Vento earns Horizon League honor

Cleveland State University soccer player McKenna Vento earned Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 17 through Sept. 24. Vento, a senior midfielder, received the accolade thanks to her two-goal performance in the Sept. 17 match against IUPUI.

The goals may have won her player of the week, but Vento’s focus at Cleveland State has been setting others up to score. Her 11 assists as a Viking tie Vento for second in program history, trailing all-time leader Vickie Havas by eight.

“Coming into the season, I really wanted to get the record for most assists,” Vento said.

Despite besting her career season high for goals roughly halfway through the season, Vento does not believe that her role on the team has changed.

“As a center midfielder, your job is to create and set up others to score,” Vento said. “Over the past two years I have become more of an offensive threat by getting in spots to also score goals.”

Despite her focus on assists, Vento has become a force scoring the ball. Her five goals on the season tie her with two other players for the most in the Horizon League this season.

Vento said she believes an adjustment inspired by her coaches has been key to her success scoring goals this season.

“From last season to this season, my coaches preached the saying ‘shoot low and away,’ which is a technique I’ve practiced a lot,” Vento said.

The goals that Vento has scored in her career have tended to come at key times in the game. Half of Vento’s goals this year were game winners. In fact, seven out of Vento’s 11 goals as a Viking were decided the contest. Despite evidence to the contrary, Vento does not believe she has a knack for these clutch goals.

“Honestly, I think it’s just a coincidence,” Vento said. “It does help that I’m usually on the field in important moments of the game when we are searching for a goal.”

Vento and the Vikings (7-4-1) will host Horizon League opponent Green Bay University Saturday, Oct. 6.

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New Student Athlete committee biggest in CSU history

Elected in April, the new Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is preparing for the 2018-2019 school year. As the largest such board in Cleveland State University history, the group hopes to accomplish an ambitious agenda this year.

The board contains four departments (Social Events, Social Media, Student Athlete Engagement and Community Service) each with its own chair. Student athletes elect department chairs, vice chairs and a SAAC president annually.

Chairs for the 2018-2019 year are as follows: MacJilton Lewis (President), Rayna Oosterhuis (Social Events), Zach Robbins (Social Media), Elaina Walnoha (Community Service) and Justin Conner (Student-Athlete Engagement).

Additionally, the board carries eight vice chairs this year, making the board larger and more accessible than in any previous year in response to high interest in the positions.

The main purpose of the board is to keep student athletes informed of developments in athletics within the NCAA, Horizon League and Cleveland State. It does so primarily through monthly meetings, which SAAC hosts for student athletes to attend.

President MacJilton Lewis is serving as a department chair for the second consecutive year. He feels that his experience as social media chair last year will allow him to be an effective leader for the body going forward. “It prepared me to be a leader within SAAC and among the student-athletes,” Lewis said, “Being involved with social media allowed many opportunities to get to know student athletes on other teams.”

Lewis said he hopes to utilize these relationships to accomplish a main focus of his agenda for the year: career development for student-athletes. “I am also president of The 1964 Society this year and we, as an organization, host events that focus on professional development, and it would be a great opportunity for student-athletes to be exposed to this type of material,” Lewis said.

Zach Robbins, the social media chair, served as the vice social media chair under Lewis during the 2016-2017 school year. Building on what Lewis was able to accomplish as the chair last year, Robbins said he hopes to, “add over 100 followers on the Twitter and Instagram accounts (to) get information to CSU students and faculty about games and matches occuring on campus.”

In addition to increasing the social media presence of the board, a primary goal of the board this year is to increase student athlete attendance at the monthly meetings. “I want to make sure that at least one person from every team is present at our meetings so all athletes can be informed about what took place during the SAAC meeting,” Lewis said.

The new SAAC board will hold first monthly meeting Sept. 25.

CSU Freshmen Athletes arrive on Campus

Raul Teichmann arrived on campus at Cleveland State University on Aug. 22, five days before classes started, as a freshman. This was his first day in the United States as he flew from his native Switzerland to pursue an athletic and academic future in America.

“The 13-hour flight had just one stop, I had never been to America before,” Teichmann said.

Teichmann is one of many Cleveland State student-athletes, each with unique challenges and opportunities beginning this fall.

Many consider being a freshman difficult. Making new friends, being away from home and participating in ramped-up academics are just a few obstacles freshmen encounter.

Teichmann will face these experiences, a cultural adjustment to living in a foreign country and, as a member of the Cleveland State tennis team, will also juggle athletic responsibilities. Teichmann, however, said the benefits of having teammates to help him has been instrumental in his adjustment to the States.

“Everyone on the team took their time to show me around and explain how things work,” Teichmann said. “If I have any doubts about anything, they are always there to help me.”

Despite not being able to “express himself” in English the way he can in his native tongue, Teichmann has been able to get along well in America thanks, in part, to his teammates.

Not all freshmen athletes make an adjustment as drastic as Teichmann’s. However, most seem enthusiastic about the advantages afforded to them by their status as student athletes.

Academic advising within the athletic department supports student-athletes in several ways. Athletes are given priority registration, so they can arrange their class schedules to coexist with practice schedules.

Additionally, student athletes have a dedicated athletic academic adviser. These advisers handle fewer students than conventional advisers and can assist athletes on a more individual basis.

Freshman swimmer Payton Rudman knows the advantage her adviser affords her. “I have a friend who went to another school and her adviser scheduled her pointless classes at terrible times,” Rudman said. “I am thankful that Winnie (Lane) knows the scheduling so well and knows what it takes for us to graduate on time.”

In addition to excellent advising, the athletic department tries to help first-year student athletes by assigning study hall hours, up to 10 per week. This scheduling cuts into the student athlete’s already small amount of free time. However, student athletes appreciate the structure.

“It forces you to get work done, said Riley Drummond, another freshman swimmer. “I get much more done here than I do in my room.”

First-year students who are student athletes have time constraints that other students do not have. However, they are also afforded advantages that can be difficult to quantify.

Teichmann can only visit his family twice during the year, once during winter break and then again for summer vacation. Luckily, he has found a strong support system in the form of his teammates and the athletic department.

 

 

 

CSU Basketball holds Walk-On Tryouts

Lavon Davis, looking at a picture of the 2017-2018 Cleveland State University basketball team, daydreams about being a part of that same picture for the 2018-2019 season.

“Man, somebody already got number one,” Lavon Davis said, “Guess I have to worry about one thing at a time.”

A senior academically with two years of athletic eligibility remaining, Davis understood he would have to impress at the tryout before he could pick out his jersey number.

“I played two seasons at a school in Texas and had injuries and all kinds of stuff happen,” Davis said, “I transferred to Youngstown State last year, took the year off and rehabbed.”

Davis was one of nine Cleveland State students who tried out for a walk-on spot on the varsity roster last Monday, Oct. 1.

The nine athletes ran through dribbling and layup drills before competing against one another in one-on-one and three-on-three games.

Olumide Ogunnaike has been through this process before. An international student from Nigeria, Ogunnaike tried out for the Vikings last year.

“Last year, they had a full squad so no one who tried out made it,” Ogunnaike said.

Ogunnaike is in his third year at Cleveland State. He played internationally for the U-15 and U-19 teams in Nigeria and had a scholarship to play elsewhere collegiately until an injury ended his final high school season.

“This year they have 14, so hopefully, they got at least one spot open,” Ogunnaike said.

Last year, the Vikings carried a roster of 15. The NCAA limits the number of scholarship athletes on a team at 13. No number restrictions exist for walk-ons.

Nick Korta, another third year Cleveland State student, also tried out for the team last year. Though he did not make the team, Korta has been a part of the team since his freshman year.

“I’m a team manager,” Korta said. “We help the team in pretty much any way the team needs us to: equipment, rebounding, anything they need.”

As a sports management major, Korta sought out the opportunity his freshman year at Cleveland State to gain experience in his field.

Unlike the other athletes trying out, Korta will be in the 2018-2019 roster photo. The coaching staff will decide whether he will be wearing a numbered jersey or a team manager polo.

The Vikings play their first game Nov. 6 at Davidson University.

 

Cleveland Indians Press Conference/Batting Practice

On Tuesday, Sept. 4th, I attended the Cleveland Indians game. This was not an ordinary game though. Through the team’s season ticket reward program I was able to attend manager Terry Francona’s press conference.
 
The email we received told us to arrive at Progressive Field at 4 o’clock. We arrived 10 minutes early. “What is the party’s last name?” asked the woman attending to the line.
 
We were then informed that the press conference was to begin early. Running through the stadium, onto the field and through the dugout, we managed to make it on time.
 
At the outset, the reporters asked questions about the day-to-day upkeep of the team.
 
As the conference wore on, Francona began to open up, something the reporters seemed to expect.
 
Francona reflected on a few stories about his experience as a ballplayer and the impact these experiences had on his managing style.
 
In answer to a question about how he handled giving players bad news, Francona recalled a situation where he received bad news.
 
“One time, I got sent down to the minors in the dugout after striking out,” Francona laughed. “I always felt that was not my way, you have to be true to yourself.”
 
After the press conference, we took the field to watch batting practice.
 
Batting practice lasted about an hour, after which we found our seats and watched the game. 
 
The Indians won that night, defeating the Kansas City Royals 9-3. 

Bentley: The Rescue Dog with Megaesophagus

Bentley, who has an eating disorder, lives a busy life with the Wright family.

Want to help rescue dogs like Bentley? Here is a map with five local animal rescue locations marked.

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