Athletes of the Month


Matthew Suzelis and Shannon Staley dominated the basketball court and the swimming pool respectively this month.

With strong performances during Chagrin Valley Conference play, Suzelis and Staley have earned the Tiger Times’ athletes of the month.

“I mean I’m just going out here and helping out the team in any way I can. I usually don’t start for our team, but I just wait for my number to be called and do everything I can,” said Suzelis, one of the Tigers’ sparks off the bench.

Suzelis chipped in a crucial 15 points on high percentage shooting in the Tigers’ 20 point win against the Orange Lions. “Suz” then followed up the performance with a team-high 13 points in a close loss to the Perry Pirates. Six of the points came from a pair of three balls, both at crucial points in the game.

“Suz is a really big key to our team, he doesn’t care about the spotlight, he doesn’t need to start but he’s always ready to contribute. Now, I don’t want to get carried away or anything, but Matthew Suzelis might be the second coming of Kiki Vandeweghe,” said senior captain of the basketball team, Mike Vandertill.

On the liquid side of things, Staley has been dominating opponents in the pool this month. Shannon has helped the girls’ swimming team capture big dubs against Orange, Kenston, Twinsburg, and Perry. The girls’ also finished second in the CVC out of 12 teams behind only Hawken.

“Swim team becomes family from the conditions we have to endure at Wembley. Honestly, it’s not that bad and ‘Beth Squad’ is a living legend no doubt. We just go out there and swim fast, and so far it’s paid off,” said Staley.

Staley capitalized off the crowd energy at the Zoo meet against Orange. Staley took first in both the 100M Butterfly and the 200M Individual Medley.

“Oh my god, it was a sight to see,” said senior spectator Olivia Harmat. “I was watching and I thought: ‘This is crazy, what’s Michael Phelps doing swimming in the Chagrin-Orange swim meet. His career must’ve really taken a downturn.’ Then, after the winner came out of the water, I realized it was just Shannon swimming like a dolphin.”

Staley and Suzelis look to continue their success and boost their teams forward for both the rest of the season and hopefully deep into the state playoffs.