Saturday, May 25
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    Mentor senior Kristin Dems was named the 2023 Greater Cleveland Conference Player of the Year and Jo Bondra earned the Coach of the Year award after leading the Cardinals to a 10-0 mark in league play.

    Mentor won its second GCC title in three years under Bondra.

    “It’s a huge accomplishment for the program to win the GCC twice in the last three years,” Bondra said. “Everyone sees the ‘Coach of the Year,’ award, but what they don’t see is the time and effort every member of our staff puts in. It is also a reflection of the work that our kids put into this game. We have been able to set a standard in the softball program and we hope to raise the bar each year.”

    Dems was 10-0 in league play with a 1.378 earned run average. She allowed 12 earned runs on 43 hits and struck out 79 in 61 innings of play.

    “It’s very exciting to earn Player of the Year,” she said. “It is a great accomplishment and I have been working really hard the past year to help my team get our title back in the conference.”

    Mentor committed just 13 errors in 10 conference games and the Cardinals’ defense posted a .943 fielding percentage to support Dems in the circle. Offensively, the Cardinals provided Dems with 10.4 runs per game in conference play.

    “I knew from the very start that my team had my back in every game we played,” Dems said. “The offense was amazing this year, to go out pitching in the third inning of games with runs on the board relaxes me and lets me throw my game. The defense was always solid. I knew anything hit up the middle Izzy (Coode) and (Olivia) Sacks had it covered.”

    With her high school career behind her, Dems will continue her softball career and education at John Carroll University.

    “This award means a lot to me, and I think moving forward it will motivate me to keep working hard and achieving more as I head off to college,” she said.

    Coode, Gabi Dadante, Addison Siedler, and Make Kobetitsch also earned All-GCC honors, and Sacks and Kathryn Bouffard were named honorable mention.


    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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