The Rockets finish flag football season undefeated

The Rockets finish flag football season undefeated

Image Credit: Submitted

Under the direction of head coach Shawn Ciekanski, the Rockets finished the flag football season with a 9-0 record.

They won five games during the regular season against teams from Union, Stark, Belmont and Wood counties. However, it was Nov. 12 at the Special Olympics Ohio State flag football tournament that the Rockets really shined.

Through a team effort, the Rockets were able to defeat Belmont County, Westerville White and Union County in pool play to enter the medal round tied for the top seed. They faced the Stark Storm team and came away with the victory and a gold medal.

This is the fifth season for Rockets flag football and their second time capturing a gold medal. In seasons past they have finished fourth, second and third.

The Rockets were led offensively by Cory Amatangelo, Gary Calkins, Steve Hazelip and Matthew Medley. Austin McGinnis played center for the Rockets. Defensively, Hazelip, Medley, Cayden Ciekanski, John Freeman and Rachael Russell successfully pulled several plays while Aidan McClain rushed the opposing quarterbacks. Miranda Milburn also contributed to the team’s victories.

Unable to play at the state game but part of the team throughout the season were Eric Farnsworth and Samantha Mastroine. Assistant coaches for the season were Frittz McGinnis, Bill Fitz and David Urdiales.

The Special Olympics Ohio Div. II flag football title comes just two months after the Rockets secured the Special Olympics Ohio Unified Softball title. When asked what he thought of the event, Steve Hazelip said, “I love my Rockets family. We play hard and work hard.”

Rachael Russell said, “I’m proud of my teammates and proud to be a Rocket.”

The Rockets will now continue their winter sports schedule with basketball, swimming and competitive cheerleading. The first basketball games will be Dec. 10 at Ashtabula while the first swim meet is scheduled for Jan. 15 in Canton.

Email local coordinator Richelle Lefler at