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Cup of Joe: The Lake Catholic-JCU Pipeline

April 18th, 2013

Next year, John Carroll might reconsider naming its women’s basketball squad the Lake Catholic Blue Streaks. Current team members junior Missy Spahar, sophomore Beth Switzler and freshman Erin Mog all hail from Lake Catholic. Now adding to that list is Spahar’s sister, Katlyn, who has decided to play basketball at JCU.

The pipeline opened in 2010 when Missy Spahar decided to become a Blue Streak, following in the footsteps of her brother Nick, a  former tight end for JCU and first-team All-Ohio defensive lineman at Lake Catholic. Her decision started a domino effect. Switzler, best friends with Missy in high school, joined the team a year later. Mog, a close friend of Switzler’s, became a Blue Streak last May.

Recently, Katlyn Spahar chose to unite with her sister and her former Cougar teammates to form a Lake Catholic contingent on the JCU women’s basketball roster. The opportunity to play with her sister and her high school teammates proved too tempting for Katlyn.

“My family is very close. Missy had the biggest influence on my decision because I love playing with her right by my side,” the incoming freshman said. “I already feel [like] a part of the team knowing all of the girls. I am looking forward to being a part of a talented team with a lot of potential to go far next year.”

Katlyn will likely play either small forward or power forward next season for the Blue and Gold. Standing at 5 feet 9 inches, the younger Spahar possesses skill in the post while also having the ability to dribble the ball down the court if necessary.

Three of the team’s starting five players could conceivably be Lake Catholic grads. Mog, who showed great promise before suffering a season-ending injury, will probably start at shooting guard. Switzler will most likely claim a starting role at guard, too. The elder Spahar projects at a forward position, providing a post presence for the Blue Streaks.

The question remains: what makes Lake Catholic a pipeline for Blue Streaks basketball?

“Lake Catholic reminds me of John Carroll, [because it is] a smaller school,” Missy Spahar said. “I feel like it’s an easy transition coming into John Carroll because it’s like the same thing.”

Switzler added, “We had a strong program [at] Lake Catholic. Erin, Missy, Katlyn and I loved playing there. Luckily, JCU noticed.”

With four talented, former Lake Catholic players on the roster, JCU has high hopes for next year. Overall, the JCU women’s basketball squad has a combination of experienced veterans and young guns that meshes, which could spell success.