Prep notes: VASJ sophomore Flannigan is invited to U.S. U16 tryouts

Demonte Flannigan of Villa Angela-St. Joseph has been added to the USA Basketball men’s developmental national team.

The addition of Flannigan, a News-Herald first-team all-star last winter, increases the U.S. roster of the nation’s top 16-and-under standouts to 27. The team begins training camp on Friday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Spring, Colo.

The 2011 U.S. under-16 national team and the 2012 U.S. under-17 World Championship team are likely to qualify for the U17 Worlds, which will be comprised of USA developmental national team members.

The 12-member 2011 USA Men’s U16 national team will be selected during training camp, which will take place from Friday until June 18 in Colorado Springs.

Flannigan was a second-team All-Ohio selection after averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds as a sophomore for the Vikings.

Chagrin’s Kirk steps down

Dave Kirk has announced he will no longer coach the boys cross country team at Chagrin Falls.

He was the third coach in the program’s history, which dates to 1963. Kirk spent 20 years as the head coach. He will remain the head boys track coach.

“I was missing so many events with my daughters,” Kirk said. “They will both be in high school next year. Time is short, and I just don’t want to miss any more. With the opportunity to be more involved with them, I just couldn’t pass that up.”

Kirk worked closely with the boys and girls cross country programs during his tenure.

Over the past 20 years, Chagrin Falls girls coaches Jim Serluco, Pete Olah and Kirk had 118 cross country runners qualify for the regional meet. Twenty-five went on to the state meet as individuals, and 15 earned All-Ohio honors.

“We had a close-knit girls and boys program, and we tried to foster that as much as we could when I first took over the program in 1990,” said Kirk, who is an 11th grade American Literature teacher at Chagrin Falls. “I think we really have something special here, and I hope that will continue.”

Under Kirk, the boys and girls programs sent teams to state in 1990, ’91, ’92, ’93 and 2005. The boys finished as the state runners-up in 1993. The girls were state champions in 1991 and state runners-up in ’92. The programs advanced to regionals 28 times.

During that time, the Tigers won two regional championships and were second twice. The Tigers won eight district championships and were district runners-up 10 times. They also combined for 10 CVC titles.

“I’ve truly been blessed,” Kirk said. “I get to work with the best kids in what is the best sport. The parents’ help was overwhelming. It allowed for the opportunity to do great things. It was very special. I will miss that. Words can’t express how much I appreciate the opportunity to have given something back to the community of Chagrin Falls. I’ll miss the kids and the coaches in Northeastern Ohio. They are the best. Running in Northeastern Ohio is the best in the state.”

Gilmour golfer 43rd

Gilmour sophomore Andrew Bieber finished tied for 43rd out of 94 participants in Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifying tournament at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif. Bieber shot a 72 in the first round and a 76 in the second for a total of 148, but did not qualify. His two-round score included five birdies. The top five qualifying scores ranged between 137 and 139.

Runners earn scholarships

The Northeast Running Club will be presenting its 16th annual high school scholarships on June 14 at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Mayfield Village. The club raises funds for the program through a variety of different functions, races, race timing, scoring fees, sponsors and donations.

Awards are based on academics, leadership, school and community service and accomplishments in cross country and track.

There are eight award-winners for 2011. The winner of the Jack Huntsberger Award, the top honor, will go to John Honkala of Berkshire. The Ohio Teamster’s Sports Committee award goes to Noelle Jurcak of Berkshire. The Medical Mutual of Ohio award goes to Deanna Kreider of Mentor.

Additional awards will go to Tam Surtees (Kenston), Maygen Semall (Kenston), Abbie Clifford (Perry), Domina DiBiase (Geneva) and Tim Wilhelm (Lake Catholic).

Lake coach step downs

Lake Catholic hockey coach Shawn Sadler has resigned. Cougars athletic director Sam Colacarro said Sadler stepped down because he couldn’t make it work with his schedule for his new job.

Applications are being accepted until June 24. Contact Colacarro at the high school at 440-951-0077 or email scolacarro@lakecatholic.org.

Sports Editor Mark Podolski and Staff Writer Bill Tilton contributed to this report.

Last Updated: 6/8/2011 12:58:47 AM EST

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