Tag Archive for: Mentor


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 a recent podcast episode of YSN titled “Orange Swimming Player Profile: Emma Kozak,” the spotlight was on senior swimmer Emma Kozak from Orange High School. The episode provided insights into her journey as a swimmer, her role as a senior leader, and her aspirations for the future.

Emma, a seasoned swimmer, began competing at the age of eight. While admitting to a love-hate relationship with the sport, she persevered and continued to pursue her passion. Along the way, it was her friends and teammates who motivated her to keep swimming. She embraced her role as a leader both vocally and through her actions, encouraging her teammates during practices and pushing them to give their best effort.

As a senior, Emma enjoys the privilege of being the top dog in the school. She laughs off the misconceptions that seniors are scary, highlighting the camaraderie and support that exists within the team. Her ability to create a positive and fun atmosphere during practices has made her a mentor figure to her teammates, inspiring them to push through tough workouts and strive for their goals.

Representing Orange High School in the pool holds a special significance for Emma, as she has been attending the school since preschool. She expressed her gratitude for the honor and recognizes the opportunity to make a lasting impact.

When it comes to role models, Emma looks up to her fellow swimmer, Lily Klingensmith, who has shown her how to maintain a balanced life while excelling in swimming and academics. Outside of the pool, Emma credits her mother as her ultimate role model, appreciating her amazing qualities and particularly her culinary skills. Emma’s favorite dish, her mom’s lasagna roll-ups, is renowned amongst her family.

Looking ahead, Emma has her sights set on college. While considering the University of Kentucky among her options, she plans to pursue a career in healthcare. Her personal experiences with her mother’s battle with cancer have fueled her desire to help others and make a difference in their lives.

As Emma heads towards graduation, the Orange High School community rallies behind her. With her leadership, determination, and compassion, Emma Kozak is set to leave a lasting legacy in the pool and beyond.

We wish Emma the best of luck in all her future endeavors.




BERLIN CENTER, OH- Western Reserve’s defensive coordinator, Coach Collin Dotson, shared his insights on the team’s successful season and their upcoming rematch against Lowellville.

Coach Dotson, who has been coaching alongside Head Coach John Armeni since 2015, expressed his admiration for Coach Armeni as a mentor and friend. He described the experience of working with him as “unbelievable” and emphasized the importance of the tight-knit coaching staff at Western Reserve.

When asked why he chose football as his coaching path, Coach Dotson credited his experiences as a player at Howland for instilling in him a passion for leadership and mentoring young men. He shared his love for being around student-athletes and the opportunity to give back by offering them a positive experience like he had as a player.

Speaking about his time at Western Reserve, Coach Dotson highlighted the incredible support from the community. He described the community as tight-knit and caring, with a genuine love for their coaches and players. Coach Dotson attributed much of the team’s success to this community support and emphasized that it was not mere lip service. The genuine care and affection within the community inspired the coaching staff to reciprocate that love.

The camaraderie among the coaching staff at Western Reserve also played an essential role in their success. Coach Dotson spoke highly of the diverse backgrounds and expertise brought by each member of the staff. From former players to veteran coaches, the staff’s tight bond, both on and off the field, has contributed significantly to the team’s achievements this season.

With a senior-heavy roster, Coach Dotson applauded the leadership and resilience displayed by the players. Despite experiencing numerous coaching changes during their high school careers, these seniors have learned to adapt and have become a tough group of young men. Coach Dotson expressed his gratitude for their buying-in mentality and wished he could have had them on the team for more years.

As the defensive coordinator, Coach Dotson’s aggressive mentality shines through in his coaching style. He enjoys the versatility and freedom that coaching defense provides. Instead of sitting back and playing it safe, Coach Dotson and his defense line up in multiple formations, coverages, and blitzes, making it challenging for opposing teams to counter their strategies.

In terms of their successful season, Coach Dotson stressed the importance of performing well both in the conference and the non-conference games. He highlighted the competitiveness of their conference, including challenging matchups against teams like Mineral Ridge, Springfield, and Lowellville, with whom they now have a rematch.

Looking ahead to their upcoming matchup against Lowellville, Coach Dotson mentioned the advantage of having faced their offense before, allowing for better game planning and adjustments. He expressed confidence in his defensive unit’s ability to rise to the occasion.

The Western Reserve Blue Devils, currently the third seed in the playoffs with a 9-2 record, undoubtedly owe their success, in part, to the hard work and dedication of Coach Collin Dotson and the entire coaching staff. As they continue their playoff journey, their cohesive bond and aggressive defensive approach will undoubtedly be crucial factors in their pursuit of victory.




AUSTINTOWN OH- The Austintown Fitch Falcons girls basketball team has been on a roll in recent weeks! Winners in four of their last five contests, including two wins against All-American Conference (AAC) teams in Howland and Warren Harding. Fitch was playing with a ton of momentum leading into Wednesday night where they would look to defend the nest against Greater Cleveland Conference representative, The Mentor Cardinals. A formidable opponent, Mentor drew even with an 8-8 record through their first 16 games prior to Wednesday. 

Out of the opening tip, Cardinals junior Mallory Chicone went down and nailed a three pointer to take an initial lead for Mentor. However, Fitch had immediate answers with Jocelyn Jourdan and Destanie McCullough hitting back-to-back buckets to claim the lead for The Falcons. Austintown would promptly step on the gas pedal after taking their first lead, after Mentor took the opening 3-0 lead, Fitch would go on a 27-3 run, flipping the game on its head. Falcons senior Zayda Creque was hitting on all cylinders from distance, nailing down four first half threes and scoring 14 points through the opening 16 minutes. Cardinals sophomore Hailey Watson started establishing her shot and helped cut the Mentor deficit down to 14, with Fitch leading 27-13 at the half. 

The Cardinals would limit the turnovers to start the third, promptly allowing their offense to get into rhythm and it quickly became The Nina Rodriguez show! As the Mentor freshman scored 11 of her team’s 20 points in the third quarter! Ayla Ray became “The Answer” for Fitch in the third, scoring 10 points herself in the quarter, and limiting the Mentor counter punch and preserving The Falcons lead 44-33 after three quarters. Rodriguez and Chicone were a scoring tandem for The Cardinals in the fourth, both finishing with double-digits in the scoring column on the night. But it was Fitch senior Zayda Creque who hit two more dagger threes in the fourth, giving her seven shots from distance on the night and 23 total points to help lead Austintown to the 58-51 victory over Mentor! Creque earned Player of The Game honors along with Fitch junior Destanie McCullough who was dishing the ball, effectively starting the Austintown offense while scoring 12 points of her own. 

Mentor (8-9) will go back in-conference, as they will hit the road to battle The Euclid Panthers (1-13) on Saturday, January 21st. Fitch (8-9)(2-3) will also be in action on Saturday, as they will be back in AAC action with a road trip to take on conference leader Canfield (14-1)(4-0) and will be on YSN! Interviews with Fitch Head Coach Natalie Lynn and Co-Players of The Game Zayda Creque and Destanie McCullough can be found below!


Scoring (Fitch)

Zayda Creque: 23 PTS. (Co-Player of The Game)

Destanie McCullough: 12 PTS. (Co-Player of The Game)

Ayla Ray: 12 PTS.

Rachel Spalding: 4 PTS.

Kylie Folkwein: 4 PTS.

Jocelyn Jourdan: 3 PTS.


Scoring (Mentor)

Nina Rodriguez: 16 PTS.

Hailey Watson: 13 PTS.

Mallory Chicone: 10 PTS.

Christine Katava: 5 PTS.

Kylie Maxwell: 4 PTS.

Lexi Berwald: 3 PTS.


Scoring by Quarter

Q1: Fitch 17 – 6 Mentor

Q2: Fitch 10 – 7 Mentor

Q3: Fitch 17 – 20 Mentor

Q4: Fitch 14 – 18 Mentor

Final: Fitch 58 – 51 Mentor

*Contributed By YSN’s Ty Bartell



Boardman advanced to the district semifinals on Wednesday with a win against Mentor, 5-1.

Madison Lester earned the victory on the rubber for Boardman. The righthander went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out ten.

Leah Temple took the loss for Mentor. The pitcher lasted six innings, allowing four hits and five runs while striking out six.

The Spartans totaled four hits in the game. Dana Haus and Lester each managed multiple hits. Lester and Haus all had two hits to lead.

Temple led Mentor with two hits in four at bats.

The win advances the Spartans to the district semifinal against Canton Hoover. That game is scheduled for Monday at Austintown Fitch. First pitch is slated for 5:30.

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