Tuesday, April 23, 2024

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 14 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week for the week ending September 10.

Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach. All statistics incurred from Monday, September 4 through Sunday, September 10, 2023.

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


Matthew DienesName: Matthew Dienes
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Won the Division II/III race at the Pat Ritchie Invitational with a time of 16:05
Coach’s Quote: “Matthew practices hard and competes even harder on race day,” said West Geauga coach John Boylan. “Matthew is a very intelligent runner. He continues to get stronger and stronger each week.”

Brandon GentName: Brandon Gent
School: Orange
Grade: 11
Stats: Placed 10th at the Bruce Lerch Invitational with a time of 17:10
Coach’s Quote: “Brandon put himself in a strong position within the first quarter mile of the race, and ultimately led the team to fourth place on Saturday at the Bruce Lerch Invitational,” said Orange coach Rachel Frutkin.


Nate BlasioleName: Nate Blasiole
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Carried 24 times for 262 yards and four touchdowns with a two-point conversion and two catches for 27 yards
Coach’s Quote: “Nate has put together an impressive stat line every week, and this was no different,” said Crestwood coach Jack D’Amato. “He continues to be one of the hardest workers on and off the field and leads the team through his work ethic.”

Alexander DavisName: Alexander Davis
School: Madison
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 12 solo tackles, including three for a loss, and assisted on three others, and one quarterback pressure
Coach’s Quote: “Alexander is our leading tackler for the season, and he had another great game against West Geauga,” said Madison coach Mike Gilligan. “He has a great combination of size and speed and has a nose for the ball.”

Bryce PeetName: Bryce Peet
School: Geneva
Grade: 10
Stats: Carried 11 times for 121 yards and a touchdown; caught two passes for 29 yards; recorded 13 tackles, including a tackle for loss, and two quarterback hurries
Coach’s Quote: “Bryce had a tremendous impact on our team in our victory against Lutheran West on both sides of the ball,” said Geneva coach Don Shymske. “He was our leading rusher with 121 yards including a 67-yard TD run right before halftime to put us up two scores. That touchdown provided a great deal of momentum for us heading into the second half. He was all over the field as we were able to hold our opponent to under 200 yards of total offense. Bryce had a great performance on Friday night that undoubtedly helped our team to victory.”

Reece SoltisName: Reese Soltis
School: Cardinal
Grade: 11
Stats: Caught one pass for 31 yards; recorded four tackles, including one for a loss, and picked off two passes returning one for a touchdown
Coach’s Quote: “Reese has stepped up in a big way and is transitioning into a team leader,” said Cardinal coach Chris Perrotti. “He is competing at a high level in both football and golf, and he makes sure he understands his assignments if he has to miss for a golf tournament. The evidence is clear, on Friday night, Reese was able to read the Independence offense all night. He came away with multiple tackles, one for a loss and two interceptions. He broke on a screen pass, picked the ball off, and scored a defensive touchdown.”


Matt HissaName: Matt Hissa
School: Cardinal
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot 44, 47, and 48 in three matches with two medalist honors
Coach’s Quote: “Matt has the second lowest scoring average for the Huskies,” said Cardinal coach Mike Topalian. “His steady performance last week helped Cardinal win the three matches against Kirtland, Harvey, and Garrettsville Garfield.”

Landon LearName: Landon Lear
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot 42 and 45 in two matches
Coach’s Quote: “Landon has been our most consistent golfer on the season,” said West Geauga coach Jay Kletecka. “Right now, he has great tempo with his swing, and his ball striking and putting has been excellent.”

Charlie PollockName: Charlie Pollock
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 11
Stats: Averaged 76 strokes with rounds of 69, 74, 77, 84
Coach’s Quote: “Charlie’s play continued to improve throughout the week,” said Chagrin Falls coach Anne Caja. “This week culminated with Charlie finishing as medalist at the NDCL Invitational with a phenomenal score of 69, two under par. He also finished among the top 13 at the Kent Invitational, a two-day event on Sept. 8 and 9, with scores of 77-74, for a total of 151. He also played in the Hoban Invitational on Sept. 5 and shot 84. We are looking for Charlie to continue his consistent play going into the postseason.”

Avery VencillName: Avery Vencill
School: Edgewood
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot a 37 in a nine-hole match and 90 at the Mahoning Valley Golf Classic
Coach’s Quote: “Avery has been extremely consistent all throughout the season,” said Edgewood coach Christina Fischer. “Her 37 is a personal record low and recorded her first eagle in actual competition. She is a fierce competitor and challenges herself every time she steps on the course.”


Mark PillarName: Mark Pillar
School: Independence
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored five goals with two assists
Coach’s Quote: “We are so fortunate Mark Pillar decided to play soccer this year,” said Independence coach Brien McDonald. “In our win against rival Cuyahoga Heights, he recorded his first high school hat trick. He followed up that performance two days later with two more goals and two assists in our win against Cornerstone Christian. We wish we had Mark all four years, but he’s also one of the top golfers in Ohio and is making it work for both sports this fall, which is a credit to him and a bonus for Blue Devils soccer.”


Ava JulianName: Ava Julian
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored four goals in two games including a game-winner against Southeast and a hat trick in a win over Grand Valley
Coach’s Quote: “Ava’s performance for the week was spectacular as she worked extremely hard pressing up top to force turnovers and counters, which helped lead to her performance and goals scored,” said Crestwood coach Eric Sway. “Ava’s persistent aggressive play game-to-game is what drives her to do what she does, and that’s score.”

Kelly McCandlessName: Kelly McCandless
School: Berkshire
Grade: 10
Stats: Scored three goals with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “Kelly has been the heart of the Badgers so far this season owning the midfield and making it tough for opponents on both sides of the ball,” said Berkshire coach Ian Patterson. “She has been finding a lot of success and space to attack due to Evania (McCandless) drawing double and triple teams every night. She assisted a goal to older sister Evania against Kenston and then scored off of a pass from Evania shortly after in a 2-4 losing effort Tuesday night. She then followed it up with a two-goal performance on Thursday as we took down Chardon 2-1. (These goals were actually scored Aug. 11 in the season opener that was postponed due to weather). Out of the four goals scored this week, Kelly assisted or scored on all four of them and continues to be a nightmare for defenses no matter where we decide to play her.”

Makenna RiniName: Makenna Rini
School: Independence
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored the game-winning goal against rival Cuyahoga Heights
Coach’s Quote: “Our rival had beaten us three straight years, and I told the girls we had to believe we were going to win and to play like it,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “Makenna did just that. She played 78 minutes, despite having a bad back, and looked stronger as the game went on. She played physically and looked fast. On her goal, Makenna outran a defender and correctly hit the ball to put it in the net. Makenna and I have been working on turning her into a complete forward, and she is well on her way to becoming one.”

Annabelle StoehrName: Annabella Stoehr
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored two goals with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “Annabella played a key role defensively in a 2-0 victory over Kirtland to start the week,” said Wickliffe coach Steve Gribovicz. “Annabella’s ability to transition from offense to defense and back, paired with her work rate and field vision, was on display throughout the game. Annabella was able to score two goals and contribute an assist in limited time against Brooklyn to end her strong week.”

Gabby TurnerName: Gabby Turner
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 25 saves in two games including nine on corner kicks
Coach’s Quote: “Junior goalkeeper, Gabby Turner, had outstanding performances against Lutheran West and Beaumont leading to Hawken’s first two wins of the season,” said Hawken coach Jenni Turbin. “She had her first shut-out against Lutheran West making six saves. Gabby was especially strong against Beaumont. She made five incredible saves in big moments that could have quickly altered the outcome of the game. Along with her teammates, Gabby stopped nine dangerous corner kicks. Gabby played with confidence and composure. She was the best player on the field that day.”

Kylie WaltersName: Kylie Walters
School: Beachwood
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored seven goals with four assists
Coach’s Quote: “Kylie easily showcased her remarkable skills by scoring an impressive total of seven goals, demonstrating her ability to find the back of the net consistently,” said Beachwood coach Maranda Melton. “Additionally, she provided valuable support to her teammates with four assists, highlighting her selflessness and playmaking abilities. Her exceptional speed poses a formidable challenge for opposing defenses, making her an invaluable asset to our team. With her unwavering dedication and commitment, she has been a key contributor to our varsity program for the past four years.”


Maggie FurstName: Maggie Furst
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Won a match 6-1, 6-1
Coach’s Quote: “Maggie is the ultimate team player always up for a challenge and can play singles or doubles,” said West Geauga coach Mary Kay Yuhas. “She also is a great team leader and supports her teammates. Not only is Maggie a great basketball player, she is a fierce competitor on the tennis courts. That’s one talented athlete.”


Helaina EdgarName: Helaina Edgar
School: Jefferson
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 59 assists, 10 kills, 20 points, four service aces, and nine digs in six sets
Coach’s Quote: “Senior setter and co-captain Helaina Edgar has helped us get off to a 7-1 start to our volleyball season,” said Jefferson coach Don Palm. “She is an exceptional setter and has developed over the years into an outstanding leader for our volleyball team. Helaina makes our offense go. She allows us to run a faster tempo offense that puts pressure on the other team’s defense. She’s like having another coach out there on the court.”

Abby GuyetteName: Abby Guyette
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored 32 points with 33 assists, 19 digs, five aces, and two kills
Coach’s Quote: “Abby Guyette is a hard worker and is very team-oriented,” said Crestwood coach Wanda Hoffman. “She plays all around for us and excels in every position. Abby is one of our 6-2 setters. She is very smooth when it comes to setting her hitters and does an excellent job getting to low-level passes. Abby is an outstanding server, and we have closed out matches with her behind the service line. I’m excited to see all the great plays that Abby will continue to make throughout this season.”

Kaya HerbstName: Kayla Herbst
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 11 blocks and 11 kills in a match against Edgewood
Coach’s Quote: “Kayla has been a leader and a player that we can really count on this year,” said West Geauga coach Amber Baker. “Kayla is our strongest blocker, and I expect that she will be putting up big numbers for the rest of the season.”





Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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