Wednesday, November 29, 2023

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 12 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week.

Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach. All statistics incurred from Monday, January 16 through Sunday, January 22, 2023.

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


Taj CaverName: Taj Caver
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Average 18.7 points with five rebounds, and 4.7 assists in three games
Coach’s Quote: “Taj had a great weekend for us in wins over Lakeside and University School,” said Hawken coach Josh Nugent. “As a junior captain of the team, we ask a lot of him from a leadership standpoint. He has the ability to score in bunches as evidenced by his 26 points in our game against non-conference rival University School, but he is at his best, and we are at our best as a team, when he is impacting the game in multiple ways. In our game against Lakeside, Taj had 16 points, eight assists, and only 1 turnover. He has also rebounded really well for us from the guard spot all year long. Taj is a complete player and he showed that in the games this past week.”

Jake CubbisonName: Jake Cubbison
School: Perry
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored 55 points in two games
Coach’s Quote: “Jake Cubbison has had an excellent year so far averaging over 20 points per game, eclipsing over 1,000 points for his career, and a huge factor for why we are off to a 12-2 start to our season,” said Perry coach Al Iacofano.

Jerry SchultzName: Jerry Schultz
School: Grand Valley
Grade: 11
Stats: Averaged 17.0 points and 13.6 rebounds, and three steals while shooting 70 percent from the floor
Coach’s Quote: “Jerry has been a constant for us in the middle all season,” said Grand Valley coach Justin Turk. “The highlight of the week was a 26-point and 17-rebound effort in a win at Independence. Jerry’s growth as a leader and as a player gives us an advantage as we come down the stretch.”

Zack VencillName: Zack Vencill
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Averaged 31 points in three games
Coach’s Quote: “Zack has had a great week,” said Edgewood coach Jay Bowler. “He’s contributing in so many ways to help his team succeed. He is starting to really embrace the leadership role in the second half of the season. We are really excited to see him grow in this final stretch.”


Kate BartlettName: Kate Bartlett
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored 24 points with 12 rebounds, six assists, six steals, and two blocks in two wins to help the Tigers clinch the Chagrin Division title; Defensively, moved from guard to post and held her two opponents to four and five points
Coach’s Quote: “Kate is the definition of a team player and a team leader,” said Chagrin Falls coach Brittany Laseak. “She was moved from guard to post this season because we didn’t have any other height on our roster and it has really helped our team to be successful. Kate has done a tremendous job being a communicator and helping to direct her teammates defensively. She has been playing so well lately and has six double-doubles this season. I’m so happy she’s a role model for the younger players in our program.”

Shariah GailesName: Shariah Gailes
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored 46 points with 51 rebounds, 15 assists, nine steals, and four blocks
Coach’s Quote: “Shariah continues to do everything for her team on both ends of the floor,” said Brooklyn coach Jon Holko. “The week started off rough for us, but Shariah led her teammates in recovering with back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday. She is having an MVP-caliber season.”

Izzy McKoonName: Izzy McKoon
School: Perry
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored 12 points with 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and took two charges in a key win over Edgewood
Coach’s Quote: “Izzy is a tremendous player for us who does anything it takes for our team to be successful,” said Perry coach Roy Infalvi. “She plays great defense and is always in the right position. Izzy would run through a wall for her team and teammates. She is what every coach would love to have, and we are lucky to have her as a leader for our team.”

Sarah LiuName: Sarah Liu
School: Hawken
Grade: 10
Stats: Scored 38 points in three games with three assists and two steals; shot 45.5 percent from the floor
Coach’s Quote: “Sarah Liu has been unstoppable offensively as she seemingly could not miss this past week,” said Hawken coach Brittney Matuschek. “She won the MVP award against Cornerstone at the Richmond Heights MLK Invitational finishing with 15 points, and in our game against Orange, she went 5-for-6 from 3-point range, finishing with 17 points, her career high.”

Katie McCollisterName: Katie McCollister
School: Edgewood
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored 39 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists, and two steals in two games
Coach’s Quote: “Katie had an awesome week of basketball,” said Edgewood coach Randy Vencill. “In two games this week she scored a total of 39 points and caused chaos on defense for our opponents.
She has a motor that never stops and always gives 110 percent on the floor. Much of our success this season is due to her will to win and give her all.”

Aliciana MedinaName: Aliciana Medina
School: Lutheran West
Grade: 9
Stats: Scored 34 points with 22 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block in two games
Coach’s Quote: “Witnessing Aliciana’s growth over the course of the season thus far has been an absolute pleasure,” said Lutheran West coach Andrea Boriska. “Her competitive nature is something that can’t be taught and is what any coach dreams of. In the absence of our starting point guard, Aliciana has recently taken on the majority of the point guard duties. She has officially played every position and role on the floor; most notably, often defending the opposing team’s best player(s). I look forward to seeing what the future holds as she melds natural talent with experience.”


Eliott DespresName: Eliott Despres
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored two goals
Coach’s Quote: “In an important divisional game and Chagrin Falls’ Senior Night, Eliott rose to the occasion,” said Chagrin Falls coach Craig Hoberman. “Chagrin Falls was matched up with Canfield at The Pond. To remain at the top of the Blue East everyone knew we needed a win. Eliott showed great determination throughout the game, constantly tracking down Canfield players to cause turnovers and missteps by his opponent. In the second period, Eliott had a highlight goal beating a Canfield player with a spin move and being rewarded with a quality shot and goal to tie the game 1-1. In the third period, Eliott once again scored working with his linemates to capture the game-winning goal.”


Ben BrozName: Ben Broz
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Won the 100 breaststroke and finished second in the 200 individual medley at the CVC championships; also swam the anchor leg of the first-place 400 freestyle relay
Coach’s Quote: “Ben has worked really hard this year and is a great leader,” said Chagrin Falls coach Beth Sonnhalter. “His fight at the end of a long meet gives us a lot of hope for the end of the season.”

Colin ElwellName: Colin Elwell
School: Beachwood
Grade: 9
Stats: Won two individual events and two relays at the CVC championships and did the same in a dual with Solon
Coach’s Quote: “Colin was integral in leading Beachwood to beat Solon on Jan. 18 by winning the 200 IM, 500 freestyle, and helping his 200 medley and 200 free relays take first place,” said Beachwood coach Brad Burget. “Saturday at the CVCs, he became our first swimming freshman to win a CVC championship race in the 200 freestyle (both divisions). He also helped his 200 medley and 200 free relays win CVCs (both divisions). He was also the Valley Division champ in the 100 breaststroke.”

Cameron MateyoName: Cameron Mateyo
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 10
Stats: Won the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the CVC championships
Coach’s Quote: “Although only a sophomore, Cam has solidified his place on our team,” said Chagrin Falls coach Beth Sonnhalter. “He works extremely hard and is willing to try different techniques to get to his end goal.”


Samantha HoltzName: Samantha Holtz
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 11
Stats: Won a third consecutive CVC diving championship
Coach’s Quote: “Sam has won the conference title for three years in a row,” said Chagrin Falls coach Beth Sonnhalter. “She has a great attitude, works really hard, and makes watching diving fun.”


Alexandra ScharpfName: Alexandra Scharpf
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 11
Stats: Won the 200 IM and finished second in the 100 breaststroke at the CVC championships
Coach’s Quote: “Alexandra is a great leader in and out of the pool,” said Chagrin Falls coach Beth Sonnhalter. “She is one the hardest working swimmers we have ever had on the team and we are excited to see her swim postseason.”


Chris BezzegName: Christopher Bezzeg
School: Perry
Grade: 10
Stats: Went 2-0 with a pin
Coach’s Quote: “Chris, like a lot of our underclassmen, has grown up in our program,” said Perry coach Dave Rowan. “He had a great weekend, going 2-0 in our duals, beating two upperclassmen, one with a pin and one in a double-overtime, come-from-behind thriller. We are counting on him as we move into our postseason.”

Christian FleissnerName: Christian Fleissner
School: Lakeside
Grade: 11
Stats: Went 4-1 on the week with four pins and placed third at the Audrey Genovese Memorial Tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Christian had a fantastic week of wrestling,” said Lakeside coach Andy Horvath. “On Thursday, his pin helped lift the Dragons over their county and conference rivals Geneva, and his four pins on Saturday helped Lakeside notch a third-place finish at the Audrey Genovese Memorial Tournament at Orange High School. Christian’s only loss was a decision in the semifinals to the eventual champion who holds a state ranking per Borofan. This was a great week for Christian to begin putting very solid wrestling together as he continues to adjust from his weight cut from last year to this year; heavyweight to 150. Most importantly, Christian continues to lead by example in the wrestling room, in the classroom and is a vital member of his community. Christian is certainly an exemplary example of a high school athlete.”

Caleb GreeenwoodName: Caleb Greenwood
School: Beachwood
Grade: 9
Stats: Went 8-0 with six pins and a technical fall
Coach’s Quote: “In one week’s time, Caleb won first place at 144 pounds at the Ron Alexander Tournament, then became the starter at the 144-pound weight class and has been on an eight-match win streak over the course of seven days,” said Beachwood coach Jimmy Greenwood. “Caleb brings high energy and competitiveness to every match and every practice. He has been an outstanding teammate during his freshman campaign. He contributes with incredible positivity, work ethic, competitiveness, with a smile every day to our team.”

Gavin McIntyreName: Gavin McIntyre
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Went 4-0 with two pins to win the 215-pound title at Chardon’s Lee Kemp Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Gavin is really coming on this season, especially as of late,” said Crestwood coach Dave Wrobel. “He placed fifth at the Kenston Invitational, third at the Portage County Tournament, and this past weekend he finished first at 215 at the Lee Kemp Tournament. After a tough freshman and sophomore year, Gavin has stepped up and has anchored our upper weights. He is someone that we have grown to trust and count on, regardless if it’s a tournament or dual setting. He is one of the best-conditioned wrestlers on the team, which helps him tremendously as an upper weight.”

Charlie PuklavecName: Charlie Puklavec
School: Independence
Grade: 10
Stats: Placed second at the Audrey Genovese Memorial Tournament with a 3-1 record and two technical falls and a pin; also bumped up a weight class and won in overtime in a dual with rival Cuyahoga Heights
Coach’s Quote: “Charlie has great natural ability and is fun to watch on the mat,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “He just has a way of falling into a tough situation and coming out smelling like roses. He continues to grow and learn on a daily basis.”

Zach ZoladzName: Zach Zoladz
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed sixth at the Alliance Top Gun Tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Zach has done everything that we’ve asked him to do inside and outside of the wrestling room,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Zach Noernberg. “He wrestled a great tournament at the prestigious Top Gun Tournament at Alliance High school, going undefeated on Friday, making it to the semifinals. Zach ended up finishing in sixth place in the very tough 157-pound weight class.”


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.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

2023-24 Boys Basketball Preview: Madison Blue Streaks

Madison enters the 2023-2024 season with four returning starters and four others with varsity experience as they look forward to competing in a new conference.

2023-24 Boys Basketball Preview: Cardinal Huskies

Cardinal has a new coach and a lot of new faces in the lineup this season, but the Huskies are as eager as ever to tip off a new season.

2023-24 Boys Basketball Preview: Geneva Eagles

Geneva heads into the 2023-24 season with an experienced and athletic lineup that should be in a position to compete for a conference title.

2023-24 Boys Basketball Preview: Harvey Red Raiders

A new era at Harvey is underway as Eric Monty has taken over the reins of the Red Raiders boys’ basketball program.

2023-24 CVC Winter Sports Media Day-Kirtland Session II

CVC TV visits Kirtland High School for its third stop of a four-day winter sports media day tour.