After an 0-3 start to begin the season, the Barberton Girls basketball program has been on a tear, winning their last 11 games.
Coach Greg Whitmer says the young ladies are buying into the system and having fun out on the court.
"They have really bonded together," Whitmer says. "They're a tight group, they're having a lot of fun, and they believe in each other."
Whitmer says fundamentals of the game are keys to success for his squad, and they focus on getting better each practice and on gameday.
Wednesday night, the Barberton girls will be looking for 12 in a row, as they play at home against Aurora.
The Barberton community is no stranger to great basketball and excellent coaching, and that tradition continues as current boys' coach Ken Rector picked up his 300th career win on the hardwood.
Rector spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner Monday morning about the experience and carrying on the tradition of success.in the Magic City.
"I've been very fortunate to have the coaches I've had along the way," Rector said. "When you have that type of dedication, consistency, and commitment, it really does help the program."
Rector is now #2 on the all-time wins list at Barberton, behind legendary coach Jack Greynolds, whom he played for.
Barberton High School will honor fallen Akron Police officer Justin Winebrenner Tuesday night by retiring the number 10 he wore for the Magics soccer team while he was in high school.
Athletic Director Rob Culbertson says Winebrenner, a 2001 graduate of Barberton, was a very accomplished player, and led the Magics to their first sectional championship in 2000.
In his senior season, Winebrenner was a team captain, scored 11 goals, and was named the team's MVP as well as a first team all-district and all-conference selection.
The ceremony to retire Winebrenner's number will take place at halftime of Tuesday's boys basketball game between Barberton and Wadsworth.
Barberton High School basketball junior sharpshooter Austin Rector is the WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for January 2nd-January 9th.
Austin recently at the Greynolds Classic in late December sank a game winning 3-pointer to propel the Magics to a dramatic victory over Norton.
"I got a quick look and took the shot, it went in" said Rector.
Austin's Father, Ken, as we know if the highly successful boys basketball coach in Barberton and is proud of what his junior guard and son has been able to accomplish.
"He is everything I could hope for as a son, he has a lot of his mother in him" said Ken Rector.
On the season Austin leads the Magics in assists, and 3-point percentage hitting 45% of his shots from beyond the arc. "He has really improved with the ball in his hands, he was thrown in a tough situation a couple of years ago and that experience has really paid off for him" said Ken Rector.
Austin is in the National Honor Society at Barberton and is a volunteer with the Mini Magics.
"He takes pressure off the other guys with his ball handling, his leadership qualities have come a long way" said Ken Rector.
Fighting Irish Head Coach Dan Boarman spoke with WAKR's Aaron Coleman about the upcoming prospects for the season and still keeping that edge after winning back-to-back state championships.
Barberton HS Coach Tony Gotto spoke with WAKR's Aaron Coleman about the season, their expectations, and their opponent in week 1, the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers.
Barberton school officials hope an expanded collaboration with The University of Akron will help reduce the high school drop out rate. The university is teaching some of its education majors at Barberton High School and the college students are also working one-on-one with at-risk high schoolers.
"What's great about this project is us being able to bring in 50 university students into a school to help those teachers, help their administrators reach out to those students that are the most vulnerable or those students that are invisible," said UA Education Professor Dr. Brad Maguth.
The program isn't new and didn't originate in Barberton, but Barberton Superintendent Patty Cleary says it's a win-win because the college students get real, hands-on experience and the students who need the most help are getting one-on-one attention.
"And we're expanding it this year so we have special education students or teachers who want to go into that field will be included this semester as well as staffing our writing lab," said Cleary.
8,300 students drop out of school every day in the United States, according to Maguth.
The program was bolstered recently with a $25,000 dollar donation from AT&T.
There was no cause for alarm at Barberton High School on Thursday...all the police activity inside was just a drill.
The school district and Barberton police used the simulation to test the response in the "ALICE" lockdown procedure.
Barberton police spokesperson Marty Eberhart says police inside the school dealt with a simulated - not real - suspect.
"Our officers engaged the suspect in the training," Eberhart tells AkronNewsNow.com. "Our schools did remarkably well, at the high school, our staff and our students, in their lockdown procedures."
Eberhart says that both department and school officials will learn from what happened in this drill/
"We're gonna use this to evaluate what we can do better, what we did well, and use it as a learning tool," says Eberhart. "And the schools are going to do the same thing as far as evaluate what they can do better next time."
"ALICE" stands for "alert, lock down, inform, counter, evacuate."
UPDATE 11:52 a.m. - There's more details coming from the recent arrest of a 15-year-old Barberton student who was allegedly found with two knives in his backpack Tuesday morning.
In a press release, Barberton police say the teen told school officials and officers that "he had a plan to take over and do harm at the school at some point in the future." Authorities say three other students knew and agreed to be a part of the plan.
Police say "there was no imminent threat and at no time yesterday were any students, staff or faculty threatened or in danger."
The 15-year-old student was charged with illegal conveyance of a weapon on school property, inciting to violence, aggravated riot, and inducing panic. The three other students, ages 13, 16 and 18, were charged with failure to report a crime, complicity to inciting violence, and aggravated Riot.
The juveniles were taken to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center and the 18-year-old student was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Police say the school district will be following its student code of conduct in disciplining the students.
Authorities say no further information will be released at this time due to the pending criminal cases in both juvenile and adult courts of law.
A Barberton High School student was arrested after administrators say they received a tip that the student had brought a knife to school Tuesday morning.
Barberton Schools Superintendent Patti Cleary tells AkronNewsNow.com that administrators were notified about the incident 9:30 Tuesday morning.
Cleary says it's unclear at this time as to why the male student brought the knife, but that police would be questioning him. She would not release any details on the boy's age or grade level.
She says one of the positives that came from the incident was the students' proactive approach to alerting adults to the situation.
"We've been trying to teach our kids that if you see something wrong or if you hear something that doesn't sound right to let us know right away," Cleary said.
One of the high school's two on-site resource officers arrested the teen after an investigation had been conducted Tuesday morning. Also arrested were two other male students who knew about the knife, but did not report it to the proper authorities.
Superintendent Cleary said the district would follow its code of conduct related to the discipline of all students involved.
The incident is currently under investigation.
Update: Superintendent Patti Cleary said in an email that the unnamed student described as being hospitalized following an attempted suicide was actually one of the protestors. Cleary said she has no knowledge of an attempted suicide.
The information above was added to the story at 4:15 p.m.
About a dozen Barberton High School students, along with a couple of parents, staged a protest outside the school this morning to urge the administration to take a tougher stand against bullying.
"I know it's a widespread issue," said a woman who didn't want to be identifed. "Everybody is afraid to step up. Somebody has to step up."
That woman was involved because she says bullying drove her daughter to an attempted suicide. The teen is currently hospitalized.
Other students, including Kristen Grimm, a junior, say they are tired of being the target of bullies.
"They've called me fat. That've called me anorexic. I get stuff thrown at me and the school hasn't done a thing."
Grimm says she reported the incidents.
"We never discount any claim of bullying and we investigate and do whatever we can to stop it," said Superintendent Patti Cleary.
Cleary says it's not legal for her to discuss infractions, investigations or sanctions as they relate to individual students. She says, however, that people sometimes misinterpret the silence for inaction. Cleary says there's a particular case this week that is still being investigated.
"We've been doing this all week with them and we'll continue to make sure that people are satisfied that we're trying to keep all the kids safe," said Cleary.
Cleary says administrators were flexible early this morning with the protestors in relation to their required arrival time. She says it's okay to express an opinion, but that doesn't excuse students from class.