Football’s Strong Start Locks in Winning Season

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Despite a rocky finish, the Tigers were able to fight their way to their first winning season since 2013.  

Finishing 4-2 they are headed into the playoffs hungrier than ever. Throughout this shortened season the Tigers were able to stay focused, and perform.

“We knew we had shorter time to get players in shape and shorter time to install our schemes,” explained head coach Mr. Mark Iammarino. “I think it made the focus more acute.”

Although the shortened season was a new challenge for coach Iammarino, he was able to keep his team focused and ready to win. 

The shortened season wasn’t the only adversity the Tigers battled this year.  Senior Xavier Perez, Chagrin’s starting running back and corner, suffered a knee injury over the summer that kept him out of most games this season

“It was frustrating being injured for so many games in the regular season but I’m excited to be back for the playoffs,” explained Perez.  “I think we have a good shot to make a deep run this year.”  

Because of his injury, other players stepped up to fill these positions.  The large group of seniors made sure to keep the team grounded.

“[The seniors] have been able to step up and lead,” said senior Will Tropp. “Both on and off the field we’re all really close”

The close bond keeps the team focused and excited to play.  Even with this close connection the season hasn’t been all smooth sailing.  The Tigers suffered a pair of losses to Perry and West Geauga that knocked them off their feet.

“We always treat every experience as an opportunity to learn.” Coach Iammarino points out, “We never point fingers, we just join ranks and work together.”

These battles made the team stronger than before and helped them grow.  After these losses heads were held high throughout the team.  

“You could tell that those games stung the guys in the locker room,” tells Perez.  “That feeling of losing is what motivates us to keep going.”

And keep going they will.  Even with a solid regular season, the team knows that their work is far from done. With playoffs around the corner the Tigers are eager to hit the field and get to work.

“We understand that it is “one and done”,” explained coach Iammarino. “Everything is more magnified, everyday is more important.” 

Even with the pressure loaded on, the expectations for the post season are still kept high. This positive mindset is present amongst the players as well.

“I just want us to become the best team we can,” emphasized Tropp. “We have a great group of guys and we’re hoping to make a deep playoff run.”

With the regular season over, and the real test coming up fast, the Tigers are dialed in and ready to go.  It’s the little things that win playoff games and the coaching staff knows that.

“We must pay attention to detail and play our best,”  says Iammarino.