Cardinal senior Jess Koches and Independence senior Jacob Spino have been named Ward’s Lawn Care & Landscape Co. Players of the Week for the week ending Jan. 18, 2015.
Koches is Cardinal’s leader in points per game (10.4) and is second on the squad with 5.8 rebounds per contest.
In two games last week, a win over Andrews-Osborne Academy and a loss to Fairport Harding, Koches averaged 13.5 points per game and shot 55-percent (11-for-20) with five rebounds.
She was 7-for-10 from the floor for 16 points in Cardinal’s 53-30 victory over Andrews-Osborne.
“Despite being a small guard, Jess averaged 5 rebounds per game this week and is second on the team in rebounding this year, at 5.8 per game,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “She was also instrumental in leading a comeback attempt in a loss at Fairport on Saturday and led the team with 11 points.”
Cardinal won its first game of the season then hit a tough spell. The win over Andrews-Osborne snapped a nine-game losing streak and the Huskies are 2-2 in their last four games.
Koches has been a major contributor in that recent surge.
“Jess has been fantastic the last several weeks and is shooting the ball extremely well,” Kruse said. “She is leading our team in points and is second in rebounds, which is amazing for someone of her small stature. She has a determination to put herself in position to rebound and not settle for watching the action. We really rely on Jess to put points on the board and lead her teammates with her hustle and focus. She has done just that and is very deserving of this honor.”
Koches also plays softball at Cardinal and is a member of the National Honor Society and a graduate of the Geauga Leadership Academy.
“She has a great balance of competitive drive and care for others that makes her the type of person and player that is a joy to coach,” Kruse said. “I am extremely proud of the way she has grown throughout the season as a leader and matured in her on-court composure.”
Spino, a returning state qualifier, went 3-0 at the Firelands Invitational with a pin, technical fall and a major decision. He scored 14 takedowns in his three matches and didn’t allow an offensive point in being named the lower weight class MVP.
The tournament championship was the third for Spino this season.
“Jacob Spino is on a mission to ascend the podium at the state tournament this year,” said Independence head coach Ken DeAngelis. “He is one of the most competitive athletes I have had and he puts in tireless amounts of time to be the best he can be. He regularly stays after practice to pick the coaches brains and could be found at various camps and open tournaments throughout the summer and fall.”
As one of Independence’s senior wrestlers, Spino provides the example for the Blue Devils’ younger wrestlers to follow, on and off the mat.
“Jacob Spino is the type of young man who makes those around him better,” DeAngelis said. “He has a great mental outlook on life and is always looking for ways to improve.”
COACHES, NOMINATE YOUR PLAYERS
Coaches, click HERE to nominate your athletes for Ward’s Lawn Care & Landscape Co. Players of the Week. Athletes from all Northeast Ohio schools are eligible for the award and nominations are due by 10:00 p.m. every Monday.