Twinsburg Superintendent Kathi Powers Issues Statement On Strongsville Soccer Cheating Scandal

The parents of the players and citizens of Twinsburg are in an uproar this week, and many feel rightfully so. Tuesday night their girls varsity soccer team was defeated 1-0 against Strongsville. This was a state tournament semifinal game, and for all intended purposes, a pretty huge deal!

The outrage however is not that they lost the game, but how they lost. Several times throughout the night Strongsville was caught with too many players on the pitch. It happened late in the game, and nothing was done. This is a huge mistake in its own right, but after further investigation was done, it turns out this is not the first time Strongsville has been caught doing this.  What happens next is anyone’s guess.  But kudos to the parents and citizens of Twinsburg for taking a stand.  Like Twinsburg parent Michael Turle said, “This is a hell of lot more then sour grapes!”

This same type of tactic was used in earlier games this season by Strongsville head coach Todd Church.  Rumors of them doing this against Medina have not yet been confirmed.  This time however, Twinsburg parents are not laying down and neither is their superintendent Kathi Powers.

Twinsburg superintendent Kathi Powers has issued the following statement to the OHSAA.

 

About the Author

Vince McKee
Vince McKee is a growing force in the sports literary world. He has written seven books on Cleveland Sports. They have all helped to build his credibility as a top-notch chronicler of the impact of Ohio sports. Vince has done freelance work as the MMA correspondent for InscriberMag: Digital Magazine as well as a Beat Reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer & The Medina Gazette. His work has been featured on Drennan Live, SLAM Magazine, The Magic 105.7 Morning show, ESPN radio and over 25 local papers, tv stations and radio programs. Despite his personal connection with Bill Belichick, one of the worst moments of Vince’s young life was watching his beloved Browns leave town only weeks after the Indians lost the World Series in 1995. Vince is a life long Cleveland sports fan and enjoys spending lots of time with his wife Emily and daughter Maggie.

11 Comments on "Twinsburg Superintendent Kathi Powers Issues Statement On Strongsville Soccer Cheating Scandal"

  1. You know what is almost as bad as the Twinsburg community and school officials alleging that Strongsville cheated in the semi-state girls soccer game on Tuesday night with virtually ZERO PROOF that they did? Answer – shoddy reporting by your writer of this story. Jon Felton is NOT the current head coach of the Strongsville Lady Mustangs; Todd Church is the head coach and this is his third year as head coach. Coach Felton is still on the coaching staff and is a well respected coach and teacher at the high school and in northeast Ohio soccer! Your story can easily be interpreted by your readers that they did cheat. There is no doubt that there were 12 players on the field for several minutes as is clearly confirmed in the video. Both Coach Church and Coach Felton, (while HIGHLY competitive!) are both extremely honest men and put integrity before winning 365 days a year. It’s a shame that they obviously missed seeing this violation, along with the six officials at the game, the entire Twinsburg coaching staff and team, as well as the 1000+ fans who were in attendance at the game.

    • I agree that it is very possible and maybe even likely that the 12th player entering was in a honest mistake. However, your statement that nobody noticed is incorrect. The Strongsville coaching staff noticed and pulled the 12th player from the field with under 5 minutes to play, and did so without notifying the official of intent to do so. They had an obligation to do so and did not. The Strongsville players, or at least a portion of them also knew. This reason the Twinsburg side became aware (the following day), is because a Strongsville player told their parent, who in turn felt uncomfortable about it, and in turn contacted a Twinsburg parent that they know through the club network. Lastly, the fact that it has now surfaced that this has happened previously in other Strongsville games is a bad look, and therefore brings the integrity of Coach Church in to question (fairly or not).

  2. While it is true that Felton is not the head coach, the rest of your comment is incorrect, and you are clearly a Strongsville parent. I am not a resident of either community, but as a parent of a female high school soccer player, I have some knowledge of both soccer programs. I think the evidence is quite clear that for a substantial amount of time there was an extra player on the field. Strongsville has also received cards in the past for this offense. Is it a cheat tactic, I can’t say because I don’t know Church or his coaching tactics. But still, shame on him. He and his coaching staff should be aware of how many girls are on the field and on the bench. The math isn’t hard. And shame on the refs for not catching it. And shame on the city of Strongsville for not doing the right thing, because whether it was intentional or not, they had a substantial advantage during the game and should forfeit. Even if these girls win States, it will always be tarnished by this incident.

  3. Common knowledge that this was a tactic by strongsville many times in past. As a player for 40 years it is extrmely hard not to know this is going on. Common knowledge amongst soccer community that ass coach runs the show and is Not revered highly by his piers. I am independent of either team but this is wrong and a good school would pull their team. Sports is important but a schools name is more important. Obviously strongsville does not believe this

  4. So strongsville scores the only goal. Strongsville wins a straight up game for 74 of the 80 minutes. Yet they should forfeit? The only thing more unfair than strongsville playing for it all would be Twinsburg. It’s ironic that Twinsburg wants a forfeit and not a rematch. Try earning it. It is up to referee on the sideline who handles substitutions to police this.
    This is sour grapes if I ever saw it.

    • No sour grapes. I could care less who wins but this is a travesty that need to b corrected. No class in Strongsville and people who hav no clue about the sport should not comment

    • Yep its about the school district not wanting to b embarrassed by a cheating coach who has done this in the past. It is impossible to substitute like that by accident. Coach says go to left full and when girl is standing next to another left full something is up

  5. It has not surfaced that the accidental 12th player has happened previously. It has also surfaced that the 12th player did not end the game on the field. Rather, the player was informally came off the field without proper notice of the infraction given to the officials. The program/coach look bad here. If it was an accident….then its now happened multiple times. Further, why not alert the officials of the 12th player…which is the protocol that coaches should follow.

  6. Strongsville should be embarrassed. If the 12th player was on the field by error, this year, last year against Medina, and likely other locations….I suppose its possible. But why conceal that it happened by not alerting the official. Hard to give the coach the benefit of the doubt when he didn’t ask the official for permission to remove the 12th player (which is both protocol and rule).
    The Strongsville side should also understand that one of their own parents has a conscience, didn’t like not owning up to what happened as the game unfolded, and turned them in by contacting a Twinsburg parent they know through the club networks.

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