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

Shaker Football Back to Winning Ways

Maybe it’s the coach. Maybe it’s the new conference. Maybe it’s the turf.

Whatever it is, Shaker football is back.

With two wins and 105 points in their first three games, the Raiders have already exceeded last year’s results, when Shaker was 2-8 and scored 179 points all season. At their current pace, the Shaker offense would score 350 points this season.

Last year the team had supposedly improved in comparison to the 2010-2011 team, but it did not show in their record. The team had to forfeit a game against Warrensville Heights due to field conditions.

This year Solon beat Shaker 24-21 on Aug. 24 and Shaker led 21-10 with 2:22 left in the game. According to Plain Dealer High School Reporter Bob Fortuna, beating Solon would have been the biggest upset of the year. In their next games, Shaker beat John F. Kennedy 35-0 Sept. 1 and trounced Cleveland Central Catholic 49-20 on Sept. 8.

Now that’s improvement.  

Coach Jarvis Gibson credited the improvement to the offseason workout program, which included study tables to make players eligible, weight room workouts, conditioning on the track and practice field and teamwork to create trust between players. He also said that he “expected [the team] to make some strides forward, to cut out some mental mistakes, and be more disciplined,” before the season began.

Athletic Director Don Readance was very optimistic before the season began due to the dedication of the players and the offseason workout program, in which more than 50 students participated.

Putting a scare into Solon launched Shaker into the Plain Dealer High School poll at No. 25, and with their two wins Shaker now occupies the No. 23 spot. The Raiders lead the Valley Division of the Northeast Ohio Conference. The team boasts a .667 winning percentage. The last time Shaker was over .500 was Oct. 18, 2008.

Gibson is cautiously optimistic. “Rankings don’t mean anything,” he said, adding that the team made many mistakes that most people don’t see, such as blown coverages and misalignments. However, Gibson thinks the team will continue to progress throughout the season.

Readance said that he expects it to be an exciting year, with seven to nine wins and the p-word a possibility because the remaining schools that Shaker will play aren’t as highly ranked as Solon. But Readance said that the team “still has to play each game,” and prove that the games against Solon, JFK and Central Catholic weren’t flukes.

A version of this article appeared in print on 19 September 2012 on page 14 of the The Shakerite

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