The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

Raider Roundup

Alyson Garfield
Senior Jack Landever pursues a Strongsville opponent during the Raiders’ 2-0 conference win Sept. 12 at Russell H. Rupp Field. Fall sports teams are finding their way in the GCC.

Raiders Finding GCC Footing

Shaker sports are fighting to belong in the Greater Cleveland Conference.

Football has started the season 6-0. The Raiders have beaten GCC opponents Euclid, 40-13, and Brunswick, 39-34,  for a 2-0 conference mark. The Raiders face another GCC challenge at Mentor Friday, Sept. 29.

Men’s soccer is 6-1-1 as the season stands. The Raiders are 2-1-1 in the GCC with a 2-0 win vs. Strongsville, an 8-0 win against Euclid, and a 1-1 draw with Brunswick. The Raiders fell 5-1 to conference opponent Medina, ranked No. 2 in the Sept. 18 Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association men’s poll. 

The women’s soccer team is 2-7, but winless in the conference. The Raiders lost 5-1 to Medina, 2-0 vs. Strongsville and 1-0 to Brunswick. Medina is ranked No. 1 and Strongsville No. 3 in the OSSCA women’s poll.

Women’s volleyball is 1-13 so far and winless in the GCC, losing 3-0 to Strongsville, Brunswick, Medina and Mentor, twice. The team also suffered 3-2 losses to Euclid and Cleveland Heights. 

Other sports such as cross-country, golf, and women’s tennis compete in meet-or-match style events, meaning they do not individually face conference opponents. The field hockey team, 8-1, does not compete in the conference because there are few field hockey teams in the area.

Senior receiver Colin Richard said the GCC features better coaches and more composed schemes. “The players in the GCC don’t give up,” he said. “They play to the last whistle, while the players in the LEL don’t always. GCC has better players and bigger schools.”

— Spencer Zbanek

Conference Results Mixed for Men’s Soccer

Men’s soccer beat Strongsville 2-0 under the lights at home and played a 1-1 draw with Brunswick to improve their GCC record to 1-1-1 and their overall record to 6-1-1.

Against Strongsville Sept. 12, Shaker’s defense mounted another strong performance, keeping a clean sheet for the fifth time in seven matches. Senior midfielder Joe Brancato scored twice for the Raiders en route to their third win in a row.

The Strongsville matchup was also Shaker Youth Soccer Association night. Young soccer players ages 6 to 11 participated in pregame activities with the high school team. “It was great to pull off a win in the home atmosphere, especially during youth night,” senior midfielder Jack Landever said.

Shaker came back from a 1-0 deficit against Brunswick Sept. 19 to achieve the draw. Senior forward Caden Kozak scored late in the first half for the Raiders. 

The Raiders play next on Sept. 26 at home against GCC opponent Mentor. Game time is 7 p.m.

— Jacob Gearity

Cross-Country Teams Post Top 10 Finishes in Nighttime Meet

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams traveled two hours to run against 15 of the best teams in the state.

And some of them finished in the dark. 

The Sept. 9 event at Seneca East High School, which is 90 miles southwest of Shaker, was a nighttime meet known as Stars, Stripes & Lights. Each race began with fireworks, and the trails were illuminated. Junior runners Jesse Nathenson and London DeMarco enjoyed that new experience, even with an abnormally long commute.

“Being at night it was a lot cooler, so I think it was worth the trade off,” Nathenson said.

The women’s team, ranked third in the state, ran first and finished second overall, just three points behind the winning school. Senior Annabelle Coxon and sophomore Ellie Allan finished sixth and seventh individually. They ran times of 19:05 and 19:07, respectively, in the 5K.

The men’s team finished seventh overall, led by junior Andrew Dina and senior Kamren Graham, who ran 16:49 and 17:24, respectively. 

The Raider women have since placed second of 35 teams at the Sept. 16 Boardman Spartan XC Classic. Allan took eighth place in the 5,000 meter race with a time of 19:38.8. The men’s squad placed 27th of 40 teams, with junior Andrew Dina taking 97th place (17:27.9).

The Raiders ran today at Cloverleaf High School. 

— Baiden Sabino 

Men’s Golf Wins Catawba Invitational

Shaker placed first of 20 men’s teams, with all five Raider golfers in the top 20. Shaker, with an aggregate score of 320, beat Findlay-area Van Buren High School, by one stroke.

Senior Noah Rusnak placed fifth out of 100 others and led Shaker with a score of 78 on 18 holes. 

Other strong performances came from senior Alec Miller, who placed sixth with a score of 78. Senior Elliot Thome shot an 81, good for 10th place. Senior Devin Bhatia placed 13th with a score of 83. Senior Quintin Garnett came in 15th place with a score of 84.  

Although the Raiders won the Catawba, Garnett said there is room for improvement, individually and as a team. “I am not satisfied with our record and I am not satisfied with my individual performance. I feel like I can do a lot better than how I am,” Garnett said in a text message.

The men’s team faced Solon today at the Shaker Heights Country Club. They will next face Lorain High School at Pinebrook Golf Course Sept. 27.

Garnett wrote, “Our team morale is good. We have all been friends and have been playing with each other for about four years.” 

— Nate Landever and Hardy Welsh

Going a Long Way to Play

The varsity cross country team and varsity field hockey team have logged the longest bus rides of any fall sports team thus far with a two-hour long trek each. 

Athletes take similar approaches to enduring these commutes. 

Senior varsity cross country runner Andrew Fogerty said that the bus ride is a time for the runners to relax and settle in. “The longest one that we have had this year is two hours,” Fogerty said. “On the bus rides, I just listen to music and try to relax before the race.” The cross country teams traveled to Seneca East High School, southwest of Shaker Heights, for a Sept. 6 meet. 

Men’s soccer and golf teams have ridden the second- and third- longest rides, respectively.

Senior varsity defender Will Taigen said that the long rides are divided between hanging out with teammates and zoning in on the game ahead. “Our longest ride was traveling to Wooster. It was about an hour and 15 min ride,” Taigen said. “I would say the first part of the bus ride is mostly spent talking and joking around with teammates, but toward the later half of the drive, most of us listen to music and focus on the game ahead.” The soccer team’s record is 6-1-1.

Quintin Garnett, a senior golfer, said that the team’s rides are relaxed. The men’s golf team’s longest ride to this point was an hour and a half drive to Port Clinton Aug. 10 for the Port Clinton Classic. “And we just chilled and watched TikTok and talked to our coach,” Garnett said. The Raiders placed first among 20 teams. 

No other fall sports team has ridden longer than an hour at this point in the season. The next longest drive, at 45 minutes, belongs to the varsity women’s and JV men’s golf teams, who traveled to Bunker Hill Golf Course in Medina Aug. 8 and Sept. 12, respectively, to face Brunswick.

— Cole Klein

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