North Royalton High School
Track & Field '15: Area girls' top times, distances|
As a new feature this spring, we are going to compile the top times and distances for our area\'s track and field athletes.
We debut with some of the numbers put up by the girls at recent relays and invitationals, including the Ranger Relays in Lakewood and the Comet Relays in Amherst. We also realize this list is probably missing some pretty good performances this spring, so we welcome input from track and field head coaches in the Westshore and Southern Hills areas.
To report those performances, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter @BeAFanatic and use the...
Bears, Titans claim team honors at Ranger Relays|
The North Royalton girls held off a challenge from St. Joseph Academy, while the Berea-Midpark boys won convincingly at the annual Ranger Relays at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.
North Royalton scored 112 team points to edge SJA, which took second in the 4x400 to finish with 106 points. Berea-Midpark won the boys competition with 142 points, while North Royalton was a distant second with 86.
The Bears won the girls pole vault relay, with senior Kristen Denk winning individual honors with a 13-00. Senior MacKenzie Matthews took third with a 9-06, while freshman Kayla O\'Donnell turned in a 7-00 to help clinch the win...
Baseball '15: Mustangs put together a solid week|
Nobody could argue that it\'s been a pretty good week for the Strongsville Mustangs.
With the weather finally breaking, the Mustangs went 4-0 this week in Northeast Ohio Conference play to move to 7-3 overall. It all began at home Monday with a 6-1 win over Mentor. Senior right-hander Alex Barnes went the distance, allowing just two hits and no earned runs.
The next day at Brunswick produced a 13-2 win as Strongsville pounded out 15 hits. Jake Bokar led the onslaught, going 4-for-4. Seems like the Mustangs\' senior catcher was just warming up...
Football '14: Bees, Titans to play for SWC, playoffs|
Regular season high school football games don\'t get much bigger than this.
When 7-1 Brecksville-Broadview Heights entertains 7-1 Berea-Midpark on Friday, there will be much more than just the Southwestern Conference on the line. There will be gigantic playoff points as both teams control their own destiny. And, both teams can likely lock up postseason berths with a win.
The victor clinches at least a share of the SWC as well as bragging rights in the biggest slobberknocker of the regular season to date.
\"We\'re going to try to work out their anxiety and nervousness in practice,\" Bees head coach Jason Black said. \"We have to be razor sharp...
Football '14: Big games loom ahead for Mustangs|
Strongsville\'s football team hasn\'t been to the postseason since 2008, but don\'t expect the Mustangs to be green if they make it this year.
Their last three regular season games are a virtual who\'s who of Week 11 regulars as Strongsville travels to 7-0 Hudson and 7-0 Mentor with a game against 4-3 Brunswick thrown in between at home.
For those keeping track, that\'s the No. 2 in the state this week and the No. 1 squad in Week 10 with the arch nemesis Brunswick coming in Week 9.
\"We\'ve already started our playoffs,\" Strongsville head coach Larry Laird said. \"This week\'s game is big for Hudson and Strongsville as far as playoff points go. I\'m sure they want that No. 1 seed. So do we...\"
Bears defeat Mustangs, claim share of NOC crown|
North Royalton\'s Katie Baird had a message for the rest of the state, and for the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division in particular, following a four-set win at home over Strongsville.
\"This shows we\'re no average public school that can beat a couple teams,\" Baird said. \"We\'re the real deal.\"
Playing in their last volleyball match in the NOC, Baird and the Bears beat the reigning champion Mustangs 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23 Thursday night to grab a share of the final Valley Division crown with Brunswick. The two teams split their regular-season series. The Blue Devils, now 19-2...
Football '14: Top-ranked Mentor up next for Devils|
Brunswick\'s football team knew it had a big game Friday with the state\'s top-ranked team in Mentor back when the schedule came out.
After last week\'s last-second loss to Elyria, the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division contest with the Cardinals just became bigger.
Up 21-14 with a little over 90 seconds, it all went south when Elyria scored and recovered an onside kick to bring it to a one-point game. With 14 seconds left, Mikah Price hauled in a tipped pass and raced 57 yards for the win.
That bumped Brunswick to 4-2 and put them 14th in Division I, Region I. It also landed a magnifying glass the size of Mentor on this week\'s game with the Cardinals.
\"That was a tough lesson to learn last week...\"
Determined Royalton cools off red-hot Brunswick|
Katie Baird admitted to fidgeting in class on Thursday. For the North Royalton junior, it wasn\'t about getting outside to enjoy one of the few remaining nice days of the year in Ohio.
Instead, it was about heading into her own gymnasium as an outside hitter for the Bears volleyball team. Wanting to stay relevant in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division will do that to a competitor.
But wanting to avenge a four-set loss to Brunswick earlier in the year meant even more to the outside hitter...
Football '14: Friends meet as Mustangs host Bees|
Strongsville football coach Larry Laird will walk to midfield before Friday\'s game with Medina and see a friendly face.
That the friendly face will belong to Bees head coach Dan Sutherland is the irony of the situation. Sutherland was an assistant coach under Laird when the Mustangs mentor was the lead man during Medina\'s magical playoff season in 2010.
\"It\'s always tough when you go against guys you respect that you\'re friends with,\" Laird said. \"That was a special year for all of us involved.
\"For our kids to accomplish all that we accomplished, we were very proud of that fact. No one felt prouder than I did,\" he said.
Don\'t get Laird wrong. Once the game starts, it\'s all about improving to 5-1 and staying in the Division I, Region playoff hunt. Strongsville is ninth and would open at Westerville Central if the playoffs started today.
The Bees are still looking for a victory, which would be...
Football '14: Titans jump into the DI playoff chase|
The last time Berea made the playoffs in football, Desmond Howard was a rookie in the NFL. The last time Midpark reached Week 11, Gladiator was starring on the silver screen.
The years were 1992 and 2000, respectively. Fast forward to 2014, and Berea-Midpark is ready to write an incredible chapter on the gridiron. Currently 3-1 as they head into a key game with Southwestern Conference foe Avon Lake, there\'s a buzz around the Titans, and it is very real.
\"The kids are knowledgeable of what this could mean, in terms of a drive in football,\" Titans head coach Ray Hradek said. \"Avon Lake has...
Bees return to the top, win NOC tournament crown|
Medina\'s boys golf team wanted to make sure it left the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division exactly the way it started it.
Champions of the NOC every year but two, 2008 and 2013, the Bees knew it would take a long shot to unseat Hudson in the overall standings. That didn\'t mean they couldn\'t make a statement Monday at the league tournament.
And that\'s exactly what Medina did in posting a team score of 305 to walk away with the tournament by shooting its lowest score of the season at Silver Lakes Country Club.
\"It feels really good,\" Evan Schreck said. \"We had a couple off-days in matches. It came down to the wire, it really meant something to come out...
Royalton spikers fight off Strongsville's challenge|
Postseason play for high school volleyball is a month away, but someone must have told North Royalton and Strongsville\'s teams otherwise as the neighboring rivals duked it out like their seasons were on the line in their most recent Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division showdown.
Katie Baird\'s decisive match point in Game 4 earned the Bears the hard-fought victory. After falling to the host Mustangs 26-28 in the first game, North Royalton battled back with sets of 25-19, 25-20 and 29-27.
\"Every time we play Strongsville, you never know how things will go,\" Bears coach Kristin Hubbell said. \"It doesn\'t matter who\'s having a great season, who\'s not. We get together, and it\'s just a highly emotional match.
\"It\'s a battle every time we play,\" she said.
The long-standing foes often reserve their most intense encounters each season for the sectional or district tournament. Last year, the Mustangs outlasted North Royalton down the stretch and was...
Royalton battles state-ranked Mustangs to a draw|
North Royalton girls soccer coach Pete Ragone and his Bears walked out of Ehrnfelt Soccer Complex with heads held high talking about the biggest result of the season on Wednesday.
Strongsville mentor Todd Church left his home turf talking about finding a way to take that next step.
Either way you look at it, the 0-0 tie between Strongsville and North Royalton in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division action was either a surprise or a shot in the arm.
For Ragone, the ability for his Bears, now 3-3-3 overall and 0-1-1 in...
Football '14: Big road challenge awaits Blue Devils|
Brunswick\'s football team knows exactly what is on the line this week in a key Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division game with Hudson.
It\'s more than just a league game. It\'s arguably THE best matchup in the state.
The Explorers (3-0) are unscathed and ranked fourth in the state poll. The Blue Devils (3-0) haven\'t lost either and are ranked fifth. Hudson, which plays host to Brunswick, is coming off a huge win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights. The Blue Devils knocked off Austintown-Fitch 41-27.
\"I know the physicality in which they play is really good,\" Explorers coach Ron Wright said.
\"I was impressed with them...
Bears fight off determined Bees, remain unbeaten|
There\'s a fire that burns in North Royalton\'s volleyball team. It\'s a passion that glows every time the Bears need it.
That fire showed on Tuesday night during a 25-23, 25-9, 24-26, 25-17 Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division road win against a very competitive Medina squad. With the win, the Bears remained undefeated on the season.
Whenever the Bees (4-2, 0-2) pushed the Bears, the visitors answered with authority in what was a very entertaining match.
Of course being ranked sixth in Division I in the state coaches poll means everyone is going to give them their \"A\" game. Medina did that much of the time in the four-set thriller.
\"It kind of shows we can\'t underestimate teams,\" said Bears libero Allison Baird, who registered 27 digs. \"That will help us for the future when come tournament time...
Bees turn Bear turnovers into Gold to retain Shoe|
Brecksville\'s football team has been ballyhooed in recent years for its playmaking offense. In this year\'s installment of the battle for the Golden Shoe, however, the defense put its best foot forward.
The Bees capitalized on all three of North Royalton\'s turnovers and limited it to 22 yards of total offense in the first half as they topped their neighboring rival 26-8 Friday night at Serpentini Stadium.
\"We focused a lot on our turnovers,\" Brecksville coach Jason Black said. \"We focused a lot on a quick change of pace after turnovers. We focused on getting a lot of people the football in a hurry. All of those things were working for us...
Football '14: Coaches voice opinion on mercy rule|
The new mercy rule in high school football was just as much the talk of the weekend as the first games among the Southern Hills coverage area for BeAFanatic.com.
Of the five games played, Medina and Brunswick played each other as did North Royalton and Berea-Midpark, two ended much earlier than expected because of the new rule.
The rule states if a team is down by 30 points or more in the second half, the game will go to a running clock.
As an example, Brunswick went up by 33 points at the 10:06 mark of the third quarter in what was eventually a 36-0 win. The clock started...
Titans find their rhythm to roll past North Royalton|
The Berea-Midpark football program is a year older, a year wiser and certainly a year more skilled.
It took less than 24 minutes to demonstrate all of these improvements in the season opening victory over North Royalton.
The Titans blew open the non-conference win with four touchdowns in the second quarter as they romped to a 47-7 win at Tressel Field in Berea. The program, in its second season of reorganization following the merging of Berea and Midpark high schools, rode the talents of several athletes as five different players reached the end zone that game. \"There\'s always a rhythm to the game...
With 2013 behind them, Bears set to bounce back|
There\'s a sign just outside the locker room of North Royalton\'s football team counting down the days, hours and minutes until the Bears open the season with Berea-Midpark.
The ticker isn\'t as much about a lid lifter with the Titans as much as it is a countdown until North Royalton can put 2013 in the rearview mirror.
It\'s not that the Bears don\'t want to learn from their 3-7 record as it is the fact they want to get back to a team that was a regular to win Northeast Ohio Conference titles and push on to the playoffs.
Last season, injuries depleted the team. So much so that North Royalton never started the same five...
A failure to finish costs Royalton in loss to Comets|
The score from North Royalton\'s non-conference boys soccer game with Solon read 3-0.
Those in attendance Thursday night will attest to that, but the game wasn\'t as lopsided as the final tally indicated.
In fact, the Bears opened their season by hanging with the returning Kent Division I District champion Comets (2-1) for the better part of 80 minutes. Unfortunately for North Royalton, a few defensive lapses took a 1-0 contest and made it a decided Solon win as the Comets scored two goals in the span of 54 seconds late in the game.
\"It was three counters going over the top,\" Bears coach Alex Nagy said. \"We have to fix it in the back. Obviously, we possessed probably 70-75 percent of the game. We just need to finish.\"
Finishing was tough for North Royalton...
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...