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  • Bulldogs sports roundup: North Royalton dashes to 28-11 win over rival Stow-Munroe Falls

Bulldogs sports roundup: North Royalton dashes to 28-11 win over rival Stow-Munroe Falls

The momentum was in the Bulldogs’ favor, but they couldn’t capitalize.

The Stow-Munroe Falls football team trailed 14-3 at Suburban League National Conference rival North Royalton midway through the fourth quarter Sept. 23. The Bulldogs forced the Bears into a three-and-out in the home team’s territory.

North Royalton attempted to punt the ball away, but senior Teddy Gregory, Jr., blocked it, picked up the ball and ran it 35 yards for a touchdown. SMF converted the 2-point conversion on a pass from freshman quarterback Jake Harrington to senior running back Sal Romito to pull the visitors to within 14-11.

“We’re feeling pretty good at that point,” SMF head coach Martin Poder said. “We felt we were going to hold them, get the ball back and go and score, but North Royalton ended up scoring on a long run [53 yards] on the ensuing drive to make it a two-score game with about five minutes to go. That changed our game plan where we had to throw the ball, and we were having issues being able to protect the quarterback and get open.”

The Bears put the game on ice with a 44-yard touchdown run to make the final score 28-11. SMF slipped to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the National Conference.

“In the first half, we ran a total of about 15 plays,” said Poder. “North Royalton did a really good job of ball-controlling and holding the ball for a long time. It was a competitive game until late in the fourth quarter.”

North Royalton took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown pass. Junior kicker Davis Broghammer pulled the Bulldogs to within 7-3 at halftime on a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter. A 16-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter gave the Bears a 14-3 lead.

Harrington was 8-of-23 for 120 yards with an interception.

“It was an up-and-down performance for Jake,” Poder said. “North Royalton did some things defensively to give him some things he hadn’t seen yet. There were two or three drops on the night, too. He’s been doing a good job of stepping up in the pocket, finding the open receiver and throwing to him. He did force things a little bit, but Jake Harrington is not the reason why we’re losing games. He’s doing a good job for what we need him to do.”

Romito rushed the ball 16 times for 101 yards, including a 35-yarder.

“For most of the night, Sal had positive yardage,” said the coach. “He’s playing like the guy we envisioned in the backfield.”

Senior wide receiver Brayden Gabele had three receptions for 53 yards, including a 26-yarder. Wideout Jabari Hopkins, Gabele’s classmate, had a 44-yard reception, and junior wide receiver Jack Smith caught two passes for 20 yards.

Leading the way defensively was Gregory, Jr., doubling at linebacker with seven tackles, including one for a loss. Senior outside linebacker C.J. Seckinger had four tackles, and junior safety Mike Murtaugh recorded three tackles. Unfortunately, the home team gashed SMF with 245 yards rushing.

“We’re not anywhere where we want to be defensively,” Poder said. “We’re pretty banged up on that side of the ball. Our guys are playing well for the adversity that they’re facing, though.”

The Bulldogs host conference rival Wadsworth on Homecoming Night at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.

Girls cross country: Bulldogs grab team title at Malone Invitational

The girls cross country team had its top five runners finish in the top 20 overall Sept. 24, as the Bulldogs captured the title at the nine-team Malone Invitational at Malone University in Canton.

“I thought it was a really good team performance. We had some really good runs,” head coach Aaron Morris said. “The girls have been working pretty hard, especially in the last couple weeks. It was a longer-mileage week for us, so it doesn’t get any harder than what they did this week, and they were still able to do what they did.”

Stow-Munroe Falls finished with 48 points. Lake finished second with 59 points, and Wadsworth was third with 73 points.

Junior Jayla Atkinson finished second out of 131 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 33.3 seconds, while Deena Ingrassia, Atkinson’s classmate, placed fourth with a course personal-best time of 20:00.1.

“Jayla went out with the leaders, the girl who finished in first and the girl who Jayla finished in front of. They were all together for the first half of the race,” said Morris. “The Lake girl took off somewhere between mile one and mile two. Jayla stayed with the other girl for a while and then ended up leaving her in the third mile.

“Deena had a great race. She went out with the fourth-place girl and ended up leaving her in the third mile in order to take fourth place.”

Senior Sydney Pitcovich finished 11th with a time of 21:02. Junior Ellie Brosch finished 14th with a time of 21:16.8, a course personal best by more than a minute, and senior Lily Baker placed 20th with a course personal-best clocking of 21:56.8.

“It wasn’t Sydney’s best performance, but it was a gutsy performance. Her legs were feeling the mileage of the week, but she still ran well,” Morris said. “Last week Ellie had a really rough race, but she rebounded from that quite a bit. It was another good race for Lily. She improved by almost a minute from last year on the same course.”

The Bulldogs are set to take part in the Madison U Wanna Come Back Invitational at 9 a.m. Oct. 1.

Boys cross country: Bentley runs to individual title at Malone

It was a great day for the boys cross country team Sept. 24 in the 13-team Malone Invitational at Malone University in Canton.

Stow-Munroe Falls tied Revere for first place with 58 points, but lost out on the title on the sixth-place tiebreaker. Wadsworth finished third with 104 points.

“Top to bottom, we set a whole ton of personal bests,” head coach J.K. LeSeure said. “We’ve run really competitively, just going out and racing, both in this race and the week before. It’s paying benefits for us.”

Senior Micah Bentley captured the individual title out of 207 runners with a time of 16:34.2.

“Micah actually ran slightly slower than he did at Boardman last week,” said LeSeure. “I think had he had more people around him like he did at Boardman, he probably would’ve run significantly faster. But he won the race, so what can you say?”

Zach Shawala, Bentley’s classmate, finished third with a time of 16:55.3.

“This was Zach’s first race back from injury,” LeSeure said. “He put everything he had out on the course, and that was really what we were looking for from him. We were less concerned about the time and place. I figured it would be there as long as he just competed from the gun to the finish, and he absolutely did that. We were short senior Connor Scarberry, who had a fever. He’s been our No. 2 guy all season long. So we were very fortunate that Zach was ready to go.”

Senior Trent Macura finished 12th with a time of 17:25.5, a personal best by almost 30 seconds. Sophomore Gavin Rossman finished 17th with a time of 17:38.4, while sophomore Chris Kinsel placed 25th with a personal-best clocking of 17:55.5.

“Trent had a good day,” said the coach. “We’ve been looking for that for a few weeks. You could see it building, and you’re just waiting for it. He definitely came through with a strong performance.

“Gavin has also been banged up, has been in and out of the lineup. He ran right at his personal best from last year. We just wanted him to compete for the entire race, and he did that. I’m very pleased with where he’s at right now.

“Chris had been looking better in practice than he had in racing for a couple of weeks. We’ve been working on how to make that translate. You were just waiting for that breakthrough, and this was that day for him.”

The Bulldogs are scheduled to compete in the Madison U Wanna Come Back Invitational at 9 a.m. Oct. 1.

Girls soccer: Hobart’s late goal lifts Bulldogs past Wadsworth

It was the girls soccer team’s sixth game in 12 days. The Bulldogs were tired, but they hung in there and earned a thrilling 4-3 victory Sept. 21 at Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth. Stow-Munroe Falls improved to 1-1-1 in the conference.

Stow-Munroe Falls led 3-1 with about 15 minutes left in the game, but the Grizzlies netted two quick goals to tie the score. Senior midfielder Kailey Hobart then scored the winning goal for SMF with about five minutes left.

“There were a lot of goals in a short amount of time,” head coach Jim Dudones said. “We did a good job. It was a conference win, and that’s always big. It was more exciting than what we would’ve liked for it to have been, but the goal was to win, and we did that.”

Senior midfielder/forward Sophia Yoder scored two goals, and junior midfielder Mallory Fischer tallied a single goal.

Three days later, on Sept. 24, SMF lost a 1-0 heartbreaker at Sylvania Northview. The Wildcats scored with about 10 minutes remaining in the game as the Bulldogs fell to 5-4-3 overall.

“Northview is another team ranked in the top 20 in the state. All of our losses have been to teams ranked in the top 20 in the state,” said Dudones. “It was a winnable game. I was proud of the effort but disappointed in the result. I think we could’ve put at least one, if not two, balls in the net. Really, the only shot Northview had the entire game was the winning goal. If we can play with teams like that, that bodes well for us going forward.”

SMF began the week Sept. 19 with a 3-0 victory at league crossover rival Kent Roosevelt. Sophomore midfielder/forward Kylie Kramer scored two goals.

The Bulldogs travel to conference rival Nordonia at 7 p.m. Sept. 28.

Girls golf: Tough week for Bulldogs against National Conference leaders

The girls golf team sandwiched losses to the two powerhouse teams in the National Conference, Hudson and Nordonia, around a victory over conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Stow-Munroe Falls defeated the Bees 181-195 Sept. 21 on the par-36 back nine at Fox Den Golf Course in Stow.

“For our home course,” head coach Scotte Rorabaugh said, “we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked to, but we pulled out a victory.”

Leading the way for the Bulldogs were junior Gabby Berlingieri, who shot a 41, and senior McKenzie Ickes, who shot a 42. Freshman Olivia Berlingieri, Gabby’s sister, fired a 45, while sophomore Lily Gualtiere carded a 53.

Two days earlier, on Sept. 19, SMF lost 152-170 to the Explorers on the par-35 front nine at Ellsworth Meadows Golf Club in Hudson.

“We played OK on a course that we typically don’t play that well,” said Rorabaugh. “Hudson’s top four scorers were in the 30s. That’s tough to beat when you’re playing a team that’s strong and deep like that.”

Gabby Berlingieri shot a 40, Olivia Berlingieri shot a 41, Ickes fired a 44, and junior Ace Ades carded a 45.

SMF concluded the week Sept. 22 with a 151-172 loss to the Knights at Ellsworth Meadows, also on the front nine. The Bulldogs fell to 6-3 in dual matches.

“It was a very impressive round by Nordonia because the entire round was played in strong winds and rain. The last three holes were pretty much a downpour,” Rorabaugh said. “I was proud of all our girls for playing through the conditions. It was very challenging. It was cold, it was windy, it was wet, but it’s fall golf in Ohio, so you have to learn how to handle those situations.”

Pacing SMF were Gabby Berlingieri with a 38, Olivia Berlingieri with a 41 and Ickes with a 42.

“Gabby played a good round,” said the coach. “She actually had a double-bogey in the middle of her round, which hurt her score, but, considering the conditions, she played very well. Olivia and McKenzie both had a couple bad holes that cost them better scores.”

Ades shot a 51.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to compete in the fourth and final Suburban League Tournament at Brookledge Golf Course in Cuyahoga Falls at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28.

Boys golf: Bulldogs gearing up for final Suburban League Tournament

Fifth place out of 19 teams does not sound too bad, but head coach Chet Feldman felt his boys golf team should have done better than that Sept. 23 in the Alliance Invitational at Alliance Country Club.

Stow-Munroe Falls had a score of 332. Archbishop Hoban’s “B” team won the competition with a score of 320. Green and Canfield tied for second with a score of 324.

“I was wanting to go out there and win that one,” Feldman said. “When you see Hoban’s ‘B’ team and other schools that you really don’t compete too much against, I thought we should’ve done a little bit better. We never play that course. None of my kids have seen it or played it. That course has a lot of false fronts.”

Even senior Ben Skirpac, who typically shoots right around par, shot a 9-over 79.

“Ben was hitting the ball so well,” said Feldman, “but he was sticking them in the middle of the greens, and they would roll off all the way to the front of the green, and now he has a 40-yard pitch.”

Sophomore Austin Wilhoit shot an 82, senior Mitch Tyger shot an 84, and junior Matt Kurtz carded an 87.

“Austin fought back. Hole No.1 he gets an 8 on a par 4. They couldn’t find his ball,” Feldman said. “For him to bounce back and only go 8 over in 17 holes was pretty good. I’m proud of him for that, fighting through it. The false fronts really got to Mitch.

“Matt is kind of happy-go-lucky out there. You can never tell if he’s playing bad or playing well. He always has the same demeanor, which in all honesty I love. But it’s crunch time. We need to have some of these guys shooting lower than what they are.”

The Bulldogs close the regular season by competing in the Suburban League Tournament at Good Park Golf Course in Akron at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 29.

“It’s worth double points,” said the coach. “We’re third right now. We must win and Wadsworth get second for there to be a tie between us and Wadsworth for first place in the National Conference.”

Girls volleyball: Rollercoaster season continues with loss at Hudson

It has been a season of highs and lows for the girls volleyball team.

“It’s been kind of like a rollercoaster. One minute we’re at the top of the hill looking great, and then we hit bottom,” head coach Sara Snyder said. “We’re kind of a young team just figuring things out, but we’ve definitely had a lot of growth this season. Overall, I see improvement daily out of the girls.”

Stow-Munroe Falls’ match Sept. 20 at Hudson was a microcosm of the Bulldogs’ up-and-down season. The visitors lost 25-14, 25-22, 24-26, 25-11. They slipped to 6-9 overall and 2-4 in the conference.

“We started out a little slow. We didn’t do much the first set,” said Snyder. “I messed up the lineup the second set, but the girls came to life and they went with it, played their butts off and just missed out on winning that second set.

“I fixed the lineup, and we played really well in the third set. We were blocking, digging, our hitters were finding the court, our serving was really great, actually all night. They play as a team. They had so many hustle plays, it wasn’t even funny. They played really well. In the fourth set, I don’t know if we just used up all of our energy in sets two and three and just kind of shut down. We didn’t finish strong.”

Leading the way for SMF were senior middle hitters Gianna Cella and Delaney Ramsey. Cella had 13 service points, seven kills, four blocks and two aces, while Ramsey totaled six kills and five blocks.

A bit of good news is that junior outside hitter Abby Green is back from an injury.

“Abby has played a little bit here and there, but against Hudson she played a lot,” Snyder said. “Sophomore Peyton Poston has been doing a great job in her place, but Abby is going to help out a lot.”

The Bulldogs play at National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Girls tennis: Improving second doubles team highlights difficult week for Bulldogs

It was a tough week for the girls tennis team.

Stow-Munroe Falls lost three decisive dual matches before finishing seventh out of seven teams Sept. 24 in the Suburban League National Conference Tournament at Highland High School in Medina. In the league tourney, each position for SMF finished seventh except first doubles, which placed fifth.

Senior McKenna Hoffstetter lost at first singles 6-0, 6-0 to Hudson and 8-5 to Wadsworth.

“McKenna had lost handily to the same Wadsworth girl earlier in the season,” head coach Brian Banas said. “She played a much better match this time. She was much more competitive. She had a lot of really nice passing shots and was much more consistent.”

Junior Leah Bentley lost at second singles 6-0, 6-0 to Brecksville-Broadview Heights and 8-3 to Nordonia.

Senior Sophie Ing fell at third singles 6-0, 6-0 to Brecksville-Broadview Heights and 8-1 to Nordonia.

Junior Claire Goetz and freshman Kaelyn McGovern teamed to lose at first doubles 6-0, 6-0 to Wadsworth, then defeated Nordonia 8-7 (8-6) before falling 8-3 to North Royalton.

Junior Mikayla Witner and sophomore Sam Houlihan joined forces to lose at second doubles 6-4, 6-0 to Twinsburg and 8-5 to Nordonia.

The Bulldogs began the week Sept. 19 by losing 5-0 at Hudson.

Hoffstetter lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, Bentley lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and Ing fell 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.

Goetz and McGovern lost at No. 1 doubles 6-1, 6-0, while Witner and Houlihan fell at No. 2 doubles 6-0, 6-0.

A day later, on Sept. 20, the Bulldogs lost 5-0 at Walsh Jesuit.

Hoffstetter lost 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Bentley lost 6-1, 6-0 at second singles, and Ing fell 6-0, 6-0 at third singles.

Goetz and McGovern lost 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles, and Witner and Houlihan lost 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles.

On Sept. 21, SMF lost 5-0 at league crossover rival Cuyahoga Falls to slip to 1-12 on the season.

Hoffstetter lost 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 singles after leading 4-3 in the first set, Bentley had to retire from heat exhaustion when losing 6-5 in the first set at No. 2 singles, and Ing fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

Goetz and McGovern lost 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles, and Witner and Houlihan lost 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.

“We knew we had a couple tough matches at the start of the week with Hudson and Walsh Jesuit. It’s pretty much just a testament to the strength of those two teams. We got beat up pretty good by both of them,” said Banas. “As the week went on, though, I think we saw some improvement out of our second doubles position with Mikayla and Sam. They played a good first set against Walsh Jesuit, and they had a pretty competitive match against Cuyahoga Falls. They’ve had a little more time on the court together, and they’re becoming a more competitive team. We’re hoping they can continue to improve.”

The Bulldogs conclude the regular season against St. Vincent-St. Mary at Springside Racquet Club in Akron at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 29.