Sunday, May 19, 2024

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from six different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week for the week ending April 7.

Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach. All statistics incurred from the start of the season through Sunday, April 7, 2024.

Here’s a look at each Athlete of the Week by sport:


Gino BlasiniName: Gino Blasini
School: Kirtland
Grade: 12
Stats: Batted .467 (7-for-15) with seven RBI, 10 runs scored, and six stolen bases; went 2-0 on the mound with one save and 21 strikeouts to just three walks in 13 1/3 innings
Coach’s Quote: “Gino has been dominant through his first two starts,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “He is also getting the job done at the plate and at first base.”

Patrick BrancelName: Patrick Brancel
School: Berkshire
Grade: 10
Stats: Batted .556 (5-for-9) with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, five runs scored, and two walks; went 2-0 on the mound with a 0.700 ERA and 15 strikeouts to just four walks in 10 innings
Coach’s Quote: “Patrick has been a big part of our early success in all parts of the game,” said Berkshire coach Nick Burzanko. “He is a tough out and is very good in the box. He’s patient enough if you won’t pitch to him and makes you pay when you make a mistake. Hitting his first high school home run in a game he also pitched was a great performance to watch. His offseason work is really paying off at the plate as well as on the mound.”

Johnny NealName: Johnny Neal
School: Orange
Grade: 11
Stats: Pitched a complete-game shutout against rival Beachwood; struck out 13 and allowed just three hits in seven innings
Coach’s Quote: “In an early season game against your neighboring rival, we needed Johnny to go out and give us a quality start and he delivered,” said Orange coach Fred Zupancic. “He was able to command his fastball and he did a great job mixing in his off-speed pitches.”

Sam TharpName: Sam Tharp
School: Perry
Grade: 12
Stats: Batted .667 (10-for-15) with two doubles, one triple, eight RBI, seven runs scored, and four stolen bases
Coach’s Quote: “Sam picked up right where he left off last year as an offensive catalyst for our team,” said Perry coach Matt Platt. “He always produces a quality at-bat no matter the result, consistently puts balls in play hard, and is an above-average base runner. I can’t say enough about what Sam means to our ball club not only as a player but as a leader and role model as well. I am grateful that our young guys get to watch him play.”


Leah BlazeticName: Leigha Blazetic
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 10
Stats: Pitched a complete game shutout in her first varsity start with 12 strikeouts; went 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and an RBI
Coach’s Quote: “Leigha has made tremendous improvements in the offseason, both offensively and defensively,” said Wickliffe coach Marlana Mucciarone. “Our coaching staff has been pleasantly surprised with her progress. We will rely on her a lot in the circle this season, but I know she is up for the challenge based on how she started out the season. She’s a kid who truly wants to improve and has been putting in the hard work to prove herself.”

Shaylynn RogaskiName: Shaylynn Rogaski
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11
Stats: Batted .538 (7-for-13) with two doubles, two triples, five runs scored, six RBI, an on-base percentage of .647, four walks, and eight putouts
Coach’s Quote: “Shaylynn played a great centerfield for us to start our season,” said West Geauga coach Mark Percassi. “Shay covers so much ground in centerfield; it’s fun to watch. She was a major producer with the bat for us in our first four games. Shaylynn has been a strong leader for our team both on the field and off.”


Gabi KalirName: Gabi Kalir
School: Orange
Grade: 12
Stats: Won two matches (6-0, 6-0; 4-6, 6-2, 6-2)
Coach’s Quote: “Gabi’s win at New Albany proved once again that he is more than a doubles state champion,” said Orange coach Rich Bole. “He is also one of the premier singles players in the state. We are incredibly fortunate to have him as a leader for our program on and off the court.”


Miles MillerName: Miles Miller
School: Berkshire
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed fifth in the pole vault (8-6), sixth in the long jump (17-8), fifth in the 4×400, and fourth in the 4×100 at the East Canton Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “With this being Miles’ first year on the track team, he has stepped up and contributed to every event he takes on,” said Berkshire coach Aimee Green. “This week at East Canton, He PRd in the long jump and pole vault, and his splits on the 4×100 and 4×400 teams helped earn the team higher places. We are thrilled to see what he has done in the short time he has been with the team. We look forward to his performances to come.”




Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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