Friday, June 14, 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 September 24.

Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach. All statistics incurred from Monday, September 18 through Sunday, September 24, 2023.

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


Audrey Morgan ArdName: Audrey Morgan Ard
School: Perry
Grade: 11
Stats: Placed third at the Edgewood tri-meet with a time of 20:13
Coach’s Quote: “Morgan Ard continued her successful 2023 campaign with another personal best,” said Perry coach Kristen Thomas. “She started fast with the leaders in the first mile and held strong. She stayed active in the second half maintaining a 15-second gap between her and fourth place.”

Izzie CopelandName: Izzie Copeland
School: Kirtland
Grade: 10
Stats: Placed 15th at the Cardinal Invitational to lead the Hornets to a fourth-place finish
Coach’s Quote: “Izzie has been having another terrific season for the Hornets,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “She works very hard and is an integral part of our team and is consistently in the top three runners on our team each week. She races very smart and is very consistent and ran well in a good field at the Cardinal Invitational this week.”

Thomas HensleyName: Thomas Hensley
School: West Geauga
Grade: 12
Stats: Ran a time of 18:59 at the Cardinal Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Thomas has been consistently West Geauga’s fourth man this season,” said West Geauga coach John Boylan. “His presence on the team has been extremely beneficial. He has a great work ethic. He has a great sense of humor. The underclassmen look to him for leadership and guidance. Thomas has become an invaluable part of the West Geauga cross country team.”

Rae ObersterName: Rae Oberster
School: Orange
Grade: 11
Stats: Placed 11th at the Cardinal Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “This is Rae’s first season with the squad and we’re ecstatic she joined us this year,” said Orange coach Rachel Frutkin. “Rae is a hard worker and enjoys a challenge. She came in 11th overall at Cardinal, leading our girls’ team to a third-place finish. She’s steadily improved week over week and puts in the work required to succeed.”

Sean StrahanName: Sean Strahan
School: Perry
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed fifth at the Edgewood tri-meet with a time of 17:52
Coach’s Quote: “Strahan led the team to a second-place finish against two strong conference rivals,” said Perry coach Kristen Thomas. “He raced a season’s best after making a breakthrough in the second half of the race. He ran strong in the middle, which put him in a good position in the last half mile.”


Carson AlleyName: Carson Alley
School: Madison
Grade: 12
Stats: Completed 9-of-14 passes for 158 yards and four touchdowns; carried 22 times for 190 yards
Coach’s Quote: “Carson is the epitome of a team player,” said Madison coach Mike Gilligan. “He works extremely hard, has a calm demeanor and is a relentless competitor. Carson has grown into an effective passer, turning himself into a true dual-threat quarterback. We are very proud of Carson and appreciative of the leadership he has provided for our football program as a two-year captain. He is a great football player and an even better person.”

Charlie MallettName: Charlie Mallett
School: Hawken
Grade: 9
Stats: Caught three passes with two touchdown receptions and a two-point conversion; recorded three tackles on defense
Coach’s Quote: “Charlie has had a phenomenal year as only a freshman,” said Hawken coach Mark Iammarino. “Six of his eight receptions this year have gone for touchdowns. He also has three interceptions on defense. He is one to watch in the future.”

Luke SmithName: Luke Smith
School: Geneva
Grade: 12
Stats: Carried 13 times for 158 yards and one touchdown; completed one pass for a 47-yard touchdown; recorded 10 tackles on defense and caused a fumble
Coach’s Quote: “Luke was all over the field for us Friday night. He led our team in rushing, passing, and tackles. He had explosive plays with a 47-yard TD pass and a 65-yard TD run, as well as a forced fumble,” said Geneva coach Don Shymske. “Luke had a tremendous impact on the game for us and is one of the leaders of our team both on the field and in the locker room.”


Troy DomenName: Troy Domen
School: Cardinal
Grade: 12
Stats: Won the CVC Valley Division postseason tournament with a 75, the lowest score among all four divisions
Coach’s Quote: “Troy won the overall medalist across all four CVC divisions at the postseason tournament at Quail Hollow,” said Cardinal coach Mike Topalian. “He shot 75 and birdied the last two holes. Troy was dominant this year as he won both the pre-and postseason events and tallied the most dual-match points as well. A fantastic way to cap off his four-year CVC golf career.”

Zack PalmerName: Zack Palmer
School: Lakeside
Grade: 12
Stats: Shot an 80 to win the CVC postseason tournament and a 36 in a dual match
Coach’s Quote: “Zack came from three strokes down with four holes to play to earn medalist honors at the CVC postseason tournament on Monday,” said Lakeside coach Andy Kiphart. “He has played consistently well all season and has led our team from the No. 1 position for four years. His game is peaking at the right time heading into the sectional tournament.”

Avery VencillName: Avery Vencill
School: Edgewood
Grade: 11
Stats: Shot an 87 at the CVC tournament an a 77 in the NEOGCA tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Avery had a great start to our postseason play leading our team in both 18-hole tournaments,” said Edgewood coach Christina Fischer. “She also has had a career-low for a round of 18 in competition. She has been playing some of her best golf this past week and is peaking at the right time of the season.”


Kurt BoergertName: Kurt Boergert
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored six goals with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “Kurt has been the driving force when it comes to our offense as our leading goal scorer,” said Wickliffe coach Dominic Buttari. “What I have been most impressed with as late though, is his ability to contribute and play aggressively on the defensive side of the ball as well. As only a junior, I look forward to seeing him continue to grow.”

Andrew RusnakName: Andrew Rusnak
School: Madison
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored nine goals with three assists
Coach’s Quote: “Andrew is having a great senior year, as he recently broke the school record for most goals scored in one season–26 thus far—scoring nine goals last week. His outstanding performances have helped the team capture seven wins this season.”

Parker StusekName: Parker Stusek
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Allowed two goals in two games, including one against the state’s second-ranked team
Coach’s Quote: “Parker had a spotless performance against St. Vincent-St. Mary, keeping a clean sheet and making important saves at critical times in the game,” said Hawken coach Vlad Muresan. “He also had a very good performance against Lake Catholic, a team ranked No. 2 in the state for Division II, conceding only one goal from open play and one from a penalty kick.”


Kit WadsworthName: Kit Wadsworth
School: Berkshire
Grade: 9
Stats: Recorded one assist
Coach’s Quote: “The young back line consisting of Kit and three to four other underclassmen helped senior goalkeeper Sarah Wendl secure the first shutout of the season on Tuesday against Lake Catholic,” said Berkshire coach Ian Patterson. “Not only does Kit bring great attitude and effort every single day, she also contributed one of the biggest assists of the season to senior forward Evania McCandless during last Thursday’s win over previously undefeated CVC Metro rival Wickliffe. Kit is a multi-sport freshman athlete competing in varsity soccer and cross country as a freshman. She has proven herself to be one of the next great Badger athletes excelling on and off the field and course this fall. With her ability and willingness to adapt to the varsity game quickly, Kit earned herself a starting role at outside back during the recent win streak and continues to thrive.”


Ari Prestion/Ida ChangName: Ida Chang/Arianna Preston
School: Beachwood
Grade: 10/12
Stats: Won the CVC Chagrin Division second doubles title and won four other matches during the week
Coach’s Quote: “I cannot say enough about Ida Chang and Arianna Preston,” said Beachwood coach David Cole. “They rallied to beat Hathaway Brown in three sets to win the match for us, beat Hawken, and won the conference. They fight for every point and are relentless.”

Dani ForteName: Dani Forte
School: Hawken
Grade: 10
Stats: Went 3-0 in dual matches and won the first singles flight at the CVC tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Dani has had a very strong week of tennis with three dual match CVC wins and also winning the first singles flight at the CVC tournament on Saturday,” said Hawken coach Lori Shulman. “She has had a great fall tennis season and continues to get better with every match. More importantly, Dani has developed into a great leader for the team and shows up every day with a great attitude and work ethic. As we approach the postseason, I’m excited to watch her compete against some of the best players in the state.”

Abby Griffitts/Hannah DunnName: Abby Griffiths/Hannah Dunn
School: Geneva
Grade: 11/9
Stats: Won the CVC Valley Division first doubles tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Abby and Hannah lived up to their No. 1 seed and won the first doubles flight,” said Geneva coach Scott Torok. “The win was key to the Eagles’ first-place finish in the Valley Division and all but lock up the 2023 title.”

Lillian IsgroName: Lillian Isgro
School: West Geauga
Grade: 10
Stats: Won 6-0, 6-1 in first singles of a dual match against Crestwood
Coach’s Quote: “Lilly is only a sophomore and has played first singles for us every week,” said West Geauga coach Mary Kay Yuhas. “She is an incredible tennis player with beautiful form. Her style of play is powerful and strong even though she is petite in stature. She is a force to be reckoned with. Lilly has such poise on the court, I forget she is a sophomore. It has been such a joy to get to know this young lady. I can’t wait to see how she progresses in the upcoming seasons. Her trajectory is straight to the top.”


Name: Malory Lear
School: West Geauga
Grade: 10
Stats: Recorded 28 assists, 15 digs, and three aces
Coach’s Quote: “All season long we as a team have leaned on Malory to dig us out of tough situations,” said West Geauga coach Amber Baker. “As a sophomore and returning varsity player, Malory’s outstanding work ethic and drive are pushing her to the head of the pack in the CVC.”

Lindy LeikenName: Lindy Leiken
School: Orange
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 19 kills, 14 digs, six aces, and one block
Coach’s Quote: “Over the last week and a half, Lindy Leiken served 19-for-31 serves and aced six; she had 30 total hits, 19 kills, and one solo block,” said Orange coach Jen Gold. “Lindy also added three assists and 14 digs for her team and as team captain, leads the Lions on the court each night.”

Sydney ParkName: Sydney Park
School: Geneva
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 25 kills and 22 digs
Coach’s Quote: “Sydney has turned it on this week,” said Geneva coach Annah Haeseler. “She led the offensive attack against Lakeside and Grand Valley and defensively has stood out as our dig leader. Sydney has been our go-to player for a few years, and this year is no different. She is hardworking, positive, and a leader on and off the court. I’m looking forward to her leading her team the rest of the season.”

Peyton PierceName: Peyton Pierce
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 33 assists, 41 serves, 14 digs, and four aces
Coach’s Quote: “Senior setter Peyton Pierce helped her team out this season trying a new position as a setter and contributing in a 6-2 offensive system,” said Chagrin Falls coach Kelly Holtz. “She helped her Tigers defeat Orange and Harvey in three sets each last week. Her leadership on court is energetic in voice and powerful in her execution and presence.”

Jade RiedelName: Jade Riedel
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 44 digs, 60 serve receptions, 26 points, seven aces, and two assists
Coach’s Quote: “Junior Jade Riedel is our libero and as our main defensive player she leads the team in serve-receive passes and digs,” said Brooklyn coach Debbie Hall. “She literally gives up body and soul to keep us in contention. Without her defense, we wouldn’t have a chance of any type of offense. Jade’s drive to always improve and play without complaint is a breath of fresh air this season and she will only improve as a senior next year. She has a true love of the game.”

Faith VencillName: Faith Vencill
School: Edgewood
Grade: 9
Stats: Recorded 50 kills, 45 digs, 31 receptions, 25 points, eight solo blocks, and eight aces
Coach’s Quote: “We had three games this past week and Faith was on fire,” said Edgewood coach Kyra Vencill. “She led the team in kills by far this week and I could not be more proud of the player she is becoming. She is quick, coachable, has an unbelievable vertical, and strong arm. She plays all the way around for us and as a freshman starter, that’s a large weight in responsibility, but she handles it well. She knows coaches intentionally come at her, and she handles the pressure well. Her teammates have done a great job embracing her this year and being great role models for her to mirror. She, without a doubt, has been a leading contributing factor to our success and I look forward to all she will accomplish in her high school career, as the future is very bright for this young lady.”

Hannah WardName: Hannah Ward
School: Crestwood
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 27 kills, nine points, four blocks, and two digs
Coach’s Quote: “Hannah has had a very successful season thus far,” said Crestwood coach Wanda Hoffman. “Hannah is a middle hitter/blocker and she has been extremely aggressive at this position. She sees the floor very well and makes great decisions. I find that her unique serve causes her opponent’s trouble. Hannah is a very hard worker at both practices and matches. She will hustle and do everything in her power to give our team the best chance to win. Ward always puts the team first. While Hannah is more than capable of playing all 6 positions, she is selfless when it comes to giving her teammates the opportunity to compete. Hannah is a pleasure to coach and is an amazing athlete.



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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