Woodridge senior forward Mitch Hepburn has signed a national letter of intent to play college soccer at Belmont Abbey, a Division II school in North Carolina.
Hepburn was a tri-captain this past season for a Woodridge boys soccer team that posted a 14-2 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the Portage Trail Conference County Division.
“I’ve always dreamed of having the opportunity to play on a scholarship at the collegiate level,” Hepburn said. “The coaches are great, the campus is nice and it is located right outside of such a big and great city, Charlotte.”
The Bulldogs were 2-14 the previous season, but enjoyed a resurgence with Hepburn serving as a catalyst. Hepburn led Woodridge in goals (26) and assists (12). He was voted second-team All-Ohio, Player of the Year in the PTC County and team MVP.
“This is fantastic for him,” Woodridge coach Nate Rausch said. “This is something Mitch wanted to do. He wanted to take his game to the next level. I got the job before this season, so I have only known him for one year. Since day one that I got the job, we have been on the same page. He strives to improve. He took to all the coaching and played at a high level. He was a big asset for us in the fall.”
Warriors top Panthers
The host Walsh Jesuit baseball team (10-2) swept a doubleheader Saturday against Perry, a Division I state semifinalist last year.
Walsh earned a 4-3 win in the first game following a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning by freshman Christopher Machamer.
Sophomore left-hander Ty Shoaff pitched into the sixth inning, struck out seven and limited Perry to four hits. Sophomore Ryan Feltner got the win in relief. Junior Nate Romans hit two doubles and senior Cassidy Brown smacked his second home run of the season.
Two grand slams by senior Rory Ziegler and Machamer in the first and second innings, respectively, propelled the Warriors to a 16-2 victory over the Panthers in the second game, which was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Feltner also homered in the second game. Sophomore Blake Jenkins and junior Gino Sassano both had two hits. Senior pitcher Mark Mittiga earned his second win of the season.
The Touchdown Club selected three senior boys basketball Players of the Year: Dan Fanelly of Green, Bob Peters of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and Matt Knight of Windham.
The original information submitted to the Akron Beacon Journal last week did not include Fanelly.
The Winter Sports Banquet was Monday at Guy’s Party Center in Akron.
Athletes were honored in basketball, wrestling, swimming, diving, bowling and gymnastics. Also being honored are the year’s four scholarship winners.
Falcons snag two for coach
Aaron DeBord registered his first two wins as a high school baseball coach when Firestone beat Kenmore twice last week.
Junior right-hander Jacob Eberly pitched a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory and sophomore right-hander Alex Cole tossed a two-hitter in a 16-0 triumph.
“When pitchers throw strikes it makes it a lot easier for the defense,” DeBord said. “We were also able to get some key hits and score some runs.”
DeBord said seniors Tom Lehman, Drew Fite and Austin Williams were key hitters in the games along with sophomore Kody Von Stein.
The Falcons have struggled outside of the City Series, and have a 2-7 overall record.
“It was nice to finally get the first one,” DeBord said. “It takes that monkey off your back. It was just like any other day though. We wanted to take care of business.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.