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The 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the week is Michael Connalley from Buchtel High School.

Michael is a two-sport athlete in his junior year and Buchtel, and competes not only in football, but basketball as well. Michael has found a nice balance between sports and being a great student

Because Michael is only in his junior year, his college options are still wide open. He said his mother really pushes and motivates him to excel in the classroom. Being a teacher herself, she knows the importance of a good education, and has instilled that into Michael at an early age. His mother continues to reinforce the importance of education to this day.

During his time at Buchtel, Michael has put together a list of accomplishments that include being named first-team all-city and second-team all-district.

We at WAKR look forward to seeing what Michael can do in his senior year and on into college.

Tallmadge sophomore basketball player Matthew Francesconi is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for February 26th-March 4th.

Matthew is the leading scorer for a much-improved boys basketball team at Tallmadge.

"It has been nice being part of this turnaround, and the added playing time has certainly made me a more productive player," says Francesconi.

Matthew is all basketball, as he has had a basketball in hand since birth. His older brother Andrew, a 2015 graduate of Tallmadge, is now a hoopster at the University of Mount Union.

"He taught me so much about the game," Francesconi said. "He helps me every day."

Matthew averages over 18.0 ppg while running the team from the point guard position. The Blue Devils have had a nice comeback season under Coach Mike Bluey.

Francesoni also is a volunteer coach in the Tallmadge area, while also participating in a number of clubs during the school year, including Spanish Club.

"My game has improved in so many ways since the start of the season," said Francesconi. "With me thrown in as a point guard, my passing, shooting, and confidence are all really high right now."

Matthew carries a 4.0 GPA, and once college roles around for him, he will be looking to get a business degree.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is senior basketball player Jessie Stout of Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

Stout says she's been playing basketball for a long time, and that she enjoys the game.

"I started basketball since first grade, and I've always loved the game," says Jessie. "So I just kept with it."

Stout is a three-sport athlete, including competing in track and field during the spring, as well as cross country during the fall.

She says on the basketball court, having a solid team chemistry is the key to success, as the Lady Bulldogs are in the midst of a playoff run.

"We have a good team bond, and we work really well together," says Stout.

Head coach Bob Podges of Stow says he appreciates Jessie's hard work and leadership both on and off the court, as well as her mental toughness in playing through injury.

Jessie plans on playing basketball at nearby Notre Dame College, majoring in biology.

This week's female 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Macy Chik from Barberton High School.

A standout athlete for the Magics, Macy began playing basketball at age 7. "I've had the best experiences in basketball," she says. "I've made a lot of great friends (over the years)."

In addition to being a star basketball player, Macy also excels in soccer, as well.

Macy has been a longtime resident of Barberton, and plans to stick around the area in the future. She plans on attending Kent State University, majoring in Radiology. Macy decided this major within the last year, as she has a strong interest in ultrasound.

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

This week’s 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Demond Taylor of Kenmore High School.

In his junior year at Kenmore, Demond is a multi-sport athlete for the Cardinals. Demond enjoys being apart of the team and representing his high school in both basketball and football. He plays multiple positions on the court, sharing time at shooting guard, small forward, and center.

Head coach Brain Dawson of the Basketball team took the time to showcase a highlight reel of Demond on the court. Demond himself had put the reel together, which was impressive footage in that it wasn't just a highlight reel of dunks. Demond had pulled all the highlights he had from one single game, and it really displayed his all-around skills on the court.

Demond also dominates in the classroom, as well, pulling a strong GPA and excelling in math. The Kenmore student is only in his junior year, and is keeping his options open as it pertains to colleges.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish him the best of luck through his senior year and on into college.

Stow-Munroe Falls High School senior basketball standout Nathan Bower-Malone is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for February 12th-February 19th.

Nathan is a four-year member of the Bulldog team and currently leads the team in scoring at just over 18.0 points per game.

"I love to shoot, if you looked at me in the mirror as a player you would see a guy who is always ready to shoot," said Nathan.

He has been playing the game since he was young and realizes the end of his high school basketball is nearing the end.

"I certainly want to play in college but it is just part of the plan as my education and studies will take priority in college," Nathan says.

He plans on majoring in microbiology.

Nathan is also a member of the National Honor Society and band over at Stow. He loves to play the Saxophone in both marching and concert band.

"I really enjoy the school, the times, and friends here at school, I have always love to be busy," he says.

Nathan currently carries a 3.75 GPA.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is senior basketball player Abbe Esterak from Woodridge High School.

Abbe believes her team's had a successful season, and that she takes great pride in being a team captain.

"I always tell the team if they have any problems, or they just need a friend to talk to, I'm there for them," says Abbe. And that's a true meaning of a team captain."

She knows the importance of balancing academics and athletics, something that will serve her well in the long run.

Abbe will continue her academic and athletic career at Malone University in Canton next season, where she will play basketball.

She says hanging with friends and teammates is always a good thing to do outside of sports and studies, and that playing for her father (Coach Chris Esterak) is something she's enjoyed during her time at Woodridge.

This week's 1590 WAKR male student athlete of the week is Tyrice Pace from Buchtel.

A multi-sport athlete for the Buchtel Griffins, Tyrice is a senior that competes in Track, Football, and Basketball. Tyrice is a highly-motivated young man with aspirations of doing big things in his lifetime.

In his time at Buchtel, Tyrice has earned many honors on the playing field. Some of his titles include first-team all city, basketball letter winner, as well as an honorable mention for the all-state team.

Not only does Tyrice do well on the field of play, he excels in the classroom as well. His hard work in the classroom has afforded him the opportunity to take his education to the next level. Tyrice is currently deciding between Mount Union University, Baldwin Wallace University, and Bethany College.

Tyrice said that his mother is his motivating factor. "If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't be doing half of this," says Tyrice. "She keeps me on track."

Tyrice is a very intelligent and hard-working young man, and we here at 1590 WAKR wish him the best.

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.

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