Thursday, April 18, 2013

GTM Sportswear Athlete of the Month Nominees for April

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Below are the nominees for the month of April for the NHSCA/GTM Sportswear Athlete of the Month Award.

April 2013

Kaitlyn Cook (Softball) Parkside HS (Salisbury, MD)
Kaitlyn is a three-sport athlete who is a leader in sports and in the classroom.  Kaitlyn, who has been the captain of her softball team since her junior year, also plays volleyball and basketball for her school.  She carries a 4.3 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, is the Senior Class Historian, plus a member of the Math Team and is Vice-President of the Future Educators Association. Kaitlyn’s softball coach says she’s a natural leader.  Outside of school she has logged over 120 community service hours.

Chasen Ford (Baseball) El Toro HS (Lake Forest, CA)
Ford is not only one of the top high school baseball pitchers in the country, but he is also one of the smartest.  Ford is currently wrapping-up his high school career before he heads east to set his sights on a college baseball and academic career at Yale University.  He carries a 4.80 GPA with AP courses in English, history, calculus and physics. He was a perfect 11-0 as a junior with an ERA of 1.06 to help his school to its 6th straight league title.  He also served as Secretary General for the National Model United Nations conference.

Candice Holmquist (Softball) Knightsdale HS (Knightsdale, NC)
Candice carries a weighted 4.7 GPA as a two-sport athlete playing volleyball and softball for her school.  She’s an active member of the National Honor Society, the school’s Athletic Boosters and Future Farmers of America.  Every year that she has played varsity sports she’s been named to the Greater Neuse River Conference All-Academic Team.

Kevin James (Water Polo) Coral Springs HS (Coral Springs, FL)
Aside from being an outstanding defender on his school’s water polo team, James is incredible in the classroom. He is senior class valedictorian with a weighted GPA of 5.4388 with an ACT composite score of 30.  Kevin’s taken over 17 AP courses over his four years in high school and is president of Mu Alpha Theta and a member of the National Honor Society.  He’s won seven varsity letters as a member of the school’s water polo and swim teams.

Brittany Neeley (Track & Field) Eastern HS (Greentown, IN)
Brittany, who has a twin sister, is a three-sport athlete that will continue her college career running track & field and cross country at Indiana University.  She carries a 4.5 GPA, which ranks her second in her class. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Key Club and Students Against Drunk Driving.  Aside from being her school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, she’s a three-time state finalist in track & field and a two-time state finalist in cross-country.

Dan Rafuse (Track & Field) Norton HS (Norton, MA)
This senior came of age in both basketball and track & field during his junior year when he led the school to its first league championship in basketball in 24 years and led the track team to its first undefeated season.  As a senior he’s kept his GPA high a 3.75 while taking a challenging course load in AP and Honors’ courses.  He’s a member of the school’s Leadership Council and works with younger students throughout the district, serving as a role model and peer leader. This season in basketball he was the team’s leading scorer. In December Rafuse was named MIAA Student-Athlete of the Month for he outstanding achievements in sports and in the classroom.

If you want to have your student-athlete considered, email me at

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Ohio & Pennsylvania lead the Gold Rush at Freshman Nationals at 24th Annual National High School Coaches Association National Wrestling Championships

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour

Ohio crowned three individual champs at the Freshman Nationals at the 24th annual National HighSchool Coaches Association National Wrestling Championships held April 3rd through the 7th in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Behind the Buckeye State was Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania with two individual champs each.

Leading the way was Tyler Warner of Claymont High School in Ohio, who followed-up his state championship by taking the gold medal at 106-pounds. Warner pinned Jose Tapia of New Mexico in the finals. 

The other Ohio champs were Nick Svarda from Carlisle High at 170-pounds and Kordell Chaney of Sandusky Perkins at 220.

Warner was one six state champs from the 2012-13 high school season that captured NHSCA gold medals.  The other 2012-13 state champs that mined gold in Virginia Beach are: Kyle Norstrem of nationally-ranked Brandon High School in Florida; Jarrett Degan of Belgrade High in Montana; Kevin Budock of Good Counsel in Maryland; and brothers Daniel and Thomas Bullard of Archer High School in Georgia.

At 152 pounds, Jordan Torbitt of Whitney Point High School in New York pinned Joe Nadotti of Florida in the finals.  Torbitt won the 2012 154-pound Middle School championship. 

Another 2012 Middle School champ Jimmy Saylor of Easton High School in Pennsylvania finished second at 132 pounds.

The team championship was a close battle with New York edging Pennsylvania by one point 208.5 to 207.5 points. Ohio finished a close third with 204 points.

Freshman Nationals Finals

106: Tyler Warner (Ohio) pinned Jose Tapia (New Mexico), 5:45
113: Kyle Norstrem (Florida) dec. Trent Olson (Wyoming), 11-6
120: Jarrett Degen (Montana) dec. Kellen Devlin (New York), 6-4
126: Kevin Budock (Maryland) dec. Max Pickett (New Jersey), 4-3
132: Christopher Mauriello (New York) dec. Jimmy Saylor (Pennsylvania), 9-4
138: Daniel Bullard (Georgia) dec. Ryan Peters (New Hampshire), 6-0
145: Thomas Bullard (Georgia) pinned Joey Nadotti (Florida), 3:24
152: Jordan Torbitt (New York) major dec. Dean Drugac (New Jersey), 10-0
160: Brandon Dallavia (New Jersey) major dec. John Jakobsen (Pennsylvania), 12-2
170: Nick Svarda (Ohio) dec. Alan Clothier (Kansas), 11-8
182: Drew Phipps (Pennsylvania) pinned Christian Araneo (New York), 0:56
195: Matthew Correnti (New Jersey) dec. Kobe Woods (Indiana), 13-7
220: Kordell Chaney (Ohio) dec. Joe Hensley (Ohio), 8-7
285: Jake Beistel (Pennsylvania) dec. Edwin Rubio (New York), 4-3

Freshman National Team Scores

1. New York – 208.5
2. Pennsylvania – 207.5
3. Ohio – 204
4. New Jersey – 184.5
5. Virginia – 135.5

New York wins Middle School Championship at 24th Annual National High School Coaches Assocation National Wrestling Championships

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

With two individual champs and one runner-up finish, New York won the team championship at the 6th annual Middle School Nationals that were held during the 24th annual National High School Coaches Association National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Leading the way for the Empire State that edged-out Pennsylvania by one-and-a-half points for the team title was Mack Berkowitz, who won the title at 127, and Travis Race, who captured the 165-pound crown.  Berkowitz was a 2012 NHSCA champ.

California, which finished third in the team championship crowned three individual champs: Izzak Olejnik at 85, Navonte Demison at 90 and J.J. Figueroa at 105.

At 90-pounds, Zach Sherman, who finished third in the state in the Florida Class 1A championships at 106-pounds as an 8th grader, finished third for the second straight year at the NHSCA Middle School Nationals.  Sherman lost his first-round match, but battled-back through wrestlebacks to win a bronze medal.

The Top 8 wrestlers in each weight class won All-American honors. To qualify of the Middle School Championship event, every wrestler had to place in the Top 8 in his official NHSCA State Championship.

The top three states all received team awards with New York taking home the National Championship Cup to display at their State Championships.

2013 Middle School Nationals Finals

75 – Tanner Jordan (Ohio) pinned Ryan Zimmerman (New Jersey) 3:54
80 – No Contest, Cole Rhone  (Pennsylvania) and Joe Klock (Pennsylvania) finalists
85 – Izzak Olejnik (California) dec. Charles Chapman (Ohio) 4-1
90 – Navonte Demison (California) dec. Collin Gerardi (Virginia) 5-3
95 – Tuck Brough (Pennsylvania) dec. David Salazar III (Arizona) 6-2
100 – Daniel Planta (Maryland) dec. Hector Colom (New York) 9-0
105 – J.J. Figueroa (California) dec. Anthony Martoccio (Pennsylvania) 7-5
112 – Jimmy Hoffman (Pennsylvania) dec. John Manning (Utah) 1-0
119 – Quinn Deaney (Maryland) dec. Ty Lucas (Florida) 5-2
127 -  Mack Berkowitz (New York) pinned Tyler Grine (Ohio) 3:57
135 – Matthew Ceparano (North Carolina) dec. Gavin Hoffman (Pennsylvania) 6-5
142 – Layne Van Anrooy (Oregon) dec. Sangobunmi Smith (Georgia) 7-1
154 – Avery Dinardi (New Jersey) dec. John Borst (Virginia) 8-7
165 -  Travis Race (New York) dec. Michael Vigil (New Mexico) 10-0
180 – Nicolas Mosco (Florida) dec. Ryan Mills (West Virginia) 12-2
230 – Eric Chakonis (New Jersey) pinned Spencer Bowler (North Carolina) 1:18

Middle School National Finals

1. New York – 200
2. Pennsylvania – 198.5
3. California – 127.5
4. New Jersey – 122.5
5. Ohio – 120.5