Tuesday, May 30, 2023

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 15 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, September 5, 2022 through Sunday, September 4, 2022.

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


Grant CongdonName: Grant Congdon
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed 10th at the Walsh Jesuit Invitational with a time of 17:19
Coach’s Quote: “Grant is the leader of this team,” said West Geauga coach John Boylan. “He inspires and motivates his teammates to do their best. Grant’s leadership is one of the reasons West Geauga is enjoying a successful cross country season.”

Brandon GentName: Brandon Gent
School: Orange
Grade: 10
Stats: Ran a personal best time of 17:23.7 at the Bruce Lerch Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Sophomore Brandon Gent took fourth place overall and set a personal record of 17:23.7 on a hilly course on a humid day at the Bruce Lerch Invitational on Saturday,” said Orange coach Rachel Frutkin. “With his work ethic and ability to persevere in tough conditions, Brandon is one to watch this season. He tackled the hills without so much as a wince to clinch his place in the top five.”


Francis ConnorsName: Francis Connors
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 11
Stats: Caught two passes for 102 yards and one touchdown, blocked a punt that resulted in a safety, and recorded 12 tackles, including one for a loss and five solo stops, one quarterback hurry, and deflected two passes
Coach’s Quote: “Francis stood out in all three phases of the game in our win against Independence,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Al Martin. “He had a 30-yard reception on third down late in the first half that led to a field goal and then a 72-yard catch and run for a touchdown early in the second half.”

Tony HallName: Tony Hall
School: Edgewood
Grade: 11
Stats: Completed 13-of-19 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns; also carried four times for 18 yards
Coach’s Quote: “Tony played lights out all game and did a great job leading us from his QB position,” said Edgewood coach Olajuwon Cooper. “Tony is really coming into his own, and we go as he goes.”

Miles MillerName: Miles Miller
School: Berkshire
Grade: 11
Stats: Completed 5-of-9 passes for 56 yards and one touchdown with one interception; ran 37 times for 316 yards and five scores in a win over Grand Valley
Coach’s Quote: “On Friday night, Miles worked well in the pocket in the passing game and had great vision on the ground,” said Berkshire coach Josh DeWeese. “His elusiveness and speed were on display all night. In the fourth quarter, he led the team to two touchdowns to close out the night.”

Uzonna NzekweName: Uzonna Nzekwe
School: Beachwood
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 21 tackles, including 15 solo stops and six tackles for loss, two sacks, picked off a pass, and blocked a punt
Coach’s Quote: “Uzo is unblockable this season,” said Beachwood coach Scott Fischer. “He plays so hard every play and dominants on defense.”

Robert RogersName: Robert Rogers
School: Grand Valley
Grade: 11
Stats: Caught 10 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns and recorded 11 tackles on defense, including one for a loss
Coach’s Quote: “Bobby continues to make plays on the field, even when defenses try to take him away,” said Grand Valley coach Clinton Nims. “Not only did Bobby play great on both sides of the ball on Friday, during the day he also gave back to the community by working with his teammates and other community members to help make over 300,000 meals for needy families in Ashtabula County by participating in the Feed the Hope program. While being tremendous in the stat lines, Bobby has also been a great leader on and off the field.”


Mark PillarName: Mark Pillar
School: Independence
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot a 37 in a tri-match with Cuyahoga Heights and Wickliffe
Coach’s Quote: “Mark has been the anchor of our team all season,” said Independence coach Ryan MacRaild. “While some players may have a better round here or there, Mark has been consistently shooting around par all season. He is focused, technical, and is a top golfer in the state.”

Garrett RupertName: Garrett Rupert
School: Perry
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot a personal best 39, 42, and 43 in three matches
Coach’s Quote: “Garrett has been instrumental in carrying our team to finish our conference play and best our record above .500,” said Perry coach John Grdina. “He works extremely hard at his craft and truly is a joy to coach because of the character he has on and off the golf course.”


Kaci KanickiName: Kaci Kanicki
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Shot a 43 and a 44 in two matches
Coach’s Quote: “Kaci Kanicki has been a dominant force all season,” said Edgewood coach Christina Fischer. “This past week, she was low 40s for each round. She has dropped her season average from last year to this year by four strokes and she has been playing very consistently the past few weeks.”

Kate PetersenName: Kate Petersen
School: Hawken
Grade: 12
Stats: Averaged 38.5 in two matches with one medalist honor to her credit
Coach’s Quote: “Kate is our captain and team leader,” said Hawken coach Jennifer Creech. “She continues to work on her game and has the ability to play at a high level. She is someone every coach would like to have on their team.”


Jayden JulianName: Jayden Julian
School: Crestwood
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored eight goals with four assists in two games
Coach’s Quote: “Jayden is the team’s senior captain and led his team to two wins this week while scoring eight goals and dishing out four assists,” said Crestwood coach Eric Sway. “Jayden is focused and a driven player that works hard and will do whatever is needed of him to help the team be successful. Jayden has a nose for the net and a great IQ for the game to find his teammates on all parts of the field and put them in a position to succeed during the game.”

Grant KeilinName: Grant Keilin
School: Beachwood
Grade: 10
Stats: Scored two goals with three assists in two wins
Coach’s Quote: “Grant has been most excellent this season playing in a central midfield role,” said Beachwood assistant coach Josh Lowe. “He leads our team in both goals and assists. He has tremendous finishing instincts from distance, and also has the ability to find teammates through the open spaces. In addition, his understanding of the game helps to make sure we maintain the necessary balance in central midfield on both offense and defense.”

Matt MaciochName: Matt Macioch
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored two goals in a win
Coach’s Quote: “For our recent game against Aurora, we moved Matt from defense to offense,” said Chagrin Falls coach Brian McKenna. “He responded with two goals and an assist in the 4-1 victory. The senior plays multiple roles for the team and once again shined.”

Evan McDanielName: Evan McDaniel
School: Hawken
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored one goal in a win over Orange
Coach’s Quote: “Evan McDaniel is one of our most important players,” said Hawken coach Vlad Muresan. “He can play many different positions at a very high level, and this versatility is a dream for any coach. He had a solid performance against Harvey and then scored a brilliant goal against Orange to put us up 2-0 in the game.”

Carter StanczykName: Carter Stanaczyk
School: Lutheran West
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored three goals in a key league win over Independence
Coach’s Quote: “Carter played a huge role in our win against Independence,” said Lutheran West coach Joe Jovanovski. “Carter was able to constantly put the ball every time we needed a goal. Anytime the momentum swung in Independence’s direction, Carter found a way to swing it back in our direction. He is a true goal scorer who loves to put the ball in the back of the net. Not only is it special to score a hat trick, but to do it the way he did it while equalizing the game and scoring the game-winner is huge. Not to mention this was also his second hat trick of the season. He is having a fantastic junior season and I cannot wait to see him continue to grow as a player this fall.”


Reece FrankName: Reece Frank
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored three goals in two matches
Coach’s Quote: “Reece scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Beachwood, keeping her composure in a close game by slotting her penalty kick with 10 minutes left in the game,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Christy Zawadzki. “She then slid to the left of an Eastlake North goalie on a nicely played ball. Finally, she iced the game against Eastlake North with a shot from about 30 yards out to side netting. Her composure and work ethic have kept us in many games this season.”

Evania McCandlessName: Evania McCandless
School: Berkshire
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored seven goals with two assists in three games
Coach’s Quote: “She scored in every game this week as well as earning her teammates a PK in all three games with her intensity around and inside the box,” said Berkshire coach Ian Patterson. “She also scored four goals in a row in less than eight minutes to start the second half of the game against Lutheran West, who had held her scoreless for the first 40 minutes. She continues to be the main focus for the opposing team’s defense but she hasn’t let that slow her down in recent games.”

Alana NowakName: Alana Nowak
School: Independence
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored game-winning goal in one match and scored on a PK in another
Coach’s Quote: “Alana’s shot versus Lutheran West was perfectly placed and her PK against Padua was a shot I would not have had her take last year,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “She has really stepped up her game this year, as her on-the-ball moves have become very good. Alana has also become a physical player despite her small size; she is going toe-to-toe against players much bigger than her, never backing down from a challenge. I am very impressed at the improvement from last season I have already seen.”


Blake RothchildName: Blake Rothchild
School: Orange
Grade: 12
Stats: Swept two matches during the week
Coach’s Quote: “Blake was instrumental in our team win against Hawken,” said Orange coach Rich Bole. “She got out to an early start and stayed positive throughout the whole match. Her opponent, Hawken’s (Hayley) Garber, has been one of the best players in the CVC for several years, so Blake’s 6-3, 6-1 win was a great achievement.”

Gianna VictorName: Giavanna Victor
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Won two matches during the week
Coach’s Quote: “Giavanna is a very dedicated player,” said Edgewood coach Renee Mattson. “She puts in time and effort into every practice and match during the season and during the off-season. She works hard and tries her best and it definitely shows in her match performance.”


Abby GuyetteName: Abby Guyette
School: Crestwood
Grade: 10
Stats: Recorded 27 service points with eight aces, six kills, two blocks, 31 assists, and 23 digs
Coach’s Quote: “Abby is a huge asset to our team,” said Crestwood coach Wanda Hoffman. “She is an all-around great player and succeeds in every aspect of the game.”

Malory LearName: Malory Lear
School: West Geauga
Grade: 9
Stats: Recorded 42 assists, 23 digs, four aces, and three kills in two matches
Coach’s Quote: “Malory Lear is living up to the hype,” said West Geauga coach Amber Baker. “Being a freshman setter on a back-to-back CVC championship team is no easy task, but Malory is proving that she has what it takes. In our win over Chagrin Falls, she had 15 assists and 10 digs and was near perfect from the serving line. Against Geneva, Malory had four aces, three kills, 27 assists, and 13 digs. Malory has 168 assists on the season to date. Malory is the full package; the growth that I am seeing from her is even more than I had hoped. Malory carries the same aggressive stamina from set one to set five, and the sky is the limit for this young star.”

Madison MinerName: Madison Miner
School: Perry
Grade: 10
Stats: Recorded 33 kills, 14 service receptions, seven aces, six digs, and four blocks in two matches
Coach’s Quote: “Sophomore outside hitter Madison Miner was key in Perry’s wins this week over Chagrin falls in three sets and a five-set battle with Geneva,” said Perry coach Mike Fitzgerald. “Madison put down 33 kills and scored on seven service aces. Madison’s passing has been close to error-free as well. Madison has been instrumental in Perry’s 4-0 start this season. I can’t wait to see what she does for us the rest of 2022.”

Sydney ParkName: Sydney Park
School: Geneva
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 29 kills in three matches
Coach’s Quote: “Sydney is a true team player. She stays positive, works hard, and is our team leader,” said Geneva coach Annah Haeseler. “We had two tough five-set losses this past week, but she remained positive and led our team in almost every category. I’m so proud of her and looking forward to finishing strong this season.”

Chrisjeily RodriguezName: Chrisjeily Rodrigeuz
School: Lakeside
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 61 kills and 52 digs, including the 1,000th of her career
Coach’s Quote: “Chrisjeily has had an amazing start to this season and it was definitely a big week for her,” said Lakeside coach Justin Sanford. “Not only did she average just a (tad) over 20 kills per match, but she recorded her 1,000 career dig during Saturday’s match at Madison.”


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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