Grizzlies’ football team wins Suburban League National

BY LOGAN EGLESTON

With a 35-34 win over Brecksville team last Friday, the Grizzlies’ football team has not only won the Suburban League National for the third consecutive year, but also secured a playoff spot for the third year in a row – the previous being a feat that has not been accomplished since the dawn of the football program.

Trey Shaffer (12) drops back to pass as Dom Loparo, (12) Luke Sommers (12) and Brendan Gordon (12) block Stow defenders. Photo By Axel Mueller

Despite a rocky beginning to the year, plagued with injuries, inclement weather and officiating miscues, the Grizzlies’ now begin the postseason ranked at number three in region six, and will host a familiar foe in Olmsted Falls. 

Colin Fryar (12) in the pregame warm-up of the week five match up against Stow. The Grizzlies won 56-23. Photo By Axel Mueller

“It means a lot,” Jack Grice, senior linebacker, said on making the playoffs. “To know that our hard work is beginning to pay off is exciting.”

Even with a laundry list of accolades under the team’s belt, the attitude seems to be geared toward an even bigger goal. 

“I think our team has the potential to be the best in the state,” senior running back Dom Loparo said. “Our coaches always talk about maximizing our potential, and we have to do that.”  

A state playoff run begins this Friday for the Grizzlies at Art Wright Stadium, against a team that ended the Grizzlies’ postseason aspirations back in 2017. Both programs were young at the time of the 2017 regional semifinal game, so schemes, personnel and memories are still fresh in the minds of some coaches and players on both sidelines. 

“It is no secret that two years ago Olmsted Falls ended our season,” Grice said. “That loss can still be felt by those who played  in the game. I can safely say that we are excited to get a second chance at them.”

For the largest group of football seniors in Wadsworth history, every new accomplishment seems to bring a sense of familiarity. The third year of a Suburban League Title and a home playoff game brings not only a sense of deja vu, but a recognizable first round opponent.

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