Chagrin Falls seeks first league title since 2014

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A large group of returning players has the Chagrin Falls Tigers eyeing their first Chagrin Valley Conference title since 2014.

The Tigers, who finished 10-6-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play last fall, return five players who earned all-league honors last season along with a veteran group filling out the lineup for second-year head coach Brian McKenna.

“The 2018 squad includes a strong returning squad with a large senior class,” McKenna said. “We feel we have a solid lineup and a schedule that should provide several challenges along the way.”

Leading the way for Chagrin Falls is senior forward Jack Amendola, who returns at forward after leading the team in scoring the past two seasons. Amendola, a second team All-CVC selection, scored 15 goals and assisted on six others last year.

Seniors Aaron Passalacqua and Griffin Lowe provide a formidable duo in the midfield. Passalacqua, a second team All-Ohioan and first team All-CVC selection, was second on the team with 12 goals scored last year and tied for the team lead with seven assists. Lowe, an honorable mention All-CVC performer, scored two goals and added seven assists in 2017.

Senior Zach Hoover and junior Ethan Johnson will help keep opposing offenses in check.

Hoover earned honorable mention All-CVC honors and Johnson was a first-team selection.

“We believe our defense will be the foundation for us to have success this season,” McKenna said. “The defense will be led by all-conference honorees senior Zach Hoover and junior Ethan Johnson. We have two strong keepers that will be vying for playing time this season with senior Cole Weiss and sophomore Jack Stauffer.”

Weiss recorded a pair of saves behind Max DiLalla last fall.

Chagrin Falls reached the Division II district semifinals last season. The Tigers hope to push even further into the postseason this year.

“Our first goal of the season will be to win a CVC title, which has eluded us since 2014,” McKenna said. “We are also working hard for a successful run in the post-season.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.