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Football Season Preview: Rocky River Ravens

By Andrew Stark

Opening Act

The Ravens are replacing dynamic playmakers on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense and along both lines. Offensively, the Ravens have their usual stash of skill guys, but must get their offensive line in order in a hurray to give them time and space to operate. Defensively there are a lot of holes to fill as all 12 of the team’s top tacklers have moved on, but lots of talent is on the roster to help offset the losses.


ITyshawn Carter returns to Rocky River after beginning last season as South Meck’s starting quarterback before breaking his collarbone. Carter is a dual-threat talent and has plenty of skills to lead the Raven offense. As a freshman, Carter guided Rocky River’s JV team to the conference title, so he’s had success in the system.

Elijah Henry got a taste of varsity last year, but gained more than 3,000 yards rushing on the JV team and is a special talent. He’s joined in the backfield by Justice Styron, who was the team’s second-leading rusher last year with 431 yards. Those two will be joined by Nygle Farmer and Bryson Adams and all will get plenty of touches in the Raven run game. […]

By |August 30th, 2015|Around Town, Arts, Featured Posts, Good deeds, History|0 Comments

Rocky River senior violinist named to Honors Orchestra

Sung Ju Park and Jacquelyn Caldwell, senior violinists from Rocky River High School, have been selected for CMS Honors Orchestra. Park and Caldwell participated in a two-day clinic at Mallard Creek High School Feb. 6 and 7 with a concert following. This is the second heart that both students have been selected for this Orchestra […]

By |February 24th, 2015|Around Town, Arts, Featured Posts, Good deeds, Rocky River High School|0 Comments

Rocky River Ravens on track for title run

By Andrew Stark

Rocky River has had an up-and-coming track and field program since the school opened in 2010, but the Ravens have not yet reached their pinnacle as they have never had a state champion. That might change on Feb. 14, as senior sprinter Kaylan Love-Soles and freshman high jumper Kenya Livingston look to make school history by taking gold at the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s indoor track and field championships at Winston-Salem’s JDL FastTrack.

“They can both do it,” Ravens coach Antoine Sidberry said. “Kenya has come out as a freshman and is (No. 2) in the state, and Kaylan is back from last year and has single-handedly changed the boys program.”

Love-Soles got his start as a freshman running on a 4×400 relay team that advanced to the state meet in 2012. That team featured Raven track and field all-timers Johnny Nunn, Quin Burkhalter and Tom Mathis, all upperclassmen who pushed their wide-eyed freshman into a leadership role. […]

By |February 9th, 2015|Around Town|0 Comments

Mint Hill Rocky River Ravens on the Rise

By Andrew Stark

For four consecutive seasons the Rocky River girls basketball team has been ascending, but even to some of the team’s veterans something about this year feels a little different.

The change starts at the top, with first-year coach Epiphany Woodson taking the reigns of a program that won a school-record 19 games a season ago, up from 11 the previous season and 10 in 2010-11 after going winless in 2009-10.

Woodson, a former standout at Providence Day who later played at the University of Miami and for the Charlotte 49ers before a brief pro career overseas, was an assistant on last year’s state champion Myers Park team under Barbara Nelson, a Charlotte coaching legend who won seven state titles at Providence Day, including three with Woodson as her point guard.

But Woodson said she wasn’t thinking of coaching, and especially not in high school, last year. She had just come back from overseas and was settling into a corporate job when Nelson called and asked if she’d help out when she had time.

“Without that experience last year, this would be a lot tougher,” said Woodson, who has guided the Ravens to a 15-2 start to open the season. “Last year did prepare me for this, although I didn’t know it was coming.

“I knew (the Ravens) were talented and I knew that along with Butler they were the up-and-coming teams in the area, but I didn’t pay them that much attention last year except when they played Myers Park. When I started thinking about coaching, this is the job that I really wanted because I knew it was a great school with great facilities and I knew there was talent here. It’s been a blessing for me.”

And Woodson is right, there is no shortage of talent on Rocky River’s roster.

Sophomore guard Ariana Nance leads the team with 15.6 points per game, but six Ravens average 7.4 or more points and eight players average at least 2.2 rebounds per game, providing a depth most teams aren’t afforded on the high school level.

“Everyone is stepping up in different ways to do whatever they can to help our team win,” Woodson said. “They are stepping up their practice habits, their confidence is going up because they see how well they can play when they play together. They’ve played as a team during this stretch, and while we’ve had different individuals step up at different times and moments this year which makes us that much tougher.”

The stretch Woodson is referring to is an eight-game win streak entering their Jan. 20 matchup with Porter Ridge. […]

By |January 25th, 2015|Around Town, History, Rocky River High School, Sports|0 Comments