Lakewood Rangers Football 2021

Nothing is more closely identified with high school sports in America than Friday Nights Under the Lights.  In Lakewood, crisp fall evenings are brought to life by our fabulous Marching Band, a raucous costumed student section, spirited cheerleaders and of course our padded up Purple and Gold Ranger Football Team. Throw in the smell of dogs and burgers on the grille and parents adorned in buttons and the pageantry is pure magic.  

But nothing is less appreciated or perhaps less visible in American high school sports than Saturday Morning Under the Weights. “Saturday Morning” is when the team comes in for treatment, to review film, and get back in the weight room. Games are won, and lost, when no one is looking. “Saturday Morning” represents every practice, lifting season and meeting that players endure in order to have the chance to play under the lights. It’s about the discipline and commitment it takes to do one's best when taking the field on 10 (or more) Fall Friday nights. 

The 2021 Lakewood Rangers, coming off a 3-4 Great Lakes Conference campaign, have been putting in the study time, the weight room time, and the grinding summer practice time. LHS Social Studies Teacher and Head Coach Coach Thomas Thome, in his 4th year at the helm, has seen progress in the win-loss column and in terms of commitment to the weight room and other aspects of success. As in past seasons under his leadership “Positivity and Togetherness” are emphasized—a culture of team first, both on Friday nights and on Saturday mornings. 

Led by a spate of stalwart seniors—QB/DB Lucas Winters, two-way linemen Tico Jones, Brandyn Bates and Manny Awad, Defensive Back Gavin Newlon, Lineman Dylan Bennett, LB/RB Jay Goudy and RB /CB Hakeem Quran, the Rangers look to build on the progress they made last season. Jones is weighing offers from numerous Division I schools, and Quran has been identified by the Plain Dealer as one of the top area cornerbacks. Other seniors looking to fill valuable roles are Franlkin Linkerman, Tyler Peebles, J.B. Schlatzer and Joe Twadesky (A unique “two-way player” that also performs during halftime with the Lakewood Rangers Marching Band with twin sister Jessica)

Several juniors will be counted on to fill starting slots, including linebackers Josh Boherjak and Mau Salti, lineman Gabe Constantine, WR/DBs Eddie Gillick, Mason Ivinskas and Nick Patsouras and TE/DE Maurice Williams. Others likely to contribute are, kicker Justin Kieres, Timothe Njjiline, Peyton Buildt, Felix Piotrowski, Kevin Coffman, Noah Hargett,  Jonathon Parker, Edan Zmijewski and Garrett Schweter. Sophomores likely to secure starting roles are lineman Aiden Maxwell, DB/WR Alex Symonds and kicker David Burns.

In ten years, we hope the Rangers will look back on the 2021 as a winning season with many thrilling victories. Our guys have worked hard, but there are no guaranteed outcomes. But the time “under the weights” will pay off in increased discipline, commitment and teamwork in whatever they do. Terry Block, LHS ’66, never made a dime playing football, but he did quite well as COO/President of Post Holdings, Inc. Dan Saleet, ’74, never made a dime playing football (almost, he was invited to the Browns camp) but he’s had quite a career as an architect. You get he idea--productive habits are being built every day

The Rangers defeated 140th street neighbor John Marshall on August 20th opened GLC play by winning at Bay on August 27th, returned home to beat Fairview, and last Friday defeated Rocky River 21-14 to go 4-0, their best start in over a generation. The Rangers next host Normandy on September 17th at 7 pm “Under the Lights” at historic First Federal of Lakewood Stadium. This is a community football matchup, with teammates all from the same town—is an iconic American event. Red and Black vs. Purple and Gold. Good luck to the Invaders, but here’s hoping the squad from 44107 gets the win. 





Dr. Charles Greanoff

LHS graduate, 1977. Teach History and Psychology at LHS

Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 2:53 PM, 09.15.2021