Familiar Friday Fall Football

2018 Season Kicks Off the Sopkovich Era at West Geauga


2018 Wolverine Football

One of the most tradition – rich programs at our school belongs to the football team. In fact, since 2000, the football program has had only 3 losing seasons and qualified to the state playoffs 7 times, winning 2 of those games. In addition, the team has won 121 games for a .640 winning percentage over that span. Add in a conference title or two, and you have the makings of a tradition – rich program.

Hoping to build on that tradition is West Geauga’s new head coach, Mr. Adam Sopkovich. He is now running the program with a new (but familiar to him) coaching staff and 53 student athletes.

There are 16 seniors this year, including Matthew Stewart, Gino Fornaro, Michael Lyman, Shaun Podojil, Jackson Gruber, Getty Murton, Michael Gracon, Cody Jacobson, Pedro Rodriguez, Nate Slaughter, Justin Renner, Klevi Rybak, Sam Bartell, Jackson Mansfield, Graham MacLellan, and Marco Formichelli.

The seniors and the rest of team started the season with an emotional, come – from – behind win versus neighborhood rival, Chardon.  Coach Sopkovich, who goes by “Sop” to the players, parents and fans said, “Chardon was a win, I don’t see it as huge or small; it was a game we played every minute and were fortunate enough to play well enough to win.”

The team’s main goal is to build a program and culture where student athletes win with grace and respect the game. “It has been a tough challenge, but I’m willing to put in long hours and keep my eyes focused on building a respectful program. We have a long way to go, but we are making improvements every day, and eventually this will turn into a winning culture,” said Sopkovich

After the opening Chardon win, the team dropped 4 straight games to state – ranked NDCL and Kenston teams, an undefeated Beachwood team, and just last week, an improving Geneva squad. Sop noted that, “The team is young and inexperienced, but once they turn the page, ‘Watch out,’ to [our] opponents.”

Over the past month injuries to key starters have hampered the team’s performance, but Sop said, “We are a young team and we prepare the same as always. I only know one way to work: put my head down and work hard.” This sentiment was echoed by senior Nate Slaughter: “Right now the amount of losses is not something we expected, but we’re going into the second half of the season, looking good in practice and everything. If we win out, we can still get to the playoffs and that’s our main goal right now.”

Coach Sop hopes this work ethic will rub off on the guys. With their toughest opponent possibly being themselves, the team is trying to look past the negative and straight into positive outcomes.