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Southern Hills Edition


Strongsville High School

Stories: 29
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...    (8876 reads)

Champions! Titans use depth to take regional title

Berea-Midpark\'s boys track and field team is having a season to remember. The Titans, with the Southwestern Conference and Amherst District championships already under their belt, had their team depth pay off again. They scored 71 points to outdistance runner-up Sylvania Southview\'s 64 to win the Amherst Division I Regional Meet Friday at Richard S. Cooley Track. Berea-Midpark advanced nine events to the OHSAA Track and Field Championships this weekend in Columbus. Highlighting that group was the team\'s 4X200 of Caleb Samol, Anfernee Myers, Marlon Robertson and Chris Neumann that turned in a new district record time...    (3980 reads)

Bears best Mustangs, Wildcats to win district title

The North Royalton baseball team is headed to the regional tournament. The Bears, the third-seeded team in the Strongsville District, defeated the second-seeded Mustangs, 7-2, on Tuesday in the district semifinals. On Wednesday, they stunned top-seeded St. Ignatius, 5-2, to win the district championship and advance to the Bowling Green Regional Tournament. Next up for North Royalton is St. Edward, the winner of the Lorain District. The two teams...    (3249 reads)

Mustangs rally late, survive slugfest with Royalton

Through the first four innings, everything seemed to be going North Royalton\'s way. The Bears put up a 5-run second inning Tuesday against Mustang ace Alex Barnes, who had previously given up just one run in 18 innings of work. Then in the bottom of the fourth, first baseman Dominic Pissini blasted a 3-run homer over the right field wall to give the home team a 9-4 lead. Even trailing 11-9 in the sixth, the Bears put up three more runs to retake the lead. But Strongsville got a pair of runs in the seventh and made them stand to come away with a 13-12 win in a key Northeast Ohio Conference...    (4115 reads)

Mustangs start off strong at Avon Lake Invitational

The Strongsville track and field team had a number of strong early-season performances at the recent Avon Lake Invitational. While Mentor won both the girls and boys team titles, the Mustangs came away worth a strong team showing. The boys took third place with 75 points and a pair of first-place finishes, while the Mustang girls took fifth in the 14-team field. In the girls meet, Mentor scored 95 points to edge out Brunswick\'s 94.5. Chardon was third with 82 points, followed by Medina at 80.5 and Strongsville with 63. The Cardinal boys scored 108.33 points, followed by Brunswick with 100.33 and Strongsville with 75 points. Cassie Martin took...    (2843 reads)

Magnificat moves past Mustangs, faces Bears next

Any basketball coach will tell you that tournament basketball is much different than regular season games. The added pressure, the unfamiliar surroundings and overall feel of the game can cause the best of teams to struggle at times. Even if you are a defending district champion. Magnificat found itself in a dogfight with Strongsville in the first half of Tuesday night\'s Division I district semifinal at the Elyria Catholic Coliseum. But in the second half, the Blue Streaks regrouped with a 19-4 third quarter, running away with a 59-35 win and a berth in Friday night\'s district championship game. Magnificat, now 19-4, will face North Royalton in Friday night\'s championship game at EC. The Bears edged the Blue Streaks earlier in the regular season, 49-48, at the Fight or Flight Tournament in Twinsburg. They advanced with a convincing 60-47 win over St.Joseph Academy in...    (5337 reads)

Mustangs start strong, but Eagles fight back to win

Down by 16 points at halftime, Avon had come all the way back to within a point of visiting Strongsville. As the final minute ticked off the scoreboard clock, both the Eagles and the Mustangs still had a chance to pull out the win. But when opportunity knocked, it was Avon\'s Brian Kelly who answered. With 17 seconds left, the Eagles inbounded the ball to Kelly. The senior guard quickly dribbled up the length of the court, pulled up and nailed a jumper with just under four seconds left to give the Eagles a stunning 49-47 win Tuesday night in non-conference basketball action. For Avon, which upped its record to 3-10, it was an improbable win considering Strongsville\'s strong start. The Mustangs had shot the ball well in the first half, hitting six 3-pointers in the process to build a 36-20 halftime lead...    (5408 reads)

Bears do it with defense, run past rival Mustangs

For the better part of two quarters, the Strongsville Mustangs were able to use their size advantage to stay in the game with the smaller, but quicker North Royalton squad. But as the second half wore on, it was evident the Bears\' wall-to-wall pressure defense was beginning to take its toll. North Royalton opened up a 13-point lead early in the third quarter, then turned up the defensive pressure a notch or two the rest of the way. That combination allowed the Bears to leave Strongsville with a 52-41 win in a Northeast Ohio Conference Saturday afternoon matinee. The Bears, now 13-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, forced 12 second-half turnovers and churned out...    (3038 reads)

Video: Titans roll by Mustangs, remain undefeated

The Berea-Midpark boys basketball team just keeps on rolling. The Titans remained unbeaten at 8-0 Saturday night with a convincing 84-57 win at Strongsville. Berea-Midpark jumped out front early, using a 15-0 run in the first quarter to take an early 18-4 lead. The Titans took the first quarter 22-10, then put 20 more points on the scoreboard in the second quarter to build a 42-23 halftime lead. They erased all doubt in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 22-11. Senior guard Alex Brown led all scorers with 22 points, with 11 of those coming in the Titans\' big first-quarter run. Nolan Gerrity...    (3777 reads)

Blue Devils prevail, get past past Mustangs in 2OT

The Strongsville Mustangs thought they had tied the game and sent it to another overtime period. Most of the people in the SHS gym felt the same way. Except for one referee. With Strongsville trailing by three against Brunswick in the second overtime, point guard Sean Aske\'s last-second shot from the top of the 3-point arc found the bottom of the net. Mustang players rejoiced and the home fans erupted. However, one of the officials quickly over-ruled what initially was a 3-point call. The crowd went from sheer hysteria to shock and silence...    (2648 reads)

Bulldogs' pressure leads to a win over Mustangs

It wasn\'t quite the debut Darren Collins was hoping for. Ups and downs can be expected. But the new Strongsville head boys basketball coach had to witness more downs than ups during the Mustangs\' 88-62 home loss to Olmsted Falls Friday night in the hoops opener for both teams. \"They play physical and get after it,\" said Collins, who came over from the former Berea High School. \"You can\'t go through lulls against a good team and turn the ball over. You work on it, but you can\'t simulate it.\" Early turnovers and sloppy play against the Olmsted Falls full-court press proved costly for the host Mustangs, who started just one senior and have just three total on their roster. Strongsville trailed by 12 at halftime and was outscored, 32-16, in the third quarter as the Bulldogs started to run away with it in the second half. All but one Olmsted Falls player reached the scoring column...    (2737 reads)

Pirates come alive in second period, top Mustangs

Through the first period of play, Strongsville and Rocky River skated to a scoreless tie as both teams found the scoring opportunities few and far between. That all changed in the second period. The Pirates exploded for six goals in the period and went on to earn a convincing 8-1 win over the visiting Mustangs Saturday afternoon at Hamilton Ice Arena. The Pirates began the second period with a power play opportunity that began late...    (4548 reads)

Mustangs fall to Warriors in DI regional title match

There weren\'t many shots on goal between both Strongsville and Walsh Jesuit Saturday afternoon. The Warriors only managed one but they certainly made it count. Freshman Marin Auth blasted a 35-yarder past the Strongsville defenders and goalie Sarah Baskey for the game\'s only goal during Walsh\'s 1-0 win over the Mustangs in the Division I girls soccer regional final at Rocky River High School. Along with the Warriors, Strongsville struggled to mount much of a charge for the majority...    (2383 reads)

Mustang spikers moving on after win over Comets

Amherst and Strongsville may have entered Wednesday night\'s Division I regional semifinal volleyball match with the same record, but it was clear early on which team had the edge. The Lady Mustangs took the first two sets before closing out the Comets in four games, winning, 25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Strongsville, now 23-3, advances to play unbeaten Toledo St. Ursula in the regional finals at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. St. Ursula moved to 27-0 and advanced with a hard-fought 25-14, 17-25, 20-25, 25-11, 20-18 win over Kenston Wednesday night. Strongsville came into the match riding high on confidence, having already swept Amherst in three games back on Aug. 24. \"Coming out and playing Amherst...    (2878 reads)

Blue Devils edge Mustangs in Battle for the Border

Not often has a Brunswick-Strongsville football game had this much at stake this late in the season. Rivalry aside, Friday night\'s meeting between the two schools held huge playoff implications. It came down to the final play and it were the host Blue Devils, who inched closer to a postseason spot by hanging onto a 28-25 win over Strongsville. Brunswick last qualified for the playoffs in 2009 and Strongsville is coming off two losing seasons. \"There was a lot on the line in this game,\" said Brunswick head coach Luke Beal, whose team moved to 6-3 on the season...    (2876 reads)

Mustangs rally to top Magnificat, claim district title

Another five-set volleyball match was not what Magnificat had in mind. The Blue Streaks took the first two sets against Strongsville, but couldn\'t close the deal as the host Mustangs pulled off a thrilling, 25-27, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-8, win Thursday night in the Division I district volleyball finals at Strongsville High School. The Mustangs, now 22-3, advance to next Wednesday\'s regional semifinals against Amherst at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Amherst won a 5-set match of its own Thursday night, getting past Elyria 18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 26-24, 18-16. \"We\'ve had a rough season, and the longer it went the worse it was going to be for us after playing Royalton so hard,\" said Magnificat head coach Mike Cannon, whose team...    (6016 reads)

Weisbarth goal in OT powers Mustangs past Avon

After a hard-fought battle for 80 minutes, and nearly the entire first overtime, it was a flick of the foot that sent the Strongsville Mustangs to a Division I sectional championship, and the No. 1 seed Avon Eagles home for the season. In the 14th minute of the first overtime, Strongsville senior Josh Weisbarth redirected a ball into the back of the Avon net for the 1-0 victory, ending as evenly-matched game as you could ever see. \"I saw my teammate Dean Hayes going for the ball. I\'ve player with him for more than 10 years now, and I just knew he\'d play me the ball,\" Weisbarth said. \"I couldn\'t have asked for a better chance to score.\" With the game being so evenly-matched...    (5390 reads)

Opportunity knocks, but Mustangs fall to Hudson

On Friday night, opportunity was knocking on the door of the Strongsville Mustangs. After holding a 10-7 halftime lead against undefeated Hudson, the hometown Mustangs found themselves staring at a 21-10 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. A pair of Kylen Bailey interceptions, however, had given them a chance to quickly regain the lead. But Strongsville was able to capitalize on just one of those golden opportunities. The Explorers went on to put the game away on touchdown runs by Ben Hart and Jared Ruffing late in the quarter and leave town with a 35-17 Northeast Ohio Conference win. The win allowed Hudson, the top team in Division I Region 1 heading into the game, to remain unbeaten heading into next Friday night\'s much-anticipated matchup...    (2893 reads)

Mustangs prevail over Bears in a 5-set NOC thriller

Thursday\'s North Royalton-Strongsville volleyball match exemplified that of any other one between the two schools. Back and forth, intense and long-lasting, it was just the type of matchup that has turned the meeting into a continuous, competitive rivalry. For the third time this season the Lady Mustangs got the better of North Royalton as they defeated the visiting Bears, 18-24, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 15-12, on Senior Night. \"When we play North Royalton no matter who\'s up or who\'s down, it\'s always a tough match,\" said Strongsville head coach Erick Sopata. \"To me it\'s the match I look forward to most in the year.\" Strongsville, now 19-3, won its 13th straight match despite falling behind, 2-1, in the first three sets. The Mustangs weren\'t perfect every set but were able to make the plays needed...    (3744 reads)

Mustangs fall short as Cardinals remain unbeaten

The upset was there for the taking. The Strongsville Mustangs gave the undefeated Mentor boys soccer team a run for its money Tuesday night, but the Cardinals showed why they are tough to take down. Despite not playing its best match, Mentor still was able to find a way to escape with a 3-2 victory over the Mustangs in the final week of the regular season. \"I\'m a little disappointed in us going in front twice, giving it back each time and it wasn\'t our best performance,\" said Mentor head coach Chris Payne, whose team improved to 11-0-4. \"But I\'ll give them props. They played a nice game. \"I expected a game from them. Their record is not an indication of how well they can play...    (2817 reads)

Mustangs finish strong, beat Redmen for third win

When all else fails, just put the ball in the hands of your playmakers. The Strongsville Mustangs were losing their grip on what was a sizable lead over Parma. But on this Homecoming Night, they made the plays down the stretch to defeat the visiting Redmen, 33-14, Friday night in high school football action at Pat Catan Stadium. A 5-yard touchdown run by Dominic Lombardo put Strongsville up, 20-0, late in the second quarter. But two Tyler Deutsch touchdown catches later and the Mustang lead dwindled to just 20-14 with 42 seconds left in the third. Despite the Redmen holding the momentum, the Mustangs put some periodic sloppy play behind them with a picture-perfect, 52-yard scoring drive. Senior wide receiver Jordan Sedivy used his speed and 6-2 frame...    (2472 reads)

Mustangs strike early, hand Streaks their first loss

When two of the state\'s best teams square off on the field of battle, one can expect big plays from both sides with quality athleticism being displayed throughout the course of the athletic contest. That\'s just what high school soccer fans got at Strongsville\'s Ehrnfelt Soccer Complex Saturday night. The visiting Magnificat Blue Streaks, a perfect 8-0-0 coming into the match and ranked No. 5 in the Division I state coaches poll, took on the Mustangs of Strongsville, 5-3-1 with a No. 10 state poll ranking. An aggressive style of play that netted Strongsville an early goal in the first half...    (5539 reads)

Strong start powers Mustangs past winless Titans

It may not have been the prettiest of victories, but Strongsville sure isn\'t complaining. The Mustangs defeated Berea-Midpark, 29-19, Friday night at Baldwin Wallace University\'s Finnie Stadium in nonconference football action. The win improves visiting Strongsville to 2-1, its best start since 2008 when the Mustangs went to the Division I regional finals. \"It feels great. We haven\'t been 2-1 in a long time,\" said Strongsville head coach Russ Jacques. \"The kids are playing hard, and we\'re overcoming some big injuries...    (3161 reads)

Experienced Mustangs shutout youthful Shoregals

Bigger, faster and more experienced. The Lady Mustangs were all those things Monday night during their 4-0 win over visiting Avon Lake in girls soccer nonconference play. Strongsville scored just over four minutes into the match and was constantly on the Avon Lake side of the field for much of the first half. \"We struggled our last two games scoring and attacking and finishing,\" said Strongsville head coach Jon Felton. \"We kind of fell asleep in the second half, just complacent. I kind of went after the girls a little bit in terms of my desire for them to attack...    (4434 reads)

Demons do it with defense in win over Strongsville

Both Strongsville head coach Tobey Cook and his Westlake counterpart, Mike Besu, knew the importance of this Saturday night soccer game. On a calm and sometimes rainy night, it was the visiting Demons who came away with the upper hand in this year’s Division I district tournament. Westlake scored a pair of first-half goals, then let its defense do the rest in a 2-1 win at the Ehrnfelt Soccer Complex. Westlake, which defeated Strongsville in the 2012 district title game on the same field, moved to 4-2-2 on the season. The Mustangs dropped...    (5259 reads)

Jacques, Mustangs prepared for Tigers' challenge

Three wins the last two years - a recent past Strongsville wants to forget. Luckily for head football coach Russ Jacques a new season has started. The Mustangs quickly put some of that recent disappointment in the rear view with a 27-15 home win over Lake Catholic in the opener last Friday. Jacques was more than happy with the positive start. \"It\'s a great feeling,\" said Jacques, who takes his squad to Cleveland Heights this Friday night in the first of three straight road games. \"The kids have worked real hard it\'s something that they knew was going to be tough game. They played hard for four quarters and that\'s all you can ask of them,\" he said. Junior quarterback Bobby Cole is coming off a strong performance where he was 12-of-22 for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Dominic Lombardo tallied 109 yards...    (1963 reads)

Mustangs, Titans fare well at Ashland Invitational

Strongsville and Berea-Midpark put up some impressive numbers during the Division I Ashland Cross Country Invitational over the weekend. Strongsville\'s boys were third and the Titans finished fourth out of 13 teams. Olentangy Liberty was first overall, followed by Ashland. On the girls side, Strongsville placed fourth, finishing behind winner West Holmes, Dublin Scioto and Lakewood. Leading the Strongsville boys was junior Tim Doyle with a 10th place finish (17:11.60). Two Lady Mustangs placed in the top 10...    (2799 reads)

Eagles step things up, battle Mustangs to a draw

On one side of the field was Strongsville, a longtime perennial Cleveland and state soccer powerhouse in Division I. On the other was Avon, by comparison a relative newbie to Division I play. On Saturday night at Avon Stadium, the gap between the two programs appeared to have narrowed considerably. The Eagles controlled possession for much of the first half, then managed to answer a quick Mustang goal with one of their own early in the second. The end result was a 1-1 draw in boys non-conference action. “Both teams had a couple of chances tonight...    (5821 reads)

CHAMPIONS! Demons stop Mustangs, win district

When Nick Wertman scored midway through the first half, the Westlake boys soccer team was one step closer to reaching a preseason goal. And when the senior forward scored again with 19:02 left in the game, the Demons were able to cross another goal off their list and begin looking forward to the next one. Wertman’s two goals were all the Southwestern Conference champions needed as the Westlake defense pitched it’s third-straight tournament shutout in a 2-0 win...    (5163 reads)

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