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Barberton High School Junior wrestling star Cameron Fitzsimmons is the 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for March 24th-March 31st.

Cameron recently finished a strong sophomore varsity wrestling season with 32 wins and a top 10 finish in the district competition.

"I've been wrestling since I was five years old,” said Fitzsimmons. “It feels great to be in this program and making an impact at this age.”

Dave Mariola's wrestling program has quickly become one of the top programs in the state as the team is constantly refueled with young talent.

"Yeah, I feel this program and the coaches push us to be the best,” said FItzsimmons. “They really push us, making us better.”

Cameron is a three-sport performer at Barberton as he is a linebacker and tailback for the football team and is a relay runner for the spring track team but his first love is on the mats at the purple palace.

"Wrestling is what I want to do in college,” Fitzsimmons says. “I like to help the young wrestlers coming up as well as a volunteer as a coach for them.”

Cameron plans to pursue a career in Business in college.

This week’s WAKR female Student Athlete of the Week is Ron'Naeza Saunders of Kenmore High School.

Ron'Naeza is bright young girl with a quiet confidence about her. For the Cardinals, Ron’Naeza is a cheerleader and volleyball player, but during the winter, she enjoys playing basketball. Under coach Yontami Jones, the young Cardinals finished fourth in the city.

About her Kenmore team, Ron’Naeza believes “[We] are a good team, but if we play to our potential, we could be great.”

During her time on the basketball team, Ron'Naeza has received awards including Most Improved Player and Team MVP.

Ron'Naeza would love to continue her basketball career into college.

Congratulations to Ron'Naeza on being this week’s WAKR Student Athlete of the Week.

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Lukus Stricker from Archbishop Hoban High School.

Lukus is standout senior wrestler for the Knights, and is coming off an amazing season where he finished second in the state of Ohio in his weight class of 120 pounds.

Lukus is currently studying applied mathematics at Hoban. He has already been accepted to Harvard, and will continue his wrestling career there, as well. He has been wrestling since he was in the second grade.

He is also a member of the National Honors Society. He really enjoys going to school at Hoban because of the tight knit student body and the caring faculty.

Best of luck Lukus!

This week, our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Samantha Wolf, a senior softball player from Ellet High School.

She has played softball all four years at Ellet , earning 2nd team all-city honors.

Sam describes the team as a whole as close-knit, especially the seniors.

"We're all pretty close, and the past four years we've been friends, so we're pretty inseparable," she says.

In addition to the bond Samantha has with her teammates on the softball diamond, her head coach, Chuck Shuman, is also her grandfather.

Sam says it's been an awesome experience getting to play for her grandfather, and alongside her sisters as well.

Wolf is a three-sport athlete in cheerleading, cross country, and softball, and she says time management is key to being a student athlete.

Adding to her athletic accomplishments, she's also a member of Student Council and the National Honor Society.

Samantha plans on studying nursing at the University of Akron after graduation in the spring.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish her the best in all her future endeavors.

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Van Wallbrown of Manchester High School.

Van tees it up for the Panthers' golf team during the fall, and shoots hoops for the basketball team throughout the winter. The basketball team had a nice run this year before falling to Canton Central Catholic in the sectional championship round of the tournament.

Van loves playing under head coach Gene Schinderwolf and his staff. Talking about his teammates, Van says “We are all a very tight group."

Though he is only a junior, Van has his sights set on college, preferably studying military science.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish him the best.

Wadsworth Sophomore Swim star Hannah Berlin is the 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week for March 10th-March 17th.

Hannah recently set a school record in the 500 Freestyle at the Suburban League meet, which earned her a chance to go to states.

“I knew I had a good time going,” said Berlin. “ I just didn't realize how fast I was going.”

Hannah started swimming at a young age at the local pool, but then decided to give competitive swimming a try.

"I love it, but it is really difficult, but I like that," said Berlin.

Berlin also swims the 200 Freestyle for Wadsworth, but she knows the longer distance is perfect for her.

"That is my favorite,” Berlin says. “I enjoy the longer races.”

Hannah is looking at a career in medicine once her high school days are through, as members of her family have had successful careers in the medical field.

"I'm lucky to swimming at such a great school for swimming at a young age,” she says. “It has been a blast.”

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Paris Blackshear from Garfield High School.

Paris is standout basketball player on the Golden Rams' varsity team. He is a junior, and is looking forward to competing in this year's OHSAA basketball playoffs.

Paris started playing basketball with his older brothers growing up, and thanks to that sibling competition, he has turned into a rising star. His favorite NBA player is the hometown hero, LeBron James.

Paris is thriving in the classroom as well, and is looking forward to studying sports medicine in college.

Best of luck, Paris!

This week, our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Cuyahoga Falls High School senior swimmer Marissa Kassinger.

Kassinger says it was a joy working with her teammates with the Black Tigers.

"We really push ourselves to be our best, and it's showing in the pool. " she explained.

Marissa also discussed how the team's new coach Laura Lindsay brought some spark to the team as well, and for her and the rest of the upperclassmen, it was a quality experience.

"She really mixed up our practices and we started lifting for the first time this year, so it was really exciting."

A two-sport athlete in soccer and swimming, Marissa knows the importance of balancing academics and athletics, saying time management is the key to success in sports and in life.

Kassinger understands the strong tradition of swimming at Falls High, and she was proud to carry that tradition during her time with the Black Tigers.

"It's a little bit of pressure, we lost a lot of our good seniors from last year's team, but with us it's about growing the younger swimmers into better people and better competitors," she said.

One of the highlights of her career came during her freshman year competing alongside her sister as they broke the 400 freestyle relay school record.

Marissa plans on attending Ashland University and studying nursing upon graduation this spring.

Firestone High School Freshman Swimmer Jackson Gallagher is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for February 24th-March 3rd.

Jackson recently dropped 20 seconds off his personal best in the 20 IM in a meet in Canton for a time of 2:36.

"I knew I had a good time going , and I thought I had a chance at a personal best, but I didn't think I could knock that much time off,” said Gallagher.

Jackson is new to the sport, but he already realizes the work that must go into the pool to be a top-level swimmer.

"It is work, “ said Gallagher. “That is what surprised me the most. I like it, but a lot of work.”

Jackson has been a Boy Scout and is a volunteer at his church with college down the road for this talented ninth grade swimmer.

"To be able to swim in this great program is special,” says Gallagher. “I intend to keep working."

Friday, 24 February 2017 07:10

1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week: Jen Johnston

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This week’s WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Jen Johnston of Green High School.

Bowling has been a long-time passion for Jen, and she is a star bowler for the Bulldogs. From an early age, she was interested in bowling, and she was encouraged by her father to try out for the team. She picked up the nuances of the game right away, and has improved every year.

The Bulldogs are enjoying their second year in the Federal League. Jen is a standout, posting a personal best 279 mark.

She plans on continuing her bowling career as she attends Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish Jen the best of luck.

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