Monday, July 22, 2024

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 16 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week for the week ending October 8.

Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach. All statistics incurred from Monday, October 1 through Sunday, October 8, 2023.

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


Owen BottarName: Owen Bottar
School: Madison
Grade: 10
Stats: Ran a time of 17:05 to help the team place eighth overall
Coach’s Quote: “Owen has greatly improved from a year ago and has helped solidify the Blue Streaks as a top power in the area cross country rankings,” said Madison coach Jeremy Verdi. “He has dropped the most time since last season with a staggering one minute and 46 seconds of betterment.”

Joey CiavarelliName: Joey Ciavarelli
School: Kirtland
Grade: 9
Stats: Ran a lifetime PR at the Legends Meet, where he broke 18 minutes for the first time
Coach’s Quote: “Joey has been the boys’ team’s No. 1 runner every meet this season during his freshman campaign,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “He has improved each week and has a bright future ahead of him. As a man of my word, I told him if he can get his time into the 18s this season, I will nominate him for Athlete of the Week. This has been one of his major goals to achieve this season.”

Taylor DeetsName: Taylor Deets
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed 10th out of 107 runners at the Medina Milt Place Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Taylor ran a great race at the Milt Place Medina Festival Cross Country Invitational finishing 10th and clocking a season PR of 20:54,” said West Geauga coach Mike Taurasi.

Nick Garcia-WhitkoName: Nick Garcia-Whitko
School: Hawken
Grade: 12
Stats: Won the Legends Meet with a time of 15:45
Coach’s Quote: “We were thrilled to get Nick back this past weekend,” said Hawken coach Kim Curtis. “In his first race of the season, Nick did not disappoint, leading our team to a first-place finish at Legends. He finished first with a PR. This was a great measure of where he is at and a testament to his tireless training. He has worked very hard to come back from last season and reclaim a spot in the discussions of top runners in Ohio. Nick’s performance at Legend is deserving of this incredible honor, and we are beyond proud of his accomplishments.”

Anna HolpName: Anna Holp
School: Perry
Grade: 10
Stats: Ran a time of 22:10 to place 129th out of 380 runners at the Legends Meet
Coach’s Quote: “Holp raced to a new personal best at Legends,” said Perry coach Kristen Thomas. “She had a conservative start in the first mile, but she steadily picked off runners in the last mile to run her fastest time. Holp has shown improvement with each race this season and looks to compete well at conference and in the postseason.”

Grace MastrangeloName: Grace Mastrangelo
School: Kirtland
Grade: 11
Stats: Set a lifetime PR at the Legends Meet
Coach’s Quote: “Our team had an outstanding race at the Legends Meet,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “Ainsley (Borthwick), Sylvia (Vosicky), and Izzie (Copelan) ran amazing and have all received Athlete of the Week honors this season. Grace has been an amazing unsung hero for the team this year. She has improved every week since joining the team in her junior year. She is consistently in the top five each week and we will need 5-7 strong runners to accomplish our postseason goals and she will be a huge part of that.”

Nicolai NagyName: Nicolai Nagy
School: Perry
Grade: 11
Stats: Placed 116th out of 429 runners at the Legends Meet with a time of 18:20
Coach’s Quote: “Nagy ran a solid race at Legends on Saturday,” said Perry coach Kristen Thomas. “He held the No. 3 spot from beginning to end and ran a gritty second half. We are looking forward to seeing him race at CVCs this week.”

Hamilton SperoName: Hamilton Spero
School: Conneaut
Grade: 10
Stats: Placed 20th at the Harbor Creek Dirty Dawg Invitational with a time of 18:28
Coach’s Quote: “Hamilton’s improvement this season is impressive,” said Conneaut coach Jessica Kennedy. “Last year, as a freshman, his fastest time was 19:15. He has taken the training seriously and is always pushing himself to get better. To see him break 19 and run 18:28 on a course like Harbor Creek was unexpected. I’m excited to see how he runs in the next few weeks and the rest of his high school career.”

Chris UtechName: Chris Utech
School: Orange
Grade: 12
Stats: Ran a time of 17:08 at the Legends Meet
Coach’s Quote: “Chris has put in amazing work this season, and it shows,” said Orange coach Rachel Frutkin. “He ran a personal best on Saturday at Legends, placing third for our team, and bringing the boys to a seventh-place finish out of 52 scoring teams.”

Bobby VashName: Bobby Vash
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11
Stats: Placed 21st at the George Gross Invitational and 25th at the Medina Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Bobby had his best week of cross country,” said West Geauga coach John Boylan. “He finished 21st at the George Gross Invitational helping the team win the meet. On Saturday, Bobby ran a personal best time at the Medina Invitational where he helped the team to a third-place finish. I’m looking forward to watching Bobby race in the next few weeks.”


Jackson DillerName: Jackson Diller
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 12
Stats: Threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 77 yards; recorded 12 tackles on defense including four solo stops, including one for a loss, and a sack
Coach’s Quote: “Jackson made big contributions on both sides of the ball for us last Friday night during our difficult 21-14 loss to Trinity,” said Brooklyn coach Tim Hanlon. “Jackson has shown excellent leadership and toughness all season as one of our team captains. He is an outstanding role model for all of our younger players in the program and community.”

Dom NarduzziName: Dom Narduzzi
School: Independence
Grade: 11
Stats: Completed 14-of-21 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown; ran for 48 yards on 10 carries with two scores
Coach’s Quote: “Dom played his best football game of the season,” said Independence coach Rick Adams. “He played with much confidence and made the proper reads all night. He used his running ability to complement his passing.”


Nathan BernsteinName: Nathan Bernstein
School: Independence
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored one goal with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “In our only game of the week against visiting Perry, Nathan started the scoring with an excellent cross to set up our first goal, then closed out our scoring with a really nice shot to beat the keeper,” said Independence coach Brien McDonald. “He’s consistently a tireless worker in practice and games. Players and coaches can always count on Nathan’s high work rate. With the weather a huge factor in this game, we needed that along with all the other in-game responsibilities he has. Nathan doesn’t bring much attention to himself, but he deserves the recognition.”

Johnny DrocktonName: Johnny Drockton
School: Hawken
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored the game-tying goal against fourth-ranked CVCA
Coach’s Quote: “Johnny scored a massive goal for us against CVCA, ranked No. 4 in the state for Division II–with nine seconds left in the game, helping secure a tie at a critical time in the season,” said Hawken coach Vlad Muresan. “He was a constant threat throughout the game, pulling our team forward and leading by example. He also had a very good performance against Gilmour, a game where he was man-marked for 80 minutes by an aggressive defender. Johnny is our captain and the emotional leader of our team, and his performances will decide how far we go in the playoffs.”

Jonathan RosaName: Jonathan Rosa
School: Trinity
Grade: 10
Stats: Scored two goals in a 4-1 win over Cardinal
Coach’s Quote: “Only a sophomore, Jonathan is the most experienced and also most skilled player on the team, and he is one of the captains,” said Trinity coach Mario Gerhardt. “His two goals were big in our 4-1 win over Cardinal. He has eight goals and eight assists for the season. Jonathan also kicks for the football team, and he was 3-for-3 in the team’s 21-14 victory over Brooklyn on Saturday.”

Kyle ShelhamerName: Kyle Shelhamer
School: Crestwood
Grade: 10
Stats: Scored two goals with one assist in 160 minutes
Coach’s Quote: “Kyle was instrumental in a CVC conference win against Berkshire where he scored two goals to lead the team to its first win ever against Berkshire,” said Crestwood coach Eric Sway. “Kyle also assisted on the game-winning goal earlier in the week in a 2-1 win over Canton Central Catholic. Kyle’s quick play and hard work this past week was the key to the team’s success in going 2-0 on the week.”

Byron VillalobosName: Byron Perez Villalobos, Jr.
School: Harvey
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored three goals with two assists in two games
Coach’s Quote: “Byron is an exceptional talent,” said Harvey coach Natalie Sisler. “His work rate is unmatched throughout the course of a match. His work ethic and talent make him a very special player and we are happy to have had him play for us the past two seasons since he came over from Costa Rica. This week, he continued his success with goals against Gilmour and Bedford. Byron is always a threat to score or create when he is on the pitch. We are hoping his form continues to improve as we head into the state tournament.”

Tyler YoungName: Tyler Young
School: Cardinal
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored one goal
Coach’s Quote: “Tyler is truly a knowledgeable soccer player,” said Cardinal coach Dakota Ward. “His awareness on the field helps him to make good decisions to stop the ball and place it where it needs to be. Tyler had an incredible game against the Brooklyn Hurricanes.”


Casey AdamsName: Casey Adams
School: Independence
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored five goals in three games
Coach’s Quote: “Casey has scored in every game since her move to forward,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “She has brought an intensity to the offense that was missing and gives us a chance to score a goal at any time. Casey has also become an excellent leader, taking it upon herself to be the voice of the team in encouragement and discipline.”

Taylor MacAdamName: Taylor MacAdam
School: Madison
Grade: 11
Stats: Posted a shutout win over Lake Catholic
Coach’s Quote: “With her clean sheet against Lake Catholic, she became the first keeper in Madison history to shut out the Cougars,” said Madison coach Chad Butler.


Skylar SaneName: Skylar Sane
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 11
Stats: Posted back-to-back shutouts
Coach’s Quote: “Skylar has been a consistently strong player for our team all season long,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Kaylin Runger. “She has a composure and toughness about her that keeps our team confident during each game. She is a reliable leader on the field and off the field. She has been an absolute pleasure to coach this season and I am so proud of her hard work.”


West Geauga Girls TennisName: Madelyn Oster/Elizabeth Grisez
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11/9
Stats: Won their first-round match at the sectional tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Both of these girls had very little experience in the sport of tennis,” said West Geauga coach Mary Kay Yuhas. “Madelyn just started playing last summer. They both worked hard all season and when Madelyn’s usual doubles partner was unable to play at sectionals, we put Elizabeth in. Elizabeth is only a freshman; she showed incredible poise and talent at sectionals. Maddie received our Most Improved Award for the team this year. She was the first one at practice and one of the last to leave. She was determined to be successful on the court, and it showed. They ended up winning the first round at sectionals. I could not be more proud.”


Audrey FusciName: Audrey Fusci
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored 16 points with 23 digs, two aces, one block, and one kill
Coach’s Quote: “As the season is winding down and tournaments are coming upon us quickly, Audrey Fusci is stepping up her game,” said Crestwood coach Wanda Hoffman. “Audrey is the voice on our team. She is one of our captains and leads the team on the floor. Audrey has been our DS/Libero. While her heart and passion is in being our Libero, she is selfless and our go-to when we need someone to fill in on the front row. She has an amazing vertical and has a strong arm swing. Audrey puts up a lot of points for us with her jump serve. I’m excited to see the impact that Audrey Fusci will have on our team next season when she will be a senior.”

Isabel NerpouniName: Isabel Nerpouni
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 16 digs, 15 kills, and two service aces
Coach’s Quote: “As a third-year varsity outside hitter, Isabel led her Tigers to two wins over West Geauga and Orange last week,” said Chagrin Falls coach Kelly Holtz. “Isabel sees the court well and can pick off her opponents in serving. She has a killer float that can be placed anywhere. In the front row, she has really improved on her out-of-system attacks and has generated many more points for us this season by being aggressive with every ball.”

Sammi WinterName: Sammi Winter
School: Berkshire
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 26 assists, 16 service points, 14 digs, and four aces in two wins
Coach’s Quote: “During the week, we got two CVC victories and Sammi’s work on the court was a major reason,” said Berkshire coach Joni Prots. “She ran our offense with determination. She played great defense and helped us from behind the service line as well.”





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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