Story by Jim Horvath
Photos and video by Larry Bennet
As the boys lacrosse season nears its conclusion, area teams are finding some big challenges ahead of them.
There were important matchups for both Rocky River and Westlake this week, with both the Pirates and the Demons facing a pair of conference leaders in OHSLA play. And in both games, the both Hudson and Chagrin Falls showed why they will be formidable opponents in the upcoming playoffs.
Chagrin Falls, the No. 11 team in Ohio and the leader of the Division 2 Northeast Conference, dropped Westlake 16-5 Tuesday night at Read Field. Then on Wednesday, undefeated Hudson took down Rocky River, 14-0.
The Explorers not only lead the Division 1 Northeast-Northwest Conference, but are the top-ranked team in the state at 13-0.
Westlake, after winning six games in a row, has now lost two in a row. After a hard-fought 10-9 win over Medina in triple overtime, the Demons fell to University School 14-9 last Saturday.
Head coach Brian Stepanek's
crew, now 7-5 and seventh in the conference, play at Brecksville Friday night, then host Delaware Hayes on Saturday. Next week, the Demons host Kenston Tuesday before closing out the regular season with a road game at Rocky River next Friday night.
A big day for Shane
While the wins have been hard to come by for Rocky River this season, the program enjoyed a big moment recently as 9-year old Shane Haddad
was officially introduced as an honorary member of the 2015 squad.
"Shane has served all season as an honorary member and captain of the team, and along with PJ Sperli
, Nick Rodgers
and Joey Artiste
is one of the team leaders this spring," according to a release on the team's website.
"Through a non-profit, Friends of Jaclyn, the team adopted Shane, a Rocky River resident who is as strong as they come. He has been fighting brain cancer for five years, and our team will serve as a slight outlet for him and his family while we play the game that we love.
"Shane and his two sisters received he same white shooting shirt we wear as members of our team. Some games they will be in attendance, many they will not. We hope to store them in our hearts each time we think we are having a tough day, since none are as hard as Shane's"
(Photo courtesy of Kent Klodnick.)
Shoremen back on a roll
After back-toback losses to Westlake and St. Edward, Avon Lake has won two straight. The Shoremen topped Revere 14-8, then edged Brecksville 12-10 on Monday to move to 6-5 on the season with two games left.
The Shoremen of head coach Kevin Walz
were scheduled to play a road game at Olmsted Falls Thursday night, then close out the regular season next Saturday with a home game with Lutheran West.
Avon Lake is 11th in the Division 2 Northeast Conference.
Rockets look to bounce back
Bay, No. 14 in the Northeast Conference, is coming off a pair of tough losses to St. Francis DeSales and Hawken School. The Rockets will host 4-6 Toledo Central Catholic Friday night at Memorial Stadium, then face Lake Catholic at home on Monday.
Head coach Ryan Smith
and his Rockets will hoist Walsh Jesuit next Friday night to finish the season.
Tough stretch for River
Pirates fell to 3-8 on the season with the loss at Hudson. The Pirates will try to get back on track Saturday with a road game at Medina, which comes into the game at 6-6.
It doesn't get any easier for River next week. The Pirates host 10-2 Chagrin Falls on Tuesday before finishing the regular season at home against Westlake Friday night.
Click on the cameras below to view Larry's photos and video highlights from the Westlake vs. Chagrin Falls game: