On Sunday, April 29, Samuel Mutemwa (men’s soccer) and Amanda Walsh (softball) were recognized as male and female athlete of the year, respectively.
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May 2, 2013 | Smithberger, Banton Recognized as Athletes of the Year
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Freshman Chantel Smithberger and sophomore Deran Banton were honored as the female and male athlete of the year, respectively, at the annual athletics awards banquet Thursday evening.
One of the top producers in the region, Smithberger leads the Lakeland softball team in nearly every offensive category. The Madison, Ohio native is tops in runs hits (44), RBI (37), runs (34), doubles (12), home runs (11), and slugging percentage (.774) and is second on the team in average (.383). In addition to her on-field success, Smithberger is a Dean’s List student in the classroom and S.T.A.R. student-athlete.
Over the course of his two years at Lakeland, Banton helped guide the Lakeland men’s basketball program to its two most successful run in school history. During his freshman season, the Lakers won their second district title in program history and advanced to the NJCAA Division II Final Four. As a sophomore captain, Banton led Lakeland to its first conference championship in 18 years. The Jamaica, New York native was an honorable mention all-conference selection as a freshman and second team all-conference honoree as a sophomore. Additionally, he is a two-time S.T.A.R. student-athlete in the classroom.
April 30, 2013 | Lakers Crowned Conference Co-Champions, Earn Automatic Bid to Regionals
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Entering the final weekend of conference play, the Lakeland baseball team trailed first place Sinclair by three games. The conference standings were turned upside down after Cuyahoga swept four games from Sinclair and Lakeland took the first two in a four game set with Owens over the weekend.
Heading into Tuesday’s regular-season finale, the Lakers knew they needed two more wins to clinch a share of the OCCAC title. After holding on for a 5-4 win in game one, Lakeland left no doubt in a 9-2 victory in the nightcap.
The Lakers, who hold the tie-breaker based on run differential, return to the Region 12 Tournament for the first time since 2008 and will be the top seed out of the south when play begins next week.
Game One – Lakeland 5, Owens Community College 4
Lakeland scored five runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning then went to their ace down the stretch to hold off Owens in the opener.
Giancarlo Saia and Wil Shortreed hit back-to-back doubles with two runners on to give the hosts a 4-0 advantage before Matt Wisner followed with an RBI double of his own to stretch the lead.
The Express got to starter Matt Davidson in the top of fifth, scoring three runs to trim the deficit to two. Matt Hamons took the mound to open the sixth inning but issued three straight walks to load the bases without an out before giving way to John Gora, who looked to stop the bleeding in a rare relief appearance. The sophomore ace did just that, inducing a double-play and a ground out to end the inning with just a single run allowed and the lead still intact.
After the Lakers went scoreless in the sixth, Gora struck out the side in the top of the seventh on 11 pitches to inch Lakeland closer to a share of the OCCAC title.
Game Two – Lakeland 9, Owens Community College 2
Owens jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but Lakeland responded with a run in the bottom of the second to pull even.
Sophomore Matt Wheeler led off the third inning with a home run to left field to give the Lakers their first lead of the game at 2-1. One inning later, Andrew Dito led off with a stand up triple before Mike Sutkaytis laced a single down the third base line to double the advantage.
The Express got one back in the top of the fifth to pull within a run, but Giancarlo Saia countered with a home run to deep center field and Bobby Dragon roped an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-2.
Freshman Brian Kusey, who was stellar all afternoon, retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for a four-run sixth inning for the hosts.
Wheeler led off the inning with a double before eventually scoring. Wil Shortreed and Mason Wisner also came around to score before Matt Hamons scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-2.
Kusey took care of the rest, inducing a game and series-ending fly out to left field and setting off a celebration on the mound.
The conference title is the first for Lakeland since the fall of 2008, when the OCCAC played a split-season schedule. It is the Lakers first championship in the spring since 2004.
North District/Region 12 Championship Schedule
Nine Student-Athletes Named to OCCAC All-Academic Team
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Nine Lakeland student-athletes were selected to the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) All-Academic team after posting a 3.3 GPA or higher through the 2011-12 academic year. Four teams were represented, led by four selections from the men’s soccer squad.
Ryongmyeoong Cho, Freshman, General Studies Associate of Science
Michael Maiorano, Freshman, General Studies Associate of Arts
George Shakarashvili, Sophomore, Multi-Skilled Health Technology
Bernard Tomicic, Freshman, Mechanical Engineering
Aurora Petroff, Sophomore, General Studies Associate of Arts
Shannon Sharkey, Sophomore, General Studies Associate of Arts
J.W. Leitch, Freshman, General Studies Associate of Arts
Patrick Webster, Freshman, Paralegal Studies
Kelsey Ott, Freshman, General Studies Associate of Arts
Mutemwa, a sophomore midfielder, is a two-time all-conference and all-region selection. The Johannesburg, South Africa native led the Lakers offensively with eight goals and six assists while earning Midfielder of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors by the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.
Walsh, a freshman infielder, played in all 38 games for the Laker softball team. She finished second on the club in RBIs and paced the way in average, on-base percentage, hits, runs, and walks. The local product from Riverside High School (Painesville, Ohio) is 13th in the region in batting average (.464), 13th in hits (52), and 15th in runs (36).
April 12, 2012 | Lakeland Community College Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2012
KIRTLAND, Ohio – On Sunday, April 29 at 1:00 p.m., three former student-athletes and a national championship team will be inducted into the Laker Athletics Hall of Fame inside the Athletic & Fitness Center. The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 includes former men’s soccer player Glenn Korenko, former wrestling team members Tom Gagliardi and Billy Adkins, and Lakeland’s first National Champions - the 1979 Wrestling Team.
Glenn Korenko was an all-conference selection with the men’s soccer team in addition to earning team MVP and best offensive player honors. He graduated from Lakeland in 1974 and from Cleveland State University in 1977. A lifelong supporter of soccer throughout Lake County, Korenko has coached at Lakewood High School, Mentor High School, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, and, most recently, at Harvey High School. He has served as member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for over 20 years and holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “B” License.
In 1979, Tom Gagliardi won a national championship in the 150-pound weight class and helped the Lakeland wrestling team win the school’s first national championship en route to a First Team All-American selection. Gagliardi was a two-time Regional Champion under legendary coach Bob Carlson.
In 1981, Billy Adkins finished as the National Runner-Up in the 118-pound weight class as a freshman en route to Second Team All-American honors. As a sophomore in 1983, Adkins won the National Championship and was named First Team All-American.
The 1979 Lakeland Wrestling Team won the first in what would be back-to-back National Championships. The team, led by NJCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year Bob Carlson, featured four First Team All-Americans, three National Champions, and that year’s Ernest B. Gould Most Outstanding Wrestler (Greg Byrne). Members of the 1979 National Championship team included Clayton Bediant, Greg Byrne, Larry Davis, Pat Day, John Evans, Tom Gagliardi, Steve Galiffo, Tim Hall, Tom Hren, Bob Poucher, Mike Schmidlin, John Zele, Head Coach Bob Carlson, Assistant Coaches Blaine “Doc” Daughtery and Dennis Langer, and Athletic Director Dave Poorman.