The 2012 Westlake baseball team earned another honor Monday as Mayor Dennis Clough deemed July 10 Westlake High School Baseball Team Day.
Mayor Clough attended Monday’s Board of Education meeting and read a proclamation honoring the Demons, who won a share of the Southwestern Conference championship on the final day of the regular season. Westlake, of course, was just getting started as it rolled through the Division I tournament and advanced all the way to the state championship game in Columbus.
Former head coach Jeff Short, who retired after 24 seasons as the baseball program’s top man, attended the meeting, along with several members of the team. The Demons had a storybook season, defeating top-seeded Avon for a district championship, then beating St. Ignatius and Ashland in the final inning to claim a regional crown and a berth in the state’s final four.
The Demons, who started the season at 4-4, went on a 20-3 run to close out at 24-7 and made the state finals for the first time in program history. They lost to Cincinnati Moeller, 9-6, in the state championship game at Huntington Park.
Late in June, Westlake assistant coach Brandon Zepp was named the new varsity head coach, replacing Short.
Zepp named head baseball coach
Longtime Westlake varsity assistant coach Brendan Zepp has been named the new head baseball coach for the Demons. He ascends to the top spot following the Demons’ fairy tale-like final season of long-time mentor Jeff Short that culminated in a Division I state runner-up trophy.
Zepp has been the varsity assistant since 2006. Prior to that, he served as the head junior varsity coach for four seasons. Zepp has also spent time in Westlake as an assistant football coach and as an assistant softball coach.
“Coach Zepp has the character that we look for in a head coach,” said Westlake athletic director Tony Cipollone in a press release. “He has earned the respect of the players and his fellow coaches during his time as an assistant and really cares about the students of Westlake on all levels.
“Coach Zepp has progressed as a coach through the program here and it is his time,” Cipollone said. “The program is in good shape, and the consistency that he brings was important to continue to build on the success of Coach Short’s tenure. I am positive that Coach Zepp’s energy and excitement for this job will allow our baseball program to continue to be the consistent winner that we expect.”
Zepp is a graduate of Xavier University and received his Master’s in Education from Cleveland State University. He serves as an intervention specialist at Westlake High School.
Mental named new volleyball coach
Former Olmsted Falls and Cleveland State standout Meghan Mental has been named the new head varsity volleyball coach at Westlake.
Mental was a three-year letter winner and starter for coach Dawn Moses at Olmsted Falls and was captain of the team in 2007. She was a member of an Elite 8 team and was named first team All-Southwestern Conference and All-District during her senior campaign. She was also a three-year letter winner and two-year starter in basketball.
At Cleveland State, Mental became a four-year letter winner and a two-year starter for the Vikings. She was named a captain for the team in 2011. Most recently, she was the junior varsity head coach at Elyria and a club coach for the Cleveland Volleyball Company. She is also a certified volleyball official.
Mental will also be a teacher at Westlake High School in the math department after being a Dean’s list member at Cleveland State University.
“Coach Mental brings both a wealth of playing experience and the energy of a youthful coach to our program,” Cipollone said. “With her also being a teacher at the high school, we feel that this brings stability to a program that we feel can compete with the top teams in the SWC.
“Her approach will be to develop the program from the bottom up in order to have sustainable success that meets the excellence of our athletic programs,” Cipollone said. “Her familiarity with the SWC as a competitor will help in game preparation, and her experience as a Division I player will help develop our individual players to be ready should they choose to go to the next level.”