LHS Athletes- Where Are They Now?

Virtually every varsity college athlete, from Division I record setters to bench warmers in Division III, have a few things in common: they put in hours of practice; have little chance of becoming a professional athlete; and gain invaluable experience in teamwork, leadership, discipline and persistence. Athletics and other so called “extra-curricular” activities—also including theatre, music, clubs, etc.—are more aptly termed “co-curricular activities,” as they embody the aforementioned skills and dispositions that are vital to effective citizenship. Many former LHS athletes have continued their athletic careers in college, and deserve recognition for their enduring commitment. Their continued success is a testament not only their efforts, but also to those of a community that values public education and the access to opportunity for growth that it offers.

Kelsey Moran has been nothing less than sensational as a swimmer for Ohio State. She holds the school record in the 100 backstroke, was part of two relay records, was a finalist in the Big Ten championships, and was named an OSU Scholar Athlete.

Kevin Knab is having a splendid basketball career at Marietta College. Last season, he was all Ohio Athletic Conference first team, and helped his team to a conference title two wins in the NCAA playoffs. He was Marietta’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder. Former LHS teammate Pat Barrett started 16 games for Heidelberg, who lost to Marietta in the conference championship game.

Matt Curley just finished a fabulous wrestling career at Heidelberg College, highlighted not only by two conference championships but also qualifying for the NCAA tournament on three occasions. He was named a 2011 NCAA Academic All-American. Look for Nick Ramsey, who finished 5th in the state last year, to compete for Baldwin-Wallace next season.

Swimmer Maura Anderson holds two school records at Ashland University, has several individual second place finishes in conference meets, participated in a winning relay at the conference championships and was on a third place relay in the NCAA Division II National meet. (Her team finished fifth overall.) Look for Brian Brink to start his NYU swimming career next season.

Travel Ohio this fall and you’ll likely run across former LHS football players. Dan Shannon is Kenyon’s starting quarterback. A couple of former LHS football teammates (class of 2010), Jimmy Gajewski and Kieran Nall, saw time for Muskingum and John Carroll, respectively, and figure to push for significant playing time this year. Chris Belopetrovich, a three sport LHS athlete (class of 2011) who didn’t miss a single practice in four years, will also compete for playing time at John Carroll. John Warrell is a two-year starter at defensive end for Ohio Wesleyan. Damien Gibson is a two year letter winner at Hiram.

Katie Kmieck just completed a fine career as a setter on the Mount Union College Volleyball team. She was second on the team in assists for the fourth straight season. Tessa Endress competes for the Clarion State soccer team.

The Kovach sisters lead a strong former LHS Girls basketball contingent. Kayla helped lead the Walsh University team to the Division II playoffs as their fourth leading scorer. Sister Chelsea was Hiram’s third leading scorer, helping the Terriers improve from four wins in the previous season to 12 wins last year. Megan Saunders contributed valuable minutes off the bench for Mount Union during her freshman season last year. Look for Martha Nagbe (LHS 2011) to start her career at Division II Notre Dame College.

Dee Salakumbo is having a magnificent cross country/track career at Denison University. Among the highlights: league (North Coast Athletic) champion in two events; NCAA qualified (finished 12th in the nation in the 5000; NCAC track Athlete of the week.  Former LHS teammate Jacob Ott also competes for Denison.

Former Ranger Baseball player Jordan Kraus is the starting shortstop at Division II Wheeling Jesuit, while Bridgett Moran finished a stellar campaign for the Heidelberg Softball team as the second leading batter .407). She was an all Ohio Athletic Conference first team selection.

Congratulations to all these LHS student athletes. They indeed represent the continuum from Division I record setters to Division III bench warmers. But, whether setting records at Ohio State or performing in obscurity at Ohio Wesleyan, they demonstrate the enduring value of teamwork, discipline and commitment.

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:32 AM, 08.24.2011