Report card on players passes expectations
Coach Wayne Zetts and his overachieving Campbell Memorial team reached the Division III regionals.
School/grade: Ursuline, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: He had a 7-3 pitching record for the Irish (12-16) and a 2.22 earned-run average. He compiled a .370 batting average for the Division III regional champions and was named first-team all-Steel Valley Conference.
Positive influence: My father because whenever I wanted to put in extra time practicing, he was always there to pitch to me, catch me and push me to work harder. I am very grateful for all he has done for me.
Best memory: My best memory is winning the regional championship which earned us a trip to state, making my senior year worthwhile.
Surprised to learn: I graduated with a 4.056 grade-point average and never received a B grade in school.
School/grade: Canfield, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Went 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA; batted .396 with five home runs and made first team all-league.
Positive influence: My dad. He was the person who got me started with sports, coached my teams when I was younger and was always there to support me.
Best memory: The Myrtle Beach trip.
Surprised to learn: I play baseball for the Astros in the summer.
School/grade: Lakeview, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Team leader in runs scored (37), hits (35), doubles (8), triples (3), walks (15), stolen bases (34), slugging percentage (.583) and on-base percentage (.510). Had a .417 batting average. Was selected as one of the top 100 players in Ohio (No. 77) by the BuckeyeScout. Selected an all-Trumbull Athletic Conference infielder for the past two years, as well as team MVP and best offensive player. Team was district runners-up.
Positive influence: My father. Not only has he given me all the support in the world on the field, but he taught me so much about life and how to look at the world optimistically. I would like to thank him for always being there for me and being my "biggest fan."
Best memory: After leading off the game with a triple, I was intentionally walked the next two times at-bat by Marlington in the district semifinals. ... Signing a national letter of intent to accept a baseball scholarship from Slippery Rock University.
Surprised to learn: My growth plates are still open!
School/grade: Howland, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: First-team All-Metro Conference, defensive award and .400+ batting average.
Positive influence: Parents who supported me and stood by my decisions.
Best memory: The two games with Poland that combined for 22 innings. Easily, the best games I've played in.
School/grade: Poland, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Batting average .338; 30 RBIs
Positive influence: My parents because they always taught me good sportsmanship.
Best memory: Playing in front of huge crowd at Cene Park in regional semifinals.
Surprised to learn: I draw very well.
School/grade: Austintown Fitch, sophomore.
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .464, with over 30 runs scored and 30 RBIs. Named to the first team Steel Valley Conference. Team shared the SVC championship. Also plays for Line Drive of the Class B League.
Positive influence: My mother because of her positive influence in my athletic and academic achievements.
Best memory: The team bus trip to Myrtle Beach over Easter vacation. There were a few trying moments with the busing and luggage. It helped us bond as a team and we ended up laughing about it later.
Surprised to learn: When I was younger, I took dance and gymnastic classes. I also enjoy riding my four-wheeler in my spare time.
School/grade: Warren JFK, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Went 8-0 with 2.10 ERA and 66 strikeouts; has an 18-0 career record and is 5-0 with a 0.47 ERA in tournament games; batted .325 with 15 RBIs and two homers.
Positive influence: My mom because her side of the family gave me my 6-foot, 6-inch size.
Best memory: Beating state-ranked Champion in the district semifinal.
Surprised to learn: I am known as a pitcher and that is my future in baseball, but I can hit if given a chance. I have a lot of power and I hope to lead the area in home runs next year.
School/grade: Boardman, junior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .489 (44-for-90) with three home runs. Only struck out three times.
Positive influence: My grandpa is a great influence because he comes to every game he can. He always tells me, "It's not OK to be good. You have to be great." My dad is always encouraging me and always says, "Give 100 percent." I can't leave out my mother, either. She is there for me every day. She tells me when I do things right. But she lets me know when I'm wrong.
Best memory: My coach Scott Knox always has great things to say. His after-game speeches, even though there were a lot of them, gives me the best memories. Everything he says gets your attention. But at the same time, he can make you laugh.
Surprised to learn: I beat Jimmy Lewis in basketball. I also excel in pool basketball.
School/grade: Niles, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batting average: .350. First-team All-MAC. Athlete of the year nomination (2002-2003). MVP for the season. Bo Rein Memorial Scholarship Award. Travaglini Scholarship Award.
Positive influence: Brothers Dominic and Sam. They were student-athletes and I always looked up to them and took their advice. Also, coach T.C. Guarnieri who gave me guidance.
Best memory: When chosen team MVP.
Surprised to learn: I taught myself how to play guitar.
School/grade: Poland, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: The Bulldogs' shortstop, he compiled a batting average of .410 and hit two homers. He was a unanimous first team all-Metro Athletic Conference for the second straight year.
Positive influence: My father has definitely been the most influential person in my baseball career. He was my coach from Pee Wee through Little b baseball. He was always willing to hit me extra groundballs and throw me extra batting practice. In addition, I have a library of videotapes of my games that he took, both in basketball and baseball. These videos are priceless. I am grateful for all that he has done for me.
Best memory: The best memory I have from this year is winning the district championship two years in a row.
Surprised to learn: I played classical piano for 10 years and was a winner in the Youngstown Philharmonic Piano Competition five times.
School/grade: Poland, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Went 6-1 with a 2.06 ERA; set school record for career wins (20); first team all-MAC.
Positive influence: My father. He has always helped me and has encouraged me to learn more about the game.
Best memory: Winning the district championship for the second year in a row.
Surprised to learn: I am an avid runner.
School/grade: Mooney, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .457 with eight doubles, four triples, three homers and a .586 on base percentage; first team all-SVC.
Positive influence: My parents for always being there and supporting me in whatever I choose to do. Also my high school coach, Tom Flynn, and summer coach Rod Simmer for teaching me about the game.
Best memory: Beating Boardman twice to win a share of the SVC title.
Surprised to learn: I wanted to quit playing baseball after my first year of little league.
School/grade: Western Reserve, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: He compiled a 5-3 pitching record in 47 innings, striking out 68 batters and walking 11 for a 1.34 earned-run average. His opponents' batting average against him was .182. As a batter, he compiled a batting average of .355 with four doubles, a triple and a home run. He was voted first team all-Inter-County League.
Positive influence: My father because he has always been there to help me improve my pitching abilities. He has given much of his life and time to help make me the best I can be.
Best memory: My last conversation with my high school baseball coach after my final high school baseball game. He told me things that I appreciated and will remember for a long time.
Surprised to learn: I wasn't a natural-born pitcher so all the time and effort I put into baeball year-round. Sometimes I will spend three hours exercising and working on pitching.
School/grade: Jackson-Milton, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: first team all-ICL the past two years; four-year letterman; batted .461 with .529 on base percentage, 27 RBIs, 28 runs and 12 stolen bases.
Positive influence: My wrestling coach, Dave Tomaino and my football coach Alan Mikovich. They've taught me that high school sports were just stepping stones on the path to becoming a man.
Best memory: When I finally broke out of my slump with a three-run home run against Southeast. This ended a five-game hitless streak.
Surprised to learn: I hold junior high track records in the 110 hurdles and the 200 hurdles in the county. My first year of high school, I almost didn't play baseball. I've also received 12 varsity letters in high school.
School/grade: Champion, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Went 7-1 as a pitcher; first team all-TAC-8.
Positive influence: Steve and Karen Smith. They taught me a lot about baseball. They coached me for four years and have always supported me in everything I have done both on and off the field.
Best memory: Our team had a successful season by being TAC-8 champions.
Surprised to learn: I will be attending Roberts Wesleyan College in the fall to play basketball.
School/grade: Canfield, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: First team All-Metro Athletic Conference. Selected for the NEOBCA All-Star Game. Batted .465 as the team batting champion, with 38 RBIs. Went 4-2 as a pitcher.
Positive influence: Both of my parents. They have always stressed hard work and respect. These two things have helped me to succeed in anything I've done.
Best memory: Times spent together with my teammates on our spring trip to Myrtle Beach.
Surprised to learn: I will be studying exercise sciences at Miami University and am interested in a minor in nutrition. I am interested in the health care field.
School/grade: Warren Harding, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .500 while playing first base, third base, right field and left field. Top offensive player on the team the last two years. All-Steel Valley Conference the last two years.
Positive influence: My father has definitely taught me everything that I know with my athletic career. He is the reason I accomplished the things that I did in my high school careers in football and baseball.
Best memory: A game against Toronto, the No. 1 team in Division IV at the time. I hit two home runs in the game.
Surprised to learn: I can walk on my hands anywhere I want to and be able to stay up for two minutes straight. I am also pretty good at playing the piano and clarinet.
School/grade: Campbell Memorial, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: 103 strikeouts.
Positive influence: Coach Wayne Zetts.
Best memory: Two 14-strikeout games and advancing to regionals.
Surprised to learn: I'm attending Kent State in the fall.
School/grade: Western Reserve, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: First-team All-ICL. Batting average: .404. Stolen bases: 21. Runs: 22. Chosen to play in the NEO BCA All-Star game at Jacobs Field.
Positive influence: My coaches, Paul Henderson and Dale Moore who always got the most out of me and encouraged me to do my best. My family has always been supportive of my athletics and overall.
Best memory: Beating our rival, Jackson-Milton, by 10 in both games.
Surprised to learn: I will attend YSU to pursue a degree in civil engineering.
School/grade: Howland, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Compiled a .183 ERA with 39 strikeouts and batted .432; ranked 77th in Buckeye Scout Top 100; team captain and MVP; first team all-MAC as an outfielder; three-year letterwinner; will play at Cleveland State.
Positive influence: Both of my parents have been the primary source of positive influence throughout my athletic career. They always strive for me to do my best and to work hard during my free time so that I can accomplish or come close to reaching my goals.
Best memory: I look at the season as a whole as my best memory because for the first time in my athletic career, my brother (Manoli) and I had the pleasure of playing next to each other in the outfield.
Surprised to learn: Me and my friends like watching home-made videos that my brother makes with his friends in reenacting actions seen in the show "Jackass."
School/grade: South Range, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Holds school record for batting average in a season (.500 -- 35 of 70) and strikeouts in a season (99 in 46 innings); first team all-ICL, second team all-district and honorable mention all-Ohio.
Positive influence: My dad. He has always been there helping and teaching new things.
Best memory: Playing Mineral Ridge at home. I pitched nine innings and had 21 strikeouts to break the school record. It is sixth-best all-time in Ohio.
Surprised to learn: I will play basketball at Findlay and major in physical therapy.
School/grade: Chaney, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .444; team MVP
Positive influence: My father has been a great influence coaching me over the years and putting in many hours with me since I was 6.
Best memory: Our 20th win and the great bonds I formed with my teammates.
Surprised to learn: Currently I am going through Plebe Summer at the Naval Academy and that is where I filled out this summer.
School/grade: Austintown Fitch, senior.
Statistics/accomplishments: A team captain, he was selected the Falcons' MVP and won the Ed Mauch pitching and Wally Ford Sr. Memorial awards. He was a first-team all-Steel Valley Conference selection.
Positive influence: My deceased grandfather who urged me to always play at the top of my game, always practice and to never give up on your dreams.
Best memory: After losing to Boardman in our first meeting, my best memories are beating them for a share of the SVC crown and then beating them for the district championship.
Surprised to learn: I was ineligible for the baseball season in my sophomore year.
School/grade: Columbiana, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Led team in hits, doubles, triples, homers, slugging percentage, on base percentage and batting average; went 3-1 with 3.50 ERA and 40 strikeouts; first team all-TCL as a shortstop; broke three school records.
Positive influence: My family, for all the support and advice they have given me throughout my high school career. During the offseason, head football coach Bob Spaite, for all the work he put in with me in the weight room.
Best memory: Winning the TCL title for the ninth time in 12 years. I was part of two TCL championship teams in my three years.
Surprised to learn: I will attend Mount Union this fall. I am looking forward to helping the baseball team bring home an NCAA national championship.
TOM ZETTS JR.
School/grade: Boardman, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Vindicator All-Star -- the only one that matters.
Positive influence: My mother, Jackie. Although she rarely gets credit for it, my mom has been there for me since the beginning. Being a former softball star, she was often supporting me while I was playing and chasing me around the yard in my spare time. She never wanted my dad's nickname (Yurtle the Turtle) to be passed on to me.
Best memory: My friends making a strikeout T-shirt for me.
Surprised to learn: I have expanded my services to anything dealing with your house, lawn or car. We are known as Tom Zetts' All-Star Services.
COACH OF THE YEAR
School/grade: Campbell Memorial, coach, 23rd year.
Statistics/accomplishments: Although not in a league, our goals follow a five-step program: 1. Get the #1 seed in the tournament. 2. Win the sectional. 3. Win the district. 4. Win the regional. 5. Win the state championship. I told our boys that we had an excellent chance to get to the district finals and, with a little luck, make it to Massillon for the regionals. The team overachieved with only three seniors, two of whom were injured most of the season. They were our three pitchers and only Jason Metzka finished in the rotation. Making it to the regionals with three or four sophomores and one freshman is something any coach would ask for.
Positive influence: My parents, for having instilled a strong work ethic in me and my wife. Without her, who I call the backbone, I would have probably retired after we won the state in 1993.
Best memory: The first was the spectacular catch Craig DiRienzo made in left field against Warren JFK that eventually won the game and more or less turned our season around. Secondly, the comeback against Lisbon in the district semis after being down, 7-1. Finally, Mark Such's two-run monster homer to left field in the regional semis against Elyria Catholic in the top of the 11th to give us a two-run lead before losing in the bottom half. That is what baseball is all about.
Surprised to learn: That I can sing and dance to Motown music.