Dan DeGeorge gives his five local pics

Lake High School’s head football coach gives his local picks.

Lake High School’s head football coach gives his local picks.

Dan DeGeorge became head football coach at Lake High School in 2013. The Akron native graduated from Malone University in 1997, where he also played football (he’s in Malone’s Athletic Hall of Fame) and was a student-teacher at Lake.

He stayed in the district after graduation, left for a few years and came back as a history teacher. He served as offensive coordinator under coach Jeff Durbin before taking the helm. Lake is home for the DeGeorge family. His wife, Ali, teaches second grade in the district, and all four of their children are Blue Streaks.

“It’s an absolutely great place to be,” DeGeorge said. “It’s a great community. We feel blessed to live here and work here as well.”

Last season, the Blue Streaks made the state Division II playoffs for the first time in five years.

“We had a very tough group of kids, and they played really well,” DeGeorge said.

He’s got a good feeling about this season, too.

“We’re blessed to have great kids out here, great families,” he said. “They work hard and put the effort in to do their best on the field.”

1. Quail Hollow State Park

The park offers great opportunities for jogging, hiking and spending time outdoors with the family, DeGeorge said. “It’s just good to get out and be in nature.”

Plus, the park (a 701-acre mix of meadows, woods, trails and a visitors center operated by Stark Parks) is close to home and always looks great.

“It’s a very nice park. It’s well run,” he said.

2. The Pro-Football Hall of Fame

The DeGeorge family is especially fond of the Hall’s Fun Kids Friday, held the day after Thanksgiving. The annual event features games, goodies and free admission for kids and has become a yearly tradition.

“It’s something the kids and I have been doing for years, and we love that,” he said, praising the Hall’s “excellent staff.”

DeGeorge is an obvious football fan. “I love the sport, and my kids are all interested in it as well,” he said, adding that it’s great to see the history of the game.

“I don’t think we understand how lucky we are to be close to that,” he said. “Some people take it for granted.”

3. Swensons Drive In

Not surprising for an Akron native,DeGeorge is a fan of the city’s famous drive-in (with Stark County locations in Jackson Township and North Canton).

Swenson’s has “the best hamburgers around,” he said.

“My whole family loves them, as well. Anytime we can hit Swensons, we’re all up for it.”

4. Hartville Hardware

“I’m not a big shopper at all. I hate going shopping, but I could spend hours at Hartville Hardware,” he said.

The store has everything, he said, adding that the staff is wonderful.

DeGeorge likes being handy around the house. “Anything I could want or need, they have there.”

5. Lake Blue Streaks Stadium

“I love our stadium here,” he said, admiring how the stadium is built a little sunken into the ground with stands that wrap around the field.

During games, the stadium is packed with supporters from the school and the community. After a win, the team rings the victory bell, named in honor of a former player who passed away.

“Being in the stadium on a Friday night during football season, during a home game, there’s nothing greater than that.”