Nordonia senior Stephen Romanik has signed a national letter of intent to continue his academic and diving careers at Ohio State.
Romanik won the Division I state boys 1-meter diving championship as a junior with 557.15 points at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. His score is the second-highest score in the history of the state meet.
“We are very proud of Stephen’s accomplishments as a Nordonia athlete,” Knights coach Claudio Costanzo said. “I look forward to another great season. I know Stephen will do well at Ohio State. He will be competing at the highest level. It’s something that Stephen has been doing for many years.”
Romanik won sectional and district titles at the University of Akron and Cleveland State University, respectively, last season leading into the state meet.
Romanik was second in the state as a sophomore and fifth as a freshman.
Bowser signs with UC
Kent Roosevelt senior Cortnee Bowser has signed a national letter of intent with the University of Cincinnati to continue her academic and volleyball careers.
Bowser, who is 6-foot-4, earned the 2013 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division Volleyball Player of the Year honor and was a Division I first-team All-District and third-team All-Ohio choice.
Roosevelt reached the Division I district final for the first time in its volleyball program’s history before placing second to Hudson.
Roosevelt (22-3) featured four seniors: Bowser, Mylane Bella-Smuts, Hayley Chlad and Megan Lavins.
“This senior class is the most decorated class that Kent Roosevelt has had,” coach Tracy Reschke said. “They won four straight league titles and they led their team to the district final. They have taken this school where it hasn’t gone before. Words can’t describe how proud I am of them and how much our team, our school and myself are going to miss them.”
Bowser plans to major in chemistry. She finished her career at Roosevelt with 657 kills and 170 blocks and is also a player on national AAU and club teams.
“Cortnee brings our program great physical size at the net from both a blocking and attacking perspective,” UC coach Molly Alvey said. “She is coming to UC from one of the top volleyball club teams in the country, which made it to the championship match of both the Junior National Championships and AAU National Championships last summer.”
Injuries sideline players
By nature, football is a violent sport and injuries are bound to happen when muscle-bound players run into each other at full speed.
Tallmadge and Ravenna were both hit hard this year by injuries.
Ravenna had seven players sustain a concussion and four players — seniors Ian Frame and Shane Perry and sophomores Brent Sodeman and Seth Jarvis — were ruled out for the remainder of the year. The other three players to have a concussion and miss games were senior Tyler Smith (out three weeks), sophomore Shaun Roberts (two weeks) and junior Brendon Winning (two weeks).
The Ravens also had three players go down with a season-ending knee injury — senior captain Demetrius Fear, senior captain Josh Perry and junior Donnie Heller.
“We were snake-bitten this year; we never had the same lineup from week to week,” coach Jim Lunardi said. “I’m not complaining. It probably was like that for other teams as well. You just have to roll with the punches.”
Senior Austin Rosalez missed three games due to a knee injury. Senior Trevor Pesicek did not miss any games, but played through a knee injury and turf toe.
Tallmadge coach Joe Vassalotti said seniors Bobby Clark and Davis Moore played through injuries.
Clark rushed for 1,281 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He set the single-game school record for rushing yards in a game with 349 against Cloverleaf and rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns against Green, despite playing with a sprained knee ligament.
“He had the best TD run I’ve seen live in 23 years of coaching,” Vassalotti said. “It’s on YouTube. “He is an extremely tough and physical runner. Our overall team MVP.”
Moore played the entire season with a partially torn labrum in both shoulders.
“Approximately two-to-three times per game one of his shoulders would pop out,” Vassalotti said. “I have not coached a tougher player in 23 years.”
Blue Devils junior John Rensel (torn ACL), junior Jason Wiebrecht (broken tibia), senior Damon Gidley (dislocated shoulder) and junior Jacob Mertus (lower leg laceration) were lost during the season. Senior Joe Lowery was also not 100 percent due to a July hernia surgery.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.