By Tim Bielik, Northeast Ohio Media Group on September 18, 2014 10 a.m.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Holy Name girls soccer coach Emily Balodis still remembers what it’s like to play for the Green Wave.
The first-year coach graduated from Holy Name in 2010 after a strong high school career, which included a state championship in 2006. After four years at Notre Dame College, Balodis returned to her alma mater to lead a new crop of Holy Name girls soccer players eager for similar success.
“I know what I wanted from a coach being a female athlete,” Balodis said following a 4-1 loss to Walsh Jesuit at Notre Dame College on Sept. 10. “So I feel like that helps me understand what they want from a coach. It makes things a bit easier.”
PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — Remember Holy Name High School’s sweet win over Badin High School in girls’ soccer in 2006? Or the school’s band marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1994?
This Catholic school was originally established in Cleveland in 1914 and moved to its current location, 6000 Queens Highway in Parma Heights after a merger with Nazareth Academy in the late 1970s.
Holy Name’s team acquired the nickname of “the Green Wave” after a newspaper account described how the players moved on the football field. The school community has historically been a strong supporter of sports.
At one time, the school’s athletes were referred to as the “Little Davids,” as in David and Goliath, because they would take on schools larger than their own, acknowledged Jack Richardson, athletic director.
In the past 10 years, Holy Name has had a notably strong program in girls’ soccer, taking the state championship in 2006. Its hockey program has been competitive for the last five years, and the girls’ basketball team has been a regional qualifier in recent years.
Our photo gallery takes a look back at sports highlights and other memories just as the school marks its centennial celebration this year.
A series of gatherings around Cleveland marking the centennial has been under way since January.
The next big event is the school’s Oct. 24th homecoming game, when the school plans to honor state championship teams from the past.
Holy Name running back Shakif Seymour’s past has taught him lessons for football: Evening off the Field
By Stephanie Kuzydym, Northeast Ohio Media Group on September 11, 2014 12:15 p.m.
Holy Name running back Shakif Seymour laughs at his running backs coach during a light Wednesday workout. Seymour scored six touchdowns in Week 2 against Normandy. (Stephanie Kuzydym, Northeast Ohio Media Group)
PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio – Water dripped down the sides of Shakif Seymour’s face. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t late for his post-practice workout and interview. He wasn’t. He was early, but he came out to introduce himself in his shower sandals before running back in the locker room to grab his Air Jordans.
It was Wednesday night, which means weightlifting for the Holy Name junior running back and Green Wave running back coach Jake Simon, better known as his buddy. The two work side-by-side, crunch-for-crunch, lift-for-lift through a workout at least three times a week.
Simon said the 6-foot-1, 210 pound star running back doesn’t know his own strength yet and Seymour just smiled. He may not max out but he knows his goals and he knows his place. It stems from three things his mom taught him: stay humble, work hard and eventually everything will be OK, even when it’s not.
That last one is most important. Seymour hasn’t run from his past. He’s learned from it.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group spent an evening with Seymour away from football on Wednesday as part of a regular series that gets to know area athletes and coaches and their lives away from the field.
He grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a neighborhood called Englewood. It has one of the highest crime rates in the country and a declining population to go with it.
Teishua Lawrence wanted to give her son the best chance to succeed so at age 10 she moved her family to Cleveland because an uncle told her it was nice here. She signed Seymour up for muny league football.
Had he stayed in Chicago, he would probably be a student at Simeon. That’s the high school where his favorite basketball player, Derrick Rose, went. It’s also the high school where basketball phenom Ben “Benji” Wilson was shot to death as a senior.
In sixth and seventh grade, Seymour realized he’d have to focus on his grades if he wanted to go to college. He was named valedictorian of his eighth grade class. Then he had to find a high school where he felt he could succeed, as well as where he felt comfortable.
He chose Holy Name, where math, especially geometry, and any kind of history are what he thrives on.
“I actually like doing homework,” he said. “Studying is the hard part.”
But if it’s hard, if it will test him, if it will teach him a lesson, Seymour will put his dedicated work ethic into it.
On Tuesday night, after practice and a radio gig at the Hooley House with his teammates, he headed home to make dinner and then study for three tests. He was up until 1 a.m.
By 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday, Seymour was in his most relaxed place: the weight room. He did pull-ups and benched the bar of the bench press with a resistance band wound around the end to make it more difficult. Back and forth, Seymour and Simon trudged across the weight room to work out as many different muscles. Game day was approaching – Holy Name (1-1) plays Valley Forge on Friday at North Royalton – so the workout was light.
“I can do this and still smile about it afterward,” Seymour said. “This is cake.”
His trips to the end zone last Friday could be described a similar way. Against Normandy, Seymour found the end zone six times, or in his words he “smelled it.”
Those are the words that go through his head when he touches the ball “smell the end zone.”
But the first words that fill his head when he hits the field? Lead the team.
“If I start off well, they start off well,” he said.
Seymour rushed for 281 yards last week. In two games he has 313 yards on 27 carries and five touchdowns. He has also caught eight passes for 99 yards and two scores.
All of his work is drawing interesting from Division I schools. Last season, he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards while scoring 16 touchdowns.
Before the first snap of games, the four Green Wave running backs gather in a prayer group. One running back who is assigned says the prayer for the week. Then each running back says his intentions so they know each other better. Then they recite two more prayers, Our Father and a Hail Mary. His mom has always told him “God will fix everything, good or bad.”
She’s a single parent who has raised Shakif, his older sister Nikia, 18, and his younger brothers Jahad, 15, and Louis, 12. His dad hasn’t been in the picture since he was 4.
“She’s my role model,” Seymour said of his mother. “She pushed so hard to change everything.”
To this day, she reminds him of things like hard work and “stay in the books.”
His books could be filled with his drawings. Beyond football, it’s what he loves most. Had he stayed in Chicago, he said he would have probably gone to an art school, but now he wants to major in business. He wants gain a scholarship so his mom doesn’t have to pay for his school and then get a good education so he can make money so his mom doesn’t have to work as hard anymore. She’s done her job. Now, he wants it to be his turn.
Well, Plan A is actually to become an NFL player.
“That’s the dream,” he said.
Plan B is to become a businessman who takes care of his family, makes money and is there for his kids. As a leader he has learned when one works hard, it pushes others to work hard.
During Wednesday’s interview he didn’t bring up the six touchdowns. When asked about the accomplishment he brought up one of those three lessons from his mom: work hard.
“I’ve got to lead the team,” he said. “They’re looking up to me. I scored six touchdowns, but they’re still looking to me to do more. I can’t just settle for what I did. They want to see the best out of me and I want to see the best out of my teammates so we have to bring it out of each other.”
Because if there’s anything the past has taught him it’s this: Good or bad, in the end, everything will be OK.
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Holy Name High School | September 10, 2014
The Holy Name Football team will honor Team Trace at their game on September 12th. The Green Wave will take on Valley Forge at 7:00pm at Serpentini Stadium. Everyone will be wearing RED to honor Trace.
Who is Trace? Here is Trace’s story from the Team Trace Facebook page:
In December 2011 Trace started complaining of headaches that would not go away. After a few days we took him to the doctor where he was diagnosed with an ear infection. He seemed OK for a few days but then the headaches came back. Over the next 6 weeks he was diagnosed with 3 more ear infections and a virus. In late February he stopped eating, had fevers, terrible arm pain, and just was not his happy self. On the morning of February 23rd Trace work up with his left eye turned inward. Our pediatrician recommended taking him to Akron Children’s Hospital for a CT scan. That day we received the devastating news the Trace had a large mass on the right side of his brain. He underwent surgery on February 27th and the surgeon was able to remove the entire tumor which was wonderful but unfortunately the pathology was not – Trace had a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) which is a high grade tumor.
After 30 days of radiation and a year of chemo Trace was doing wonderful despite the tough treatment he underwent. And every scan since has come back positive until the last routine scan on January 21 which shows what is believed to be a small area of tumor regrowth. Trace is feeling great and he is so strong, so this is just a bump in the road to recovery!
Please feel free to send prayers and well wishes – he loves to see that!
Week 2 American Family Insurance All-USA Northeast Ohio Plays of the Week
By: tdubravetz September 7, 2014 8:18 PM AST
Click here and vote for Holy Names Shakif Seymour 59 yard TD and stiff arm.
By Bill Mayville, Special to the Northeast Ohio Media Group on August 29, 2014 11:15 p.m.
Name: Peyton Davis.
School: Holy Name.
College: Eastern Michigan.
What Peyton did last week: Had a hat trick in the Green Wave’s 6-3 win against Berea-Midpark on Saturday. One of her goals came off a free kick.
Three Questions with Peyton
Q: How has your senior season been going so far?
A: It’s been going really well. I see a lot of potential in my team this year. I’m hoping that our season — we’re only one game deep — but I think we’re going to do very well.
Q: What is the most fun part about the game of soccer?
A: The most fun thing is being on the field with my teammates like Caroline (Dreher) and Toni (Dickson), and just having fun out there, making good passes and having fun and scoring goals like this weekend. It was really awesome.
Q: Is there something people don’t know about you? Are you superstitious?
A: Actually, I am very superstitious. I wear the same headband every game. I usually don’t change up anything during the season. I wear the same outfit the entire season. I just do whatever because I don’t want any bad luck on the field.
– Tim Bielik
Heidelberg University – Tuesday, September 9th, 9:30am
Ohio Dominican University – Thursday, September 11th, 10:00am
Cleveland State University – Friday, September 12th, 9:30am
University of Akron – Tuesday, September 16th, 11:00am
Case Western Reserve University – Wednesday, September 17th, 11:30am
Bowling Green State University – Wednesday, September 17th, 1:30pm
Youngstown State University – Wednesday, October 1st, 10:45am
The Cleveland Institute of Art – Thursday, October 2nd, 1:00pm
Washington and Jefferson College – Monday, October 6th, 1:0pm
St. Mary’s College-Indiana – Tuesday, October 7th, 9:15am
Capital University – Tuesday, October 7th, 11:30am
Allegheny College – Wednesday, October 8th, 10:15
Miami University – Friday, October 10th, 9:30am
College of Mount St. Joseph – Monday, October 13th, 8:30am
Canisius College – Friday, October 17th, 9:00am
Savannah College of Art and Design – Wednesday, October 22nd, 9:00am
Gannon University – Thursday, October 23rd, 9:30am
Western New England University – Thursday, October 23rd, 11:00am
Ohio Northern University – Wednesday, October 29th, 8:00am
Ohio University – Wednesday, October 29th, 10:30am