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    Ohio Varsity Athletes of the Week


    Several athletes from area schools have been named the Ohio Varsity Athletes of the Week for the weeks ending April 25.

    Each player was nominated by his or her coach.

    All statistics incurred during the week beginning April 19 and ending on April 25.

    Here’s a look at each Player of the Week by sport:


    Donny HardyName: Donny Hardy
    School: Chagrin Falls
    Grade: 10
    Stats: Batted .556 (5-for-9) with a double, a triple, four RBI, and five runs scored
    Coach’s Quote: “Donny is a sophomore who is improving each and every week,” said Chagrin Falls coach Michael Sweeney. “He is really starting to play some great baseball for us. Donny has done a great job in centerfield and he is turning into a big-time hitter. Donny seems to hit every ball hard and is a force in the middle of our lineup. He works as hard as anyone and will continue to get better and better, which is scary. Over the past three weeks, Donny is hitting .520 with two doubles and a triple while collecting 13 hits.”

    Ethan StalterName: Ethan Stalter
    School: Edgewood
    Grade: 12
    Stats: Batted .444 with three runs scored, an RBI, two stolen bases, and a .667 slugging percentage; Pitched four innings with a 3.50 ERA
    Coach’s Quote: “Ethan has been on fire lately,” said Edgewood coach Jeff Barger. “He’s barreling up just about everything. He’s been a big contributor at the plate, at third base, and on the mound as part of our rotation. He’s having a great senior campaign.”


    Tiffani NiroName: Tiffani Niro
    School: Independence
    Grade: 11
    Stats: Batted .400 (6-for-15) with two doubles, four runs batted in, and struck out six in five scoreless innings
    Coach’s Quote: “Tiffani has developed into an everyday player for us this year,” said Independence coach Garry Moore. “She has taken coach (Mallory Kobak’s) instructions with regards to her hitting and it has paid off. She really came through against NDCL with her bat. Having her also as our No. 2 pitcher has made her a valuable member of our team. I asked a lot from her at the beginning of the season and she struggled early but has gained much-needed confidence to become a player her teammates can depend on to do her job.”

    Kayla NoerrName: Kayla Noerr
    School: Chardon
    Grade: 12
    Stats: 4-0 in the circle with 1.75 ERA and 42 strikeouts; batted .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs, six runs scored, and six RBI
    Coach’s Quote: “Kayla is the backbone of our team and had a tremendous six-game week in the circle and at the plate,” said Chardon coach Stewart Landies.

    Laylah RuscinName: Laylah Ruscin
    School: Wickliffe
    Grade: 10
    Stats: Batted .667 (6-for-9) with a triple, two home runs, three RBI, six runs scored, four stolen bases, and a pair of walks
    Coach’s Quote: “Laylah has been our offensive spark this season,” said Wickliffe coach Marlana Mucciarone. “With her in the leadoff spot, she has provided the momentum we need. She is able to get on base and then use her speed to put pressure on the defense. In center field, she tracks down fly balls effortlessly and makes outs on balls that would otherwise be hits. She is doing a great job for us.”

    Katie ZieglerName: Katie Ziegler
    School: Trinity
    Grade: 12
    Stats: Batted .667 (4-for-6) with a double, a triple, and a home run, along with three walks, four runs scored, and five RBI
    Coach’s Quote: “Katie has been phenomenal at the plate all season,” said Trinity coach Alee Burke. “She has provided a truly consistent and quality at-bat in the lineup, and when she steps in the box you can see the confidence radiate off of her. Katie continues to drive the ball hard and her production has proven huge for the Trojans.”


    Zach BableName: Zach Bable
    School: Berkshire
    Grade: 9
    Stats: Placements at multiple meets including in the 800 (2:16), 400 (55.56), the long jump, and two relays
    Coach’s Quote: “As a freshman, Zach has made amazing discoveries in his abilities,” said Berkshire coach Aimee Green. “He is a good getter and has made huge improvements. He placed eighth in the 400 at East Palestine (55.56), ran an excellent 800 at Cuyahoga Heights, placing third, and is working to secure his spots on the 4×800 and 4×400 teams, as well as the long jump. We look forward to many things from Zach in the future.”

    Emmy BryanName: Emmy Bryan
    School: Geneva
    Grade: 12
    Stats: Finished fourth in the pole vault (8-6), 12th in the 400m, and also cleared 5-3 in the high jump
    Coach’s Quote: “Emmy has tremendous work ethic,” said Geneva coach Emily Long. “She has a positive attitude every day, which helped her to get past that five-foot barrier and then excel from there.”

    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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