Jan. 29 winter sports Players of the Week profiles 2015 (slideshow, poll)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Here are the cleveland.com Players of the Week for Jan. 29, 2015. Players of the Week win a free SAT or ACT class with College Review. Call 216-831-2557 or visit collegereview.org online.

Scroll to the bottom for information on how coaches can nominate one of their athletes for this honor. Also see below for a poll asking which athlete had the most impressive week.

Players of the Week are awarded every week in the regular season. Look for the feature Thursdays on cleveland.com and Fridays in The Plain Dealer.


Name: Dwayne Cohill.

School: Holy Name.

Year: Freshman.

Position: Guard.

Height, weight: 6-1, 170.

College: Undecided.

What Dwayne did last week: Led team to victories over Parma (65-58) and Trinity (64-50). Combined for 44 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and six assists on 16 of 25 shooting from the field and 11 of 14 from the free throw line.

Three Questions with Dwayne

Q: Who is your favorite player in the NBA to watch?

A: My favorite player is Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City. He is able to score the ball so easily, and you can just tell he is having fun playing basketball.

Q: How have you grown as a player since the beginning of the season?

A: It has definitely been an adjustment going to varsity high school basketball, but I am definitely starting to get comfortable.

Q: What is it like playing for coach Jeff Huber?

A: He is awesome to play for. He does a great job of allowing us to go out and play, and we all understand our roles.

- Mark Kern


Name: Daniel Mathews.

School: Independence.

Year: Senior.

Position: Guard.

Height, weight: 6-1, 185.

College: Undecided.

What Daniel did last week: Scored 28 points in a win over Fairport, including five 3-pointers. He leads the team in points, steals and assists.

Three Questions with Daniel

Q: How did you get started playing basketball?

A: I was always playing and travel teams and in the driveway. My dad would always take me to the recreation center.

Q: Who was your favorite player growing up and why?

A: It was always LeBron James. He was always the best.

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?

A: Psychology because it's interesting to learn how people react to certain things and what goes on in people's minds.

- David Cassilo


Name: Nicole Heffington.

School: Mentor.

Year: Sophomore.

Position: Guard/forward.

Height: 5-9.

College: Undecided.

What Nicole did last week: Helped her team in back-to-back wins – a 62-47 victory against Walsh Jesuit and a 45-39 victory against Shaker Heights -- amassing 24 points, 23 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks and eight steals.

Three Questions with Nicole

Q: You're asked to cover some of the best players on opposing teams while also producing a lot offensively. How do you do both?

A: I think at practice, guarding some of the players who like Maddy Moyer, who are a little tougher guard-wise, helps me prepare for the harder people when I'm playing defense. Then just going hard at practice every day and running through sets helps out too.

Q: You ran a lot of your offense through Christine Dawson and Kayla Gabor last year in the post. What's the transition of your offense this year been like?

A: We have more people involved in the plays and more people stepping up too. I think everyone stepping in to score really helps us out.

Q: What's one thing coach Steve Thompson says to you guys?

A: If we all have heart and use our minds during the game, then we're going to succeed as a team. If we're not playing smart and only doing one of those two things, then we won't succeed.

- Stephanie Kuzydym


Name: Sydney Roule.

School: Amherst.

Year: Sophomore.

Position: Guard.

Height: 5-10.

College: Undecided.

What Sydney did last week: Scored 21 points and had five assists in a 63-40 win over Parma. In a 64-48 win against Brecksville, ended the night with 20 points, four steals and three assists. She also went 7 of 9 from the free throw line.

Three Questions with Sydney

Q: How long have you played basketball?

A: I've played basketball since I was in kindergarten. I love the sport. My parents got me involved in basketball and ever since then I've been playing. I love the competition and playing with other people and my teammates.

Q: If you could be a celebrity, who would you be and what would you do?

A: I'd like to be Selena Gomez for a day. She's a great singer, actor and really pretty. I guess if I were her I would travel and spend a lot of money in one day.

Q: What are your aspirations after high school?

A: I want to play basketball in college and become a physical therapist. I had an injury last year, went to therapy, and just seeing how it works and how they work with people really inspired me to do that as well.

- Nathaniel Cline


Name: Nathan Paliska.

School: Olmsted Falls.

Year: Senior.

Height, weight: 5-7, 115.

College: Undecided.

What Nathan did last week: Shot a 279 high game and a 690 series, leading Olmsted Falls to its second straight Berea-Midpark Titan Classic title. He earned an award for having the high game in the tournament and led the all-tournament team.

Three Questions with Nathan

Q: Who is your personal role model?

A: My grandfather. He's really relaxed about everything. He was diagnosed with Leukemia about a year ago but he doesn't let it bother him. He still bowls with me every Sunday.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of bowling?

A: I like to go to movies with my friends, usually every other weekend or so. We see comedies for the most part but we did go see "American Sniper" recently.

Q: If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

A: Elvis Presley. He's really just kind of laid back and cool. And he's the King of Rock and Roll, obviously.

- Robert Rozboril


Name: Erin Chips.

School: Strongsville.

Year: Senior.

Position: All-around.

Height: 5-6.

College: Undecided.

What Erin did last week: Won the vault with a 9.75 at last week's dual against conference rival Hudson, which the Mustangs won 141.675-141.375. Placed second on bars with a 9.0 and second in the all-around with a 35.625. Competed in all-around for only the second time in two years, after missing her junior season due to ankle surgery and having competing in limited capacity sophomore year due to a back injury.

Three Questions with Erin

Q: How did you get into gymnastics?

A: My parents just signed me up for my birthday because I was interested in it and I was doing a lot of sports. I just stuck with it.

Q: What's your favorite thing about the sport?

A: I like how it challenges me and I can always better myself and improve. I like going out and performing in front of people.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time to get away from the game?

A: I focus on school a lot and make sure I keep my grades up for college in the future. I spend time with my friends, but I do spend a lot of time in the gym.

- Cameron Moon


Name: Kevin Van Bokkelen.

School: Walsh Jesuit.

Year: Senior.

Position: Forward.

Height, weight: 6-0, 175.

College: Undecided.

What Kevin did last week: Recorded four goals in two games, including two game-winners in Great Lakes Hockey League matchups. The first came in overtime at Lake Catholic and the second was against Holy Name at home during Senior Night. Against Holy Name he also recorded three goals.

Three Questions with Kevin

Q: Who is your favorite pro hockey player?

A: Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane. I just like their style of play. They're power forwards and the way they use their bodies to get around everyone, it's really fun to watch.

Q: If you could live anywhere on Earth, where would it be?

A: The Bahamas because I really like the scenery there.

Q: Who would you say is the greatest athlete of all time?

A: Wayne Gretzky. He has the most points in the NHL and he was a good person on and off the ice. He's just an All-Star. There's not much you can criticize about him.

- Robert Rozboril


Name: Brendon Mulcahey.

School: Hudson.

Year: Senior.

Events: Freestyles.

Height, weight: 6-3, 160.

College: Undecided.

What Brendon did last week: Broke two pool records in back-to-back days in helping Hudson to wins over Solon and Brunswick. Broke the Solon pool record, held by Byron Davis in 1987, in 50-yard freestyle in 21.3 seconds. At Hudson, broke 50-meter freestyle record in 23.00. The previous mark was set by Scott Claypool in 1994. Was a member of the 200 medley relay and freestyle relays that also set new pool records at Hudson.

Three Questions with Brendon

Q: What's your pre-meet meal?

A: The night before a meet we'll usually go to somebody's house for a pasta dinner. When I'm not in season, I like eating at Winking Lizard. My favorite wing sauce is the caribbean spice.

Q: What swimmers do you look up to?

A: Olympian Ryan Lochte. He does a lot of good work for charity and he has a lot of good qualities. But also my teammate Ross Palazzo. He has such a great work ethic. He works so hard and he's so dedicated. It really inspires me.

Q: If swimming wasn't your sport, would you play basketball?

A: Not at all. Probably soccer. I've never played any sport besides swimming. I started swimming competitively when I was 6.

- Joe Noga


Name: Linden Wike.

School: Cleveland Heights.

Year: Junior.

Events: Breaststroke, freestyle.

Height: 5-6.

College: Undecided.

What Linden did last week: Led team in scoring for the week in dual meet against Perry. At Lake Erie League championship meet, helped Tigers to second place in team standings. At LEL meet, won 100-yard breaststroke, led off champion 200 freestyle relay, placed second in 200 individual medley and swam breaststroke on runner-up medley relay. Wike captured two championships and All-LEL honors in four events.

Three Questions with Linden 

Q: What was the last good movie you saw?

A: "Into the Woods." I saw it over winter break. I like musicals and it was something new. I was surprised Meryl Streep didn't win an award for it.

Q: How long have you been swimming?

A: I first joined the team as a freshman. My friends encouraged me to come out. I had not been a swimmer before high school. Most of my teammates had been swimming a long time. But it wasn't hard to adapt. Everybody was accepting and were happy to welcome me to the team.

Q: What are your pre-meet rituals?

A: I will usually listen to some music. But I mainly just stick with everybody else. As a team we all eat a pasta and rice dinner before meets. And we all have to sit and close our eyes and relax like a meditating thing.

- Joe Noga


Name: L.J. Bentley.

SchoolSt. Edward.

Year: Senior.

Weight class: 126.

College: Pitt.

What L.J. did last week: In a tri-meet with Blair Academy (N.J.) and Marist (Ill.), he went 2-0, with a 16-4 major decision against Andy O'Brien of Marist and a 5-1 decision against Blair Academy's Andrew Monanan.

Three Questions with L.J.

Q: Your first name is actually Lorenzo. Does anybody call you that?

A: The funny thing is that I'm only called Lorenzo by my mom when she's mad at me. Whenever (coach Greg Urbas) says Lorenzo, I know I'm in trouble. Lorenzo is Spanish for Larry, which is my father's name. I'm a Junior, so it's Lorenzo Junior, or L.J.

Q: What is your favorite high school wrestling memory so far?

A: My freshman year I started 0-4 and we were wrestling St. Ignatius in a dual. I was down 3-2 with about 10 seconds to go and I got in a shot. He was bigger than I was. He was a junior, but I finished (the takedown) with about three seconds left to win. I jumped up and the crowd was going crazy. Kids were asking me for my autograph.

Q: You went from 113 pounds last year to 126 this year. How difficult is it for you to make weight?

A: This year I'm not too much over (126). I come in probably no more than six pounds over on a Monday. In the summer I thought I was going to go to 120. Then August came and I gained a few more pounds there. I wasn't going to force it down to 120 when I felt I had a shot at winning at 126.

- Scott Patsko

How to nominate an athlete for Players of the Week:Players of the Week are chosen every week in the regular season. Coaches can nominate an athlete anytime between the end of all games in a week and Monday at noon. Go to cleveland.com/potw to access the nomination form. Fill in all the blanks, especially the part on what the athlete did that week. Again, the deadline is Monday at noon. Only coaches can nominate an athlete.