Spring Wrap Up: Athletics, Band, & Choir

Our student athletes and musicians found spring to be a very busy time! The following information has been submitted by our Athletic Director- Mr Ty Stillman, our Choral Director-Mrs. Wendy Johnson, and our Band Directory-Mr. Dustin Wiley, as a season wrap up.


It was another great spring sports season for the Firelands Falcons!

Starting on the track, both the middle school and high school teams competed for a PAC Championship. The boys track team at South Amherst finished up another exciting season.  They finished the season with a 8-3 record in dual/tri/quad meets.  The boy’s place 2nd at the Falcon Relays, 2nd at the Falcon Invitational and 3rd at the PAC Championships.  There were three individual champions at the PAAC Championships that were held at Firelands once again. Taking gold for the Falcons’ were Donald Crawford in the 200 Meter Hurdles, Alex Angle in the High Jump and Jacob Farley in the 800 Meter Run as he set a new school record time of 2:13..6.  For the ladies of South Amherst Middle School track the team made an exciting run this season also finishing 8-3 in Quad/Tri/Dual meets. The girl’s finished 2nd at the PAC Championship, tied for 1st at the Falcon Relays, and took 4th at the Falcon Invitational.  Eight grader Jasmine Schuler  took home  both the 1st place finishes at the PAC Championships as she wins the 100 Meter Hurdles as well as the 200 Meter Hurdles.

SAMS track 2nd pac 2017

2nd in PAC! *Photo credit to Mark Overstreet

Up at the high school, equal success was accomplished on both the boys’ and girls’ squads.  Both teams started off the season taking a 2nd place finish at the Nelson Howe Invitational .  Throughout the season the boys showcased their talents by having a strong tri-meet season winning over 85% of their meets.  The girls were almost as dominate as they won over 75% of their tri-meets in the PAC.  At the PAC Championships, held at Oberlin College, the boys finished in a strong 2nd place behind Buckeye.  Winning gold for the Falcons was Colin Myers in both the long jump and 400m dash as well as Trevor Stefanski in the shot and disc.  For the girls, a 6th place finish at the PAC Championships was highlighted by Tori Grasso as the only champion winning the high jump.  Tori didn’t stop there as she went on to become a district champion in the high jump before finishing 9th at regionals with a chance to get to the state meet. Tori was joined by 8 other outstanding Falcon track athletes at the regional meet in Lexington, Ohio.  Freshman Tad Miller and Alessandra Davis, sophomores Beau Grude and Blake Ruffner, junior Logan Strader, and seniors Colin Myers, Megan Vaughn and Trevor Stefanski all participated.  Sophomore Blake Ruffner highlighted the meet for the Falcons as he was able to get on the podium and take home a 7th place finish in the high jump as he cleared 6’2”.  When it was all said and done and the awards were handed out the most Outstanding Sprinter went to Madison Sims and Logan Strader.  The most Outstanding Distance Runner went to Megan Vaughn and Ian Valerius.  The most Outstanding Field Event Athlete went to Trevor Stefanski and Liz Lewis. The Falcon Award went to new comers Alessandra Davis and Blake Ruffner.  And the coveted Golden Shoe Award went to seniors Tori Grasso and Colin Myers.

2017 1st team pac track

1st Team PAC: Colin Myers, Trevor Stefanski, and Victoria Grasso


Baseball at the high school had a fantastic season of their own as they finished with a record of 12-4 in the PAC finishing 2nd behind Keystone on the Stars Division.  The team was 17-8 overall and took home the district runner up trophy at the end of the season.  Senior Trevor Damron was an ace on the mound as he rang up an impressive 85 strike-outs on the year. Trevor finishes his career as the all-time career strike-out leader at 310.  Along with that accolade Trevor was selected as 1st team All PAC alongside Aaron Myers, Colin Ransom and Alex Brill.  1st team All Distrcit honors went again to Ransom, Damron and Brill.  1st team All-County went to Calvin Stull, Trevor Damron and Alex Brill to round out the accolades for the boys.  The JV season for baseball was highlighted by a 9-2 win over Elyria Catholic in the Lorain County JV Tournament held at Firelands.  Overall, it was a great year as a Falcon Baseball player.

2017 Senior Baseball players

FHS Seniors


The final spring team to wear the red and white of Firelands was the softball team who finished with double digit wins in the PAC at 10-6.  The team lost to Keystone in the district semi-finals in a tough fought game which could have gone either way late in the 5th.  Finishing 15-12 overall on the year was highlighted by 2st team All-PAC selections of Ashley Strauss, Lexy Coggins and Rylee Phillips.  1st team All-County went to Lexy Coggins and Rylee Phillips as well.  Freshman pitcher Ashley Strauss is going to be a force in the PAC for years to come as she struck out 185 batters this spring.

Senior night softball 2017

FHS Seniors


All in all, it was a great spring sport season for the Falcons.  Firelands athletes are excited about the summer and the opportunity for growth not only as a team, but individually.  As the fall sports season approaches all of the teams are in high gear getting preparing to compete at a high level and represent the Falcon community to the best of their ability.

The Firelands High School Band:

FHS BandThe Firelands Band Completed a very successful year. Thank you to all of our parents and community members that supported our students throughout the year. Without the continued support of such a wonderful community, a program like ours would not be possible.

This year the band performed throughout the community and across the country representing our community in the best way possible. Our students performed in numerous honors bands, festivals, parades, memorial services, and adjudicated events. Some of the highlights include performing in Infocision Stadium at The University of Akron, Performing at the Ohio Music Education Association District 4 Adjudicated Event, and Performing in Hershey, PA where the Band and Jazz Band both received 1st place in their Classification, Best Overall Concert Band, and the Esprit De Corps award.

Also, Congrats to our students for receiving the following awards:

John Phillip Sousa Award

Nick McCrary

Nicholas McCrary


The John Philip Sousa Award is an optional award a high school band director may award to one of his students. It is restricted to one per school per year. The award recognizes superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty, and cooperation.

Louis Armstrong Award

Joe Socha

Joseph Socha


The Louis Armstrong Award, or sometimes the King Bee Award, is the “top senior jazz award” or highest-level interscholastic award given to a musician. It is given out by high schools nationwide in the United States in recognition of “outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to the program“. Typically there is only one recipient per high school. The award is given to the student that most embodies the legacy left behind by Armstrong. His wife Lucille described: “Louis’s greatest personality traits were humility and generosity…He just loved people, and he always tried to understand them too…He was compassionate, generous, and understanding with everyone…He was loved, not only for his style, but as a person as well.”

Semper Fidelis Band Award

Grace Boucher and Nicholas Squires

Grace Boucher

Grace Boucher


Nicholas Swqires

Nicholas Squires


The Semper Fidelis Bandsman Award is designed to recognize distinguished high school band members for musical achievements and leadership as a high school scholar. Candidates should be exemplary young citizens and role models for other students. This program is sponsored by the United States Marines Youth Foundation, Inc. (USMYF) Award recipients may be those who were most inspirational or showed the greatest determination. The requirements for this award include: – Be a high school senior – Hold a “first chair” position in the band – Be capable of performing as a soloist with the high school band – Be recognized as both an outstanding performer and as a truly outstanding young citizen. This is awarded to 1 male, and 1 female student in each high school music program.


The Firelands High School Bandsman Awards: In your first year with the high school band you are considered a bandsman class 1 (which will earn you a star which you will be able to wear on your letterman’s jacket).  To advance to higher classes you must perform in solo and ensemble events at Lorain County or Ohio Music Education Association.  For each advancement, you will receive a bar to wear alongside your star and other bars.  *Note: it does not matter the outcome for these contests; you simply must participate to earn your award.

Bandsman Class 1
Claire Boucher
Michael Campbell
Shelby Clark
Luke Dempsey
Daniel Giacopelli
Rebecca Hopkins
Christopher Jackson
Sierra Johnson
William Krejci
Anna Myers
Brooklyn Ollis
Arianna Seymore
Adalbert (Bert) Tenorio
Jackson Thomas
Lauren Widener

Bandsman Class 2
Justin Ollis
Maribeth Petrey

Bandsman Class 3
Zachary Baldwin
Cora Lynn Born
Micheal Carty
Trinity Craycraft
Madison Flanagan
Tyler Rado
Isabel Solowiej
Logan Willis
Serena Hoffman
Grace Boucher
David Hayes
Demetria Nicolau
Nicholas Squires

Bandsman Class 4
Samantha Jones
Ariel Langer
Kassidy Stevens
Sarah Gallo
Nick McCrary

Bandsman Class 5

Kitana MacLean and Zack Ridenour

Kitana MacLean

Kitana MacLean


Zach Ridenour

Zach Ridenour

Mr. Dustin Wiley is the Band Director.

The Firelands Choir:

The South Amherst Middle School Choirs had a great musical performance of Princess Whatsername, on Tuesday, March 28 and Wednesday, March 29.  The musical involved 55 8th grade choir students and 35 7th grade choir students, along with the many advanced art students.  The middle school choirs concluded the school year with a throwback concert of songs from the 50’s and 60’s, with dancing and featured soloists and speakers.  Finally, the choirs participated in the 8th grade bridging ceremony by ending the program with the Alma Mater!  It has been a fabulous year for the SAMS 7th and 8th Grade Choirs!

SAMS musical 2017 1

SAMS students from the Musical “Princess Whatsername”


The Firelands Choirs have been very busy these past few months!  Congratulations to the 9 soloists and 4 ensembles that participated in OMEA Solo and Ensemble at Tri-C on Saturday, February 11! We had 9 Superior Ratings and 4 Excellent Ratings!  Then on Saturday, February 25 at Midview there were 13 soloists and 15 ensembles that participated in Lorain County Solo and Ensemble with 20 Superior ratings and 8 Excellent Ratings.

The Concert and Select Choir members received straight 1’s at the OMEA Large Group District Competition in March, they then moved on to the state level on April 28 at Highland High School and received a Superior Rating at OMEA Large Group State Competition!

FHs Choir State Superior Rating 2017

Concert and Select Choirs brought home two Superior Ratings from the Trills and Thrills Competition on May 19!!  Concert Choir received 97/100 and Select Choir received 98.5/100.   Both groups received outstanding comments from the judges!

FHS Choir select awards pic 2017

Select Choir traveled to Chicago in April and sang throughout the city including the Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium!  They even stopped the crowd with an impromptu performance at the famous BEAN!!

The Third Annual Firelands Chapter 6986 Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction was held on May 8 in the music room. The following students are second year continuing members: Angelina Rivera, and Kassidy Stevens. The continuing members include: Cora Born, Michael Carty, Trinity Craycraft, Kaylyn Eary, Madison Flanagen, Serena Hoffman, Rachel Jackson, Samantha Jones, Halli Kromer, Ariel Langer, Ariana McClung, Justin Ollis, Tate Smith, Isabel Solowiej, Autumn Swiers, and Logan Willis. The new inductees are: Zach Baldwin, Hailie Bates, Macey Butchko, Michael Campbell, Sierra Johnson, Maribeth Petrey, Kayla Reisinger, Kaylee Wells, Jordan Wilson, and Alyssa Yorko.  The seniors who graduated as Tri-M alumni members of Firelands were: Kayla Bailey, Grace Boucher, Karli Bukovac, Rachel Coggins, Sarah Gallo, Hannah Gerstacker, Nick McCrary, Emma Mowry, and Joseph Socha.  Tri-M’s 2017-2018 officers include: Kassidy Stevens – President, Serena Hoffman – Vice-President, Angelina Rivera – Treasurer, Samantha Jones – Secretary, and Trinity Craycraft – Historian.  The Honorary Life Member – Ms. Nina Fisher (the band and choirs accompanist)!

The National School Choral Award® is the highest honor for high school choral performers. It recognizes the dedication and musical achievement of the top male and female choral students.  The following individual choir members were given the National Choral Awards at the Choir Banquet on May 23: Matthew Brightbill and Loren Myer!

Grace Boucher received the Director’s Award for her endless help and dedication not only throughout the year, but also behind the scenes!

I am so proud of the choir students at both South Amherst and Firelands!  I am also thankful for all the parental, administrative, and community support of the choral program.  Looking forward to another great school year in 2017-2018!!

Mrs. Wendy Johnson is the Choral Director.


*Thank you Jackie Flaczynski for the group photos!