This week our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is junior football player Ethan Wright of Manchester High School.
Ethan says he got into football at an early age and loved the team aspect and the camaraderie of his teammates, some of whom he plays with today.
“I just love the game,” Ethan says. “I started playing in second grade, and have just loved it ever since.”
He plays for the Panthers and legendary coach Jim France, Ohio’s all time wins leader in high school.
France says Wright, who plays running back and safety at Manchester, is a team-first player despite a great deal of individual accomplishments.
“Ethan Wright is a quality young man who strives to get better as an athlete and human being each and every day,” France said.
On the field, even though he was a first team all state performer and a three year letterman, France explains that Ethan’s work ethic sets him apart.
“Ethan is a hard working and humble guy, he is team oriented and is a winner.”
Wright says the team success this year on the gridiron stems from the togetherness and brotherhood that has started since before the season began.
Ethan says that his work on the field translates to the classroom as well, saying it’s going to prepare him for college and beyond, taking pride in his work.
“You just got to work hard in the classroom, you have to have the right GPA or coaches won’t look at you,” he said.
Our next 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Audrey Dolan a junior soccer player from Manchester High School.
Audrey says the coaches and teammates are what keeps her going and looking forward to working with them day in and day out.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” Dolan said. “It gets stressful when the games get hard, but it’s fun.”
Her coach Eddie Kissner says that Dolan’s work ethic in both the classroom with a 3.5 GPA and the soccer field is apparent to all.
“Audrey has improved so much as the season has progressed. Audrey works extremely hard as a forward pressuring backs to create turnovers,” he said.
“She has also become a great finisher scoring some of our biggest goals of the season.”
In addition to being on the soccer team, Dolan is also a member of the Ski Club and the Art Club.
When she’s not on the soccer field or staying on top of her studies, she volunteers at the Cuyahoga Falls Women’s Club.
“My grandma plays cards there and I cook and clean there a couple times a week,” she says.
Audrey says she enjoys her time there and she’s always picking up some good advice from the people at the Women’s Club.
We wish Ethan and Audrey the best in all of their future endeavors.
This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Maxwell Moldovan a junior golfer from Green High School.
This week our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Emily Dente, a junior soccer player from Copley High School.
As a team captain, Dente says her leadership on the pitch is both vocal and by example.
“I’m very vocal on the field,” she says. I play center back, so I can see everything.”
Her head soccer coach Wally Senk echoed that sentiment.
"Emily is a bonafide competitor with an innate ability to lead. She doesn't have an off-switch, embracing the grind and paying attention to the little things that make her and her teammates better,” he said.
Dente is a multi-sport athlete playing soccer, basketball, and track for the Indians.
Away from the field, Senk said she maintains that focus and intensity in the classroom as well.
“Emmy's determination, perseverance, and self-motivation are contagious and evident on the field as well as in the classroom, where she keeps her GPA above 4.0."
Emily comes from an athletic family as her dad Mark, is the boys and girls basketball coach at Copley High, and also has two brothers in sports.
“I really like it (being in an athletic family)because we all support each other,” she said.
Upon graduation in the spring of 2020, Emily plans on studying pediatric nursing.
We wish Emily the best in all of her future endeavors.
This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is senior football player Tyler Lenke of Copley High School.
Lenke said he got into football at an early age, and says it’s a lot of fun getting to work with his coaches and teammates day in and day out.
“There’s times, but there’s a lot of good times, and you just make the best of it,” he said. Tyler’s head coach Scott Chouinard, talked about his work ethic on the field. “Tyler Lenke is a three year starter and captain of our 2018 football team,” Chouinard explained. “He has played Offensive Line and Defensive Line and has been one of our most consistent players for the past three years.”
Away from the gridiron, Lenke also exhibits leadership, according to Coach Chouinard. “Off the field he is a kind and thoughtful individual who is always willing to help teachers and fellow students and he represents the best of Copley High School in his actions and his performance on the football field and in the hallways.”
Tyler has played every position along the offensive line during his time at Copley, and as a captain, that versatility gives him insight and credibility with his teammates, especially his mates along the line. “When you’ve played every position along the line, you get to know what everyone’s supposed to do, and if someone needs help, you know exactly what to do, and you help them.”
Upon graduation in the spring, Tyler plans on attending college and mechanical engineering could be a possible course of study. We wish Tyler the best in all of his future endeavors.
This week our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Madison Bennett, a junior soccer player from Norton High School.
Madison says the great thing about competing for Norton is the relationships between her teammates and the coaching staff.
She says this year’s team has a good group of freshmen and as an experienced player, it’s up to her to lead them on the pitch.
“We've just been playing hard and we're trying to adjust on the field, we're a quality team and we've learned a lot in the past season,'' she says.
"I try to lead the freshmen vocally, I try to stay positive and build relationships."
Bennett is a 3-year letter winner for the Panthers and plays attacking midfield.
She says she likes it because of the opportunity to keep her teammates involved.
Her coach Daniel DiPasquale says her versatility on the pitch is what makes her a great player.
“Madison is a complete soccer player!” he explained.
“She plays wherever is needed for what’s best for her team.”
“As good as she is as a soccer player, she’s also an even better person,” said DiPasquale.
Away from soccer, Madison works just as hard in the classroom, maintaining her grades and also staying active in her school community.
She’s a member of the Key Club, Pep Club, Spanish Club, Homecoming/Prom Committee, and serves as a Student Council Class Officer.
In the community, she’s participated in a family missions trip to Cambodia.
We wish Madison all the best in her future endeavors.
This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Tyler Scott, a junior football player from Norton High School.
This week our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Sicilia Ho, a senior golfer for Wadsworth High School.
This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Nick Plucinski, a junior football player for Barberton High School.
Eight time Bridgestone Invitational champion Tiger Woods didn't have the weekend he wanted to out on the South Course, but he did recall great times of playing here at Firestone and says he'll miss the community of Akron, the people who work the event, and the fans that appreciated his play.
Tiger says he's played in Akron for over 20 years, going back to his days as an amateur.
"This is one of the classic golf courses that unfortunately, we don't get to play that often."
Tiger finished the final round Sunday shooting a second straight 73.
There could be a major shakeup in the 2018-19 PGA Tour schedule and Akron's World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational could be on the move after 2018.
Assistant editor and sports business reporter Kevin Kleps from Crain's Cleveland Business spoke with WAKR's Aaron Coleman to talk about his article regarding the tournament and its future. He (Kevin) spoke with golf insider and radio host John Feinstein for his insights on Akron's future hosting the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational post-2018.
Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but a lot of factors weigh into this decision.
Executive director of the tournament Don Padgett III was not available for comment but released a statement through Falls Communications:
“Conversation about the future after 2018 are continuing. No decisions have been finalized. None of these discussions impact the 2018 Bridgestone Invitational, which will mark the 65th anniversary of professional golf at Firestone Country Club. We look forward to hosting a great tournament this summer.”
Our 2017 Camp Reports conclude with the Norton Panthers and head coach John Tanksley as he spoke with WAKR's Aaron Coleman.
Aaron Coleman caught up with SB Nation's Bill Connelly to talk college football for the 2017 season.
For today's edition of Camp Days we head to the Magic city of Barberton as we speak with Tony Gotto ahead of the 2017 football season.
The Magics made the playoffs in 2016 and Coach Gotto spoke about his expecations for the upcoming season. Our camp reports are brought to you by Northern Ohio Honda Dealers.
The curtain has been lifted on the 2017 NFL campaign and for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a sparkling new stadium was dedicated to kick off the season.
Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is truly a "game changer" not only for the Hall, but for the city of Canton.
"This is the finest small-venue NFLstadium in the world," Baker said.
The locker rooms each hold 105 people and the Club area holds 1,000 people. The press box is a new feature as well with great view lines of the playing field.
The 23,000 seat facility was dedicated Thursday morning and featured a statue of Saints owner Tom Benson, who contributed $11 million to the stadium project that now bears his name.
Baker was extremely appreciative of Benson's contribution to keeping football thriving in the Hall of Fame City.
"He felt that this was where the game of professional football began, and he thinks it should live forever in Canton," Baker explained.
Hall of Fame President David Baker said they are actively preparing for the NFL's 100th anniversary by building various amenites for the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village.
The venue will host not only football at the high school, collegiate and pro level, but concerts, and other entertainment options for as Baker puts it, " the next 100 years.
The Kent State University Golden Flashes are looking to improve in 2017 playing a tough brand of football.
Kent State head coach Paul Haynes commended his team for their work ethic heading into fall camp.
"The guys had a great summer, very positive attitudes and worked hard getting ready for fall camp," Haynes said.
The team opens the 2017 against the defending national champion Clemson Tigers.
Coach Haynes discussed his quarterback Nick Holley who was moved from wide receiver and the toughness he brings to the Flashes.
"There's an article I read from one of those quarterback guru guys that said that the quarterback has to be the toughest guy on the team, and that's why we moved him is because of just that, he's one of the toughest guys on the team."
Holley led the team in passing yards and rushing yards during the 2016 season.
Kent State's non-conference schedule includes not only Clemson, but Howard, Marshall, and Louisville.
The Perry Panthers will be prepping to face the LaSalle Lancers based out of Cincinnati Thursday for the Division II State Championship.
Keith Wakefield, head coach of the Perry Panthers spoke with Aaron Coleman Wednesday ahead of tomorrow's game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
The Barberton Magics are back in the playoffs and will square off against Suburban League foe Aurora in the first round.
Tony Gotto, head coach of the Barberton football team spoke with Aaron Coleman earlier today ahead of their battle with the Greenmen.
Thanks to a third inning power surge, the Cleveland Indians started off the 2016 ALDS with a bang as they defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Thursday night in the 216.
The Woodridge Bulldogs are looking to repeat as PTC Champions, and under head coach Jeff Decker, they have raised the level of competitiveness on the football field.
When there's a locker room of exciting kids who understand the team concept, it makes things a lot easier.
Decker spoke with us earlier in the week to talk about what the Bulldogs will bring in 2016.
Decker said with the young men buying in and holding themselves accountable, it translates to game days.
The Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers are going to be leaning on their senior class to make some things happen during the 2016 season.
Sean Flaherty, head coach of the Black Tigers joined Aaron Coleman to preview his ballclub this season as part of the Suburban League Media Day luncheon.
He says his squad will be prepared for the physical and competitive nature of the league.
"Our goals and expectations as a team are to reach our full potential as a team and leave the field each day a better team," Flaherty said.
Some of the players expected to make contributions for the Black Tigers include Dakota Dobbins, Sam Forbes, and Nick Siegferth, amongst many others.
One former STVM grad and University of Akron grad is giving back to his community and spreading his love of the game of basketball to the youngsters in the area with a three day basketball camp starting on Monday.
Dru Joyce III, former point guard for the Fighting Irish and current pro player in Europe took some time to come to the studio to talk about the Give N Go Basketball Camp going on at LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
Dry says this camp is all about teaching the fundamentals and enjoying the game.
"I think right now it's important to at a young age to learn the skills because when you learn the skills and fundamentals, you can enjoy the game of basketball," he says.
The camp is open to 3rd-8th grade boys and girls and there is still a limited number of spots available for the camp, and registrations are accepted at the door Monday morning. For more information, click here.
Dru has played in Europe the last 8 years after completing a stellar career at the University of Akron and at STVM. He says that he's picked up a lot of his coaching style and love of the game from his dad, Dru II.
"I know I wouldn't be where I'm at at right now if it wasn't for those older adults and my dad who helped me along the way."
The Cleveland Browns are never out of the news, even in the offseason.
Fred Greetham from the Orange and Brown Report joined Aaron Coleman in the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the apology issued by Browns running back Isaiah Crowell as it relates to his offensive Instagram post as well as the injury to Desmond Bryant and the addition of Chad Johnson to the coaching staff for training camp.
On Crowell's situation, Fred said while the act was descpicable, you have to take him at his word.
"If Hue Jackson and the organization thinks it's sufficient, then it's sufficent," Greetham said. "He's going to be on a short leash from here on out."
Desmond Bryant also was in the news for tearing a pec muscle recently and undergoing surgery which will put him out for the 2016-17 season.
Fred says there's going to be a competition for his spot in the defensive end rotation moving forward.
For the complete interview with Fred, click here.
Jim Berdysz from Scout.com joined Aaron Coleman in the Sam Bourquin Show as he assessed the Cleveland Indians' season thus far as they head into the second half of the season Friday night.
The Tribe will be going up against the Minnesota Twins this weekend at Target Field.
Berdysz said the bullpen is one of the biggest concerns moving forward, but the outlook is positive for the Indians as they hold their 6.5 game lead in the AL Central.
He says with the return of Michael Brantley to the lineup in the near future, they will have more offensive firepower.
"He's been the most impactful Indian they've had in the lineup the past two years, so it'll be great to have him back in the lineup."
Berdysz says the Royals will be the Tribe's biggest foe within the division and you can't count them out because of their talent and the fact they are the defending World Series Champions.
For the full interview with Jim, click here.
The Eastern League All-Star Game at Canal Park is upon us and some of Double-A's best and brightest young stars will be on display tonight here in Downtown Akron.
Manager of the Akron Rubber Ducks Dave Wallace, who is managing the Western Division All-Stars joined Brad Russell and I from the ballpark earlier this afternoon.
He said he was excited to be a part of this unique experience here in Akron, and he knows this is a special time not only in his baseball career, but in the careers of the youngsters playing here tonight.
"It's a celebration of baseball here in Akron. it showcases guys who are going to be playing at the big-league level someday, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a good spot heading into the All-Star Break, and coming off their win last night against the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, things are on the upswing.
Cavaliers beat writer Rick Noland from the Medina Gazette joined Aaron Coleman in the Average Sports Show Thursday to talk about the Wine and Gold, and ways they can improve on their play on the court.
"The Cavs are good health-wise, Matthew Dellavedova missed a few games with the leg injury, but he should be okay," said Noland.
With Kyrie Irving, he seems to have his legs underneath him after missing 24 games with a leg injury, but after averaging 32 a game the last few games, Rick says Irving appears to be 100 percent.
"Tyronn Lue said after the game last night that Kyrie's all the way back," Noland said. "One of the encouraging things about his game is that he's only taking a few dribbles and then pulling up and shooting the ball."
Noland says he still has some worries about this team and he can't quite put his finger on it.
"Right now I just don't think they're good enough, consistently enough to beat the Spurs or Warriors in a seven-game series," Rick said.
"It just seems harder than it should be many nights."
With Brent Sobleski's NFL power rankings being released, the Browns check in at #31,with only the San Francisco 49ers behind them.
Sobleski joined me in the Average Sports Show as I filled in for Brad Russell.
He says that before going into the concussion protocol, Browns signal-caller Johnny Manziel had a disappointing outing throwing the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium.
"Had there been more consistency in the passing game, they could have won the game," said Sobleski.
"He did keep them in the game with his feet." No word yet on if Johnny will play Sunday against the Steelers, but coach Mike Pettine says Austin Davis will be ready if called upon.
As Championship Saturday in college football kicks off tomorrow, there's plenty of exciting matchups that will determine who will be in the College Football Playoff and in the New Year's Six Bowls.
Bill Connelly from SB Nation joined Aaron Coleman as he filled in for Sam during the Sam Bourquin Show to break down matchups in the American, the Pac-12, the ACC, the SEC, and the Big 10.
He says that the championship slate is pretty straightforward this year, as opposed to years past.
"It almost feels strange, we're used to knowing nothing when it comes to college football, but it seems unless there's an upset or two, we know how this is going to work, we'll see," Connelly said.
He sees the Big 10 title game between Michigan State and Iowa will be the most intriguing game of the evening, which will not only determine the champion of that conference, but perhaps a part of the playoff.