Brianna Kanz shoveling a pass inside to Smigel, who banged it home at 61:14 for a 2-0 lead.


Listen to post-match interview with Walsh Student/Athlete Brianna Kanz from tonight’s Warriors-Mustangs match, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Late in the second half Mustang coach Jon Felton used an ice hockey move by pulling his goalie and going with 11 field players but it backfired as Yu scored an open-net goal.

Essentially, the two teams that were here tonight were the ones projected to be here at this time. Walsh came into the match after getting ranked No. 3 in the state in the final state poll three weeks ago while Strongsville was ranked No. 2 in the state at the end of the regular season, following by knocking off No. 1 Medina in the districts.

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Lake Ridge's Kortni Taylor signs 

with Evansville

Nov. 10, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


NORTH RIDGEVILLE   -- Lake Ridge Academy Student/Athlete Kortni Taylor today signed a letter of intent here at  the school, accepting a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Evansville.

Watch short videos with Lake Ridge Student/Athlete Kortni Taylor from today’s letter of intent signing for Evansville, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Taylor will be a senior for the Lions this year. She is one of eight former S/As from the now-defunct Regina High School who has transferred here to Lake Ridge to study and play for the Lions.

Listen to post-signing interview with Lake Ridge Student/Athlete Kortni Taylor from today’s letter of intent signing for Evansville, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


“They came to one of my games last year and I sent them a tape,” said Taylor, who was accompanied by her mom and about two dozen LRA students (about one third of the whole school) at the signing. “I was getting offers from other schools, but after I began talking and visited the campsu and met the current players, I knew this would be the place for me.”

Although her major area of study is undecided, Taylor expressed interest in orthopedic studies and sports management.

Listen to Lake Ridge Student/Athlete Kortni Taylor give a speech after today’s letter of intent signing for Evansville, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Debby Ghezzi, the LRA athletic director, faxed Taylor’s signed papers down to Indiana, but the Evansville coaches declined to comment until the entire national signing period is completed, which is some time next week.

Listen to Lake Ridge AD Debby Ghezzi introduce Kortni Taylor give at today’s letter of intent signing for Evansville, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Taylor is the ninth in a series of Student/Athletes at Lake Ridge who have moved to the next level of college study and play since Ghezzi assumed the AD position three years ag beginning with Alex Hansen, the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, who is now studying engineering at Carnegie Mellon.


Walsh Jesuit boys' basketball

has experience and versatility; 

four starters returning for the 


Nov. 10, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CUYAHOGA FALLS – With depth and versatility, Walsh Jesuit’s boys’ basketball team has two of the key components to become a district contender once the post season arrives if the Warriors stay healthy and build upon their early season mistakes by then,.

“We are a very athletic team with many returning players,” said Warriors’ coach John Norris. “We will be as discussed team. We need to improve every day and have confidence in what we can do.”


The Warriors have four starters and two other regulars returning. The veteran group will be led by three-year letterman, senior guard Greg Cona and leading scorer and playmaker Evan Payne, a junior. Also back is leading rebounder Adam Smith and durable Spencer Boyd, the team leader in minutes played.

Boyd and Smith are juniors as are Trent Donald and Nick Foschia. Sophomore Cassidy Brown saw a lot of time on varsity last year as a frosh.

2009-10 Men's Varsity Basketball

Newcomers expected to be contributors are Henry Trimpe, Mark Mittiga, KC Meyer, LJ Campbell, Jordan Kay,and Bennett Stuffer.-

Photos -- Courtesy Walsh Jesuit High School

Norris is in his 11th year at Walsh and sixth in the head job. His teams have posted a 51-60 record.


Coach Penny bargains for four solid 

“quarters” during each outing on the 

“court” for his rebounding Lawyers

 Nov. 10, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CLEVELAND (WEST PARK) -- In order to make a run at getting into the Senate tournament and bid for the city championship, John Marshall’s boys’ basketball team will need to home in on its defensive and rebounding skills and become a disciplined outfit.

“I want to get to the point of being mentioned as a well coached and disciplined team,” said John Marshall coach Mike Penny. “I’d like to hear people mention us as a team that plays with a sense of urgency and control. I expect to compete in each and every game, which should give ourselves a chance to win in the end. We will be better than 500.”

This will be the Lawyers’ first full season under Penny, who took over in midstream last year when then coach Dave Colbert passed away, bringing on an emotional letdown that had the team do its best with the quick shifts and changes, closing out with only four wins.

One high point is that Coach Penny was promoted from within at the time of the tragedy after having spent three years as the varsity assistant to the late Colbert prior to last season. At least he knows most of the players and they know him, so at least it is known what is expected and they get to start a full season with him in the lead role.

“Our team chemistry is good; we need to defend with our feet and be physical on the boards,” Penny said. “We have them working at gaining good position with rebounding and going after the basketball aggressively.”

After a decent amount of time together, the group of young Student/Athletes under Coach Penny has come to work together as a cohesive unit.

“Our confidence is high, and we believe in ourselves,” Penny said. “The trust level among the players is good. I have a great deal of confidence in our core group of players. I have coached them for 2 of the past 3 years and know what our strengths are.”

Among those core group of players returning for Penny are Yaramis Caminero, Jashon Payne, Javonte Payne, Tamaine Chappell, Josh Simms, Andrew Lacy, and Salah Jabdallah.

The Lawyers, like most other teams in the Senate, were aided by new available pool of talent created as a result of the closing of South High in Slavic Village and East High, on the East Side of town.

New faces in the Lawyers’ varsity “court” this year are Deonte Flowers, Dion Reeves, Deandre Brown, Reggie Williams, Ed Lovejoy, Carlton Creer, Damon Moses-Jung, Dijon Sockwell, Demetrius Mathis, DeJon Wilson, Greg Willis, Quinn McCall, Terell Vaughn, and Devonte Ivey.


“I have high expectations for the upcoming basketball season,” Penny said. “I expect us to play with pride and effort. We will be competitive and improve in all areas of the game.”

Since there are two fewer teams in the Senate this season, the Lawyers will play only 10 league games. They have added eight new conference opponents in order to see a variety of styles of play and levels of competition.

“We would also like to improve on Junior Varsity success,” Penny said. “We would like to make it to the top two teams in the Senate and be respectable in non league play. All individual goals are team goals.”

Who is going to play where is still being sorted by Penny and his assistants.

“We have a lot of choices to make regarding our guards and small forwards,” said Penny. “Competition is good. We are blessed with good guard play, overall we are fast and quick, and we have good senior depth.”

A good number of those seniors come into the season with multiple years of experience.

The Lawyers have also been learning good citizenship from their teachers and coaches at John Marshall. The core group of players range from 2.8 GPAs to the upper 3.0s. Penny has the luxury of coaching several students involved in student council as well as the National Honor Society.

“I have a wonderful group of Student/Athletes,” Penny noted. “They take pride in their class work as well as on the courts.”

 Academic All Ohioan Tyler Kvach to 

represent Ohio at All Mid East Cross 

Country Championships 

Academic All Ohioan Tyler Kvach, who led the Avon High boys to a third-place finish in the state in the big school division, has been selected as one of 10 seniors that will represent Ohio at the Mid East of Champions Cross Country Meet next weekend in Kettering, Ohio. 


The Mid-East Cross Country Championships presents the best high school men & women senior runners from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and other area states. In past years Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virgina have participated.  The event provides an excellent regional forum that supports the athelete and college coaches looking for new talent.

 A picture of the starting line from about 100 meters down the course, spectators to each side.

  It is sponsored by the members of the Greater Dayton Track and Cross Country Officials Association and the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches. The race has been held annually since 1987.


The 2010 running of the Mid East Cross Country Championships will take place on November 20, 2010, at Indian Ripple Park, Kettering, Ohio