By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
It has been a championship year for a number of Crestwood Middle School student-athletes.
A group of Red Devils have captured titles in baseball, football, soccer and basketball.
It all started over the summer with the Crestwood Mudcats 12U team.
Coached by Tim Sommer, the Mudcats found momentum and never let go, winning the league tournament as the No. 8 seed, relying heavily on pitching and defense.
In three close games against the top seeds, the Mudcats defeated top seed Suffield (5-4), No. 4 seed Kent (3-2) and second seeded Edinburg (5-2).
Next up was the fall season, with Mudcats players Evan Rhodes, Michael Kalista, JD Hansen, Tyler Devlin, Levi Daniels and Chris Mory switching gears for football season. Meanwhile, fellow diamond teammates Henry Sommer, Ryder Miller and Sammy Pausch joined the Devils on the pitch.
The seventh grade football team coached by Mike Mager finished the season with a 7-1 record. The Devils opened the fall 2022 season with a 34-30 victory over Garfield. The team then gave up only 20 points over their next five wins — one of which being a statement victory over Kirtland, 12-6.
For the soccer team, a combined seventh and eighth grade team coached by Holly Tayerle and Keith Vasenda, the Devils triumphed in the Chagrin Valley Conference Tournament.
From the fall to the winter, it was time for another title.
From the football and soccer teams, Rhodes, Kalista, Jackson Mertz, Jack Patton, Bryce Mager, John Mack and Colton Mayle joined the basketball team.
Known as a team the tplayed with hustle, defense and balance, the Devils played well enough throughout the regular season to earn the No. 1 seed for the CVC Tournament.
After a first-round bye, Crestwood defeated Cardinal in the second round, survived a tough matchup with Kirtland in the semifinal in which they trailed by as many as 11 in the third quarter before roaring to a 43-37 comeback victory in overtime to advance to the championship game against Independence.
Crestwood dominated No. 2-seeded Independence, opening up a 29-5 lead at halftime before winning 45-17.
Four sports, four championships.
Clearly, it has been good to be a Red Devil.
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