A Page -- Oct. 29, 2010


has a lot of homage to pay

to the Massillon-McKinley 


Oct. 29, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


MASSILLON – When the Massillon Tigre and McKinley Bulldogs meet tomorrow afternoon here in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in the oldest high school football rivalry in Ohio and one of the oldest in the world, it will place yet another chapter in this storied series in the high school football capital (Stark County) of the world.

This rivalry spans over three centuries, beginning in 1897 and includes some years when they met twice, including playoff games. It has been voted by several organizations as the No, 1 rivalry in the country.


This will be the 120th meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.

McKinley has already clinched a playoff spot and is playing for home field advantage (in addition to the pride involved surrounding the rivalry) while the Tigers control their own destiny and would clinch a spot simply by winning.

Check back to S/A-Cleveland 

tomorrow night 

before midnight for full coverage of 

Saturday’s Massillon-McKinley

 football game 

complete with audio, video, visual, 

and naturally text. Also check here 

between 2 and 4 p.m. for quarter 

and halftime write-ups

There is a more fundamental aspect to this game than meets the eye. Virtually everything that has evolved in all of football over the past 100 years can trace its roots to right here. When the NEL was formed in 1920, more than half the teams were in Ohio, including one in Canton, named none other than the Bulldogs. In the pro forerunners to the NFL a few years earlier, both Canton and Massillon had pro teams, named none other than the Bulldogs and Tigers, respectively.

The star for the Tigers was Knute Rockne and for the Bulldogs Jim Thorpe, two names associated highly with simple football nostalgia.

Knute Rockne

In the 1930s, the late Paul Brown put the high school Massillon Tigers on the national map long before their were USA Today or ESPN or Rival Sports national rankings or nationally/regionally televised high school games. Brown’s Tiger won the first seven of the school’s 22 AP Ohio state poll titles.

The late Paul Brown

Brown moved on to college and military coaching and brought many of the Student/Athlete concepts to the pro game in 1946 in Cleveland including the studying of playbooks, the chalkboard and classroom analysis and stringent rules for his players to keep sound bodies and sound minds. Although pros do not fit into the description of Student/Athlete because they are paid to play, they certainly continue to engage in lifelong learning while playing the pro game, thanks in part to Brown’s roots in Massillon and Washington High School (the official name of the school).

In fact, this electronic newspaper, Student/Athlete-Cleveland has a lot of homage to pay to Massillon, the Tigers and tradition. A lot of what evolved here has its roots in this tradition.

On my first day at the Massillon Evening Independent in 1983, the then Sports Editor Mike Hudak, drove me down the old Scoop Hess Boulevard by Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Looking up at the big schedule, I asked, “Mr. Hudak, why do the Tigers get nine home games?” The standard reply is that no one else has a stadium to accommodate the 5,000-to-10,000 fans who would travel anywhere in the world to watch the Tigers play.

If that were not enough, later that week an assistant football coach at the time, Chuck Utterback, gave me a tour of the stadium and facilities and said, “See these little children around here. Their heroes are not in Cleveland Stadium. Their heroes are right here in Pail Brown Tiger Stadium”

Shortly thereafter I saw it with my own eyes as at a special breakfast, a swarm of youngsters fled for an autograph when Chris Spielman arrived. At the time we were helping “Spiel” become the first high school Student/Athlete get on the Wheaties box, which was eventually accomplished. As a footnote to that, his late dad Sonny Spielman, also a football coach, might have been one of the humblest parents of a Student/Athlete of all time.

chris spielman wheaties box

I had already covered St. Edward the three years prior to that and was able to swap Joe Glending stories with Massillon’s then football coach and athletic director Mike Currrence. I fit right in there.

The experience stuck with me while at several newspapers following that first full-time job out of college. “Man, you write about these guys like they are pros,” readers of those other papers would comment about my stories of Student/Athletes. “Yup,” I would simply respond while thinking, “If you only knew.”

Spielman came up to Canton in 2009 to speak to the members of the junior national team coached by St. Ignatius’ Chuck Kyle. “He was every bit the football serious guy he was in high school, admonishing one S/A for texting while he was talking, “Don’t be texting when I am talking,” he said interrupting his speech. “Don’t you know we are right here in the high school football center of the world? We need to prove something to the rest of the world.”

Prior to and after Massillon, I covered a lot of Westlake High School football, which included interaction with Mark Ohradzansky, who both played there in the glory years and coached under both Vern Long and current Bulldogs coach Ron Johnson. Ohradzansky, an assistant coach at McKinley, has been driving down from Avon (90 minutes) every day with son Kyle, the Bulldogs’ quarterback the past three seasons. That’s how dedicated Stark County is to high school football.

Also for another publication, I wrote a 28-part series on the St. Thomas More (Old Brooklyn/Cleveland) football/sports dynasty, I learned that Joe Demando, who began building one of the most successful CYO programs of all time in the early 1950s, got his start playing under Brown in Massillon in the ‘30s.

STM was one of the only CYO programs in the country using game films for players to analyze and using the chalkboard and classroom approach to football in the 1950s, which Demando brought from his Massillon/Brown experience as the best way to develop Student/Athletes both academically and athletically. (Parts of the series can still be found at www.cleveland.com)

In addition to this Massillon-McKinley rivalry (has attracted an average of 20,000 fans a year for the game) having an impact on football at all levels, Stark County is also a great county for all amateur athletics, making the Student/Athlete model more conducive to the culture. Otherwise, Division III Mount Union (eastern Stark County) might not have become the small-college dynasty it has become. Division III, like Student/Athlete-Cleveland.com, places a premium on the academic part of Student/Athletics than most other levels and forums.


Thurman Munson is still a legend in Canton. Tim Ridgley, the AD at Massillon High, was a catcher for the Massillon Merchants when this writer was working the sandlots in Stark. John Massarelli played catcher for Canton Central Catholic then. Had he not brought the great amateur culture to Avon as the team manager, his Lake Erie Crushers (pros but more like glorfiied graduate students doing a practicum in baseball while receiving a stipend) might not have won the league championship in their first year in 2009.


There are also several athletic halls of fame around Stark with far more legendary names than could be found in the Pro Football Hall in Canton, at least to the locals anyway. In fact, I heard stories about how when the Cleveland Cavaliers first began in 1970, sports fans here passed on driving up to Cleveland, preferring an Akron Goodyears (high level amateur club) game instead.

However magnified this rivalry is, we must still keep in mind that they are students first and athletes second. The many great things done later in life by those who have played in this game certainly attests to that.


Men's Swimming and Diving Roll Scots


By Lenny Reich

ALLIANCE,Ohio - The Mount Union men's swimming and diving team used the efforts of four different event winners to roll to a 156-67 victory over the Fighting Scots of Wooster on Friday at the Hammond Natatorium.

The Raiders were led by senior Matt Carlozzi (Canfield/Canfield), winner of the 200-Yard Freestyle (2:02.80), 500-Yard Freestyle (5:00.23) and front man on the winning 400-Yard Freestyle Relay team.


"We've been working really hard in practice, and we have always struggled against Wooster, so it was great for us to come out and set the tone early. I think it will help us set the tone for the rest of the season," Carlozzi said after the meet.




Spartan Men’s Soccer Team Wins Fourth 

Straight at Regionally-Ranked Carnegie 


By Nick Minerd

PITTSBURGH, PA – A pair of second half goals led the way as the Case Western Reserve University men’s soccer team won its fourth straight match with a 2-1 victory at University Athletic Association foe Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, October 29 at Gesling Field.
Case entered the match as the ninth-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region, while the Tartans entered at No. 4.

With the win, the Spartans improve to 10-4-3 overall and 3-2 in the UAA and return to action this Sunday, Oct. 31 at No. 14-ranked Emory University at 1:30 p.m. in Atlanta, Georgia. With the loss, CMU falls to 10-3-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the UAA.

After a scoreless first half, the Spartans got on the board in the 48th minute when junior midfielder Kyle Alsup (Monroeville, PA/Detroit Country Day) scored via a double-assist from sophomore midfielders Ross Twanmoh (Fallston, MD/Fallston) and Kostis Theoharides (Brookline, MA/Brookline).






PITTSBURGH, PA – Despite leading in shots and corner kicks, the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to University Athletic Association foe Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, October 29 at Gesling Stadium.

With the loss, the Spartans drop to 9-6-1 overall and 1-4 in the UAA and return to action this Sunday, October 31 at Emory University at 11:00 a.m. in Atlanta, Georgia. With their win, the Tartans improve to 7-7 overall and 1-4 in the UAA.

The game remained scoreless for most of the first half despite the two teams combining for 14 shots. Case junior goalkeeper Anna Kennedy (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township) recorded six saves in the first period, but Carnegie Mellon got on the board in the 41st minute when Alex Venegas hit a tapper past a charging Kennedy following a pass from Elsa Wu.

For the game, Case outshot CMU, 17-10, and held an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks. Sophomores Kendra Simmons (Medina, OH/Walsh Jesuit) and Devyn Lee (State College, PA/State College) led the Spartans in shots with seven and four, respectively.

Kennedy recorded six saves and CMU’s Anya Rosen totaled 13.

Following Sunday’s match at No. 6-ranked Emory, the Spartans wrap up the regular season on Saturday, November 6 at the University of Rochester (NY) at 5:00 p.m.


Throw out the record books 

for this one: Eds-Ignatius 

battle expected to attract 

12,000 to Byers tomorrow

Oct. 29, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


PARMA – Perhaps the most unique rivalry will recommence tomorrow here in Byers Field when St. Ignatius (4-5) hosts St. Edward (9-0).

Throw out those records because that means nothing in this neighborhood rivalry rooted in common grade school origins that is always a battle for community, neighborhood and sometimes family (siblings have been on opposite teams in this series) bragging rights.

St. Ignatius came in last year with a 9-0 record and St. Ed had a sub-.500 record (also 4-5) but still 10,000 fans packed the Eagles’ home field in Lakewood Stadium and it had the same intensity as those battles when both came in undefeated or with one loss.


This is different in most rivalries in that when it really began in the 1970s and started heating up in the1980s most of the members of both programs hailed from the West Shore area and just about anyone on either team had a former teammate from his CTO days on the other club from such programs as St. Richard, St. Raphael, St. Luke, St. Brendan, St. Clement, St. Chris, St. Angela, OLA, St. Thomas More, St. Bernadette, St. Mel, St. Mark and St. James, several of which are now closed.

By the 1990s and certainly in the most recent passed decade, more East Siders and South West Siders mixed into these two programs but still often had a friend on the other team from grade schools. The tales of their continuing friendships off the field despite being opponents on the field are endless.

Actually, the two teams did meet a few times in the 1950s and 1960s when the Eagles natural rival was St. Joseph (now VASJ) and the Wildcats’ was Benedictine, both schools that have shrunk significantly in enrollment while St. Ed and St. Iggy have remained stable.

St. Ignatius won the handful of early games in the 1950s and 1960s including in 1952 shortly after the school was built at St. Ed. The Eagles dominated in the 1970s and early and mid-1980s, while St. Ignatius was still making the transition to being an independent.

Check back to S/A-Cleveland 

tomorrow night 

before midnight for full coverage of 


St. Ed-St. Ignatius football game 

complete with audio, video, visual, 

and naturally text

Since 1988, St. Ignatius has dominated the series, including wins in the last four meetings. The 1996 Jim McQuaide-coached St. Ed team snapped a four-game losing streak (and 7 of the previous eight) against the Wildcats in an overtime game in Lakewood Stadium, but then the Wildcats dominated for another decade, except in 2005 and 2006 when the Eagles won in back-to-back years, taking one in Lakewood Stadium and Byers Field.

In fact, for about 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s, the Eagles and Wildcats shared the same home field – Lakewood Stadium.

The only time they met twice in one season was in 2008 when they met on back-to-back weeks on the same field (Byers) – the last regular season battle and first playoff game.

St. Edward has already clinched a playoff berth in the Division I playoffs while the Wildcats have been mathematically eliminated and will not be playing in Week 11 for the first time since 1988, the year of their first of 10 state titles, all coming under current coach Chuck Kyle.

Coach Kyle

The Eagles still have not won a state title in football, but have come close to it three times and are part of an overall Student/Athletic program that has won 40 state championships, all since the late 1970s.

The Wildcats are playing for pride and trying to avoid their first losing season since the 1982, the year before Kyle took over as the head coach. The Cats finished 4-6 under Al Gizzi that year.

A lot of it will depend upon whether running back Robby Grebenc will be able to play or not. He’s missed the last few Widlcats’ games under doctor’s orders.

St. Ignatius leads the all-time series between the two schools, 25-20-1. The last three games have been blowouts by the Wildcats, which is highly unusual in this series, usually a handful of points deciding the outcome.


St. Edward kicker Mike DiNunzio is perfect on points after touchdown in 2010 with a 42-of-42 record. Colin McManamon has caught a pass in all nine games this season for St. Edward.

Should the Eagles produce a win, it would mark the fifth time in school history that the program has produced an undefeated regular season. The others were in 1973, 1975, 2001 and 2005.

HB advances to Final Four for 

eighth straight year; Princeton-

bound Sydney Kirby scores 

OT goal in 5-4 win over 


Oct. 29, 2010

By Norm Weber

www.Studentathletecleveland.com Editor 


KENT – Princeton-bound Sydney Kirby scored the winning goal 2:38 into overtime to enable Hathaway Brown to post  a 5-4 regional/district championship match victory over Hudson today here on the Murphy-Mellis Field Hockey Field in the Kent State University Athletic Complex at Dix Stadium with 300 on-looking fans.

This was the third time in the last four years that the Blazers met the Explorers in the regional final (Shaker Heights was the other opponent in the four-year string). HB has now made it to the state tournament for the eighth year in a row, winning it all in 2002 and ’08.

Watch a few short videos of tonight’s Blazers-Explorers match, filmed by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading:


This one was not an easy one though. The Blazers had to come from behind after being down 3-1 at the half.

In the overtime, Kirby, took the ball out top off a corner kick and rifled it home for the winning goal.


Listen to post-match interview with HB Student/Athlete Sydney Kirby from today’s Blazers-Hudson match, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading 


The Explorers can hang their heads on controlling the first half and forcing the Blazers to demonstrate their resilience and tenacity.

On only its first offensive attack of the match, Hudson took a 1-0 lead at 2:06 of the first period when Kiley Merrill scored on an unassisted goal.

Mallory Vehar was able to get with a couple feet of HB goalie Brenna Scully and take a shot. On the rebound, it hit off the stick of the Explorers’ Caroline Keyes and then after a rather large scrum at the mouth of a goal, Merrill was able to get in there and stuff it in for the goal.

HB tied it at 12:53 moments after a restart. Kirby, who just got back after qualifying to state in golf as a two-sport Student/Athlete, put the ball back into play and junior Becky Scanlon snatched it and fired it into the net.

That lasted for fewer than two minutes as Merrill entered the scoring column again with her second goal of the match at 14:04 to give Hudson a 2-1 lead.

Carly Mackessy, who is looking at and being looked at by Ball State as an option to study and play field hockey, padded the Hudson lead to two goals, 3-1, with a goal at 26:24.

The Explorers' two-goal lead stood up through the final three and a half minutes to halftime.

The Blazers did not waste any time battling back to stage a comeback. With only 32 seconds gone in the second half (at 30:32 of the match), Chase Healey sliced the deficit in half with a goal, making it 3-2, Hudson.


Listen to post-match interview with HB Student/Athlete Chase Healey from today’s Blazers-Hudson match, conducted by Norm Weber, by clicking and downloading


Then HB got a big break when it was awarded a penalty shot at 33:28. Kirby took the shot and beat Hudson goalkeeper Emily Masich to the left of the keeper.

Then a timeout was called and the officials converged to review the rulebook to see if the goal should have counted. The appeal was denied but involved the issue of someone not in the match at the time of the foul being eligible to take the penalty shot. Kirby had come off the field momentarily just prior to the play because of a slight injury.

She was eligible to retake the shot and the score stood at 3-3.

After that HB started putting on more pressure and finally took its first lead of the afternoon 42:09 on a Chase Healey goal, 4-3.

Then it was Hudson’s turn as Caroline Keyes tied it up, 4-4, on a penalty shot at 42:49.






























Subpages (1): B Page -- Oct 29, 2010