Walsh Jesuit boys cross country coach Pat Ritchie continues to progress from triple bypass heart surgery that took place May 22 at the Akron General Medical Center.
Surgeon N.S. Laden performed the operation after cardiologist David A. Cutler found blockage in Ritchie’s arteries.
Ritchie, 58, is in his 33rd year as Walsh’s boys cross country coach. He will enter his 34th year with the Warriors boys track and field team in the spring (15 as coach and 19 as an assistant).
“I am very thankful for my assistant coaches — Dave Lee, Tony Dipre, Andrew Adam and Steve Guba,” Ritchie said. “Without them, I would not be able to do this.”
Ritchie also thanked his family and friends for their support, including his wife, Patty, and their son, Porter, 21, a Walsh graduate who is a senior at Ohio State.
“Patty is a saint,” Ritchie said. “She is taking care of me.”
Ritchie, a graduate of Tallmadge High School (1972) and the University of Akron (1976), is in his 34th year as a math teacher at Walsh.
Bailey garners offers
Jackson junior basketball player Evan Bailey holds five scholarship offers — Miami (Ohio), Duquesne, Kent State, College of Charleston and Toledo.
Bailey, a 6-foot-5½, 185-pound guard, is ranked No. 149 nationally in the Rivals.com Top 150 basketball list for the class of 2014. The website also tabs him as the No. 3 player in the state in the junior class.
“We have two more years with Evan, so we’re happy about that,” Jackson coach Tim Debevec said. “He is a 4.0 [grade-point average] student who is constantly looking to get better. He is working on his game all the time; his ball handling, shooting, passing and defense.”
Bailey is also receiving interest from Boston College, Stanford, Harvard, William & Mary, Ohio, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Dayton, Notre Dame, Lehigh, Bucknell, Akron and Cleveland State.
Debevec said Bailey averaged about 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game last season.
Spielman Gridiron Classic
Dan Michel of Jackson said the Polar Bears football team will host the Lake Blue Streaks in a Spielman Gridiron Classic matchup at 7 p.m. Friday.
All of the money raised by the school’s student organizations and boosters will be split equally between the school and the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Stefanie Spielman was a 1985 Jackson graduate who passed away on Nov. 19, 2009, of breast cancer at the age of 42.
Her husband, Chris Spielman, was a standout athlete at Massillon High School and an All-American football player at Ohio State, then played 10 years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills. Chris made four Pro Bowl teams as a linebacker and retired following a violent collision in 1999 as a member of the Browns.
The Spielmans had four children.
Chris and writer Bruce Hooley collaborated on a book — That’s Why I’m Here: The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story — that chronicles the couple’s battle with cancer.
Volley for the Cure
The Cuyahoga Falls volleyball team will be hosting a Volley for the Cure event Sept. 27 against Stow.
Coach Kelly Bruce said the event brings two communities together for a good cause.
“The two schools are working together to raise funds for Breast Cancer research,” Bruce said. “The event will start at 4:30 p.m. with the freshman match, and the junior varsity and varsity will follow. There will be a tailgate prior to the matches, a 50/50 raffle and prizes raffled off throughout the varsity match.”
Wadsworth opens new gym
The new Wadsworth High School will host its first event at the main gym today, when the Grizzlies volleyball teams host the Highland Hornets.
Wadsworth Athletic Director Rich Berlin said a freshman game will begin at 4 p.m., and the junior-varsity match will follow at 5:30 p.m. At the conclusion of the JV match, the varsity teams will take the court for a 20-minute warm-up. Immediately after the warm-up there will be a brief ceremony to recognize the first event and the beginning of a new era. The varsity match should start around 7 p.m.
SCCCCA honors runners
The Summit County Cross Country Coaches Association selected four runners of the week.
In Division I, the runners of the week are Chris Onyak of Copley and Leah Vasarhelyi of Nordoinia. The Division II runners of the week are Matt Wojcik of Woodridge and Julia Mendiola of St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Twins’ different birthdays
Green senior football standouts Zach Wieland and Seth Wieland are identical twin brothers, yet they have different birthdays after being born 30 minutes apart.
Zach was born at 11:59 p.m. July 26, 1994, and Seth was born at 12:29 a.m. on July 27, 1994.
Irish spike Knights
Volleyball coach Julie Laury led St. Vincent-St. Mary over rival Archbishop Hoban three sets to none Monday.
Laury’s daughter, senior Chelsea Laury, had nine blocks and six digs. Junior Jordan Korinek had 12 kills, junior Kiley May compiled 15 service points and junior Maddie Frericks had 19 assists for St. V-M.
Quality football matchups
Week 4 of the high school football season features several intriguing matchups.
Some 7 p.m. Friday games to watch are:
• City Series: Buchtel vs. Firestone, at InfoCision Stadium.
• Suburban League: Tallmadge at Copley, Cloverleaf at Nordonia and Highland at Wadsworth.
• Portage Trail Conference County Division: Woodridge at Mogadore.
• Portage Trail Conference Metro Division: Kent Roosevelt at Coventry.
• Federal League: Boardman at GlenOak.
• Northeast Ohio Conference crossover: Brunswick at Hudson.
• Northeast Buckeye Conference: Louisville at Marlington.
• Chagrin Valley Conference: Aurora at Chagrin Falls.
• Independents: St. Vincent-St. Mary and Cardinal Mooney meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Youngstown.
• A 7 p.m. Saturday game to watch is North Canton Hoover at Canton McKinley.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.