Friday, October 22

    Independence spreads the wealth in season-opening win

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    INDEPENDENCE—Five different players scored at least one goal as Independence opened the season with a dominant 9-0 victory over visiting Trinity.

    The Blue Devils led 6-0 at halftime.

    “It was a good start,” said Independence coach Ryan MacRaild. “We were sitting and waiting longer than usual with no Friday Night Futbol for us, so just to play somebody else, which we hadn’t done in a while, was fun. It was nice to get some guys on the ball and get them into the scorebook.”

    Emmett Stralka got the Blue Devils off to a fast start with a goal in the third minute. He struck again three minutes later to push the lead to 2-0.

    Casey McGhee, who finished the night with four assists, one off the school record, made it 3-0 when he scored at 32:14.

    “Casey had four assists and the school record was five, but it was nice to see him distributing the ball and not look for a blast from distance,” MacRaild said. “He certainly can dribble people but he was looking to share the ball and we need more of that from our midfield. Hopefully, that’s something to build off for Saturday against a good Tallmadge team.”

    Aidan Coljohn added a goal with 28:42 remaining in the first half and Khalil McDonald scored the first of his two five minutes later to push the Independence lead to 5-0. Alex Eisenmann closed out the first-half scoring with Independence’s sixth goal.

    Eisenmann and McDonald each added a finish in the second half and the Blue Devils scored on an own goal.

    “We just wanted to play somebody different,” MacRaild said. “We’ve been scrimmaging each other for almost two weeks now since our preseason scrimmages were done. It was nice to play another opponent. We wanted to move the ball, find space, and find the back of the net and see what we could do. It was nice to move the ball around.”

    Trinity’s Chris Bell, Jr., recorded six saves.

    “It was the first game ever for most of our guys and against a strong Independence team,” said Trinity coach Dominic Buttari. “I felt we were able to learn a lot. We’re going to regroup and look to come back better after this experience.”

    The Blue Devils host Tallmadge in a non-conference game on Saturday.

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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.

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