Tourney run ends for Rockets with loss to Bengals|
As the final seconds ticked off the Byers Field scoreboard clock, Bay\'s storybook football season came to a close.
But what a season it was.
The Rockets, just 1-9 the previous season, bounced back with one of the program\'s best showings in school history. Qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time in 21 years and reaching the Division IV, Region 11 title game had the Bay faithful in attendance hopeful for another win.
But on a frigid Friday night in Parma, the Rockets\' run came to an end at the hands of tournament-tested Benedictine. The Bengals, making...
Middie comeback stuns Avon in DII playoff thriller|
During the regular season, Avon\'s West Shore Conference game at Midview proved to be one not for the faint of heart. In a shootout for the ages, the Middies came away with the 49-42 win and went on to claim the final WSC championship.
Friday night at North Royalton\'s frozen Serpentini Stadium, the two teams met again, this time in a Division II, Region 4 semifinal. The rematch did not disappoint, unless you were wearing purple and gold.
Top-seeded Midview tied the score with one second left in regulation, then came up with one of its biggest defensive stops of the year in overtime. The result was a 42-36 win over Avon that sent the Middies into next Friday\'s regional championship game with...
Roller coaster ride: Irish run ends Pirates' season|
The Rocky River Pirates traveled to top-seeded Toledo Central Catholic Fighting Irish in a first round Division III, Region 8 OHSAA state playoff game.
The Friday night contest was like a giant roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs as the Irish won, 70-48, after being down twice by 21 points to the Pirates. Rocky River, making its first playoff appearance since 2009, closed out its season at 6-5.
The roller coast ride went like this:
River 7-0; River 14-0; River 21-0; Central 7-21; River 28-7; Central 14-28; Central 21-28; Central 28-28; Central 35-28; River 35-35; Central 42-35; tied at 42-42; Central 49-42; Central 49-48...
Rockets make history with playoff win over Devils|
The Bay football team has had a remarkable turnaround this season.
After finishing with a record of 1-9 in 2013, the Rockets went 6-4 in the regular season, including an even 3-3 in the West Shore Conference. And on Friday night, they earned the very first playoff victory in school history by beating the Crestwood Red Devils, 18-7, in the OHSAA Division IV, Region 11 quarterfinals at Jack Lambert Stadium.
\"I\'m tremendously proud of our kids and their effort,\" Bay first-year head coach Ron Rutt said.
\"That\'s a great team we played tonight. They were 9-1 for a reason, but our kids just came out and battled and kept fighting...
Lakewood falls in the 'Battle of the Rangers' finale|
In Friday night\'s Battle of the Rangers, neither Lakewood or North Ridgeville had a shot at an OHSAA playoff berth. A light, steady rain fell as the two teams prepared to close out the 2014 season and their final chapter in the history of the West Shore Conference.
Lakewood, in the midst of a 6-game losing streak, was looking to end its season on a high note. Down 31-17, the Rangers drove all the way down to the North Ridgeville 5-yard line as the final seconds of the first half ticked away.
A touchdown would substantially close the gap, with the visitors getting the second half kickoff.
But as it has been all season, it was another case of so close, yet so far for the Rangers. The drive stalled, and North Ridgeville put the first touchdown on the board in the second half on its way to a 45-26 win. Friday night\'s game also featured the final edition of the DeMario McCall Show for 2014...
Westlake's Campo resigns as head football coach|
On Monday, Westlake head football coach Mark Campo submitted a letter of resignation to the administration at Westlake High School. His resignation is effective upon conclusion of the 2014 season, according to athletic director Tony Cipollone.
Campo informed the team of his decision Thursday evening.
Campo revitalized a Westlake program that had struggled prior to his arrival. The varsity team had just one winning season since 1989. Campo compiled a 30-31 record over six seasons...
Momentum shift hurts Rangers in loss to Midview|
Lakewood head coach Mike Ribar probably couldn\'t have asked for a better first half Friday night against Midview.
The Rangers trailed the West Shore Conference champions by two scores at halftime, but they had held the offensive powerhouse Middies to 14 points. And, they were right in the game with the ball to start the second half.
However, things quickly unraveled with a failed fourth down conversion in their own territory. The Rangers couldn\'t recover during their 37-7 loss on Senior Night at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.
The Middies, ranked eighth in the latest Division II state poll, improved to a perfect 9-0. That being said, Ribar knew his team, which was in the midst of a five-game losing streak, had its hands full...
Rockets edge closer to playoffs, beat Pirates in OT|
A fourth down stop. A 42-yard field goal. A never-before-used 2-point conversion play.
Oh, and throw in a school record rushing performance.
Those were the ingredients for one of the biggest wins in the modern history of Bay football.
The Rockets, down 24-21 with 51 seconds left in regulation, got an Alec White 42-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. Then on their second OT possession, they converted the 2-point conversion to pull out a stunning 39-38 win over rival Rocky River Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Bay moved to 6-3 on the season...
Eagles survive another WSC shootout with Pirates|
Most high school football fans anticipated a shootout between Rocky River and Avon, two of the area\'s most prolific offenses.
It took awhile for the fireworks to get started Friday night, but those in attendance at Rocky River Stadium certainly got their money\'s worth.
After Avon built a modest 21-7 at halftime, the flood gates opened in the second half. Seven touchdowns and 49 points were scored in the third quarter alone as the visiting Eagles soared past Rocky River, 63-35, in West Shore Conference football action.
Defense was optional, for the most part. The Eagles and Pirates combined for a total of 1,198 yards on the night, 692 of them coming from the Avon side. \"I don\'t know, it\'s all a blur...\"
Special teams play sparks Bees' win over Rangers|
In their Friday night matchup at First Federal Lakewood Stadium, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Lakewood football teams both got a lesson on just how important special teams are.
Chances are the Bees enjoyed that class a bit more than the Rangers.
After taking an early 7-3, Brecksville took advantage of two costly Lakewood kicking game miscues in the first half. That ignited a 28-0 run that led to a 34-18 win over the Rangers and kept their Division II playoff hopes within reach.
\"Our special teams have been one of those things that have kept us in games this year,\" lamented Lakewood head coach Mike Ribar, whose team fell to 2-6 on the season. \"You just can\'t have mistakes like that against good teams.
\"When those two plays happened, they jumped on it...
Titans spin Demon miscues into another SWC win|
To say Westlake\'s football team handed its opponent the win Friday night isn\'t cliche. It\'s an understatement.
The host Demons turned over the ball six times in the Southwestern Conference contest, and Berea-Midpark graciously accepted their generosity. The Titans spun four of those snafus into touchdowns en route to their 42-0 win at Lou Duchez Field.
For the night, Justin Harris ran in a pair of touchdowns, Joey Bachie caught a couple, Shawn Epps ran in a fifth score and Matt Owens found the end zone on an 80-yard pick-6. Connor Kahl was a perfect 6-for-6 in PATs as the junior bettered the school record for most consecutive extra points kicked in a game.
\"We\'ve got to play mistake-free football to have a chance,\" said Westlake coach Mark Campo, whose team slid to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the SWC. \"We\'ve got young guys that are stepping up playing varsity football for the first time...
Rangers fall short again as Panthers prevail, 41-31|
Ground Hogs Day. Deja vu. Recurring nightmares.
These days, they\'re all the same for the Lakewood Rangers football team.
For the sixth time in seven games, the Rangers found themselves in a position to win the football game. But for the third-straight game, they fell short as Elyria Catholic made some big plays in the final minutes Friday night to beat Lakewood, 41-31, in a West Shore Conference game at Knights of Columbus Field.
\"A play here, and a play there. That\'s the difference between us winning and losing...
Big-play Pirates return in time to run past Demons|
This wasn\'t the offense Rocky River head coach Rick Adams was accustomed to seeing.
Hosting Westlake, the Pirates trailed, 9-7, in the second quarter. That made it only 21 points scored in the previous five quarters for Rocky River, a team which had averaged 42 points per game in the first five weeks of the season.
However, Adams never hit the panic button and knew his Pirates would break out of it sooner or later. Well, in the second quarter against the Demons, they did. Rocky River exploded for 21 in the second quarter and cruised...
Titans work overtime, get by Eagles in SWC thriller|
Three Hail Mary passes for touchdowns and a divine performance by a quarterback with the surname Christian weren\'t enough to lift North Olmsted\'s football team to an upset of Berea-Midpark\'s homecoming festivities.
They certainly made for an exciting Southwestern Conference clash at Tressel Field.
The quarterback duel ended in the Titans\' favor as they held on to take the sudden death showdown, 48-41, at Baldwin Wallace University\'s George Finnie Stadium Friday night.
Joey Bachie\'s winning 2-yard run in overtime was his team\'s only rushing touchdown of the night. The Berea-Midpark defense did the rest to preserve the victory as the Titans improved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the SWC.
\"I feel for the kids,\" said North Olmsted...
Pirates edge Rangers in final Battle for the Bridge|
In Friday night\'s final Battle for the Bridge, both Rocky River and host Lakewood came into the game needing a win.
Both teams were coming off back-to-back West Shore Conference losses, and both were looking at this neighborhood rivalry game to point them back in the right direction. As the wind and rain picked up, it was obvious the game would transform into a defensive struggle.
Ironically, that trend wound up favoring the Pirates.
Rocky River, which had surrendered a total of 138 points in their previous two games, was able to hold Lakewood\'s running attack in check just enough to come away with a 14-12 win at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. The win raised the Pirates\' record to 4-2 on the season and gave them final bragging rights in the series...
Football '14: Rockets roar into state playoff chase|
Don\'t look now, but the Bay Rockets are in a playoff chase.
With half the season in the books, Bay is tied for first with Perry in Division IV, Region 11 in this week\'s OHSAA Computer Ratings. The 4-1 Rockets have been bolstered by wins over Division II Westlake and Division I Lakewood in the first half of the season.
They\'ll travel to North Olmsted, another Division II school, this Friday night. A bevy of computer points will be on the line, and a win over the 3-2 Eagles would go a long way in getting Bay into postseason play.
Bay and Perry each have a computer point average of 8.75, with Jefferson Area close behind with an 8.45. In fourth is Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin at 8.2, with Mantua Crestwood in fifth at 7.9. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the tournament...
Rockets save their Best for last to topple Rangers|
For the better part of three quarters, the Lakewood defense had shut down Bay\'s leading rusher, Nick Best. As a result, the Rangers held a slim 14-10 lead heading into the game\'s final 12 minutes.
But as it turned out, the junior running back saved his \"best\" for last.
Best churned out 130 back-breaking yards in the final quarter, including a 33-yard touchdown run that gave the Rockets a 17-14 win Friday night in a West Shore Conference game at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Rockets moved to 4-1 overall, quadrupling their win total...
Titans keep goals in sight, trample Shoremen 47-7|
It\'s only the midpoint of the regular season, but head coach Ray Hradek said he and his coaching staff periodically remind their Berea-Midpark football players that one of their goals is to reach Week 11.
The Titans took several more steps toward making that postseason objective a reality in Week 5 with their 47-7 Week 5 victory Friday night over perennial power Avon Lake at Tressel Field. They scored on six of their first seven possessions at Baldwin Wallace University\'s George Finnie Stadium.
Behind Nick Gassman\'s record-setting performance that featured five touchdowns in the first half, Berea-Midpark topped the Shoremen in a Southwestern Conference clash. Meanwhile, the Titans\' defense limited them to just...
Fast start gets Avon past Rangers in WSC opener|
This wasn\'t exactly what Lakewood had in mind to start West Shore Conference play.
The Rangers opened league play Friday night, but couldn\'t keep up with Avon\'s high-powered offense during a 35-0 loss at Joe Firment Stadium.
The host Eagles, unbeaten on the season at 4-0, jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.
\"Yeah, it was tough,\" admitted Lakewood head coach Michael Ribar, whose team fell to 2-2 on the season. \"We came out, and we knew what we had to do...
Eagles hold off high-powered Demons in SWC win|
Football coaches crave it, their players strive for it and a team\'s end result depends on it. Friday night at Drive Morris Stadium, a young North Olmsted squad added a good dose of consistency to their overall game and made it count.
The Eagles, behind a 170-yard performance from Joshua Hofstetler, built a 21-12 halftime lead and came away with a 35-26 Homecoming Night win over visiting Westlake in the Southwestern Conference opener for both schools.
The win bolstered North Olmsted\'s overall record to 3-1 and atoned for last year\'s storm-delayed loss at Westlake...
McCall's kickoff return rallies Rangers past Eagles|
If Friday night\'s North Ridgeville-North Olmsted football game had been aired on ESPN, it would have already been labeled an Instant Classic.
Down 34-13, the hometown Eagles staged a near miraculous comeback and tied the game at 34-all with 1:34 left in regulation. But on the ensuing kickoff, Ranger junior Demario McCall turned the tables in a hurry with his 99-yard kickoff return that gave North Ridgeville a 41-34 win at Drive Morris Stadium.
McCall, who had already rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns, hauled in...
Rangers dominate in convincing win over Invaders|
Lakewood football fans hadn\'t seen a game like this in quite awhile.
Their Rangers dominated from start to finish Friday night, shutting out Normandy, 35-0, at First Federal Lakewood Stadium in nonconference action.
First year head coach Michael Ribar\'s squad jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and didn\'t give the visiting Invaders much of a chance the rest of the way. After a disappointing 1-9 season last season, a convincing 35-point victory and 2-1 record is certainly a welcomed and refreshing sight, according to Ribar. \"We were...
Football '14: Koz-to-Sunahara bomb nets The Jug|
With just 42 seconds left in the game and 91 yards in front of them, the Bay Rockets faced long odds in their Saturday morning comeback attempt against visiting Westlake.
One of the biggest plays in Bay High history allowed the Rockets to cash in.
With just :06 left on the Memorial Stadium clock and the ball on the Demon 42, quarterback John Koz took the snap, and rolled to his right against the Westlake rush. Up field, he saw his 6-6 wide receiver, Rex Sunahara, racing open...
Fourth quarter rally pushes Eagles past Lakewood|
With the momentum turned in their favor, the Lakewood Rangers had a chance to salt the game away as the third quarter clock ticked away.
A goal line stand to close out the first half, along with 12 unanswered points in the third quarter, had the home team up 25-21. A second-straight win to open the 2014 season was within the Rangers\' grasp.
North Olmsted, however, had other ideas.
The Eagles, behind the 191-yard rushing effort of sophomore Joshua Hofstetler, came up...
Football '14: Rockets fired up after win over Cards|
Over the past few seasons, scoring has not been a strong point for the Bay football team. In fact there were times where it was an outright challenge.
You never would have known that last Friday night.
The Rockets, under the guidance of new head coach Ron Rutt, scored 20 points in the first quarter alone and rolled to a convincing 40-0 win over visiting Brookside in the season opener for both schools.
\"It was a great team win,\" Rutt said during a break at Tuesday\'s practice.
\"Offensively and defensively, our kids...
Rangers hold on to defeat Parma in Ribar's debut|
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Parma had a glimpse of both in just a matter of seconds.
After scoring a touchdown to potentially tie Lakewood in the final minute of their season opener, the Redmen had their extra point blocked and their hopes dashed. The visiting Rangers pulled out a nailbiter and held on for a 14-13 road win over Parma Friday night at Byers Field in Mike Ribar\'s head coaching debut.
Ribar could barely get his thoughts together and digest the feeling of his first win as head football coach.
\"The whole summer all we\'ve been saying is that we want to compete...
Eagles dominate in opener against rival Shoremen|
The 2014 high school football season opener at Avon Lake Memorial Stadium was a matchup between two similar teams.
Avon, winners of four straight West Shore Conference championships, is again expected to contend for another WSC title. And in the Southwestern Conference, Avon Lake is always in the mix in the conference race. On top of that, both teams are favored to repeat as OHSAA DII playoff participants this fall.
But on Friday night, that\'s where the...
A Pirate never forgets: River gets back at Warriors|
They say an elephant never forgets.
Apparently, neither do Pirates.
Rocky River, looking to make amends for last year\'s opening night loss to Fairview, started 2014 by scoring on five of its six first-half possessions. And the Pirate defense, much maligned in 2013, got off on the right foot as well in a convincing 45-12 win over the Warriors Thursday night at Dr. James B. Daley Stadium.
The Pirate offense, behind senior quarterback Matt Lowry and senior running back Travis Smith, picked up where it left off last year. They seemingly moved the ball at will and cashed in on two of three interceptions by Fairview senior quarterback Colin McNamara in the first half to build a commanding 38-6 halftime lead.
Fairview, on the other hand, was able to move the ball...
Goals remain the same as Avon prepares for 2014|
For the past four seasons, the Avon varsity football team has dominated the West Shore Conference. In each of those four seasons, the Eagles have not only qualified for the state playoffs, but excelled, coming within a game of winning a state championship in 2011.
We now turn to 2014, which happens to be the final season for the WSC. After putting together a four-year conference game winning streak and taking four straight WSC championships, Avon\'s goals remain the same:
Win a fifth-straight WSC championship.
Qualify for a fifth-straight playoff appearance.
Win a state championship.
Leading the Eagles on their quest...
Physical Westlake looking to bounce back in 2014|
Westlake\'s football team doesn\'t need to go searching very far to find the reason it didn\'t repeat its 2012 playoff appearance last season. A sparkling team at home with a 5-1 record, the Demons couldn\'t find an answer once it left Lou Duchez Field as they lost all four games on the road.
Add it up and you get a 5-5 record and a seat in the stands if you\'re a Westlake football player when it comes to the postseason.
The approach hasn\'t changed much in the eyes of coach Mark Campo, who isn\'t looking at five games on the road right now. Instead, the veteran coach is using an analogy heard around Northeast Ohio with the season set to get underway. \"It\'s one...
Football '14: Versatile Tupa to lead Bees' fortunes|
Two years ago, Brecksville-Broadview Heights coach Jason Black already knew what he had. He just didn\'t open it up until last season.
On a squad loaded with Tupas, Tim and Tom, Black kept budding freshman Tyler Tupa under wraps for a year before unleashing him. What followed was an offensive display as the versatile sophomore helped lead his team to the playoffs in 2013, while racking up team highs in receptions (56), yards (864) and touchdowns (10).
Add things up and the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Tyler Tupa averaged 15.4 yards per reception. But he\'s more than that as he will punt, kick, play safety and return kicks this season for Brecksville.
In other words, if the Bees aren\'t dragging their star junior to the bus, they didn\'t use him enough in the game. \"It\'s always great to have Tyler on your team,\" Black said. \"To know...
Experienced Rocky River has high hopes for 2014|
Rocky River finished the 2013 football season under .500, but head coach Rick Adams has high hopes heading into this fall.
The Pirates are coming off a campaign in which they were 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the West Shore Conference. With a lot of experience returning to this year\'s squad, Adams has his sights set on playing late in the year and ending the Pirates\' five-year playoff drought.
\"Our motto this year is \'one goal,\' which means to be playing in Columbus in December,\" said Adams, referring to the location of the state championships.
Adams is entering his seventh season as head coach of the Pirates and has compiled an 80-63 record in that span. \"If we stay healthy...
North Olmsted looks to make another run at SWC|
Last season, North Olmsted\'s varsity football team had all the parts needed to make a serious run at the Southwestern Conference championship, and even a postseason berth.
The Eagles had the senior quarterback-center battery of Brad Novak and Beau Bilinsky, respectively, running a quick-strike offense which powered the team to an overall record of 7-3 (3-3 in the SWC). North Olmsted also graduated starting wide receiver Brandon Dickey, linebacker Luke Janik and offensive tackle Jeff Rotheram.
Head coach Tim Brediger, now in his second year at the top spot in the program, knows there will be some hard work to be done...
Warriors look to build on last season's momentum|
Last season might have just been the shot in the arm the Fairview football program needed.
The Warriors are coming off a historic 8-2 finish, their best record since 1953, and narrowly missed out on the postseason, placing 10th in the Division IV, Region 11, standings.
Returning nine letterwinners, mostly on the offensive side of the ball, the Warriors hope that positive momentum can continue to roll into the fall.
\"We will have a number of skilled players returning who saw valuable playing time in 2014,\" noted Fairview head coach Tom Narducci, who is entering his fourth season with the Warriors. Narducci holds a 16-14 mark in his three years with the Warriors. \"The coaches are hoping the enthusiasm will carry into 2014 and the team can...
Dlugosz is back as Shoremen get prepared for '14|
It\'s hard to keep a good man down.
Avon Lake\'s Dave Dlugosz was content last season as an assistant coach on Avon Lake\'s football team after a 21-year stint as head coach with the Shoremen.
Then Larry Laird left for Strongsville, and the head coaching position came open again. A coach who led Avon Lake to 17 Southwestern Conference titles, Dlugosz couldn\'t say no.
Now he\'s back leading a team ready to pick up where it left off after yet another playoff appearance in 2013. \"I was getting comfortable with not having to do the paperwork and worrying about...
New coach, new season, big goals for Longhorns|
Change is on the horizon at Lutheran West as the Longhorns are preparing for a season with a new head coach.
However, what may seem like a drastic shift and turnover shouldn\'t be that bad of a transition after all. Taking over the squad for the 2014 season is head coach Frank Petroff, who served as the Lutheran West defensive coordinator for the last two years.
That familiarity should be beneficial for the players as Petroff plans to keep things the status quo from a team which went 6-4 last season. The Longhorns tied for second in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division and just missed out on the Division V playoffs. They finished ninth...
Rutt looking to turn around Bay's gridiron fortunes|
The Bay football program has had some lean years recently, and the decision was made to go in a new direction and make a change to its coaching staff.
Bay did not have to look far for a new voice to lead the Rockets back to prominence. With 2000 Bay High grad and former team MVP Ronald Rutt already on the football staff for the past 11 years, along with being the head boys track and field coach, it was a no-brainer to make him the new voice of Rocket Football.
Rutt has the job of turning around a Rockets squad that went 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the West Shore Conference last year. He will do it by utilizing a slew of returning letter winners, who have another year of experience under their belts.
The list of returnees includes quarterback John Koz (6-1, 185), running back and outside...
Ribar brings 'The Ranger Way' back to Lakewood|
As June turned into July, all was quiet at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.
But it was anything but quiet inside the world of new Lakewood head football coach Mike Ribar.
The former Lakewood quarterback, who led the Rangers to their second of back-to-back Lake Erie League championships 30 years ago, had come full circle. He was now the man in charge of bringing some of that luster back to a program that had fallen on hard times.
\"I still don\'t think it\'s hit me yet...
Fishleigh looks for a turnaround in Comet Country|
It was a quiet, late-June evening at Amherst\'s Memorial Field. A few joggers were getting in a workout on the track, and the field had just been lined for an upcoming seven-on-seven with Avon. It was a far cry from the packed stands that are prevalent there for Friday night football games.
Bill Fishleigh, who had just spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Eagles, was delving into his new job as the head football coach at Amherst. Hired in March, Fishleigh was still getting to know his new players and had just moved his family into the community.
With official practices now underway, the new Comet boss no doubt has a firm grasp on what\'s in store as the 2014 season approaches...
Rutt gets his dream job, aims to improve Rockets|
The July 4 holiday had come and gone. Just one short month remained until the start of official practices for Ohio high school football teams.
On a quiet summer morning at Memorial Stadium, a familiar face among those who have participated in or followed Bay High athletics reflected on what was in store for the Rockets football team.
Ron Rutt was a former wide receiver and cornerback under former head coach Tom Kaiser in the Rockets\' Southwestern Conference days. He has also been the boys head track coach for five seasons.
As summer\'s midpoint approached, he was already well into his first season as the football program\'s head coach.
\"Bay is the only place I would really want...
Football '14: Choat makes a big impression in Indy|
Often times, a kid is just excited to be part of the experience. When a coach gets to share in things, it can be a dynamic few get a chance to take part in.
Chris Medaglia, who coached the Browns team at the NFL High School Player Development 7-on-7 national tournament for the sixth straight year, had the chance to see things through Gerett Choat\'s eyes and came away very impressed by the Avon wide receiver.
Choat made the cut from 1,500 hopefuls and traveled with a select few to Indianapolis on July 14-15 for the 32-team event...
Football '14: Laird prepared for Mustang challenge|
The adage around coaching circles when taking over programs is you want to be the man that replaced the man that replaced the legend, not follow the legend.
Larry Laird doesn\'t know how to do that.
In taking over as the head coach for Strongsville\'s football team, Laird follows Russ Jacques.
That\'s Jacques, who led the Mustangs to 12 playoff appearances, eight conference titles and three Division I Regional final appearances. Jacques also had assistant coaching stints at Wisconsin, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Ohio University and Bowling Green...
All-Star Notes: Muldoon, Smith to team up this fall|
For Berea-Midpark\'s Mason Muldoon, the 42nd annual East-West Cuyahoga County All-Star Game was old hat. For North Royalton\'s Austin Smith, it was brand new. In the fall, the two will merge as one as freshmen on Baldwin-Wallace\'s football team.
Muldoon, who has played his high school career at BW\'s George Finnie Stadium, knows every hash mark of the turf. Friday night, the defensive end was there Friday to help his future running back, who was playing in Berea for the first time.
\"I told him it\'s quick, doesn\'t feel good when you fall, but it\'s good running,\" said Muldoon, who registered six tackles. \"I told him \'Let\'s see if you can keep up with me.\'\"
While the tandem\'s West squad couldn\'t keep up...
Fourth-quarter rally falls short as East bests West|
With 9:46 left in the game and his team trailing 14-7, North Olmsted quarterback Brad Novak found himself in familiar territory.
During the regular season, Novak and his Eagles had been involved in a number of close games that came down to the final minutes. On a cool Friday night in Berea, Novak drove the West All-Stars all the way down to the East 23-yard line as the Finnie Stadium clock ticked down to under five minutes remaining.
As he had in the first quarter, he looked for Cuyahoga Heights\' Jack Alpert in the end zone. Novak\'s pass nearly found its mark, but Beachwood\'s Julio Stevens closed in to knock it away at the last minute and...