Friday, December 9, 2022

Independence’s Elek McDonald not done yet

Independence senior Elek McDonald scored 49 goals and recorded a school-record 73 assists in his four years with the Blue Devils and he’s not done yet.

McDonald on Tuesday announced his commitment to DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where he’ll play soccer and major in accounting.

“This opportunity is something I’ve been working at for a while now,” McDonald said. “I’ve always wanted to take my soccer abilities to the next level and now that I’ve been given the chance I cannot be more grateful.”

DeSales recruited McDonald to play an attacking midfield/forward position.

“I know I can play in that role, compete and succeed,” he said. “I am a versatile player, so I can play wherever the team needs me most.”

The Bulldogs intensified their interest in McDonald after a winter showcase event.

“I had done some initial research on DeSales but after the showcase, they showed a lot more interest,” McDonald said. “After visiting the campus, meeting players and coaches, I felt DeSales was the right fit for me academically and athletically.”

McDonald leaves behind quite a legacy at Independence.

With him on the roster, the Blue Devils were 71-6-3 overall and suffered just two regular-season losses.

“I will definitely remember all the support I received from friends, teammates, coaches, and family,” McDonald said. “Stepping on the field knowing you have an unbelievable student section, fantastic teammates to play with, and encouraging coaches, is a feeling I will miss. Independence has been fantastic in getting me to the position I am in now and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you to coach (Ryan) MacRaild and Coach Gino (Manocchio) for everything they have done for me to make me the player and person I am today.”

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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