Monday, March 27, 2023

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 10 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 during the week beginning Aug. 31 through Sept. 6.

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


Nate MenkhausName: Nate Menkhaus
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 11
Stats: Set a new PR of 19:00 at the Lake Erie Challenge
Coach’s Quote: “Nate is an incredibly disciplined and coachable cross country runner that will work harder than you want him to,” Cuyahoga Heights coach Chadwick Robinson said. “He is the ultimate teammate and aims to help others first before himself both on the field and off of it. Nate has the potential to make the regional meet this year and potentially the state meet next year as a senior.”


Riley CaseyName: Riley Casey
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 9
Stats: Ran a time of 24:46 at the Lake Erie Challenge in her first cross country meet
Coach’s Quote: “Riley has never run cross country before, but does have road 5K experience as a middle schooler,” Cuyahoga Heights coach Chadwick Robinson said. “She is also a dual-athlete and current plays volleyball at our high school as well, but has a bright future in running cross country and/or track. As a coach, I will support whatever sport(s) she chooses to participate in and will be a fan regardless.”


Ryan KrajewskiName: Ryan Krajewski
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 11
Stats: Ran for 154 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries and recorded three tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries
Coach’s Quote: “Ryan played an inspired game in our 34-19 victory over Brooklyn,” Cuyahoga Heights coach Al Martin said. “He played every snap on offense, defense and special teams until the junior varsity went in with a few minutes to play.”

Jake ParrellaName: Jake Parrella
School: Lutheran West
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 10 tackles, with three for a loss, and scored three defensive touchdowns on two interceptions and a fumble return
Coach’s Quote: “Jake Parrella was a big reason why Lutheran West beat Westlake on Friday night,” Lutheran West coach Frank Petroff said. “Jake scored three defensive touchdowns from his outside linebacker position in the second quarter and turned the momentum of the game around for the Longhorns during that stretch.”

Ben ScibonaName: Ben Scibona
School: Geneva
Grade: 12
Stats: Ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and completed 6-of-7 passes for 120 yards and two scores
Coach’s Quote: “Ben led our offense in both rushing and passing demonstrating the dual-threat quarterback that he is,” Geneva coach Chip Sorber said. “He rushed for two TDs and threw another two TD passes. A true leader for our team, Ben also plays defense also and rarely comes off the field.”


Victor AlfieriName: Victor Alfieri
School: Kirtland
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot 39 against Orange and 36 against West Geauga
Coach’s Quote: “Victor has been working very hard and has been very steadily improving during the course of the year,” Kirtland coach Sam Kless said. “He’s looking forward to the CVC conference tournament and sectionals at Quail Hollow in a couple of weeks.”


Hunter JohnstonName: Hunter Johnston
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Averaged 44 and collected 43.5 CVC points
Coach’s Quote: “Hunter has been playing very well lately,” Edgewood coach Chris Juncker said. “He had been struggling with his swing at times but had been working very hard to correct it. Hunter had consistently been our No. 1 or 2 this entire season.”



Jenna WolfeName: Jenna Wolfe
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Averaged 46 in two matches including a 41 against Perry
Coach’s Quote: “Jenna came through with a team low score of 41 versus Perry at Village Green to lead the Warriors with a 182-202 win over Perry,” Edgewood coach Christina Fischer said. “She followed it up the next day with a 51 versus Lakeside at Chapel Hills. Jenna has improved greatly since the beginning of the season. She has worked hard on the mental aspect of her game and it is paying off for her.”

Ella WongName: Ella Wong
School: Hawken
Grade: 10
Stats: Shot a 1-under par 35 and a 38 in two matches last week and has won medalist honors in all seven matches so far this season
Coach’s Quote: “Ella works hard on her game and it shows on the course,” Hawken coach Jennifer Creech said. “Ella is a leader on the team and her work ethic on the course and off is something I respect as her coach. She is averaging 37.86 for nine holes this season.”


Tyler DeSimpelareName: Tyler DeSimpelare
School: Lutheran West
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored one goal and added two assists in two key wins
Coach’s Quote: “Senior captain Tyler DeSimpelare was firing on all cylinders this past week,” Lutheran West coach Josh Hubeler said. “Not only is he a vocal leader for the team, but also a contributor. Tyler started off the ‘Horns with assisting on the first goal. His next major contribution was a laser beam volley to the back of the net to put the ‘Horns ahead by two goals. On Thursday, the Longhorns took on another difficult opponent, Kirtland Hornets. Tyler picked up right where he left off and assisted on the initial goal of the night. DeSimpelare has been pumped up for the season to begin. He and the 2020 Lutheran West team is on pace for an excellent season.”


Kelsey BruzekName: Kelsey Bruzek
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored three goals in two games including two early in the second half of a game in which the Hurricanes were trailing in at halftime
Coach’s Quote: “Kelsey has done a really nice job for us in the attacking midfield position this season and has stepped up her level of play while supporting her teammates on the field,” Brooklyn coach Alison Rafter said. “As a veteran member of this year’s leadership team, Kelsey has shown she can lead by example. Kelsey is often encouraging less experienced players to keep doing their best and not give up. While playing both offense and defense, Kelsey has shown she can definitely make things happen on the field while covering a lot of ground as a center midfielder.”

Morgan GabrielName: Morgan Gabriel
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored two goals with two assists
Coach’s Quote: “Morgan’s field vision and improved confidence with the ball at her feet allow her to be a field general for us,” Wickliffe coach Steve Gribovicz said. “She sets up other players on offense that don’t earn her official stats, but are contributing factors in scoring opportunities.”


Alana NowakName: Alana Nowak
School: Independence
Grade: 9
Stats: Scored six goals with an assist in two matches and also finished among the top 15 in a cross country invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Alana’s speed and on-ball skills far surpass her freshman status,” Independence coach Bryan Less said. “She is a tireless worker with a great personality. She is humble and is willing to play wherever the team most needs her.”


Mollee ChapmanName: Mollee Chapman
School: Berkshire
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 38 kills in two matches including seven in the decisive fifth set in a win over rival Cardinal; also recorded 24 service points with seven aces, 23 assists and 20 digs
Coach’s Quote: “Both victories were total team efforts but Mollee’s performance and leadership in both victories helped us tremendously,” Berkshire coach Joni Prots said. “The Cardinal match was our Senior Night and Mollee, along with the rest of the seniors, worked so hard from start to finish to bring home the victory.”

Savannah DavidName: Savannah David
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 25 service points, 12 aces and 22 digs
Coach’s Quote: “Junior captain Savannah David’s defense and consistent serve assisted us in our win this week against Richmond Heights and kept us in the games against Lutheran West and Berea/Midpark,” Brooklyn coach Debbie Hall said. “She has a never give up attitude and as co-captain keeps the team’s momentum even with a loss.”

Grace SmotekName: Grace Smotek
School: Independence
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 42 kills, 24 service points, 29 digs and five service aces
Coach’s Quote: “Grace is a four-year varsity starter,” Independence coach Anthony Messina said. “She had a great week playing for and leading a new team trying to determine who they are.”

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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