Monday, February 6, 2023

DiFabio, Lewis to represent Kirtland in Senior Shootout

Owen Lewis quarterbacked the Kirtland Hornets to a state football championship last fall but that may never have happened if it wasn’t for a deal he made with his father.

That deal also benefitted him in another way as he was nominated and selected to play in the 2016 Ohio Varsity Senior Shootout presented by on April 3.

“I got involved playing (basketball) because my dad wouldn't let me play football unless I played basketball when I was in third grade and I couldn't thank him enough for it and how much he has helped me throughout the years,” said Lewis, a 6-foot guard. “I feel honored to play in this all-star game, especially with the amount of talent in the game. It should be a lot of fun.”

Lewis and teammate Cole DiFabio will represent the Air Force All-Stars. It gives them one more opportunity to play for Kirtland coach Nick Gallo, who will coach the team.

“I am very excited to play in the Ohio Varsity Senior Shootout, especially alongside my teammate, Owen Lewis, and for my coach, Coach Gallo,” said DiFabio, a 6-foot-4 center. “It will be awesome to cap off my high school basketball career playing in this and it should be a lot of fun.”

For both DiFabio and Lewis, the Senior Shootout will close out their basketball careers, yet they’re excited to play for such a good cause. The game is an official fundraiser for The Wounded Warrior Project.

“It's an honor to help out the people who defend our country and truly care about America,” Lewis said.

DiFabio shared a similar sentiment, even though he’d have preferred to represent the Navy All-Stars.

“It is a good cause to play in a game benefiting The Wounded Warrior Project,” he said. “If I had to choose though, I would've chosen the Navy, since my dad served in the Navy for a number of years, but playing for the Air Force is very exciting.”

Aside from playing for their coach one last time and representing the Air Force All-Stars, the Kirtland duo has other reasons for their excitement.

“I'm looking forward to playing with players who I either played with when I was younger on travel and AAU games or against,” Lewis said.

“I am most looking forward to playing with one of my good friends and teammate, Owen Lewis,” DiFabio added. “Also, to have Coach Gallo coach the game is special to me. I am also looking forward to meeting athletes from different schools and having a fun time with them. I think it is a great way to top off my career.”

The Senior Shootout, which will be played at Ursuline College's Seidman Gymnasium, begins at 5:00 p.m. with the boys’ all-star game. The girls will follow at 7:00 p.m. Click here to purchase presale tickets, which provide admission to both games.  

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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