Recognize NE Ohio

Updated: November 20, 2008, 3:49 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Girls' Basketball - Orrville



After a 20-win campaign last winter, the Orrville girls' basketball program waved goodbye to veteran coach Marcie Alberts, who is now coaching at Heidelberg College, and ushered in her father, Mark, as the new leader at the helm of a promising unit. But not much is expected to change. "We will probably be the same," Alberts says of his team's philosophy. "We press a lot and (play) a mixture of man and zone. Offensively, we are a low-post team. We play from the inside out." Last season, Orrville went 20-4 before bowing out to Regina in the regional semifinals. The Red Riders finished second in the Ohio Cardinal Conference and won both the Northeastern District and sectional championship. This year's squad will be led by 6-foot senior post Libby Ladrach, who earned All-League honors last season after posting 12 points and nine rebounds a game. "It is very difficult to push her around in the post," Alberts says. "She is getting progressively better throughout her career." Orrville will also feature senior stars Brook Ballentine and Kelley Johnson, who shot 40 percent from behind the arc. Senior Casey Bishop is another mainstay in the paint and an imposing rebounder. "We had great chemistry last year," Alberts says. "Team chemistry is probably more important than being able to score."



Ice Hockey - Lake Catholic


Veteran leadership and strong goaltending has long been the calling card for the Cougars' hockey program. This winter should be no different. With former minor league player Tony Prpic at the helm and senior Alex Guest in net, Lake Catholic could be poised to battle St. Edwards and other Ohio powers for state supremacy. Last year, the Cougars advanced to the district semifinals before being blanked by Gilmour. With a potent first line and the aforementioned strengths, the Cougars could be skating towards a state title.



Girls' Swimming - Hawken


Head coach Jerry Holtrey has built a championship factory at Hawken as his teams have won 18 state titles, with a current streak of 10 consecutive crowns. Hawken's quest for No. 19 will begin with senior swimmers Kaitlin Dagg and Brittany Rospierski and sophomore Alana Arnold. Last year, Dagg finished third in the 500, Rospierski swam a state-record time of 1:04.04 in the 100 breaststroke, and Arnold was a key member of the 400 free relay team.



Wrestling - Monroeville


With three of the area's top grapplers on the mat, it could be a huge winter for the Monroeville wrestling team. According to W.I.N. Magazine's preseason rankings, junior Logan Stieber and sophomore Chris Phillips are rated the top wrestlers in the 130- and 171-pound weight classes, respectively. Sophomore Hunter Stieber is an up-and-coming star in the 112-pound weight class. As a team, the Eagles placed third overall in Division III, finishing behind Troy Christian and Marion Pleasant.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



GIRLS' SWIMMING  SOLON
Sophomore Annie Marquiss, junior Maryn Bieganski and senior Alicia Berman return for the Comets.

BOYS' BOWLING  MASSILLON PERRY
The Panthers feature a solid quartet of seniors in Adam Kutz, Chris Logan, Mitch Malleo and Keith Black.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL  TRINITY
Taylor Ruper averaged just over 20 points a game for the Trojans as a junior.

BOYS' BASKETBALL  HORIZON SCIENCE ACADEMY
Seniors Eric Horton and senior Shaquoi Duncan pace a dynamic offensive attack for the Hawks.