Bright future for Wolverines

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West Geauga’s boys’ soccer team closed out the 2017 season with just 28 players in the program. The Wolverines open the 2018 campaign with 41 players including eight seniors, eight juniors, five sophomores and 20 freshmen.

“The future for West Geauga High School soccer looks bright,” said second-year West Geauga head coach Mario Gerhardt, who is in his 49th year of coaching high school soccer. “All compliments of the West Geauga soccer travel program.”

The Wolverines, who return five starters and four other letter winners, finished last season with a 9-5-4 record, their first winning season in five years.

West Geauga’s goal is to continue to improve, starting with scoring more goals than their opponents, winning the Chagrin Valley Conference and making a deep run into the postseason.

Rory Erwin and Dave Beattie were named team captains.

Erwin, a senior defender, assisted on one goal last season. Beattie is a senior midfielder.

“Rory will play central defender, the same position he did last year,” Gerhardt said. “Dave, who can play anywhere on the field, will play in the No. 8 position, attacking midfielder, and he will be the playmaker of the team. Dave, a senior, did not play for the Wolverines since he was a freshman but he returns to the team after having played academy soccer with the Columbus Crew Juniors.”

Other projected starters include senior midfielder Nick D’Alessandro, who scored three goals and assisted on four others last season, senior forward Mo Aidja (5 goals, 9 assists), senior defender Richard Kirk, junior forward CJ Contizano (2 goals), junior defender Miguel Del Valle (1 assist), sophomore defender Billy Onderdonk, and freshmen midfielders Cole Frate and Joey DiLalla.

Freshman Sam Onderdonk is slated to protect the net.

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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.