This week's 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Sarah Pierce from Mogadore High School. Sarah participates in basketball and softball for the Wildcats. Despite being a two-sport athlete, Sarah maintains a 5.0 grade point average.

Sarah enjoys playing sports due to the team aspect, and especially getting the chance to be around her friends. She began playing hoops in the fourth grade, and while she loves the sport of basketball, she's rather fond of softball, as well.

Sarah is able to keep her 5.0 GPA by paying close attention in class, but admits she really doesn't study all that much. She also finds time to work part time during the school year, as well.

Sarah plans on attending college, looking at being an engineering major. The Ohio State University and Wright State are among the future possibilities.

Manchester High School senior wrestling star Joey Bowen is the WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for January 29- February 5th.

Joey already this season has two tournament runner-up finishes and 26 wins to his credit as he caps off an exceptional wrestling career for the Panthers. Bowen has made it to the State Championships three times, and hopes for a fourth this season. He has 155 career victories.

"I fell in love with the sport as soon as I hit the mat," said Bowen. "Me and my brothers love it."

Joey's older brother wrestled for the Panthers until 2013, and his younger brother is currently on the varsity roster, weighing in at 120 pounds. Joey hits the mat in the 126 pound weight class.

Bowen's best finish at the State Tournament was in 2015, as he took a fifth-place finish. He placed seventh in both his sophomore and freshman seasons.

"Yes wrestling at the state tournaments is something else, certainly the highlights of my career" said Bowen.

Joey has signed a letter of intent to wrestle and attend school at Notre Dame College, where he plans to major in history.

This week's 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the week is junior basketball player Emma Freeman from Cuyahoga Falls High School.

Emma says her teammates and coaches push her to be at her best each and every day, and she enjoys working with them.

"I think it's been really great because I've gotten a lot closer with my teammates as the season's gone on," says Emma. "And I've had the pleasure of having my coach in class this year, so it's been great getting to know him better."

Emma has been playing basketball from an early age, and she leads by example on the practice floor and on game days. She has had a hoops backround in her family from the start, as her father, Dan Freeman, was the head coach of Kenmore High School.

Freeman knows the importance of balacing academics and athletics, something she knows will carry her well beyond her days in high school.

"You always have to find time to get your work done," Emma opines. "School's the number-one priority."

Emma plans on playing sports in college and wants to major in either mathematics or education. In her spare time, Freeman likes to hang with friends and draw.

This week's 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Grier Cowles from Manchester High School.

Grier plays basketball and runs track for the Panthers. She started playing both sports at a young age, but does not really favor one sport over the other. With that said, Grier will run track while she attends Walsh University this Fall.

Grier, a 4.0 student at Manchester, plans on studying nursing and maybe being a personal trainer some day. When she is not studying or practicing, Grier likes to hang out with friends, go to the movies, and take naps.

Grier really likes being at Manchester because of the small school environment and all of the nice people. She likes the fact that everyone knows each other. Down the road, Grier hopes to be working at a hospital and eventually starting a family.

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Joe Pavlak, a junior at Wadsworth High School.

Joe is a member of the swim team and has earned a long list of accomplishments in his time at Wadsworth, including being named the All-Gazette MVP 2014 and 2015.

Joe says he really enjoys the camaraderie of his friends on the team, and it's one of the things that gets him through the long and arduous practices that come with being on the swim team. He also uses the motivation he learned from his coaches to push through any challenge he faces. The coaches have always taught him to continue to work hard to accomplish his goals, something Joe will be able to take with him through the rest of his high school career and on into his adult life.

We wish him the best of luck in whatever comes his way.

Highland High School senior basketball player Joe Wiencek is our male WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for January 15th-January 22nd.

Wiencek registered a rare triple-double for high school boys basketball last week with double figure totals in points, rebounds, and blocks in a Hornet win. Highland currently stands at 6-5 on the season.

"This was pretty special. We won the game, which was the biggest part of it," said Wiencek.

"Joe has really stepped up as a leader on the team as he anchors us as a rim protector and is our best communicator," said Highland Head Boys Basketball Coach Adam Cestaro.

Joe actually played soccer as a freshman and sophomore at Highland, but really missed football and returned to that sport to letter at the school. He is also a three-year member of the basketball team.

Joe was a receiver on the Hornet football squad, and at 6'7", he was a matchup nightmare on the outside in football. He uses that height well on the basketball court as well.

Wiencek is so much more than athletics at Highland High School, as he is a member of the National Honor Society, Peer Leadership Program, and he has lead a school blood drive. Joe is also a member of the concert band at Highland, playing the French Horn.

"Joe is an outstanding student with a GPA over 4.0 and has offers to attend a number of schools, said Cestaro. "He is a great decision maker on and off the basketball court."

This week's 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Alexus Nance, a senior basketball player for Garfield High School.

She began playing basketball in seventh grade, and ever since, she's loved the sport.

"One of my friends said that I should try out, and I made it," Nance said.

She said working with her teammates and coaches is a very beneficial collaboration for the Lady Rams, and she enjoys the camaraderie.

Alexus plans on playing basketball in college, and is not sure on her course of study when she gets there, but says her mother is the biggest influence in her life.

"She always pushes me to do well in basketball and in school," she says.

Head coach of the Lady Rams Tommy Cherry says Nance is like a coach on the floor and that he appreciates her leadership.

"She's a great individual," said Cherry. "She's been great with our younger girls, helping to motivate and mold them."

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Caleb Pratt.

A senior basketball player at Norton, Caleb got his first taste of basketball at an early age. He discovered a love for the game by playing pick-up games with his older brothers and started in the sport as early as first grade.

Caleb spoke of his time playing basketball for the Panthers as something that he'll really remember and something that he'll take with him the rest of his life. The strong sense of family that unites the team at Norton is one of his favorite aspects of playing basketball at that level.

Caleb also does very well in math, one of the subjects he enjoys the most. Caleb is keeping his options open as he prepares to make the next step after high school.

Caleb mentioned one of the things he'll be able to take away from his time with the Panthers is how to deal with adversity. A life lesson I'm sure he will use to conquer obstacles throughout his lifetime.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish him the best.

This week's 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Taylor Champagne from Lake High School. Taylor is a sophomore basketball standout for the BlueStreaks under head coach Henry Cobb. She plays volleyball at Lake as well.

Taylor began playing basketball when she was eight years old, with a little bit of a push from her older brothers, who also played at Lake during their high school years. She has become quite the three-point shooter and poured in a season high 26 points in a recent game in the Federal League.

Taylor watches a lot of NBA hoops and proudly says that LeBron James is her all time favorite player. She is hoping the Cavs bring home a title this season.

When not playing or practicing, Taylor likes to hang out with friends and traveling. She hopes one day to spend some time in Europe. Taylor plans on studying to be an athletic trainer, but wouldn't mind being a lawyer, too.

Copley High School senior butterfly swimmer Emilio Bloch is the WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for December 30-January 8th.

Emilio has put together three first-place finishes already, as well as four second-place finishes. Emilio swims the butterfly stroke as well as various relays for the Indians.

"The Butterfly is a difficult stroke but I enjoy it, plus not many like to try the swim because it is a difficult move," said Bloch.

Emilio got into swimming by way of a near tragedy as a fall in the ice led him to the sport.

"Yeah, it was eye opening. My parents said I should get lessons and then after that I fell in love with the sport," said Bloch.

Bloch has also tried his hand at rugby while at Copley, and he has participated in that club sport for four years.

Emilio carries a strong 3.84 GPA and plans on majoring in Biology in college.

"If I can swim in college, that would be a plus, but I will be there to get my education," said Bloch.

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