Dr. G's Ranger Round Up

Girls' Soccer

October 11, 2022  Lakewoood vs. Midview

On a gorgeous fall evening at our iconic Garfield Stadium--In front of a loud and proud student section--the Lakewood Girls Soccer team delivered for themselves and their many loyal fans a 3-1 come from behind win over a physical Midview squad. After having been bottled up in their own end for much of the first half, Senior Nette Doren—a great finisher—took a perfect pass from freshman Willow Trapp and converted it into the tying goal with just over 5 minutes remaining.
The second half saw the Rangers turn the tables on the Middies with a dominating performance, and when Doren again beat the Middies goalie, Lakewood took a lead they would never relinquish. It was still in doubt and the tension built as the game winded down, but then senior Rose Lipka put a poetic exclamation point on the game with a perfect, arching free kick that dropped just over the out-stretched arm of the Midview goalie. The Ranger Student Section went wild, going into a frenzy rare for even our boisterous crowd. Senior Goalie Lauren Barber and the Ranger defense took care of the last 10 minutes, and the best student section in Northeast Ohio stormed the field. Magic happened on Detroit Avenue tonight.
In all of sports, there is nothing quite like the relationship between the local high school teams and their fans in the school and community. Kids that grow up together, share the classroom and hallways, and play on the youth sports teams form a bond that runs deep. There are no free agents to sign, no "recruits" to "bring in"—just kids from the community working to be the best they can be. Tonight, on Senior Night, 13 members of the class of 2023 from the 44107—Nette Doren, Mallory Zavatchen, Ava Carroll, Rose Lipka, Sophie Craciun, Lauren Barber, Belle Orlando, Grace Hildebrandt, Abby Marsh, Paw Say Htoo, Sam Hudak, Clare Morrissey, and Clare McKay-- gave great effort and got a lot of love in return. These hard working student athletes will head off in different directions next year, most will settle in new towns, some will eventually start their own families, and most will be employed as entrepreneurs, therapists, teachers, medical professional and the like. But no matter where they live or what they do, they will always be Lakewood Rangers, and have warm memories of putting it on the line for their school and teammates.

Kudos to Coach Nagel, our Student Section, a great group of parents, and the entire team. The non-seniors cheered on their teammates from start to finish. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that gives it their all. It was another great night in the 44107. Long Live Lakewood.


October 4, 2022 Rangers vs Normandy

The Lakewood Ranger Volleyball team wrote a wonderful story tonight, authored by 8 seniors who hit, dug, clawed and scratched their way to a hard fought 4-set win over a stubborn Normandy squad. Tied at 20 in set 4, senior Setter/Captain Sophie Boyer deftly redirected a miss hit over the net and turned a sure Normandy point to one for the Rangers. For all the kills and digs, this was perhaps the most vital play of the match. The Invaders had won set 3 decisively and were riding a wave of momentum. A nerve-racking set five was looming, but Sophie and company finally put an end to that. This story— a tight win over a good opponent-- actually followed the classic senior night script, and it takes no poetic license to say that every senior played a vital role tonight.

Senior Libero Helen Hylton (one of the best in school history) had a fantastic match, even by her lofty standards. Senior Maddie Kratz served up a storm (especially at key rimes) and was solid in the back row. Senior Calyn Smith was, as usual, rock solid in the front row, with numerous blocks and kills. Senior co-captain Jacquie Hudak served well and was likewise strong in the back row. Senior Bella Burnett had numerous kills and brought her strong all-around game to the New East Gym. Senior Elliot Snyder brought energy, athleticism (she made a spectacular play in set 1) and was a force in the front row. Senior Madelyn Sorge did everything well—serve, kill and dig. And senior Setter Sophie Boyer never left the floor and was the glue that kept it all together.   In a night dominated by the class of 2023, others chipped in. Calyn's sister sophomore Layla also played a fine game, as did junior Emily Potoczak. The Ranger student section showed in large numbers, bringing energy and enthusiasm. (School spirit has not been higher in my 16 years as a teacher at LHS). The Lakewood parents were as always on hand to support their students and all of the Rangers. This was a great team win by the players, coaches and parents.   The magic that Bella, Sophie, Maddy, Maddie, Jacquie, Calyn, Elliot and Helen produced tonight all started when no one was watching—during summer workouts, conditioning, weight-lifting sessions and in hour after hour of practice. It starred when parents invested time and money, driving their kids to games, tryout and practices—to give their child a chance to pursue a passion, to play a sport they so clearly love. As for me, I get reap the benefits of all this hard work, to see them win with pride and lose with grace. I've had most of them in class, and without exception all have made a positive contribution.   The Invaders did their part tonight—nothing came easy for the Rangers. The outcome was favorable and quite welcome, but it was really beside the point. Tonights story was a celebration of 8 fabulous student athletes, their parents, and our community. It was about flowers, memories, loyalty, friendship and love. The Lakewood Rangers are one team, from one town, that gives all they have. Long Live Lakewood.

Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 11:55 AM, 10.19.2022