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Ellet’s A.J. Gareri commits to play basketball at Ohio U

By Michael Beaven Published: June 29, 2016

Ellet rising senior A.J. Gareri plans to take his sharp-shooting abilities to Ohio University next year and play basketball on scholarship for the Bobcats.

Gareri, who is 6-foot-9 and 210-pounds, said he has pledged to Ohio U over scholarship offers from Kent State, Toledo, Bowling Green and American University.

“I really love the way they play and I have a great relationship with all of the coaches,” Gareri said. “I think I will be a great fit there.”

Gareri, 18, said OU’s coaching staff, led by Saul Phillips, envisions him on the court as “a stretch 4 [power forward] that can play the wing occasionally.”

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OHSAA imposes penalties on a few member schools

By Michael Beaven Published: June 15, 2016

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has imposed penalties on nine high schools and four middle schools that violated bylaws or sports regulations.

Including in the 13 schools is Walsh Jesuit High School. The OHSAA announced that a Walsh varsity football coach violated the regulations and polices put into place regarding football practices and contact days. In accordance with Bylaw 11, Penalties, the Commissioner’s Office has reprimanded the school’s coaching staff for failing to follow the regulations for football practices and contact days and has restricted the coaching staff (paid and volunteer) to eight days of permissible instruction during the period of June 1-July 31 and a fine of $150 has been imposed.

Tim Stried, the OHSAA Director of Information Services, said a football team usually has 10 days of permissible instruction during the period of June 1-July 31.

The other high schools that were penalized were Poland Seminary, Bloomdale Elmwood, Garfield Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Warren Harding, Lima Temple Christian, Toldeo Central Catholic and Bellbrook. The middle schools who violated a rule were Columbiana Crestview, Circleville McDowell, Ironton Rock Mill and Troy.

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Norton athletes commit to play sports in college

By Michael Beaven Published: June 15, 2016

Brian Miller, who recently resigned as the Norton Athletic Director, announced four 2016 graduates have committed to playing a sport in college.

Mitch Zimmerman has signed to play baseball at the University of Mount Union. Zimmerman was a three-year starter for the Panthers.

“This is a good choice for Mitch and a great opportunity,” Norton baseball coach Rod Swartz said. “He has made tremendous strides. He started for us as sophomore and each year he makes strides at being a better player.”

Courtney Cofer is headed to Baldwin Wallace to continue her soccer career.

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Hoban running back Todd Sibley commits to play college football at Pittsburgh

By Michael Beaven Published: June 15, 2016

Archbishop Hoban rising senior Todd Sibley has decided to go in a different direction with his college football career.

Sibley, an Akron resident, played his entire junior year at Hoban as a standout running back committed to play at Ohio State University. He helped guide the Knights to a victory in the 2015 Division III state championship game in Columbus at Ohio Stadium.

His college future was scheduled to be in Ohio’s state capital, but after Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer and his staff changed their minds on him, Sibley has decided he too will change his mind and Wednesday he announced he plans to play football at Pittsburgh.

“They changed my scholarship offer to a gray shirt offer, which means I would have to wait a year to join the team,” Sibley said. “That was definitely one of the reasons why I decided to go another direction. Taking a year off from playing football was too much for me and I wasn’t sure I could handle that so I had to go down a different path.”

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Ellet's Marquise Bridges snags scholarship offer from U Akron

By Michael Beaven Published: June 15, 2016

Ellet rising senior Marquise Bridges received a football scholarship offer from the University of Akron.

UA is the first Division I college to offer Bridges, who competes in football, basketball and track and field. Bridges plays a running back in football for Ellet coach Joe Yost.

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Barberton rising senior Kobie Booker commits to play football at the University of Akron

By Michael Beaven Published: June 11, 2016

Barberton High School rising senior Kobie Booker has committed to play football at the University of Akron.

Booker, 18, is 6-foot-1 and 257-pounds. He plays all the defensive line positions, linebacker and tight end for Magics coach Tony Gotto, and has been a starter the past two years as a sophomore and junior.

“Akron is recruiting me to play D-line and linebacker, and the coaches said maybe every once in awhile some fullback on goal line and short yard situations,” Booker said. “I love the opportunity to play at Akron. I want to put on for the city.”

Booker said UA defensive line coach-recruiting coordinator Todd Stroud and safeties coach Mike Woodford were the two coaches he talked with the most recently after receiving a scholarship offer from the Zips. Booker also holds a scholarship offer from the Air Force Academy.

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Garfield's Marcus Kidd pledges to play football at the University of Akron

By Michael Beaven Published: May 29, 2016

Garfield High School junior Marcus Kidd plans to stay in his hometown following his decision to commit to play football at the University of Akron.

Kidd, 17, is a 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive and defensive lineman in the fall for Rams coach Bob Sax. Kidd said the Zips recruited him to play offensive tackle.

“I think this is a great opportunity to play for my home team,” Kidd said. “I want to help make them a better team. I am just blessed to have this offer.”

Kidd, who has lettered in football and track and field in the shot put and discus throw, said he saw the Zips football team play last year and likes what the campus has to offer. He has a 3.5 grade-point average and plans to major in business and pursue a career in physical therapy.

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Coventry's Dusty Burkhart commits to play football at the University of Akron

By Michael Beaven Published: May 29, 2016

Coventry High School junior Dusty Burkhart has committed to play football at the University of Akron.

Burkhart, 17, is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back in the fall for Comets coach Ed Egan. Burkhart said the Zips recruited him to play wide receiver.

“I felt like U of A is the best for place for me because there coaches made me feel like I was wanted,” Burkhart said. “They have a good environment and they really believe in me as an athlete. I felt a lot of trust within the program.”

Burkhart said he has attended UA football games and is friends with current Zips player Devon Jones, who also starred at Coventry.

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Brian Miller resigns as Norton AD, will remain Panthers girls basketball coach

By Michael Beaven Published: April 27, 2016

Brian Miller has resigned as the Norton Athletic Director, but will remain the Panthers girls basketball coach.

“I want to thank everyone at Norton, in the media and in the athletic arena for all your support over the years,” Miller said Wednesday. “I have enjoyed being the athletic director at Norton and I will continue to support the Panthers. This is an opportunity for me to take a step back and enjoy coaching and teaching and to watch my kids grow up.

“Being the AD takes a lot of dedicated time and effort, and after having discussions with our Superintendent Mr. Dave Dunn and Principal Mr. Ryan Shanor, I feel even better about my decision to step down at this time in my life effective May 31, 2016.”

Miller expressed his thanks to Norton Board of Education members, coaches and employees in the school district.

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Ron Wright to step aside as Hudson football coach in 2016, plans to return in 2017

By Michael Beaven Published: April 27, 2016

Ron Wright is stepping away from his position as football coach at Hudson for the 2016 season, but plans to return to guide the Explorers in 2017.

The Hudson City School District announced Wednesday that Wright is leaving the sidelines “due to personal and family health concerns and commitments.”

Wright has guided Hudson to state semifinal appearances in each of the past two seasons. The Explorers were a Division II state semifinalist in 2015 and finished with an 11-3 record after being a Division I state semifinalist in 2014 and posting a 13-1 record.

Amy White and Ray Ebersole in the Hudson Athletic Department released an email stating that: “The Hudson City School District has tremendous respect for coach Wright and knows that this is a very difficult decision for him. However, he has demonstrated his need to put family first not only in his own life but also in the lives of his players and coaching staff. Coach Wright is an exemplary role model for the Hudson High School football program, and we look forward to his return in 2017-2018.”

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