Vakos will kick for Ohio U.

Avon senior Nathanial Vakos has spent countless hours attending prestigious kicking camps in other states, honing his craft on the high school field and has fashioned himself into one of the premier players at his position in the country.

On Dec. 14, the Eagles record holder made his college football decision official, then signed on to play for Ohio University in a ceremony in the high school’s gym on Dec. 15 during national signing day.

Also a key midfielder for the Eagles boys soccer team that advanced to the Division I final four this fall, Vakos was a special teams ace for coach Mike Elder’s football team, handling kicking and punting duties on the way to a Division II All-Ohio nomination. His career mark of 261 consecutive extra points is a state record.

On the Eagles’ way to a fifth consecutive Division II semifinal, he converted all three of his field goal attempts, the farthest from 50 yards, averaged 41.6 yards per punt and sent 95% of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

Elsewhere, Rocky River senior Tommy Bebie took part in a signing ceremony at the high school to play linebacker at Wake Forest University. In his final season as a Pirate, he led the team in tackles with 137 while also rushing for more than 1,900 yards and was named All-Ohio in Division III.

Lakewood senior lineman Tico Jones, also an All-Ohio player in Division II, took part in a signing ceremony. He will continue his football career at Youngstown State University.

All-Ohio football

The Ohio High School Athletic Association recently released its annual All-Ohio football honors for Divisions I-VII, as voted on by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. The West Life coverage area was well represented in Divisions I-IV.

Medina senior quarterback Drew Allar, a Penn State University commit, was named Ohio’s “Mr. Football”, the 35th recipient of the award.

Division I

Offensive Players of the Year: Drew Allar (Medina), Te’Sean Smoot (Springfield); Defensive Player of the Year: Gabe Powers (Marysville); Coach of the Year: Justin Buttermore (Upper Arlington)

First Team Offense (area) – QB: Christian Ramos (St. Edward); OL: Joe Lavelle (St. Edward)

First Team Defense – DL: Michael Kilbane (St. Edward); LB: Ziyon Freer-Brown (St. Edward)

Second Team Defense – DB: Griffin Taliak (St. Ignatius)

Third Team Offense – RB: Danny Enovitch (St. Edward); OL: Giovanni Kennedy (St. Edward); K: Zeb Eldridge (St. Ignatius)

Third Team Defense – DL: Peter Chalhoub (St. Ignatius), Wyatt Gedeon (St. Edward); DB: Joel Castleberry (St. Edward)

Honorable Mention – RB: Marty Lenehan (St. Ignatius); OL: Ashton Montgomery (St. Ignatius); LB: Chris Aerni (St. Ignatius); P: Ben Lavelle (St. Edward)

Division II

Offensive Players of the Year: Trey Martin (Green), Lamar Sperling (Akron Hoban); Defensive Player of the Year: Jay’ron Gibson (Cincinnati Winton Woods); Coaches of the Year: Rob Page (Big Walnut), Alex Garvin (Kings Mills Kings)

First Team Offense – RB: Rocco Conti (Olmsted Falls)

First Team Defense – DL: Tico Jones (Lakewood); DB: Ryan Ptacek (Avon)

Second Team Offense – RB: Jakorion Caffey (Avon); OL: Joe Lubertozzi (Avon Lake); K: Nathanial Vakos (Avon)

Second Team Defense – P: Owen Wiley (Avon Lake)

Third Team Offense – QB: Xavier Balson (North Olmsted), Sam DeTillio (Avon); WR/TE: Tim Conwell (Avon); OL: Luke Hamilton (Avon), Dominic Rivera (Olmsted Falls)

Third Team Defense – DL: Avery Viancourt (Avon Lake), Gavin Beasley (North Olmsted); DB: Pierden Pepe (Avon Lake), Keegan Rudduck (Avon Lake)

Honorable Mention – QB: Charlie Ciolek (Olmsted Falls); RB: Hakeem Quran (Lakewood); WR/TE: Jared Kelley (North Olmsted), Jake DePaul (Avon Lake); DL: Austin Mitchell (Avon), Dain Bartlebaugh (North Ridgeville), Angel Jiminian (Westlake); LB: Luke Dieckman (Olmsted Falls), Trevor Norman (Avon), Gavin Ehrhardt (Avon)

Division III

Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Novak (Mt. Orab Western Brown); Defensive Player of the Year: C.J. Hicks (Kettering Alter); Coach of the Year: Wes Schroeder (Granville)

First Team Defense – LB: Tommy Bebie (Rocky River)

Second Team Defense – P: Braedon Spies (Rocky River)

Third Team Offense – OL: Aiden Andrako (Rocky River)

Honorable Mention – RB: Pawie Ault (Bay), Johnny Bebie (Rocky River); WR/TE: Stan Heuler (Rocky River); OL: Trevor Prudhoe (Bay); K: Mack Massad (Rocky River); P: Brendan Spellman (Bay)

Division IV

Offensive Player of the Year: C.J. Hester (Cincinnati Wyoming); Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Ferrell (Bloom-Carroll); Coach of the Year: Eric Valentine (Columbus Linden-McKinley)

First Team Defense – DB: Kenny Grobolsek (Brookside)

Second Team Offense – RB: Eddie Lewis (Lutheran West)

Second Team Defense – LB: Karson Nail (Brookside)

Division V

Offensive Players of the Year: Gabe Tingle (West Lafayette Ridgewood), Levi Gullion (Piketon); Defensive Players of the Year: Spencer Mesaros (Ravenna Southeast), Carson Bey (Versailles); Coaches of the Year: Mike Lento (Kansas Lakota), Dave Maddox (Camden Preble Shawnee)

Third Team Defense – LB: Nate Glanc (Fairview)

Division VI

Offensive Players of the Year: Beau Brungard (New Middletown Springfield), D.J. Newman (Archbold); Defensive Player of the Year: Norey Johnson (Cincinnati Deer Park); Coach of the Year: James Lee (KIPP Columbus)

Division VII

Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Gallehue (Edon); Defensive Player of the Year: Eli Franks (McComb); Coach of the Year: Bob Ashley (Portsmouth Notre Dame)

State baseball

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced on Dec. 17 that the annual state baseball tournament will once again take place at Canal Park in Akron. The final four has taken place at the stadium since 2019, and will continue to do so for the next three years.

Canal Park seats 7,630 and is home to the Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians. It features two of the largest dugouts and one of the largest video boards in all of minor league baseball, and will debut upgraded and modernized seating in 2022.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.