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    Varsity Travel Players of the Week


    Athletes from Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga Heights, Harvey, Hawken, Lakeside, Mayfield and Orange have been named the Varsity Travel Players of the Week for the week ending December 16.

    Each player was nominated by his or her coach.


    Jared CooperName: Cooper Jared
    School: Hawken
    Grade: 10
    Stats: Scored 11 points with three assists and four steals in one game
    Coach’s Quote: “Cooper was extremely active and energetic on both ends of the court,” Hawken coach Seth Lieberman said. “Cooper’s passion and leadership were on display versus Orange as he did his best to try to will the team to a victory.”

    Nassiem SalemName: Nassiem Salem
    School: Cuyahoga Heights
    Grade: 12
    Stats: Scored 35 points with 11 rebounds, 10 assists, zero turnovers and seven steals in two wins
    Coach’s Quote: “It is good to see that all of Nassiem’s work has paid off early in the season,” Cuyahoga Heights coach Michael Tartara said. “He has fun playing the game but takes his responsibility as a team captain very seriously. Zero turnovers is my favorite part of this week’s stat line.”


    Katelyn KinczelName: Katelyn Kinczel
    School: Mayfield
    Grade: 12
    Stats: Scored 25 points with eight rebounds and a blocked shot in a win over South
    Coach’s Quote: “Katelyn has had a great start to the season averaging 18.2 points per game and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game,” Mayfield coach Ryan Looman said. “Last week, she not only shot the ball well from the 3-point line, but also was aggressive in attacking the rim. Her work in the off-season is helping her to take her game to another level.”


    Nicole LemponenName: Nicole Lemponen
    School: Lakeside
    Grade: 9
    Stats: Recorded a series high of 335 in a win over Brookfield and a 383 in a win over Champion
    Coach’s Quote: “Nicole was a driving force leading the Lakeside girls into victory, not only with solid performances but with support and encouragement of the other team members,” Lakeside coach Jennifer Lemponen said.


    Sam PartainName: Sam Partain
    School: Chagrin Falls
    Grade: 9
    Stats: Pinned both opponents faced in a tri with St. Ignatius and Warrensville Heights
    Coach’s Quote: “Sam is one of a group of our athletic freshman class that we are starting to see positive signs from,” Chagrin Falls coach Peter Cimoroni said. “He is a dedicated wrestler who has an excellent work ethic and has skills well in advance of his age group. As he continues to progress, look for big things to come from him and his classmates.”

    Yury PodzneevName: Yury Pozdneev
    School: Orange
    Grade: 11
    Stats: Won the 126-pound title at Loudonville’s John Lance Tournament with a 5-0 record and five pins
    Coach’s Quote: “Yury is the kind of wrestler that won’t ever stop wrestling no matter what happens on the mat,” Orange coach Al DiGiovanni said.

    Name: Carl Sicker/Ricardo Valadez
    School: Harvey
    Grade: 10/11
    Stats: 5-0 at the Laker Duals
    Coach’s Quote: “Carl and Ricardo have been outstanding this year,” Harvey coach Van McWreath said. “This weekend they both won five matches. They have been very aggressive in scoring points early in matches and getting falls.”

    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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