Megan Takacs was a two sport star at Chagrin earning All-Ohio honors four times in lacrosse and in her senior year in soccer. While at Chagrin, she was named a first team All-American for three years and was a member of the Great Lakes Team 1 for the Women’s Division’s National Tournament team in her sophomore and junior years. She led Chagrin in assists in each of her four years and had 221 career goals. Megan would go on to the University of California Berkeley where she became Cal’s all-time leader in career goals with 148 and her 184 career points rank second. She was recognized with several player of the week honors and for her academic success as well. Megan was selected first team All-American as a senior and garnered IWLCA West Region First Team honors and the Player of the Year of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference in both her junior and senior seasons. She ended her senior season ranked seventh nationally in goals per game. Her senior season was even more impressive for Megan had to overcome an ACL injury that sidelined her for over half a year. After college Megan was an assistant coach for the University of California squad and went on to play in the 2013 World Cup for Team Canada, which won a silver medal.
Leslie Cikra has had the most successful volleyball career in Chagrin Falls Schools history. The MVP of the Chagrin Valley Conference, she was selected as an Under Armor All-American and was ranked as the 11th best player in the nation. Leslie would go on to be a four year letter winner at the University of Tennessee. During that period the Lady Volunteers had four straight NCAA Div. 1 tournament appearances and were the 2011 South Eastern Conference Champions. She was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll all four seasons, a First Team All-SEC selection in 2011, and twice was the SEC Player of the Week. She earned an All-American Honorable Mention Honor as well as All-South Region. After college, Leslie was a professional volleyball player in France and South Korea. She earned MVP honors in the South Korean Volleyball League and was second in total points during the 2015-16 season. Additionally, Leslie has been a USA Volleyball Women’s National Team Practice Player. Leslie’s passion for volleyball has continued in her role as a coach of a nationally recognized youth program in Colorado.
Dave Kirk laid at lasting impact to a generation at Chagrin both in the classroom as an English teacher and as coach to our Tiger runners. He led the Track and Field program from 1990-2014 and Boys Cross Country Team from 1990-2010. Under his tenure, 80 athletes earned All-Ohio recognition and 19 athletes qualified to the National Championships. His teams also won a State Championship and two State Runners-up titles. Additionally, Dave has played an integral role in the writing, organization, and implementation of the “Ohio Plan” as it is referred to by the United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Division which has become a national model for other states looking to provide opportunities for disabled athletes to compete in track & field. He was inducted into the Ohio Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2012, He continues to volunteer his time to the Department of Defense Warrior Games and has worked with both the Marine Corps and the Army in hosting this event that promotes the successful recovery and reintegration of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans through adaptive sports competition. A published author, including an article in Olympic Coach, Dave has presented at the USOC National Leadership Conference as well as participated in the National High Performance Summit held by the USOC at the University of Illinois.
Sean played a total of 41 games as a varsity Tiger football player. He started in every game including his freshman year. He was selected to the News Herald “All-Star” team all four years he played. As a sophomore, he was selected as the Fox 8 “Player of the Week.” Sean holds the CFHS record for the most rushing yards in a single season, and most career rushing yards on school records. He was voted 1st Team All CVC running back each year: ’96, ’97, ’98 and ’99. His diligence and attitude allowed him to be recognized by awards such as; All CVC and all Ohio all four years of his high school career. As a senior, Sean earned Division 4 Ohio offensive player of the year, Geauga County Touchdown Club MVP, winner of the Cleveland Touchdown Club most valuable player of the year, News Herald MVP, Chagrin Valley conference MVP and was named an All American. Sean’s College football opportunities were many. Teams interested included Penn St, Michigan, OSU, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan State, Boston College and Maryland to name a few. He chose Penn St, where he played for 4 years being named captain by his peers his Sr. year, along with winning the Hall Foundation award for outstanding senior player. Sean was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. He also played for the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Christine has one of the most distinguished athletic careers at Chagrin that earned her All-Ohio honors in three sports: Cross Country (2001), Swimming (2000-2003), and Track (2002 & 2003). She set school records at CFHS in 1600M & 3200M in Track and 100 Yard Breaststroke & 200 Yard Freestyle Relay in Swimming. In her senior year she placed 4 times at the State Swim Meet (6th in 100 yard backstroke & 200 yard IM and 2nd in 200 & 400 yard Freestyle Relays) & was 3rd in the 1600M race in the State Track Meet. Most notable was Christine’s selection as one of six national finalists from over 20,000 applicants for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, which honors seniors that have excelled in athletics, academics and community service. She took her talents to Denison University where she was a NCAA DIII National Championship qualifier in both cross country (2004 & 2005) and track (2005), North Coast Athletic Conference Champion (individual and team), and NCAA Academic All-American (XC 2006). Christine also is the school record holder in the Steeplechase.
Lauren Preyss Erickson
Lauren has been a phenomenal swimmer at both the high school and collegiate level. She was a 4-time State Champion – 100 Freestyle (2000- 2003) and 2-time winner in the 200 Freestyle (2001, 2002). In both events Lauren set state records. She was also on the state runner-up 200 & 400 Freestyle Relays. Over her high career she was a 7 Time High School All-American – 100 Freestyle (2000 – 03) & 200 Freestyle (2001 – 03). The media took notice by naming her the News Herald Swimmer of the year (2001, 2002) and Plain Dealer Female Winter Athlete of the Year (2001-2002). Lauren would make her mark in college first at Penn State University before finishing at Case Western Reserve University. She would earn NCAA All-American status in 4 events in both 2005 (PSU) & 2007 (CWRU). Overall, Lauren set or still holds multiple records in individual or relays at CFHS (5), PSU (2), & CWRU (5). In addition, she was selected as the CWRU Female Athlete of the Year (2006-2007) and for the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Award for outstanding academic achievement (2008).
Ben was a two-sport star at Chagrin in baseball and soccer. He was converted to goalie for his last two years where he would be selected 3rd Team All-Ohio, 1st Team All Greater Cleveland, and 1st Team CVC. During his senior year, the team finished with only two losses, which were to eventual DIII State Champion Hawken, and DII State Runner-Up Walsh Jesuit in the District Finals. In baseball, Ben holds CFHS baseball career record for runs scored (104) and walks (70) and ranks in the top 5 in four other categories. He also has 3 single season records: Average – .570, Home Runs – 9, & Runs – 55, while also ranking in the top 5 in 5 other single season categories. His 55 runs in 2001 is tied for 8th in Ohio. His impressive play earned him numerous awards from 2nd Team All-Ohio, CVC M.V.P., and to the all-star teams by the Plain Dealer, News Herald and Sun Press in baseball. His senior year, Ben would lead the Tigers to a CVC title and to the regional title game, the furthest the baseball program has made it in postseason play. He would later sign to play for Division 1 Cleveland State Vikings where he would be a four year starter at shortstop. His collegiate honors included being selected to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team (2002), All-Horizon League Championship team (2003), and Horizon League Player of the Week (2004). Additionally, he would receive the Paul O’Dea Scholarship for “the player who best exemplifies the dedication to baseball and sportsmanship as Mr. O’Dea.” Ben was a prospect of the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals before being sidelined from a torn shoulder labrum. However, Ben was still able to recover to be the starting shortstop his senior year.
We have had a rich history of runners at Chagrin Falls and that tradition would continue when Chris entered CFHS. He would go on to earn 12 Varsity letters in cross country, hockey, and track. He accumulated many honors including 1st Team CVC all four years in cross country while finishing first in the CVC Invitational his junior year and 2nd place his senior year. On the ice Chris was a 4-year starter where he was selected to the Blue Division All-Star Team and was the team’s leading scorer his senior year. In the spring, Chris’ talents were evident on the track. During his sophomore – senior years in track, he garnered many 1st team All-CVC honors and was selected the CVC MVP in track in his senior year. In the postseason Chris finished 8th in the 1600M in his junior year earning All-Ohio honors and 12th place his senior year. He would take his talents to Butler University, a Division I program in Indiana. He would compete throughout his collegiate career in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. He was a member of the cross country team that was Horizon League Champions each of his four years and placed 4th at the NCAA Div. 1 Meet in 2004 and 25th in 2005. In indoor track, he earned 1st Place three of the years at the Horizon League Championships in the distance medley. Chris would also set Butler University’s 1000M record and also 4:10.88 mile at the Iowa State Classic. In outdoor track, he won the 1500M at the Horizon League Championships and was a NCAA Regional Qualifier (2005).
Dr. Mario Gerhardt
Dr. Mario Gerhardt began the Varsity Boy’s Soccer Team in 1970 and is now in his 46th season as its Head Coach. He is the winningest boys high school soccer coach in Ohio with 504 wins entering the 2015 soccer season. The teams Mario has coached continue to have success in the postseason with one State Runner-Up finish (2003), 5 Final Four trips, 11 District titles, and 26 Sectional championships. His regular season includes 18 conference titles. He has coached 59 Academic All-Ohioans, 32 All-Ohioans, 11 Regional All-Americans, & 1 All-American. 45 of his players continued on to play varsity college soccer. He has also been recognized by his peers by being selected as the Ohio Coach of the Year 3 times, Greater Cleveland Coach of the Year 6 times, and Conference Coach of the Year 10 times. In 2004, he was selected as a NSCAA Regional Coach and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year. Mario has previously been inducted in the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame (1993) & Ohio North Youth Soccer Hall of Fame (2003). He has also been honored for with the NSCAA Robert W. Robinson High School Long-Time Service Award (2009), OSSCA Pinsenschaum Sportsmanship and Ethics Award (2010), and the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award (1997-1998).
The Chagrin baseball program has had a rich history and arguably one of the best that has donned the Tiger uniform is Matt Crawford. During his freshman year, he was brought on as a varsity starter, a role that he would not relinquish. Matt would find tremendous success at the plate, on the field, and on the mound. His greatest achievements came during his senior season where he helped lead the team to their best record, 26 – 3, and a regional finalist finish going 9 – 0 on the mound. During this 2001 season, he set the school record for hits in a season at 53 and runs batted in with 41. With this success came several honors including being a two-time 1st Team CVC member. Matt was selected All-Ohio and 1st Team News Herald. Additionally, he was a Plain Dealer All-Star, which at the time covered the best 10 players in northeastern Ohio. His career batting average of .478 is the highest in Chagrin history and he still holds the Chagrin record of 119 career hits. Matt’s .558 batting average his senior season is 2nd all-time in Chagrin history. Matt would continue his baseball career at Wright State University. He was a four-year varsity letter winning pitcher and co-captain of the team during his senior season. He was also selected Horizon League Pitcher of the Week.
David helped to guide the resurgence of Chagrin football when he quarterbacked the Tigers to 28 wins, three playoff appearances, and three CVC titles in a three year span. He would complete his football career as the winningest quarterback in Chagrin history. He would also be the leader in passing yardage while throwing for over 1200 yards in each of his three seasons at the helm. His sophomore and senior years garnered selection as Honorable Mention All State, 1st Team Northeastern Ohio, and 1st Team Geauga County Touchdown Club in football. His success was also notable in basketball where he was a 4 year varsity starter. David would finish his hoops career in the 10 in points and assists at Chagrin. He was a two-year captain of the basketball squad, while he held the same honor during his senior season in football. David also earned 1st Team CVC honors his senior year and honorable mention in both his sophomore and junior years. Additionally David was selected in both sports with multiple Plain Dealer and News Herald player of the week awards.
Katie Stancik Hanson
Katie Stancik Hanson 2007 enjoyed a stellar career running for the Tigers and at Allegheny College. She earned CVC MVP honors in cross country in 2003 & 2004, while also doing the same in track in 2006. She qualified for the OHSAA State Championship in cross country and track all four years, while being awarded All-Ohio status with her 18th place finish in 2005, which helped her team finish 3rd in the state in cross country. OHSAA All-District and All-Region honors were achieved all four years in both cross sports as well. In her junior year, her 4x800m relay team finished 5th at the OHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championship Meet, while her senior year they took runner-up honors. In the spring, she ran the anchor leg of the 4x800m relay, which placed each of her four years with a 3rd place finish her senior year. Her classroom success earned her Academic All-Ohio honors in her last three years in both sports. Katie would additionally be recognized with the CVC Sportsmanship Award, Chagrin Falls 12 Sport Award, Plain Dealer Player of the Week, & News-Herald Player of the Week. In the winter, she would be a valuable member of the Lady Tigers Basketball Team. Katie would go on to Allegheny College where she was a 3 sport captain and 1st Team selection to the North Coast Athletic Conference in cross country, indoor track & field, & outdoor track & field. One of the many highlights of her collegiate career was her participation in the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championship in cross country. Recently Katie qualified and completed the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Diana Munz DePetro
Diana has been the most decorated Chagrin athlete winning a gold and silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics and a bronze at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. In 2000, Diana was a member on the American record-breaking 800-Meter Freestyle Relay Team, which won the gold & individually won silver in the 400-Meter freestyle. Her bronze medal in 2004 was in the 800-Meter Freestyle. She would participate in her first Olympic Trials in 8th grade at age 13 in the 400 & 800 Meter Freestyle Events. Over the years Diana won 21 national swimming titles and 7 medals in world championships. She was honored with the Kiphuth Award at the 2002 U.S. Spring Nationals as the highest individual women’s scorer. Diana was a 2-time State Champion (’97 & ’98) and Div. I record holder in the 500-yard Freestyle (4:45.54), while swimming for Chagrin.