• Dr. Herpy

Category Archives: News

Kenston grad among three who died in house fire

Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
June 10, 2021
Brian Doering

The Geauga County community is mourning the loss of three residents who perished in a Huntsburg Township house fire last Saturday including a Kenston High School graduate. Three others escaped from the burning house at 11200 Clay St., according to reports.

Authorities said that Huntsburg residents Jordan Weaver, 20 and her brother Joshua Weaver, 16, died in the fire along with her fiancé Mitchell Sotera, 20, of Atwater Township. They were found inside the house by firefighters, according to reports.

Parents Harvey and Becky Weaver and one other child escaped from the burning house, officials said. They were transported to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center.

Area residents remember Mr. Sotera, a 2019 graduate of Kenston, as a starting defensive lineman on the 2018 State Championship Football Team.

“Mitch embodied everything that a Kenston football player is. He was a hard-working, blue-collar kid that earned everything he got and always put the team first,” said Kenston High School football coach Jeff Grubich. “He was selfless and at the end of the day was just a big, gentle, kind bear.”

The call came in at about 7:10 a.m. on June 5, according to the Middlefield Fire Department, with a report of victims possibly trapped inside the house. Hambden, Montville, Windsor and Burton fire departments provided mutual aid in the blaze that destroyed the structure.

“The fire was under control within 45 minutes, and they had the fire knocked down and searches had already been completed,” Middlefield fire Capt. Tony Yeropoli said. “There were six people that were home at the time and three people were able to exit the home on their own. There were three fatalities that were unable to exit.”

According to initial reports, the fire may have started in the lower-level living room of the split-level house. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Jordan Weaver and Mr. Sotera were both juniors at Bethany College where they met two years ago. She was a biology/biochemistry major and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. Mr. Sotera was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, on the football team and a biochemistry major with plans to become a teacher, according to a statement by college officials.

Darrin Sotera told the Times that his son loved all of his Kenston teammates and friends, adding that Mitchell had the biggest heart of any kid he had ever known.

“He had an infectious smile and was always happy,” Mr. Sotera said. “He is a great kid, and a lot of people miss him.”

Mr. Grubich said Mitchell Sotera was dedicated to the Kenston team. “I would find him up here working out and putting that extra work in, and he worked his way into being one of the best nose tackles we have had here at Kenston.

“My son is in second grade, and he looked up to Mitch, and as big as he was, and as intimidating as he was with the full beard and everything as a high school kid, he was very easygoing, very approachable and was willing to help the younger guys,” Mr. Grubich said.

Kenston High School Wrestling Coach Ricky Deubel remembers Mitchell as a determined, hard worker for the wrestling team.

“He just showed by example always working and never complaining,” Mr. Deubel said. “He was a mentor to some of the kids on the team that are on still the team now.”

Mr. Grubich said Mitchell played the game the right way because his attitude was contagious to his teammates.

“He was the ultimate football player and he was a heck of an individual player,” said Mr. Grubich. “That is why this one hurts so much because he was well loved by all his teammates, parents and the community.”

The probe into the fire continues. “The cause and origin is currently under investigation by our department, the Geauga County Fire Investigative Unit and the Ohio Fire Marshall’s Office,” Mr. Yeropoli said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the families pay for funeral expenses. To donate, please visit https://gofund.me/c2e48cde.

May 2021 Current Events

May 28, 2021 World News: Friends reunion: BTS, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber censored in China. Click Here. Germany will pay Namibia $1.3bn as it formally recognizes colonial-era genocide. Click Here. At Naval Academy Graduation, Harris Focuses on Strengthening a ‘Fragile’ World. Click Here National News: 1 in 10 defendants from US Capitol insurrection have military… Continue Reading

Commencement Speech For Rebecca Preneta

May 25, 2021 Good evening, families, teachers, and fellow graduates of Kenston High School! Tonight is a very special night for us because we made it to our big milestone; graduation. Although it looks a little different this year, we can still celebrate our milestone safely. It is exciting and a little sad at the… Continue Reading

Commencement Speech For Molly Cohen

May 25, 2021 Kenston graduates, faculty, staff, and family: Thank you for allowing me to speak to all of you today. Graduation is an incredible accomplishment and I am so proud of all of us. I never imagined this day coming so soon. Sitting in the KIS computer lab getting my Kenston Apps email in… Continue Reading

Commencement Speech For Lt. Colonel Andy Rule

May 25, 2021 First let me congratulate the class of 2021…..I thank Board president Dr. Krause, members of the Kenston Board of Education, Superintendent Santilli, Principal Gabram, students, faculty, and the Auburn-Bainbridge community for this opportunity. When I agreed to speak today, the stress of how I could give you some proper advice and inspiration… Continue Reading

2021 Graduation

Graduation Speeches: Molly Cohen, Rebecca Preneta, Lt. Col. Andy Rule Photos: Before  | During | After | Hall of Fame | Summa Cum Laude | Magna Cum Laude | Cum Laude Bonus Photos From Braden Hunt (added 5/27) Bonus Photos From Yearbook (added 6/1): Part I | Part II | Part III Graduation Video 5/25:… Continue Reading

Ohio state bowling champ Jenna Stretch recognized by Sen. Jerry Cirino

Published in The News-Herald May 21, 2021 State Sen. Jerry C. Cirino, R-Kirtland, recognized Jenna Stretch of Kenston High School for her superior athletic achievement, winning the Division I Girls Bowling Championship. “I am proud of Jenna’s outstanding achievement and the skill she demonstrated to make it here,” said Cirino, in a news release. “With… Continue Reading

End of Year Events 2021

  Tuesday, May 25, 2021 Graduation Monday, May 24, 2021 Underclassmen Academic Awards Saturday, May 22, 2021 Senior Bomber Fair Friday, May 21, 2021 Last Day For Seniors Thursday, May 20, 2021 KHS Senior Awards Night: Video | Winners | Photos Friday, May 14, 2021 Senior Scholarship Recognition Saturday, May 8, 2021 Senior Prom April… Continue Reading