Tag Archive for: Lions


PEPPER PIKE, OH- In the podcast episode titled “YSN⧸ORANGE BASKETBALL PLAYER PROFILE: DOM ANEKWE,” we get an inside look at the life and mindset of Dom Anekwe, a senior basketball player at Orange High School. Dom talks about the physicality and toughness required for his position as a big man down low for the Lions. He emphasizes the importance of staying motivated, being consistent, and constantly improving his game, especially his mid-range shooting.

Throughout the conversation, Dom reflects on his track and field experience and how it has contributed to his basketball skills, with a core focus on consistency. He also shares his expectations for the team’s upcoming season, including their defensive strength and their ability to handle close games.
One of the most poignant moments of the episode is when Dom talks about his role models, including Kobe Bryant, Michael B. Jordan, and LeBron James. However, he reserves a special place in his heart for his grandmother, who is a source of unwavering support, encouragement, and valuable life advice.
Dom’s deep admiration for his grandmother is evident as he shares how she attends all his games and provides him with wisdom and guidance. He discusses the impact of her presence in his life, and the valuable advice she has given him, which includes keeping God in his favor.

The conversation takes a heartwarming turn as Dom shares his excitement for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, highlighting his grandmother’s delicious dishes and the memorable family moments they share.

In a lighthearted moment, Dom reveals his cooking skills and his specialty—spaghetti, and eagerly responds to the idea of trying a spaghetti sandwich, showing his fun and adventurous side.

The episode wraps up with Dom expressing his excitement and determination as he gears up for the games, ready to give his best and be great for the Lions. The conversation offers a glimpse into the life of a dedicated high school basketball player, highlighting the impact of family, values, and the determination to succeed both on and off the court.




PEPPER PIKE, OH- In the latest episode of YSN’s “Orange Wrestling Coach’s Corner,” Coach Brody Arrundale opens up about his first year as head coach of the varsity wrestling program at Orange High School in Pepper Pike.
Coach Arrunndale reflects on the rising popularity of wrestling, crediting the inclusion of women in the sport for its recent growth. He emphasizes the importance of managing expectations for the young team, highlighting their potential and strong leadership qualities.
With a focus on making the sport enjoyable and beneficial for the student-athletes, Arrundale stresses the significance of instilling discipline and nurturing personal growth. He also shares his own journey into wrestling, speaking about his passion for the sport and the invaluable lessons it has taught him.
As the team only has one senior, Arrundale sees this as both a challenge and an opportunity for the underclassmen to step up and develop their skills.
Arrundale’s leadership style revolves around creating a supportive and motivating environment, where students are encouraged to work hard for each other and understand the personal growth that comes from their dedication to the sport.
The coach’s personal motivation stems from his deep understanding of what wrestling can offer beyond traditional achievements, and he is committed to passing on the sport’s valuable lessons to the next generation of athletes.
Orange High School’s wrestling program is in good hands with Coach Arrundale at the helm, and the upcoming season looks promising under his guidance.




CAMPBELL OH- Heartland Christian continued their impressive start to the season, securing their third win with a commanding 47-34 victory over Campbell Memorial.

The Lions displayed a balanced offensive effort, with Rachel Reynolds leading the scoring charge with 14 points, closely followed by Sarah Reynolds contributing 13 points, and Rylee Shadowens adding 12 points to the total. Campbell Memorial fought valiantly, and Diamon Sims showcased her scoring prowess with an impressive 20 points, while Angelis Espada added 10 points.

Despite a spirited effort from Campbell Memorial, Heartland Christian’s cohesive team performance proved pivotal in securing another decisive win.


LISBON, OH – In a high-scoring basketball showdown, the Lisbon Blue Devils triumphed over the Heartland Christian Lions with a final score of 74-61. The game was a rollercoaster of intensity, showcasing impressive performances from both teams. The first quarter saw Heartland Christian taking an early lead, with a score of 18-15. Jake Walker and Will Morgan led the Lions’ offensive charge, setting a competitive tone. However, Lisbon quickly regrouped and shifted the momentum in the second quarter.

By halftime, Lisbon had turned the tide and surged ahead with a 40-36 lead. The dynamic duo of Hunter Dailey and Trevor Siefke powered Lisbon’s offensive resurgence. The Blue Devils showcased their versatility, combining sharp outside shooting with strong drives to the basket.

The third quarter further solidified Lisbon’s control of the game, as they extended their lead to 55-46. Heartland Christian continued to fight, with Jake Walker’s remarkable 37-point performance leading their offensive efforts. Will Morgan contributed 10 points, but Lisbon’s well-rounded team play proved difficult to overcome.

In the final stretch, Lisbon maintained their composure and executed strategically to secure the 74-61 victory. The combined efforts of Dailey and Siefke, along with a cohesive team performance, propelled the Blue Devils to success. Hunter Dailey finished the night with 23 points and Trevor Siefke added 19 points.

Up next for the Blue Devils will be a home match up with EOAC foe, East Palestine, on Tuesday night. Heartland Christian will take on the Jackson-Milton Bluejays on Tuesday as well.

Game Photos can be found HERE; https://ysn.smugmug.com/12-2-b-bb-lisbon-heartland/12-2-b-bb-lisbon-heartland/100EOS1D/


LISBON, OH- In an intense matchup at the Lisbon Tipoff Tournament, the Heartland Christian Lions secured a hard-fought victory over the Salem Quakers with a final score of 70-61.

Heartland’s scoring was well-distributed, with Collin Kalaher leading the Lions with 14 points, closely followed by Jake Walker with 13 points. Isaiah Matthews contributed 9 points, while Tyler Rarick and Johnny Myer each had 7 points. Brody Conaway and Will Morgan rounded out the scoring with 6 points each. The Lions’ offensive efforts were instrumental in their success, demonstrating teamwork and efficiency on the court.

Salem, led by Trent Fink’s impressive 24 points, showcased resilience throughout the game. Evan Jones contributed 10 points, while Deontay Steele and Colin Riesen each added 9 and 8 points, respectively. Lance Bailey and Cam Sampson also made contributions with 8 and 2 points, respectively.

The tournament continues today in Lisbon with Heartland lining up against the Blue Devils of Lisbon, and Salem taking on Western Reserve.


LEAVITTSBURG OH- In a commanding season opener, LaBrae asserted their dominance with a resounding 64-28 victory over Heartland Christian. Ella Kuszmaul led the scoring charge for LaBrae, contributing 13 points to the team’s impressive total. Angel Scruggs added 9 points, while Marissa Levensky and Riley Rowe each chipped in with 7 points.

On the Heartland Christian side, Rachel Reynolds showcased her scoring prowess with a notable 17 points, leading her team’s efforts. Sarah Reynolds contributed 8 points in a valiant effort.

LaBrae’s collective performance demonstrated a well-rounded and potent offensive strategy, overpowering their opponents from the start. As they savor this convincing win, LaBrae will undoubtedly carry the momentum into future matchups. Heartland Christian, on the other hand, will regroup and strategize for their upcoming games, seeking to bounce back from the challenging season opener. The stage is set for an exciting basketball season for both teams.


PEPPER PIKE, OH- In a recent episode of the “YSN – Orange Boys Basketball Coach’s Corner” podcast, host DJ Yokley sat down with Marvin Rashad, the new head basketball coach at Orange High School. The conversation was filled with excitement and optimism as Coach Rashad shared his vision for the team and his passion for the game.

Coach Rashad, a former player himself, spoke about how basketball has been a blessing in his life, teaching him valuable lessons of discipline, hard work, and perseverance. He expressed his belief that the game is not just about wins and losses, but also about personal growth and the development of life skills.

Describing his journey to Orange High School as a “Cinderella story,” Coach Rashad recounted a pivotal game three years ago when his previous team, Shaw High School, faced off against Orange in a sectional championship. Against all odds, Shaw emerged victorious, and Coach Rashad’s coaching prowess caught the attention of the administrators at Orange High School.

Since taking over as head coach, Coach Rashad has been focused on changing the culture and instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability in his players. He emphasizes that they represent not only themselves and their families but also the school and the coaching staff. The players are urged to approach the game with a sense of urgency and to give their best, knowing that every action reflects on their coach and the program.

The enthusiasm surrounding Coach Rashad’s appointment is evident in the response from the players. Over 60 students expressed their desire to play for him, a testament to his ability to inspire and motivate. Coach Rashad humbly acknowledged this overwhelming support and expressed his commitment to Orange High School, stating that he has found his home and plans to build a successful program for years to come.

Cleveland is a community that deeply values basketball, and Coach Rashad understands the high expectations that come with leading a team in this city. He acknowledges the competitive nature of the game but encourages his players to play with confidence and freedom, while still maintaining discipline and structure. He aims to create a team that is known for its resilience and fighting spirit, regardless of the outcome on the scoreboard.

As a coach who has played at the next level himself, Coach Rashad recognizes the aspirations of his players to play college basketball. He advises them to embrace the challenges that come with that goal, emphasizing the importance of listening, being coachable, and developing a resilient mindset. He wants his players to understand that nothing comes easy and that they must be ready to fight for their dreams.

Coach Rashad’s journey to becoming a basketball coach was influenced by his junior high coach, Nick Daniel Wright, who not only cared about his players’ performance on the court but also showed genuine concern for their well-being outside of basketball. This experience ignited Coach Rashad’s desire to become a coach who genuinely cares about his players’ personal growth and success.

In summary, Coach Marvin Rashad brings enthusiasm, inspiration, and a strong commitment to the Orange Boys Basketball program. He aims to build a culture of responsibility and accountability while instilling confidence and freedom in his players. With his own experiences and positive mentorship, Coach Rashad is ready to make a lasting impact on the lives of his players and the success of the program.




PEPPER PIKE, OH- In the first episode of the podcast series “Orange Swimming and Diving Coach’s Corner,” host DJ Yokley sat down with Wally Lutkus, the esteemed head swimming coach at Orange. With over five decades of coaching experience, Lutkus shared his insights on the evolution of swimming and the joys of coaching young athletes.

When asked about the changes he has witnessed in swimming over the last 60 years, Lutkus observed that today’s young swimmers seem less inclined to work hard compared to past generations. He attributed this change to the myriad of distractions and responsibilities that young individuals face in their daily lives.

One of the highlights of the conversation was Lutkus’s mention of his wife, who serves as his assistant coach. With an impressive swimming background, including being part of the American record-holding Cleveland Swim Club and the Pan Am team, she provides invaluable tips and guidance to the coaching duo. Their dedication to each individual swimmer, both in and out of the pool, ensures a holistic approach to training and development.

The interviewer asked what keeps Lutkus motivated after all these years. He simply stated that he genuinely enjoys coaching. Lutkus shared an anecdote about competing against former swimmers who now represent a rival team, highlighting the satisfaction that comes from preparing his team to overcome challenges and succeed. The commitment and hard work displayed by his current team is a testament to their determination and passion.

The conversation also touched on Lutkus’s diverse interests beyond coaching. He revealed that he played rugby for many years, even earning an award in his name as a freshman at Dartmouth College. His involvement with various individuals, including working with the son of renowned coach Frank Ryan, quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, has enriched his life and kept him engaged with the sports community.

Throughout the discussion, Lutkus emphasized the rewarding aspects of coaching young swimmers. Witnessing their improvement and seeing them excel in their chosen events brings him great fulfillment. One of his swimmers mentioned that Lutkis often impresses upon them the simple mantra “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me,” reminding them of their own responsibility in achieving success.

The first episode of “Orange Swimming and Diving Coach’s Corner” promises an engaging and insightful series featuring the experiences and wisdom of seasoned coach Wally Lutkus. Listeners can look forward to future episodes delving deeper into the world of swimming and diving in Orange.



PEPPER PIKE, OH- Orange High School’s swimming team has found a hidden gem in senior student-athlete Avery Spies. Despite starting swimming as a casual whim during sophomore year, Spies has quickly risen to become one of the team’s key leaders, inspiring fellow swimmers with his relatability and unwavering support.

Spies admits that he shares a special connection with those who are new to the sport, having faced similar challenges himself. As someone who started swimming without much prior experience, Spies understands the difficulties and frustrations that come with learning the technical language and improving performance. By providing moral support and serving as a guiding figure, Spies establishes a strong bond with his teammates, encouraging them to stick with the sport and overcome the obstacles they face.

Jumping into the swimming scene late, Spies encountered his fair share of challenges. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic made his entry even more arduous. However, with determination and perseverance, Spies tackled the steep learning curve, gradually improving his times and techniques. Despite the initial struggles, he quickly adapted to the rigors of competitive swimming, demonstrating resilience and a willingness to push through difficult practices.

When asked about his mindset during races, Spies emphasizes the personal battle he faces in the pool – a war with his own thoughts. Overcoming negative thinking and self-doubt, Spies remains locked in and focused, relishing the feeling of triumph over his inner demons after each practice. His mental strength and ability to stay motivated have become invaluable assets in his swimming journey.

Spies’s favorite events are the middle-distance sprints, particularly the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle races. While acknowledging the immense pain and struggles that come with these events, he appreciates the intensity and the opportunity to witness the difference made during the final meters. He thrives on the challenge, embracing the physical and mental endurance required to excel in these races.

Beyond the pool, Spies draws inspiration from his parents, especially his father, who overcame significant adversity in his own life. Having lost his parents at a young age and growing up with limited resources, Spies’s father serves as a constant reminder that anything is possible through hard work and determination.

As a senior leader in the Orange High School swimming team, Spies reflects on his personal growth and evolution over the years. He attributes his improved perspective to his newfound ability to think long-term, recognizing that daily practices may seem insignificant, but their cumulative impact leads to measurable changes and growth in the sport. This broader perspective has allowed him to appreciate the journey and the transformative power of dedication and consistency.

With his exceptional leadership qualities and unwavering commitment to growth, Avery Spies is not only making waves in the pool but also leaving a lasting impact on his teammates and the Orange High School community. As his senior year progresses, all eyes are on Spies, eager to witness his continued success and the positive influence he brings to the sport he loves.




PEPPER PIKE, OH- In a recent episode of the YSN podcast, Orange High School swimmer Tomas Cakulev captivated listeners as he shared his inspiring story. From his early introduction to the sport to his unwavering dedication, Cakulev’s journey in swimming is one of triumph over adversity.

At the young age of ten, Cakulev was introduced to swimming by a friend who invited him to a practice at a local club. It was during these early experiences that Cakulev discovered the importance of bonding with teammates, both in and out of the pool. The camaraderie and competition formed the foundation of his love for the sport and ignited a competitive fire within him.

Cakulev’s competitive nature extends beyond the pool, as he strives for excellence in all aspects of his life. Whether it be academics or personal growth, his drive to compete and improve is ever-present. He finds motivation in beating his own records during practice, pushing himself to shave off precious seconds and continuously bettering his performance.

Despite encountering obstacles along the way, Cakulev’s determination remained unshaken. From challenging classes to inconsistent coaching, he navigated through adversity both in and out of the pool. These obstacles taught him the value of perseverance and instilled in him a sense of resilience that has carried him through his swimming career.

Throughout his competitive journey, Cakulev has developed a set of rituals to stay motivated before, during, and after events. He curates a playlist filled with his favorite songs, preferring a balanced tempo to keep himself focused yet not overly hyped. Before races, he dons his headphones, immersing himself in his own world while ensuring he stays warm to maintain peak performance. After races, Cakulev exemplifies great sportsmanship by congratulating his fellow swimmers and seeking feedback from his coach to identify areas for improvement.

Cakulev’s role models both inside and outside the pool include professional swimmers who have achieved great success. However, he also draws inspiration from his parents and his younger brother, who is making waves in his own swimming career. Their support and guidance have been instrumental in his development as an athlete.

One quote that resonates deeply with Cakulev is “if it is to be, it is up to me.” This motto serves as a reminder that he holds the power to shape his own destiny. It fuels his determination to push himself during practice, knowing that his hard work and dedication will lead to achieving his goals.

As a senior at Orange High School, Cakulev leaves a lasting impact on the swimming community, both as a talented athlete and a sportsman. His story serves as an inspiration to all aspiring swimmers, demonstrating the power of perseverance, camaraderie, and self-belief.