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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.

Friday, 17 February 2017 06:31

1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week: Tree Paw

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This week, our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Tree Paw, a junior bowler from North High School.

Tree says she came into bowling somewhat by accident, but has grown in her appreciation for the sport and her teammates.

“One day they just announced it (bowling tryouts), so I went to the lunchroom to sign up,” she said.

Paw also knows the importance of teamwork and working with her coaches to help keep things on track.

“They help me out when I'm struggling, and they keep me balanced,” she explained.

Tree is a three-sport athlete, participating in volleyball, bowling, and tennis. She's no stranger to academic success as well, maintaining a 3.7 GPA and being ranked #4 in her class.

In addition to those accolades, she's also involved in C.A.T.S. (Concerned About Teen Success) and Upward Bound Classic, which helps students with postsecondary education.

Paw grew up in Thailand before moving to Akron, and plans on studying pre-nursing at Kent State University upon graduation.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish Tree success in her future endeavors.

Friday, 17 February 2017 06:29

1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week: Jakari Desphy

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This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Jakari Desphy from Walsh Jesuit High School.

Jakari is a junior goalie on the Warriors hockey team, and is having a terrific season so far as they get ready for state tournament play.

Since age two, Jakari has loved the sport of hockey. Around that time, he first donned a pair of skates, and has been a long-time fan of the New Jersey Devils. Being a goalie, his favorite player was Martin Brodeur.

Jakari really enjoys attending Walsh Jesuit due to the tight knit student body and faculty. He hopes to attend college at either Vanderbilt or Boston University, a hockey powerhouse.

Best of luck, Jakari!

Highland High School junior basketball player Collin Rittman is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for February 10th-17th.

Collin had a three-game stretch recently where he averaged over 32 points per game in keying a great run by the Hornets. "Yeah, I was making the shots, but my teammates were feeding me the ball, and I just got lucky I guess," said Rittman.

The Hornets have 11 wins this season and are lead by Rittman, who is averaging over 23.0 PPG. Collin plays both guard and forward in the Highland offense. He is a two-year starter and an All-Suburban League Honorable Mention selection a year ago.

He was also an All-Inland District selection and All-Medina pick as a sophomore at Highland.

Rittman is active in the school as he is a member of Student Council and carries a 3.4 GPA.

"School comes first, but the sports work to help make you a better player," said Rittman.

Collin wants to continue his basketball career in college once he graduates from high school and plans on a career in Business.

Our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Landry Carneal of Lake High School.

Landry is a three-sport athlete for the Blue Streaks, where she competes in soccer, swimming, and track. During the winter, she is a star swimmer, where she holds school records for the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relay.

Recently, Landry has committed to attend Malone University in the fall, where she will continue her education and study nursing. In athletics, she will don the cleats and play for the women’s soccer team.

Why Malone? Landry says it is “close to home and is a faith-based community."

We here at WAKR wish Landry the best of luck and congratulate her on being this week's WAKR Student Athlete of the week.

Friday, 03 February 2017 07:22

1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week: Megan Murray

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This week's 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Megan Murray from Coventry High School.

Megan is a basketball standout for the Comets of Coventry, and began her career shooting hoops way back in the third grade. On the court, she is deadly from behind the three-point line, ala Steph Curry. However, her all-time favorite basketball player is LeBron Games.

Megan’s post-high school plans are to continue playing basketball and to study education, with an eye on Mount Union College.

Best of luck, Megan!

Friday, 03 February 2017 07:12

1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week: Tariq Vinson

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This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Tariq Vinson, a senior basketball player at Buchtel High School.

Vinson says the season has gone pretty well so far for the Griffs, and his coaches and teammates make that atmosphere of going to practice each day an enjoyable one.

"Our team chemistry is great," Vinson said. "We've been together for a pretty long time, our coaching staff is always with us, they help us to better ourselves."

Vinson is a three-sport athlete in basketball, football, and track and field. He understands the balance of balancing academics and athletics is an important one.

"It's non-stop," Vinson said. "You just have to be able to manage your time."

Tariq is a captain for Steve White's basketball team, and he takes that leadership role off the court as well, serving as a class officer and school ambassador.

Vinson plans on studying microbiology at The Ohio State University after graduation this spring.

We wish Tariq the best in all of his future endeavors.

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