Avon High School
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...
Eagles reign as track and field champions in WSC|
The Avon track and field program made it a clean sweep at the 2014 West Shore Conference Championships held at Rocky River Stadium.
The Avon boys squad just missed the 200-point mark in the process, racking up 195.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up North Ridgeville (116) and third place Vermilion (85). The Eagle girls fought off challenges from Rocky River and Bay to win the team title with 147.5 points.
Bay\'s Olivia Bechtel was the top individual in the meet, winning four individual titles. That included a record-setting performance of 18-02 in the long jump...
Eagles rally in ninth to claim share of WSC crown|
With an 8-2 lead after six innings, the Avon Eagles seemed to be cruising toward another win and a share of the West Shore Conference baseball championship.
The Bay Rockets, with their own shot at the conference crown, had other ideas.
The visitors sent 13 players to the plate in the top of the seventh inning and put eight runs up on the board to take a 10-8 lead. But Avon answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, then got a game-winning hit from Kevin Maloney...
Rangers edge Eagles to remain in WSC contention|
The big inning.
It had eluded the Lakewood Rangers baseball team for most of the 2014 season. But on Wednesday, a 4-run outburst in the fourth inning made all the difference as Lakewood edged visiting Avon, 6-5, in a key West Shore Conference game.
The Rangers moved to 7-8 overall and stayed in the thick of the conference race at 5-3. Avon, which had entered the week alone in first place, dropped its second-straight WSC game and fell to 5-2, 8-5 overall.
The Eagles broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth when first baseman Kevin Maloney blasted a monstrous solo home run over the tall right center field wall. But the Rangers responded...
Avon's Eagles rally for win against North Olmsted|
Through five innings, North Olmsted and host Avon were locked in a 2-2 tie on a sunny, yet brisk Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field.
After a flurry of runs in the final two frames, there was no telling which band of Eagles would come out on top. But when the final out was made, it was Avon coming away with the narrow 6-5 win in non-conference action.
North Olmsted, now 7-4, had taken a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI single from Tommy Sullivan and an infield grounder off the bat of Matt Mckenzie. Avon, however, bounced right back for a four-run rally in the bottom of the inning.
The big inning started when Andrew Lee worked the count full and drew a leadoff walk against North Olmsted reliever Scott Cooney. Shaun Traine followed...
Pitching, clutch hitting push Eagles past Demons|
If baseball is a game of opportunities, the Avon Eagles made the most of theirs Saturday afternoon against Westlake.
As for the Demons, those opportunities continued to be few and far between. Avon put a pair of two-run innings on the board and got solid pitching from freshman Logan Doenges to defeat Westlake, 4-1, at sun-drenched All Pro Freight Stadium...
Huge third quarter run powers Titans past Eagles|
After a rough start to their season, the Avon Eagles had played some solid basketball down the stretch. They carried that momentum into the post season with a home win over Parma in the first round of the sectional tournament.
Saturday night in Berea, that momentum continued to build. Early in the third quarter, senior guard Brian Kelly drove to the hoop and had his Eagles on the brink against state-ranked Berea-Midpark.
That\'s when the Titans shifted their game into another gear.
The Southwestern Conference champions scored the next 18 points and never looked back. Berea-Midpark left Purdy Gymnasium with a 68-48 win to claim a sectional championship and a berth in next week\'s district semifinals.
Berea-Midpark will now face a familiar foe...
Eagles do it with defense in rematch with Demons|
Back in late November, the Westlake girls basketball team came away with a 51-44 win over Avon. Both teams went on to have successful regular seasons, and they met again in a rematch Thursday night in a Division I sectional game.
This time around, the Eagles\' defense came ready to play.
Avon limited the Westlake offense to 10 field goals for the entire game and held off a second-half Demon rally. And its offense proved to be productive enough as the Eagles came away with a 36-27 win that gave them a sectional championship and a berth in next week\'s district semifinals at Valley Forge High School.
Avon, now 17-6, will take on Wooster...
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...
Video: Eagles rally, advance to regional title game|
Thanks to a late-game rally, the Avon Eagles have returned to the Division II Region 4 championship game.
Quarterback Tommy Glenn found Zack Torbert for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 5:11 left in the game as Avon topped Perrysburg, 24-21, Friday night at Huron Memorial Stadium. The win kept the Eagles unbeaten on the season at 12-0 and sends them to the third round of the OHSAA playoffs.
Avon, the second seed in the region, will now take on the No. 1 team, Medina Highland, this coming Friday night for the right...
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...
Eagles dodge a bullet, fight off vicious River rally|
Trailing 49-7 at halftime, Rocky River came within a couple possessions of completing a gargantuan of a comeback against undefeated Avon. But despite their second-half effort, the Pirates fell short, 56-41, Friday night in a West Shore Conference shootout at Avon Stadium.
With his team outscoring Avon 34-7 in the second half, Rocky River head coach Rick Adams said he got a special effort from his team as his squad fought back against one of the area\'s best teams.
\"There\'s no 42-point play, just effort, and that\'s all we wanted was effort,\" Adams said. \"Our kids never quit and thats a testament to their character. I can\'t be more proud of these guys.\"
With a seemingly-safe 42-point lead...
Rocket spikers refuse to lose, rally past Avon in 5|
The youthful Bay Rockets volleyball team has had its share of ups and down this season. Tuesday night at Avon was no exception as the visitors trailed in every set, including the crucial fourth set when the host Eagles held a 5-point lead three separate times.
But like Rockets head coach Katie McCarthy like to say, her team just refuses to lose.
Bay used a pair of Avon hitting errors and a block kill from senior middle hitter Bridget Durham to force a fifth and deciding set. The Rockets trailed early in that set, but took the lead on another Eagle hitting miscue and never looked back in a 15-25, 25- 20, 17-25, 25-22, 15-11 West Shore Conference win.
\"I just feel like we didn\'t show up until late in the match,\" admitted McCarthy...
Video: Ranger spikers regroup to rally past Eagles|
For the Lakewood volleyball team, it was a big step in the right direction. For the Avon squad, it was back to the drawing board.
After dropping the first set, the visiting Rangers rallied back for an 18-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 win over the Eagles last week to pull their West Shore Conference record to 3-4. They evened their league mark two days later with a thrilling 5-set win at home over the Bay Rockets, avenging a loss on the opening night of the league schedule.
Lakewood was led by freshman outside hitter Gabby Wine, who registered 12 kills in 49 attempts, and junior outside hitter Emily Marek\'s 12 kills on 35 attempts. Senior middle hitter Amanda Hammed also contributed with 10 kills in 21 attempts. Senior setter Liz McIlwee dished out 46 assists, while junior...
Rockets fight off Eagle challenge to stay unbeaten|
Winning soccer seasons for the Bay boys varsity team are about as common as turkey and pumpkin pie on the dinner table at Thanksgiving.
The Rockets have many West Shore Conference titles and numerous trips to the postseason on their resume, including an appearance in the state semifinals last year. They kept their bid for a perfect season intact by defeating conference rival Avon Wednesday night, 2-1, at Bay\'s Memorial Stadium.
Bay, which improved its overall record to 6-0-4, ran its WSC record to a perfect 4-0 with this victory over the Eagles. Rocket head coach Bobby Dougherty, though, believed his team basically \"survived\" and \"escaped\" for the night.
\"Avon outplayed us in the first half,\" noted...
Undefeated Rockets top Avon, keep pace in WSC|
The Bay girls varsity soccer team notched a big West Shore Conference victory with a 2-0 win Wednesday night at Avon.
Senior defender Sam Meisenburg found the back of the net on a free kick from 25 yards out to put the Rockets up 1-0 with 20 minutes left in the first half, and Bay never looked back.
\"This is a tough place for us to play,\" Bay head coach Jack Griffiths said. \"We\'ve lost some tough games here years ago, so it\'s always nice to win here.\"
Bay, now 7-0-3 overall and 3-0-1 in the WSC, utilized the entire field...
Eagles answer Twinsburg's challenge, move to 3-0|
In decisive wins against Avon Lake and East Tech, the Avon Eagles build substantial early leads and were never threatened. But in a Thursday night roadie to Twinsburg, the hometown Tigers gave their guests all they could handle.
The Eagles, however, proved worthy of the challenge.
The Avon defense bent, but didn\'t break, while the Eagles\' offense hit on some big-play passes from quarterbacks Tommy Glenn and Jake Sopko...
River remains unbeaten, tops Avon for shutout win|
Unbeaten. Unscored upon.
The Rocky River boys soccer team continued its hot start to the 2013 season Wednesday night in Avon. The Pirates played shutout defense, then got a late Trent Newby-to-Sutton Klodnick goal to come away with a 1-0 win over the Eagles at Avon Stadium.
With the win, Rocky River moved to 8-0-0 overall and 3-0 in the West Shore Conference. And in eight games, the Pirates and goalie Dominic Liva have yet to allow a goal.
Avon fell to 5-2-1 and 2-1 in the WSC after allowing the game’s only goal with 10:24 remaining...
State-ranked River tops Avon, remains undefeated|
The beat goes on.
The winning beat, that is, with regards to the girls varsity soccer team at Rocky River.
The Pirates, winners of eight games with no losses and a tie, are currently ranked No. 3 in the state\'s Division II poll. They continued their dominating ways on the field Wednesday night by defeating visiting Avon, 4-0, in a West Shore Conference contest at Rocky River Stadium.
Winning has certainly been no stranger to this tradition-rich Rocky River program, which can boast of a regional final finish in 2011, two district championships in 2011 and 2012, and three WSC soccer titles in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
And this season...well, head coach Patrick Hopkins...
Glenn, Choats lead Eagles' romp over Shoremen|
Coming into this season, Avon head football coach Mike Elder had some question marks about his new offense after graduating a majority of his players last season.
Thursday night at home in front of a packed house and Fox Sports Ohio\'s cameras, Elder\'s questions were answered.
A host of Eagles combined for 480 yards of total offense in an impressive 41-10 victory over cross-town rival Avon Lake in the...
IT'S ON! Eagles, Shoremen resume rivalry tonight|
One of the oldest and perhaps strangest stories in American history is how railroads, once the cross thread of our nation, came to be standard at 4-feet, 8.5-inches across. As the story goes, when our forefathers started building the railroads some time ago, they used the same gauge the Romans used back two thousand years ago by the width of a warhorse.
It should only be appropriate then that the width of a warhorse is the only thing between newfound rivals Avon Lake and Avon.
Separated by the same 4-feet, 8.5-inches...
Veteran defense will lead the way for Avon in 2013|
It\'s no secret anymore: The Avon Eagles are the up and coming powerhouse in Northeast Ohio football under the direction of head coach Mike Elder.
With West Shore Conference titles and state playoff appearances becoming routine for the Purple and Gold, the 2013 Eagles will look to pickup where they left off last year. Avon fell just a couple of games away from another state title game, losing to Toledo Central Catholic in the Division II Region 6 championship game at Clyde.
But to become a perennial powerhouse in high school football, a coach needs to have a dedicated staff and a group of players who are willing to sacrifice time...
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...
Bay girls dominate to highlight WSC preview meet|
In cross country, it’s not just about who finishes first. Depth is a key, as the Avon and Bay boys demonstrated Saturday morning at Cahoon Park.
Oh, and the Bay girls? There was one word to describe their performance: Dominating.
The Rocket girls, behind the first-place finish of Maddie Britton, took seven of the first 10 spots to run away with the West Shore Conference Preview Meet. In the boys varsity race, Avon and Bay ran to a tie as they combined for 12 of the top 20 positions.
Britton, with her 18:37.36, led Bay to the girls title as the Rockets scored 16 points. The closest competition came from Rocky River, which finished seond with 54 points. Lakewood was third with a score of 92.
For the boys, Avon got a one-two finish from Austin Fasciana and Sean Kane. Fasciana won it with a time of 16:14.37, while Kane was right on his teammate’s heels...
BeAFanatic expands with new Southern Hills site|
Good morning, and welcome to BeAFanatic.com!
And...a very special good morning to the athletes, coaches, administrators and fans at Berea-Midpark, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls and Strongsville.
Welcome to your new online souce for neighborhood high school sports coverage.
Those of you who follow high school varsity sports in Cleveland’s Westshore area already know us. Since our birth in August of 2011, we’ve covered varsity girls and boys athletics from Cuyahoga County’s western border to the inner suburbs of Lakewood and Rocky River.
It has been, without a doubt, a great and rewarding experience. We look forward to strengthening our relationships...