October 20, 2014

Elyria
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Where are they now? The 1993-94 Avon Lake Shoregals

The 1994 Division II state champs, from left: Kelly Coughlin, Carrie Liptak, Melissa Zakel, Megan Chawansky, Beth Lora, Amy Mitchell, Michelle Finefrock, Jackie Powell, Brandy Taggart, Angela Capretto, Stacey Fifer. Seated: assistant coach Zen Chawansky and coach Amy Manco. PHOTO PROVIDED

The 1994 Division II state champs, from left: Kelly Coughlin, Carrie Liptak, Melissa Zakel, Megan Chawansky, Beth Lora, Amy Mitchell, Michelle Finefrock, Jackie Powell, Brandy Taggart, Angela Capretto, Stacey Fifer. Seated: assistant coach Zen Chawansky and coach Amy Manco. PHOTO PROVIDED

No. 12 Kelly Coughlin
Now Kelly Cracas, she went on to play soccer and softball at Defiance College. She and her husband, Mike, have a son and three daughters, Cade, 11; Sarah, 9; Samantha, 7; and Breanna, 4. Cracas works in marketing for Moen Inc. in North Olmsted and is a youth sports coach. Daughter of Frank Coughlin, who succeeded Amy Manco as Avon Lake coach.

No. 22 Beth Lora
Still the sixth-leading scorer all-time in Grove City College (Pa.) history with 1,250 points. Married another Grove City basketball standout, Dave Pifer. They have three children, Sarah, 8; Katie, 7; and Michael, 5. Became a nurse and is now a stay-at-home mom. Still competes in a women’s basketball league and plays the harp at weddings and special events.

No. 23 Stacey Fifer
Played basketball at Wright State before having back surgery. Transferred to Union College (Ky.) where she played basketball and softball. Has also played flag football and tackle football for the Cleveland Fusion. A former Bay Village police officer, she works for the state investigating nursing home complaints. Has a home in Avon Lake.

No. 24 Megan Chawansky
A three-year, first-team All-Ohio selection, Chawansky went on to have a notable career at Northwestern. She still ranks among the top 10 Wildcats all-time in 22 statistical areas. Earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Ohio State. She is a lecturer at the University of Brighton in England on girls’ and women’s experiences in sports.

No. 30 Michelle Finefrock
Now Michelle Missig, she was the Shoregals’ second-leading rebounder in 1994, but said she always favored volleyball. Played club volleyball at Ohio State, where she earned a degree in business administration. She and husband Michael have three girls, Camryn, 7; Adelyn, 5; and Gianna, 15 months. The family lives in Powell in the Columbus area.

No. 40 Melissa Zakel
Now Melissa Hille, she holds a master’s degree from the University of Akron. After working five years in the Parma schools, she is now a speech and language pathologist in the Avon Lake district. She and husband Dave have a son Andrew and daughter Elizabeth. She coaches youth soccer and basketball teams.

Coach Amy Manco
Led the Shoregals to the state championship in just her second season as head coach. The team went 23-3 and advanced to the Final Four her first year. Stepped down in 2008 after 16 seasons. Manco’s teams recorded 283 wins as well as 10 Southwestern Conference, five district and two regional championships. She is still a math teacher at Avon Lake High School, the boys varsity golf coach and she coaches seventh-grade boys and eighth-grade girls basketball teams.

Assistant coach Zen Chawansky
Played sports at Clearview and the University of Ashland, coached in the former South Amherst (now Firelands) school district and retired from the Lorain schools. Joined Manco for the 1992-93 season, her first. Retired from coaching in 2008, when Manco stepped down. Is still an Avon Lake weight room supervisor.


  • jz

    Chawansky family originally from south Lorain. Kudos. Has an uncle Hank Chawansky still one of the best guards to come out of Lorain. Started 4 years at Denison college.