Tuesday, May 30, 2023

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 16 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 12, 2022 through Sunday, September 18, 2022.

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


Brian GentName: Brian Gent
School: Orange
Grade: 12
Stats: Placed third at the Cardinal Invitational with a new PR of 15:57.66
Coach’s Quote: “Orange senior Brian Gent executed what could be considered the perfect race at the Cardinal Invitational,” said Orange coach Rachel Frutkin. “Racing negative splits isn’t always easy to do, but Brian was able to proficiently race keeping the negative-split goal in mind. He sailed into third with a personal record of 15:57.66. Brian is a dedicated athlete who continues to work hard and develop his craft, and this was the perfect day to race. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better course at this year’s Cardinal Invitational.”

William NorthrupName: William Northrup
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11
Stats: Finished second at the Cardinal Invitational in 19:44, a new PR
Coach’s Quote: “William even surprised himself on Saturday,” said West Geauga coach John Boylan. “I’ve watched William develop into a competitive runner. Only a junior, I’m looking forward to William’s senior year.”

Ben ShermanName: Ben Sherman
School: Kirtland
Grade: 9
Stats: Ran an 18:15 at the Cardinal Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Ben has made an immediate impact as a freshman both on our team and in our program along with in the invites we have competed in,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “He is having a very nice freshman campaign.”


Izzie CopelandName: Izzie Copeland
School: Kirtland
Grade: 9
Stats: Ran a personal best time of 21:05 at the Cardinal Invitational
Coach’s Quote: “Izzie is having a tremendous freshman season of cross country, steadily improving each week by working hard and racing smart,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “She has been a solid runner for us this season and is close to our all-time top 25.”

Taylor DeetsName: Taylor Deets
School: West Geauga
Grade: 11
Stats: Finished third out of 115 runners at the Cardinal Invitational with a time of 19:34
Coach’s Quote: “In only her second race due to an early season injury, Taylor ran a PR and finished third at the Cardinal Invitational,” said West Geauga coach Mike Taurasi. “She improved over two minutes from her previous race time, and earned herself a top four spot on West Geauga’s all-time record board.”

Jaden FigardName: Jaden Figard
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Grade: 12
Stats: Ran a time of 23:35
Coach’s Quote: “Jaden is an incredible dual-sport athlete who decided to also run cross country on top of being a varsity soccer player as a graduating senior,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Chadwick Robinson. “Her drive and sheer focus before and during the race is uncanny. Having never trained for long-distance running, Jaden is already the fastest female athlete on our team–thanks to her amazing soccer coach at Heights. We are lucky to have her and look forward to seeing Ms. Figard compete at a few more meets before the end of the season.”

Tammy LiplinName: Tammy Liplin
School: Edgewood
Grade: 11
Stats: Ran a 19:50 in a tri-meet to move into Edgewood’s all-time top 10
Coach’s Quote: “Tammy continues to improve as a runner,” said Edgewood coach Steve Hill. “Tammy won our home meet against two very good foes in Perry and Geneva. Her time makes her the 10th fastest girl in Edgewood school history.”


Shahn AlstonName: Shahn Alston
School: Harvey
Grade: 9
Stats: Carried 11 times for 130 yards and four touchdowns and also pulled in a two-point conversion reception; Recorded four tackles and one sack on defense
Coach’s Quote: “Shahn has an opportunity to be one of the best Red Raider football players in the last quarter century,” said Harvey coach Mick Mohner. “Shahn wears the number ‘0’ and that suits him well. He is a humble, hardworking young man who doesn’t care about statistics and accolades, but more about how he can help us win football games. He now has 11 total TDs on the offensive side of the ball and his contributions on the defensive side of the ball do not always show up on the stat sheet as his role is to seal the edge or drop in coverage, allowing his fellow teammates to make plays. Shahn, along with a promising group of underclassmen, has an opportunity to continue to turn the Harvey football program around.”

Troy DomenName: Troy Domen
School: Cardinal
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded two interceptions, returning one for a score, and two tackles
Coach’s Quote: “Troy has been with us on a limited schedule on the field because of his efforts on the golf course, but that hasn’t stopped him from wanting to get extra work in,” said Cardinal coach Chris Perrotti. “He is in constant contact with coaches about what his responsibilities need to be. When Troy isn’t crushing drives, he’s picking the ball off. This week, he was limited on tackles because of the stout defensive front but came up with two big interceptions, one of them being returned for a touchdown.”

Luke ManginiName: Luke Mangini
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Carried the ball nine times for 116 yards with two receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown; recorded five tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack
Coach’s Quote: “Luke has done a little bit of everything for us this year,” said Hawken coach Mark Iammarino. “He has been an outstanding tackler and defender. He blocks very well, catches the ball out of the backfield, and ran for over 100 yards last week. He’s even been pressed into duty to kick for us. He’s been very valuable to our team.”

Walter MosesName: Walter Moses
School: Perry
Grade: 10
Stats: Completed 12-of-18 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns
Coach’s Quote: “In only a half of playing time, Walter threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns, leading our team to a win over Edgewood,” said Perry coach Bob Gecewich.

Luke SmithName: Luke Smith
School: Geneva
Grade: 11
Stats: Carried six times for 102 yards with two touchdowns of 42 and 36 yards; caught one pass for 17 yards; recorded three tackles and two pass breakups
Coach’s Quote: “Luke did a great job in all three phases of the game this week,” said Geneva coach Don Shymske. “He ran the ball well, had a great reception for a first down, and was solid on defense and special teams.”


Mason FeatherName: Mason Feather
School: Edgewood
Grade: 10
Stats: Claimed medalist honors at the CVC postseason tournament with an 82 and then shot a 35 in a win over Warren Harding
Coach’s Quote: “Mason really played a great round leading us to a CVC title at a tough Quail Hollow course,” said Edgewood coach Jeff Barger. “He was steady and mature beyond his years. Then he comes out and shoots a round of even par in our next dual on Tuesday.”

Charlie PollockName: Charlie Pollock
School: Chagrin Falls
Grade: 10
Stats: Won the CVC postseason tournament with a 71
Coach’s Quote: “Charlie played phenomenal golf in the CVC postseason championship on a difficult, wet course,” said Chagrin Falls coach Anne Caja. “He has been extremely consistent throughout the season. Charlie’s tournament scoring average to date is 75.5. Charlie is a model player and competitor that a team and coach can rely upon to lead in score and by example. He plays with a positive attitude and is patient on the course, which shows in his low scoring and average.”


Kaci KanickiName: Kaci Kanicki
School: Edgewood
Grade: 12
Stats: Shot a 90 in the CVC postseason tournament and an 83 in the NEOGGCA postseason tournament
Coach’s Quote: “Kaci led our team in both postseason tournaments and was the medalist at the CVC postseason tournament,” said Edgewood coach Christina Fischer. “She has been a consistent team leader for us this year and is just as committed to our team success as her individual honors.”

Ella WongName: Ella Wong
School: Hawken
Grade: 12
Stats: Averaged 38.5 strokes in two duals and shot a 78 to win her fourth straight CVC title
Coach’s Quote: “What an accomplishment for Ella to win four straight CVC titles,” said Hawken coach Jennifer Creech. “She has continued to work hard and it has paid off these last four years. I know she has another goal this season that will help solidify an amazing high school career.”


Luke BennettName: Luke Bennett
School: Beachwood
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored two goals in a win over Trinity and anchored the back line in a big win over Hawken
Coach’s Quote: “As a senior captain, Luke sets a high standard for the team with his work ethic and on-field performance,” said Beachwood assistant coach Josh Lowe. “The fact that he is willing to play center back after scoring double-digit goals each of his first three seasons exemplifies a team-first attitude and sets the standard across the squad. Beachwood is 9-1-1 going into this week’s games, and we have not allowed more than one goal in any game to date.”

Jayden JulianName: Jayden Julian
School: Crestwood
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored a single-game school record seven goals in an 8-1 win and added four goals in a second win; played all 160 minutes during the week with 11 goals and an assist
Coach’s Quote: “Jayden had some set goals this week to prove, and not only did he do that, but he also willed his team with leadership and his play on the field for his entire team to two huge wins this past week,” said Crestwood coach Eric Sway. “Jayden is only getting more comfortable in his team role, and he is nowhere near his peak. He’s highly nationally ranked in several categories right now.”

Khalil McDonaldName: Khalil McDonald
School: Independence
Grade: 11
Stats: Scored four goals with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “In three away games in five days, Khalil McDonald recorded his first hat trick of the season in our win against Brooklyn, played an outstanding 80 in our 1-0 defeat at Streetsboro, and scored a fantastic goal against Elyria Catholic just before half to level the game 1-1,” said Independence coach Brien McDonald. “Khalil is a very exciting and dynamic player to watch, and one of the most consistent players I have ever coached. He has great vision of the field, does all he can to help his team win, and never quits. What more can you ask of any athlete?”

Adan TorresName: Adan Torres
School: Harvey
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 11 saves in key wins over Chagrin Falls and Kenston
Coach’s Quote: “Adan has been dominant in goal for us the past two seasons,” said Harvey coach Natalie Sisler. “He plays at an elite level in our biggest games and he came through again against two great programs in Chagrin Falls and Kenston. Between his shot-stopping ability, distribution, and leadership, Adan is one of the best goalkeepers in the state. As a staff, we are proud of his performance on the pitch and in the classroom.”

Shane WilliamsName: Shane Williams
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 12
Stats: Scored four goals with one assist
Coach’s Quote: “Shane had another outstanding week with four goals and one assist in two games for us,” said Wickliffe coach Dom Severino. “His role this year has expanded to more in the midfield and he still continuously finds the back of the net.”


Cade VirgilioName: Cade Virgilio
School: Wickliffe
Grade: 10
Stats: Recorded 34 saves and two shutouts in three games
Coach’s Quote: “Cade led us to a 1-1-1 week with phenomenal play in goal,” said Wickliffe coach Steve Gribovicz. “Cade limited Hawken by saving 16 shots and then had two shutouts against Cuyahoga Heights and Chardon, ending the games with seven and 11 saves, respectively. Cade has showcased excellent movement from the keeper position and has become a vocal leader on the field recently.”


Bea HardacreName: Bea Hardacre
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Won at third singles to help the Hawks clinch the CVC title
Coach’s Quote: “Bea’s determination in the CVC tournament proved to be the deciding factor as she came up big over a very tough opponent,” said Hawken coach Brian Smallwood.


Kayla D'AstolfoName: Kayla D’Astolfo
School: Perry
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 105 assists, 47 digs, three kills, seven aces, and two blocks
Coach’s Quote: “Senior setter and captain Kayla D’Astolfo had 96 assists in two regular matches and three tournament matches this week in a 6-2 offense,” said Perry coach Mike Fitzgerald. “Kayla served up 40 assists in a CVC battle with Edgewood on Tuesday giving the Pirates hitters what they needed to come from being down two sets to none to take the match. Kayla added a big block in the match that was followed up by a kill motivating the team to keep fighting and take the win. Kayla had 23 assists and 22 digs in another five-set battle in the same week, this time with Lakeside. Kayla is a great leader for the Pirates and keeps the team motivated throughout matches no matter the score.”

Chidimma ObiName: Chidimma Obi
School: Hawken
Grade: 11
Stats: Recorded 43 kills, three assists, and 3 digs
Coach’s Quote: “With illness plaguing our team the past few weeks, Chidimma has been the glue that has kept us together,” said Hawken coach Patty Hace. “We have needed her to play middle initially, switching back to her right side role, and rounding it out these past few matches as our outside, changing from match to match on what was needed for our team. She has done it not only without hesitation but with an energy and intensity that ignites the team behind her. During our recent tri with Wickliffe and Fairview, Chidimma was on fire. Our setters racked up assists with Chidimma’s 14 kills vs. Wickliffe and seven vs. Fairview, both of which were in two sets. We are all very proud of the competitor and leader Chidimma has grown to be this past season and we owe a lot of our team’s chemistry and spirit to her.”

Taylor RuffinName: Taylor Ruffin
School: Brooklyn
Grade: 12
Stats: Recorded 30 kills, 32 assists, 31 digs, and six aces
Coach’s Quote: “Senor co-captain Taylor Ruffin is the only player on our team that does not leave the court,” said Brooklyn coach Debbie Hall. “She never stops giving it her all, including giving up her body to dive for balls no one else is going for. She is the driving force for our offense but also had a 58-percent kill efficiency. She reads the court well and scores many key points on pushes and dumps, not to mention she is also one of the team’s most consistent servers. We may not be the strongest hitting team, but Taylor gives us both a defensive and offensive edge.”


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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