Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fresh start for the Lions

Orange opens the 2018 season with a new coaching staff and a fresh outlook.

The Lions, who finished 7-10-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference, have a relatively young roster but the team is filled with promise.

“Heading into this year, it seems we have quite a young team,” said first-year head coach Declan McGivern. “Our freshman class this year has brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy into the team and I think we can expect to see a team filled with hard-working, industrial players who give their all night in night out.”

McGivern inherited a youthful squad but he’s been impressed with what he has seen in the preseason.

“I’ve got a group of guys who want to learn, who thrive under clear direction and organization and who look after one another,” he said. “I’m proud to coach these guys and going into this season, I know they will give their all for one another. We have some strong leaders to help integrate some of our newer players and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together.”

With a new coaching staff and several untested players, McGivern’s goals for his first season are modest.

“We have a lot of new, hungry players who we have loved working with so far and for us, as a staff, we see this year as the start of our adventure together,” he said. “Success this year will be defined by improved performances week in and week out. As we start this journey, the most important thing to us all is growth and improvement. If my players and my staff continue to show the commitment, desire and hard work necessary, then success will follow.”

Senior midfielder Carson Munn, senior forward Hunter Kasparian and freshman midfielder Jake Tartaglia are among the early standouts but the Lions won’t be successful without a total team effort.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” McGivern said. “We have some talent but if we are to succeed this year, it will be through a collective, collaborative effort from the whole. On our roster, I fully trust every player to contribute to the success of our team.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. 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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