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Firestone’s Bryce Harris, Jovahn Fair commit to play college football in the Mid-American Conference

By Michael Beaven Published: June 23, 2014

Firestone seniors-to-be Bryce Harris and Jovahn Fair will be playing college football on scholarship in the Mid-American Conference following their high school graduation ceremony in 2015.

Harris has committed to the University of Toledo and Fair has pledged to Ohio University. Both players are linemen on the Falcons offense and defense.

“The kids earned this and I am happy for them,” Firestone football coach Tim Flossie said. “They did everything we asked them to do. They get good grades and they have the size in football that colleges like.

“We will probably play them on the same side with one playing guard and one playing tackle. They are interchangeable and capable of playing both positions. We will have good size on the line.”

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Three Firestone seniors finalize plans to play college football

By Michael Beaven Published: June 23, 2014

Firestone coach Tim Flossie said three 2014 graduates have finalized their plans to play college football: cornerback Louis Christian (Hiram), cornerback Howard Dover (Baldwin Wallace) and defensive end Brennan Williams (Akron).

Christian and Dover made their decisions recently. Williams committed to Akron earlier this year.

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Hoban’s Ted Stieber commits to Minnesota for football

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Archbishop Hoban rising senior Ted Stieber is headed to the University of Minnesota to continue his academic and athletic careers.

Stieber, an offensive lineman who is 6-foot-6 and 300-pounds, has given the Golden Gophers a commitment to play football on scholarship.

“I have liked Minnesota for a long time,” Stieber said. “Pretty much since we started the recruiting process they have been No. 1. Once Minnesota, offered they were No. 1.”

Stieber also pondered offers from Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers, Marshall, Syracuse, Akron, Kent, Bowling Green, Ohio, Miami and Toledo.

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East football players draw interest from colleges

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

East football coach Marques Hayes said the following five Dragons who will be seniors this upcoming season are garnering interest from colleges:

+ Maurice Thomas, quarterback and defensive back – Northwestern, Navy, Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Wofford and Wayne State.

+ Darius Griggs, linebacker – Tiffin, Northwood, Allegheny, Bowling Green and Ashland.

+ Galen Thompson, defensive lineman – Tiffin, West Virginia Wesleyan and Notre Dame College in Cleveland.

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Garfield's Darrion Powers receives first scholarship offer

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Garfield football coach Bob Sax said rising senior Darrion Powers has received a scholarship offer from the University at Buffalo.

Powers was the Golden Rams top running back on offense last season and he also contributes as a strong safety on defense.

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Highland names Michael Moser its girls basketball coach

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Highland has named Michael Moser as its girls basketball coach.

Moser comes to Highland with over 10 years of coaching experience in both the boys and girls basketball programs at Wadsworth.

He received his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Taylor University in Upland, IN and played four years of football. He proceeded to earn a Master’s in Sports Management and Coaching Theory from American Public University in Manassas, VA.

Moser has served as a physical education teacher in Cleveland City Schools, Mount Vernon City Schools and is currently at Wadsworth City Schools where he has taught for the past eight years.

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St. V-M scheduled to compete in boys basketball event in Delaware

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

St. Vinent-St. Mary is among several schools that will play in the national boys basketball tournament dubbed the Slam Dunk to the Beach, which will be held at Cape Henlopen High School from December 27-29, 2014.

A collection of 14 teams representing seven states and the District of Columbia will be competing in this year’s event, with a 15th and final team to be announced at a later date.

The tournament, long a staple of the national high school basketball calendar, is returning for the first time since 2003. For 13 years Slam Dunk to the Beach hosted some of the nation’s premier players, including current NBA players LeBron James (2001), Dwight Howard (2003), Carmelo Anthony (2000) and J.J. Redick (2001).

“We are fortunate to have a field that features some of the top programs and players in high school basketball,” said Dr. Matthew Robinson, Chairman of the tournament as well as the Delaware Sports Commission. “With a field of this caliber, Cape Henlopen's gym is sure to be filled to capacity all three days of the tournament, which will not only provide an incredible atmosphere, but will also help bring patrons and visitors to the Delaware beaches during the winter season.”

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Hoban's Anthony Christian nabs scholarship offers for basketball

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Archbishop Hoban guard Anthony Christian, who will be a junior next season, has received scholarship offers from Cleveland State and Kent State.

Christian is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard and is a two-year letter winner for the Knights.

“These are my first two scholarship offers,” Christian said. “I am getting a lot of interest from several other schools; Akron, Dayton, Penn State, Ohio State, Xavier, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Northern Kentucky.”

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Spellman, Randall transfer to schools outside of Ohio

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Basketball standouts Omari Spellman and Craig Randall are transferring out of state to attend school next year, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Spellman is a rising junior who played at North Royalton and is transferring to the MacDuffie School in Massachusetts.

Randall played at Medina last season and is a rising senior guard who is transferring to Shadow Mountain in Arizona.

Both players earned All-Ohio honors in Division I in 2014.

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Nordonia's Cameron Bell commits to Toledo for football

By Michael Beaven Published: June 21, 2014

Nordonia rising senior Cameron Bell has committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Toledo.

Bell, 17, is an offensive lineman who is 6-foot-8 and 320 pounds.

“Their coaching staff is a bunch of young guys who run around and have fun,” Bell said of the Rockets. “They were the first school to offer me a scholarship and I am really excited about this opportunity.”

Maryland, Akron, Ohio, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan also offered Bell.

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Nordonia’s Denzel Ward commits to play football at Ohio State

By Michael Beaven Published: June 19, 2014

Nordonia football coach Jeffrey Fox confirmed that rising senior Denzel Ward gave a commitment to play football on scholarship at Ohio State University on Thursday.

“Denzel committed today,” Fox said. “They have been recruiting him since the spring and have been keeping in touch. He went down there [to Columbus] for a one day camp and had a very good performance.

“He was considering a couple of other schools, but he was very excited and he committed on the spot when they offered him a scholarship. This is very exiting news for Denzel.”

Fox said Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer and defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs like Ward’s “cover skills and speed” as a cornerback.

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Div. I softball: NC Hoover takes down Lebanon 5-3, advances to state final

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 5, 2014

North Canton Hoover (28-3) took down previously undefeated Lebanon (32-1) 5-3 in a Division I state semifinal at Firestone Stadium today. 

Kelly Dillow came away with the deciding hit, a three-RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning that put Hoover on top 5-3 for the first time in the game. 

Senior Tara Thacker threw all seven innings and was solid except for a three-run third inning that gave Lebanon a 3-0 lead. 

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State baseball scouting report - Jackson, Orrville, North Royalton

By Michael Beaven Published: June 5, 2014

Where: All games are at Huntington Park in Columbus.

Who: Area teams Jackson, Orrville and North Royalton.

Division III: Orrville (18-12) vs. Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (28-2) at 4 p.m. today in a state semifinal. The other semifinal features Coldwater (28-4) and Wheelersburg (24-6) at 7 p.m. The Division III state championship will be at 1 p.m. Saturday.

A look at Orrville: The Red Riders feature seven seniors: Wes Stauffer, Stuart Schley, J.T. Perez, Chandler Smith, Kyle Ritchie, Layne Scheufler and Chad Harrison. Stauffer is 6-0 pitching with a 1.12 ERA. Schley is 5-4 with a 1.71 ERA pitching and is batting .330 with seven homers, 32 RBI and 24 runs scored. Perez is batting .400 with three homers and 28 RBI. Sophomore Christian Trowbridge also starts along with freshmen Austin Domer and Zach Ramsdell. “We wanted to make to it state,” Orrville coach Scott Marshall said. “The last several years, we have improved every year. We have seven seniors and five of the seven started as a freshmen.” Orrville won its third district title in a row two weeks ago and earned its state berth with a regional title last week. The Red Riders were a district semifinalist in 2011, a regional semifinalist in 2012 and a regional finalist in 2013. Orrville beat Tuslaw and Canton Central Catholic at district and Independence and Youngstown Ursuline at regional. Orrville swept North Royalton in a doubleheader.

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State softball scouting report - North Canton Hoover, Tallmadge, Manchester

By Michael Beaven Published: June 5, 2014

Where: Firestone Stadium in Akron.

Who: Area teams North Canton Hoover, Tallmadge and Manchester.

Division II: Tallmadge (24-3) vs. Lima Bath (27-1) in a state semifinal at 10 a.m. today with Newark Licking Valley (27-4) and Plain City Jonathan Alder (27-1) set for 12:30 p.m. The Division II state championship will be at 10 a.m. Saturday.

A look at Tallmadge: The Blue Devils feature senior Kirsten Lightel who is 22-2 pitching with a 0.48 ERA and 232 strikeouts in 159⅔ innings, and is batting .310 with 12 RBI. Sophomore Kali Stroud (.343, four home runs), junior Joanna Catalano (.341 with 27 RBI and seniors Mackenzie Gershom (.333) and Taylor Phillips (.311) are each hitting over .300. Seniors Tori Young, Nicolette Williams, Emily Bratnick and Brandy Wakefield also start along with sophomore Lexi Philen. Coach Ed Seeker said senior Sierra Bennett (.500) could pinch-hit this weekend after missing most of May with a knee injury. “We don’t feel comfortable putting her in to play defensively, but she has been working out and swinging and running,” Seeker said. “If we can get an opportunity where we feel we can get her in to pinch-hit, we will definitely consider that.” Tallmadge won state titles in 1998, 1997, 1993, 1989, 1988, 1987 and 1981.

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Canton McKinley selects Bryant Bowden to coach boys basketball team

By Michael Beaven Published: June 2, 2014

Former Canton McKinley High School boys basketball star Bryant Bowden is set to be named the head coach of his alma mater.

Canton City Schools Superintendent Adrian Allison announced Monday he will recommend Bowden as the next boys basketball head coach to the Board of Education at a 6 p.m. meeting on June 16 at McKinley.

“Coach Bowden has a special passion for the youth of Canton and for McKinley basketball,” Allison said in a press release.

“He has a unique understanding of the success and tradition of McKinley Senior High School basketball. Most importantly, his vision for the program is consistent with the district’s vision of ensuring that the young men under his care understand that they are students first and athletes second. He is an excellent role model for our students.”

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