By JOE PINCHOT
NEWS On the Green
Lourdes University’s wrestling program has two main attributes it looks for in recruiting high school students to continue their academic and athletic pursuits at the Franciscan institution in Sylvania, Ohio: the ability to work hard, and a hatred of losing.
“We want young ladies who hate to lose because, if they hate to lose, they’re gonna work hard,” said Dock Kelly, head coach of the men’s wrestling team.
Kelly was in Brookfield March 28 to witness the signing of a letter of intent by Bailey Hackett, a Brookfield High School senior, to attend Lourdes and wrestle there.
Lourdes’ women’s program is in transition with an interim head coach, Louis Piszker, who has been Bailey’s main contact.
But, Kelly was well aware of Bailey and her accomplishments, as an honor student, as a person involved in many sports and activities, and as a wrestler who has been a three-time state qualifier.
“She has all the attributes you want to build a team around,” Kelly said. “She, we feel like, has just scratched the surface of her potential.”
He’s serious about her role building a team. Lourdes’ women’s wrestling team is only in its second year.
“This class is the one that we’re looking to elevate and take it to the next level,” Kelly said of Bailey and the other high school seniors who will join her in the fall. “This will be the foundation, the stepping stone that we go from good to great.”
Bailey comes from a wrestling family. Her dad, Larry, was a high school wrestler and now coaches, and her brothers, Zachary and Joe, both wrestled for Brookfield.
Bailey said she had always wanted to wrestle, but her parents didn’t allow her until she was a freshman.
“Once I got to high school, and I had the opportunity, now it’s like a dream coming true,” she said.
Bailey likes the physical contact of wrestling, “and I can use my strength but like in a good way,” she said. “It’s taught me a lot of discipline, and I think it’s just really helpful for me.”
Wrestling is a good sport for girls because, “It can train them to not only defend themselves but just become a better person.”
Bailey said she wants to help attract more girls to the sport and be a role model for those who give it a shot.
“I wanna be someone they can look up to and someone that they can come to for help or if they need anything,” she said.
Bailey said she has not settled on a major, but is leaning toward education with a goal of becoming a high school science teacher.
“I think it was just the best fit for me,” Bailey said of attending Lourdes. “Not just the athletics, but the college in general just fit me better.”
By KRISTIE STEYER
Brookfield High School seniors Tasha Oviatt and Kenny Montgomery have signed letters of intent to play athletics at the collegiate level next year.
They signed their commitment letters during a ceremony March 4 at the school with family members, friends and district staff on hand.
“I grew up around soccer,” Tasha said, noting she has played since she was 3. “I really didn’t want it to stop after I graduated high school.”
Tasha reached out to the women’s soccer coach at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, Kaela Kovanda, sending video and inviting her to watch an upcoming indoor game. Several conversations later, Tasha’s dream came true.
“This has been a big dream for me,” Tasha said. “I’m so happy and excited!”
During her career at Brookfield, Tasha earned three varsity letters in soccer. She is an honor roll student and has earned certifications in American Heartsaver first aid, CPR, AED, OHSA industry health care, HIPPA training, and NFHS concussion training. Tasha says she plans to major in sports management at Hiram.
Kenny has only been playing golf for five years, but he has earned four varsity letters, and this past season he finished in third place at the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference tournament, and earned first team All League and honorable mention All-Northeast Ohio honors.
His abilities caught the attention of the University of Mount Union’s golf coach.
“One of my dreams was to go play college golf, so this is a dream come true,” Kenny said.
At BHS, Kenny also played basketball, and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has been selected a Student of the Month, and chosen as the Outstanding Student in Web Design.
At Mount Union, in Alliance, Ohio, he plans to pursue a sports business degree.
Both colleges are in the NCAA Division III. The Hiram Terriers compete in the North Coast Athletic Conference, and the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders are members of the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Kristie Steyer is public relations and marketing coordinator for Trumbull County Educational Service Center. Brookfield Local School District is a TSESC client.