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Mayfield cracks the top-three, Perry returns to power poll

Oct 07, 2015 -- 12:59pm

By ESPN Cleveland Staff |



CLEVELAND – Going into their game against Chardon (5-1) this Friday, Mayfield has cracked the top three in this week’s ESPN Cleveland high school football Power Poll. The Wildcats are 6-0 and trail St. Edward, which tops the ranking for the fifth week in a row as well as Midview, which is number two for the second straight week.

For the first time since week four of the 2010 season, Perry is in the Power Poll. The Pirates are also unbeaten and have debuted at number nine.

Mentor dropped from third to sixth, following their 42-35 loss at Solon last week. They are the only two-loss team currently in the top ten.

The Mayfield-Chardon game is the ESPN Cleveland High School Hysteria featured game of the week. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN 850 WKNR and and will include live reports and updates on additional games both on air and on Twitter @HSHysteria.

Rank (No. of 1st place votes)PointsPrevious ranking
1. St. Edward (6)831
2. Midview (2) 792
3. Mayfield (1)724
4. Hoban606
5. Benedictine595
6. Mentor383
7. St. Ignatius376
8. Stow-Munroe Falls359
9. Perry10NR
10. Glenville610

Coverage begins at 6:45 on ESPN 850 WKNR and and will include live reports and updates on additional games both on air and on Twitter @HSHysteria. 

Others Receiving Votes: Buckeye 3, Euclid 3, Olmsted Falls 3, Avon 2, Berea-Midpark 1, Kirtland 1, Madison 1, North Olmsted 1, St Vincent-St Mary 1

Dropped Out: Aurora 8 





Jerod Cherry's College QB Tracker: Round 2

Oct 06, 2015 -- 10:51am

By Jerod Cherry |



CLEVELAND -- As the City of Cleveland looks ahead towards the 2016 NFL Draft -- Jerod Cherry analyzes the college quarterback prospects that could be under center for the Browns next season.

Week of 10/3/15 

1. Jared Goff

2. Connor Cook

3. Cody Kessler

4. Cardale Jones

5. Deshaun Watson

Out: Chrisian Hackenberg

This week in our 2016 QB draft tracker we have some changes at the top and bottom! Connor Cook won once again. As a matter of fact, Connor set a MSU record for the most wins for a starting quarterback in MSU's history with 28 victories, surpassing Kirk Cousins. Congrats to Connor, but his numbers were pedestrian. 13-19 for 139 yards and one TD is not going to make the headlines, it will however, win games when you consider how MSU wants to play football. MSU wants to play ball control offense paired with solid special teams and stingy man pressure defense. If the Current Browns regime remains intact, Cook's experience as a game manager and not an aggressive passer would be a fit. However ,I am more incline to have a guy that can air it out if need be and also be the game managing short to intermediate check down thrower as well.

Right now Cal's Jared Goff appears to have the skill set, just described, that is why he is our new number one, replacing Connor Cook at the top. Last week Goff lit up the Washington State Cougars for 390 yards and four touchdowns. Goff did throw an INT early in the game but to his credit he bounced back. Goff with his bounce back play illustrated another character trait that will be required of the Browns future QB. That trait is the ability to overcome self and team inflicted wounds and still play at a very high level.

Our new number three is Cody Kessler. My man Cardale Jones is struggling (Joe Namath voice) so much so that a QB who did not play this past weekend has surpassed him. Cardale does not look comfortable and I am certain it is the JT Barrett shadow that has Cardale's game looking suspect and uncomfortable. So far this year against sub par defenses, Cardale has not shown the flashes of brilliance that he displayed in last year's championship run. Coach Urban Meyer said it, and I agree with him that if Cardale can overcome looking over his shoulder at the competition it will make him a better pro. Right now looking over his shoulder is hindering Cardale's game, hence his dropping down to number 4.

We have a new number 5; DeShaun Watson from Clemson, and we have to tell Christian Hackenberg from Penn State that with better play he can always make a comeback. Watson has been on my radar, but, Watson being a true sophomore makes me nervous. When you look at DeShaun's body of work and what he pulled off as a signal caller in Clemson's upset victory over Notre Dame, he should be in the top-5. Christian did not have an awful game this past Saturday for Penn State, his performance was so so or ho hum, and to be fair weather and scheme does factor in, but right now I am more intrigued by Watson because of his leadership and recent play over a highly touted Notre Dame football team.

That is this week's installment of 2016 QB draft tracker. When time permits, let us know who is on your radar, and if you agree or disagree with my order!




Midview Moves to Number 2, Stow Makes Power Poll Debut

Oct 01, 2015 -- 1:46pm

By ESPN Cleveland Staff |



CLEVELAND – Following its 24-14 win over previously unbeaten Berea-Midpark last week, Midview moved ahead of Mentor and into the number two spot in this week’s ESPN Cleveland Power Poll. It is the Middies’ highest position ever in the high school football ranking.
Stow-Monroe Falls has cracked the Power Poll’s top ten for the first time ever. The Bulldogs are 5-0, including a 65-37 victory at Nordonia last Friday.

St. Edward is at the top of the Power Poll for the fourth week in a row, while Glenville returned to pole at number ten for the first time since a loss to St. Edward in week two.

The leading vote-getter not to crack the top ten, Brecksville-Broadview Heights will put its 5-0 record on the line Friday against Nordonia in the ESPN Cleveland High School Hysteria featured game of the week.

Rank (No. of 1st place votes)PointsPrevious ranking
1. St. Edward (7)791
2. Midview (1) 673
3. Mentor (1) 632
4. Benedictine 516
5. Mayfield515
6. St. Ignatius374
7. Hoban349
8. Aurora228
9. Stow-Munrow Falls15NR
10. Glenville10NR

Coverage begins at 6:45 on ESPN 850 WKNR and and will include live reports and updates on additional games both on air and on Twitter @HSHysteria. 

Others Receiving Votes: Brecksville-Broadview Heights 3, Strongsville 3, Avon 2, Maple Heights 2, Perry 1

Dropped Out: Berea-Midpark 7




Jerod Cherry's College QB Tracker

Sep 29, 2015 -- 10:40am

By Jerod Cherry |



With a bridge quarterback at the helm and a major unanswered question on the current Cleveland Browns roster regarding whether or not Johnny Manziel is the real deal, starting this week and throughout the 2015 college football season we will do a college football QB draft tracker. We will list my top-five quarterback candidates for the Browns to potentially select in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft. The rankings are subject to change based upon the weekly performances of the potential draftees. Also included in the draft tracker at times will be guys that are out of the top five but are honorable mentions in the conversation.

Top 5

Connor Cook (Michigan State)A not so impressive outing versus Central Michigan from a statistical standpoint, but when his team needed him to lead a drive in a closer game than the score would indicate, Cook found a way to lead dives and score points. Cook currently leads the pack of potential draftees because he has pro ability, and he also has intangibles working in his favor. For starters he is a winner. Secondly, Connor plays in a cold weather region and Cook's presence has had a huge impact in elevating MSU's program from middle of the road to a premiere program. If selected by the Browns, maybe those traits can transfer to the pro level as well.

Jared Goff (California): Jared is nipping at the heels of Connor Cook in my QB tracker because of his abilities as a true pocket passer, pre and post snap decision maker, and leader on and off the field. Cal has been awful the past few seasons. Goff and company have endured and presently sit at 4-0. I am always looking for a guy that is an overcomer and has changed the culture and narrative of a failing team/program. Those type of traits will be needed to change the fortunes of the Browns, and Goff may have those traits and skills, obviously time will tell.

Cardale Jones (Ohio State): Cardale did not light the world on fire against Western Michigan ( 19-of-33 for 288 yards). Jones did  however do enough to remain OSU's starter. Jones had some touch issues passing, his decision making was better than the previous week's victory over Northern Illinois. Cardale's size, raw talent, and potential as a pocket passer will keep scouts intrigued however to move up in my QB tracker I need to see more big plays and sustained drives.

Cody Kessler (USC): It is no mystery that USC traditionally produces NFL ready quarterbacks. What is not known is if Kessler is a benefactor of great talent surrounding him, thus too talented to fail, or if he is the real deal and can succeed in any situation. Regarding Kessler's game, what concerns me is his size. He is listed at 6'1, Johnny was listed at 6'0... You do the math. In his latest performance Cody threw for 375 yards and five touchdowns. Couple that with the fact he constantly makes smart decisions with football merits entry into the top five.

Christian Hackenberg (Penn State): Christian entered the 2015 college football campaign as one of my top pro QB's prospects. Poor play in a loss to the Temple Owls changed my perception that Hackenberg is a can't miss QB prospect. I do realize that football is a team sport and if a quarterback does not get support he will more often then not struggle, hence that is part of Christian's evaluation. Hackenberg had some success this week passing the ball downfield but he has a long way to go to get back to the top. The reason why is because in order to be the Browns quarterback you need to be a guy that makes others around you better and as a QB you can overcome the shortcomings of others. 





Maple Heights returns to Power Poll, Midview surges to Top Three

Sep 23, 2015 -- 4:05pm

By ESPN Cleveland Staff |


CLEVELAND – For the first time since their state championship run in 2010, Maple Heights has entered the ESPN Cleveland high school football Power Poll. The Mustangs are off to a 4-0 start and are ranked tenth this week.

Midview moved from fifth to third after an impressive 55-35 victory at Avon, which was previously unbeaten and ranked seventh. The Eagles dropped out of the poll this week.

St. Edward is number one for the third week in a row, followed by Mentor.

On Friday, Midview plays at seventh ranked Berea-Midpark in this week’s ESPN Cleveland High School Hysteria featured game of the week. Both teams are 4-0. Coverage begins at 6:45 on ESPN 850 WKNR and and will include live reports and updates on additional games both on air and on Twitter @HSHysteria.

Rank School (First Place Votes) Points Previous

1. St Edward (7) 96 1

2. Mentor (1) 80 2

3. Midview (1) 78 5

4. St Ignatius 61 3

5. Mayfield (1) 55 4

6. Benedictine 54 6

7. Berea-Midpark 41 8

8. Aurora 28 9

9. Hoban 24 10

10. Maple Heights 13 NR

Others Receiving Votes: Brecksville-Broadview Heights 9, Bay 5, Avon 4, Glenville 1, Strongsville 1

Dropped Out: Avon 7





Charged up

Sep 17, 2015 -- 6:44pm

By Tony Cartagena |


Photo/ESPN Cleveland 

CANTON – Let’s be honest about something here. It’s nearly impossible for me to go an entire day without annoying the proud people of Cleveland, OH with a reference to America’s Dairyland, my home state of Wisconsin.

So when I arrived in Canton this morning, 15 minutes early before my 10 o’clock “appointment” to meet up with Sean Wyatt and Mike Gansey of the Canton Charge, I was almost late. The clocks at Lambeau Field Stadium are set 15 minutes fast because the great coach Vince Lombardi always taught his players, ‘if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.’

The trip started at 8:37 am. Started my car and punched ‘1101 Market Ave’ into the GPS app on my phone. Emmett Golden was supposed to attend as well, but as his 2:30 am text read “My head is pounding. I’m going to stay home tomorrow morning.”

No hard feelings, E. What do you and my jump shot have in common? Feverish. Hot. On Fire.

The Canton Charge and their entire staff were extremely hospitable. The home court, “The Civic Center” is second-to-none. You walk in the arena and feel as if you’re walking around on the Cleveland Cavaliers home-court, with just a few less seats. Their attention to detail and design of everything from the wall decals to the newly finished hardwood floor and locker room amenities is immaculate.

Unless you’re the visiting team, then you get hot water in the water fountain (In Milwaukee it’s called a bubbler, but I don’t want to confuse everyone) and tiled showers that look like they were used on the set of Hoosiers. All in good fun and a tad bit exaggerated.

You can literally sit courtside, at a table, with ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT AND DRINK! If I’m not on the bench this season, you'll know where to find me.

There are plans to invest more money into the visiting locker rooms and to continually improve, not only the fan, but the player experience of the NBA’s development league and the Charge.

Gansey finished second in the voting of Ohio’s 2003 Mr. Basketball award, behind a one, Mr. LeBron James. Ever heard of him?  He also finished one rank above NBA starter Kevin Martin. The guy knows what he’s talking about when it comes to working out, playing basketball and drafting talent.

The future of the Charge is bright. Very bright.

We went over to the practice facility, Edgewood Community Center, and worked out on their actual practice court. Yes, the Charge have a practice facility and a game arena, just another amenity that talented players will get to enjoy if drafted on Oct. 31 or show-out and impress in the Sept. 27 open tryout.

We didn’t play H-O-R-S-E or one-on-one and call it a workout. We ran real game scenarios, pick-and-roll and splitting a double team until you could create your own elbow jump shot. In each individual drill we set team goals, where if we were shooting from the top of the key – after sprinting down the court and back – as a tandem we had to make 10 shots. We ran and ran and ran until 10 shots went down.

I soaked through two, count them, two, t-shirts and I am generally nervous to open my gym bag and experience that stench after an hour drive back to Cleveland. Looks like it’s laundry night.

It wasn’t all pretty. To keep it real, this is clearly a long shot. But I am without a doubt confident that I have what it takes to hold my own and compete with the best of them. I've done it before. I'm going to do it again.

Men from all over the country are flying in to tryout for this team. Their families will be with them in the stands, cheering for them and against me.

I love the game of basketball and I’m just not ready to give up the dream yet. Probably never will be. You’ll be able to find me at every six am open gym at the YMCA and rec leagues and wherever there is blacktop or hardwood and a group of people enjoying the greatest game in the world.

Literally until I am no longer physically able to play, I will.

Nothing more peaceful than shooting around in a dimly lit gym, listening to the harmony of a dribble.

There is a white-board in the locker room of the Charges’ practice facility. In the top right corner there is a quote from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichik.

“Day by day. No shortcut. No magic wand. Just grind it out day by day.”

Life. Basketball. Work. School. Relationships. Family. Just grind it out.

I hope you lose to my Packers in the Super Bowl, Bill, but these words of wisdom, this demand for ‘no excuses’ or ‘easy-way-outs,’ will be the mantra that I attack each and every day with. No matter what.

Carpe Diem.

P.S. I missed three free throws today, out of a lot, but still. UNACCEPTABLE.

See you Sept. 28.




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