Top Dog 2023: Cole Oriti


Stasia Hall, Reporter

Cole Oriti is a proud Bulldog of Lakeview High School. He has been attending Lakeview since 8th grade. But he first became a Bulldog when he started his athletic career at Lakeview in 7th grade, while being homeschooled.

Throughout Oriti’s entire high school years, he can’t forget when his school spread awareness for his sister with cancer. 

Oriti says, “my sister was in the middle of her battle with Hodgkin lymphoma; an aggressive form of cancer that takes over your lymphatic system. Due to her being in stage 2 and her young age, twenty-five, they gave her over double the normal amount of chemo. As a result, she was extremely weak and could not do anything on her own. She was constantly collapsing and was not eating anything. Due to this, I wanted to help my mom financially so she could focus on my sister, Celina, instead of trying to go back to work to keep the lights on.”

Oriti wanted to gain support. He says “I decided to start Team Celina t-shirts to help raise a little money but soon after I started, someone suggested the idea to have a fundraiser basketball game where the student section theme was Team Celina. It was a great night and the moment that I remember most is seeing a smile on my sister’s face for one of the first times since her treatment started.” 

Oriti is thankful for all the people at Lakeview. Many people have stuck by his side. Especially four specific people. He says “my best friends Nonda, Stef, Rocco, and Keaton have always been there when I needed something or someone and I know that that will not change after high school.”  

Not only is Oriti thankful for the friendships he has endured throughout his Lakeview experience, but a certain teacher has made a tremendous impact on him. 

He says “Miss Davis, my 8th grade English teacher, did everything she could to help me and make sure I was doing good in every class, not just hers. She showed me how to learn and how to be confident.”

Oriti participated in track and football. He also was a member of the National Honor Society, Youth Ledge Prevention, and French Club. He is very proud of his accomplishments.

The friendships Oriti made in football are something that will follow him. He says “I think about football every day and most of that is because of the guys. Those 11 seniors and everyone else on that team I look at like their all my brothers. Not seeing or talking to them will be like not talking to family.”

Football also had a large impact on what Oriti plans for his future career. He says, “Football and track are sports that I love and I have thought of becoming a physical therapist and focusing on sports injuries.”  

Lakeview has taught Oriti many values, especially accountability. He believes that he is still learning. 

Something that Oriti struggled with during High School was balancing life, school, work, and sports. It can become a little tricky to involve yourself in many activities while receiving an education. 

But, Oriti had a strength that others may not have. He says “I am not scared to ask a question or raise my hand,” which is a great quality that some tend to shy away from. Because of this, Oriti has gained more confidence. He says, “I am a lot more mature and I don’t overthink as much anymore.” 

Oriti says his favorite class was his sophomore math class. He says “Mr. Shan’s Geometry class made math fun and makes it feel possible.” Though he said he felt like his English class was the most difficult. He says, “Mrs. Sarko’s CWI was challenging.”

Oriti believes there was an obstacle that he overcame. He says “I think I have overcome stopping feeling sorry for myself. I always try to challenge myself and stick to a regimen and most of the time I do. I make sure to always get a workout in even if it is after work at 10 am I will make it there. Not everything is going to be perfect all the time, but the important thing is that you make it there.” 

He believes the fear of failing kept him working hard.

Oriti’s favorite year what Freshman year. He says “2019 before covid was fun and ever since things have just been different.” If he could redo a year it would be “Junior year because there was a lot going on and I am still struggling because of it.”

Overall, his senior year was exactly what he planned it would be. He is happy with all of the friendships he has and the more he is gaining. 

But, if he could go back and tell his freshman self something he would give himself advice. He says “stop overthinking everything and that he should enjoy every moment. You will never be this free of reasonably in your life again.” He also thinks that is something all younger students should hear. 

Oriti plans on attending college. He has been accepted into Youngstown State University and plans on continuing his education there. He is still undecided about his education. He is more excited than nervous to start a new chapter in his life.

Since YSU is close to home, he plans on staying in the area but he also has an open mind. His plans may change in the future. 

In 5 years, Oriti finds himself graduating college. He hopes to move on to a career. In 10 years, he hopes to find whatever makes him the happiest and continue doing it.

The biggest life lesson Oriti learned at Lakeview High School was “sometimes it is better to sit and listen rather than always saying what comes to mind first.” 

We wish Oriti the best of luck with his future plans!