Stars quick to credit others

Many of the athletes valued the experiences they shared with their teammates over their individual accolades.
School: Poland
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Had 15-5 pitching record with earned-run average of 0.30. She compiled a .317 batting average and .429 slugging percentage.
Positive influence: My parents. They have been my No. 1 supporters on and off the field for the past 18 years. I have learned a great deal from their unselfish actions as they continually make sacrifice after sacrifice in order to give my sister and me ample opportunity to grow. They have taught me the meaning of hard work and dedication and I owe a great deal of my success to them.
Best memory: All of our team events: scavenger hunts, sleepovers, after-game dinners, after hours in our dugouts. All the events that gave us the opportunity to grow closer as a team while making memories that will last a lifetime. At our banquet, Coach [Reid] Lamport awarded one of our seniors, Lori DelSignore, with the first No. 13 award, which recognized her for her unselfish commitment and dedication to the true meaning of a team. No one deserved it more than Lori.
Surprised to learn: I played with my sister, Ashleigh, her senior year and my freshman year. She was No. 21 for four years and after she graduated, she gave me the number. Whoever gets that number next year better keep the tradition going.
School: Boardman
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .309 with 11 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .960 fielding percentage.
Positive influence: My dad. Even though he was my coach, he still treated me the same. I give him a lot of credit for that because I know it was hard at some points not to treat me as his daughter. He has pushed me to do my best and not shortchange myself. He always has time to hit with me and help me improve each day. Even at his busiest moments he will drop what he's doing and throw soft toss to me in the backyard. Next year will be different without always having my No. 1 fan, but I'm sure he'll be in the bleachers cheering me on.
Best memory: I'd have to say our determination to always do our best was my favorite memory. I was honored to be selected to the Northeast Ohio first team and All-Steel Valley Conference for the third straight year. Even though we didn't win it all this year, winning state in 2001 will always be my favorite memory of my career.
Surprised to learn: Before each game, I always set my glove in a certain place on the grass and during the national anthem our team always touches the person's feet next to them. I was an infielder as a freshman, however my dad and Coach Snyder turned me into an outfielder.
School: Mineral Ridge
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: First team All-Ohio; three-time All-Inter County League; two-time All-Northeast Ohio; had 0.76 ERA and won 52 career games.
Positive influence: My father. He has coached me since I was 6 and has done a lot to make me a better player.
Best memory: Winning the district title and advancing to regionals. It was the first time we seniors had ever gone that far.
Surprised to learn: Our team has dedicated every game of the last two seasons to our No. 1 fan, Joe Fetty, who passed away last spring. He came to every game no matter what and we've really missed him.
School: United
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Team captain and four-year letterwinner; holds school record for wins, strikeouts and ERA; pitched 105 1-3 innings with 135 strikeouts, 16 walks and a 0.92 ERA.
Positive influence: Bob Walley, my summer league coach, has had the greatest positive influence. He has a personality that you can't or won't find anywhere else. He is always pushing me and teaching me new things. He loves what he does and is always into the game. He wants the best for all of his girls and makes me feel like one of his daughters. I love him for that!
Best memory: The best memory was all of the fun we had. Our coaches and teammates kept everything always interesting and exciting. Every game we'd have a laugh. We were never down or depressed and I owe that mostly to my one teammate, Melanie Wilson.
Surprised to learn: When I'm out on the field I give lots of looks in which I don't realize I'm doing. I'm really laid back, but I guess that's me concentrating.
School: Western Reserve
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Averaged eight strikeouts per game with six shutouts, including a no-hitter, and an ERA of 1.15.
Positive influence: My grandma and grandpa Myers have been extremely supportive. They are always there for me and I can always count on them to be at every game no matter where it's played.
Best memory: The second game of the season against Mathews. I broke a scoreless tie by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning. I also pitched all 14 innings.
Surprised to learn: I am active in basketball, golf -- I play on the boys team since our school doesn't have a girls team -- and cheerleading. I also do art work in my free time.
School: Canfield
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .483 with 20 RBIs and eight extra base hits.
Positive influence: My parents have the biggest portion for sitting through hundreds of games with my siblings and providing encouragement. Friends and family have passed along newspaper clippings for support. My coaches and teachers have told me both the good and bad so I can improve as a player and a student. I have grown not only as a softball player but also as a person. Softball has become a lesson in life and without the support of others, I would not have become the person I am.
Best memory: The day I hit a grand slam against Hubbard. It was a doubleheader on a somewhat dreary Saturday and I had been hitting very well. I didn't even see the ball go over the fence but I knew it had by the cheering in the stands. It was the first home run of my career and it went over the left field fence right where my dad was standing. To top it off, three of my closest teammates since a young age were on base at the time.
Surprised to learn: There is really not much about me that people don't know. Everyone I have met has a different perspective of me and has known me at different levels. Something that may surprise one, may not surprise the other. I still continue to amaze myself every day so I cannot say something that would be sure to surprise someone else.
School: Warren Harding
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .400 for career; earned 16 letters in softball, basketball, tennis and soccer.
School: Hubbard
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .333 with a stolen base percentage of .700 and a fielding percentage of 1.000.
Positive influence: My father because he has taught me to never give up and to always work my hardest to achieve my goals on and off the field.
Best memory: Traveling with the team to Kent State and competing against teams from all over.
Surprised to learn: I am active in two other sports (basketball and soccer). I love to learn and I enjoy helping others. I plan to become a teacher.
School: Fitch
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .444 with an on base percentage of .416 and a slugging percentage of .569.
Positive influence: My dad because he has pushed me to strive to be the best I can. He believes in me and never lets me give up.
Best memory: Going to Florida during spring break. We didn't win too many games, but I had a good time playing.
Surprised to learn: I am an outgoing person and I like to have fun. I also play softball for the MadDogs Gold from Alliance and will attend Gannon University this year on a softball scholarship.
School: West Middlesex
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Went 14-1 with an ERA of 0.48, striking out 161 in 103 innings and throwing three no-hitters, including a perfect game.
Positive influence: My dad. From taking me to another town to learn a new sport to not missing many games to practicing and coaching me, he was always positive. He never pressured me to keep playing and I knew I could stop if I wanted to. My whole family was a positive influence. I couldn't have done it without them coming to my games -- especially my mom, grandparents and sister who sat through 40 degree weather and 114 degree weather.
Best memory: There isn't just one. From throwing a 19-strikeout no-hitter against Kennedy Christian in the first game to beating Grove City on their home field for the first time in school history to winning the first playoff game in school history, it's hard to choose just one. Our team had chemistry. That sums it up.
Surprised to learn: I pitched the last five games, including a no-hitter, on a fractured left foot.
School: Columbiana
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .367 with a .481 slugging percentage and a .633 OBP; committed just one error; went 10-5 with a 0.88 ERA.
Positive influence: Bill Stanfield. He got me started into pitching. I wouldn't have pursued it without him. He still instructs me and I owe a lot of my success to him. He's always been there for me in sports and in life.
Best memory: Pitching a two-hitter against United. We beat them 2-1 to grab a share of the TCL crown. Also, being selected first team All-TCL, first team All-Northeast Ohio Inland district and second team All-Ohio.
Surprised to learn: I didn't start playing softball until I was 13 and I didn't start pitching until I was almost 14 because I played baseball for six years.
School: Mooney
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Set school single-game strikeout record (15), had an ERA of 1.72 and led team in strikeouts; batted .375; led team in stolen bases (27), RBIs (25) and home runs.
Positive influence: My dad. He has trained me since I was 7 and has always believed in me and done what is best for me. Without him, I wouldn't have the knowledge of the game that I do now and I wouldn't be continuing my career in college.
Best memory: Throwing a two-hit shutout to beat Fitch and breaking the school strikeout record against Chaney.
Surprised to learn: People are surprised by my ability to express my feelings through writing.
School: Springfield
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Had a 14-8 record with an ERA of 1.00; walked just 12 hitters; threw one no-hitter, three one-hitters and three two-hitters; batted. 300; All-ICL for four years and team MVP all four years; will play softball and volleyball at Thiel.
Positive influence: My parents, my sister, Katie, who pitched for YSU, my coaches, but mostly my grandfather, Bob Raybuck. He was always there and taught me a lot about the game. He helped me become a better player. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be where I am today. He just passed away on Father's Day and I would like to dedicate this award to him.
Best memory: Beating Mineral Ridge both times. We came together as a team and worked really hard.
Surprised to learn: I am basically shy until I get to know someone, then watch out!
School: Boardman
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Holds school records in runs scored in a season (41) and a career (125), stolen bases in a season (31) and career (96); has been caught stealing just five times.
Positive influence: My whole family has been there for me throughout my career. They've always been there to support me and my team. They've been awesome! But if I had to pick one person, it would be my older brother, Frank. He's been there for me through everything. I love him and I'm proud of him -- he's a 1st Lt. in the Marine Corps.
Best memory: Our state semifinal game. It was the final game for our four seniors and although we lost, and people say that's not how you want to go out your senior year, I was more than proud to take that path out. That game showed me that injuries were not an excuse or an obstacle to achieving our goals and dreams as individuals as well as a team. That was the best example of playing with heart as a team that I've ever seen.
School: Mineral Ridge
Grade: Sophomore
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .414 with 18 runs, 24 RBIs, 30 hits, nine doubles and three home runs.
Positive influence: My dad, Mike Olive. He taught me the fundamentals and we continue to work on my fielding and hitting. He has a great knowledge of the game.
Best memory: Playing in the regional tournament at Kent State. It was an experience I'll never forget. I had the opportunity to play at a Division I facility. It makes you think about your goals and the possibilities of playing in college.
School: Fitch
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Won eight straight games after starting season 0-8; had second highest batting average on team; four-year letterwinner.
Positive influence: My dad. He coached me my whole life and was always there to help me with my pitching.
Best memory: Going to Florida. We didn't do too well there, but that's where we became a team.
School: Poland
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Her 28 hits this season gave her a career total of 107. She scored 19 runs and drove in 12 runners.
Positive influence: My parents and Coach [Reid] Lamport have been there every step of the way, supporting me from when I was little to now.
Best memory: Our trip to South Carolina, our scavenger hunts and all the friendships made.
Surprised to learn: I played flag football for three years in grade school.
School: West Branch
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Holds school season records in assists (249), shutouts (8), innings pitched (177 2-3), games started (27), strikeouts (188), strikeouts in a game (14), innings played (217) and ERA (1.10); holds career school records in assists (440), strikeouts (315), shutouts (9) and ERA (1.47).
Positive influence: My mother, Jamie Pierce. She has raised me to be a great young lady and has supported me in many ways -- both in sports and other activities. She is always someone I would turn to for advice on anything.
Best memory: Playing Walsh Jesuit in the regional semifinal.
Surprised to learn: I am a 10-year member of the Village Varieties 4-H Club, a seven-year member of the Mahoning County Dairy Club, showing registered Jerseys and Holsteins.
School: Boardman
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: All-SVC four years; all-district three years; honorable mention All-Ohio for one year and second team All-Ohio for two years.
Positive influence: My brother. If I didn't play up to my own expectations in any particular game, I was very hard on myself. But my brother, the great motivator, would say great things to me and even wrote me a letter to keep me pumped up for the long, wonderful season we had this year.
Best memory: The introduction at senior night. It wasn't just one memory, but all the memories of my years in high school softball.
Surprised to learn: I have played organized softball for 12 years and I enjoy playing as much now as when I started.
School: Champion
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .375 with a .443 OBP, 27 hits, 17 runs, 11 walks, 10 RBIs, nine stolen bases and six doubles.
Positive influence: My parents. Both have pushed me and pushed me to work hard and to become the best person possible. When I started playing, they worked with me and gave all they had so I would succeed. They're wonderful people and I'm very thankful for them both.
Best memory: Having fun with my sister, Beth. We've played together for three years and no matter what the situation, she and I were able to help each other out and have fun. I will seriously miss playing with her next year.
Surprised to learn: I like to sew. My grandma taught me to sew when I was little and have made lots of things since then.
School: South Range
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .421 with a .933 fielding percentage; went 15-5 with 0.51 ERA and 152 strikeouts; four-time team MVP; first team All-Northeast Ohio and All-ICL; second team All-Ohio.
Positive influence: My pitching coach, Bill Croft -- he taught me everything I know. And my dad. He always supported me and worked with me. He would always catch me and take a million bruises.
Best memory: Hearing that Springfield lost to McDonald and we had the ICL championship to ourselves. Also, beating United in the district semifinal game.
Surprised to learn: I started pitching when I was 14. I will attend D'Youville College in Buffalo to play softball and major in physical therapy.
School: Canfield
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .432 with 18 RBIs and 15 extra base hits; pitched 141 innings, winning 14 games with a 1.59 ERA.
Positive influence: My parents. They have always been supportive in everything I do. They always encourage me and make sure I challenge myself to make myself better.
Best memory: Pitching a perfect game against Chaney in the district semifinal.
Surprised to learn: I value academics over athletics.
School: Ursuline
Grade: Junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .338 with .506 on base percentage, 31 runs scored and 24 stolen bases.
Positive influence: Chris Mullane. He was my first fastpitch coach and I played travel ball on his team for three years. He taught me all that I know and developed me into a catcher.
Best memory: Winning the district championship. This was the first time in school history that our softball team had ever won a district title.
Surprised to learn: I wish to continue playing softball in college while pursuing a career in dentistry.
School: Chaney
Grade: Senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Batted .341; first team All-City as a catcher; four-year letterwinner.
Positive influence: My brother, Dominic Yazbek. Despite all the obstacles he had to overcome, he's still playing basketball, achieving his goals and reaching his dreams. By watching him never give up, I learned that even when your dreams seem impossible, you have to push through and give it your all or you will regret never trying.
Best memory: Beating Struthers in the first round of the tournament; beating Howland for the sectional title.
Surprised to learn: I was valedictorian of my graduating class, ranking first out of 167 with a grade point average of 4.485.
School: Poland
Positive influence: My father. He was the classic example of how one is to live life in humility.
Best memory: This season was one memory after another. These girls played so hard and meshed so well together that I took joy in being a fan for each game.
Surprised to learn: I'm a pastor at Church of the Rock in Poland.

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