Ohio High School Football Prepares Youth for the Big Leagues

Friday Night Lights

High school football is one of the most popular interscholastic sports. It began in the late 19th century; the same period when many college programs began. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams started to play against each other; what later came to be referred to as “Friday Night Lights”.

In fact, high school football is generally considered to be a 3rd tier, behind both college and the NFL. This is where a player accumulates the statistics and life skills that will determine his chances of competing at the college level, and ultimately the professional level.

While Florida, Texas, and California lead in producing top talent, another state that is notable for producing talented football players is Ohio, particularly northeast Ohio. For the past decade, Ohio has been injecting new blood into the NFL with its talented players. Great players like Desmond Howard of St. Joseph, Tom Cousineau of St. Edward and Stow’s Larry Csonka have all passed through northeast Ohio.

So, what’s the secret ingredient? According to team coaches from northeast Ohio, commitment and hard work are the first in line. The goal is to make sure that all players possess these two important virtues, because according to them, it is the key to enhancing their skills and abilities, both on and off the field. “One of my most rewarding experiences in life has been my time spent in coaching,” said Victor Bierman III, lawyer, Ohio business expert and former coach of Southern Hills Youth Football. “I have had the fortunate opportunity to coach and teach players, my son included, about valuable life experiences through the game of football for many years.”

Beaming with such talented athletes, high school football in northeast Ohio is fascinating to watch. The game is mostly enjoyed on Friday nights when the stadiums are well lit. According to Victor Bierman IV, a senior at Brecksville High School’s Class of 2017 and captain of the Bees Varsity Football Team, “Playing football has taught me a lot about hard work, dedication and leadership. I am very fortunate to have worked with great coaches over the years. I truly feel that an invaluable lesson I have learned as a player is how to help my team overcome adversity on the field when it really matters.”

A large crowd, including alumni, students and parents gathered under the Friday night lights for the Brecksville opening game against Padua on August 26th and enjoyed their first victory.  With a current record of 5-0, the undefeated team is well underway for a championship season.

Image Credit: Chris Stoddart | Flickr

The Republican National Convention Was Good for Business in Cleveland

The Republican National Conventional was good for business in Cleveland

Some could say that the city of Cleveland, Ohio was re-born two years ago when the city was chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC). While city leaders were excited and knew they were laying the foundation for a better Cleveland, there were those who had their doubts. Some went as far to suggest that it would lead to violence and mayhem. This, in fact, was just a smokescreen. Fortunately, for Cleveland it pushed against all odds and the RNC became one of the most successful political conventions in U.S. history. As a result, the city benefited immensely both economically and socially.

“It came off incredibly well,” said David Hertz, current managing director of Dix & Eaton, and former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor for the Akron Beacon Journal. “The party’s not over; it’s just beginning,” he added. Nevertheless, making this a success and turning things around required each and every person from Cleveland to work toward the same goal, as noted by Hertz, “The city and its people did a spectacular job and made sure that this happened; congratulations to everyone.” As Hertz puts it, Cleveland was hungrier because the last time they hosted a political convention was in 1936, so they were more than ready to get the best from this year’s convention.

Hertz read from a July 29, 2016 letter that the president and CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, David Gilbert wrote to the Plain Dealer holding that Cleveland did not just host the Republican National Convention; it knocked it out of the park as well. According to Gilbert, the convention pumped in around $200 million into Cleveland’s economy. It also accelerated essential civic projects as well as elevated how Cleveland is viewed by the world and how its residents view themselves. After the 2016 convention, a lot of positive stories about Cleveland started cropping up. The city got universal praise from delegates, the media, and other guests. It also had many people planning to relocate, invest or visit it mainly because it has convention experiences.

“The city of Cleveland is now the place to be, and investors are scrambling for opportunities here; something that will continue to greatly improve Cleveland’s economy,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr

Ohio State University Ranked as Top College in State

Ohio State UniversitySince its founding in 1870, Ohio State University (OSU) has been doing everything it takes to climb and remain at the top. It’s focused on providing high quality education and ensuring that students have unforgettable experiences during their time here. This commitment to excellence shined through when the U.S. News & World Report ranked it the top public university in Ohio in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” rankings in 2015. In addition to being ranked as the top college in the state, OSU is #16 among the best public universities in the nation.

And just recently, the Associated Press (AP) declared that Ohio State University, home of the Buckeyes, has the greatest football team ever. The AP has been ranking college football teams since 1936.

Of the 200 private and public institutions rated, Ohio State University was #52 overall, up from #54 in 2015. In fact, a new ranking of online degree programs ranked Ohio State in the top 10 among 142 schools that offer online programs. “We are thrilled that our academic reputation continues to rise and we remain an affordable and outstanding education for future generations,” said Michael V. Drake, President of Ohio State University. U.S. News & World Report ranks universities and schools based on alumni contributions, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, undergraduate academic reputation, student selectivity, and faculty resources.

Going by the rankings, Ohio State meets all these attributes. In fact, it’s believed that the university climbed to the top because of its ability to combine high quality education with affordability. Despite maintaining an 83-percent graduation rate and a 20-year net ROI of $360,000, the university’s annual net cost is far below the state average. “Having lived in Ohio for over 19 years and getting to know many parents and students who have been involved in the experience of an Ohio State education, including my daughter who is a Sophomore at OSU, I am firm believer that it is one of the best public universities in the country at a tremendous in-state tuition value,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Offering such a huge array of graduate programs through its highly ranked Max M. Fisher College of Business, College of Education and Human Ecology, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, College of Engineering, and College of Medicine, Ohio State is undoubtedly one of the best educational institutions. These programs include learning communities, undergraduate research, and first-year experience, and they are put in place to help students succeed.

But it’s not just an extremely high quality education that OSU offers; it also ensures a high quality and interactive student life experience. This is accomplished through various curriculum and co-curriculum programs such as student organizations and athletic programs. Offering high quality education and being ranked among the best in co-curricular activities, Ohio State University will continue to provide an enriching learning experience.

Image Credit: Mathieu Thouvenin | Flickr

Cleveland Scores Big with NBA Championship

Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland

After years of urban decay and neglect, Cleveland is making a well-deserved and long overdue comeback. And with the recent Cavaliers’ NBA championship victory for the first time in franchise history, the city seems to be on an unstoppable trajectory of growth.

Cleveland is alive and thriving again. For the first time in years, you can feel the energy and excitement beaming around town. Consumers are coming back to downtown Cleveland. Businesses are opening again. Residents are moving back in. It’s now the place to see and be seen in Northeast Ohio.

It is estimated that over $6B in new investment has poured in to the city in the last six years and approximately 3,000 new jobs created in the last three years. This has helped to reverse the trend of residents leaving the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated Cleveland population in 2015 was 388,072. This is down slightly from 2012 estimates of 390,928 residents. If this trend continues, the city’s population could easily top the 400K mark by the next official census in 2020.

Even more impressive is the area welcomed its largest increase in employment in 2015 with the addition of 23,000 jobs to the area, based on a report published by the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

The crown jewel of downtown Cleveland was the recent completion of the Public Square renovation project. Not only is this an open-space that brings the city together, it has become a symbol of civic pride.  In addition, the park has spurred a number of residential and commercial development projects. Major employers including IBM and New York Life have created hundreds of new jobs. Retailers have expanded or opened up shop around the square. The old East Ohio Gas Building has been renovated and is now a prime residential complex. With apartment occupancy hovering at 96 percent, hundreds of new units are planned to come online downtown in the near future.

But perhaps downtown’s most important and vital redevelopment project is the renovation of 200 Public Square. Soaring 45 stories it is one of the tallest buildings in Cleveland.  When the renovation is complete, this location will undoubtedly be one of the most prestigious downtown addresses. And Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is expected to open in the space later this year.

Not surprisingly, Millennials are helping to fuel the growth in downtown Cleveland. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance reports that the area ranks 8th, along with Miami and Seattle, among college educated 25-34 year-olds. “Downtown is particularly attractive to millennials. There is plenty of green space, exciting shopping and dining options, and a vibrant nightlife and two professional sports venues outside their door,” said Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “Downtown Cleveland is fast becoming an exciting city to live, work and play.”

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr