A Page -- Sept. 24, 2012

VS

Valley Division play begins with Medina at Solon Friday

The second half of the 2012 high school football season will start on Friday night as Solon hosts Medina.

This week also marks the beginning of Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play. Solon has either won or shared the Valley Division title the last three years.

 Medina enters Week Six with a 1-4 record. The Bees have lost four straight and last week fell to Shaker Heights, 48-27. Solon stands at 3-2 after defeating Normandy last week, 44-0.

The two schools meet for the tenth time in their football histories, having played as both non-league and league foes. The result of this game will count towards an overall NOC Valley Division championship.

Last week the Comets grabbed a win to conclude NOC crossover play and finish that short portion of the sched-ule with a .500 record. The Comets had 447 yards of offense in a 44-0 blanking of Normandy. Khoury Crenshaw finished the night with 180 yards on 13 carries and 5 touch-downs. Defensively, John Sensibaugh and CJ Hanna each had 9 tackles. Keon Hemerlein was perfect on extra point and sailed a 39-yard field goal through the uprights in the first quarter. The Comets improve to 3-2 on the year and remain unbeaten in 10 years when rushing for more than 200 yards.

Week Six of the season starts divisional play for the six teams that make up the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division. In crossover games against the NOC’s River and Lake Divisions, Valley Division teams as a whole finished with 7 wins and 5 loses.

Solon welcomes Medina to Stewart Field on Friday night for the fifth of six home games on this year’s schedule. The Bees are 1-4 on the year and have not defeated Solon since 2003. Records and statistics are secondary when it comes to games in the NOC Valley Division, as teams thrive on the opportunity to compete at this, the highest of levels.

The first five weeks of the year are chances for these six Valley Division teams to get ready for what turns out to be five straight weeks, from the end of September through October, of tough, physical, and challenging football. Following Week Four, the Comets found themselves at a point where they could decide to improve, and they did just that.

A 44-0 win over Normandy put the Comets, the three-time defending NOC Valley Division Champions, at 3-2 on the year. The next five weeks will prove whether the Comets are ready to be crowned as Valley Division Champions for a fourth straight time and if they can earn their 18th play-off appearance in school history.

 It all begins on Friday night in Stewart Field.

“We showed a lot of improvement last week,” said Solon Head Coach Jim McQuaide. “We’re fired up to begin league play at home this year against a tough Medina team. We need to start this portion of the schedule with a great attitude and carry that with us through the end of the regular season. We want that fourth straight title hanging in our school for years to come.”

 

Blue Streaks Can Canfield

By Emily Witt

When Magnificat’s tennis team needed a clutch win to make or break their season, the Streaks delivered.  On Wednesday the varsity-A tennis team played the third round of the OTCA Division 1 girls’ team tournament versus Canfield High School.  The atmosphere was tense, as a loss for Mags would cost them their quest to reach the Final Four once again in Columbus for the team tourney. 

Sarah Patrick

Despite Canfield having home court advantage, the Blue Streaks had a good crowd of supporters to root them on.  Magnificat won at second doubles easily by Miranda Farinacci and Miranda Manimbo, who dropped only two games in their 6-2, 6-0 win.  First doubles did not have such luck, as Sarah Patrick and Veronica Johnson were defeated 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.  With the match tied at 1-1, it was then up to the singles players to bring home the victory.

At first singles, Emily Witt prevailed over Canfield’s Allison Pavlansky 7-6, 6-2.  Lauren O’Malley came back from losing the first set at second singles to defeat her opponent 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.  With the team having already secured their 3-1 win, play was suspended at third singles due to darkness, allowing the Streaks to get the clutch victory. 

Lauren O'Malley

“The girls did a great job raising their intensity level and dealing with adversity.  We dealt with an extremely long bus ride, a hostile environment, and impending darkness.  I have been preaching focus on each and every point and all of the girls delivered in a big way,” said head coach Chris Johnson.  “This was a huge win, not only because it was a coach’s cup match, but the girls proved to themselves what they are capable of and gained a lot of confidence.”  

The Magnificat tennis team continues with regular season matches this week as it hopes to stay on the Road to States. 
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