Eddie Dwyer's Corner RSS Feed
After wrapping up a promising series of mini camps, the 2016 Football Wildcats will point to Monday and the start of the OHSAA two-a-day practice sessions
7/28/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Following Thursday's final mini camp of the summer, Saint Ignatius' veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo addressed the Varsity Football Wildcats and emphasized to them how they have to be ready starting Monday to take the promise they displayed in the summer camps and build it into a season they will always cherish.

And the operative word is they, as Coach Restifo said it will take "everyone" buying in, not just the seniors, to be able to wipe out the sting of last year, when the Wildcats lost to longtime West Side rival and eventual 2015 big-school State Champion St. Edward in the regular-season finale and failed to qualify for the OHSAA playoffs for just the second time since Saint Ignatius' record postseason run began in 1988.

That run included an OHSAA best 11 Division I state championships, including an amazing five in a row from 1991 to 1995. The Football 'Cats were also crowned National Champions in 1989, 1993 and 1995, were a National Runner-Up in 2008 and a State Runner-Up in 1996.

Before calling it an evening on Wasmer Field, Coach Restifo looked around at the 2016 Wildcats, who knelt in a circle, and told then that no one is talking about Saint Ignatius (in the state's preseason hype), and that should just motivate them even more.

Standout senior defensive lineman Mike Chime shared with this corner before one of the early summer mini camps that the 2016 Wildcats definitely have a chip on their shoulder.

Starting Monday at 2 PM in the first two-a-day session of the season, Chime and the rest of the 'Cats can begin turning that chip into what will be a significant dividend come the end of October and even a bigger gain in November and early December.

Here are some of the highlights from Thursday's final mini camp, as Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 prepares his team for another memorable late summer and fall journey, Coach Kyle's 34th as the head of one of the most storied high school football programs in the nation.

VARSITY

The 'Cats' vaunted passing game was on fire early as senior quarterback Patrick Ryan and junior wide receiver Michael Drobnick picked up where they left off on Wednesday evening by hooking up on some nice throws and catches.

Drobnick also combined with junior quarterback Kyle Hall on a long touchdown strike into the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field. Along with his pass catching duties, Drobnick also contributed as a defensive back/dog.

Also maintaining their high ranking in the Good Hands Club on Thursday were senior wide receivers Riley Kinzel, Michael Daugenti, Travis Pot and Mike Lehto, and junior wideout Sammy Snyder.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Mike Chime and his buddies up front - senior nose tackle Joe Gibbons and seniors Patrick Viancourt and Michael Czaja - were making their presence felt, as were veteran linebackers Adam Shibley, Johnny Velotta and James Leyden. Leyden and Czaja also tuned in some nice moments at tight end.

HIGH PRAISE: Saint Ignatius All-Ohio senior center and East Carolina recruit John Spellacy told the corner at the end of the mini camps that senior offensive lineman Owen Hearns and junior offensive linemen Juan Pen and Billy Corte are among the most improved players in camp and have really impressed him.

CAT PAWS: Leaving their marks on Wasmer Field under a late in the day Ohio City sun were junior tailback Mark Bobinski, junior fullback Aidan Gill and senior tailbacks Jimmy Andrews and Dean "The Dream" Stowers.   

JUNIOR VARSITY

Doing some solid work again was the JV offensive line of sophomore Owen Murphy and Co.

The young, but big young men along the line allowed sophomore running backs Jahadge "Bo" Floyd  and Jack Kennedy to continue their solid preseasons with some impressive cuts and quick hitters off and through the healthy holes provided by the offensive line.

PASS DEFENSE: Among those roaming the secondary for Defensive Backfield Coaches Kevin Johnson and Pat Hinkel, and Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger, were sophomores Jett Elad, Mitchell Puhalsky, Owen Adler and Chris Velotta (Johnny's cousin). Puhalsky also contributed to the running game.

NAME TO REMEMBER: In what was an impressive all-around performance on Thursday afternoon, 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore defensive end Aidan Wells was a force up front with his penetration and pressure.

Wildcats Defensive Line Coach Dave Cicetti was very pleased with Aidan's efforts, which included Aidan going airborne and batting away two passes and deflecting another.

Aidan also turned in some work at tight end for Coach Restifo and Receivers Coach Josiah Kedzior with a couple of key blocks and a reception.

It seems like just yesterday that Aidan left an impression on this old-timer with his solid performance in the Freshmen Basketball Team's victory at St. Edward last winter.

Just a reminder that the 'Cats' first preseason scrimmage will be Tuesday, August 9th versus the Solon Comets at 10 AM on Wasmer Field. Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets return 17 starters from their 2015 Division I playoff team.

We will see you on Monday for the start of two-a-days, which again begin at 2 PM.        

       

   

  

 

  

 

 

Please note the change of venue for the Fall Sports Parents Meeting on Thursday night
7/27/2016

Tomorrow (Thursday) night's Fall Sports Parents Meeting will be held in Father Sullivan Gymnasium at 6 p.m., not in the Breen Center as was originally planned.

The Wildcats' next-to-last mini camp featured plenty of playmakers
7/27/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - The Saint Ignatius Varsity and Junior Varsity Football Wildcats will wrap up camp on Thursday and then take a three-day break before the start of two-a-day practices on Monday.

Thursday's final mini camp will get underway at 3 PM for the Junior Varsity, followed by the Varsity camp at 5.

Here is a corner's view on some of the highlights that took place during Wednesday's Varsity and Junior Varsity drills on a humid Wasmer Field.

VARSITY

The "Linebacker Legion" got things started as strong and savvy senior LB Adam Shibley read the pass pattern and mistreated Mr. Wilson with an authoritative breakup of the ball.

An on-the-money swing pass in the right flat from senior quarterback Patrick Ryan to senior tailback Jimmy Andrews that hit Jimmy's hands in stride got the offense flowing and senior signal-caller Luke Baker, who said he is just trying to move up on the depth chart, throw an impressive long ball to junior wide receiver/tight end Alexander Schum that resulted in six for the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field.

Saint Ignatius' veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo, who was working with Ryan and Co. at the other end of the field, saw Baker's throw and yelled "nice ball" to Luke.

The Wildcats' deep and gifted receiving corps that we have mentioned prominently throughout this summer turned in some strong and soft hands work from senior Riley Kinzel and junior Sam Snyder, and, in what was the offensive play of the day and evening, Ryan unleashed another "beautiful" deep ball that hit talented and tough junior wide receiver Michael Drobnick in stride and into the Lorain Avenue end zone. Michael is also a mainstay for Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka the Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program.

Coach Terry Fergus' running backs had another workman-like evening as Andrews, fellow senior tailback Dean "The Dream" Stowers and junior tailback Mark Bobinski took Mr. Wilson on some nice rides.

And Ryan got into the ground control column with a veteran, eyes-down-field elusive scramble as the evening was saying hello to a picture-perfect sunset in Ohio City.

In what was another case for the defense, senior defensive backs Chris Hyland and John Lenehan were ball-hawking all evening, as Chris came up with an interception and almost went pick city twice off a quick-reaction breakup.

Lenehan, who plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8 frame, drew the praise of 'Cats' Defensive Backfield Coach Kevin Johnson after he made an impressive interception and repeatedly stepped up as tough as nails against the running game and the swing passes.

THE JUNIOR VARSITY

Coach Restfo and Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach Jim Cahill were pleased with the running of sophomores Jahadge "Bo" Floyd and Jack Kennedy throughout an afternoon that also saw sophomore defensive back/linebacker Danny Scelza close on the ball for an interception along the home sideline of Wasmer Field.

Floyd and Kennedy were very sharp again when it came to making their cuts, inside and outside.

The passing game also came to the fore behind a nice read and throw by sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty into the sure hands of sophomore wide receiver/defensive back John Wetula.

Delahunty, keeping his composure despite a high snap, made an athletic cut off a QB keeper and he combined with Kennedy on an authoritative pass off a nice read that was complemented by the soft hands of Kennedy.

The JV offensive linemen continued to impress in allowing Delahunty, Floyd and Kennedy the space to operate, as the young men up front played a huge role in what was a perfectly executed trap play.

We'll see you on Wasmer Field Thursday, as we put a -30- on the mini camp portion of 2016 and gear up for Monday's start of two-a-days, where champions are made.       

    

     

 

 

 

     

  

 

  

Please note that the Wildcats' Varsity Football preseason Jamboree versus Canton McKinley in Stark County has been moved to Thursday, August 18th at 7 PM. It was originally scheduled for August 19th.
7/27/2016

The annual Varsity Jamboree between the 'Cats and the Bulldogs, the final tune-up of the preseason, will be played under regular game conditions and there will be an admission charge, which is permitted by the OHSAA for a preseason Jamboree game-conditions format.

- Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

 

  

The 'Cats' depth and versatility come to the fore again during Tuesday evening's Varsity Football Camp
7/26/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Throughout Saint Ignatius' Varsity Football Camps, this corner has consistently referred to depth and versatility as being two of the Wildcats' major strengths for 2016.

After Tuesday evening's Varsity drills, that opinion hasn't changed one bit.

In fact, after multi-skilled senior Ryan Cook hauled in a pass along the left sideline near the Lorain Avenue end zone, straddling one foot in bounds while concentrating on the ball, and then going to the other side of the ball and coming up with a highlight-reel interception along the home sideline of Wasmer Field that left Ryan's coaches and teammates applauding, I found myself saying "depth and versatility, baby" into my tape recorder.

You need to look no further than the receiving corps to appreciate the depth factor.

Along with Ryan Cook, senior wide receiver Michael Daugenti turned in a strong and active evening, as did fellow senior wide receiver/safety Mike Lehto, the Chairman of the Board for the Good Hands Club.

And, in what complemented Ryan Cook's interception as the plays of the evening, junior wide receiver Michael Drobnick broke free from coverage down the seam and, on a dead run, hauled in a deep ball from senior quarterback Patrick Ryan.

Drobnick's effort was reminiscent of the touchdown pass he caught in last season's Junior Varsity victory at St. Edward.

Along with Patrick Ryan's tosses, junior quarterback Kyle Hall drew the praise of Quarterbacks Coach Jim Cahill for the nice fake he made off a QB keeper and Coach Cahill yelled "Nice read Kyle" on a throw Hall made to junior tight end/wide receiver Alexander Schum.

GROUND GAME CITY: Saint Ignatius' running backs also made their presence felt.

Under the tutelage of veteran Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus, junior fullback/running back Reilly Casey made an authoritative move around the right side off a smooth roll out and toss from Kyle Hall, senior running back Daryl Forrest turned in a nice bounce to the outside for significant yardage over the left side, and senior tailback Jimmy Andrews and junior tailback Mark Bobinski continue to impress with their vision, balance and strong bursts.

Of course none of those impressive plays would be possible without the special work up front by Coach Adam Rini's and Coach Paul Yappel's offensive line, a unit anchored by All-Ohio senior center and East Carolina recruit John Spellacy.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Junior safety Justin Sands turned in an exceptional play that saw Justin climb the ladder in deep coverage and make a leaping interception, controlling possession of the ball as he came down on his back in front of the Lorain Avenue end zone. It was Justin's second impressive pick in two days.

Some of the defensive veterans, nose tackle Joe Gibbons, linebackers Adam Shibley and Johnny Velotta, and end Mike Chime were pursuing with passion all evening.

In closing on a defensive note, one of the evening's early drills consisted of working on two new pressures that the Wildcats' linebackers and linemen coaches are going to install this year.

Action resumes on Wednesday at Wasmer Field, with the Junior Varsity session at 3 PM and the Varsity practice at 5 PM. Like the past two days, both sessions will begin with the summer ritual of running/sprints.

See you there.      

  

 

      

       

Attention Wildcats Men of the Links. Here are the tee times for Monday's tryouts at Pine Hills
7/26/2016

From Head Coach Brian Becker '77: 

Fellas, enclosed are the tee times for day one of tryouts at Pine Hills Golf Course on Monday, August 1st.

Remember that we will walk and that you will pay for each round of the four day tryout. Pine Hills is $28 to play. Pine Hills does not have a range per say, but you can hit some balls before if you bring a shag bag.  Please be at the course at least a half hour before your listed tee time in case we have to make any changes.

Good luck to all and play well! We will field 3 teams, a Varsity, a JV Gold and a JV Blue, all contingent on score and age as usual. We will re-pair after each round according to score.


Monday August 1st at PINE HILLS:

10:26                                                   10:34                                                                   10:42
Hunter Rinkus  (sr)                              Adam Kaye  (sr)                                                Christian Lee (sr)
Ryan Grabowski (jr)                             Ryan Kman  (jr)                                                 Michael McCaffrey (jr)
Andrew Kaye (fr)                                  Ken Ripich (fr)                                                   Ross Williamson  (fr)



10:50                                                   10:58                                                                   11:06
Conor Koehnke (sr)                             Michael Iarussi (sr)                                             Angelo Corna (sr)
Owen Bilardo (jr)                                 Jake Moraca (soph)                                           Jack Straniero (sr)
Zach Hazard (fr)                                  Conor Warns (fr)                                                John Klym  (soph)




11:14                                                   11:22                                                                   11:30
Nick Neroni (sr)                                     Kyle Kolik  (soph)                                           Nate Sommerfield  (fr)
Brendan HUdec (sr)                              Eddie Keck (soph)                                          Brian Donelon (fr)
Jess Saunders (fr)                                Klye Gerrity (fr)                                                Steven Harmat (fr)
                                                              Chris Mays (soph)                                           Dan Mullin  (fr)

                                            
                                                                                              
     
                                            

 

Coach Kyle receives U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's "Coach of the Year Award" for Ohio
7/26/2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who is currently in his 34th season as the Wildcats' Head Football Coach, guided the Track and Field Wildcats to state and national prominence this past spring, including the program's second OHSAA Division 1 state track and field championship. Coach Kyle also led his track program to the state title in 2001, a state runner up finish in 2005 and a third place finish in1999.

Better known for his record 11 State Football Championships and three National Titles on the gridiron, Coach Kyle has been coaching track at his alma mater for more than four decades.

Congrats from this old-timer go out to Coach Kyle, his outstanding track and field coaching staff, and the gifted student track and field athletes he has devolped.

- Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Patrick Ryan holds the hot hand on a day when the 'Cats had their running shoes on
7/25/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - After he unleashed one of his many strong and accurate throws on Monday evening, Saint Ignatius senior quarterback Patrick Ryan smiled and said: "It's coming together!"

And that it is.

The Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats, under the direction of veteran Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kyle, started the week with a strong and productive camp on both the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels, one that saw Ryan display the talent, savvy and leadership that Saint Ignatius' faithful have come to expect from their quarterbacks.

After taking part in the first day of their challenging conditioning drills of runs and sprints, which were timed and critiqued by the coaching staff, the Varsity 'Cats went through their various position work and then took part in the always entertaining match and team competition.

ON THE MONEY: Ryan, who played behind record-setting, first-team All-Ohio quarterback Dennis Grosel last season, hooked up with junior wide receiver Sam Snyder on an exceptional deep route that drew a smile from Saint Ignatius' veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo, a man who has honed the skills of 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

Along with his deep ball, Ryan was also sharp with his intermediate throws, including a swing pass hookup with junior running back Luke Mooney and a nicely timed sideline route to senior wide receiver Ryan Cook.

Moving with athleticism in the pocket, Ryan, after reading the defense and seeing that nothing was available in the secondary, tucked the ball away and headed in the direction of the Lorain Avenue end zone of Wasmer Feld for a sizeable gain.

FIST PUMP FOR "BO BO": Wildcats gritty and skilled junior tailback Mark Bobinski, after hauling in a swing pass, put together a highlight-reel juke move on a would-be tackler that drew a fist pump from Coach Restifo and a roar of approval from his teammates.

MORE AIR CATS: Junior quarterback Daniel Alexander and senior wide receiver Travis Pot combined on a deep route down the home sideline of Wasmer Field that featured 4-Star efforts from both young men - Daniel's authoritative throw from the pocket and Travis' ability to adjust to the ball, leap and make the catch.

"NICE CUT JIMMY, NICE CUT!": Yelled Saint Ignatius' veteran Assistant Coach/Quarterbacks Coach Jim Cahill after tough and talented senior tailback Jimmy Andrews took a quick toss from Ryan in the backfield and, sprinting left, cut on a dime up the middle and turned what looked like a possible loss into a significant gain.

GOOD HANDS CLUB ENTRIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL: Go to junior wide receiver Max Pike for his smooth reaction to the ball and subsequent reception, and junior safety Justin Sands, who came up with a perfectly timed diving interception.

THE JAYVEES DISPLAY THEIR ENDURANCE: As Wildcats outstanding Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger pointed out, Saint Ignatius' football alums will be glad to know that the 'Cats ran the "grueling" 600s as part of their conditioning drills on Monday. The JV linemen held their own, my friends.

THE HYDRATION CREW: After the Junior Varsity finished its challenging conditioning drills, Wildcats Varsity Captains John Spellacy and Johnny Velotta came out on Wasmer Field and helped cool off the Jayvees with squirt guns.

REMEMBER THE NAME, IT WON'T BE HARD: During Monday afternoon's JV match drill, 'Cats' impressive sophomore linebacker Tommy Eichenberg unleashed his range by reading the play and stepping in front of the ball for a textbook interception.

Tommy is the brother of former Wildcats All-Ohio and All-American offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg, who is a freshman for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

DELAHUNTY SHARP AGAIN: During the JV team drill Coach Restifo was pleased with two "nice reads" by sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty, a pass to sophomore tight end Jack Cannon and another pitch and catch with sophomore running back./receiver Jack Kennedy.

Kennedy received some accolades from Coach Cahill for his exceptional display of balance on a running play off the left side.

IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED: The Wildcats use two brands of Wilson footballs, the GST and the 1005.

Dennis Grosel, who owns first and second place on the 'Cats' all-time list for passing yards in a game, said the more broken in the football is, the better. As we posted in the corner's camp notes last week, Dennis is helping Coach Restifo and Coach Cahill with the quarterbacks this summer and fall before leaving for Boston College in the winter, where he will be a preferred walk on in the spring.

Camp resumes on Tuesday, the Jayvees at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5 PM. We'll see you there.              

  

 

  

     

  

   

   

 

  

 

     

    

 

Just a reminder that Junior Varsity (3 PM) and Varsity (5 PM) Football Camp resumes on Monday, and a personal congrats
7/24/2016

For a look at Friday's camp, see the corner's post from Friday night.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer, who says congratulations to Ken Griffey Jr., the pride of Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, and Mike Piazza, perseverance personified, on their inductions into Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Mike's acknowledgement of the New York Police Officers and Firemen who sacrificed their lives on 9/11 was just another example of the class he carried with him throughout his career and continues to exude.     

The schedule and items of interest for this week and next month in Wildcats Cross Country
7/24/2016

From Head Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher and posted by Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Runners and parents,

Please check Final Forms and make sure all forms are signed and updated.

Open Trail Runs week of 7/25:
Northeast: Monday, Tuesday 8:30 am at Girdled Road Reservation.  
Beaumont : 9 am Monday and Tuesday, Thursday at 9 am.    
Bonnie Park : Thursday 9:30 am.  
Station Road: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 5:30 pm
Mastick: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9 am.   
Team practice/time trial: Wednesday 7/27, Saint Ignatius at 5:30.

August schedule of practices
8/3 team practice at Saint Ignatius, 5:30.  
8/6 Saint Ignatius, 8 am. FINAL TIME TRIAL. This time trial is for those runners who have not been exempted by meeting the time standards at a previous practice. 
8/8 Mandatory practice begins! Edgewater lower level, 5:00-6:30.
8/9 Edgewater, 5-6:30.
8/10 Hinkley Reservation, 1:30-3:30. Bus leaves school at 12:30. Meet in the Spillway parking lot, 
8/11 Edgewater, 5-6:30.
8/12 Saint Ignatius, 9am Team Photos. Practice to follow.
8/15 Edgewater 5-6:30.
8/16 Penitentiary Glen (Kirtland) 5k race at 6 pm with picnic to follow. Bus leaves school at 4:15.
8/17 Freshmen Orientation. Practice time TBA. 
8/18 Mastick, 3:30, 5:30. Bus transportation provided.
8/19 Saint Ignatius, 3:00-4:30.
 
Go 'Cats!
Be State Champs!
 
Doc
Dr. Mike Gallagher
Head Cross Country Coach
Former Saint Ignatius hockey standout Aidan Spellacy'16 will be furthering his career on the ice with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League
7/24/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Aidan, a four-year member of Coach Pat O'Rourke's state and nationally recognized program, was a key fixture on two of the Ice Cats' four OHSAA State Ice Hockey Championships - 2014 and 2016.

The Brahmas reside in North Richland Hills, Texas.  

A captain and a first-team All-Ohio forward this past winter, Aidan, despite playing with a badly separated shoulder, totaled a goal and three assists in this year's 4-3 State Championship Game victory over University School at Nationwide Arena, the home of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Ice Cats brought home No. 4 in what was the 39th Annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament.

"He toughed it out and in fact played very well," Coach O'Rourke said of Aidan's big-hearted effort in what was an all-Cleveland area state title faceoff with Great Lakes Hockey League rival University School. "What an outstanding captain he was!"

With Aidan leaving it all on the ice, Coach O'Rourke's 2016 Ice Cats became just the 5th local team ever to win the "Triple Crown" of hockey - regular season division title, city tournament title, and state title.

Congratulations from this corner go out to Aidan, whom I had the privilege of covering for the past four hockey seasons.

All of the Best to Aidan in his time with the Brahmas, and may God Bless Him in all of his future endeavors.

NOTE: Here is some info on the league in which Aidan will be competing, courtesy of the North American Hockey League.

Celebrating its 41st season in 2016-17, the NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 24 teams in 12 states from across North America, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.

The NAHL offers junior hockey players the opportunity to develop, learn, train, grow and succeed, while playing for free. The NAHL is unique in the fact that a vast majority of players begin their NAHL careers without an NCAA opportunity, but earn one through the course of their development in the league.

The NAHL's dedication to player development is demonstrated by the league's high-profile annual exposure events like the NAHL Showcase in September, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February and the NAHL Robertson Cup Championship in May, which have all evolved into hockey's most prominent and popular of its kind and are a must-see for NCAA programs and NHL teams alike.

During the 2015-16 season, a total of 210+ NAHL players committed to NCAA schools to date and in the past two seasons, over 450 players have made NCAA commitments. In addition, 11 current NAHL players have been listed on the 2016 final NHL Central Scouting list and seven players with NAHL ties were selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Wildcats Football puts together another solid day of drills on both the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels
7/22/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity and Varsity Football programs continued to display their versatility on Friday afternoon and early evening, as a bright sun and the 90-plus degree temperatures that accompanied it made themselves at home on the turf at Wasmer Field.

With Wildcats Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle and his exceptional staff making sure the players were properly hydrated throughout the JV and Varsity drills, a hydration that also included a sprinkler adjacent to the water tank, Saint Ignatius wrapped up another mini camp on high notes.

Wildcats gifted senior tailback Jimmy Andrews , who is in tip-top condition, was running with vision, power, quickness and cutting balance throughout Friday evening's Varsity drills.

Jimmy, who looks slim and trim while still carrying his game-day weight of 190 to 195 pounds, had one word for the top shape he is in - "Rubino!"

Wildcats outstanding Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Rubino has earned the praise of every coach in Saint Ignatius' 16 Varsity Sports for the superb work he is doing with the Student Athletes at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

As for the 'Cats' versatility, multi-skilled senior linebacker/tight end James Leyden wasted little time in putting that on display as he reached down with two hands and caught a low pass on the run that flirted with his shoelaces. No need for a review, my friends, it was just another Leyden special that we've grown accustom to.

A few minutes later, Leyden, reading the play from the get-go, stepped in front of a pass from his linebacker position and tacked up one for pick city.

Getting back to the ground game, junior Aidan Gill unleashed some power, balance and quickness from the running back/fullback positions. Aidan and Jimmy Andrews are products of Our Lady of Angels and Leyden also played some CYO football for OLA.

In making a case for the defense, junior linebacker Andrew Boldy batted away a pass across the middle and drew the praise of Wildcats' outstanding Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger.

In another example of Saint Ignatius' depth and versatility, tough and talented 6-foot-4 senior defensive end Michael Czaja put in some work at tight end on Friday evening and did more than a credible job.

Wildcats hard-nosed senior defensive lineman Patrick Viancourt was quick to refer to the nice work put in both Thursday and Friday by teammate Dante Cipriani, a ball-hawking senior defensive back, and senior quarterback Patrick Ryan and junior quarterbacks Daniel Alexander and Kyle Hall each had their moments off authoritative throws.

On the receiving end of several of those above-mentioned passes was reliable and athletic senior wide receiver Mike Lehto.  

It was great to see veteran Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus back at practice on Friday and also great to see Wildcats 2015 first-team All-Ohio quarterback Dennis Grosel '16 working with the Junior Varsity and Varsity quarterbacks and receivers on Friday. Dennis is going to assist veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo and Quarterbacks Coach Jim Cahill this summer and fall before leaving for Boston College in January, where he will be a preferred walk-on in the spring.

The early stages of Friday afternoon's Junior Varsity session saw Coach Kyle, Coach Restifo and Coach Mark Ruddy work with JV quarterbacks Patrick Delahunty, Michael Sarko and Caden Campolieti, along with promising tailback Jahadge "Bo" Floyd, on the vision and cuts of the running game off the timing of the pitch from the quarterback.

Campolieti, who also fired some smooth passes during Friday's drills, is another one of those versatile players who can line up at tight end and wide receiver. A couple his memorable throws on Friday went to wide receiver Nate Conry and tight end Jack Cannon.

Defensively for the Junior Varsity, cornerback Michael Mangan and linebacker Chris Velotta were among those finding the ball and disrupting the offensive flow, and defensive back/linebacker John Wetula drew a smile and a compliment from Coach Franzinger for the pressure he applied.

A reminder to the Junior Varsity and Varsity players to bring along their running shoes to practice on Monday (3 PM for JV and 5 PM for Varsity), as conditioning will take center stage on Wasmer Field. Again, pack your running shoes along with your football shoes/spikes.

See you at Wasmer Field on Monday. Have a great weekend, eat healthy and stay hydrated.    

  

 

   

    

 

 

     

 

 

 

       

       

After four mini camps and a 27-day break, Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats went back to work on Thursday
7/21/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - The heat and humidity that hovered over Wasmer Field late Thursday afternoon and early evening were, as Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle pointed out, tempered a bit by the gray clouds spread around Ohio City.

From the moment the Junior Varsity Wildcats began their practice at 3 PM until the final play of a Varsity session that started at 5 and ended just before 7 PM, one thing was evident - the Football 'Cats were certainly not lacking in energy after a 27-day break that followed four mini camps in June.  

Some sharpening was needed, but then that's what preseason camps are for.

The effort and the heart, however, were there from the get-go on Thursday.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: The opening of the Junior Varsity session featured a receivers versus defensive backs drill under the tutelage of Coach Kyle, defensive backfield coaches Pat Hinkel and Kevin Johnson, and wide receivers coach Josiah Kedzior.

Standing out in the early drill was sophomore defensive back Owen Adler, who picked off a pass and also came up with a strong reaction play on the ball along the left sideline toward the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field.

"Good stuff Adler," yelled Coach Hinkel, an All-Ohio defensive back/running back on Saint Ignatius' 2008 Division I State Championship Team, who went on to an outstanding football career at Miami of Ohio.

AIR 'CATS: "Beautiful, beautiful," yelled Coach Kedzior after Saint Ignatius sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty and sophomore wide receiver Luke Cooper were money on a slant pass across the middle.

Sophomore quarterback Mike Sarko also hooked up on a couple of nice completions to sure-handed sophomore tight end Jack Cannon during what was a nice series by Sarko and Cannon.

THE GOOD HANDS CLUB: The early entry on Thursday was promising sophomore wide receiver Nigel Drummond, who made a picture-perfect catch off a deep seam route in what was a textbook display of catching the ball with your hands.

RUN & RECEIVE: Practice on the Junior Varsity level ended with some nice runs by sophomore tailback Jahadge "Bo" Floyd, who has a knack for finding those seams, no matter how big or small, and another smooth connection from Delahunty to Cooper.

"LINEBACKER LEGION": It's no secret that Saint Ignatius' Varsity Wildcats have one of the finest linebacker corps in the area, led by seniors Adam Shibley, Johnny Velotta and James Leyden.

That LB efficiency was on display early and often in the evening's Varsity drills, as the "Legion" was roaming with passion. A reaction to the ball and pass breakup by Shibley drew a roar from Adam's teammates and his coaches.

DOUBLE DUTY: Leyden, who doubles at tight end, went up in the air in traffic and brought down the ball, and senior wide receiver/safety Mike Lehto put his track and field athleticism and soft hands on display by climbing the ladder down the middle and hauling in a high throw.

RELENTLESS CITY: The 'Cats' veteran defensive line, which will complement the "Legion" this fall, got some nice penetration and pressure up front from veterans Mike Chime, Joe Gibbons and Patrick Viancourt.

CAMPING: Saint Ignatius' gifted and gritty Junior Varsity quarterback Patrick Delahunty spent four days last month at the Archie, Eli and Peyton Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.

Patrick said it was "really cool" to see the numerous college quarterbacks at the Manning Academy, including Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma.

"Getting better in everything I've already learned (at Saint Ignatius) and showing me a few new things," Patrick said of what he benefitted most from by attending the camp.

Saint Ignatius' gifted All-Northeast Lakes District and All-Ohio senior punter/kicker Colin Goodfellow has been scanning the globe this summer as far as his camp stops are concerned.

"The first one I went to was Kentucky, then Ohio State, Northwestern, North Carolina, James Madison, Pittsburgh and some small training camps," Colin said. "Tomorrow (Friday) all three of us kickers (Colin and juniors Matthew Trickett and Drew Alessandro) are going to Wales, Wisconsin for the big Kohl's Kicking camp.

"Traveling the country, it has been quite an experience," said Colin, who emphasized that he has been concentrating and focusing in on his punting and kickoffs.            

CLOSE TO HIS DECISION: Brendan DeVenney '17, one of the lead broadcasters for Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcasting Network, said he has John Carroll University, Mount Union and Canisius College at the top of his college list as he approaches his senior year.

"Canisius is partnering with ESPN for broadcasting its athletics, especially basketball and hockey," Brendan said. "John Carroll and Canisius are both Jesuit Schools and I definitely want to stay with the Catholic tradition and education."

Brendan pointed to John Carroll's sports broadcasting tradition, which includes "their phenomenal football and basketball teams," and the fact that John Carroll is close to home.

"Right now, they (the Blue Streaks of John Carroll) are probably one of the best opportunities for me," said Brendan, adding that Mount Union and Canisius are two and three, respectively, on his list.

For the time being, Brendan is going to focus on his senior year at Saint Ignatius and what should be another special fall season in Wildcats Athletics.

COACH KYLE TO APPEAR ON NEWS CHANNEL 5's "INSIDE THE CLEVELAND BROWNS." Members of the "Inside The Cleveland Browns" staff were at practice on Thursday to film some of the 'Cats' drills and to interview Coach Kyle on his innovative views for youth football and how to develop the proper safety measures at that level.

The show is schedule to air a week from this Sunday, July 31st, at 11 AM on News Channel 5.

A 1962 DIFFERENCE MAKER: In a battle for the West Senate Championship between the Wildcats and the West Tech Warriors at my old home away from home, West Tech Field, former Saint Ignatius standout defensive end and current longtime Assistant Football and Track and Field Coach Mr. Tom Flandera made a special teams play that was special in every sense of the word.

With the Wildcats clinging to a 6-0 lead, the Warriors received the second-half kickoff, but were forced to punt from deep in their territory.

Tom Flandera came charging through the line and blocked the punt, and the ball was recovered by Saint Ignatius tackle Larry Kellner. That set up a touchdown gallop and a two-point conversion run, both by standout quarterback Ray Kubacki, and the Wildcats never looked back as they defeated West Tech, 40-12, and advanced to the 32nd City Championship Game versus the Benedictine Bengals on Thanksgiving morning.

"That punt Tom Flandera blocked was the turning point for us," Saint Ignatius' legendary Head Coach John J. Wirtz told The Plain Dealer's Hall of Fame reporter Mr. Ed Chay. "It broke Tech's back. That broke the tension and made it easier."

After the Wildcats defeated Benedictine, 6-0, in the City Championship Game, Coach Wirtz also pointed to Tom Flandera and his defensive line teammates for their "ferocious play" versus the Bengals.

Following Tom Flandera's selection to the Universe Bulletin's All-Area, All-Catholic Team, Coach Wirtz described Tom as one of the all-time best to ever play the defensive end position at Saint Ignatius.

Yes, special in every sense of the word.

See you on Wasmer Field Friday, as camp resumes with the Junior Varsity at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5 PM.                             

      

  

 

 

   

 

  

 

   

     

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

    

OHSAA and OAB to Co-Host Broadcasters Meeting
7/20/2016

Released by Mr. Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

OHSAA and OAB to Co-Host Broadcasters Meeting on August 17

Meeting to include broadcast updates, Q&A session and comments from Paul Keels, the voice of The Ohio State University Football

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Broadcasters involved with high school sports throughout Ohio are invited to a gathering on Aug. 17 hosted jointly by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Ohio Association of Broadcasters. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. at the OHSAA offices in Columbus.

Radio, television and online broadcasters are all welcome to attend. There is no fee to attend the meeting and a complimentary lunch will be provided. Discussion items will include current topics and updates in high school broadcasting, a question and answer session with OHSAA administrators and comments from WBNS radio’s Paul Keels.

“Radio and television stations around the state provide extensive coverage of their local high school sports teams,” said Christine Merritt, OAB president. “We appreciate our long-standing relationship with OHSAA and look forward to bringing together a group of our members to share ideas and discuss the challenges and opportunities of broadcasting high school sports.”

Attendees are asked to RSVP to Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, at tstried@ohsaa.org.

“At one time there was an organized sports broadcasters group that met during the OHSAA boys basketball state tournament,” Dave Gray, OHSAA Interim Commissioner, said. “During the August broadcasters meeting, we would like to explore whether there is interest in forming a group like that again to promote and strengthen high school sports broadcasting.”

A similar collaborative effort with the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association was initiated in 2011. The OPSWA has now grown to 149 members and includes annual activities including a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, writing and photography contests and a statewide update meeting at the OHSAA.

  

  

And closing out a day of honors for Steve Milhoan, Lawrence Karpeh and Hunter Gordon, the thrillsome threesome were also named to the SNAPCHAT.COM/Top Drawer Soccer All-State Team
7/19/2016
Saint Ignatius soccer standout Hunter Gordon '16 and Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 join Steve Milhoan and Lawrence Karpeh on the SNAPCHAT.COM/Top Drawer Soccer All-Region Fall Team
7/19/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Hunter, one of the top defenders in the Midwest last fall, is also furthering his education and soccer career at the University of Pittsburgh.
 
GREAT LAKES REGION
[Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin]
 
Ian Black  Dublin Jerome (Ohio) Sr.   Indiana
Anthony Bowie Forest Hills Central (Mich.) Sr. Western Michigan
Blake Carr Arrowhead (Wis.) Sr. Wisconsin
Stephen Milhoan '17 Saint Ignatius (Ohio) Jr.  Xavier
F Alec Phillipe Milwaukee Marquette (Wis.) Sr. Wright State
MF  Bryce Curran Mason (Ohio) Sr.   Xavier
MF  Lawrence Karpeh '16  Saint Ignatius (Ohio) Sr.  Pittsburgh
MF  Suad Suljic Minnetonka (Minn.) Sr.   Bradley
Hunter Gordon '16 Saint  Ignatius (Ohio) Sr.   Pittsburgh
Gary Zhao  Mason (Ohio) Sr.   University of Chicago
GK  Sean Teske Eastview (Minn.) Sr.   Hartford
Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 Saint Ignatius (Ohio)    
 
 
 
          
     
Wildcats soccer greats Steve Milhoan '17 and Lawrence Karpeh '16 garner SNAPCHAT.COM/Top Drawer Soccer All-America honors
7/19/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Steve Milhoan, who also earned Gatorade's Ohio Player of the Year honor, was Ohio's Mr. Soccer for 2015 and the Player of the Year in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, earned first-team All-America honors.

Lawrence Karpeh, who is furthering his education and soccer career at the University of Pittsburgh, was named to the second team.

Milhoan, who has verbally committed to Xavier University, was the only junior from 2015 selected to the First Team.

Milhoan and Karpeh helped lead Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats to an unbeaten season in 2015, a fall that was highlighted by State and National Championships. Steve is gearing up for his senior season at Saint Ignatius, which begins on August 19th on the pitch at St. Edward. The corner will be previewing Coach McLaughlin's 2016 Wildcats next month.

NOTE: The TeamSnap All-America package is the culmination of months of research and evaluation of the top high school-playing talent in the nation.

While high school soccer is offered in the fall, winter or spring -- depending on state -- Top Drawer Soccer waits until after the school year is complete to release its All-America, All-Region and state All-Stars. Fall-playing states are acknowledged today, followed by winter-playing states on Wednesday and spring-playing states on Thursday. The lists are compiled by TDS senior high school editor Sheldon Shealer and reflect observation and information provided by coaches and local reporters.

Here is the first team from the fall-playing states.

SNAPCHAT.COM FALL ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM                                                       

Forwards

Ifunanyachi Achara, Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.), Sr.
Achara is one of the nation's most dynamic high school performers. In 36 career matches, he accounted for 90 points. He scoed 26 goals with 13 assists this past season. The former Nigerian Under-17 National Team member helped his club team to a US Youth Soccer national title in 2015. He has signed with Georgetown.
 
Stephen Milhoan, Saint Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio), Jr. (in 2015)
The lone junior on the TeamSnap Fall All-America first team, Milhoan was named Mr. Soccer in Ohio after leading Saint Ignatius to state and national titles, and an unbeaten season. Milhoan scored nine playoff goals, pushing his season total to 30 with 19 assists. 
 
Tre Pulliam, Archbishop Curley (Baltimore, Md.), Sr.
Pulliam was the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year after scoring 29 goals and assisting on 11 while leading Archbishop Curley to a conference runner-up finish to McDonogh. The UMBC signee ends his high school career with 74 goals, three short of the school record, which is held by former professional player Giuliano Celenza.
 
Ty Seager, Wheaton Academy (West Chicago, Ill.), Sr.
Even as a marked man, there was no stopped Seager. The two-time state player of the year had 34 goals and 16 assists, leading Wheaton Academy to a state runner-up finish. The Northwestern signee ends his high school career with 108 goals and 45 assists.
 
Midfielders
 
John Antunes, St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.), Sr.
Antunes dished out a team-high 19 assists, leading St. Benedict's to an 18-0 season, a 27th straight state title and a second straight SIMA FAB 50 Fall No. 1 ranking. It was St. Benedict's fourth FAB 50 national crown in the past five seasons. The former Youth National Team performer was the New Jersey Prep Player of the Year and he signed with Monmouth.
 
Luca Levee, Milton Academy (Milton, Mass.), Sr.
Levee dominated play in the midfield, leading Milton Academy to a 22-0 season and a TopDrawerSoccer.com Prep Top 10 No. 2 finish. Levee's 13th goal of the season put the finishing touches on a 2-0 Prep A championship victory. Levee signed with Maryland
 
Suad Suljic, Minnetonka (Minnetonka, Minn.), Sr.
Suljic was one of the top players at the High School All-American Game in December. The Minnesota Mr. Soccer scored 25 goals and handed out 18 assists in 17 matches. He had six goals and five assists in three playoff contests. Suljic signed with Bradley.
 
Emmanuel Twumasi, Kent School (Kent, Conn.), Sr.
A four-year starter and two-time all-NEPSAC performer, Twumasi got the chance to showcase his skills at the High School All-America Game, where he was selected as the co-player of the match. The Wake Forest signee had 81 career goals and 34 assists. 
 
Defenders
 
Michael DeShields, McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.), Sr.
DeShields teammed with Cale Thorne to provide one of the nation's top defenses, leading McDonogh to a second undefeated season in three years. DeShields scored the game-winning goal that gave McDonogh a national title in 2013. In 2015, the Wake Forest signee scored nine goals and handed out three assists as the Eagle won the MIAA A Conference title. 
 
Alex Palazzolo, Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Mo.), Sr.
The Indiana signee returned from Development Academy play to anchor the Christian Brothers defense. The team posted 17 shutouts and Palazzolo was named the Missouri Class 4 Player of the Year. 
 
Cale Thorne, McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.), Sr.
Thorne, the other half of McDonogh's powerhouse defense, scored five goals and had five assists as the Eagles went 21-0-1. The Clemson signee was McDonogh's team captain and anchored a defense that allowed only 10 goals.  
 
Goalkeeper
 
Detre Bell, South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.), Sr.
Bell recorded 14 shutouts while guiding South Kent School to a Class B title and a No. 1 ranking in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Prep Top 10. The Connecticut signee is the starting goalkeeper for Bermuda's Under-20 National Team.
 
Coach of the Year
 
Mike Gorni, Central Bucks East (Doylestown, Pa.)
One of Pennsylvania's coaching legends went out with a storybook finish. Gorni, who coached high school soccer for 30 years -- the last 21 at Central Bucks East -- announced before the season this would be his final year. The players delivered a 26-0, state title-winning season. Gorni's final match, which was his 383rd career victory, was a 2-0 victory over Seneca Valley for the program's first state title. He retires after leading Central Bucks East to 21 straight district playoff appearances, 10 conference titles and 11 state tournament appearances.
 

PLAYER OF HE YEAR: Alex Palazzolo, Chaminade (Mo. ).  

Just another reminder that Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kyle's talented and tough-minded 2016 Football Wildcats will resume camp on Thursday
7/18/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Junior Varsity practice will begin at 3 PM on Thursday, followed by the Varsity practice at 5 PM.

Another reminder to a faithful reader of the corner, yes, the Wildcats will host their annual preseason competition with Coach Jim McQuaide's Solon Comets on August 9th at 10 AM on Wasmer Field.

Coach McQuaide returns a large contingent of veterans from his 2015 OHSAA Division I playoff team, so the Cats will get a solid early test.

We'll see you at Wasmer Field on Thursday.   

Here is the weekly schedule and key notes for this week from Dr. Mike Gallagher '71, the Head Coach of the Defending OHSAA State Cross Country Champion Wildcats
7/17/2016

From Coach Gallagher and posted by Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Runners and parents,

****Due to the Republican National Convention, this week's team practice will be held at Saint Ignatius at 9am on Friday, NOT Wednesday. We will be running a time trial at this practice.
 
Open trail runs:
Mastick - Monday and Thursday at 9am
Girdled Road Reservation South Entrance - Monday only at 8:30am
Bonnie Park - Thursday at 9:30am
Brecksville Station Road trailhead - Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30pm
Beaumont track - Monday and Thursday at 9am
 
The final time trial is August 6 at 8am at Saint Ignatius. Continue to follow the training schedule. The first preseason race is coming up, August 16 at Penitentiary Glen. The schedule for the month of August will be sent out next week.
 
Go Cats!
Be State Champions!

Doc
Dr. Mike Gallagher

Head Cross Country Coach
St. Ignatius High School
 
Senior Clinical Instructor
CWRU School of Dental Medicine AEGD
drmggalls@gmail.com
216-299-3519 Cell
216-941-5535 Office
West Park Dental
17001 Albers Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44111
www.westparksmiles.com
With former Saint Ignatius Rugby standout Brock Yoho '16 contributing as one of Head Coach Mark Williams' "impact guys," the USA Rugby South Panthers defeat Mexico, 25-10, in Saturday evening's Rugby Americas North U19 Championship Match
7/16/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From Vizcaya Park in Miramar, Florida - The USA U19 Panthers, under the direction of veteran Head Coach Mark Williams, brought home their first Rugby Americas North Championship after being defeated by Mexico in the RAN tournament the past two seasons.

With offensive/defensive standout Andrew Rappe and offensive weapons Calvin Gentry and Malcolm Easley keeping Mexico occupied throughout the match, and Coach Williams' big fresh-leg bangers (Brock Yoho and Co.) controlling the back line of Mexico, the USA Rugby South Panthers powered their way to a 25-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining to be played.

Also supplying some firepower was Josh Ingles, as a kick ahead bounced back and Josh was there to grab it and go 50 meters for the try.

The South Panthers took the momentum on the opening kickoff after a penalty was called on Mexico and Sean O'Driscoll slotted the kick for a 3-0 lead.  

Mexico appeared to close to 25-15 down the stretch, but a penalty for a foul play (illegal use of the boot) wiped out the try and the USA U19 Panthers settled the issue with their superior strength and will.

In the words of Coach Williams to the video and television media following the match, "They wanted it today!"

Coach Williams also emphasized to the media that the roles players like Yoho and the other fresh-leg bangers provide is not what you call a substitute role, but rather an "impact" role.

The USA Rugby South U19 Panthers advanced to Saturday evening's RAN Championship match by defeating Bermuda, 41-0, on July 9th and rallying to a 24-23 victory over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday night.

Mexico earned another title match appearance by dominating the Turks & Caicos last weekend and wearing down the Cayman Islands, 26-10, on Wednesday.

As we wrote in other reports on the corner over the past few weeks, Brock, after being unable to attend the tryouts in Atlanta, earned a spot on the USA Rugby South Panthers' roster by making the effort to send in films of his high school play at Saint Ignatius to Coach Williams.  

May God Bless Brock in all of his future endeavors, as he will be furthering his education and athletic career at The University of Kentucky.

And congrats from this corner to Coach Williams' tough-minded and talented USA Rugby South U19 Panthers for doing the nation proud.        

Just a reminder that former 'Cats rugby standout Brock Yoho '16 and his USA Rugby South teammates will face Mexico this evening in the 5 PM Rugby Americas North U19 Championship match at Vizcaya Park in Miramar, Florida
7/16/2016

Despite his team's gritty 24-23 comeback versus Trinidad &Tobago on Wednesday night (see the corner's post from Wednesday), an effort that sent the Panthers into this evening's Championship matchup with Mexico, Mark Williams, the Head Coach of the USA Rugby South U19s, was not pleased with his program's overall play, particularly the special teams.

The corner will have a report tonight on the Rugby Americas North U19 Championship final. 

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer    

The USA Rugby South Panthers, whose roster includes former Saint Ignatius Rugby mainstay Brock Yoho '16, rallied to a 24-23 victory over Trinidad &Tobago in Wednesday night's second round of the RAN U19 Championships in Miramar, Florida
7/13/2016
Trailing, 23-11, the USA Rugby South U19 Panthers staged a dramatic 24-23 comeback and advanced to Saturday's Championship match versus Mexico.
 
Head Coach Mark Williams' Rugby South Panthers were coming off last weekend's 41-0 triumph over Bermuda in what was a Pool B matchup in the opening round of the Rugby Americas North U19 Championships (see the corner's post from Saturday evening).
 

The USA Rugby South U19s needed a big-time second half to defeat Trinidad & Tobago and secure a spot in the Rugby Americas North U19 Championships final Saturday in Miramar, Fla. Miramar is located right across the canal from Miami.

Trinidad & Tobago unleashed an attack the had the South Panthers' defense off-balance in the early going.  

T & T scored a try from a scrum near midfield in increasing its lead to 11-3 and pushed that advantage to 16-6 by halftime off another try from a scrum.

Picking up its defense and possession, the South Panthers closed to 16-11 on a try by flyhalf Shea O’Hanlon.

Trinidad & Tobago responded again, however, and a touchline conversion saw the South Panthers trailing, 23-11.

Despite what the scoreboard said, Comeback City was just around the corner from Miramar.

After Panthers' flanker Austin Parrish went for the corner from about 50 meters out, the undaunted South, behind runs by Tucker Donlon and Nikolas Koumandarakis, set up a try by Cordell Ramsey.

The Panthers continued to ride their momentum, as they took the 24-23 lead on a kick for points by Sean O'Driscoll and stayed out of harm's way over the final six minutes to earn the Championship showdown with Mexico.  

Note: Wednesday night's final score bulletin was courtesy of Mr. Keith Yoho and the score line was courtesy of the highly respected Goff Rugby Report.

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

 
 
In response to requests from our faithful readers, here is an early look at the 'Cats' Week 4 Varsity Football opponent, Detroit Catholic Central
7/13/2016
By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Cleveland, Ohio - The Catholic Central Shamrocks of Coach Tom Mach will be hosting Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats in the atmosphere-rich setting of Father Richard Elmer, C.S. B., Stadium on Tom Mach Field, Friday night, Sept. 16th. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM.
 
Catholic Central is located in Novi, Michigan and its Sacred Mission and Motto of the Basilian Fathers is "Teach Me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge."
 
Athletically, the Shamrocks take the approach of "Dare To Be Great. The Best Is Yet To Come."
 
Between them, Coach Kyle and Coach Mach have guided 21 state-championship teams, with the Shamrocks' last state crown coming in 2009 and the 'Cats' record 11th OHSAA Division I title taking place in 2011. Catholic Central also has 11 state football titles overall, with the first one coming in 1938. Coach Kyle has also produced three national championship teams (1989,1993 and 1995) and a national runner-up in 2008.  
 
Coach Kyle '69 has begun his 34th season at the head of the Wildcats' football program and Coach Mach took over the reins at Catholic Central in 1976. Both of these outstanding men have achieved Hall of Fame status.    
 
Last season, Catholic Central dominated Waterford Mott, 42-6, in the opening round of the playoffs and went on to defeat neighboring Novi, 49-35, in a District Title Game.
 
The Shamrocks' running game showed the way in both of those victories as now junior running back Cameron Ryan rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns versus Waterford Mott, and current senior running back Nicholas Capatina solved Novi's defense for 217 yards and three TDs on the ground.
 
A strong indication of how much Catholic Central relied on the running game last year were the final numbers from both the Waterford Mott and Novi games.
 
The Shamrocks rushed for six touchdowns and 381 yards versus Waterford Mott, with 51 of Catholic Central's 54 offensive plays coming via the ground game.
 
Coach Mach's Shamrocks had seven rushing touchdowns versus Novi.
 
In the Shamrocks' State Quarterfinal matchup with Romeo, it was a different story.
 
Romeo, in advancing to the Michigan state football semifinals for the first time, controlled the time of possession and kept Catholic Central's defense on its heels in route to a 40-29 victory.
 
The Shamrocks finished 9-3 in 2015, including a 35-7 regular-season triumph over Brother Rice.
 
Catholic Central opens its 2016 season at a very special venue, the inaugural "Battle at the Big House."
 
One of 14 schools from across Michigan who will be given the privilege to open their season at the home of the Michigan Wolverines, the "Battle at the Big House" will be a three-day event, Aug. 25-27.
 
The Shamrocks' opener on the field of the "Big Blue" will match them against Adlai E. Stevenson High School from Sterling Heights, Michigan on Saturday, Aug. 27th at 1 PM.
 
We will have more on Catholic Central during Week 4 of the regular season, when the corner previews the 'Cats-Shamrocks matchup in its traditional in-depth report with Coach Kyle.
 
Coach Kyle's Wildcats, who will resume their preseason camp on July 21st at Wasmer Field (Junior Varsity at 3 PM and Varsity at 5 PM), open their 2016 season on Friday night, August 26th versus the Normandy Invaders in a 7 PM kickoff on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium.
 
In Week 2 it will be a HUGE computer playoff points matchup with the Mentor Cardinals on Saturday, September 3rd at 7 PM on Byers Field and, before gearing up for their trip to Detroit Catholic Central, the Wildcats will face the Valley Forge Patriots on Sept. 10th in a 7 PM kickoff at Byers Field.
 
For a complete look at Saint Ignatius' Varsity Football schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on football.
 
In closing, here is a breakdown on Detroit Catholic Central's success on the gridiron.
 
State Champions: 1938, 1979, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009
 
Regional Champions: 1979, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
 
District Champions: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
 
City Champions: 1938, 1942, 1943, 1945
 
Catholic League Champions: 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1974, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2011.
 
See you at Wasmer Field on July 21st.
An important message from Saint Ignatius Assistant Cross Country Coach Ken Sullivan
7/13/2016

Runners and parents,


From Coach Sullivan: Doc (Wildcats Head Cross Country Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher) wanted me to make another plug for the team page on running2win.com.
 
We currently have 42 athletes with profiles on the team page, which is a good start, but that leaves 30 or so who have not signed up yet. Logging your mileage is critical to your success as an athlete - it makes you accountable to yourself, your teammates, and the coaching staff, and allows you to learn more about yourself as an athlete.
 
If you have not yet done so, go to running2win.com and create an account. Then send me an email, and I'll send you an invite to the team page. If you have an account - make sure you are logging every day!  Consistency is key, and the more detailed and individualized your log is, the better - Colin Kelly and Pat Nolan are excellent upper class role models in this way.
 
Just a reminder that former 'Cats Rugby standout Brock Yoho and the USA Rugby South U19 Panthers will resume play in the RAN U19 championships on Wednesday evening
7/12/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Head Coach Mark Williams' USA Rugby South U19 Panthers, coming off Saturday's impressive 41-0 Pool B victory over Bermuda at Vizcaya Park in Miramar, Florida just across the canal from Miami (see the corner's post from Saturday), will take on Trinidad and Tobago Wednesday at 6 PM in the second round of the Rugby Americas North U19 Championships.
 
Brock Yoho '16 and his teammates will look to continue the dominance they displayed over the weekend, when the USA Rugby South Panthers controlled the field position, tackled like there was no tomorrow and jumped on every Bermuda mistake.
 
As we've reported on the corner in other reports, Brock will be furthering his education and athletic career at the University of Kentucky.
 
All of the Best to Brock, his teammates and Coach Williams tomorrow evening.    
 
Wildcats promising incoming freshman Lou Persiani will be joining a strong Ohio contingent at the National Brine Lacrosse Classic
7/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with the information courtesy of Anne Persiani.

Cleveland, Ohio - Lou has been named as a 2016 Brine National All-Star and will be playing at the National Brine Lacrosse Classic on a team comprised of boys from across the State of Ohio, July 19-22 in Richmond, Virginia.

"Lou was selected to represent a regional team and then advanced to Columbus, where he competed for a spot on the Ohio team," said Lou's mom, Anne Persiani. "He went to the tryouts thinking he would 'give it a shot,' never imagining he would end up making the team and advancing."

The Ohio team consists of boys from the Class of 2020 throughout the state, including another Wildcats incoming Freshman, Alex Brunkholz.

Attracting more than 2,000 high school and youth lacrosse players, the National Brine Lacrosse Classic includes speakers, drills, skills and game competition.

"Lou began playing lacrosse in the fourth grade and has always played Defense, although he occasionally plays Long Stick Middie (LSM)," said Anne Persiani. "He began playing for Westside Lacrosse and then switched to Avon Lake, when it began its own recreational program. This year his team was coached by Dan Hallagan."

Joining Lou on his Spring Avon Lake lacrosse team were incoming Saint Ignatius players Griff Gerard, Alex Bilardo, Cam Kurtz, Greg Langermeirer, Aidan Latchford, Gabe Duban, Andrew Kaye, Christopher Laska, Connor Francz, and KJ Ripich.

Lou competed for the Knights Travel Lacrosse program for the last several years, where he has been coached by Mike Worrall, Matt Advey, and recently Mike Cillo and Jimmy Wilhelm. Saint Ignatius Freshmen on the Knights Travel team included Aidan Latchford, Aidan Millet, Gabe Duban, Connor Francz, and Casey Dreiling.

In what will be a competitive summer for Lou, he will, said his mom, also be playing in a tournament for Burning River, and will compete on a team that will be at The Ohio State University for the Buckeye Battle Team Camp, which includes Saint Ignatius freshmen Michael Boehm, Blade Cintron, Connor Cmiel, Sam Daugstrup, Jack Welsch, Alex Bilardo, Charlie Kinzel, Greg Langermeirer, KJ Ripich, and Alex Bearducci.

Lou, who enjoys the fast-paced style of play, lists North Carolina and Syracuse as his favorite college teams.  

 NOTE: The Brine National Lacrosse Academy brings the top youth lacrosse players in the nation to one venue, where regional teams, coached by NCAA lacrosse coaches, compete to become the 2016 National Champion.

Lou Persiani and his Class of 2020 teammates are entering the Wildcats' Lacrosse Program at a very special time.

Head Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats advanced to the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association State Championship Game for the first time this past spring and in the upcoming spring season of 2017, Lacrosse will become a sanctioned sport by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

 

 

Wildcats Soccer finishes second in USA Today's "Best" 2015-16 Team Contest
7/11/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed Soccer Cats received 25,517 votes in the online USA TODAY "America's Best" contest series, with the voting ending today at 2 PM.

Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Alabama) Boys Soccer, a spring program, took first place with 31,712 votes and perennial wrestling power Blair Academy from New Jersey was third with 24,035.

Saint Ignatius High School and the Soccer Cats thank all of their faithful fans and the Wildcats' Student Body for participating in the contest, and again displaying their undying support.

In case you missed the corner's post from late June in which we described the contest and its rules, 21 teams were selected to participate. The 21 teams consisted of the 16 teams that finished the year No. 1 in the USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 Rankings in their respective sport, along with five teams that are considered the top team in their respective sport as determined by other national ranking systems.

The voting started on June 29 at Noon ET. 

Here are the prizes the top three schools received: First Place: The Athletic Department of the high school receives $1,000, Second Place: The Athletic Department of the high school receives $500 and Third Place: The Athletic Department of the high school receives $250.

More than 4,000 schools have been involved in at least one of the America's Best contests, with past champions hailing from Virginia, Missouri, Vermont, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Note: In case you are an incoming student and family to Saint Ignatius High School and are not completely familiar with the remarkable accomplishments of the Soccer Cats, this corner is more than happy to touch on them for you once again.
The Soccer Cats were co-National Champions by USA TODAY in the fall of 2015 and were also ranked No. 1 in the nation through the MaxPreps' computer ratings.
Coach McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their 2015 fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home in 2014, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.
The Soccer Cats join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions..
Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came in 2005 and 2010.
After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter this season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to the 2014 state title run. USA TODAY pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs in 2015, Saint Ignatius and St. Benedict's Prep out of Newark, New Jersey.
A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE!
Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents in 2015, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.
Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.
And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that 2015 marked the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.
The 2016 Soccer Cats, led by Ohio's reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Steve Milhoan from the Class of 2017, will open their new season on Friday night, August 19th in a 7:30 matchup with rival St. Edward on the pitch in the Eagles' Brother James Everett, C.S.C., Stadium.
     
Here is Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's weekly notice to the Cats' Harriers and their parents
7/10/2016
From Coach Gallagher '71 and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Runners and parents,

Open trail schedule for this week:
 
Beaumont: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 9am. Meet at the track. Contact Pat Krebs
 
Mastick: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 9am. Contact Andrew Szendrey
 
Bonnie Park: Thursday at 9:30am. Contact Nathan Schwartz
 
Girdled Road Reservation (South Entrance): Monday Tuesday, at 830am. Contact Nathan Soria
 
Brecksville Station Road Towpath: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 5:30pm. Contact Colin Caniglia 
 
Wednesday: Full team practice at SIHS 5:30-7:00 pm
 
PLEASE NOTE THESE FINAL COMMENTS FROM COACH GALLAGHER
 
There are a number of runners who have yet to complete the time trial. I would like to see everyone who does not have a time to run this Wednesday. 
 
If you have decided not to run cross country, please let me know.
 
Please check final forms to make sure your physical/OHSAA forms have been signed. 
See you Wednesday,
 
Doc
Be State Champions!
The USA Rugby South U19 Panthers, whose roster includes former Saint Ignatius Rugby standout Brock Yoho, defeated Bermuda, 41-0, in Saturday's first day of the 2016 RAN Championships
7/9/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Head Coach Mark Williams' USA Rugby South U19 Panthers, captained by returning Panther and flyhalf Josh Ingles from Kennesaw State (GA.), rode the scoring of Andrew Rappe and Malcolm Easley, and some text-book tackling, to a 41-0 victory over Bermuda in what was a Pool B matchup in the opening round of the Rugby Americas North U19 championships.
 
The Wildcats' Brock Yoho '16, who will be furthering his education and athletic career at the University of Kentucky, was a Front Row Reserve for Saturday's game/match, which was played in Vizcaya Park in Miramar, Florida just across the canal from Miami.
 
Rappe and Easley, who are from "The Volunteer State" of Tennessee, each had two tries on the afternoon/early evening.
 
Taking advantage of every mistake Bermuda made and dominating field position, the USA South Panthers took a 15-0 lead into the halftime break.
 
The South Panthers made it 20-0 ten minutes into the second half and things didn't get any easier for Bermuda, which was hit with a Red Card ejection for eye gouging and played the remainder of the game/match a man down.
 
It was Katy Bar the Door for Bermuda after Rappe picked off a pass and rambled 40 meters for a try 15 minutes into the second half.
 
Rappe would knock on the try door again with just over two minutes remaining to be played.
 
Up next for the USA Rugby South Panthers is Wednesday's 6 PM matchup with Trinidad and Tobago.   
 
  
Congratulations from the corner to Mr. Brad Ganor, who has been named as the new Assistant/Associate Athletic Director at Saint Ignatius
7/8/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Brad, the Director of Saint Ignatius' Robert M. Walton '41 Center for Learning and the Wildcats' highly successful Head Baseball Coach, succeeds Mr. Sean O'Toole '87, who recently accepted the Director of Athletics position at Gilmour Academy. Sean also served as the Wildcats' Head Basketball Coach from the 2008-09 season through the 2014-15 season. Coach O'Toole was the Wildcats' Associate Athletic Director from 2008 through this past school year.

Coach Ganor, who took over the Head Baseball Coaching position at Saint Ignatius in 2005 after serving as an Assistant/Pitching Coach in the program, has developed the Cats' Men of the Spring into a perennial Division I state contender.

Under Coach Ganor, the Baseball Cats have made six trips to the OHSAA final four, including a school-record three consecutive appearances in 2007, '08 and '09. Coach Ganor's 2008 and 2013 Wildcats finished as state runners-up. Brad has also developed numerous Saint Ignatius players who have gone on to play at the college level and some who have reached Major League status, including current Miami Marlins mainstay Derek Dietrich '07.

Congratulations and all of the best from this corner to Brad and his family in his new position, and all of the best to Sean O'Toole and his family in his new endeavor at Gilmour Academy.         

The final night of Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kyle's Youth Football Camp is highlighted by the "Traditional Linebackers Obstacle Course"
7/7/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Ohio City - In what has been a tradition at the Wildcats' Youth Camp for many years, dating back to the days when Tony Antonelli was guiding some of the greatest defenses in Saint Ignatius' rich football history, the Linebackers Obstacle Course was definitely a special and extremely popular way to close out another marvelous three evenings for the campers, who are entering grades 5 through 8.

No matter what their age, the challenge of Thursday evening's Linebackers Obstacle Course, which included a test of tackling, footwork, balance, endurance and speed, quickly became a favorite among the young campers. It was a challenge they seemed to relish despite the 85 degree temperatures that lingered on a sun-drenched Wasmer Field.   

Under the direction of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger '02, Thursday evening's LBs Obstacle Course was highlighted by some exceptional times, including a 24.5 seconds effort by A.J. Spellacy, the brother of Wildcats All-Ohio Center, Captain and East Carolina recruit John Spellacy '17. A.J. will be entering the fifth grade at St. Raphael.

Andrew Chime, the brother of Saint Ignatius' standout defensive lineman Mike Chime '17, turned in a 24.7. Andrew is an aspiring quarterback from St. Albert The Great who will be entering the eighth grade.

As for Thursday's offensive line drills, which took place near the Lorain Avenue end zone under the guidance of Wildcats superb OL Coaches Adam Rini '99 and Paul Yappel, the campers were treated to a drill by John Spellacy that displayed the stance, technique and skills that are part of what makes John arguably the best at his position in the Buckeye State. Keeping your head up was the operative message in John's blocking drill.

Among those who seemed to enjoy John's drill, as well as the coaching he received from Coaches Rini and Yappel, was Marek Shannon, who will be entering the seventh grade at Our Lady of Angels. Marek said he plays on both the offensive and defensive lines at OLA.

A tip of the corner's cap goes out to Brian McGrath from St. Hillary in Fairlawn, who won his group's power ball toss that was part of the camp's strength and conditioning drills put forth by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Rubino. Brian is entering the fifth grade.

As the sun was setting on another marvelous camp by Saint Ignatius' storied Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69, the most successful Division I Football Coach in all of Northeast Ohio, Wildcats Defensive Coaches Dave Cicetti and Mark Sullivan, along with Mike Chime, allowed their final group to take part in a bit of spirited touch football near the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field.

That is one of the other special aspects of Coach Kyle's football camps, that all of the campers get to participate and learn in all facets of the game.

In closing, this corner would like to mention another camper, Joe Governal from Columbia Middle School.

From the first minute of camp on Wednesday until the final goodbyes Thursday night, Joe, without any urging, would always make sure that he thanked Coach Kyle and his staff for the coaching he received and the new experiences and friends he was able to encounter. Joe was particularly impressed with the outstanding messages that Coach Kyle delivered at the end of each camp, including Thursday night's closing message in which Coach Kyle referred to the Cavaliers' history-making NBA Championship Season and the work ethic that led up to it, particularly that of the great LeBron James.

On a personal note, this old-timer would like to again say Thank You to Coach Kyle and his staff for allowing me to take part in the Youth Camp. I not only derived strength from it, but it brought back some fond, fond memories of those days in the early '70s when this now graybeard was privileged to coach some very special grade-school football teams at Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Those Cougars will always have a special place in my heart and mind.             

 

 

    

        

           

Note Saturday's time change on the USA Rugby South Panthers, whose roster includes former Saint Ignatius Rugby mainstay Brock Yoho '16
7/7/2016

As we posted on the corner last week and on the Fourth of July, Brock, who will be furthering his education and athletic career at The University of Kentucky, will be competing for the USA Rugby South Panthers this coming weekend in the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Under 19 Championships during SUPERWEEK in Miami, Florida.

On the original schedule released by the highly respected Goff Rugby Report, Coach Mark Williams' USA South Panthers were scheduled to face Bermuda in Pool B play on Saturday at 4 PM. The Yoho family e-mailed Saint Ignatius today with a time update of now 6 PM for Saturday.     

Of the 24 players who make up this year's USA Rugby South Panthers, only six are currently in college.

While the Rugby South team certainly doesn't ignore players from the North, they are considered to be a rarity. That's even more props to Brock, who made the Rugby South roster after he put forth the effort to send in his own films.

Brock, a prop/hooker, was not able to attend the tryouts in Atlanta, but made that same special effort that was part of his trademark for Wildcats Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00. 

- Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

Enthusiasm remains the operative word in describing Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kyle's Youth Football Camp
7/6/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Ohio City - With nearly their entire lives ahead them and carrying a carefree innocence that at times is both humorous and refreshing, the large contingent of boys attending Coach Chuck Kyle's Youth Football Camp came back for Wednesday evening's second session with even wider smiles than they brought to Wasmer Field on Tuesday.

The campers, entering grades 5 through 8, weren't about to let a few gray clouds and some light, but short drizzles of rain dampen their enthusiasm.

"Yeah, last night (Tuesday) was a lot of fun," said one young camper from Hudson, who couldn't wait to get back to the defensive line drills taught by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Defensive Assistant Coach Dave Cicetti and Wildcats standout defensive lineman Mike Chime '17.

With Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's defending State Champion Cross Country Team using the running track that surrounds Wasmer Field for its Wednesday evening practice, the campers were treated to a double-dose presence of Saint Ignatius' athletic excellence.

As for the defensive line drills, Wednesday evening's emphasis was on getting off the ball and hand and eye coordination.

The defensive line drill that appeared to be the most popular among the campers, a competition if you will, saw Coach Cicetti and Mike Chime drop or bounce two rubber balls to the Wasmer Field turf and see which of the two down linemen could get out of his stance the quickest and scoop up or recover one of the balls.

As for Wildcats savvy linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger '02, Wednesday evening's emphasis was on keeping containment and maintaining leverage in pursuit. Coach Franzinger and this corner couldn't help but smile, and even share a laugh or two, over the chatter and endless energy that some of the smallest campers displayed.

For one camper, who couldn't be over 4-foot and wearing a "There's No Crying in Baseball" T-shirt, the night could have gone on forever. At one point, he looked up at this 5-10 old-timer in the middle of a drill and asked, "Did you ever see (the Tom Hanks movie) 'A League of Their Own?'"

As the evening was coming to a close, a group of campers surrounded Saint Ignatius veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo, the man who has produced 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, and were tutored in the proper technique of holding and gripping the ball and the ever-important stance by the quarterback, in which the off or non-throwing arm should be up, not down, in an L-like formation with the throwing arm.

AN IMPRESSIVE OBSERVER: Taking in Wednesday evening's camp was incoming Saint Ignatius Freshman Najee Lockett, a very promising student athlete who is looking to excel in the classroom, on the wrestling mat and the gridiron for Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

Najee, who is from Shaker Heights Middle School, quickly mentioned the first thing that attracted him to Saint Ignatius - a perspective from Mr. Jason Reed '95 of the Admissions Department. Jason's work as Director of Multicultural and Retention Services at St. Ignatius High School and the students he mentors speak volumes for the motto of "Men for Others."

"Mr. Reed told me a lot about the history of Saint Ignatius and I thought Saint Ignatius would be really suitable for me if I could adopt to the atmosphere," said Najee. "The campus, I really admire it. I think I will be able to progress and excel a lot at Saint Ignatius."

With the start of Wildcats Freshmen Football just around the corner, Najee said fullback and middle linebacker are the positions he has played in the past. He added that the 145-pound wrestling class is where he might evolve to as a freshman for Wildcats outstanding Head Wrestling Coach and Assistant Football Coach Mark Sullivan.

COACH KYLE'S THIRD AND FINAL EVENING OF THE YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMP WILL TAKE PLACE TOMORROW (THURSDAY) EVENING AT 5 PM.   

 

 

   

Wildcats standout defensive lineman Mike Chime '17 cherishes his work at Coach Chuck Kyle's Youth Football Camp
7/5/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2016

Ohio City - It was a warm, but otherwise picture-perfect evening on sun-drenched Wasmer Field Tuesday night as Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his outstanding staff presented the first of the annual three-day Wildcats Youth Football Camp.

And no one enjoyed the opportunity to work with the aspiring young athletes more than Saint Ignatius' strong and gifted defensive lineman Mike Chime, who has begun his senior season under Coach Kyle.

After a large group of wide-eyed and spirited youths entering grades 5 through 8 participated in offensive and defensive drills on the opening night of the camp, Chime, an integral part of what is expected to be a physical and active defense for the 2016 Varsity Football 'Cats, reflected on what it meant to him to be able to work with a group of kids that covered a significant portion of Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

From Fairview Park and Rocky River to Parma, North Royalton, Westlake, Medina, Mentor and Hudson, just to name a few cities, they came, they saw, they smiled and they learned.

"It was really cool, especially to be able to coach my brother," said Chime of his brother Andrew, who will be entering the eighth grade at St. Albert The Great as an aspiring quarterback. "It was fun to be able to tease him and stuff. The cool thing was the younger kids, they kind of look up to you. It's something you don't get to experience that often. It was great to be able to teach them the game we all love."

The kids were loving it, whether it was hauling in passes from Saint Ignatius' 2015 All-Ohio and All-District wide receiver/defensive back Jack Cook '16, who is bound for Harvard University, learning how to grip and throw the football from Wildcats celebrated offensive coordinator Nick Restifo, getting in various stances and charging off the snap count from 'Cats tireless offensive and defensive line coaches Adam Rini '99, Paul Yappel, Mark Sullivan and Dave Cicetti, or learning drops and footwork from Saint Ignatius' outstanding linebackers coach Ryan Franzinger '02, the enthusiasm was endless. So much so that one young camper commented on there being a large number of water breaks.

Hey, health and hydration will always come first at Coach Kyle's camp. Along with the veteran Varsity position coaches, the parents could rest easy knowing that Coach Kyle's staff includes one of the premier Strength and Conditioning Coaches in the nation, Mr. Anthony Rubino, and one of the premier Athletic Trainers in these United States, the savvy veteran, Mr. Hank Gaughan, A.T. C.

Also assisting Coach Kyle were former Wildcats Ian Woidke and Bryan Fisher, current Saint Ignatius center and captain John Spellacy '17, who is an East Carolina recruit and, in this corner's humble opinion, the best at his position in Ohio, and Wildcats football and track mainstay Quinn Lawless '16, who will be furthering his football career at Mercyhurst University in Erie (Pa.).

Bryan Fisher, who left it all on the field and the hardwood while excelling in football (defensive back), basketball and lacrosse at Saint Ignatius, was the 2012-13 recipient of the Wildcats' prestigious John J. Wirtz Award.

"It's a game I've grown to love," said Chime, as he and his brother Andrew were walking off Wasmer Field into a Cleveland sunset. "Giving something back to the game is truly a cool experience."

NOTE: Ian Woidke shared with us Tuesday night that his brother Kevin '15 is currently starting on the special teams' lines (extra points and field goals) for Coach Urban Meyer's The Ohio State University Buckeyes and moving up the depth chart. Ian said that Kevin checks in now at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds.

The Coach Kyle Youth Football Camp will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 PM.  

                  

         

The OHSAA releases the complete list of its District Athletic Boards Scholarship Award Recipients, among whom are recent Saint Ignatius graduates James Norris and Tom Sullivan
7/5/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
As we reported in a story on the corner June 24, James Norris and Tom Sullivan from the Class of 2016, who will be furthering their educations and athletic careers at Cornell University and Duke University, respectively, each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio High School Athletic Association during the 24th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn in Fairlawn, Ohio.

 

Two other area student-athletes, Edward Conger of Euclid and Vanessa Pasadena from Brunswick, received $1,000 scholarships and 17 student-athletes were honored with $750 district scholarships.

Norris and Sullivan were mainstays for Coach Chuck Kyle's 2016 Track and Field Wildcats, who brought home the Division I State Championship during last month's 109th OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Sullivan, who also was a standout on Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's 2015 OHSAA State Champion Cross Country Team, was a key part of the Wildcats' area, state and nationally recognized 4x800 relay team that took first place at state with a new school record time of 7:39.23. Along with Tom, that fabulous all-senior foursome included Luke Wagner, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan.

The 1-2 punch of Wagner and Sullivan finished third and fifth, respectively, in the state during the 1600 meter run. Wagner ran a 4:12.70 and Sullivan turned in an effort of 4:13.11.

Norris, who was also a tailback/kick returner for Coach Kyle's storied football program, delivered six points at state with a third-place time of 11.00 in the 100 meter dash and James anchored the state's first place 4x100 relay team that stormed its way to 10 points with a school-best time of 41.48.

Joining Norris on the gifted 4x100 team were Jack Cook '16, Phil Zuccaro '18 and Quinn Lawless '16. James graduated as the Wildcats' all-time record holder in the 100 meter dash (10.61) and the 200 meter dash (21.50), marks he set while qualifying for the finals at the demanding Amherst Steele Regional Meet.

 

Here is the OHSAA's Release from Today

From Tim Stried, Director of Communications, tstried@ohsaa.org

OHSAA Awards $36,000 in College Scholarships

District Athletic Boards selected recipients for OHSAA Scholarships
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association will hand out $36,000 in college scholarships to recent high school graduates following selections made by each of the OHSAA’s six District Athletic Boards. The OHSAA’s annual college scholarship program is now in its 24th year.
 
Each of the 36 honorees will receive $1,000 awards, including six (one from each district) who will receive an OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholarship. The point system used in each district is described below. Nike and Molten have also contributed to the OHSAA scholarship program.
 
“These 36 young people are to be commended for being excellent students, while also achieving numerous honors in athletics,” said OHSAA Interim Commissioner Dave Gray. “They are leaders in their schools and communities and truly represent what it means to be a student-athlete. Their futures are very bright and their families, teachers and coaches are to be proud for the roles they have had in helping guide them to great high school careers and now on to college. The OHSAA is very proud to be associated with each of them.”
 
More About the Scholar-Athlete Selection Process
Scholar-athlete recipients are selected based on a point system which rewards students for grade point averages; class rank; ACT or SAT scores; varsity letters earned; and individual and team athletic honors. The number of scholarship recipients from each district are based upon the number of schools within the district. The recipients were selected by special committees within each of the OHSAA’s six athletic districts. Individuals who receive athletic scholarships from NCAA Division I or II institutions or appointees to military academies are not eligible for an award.
 
2016 OHSAA Scholar-Athlete Scholarship Recipients
 
Northwest District (7)
Riley Nagel, Defiance Tinora – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Alicia Hernandez, Archbold – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
Cameron Conaway, Greenwich South Central – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Kyle Homan, Maria Stein Marion Local – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Jackson Hemmelgarn, Coldwater – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Alec Rhodes, Findlay Liberty-Benton – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Emily Mescher, Maria Stein Marion Local – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete 
 
Southeast District (4)
Andrew Wolford, Lucasville Valley – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Wesley Stephens, Chesapeake – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Taylor Perry, Proctorville Fairland – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete 
Sue-Yeon Ryu, The Plains Athens – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
 
Central District (4)
Aaron Wood, Lancaster Fisher Catholic – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Isabella Pesavento, Columbus School for Girls – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Danielle Evans, Newark Catholic – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Tyndale Hannan, Dublin Coffman – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
 
East District (4)
Dallas Foster, Sugarcreek Garaway – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Olivia Warther, Dover – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Conner Roahrig, Coshocton – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Daniel Trouten, St. Clairsville – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
 
Southwest District (7)
Kristin Langston, Versailles – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Samantha Rowland, Tipp City Tippecanoe – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Sean O’Brien, Cincinnati Country Day– OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Benjamin Greenwell, Milford – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Brooke Lezotte, Waynesville– OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Gary Zhao, Mason – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Tigar Cyr, Cincinnati Seven Hills – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
 
Northeast District (10)
Edward Conger, Euclid – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
James Norris, Cleveland St. Ignatius – OHSAA Ethnic Minority Scholar-Athlete
Vanessa Pasadyn, Brunswick – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Thomas Sullivan, Cleveland St. Ignatius – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Daniel Branch, Richfield Revere – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
John Colangelo, Canton Central Catholic – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Jacob Ondash, Mantua Crestwood– OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Bradley Hauptman, Kirtland – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Rachel Reolfi, Canton Central Catholic – OHSAA Scholar-Athlete
Austin VanSickle, Loudonville – OHSAA Scholar- Athlete 
 
Just a reminder on former Wildcats Rugby standout Brock Yoho '16
7/4/2016

As we posted on the corner last week , Brock, who will be furthering his education and athletic career at The University of Kentucky, will be competing for the USA Rugby South Panthers this coming weekend in the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Under 19 Championships during SUPERWEEK in Miami, Florida.

Coach Mark Williams' USA South Panthers are scheduled to face Bermuda in Pool B play on Saturday at 4 PM.   

Of the 24 players who make up this year's USA Rugby South Panthers, only six are currently in college.

While the Rugby South team certainly doesn't ignore players from the North, they are considered to be a rarity. That's even more props to Brock, who made the Rugby South roster after he put forth the effort to send in his own films.

Brock, a prop/hooker, was not able to attend the tryouts in Atlanta, but made that same special effort that was part of his trademark for Wildcats Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00. 

- Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

Former Wildcat great Derek Dietrich '07 had the opportunity to perform under the Sunday night lights at Fort Bragg
7/3/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

It was great to see former Saint Ignatius baseball standout and current Miami Marlins starting second baseman Derek Dietrich competing in ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball presentation of the Fort Bragg (N.C.) Game on the newly constructed Fort Bragg Field. Fort Bragg is the home of thousands and thousands of our country's current members of the Military.

Sunday's game was the first regular-season game in a professional sport ever to be played on an active Military Base.

The special Fort Bragg Game, which came on the eve of America's 240th Birthday, matched Don Mattingly's Marlins, who have Wild Card aspirations this season, against the Atlanta Braves.

Derek, who entered the game hitting .302, walked and had an RBI sacrifice fly in four trips to the plate. He also drove a ball the opposite way to left field for a deep fly out. The Marlins turned back the Braves, 5-2.

Mattingly, known as "Donnie Baseball" during his memorable career as a first baseman for the New York Yankees and the former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is very pleased with Derek's play, especially his versatility.

Along with his solid play at second base, Derek can also handle third base, first base and left field. That versatility might come into play when Marlins second baseman and 2015 National League Batting Champion Dee Gordon comes off his suspension later this month.

Derek recently tied a Marlins' single-season mark by getting hit by a pitch for the 17th time this spring and summer. He joined Carlos Delgado, who was plunked 17 times in 2005.

God Bless and All of the Best to Derek, his family and his Marlin teammates as Derek continues a career that this corner had the privilege to cover for three of his four seasons at Saint Ignatius.

NOTE: Derek and the Marlins will take on the Indians at Progressive Field September 2nd through the 4th.  

 

The United States High School All-Americans Rugby Team completes a sweep of the Ontario Blues U19 Provincial Select Team, 38-5, on Saturday afternoon at Appleby College
7/2/2016

The United States High School All-Americans, the more physical team from the get-go on Saturday and throughout the match, jumped out to leads of 12-0, 17-0 and 23-5 by halftime before leaving no doubt in the second half.

Coming off its 27-14 victory over the Blues in Thursday's Ontario Tour opener, the United States left a lasting impression on the Ontario Rugby faithful, to say the least.

Coach Salty Thompson's gifted USA team includes Saint Ignatius' All-American Andrew Baldado from the Class of 2016 and the leader of the Cats' Rugby Ohio State Runners-Up this past spring, Jack Bradfield and Zach Heisterkamp of Rugby Ohio State Champion St. Edward, and the versatile Karem Odeh of Brunswick.

The USA players have been staying on the campus of Appleby College  (Oakville, Ont.), which was founded in 1911 and has some impressive rugby facilities. Baldado, Bradfield, Heisterkamp and Odeh, along with the rest of the USA Team, enjoyed part of their Friday by taking in some of the Canada Day Festivities.

What is so impressive about the United States' sweep of the Ontario Blues Selects on their homeland is that just one third of the current USA team has been on the High School All-American Team before. The Blues were considered to be the bigger team physically and had a slight advantage in age.

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with the USA team's commanding leads courtesy of the highly respected Goff Rugby Report.   

We again congratulate Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who on Saturday will be inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame. For a repost of the corner's story from March 1st on Coach Kyle's prestigious and so well-deserved honor, see the June 28 posts
7/1/2016
Just a reminder that the corner will be taking in Coach Chuck Kyle's Youth Football Camp on July 5-7 and will be resuming its coverage of the Varsity and Junior Varsity Football camps when the Cats return to Wasmer Field on July 21
7/1/2016
A tip of the cap to the resilent Indians, who set a franchise record with their 14th consecutive victory Friday afternoon/evening, a 2-1, 19-inning triumph at Toronto on Canada Day
7/1/2016

Manager Terry Francona watched his club take the 2-1 lead on a home run by Carlos Santana in the top of the 19th inning and Trevor Bauer (7-2) picked up the victory with five shutout innings in relief. Trevor was scheduled to make his regular start in Saturday's 1:07 PM first pitch against the Blue Jays, but you can probably rule that out after his will-testing effort in relief.

Bauer, however, said he would be more than willing if asked to take the mound on Saturday. This corner doesn't see Terry Francona doing that.

Along with the heroics by Santana and Bauer, the Indians got another strong start from Josh Tomlin. The bullpen was nails, to say the least, and Lonnie Chisenhall (5-for-8) and Jason Kipnis continued to swing their bats well. Kipnis drove in the first run of the game.

Friday's game was a six hour-plus affair. In 1993 (Aug. 31) the Indians played a 22-inning game at Minnesota.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer  

     

  

The USA Boys High School All-Americans, whose roster includes Saint Ignatius graduate and Wildcats Rugby standout Andrew Baldado '16, defeated the Ontario, Canada Blues U19 Select Side, 27-14, on Thursday at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario
6/30/2016

The United States All-Americans, whose gifted roster also includes Jack Bradfield and Zach Heisterkamp from state champion St. Edward, and Karem Odeh from Brunswick, turned to their strong scrum in the first half and kept the Blues in check for most of the initial period.

Ontario made adjustments at halftime, but the USA team extended its lead in the late going to 27-7 off an interception for a try and the ensuing conversion.

Odeh, a tighthead prop, played the entire match

The second leg of competition for the USA High School All-Americans is slated for Saturday.

From Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00: "Andrew played the second half at inside center on Thursday. I expect he'll start on Saturday."

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer with game info courtesy of the highly respected Goff Rugby Report.

Congrats to the Indians, who became just the third team (joining the 1942 and 1951 teams) in the franchise's history to win 13 consecutive games, a 4-1 victory at Toronto. The series resumes Friday at 1:07 PM. Carlos Carrasco fans 14 on Thursday night
6/30/2016
Here are some more updates on Wildcats Rugby A-Side standouts Brock Yoho '16 and Andrew Baldado '16
6/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius Head Rugby Coach Dan Arbeznik '00 has been great in providing updates on his team's summer activities and the corner has been posting them as we see them.

On Saturday we gave you the information on Andrew Baldado's All-American status and yesterday (Tuesday) we provided updates on the resilient Brock Yoho.

Coach Arbeznik reported on Tuesday that Brock has been selected by USA Rugby (the organization that runs our Olympic team and international teams) to compete in an international tournament in the middle of July.

The Yoho family was kind enough today to tell us that Brock, after not being able to attend last weekend's tryouts in Atlanta, sent his films in and was chosen as one of 22 players to represent the United States. The team will play Mexico, Trinidad and South Africa, among others, over a 10-day period.

Coach Arbeznik informed us today that it appears Brock's team will be playing in the pool with Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago. See http://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/south-u19s-named-ran-championship

As for Andrew, his team's first match is tomorrow (Thursday) and they'll play the second leg of their competition on Saturday for the High School All-Americans. Andrew's All-American team competes in Canada.

Gold Bless and All of the Best to two young men who helped put Saint Ignatius Rugby on the state and national map in a relatively short period of time.  

 
 
Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats are in the voting for USA Today's "Best" 2015-16 Team
6/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From USA Today

About the “Best 2015-16 Team” Contest:

Which was the best team in the nation for this school year? USA TODAY High School Sports is giving fans the opportunity to decide. The next installment of the “America’s Best” contest series will be the Best 2015-16 Team.

Twenty-one (21) teams have been selected to participate. The 21 teams consist of the sixteen (16) teams that finished the year No. 1 in the USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 Rankings in their respective sport along with five (5) teams that are considered the top team in their respective sport as determined by other national ranking systems.

There will be one round of voting, which will start on June 29, 2016 at Noon ET and end July 11, 2016 at 2 p.m. ET. 

Prizes:

                           First Place: The Athletic Department of the high school will receive $1,000.

                             Second Place: The Athletic Department of the high school will receive $500.

                        Third Place: The Athletic Department of the high school will receive $250.

About the “Best Of” Contest Series:

More than 4,000 schools have been involved in at least one of the America's Best contests, with past champions hailing from Virginia, Missouri, Vermont, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Here is what the SIHS Athletics Tweets have listed as the voting site: Click here to vote for @IgnatiusSoccer1 as the top team in America in 2015-16! http://contest.usatodayhss.com  https://twitter.com/USATODAYhss/status/748211890413670401 

From Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Soccer Cats, who were co-National Champions by USA Today in the fall of  2015, were also ranked No. 1 in the nation through the MaxPreps' computer ratings.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their 2015 fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home in 2014, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.
The Soccer Cats join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions..
Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came in 2005 and 2010.
After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter this season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to the 2014 state title run. USA Today pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs in 2015, Saint Ignatius and St. Benedict's Prep out of Newark, New Jersey.
A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE!
Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents in 2015, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.
Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.
And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that 2015 marked the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.
For this old-timer  it has been a privilege and a pleasure to have covered and reported on Coach McLaughlin's Men for Others, Men of exceptional skill, class and character. And God be willing, I am looking forward to having that privilege again this summer and fall.

 

The official results from the New Balance national event, courtesy of Wildcats Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Ken Sullivan
6/29/2016

From Mr. Ken Sullivan and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Ken and the rest of the coaches kept us up to date for our Father's Day posts on the New Balance event and here are the official released results.

From the new 4 x Mile and Distance Medley school records.

We ended up placing 4th in the 4 x Mile (3rd in the fast heat, a team from Indiana nipped us out of the slow heat) and 8th in the DMR (we won the Emerging Elite section handily, but needed to get back in time for the Cavs' game!).

The 4 x Mile broke Hilliard Davidson's 2003 time from the same meet of 17:30 as the fastest time ever run by an Ohio high school team (although it won't count for interscholastic purposes because it was after the state meet).

4 x Mile: 17:26.73 (17:20.33 when converted to 4 x 1600).

DMR: 10:13.06 (when the guys ran it, it was the 10th fastest time in the country this year).

A tough day for the Miami Marlins as former Wildcats great Derek Dietrich and his teammates go down to a 10-3 loss to the Detoit Tigers in the Motor City
6/29/2016

Derek, playing second base, was 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, two strikeouts and three left on base. He is currently hitting .306.

The Marlins and the Tigers combined for 29 hits (15 by Detroit), but the Marlins couldn't get that clutch hit they needed to stay in the game.  And a home run by Miguel Cabrera that traveled 459 feet didn't help matters either.   

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer.

The corner tips its cap to Manager Terry Francona and his Cleveland Indians on their 12th consecutive victory, a 3-0 triumph in Atlanta on Wednesday night
6/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Indians, who have now equaled the second-longest winning streak in the team's history, 12 consecutive wins from July 8th to July 21st in 1922, will try to equal the club's all-time winning streak tomorrow (Thursday) night in Toronto when they start a four-game series with the Blue Jays. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM.

Twice in their history the Indians have won a team record 13 consecutive games, April 18th to May 2nd in 1942 and August 1st to August 15th in 1951.

As for last night's 3-0 victory, which wrapped up the Tribe's fourth consecutive series sweep, Danny Salazar was lights out in improving to 10-3. Danny threw seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and yielding five hits. He did not issue a walk and 78 of his 98 pitches were strikes.

The Indians' starting pitching has posted a combined earned run average of 1.91 over the 12-game winning streak.

Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall delivered big hits, as Lonnie, who has 10 RBI in his last eight games, went touch 'em all time. And what a story Jose Ramirez has been.

Toronto improved to 43-37 on Wednesday afternoon, but is still looking up at the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, 5.5 games behind the Orioles. The Indians are now 17 games over .500.      

  

A little Indians info for our faithful reader Elanor
6/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - With "Indians Fever, be a believer" echoing throughout C-Town once again, Elanor, a 1968 graduate of legendary West Tech High School, e-mailed the corner with a couple of questions on the Tribe.

A faithful reader of the corner who "adopted" the Saint Ignatius Wildcats as her high school sports team after West Tech, a great school, closed its doors and is now an apartment complex (The West Tech Lofts) that sits off I-90, asked who the manager of the 1922 Indians was.

Elanor, the 1922 Indians, who won 12 consecutive games from July 8th through July 21st that season, a mark the current red-hot Indians will look to equal tonight in Atlanta, were under the direction of player-manager Tris Speaker. Despite that winning streak, the 1922 Indians finished in fourth place in the American League that season with a record of 78-76, 16 games behind the league-leading Yankees. Of course Speaker helped guide the Indians to the 1920 World Series Championship, 5 games to 2 in what was a scheduled nine-game series with the then Brooklyn Robins.

As we reported on the corner earlier this week, the Indians' longest winning streak is 13 games and that occurred twice - August 1st to August 15th in 1951 and April 18th to May 2nd in 1942.

Gifted young right-hander Danny Salazar (9-3, 2.23) will face Atlanta Braves rookie Joel De La Cruz tonight (Wednesday) at 7:10 as the "Fighting Franconas" go for 12 in a row. The 1-2 punch of Rick Manning and Matt Underwood will have it for you live over SportsTime Ohio. If you can't catch the game on television, the broadcaster I rate second only to the Dodgers' legend Vince Scully, Mr. Tom Hamilton, the "Voice of the Indians," will keep you entertained from pitch to pitch over the Indians' Radio Networks.

In responding to two other questions from Elanor, yes I agree that the next series in Toronto will be a tough one and no, it is not a typo in the Indians' schedule. After Thursday's 7:07 PM series opener in Toronto, the next three games with the Blue Jays are slated for 1:07 PM. Friday's 1:07 first pitch is on Canada Day.

The Toronto Blue Jays stood a third-place 42-37 through Tuesday's action, 5.5 games behind the A.L East leading 46-30 Baltimore Orioles.

Hope this helps Elanor. This old-timer has nothing but fond memories of the West Tech Warriors, the Wildcats' old West Senate rival. I grew up just a few blocks from storied West Tech Field and spent many childhood weekends watching football games there on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, and taking in the legendary West Tech Relays track meet. I still made my way back to West Tech after our home on West 103rd was demolished to make room for the construction of I-90 and had the opportunity to cover and report on high football and basketball games at West Tech before its closing. Even though the legendary field was vandalized, the Senate Athletic League played some Friday afternoon football games at West Tech as recently as the mid-1990s.

Have a wonderful rest of the baseball season, one that we hope is capped with a fall to recall.                      

       

Wildcats Rugby A-Side standout Brock Yoho '16 receives USA Rugby honor
6/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From Wildcats Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00: "I just wanted to forward along another special honor for one of our graduating seniors, Brock Yoho

"As you know, Andrew Baldado (posted on the corner last weekend) was selected to compete in Canada this week as a high school All-American. Similarly, Brock has been selected by USA Rugby (the organization that runs our Olympic team and international teams) to compete in an international tournament in the middle of July."

NOTE FROM THE CORNER: Brock's summer Celtic Elite Travel Team went undefeated and won both the Midwest Championship in Elkhart, Indiana and the Charlotte SouthEastern Tournament as well.

We again congratulate Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who on Saturday will be inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame. Here is a repost of the corner's story from March 1st on Coach Kyle's prestigious and so well-deserved honor.
6/28/2016
Saint Ignatius Head Football and Track and Field Coach Chuck Kyle '69 to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame                                                                                               
     
3/1/2016                                            

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with the release courtesy of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who has won an area-best 321 games, a record 11 Division I state championships, three national titles and a national and state runner-up in his 33 years as his alma mater's Head Football Coach, is one of four coaches, five athletes, two administrators and one contest official who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. The 34th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 97th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

Along with Coach Kyle, the other coaches who will be honored this year are Peg Kopec, who retired last year after winning 12 state championships in 42 years as girls volleyball coach at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois; Pete Boudreaux, who has won an amazing 43 state championships in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field at Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Catholic High School; and Jack Holloway, who led his wrestling teams at New Castle (Delaware) William Penn High School to seven state championships and 13 undefeated seasons during his 25-year career.

The most celebrated high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area and the most successful Division I coach in Northeast Ohio, Coach Kyle is a four-time Associated Press Division I Coach of the Year who set a state record by guiding his Saint Ignatius teams to 22 consecutive OHSAA playoff appearances (1988-2009). His Wildcats, who have made 26 OHSAA playoff appearances overall, have put together numerous winning streaks, including a high of 39 consecutive victories.  

In the summer of 1994, Coach Kyle led Ohio to a resounding victory over Pennsylvania in the Big 33 All-Star Football Game played in Hershey, Pa., and in the summer of 2009, in then legendary Canton Fawcett Stadium, he guided Team USA to the International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship. In bringing home the Gold Medal, Team USA, which included former Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio great Pat Hinkel '09, currently an Assistant Coach for the Wildcats, was dominant from start to finish.

Coach Kyle received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission in 2009, in 2010 he was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

A longtime member of  Saint Ignatius' English Department, Coach Kyle brings the same love and passion he has for football into the classroom every day.  

A former standout running back at Saint Ignatius under the late coaching legend, Mr. John J. Wirtz, Coach Kyle has also guided the Wildcats' track and field program for more than four decades. His Wildcats track and field teams have numerous District Championships throughout Northeast Ohio and in 2001 and 2016 they brought home the Division I State Championships. In 2005, Coach Kyle's track and field Cats were the big-school state runner-up.

Coach Kyle's accomplishments and dedication to the sport of track and field earned him an induction into the Ohio Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

The two administrators who are part of the 2016 NFHS Hall of Fame class are Tim Flannery, who served on the NFHS staff for 16 years and was responsible for starting the highly successful NFHS Coach Education Program. Tim had a 30-year career in Ohio, including 15 years as the Director of Athletics at North Olmsted High School, and Ennis Proctor, who retired in 2011 after 20 years as executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

The five athletes to be inducted by the NFHS are Steve Spurrier, a three-sport standout at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee, before his highly successful collegiate career as a player and coach; Marlin Briscoe, an outstanding football and basketball player at Omaha (Nebraska) South High School prior to becoming the first African-American starting quarterback in the National Football League; Joni Huntley, a three-sport athlete at Sheridan (Oregon) High School in the early 1970s who later competed in the high jump at two Olympics; Tom Southall, who overcame a physical disability to become one of the best athletes in Colorado history at Steamboat Springs High School (1979-81), and the late Ken Beardslee, one of the top pitchers in high school baseball history during his three years (1947-49) at Vermontville (Michigan) High School.

Rounding out the 2016 class is the late Eugene “Lefty” Wright, a cross country and track and field contest official in Minnesota for almost 50 years. 

The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and performing arts programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 447.

The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

                                            
                                                                                              
     
                                          
 
As we said heading into Father's Day, "How about those Indians?" The only one more excited than this former face behind the 2 mask over the Indians' current 10-game winning streak is the gifted and baseball savvy Matt MacKenzie of the SIBN.
6/27/2016

Cleveland, Ohio - In making it 10 in a row with an 8-3 victory Monday night at Atlanta, the Indians now own the current longest winning streak in the majors this season. They are 15 games over .500 heading into Tuesday's 7:10 PM first pitch with the Braves.

Cleveland's longest overall winning streak is 13 and that was done twice, August 1st to the 15th in 1951 and April 18th to May 2nd in 1942.

The Tribe's longest winning streak at home is 18 in 1994 (May 13th to June 19th).

As for Monday night, Trevor Bauer's stuff was, for the most part, filthy again, Francisco Lindor is just a joy to watch (even when he gets picked off), Lonnie Chisenhall's swing is back and how about the other youngster, Tyler Wesley Naquin?

A former Texas A&M Aggie All-American and the pride of Klein Collins High School, where he lettered in baseball for three years and was a two-time All-State selection, a three-time All-District honoree and a three-time All-Greater Houston standout, Naquin is becoming an extra-bases machine.

As the savvy and always enjoyable to listen to Rick Manning said Monday night, the deep and versatile Indians are "operating on all cylinders" right now.

Yes, God be willing, while the Browns are tearing up the previous plan and starting all over again, the "Fighting Franconas," along with the Saint Ignatius Wildcats, will provide us with plenty to talk about this fall.

- Mr. Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer           

Some important words from Wildcats Head Cross Country Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher '71 and Cats 2016 mainstay Andrew Szendrey '17
6/26/2016

From Wildcats Head Cross Country Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher '71

Runners and Parents,

Looks like the summer weather has finally arrived, make sure you stay hydrated in the heat. The sites for the team schedule for this week are as follows:

Mastick: Monday 5:30pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 9am. Contact Andrew Szendrey.

Strongsville: Bonnie Park, Tuesday, Thursday at 9:30am. Contact Nathan Schwartz.

Brecksville: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 5:30pm. Contact Colin Caniglia.

Girdled Road Reservation: Monday, Tuesday at 8:30am. Contact Nathan Soria.

Beaumont (meet by the track): Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 9am. Contact Logan Kijewski.


Wednesday: Practice at Saint Ignatius at 5:30pm.

NOTE: We will be starting the two-mile time trials this Wednesday. Once you meet your class standard, the order for your gear will be placed. If you have not already done so, please give your physical and OHSAA information to me. Continue following the training schedule; these are the key weeks for development for a great season - Coach Gallagher.


From Wildcats senior cross country mainstay Andrew Szendrey
 
Boys,
 
Turnout at all practices has been unacceptably low. If you are in town please do your best to make your regional runs(the dates/times/locations of which can be found in Coach Gallagher's e-mail above) & even more importantly, the team practices on Monday at the Mastic Woods picnic area and Wednesday at the Saint Ignatius Ignatius track.
 
If you have any questions about where you should be running, you should reach out. The captains are here for you and so are the coaches. No matter your grade nor experience level, we expect hard work and dedication to this team from here until November fifth.
 
"State champs aren't made on the day of the State championship. Rather, they are made on the hot & humid long run days in June, July, & August."
- Coach Rupe.
 
Looking forward to seeing your face at some point this week! - Andrew Szendrey
 
Just FYI, this old-timer will take a corner's view at Saint Ignatius' Youth Football Camp, which will be presented by Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his staff on July 5-7 at Wasmer Field. The camp will run from 5:30 PM until 8 PM each day.
6/26/2016

The camp is for those entering the 5th through the 8th grade and the cost is $100.

For further information, call 216-651-0222, extension 222.

Rugby A-Side Cats lose a tough extra-time match to Pickerington in a State Sevens Semifinal matchup on Sunday
6/26/2016

Presented by Coach Dan Arbeznik '00 and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Obetz, Ohio

From Coach Arbeznik: "We had won the last three (Ohio High School Rugby Sevens State Championships) in a row, but lost to Pickerington in the semifinal today on a try in extra time. The final was 14 to 10.

"The guys rebounded to beat Highland in the consolation match quite handily.

"Representing us this year were rising juniors Aidan Gill, Sean Whalen, Alex Chura and Nick Zolikoff. There were also rising seniors Eddie Patton, Matt Lipaj, Chris Fedor, Jimmy Desmarteau, Brian Cook and Joseph O'Brien.

"The sole graduating senior was Johnny Desmarteau."

Saint Ignatius' A-Side, the 2016 Rugby Ohio State Runner-Up, advanced to Sunday's state sevens semifinal matchup by winning three matches on Saturday.

Congratulations to Coach Arbeznik's program on what was another memorable spring and early summer.

Just FYI, Rugby Sevens is scheduled to make its Summer Olympics debut in August at Rio de Janeiro.  

   

Wildcats standout center Andrew Baldado from the Class of 2016 is among four Ohio Rugby area players to be named to the USA Rugby All-American Team
6/25/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Joining Andrew as area All-Americans are Jack Bradfield and Zach Heisterkamp from state champion St. Edward, and Karem Odeh from Brunswick.

Congratulations to Andrew, his family, Coach Dan Arbeznik and the entire Wildcats Rugby Program.

This corner wishes Andrew all of the best in the future, as he shared with this old-timer earlier this month (in the corner's state championship match story) that he will be furthering his education at The Ohio State University and will be competing in the Buckeyes' highly regarded rugby club program.    

 

The corner tips its cap to OHSAA Scholarship Award Winners James Norris and Tom Sullivan
6/24/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, June 24, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - James Norris and Tom Sullivan from the Class of 2016, who will be furthering their educations and athletic careers at Cornell University and Duke University, respectively, each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio High School Athletic Association during Wednesday night's 24th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn in Fairlawn, Ohio.

The official name of the awards is The Northeast District 2016 OHSAA Class "AAA" State Scholarships.

Two other area student-athletes, Edward Conger of Euclid and Vanessa Pasadena from Brunswick, received $1,000 scholarships and 17 student-athletes were honored with $750 district scholarships.

Tom Sullivan, who is recovering from surgery, did not attend the banquet. Accepting on his behalf was Linda Gabor of the Saint Ignatius counseling office.

Norris and Sullivan were mainstays for Coach Chuck Kyle's 2016 Track and Field  Wildcats, who brought home the Division I State Championship during this month's 109th OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Sullivan, who also was a standout on Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's 2015 OHSAA State Champion Cross Country Team, was a key part of the Wildcats' area, state and nationally recognized 4x800 relay team that brought home first place at state with a new school record time of 7:39.23. Along with Tom, that fabulous all-senior foursome included Luke Wagner, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan.

The 1-2 punch of Wagner and Sullivan finished third and fifth, respectively, in the state during the 1600 meter run. Wagner ran a 4:12.70 and Sullivan turned in an effort of 4:13.11.

Norris, who was also a tailback/kick returner for Coach Kyle's storied football program, delivered six points at state with a third-place time of 11.00 in the 100 meter dash and James anchored the state's first place 4x100 relay team that stormed its way to 10 points with a school-best time of 41.48.

Joining Norris on the gifted 4x100 team were Jack Cook '16, Phil Zuccaro '18 and Quinn Lawless '16. James graduated as the Wildcats' all-time record holder in the 100 meter dash (10.61) and the 200 meter dash (21.50), marks he set while qualifying for the finals at the demanding Amherst Steele Regional Meet.    

The efforts put forth by Tom and James were part of a state record four OHSAA Team State Championships during the 2015-16 school year and five OHSAA Division I state titles overall, as Kaden Russell '17 brought home the Division I 182-pound state wrestling title in March.

Along with track and field and cross country, Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School celebrated OHSAA team state championships in soccer and ice hockey. Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats were also recognized as National Champions.


Congratulations again to James and Tom, and may God Bless them in all of their future endeavors.

 

 

     

It was a play-making Thursday evening on Wasmer Field, as the Varsity Football Wildcats wrapped up their fourth mini camp of the summer
6/23/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - I don't think it would be a stretch to say that several of the 2016 Varsity Football Wildcats were trying to make a lasting impression on Thursday evening during what was the final mini camp before the team embarks on its summer break.

Chuck Kyle '69, who has begun his 34th season as his alma mater's Hall of Fame Head Coach, will welcome his Wildcats back to camp on July 21st.

With the misty rain and gray clouds that hovered over Thursday afternoon's Junior Varsity camp being overtaken by partly sunny and blue-gray skies, the Varsity Wildcats were competing against one another with an enthusiasm and aggressiveness that every coach in America covets.

In what was the most entertaining offense versus defense match drill of the first four camps, there was nothing mini about the efforts displayed on both sides of the ball.

Operating behind what has the potential to be one of the premier offensive lines in the state, junior running back Aidan Gill got things started for the O with a quick burst over the left side. That was followed by consecutive runs from senior tailback Dean "The Dream" Stowers that saw Dean display his balance and ability to bounce to the outside.

Gritty junior tailback Mark Bobinski added an authoritative run over the left side and also helping fuel the ground control was senior running back Daryl Forrest.

During the drill, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini '99 had some complimentary words for the efforts put forth by two of his younger linemen - juniors Toby Engel and John "Jack" Jamieson.

The highlight of the evening was the back and forth playmaking by the Cats' passing offense and defensive secondary. It was a good old can you top this?

Saint Ignatius' receiving corps might not be households names to the Wildcats' faithful just yet, but seniors Travis Pot, Ryan Cook, Riley Kinzel, Michael Daugenti and Mke Lehto, along with promising juniors Sam Snyder, Michael Drobnick and Connor Kennedy, among others, will be changing that unknown or not familiar with tag.

All of the above came up with big-time receptions off the accurate and full-of-fire throws by senior quarterback Patrick Ryan and junior quarterback Kyle Hall.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: "That was a heck of an athletic play, by both of them," said Wildcats Assistant Coach and former two-way All-Ohio standout Mark Ruddy '90 after gifted senior linebacker James Leyden broke on the ball for a pass break-up that saw the pigskin fly up in the air and picked off by senior defensive back Conor McGrath for an interception return.

Pot, who doubles as a safety, complemented his numerous receptions with a leaping interception and Lehto, who also sees time at safety, made a smooth reaction to a tipped ball for an interception.

Senior cornerback and ice hockey standout Matt Wiegandt followed his picture-perfect sideline interception on Wednesday with two more picks on Thursday, including another nose-for-the-ball move along the sideline.

NAME TO REMEMBER: During the Junior Varsity Drills, sophomore defensive back Michael Mangan snuffed out the play, made a strong move on the ball and came up with an interception. The future of the defensive secondary is in good hands. 

CAMPING: Wildcats sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty is investing his time and money at the Peyton Manning Passing Camp this week and multi-skilled senior punter/kicker Colin Goodfellow has been at a number of camps, including recent trips to Northwestern and James Madison.

CONGRATULATIONS: Goes out to former Wildcats defensive mainstay Patrick Hopkins '14, who has joined the Wildcats' staff as a Freshmen Linebackers Coach.

ON HAND: At Wasmer Field on Thursday evening was Saint Ignatius' 2015 first-team All-Ohio Quarterback and three-year baseball mainstay Dennis Grosel '16. As we reported on the corner last week, Dennis will be furthering his education (in the winter) and football career (in the spring) at Boston College. During his time in Cleveland this summer and fall, Dennis will help out his mentor, Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo.    

    

        

        

 

               

     

Wildcats developing their "mindset" as the Junior Varsity and Varsity Football mini camps resumed on Wednesday
6/22/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - With a large contingent of fans from the Cavaliers' NBA Championship Celebration Parade making its way home by walking up Lorain Avenue past Wasmer Field on Wednesday afternoon and evening, Coach Chuck Kyle's Junior Varsity and Varsity Football Wildcats were getting back in a preseason mindset after being off for 12 days.

Wednesday's mini camp got underway with a Junior Varsity turnout that, although small in numbers, was anxious to continue the all-important, one-step-ahead learning process that these early non-mandatory mini camps provide.

After the Junior Varsity practice, Coach Kyle suggested to the JV Cats to take the traditional "ten seconds" and think about what they are going to do tomorrow even better than they performed it on Wednesday, a specific drill, technique or aspect of the game. As Coach Kyle said, that has to become their mindset.

And that mindset will allow the sophomore Cats to realize just how much they are learning and improving.

As we look forward to Thursday's Junior Varsity (3 PM) and Varsity (5 PM) camps, here are some highlights and tidbits from Wednesday's work on Wasmer Field.

Young Arms: With some of the Cavs' Parade crowd stopping to take a look, sophomore quarterbacks Patrick Delahunty and Mike Sarko each made some nice throws during Wednesday's opening JV drills.

A lot of promise: Six-foot-four, 215-pound sophomore defensive lineman/tight end/linebacker Aidan Wells, who left an impression on this old-timer with his determination during Saint Ignatius' victory over St. Edward in a Freshman Basketball Game at the Eagles Nest last winter, displayed some of that same hustle during Wednesday's drills.

Defense, defense: The JV Cats spent a good portion of their practice working on what the coaches described as "universal" or "basic" defensive containment drills and strip-and-scoop drills.

Ivy League Camping: Wildcats gifted senior Varsity Quarterback Patrick Ryan was kind enough to share with the corner that he attended the Yale and Harvard Camps over the weekend and that he will be at the Penn camp on Saturday and the Princeton camp on Monday.

Pass defense heard from: Standout senior linebacker Adam Shibley made a savvy move in coverage that drew a nice response from veteran Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger '02, senior defensive back Thomas Barrett displayed some heads-up reaction in coming up with an interception return off a tipped pass, senior defensive back Matt Wiegandt, a mainstay on Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2016 State Champion Ice Hockey Team, made a quick move on the ball that led to his interception return, and senior defensive back Antonino Casola stepped in front of what appeared to be an open receiver and batted the ball away with authority.

Air Cats: Junior quarterback Kyle Hall unleashed some nice throws in the offensive-defensive match drills, including a strike to senior wide out Travis Pot off a nice look and route, and two smooth swings passes in the flat to junior running backs Casey Reilly and Mark Bobinski that drew the praise of veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo.

Patrick Ryan finished strong with a couple of on-the-money passes to Pot and senior wide out Riley Kinzel.

Ground Control: Senior tailback Jimmy Andrews stood out in the running drills with his strong and quick bursts.

We'll see you tomorrow on Wasmer Field, again 3 PM for Junior Varsity and 5 PM for Varsity.    

  

 

   

 

  

 

 

 

     

 

  

Just FYI, Cross Country practice for this evening is cancelled
6/22/2016

Runners and Parents,

Due to the Cavs' championship parade and the numerous road closures, practice at Saint Ignatius is cancelled for tonight. Everyone should get a run in on their own. Hope to see everyone next week for the picnic.

Go Cavs!
Go Cats!

Doc
Dr. Mike Gallagher

Head Cross Country Coach
St. Ignatius High School
Just a reminder that the corner will continue its coverage of the Wildcats' Junior Varsity (3 PM) and Varsity (5 PM) Football mini camps on Wednesday and Thursday
6/20/2016
The OHSAA names Dave Gray as its Interim Commissioner
6/20/2016

Presented by Mr. Tim Stried, OHSAA Informational Services

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Former OHSAA Board of Directors President and Franklin Monroe Superintendent will serve while Dr. Dan Ross recovers from health issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former OHSAA Board of Directors President Dave Gray has been named Interim Commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association following action by the OHSAA Board of Directors at a special meeting last week. Gray, who spent 37 years in the Franklin Monroe Local School District in Pitsburg, Ohio, before retiring in 2012, will fill in for OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross, who is recovering from a series of health setbacks.

Gray, who has served as chair of the OHSAA’s Student Eligibility Appeals Panel for the past three years, begins his duties Monday (June 20). While a member of the OHSAA’s Southwest District Athletic Board for 29 years, he served two stints as an officer of the OHSAA Board of Directors, including vice president in 1992-93 and president in 2010-11.

“The Board of Directors felt that our number one priority was for Dan to regain his strength and strictly concentrate on getting healthy,” said Steve Stirn, current president of the OHSAA Board of Directors. “At the same time, we recognize that the commissioner’s position has so many duties and the office staff has a lot on their plates, so we believe the appropriate move was to appoint someone to help ensure that we do not fall off course and continue to provide all of the services that our member schools expect. Dave is well respected, has long ties to the OHSAA and has a wealth of experience, so he is the perfect person to help lead us during Dan’s absence. We’re excited that he has accepted this role.”

No timetable has been set for the duration of Gray’s appointment, as Dr. Ross will have the option of returning to his position as commissioner once he returns to good health.

“I am honored and humbled to serve the OHSAA in this new capacity while Dr. Ross is recovering from his health issues,” Gray said. “In my years on the Board of Directors, the Southwest District Board and the OHSAA Appeals Panel, I have enjoyed being a part of the OHSAA and all the great things that interscholastic sports can provide for young people. I look forward to working with the OHSAA staff on a daily basis on behalf of all the constituents that we serve. Together, we’ll help keep Ohio as a national leader.”

Gray was the superintendent at Franklin Monroe during his last 20 years in the district (1992-2012). He served as a coach, athletic administrator and principal before becoming the district’s leader. He began his career in education in 1973 in the Twin Valley Community Local School District in West Alexandria. A graduate of Arcanum High School, Dave was a member of the school’s 1969 state championship basketball team and he scored a small-school state tournament record 45 points in the semifinals. He went on to earn NAIA All-America honors in basketball at Earlham College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, and he earned a master’s degree at the University of Dayton.

Gray and his wife, Susan, reside in Greenville and have three children and have six grandchildren.

Dr. Ross is completing his 12th year as commissioner after beginning his duties as the OHSAA’s ninth commissioner on August 1, 2004. Health issues have limited him in his position since November 2015. Associate Commissioner Bob Goldring had been serving as the association’s acting commissioner since mid-March and will return to his position, which includes director of operations.

  

 

 

AND THE BEAT GOES ON, AS TOM SULLIVAN, ANTHONY PELLEGRINO, COLIN KRUCHAN AND LUKE WAGNER BREAK A 30-YEAR SCHOOL RECORD IN THE DMR IN A TIME OF 10:13 AT NATIONALS
6/19/2016

Again, Thank You to the Saint Ignatius Coaches and the Cats' Cross Country and Track and Field site for keeping us updated on what was a tremendous ending to the cross country and track and field season.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

CONGRATS TO TOM SULLIVAN, C.J. AMBROSIO, PAT NOLAN AND LUKE WAGNER, who set a new school record in the 4xMile with an effort of 17:26 at the New Balance Nationals and placed third in the Nation. Gentlemen, you're truly amazing.
6/19/2016

Thanks to the Saint Ignatius Coaches and the Wildcats' Cross Country and Track and Field site for keeping us updated.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer  

All of the Best to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in their pursuit of NBA History and the first major professional sports championship for Cleveland since December 27, 1964
6/19/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio -  Along side my hero, my late Father James "Jazz" Dwyer, yours truly had the privilege of witnessing in person the Browns' dominant victory over legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts on December 27, 1964 in The Grand Lady on the Lake, Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

Our day started with Mass at The Cathedral and then my Dad treated me to breakfast at a diner along the docks and shores of Lake Erie. The diner's atmosphere was right out of a Wallace Beery movie, or for our younger readers, "The Perfect Storm," and it's appearances both outside and inside were a bit intimidating to a 14-yard-old freshman in high school. Let's just say you didn't have to be wearing your Sunday best to be served with kindness by the down-to-earth waitress and cook. Salt of the earth people, if you will.

It was, to this day, the greaest breakfast I have ever had. My Dad, who worked off the boats in the docks before becoming a Custodian for the Cleveland Public School System, knew all of Lakeshore's hidden jewels.

After I thanked the waitress and the cook for the great meal, which drew a large smile from my Dad, the waitress complimented me on my purple and gold Cathedral Latin School sweater and it was off to Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

A crowd of 79, 544 was eventually on hand and my dad and I entered through the gate of the late Leo Ramella, a family friend who allowed us the opportunity to see the game standing. Ticket prices were $6, $8 and $10 dollars, a significant price for a sporting event 52 years ago.

Arriving to Municipal Stadium as early as we did, almost three hours before kickoff, paid dividends as my Dad and I situated our standing position at about the 42-yard line.

After a scoreless first half against the seven-point favorite Colts, the Browns outscored Unitas and Co., 17-0, in the third quarter and completed the 27-0 triumph with Garry Collins' record third touchdown reception and the second of two field goals by the great Lou "The Toe" Groza.

The Frank Ryan-to Garry Collins combination was lethal, the Browns' defense was magnificent in limiting Unitas to 95 yards passing on a 12-for-20 day and the greatest running back in NFL history, Jim Brown, kept the Colts' defense off-balance by rushing for 114 yards on 27 carries. 

"Unitas They Stand, Divided They Fall." The Cleveland Browns, Champions of the NFL Football World!

Now, just like so many of you, never in a million years did this then 14-year-old think that more than five decades of my life would pass without me witnessing another major professional sports championship in Cleveland.

Oh yes, the Indians gave us plenty to get excited about in the mid and late 1990s and the early 2000s, and as recently as 2007 and 2013. But still no cigar. I regret to this day that my Dad, a heck of baseball player and a loyal, die-hard Indians fan, passed away just before the Indians went on that great run. But then he did witness the 1920 and 1948 World Series Championship years.

Like my Dad, I was accustomed to Browns teams that were consistent contenders. The on and off the field fiasco that has recently plagued the team has, to put it mildly, been tough to swallow. A bit of an embarrassment, if you will.

So, it is with the most sincere heartfelt feelings that I wish LeBron James and the entire Cavaliers Basketball Family All of the Best in their pursuit of NBA History tonight and their pursuit of this great city's first major professional sports championship since Dec. 27, 1964.

My Dad, Leo Ramella and that superb cook and great waitress will be looking on from a very special few.

Thank You LeBron, for all you have done for your beloved City of Akron, Ohio and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, and the excitement and greatness you have brought to Cleveland, Oho and the best fans in the nation.

P.S. Happy Father's Day.          

A Happy Father's Day to all of the great Dads out there. There is only one thing better than being a Dad and that's being a Dad and a Grandfather. Or, as my wonderful grandkids say, "Grandpa."
6/19/2016
Wildcats standout football quarteback and baseball mainstay Dennis Grosel will be furthering his education and football career at Boston College
6/18/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Here is what Dennis, the epitome of class, shared with this corner on Friday night.

Mr. Dwyer,
 
"I have officially committed to play football for Boston College. I will not be attending the school this fall, but rather in the winter to be ready for spring ball (in 2017). Thanks for everything you do."
 
See you soon,
Dennis
 
From the corner: In route to earning first-team Associated Press Division I All-Ohio honors in the fall of 2015, Dennis Grosel continued a quarterback legacy under Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo that ranks among the best in the nation.
 
Dennis, who became the 16th Wildcat quarterback to earn All-Ohio recognition under the tutelage of Coach Restifo, had two games in the fall of 2015 in which he set new school records for passing yards. He finished with 1,959 yards and 18 TDs passing, and rushed for 469 yards and 11 touchdowns. In three games combined last fall, Dennis totaled just five series because of the score. Along with his All-Ohio honors, Dennis also garnered AP All-Northeast Lakes District recognition for the second consecutive season.
 
A captain in both football and baseball, Dennis' play at third base and steady offensive production this spring helped key a second consecutive drive to the OHSAA Division I State Baseball Semifinals by Coach Brad Ganor's Cats. As a junior, the versatile Grosel played first base and catcher. Dennis teamed with his brother Tommy this spring, as Tommy excelled as a sophomore first baseman/pitcher. Dennis and Tommy were recognized for their offensive and defensive skills during last week's annual Spring Sports Awards Ceremony.
 
The corner wishes to express its congratulations to Dennis, his family, Wildcats Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle, Coach Restifo and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.
 
God Bless and All of the Best now and in the future to an exceptional athlete and leader, and THANK YOU Dennis for all of the kindness and respect you expressed to this old-timer. It was a privilege to report on your many successes during what was a special and memorable career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.    
 
     
 
 
 
Increase in State Tournament qualifiers highlights the changes to the OHSAA Cross Country Tournament structure
6/17/2016

From Mr. Tim Stried, Director of Information Services, tstried@ohsaa.org and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Changes to OHSAA Cross Country Tournament Structure Approved

Board of Directors agrees to modifications in process for divisional alignment and qualifiers and increases number of state qualifiers

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Several changes to the high school cross country postseason will take effect this fall after the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors approved a list of proposals from the OHSAA Cross Country Subcommittee earlier this week. The changes alter how schools are placed into divisions and how qualifying teams and individuals advance to the regional and state tournaments.

  “The subcommittee’s task was to look at several concerns that were brought to the OHSAA’s attention,” said Saint Ignatius Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee and former Wildcats Athletic Director Dale Gabor, the OHSAA’s administrator for cross country and track and field. “These changes will result in a more consistent and fair tournament structure, which has been in place for other OHSAA sports. I was very pleased with the committee’s thoroughness and ability to look at the issues from all sides.”

First, the board approved a proposal that reversed its 2012 ruling which changed how schools are placed into their respective cross country tournament divisions (I, II or III). The 2012 proposal called for a school’s girls and boys enrollment to be combined, so that a school’s girls and boys teams were always in the same tournament division. That method achieved its goal of reduced travel costs for schools and eased the burden on schools that have one person serving as the girls and boys coach, but it resulted in competitive disadvantages for some schools if one of their squads was forced to compete up a division.

Second, the board approved changes to the representation process by which schools and individuals advance from the district tournament to the regional tournament, and then onto the state tournament. Previously, the four regional tournaments across Ohio all fielded the same number of teams in each division, meaning that in some cases, teams from one district were sent to a regional tournament across the state. This was done so that the same number of team and individual state qualifiers came from each regional (top four). The changes approved by the board this week result in regional qualifiers being comprised only of teams from that specific district (see chart below), which means the four regional tournaments will have a unique number of qualifiers in line with the number of the teams within that division in their district. Thus the number of state qualifiers will different from each regional based on how many teams in each division are competing there, which is the case in other OHSAA sports, in accordance with the representation formula.

In addition, the board approved an increase in the number of state tournament team qualifiers from 16 to 20 per division. The maximum number of individual state tournament qualifiers (runners who finish in the top 20 overall who are not on an advancing team) coming from each regional would be four times the number of qualifying teams in each division from that regional.

“This system will more fairly assign schools to the regional tournaments and more fairly determine the qualifiers to the state tournament,” Gabor said. “It keeps schools closer to home for regionals and uses the actual number of teams in each division at each regional site to determine the number of state qualifiers coming from that site. And we are pleased to increase the number of state tournament qualifiers so more student-athletes and schools can experience the state tournament, which is among the biggest and best in the country.”

It was also noted that at all regional tournaments, head coaches in charge of the girls and boys teams for a school will be compete at the same regional.

The subcommittee was comprised of OHSAA staff, three members from the state board of directors and 10 members who are school administrators or coaches.

The 2016 OHSAA Cross Country Regional Tournaments

Pickerington: Qualifiers from the Central, East and Southeast Districts

Boys regional qualifiers to include 15 Div. I, 20 Div. II (6 from Central, 6 from East, 8 from Southeast), 17 Div. III (7 from Central, 3 from East, 7 from Southeast) 

Boys state qualifiers to include 5 Div. I, 6 Div. II and 5 Div. III

Girls regional qualifiers to include 16 Div. I, 18 Div. II (6 from Central, 5 from East, 7 from Southeast), 17 Div. III (4 from Central, 7 from East, 6 from Southeast)

Girls state qualifiers to include 5 Div. I, 6 Div. II, 5 Div. III

*Boardman: Qualifiers Northeast District

Boys regional qualifiers to include 25 Div. I, 20 Div. II, 11 Div. III

Boys state qualifiers to include 8 Div. I, 6 Div. II and 4 Div. III

Girls regional qualifiers to include 25 Div. I, 21 Div. II, 13 Div. III

Girls state qualifiers to include 8 Div. I, 6 Div. II, 4 Div. III

Tiffin: Qualifiers from the Northwest District

Boys regional qualifiers to include 7 Div. I, 12 Div. II, 22 Div. III

Boys state qualifiers to include 2 Div. I, 4 Div. II and 7 Div. III

Girls regional qualifiers to include 6 Div. I, 12 Div. II, 22 Div. III

Girls state qualifiers to include 2 Div. I, 4 Div. II, 7 Div. III

Troy: Qualifiers from Southwest District

Boys regional qualifiers to include 17 Div. I, 12 Div. II, 14 Div. III

Boys state qualifiers to include 5 Div. I, 4 Div. II and 4 Div. III

Girls regional qualifiers to include 17 Div. I, 13 Div. II, 12 Div. III

Girls state qualifiers to include 5 Div. I, 4 Div. II, 4 Div. III.

 

 

 

  

The first and the third, two cherishable LeBron James memories with my dear friend and colleague, the late Dick "Zip" Zunt
6/17/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - It was March 25th, 2000 and, as the final buzzer rang off the clock in Value City Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University, yours truly turned to my longtime friend and colleague, the late Dick "Zip" Zunt '50, and we both just smiled.

When you covered as many high school sporting events together as Dick and I did, there was no need for words.

We both realized that we had seen the start of something very, vey special.

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, led by the endless skills and mature beyond his years court savvy of then freshman guard LeBron James, overpowered Jamestown Greenview, 73-55, and wrapped up a 27-0, Division III State Championship season in front of a crowd of 13,061.

In 29 minutes of action, LeBron scored 25 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. He was 10-12 from the field, including 2 3-pointers, and hit on 3 of his 4 free throws. LeBron, which is still his nature to this day, would be the first to tell you that a 7-for-7 performance from the 3-point arc by then freshman guard Dru Joyce III, LeBron's great friend and teammate, also played a huge role in the convincing win over Greenview.   

What left Dick and I so impressed, however, was the total control and grasp of the game that LeBron possessed at such a young age.

Now more than 16 years later, and I swear I saw those same exact qualities while witnessing another LeBron James masterpiece in the Cavaliers' impressive Game 6 NBA Finals victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night.

No, I didn't have anyone to turn to and smile as LeBron was putting the finishing touches on what was another incredible all-around playoff performance Thursday night. That said, I knew Dick was smiling on from a very special view.

Getting back to that March 25, 2000 night in Columbus, Dick and I, just minutes after the post-game State Championship celebration and the presentation of the OHSAA Medals, were privileged to interview LeBron together just outside the St. Vincent-St. Mary locker room. "Zip" and I were assigned to do the sidebar stories on the game for The Plain Dealer.

Following the interview, which LeBron, remind you just a freshman in high school, handled with the same grace and maturity he brought to the court that night, Dick and I hurried back to the scorer's table to write our stories on deadline. No, no tweets, just nose-to-the grindstone, good old-fashion, beat-the-clock reporting.

As we stopped for a bite to eat that night on our way back to the hotel, the conversation was dominated by what we witnessed from this oh so gifted ninth grader, LeBron James. That conversation continued after Mass in Columbus on Sunday morning and throughout our two-plus hour car ride home.

Oh by the way, part of that Sunday morning drive home, an annual end of March round trip that "Zip" and I made together for three-plus decades, included a discussion about LeBron's football prowess. LeBron was an All-Ohio wide receiver before completely focusing on basketball. Talk about a tough matchup on the gridiron.

Before Dick went on to his special reporter's desk in heaven, we had one more opportunity to observe together that brilliance that is LeBron James.

That came on March 22, 2003, also in Value City Arena.

Playing his final OHSAA high school game, LeBron scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 32 minutes while leading the Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary to their third state championship in his four-year varsity career, a hard-fought 40-36 victory over Kettering Archbishop Alter.

And yes, Dick and I shared those same smiles once again, as we watched a young man walk off the court and into the shadows of the runway to begin his journey to even greater heights.                     

              

A request for prayers for Mr. Dave Gibbons
6/16/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The corner asks that the Saint Ignatius family keeps Mr. Gibbons in its prayers, as Dave is recovering from major surgery.

Dave is the father of former Wildcats outstanding Basketball Team Manager and Fred DiSanto Award Winner Patrick Gibbons, former Wildcats standout linebacker and captain John Gibbons, and current Wildcats senior football mainstay, defensive lineman Joe Gibbons. Joe is also a member of the Cats' wrestling program.

Your prayers and support will mean the world to the entire Gibbons family.

Thank You and God Bless, Mr. Eddie Dwyer    

For the second consecutive year, Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally acclaimed Soccer Program will open its season on a Friday night
6/16/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The two-time defending and record seven-time OHSAA State Champion Soccer Cats, who also brought home their third National Championship in 2015, will make the short trip to St. Edward High School's Brother James Everett, C.S.C. Stadium on Friday night, August 19th to face their longtime West Side rival in a 7:30 season opener.

The evening under the Eagles' Golden Dome will begin with a 5:30 Junior Varsity matchup, as Wildcats outstanding JV Coach Jim Brennan sends his Junior Varsity A into its season opener.

As the summer progresses, the corner will again have the privilege to preview the oh so talented and promising 2016 version of Coach McLaughlin's renowned program, which will be led by Gatorade's 2015 Ohio Player of the Year, senior Steve Milhoan.

In last year's season opener, Milhoan treated a Friday night crowd of more than 2,000 at Wasmer Field to five goals in the Cats' 8-1 triumph over St. Edward.  

Coach McLaughlin's Cats enter 2016 on a 16-match winning streak after putting together a 22-0-1 fall to recall in 2015. That remarkable record last season came against what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history.          

 

 

   

The calendar year of 2001, also one to cherish in Saint Ignatius Athletics
6/15/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Cleveland, Ohio -  This past school year's outstanding run in Wildcats sports - an OHSAA All-Boys School record for state team titles (Soccer, Cross Country, Ice Hockey and Track), a National Championship for Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer program and the OHSAA 182-pound state wrestling championship by Kaden Russell '17 - brought back memories of 2001, when Saint Ignatius athletics enjoyed a strong calendar year.

It started in March of 2001, when Coach Brian Becker guided the Wildcats to their Division I State Basketball Championship and carried over to the spring of 2001, when the Cats brought home their first OHSAA State Championship in Track and Field under Coach Chuck Kyle.

Under Dan Hess, Saint Ignatius golf won the first of its back-to-back OHSAA State Championships in 2001 and 2001 also saw Coach Kyle's Football Wildcats bring home the ninth of their record 11 OHSAA Division I State Championships. The calendar year of 2001 included tennis standout Dominic Ozanne making the first of his consecutive appearances at the OHSAA State Tournament.

The Smiths, Ted (a state runner-up Medalist in 2001) and Ben (a state Medalist in 2002) were among the Cats prowling the golf courses in those days.

No one experienced a better 2001 calendar year than Saint Ignatius' Dean of Students and Assistant Football Coach Ryan Franzinger '02, who was an outstanding thrower for the 2001 OHSAA Track and Field State Championship Team (and the 2002 team) and a standout two-way performer and captain for the 2001 State Champion Football Cats. Warren Harding Football, among others, will vouch for that.

Saint Ignatius has had many other exceptional championship seasons, school years and calendar years, some of them coming long before our current Wildcats and their parents, for that matter, were born. That said, the 2001 calendar year in Saint Ignatius sports was, in my humble opinion, a very resilient one. For many reasons that were well documented.   

God has blessed and allowed this old-timer to be able to witness Saint Ignatius athletics from a young kid's perspective while growing up near West Tech Field in the 1950s, until the present time. And there is still some resiliency left in this reporter's heart and mind.  

See you at Wasmer Field next week when the Cats' resume their football camps - Junior  Varsity at 3 PM and Varsity at 5 PM, June 22nd and 23rd.       

             

 

Another preseason football note for a veteran reader of the corner
6/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, June 13, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - It is always great to hear from Jimbo of South Bend, Indiana, who has been following the Football Cats on the corner since the summer of 2008.

Jimbo e-mailed the corner today and asked if Saint Ignatius' preseason schedule was going to be similar to previous seasons, and the answer is no.

Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo reaffirmed during his youth camp on Saturday that there will be no middle scrimmage this summer, as there has been in the past. For the past few years the Cats and the Twinsburg Tigers would alternate home sites for the middle or second scrimmage.

This summer, as this old-timer reported on the corner's pigskin pocket Friday evening, Saint Ignatius and Solon will meet in their annual practice/drills/offensive-defensive competition on August 9th at Wasmer Field. The action will get underway at 10 AM.

On August 19th at 7 PM, the final preseason tune-up will take place in the annual Jamboree between the Cats and the Bulldogs from Canton McKinley. Because of the construction and renovations taking place in now Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly legendary Fawcett Stadium, this year's Jamboree will be played at Canton Central Catholic's Lowell Klinefelter Stadium.

For a little personal touch on both the Solon preseason matchup, the Jamboree with the Bulldogs and Lowell Klinefelter Stadium, see the corner's pigskin pocket story from Friday evening.

Note: In place of the middle scrimmage, the Cats will probably have their own inter-squad scrimmage.

Have great summer James ("Jimbo") and all of the best to your other team - The Fighting Irish.      

    

 

From Mentor to West Park to Nordonia, Coach Nick Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy scanned the state of Ohio globe
6/11/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - A total of 75 aspiring football players (38 quarterbacks and 37 receivers) entering the sixth to ninth grade arrived at Wasmer Field bright and early on Saturday morning and were treated to some of the finest coaching and teaching you will find when it comes to a youth camp in the state of Ohio.

Under the direction of Saint Ignatius' Nick Restfo, who has guided 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks in his 35 years as the Wildcats' highly successful Offensive Coordinator, the All-Oho Quarterback/Receiver Academy staff included John Carroll University Receivers Coach Brian Beigie; Saint Ignatius Assistant Coach/Quarterbacks Coach Jim Cahill; Wildcats Receivers Coach Josiah Kedzior; University of Akron quarterback Matt Hoyer, who was also a quarterback and a standout pitcher at Saint Ignatius; former John Carroll and Solon quarterback Pat Kramer; Wildcats All-Ohio quarterback Dennis Grosel '16 and All-Ohio wide receiver Jack Cook '16; former Wildcats All-Ohio wide receiver/defensive back Mark Ruddy '90, who is currently an Assistant Coach for the Cats, and St. Ignatius junior quarterback Daniel Alexander and sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty.

Along with receiving, route running, footwork and passing drills, the well-mannered, respectful, attentive and easy to smile campers took part in competition drills in which the winners were awarded with Wendy's gift cards. Coach Restifo also gathered with campers for a Saint Ignatius trivia contest, such as how many state football titles have the Cats won and when was the last state  football title for the Cats? The trivia winners were also given a Wendy's gift card. Another Wendy's card went to a young man who sang the Saint Ignatius Alma Mater without missing beat, and with enthusiasm.

With a good number of parents and/or family members also braving the 90-plus degree temperatures at Wasmer Field, Dennis Grosel and Jack Cook spoke to the wide-eyed campers about the impact academics-first Saint Ignatius has had on their lives and how Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School has a tremendous teaching staff that makes going to the classroom every day something to look forward to. Jack emphasized that Saint Ignatius' teachers will go out of their way to help you hit your academic stride.

While Dennis and Jack were speaking, the sixth and seventh graders in particular were captivated by their every word.

"The main thing was just kind of looking back," said Grosel of what he enjoyed most while working with the kids on Saturday morning/early afternoon. "I was in those shoes not too long ago and it felt like not long ago. It's kind of humbling and exciting to see how far we've come."

"It's kind of cool that just because we've graduated, we're still part of the Saint Ignatius football family," Cook said, who will be furthering his education and athletic career at Harvard University. "Just to be able to put the name with the face, that's Dennis Grosel, he started at Varsity quarterback for two years. Kids are going to come out just to work with him for a couple of hours on a Saturday when they have a lot of other stuff going on. It's just building on that Saint Ignatius family, that they could be where we are in a couple of years.

"It's definitely different from the coaching standpoint, where you have to figure out a way to apply and explain it so they can excel, too," Jack continued when asked what it felt like to be the coach on Saturday. "They're not 18, obviously, so we had to adjust to sixth through ninth graders and figure out a terminology that they would understand."

"From a coaching standpoint, I can understand when coaches say they learn a lot from their kids," said Dennis of his opportunity on Saturday to apply what he learned from Coach Restifo and others the past four years. "It's neat, it's fun to see the kids grow throughout a three-hour period. They didn't know what a three-step drop was, and now they're mastering it.

"It's fun to see them grow and it's fun to know that you have been a big part of it," continued Dennis, who just recently completed an outstanding baseball career for Coach Brad Ganor's 2016 Division I State Semifinalist Wildcats.

FROM COACH RESTIFO: "With the heat, we had to have a few more water breaks for the kids, but overall I thought the camp was well-structured," said Coach Restifo. "I have to thank Tom Arth (John Carroll University Head Football Coach and former Wildcats All-Ohio quarterback) for that.

"We had a good cross section of kids, kids going into to the sixth grade all the way to the ninth grade," Coach Restifo said. "We had some Saint Ignatius Wildcats who will be enrolled in August, so it was great to see them. There were a lot of kids from Summer Enrichment. I think they learned a lot and got a lot out of it. We had a great staff of coaches out there explaining things to them, very encouraging and very positive.

"I think the kids had a good time and the parents enjoyed it, too," Coach Restifo continued.

So did this old-timer, who met some young campers whose parents and/or uncles and aunts I covered and reported on during their athletic careers.

We'll see you at Wasmer Field on June 22nd for the third session of Junior Varsity (3 PM) and Varsity (5 PM) football mini camps.  

       

 

    

    

      

 

 

 

 

              

Congratulations to former Wildcat Mike Horejsei, who was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 21st round of Major League Baseball's Draft
6/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Mike, from the Class of 2011, is a left-handed pitcher who played four years for the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University.

Congrats to Mike, his family, Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor and the entire Wildcats Baseball Program.

For our faithful readers of the corner's pigskin pocket
6/10/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

For those who inquired, yes, Coach Jim McQuaide's Solon Comets, coming off their solid OHSAA playoff season of 2015, will visit Wasmer Field on Aug. 9th for the annual preseason practice/drills with Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats. The action will get underway at 10 AM.

Solon's OHSAA playoff appearance in 2015 was the football program's 20th.

While the OHSAA prefers not to use the word scrimmage for the first preseason outing, anyone who has followed what has become a summer tradition between two great coaches and two exceptional schools knows that the Comets and the Wildcats traditionally cap off their drills/practice with a competitive offensive and defensive matchup, some seven on seven, etc.

It is always a pleasure and a privilege to cover and report on this preseason opener, as this old-timer had the honor of covering several Coach Kyle-Coach McQuaide matchups during my nearly 40 years at The Plain Dealer.

Ah yes, Oct. 23rd, 1993 in Lakewood Stadium, aka "The Madhouse on Madision." Coach Kyle's Cats 35, Coach McQuaide's St. Edward Eagles 34, in triple overtime. The greatest test of wills this veteran reporter ever witnessed and reported on in any high school sport.

A close second is the Nov. 11, 1989, 31-30 regional-final football triumph over Coach Tom Banc's Euclid Panthers and his legendary tailback Robert Smith, who also played some quarterback that night in then Baldwin-Wallace College's Finnie Stadium (now Baldwin Wallace University). Can you say Pickens to Jaeckin, aka the "Immaculate Reception"? 

In response to some of our other avid fans, yes, the annual Preseason Jamboree between the Football Wildcats and the Canton McKinley Bulldogs will continue this summer, only at a different site.

Because of the construction and renovations going on at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly legendary Fawcett Stadium, the Varsity Teams from Saint Ignatius and McKinley will wrap up their preseasons on Aug. 19th at 7 PM in Canton Central Catholic's Lowell Klinefelter Stadium. Although it is the final preseason tune-up, the Jamboree will be played under regular game conditions and there will be an admission charge.

Just a little Stark County history from someone who has had the privilege of covering OHSAA Football Playoff Games at Canton Central Catholic. Lowell Klinefelter Stadium is named after "The Dean of Stark County Football Coaches."

Lowell Klinefelter Stadium is located off Klinefelter Boulevard and is partially surrounded by "The Great Serpentine Wall."

Wasmer Field can boast as its surroundings, legendary Lorain Avenue, some quaint Ohio City homes, whose backyards and gardens have been visited by field goals and extra points from the scoreboard end zone, the historic Carroll Gym, a "press box" where the SIBN, the scoreboard operator, a film man and yours truly somehow all manage to share on a rainy or snowy night (otherwise you see this graybeard on the sideline) and last, but not least, the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

And, off in the distance are the Terminal Tower and the clock tower of the West Side Market.

Hey, you know what? When the fall arrives and I am covering a Junior Varsity Football Game on a Saturday morning under a blue-gray sky and surrounded by the colored trees that accompany those quaint homes, there isn't a better setting in the world.

I'll see you at Wasmer Field tomorrow (Saturday) morning for Coach Nick Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy (see the corner's post from this morning).

Have a wonderful and safe weekend. How about those Cleveland Indians?      

   

     

            

Just a reminder on the coverage of Saturday's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy
6/10/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

On Saturday, the corner will provide coverage on Coach Nick Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy, which begins at 8:30 AM on Wasmer Field and runs to 1:30 PM.

Registration is 8:30 AM-9:30 AM in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Coach Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy is open to anyone entering the 6th to 9th grade in 2016. Participants are asked to bring turf shoes and/or tennis shoes.

Along with Coach Restifo, who has developed 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks as the Wildcats' highly successful Offensive Coordinator for 35 years, the outstanding staff at the All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy will include Jim Cahill (Saint Ignatius' Assistant Offensive Coach); Brian Beigie (John Carroll University's Receivers Coach); Matt Hoyer (University of Akron Quarterback, who was also a quarterback at Saint Ignatius and a standout pitcher for the Baseball Cats); Josiah Kedzior (Saint Ignatius' Receivers Coach); former Wildcats football quarterback and baseball mainstay Jake Kucia (currently furthering his education and athletic career at Case Western Reserve University); Saint Ignatius football and track standout Jack Cook '16 (who will be furthering his education and football career at Harvard); and Saint Ignatius 2015 First-Team All-Ohio quarterback Dennis Grosel '16, who just completed an outstanding 2016 baseball season as a third baseman/captain for Coach Brad Ganor's Division I State Semifinalist Wildcats.

Cost of the All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy is $55. Make checks payable to the All-Ohio Quarterback Academy c/o Nick Restifo 1911 West 30th Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

Note: If you have questions, contact Coach Restifo at nrestifo@ignatius.edu or by phone at 216-651-022, ext. 502. All participants are required to have their own health insurance.

The corner wishes all of the best to 2015 Senior Captain/Linebacker/Fullback Ben Cray, who is scheduled to play in Friday night's annual Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game
6/9/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

As we reported on the corner back in April, the 44th Annual Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association East-West High School All-Star Scholarship Game is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) night in John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium. The kickoff is slated for 7 PM and tickets will be on sale at the gates for $8.

Ben '16 will be representing Coach Chuck Kyle's Saint Ignatius Wildcats as a member of the West Team. The annual GCFCA All-Star Game is presented by The Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals.

The corner congratulates Ben, a first-class young man that this old-timer had the privilege and pleasure to cover and report on during his football career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Congrats also go out to Ben's family, Coach Kyle, Ben's position coaches during his Varsity career at Saint Ignatius - Ryan Franzinger '02, Dave Cicetti and Terry Fergus '72 - and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.

 

Patrick Ryan was firing the pigskin, Sam Snyder was hauling in just about everything thrown his way and the Junior Varsity Cats also had their moments. Day 2 of Wildcats Football mini camps is in the books.
6/9/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - After another day of learning, adjusting and, in many cases, performing quite well, the Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats wrapped up their second mini camp on Thursday afternoon/evening in both the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels.

Thursday's spirited drills under the blue sky that hovered over Wasmer Field wrapped up the first session of camps for the 2016 preseason. The JV and Varsity Cats will return for round 2 of mini camps on June 22nd and 23rd. Those sessions will begin at 3 PM each day for the Junior Varsity, followed by the Varsity drills at 5 PM.

Here is a look at some of the above-mentioned highlights from Thursday, as the corner counts down the days until June 22nd.

A visit to Pick City: Starting the highlight reel for the Junior Varsity were defensive back Danny Scelza and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, as they displayed range and a nose for the ball in coming up with perfectly timed interceptions.

"Bo" creates space: Tailback Jahadge "Bo" Floyd, who left a lasting impression on this old-timer at the freshmen level last fall, turned what looked like a play headed for nowhere into an impressive gain off his sharp cut and move inside.

"Nice cut, Bo!" yelled Saint Ignatius' Assistant Coach Jim Cahill, who helped hone Bo's skills last season.

A Delahunty-Drummond combo: A strong throw down the right sideline in the direction of the Lorain Avenue goal line by sophomore quarterback Patrick Delahunty to sophomore wide receiver Nigel Drummond, a play that saw Nigel display good hands and the ability to adjust to the ball, drew a large roar of approval from the JV players along the home sideline of Wasmer Field. It was a pitch and catch that also brought a smile from former Wildcats standout wide receiver/defensive back Mark Ruddy '90, now an Assistant Coach for the Cats. In the days of the UPI and AP, Coach Ruddy garnered All-State honors at both of his high school positions and he was also selected by the storied Massillon Tigers to their All-Opponents Team.

Roaming the secondary: Along with Scelza and Eichenberg, Jake Reali was making his presence felt in the defensive secondary with quick-reaction moves to the ball.

The Good Hands Club:  A diving, two-handed reception across the middle by wide receiver Anthony Pilla drew a wow from this corner, as Anthony secured the football while his hands and body were just inches off the turf.

Getting the Varsity started: Senior safety Michael DeCicco flew from almost one side of the field to the other in batting away a pass that had completion written all over it. That effort highlighted what was a solid afternoon from Michael.  

Patrick Ryan firing on all cylinders: Senior quarterback Patrick Ryan was making all of his throws, both intermediate and long, and a few that misfired could have been caught.

Sure hands Sam: The sun was becoming a bit of a factor late in the Varsity drills, but that didn't seem to bother junior wide receive receiver Sam Snyder, who hauled in just about everything thrown in his direction, whether it meant making an exceptional adjustment with his hands while on the move or climbing the ladder.

A case for the defense: Standout senior linebacker Adam Shibley, reading the play all of the way, stepped in front of a pass along the left sideline of Wasmer Field for what would have been a pick-six in a regular game.

And last, but certainly not least: Senior safety Tom Barrett made an exceptional reaction in breaking up a pass with one hand, an effort that pleased his coaches.

The 40 times: A good number of the Wildcats' Varsity defenders were comfortably under 5.0 and senior tailback Jimmy Andrews, who will get faster as the season progresses, ran a 4.7. Jimmy said his start was off a bit, so he can't be disappointed with that time.

We will see you on June 22 at Wasmer Field.    

Congrats to the Cats on their OHSAA Team Mark of four state championships, but the bottom line is that Saint Ignatius brought home five OHSAA state championships this past school year. Congrats again to our 182-pound OHSAA wrestling champ Kaden Russell.
6/9/2016
Now that we filled you in on the latest news from the OHSAA, here is the corner's first mini camp report for the 2016 Saint Ignatius gridiron season
6/8/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - After a 2015-16 School Year that saw the Saint Ignatius Wildcats bring home five OHSAA State Championships -  Soccer (also a National Champion), Cross Country, Ice Hockey, Track and Field and Kaden Russell's 182-pound OHSAA State Wrestling Championship, the Cats' 2016-17 sports season officially got underway on Wednesday afternoon/evening with the first mini camp for the 2016 Football Wildcats.

On what was a picture-perfect day and evening, more reminiscent of early fall than early June, the Junior Varsity and Varsity Football Wildcats took Wasmer Field under the direction of Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle, who officially began his 34th season as the director of one of the most storied programs in Ohio and the nation.

A promising group of Junior Varsity sophomores, young men who created some fond memories during their Freshmen Football Season of 2015, got things started.

Coach Kyle emphasized to all of his Wildcats, from the wide-eyed sophomores to the seasoned seniors, that mini camps are a learning experience. The purpose is to strive to learn or grasp something each day, so tomorrow Coach Kyle and his outstanding staff can move on to something new.

Here is a look at some of Wednesday evening's Varsity mini camp highlights, as a season rich in promise awaits what the lessons of the summer will bring.

QBs Unleashed: During the seven-on-seven passing drills, both senior quarterback Patrick Ryan and junior signal-caller Kyle Hall made some impressive and authoritative throws. The Cats have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of 2015 first-team All-Ohio quarterback and two-time all-district selection, Dennis Grosel.  

Ryan and Hall performed well for the first time out, while receiving sound advice from Saint Ignatius' Offensive Coordinator of 35 years, Coach Nick Restifo. Coach Restifo has developed the skills of 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks at Saint Ignatius, including Parade All-Americans Joe Pickens  and Scott Mutryn, and NFL QBs Brian Hoyer (now with the Chicago Bears) and Tom Arth (the Head Football Coach at John Carroll University).

Some new faces, but sure hands: Saint Ignatius did graduate some big-time receivers from last season, including all-state and all-district honorees Jack Cook and Cal Grbac. However, if the first mini camp was any indication, the reinforcements are ready, willing and very able.

Among the receiving corps' many names to remember are Michael Drobnick, who stood out in last year's impressive victory over St. Edward's jayvees and made some nice grabs on Wednesday evening, Mike Lehto, who will also double in the defensive secondary, Ryan Cook, Jack's brother, Michael Daugenti and the versatile Connor Kennedy. And there are plenty more who will surface as the summer goes on.

Ground game: Senior Jimmy Andrews, a two-year mainstay, returns at tailback and senior Dean "The Dream" Stowers will continue to contribute as a runner, a receiver and a kick returner.

Dean "The Dream," with that oh so familiar smile, turned to this old-timer Wednesday evening and said, "I'm ready."

Also adding to what should be a strong and versatile ground attack will be junior tailback Mark Bobinski, who is coming off an outstanding Junior Varsity season.

The strengths entering the summer: Right now, this corner looks at a defense led by veteran linemen Mike Chime, Joe Gibbons, Pat Viancourt and Michael Czaja, and the gifted linebacker foursome of Adam Shibley, Johnny Velotta, James Leyden and Ben Delhees as one of the Wildcats' two major strengths.

The other strength is up front on offense, where senior center John Spellacy, an East Carolina recruit, has begun his third season as an anchor for Offensive Line Coaches Adam Rini  and Paul Yappel. Surrounding John on Wednesday evening were a fearsome foursome of senior tackle Brian Almady, senior guard Brendan Lenhard, junior guard John "Jack" Jamieson and junior tackle Darian Kinnard. There is plenty of size and power along the O-Line.

Oh Captain, My Captain: As we reported in the winter, John Spellacy and Johnny Velotta are two of Coach Kyle's four captains for 2016. The other two will be selected during summer practice, one by the players and the other by the coaching staff.

Camping: James Leyden, who also doubles as a tight end, was excused from Wednesday's mini camp so he could attend the Ohio University Bobcats' Satellite Camp at Bedford Bearcat Stadium.

Note: Thursday's JV and Varsity mini camps will start at 2:45 PM and 4:45 PM, respectively, so Coach Kyle can time his Wildcats in the 40.

See you on Wasmer Field for Day 2.                    

   

 

 

   

   

 

 

   

For the first time since 1980, the OHSAA Division I football playoffs will be played on Friday night
6/8/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, a strong advocate of high school football's Friday Night Lights. Thank You, OHSAA! 

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors has approved the 2016 football tournament regulations, which include moving all Division I football playoff games to Friday nights in November for the first time since 1980. Joining Division I on Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. will be playoff games in Divisions II, IV and VI, while Saturday games will include Divisions III, V and VII at 7 p.m.

For several years, attendance has decreased at Division I games in November, primarily due to some fans opting for college games, which include more night games. In addition, fewer facilities are available on Saturdays due to other school functions or staff not being available.

“In Ohio’s larger cities where the Division I schools are located, we have been competing with college games and other events on Saturdays, both in terms of fans and facilities being available,” Beau Rugg, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner and football administrator, said. “Moving Division I playoff games to Friday nights has been something our football tournament committee has been thinking about for a couple years. With the endorsement of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association, we felt it was the right time to make the change, and the OHSAA Board of Directors agreed.”

Since 1980, Division I playoff games have been on Saturdays except for a few games in 2001 and 2006.

A total of 716 schools will begin the season in August aiming for one of 224 playoff berths announced on Sunday, Oct. 30. Approved along with the football tournament regulations are the lists of schools within each division and region, as well as the regional boundary maps. That information is posted on the football page at OHSAA.org: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/default.asp.

The 2016-17 school year is the second year of the OHSAA’s current two-year enrollment and divisional alignment cycle. During the 2016-17 school year, the OHSAA will again work with the Ohio Department of Education to determine enrollment counts to be used for the next two-year cycle (2017-18 and 2018-19 school years). Those new enrollment numbers will be combined with the competitive balance roster data that schools will submit on a sport-by-sport basis in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball.

The football tournament regulations were approved by the board at its June meeting last Thursday in Columbus as the OHSAA’s spring state tournaments in baseball, softball and track and field got underway.

Also of note, in April (reported on the corner at that time) the board approved changing Division I back to a four region format instead of the two region format that existed in 2013, 2014 and 2015. More information on that change is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/news/sports/20160414football.pdf

2016 OHSAA Football Schedule

Week of August 22 – Regular-Season Begins

Tuesday, Sept. 20 – First Computer Point Standings Released (every Tuesday afternoon for remainder of season)

Saturday, Oct. 29 – Regular-Season Ends

Sunday, Oct. 30 – Final Computer Points Posted; Playoff Qualifiers and Pairings Announced

Friday, Nov. 4 – Divisions I, II, IV and VI Regional Quarterfinals

Saturday, Nov. 5 – Divisions III, V and VII Regional Quarterfinals

Friday, Nov. 11 – Divisions I, II, IV and VI Regional Semifinals

Saturday, Nov. 12 – Divisions III, V and VII Regional Semifinals

Friday, Nov. 18 – Divisions I, II, IV and VI Regional Finals

Saturday, Nov. 19 – Divisions III, V and VII Regional Finals

Friday, Nov. 25 – Divisions I, II, IV and VI State Semifinals

Saturday, Nov. 26 – Divisions III, V and VII State Semifinals

Thursday, December 1 – State Championships Begin at Ohio Stadium (One Game Only – Division I, II, IV or VI)

Friday, December 2 – State Championships Continue at Ohio Stadium (Three Games – Division I, II, IV or VI)

Saturday, December 3 – State Championships Continue at Ohio Stadium (Three Games – Divisions III, V and VII).

 

 

 

Saint Ignatius High School recognizes a season laden with success during its annual Spring Sports Awards Ceremony
6/7/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Ohio City - In getting Saint Ignatius' annual Spring Sports Awards Ceremony underway on Tuesday night, Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 described the recently completed Spring of 2016 as probably the most successful in the rich sports history of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

During what was truly a season for success, Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats showed the way by bringing home the OHSAA Division I State Track and Field Championship in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University last weekend. The Cats were coming off impressive first-place performances at the always demanding Amherst Steele District and Regional meets.

In setting numerous school records along the way, the 2016 Cats presented Coach Kyle with his second State Championship in Track and Field. Coach Kyle also guided his Track Cats to the 2001 Division I big-school State Championship and his 2005 Varsity track and field team was a State Runner-Up.

Adding to Saint Ignatius' special spring were a Division I State Semifinalist appearance by Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats, the school's 13th trip overall to baseball's final four and the sixth in Coach Ganor's 12 seasons as Head Coach; a first-ever appearance in the OHSLA Division I State Championship Game by Coach Patrick McManamon's LAX Cats; a RugbyOhio State Runner-Up finish by Coach Dan Arbeznik's Wildcats; another trip to the State Quarterfinals by Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats; an appearance in the OHSAA State Tennis Tournament by junior Josh Hsia and another highly competitive and successful year by the Crew Cats of Coaches Pat Connor and Connor Walters.

While this corner was privileged to report on so many of the Cats' successes this spring, as always, we would like to share with you the "Special Awards" that were presented to the Cats' Men of the Spring on Tuesday night. Please note that Rugby and Crew will have their awards ceremonies at a date and time to be announced.

Track and Field

Most Outstanding Athlete: Colin Kruchan from the Class of 2016.

Most Valuable Sprinter: James Norris from the Class of 2016.

Most Valuable Distance Runner: Luke Wagner from the Class of 2016.

Most Valuable Field Athlete: Mike Lehto from the Class of 2017.

Most Valuable Hurdler: Jack Ruddy from the Class of 2016.

Most Valuable 9th Grader: John Wetula.

Most Improved Athlete: C.J. Ambrosio from the Class of 2017.

Fr. James O'Reilly Spirit Award: Tom Sullivan from the Class of 2016.

Baseball

Defensive Players of the Year: Center Fielder & tri-Captain Mike Rogers '16 and sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel.

Offensive Players of the Year: Right Fielder/leadoff hitter/pitcher Nick Freund '16 and third baseman & tri-Captain Dennis Grosel '16. Nick also pitched a no-hitter this past season versus Archbishop Hoban.

Pitchers of the Year: Right-hander & tri-Captain Murphy O'Brien '16 (a St. Bonaventure recruit) and southpaw Connor Adams '17 (a Louisville recruit).

Coaches Cups: Outfielder/pinch-runner/pinch-hitter Dan Volpe '16, shortstop Kevin Mingus '16 and catcher Jeff Chonko '17, aka "Coach Chonko."

Most Improved Players: Second baseman Joe Evans '16 and designated hitter/first baseman George Asadorian '16. 

Captains Awards received by Rogers, Dennis Grosel and O'Brien.

Note: Coach Ganor's Captains for next season will be outfielder Ryan Jacobs '17, Connor Adams and pitcher Griffin Hunt '17, the young man of a 1-2-3, three-pitch inning this spring.

Lacrosse

Most Valuable Players: Defense Alex Maruna and Attack Crew Cintron from the Class of 2016.

Offensive Player of the Year: Attack Alex Hornung from the Cass of 2016.

Defensive Player of the Year: Goalie Carter Blossey from the Class of 2017.

Most Improved Offense: Midfield Jared Stepka from the Class of 2016.

Most Improved Defense: Midfield Alex Leszcz from the Class of 2016.

Magis Award: Midfield Anthony Ameo III from the Class of 2018.

Note: Alex Hornung (123) and Crew Cintron (120) ended their outstanding careers at Saint Ignatius as the program's all-time goal scorers.

Anthony Ameo set a new single-game mark with 17 ground balls.

Tennis

MVP: Josh Hsia, a 3-year Varsity award winner.

Mitchell Pallaki : A three-year Varsity award winner.

John Mhanna: A second-year Varsity award winner.

Kevin Callanan: A second-year Varsity award winner.

Anthony Siciliano: A second-year Varsity award winner.

Most Improved: Brian Zhu, a first-year letter.

Jack McNally: A first-year letter.

Coaches Cups: Richie Hofstra, a first-year letter, and Drew Barclay, also a first-year letter.

Marton Tamasy: A first-year letter and second-year Award winner.

Volleyball

MVP: Danny Michals

Offensive Standout: Richie Holzheimer

Defensive Standout: Jake Hoshaw

Coaches Cup: Seamus Wilson

Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network

The corner salutes the SIBN's Four-Year Award Winner, the Golden Microphone voice of smooth, savvy, and oh so knowledgeable, Carter Spearry.  

And last, but certainly not least, the prestigious John J. Wirtz Award went to Wildcats football and basketball standout Jim Berger '16 on a vote by the students, and the prestigious Fred DiSanto '80 Award was presented to Cats golf, ice hockey and lacrosse mainstay Cam Gerard '16.

To all of the spring's special award winners and to Carter, Jim and Cam, may God Bless You in all of your future endeavors.  

             

 

            

 

           

A reminder on Tuesday's Spring Sports Awards Night and the corner's coverage of this week's football camps, including Coach Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy, and a note of emphasis on the Cats' OHSAA State Championships for 2015-16.
6/5/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Another outstanding school year in Wildcats Athletics came to an end with a banner spring sports season that saw all seven of the Cats' spring teams go deep into their postseasons, including an OHSAA Division I State Championship by Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track and Field Wildcats, and a first-ever appearance in the OHSLA State Championship Game by Coach Patrick McManamon's LAX Cats.

For a look at the run to postseason glory by all of the Cats' spring sports teams, see the corner's stories from this past week and weekend and throughout the month of May.

On Tuesday night in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts, Saint Ignatius' Administration and Athletics Department will recognize the Varsity Track and Field, Baseball, Lacrosse, Rugby, Tennis and Volleyball Teams with a special Awards Ceremony. The evening will get underway with a reception at 5 PM that will include appetizer snacks, assorted deserts and refreshments, and the ceremony will begin at 6 PM.

Saint Ignatius Crew will have its awards ceremony at a date and site to be announced.

MY SUMMER RITUAL: The corner will start its annual Football Camp reports with Wednesday's and Thursday's Junior Varsity and Varsity mini camps on Wasmer Field. The JVs and Varsity are slated to take the field each day at 3 PM and 5 PM, respectively.

On Saturday, the corner will provide coverage on Coach Nick Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy, which begins at 8:30 AM on Wasmer Field and runs to 1:30 PM.

Registration is 8:30 AM-9:30 AM in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Coach Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy is open to anyone entering the 6th to 9th grade in 2016. Participants are asked to bring turf shoes and/or tennis shoes.

Along with Coach Restifo, who has developed 16 All-Ohio quarterbacks as the Wildcats' highly successful Offensive Coordinator for 35 years, the outstanding staff at the All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy will include Jim Cahill (Saint Ignatius Freshman Football Quarterbacks Coach); Brian Beigie (John Carroll University's Receivers Coach); Matt Hoyer (University of Akron Quarterback, who was also a quarterback at Saint Ignatius and a standout pitcher for the Baseball Cats); Josiah Kedzior (Saint Ignatius Receivers Coach); former Wildcats football quarterback and baseball mainstay Jake Kucia (currently furthering his education and athletic career at Case Western Reserve University); Saint Ignatius football and track standout Jack Cook '16 (who will be furthering his education and football career at Harvard); and Saint Ignatius 2015 First-Team All-Ohio quarterback Dennis Grosel, who just completed an outstanding 2016 baseball season as a third baseman/captain for Coach Brad Ganor's Division I State Semifinalist Wildcats.

Cost of the All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy is $55. Make checks payable to the All-Ohio Quarterback Academy c/o Nick Restifo 1911 West 30th Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

Note: If you have questions, contact Coach Restifo at nrestifo@ignatius.edu or by phone at 216-651-022, ext. 502. All participants are required to have their own health insurance.

PLEASE NOTE: The past few days and nights, I have seen tweets on the Athletics News Page that have acknowledged Saint Ignatius Athletics winning four OHSAA State Team Championships for the 2015-16 school year - Soccer (also a National Championship), Cross Country, Ice Hockey and Track & Field.

Yes, those four outstanding programs brought home OHSAA Gold Team Trophies this past school year as Division I State Champions. And I was privileged  to report on each and everyone one of them.

Where I think we have been a bit remiss in these tweets, however, is that Saint Ignatius' outstanding athletics program also produce another very special OHSAA STATE CHAMPION this past school year.

Kaden Russell from the Class of 2017, in what was one of the greatest individual performances in the history of Wildcats Athletics, stormed his way through the demanding OHSAA postseason and brought home the 182-pound OHSAA DIVISION I STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP on March 5, 2016.

You don't have to take my nearly 50 years of area high school sports coverage for the point I am about to make. But, to bring home a big-school STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in one of the premier wrestling states in the nation, and in one of the most demanding sports in the world, and doing it against a who's who field, is pretty (I'll say darn) special.

Yes, Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School produced five very special OHSAA STATE CHAMPIONS for the 2015-16 school year.

Have a great week and we'll see you at the Spring Sports Awards Ceremony on Tuesday evening, on Wasmer Field for the mini camps this week and at Coach Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy on Saturday.

God Bless, Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer   

                      

 

   

   

A tough defeat off a dominant performance by juggernaut Upper Arlington doesn't mar what was a record season for the LAX Cats
6/5/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Franklin County - After he and his teammates received their State Runner-Up Medals, graduated senior Alex Maruna, the disappointment carved in his face, looked back with class and dignity on what was an otherwise record-setting spring for Coach Patrick McManamon's LAX Cats.

"It was a great season, a great group of guys and great seniors," said Alex, just moments after he was recognized by the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association as one of the premier defenders in all of Ohio. "We set the level of expectations for the rest of those kids coming into the program. This is not the downfall of the program, it is all up from here."

"Here" was the first trip to the OHSLA State Championship Game for Saint Ignatius, where the LAX Cats faced perennial power Upper Arlington, now an 18-time State Champion after its impressive 17-5 victory over Saint Ignatius on Saturday evening at Thomas Worthington High School's Hamilton Field.

The Golden Bears, who also eliminated the LAX Cats in last year's State Semifinals and were pushed to the limit by Saint Ignatius before edging the Wildcats, 12-10, a regular season matchup at Upper Arlington in mid April, showed everyone in attendance on Saturday why they are and have been Ohio's best of the best.

In winning their fourth OHSLA State Championship since 2012, the Golden Bears were golden in every phase of their deliberate, but oh so effective and athletic attack.

Displaying a relentless, but under control defense and winning the key ground balls off face-offs, Upper Arlington jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by senior attack Ben Baker, junior attack Alex Rankin and multi-killed senior midfield Danny Logan, a University of Denver recruit. Logan's first goal of the evening came with 4 minutes and 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Despite that early barrage by the Golden Bears, Coach McManamon's LAX Cats stayed calm and quickly ran off three goals of their own in knotting the score at 3.

Saint Ignatius' first two goals were courtesy of senior midfielders Alexander Leszcz and Jared Stepka, and gifted senior attack and Lehigh University recruit Crew Cintron tied the score on his smooth spin move around the cage with 10:31 left in the second quarter.

Reacting in a manner one would expect from a multiple champion, Upper Arlington ran off four unanswered goals and led, 7-3, with 3:55 to go in the first half.

The LAX Cats closed to 7-4 off a goal by junior midfield Brent Chernosky, but the Golden Bears answered right back when junior attack Jack Dolan beat the defensive slide with 12 seconds left in the first half.

With Upper Arlington holding a four-goal advantage, the teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the halftime break.

Little did they know they wouldn't return to the field anytime soon.

Mother Nature greeted Hamilton Field with lighting, thunder and heavy rain, and the game was delayed for over an hour.

When the second half got underway, Upper Arlington needed less than two minutes to stretch its lead to six goals.

Cintron's second goal on the evening cut the deficit to 10-5, but like Mother Nature's halftime downpour, the Golden Bears began to rain goals on the LAX Cats' defense.

In what was a resounding display of dominance, Upper Arlington ran a lacrosse clinic to a 16-5 lead entering the fourth quarter.

After the versatile Baker sent an on-the-money assist to senior attack Sam Buckley, it was 17-5 with 9:24 remaining to be played and a running clock came into play.

The highly touted Logan lived up to his billing as his four goals off his trademark juke and quick first step earned him the State Championship Game's Offensive MVP honor. The young man was as advertised, my friends.

Golden Bears senior defense Joe Levitt took home the Defensive MVP award. Upper Arlington's passion on defense had as much to do with the outcome as its scoring.

The shots on goal were 29-11 in favor of the Golden Bears.

Although Maruna said the long halftime delay kind of took away from the atmosphere of a state championship game, he had nothing but praise for Upper Arlington.

"They came out hot and played extremely well," said the young man who will be furthering his education and lacrosse career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Maruna then joined his teammates as they gathered in front of the LAX Cats' faithful and sang the alma mater.

"I'm just so proud that we made it to this point," said Coach McManamon '96 of the program's first state championship game appearance. "The outcome, obviously I don't know what happened. I'll have to watch the third quarter, I have no idea what happened in that third quarter. I don't think I've ever seen a quarter like that from us.

"We just didn't play well, I don't know if it was the moment, or what it was," Coach McManamon continued. "We seemed to be chasing our tail the entire time. But it's all the work that these guys put in to get us to this point and we got through the door. They'll be more (state championship games), I'm certain of that."

Those future state championship games will come under the OHSAA banner, as lacrosse becomes a sanctioned sport next year. 

The LAX Cats closed their season at 16-3 and the Golden Bears wrapped up yet another championship campaign at 20-3.         

    

 

  

 

    

      

 

    

 

Slide those record 11 Division I OHSAA State Football Championship trophies, three National Champion Football trophies and one National Runner-Up football trophy over just a bit. Coach Chuck Kyle has to make room for another OHSAA Gold Trophy in Track
6/4/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, June 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Kyle, recognized throughout the nation for his remarkable leadership of the Saint Ignatius High School Football Program, added his second OHSAA State Track and Field Championship to his amazing career, as the Wildcats, behind their gifted relay teams, long distance runners and sprinter James Norris, wrapped up the Division I Championship during Saturday's finals of the 109th OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The Track Cats, who Coach Kyle has been guiding for more than four decades, totaled 52 points in outdistancing Reynoldsburg, which finished with 31 points.

Before Coach Kyle begins his 34th season as his alma mater's Head Football Coach with a couple of mini camps this coming week, he is going to savor his second OHSAA State Track Championship for awhile.

A Hall of Fame Coach in both football and track and field, Coach Kyle also guided the Track Cats to the Division I Gold Trophy in 2001 and to a State Runner-Up finish in 2005.

Despite having no one in the field events or the hurdles, the 2016 Cats still brought the largest Division I boys contingent to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this weekend.

As we reported on the corner Friday afternoon, it all started with the area, state and nationally recognized 4x800 relay team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan, who brought home first place and 10 points during Friday's 4x800 final. Their time of 7:39.23 is a new school record.

Last season, Kruchan, Sullivan, Huber and Wagner finished second at state and scored eight points in a time of 7:47.32.
 
On Saturday, senior James Norris, who will be furthering his education and track career at Cornell, delivered six points with a third-place time of 11.00 in the 100 meter dash. James' rival over the past two seasons, the young sprinter Zion Cross of Lorain, took first place in 10.86.
 
Next it was the 1-2 punch of Wagner and Sullivan, as Luke and Tom went 3-5 in the 1600 meter run in totaling six and four points, respectively. Wagner ran a 4:12.70 and Tom turned in an effort of 4:13.11.
 
Kruchan, maybe the most versatile and most underrated track athlete in Northeast Ohio, gave his team eight points on Saturday by finishing second in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:53.03. Frank Hayes of Sylvania Southview garnered first place in a Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record of 1:49.16.
 
C.J. Ambrosio, another of Saint Ignatius' unsung, but oh so capable athletes, put forth an eight-point, second-place effort in the 3200 meter run. C.J.'s new school-record time of 9:01.78 (shattered previous mark by 9 seconds) was only bettered by an OHSAA Division I state meet and Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record time of 8:54.96 by Andrew Jordan of Watkins Memorial.
 
In what was Saint Ignatius' other first-place performance in the State Capital this weekend, the rich in talent 4x100 relay team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and Norris stormed their way to 10 points in a school-best 41.48.
 
Gentlemen, take a well-deserved bow, as you showed the way to what was a success-laden season in all seven of Saint Ignatius' spring sports.
 
Make it a school-best FIVE OHSAA State Championships this school year, as Wildcats Soccer (also a National Champion), Cross Country, Ice Hockey and Track are joined by the OHSAA's 182-pound State Wrestling Champion, Kaden Russell.
 
And, if I may, we can also add James Norris' Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Indoor State Meet record of 6.80 in the 60 meter dash that James set this past winter during the annual State Indoor Meet at the University of Akron. No other Saint Ignatius track athlete has ever accomplished that feat.
 
To Coach Kyle, his outstanding Coaching Staff and the gifted Track and Field Cats, congratulations from this old-timer. May God Bless You in all of your future endeavors.
Congratulations to Coach Chuck Kyle's Track Cats, who brought home the OHSAA Division I State Championship with a final total of 52 points on Saturday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University
6/4/2016

We will have a complete recap on the Track Cats' run to glory after returning home from the LAX Cats' state championship game vs Upper Arlington, which was won by the Golden Bears, 17-5.

The start of the second half in Hamilton Field at Thomas Worthington High School was delayed for more than an hour because of lightning and heavy rain.  

A huge congratulations from this corner to all of Saint Ignatius' special Alumni Award Recipients and Hall of Fame inductees
6/4/2016
Saint Ignatius' annual Alumni Awards Night will be held tonight, Saturday, June 4, as a part of Alumni Weekend.
 
This year's award recipients are Chris Smith '74 - Founders' Award, Oliver Luck '78 and A.J. Hyland '90 - Distinguished Alumni Awards, and Dale Gabor '66, David Gresky '00 and Patrick Massey '01 - Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees.
 
The Induction Ceremony and Reception will begin at 6 p.m. in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts. Join Saint Ignatius for Mass at 5 p.m. in St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel.

 

A shout out to the St. Joseph Academy Jaguars, who brought home their fourth consecutive RugbyOhio State Championship by defeating the Lakewood Rangers, 54-7, at Fairview High School on Friday night
6/4/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Jaime Cleary's gifted Jaguars completed a storied 2016 season, as they went undefeated in Ohio and captured the single-school National Championship.

The Jags are just too marvelous for words.

CONGRATS AGAIN FROM THE CORNER!     

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats leave it all on the field in a tough 12-7 loss to St. Edward in Friday night's RugbyOhio State Championship Match at Fairview High School
6/3/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Fairview Park, Ohio - After 60 minutes of regulation and some added extra time by the Sir, the scoreboard showed Saint Ignatius Rugby on the short end of Friday night's 12-7 state-championship matchup with longtime West Side rival St. Edward.

What the scoreboard couldn't show you was that for a significant stretch of those 60-plus minutes, Coach Dan Arbeznik's Wildcats were the more aggressive team in their pursuit of what would have been a third consecutive state championship victory over the Eagles.

No excuses offered, just the facts, as St. Edward prevailed to win its third RugbyOhio State Championship in five years.

Unlike what took place in the regular season and during the Midwest Championships, when Coach Tom Cleary's Eagles dominated Saint Ignatius by scores of 31-5 and 27-0, Friday night's lights in Dr. James B. Daley Stadium showed the Wildcats taking the match, and the physicality that accompanied it, right at the Eagles.

"I think the biggest difference was that everybody played hard for the full 60 tonight," said Saint Ignatius' standout senior leader Andrew Baldado. "I think we gave it 100 percent for 60 minutes, as opposed to 100 percent for like 40 minutes and 75 for the other 20.

"You talk about peaking at the right time," Baldado continued. "We peaked at the right time, we just didn't come out on top. With the prep for this match and the effort everybody put into it, we really did leave it all out on the field. I'm extremely proud of everyone's effort."  

Saint Ignatius, which closed at 11-7 against one of the most demanding schedules in the nation, found itself trailing the talent-rich and senior-laden Eagles, 5-0, after Joey "Doughnut" Donay fought his way to a try with just over seven minutes gone in the first half.

Fourteen minutes later, the Wildcats tied the score on a try by the big-hearted and resilient Brock Yoho and Baldado's ensuing conversion kick put Saint Ignatius in front, 7-5.

It stayed that way for the remainder of the first 30 minutes, as the teams took their halftime break.

With two proud programs looking to impose their will, Coach Arbeznik's Cats were still hanging tough for the majority of the second half until a big swing in field position off a punt by the gifted Jack Bradfield led to a short pitch for the 18-2 Eagles, who also faced a who's who schedule this spring.

St. Edward was on the doorstep with a line out from about 8 yards from the goal line and Coach Cleary's team took advantage with a try from Jaret Williamson that was followed by a conversion kick from Bradfield at 5:25 left to be played and counting.

The St. Edward faithful held their collective breath in the added time stretch, as Saint Ignatius was moving with authority before the time expired and the Eagles began celebrating their 2016 State Championship.

With both teams showing their mutual respect after the physical encounter, Saint Ignatius, which wasn't looking for a moral victory, huddled with Coach Arbeznik '00.

"The future is so bright for this program," said the physically talented and class-personified Baldado. "These guys are only getting started. We had our toughest schedule this year and it should remain tough over the next few years. I'm very confident in the team going forward. They're very capable of handling it. We'll have leadership next year that has experience and the fore mentioned heart is not just this year, it's every year."

After closing out his outstanding athletic career at Saint Ignatius, Baldado, who played a major role in the Wildcats' rise to Rugby prominence, will be heading to The Ohio State University, where he will join teammate Timmy Vanderhoof as part of the Buckeyes' Club Rugby program.

"We were penalized constantly in the second half, but we had two major goals," said Coach Arbeznik, the man who has molded Wildcats Rugby into a state and nationally recognized program in a relatively short period of time "Offensively, we can't turn the ball over by letting them steal our ball and they did a fair share of that in the second half. They didn't get our ball, but they got a lot of penalties off of it.

"I'm sure you saw watching on the sideline the referee's hand in the air, so we missed our objective with that," Coach Arbeznik said. "Defensively, I thought the kids just played their guts out. You saw guys like Nick Zolikoff, Tyler Sisko, Matt Lipaj, Timmy Vanderhoof and Timmy Nemes running out over and over again. It's an exhausting thing, they had to do that for 60 minutes. That's what we asked of those kids, and they did it.

"I thought our scrum down was excellent, we had trouble winning our own scrum against them before," Coach Arbeznik continued. "We just couldn't get enough phases going with the ball. We played defense most of the game. You have to have the ball to score.

"As you know, so many lessons come from defeat. You work your butt off and prepare for the best, and sometimes it's not going to happen."

Coach Arbeznik was quick to credit the efforts of Yoho, Juan Pen and Lipaj.

The Cats were hoping to get 20 minutes out of Pen and Juan gave his team almost 40, Lipaj turned in a solid performance in what was just his second Varsity starting assignment and Yoho, who returned to the lineup Friday night after being out since mid April with a major injury, not only scored the Cats' try, but gave Coach Arbeznik and his staff 60 minutes of tireless will.

"We worked four out of five days in practice on just coming hard defensively, smash mouth," said Yoho. "We were ready for this game and we played our hearts out. We played them until the end. For the sophomores and juniors, this was the biggest game they ever played. They know the stage now and they're going to bring it to them next year and for years to come."       

  

              

 

           

 

 

The Cats' gifted 4x100 relay runs a school-record 41.72 and also qualifies for Saturday's State Finals
6/3/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Congrats to the 4x100 team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris, who will be part of Saturday's run for glory in Division I after an outstanding prelim effort.

Saturday's final day of competition for Division I begins at 10:55 AM and the running finals are scheduled for 4:30 PM.

 

Cats standout senior sprinter James Norris qualifies for Saturday's finals with a 10.90 seventh-place qualifying time in the 100 meter dash. Zion Cross of Lorain had a first-place qualifying time of 10.66.
6/3/2016
The Wildcats outstanding 4x800 Meter Relay Team brings home first place as the Track Cats get off to a blazing start at the 109th annual OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
6/3/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The gifted 4x800 team of Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan took first place on Friday in a school-best  time of 7:39.23 and gave the Cats 10 points in what was the first finals event in Division I.

Dublin Coffman was second in 7:39.93 for eight points. The OHSAA Division I state and Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium 4x800 record is held by Cincinnati St. Xavier with a 7:36.33 in 2014. 

Up next in Division I will be the running preliminaries to determine who advances to Saturday's finals. 

CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE CORNER TO LUKE, TOM, MIKE AND COLIN FROM THE CLASS OF 2016, WHO HAVE HELPED BRING AREA, STATE AND NATIONAL PROMINENCE TO THE 2016 SAINT IGNATIUS TRACK AND FIELD TEAM.

NOTE: The corner will have a complete wrap up on this evening's State Track preliminaries after our coverage of tonight's RugbyOhio State Championship match between the two-time defending state champion Wildcats and the 2012 and 2013 state champion St. Edward Eagles. The kickoff is slated for 8 PM at Fairview High School.  

 

On Saturday, this corner will have the privilege again to report on Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats as they seek the program's first OHSLA State Championship with a 4:30 PM face off with Upper Arlington at Thomas Worthington High School
6/3/2016

The corner will share a spot in the press box with the dynamic trio of Ned Conry, Jared Yant and Jake Spence as they bring the action to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

For a look at the Lax Cats' impressive victory over Hudson in the State Semifinals, see the corner's story from Wednesday night.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

And just another reminder that Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats will be seeking a third consecutive OhioRugby state championship when they take on West Side rival St. Edward tonight at 8 at Fairview High School
6/3/2016

The Rugby Cats defeated the Eagles in that last two state championship matchups and in 2013 St. Edward eliminated the Cats in the state semifinals. St. Edward was the state champion in 2012 and 2013.

In this spring's matchups, St. Edward defended its pitch with a 31-5 victory over the Cats on April 14th and the Eagles also prevailed in the Midwest Championships by defeating Saint Ignatius, 27-0.

Losing to the Eagles in the regular season doesn't seem to faze Saint Ignatius, as after losing two regular-season matches to the Eagles in 2015 the Cats figured it out and "upset" St. Edward in a state-title matchup at Rocky River High School.

Just another reminder that Coach Jaime Cleary's National Champion St. Joseph Academy Jaguars will take on the Lakewood Rangers in the girls' OhioRugby State Championship match at 6 PM tonight at Fairview High School.

It is an all in the family night for the Clearys, as Jaime's husband, Tom, is the Head Coach of the Rugby Eagles from St. Edward.

See you tonight in my backyard.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer    

 

Just a reminder that Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track Cats will be competing at the annual OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament today at 4:45 PM with the 4x800 final and the running prelims in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University
6/3/2016
Saint Ignatius' resilient baseball season comes to an end with a 5-3, eight-inning loss to Pickerington North in Thursday's night's OHSAA Division I State Semifinal matchup in Huntington Park
6/3/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Columbus, Ohio - Displaying the same class and character he brought to his team in victory, Saint Ignatius' senior captain/third baseman Dennis Grosel pointed to the lasting impact the past four years have left on him and his teammates.

"A great group of seniors, we've battled together since freshman year," said Grosel, as he was packing up his equipment in the first base dugout at Huntington Park following the Wildcats' 5-3, eight-inning loss to Pickerington North in Thursday night's Division I State Baseball Semifinal.

Grosel, who closed out an outstanding athletic career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, said he will especially cherish the spring of 2016, when the Wildcats overcame the adversity of a 1-6 start and convinced their coaches and their fans that they would turn it around and make it a season to recall.     

"What I will take most from this year was our attitude to fight back and the trust and faith that the seniors and the rest of the team, the juniors and sophomores, had in each other," Grosel said. "Honestly, if we didn't have that, we wouldn't have made it through the Districts."

Head Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, seeded third at the Strongsville Sectional/District, not only brought home that District title by defeating second-seeded Strongsville and top-seeded St. Edward, but went on to capture another Regional Championship at Bowling Green State University and advance to the big-school State final four for the sixth time in Coach Ganor's 12 seasons as the head man of Saint Ignatius' Baseball Program and the 13th time overall.

Saint Ignatius brought home the Division I State Baseball Championship in 2002 under former Wildcats baseball and basketball mainstay Brian Morgan and was a state runner-up in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Coach Ganor, who was an assistant coach/pitching coach for the 2002 state championship team, set a school record by guiding his Cats to three consecutive state final fours in 2007, '08 and '09.       

In what was its second consecutive trip to the state semifinals, Saint Ignatius faced one of the OHSAA tournament's surprises on Thursday night, Coach Tim Thomas' Panthers from Pickerington North.

Pickerington North, which returned to baseball's final four after finishing as a state runner-up to perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in 2009, was seeded eighth in its sectional/district.

While Saint Ignatius was founded in 1886, Pickerington North opened its doors on August 24th, 2003.

Playing with a confidence level in the postseason that Coach Thomas described as being off the chart, the Panthers trailed the Wildcats, 1-0, after two innings.

Saint Ignatius, which closed its resilient season at 22-11, took that early lead in the bottom of the first on a two-out, bases-empty line drive single to right-center field by Grosel, a walk to senior designated hitter George Asadorian and an RBI single to left field off the bat of senior shortstop Kevin Mingus.

Pickerington North, which was eliminated in a regional semifinal each of the past two years, grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of third inning after there were two outs and the bases empty. The big blows were a base hit off an 0-1 pitch by Panthers third baseman Connor Ayers and an RBI triple to deep center field by center fielder Dillan Smith.

Saint Ignatius knotted the score at 2 in the bottom of the fourth off an authoritative leadoff double down the left-field line by Asadorian, a sacrifice bunt by Mingus and an RBI single to left by junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs.

The Panthers had their faithful roaring again in the top of the fifth after first baseman Justin Grubb delivered an RBI single with two outs that made it a 3-2 game in favor of North.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Wildcats senior pinch hitter John Robinson, battling back from an 0-2 count, drove a 2-2 pitch into right-center field for a lead-off single. A sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Nick Freund moved junior pinch runner Joe Gutbrod to second, and Grosel, a first-team All-Ohio quarterback this past fall, tied the score with a first-pitch swinging, two-out single to center field.

In the decisive eighth inning, Pickerington North, with two outs and runners on second and third, took a 5-3 lead off a sharply hit fly ball off the bat of Ayers that was slicing a bit and was misplayed by Saint Ignatius for a two-run error.

With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth, the Wildcats came up with base hits from sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, Dennis' brother, and sophomore catcher Drew Asadorian, George's brother.

Keeping its composure, Pickerington North ended the game with a 4-3 groundout and will take a record of 22-9 into Saturday's 1 PM Division I State Championship Game versus Cincinnati La Salle (25-7) in Huntington Park. The Lancers from La Salle advanced to the title game by defeating the Solon Comets, 5-4, in Thursday afternoon's semifinal.

Solon closed its season at 25-5.

"This game wasn't lost on one play," said Coach Ganor. "They're (the Panthers) a very good team and their pitcher (starter Koebe Rush) did a very nice job settling in. To be a part of it, to be able to coach at Saint Ignatius, is a dream come true and a chance of a lifetime. It's a chance of a lifetime, because I'm able to be around guys like this."    

        

 
 
 
 
The Lax Cats, behind 13 unanswered goals, dominate Hudson, 16-2, and earn a spot in Saturday's OHSLA Division I State Championship Game versus Upper Arlington
6/1/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - In what was a dominant display of offensive execution and defensive savvy, Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted and deep Lax Cats knocked the Hudson Explorers off the tournament trail with a resounding 16-2 victory in Wednesday night's OHSLA State Semifinal matchup in Royals Stadium on the campus of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.

With the victory, Saint Ignatius improves to 16-2 and advances to Saturday's 4:30 PM Division I State Championship Game versus the 17-time state champion Golden Bears from Upper Arlington. Saturday's title game will take place at Thomas Worthington High School in Franklin County.

The 19-3 Golden Bears, who defeated the Lax Cats,12-10, in an April 15th regular season encounter at Upper Arlington, advanced to yet another state championship game by defeating Loveland, 9-2, in Wednesday night's other semifinal.

Upper Arlington, which brought home the big-school lacrosse state championship in 2012, '13 and '14 and was the state runner-up to Cincinnati St. Xavier last season, also defeated Saint Ignatius in the 2015 state semifinals.

That just adds more fire to the Lax Cats' burning desire as they, like the Golden Bears, will take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's title matchup.

Saint Ignatius and Upper Arlington are second and third, respectively, in the state computer ratings by LaxPower and LaxPower has the Wildcats and the Golden Bears 3-4 in the Midwest ratings. Hudson, which closed its season at 14-6, is rated 13th in Ohio by LaxPower.    

"One more, just one more," said Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior attack Crew Cintron, who scored five goals on Wednesday night and was part of an overwhelming offensive and defensive surge that saw Coach McManamon's team, leading 3-2 with 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter, go on a 13-0 run that left the Explorers' faithful stunned.

Unlike the Lax Cats' memorable 13-12 victory over Hudson in late April off a Cintron goal in overtime on Wasmer Field, or Saint Ignatiius' 10-8, 2015 Regional Championship victory versus the Explorers, Wedneday night's state semifinal triumph was wrapped up midway through the third quarter.

Coach McManamon '96 and his staff were treated to several outstanding individual performances, including three goals and three assists from standout senior attack Alex Hornung, two goals from ever-present senior midfield Cam Gerard and solid nights from the gritty and skilled Avdey twins, senior middies Steve and Matt. Steve and Matt combined for three goals and Steve also had two assists.

The Lax Cats' other point producers included junior midfield Brent Chernosky with a goal and two assists, junior attack Riley Kinzel with a goal and sophomore midfield Bain Kurtz with a scoreboard lighter. Senior attack Sam Humphrey had a sweet assist, as did junior midfield Aaron Casile. Casile was also part of a defensive wall that the Lax Cats' middies built all night.   

Saint Ignatius' big offensive display was complemented by an aggressive and quick to react defense that again featured the talents of senior Alex Maruna and junior goalie Carter Blossey, among others.

The early going saw Hudson have some success with his trademark transition game, but that success was short-lived, as Gerard started the 13-0 barrage with a goal that gave the Lax Cats a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. Assisting was Humphrey.

"The guys listened, they stuck to the plan and they trusted each other," said Coach McManamon, who will enter Saturday's state championship game with a record of 88-38 in what is his seventh season as the leader of one of the nation's consistent programs. "We've told them all season, if you trust us and believe in the plan, we're going to be where we need to be.

"It all starts on defense, suffocating, absolutely suffocating," Coach McManamon continued. "They (Hudson) couldn't clear the ball and when they did clear the ball, they weren't getting any good looks. We just wanted to make sure that number 22 (Explorers standout Nate Menendez) wasn't taking any open shots on us. He got their first one (a goal that tied it at 1-1), just like we showed them on film fifty times. I think it all started to click in their minds, and that was the end of that. He never saw that look again. I couldn't be more proud of these guys."

As Matt Avdey put it, the plan was to take Menendez out of the game after Nate had a big night against the Lax Cats in the late April overtime thriller on Wasmer Field.

"He's a very good player and we kept our composure on defense," Matt said. "They had a couple of fast breaks, but we knew what they wanted to do and what we wanted to do. And we shut them down."

"We shot the backside a lot," Steve Avdey said of Saint Ignatius' blistering offense. "That's how we want to shoot on most goalies. He tended to guess low, so we kind of wanted to bounce it in front of him and get it over his shoulder. It seemed to work pretty well."

And maybe Matt Avdey  summed it all up when he said in a confident, but not cocky manner, "We played like we were better. We knew it was our game."

As for Upper Arlington's seven-goal, state-semifinal victory over Loveland, the team that upset defending state champion and top-ranked Cincinnati St. Xavier in last weekend's regional finals, the Golden Bears got a three-goal night from junior midfield E.J. Caldwell.

Among Upper Arlington's other contributors on Wednesday night were Jake Anderson, Alex Rankin, Ben Baker and Jack Dolan.

After another outstanding job of play by play and analysis, with a touch of classy and clever humor, Ned Conry, Jared Yant and Jake Spence of the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network will be back in the booth at Thomas Worthington on Saturday to bring you the Lax Cats' pursuit of what would be the relatively young program's first State Championship.

           

               

                              

Here are the key times for those following the Track and Field Cats this weekend
6/1/2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

4:45 p.m.

Division I Running Preliminaries
      4 x 800 Relay Final
Saturday, June 4, 2016
9:30 a.m. Division II Field Events (5)
9:30 a.m. Division III Running Finals
10:55 a.m. Seated Division 800 Meter (B/G)
12:00 p.m. Division I Field Events (5)
1:00 p.m. Division II Running Finals
2:05 p.m. Seated Division 400 Meter (B/G)
3:00 p.m. Division I Field Events (5)
4:30 p.m. Division I Running Finals
4:40 p.m. Seated Division 100 Meter (B/G
Coach Chuck Kyle brings a strong and experienced Division I contingent to this weekend's 109th annual State Track and Field Tournament
6/1/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - In what Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Track and Field Coach, Dean of Students and Wildcats all-time record holder in the discus Ryan Franzinger (189-4 in 2002) describes as the largest boys contingent from any school in Division I, the Wildcats look to carry their regular season, district and regional success into Friday's and Saturday's state competition at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Coming off impressive championship performances at the demanding Amherst Steele District and Regional Meets, Coach Chuck Kyle's deep and experienced team has a state-bound terrific 10 that consists of junior C.J Ambrosio in the 3200 meter run; senior Jack Cook in the 4x100 relay ; senior Mike Huber in the 4x800 relay; senior Colin Kruchan in the 4x800 and the 800; senior Quinn Lawless in the 4x100; senior James Norris in the 100 meter dash and the 4x100; senior James Rogers in the 800; senior Tom Sullivan in the 4x800 and the 1600; sophomore Phil Zuccaro in the 4x100 and senior Luke Wagner in the 4x800 and 1600.

With double the amount of athletes Saint Ignatius brought to last year's Division I state competition, the Wildcats have to be considered one of the favorites among the big schools. Coach Kyle guided his Track and Field Cats to the Division I State Championship in 2001 and to a State Runner-Up performance in 2005.

When we refer to Saint Ignatius as having big-time meet experience, you can start with Luke Wagner, who is making his fourth consecutive appearance at State, and senior James Norris, who is in Columbus this weekend for the third time in four years. Wagner and Norris will be furthering their educations and track careers at Iowa Sate and Cornell, respectively.

Led by five junior qualifiers, Saint Ignatius placed sixth at last year's 108th annual OHSAA Boys State Track and Field Tournament. Showing the way was the 4x800 meter relay team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan Mike Huber and Luke Wagner, which finished second in the state and scored eight points. That savvy and skilled foursome ran a 7:47.32 at state, bettering its first-place effort of 7:51.12 at the 2015 Amherst Regional.

The Cats' other points at the 2015 State Meet came from Norris and the efforts by Wagner and Sullivan in the 1600 meter run.
James finished fourth in the 100 meter dash in 10.87. He was second at the 2015 Amherst Regional in 10.78.
The dynamic duo of Wagner and the Duke University bound Sullivan placed sixth and seventh, respectively, during last year's 1600 meter state-championship run. Luke's time was 4:15.42 and Tom's effort was 4:16.64. As Coach Kyle emphasized, it is very rare to have two competitors from the same team score in the 1600.
So as you can see, depth, versatility and experience have carried Saint Ignatius throughout most of the spring of 2016.
In case you missed them, here are the Wildcats' highlights from last weekend's Amherst Steele Regional/State Qualifying Meet. This can give you a barometer for what might be in store for this weekend.
Luke Wagner (4:15.56) and Tom Sullivan (4:17.20) finished first and third, respectively, in the 1600 Meter Run for a total of 16 points.
The gifted 4x800 Meter Relay Team of Wagner, Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan placed second in a time 7:46.26 for 8 points.
The superb 4x100 Meter Relay Team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris took first place in a time of 42.06 for 10 points.
James Norris was fourth in the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 10.80 for five points. Zion Cross of Lorain was first in a time of 10.57.
Colin Kruchan was second in the 800 Meter Run with a time of 1:51.57 for 8 points and Mike Huber was seventh in a time of 1:54.91 for 2 points.
James Norris (21.95) finished seventh in the 200 Meter Dash for 2 points and Zion Cross of Lorain was first in 21.43 for 10 points.
C.J. Ambrosio (9:12.56) and Jim Rogers (9:25.73)  finished first and fourth, respectively, in the 3200 Meter Run for a total of 15 points.
Norris qualified for the finals of the Amherst Steele Regional 100 meter dash by breaking his own school record with a 10.61 first-place qualifying time.
Zion Cross of Lorain, who has established a friendly rivalry with James, was second with a prelim qualifying time of 10.69 
James' effort surpassed his previous school record of 10.66.
In what was his second Wildcats all-time mark, James ran a 21.50 in the 200 meter dash, which gave him a second-place qualifying time for the Amherst Steele finals. Cross took first place in the prelims with an effort of 21.44.
National Prominence: As we reported earlier this track season, Saint Ignatius' 4x800 Meter Relay Team of Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan were invited to compete at this year's prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia. Competing against the best of the best, the Cats' gifted senior foursome placed seventh overall and fourth among 4x800 teams from the United States.
Some more numbers from Coach Franzinger: Only 7 percent of the 343 boys competing at this weekend's State Track and Field Tournament are from Catholic Schools.    
 
         
  
 
It's Friday Night Fever in Fairview Park as the Rugby Cats look to defend their back-to-back State Titles verus longtime rival St. Edward
6/1/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From my palatial estate in Fairview Park

Rugby fans will be treated to a Division I RugbyOhio State Championship Doubleheader on Friday night in Dr. James D. Daley Stadium at Fairview Park High School, as the National Champion St. Joseph Academy Jaguars are scheduled to face the Lakewood Rangers at 6 bells for Girls State Title and at 8 PM it's the 11-6 Rugby Cats versus the 14-2 St. Edward Eagles for the Boys State Crown.

We say "are scheduled" because we've seen several different versions of the starting times for Friday night. We'll keep you updated as the week goes along.

Saint Ignatius (11-6), coming off an 18-10 triumph over the Archbishop Moeller Crusaders in Saturday afternoon's RugbyOhio State Semifinals, a match that took place near the Polaris Shopping Center in Columbus, is preparing to defend its back-to-back State Championship victories over St. Edward in 2014 and '15.

And the Cats are hoping history repeats itself, as after losing to St. Edward twice during the regular season in 2015, Saint Ignatius turned the Eagles away in the State Title Matchup at the Pirates Port on the campus of Rocky River High School. I'm showing my age with the "Pirates Port" reference.

Only Rocky River's former outstanding baseball and basketball coach Jim Rucki, whom I had the pleasure to chat with during the Wildcats' 3-1 Regional Championship Baseball victory over Anthony Wayne last weekend, would appreciate the "Pirates Port" reference.

As for this spring, the Eagles own two dominant victories over Saint Ignatius, 31-5 at St. Edward on April 14th and 27-0 during the Midwest Championships.

Although there could be an updated poll later this week, the highly respected Goff Report has the Eagles sixth and the Cats eighth in the Boys Single-School National Rankings.

In 2014, which was only the second season for Rugby being a Varsity sport at Saint Ignatius, the Cats defeated the Eagles, 31-12, in the State Title Match at Dante Lavelli Stadium in Hudson.

In 2013, St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 22-13, in the State Semifinals. The Eagles were back-to-back State Champs in 2012 and 2013.

Yes, Fairview Park is Rugby Central on Friday. Try it. You'll like it.    

 

A trusting bind that was challenged early in the season was never broken, and now Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats are right where they planned to be, competing for the 2016 OHSAA Division I State Championship
5/31/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May/June 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - As Saint Ignatius' talented right-hander Braydon Nelson was about to take the mound in last Friday's OHSAA Division I Regional Championship Game versus Whtehouse Anthony Wayne at Bowling Green State University's Stellar Field, Wildcats junior catcher Jeff Chonko, sidelined for the season with an injury, but still an integral part of the team, offered Braydon some encouragement

"When I was coming out of the bullpen, the last thing Chonko told me was that I had the best defense in the state behind me," said Nelson, who came on in relief with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Wildcats clinging to a 2-1 lead "That helped me for the rest of the game," said the 6-4, 200-pound junior. "I knew I could count on them to make the plays and all I had to do was throw the strikes. And they made all of the plays."

Turing almost exclusively to his fastball on a night when his curve was not cooperating, Nelson (3-0 with 3 saves) threw strikes over 2 2/3 scoreless innings and the Cats made all of the crucial plays in the field, including a highlight-reel, two-hop throw to third base from senior center fielder Mike Rogers to senior third baseman Dennis Grosel that wiped out the runner trying to advance from first to third with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

That combination of pitching and defense, bolstered by a lead-off triple by Rogers and the ensuing RBI single by sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, Dennis' brother, in the top of the seventh, paved the way to a 3-1 Regional-Championship victory over the Generals from Anthony Wayne.  

In so many ways, that bullpen exchange between Nelson and Chonko sums up what the 2016 Baseball Cats are all about.

Instead of becoming discouraged by his injury, "Coach Chonko," as Jeff is referred to by his teammates, became a vital part of the team in terms of support and encouragement. Jeff is a great nephew to former Parma Senior Redmen and The Ohio State University standout athlete Dr. Arnie Chonko.

Even after that Wednesday afternoon in mid-April, when Saint Ignatius fell to 1-6 with a 2-0 loss at Massillon Washington, Coach Ganor's Cats stayed focused on a trust in the old adage that if there's a will, there's a way.

And that unbending trust and will now have the Cats standing 22-10 and preparing for the program's 13th appearance at the OHSAA's annual State Baseball Tournament and the sixth trip to the final four under Coach Ganor, who became Saint Ignatius' head baseball coach in 2005.

Coach Ganor's Cats set a school record with three consecutive trips to baseball's final four in 2007, '08 and '09 and returned to the final four in 2013 and 2015. The 2008 and 2013 teams were state runners-up. Saint Ignatius was also a state runner-up in 2000 and in 2002 the Cats brought home the Division I State Championship under former Saint Ignatius standout pitcher and basketball mainstay, Coach Brian Morgan. Coach Ganor was an Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach on the 2002 State Championship Team.        

Behind Coach Ganor's three laws of trust - trusting yourself, trusting your teammates and trusting your coaches - the Cats will send gifted junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams (6-3) to the mound on Thursday night in a Division I State Semifinal matchup with the 21-9 Panthers from Pickerington North. The first pitch from Huntington Park in Columbus will be 7 PM in what is the 89th annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournament.

Coach Tim Thomas' Panthers from Pickerington North have returned to the final four after finishing as a state runner-up to perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in 2009, 5-2. Those 2009 Panthers finished an impressive 30-4.

Pickerington North has also won four OCC Championships ('08, '09, '11 and '13) and four District Titles ('09, '14, '15 and '16).

While Saint Ignatius was founded in 1886, Pickerington North opened its doors on August 24th, 2003. Among some of North's notable graduates is current University of Michigan standout tight end Jake Butt, a future NFL prospect.

Here is a look at the Pickerington North Panthers, along with a breakdown on Cincinnati La Salle and Solon, who meet in Thursday's 4 PM Division I State Semifinal in Huntington Park. Thursday's winners will return to Huntington Park on Saturday for the 1 PM State Championship Game.
 
Pickerington North, which was eliminated in a regional semifinal each of the past two years, advanced to the state semifinal matchup with Saint Ignatius by defeating Gahanna Lincoln, 3-2, in last Friday afternoon's Regional Finals. The Panthers are one of the tournament's surprises after being seeded eighth in their sectional/district.
 
After defeating second-seeded Westerville Central, 1-0, in a district final Coach Thomas told his local media that his Panthers have a confidence level that is "off the chart." Sound familiar?
 
Of course going from a four-game losing streak to a five-game winning streak can do that for you.
 
Among the Panthers to watch are 6-4, 240 pound senior pitcher/first baseman Koebe Rush, 6-4 pitcher/first baseman Justin Grubb, who threw a solid game in the district finals, senior outfielder Nick Whetnall and catcher/pitcher Branden Focarett.
 
Cincinnati La Salle (24-7) is state bound for the first time since 1995. The Lancers, better known for their prowess on the gridiron, earned the right to face Solon in Thursday's semifinals by defeating Milford, 7-1, in last weekend's Regional Final at Marge Schott Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.
 
Milford is the school Saint Ignatius defeated, 11-10, in the 2002 State Championship Game. Can you say Matt Miller? Look it up.
 
In what is the 50th anniversary of the Lancers' baseball program, La Salle Head Coach Joe Voegele was treated to a three-hit compete game from his ace senior pitcher Jacob Kaiser against Milford. A University of Charleston signee, Kaiser was able to stymie a Milford club that entered the regional final on an 11-game winning streak. Milford bowed out at 28-3.
 
In 27 postseason innings, Kaiser has allowed just 2 earned runs. He is 9-1 on the season and 14-1 in his Varsity career. La Salle's seven runs against Milford came despite leaving double-digit runners on base.
 
As for the Solon Comets, they advanced to baseball's final four for the seventh time by run-ruling the Stow Bulldogs.
 
Johnny Mooney's two-run double gave the Comets the early lead and it was Katy Bar the Door after Solon made it 9-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
 
Stow had multiple runners on base in the first three innings, but each time the Comets' defense had the answer.
 
Coach Damien Kopkas has guided Solon to a record of 24-5. Stow's coaching staff referred to the Comets as a great team.
 
Solon's previous trips to the final four came in 1991, 1983, 1972 (state runner-up), 1955, 1930 and 1929.
 
Just FYI, the SIBN's triple play of Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Matt MacKenzie will bring you the action live from Huntington Park over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.
 
We will see you at Huntington Park.  
 
         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

.

 

 

 

        

     

        

 

 

 

 

 

    

THE 2016 SAINT IGNATIUS STATE TOURNAMENT PREVIEW. BASEBALL, TRACK, LACROSSE AND RUGBY CARRY THE BLUE AND GOLD BANNER INTO STATE COMPETITION THIS WEEK AND WEEKEND.
5/31/2016
By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May/June 2016
Cleveland, Ohio - The road to state prominence begins on Wednesday night, as Coach Patrick McManamon will send his 15-2 Lax Cats into an Ohio High School Lacrosse Association State Semifinal matchup with the 14-5 Hudson Explorers.
The face-off from Royals Stadium at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy will be 7 PM.
Saint Ignatius, which is making its third state final four appearance since 2013, enters Wednesday's night's semifinal on a six-game winning streak. The Lax Cats earned the right to face the Explorers by rallying to a hard-fought, 6-4 victory over a solid Olentangy Liberty program in Saturday's Regional Championship Game on Wasmer Field (see the corner's story from Saturday, May 28).
The Lax Cats are currently rated second in the state in Division I, No. 1 in the Northwest Region and third in the Midwest by the LaxPower computer ratings. LaxPower has Hudson rated 11th in the state, No. 1 in the Northeast Region and 19th in the Midwest.
Saint Ignatius and Hudson have a rich rivalry in the sport of lacrosse.
That was never more evident than the regular season encounter on April 27th at Wasmer Field, when the Lax Cats turned away the Explorers, 13-12, in overtime on a goal by standout senior attack Crew Cintron. In what was a test of wills, that April 27th matchup goes down as one of the greatest games in the history of the OHSLA.
Hudson's Nate Menendez produced two goals that erased a two-score deficit and evened things up at 11 with 1:54 remaining in regulation. Saint Ignatius' ever-present senior midfield Cam Gerard rose to the occasion with his fourth goal, an out of nowhere effort that gave Saint Ignatius a 12-11 lead with 58.8 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
That set the stage for Luc Jambon's game-tying rocket for the Explorers and Cintron's sweet move and winning score in OT.
While that April 27th night in Ohio City was one for the highlight reel, the stakes at Royals Stadium on Wednesday night will be much higher.
Wednesday night will mark the first time that Saint Ignatius and Hudson are meeting at the final four level.
Last year, the Lax Cats ended Hudson's perfect season with a 10-8 triumph in a Regional Championship Game at Wooster High School. Cintron gave the Cats an 8-7 lead with 7:35 remaining in the fourth quarter and, after Hudson tied the score, Cintron stepped up again and tallied a man-down goal that put Coach McManamon's team up, 9-8, with 6:19 left.
A scoop and score by Gerard extended Saint Ignatius' lead to 10-8 with 3:05 to go and the Cats' defense said no more, as another All-Region mainstay, Alex Maruna, sealed the deal with an exceptional check.
Hudson, which entered the game as the No. 1 team in Ohio, closed its 2015 season at 19-1.
The Explorers earned Wednesday night's state semifinal matchup with the Lax Cats by dominating North Canton Hoover, 17-5, in Saturday's Northeast Region title game at Hudson Memorial Stadium. Hoover was the second-seeded team in the Northeast Region.
Wednesday's second game with Saint Ignatius in just over a month will be Hudson's ninth trip to the final four over the past 11 years.
As for the dominant performance against Hoover, the Explorers' Chris Motter controlled the face-offs, Menendez had four goals and an assist, Jambon had two goals and two assists, and Max Cole added two goals and an assist. Hudson led, 8-0, after the first quarter and a running clock was employed after the Explorers extended their lead to 15-3 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
The other half of Wednesday's state final four bracket has perennial power Upper Arlington (18-3), rated third in Ohio by LaxPower, taking on Loveland (17-3). Loveland pulled off an "upset" last Friday night by defeating 2015 State Champion Cincinnati St. Xaxier, 6-5, in three overtimes in a Regional Final. The now 19-3 Xavier Bombers entered the game as the top-rated team in Ohio by LaxPower.
Senior midfield Michael Newbold scored the game-winner for Loveland at the 58th minute of play off a strong move to his left and the team from Hamilton County also benefitted from a 30-save performance from its man in the cage, senior Marshall Amon.
Upper Arlington and Saint Ignatius played an interesting game back in April at Upper Arlington, with the Golden Bears prevailing, 12-10.
Coach McManamon will take a record of 87-38 into Wednesday's state semifinal in what is his seventh season as the head man of the Lax Cats.
Next year will mark a significant change in Ohio lacrosse, as starting in 2017 the sport will be sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
NOTE: Coming up today on the corner we will take a look at the state-bound Baseball Cats, Track Cats and Rugby Cats.
  
 
 

 

Coming up Tuesday on the corner. We'll take a look at Wildcats Baseball, Track, Lacrosse and Rugby as they gear up for their State competition.
5/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

For a look at what was another impressive week and weekend in Saint Ignatius Athletics, see the corner's posts below.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SAINT IGNATIUS GRADUATING CLASS OF 2016. MAY GOD BLESS YOU IN ALL OF YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS. - MR. EDDIE DWYER.
5/29/2016
We wrap up a Saturday in Saint Ignatius sports with some news items on Rugby and the Crew Cats
5/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Here we go again!

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats, overcoming a 20-6 deficit in penalties, defeated Archbishop Moeller, 18-10, in a State Semifinal matchup on Saturday afternoon in the State Capital of Columbus, Ohio. Saint Ignatius also defeated Archbishop Moeller, 29-0, in the Queen City during the second week of the regular season.  

With the victory, the two-time defending RugbyOhio State Champion Wildcats improved to 11-6 and advanced to Friday's State Championship Match versus the 14-2 St. Edward Eagles at Dr. James D. Daley Stadium in Fairview Park. St. Edward lists Friday's kickoff as 7 PM.

Friday's match will mark the fourth consecutive season that the Cats and the Eagles are meeting on the state tournament level.

In 2013, St. Edward eliminated Saint Ignatius in a State Semifinal Match at Hudson and the Wildcats won their back-to-back State Championships in 2014 and 2015 by defeating the Eagles in both of those State Championship Matches.

The last four Rugby State Championships have been won by either St. Edward or Saint Ignatius, as the Eagles did the honors in 2012 and 2013.

Saint Ignatius and St. Edward have met twice this season, with the Eagles winning 31-5 on April 14th at St. Edward and 27-0 in the annual Midwest Tournament

St. Edward advanced to Friday's State Championship Match by defeating St. Xavier in a Katy Bar the Door final of 82-3 on Saturday afternoon in Fairview Park's Dr.James D. Daley Stadium.

And last, but certainly not least, a tip of the corner's many caps goes out to the Crew Cats' J4 Boat, which finished fourth and just missed out on winning a medal in Saturday's Nationals, and the F8, which missed the Grand Final by 1.8 seconds and had the 7th fastest time overall.

We say congrats to our friends at St. Joseph Academy, whose Crew Team brought home a Silver Medal at Nationals.

Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.

    

 

 

        

 

 

Trailing by two goals with 6:40 remaining in the first half and 4-3 entering the fourth quarter, the gifted and tough-minded Lax Cats rally to a 6-4 Northwest Regional Championship victory over Olentangy Liberty on Wasmer Field Saturday afternoon
5/28/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May-June 2016

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 15-2 and extended its winning streak to six games, rallied behind the scoring of seniors Alex Hornung (2 crucial goals), Cam Gerard and Jared Stepka (a sweet athletic move for the go-ahead goal), and put the sealer on what will be the Lax Cats' third trip to the State final four in four years on a goal by senior Crew Cintron with 20.7 seconds remaining to be played. Another of the Cats' savvy seniors, midfield Matt Avdey, scored the game's first goal with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.  

Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and his staff were also treated to a tremendous defensive effort, especially in the second half, a defense that was fueled by junior goalie Carter Blossey, senior defense John Dzurec, junior defense Sean Keller and the ever-present senior defense Alex Maruna.

With the victory, Coach McManamon's Cats advanced to an OHSLA State Semifinal matchup with the Hudson Explorers on Wednesday at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. The opening faceoff is 7 PM.

Saint Ignatius and Hudson played one of the greatest games in the history of the OHSLA on April 27th at Wasmer Field, a test-of-wills encounter that saw the Lax Cats prevail, 13-12, on a goal by Crew Cintron off a memorable move in Sudden-Victory Overtime.

The Cats also defeated what was an undefeated Hudson team at the time, 10-8, in last year's Regional Championship Game at Wooster High School.

Coach McManamon said Wednesday's State Semifinal encounter with the Explorers will mark the first time that Saint Ignatius and Hudson are taking their rivalry to the OHSLA final four level.

Here is a corner's view on Saturday's Northwest Regional Championship victory over the Patriots from Olentangy Liberty, which saw the Lax Cats and the now 16-5 Patriots enter the game as the state's second and fifth-ranked teams, respectively, in the LaxPower computer ratings. Saint Ignatius and Liberty also faced off rated 1-2 in the Northwest Region by LaxPower.    

Ohio City - As we wrote in the lead-in to this story, the Lax Cats grabbed the early momentum on a goal by Matt Avdey that saw Jared Stepka help create space and Matt strike from the lower left side.

The rest of the first 18 minutes pretty much belonged to Liberty, which displayed a run-and-gun offense and a solid rotation defensively in route to taking a 3-1 lead.

Providing the early firepower for the Patriots were sophomore midfield Johnny Wiseman and Junior midfield Griffin Hughes. Wiseman knotted the score at 1 off a goal with 4:01 left in the first quarter and Hughes gave the Pats a 2-1 lead with a running move and shot in front of the cage with 39 seconds to go in the opening quarter.

After Wiseman fired home his second goal on the afternoon, Liberty led, 3-1, with six minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

It was at that point, Saint Ignatius' defense said enough of this nonsense and started controlling the pace with relentless pressure that saw the Lax Cats begin to ride and disrupt the Pats at every opportunity.

Senior attack and Canisius College recruit Alex Hornung sent home his program-leading 119th career goal with 1:08 left in the first half and it stayed a 3-2 game entering the third quarter.

A shot and strike by senior midfield Cam Gerard tied the score just 30 seconds into the second half and, with junior goalie Carter Blossey coming up with some big-time saves and seniors John Dzurec, Alex Maruna and junior Sean Keller making their aggressive defensive presence felt all over Wasmer Field, it was who wants it more, the Cats or the Pats?

Liberty certainly didn't go gently into a warm and humid Saturday afternoon in Ohio City, as the team from Delaware County regained the lead, 4-3, on a goal by junior attack Vincent Ramondelli with 7:43 left in the third quarter.

With the Patriots clinging to a one-goal advantage entering the final 12 minutes, Keller put forth some exceptional stick work defensively and up stepped Hornung and Stepka.

Hornung tied the score on career goal No. 120 less than four minutes into the fourth quarter and, just over two minutes later, Stepka put forth an exceptional fake and finish that silenced Liberty's spirited faithful.

Stepka's highlight-reel footwork goal gave the Lax Cats' their first advantage since the opening goal of the game by Matt Avdey and smooth senior attack Crew Cintron, a Lehigh University recruit, left no doubt with his 113th career goal in the final 21 seconds.

From Coach McManamon:  "That's a tough team," said Coach McManamon of Liberty. "That 9 (Griffin Hughes) and 22 (Johnny Wiseman), those kids are real players, there is no doubt about that. They're a tough out and they're pretty young, too, so they're going to have a great future.

"We stuck to our plan," Coach McManamon continued in reference to the Lax Cats' clutch play down the stretch. "There were times when we made some bone-head plays, but they're high school guys. Sometimes they pay attention and sometimes they don't, but when it mattered most, they stuck to the plan, they carried it out and they didn't respond to anything that was going on out on the field. I told the seniors, this is the last time you're going to be playing on this field and you're not going to let anyone come up here and beat us on this field."

From Carter Blossey: "We've been involved in games like this all of the time," said the Cats' man in the cage. "It's just a matter of playing together and playing with our heads. Liberty plays a real transitional game and we're not that type of a team. Once they started doing that, we sort of fell into their trap.

"That's what happened early in the game," Carter continued. "We tried just running up and down the field and we got so many turnovers off that. But once we started slowing it down, we got the lead back and locked up. The communication (defensively) is huge. Once we took that lead we locked them down on defense, knowing where you're at on the field, and settled into our offense. That was definitely one of the top teams we played all season."

From Sean Keller: "The first half, we were like high strung as a team, missing slides and missing help," said the young man who is a defensive mainstay. "That's how they got those first two goals. The second half we talked through it, those second slides. We were tired at the end (on what was a humid day), but we stayed patient and communicated."

Back Home: On hand at Wasmer Field Saturday afternoon were Ryan and Trent Zenkewicz, two of the standout linemen on Coach Chuck Kyle's first Division I State Championship Football Team of 1988. Ryan's son, Kyle Zenkewicz, is a junior attack for Olentangy Liberty.

Trent Zenkewicz, a three-year, two-way Varsity starter for Coach Kyle, went on to an outstanding career at the University Michigan. Trent was without question the greatest high school defensive lineman I ever had the pleasure and privilege to cover and report on. And I'm not the only one of that opinion, as Trent was selected as one of the Top 50 Area High School Football Players by The Plain Dealer in an era that covered more than five decades.

And when they talk about underrated players from the 1980s, Ryan Zenkewicz has to be on that list.

Moving Up: Along with their state and region ratings, the Lax Cats, as of Saturday, were rated third in the Midwest by LaxPower. Well deserved.                                      

 

       

 

      

   

 

Congrats to Coach Casey Marcelo and his gifted Volleyball Cats, whose marvelous 22-5 season came to an end this afternoon with a loss to Cincinnati Elder in the OHSBVA State Quarterfinal Round at Captial University
5/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Elder, which also defeated the Cats in the regular season, led, 2-1, and put another W in its column by winning the decisive set, 25-17.

Coach Marcelo's Cats entered the State Tournament as the fourth-ranked team in the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association Division I State Poll and were the top-ranked Division I program in the North Region, also by the OHSBVA.

Led by a strong and gifted senior class that was a great example for the underclassmen, Coach Marcelo and his staff will look for youth to be served in 2017, as the Volleyball Cats keep fueling their drive to success.

 

A tip of the corner's cap to Mr. Drew Vilinsky '97
5/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Before this old-timer catches a few winks in preparation for today's 1 PM OHSLA Northwest Region Championship Game between the Lax Cats and Olentangy Liberty on Wasmer Field, I would like to congratulate Drew, who this week was presented the Father Sullivan Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Drew, who serves as the Chaplin for Coach Brad Ganor's highly successful Baseball Program and is part of the outstanding four-time State Champion Saint Ignatius Ice Hockey Program as Coach Pat O'Rourke's Head Junior Varsity Coach, was recognized by his peers and the Saint Ignatius Administration for his excellence in the classroom and his tremendous counseling outside of the classroom.

Drew teaches Freshmen Theology and Junior Morality.

Again, congratulations to Drew, his family and the Saint Ignatius Student Body, which is blessed to have a man of Drew Vilinsky's character and dedication.

 

   

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats bring home the talent-rich Amherst Steele Division I Regional Championship on Friday evening and will send a strong representation to next weekend's annual State competition
5/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, behind a strong second night at Amherst Steele, took home first place with 70 points. Wadsworth was next with 55 points, and Berea-Midpark and Toledo St. John's Jesuit followed with 38 and 36.50 points, respectively.

The Cats were coming off last weekend's impressive District Championship at Amherst Steele and made it a Marion L. Steele sweep on Friday as they now gear up for next weekend's 109th annual State Track and Field Meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University. The Division I State Tournament Running Preliminaries begin at 4:45 PM next Friday as does the 4x800 Meter Relay State Championship Race.

Here are Saint Ignatius' Regional highlights from Amherst Steele.

Luke Wagner (4:15.56) and Tom Sullivan (4:17.20) finished first and third, respectively, in the 1600 Meter Run for a total of 16 points.

The gifted 4x800 Meter Relay Team of Wagner, Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan placed second in a time 7:46.26 for 8 points.

Jack Ruddy took fifth place in the 300 Meter Hurdles in a time of 39.41 for 4 points.

The superb 4x100 Meter Relay Team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris took first place in a time of 42.06 for 10 points.

James Norris was fourth in the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 10.80 for five points. Zion Cross of Lorain was first in a time of 10.57.

Colin Kruchan was second in the 800 Meter Run with a time of 1:51.57 for 8 points and Mike Huber was seventh in a time of 1:54.91 for 2 points.

James Norris (21.95) finished seventh in the 200 Meter Dash for 2 points and Zion Cross of Lorain was first in 21.43 for 10 points.

C.J. Ambrosio (9:12.56) and Jim Rogers (9:25.73)  finished first and fourth, respectively, in the 3200 Meter Run for a total of 15 points.

Another strong performance gentlemen. God Bless and All of the Best at State! 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

STATE BOUND! The resilient Baseball Wildcats, behind the pitching of Murphy O'Brien and Braydon Nelson, an outstanding defense and a timely and efficient offense, turn back Anthony Wayne, 3-1, in Friday's Regional Final at Bowling Green State University.
5/27/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

From Bowling Green State University's Steller Field.

Following his outstanding play in center field in the bottom of the sixth inning and big-time leadoff triple in the top of the seventh, Saint Ignatius senior tri-captain and Ashland University recruit Mike Rogers said the "big word" that has accompanied the Wildcats after losing six of their first seven games this spring is "trust."

"We just knew what it took to get better, we kept battling and had trust in each other, trust in every play and everything we set out to do," said Rogers after he helped Coach Brad Ganor's Cats to a 3-1 victory over a very solid team from Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in Friday night's OHSAA Division I Regional Championship Baseball Game on the campus of Bowling Green State University. "It is awesome to be going back again."

Where Coach Ganor's resilient and gifted Wildcats are heading is to their second consecutive state final four appearance, the program's sixth since 2007 and the 13th in the 130-year history of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

Those six trips since 2007 to Ohio High School Baseball's big show have all come under Coach Ganor, who became Saint Ignatius' Head Coach in 2005. The Cats were OHSAA Division I State Champs in 2002 under Coach Brian Morgan and finished as State Runners-Up in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Coach Ganor was an Assistant/Pitching Coach for the Cats' 2002 State Championship Team.  

Saint Ignatius, which now stands 22-10 after its 1-6 start, will face Pickerington North (21-9) in Thursday night's OHSAA Division I State Semifinal at Huntington Park in Columbus. The first pitch will be 7 PM and Wildcats standout junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams (6- 3) is expected to get the starting call from Coach Ganor.

Pickerington North, one of the tournament's surprises after being seeded eighth for the sectional-district tournament, will be making its second appearance in baseball's State Final Four. The first time came in 2009. North advanced to face Saint Ignatius by defeating highly regarded Gahanna Lincoln, 3-2, in Friday afternoon's Regional final action.

The other half of the Division I State Semifinal Bracket matches the 25-4 Solon Comets against the 24-7 Lancers from Cincinnati La Salle on Thursday at 4 PM in Huntington Park. Solon advanced by defeating Stow, 10-0, in five innings and La Salle eliminated Milford, 7-1. Milford is the program Saint Ignatius defeated, 11-10, in the 2002 Division I State Championship Game.

La Salle has reached the State Baseball Semifinals for the first time since 1995. The Lancers are celebrating 50 years of baseball at the school that resides on North Bend Road in the Queen City.  

Thursday's winners will meet in the 89th annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournament Division I Championship Game next Saturday at 1 PM in Huntington Park.

Starting Early, Again: In the second half of the regular season and throughout the postseason tournament, Coach Ganor and his baseball savvy staff of Mark Terlep, John Whelan, Frank DeSico and Matt Blazer have told the Baseball Cats time and again how important it is to come out and land the first shot.

The Cats enter next weekend's State Final Four taking great pride in how well they have executed what their coaches have preached. And Friday was no different.

Designated as the visitor once again, Saint Ignatius came out attacking in the top of the first inning and combined a leadoff single by senior right fielder Nick Freund, a two-base throwing error, an RBI single to right field by senior third baseman/tri-captain Dennis Grosel, and a run-scoring double down the left-field line by senior designated hitter George Asadorian into a 2-0 lead.

Anthony Wayne, which stayed right on the Cats' heels thanks to five consecutive shutout innings by senior pitcher Mike Conklin, who also displayed a successful pick-off move to first base, cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the third.

Left fielder Sean Mowery, the ninth batter in the Generals' order, singled to left-center field and right fielder and lead off hitter Nick Schneider followed with a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout by catcher C.J. Deacon, Wayne's impressive center fielder Evan Brown followed with an RBI single to center field.

Saint Ignatius' gritty and skilled senior right-hander/tri-captain Murphy O'Brien (5-2) turned away every other challenge the Generals generated, including runners on second and third with just one out in the bottom of the fourth. O'Brien is a St. Bonaventure University recruit.

Cats junior right-hander Braydon Nelson, who relieved O'Brien with one out in the bottom of the fifth, used his fastball almost exclusively in also keeping Anthony Wayne frustrated. The Generals stranded 11 base runners.

Nelson, who now has three saves on the season to go along with his 3-0 record as a starter, benefitted big time from an exceptional play by Rogers in center field with one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth.

The next batter hit a tough one-hop single into left-center field that Rogers charged and fired a two-hop dart to Dennis Grosel at third base, who applied the tag on the lead runner as he was trying to go from first to third.

Riding the emotion of his on-the-money throw, Rogers led off the top of the seventh with a triple to the gap in left-center field and scored the game's final run off an RBI single to center field by sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, Dennis' brother.

"I was ready to make a big play," said Rogers. "I wanted the ball hit to me. There's nothing better than making a play like that on this stage."

Among the Cats' other big plays in the field were the 6-5 turned in by senior shortstop Kevin Mingus and Dennis Grosel that saw Grosel run down the fleet-footed Brown after he broke for third off a ground ball to Mingus, and Tommy Grosel's 3-1 toss to Nelson off a wicked hop to the right side for the first out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Nelson also did his part defensively by kick stopping a hard shot up the middle that saw Braydon take the ball out of the air as it came right back to him and make the easy flip to Tommy Grosel at first base.          

Along with his web gem in the bottom of the sixth, Rogers also made a diving catch in the fifth inning.

The line score on the game was 3 runs, 8 hits and no errors for Saint Ignatius, and 1 run, 9 hits and 3 errors for Anthony Wayne.

The bottom three hitters in the Generals' lineup were a combined 6-for-8, with Andrew Murphy going 2-for-2 and Brock Nartker and Mowery each turning in 2-for-3 evenings.

"There are three trusts," said Coach Ganor. "You trust your teammates, you trust your coaches and most importantly, you trust yourself. Being a high school teacher that I am, there's a lot of times when I think they're not listening. They're looking, but they're not listening. They just proved me wrong, they are listening. They just have their own way of doing it."  

 

 

         

             

  

Saint Ignatius' Josh Hsia is defeated by St. Xavier standout Andrew Niehaus, 6-3, 6-3, in the opening rounnd of Friday's Singles Play at the 97th annual OHSAA Boys State Tennis Tournament.
5/27/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Josh, a junior, drew a strong and tournament savvy opponent in the Bombers' Andrew Niehaus.

A senior, Niehaus is making his fourth consecutive State Tournament appearance. He was the No. 1, Division I District Seed in Cincinnati and won another District singles championship. As a team, St. Xavier garnered a fifth-place state ranking in the annual Coaches' Poll.

Niehuas moves on to play Paul Gota of University School, who won his first match.

We want to congratulate Josh Hsia, Saint Ignatius Head Coach Jon Barker and Assistant Coach/Head Junior Varsity Coach Cindy Reagan on another outstanding season.

After capturing the Oberlin College Singles Sectional Championship and qualifying for the State Tournament as the 5th seed out of the Oberlin Division I District, Josh will return in 2017 for bigger and better things as the leader of the Tennis Cats.

Note: This year's State Tennis Tournament is being held at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.       

Wildcats Baseball jumps on Medina Highland early and goes on to defeat the Hornets, 8-2, in Thursday's OHSAA Division I Regional Semifinal on Ron Mottl Field. Up next is Anthony Wayne.
5/26/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

From Cuyahoga Community College - After his Saint Ignatius Baseball Wildcats moved a game closer to advancing to what would be the program's 13th State Final Four appearance, Head Coach Brad Ganor expressed his pleasure with his team's aggressive, right-out of the gate mentality on Thursday afternoon.

"That's what we've been preaching, about attacking early," said Coach Ganor after he watched his Cats move to a 5-0 lead after two innings and go on to wear down the Highland Hornets, 8-2, in a Regional Semifinal on a sun-drenched Ron Mottl Field. "We scouted them as an emotional team and we wanted to grab the emotion right from the get-go.

"To go triple and double to start the game, that pretty much takes the emotion away from them," a smiling Coach Ganor continued after Saint Ignatius improved to 21-10 and advanced to Friday's 5 PM Regional Championship Game at Bowling Green State University.

The Wildcats, the defending Bowling Green Regional Champs, will face the 24-6 Generals from Whitehouse Anthony Wayne, who defeated Amherst Steele, 4-2, in Thursday evening's Regional Semifinal at Bowling Green State University.

Along with its early offensive punch, Saint Ignatius got another strong performance on the mound from junior southpaw Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit. Connor, who improved to 6-3 on the season, entered Thursday's game with an earned run average of 0.739.

Connor threw 103 pitches in going seven complete innings, 69 of which were strikes. He yielded three hits, two runs, struck out six, walked three and hit a batter.

"They had some good hitters according to our reports, and Connor was able to neutralize them," Coach Ganor said. "He pitched like an ace again and, considering that in his first three starts this season we scored a combined zero runs, we're finally giving him some run support. My only hope is that he has one more start this year and plenty of run support in that one."

If the Wildcats are successful in Friday's Elite 8 game, Adams' next start would come in next week's OHSAA Division I State Semifinals. Coach Ganor has guided the Cats to five State Final Fours, including last year's State Semifinals. Saint Ignatius finished as the big school State Runner-Up under Coach Ganor in 2008 and 2013. Coach Ganor was an Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach on Coach Brian Morgan's 2002 Division I State Championship Team at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

The Cats' only focus on Thursday was a Highland team that entered Regional play at 18-9.

Designated as the Visitor on Ron Mottl Field, Saint Ignatius greeted the Hornets' starting pitcher, previously 4-0 Thomas Ruth, with a leadoff triple to deep left-center field by versatile senior right fielder Nick Freund. Gritty senior second baseman Joe Evans, first-pitch swinging, then drove the ball to the base of the fence in left for an RBI double and Saint Ignatius was as hot as the beautiful weather that graced the skies of Parma/Parma Heights.

With two outs in the top of the first, senior shortstop Kevin Mingus delivered a single, putting runners on first and third. Coach Ganor then called for a fake bunt and Mingus purposely got caught in a run down between first and second as the runner scored from third, making it 2-0.

The Cats, who have now won 21 of their past 26 games after starting the season at 0-5, pushed their lead to 5-0 in the top of the second. The key blows were an RBI single by senior center fielder Mike Rogers, a test-book sacrifice bunt by sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, an RBI sacrifice fly by Freund and a run-scoring single through the left side off a 1-2 pitch by standout senior third baseman Dennis Grosel, Tommy's big brother.

After Highland combined consecutive walks by designated hitter Zach Filips and right fielder Jonah Marsh, a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Adam Nagy and a ground out by second baseman Victor Zamlen into a run in the bottom of the fifth, Coach Ganor's team regained total control with a three-run top of the sixth.

With one out and the bases empty in the top of the sixth, Rogers, who reached base three times, walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. In what was a solid at-bat, senior catcher/pinch hitter John Robinson drew a walk and rich-in-promise sophomore catcher Drew Asadorian followed with an RBI single.

Freund then laid down a bunt that the pitcher fielded and fired wildly over the head of his catcher, making the score 7-1, and Evans provided Saint Ignatius' eighth and final run of the afternoon with an RBI single up the middle.

Highland would score a run in bottom of the seventh to close out the scoring.

The line score from Cats' super stats man Joe Ertle was 8 runs, six hits and no errors for Saint Ignatius, and 2 runs, 3 hits and 2 errors for the Hornets.

"Getting those early runs really set the tone for the game," said Evans, who drove in the Cats' first and final runs on the afternoon. "The pitching has been phenomenal this season and everyone has been able to find their role on the team. It's all coming together right now and I can't wait to get back to State."

"We knew from the beginning (the winter workouts in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium), that we would eventually have a very good offense," said Rogers, a tri-Captain who, along with his solid play in center field, also serves as Coach Ganor's closer. "We started slow on the year, going down to Florida, but had to trust that everybody in the lineup, 1 through 9, could do their job at any point in the game. It was about having confidence in ourselves and getting hot at the right time."

Taking the mound for Coach Ganor on Friday will be standout senior right-hander Murphy O'Brien (4-2), who joins Rogers and Dennis Grosel as the Wildcats' Captains.

Thursday afternoon's Regional triumph over Highland was the 270th career victory for Coach Ganor, with all of them coming in his 12 seasons as the Wildcats' skipper.

     

   

  

         

      

       

 

Just FYI, the Lax Cats and Olentangy Liberty will face off at 1 PM in Saturday's Northwest Regional Championship matchup on Wasmer Field
5/26/2016

As we reported on the corner last  night, Saint Ignatius (14-2) and Liberty (16-4) are rated 1-2, respectively, in the LaxPower Northwest Region computer ratings and are second (the Lax Cats) and fifth in the state ratings by LaxPower.

It is an all-Jesuit School 1-2 in the LaxPower state ratings, as defending state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier is No. 1.

NOTE : Saturday's 1 PM Regional Championshp Game will be broadcast live over the SIBN with the lacrosse savvy trio of Ned Conry, Jared Yant and Jake Spence providing the play by play, color commentary and filming.

See you at Wasmer Field Saturday afternoon. 

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer     

Just a reminder that Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats (20-10) are scheduled to face Medina Highland (18-9) in today's 3 PM Regional Semifinal Game on Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College
5/26/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats, champions of the Strongsville District, will send gifted junior southpaw and Louisville recruit Connor Adams (5-3, 0.739 ERA) to the mound against the Hornets, who are the champions of the Barberton District.

For a complete look at the Bowling Green State University Regional, see the corner's story from Monday.

Here's hoping we can keep Mother Nature on the bench this afternoon.

Just another reminder that the triple punch of Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Matt MacKenzie will bring you today's game live from Ron Mottl Field over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

This old catcher will try to squeeze into a corner in the Cats' dugout, where "Coach" Jeff Chonko ( a great nephew of the great Arnie Chonko), Jack Siefert, Rich McGraw, Mark Geraci, Joe Gutbrod (grandson of the late Coaching Legend Bill Gutbrod) and so many other Baseball Cats make me feel like a million dollars with their kindness and respect. When you get old, respect is more uplifting than Social Security.   

Ah yes, Ron Mottl Field. The memories of covering OHSAA Baseball Tournaments at Tri-C when the late, great John Peyton was in charge are days I will always cherish. I can still see John getting off the bus near Valley Forge High School and walking across the street to Ron Mottl Field to begin his duties each day as one of the finest Tournament Managers the OHSAA could ever wish for. I am sure John will be looking on today from his special press box.

And boy, do I miss the days at Tri-C when current Baldwin Wallace University Head Baseball Coach Brian Harrison, then the Head Coach at Cuyahoga Community College, would come up to the press box on Ron Mottl Field and talk baseball with this old-timer while I was covering and reporting for The Plain Dealer. I had the privilege to cover Coach Harrison during his baseball playing days at St. Edward. It is always nice to have the opportunity to reminisce with Coach Harrison when I see him at one of the Baseball Cats' homes away from home, baseball-rich Fisher Field at Baldwin Wallace University.

Hope to see you today at Ron Mottl Field, where the memories are so thick I have to brush them from my face.          

 

James Norris establishes two new school records in Wednesday night's prelims of the annual demanding Amherst Steele Regional/State Qualifying Meet. The Cats' gifted 4x800 relay team qualifies for states.
5/25/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Senior James Norris will be running in the finals of the Amherst Steele Regional 100 meter dash on Friday evening after breaking his own school mark with a 10.61 first-place qualifying time on Wednesday evening.

Zion Cross of Lorain, who has established a friendly rivalry with James, was second with a prelim qualifying time of 10.69 

James' effort surpassed his previous school record of 10.66.

In what was his second Wildcats all-time mark, James ran a 21.50 in the 200 meter dash, which gave him a second-place qualifying time for Friday evening's finals. Cross took first place in the prelims with an effort of 21.44.

Saint Ignatius' gifted 4x800 meter relay team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan qualified for next weekend's annual OHSAA State Track and Field Championships by finishing second and accumulating 8 points in a regional final time of 7:46.26. Toledo St. John's Jesuit took first place in 7:43.89. Both of those times are Region 2 records.

Also qualifying for Friday evening's finals were Jack Ruddy with an overall fourth-place prelim effort of 39.83 in the 300 meter hurdles and the 4x100 team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris, which ran a first-place prelim time of 42.07.

Friday's finals at Marion L. Steele High School in Amherst are scheduled to get underway at 4:30 PM.

The team standings after Wednesday have Wadsworth and St. John's Jesuit tied for place with 21 points, Sandusky second with 20 points and Saint Ignatius, Lakewood and Celina next with 8 points each.          

Sam Humphrey scores five goals and Alex Hornung turns in a nine-point night as Saint Ignatius Lacrosse defeats Olentangy Orange, 12-5, in Wednesday night's OHSLA Northwest Regional Semifinal on Wasmer Field
5/25/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Ohio City - The word "chemistry" flowed freely from Saint Ignatius' gifted and endless energy senior attack Sam Humphrey just moments after Sam's Varsity career-high, single-game effort of five goals helped propel the Lax Cats to an impressive 12-5 triumph over Olentangy Orange and a spot in Saturday's Elite 8 of the annual OHSLA postseason tournament.

The humble Humphrey preferred to talk in terms of "team," saying that he fed off everybody else on Wednesday night in helping Saint Ignatius improve to 14-2 and earn a Saturday Regional Final matchup with 16-4 Olentangy Liberty on Wasmer Field.

Wildcats Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 said he prefers to play at 1 PM on Saturday, so we will keep you posted. Saturday's Elite 8 encounter will pit the second (Saint Ignatius) and fifth-rated teams in the state by the LaxPower computer ratings. Defending state champ Cincinnati St. Xavier is rated No. 1.

Saint Ignatius and Liberty are rated 1-2 in the Northwest Region by LaxPower.   

Liberty earned its trip to Saint Ignatius on Saturday by turning away Olentangy High School, 11-8, in Wednesday night's other Northwest Region semifinal. The Patriots, who have now won eight consecutive games and 14 of their past 15 matchups, were led by Griffin Hughes' five goals.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF ANOTHER DOMINANT PERFORMANCE BY THE LAX CATS

Wednesday night's wearing down of another team that tried to slow up the Lax Cats with a zone defense also saw Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior attack Alex Hornung dish out five on-the-money assists and add four goals for a nine-point effort.

A Canisius College recruit who is the all-time leading goal scorer in Wildcats Lacrosse history with 118, Hornung turned in a 13-point game last season versus Toledo St. John's Jesuit.

Like Humphrey, Hornung said he was totally impressed with the Lax Cats' "teamwork" Wednesday night on the campus of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. That team work has put Coach McManamon's team in a position on Saturday to advance to what would be its third State Final Four in four years. Again, we will let you know when a definite time for Saturday's face off with the Patriots of Olentangy Liberty is decided upon.

Along with the tremendous efforts by Humphrey and Hornung, Coach McManamon and his staff were treated to a two-goals and two-assists night from multi-skilled senior attack and Lehigh University recruit Crew Cintron, and another brilliant defensive performance by senior Alex Maruna, who will be furthering his education and lacrosse career at The Rochester Institute of Technology.

Cintron is second on the Cats' all-time goals scoring list with 112.

Olentangy Orange, which had a solid group of fans pay a visit to Saint Ignatius, bowed out of the tournament at 16-4.

Unlike Saturday's Regional Quarterfinal versus West Side rival St. Edward, which saw the Lax Cats rally from a 2-1 deficit after the first quarter by scoring eight unanswered goals in route to a 15-6 triumph, Saint Ignatius started fast and furious on Wednesday night.

Savvy senior midfield Steve Avdey got the 7-0 first half rolling by scoring with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter.

With the aggressiveness of an Alex Maruna-led defense frustrating the methodical Pioneers, Humphrey started his five-bagger off a highlight-reel spin dive and fake that made it 2-0 with 2:46 to go in the first quarter. A great job of riding off the trail by Maruna helped open the door for goal No. 2.

Hornung then took a sweet assist from Cintron and banged home an authoritative shot that made it 3-0 early in the second quarter and, with what was about a 60-yard assist from gritty and athletic junior goalie Carter Blossey, Hornung sent home the second of his four goals just 21 seconds after his first one.

Sixteen seconds later, Humphrey froze the Pioneers' defense with another crossover and fake, and it was a 5-0 game.

Humphrey scored his third goal off a picture-perfect assist from Hornung, who, standing behind and to the right (Hornung's left) of the cage, hit Humphrey on the dead run as Sam was sprinting down the right seam.

The Lax Cats, who rolled a perfect seven in the first 24 minutes while keeping the Pioneers on a shaky trail, were challenged a bit in the second half.

Although Olentangy Orange was able to find some offense in the second half, Saint Ignatius kept he Pioneers in check behind the scoring of Hornung and Cintron, and goals No. 4 and 5 from Humphrey. Sam's fifth goal and the Lax Cats' 11th came with 5:53 remaining to be played and Coach McManamon went to his bench shortly after that.

Among the numbers that pleased Coach McManamon after the game was Saint Ignatius' 44-25 advantage in ground balls.        

   

 

    

        

 

               

Coach Kyle to serve as Youth Football Advisor for the Browns
5/25/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with today's News Release courtesy of The Cleveland Browns

Fairview Park, Ohio - The Cleveland Browns announced today that Saint Ignatius' celebrated Head Football and Track and Field Coach, Mr. Chuck Kyle '69, has been named Youth Football Advisor for the Browns, a recently created position that will further incorporate Coach Kyle's experience and expertise into the Browns' long-standing dedication to youth and high school football in Ohio.


Coach Kyle will combine his new position with the Browns with his endless dedication to the athletic fields and the classroom at Saint Ignatius.

The Browns emphasized that Coach Kyle will be a great extension to youth and high school football initiatives, as part of the Browns' mission to provide opportunities for young athletes to play football and enhance safety for all participants and coaches.

Browns Director of Community Relations, Jenner Tekancic, will welcome Coach Kyle into his new role during Thursday's 2 PM groundbreaking event at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Roye Kidd Field.

"I am excited to be involved in youth football development with the Cleveland Browns," Coach Kyle told Jenner Tekancic. "I have always believed that the athletic field is a wonderful classroom. Here is a wonderful opportunity to serve the Greater Cleveland community."
 
In addition to coaching at many Browns youth and high school football clinics, and leading multiple Moms Clinics at the team’s Berea facility, Coach Kyle serves as a member of the National USA Football Advisory Committee and a member of USA Football Heads Up Football’s inaugural class of Master Trainers.
 
Coach Kyle will begin his 34th season this summer as the Head Football Coach of the storied Wildcats with an area-best 321 victories, a record 11 Division I state championships, three national titles and a national and state runner-up.
 
On July 2, Coach Kyle will be among four coaches, five athletes, two administrators and one contest official who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.
 
The most celebrated high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area and the most successful Division I coach in Northeast Ohio, Coach Kyle is a four-time Associated Press Division I Coach of the Year who set a state record by guiding his Saint Ignatius teams to 22 consecutive OHSAA playoff appearances (1988-2009). His Wildcats, who have made 26 OHSAA playoff appearances overall, have put together numerous winning streaks, including a high of 39 consecutive victories.

 

Coach Kyle was selected as USA Today’s High School  Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1993, and has been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association.

In the summer of 1994, Coach Kyle led Ohio to a resounding victory over Pennsylvania in the Big 33 All-Star Football Game played in Hershey, Pa., and in the summer of 2009, in then legendary Canton Fawcett Stadium, he guided Team USA to the International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship. In bringing home the Gold Medal, Team USA, which included former Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio great Pat Hinkel '09, currently an Assistant Coach for the Wildcats, was dominant from start to finish.

In 2010, Coach Kyle was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

A longtime member of  Saint Ignatius' English Department, Coach Kyle brings the same love and passion he has for coaching into the classroom every day. In 1987, Coach Kyle received the Rossing Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

In the late 1960s, Coach Kyle was an All-City running back under the late coaching legend, Mr. John J. Wirtz. As a football letterman at John Carroll University, Coach Kyle joined the Wildcats' football program as an assistant coach in 1972 while enrolled as an English major at John Carroll.

Coach Kyle has also guided the Wildcats' Track and Field Program for more than four decades. His Wildcats track and field teams have won more than 30 District Championships throughout Northeast Ohio. The 2001 Track and Field Cats brought home the Division I State Championship and in 2005, they were the big-school state runner-up.

Just last weekend, Coach Kyle guided his Track and Field Cats to the OHSAA Amherst Steele District Championship and his Cats are currently gearing up for the always demanding Amherst Steele Regional/State Qualifying Meet, which begins at 4 PM today (May 25) and resumes at 4:30 PM on Friday.

Last month, Coach Kyle's gifted 4x800 Meter Relay Team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan brought national prominence to the 2016 Cats by finishing fourth among the best of the best high school relay teams from the United States and seventh overall at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Coach Kyle's accomplishments and dedication to the sport of track and field earned him an induction into the Ohio Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Coach Kyle, his family, Saint Ignatius High School and the Wildcats' football and track and field programs on this new endeavor with the Cleveland Browns. 

The corner will have game coverage Wednesday night on the Lax Cats' 7 PM OHSLA Regional Semifinal vs. Olentangy Orange on Wasmer Field, along with a complete wrap up on the Track Cats at the first night of the Amherst Steele Regional
5/24/2016

For a complete look at what is a big postseason week and weekend in Saint Ignatius Athletics, see the corner's stories from Monday afternoon.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer

 

As promised, here are the specifics for Saturday's Rugby Ohio State Semifinal Match versus Archbishop Moeller
5/24/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with the information courtesy of Rugby Cats Head Coach Dan Arbeznik.

It will be a 3 PM kickoff on the pitch at 1250 Gemini Pl, Columbus, OH 43240.

As we posted in Monday's postseason playoff version of Where the Cats Play, Saint Ignatius defeated the Moeller Crusaders, 29-0, in Match  2 of the regular season at Archbishop Moeller.

A SHOUT OUT FROM THE CORNER TO THE SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY RUGBY JAGUARS!
5/23/2016

Coach Jaime Cleary's Jags are NATIONAL CHAMPS!

Simply the best, better than all the rest.

 -  Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats are gearing up for Thursday's Regional Semifinal
5/23/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, May 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - The Baseball Cats, champions of the Strongsville Division I District, are scheduled to face Barberton District Champion Medina Highland on Thursday at 3 PM in an OHSAA Regional Semifinal on Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College.

Junior left-hander Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit, is expected to take the mound for Saint Ignatius. Connor is 5-3 with a 0.739 earned run average. He has 62 strikeouts and 19 walks in 47.1 innings.

If successful versus the 18-9 Hornets from Highland, the 20-10 Cats will advance to Friday's 5 PM Regional Championship Game at Bowling Green State University, where they would face the winner of Thursday's Regional Semifinal between the Amherst Steele Comets and the Generals from Whitehouse Anthony Wayne.

Amherst Steele and Anthony Wayne are slated to play their Regional Semifinal at Bowling Green State University with a first pitch of 5 PM.

The defending Bowling Green State University Regional Champions, the Baseball Wildcats are seeking their third State appearance since 2013, their sixth under 12-year Head Coach Brad Ganor and their 13th overall. Saint Ignatius brought home the Division I State Championship in 2002 and was a state runner-up in 2000, 2008 and 2013.

Here is a look at Medina Highland, Amherst Steele and Whitehouse Anthony Wayne.

HIGHLAND: The tough-minded and opportunistic Hornets, the fourth-seeded team at the Barberton District, earned their first Regional Baseball appearance since 2008 by defeating fifth-seeded Archbishop Hoban, 11-1, in six innings. The Knights from Archbishop Hoban bowed out of the tournament at 16-13.

Saint Ignatius, behind a no-hitter by multi-skilled senior right hander/right fielder Nick Freund, defeated Archbishop Hoban, 2-0, in an April 27th regular season game on Fisher Field at Baldwin Wallace University.

Highland displayed its balance against Hoban, as six Hornets came up with at least one hit.

After driving in three of the Hornets' five runs in the 5-2 District Semifinal victory over second-seeded Wadsworth, Jonah Marsh and Adam Nagy, who bat eighth and ninth in Coach Jay Grissom's lineup, carried the big bats again versus Hoban.

Marsh went 3-for-4 with five runs batted in and Nagy had 2 hits in three at-bats with 3 RBI.

Coach Grissom, who feels he has at least 10 players who can make things happen offensively, started sophomore right-hander Billy Keller (4-1) against Hoban. Keller went the entire six innings, striking out 2. The run the Knights scored was earned

AMHERST STEELE: The now 22-8 Comets, somehow seeded fifth at the Lorain District in The Pipe Yard, trailed No. 1 seed Avon by four runs with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the fifth inning during last week's District Championship Game.

Six runs later, Amherst Steele grabbed a two-run lead and went on to an 8-4 victory and a date with Anthony Wayne in Thursday's Regional Semifinal at Bowling Green State University. Avon came calling to the District Title Game with a record of 21-7.

Those 22 victories by the Comets are a school record for Coach Matt Rositano's resilient team.

Amherst Steele's one-for-the-scrapbooks rally started with a walk to the ninth batter, Michale Burgess. The other key moments on the road to Division I baseball's Sweet 16 were an RBI triple by sophomore Evan Shawyer, a run-scoring double by junior Mark Harris, an RBI single by senior Casey McConihe, a game-tying double by junior starting pitcher Xavier Moore, and a throwing error that lead to the go-ahead run.    

The final telling blow was a double by Joe Master off the Avon bullpen.

Coach Rositano turned to his bullpen and senior southpaw Hunter Kuzak worked the final 3⅔ innings to earn his fifth win on the season to go along with four saves.

Should Saint Ignatius and Amherst Steele meet in Friday's scheduled Regional Title Game at BG, it certainly wouldn't be a matchup of strangers. Under Coach Ganor, the Cats have made a number of early season trips to the home of the Comets,  games that were very competitive. 

ANTHONY WAYNE: The Generals took control early in eliminating Perrysburg, 7-1, in their District Championship Game matchup.

Anthony Wayne, now 23-6, combined three hits and an error into a four-run second inning and went on to avenge two regular-season setbacks to Perrysburg. That second inning was more than enough support for senior starter Michael Conklin, as he went the distance. Conklin yielded five hits and struck out seven.

The Generals, who were also District Champs in 2015, benefitted from three key errors by the Yellow Jackets, who lost for the 12th time in 31 games.

Only two of Anthony Wayne's seven runs were earned despite the fact that the Generals finished the afternoon with 10 hits.

Perrysburg entered the District Finals with four consecutive Northern Lakes League championships.

Rounding the corner and heading home with a reminder that Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Matt MacKenzie, the SIBN's colorful and crafty threesome, will bring you Wildcats Regional Baseball live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

See you at Ron Mottl Field. 

       

 

 

    

 
The postseason run is upon all seven of the Wildcats' Spring Sports Teams. Here is a full house version of Where The Cats Play, starting with Josh Hsia's first round matchup at the 97th annual OHSAA Boys State Tennis Tournament.
5/23/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, May 23rd 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Standout junior Josh Hsia, who qualified for states as the fifth seed out of the Oberlin Division I District, is gearing up for what will be an all-Jesuit School matchup with senior Andrew Niehaus of Cincinnati St. Xavier in Friday's first round at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

OHSAA State Singles and Doubles play begins at 9 AM on both Friday and Saturday. The Linder Family Tennis Center, which is a new venue from the many years the State Tournament was played at The Ohio State University, is located at 5460 Courseview Drive in Mason.

If Josh is successful versus Niehaus, his progression would match him against the winner of Jack Zelezny from Upper Arlington vs. Paul Gota of University School. Zelezny and Gota are both juniors.

We wish all of the best to Josh, Head Coach Jon Barker and Assistant Coach Cindy Reagan this coming weekend, as the corner will be following Josh's progress match by match.

LACROSSE: Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted, deep and tough-minded Lax Cats (13-2), coming off an impressive 15-6 OHSLA Regional Quarterfinal victory over St. Edward (see the corner's story from Saturday), will host Olentangy Orange (16-3) in Wednesday's Semifinal  round at 7 PM on Wasmer Field.

The Lax Cats, the top-ranked team in the Burning River Lacrosse area and Northeast/Northwest Ohio poll, the third-rated team in the state in the LaxPower computer ratings and LaxPower's seventh-rated team in the entire Midwest, will be facing an Olentangy Orange team that is rated 8th in Ohio and 37th in the Midwest by LaxPower.

Known as the Pioneers, Olentangy Orange advanced to face the Lax Cats by defeating Delaware Hayes, 12-11, in a quarterfinal matchup last Friday night. The Pioneers are no strangers to Saint Ignatius, as over the past few years they have competed against Coach Pat O'Rourke's four-time State Champion Ice Hockey Program in various venues.

Olentangy Orange had a banner 16-4 Lacrosse season in 2014 and then dropped to 5-13 in 2015. Pioneers Coach William Mathes welcomed back an experienced team this spring, including nine key battle-tested seniors. The Pioneers also returned their entire defensive unit from a year ago.

As experienced as that above-mentioned defensive unit is, it is going to be facing one of the premier offensive attacks in the nation on Wednesday night in Ohio City.

The Lax Cats, who entered the St. Edward game averaging nearly 12 goals per outing, are led by the top two scorers in the history of Saint Ignatius Lacrosse, seniors Alex Hornung (114 career goals) and Crew Cintron (110 career goals). Alex and Crew are bound for Canisius College and Lehigh University, respectively.

Just to familiarize Lax Cats fans with some of the Olentangy Orange mainstays, the Pioneers' goals versus Delaware Hayes were provided by Luke Schmeling (3), Nick Brandt (3), Josh Rochon (2), Adam Ringer (2) and Josh Forrester (2). Michael Trombetti is the man in the cage for Coach Mathes.

Luke Schmeling found Nick Brandt with 2:05 remaining to push Olentangy Orange past Delaware Hayes in the Lewis Center.

The Pacers from Delaware Hayes, who trailed 6-0 midway through the second quarter, knotted the score at 11 just seconds before Brandt's game-winner.   

We'll see you at Wasmer Field on Wednesday night.

VOLLEYBALL: Coach Casey Marcelo's 22-4 Cats, who entered OHSBVA Tournament Play as the fourth-ranked team in the state and the No. 1 Division I Program in the North Region, advanced to Saturday's Elite 8 State Tournament at Capital University by defeating Stow, 3-0, and Medina, 3-0, in the North Region Playoffs at Massillon Jackson High School.

Coach Marcelo's Men of the Nets will begin State Tournament Play on Saturday at 1:30 PM versus the highly regarded program from Cincinnati Elder. Elder, the third-ranked team in the state, defeated the Cats, 29-27, 25-16, and 25-18, during the "Elite 8 Tournament" at Centerville High School on April 30th.

Saint Ignatius is a much stronger team, however, than it was nearly a month ago.

All of the Best from this corner goes out to Coach Marcelo's Wildcats, who we are sure picked up a thing or two from the regular-season encounter with the Elder Panthers.

TRACK AND FIELD: Coach Chuck Kyle's versatile and talent-rich team, coming off an outstanding Championship performance at the Amherst Steele District (see the corner's posts from Wednesday and Friday of last week), will return to Marion L. Steele High School this week for the always demanding Regional/State Qualifying Competition.

Wednesday's competition begins at 4 PM and the action resumes on Friday at 4:30 PM.

Good Luck to Coach Kyle '69, his outstanding staff and the exceptional athletes that make up one of the state's and nation's best.

CREW: It's the big show for the red-hot Wildcat Navy this weekend, a Head Coach Pat Connor and Assistant Coach Connor Walters will lead the Crew Cats into the SRAA National Championships on Dillion Lake in Zanesville, Ohio. See Coach Walter's summary/preview that was posted on the corner May 16th.

Five Wildcat crews will race at the SRAAs Friday and Saturday (V8, J8, F8, J4, L4).

RUGBY: Coach Dan Arbeznik's two-time defending Rugby Ohio State Champions will begin their postseason run on Saturday afternoon versus Archbishop Moeller in Columbus at a time to be announced. We will come back to you once we confirm the site in Columbus and the time of the match.

The Rugby Cats defeated the Crusaders from Archbishop Moeller, 29-0, in a Week 2 regular season matchup at Moeller.

Have a great week and weekend. And no, we didn't forget Wildcats Baseball. A preview on the Cats' Regional Tournament play will be coming up this afternoon.      

   

     

Coming Monday on the corner. We will take a look at the Hornets from Medina Highland, the Wildcats' opponent in Thursday's OHSAA Division I Regional Baseball Semifinal on Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College.
5/22/2016

Please note that the OHSAA has Thursday's Regional Semifinal Game versus Highland currently listed as a 3 PM first pitch. Should there be any change we will let you know.   

The corner also expresses it congratulations to the Doubles Team of Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Siciliano, who advanced to the final day of District competition before ending their solid tournament run
5/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Mitchell and Andy were defeated on Saturday by Walsh Jesuit's talented tandem of Conner Evans and Ben Smith, 6-1, 6-1.

Saint Ignatius junior standout Josh Hsia will represent the Wildcats at next weekend's OHSAA State Tennis Tournament!
5/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer with Josh's performance courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach and Head Junior Varsity Coach Cindy Reagan.

Josh, who had to battle back today in order to earn a spot in the State Tournament, grabbed the fifth of the six singles qualifying spots from the always demanding Oberlin District.  

Saturday's Oberlin College District Finals were held at Tri-City Park in Rocky River because of the graduation ceremony at Oberlin College.

The 97th annual OHSAA Boys State Tournament will take place on May 27th and 28th at the Linder Family Center in Mason, Ohio. Play will begin each day at 9 AM.

FROM CINDY REAGAN: "Josh Hsia played Aaron Yeh from Brecksville-Broadview Heights. Josh secured a ticket to the state tournament by winning 6-1, 6-2. Josh was to play Vlad Rotnov from Solon High School next, but Rotnov retired due to injury. Josh enters the state tournament as a 5 seed from the Northeast District."

Congratulations to Josh go out from this corner and we wish him all of the best as he represents Head Coach Jon Barker's outstanding program in next weekend's state tournament.   

 

Responding in a way one associates with one of the state's and nation's outstanding programs, Wildcats Lacrosse silences St. Edward's early emotion with an 8-0 run and goes on to defeat the Eagles, 15-6, in a Midwest Regional Quarterfinal on Wasmer Field
5/21/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Ohio City - As Wildcats gifted senior attack Crew Cintron emphasized after he and his teammates wore down, and then some, their longtime West Side rivals from St. Edward, "This is just the first of five, four more to go."

Cintron, whose current 110 career goals now stand second on Saint Ignatius' all-time scoring records to the 114 scored by multi-skilled teammate and classmate Alex Hornung, was referring to what the Lax Cats have played for all season -  the OHSLA Playoffs and the number of victories it would take to crown Saint Ignatius as Ohio's 2016 State Champion.

On what was a gray sky Saturday afternoon at the Cats' Wasmer Field, Coach Patrick McManamon's '96 rich in talent and depth Lacrosse Team brightened the spirits of its faithful by deflating St. Edward's early emotion to the tune of 8 unanswered goals and a 15-6 victory in what was an OHSLA Regional Quarterfinal.

Next up for the now 13-2 Wildcats is Wednesday night's Regional Semifinal matchup with Olentangy Orange at 7 PM on Wasmer Field.   

The Eagles, who closed their season at 10-9, responded to an early 1-0 deficit and held a 2-1 lead after the first quarter. St. Edward's first two goals came after Saint Ignatius' standout senior midfield Cam Gerard went top right for the afternoon's first point with 10 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

"No," said Coach McManamon, when asked if the Eagles did anything that surprised him and his staff in the early going. "They ran a zone, but they have been running that zone for awhile now. We were prepared for it, we just weren't patient at the beginning and their goalie (Kevin O'Donnell) made a couple of great saves.

"We just put a fourth guy on top and that was the end of that zone," emphasized Coach McManamon.

And the beginning of a dominant run that neither the Eagles nor their fans recovered from, as a good portion of the visiting crowd looked on in almost disbelief.

On an afternoon in which Saint Ignatius honored Coach McManamon's Seniors and their Parents, the Lax Cats had plenty of heroes as they began to control both ends of Wasmer Field in a 6-0 second quarter.

In what was an impressive and relentless onslaught of defense and offense, the Lax Cats knotted the score at 2 on a goal by ever-present senor midfield Steve Avdey and took a 3-2 lead on Gerard's second goal of the afternoon with 6:42 left in the first half. Cam was also a big factor in Saint Ignatius' 11-2, regular-season victory at St. Edward last month.

Then it was time for the two leading scorers in Wildcats Lacrosse history to make their marks, as Cintron scored the first of his four goals and Hornung followed less than a minute later with a savvy scoring move.

Cintron and Hornung will be furthering their educations and athletic careers at Lehigh University and Canisius College, respectively.

After tough and tireless senior midfield Jared Stepka went top side on the right in a blur, it was a 6-2 game with 3:16 to go in the first half. Stepka and Gerard were mainstays this past winter on Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2016 OHSAA State Champion Ice Hockey Team.

Cintron, who is as good-natured as he is physically gifted, provided the Lax Cats' seventh goal just seconds after Stepka's blast, and Coach MacManamon's team held a five-goal lead at halftime.

"They guys did a great job of putting the ball on the cage where it needed to be," said Coach McManamon, who is now 85-38 in what his seventh season as the head of his alma mater's Lacrosse Prorgam. "I have been harping on them all year about off-stick hip, off-stick hip. Sometimes they listen, and sometimes they don't. This time they did and it paid off for them every single time."

Those dividends kept coming in the second half as an athletic highlight-reel, on the run move by senior Attack Sam Humphrey, followed by another goal from Steve Avdey, completed the 8-0 and had the Lax Cats sitting at 9-2 early in the third quarter.

Defensively, underrated junior goalie Carter Blossey came out of the cage twice and "stoned," as the SIBN's colorful commentator Jake Spence described it, what looked like two scoring opportunities for the Eagles.

As Saint Ignatius fans have come to expect over the past few years, senior defense Alex Maruna was a dominant fixture during the Lax Cats' take-charge run, especially with his savvy and skilled stick work.

After another impressive save by Blossey was sandwiched around goals by sophomore midfield Anthony Ameo, Stepka off another authoritative shot and Gerard, who completed his hat trick, the score was 12-3 with 8 minutes and 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

St. Edward cut the deficit to 12-6 with just over two minutes remaining to be played, only to watch Cintron tally goals three and four, and Stepka seal the deal with his hat trick. Ah, these hockey players, they just love those hat tricks.     

Remember the name Ameo, my friends. The young man is skilled and relentless in face offs, and well-rounded in other facets of the game.

Here are some post-game comments from Steve Avdey, Alex Hornung, Crew Cintron and Alex Maruna.

Steve: "We kind of had to feel ourselves out at the beginning of the game and get back to playing against a real opponent instead of ourselves in practice." Steve was referring to the 11 days without a game since the end of the regular season. "We just got our footing in that second quarter, figured out what we had to do and we executed."

Alex Hornung: "They (the Eagles) always come out strong at the beginning, it's always close early. They have all kinds of emotion and we just kind of overpower them with our skill, footwork, and just about everything."

Alex Maruna: "Whenever we're standing around in practices, I'm always catching the ball when the coach is talking with someone else," Alex said of the extra time he puts in with his defensive stick work. "I'm just getting a natural feel for the ball. We don't get worried (being down early), we just settle down and communicate. We know we have the talent."

Crew: "The second quarter, once we figured out their zone, everybody got fired up and we went on that run. Every shot (in the 8-0 run, 6-0 in the second quarter) was awesome, too. Those shots got every guy on the sideline fired up. That was the difference maker."

Before this old-timer puts a -30- (an old editor's term) on this story, I have to salute again the SIBN's Lacrosse Broadcasters Ned Conry, Jared Yant and Jake Spence for the outstanding job they do describing the action and adding insight to the Lax Cats' efforts on the field. Jared couldn't be with his broadcasting partners on Saturday, but Ned and Jake, who was a little under the weather with a cold, kept things flowing.      

     

 

    

    

 

  

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

   

 

   

 

The corner wishes all of the best to Mr. Sean O'Toole '87 on his new postition at Gilmour Academy
5/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Sean, currently the Wildcats' Associate Athletic Director, was Saint Ignatius' Head Basketball Coach from the 2008-09 season through 2014-15 and was a former Saint Ignatius Basketball standout under Coach Larry Arthur in the mid-to-late 1980s. Sean has accepted the position of Gilmour Academy's new Athletic Director and will be ending his career at Saint Ignatius in July.

This corner would like to thank Sean for all he has done for this old-timer, not only at Saint Ignatius, but throughout my four-plus decades as a high school reporter, including 37 years at The Plain Dealer.

May God Bless Sean and his entire Family.

Eddie Dwyer, your longtime friend.  

Saint Ignatius Track and Field continues its run of District dominance, as the Cats bring home the OHSAA Division I Amherst District Championship on Friday night at Marion L. Steele High School
5/20/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted, deep and tough-minded team totaled 175 points in bringing home the Amherst District Championship and will now gear up for next week's return to Amherst for one of the most demanding Regional/State Qualifying venues in the entire state.

The Amherst Regional will be held on Wednesday, May 25 and Friday, May 27th.

Following Saint Ignatius in the final top 5 District standings on Friday night were Westlake with 98 points, Avon with 55, Amherst Steele with 54 and Rocky River with 52.50 points.

Here are the Wildcats' big-time highlights, as Saint Ignatius continues its three-decade run at the District level.

As we reported from Wednesday's opening evening of competition, the gifted 4x800 relay team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan took first place in 8:06.80 and brought home 10 points.

100 Meter Dash: Zion Cross of Loran was first in 10.75 for 10 points and James Norris (10.84) and Phil Zuccaro (11.13) were second and third for 8 and 6 points, respectively.

110 Meter Hurdles: C.J. Moore took first place for 10 points with a time of 15.24 and Alex Ringfield was fourth for 5 points at 15.62.

The 4x100 relay team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris was first for 10 points at 42.18.

The 4x200 relay team of Connor Kennedy, Tom Barrett, Matt Leszcz and Anthony Pelligrino was second for 8 points at 1:32.00.

Luke Wagner (4:13.75) and Tom Sullivan (4.18.85) went 1-2 in the 1600 meter run for 18 points.

Kyle Hall was third in the 400 meter dash at 51.88 for six points.

Jack Ruddy was second in the 300 meter hurdles for 8 points at 39.99 and Alex Ringfield was seventh for 2 points at 43.26.

In the 200 Meter Dash, Zion Cross of Lorain was first with 10 points at 21.50 as he tied the district record set by the gifted Jonathan Burrell of John Marshall in 1993. James Norris was second for 8 points in 21.84 and Phil Zuccaro was third for six points in 21.90.

Colin Kruchan (1:55.04) and Mike Huber (1:56.80) went 1-2 in the 800 meter run for 18 points.

In the 3200 meter run, C.J. Ambrosio (9:16.11) and Jim Rogers (9:38.21) went 1-2 for 18 points, with C.J. setting a new district mark.

The 4x400 relay team of Anthony Pelligrino, Pat Nolan, Joe Ripepi and Kyle Hall was third for 6 points in 3:31.89.

Kyle Aerni was fourth in the high jump for 5 points at 6-00.00 and, as we reported from a final event on Wednesday, Mike Lehto took first place in the long jump for 10 points with an effort of 21-08.75. Alex Ringfield was sixth for 3 points with a jump of 20-02.00.

And, in the shot put finals, Alex Misencik took fifth place for 4 points with a throw of 47-03.00 and, in another finals event we reported on from Wednesday, Mike Bodnar took fourth place for five points with an effort of 143-01 in the discus and Justin Perpar grabbed the 8th spot for 1 point with a toss of 129-02.

Congratulations gentlemen and all of the best this coming week at the Amherst Regional, the final step to the OHSAA State Finals.       

 

 

    

Wildcats Volleyball is State Bound after a 3-0 triumph over Medina on Friday evening!
5/20/2016

 

Baseball Wildcats defeat St. Edward Eagles 3-1 in District Championship to advance to Regional Semifinals
5/20/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Strongsville, Ohio -  As the Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Wildcats huddled near the third-base dugout prior to Thursday's District Championship Game versus St. Edward, Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor turned to his veteran starting senior second baseman and said: "Joe Evans, we're playing for you today."
 
The gritty, but quite and humble Evans, the essence of a team player, received the news on Thursday morning that his beloved Grandfather and next door neighbor, John Bertagni, passed away at the age of 88 at 3 AM on Thursday.
 
As one of the most mature beyond their years teams to carry the Saint Ignatius banner, the 2016 Baseball Cats, led by senior tri-captains pitcher Murphy O'Brien, third baseman Dennis Grosel and center fielder/relief pitcher Mike Rogers, rallied around their teammate and dedicated their efforts to him and his late Grandfather.
 
Although carrying a heavy heart, Joe Evans was right where his Grandfather would have wanted him to be, leaving it all on the field Thursday evening while contributing to the third-seeded Wildcats' 3-1 victory over longtime West Side rival and top-seeded St. Edward in the OHSAA Strongsville District Championship Game.
 
The 20-10 Wildcats, who started their season at 0-5 and have now won 20 of their last 25 games, are bound for next Thursday's Regional Semifinal Game versus Medina Highland on Cuyahoga Community College's Ron Mottl Field in Parma Heights. The time for Thursday's first pitch is to be announced. We will keep you posted.
 
Highland advanced to baseball's sweet 16 by run-ruling Archbishop Hoban, 11-1, in Thursday's Barberton District Championship Game.
 
Following two scoreless innings on a sun-drenched diamond at Strongsville High School, Saint Ignatius took a 1-0 lead over 19-9 St. Edward in the top of the third inning.
 
With one out and the bases empty, versatile and talented senior right fielder Nick Freund drew a walk off an exceptional at-bat and advanced to third off a base hit by Evans.
 
After Evans stole second base, Dennis Grosel hit a sharp grounder to the left side that saw St. Edward's gifted third baseman Jake Budyka make a diving stop and throw out Grosel as Freund was crossing home plate with the game's first run.
 
With O'Brien dominating on the mound and Eagles junior left-hander Quinn Lavelle keeping his team in the game, it stayed 1-0 until the top of the fifth. O'Brien is bound for St. Bonaventure University and Lavelle has committed to Northwestern.
 
In what were two of the major flows of emotion and momentum, O'Brien struck out three consecutive Eagles with runners on second and third and no outs to end the fourth inning, and Freund ignited the Cats' second run with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the fifth.
 
Freund went the opposite way for a base hit down the third-base line, stole second and, already on the move, easily advanced to third base on a pitch in the dirt.
 
The Eagles then tried to pull off the old hidden ball track with Budyka and Lavelle, but a balk was called and Freund trotted home to make it 2-0.
 
Saint Ignatius' final run came when Dennis Grosel, an exceptional player at the hot corner and in the batter's box, along with being a first-team All-Ohio Quarterback this past fall, drove a curve ball to deep right field, a majestic shot that landed on the roof of the school building behind the high fence in right field. Dennis' kiss the sky, soaring shot increased the Cats' lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth.
 
St. Edward would combine a base hit, a walk and two fielder's choice force outs into a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the game ended when Dennis Grosel ate up a sharp grounder to third and fired the ball to his sophomore brother Tommy at first base. That's 5-3, Grosel to Grosel, if you're scoring.
 
The line score on the game was 3 runs, 6 hits and 1 error for the Wildcats, and 1 run, 2 hits and no errors for the Eagles.
 
In improving his record to 4-2, O'Brien worked 4.2 innings. He threw 86 pitches, 51 of which were strikes, yielded one hit, no runs, struck out nine, walked three and hit a batter.
 
Rich in promise junior right-hander Braydon Nelson saved his second game this spring to go along with his 3-0 record as a starter. Braydon pitched 2.1 innings in which he had 21 strikes among his 37 pitches, yielded one hit, one run, walked one and struck out two.
 
Lavelle's line showed him going seven complete innings, throwing 99 pitches, 64 of which were strikes, yielding six hits, 3 runs and 1 walk. He had three strikeouts and one hit batsman.
 
FROM COACH GANOR: "They're all special, they're all special," said Coach Ganor of his seventh District Championship in what is his 12th season as the head of Saint Ignatius' Baseball Program. "They're not easy to come by. This is the toughest game to get by in the tournament, in my opinion. Everybody is playing with house money after districts.
 
"When you get to the regionals, everything is icing on the cake beyond that," Coach Ganor said. "Seven or one, it doesn't matter, they're all special.
 
"What a great group of guys and Murphy (O'Brien) was fantastic today," Coach Ganor continued. "We just played really good baseball. We challenge these guys, we expect a lot out of them and expect them to play at a high level all of the time. To win against your rival in a District Championship Game is pretty special."
 
FROM DENNIS GROSEL: "There was nothing different with the swing, it just came off the bat better," said Grosel of his majestic round tripper that brought all of the momentum back to the third-base dugout.
 
"It's awesome, especially with a win against them (the Eagles)," Dennis continued in reference to another trip to the regionals, his second in three seasons on the Varsity. "It was a little more hyped up than it usually is because we (the Cats and the Eagles) hadn't played yet this year. It's always hard getting out of the districts, it's very emotional. But we still have a lot more work to do before we're done."
 
Note: The Saint Ignatius-St. Edward regular season game last month, scheduled for historic and newly renovated League Park, was rained/snowed out.
 
FROM MURPHY O'BRIEN: "Obviously that's not an ideal situation," said Murphy of the bottom of the fourth inning when, with the score 1-0 and Eagles on second and third and no outs, he reached back for something extra and struck out the next three batters. "All I was thinking about is I'm not losing this game. These guys mean the world to me and losing this game was not an option.
 
"I did my best to give us the best chance to win," Murphy continued. "I struck them all out and the weight of the world just fell from my shoulders."
 
In "pounding the zone," Murphy said his curveball was working to the point of "getting them to swing and miss."
 
"It feels great getting back to the regionals, but it makes things even better when it's a victory against St. Eds," said the young man who became a starter this spring after recording a single-season school record of 10 saves out of Coach Ganor's bullpen last year.
 
That 10th save came against none other than St. Edward in last year's 2-0 Regional Semifinal victory over the Eagles.

Have a great and safe weekend, and we will see you at Ron Mottl Field on Thursday.

Led by first-place performances from Mike Lehto in the Long Jump and the Cats' outstanding 4x800 Meter Relay Team, Saint Ignatius is in first place with 29 points after the first evening of the talent-rich Amherst District
5/18/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats totaled 29 points on Wednesday evening at Amherst Steel High School.

Westlake stands in second place with 24 points, host Amherst Steele is third with 22 points, Avon is right behind the Comets with 21 points, and Rocky River and Avon Lake are tied for fifth heading into Friday's finals after they each posted a 13-point evening on Wednesday.

Along with the first-place District Championship of 10 points by the 4x800 team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan in a time of 8:06.86, the Wildcats had other points highlights and advanced a strong contingent to Friday evening's finals, which begin at 4 PM.

****In the Long Jump, Mike Lehto took first place and brought home 10 points with an effort of 21-08.75. Alex Ringlfield was sixth for 3 points with a jump of 20-02.00.

In the Discus Finals, Mike Bodnar took fourth place and totaled 5 points with a throw of 143-01 and Justin Perpar totaled 1 point with an eighth-place toss of 129-02.

In the Pole Vault, the Cats' Craig Cirino and Mac Nagel were 10th and 11th, respectively (12-00.00).

C.J, Moore advanced to Friday's finals in the 110 Meter Hurdles with a second-place effort of 15.10 and also advancing was Alex Ringfield with a sixth-place time of 15.82.

Phil Zuccaro  (11.21) and James Norris (11.23) went 1-2 in advancing to Friday's 100 meter finals.

Advancing to Friday's finals in the 4x100 were the team of Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro, Quinn Lawless and James Norris with a first-place qualifying time of 42.64. John Marshall ran a district record of 42.00 in 1993.

The Cats' 4x200 team of Connor Kennedy, Tom Barrett, Matt Leszcz and Anthony Pelligrino is Friday-finals bound after running a third-place qualifying time of 1:32.80.

Jack Ruddy qualified for the 300 meters finals with a second-place effort of 40.88 and will be joined by Alex Ringfield, who grabbed the eighth and final qualifying spot at 43.41.

Kyle Hall is headed to Friday's finals of the 400 meter dash after running a fourth-place 52.47.

Colin Kruchan (2:08.59) and Mike Huber (2:08.99) went first and third, respectively, in qualifying for Friday's finals of the 800 meter run.

Phil Zuccaro (2nd in 22.34) and James Norris (4th in 22.88) advanced to Friday's finals of the 200 meter dash and the Cats' 4x400 meter relay team of Anthony Pelligrino, Pat Nolan, Joe Ripepi and Kyle Hall will also be running for points on Friday in hot-dog heaven Amherst after they ran a third-place qualifying effort of 3:33.56 on Wednesday evening.

A strong Friday contingent for the Cats, indeed, as Coach Kyle's gifted athletes look to keep Saint Ignatius' District success running on all cylinders and come right back the following week with another strong representation for the Amherst Regionals.

God Bless and All of the Best Gentlemen.       

 

 

 

We catch up with the Tennis Cats at District play, courtesy of outstanding Assistant Coach and Head Junior Varsity Coach Cindy Reagan
5/18/2016

Presented by Cindy Reagan and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Josh Hsia (junior), #1 seed out of the Oberlin sectional, played Diego Fretes (Cleveland Heights), #4 seed out the Solon sectional. Josh won a gutsy marathon match 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4. Josh then fell to Jake Zalenski (Jackson), #2 seed out of the Harvard Park sectional, 1-6, 4-6. He next faces Aaron Yeh (Brecksville-Broadview Heights), #1 seed out of the Medina sectional, for the opportunity to advance to the state match.
 
Jack McNally (freshman), who went into the Oberlin sectional unseeded, entered the District tournament as the #3 seed out of the Oberlin sectional. He played Paul Gota (University School), #2 seed out of the Solon sectional. Jack played a tough match, but lost 1-6, 4-6.
 
The Doubles team of Mitchell Pallaki (senior) and Andy Siciliano (junior), #2 seed out of the Oberlin sectional, beat strong competitors, Ben Kelly and Michael Joyce (Highland), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5). They next played Anthony Kanam and Danny Thomas (Massillon Jackson), #1 seed out of the Canton sectional. Jackson proved too tough, and Pallaki/Siciliano fell 1-6 ,1-6. In order to advance to the state match, they next face Conner Evans and Ben Smith (Walsh Jesuit), #3 seed out of the Medina sectional.
 
Johnny Mhanna (senior) and Richie Hofstra (sophomore), the #3 doubles seed out of the Oberlin sectional, played the brother-sister team of Austin and Chloe Barr (Kenston), the #2 seed out of the Solon sectional. The Barr siblings proved too much to handle, and Saint Ignatius fell, 0-6, 2-6.

District action resumes on Saturday at 9am at Tri-City Park in Rocky River.  
 
 
 
Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats defeat the Stow Bulldogs, 3-0, in Wednesday evening's OHSBVCA Regional Semifinal Playoffs at Massillon Jackson High School
5/18/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Marcelo's Cats now stand 21-4 on the season after eliminating the Bulldogs, 25-14, 25-11 and 26-24.

With the victory, Saint Ignatius, ranked fourth in the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll and the top-seeded and top-rated Division I Team in the North Region, will face the Battling Bees from Medina High School in a Regional Final, with the winner advancing to the OHSBVCA State Tournament at Capital University on May 28th.

According to the North Region Bracket, the Saint Ignatius-Medina Regional Final will be played this Friday, May 20th, at 5 PM on the storied court at Massillon Jackson High School.  

Riding the gifted left arm of Connor Adams and following their game plan by scoring first, the Varsity Baseball Wildcats defeat Strongsville, 3-0, in Wednesday's OHSAA Division I District Semifinal at Strongsville High School. UP NEXT IS ST. EDWARD.
5/18/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Strongsville, Ohio - In defeating the Strongsville's District's second-seeded Mustangs, 3-0, Coach Brad Ganor's third-seeded Wildcats improved to 19-10 and advanced to Thursday's District Championship Game at Strongsville High School versus top-seed St. Edward, also a 3-0 winner over fourth-seeded Lakewood in Wednesday evening's other District Semifinal at Strongsville.

Thursday's first pitch will be 4:30 PM and Cats standout senior right-hander/Captain Murphy O'Brien will get the starting call. It will be the first meeting this baseball season between the storied West Side rivals, as their scheduled regular season game last month at historic and renovated League Park was rained/snowed out.

The Cats defeated St. Edward, 2-0, in last year's OHSAA Regional Semifinal on Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College-West.

Saint Ignatius, the defending Strongsville District Champion, will attempt to bring home the seventh OHSAA Division I District Baseball Championship under the guidance of Coach Ganor, who is in his 12th season as the Head Baseball Coach at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Brad was also an Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach for the Wildcats for six seasons, before being named the Varsity Skipper in 2005.

As for Wednesday afternoon's encounter with host Strongsville, Saint Ignatius Assistant Coach Frank DeSico '09, a former baseball standout under Coach Ganor who went on to an outstanding baseball career at the University of Notre Dame, where he served as a Captain, urged the Wildcats to land the first blow and put the Mustangs on their heels.

Message heard and message executed.

After Cats multi-skilled senior right fielder Nick Freund led off the top of the first inning by beating out a slow roller to the left side, tough and talented senior third baseman/Captain Dennis Grosel delivered a one-out single up the middle. Senior clean-up hitter George Asadorian then hit a sharp grounder that the shortstop had to field deep in the hole and was unable to make a throw as George loaded the bases.

A sacrifice fly to deep center field by gritty senior shortstop Kevin Mingus put Saint Ignatius in front, 1-0.

After Saint Ignatius' gifted junior southpaw Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit, got the third out in the bottom of the first with runners on second and third, threw a 1-2-3 eight-pitch inning in the bottom of the second, and recorded his fourth and fifth strikeouts in the bottom of third in what was a 10-strikeout performance by the big-game lefty, the Wildcats scored the game's final two runs in the top of the fourth.

Mingus led off the top of the fourth by drawing a walk and junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt. Strongsville then elected to intentionally walk Cats senior centerfielder/Captain Mike Rogers, putting runners on first and second with one out.

Tommy Grosel then hit a grounder up the middle that the infield couldn't handle and the bases were loaded with one out.

An error by the Mustangs' third baseman made it a 2-0 game and, as Freund beat out the relay throw on what could have been an inning-ending double play, the third and final run crossed the plate.

Adams, who is now a deceiving 5-3 on the season and hasn't allowed a run in his two appearances at the Strongsville District, went seven complete innings. Last season, Connor fired a no-hitter at Berea-Midpark in the Strongsville District Championship Game, also a 3-0 victory.

The line Wednesday by Cats super stats man Joe Ertle showed Connor throwing 113 pitches, 77 of which were strikes, walking three and, as we mentioned earlier in this story, striking out 10.

Wednesday's line score from a sunny, windy and blue sky day at the home of the Mustangs was 3 runs, 6 hits and 1 error for Saint Ignatius, and 0 runs, 5 hits and 2 errors for Strongsville.

Strongsville starter, Ian Hennessey, threw a big-hearted six complete innings before being relieved by Caleb Homan, who pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh.

FROM COACH GANOR, WHO NOW HAS 268 CAREER VICTORIES AT SAINT IGNATIUS

"We talked about scoring first and putting the pressure on them (the Mustangs) right from the beginning," said Coach Ganor, who will be facing his alma mater in Thursday's District Championship Game and will be matching strategy with one of his former players, Eagles Head Coach Matt Rosinski. Coach Ganor excelled in football and baseball at St. Edward and Coach Rosinski  was a former standout pitcher for Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio.

"We get the bases loaded and get a run out of it and Connor (Adams) coming right back with a zero in the bottom of the first was huge," Coach Ganor said. "It felt like we were in control the whole game, even though it was 3-0. Connor was commanding the zone, commanding his pitches and he did a phenomenal job. He pitched like an ace today and I was very happy with our defense.

"Our guys came ready to play, ready to go and ready to pressure them," continued the veteran Skipper.

FROM CONNOR ADAMS, A BULLDOG ON THE MOUND WHO IS EASY TO SMILE AWAY FROM THE DIAMOND

"I guess I had command of all my pitches today ," said the young man who emerged as a Varsity mainstay on a cold Sunday afternoon at Dublin Jerome during the opening week of the 2015 season. "I was hitting my spots with all three of my pitches, the fastball, the circle change and the curve.

"Our scouting report was pretty accurate," Connor said. "Their hitters did pretty much what we expected them to do."

In what was another impressive moment in Connor's victory on Wednesday came in the bottom of the fourth inning.

After Strongsville's Parker Shannon and Nico Romicone started the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back base hits, the Cats' good-natured southpaw returned to his commanding zone to the tune of three consecutive strikeouts.

SIBN!: The Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network's thrill-some threesome of Brendan DeVenney, Matt MacKenzie and Matt Harsar will be back in the Strongsville Press Box on Thursday doing their best Tom Hamilton, Vince Scully and Jimmy Dudley impersonations, while bringing you live coverage of another chapter in the storied rivalry that is Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward.

As for this old-timer, whose seasoned pen and pad has seen every curveball and circle changeup known to mankind, I will squeeze in the corner of the third-base dugout. After all, I had a hand in many of those above-mentioned Wildcats-Eagles chapters.

     

             

 

       

           

      

   

Just a reminder on Wednesday's District Baseball and Regional Volleyball
5/17/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

As we previewed Sunday evening and earlier this week, Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Wildcats, the third seed at the OHSAA Division I Strongsville District, will face the second-seeded Strongsville Mustangs in Wednesday's 2 PM District Semifinal at Strongsville High School.

Coach Ganor will send his savvy southpaw Connor Adams to the mound. A junior, Connor is a Louisville recruit. Last season, Connor made sure the Titans from Berea-Midpark wouldn't soon forget the evening they faced him, as he fired a no-hitter at Berea-Midpark in the 2015 Strongsville District Championship Game. The Cats defeated the Titans, 3-0.

The second game of Wednesday's District Semifinal Doubleheader at Strongsville features a battle of Lakewood between Coach Matt Rosinski's top-seeded St. Edward Eagles and Coach Mike Ribar's fourth-seeded Lakewood Rangers. The first pitch is slated for 4:30 PM.

Wednesday's winners return to Strongsville High School on Thursday for a 4:30 PM District Championship Game.

If the name Rosinski sounds familiar, Coach Matt was a standout pitcher for Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio. He was on the Wildcats' coaching staff before being named the Eagles' Head Coach. This is Matt 's first year as the Eagles' skipper. 

AND, it's aces, kills, digs and points for Casey Macelo's 20-4 Volleyball Cats, as Ohio's fourth-ranked Division I team will take on the Stow Bulldogs in Wednesday's 5 PM North Region Semifinal Playoff Game (Match) on the storied court at Massillon Jackson High School.

The Volleyball Cats, who defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1, at Stow during the regular season, enter the State Tournament as the top-seeded Division I team in the North Region.

All of the best to Coach Marcelo and his gifted and tough-minded Cats.           

After another outstanding regular season, Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats enter the point of the season they have trained for all summer, winter and spring
5/17/2016
By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016
COACH CHUCK KYLE'S TRACK AND FIELD TEAM BEGINS WHAT IT HOPES WILL BE A MEMORABLE RUN TO THE 109TH ANNUAL OHSAA BOYS STATE TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS WHEN IT COMPETES IN THE AMHERST DISTRICT THIS WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY.
THE COMPETITION AT AMHERST STEELE HIGH SCHOOL BEGINS BOTH DAYS AT 4 PM.
Cleveland, Oho - To say the regular season of the spring of 2016 has been a successful one for the Saint Ignatius Track and Field program might be an understatement.
Not only have the rich in talent and depth Cats made their mark at meets throughout the area and the state, but Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted 4x800 relay team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan brought national prominence to the program last month by finishing seventh overall and fourth among high school teams from the United States at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
The excitement that centers around the Cats' current outdoor season stemmed from the end of last season, last summer and this past winter.
 
After a third-place finish at the demanding Amherst Regional, Saint Ignatius, led by five junior qualifiers, placed sixth at what was the 108th annual OHSAA Boys State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
 
Showing the way was the 4x800 meter relay team of Kruchan, Sullivan, Huber and Wagner, which finished second in the state and scored eight points. That savvy and skilled then junior foursome ran a 7:47.32 at state, bettering the first-place effort of 7:51.12 that they ran at the Amherst Regional.
 
Iowa State recruit Luke Wagner, who helped lead Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's Cross Country Cats to the State Championship this past fall, is seeking his fourth consecutive appearance at the State Track and Field Meet.
 
The Cats' other points at the 2015 State Meet came from standout sprinter James Norris and the efforts by Wagner and Sullivan in the 1600 meter run.
 
James finished fourth in the 100 meter dash in 10.87. He was second at the Amherst Regional in 10.78. Now a senior who will be furthering his education and track career at Cornell, after also considering Princeton and The Ohio State University, James is in pursuit of a third trip to the State Meet. He holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 meter dash with a 10.66.
 
Just a little FYI, James was the only sprinter from a Catholic School in the Division I 100 meter dash state finals last year.     
 
The dynamic duo of Wagner and the Duke University bound Sullivan placed sixth and seventh, respectively, during last year's 1600 meter state-championship race. Luke's time was 4:15.42 and Tom's effort was 4:16.64.
 
"Unusually do you have two guys from the same school score in that event," said Coach Kyle of Luke's and Tom's efforts in the state 1600. "That was great."
 
Early last summer, members of Coach Gallagher's Cross Country Program and Coach Kyle's Track Team competed in the Nationals and finished third in the nation in the 4 x mile, as it is referred to in national competition.   
 
Then came more impressive numbers during the indoor season this past winter.
 
"The indoor season, we don't necessarily put a lot emphasis on. We use it for training," said Coach Kyle, who guided Saint Ignatius to an OHSAA outdoor Track and Field State Championship in 2001 and an OHSAA outdoor Track and Field State Runner-Up in 2005. "But at this year's indoor meet (at The University of Akron), without overrunning anyone, we still finished third in the state out of 68 teams represented there. So that's a great indication going into the spring."
 
The Cats' efforts at the Nationals and in the Indoor State Meet showed, Coach Kyle said, that his Cats are used to big competition, that the 2016 spring potential truly existed.
 
Highlighting Saint Ignatius' efforts at the Indoor Meet was Norris, who took home the 60-meter dash state championship with a record time of 6.8. It marked the first time a Saint Ignatius track athlete accomplished that feat.
 
The other indoor highlights included Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and Norris taking third place in the 4x200; the team of Kruchan, Patrick Nolan, Huber and Wagner finishing second in the 4x800 relay, right on the heels of National Champion Dublin Coffman; Sullivan's fifth place in the 1600-meter race; Kruchan's Runner-Up effort in the 800, and C.J. Ambrosio's 8th place in the 3200-meter race with a personal-best 9:24.
 
While Wagner, Sullivan, Huber, Kruchan and Norris are the faces of the 2016 Saint Ignatius Varsity Track and Field Team, it is a program that is blessed with an abundance of depth and versatility.   
 
Nolan, Ambrosio and senior Jim Rogers, who is bound for Yale, are among the other track and field veterans that Coach Kyle and his staff turn to. C.J. and Jim turned in solid seasons for Coach Gallagher's State Champion Harriers. Another big-meet tested young man, both in cross county and track, is senior Tim Trentel.
 
Then there are hurdlers C.J. Moore, Jack Ruddy and Alex Ringfield , who have provided supporting points for the sprinters and distance standouts throughout the spring.
 
As far as the high jump and long jump, Kyle Aerni , Mike Lehto, Mike Iarussi and Ringfield have been solid, as have Mac Nagel and Craig Cirino in the pole vault.
 
The depth and versatility that we referred to above came to the fore again this past weekend, as Saint Ignatius hosted the annual Olympic Challenge.
 
James Norris and sophomore Phil Zuccaro finished 1-2 in the 100 meter dash. Phil is flat out having an exceptional spring, whether he is sprinting or running on relays.
Also making his mark at the Olympic Challenge was senior Jack Cook, who took first place in the 200. Jack will be furthering his education and football career at Harvard University.
As for the distance efforts at the Olympic Challenge, Liam McGuire, Andrew Szendrey and Colin Canigula finished 1, 2, 3, respectively, in the 1600 and Wagner and Connor Reilly finished 1-2, respectively, in the 3200. Liam's time in the 1600 was 4:31.62 and Wagner won the 3200 in a time of  9:23 (running an impressive negative split of 4:49 / 4:34).  Reilly took 2nd in the 3200 with a  9:56.
The Varsity 4x800 meter relay of Rogers, Trentel, Ambrosio, and Kruchan won comfortably in a time of 8:15, and the team of junior Will Maier and sophomores Joe Ripepi, Owen Lammermeier and Jarred Meyer won the Junior Varsity 4x800 in a time of 8:59.
Sullivan finished second in the Varsity 800 in a time of 2:00, and in the JV 1600, freshman Matthew Blouch finished 2nd in a time of 4:45.8.
Also turning in a solid Olympic Challenge weekend were Coach Ryan Franzinger's throwers.
SHOT PUT
Darian Kinnard, 1st place, 48'1"
Alex Misencik, 4th place, 44'11 1/2"
Mike Chime, 6th place, 44'2 3/4"
Morgan Falkenberg, 8th place, 40'5 1/2"

DISCUS
Mike Bodnar. 3rd. 147'1"
Justin Perpar. 4th. 145'7"

Alex Misencik. 5th. 142'5"

While the Cats' regular season had many moments to cherish, those moments were in preparation for what takes place this week and the following two weeks - OHSAA District, Regional and State competition.
Saint Ignatius, which under Coach Kyle has been a dominant force at the District level for nearly three decades, is competing at another new District site this season. After being a fixture at the Lakewood District for years and years, the Cats were moved to the Brunswick District last year because of the construction that is taking place at Lakewood for its new school building.
This season, Coach Kyle's team is assigned to the Amherst District, which takes place on Wednesday and Friday. The competition begins at 4 PM each day. The move to Amherst for the Districts means the Cats will be competing at Amherst Steele High School in consecutive weeks, as the state-qualifying Amherst Regional is next week.
Saint Ignatius is no stranger to Amherst Steele's track and field facilities. The Cats have competed in the Amherst Regional for several years and one of their stops along the regular season trail is the tradition-rich Amherst Comet Relays.
This spring, Saint Ignatius finished third at the Amherst Relays. Among the highlights were the 3200 Meter Run - C.J. Ambrosio, 1st place in 9:24.38; the 1600 Meter Relay - 1st place in 18:20.13, Jim Rogers, Liam McGurie, Connor Reilly and Tom Sullivan; the 4x800 Meter Relay - 1st place in 8:02.27, Pat Nolan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan; the 800 Sprint Medley - 1st place in a new meet and stadium time of 1:34.03, James Norris, Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro and Colin Kruchan. Broke the previous mark of 1:34.44 set by Medina in 2006; the 110 Meter Hurdles - C.J. Moore, 3rd place, 15.49; the 300 Meter Hurdles - Jack Ruddy, 5th place, 41.73; the Distance Medley - 3rd place in 10:57.96, Greg Caniglia, Pat McGuire, C.J. Ambrosio and Jim Rogers; the 4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdles - 2nd place in 1:01.65, C.J. Moore, John Wetula, Jack Ruddy and Alex Ringfield, and the 4x400 Relay - 5th place in 3:31.34, Kyle Hall, Pat Nolan, Phil Zuccaro and Mike Huber.
THIS CORNER WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL OF THE BEST TO THE TRACK CATS, COACH KYLE AND HIS OUTSTANDING STAFF, AS THE RUN TO COLUMBUS BEGINS AT 4 PM WEDNESDAY DURING THE FIRST DAY OF THE AMHERST DISTRICT.  
 
               
 
 
 
Wildcats Baseball is defeated by Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 13-9, in Monday's regular-season finale on Fisher Field at Baldwin Wallace University
5/16/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Berea, Ohio - The Bees, who were playing for pride after being eliminated from the OHSAA Postseason Tournament last week, trailed, 8-1, entering the top of the fourth inning.

Coach John Mutch's team scored a run in the top of the fourth, knotted the score at 8 with a six-run top of the sixth and took a 13-8 lead with five more runs in the top of the seventh.

Saint Ignatius, which went scoreless from the third inning through the sixth, rallied with a run in the bottom of the seventh and had runners on first and second with two outs before Bees junior right-hander Jared Schrader coaxed a fly out to center field to end the game.

Saint Ignatius, which now stands 18-10, will continue to focus on Wednesday's Division I District Semifinal Game versus the Strongsville Mustangs. The first pitch from Strongsville High School will be 2 PM and junior southpaw Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit, will get the starting call from Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor.

Strongsville and Saint Ignatius are seeded second and third, respectively, at the Strongsville District.

The second game of Wednesday's District Semifinal Doubleheader at Strongsville will match Coach Matt Rosinski's top-seeded St. Edward Eagles against their neighborhood rival, the fourth-seeded Lakewood Rangers, at 4:30 PM. Wednesday's winners will return to Strongsville High School on Thursday for a 4:30 PM District Championship Game.

Coach Rosinski is a former standout pitcher for Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio, and Lakewood is under the direction of former Rangers great Mike Ribar, one of the finest all-around athletes to ever come out of Northeast Ohio.

Coach Ganor's Wildcats are the defending Strongsville District Champions.

A TALE OF TWO MOMENTUM WAVES, ONE EARLY AND ONE LATE

Moments before Monday evening's regular-season finale versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Coach Ganor emphasized to his Wildcats to use the game as a way to continue the momentum heading into Wednesday's 2 PM District Semifinal Game versus the host Mustangs from Strongsville.

Entering this week, the Cats were riding a four-game winning streak and had won 18 of their past 22 games.

Coach Ganor's message certainly struck home in the early going against the Bees.

After Brecksville-Broadview Heights combined an infield hit by senior left fielder Ryan Maitland, a sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Jackson Gilbride and an RBI base hit by standout senior first baseman Danny Harwood into a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Saint Ignatius responded with a five-run bottom of the first.

Supplying the first-inning thunder for the Cats were senior right fielder/pitcher Nick Freund with a lead-off single and a stolen base, senior third baseman Dennis Grosel with a run-scoring single, and two big two-out hits courtesy of junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs' two-run double and senior center fielder Mike Rogers' RBI single. Rogers, who advanced to second on the throw to home plate, came around to score all the way from second base on a wild pitch. Hustle City, my friends.

Saint Ignatius then made it an 8-1 game with a three-run bottom of the second that featured a lead-off double by sophomore pitcher/first baseman Tommy Grosel, Dennis' brother, a line drive RBI single to right field by Freund, another stolen base by Freund, a walk and a stolen base by senior second baseman Joe Evans, an RBI groundout to the right side off the bat of Dennis Grosel, and wild pitch that sent Evans flying home with the Cats' eighth run.

Following a scoreless third inning, Coach John Mutch's Bees made it an 8-2 game in the top of the fourth off a one-out line drive single to center field from Harwood, a stolen base by Harwood and an RBI double to deep center field off the bat of senior third baseman John MacDonald. The Bees were just getting started.

Still trailing by six runs entering the top of the sixth, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, which also defeated Saint Ignatius, 5-4, at last month's annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic in Progressive Field, put six runs on the board in the top of the sixth and it was a new ballgame.

With one out and the bases empty in the top of the sixth, the 9-11 Bees sandwiched two walks around another base hit by Harwood and closed to 8-4 when a ground ball up the middle off the bat of sophomore outfielder Sam Wiglusz found its way into center field. Coach Mutch's club then scored the tying runs off a two-run single to right-center field by junior catcher Frank Sweeney that was preceded by a walk to Jordan Shaheen, an RBI double to right-center field from junior infielder Griffin Stevens, and a sacrifice fly to center field off the steady swing of Maitland.

After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, Brecksville-Broadview Heights' dugout was cheering to the tune of a five-run top of the seventh inning and a 13-8 lead. The big blows were a two-run double to deep left field off the bat of winning pitcher Jaret Schrader, who we referred to in the lead to this story, and a two-run triple to deep left field that flew off the bat of Stevens. Getting the seventh-inning flurry started was none other than Harwood, who went 4-for-4 on the evening.

The final run of the game and the Cats' ninth run came off a line-drive RBI single by Jacobs.

FROM COACH GANOR: "We've been playing good baseball and I am pretty certain these guys will be ready to go on Wednesday," said Coach Ganor.

"They're (the Bees) a very good team and I give John (Coach Mutch) a lot of credit for getting his seniors to come here today and play the way they did when they're out of the tournament," Coach Ganor continued. "They came to play hard and to be down as big as they were (8-1 after three innings), that says a lot about the respect they have for their Coach. That's always nice to see, because in high school baseball a lot of kids would have just packed it in.

"That's a testament to the job John is doing with those kids."

And, as someone who is privileged to be around a great group of 2016 Wildcats, it is obvious to this reporter of more than four decades that Coach Ganor and his staff continue to do a marvelous job.

A FRIENDLY BATTLE: Two of the best players on Fisher Field Monday evening were two young men who started playing baseball together when they were 8 years old - the Wildcats Nick Freund and the Bees Danny Harwood.

FLASHING THE LEATHER: Although to most area high school sports fans he is better known as a first-team All-Ohio quarterback, Dennis Grosel is also an exceptional baseball player who can swing the bat with authority and field with the best of them.

In the first inning of Monday's game, Dennis took away a base hit from the Bees by making a full-extension diving stop of a sharply hit ground ball and, in one motion, getting to his feet and throwing the runner out with a seed to first base. It was a play that would have drawn a smile of approval from Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.

We'll see you at Strongsville High School on Wednesday.            

  

     

 

     

    

   

              

 

Cats Baseball is 17th in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll
5/16/2016

Coaches 2016 Week 5 Poll Results
Poll Open:  Thu May 12 12:00:00 2016
Poll Close: Sun May 15 00:00:00 2016

Division I
Place   ID      School                                  1st place votes  Pts     Record 
1       764     Massillon Jackson                      28               280    24-0   
2       1470   Springboro                                                        239    24-3   
3       1034   Milford                                                               198    22-2   
4       1203   Olentangy Liberty                                              164    24-3   
5       1211   Olentangy Orange                                             123    24-3   
6       292     Butler                                                                 111    21-3   
7       876     Gahanna Lincoln                                                 90    22-3   
8       1428   Solon                                                                   54   20-3   
9       1056    Archbishop Moeller                                             43   19-8   
10      904     Loveland                                                             42   18-4   
11      972     Mason                                                                 36   19-6   
12      350     Twinsburg                                                          34   18-4   
13      178     Beavercreek                                                        29    22-6   
14      740     Hudson                                                               26    19-6   
14      1614    Walsh Jesuit                                                      26    18-4   
16      1606    Wadsworth                                                         11    18-5   
17      1354    Saint Ignatius                                                     10    18-9   
18      717     Hilliard Darby                                                           9   17-1   
18      150     Avon                                                                        9   20-7   
20      1350    St Francis de Sales                                                 7   15-6   
Other teams receiving votes (points):
Olentangy (Lewis Center) (5), Harrison (4), St Edward (4), Westerville Central (4),
Mayfield (3), Kenston (2), Massillon Washington (2), La Salle (2), Fairfield (2) and Chardon (1).

Saint Ignatius Volleyball remains in the fourth spot in the Division I State Poll, as Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats prepare for Wednesday's opening night of North Region Postseason Play versus the Stow Bulldogs
5/16/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The North Region Division I Tournament's top-seeded Volleyball Cats take the court at Massillon Jackson on Wednesday at 5 PM to face a Stow team they defeated, 3-1, in the regular season at Stow.

Saint Ignatius is the highest-ranked Division I team in the Northern Region by the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association, with Division 2 Walsh Jesuit and the Wildcats remaining 1-2, respectively.

Here is this week's OHSBVCA Division I State Poll. 

1. - Archbishop Moeller (6) - 211
2. - Hilliard Darby (16) - 202
3. - Elder - 180
4. - Saint Ignatius - 141
5. - Centerville - 123
6. - St. Xavier - 120
7. - Pickerington North - 94
8. - Westerville South - 66
9. - Beavercreek - 43
10- Jackson - 26
..... Lakota East - 24
..... St. Edward - 14
..... Hilliard Bradley - 10
..... Westerville North - 8

Here is an indepth look at the outstanding efforts by Saint Ignatius Crew at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships
5/16/2016

Presented By Wildcats outstanding Assistant Coach Connor Walters and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Wildcats Varsity 4 and Junior 8 Win Gold at Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships

Saint Ignatius crews powered through strong, sustained winds en route to two gold medals, three silvers, a bronze and a close team runner-up finish at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships on Lake Dillon in Nashport, Ohio, this weekend.

The Varsity 4 was the first Saint Ignatius Crew to strike gold on Sunday, overcoming an early deficit to blow past the field and claim the title 7.5 seconds ahead of the next boat. The win avenged the Wildcats’ heartbreaking silver medal finish in the event from 2015.

Shortly after them, the Saint Ignatius Junior 8 handled challenges from New Trier, Upper Arlington and Loyola Academy before ultimately walking away with an impressive open-water victory of 6.3 seconds.

Almost immediately after the Junior 8 got off the water, half the boat launched again to race in the Junior 4 event. Though a crew from St. Ignatius (Chicago) jumped off to an early lead, the Wildcats kept it close and took home silver by about 4 seconds.

Among the 12 Wildcat crews in the finals on Sunday was the Lightweight 8, which placed fifth. Seven of the eight rowers in that boat raced earlier in the day in two events, with both crews bringing home medals. Three of the lightweights and an additional rower competed in the 2nd Varsity 4, clinching silver. Four other lightweights raced in the Lightweight 4, earning bronze.

All these medal-winning races by Saint Ignatius Crews qualified the team for the national championships in those events.

One of the most remarkable results of the day was in the 3rd Varsity 8 event, in which the 5th-ranking Saint Ignatius 8 chased a quick Loyola entry the whole way en route to a silver medal. Similarly, the 4th-ranking Saint Ignatius 8 claimed a solid 4th in the 2nd Varsity 8 event.

The day’s final race, the Varsity 8, saw a very tight finish among the top three boats: New Trier (1st), Pittsburgh Central Catholic (2nd) and St. Edward (3rd). Saint Ignatius raced hard and finished right on the tail of the Eagles to finish 4th and qualify for nationals.

Other Wildcat crews racing in the finals on Sunday included the Novice 8 (5th), Freshman 8 (4th), and Lightweight 2x (4th).

All told, the points showed a full-team effort, although Saint Ignatius fell 9 points shy of New Trier, who won three of the 8 events, which are worth the most points. In finishing second, the squad had its highest boys’ points finish under Head Coach Pat Connor ’94.

For the rowers not attending nationals, this weekend marked the conclusion of a long and successful year that began back in August. Yet for a couple dozen Wildcats, the season lasts another two weeks as they prepare for the SRAA National Championships, also on Lake Dillon.

The team would like to thank all the parents who made the journey this weekend and whose die-hard support is greatly appreciated. Stay tuned for results from nationals, set for May 27-28!


Connor Walters '09
Communications Coordinator: Mission
Assistant Coach: Varsity Rowing
Co-Moderator: C.A.T., Labre
 
 
Here is a further breakdown on the Wildcats' Distance Runners from Friday's Olympic Challenge Track and Field Meet
5/16/2016

Courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Ken Sullivan and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

1) The Varsity 4x800 meter relay of senior Jim Rogers, senior Tim Trentel, junior C.J. Ambrosio, and senior Colin Kruchan won comfortably in a time of 8:15. The team of junior Will Maier and sophomores Joe Ripepi, Owen Lammermeier, and Jarred Meyer won the JV 4x800 in a time of 8:59.
 
2) In the Varsity 1600, sophomore Liam McGuire won in a time of 4:31.62.
 
3) In the JV 1600, freshman Matthew Blouch finished 2nd in a time of 4:45.8.
 
4) In the Varsity 800, senior Tom Sullivan finished 2nd in a time of 2:00.
 
5) In the Varsity 3200, senior Luke Wagner won in a time of 9:23 (running an impressive negative split of 4:49 / 4:34).  Senior Connor Reilly took 2nd in 9:56.  
Just FYI, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Lacrosse Team is scheduled to host the winner of Wednesday's Strongsville at St. Edward matchup in the second round of the Northwest District Tournament.
5/15/2016

The Lax Cats, rated third in Ohio and seventh in the Midwest Region by the LaxPower Computer Ratings, drew a first-round bye.   

The Saint Ignatius Baseball Wildcats are gearing up for Wednesday's OHSAA Division I District Semifinal versus the Strongsville Mustangs
5/15/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's resilient and baseball savvy Baseball Cats, winners of 18 of their past 22 games, are embarking on that part of the schedule they have been playing for all spring.

From the season-opening trip to Florida, the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament in Cincinnati, the Pipe Yard Classic in Lorain County, and the many memorable and brisk late afternoon regular-season games at Classic Park and Baldwin Wallace University's Fisher Field, it all comes down to mid May and the OHSAA Division I Postseason Tournament.

The 18-9 and third-seeded Wildcats, the defending Strongsville District Champions, will take the field at Strongsville High School on Wednesday for a Division I District Semifinal Game versus the second-seeded Strongsville Mustangs. The first pitch will be 2 PM.

Wednesday's second District Semifinal Game at Strongsville matches the top-seeded St. Edward Eagles and the fourth-seeded Lakewood Rangers at 4:30 PM. Wednesday's winners will return to Strongsville on Thursday for a 4:30 PM District Championship Game.

As for the Strongsville Mustangs, they entered the weekend with a record of 17-8. In their 18-0 Sectional-Final victory over the Rhodes Rams, the Mustangs got a combined no-hitter from senior right-hander Ian Hennessey and junior right-hander Bobby Intihar. Hennessey worked four innings and struck out seven, and Intihar closed out the game with one strikeout in the top of the fifth. The game was called after 4 1/2 innings because of the state's 10-run mercy rule.

Saint Ignatius advanced to District play with a 14-0, run-rule victory over Valley Forge in a Sectional Final this past week at Baldwin Wallace University.

Among Strongsville's impressive victories this season were a 5-4 win over St. Edward and a 2-1 triumph over baseball-rich Walsh Jesuit.

The Mustangs' victory over Ohio Jesuit Cup Champion Walsh Jesuit, which took place at Strongsville, saw Mustangs junior southpaw Jaret Beechy and senior right-hander Caleb Homan combine on a four-hitter. Beechy threw six complete innings. Walsh Jesuit defeated Saint Ignatius, 7-1, during the Jesuit Cup Tournament at St. Xavier.  

Strongsville was shutout by Mentor, 6-0, earlier this month, a team Saint Ignatius defeated twice this spring.

Okay, so much for the scoreboard watching and comparing scores.

As far as some of the recent baseball history between the Wildcats and the Mustangs, Saint Ignatius rallied from a 4-0 deficit after four innings and defeated host Strongsville, 6-4, on April 3rd of last year. Standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller '15 (now playing at St. Bonaventure University) and clutch hitter James Zajaczkowski '15 helped fuel the rally. James doubled as an outstanding broadcaster for the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

That victory over Strongsville was part of seven consecutive road wins to start the season by the 2015 Cats.

On May 27th, 2013, the Cats traveled to Strongsville for another regular-season encounter and, after banging out 13 hits, walked away with a 9-3 victory.

Although they are no strangers to District and Regional play, the Mustangs, like Saint Ignatius, have one State Baseball Championship Banner. That came in 2006 when Strongsville was led by one of the premier players in Ohio, center fielder Anthony Gallas. The 2006 Mustangs were coached by former Saint Ignatius Wildcat Josh Sorge.  

While the Mustangs made the most of their only State Baseball final-four appearance, the Wildcats have made 12 trips to Ohio's Baseball final four, winning it all in 2002 and finishing as the state runners-up in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Five of those 12 trips to the State Finals have come under Coach Ganor.

This year isn't the first time that Saint Ignatius entered the Strongsville District as the third seed.

In the spring of 2012, the top four seeds at Strongsville were 1. The Mustangs, 2. Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 3. The Wildcats and 4. North Royalton.

Behind a strong pitching performance by Matt Hoyer, the Cats defeated Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 3-1, in the District Semifinals.

In what was one of the most dramatic games in Saint Ignatius' baseball history, Wildcats outfielders Tim McCoy and Dan Oaklief threw out runners at the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Saint Ignatius prevailed over North Royalton, 3-2, in the 2012 Strongsville District Championship Game. Catcher Ralph Lucarelli was a tower of strength in handling those throws from Tim and Dan.

Coach Ganor will send his gifted junior left-hander Connor Adams to the mound in Wednesday's District Semifinal. Connor, a Louisville recruit, made himself at home in last year's District Championship Game at Strongsville by throwing a no-hitter at Berea-Midpark in the Cats' 3-0 victory.

Saint Ignatius will tune up for District play on Monday, when the Cats close their regular season with a 5 PM game versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights on Fisher Field at Baldwin Wallace University. The Bees defeated Saint Ignatius, 5-4, at last month's annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic at Progressive Field.

JUST A REMINDER THAT LIKE "Tinker to Evers to Chance," Saint Ignatius' thrill-some threesome of Brendan DeVenney, Matt MacKenzie and Matt Harsar will bring you the Baseball Wildcats' Postseason Run live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network beginning with Wednesday's 2 PM District Semifinal at one of this corner's old homes away from home, Strongsville High School. This old catcher will find a spot in Coach Ganor's dugout for my 46th consecutive District Baseball Tournament.    

.     

                

       

        

Congratulations to Wildcats Crew, which, according to its web page, turned in the best performance of Head Coach Pat Connor's tenure by coming in 2nd in Midwest boys points to New Trier by 9 points
5/15/2016
Oberlin College Sectional Tennis Singles Champion Josh Hsia, singles teammate John (Jack) McNally and the doubles teams of Mitchell Pallaki & Andy Sicilliano and Richie Hofstra & John Mhanna are District Bound!
5/14/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

With his victories over Frank Figueiredo of Lakewood, 6-0, 6-1, and Aris Jhaveri of Westlake, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, Josh took home the Oberlin College Sectional Singles Championship on the Don Hunsinger Courts.

Josh will return to Oberlin College this coming week for District Play, where is matched against Diego Fretes of Cleveland Heights.

Saint Ignatius' John (Jack) McNally bounced back from a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Jhaveri and defeated Figueiredo, 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-0, to earn the third District Qualifying Spot. McNally is matched against Paul Gota of University School in the first round of District Play.

The order of the top 4 Oberlin College Singles District Qualifiers is 1. Josh Hsia, 2. Aris Jhaveri, 3. John (Jack) McNally and 4. Frank Figueiredo.

Josh Hsia and John (Jack) McNally will be joined at the Oberlin College District by the Wildcats' tenacious and tireless doubles teams of Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicilliano, and Richie Hofstra and John Mhanna.

Mitchell and Andy are matched up with Michael Joyce and Ben Kelly of Medina Highland in the first round of District doubles, and Richie and John are slated to face the Barrs from Kenston, Austin and Chloe.

Congratulations to Josh, John (Jack), Mitchell (Saint Ignatius' Student Body President), Andy, Richie and John, Cats Head Coach Jon Barker and his outstanding staff. God Bless and All of the Best this coming week.  

  

 

The Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Wildcats celebrate their Senior Day with a 9-4 victory over Tallmadge on Saturday afternoon at Baldwin Wallace University
5/14/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Berea, Ohio - After starting their season at 0-5, the Saint Ignatius Baseball Wildcats have now won 18 of their past 22 games, including Saturday's 9-4 triumph over a young, but oh so promising Tallmadge team at Fisher Field on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.

When you look at the Wildcats' turnaround, one thing is quite obvious.

Veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor and his Assistant Coaches, Mark Terlep, John Whelan, Frank DeSico '09 and Matt Blazer '94, are blessed with a group of seniors who not only exude baseball knowledge, but are first class when it comes to leading or showing the way.

When there were doubts lingering during the first month of the season, a period when Saint Ignatius' offense was struggling, to say the least, it was the seniors who said enough of this nonsense.

With the focus now on Wednesday's 2 PM OHSAA Division I District Semifinal Game versus the Strongsville Mustangs at Strongsville High School, the Wildcats' Baseball Family took time out on Saturday to say Thank You to Coach Ganor's Senior Cats, before and during their regular-season matchup with Coach Kenny Linn's Blue Devils from Tallmadge.

The Saint Ignatius Baseball Class of 2016, along with its parents, were introduced individually before the first pitch on what was "Senior Day."

In a classy move, Coach Ganor, in the top of the seventh inning, replaced his seniors one by one to a roaring ovation from their teammates and the Wildcats' faithful.

It was only fitting that one of those seniors, tri-Captain/center fielder/relief ace Mike Rogers, remained on the field and closed the book on victory No. 18 by pitching the top of the seventh.

"It's fun to enjoy it and let the seniors have their moment," said Coach Ganor, whose Wildcats, seeded third at the Strongsville District, will tune up for the second-seeded Mustangs by closing out their regular season on Monday versus the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees at Baldwin Wallace University. Monday's first pitch is 5 PM.

"I think Senior Days can get lost a little bit with the Spring Sports, but I think we're doing a good job with what our parents do with the cookout," Coach Ganor said. "It's a little tradition that we started to try to make it as special as we can for these guys, to honor these guys. I hope they enjoyed it."

In what was an enjoyable game, one that warmed the spirits in both dugouts on a cold, damp, rainy and gray skies day in Berea, the Tallmadge Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A two-out, bases empty walk to Blue Devils 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore first baseman Scott Seeker and an RBI double to deep right field by junior third baseman Josh Taylor accounted for the game's first run.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the third inning, when Saint Ignatius knotted the score on a leadoff walk to Rogers, a single up the gut by senior outfielder Dan Volpe, a stolen base by Volpe and a throwing error. After Volpe advanced to third on a 1-3 groundout off the bat of junior outfielder/designated hitter Ryan Jacobs, gifted senior right fielder/right-handed pitcher Nick Freund gave the Cats a 2-1 lead with an RBI single up the middle.

As the baseball savvy Coach Terlep pointed out, Freund did a great job with his hands in handling a curveball from Tallmadge starter Zach Boyd, a sophomore right-hander.

The Blue Devils, who like Saint Ignatius have a rich baseball tradition, responded with the tying run in the top of the fourth inning off one-out singles from Taylor and senior center fielder Kyle Paul, and an RBI sacrifice fly to right-center field by Boyd.

One-out base hits from senior catcher/outfielder Nolan Sands and senior second baseman Ben Pratt, followed by a two-run double to deep right-center field by Seeker put Tallmadge back on top, 4-3, in the top of the fifth.

The Blue Devils' lead was again short-lived, as a two-base error off a tough play in left field followed by an authoritative RBI triple to deep right-center field off the bat of Cats multi-skilled senior Captain/third baseman Dennis Grosel made it 4 all entering the sixth inning.

Freund then came on in relief in the top of the sixth and threw a scoreless and hitless inning. Nick was awarded the victory after Saint Ignatius put together a decisive five-run bottom of the sixth that featured a walk to senior second baseman Joe Evans that loaded the bases, consecutive run-producing walks by Dennis Grosel and senior first baseman George Asadorian, and an RBI single to right field by senior catcher John Robinson.

Senior shortstop Kevin Mingus got the five-run bottom of the sixth started with a line-drive single to center field.

The line scores on the game were 9 runs, 9 hits and no errors for the Wildcats, and 4 runs, 7 hits and four errors for Tallmadge.

Coach Linn will guided his now 14-12  Blue Devils in a District Semifinal next week versus the Panthers from Norton High School.

"Tallmadge is good, young and scrappy," Coach Ganor said of the Blue Devils, who brought home the Division II State Baseball Championship in 2002, the same year Saint Ignatius won the Division I State Title. The Blue Devils were also state runners-up in 2001, 2000, 1996 and 1966.

"They're always well coached and it was good to be pressured a little bit today, and respond to the pressure," Coach Ganor continued. "We're playing our best baseball, there is no doubt about it. And I'll take our chances any time we're playing our best."

Coach Ganor will send his ace left-hander, junior Louisville recruit Connor Adams, to the mound in Wednesday's District semifinal versus Strongsville. The corner will take a look at the Mustangs on Monday.

CLOSE CALLS FOR THE POPULAR CATS: John Robinson and Kevin Mingus were among those Wildcats who had less than an hour before having to be at pictures for their dates' Prom Nights on Saturday. An that was after a sixth inning that Wildcats stats guru Joe Ertle said took 40 minutes.

Saturday night marked the second or third consecutive Prom that John Robinson was attending. When this old-timer commented to Robinson that he must be a popular guy, John's response was: "They know I won't say no."     

                      

 

 

   

 

 

    

          

 

 

Here are some more highlights from Friday's Olympic Challenge Track and Field Meet, courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Alex Voigt
5/14/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

James Norris and Phil Zuccaro finish 1-2 in the 100 meter dash.

Jack Cook was 1st in the 200.

Tom Sullivan was 2nd in the 800.

Liam McGuire, Andrew Szendrey and Colin Canigula finish 1, 2, 3, respectively, in the 1600.

Luke Wagner and Connor Reilly finish 1-2, respectively, in the 3200.

From Coach Voigt: "It was an all-around great team effort on a beautiful Friday evening at Wasmer Field!"

NOTE: FOR A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS' HIGHLIGHTS IN THE SHOT PUT AND DISCUS FROM FRIDAY'S OLYMPIC CHALLENGE, SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM FRIDAY EVENING THAT WAS COURTESY OF SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH RYAN FRANZINGER '02.

 

Despite being depleted a bit by injuries, the Rugby Cats, behind some veteran leadership, step up on Friday night and close out their regular season with a 33-7 triumph over their Jesuit Brothers from Cincinnati St. Xavier
5/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Cats, ranked seventh in the nation, now stand 10-6 as they direct their focus on defending the program's back to back State Championships.

After a little rest this coming week, the Rugby Cats will face the Crusaders from Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in the State Semifinals. The site and time of the match are to be announced.

As for last night's defusing of the Xavier Bombers on Wasmer Field, the Cats' tries were produced by the skilled and savvy Andrew Baldado, Owen North, aka "Uncle O,"  tough as nails Matt Woisnet, and the ever-present Tyler Sisko and Matthew Lipaj.

Baldado also contributed four conversions.

Here's wishing good health and all of the best to the Rugby Cats, as they prepare for their time of the year.  

 

It was another great day for Wildcats Tennis during the semifinals of the OHSAA Division I Sectional Tournament on the Don Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College
5/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with results courtesy of Saint Ignatius Head Coach Jon Barker

Picking up where they left off in Thursday's opening round of Sectional Play (*see the corner's posts from Thursday night and Friday afternoon), the Tennis Cats put together what Head Coach Jon Barker described as a good day during Friday's semifinal round on the Don Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College.

FROM COACH BARKER: "This afternoon, Josh Hsia advanced to Saturday with a 6-0, 6-0 win. John (Jack) McNally won his match 6-2, 7-5, so he'll be moving on as well.

The doubles team of Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicilliano won 6-3, 6-3 over the Avon Lake team, so they'll be moving on."

On Friday afternoon, Coach Barker said the Cats' fourth-seeded doubles team, John Mhanna and Richie Hofstra, won three matches on Thursday to qualify for Districts and will play in the Sectional Finals on Saturday, which get underway at 9 AM.

Yes, moving on up to Saturday's OHSAA Sectional Finals with next week's District Finals awaiting even bigger and better things from the Cats.

NOTE: Here is the breakdown of the above-mentioned matches played by the Tennis Cats on Friday. The Cats will play for placement on Saturday beginning at 9 AM.

JOSH HSIA DEFEATED JAKE FROMBACH FROM AVON, 6-0, 6-0.
JOHN (JACK) MCNALLY DEFEATED TAYLOR BENJAMIN FROM NORTH OLMSTED, 6-2, 7-5.
MITCHELL PALLAKI AND ANDY SICILLIANO DEFEATED HOFFMAN/WILHELM FROM AVON LAKE, 6-0, 6-4.

 

Here are the shot put and discus highlights for the Wildcats from this evening's annual Olympic Challenge Track and Field Meet on Wasmer Field
5/13/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
HERE ARE THE SHOT PUT AND DISCUS HIGHLIGHTS FOR SAINT IGNATIUS AT THIS EVENING'S ANNUAL OLYMPIC CHALLEGE TRACK AND FIELD MEET ON WASMER FIELD. THE RESULTS ARE COURTESY OF RYAN FRANZINGER '02, SAINT IGNATIUS' DEAN OF STUDENTS AND OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT TRACK & FIELD COACH AND ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH.
 
WE WILL HAVE MORE RESULTS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE.  
 
SHOT PUT
Darian Kinnard, 1st place, 48'1"
Alex Misencik, 4th place, 44'11 1/2"
Mike Chime, 6th place, 44'2 3/4"
Morgan Falkenberg, 8th place, 40'5 1/2"

DISCUS
Mike Bodnar. 3rd. 147'1"
Justin Perpar. 4th. 145'7"

Alex Misencik. 5th. 142'5"

Here is where the Tennis Cats stand heading into Friday's (today's) semifinals of the annual OHSAA Oberlin College Division I Sectional
5/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with an update today from Saint Ignatius Head Coach Jon Barker

As we reported on the corner Thursday night, #1 seed Josh Hsia dominated his first two matches and will be playing for a District Qualifying spot this afternoon (Friday) when the semifinals get under way at 2 PM.

Jack McNally, as we posted Thursday night, won his first three matches and will return today to play his District Qualifying Match.

Wildcats Head Coach Jon Barker reported that Brian Zhu won his first two singles matches, but fell short in his third-round match, ending his tournament play.

Again, as we reported last night, the tenacious and tireless doubles team of Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicilliano won their first two matches and they will also play their District Qualifying Match this afternoon.

Coach Barker said the Cats' fourth-seeded doubles team, John Mhanna and Richie Hofstra, won three matches on Thursday to qualify for Districts and will play in the Sectional Finals on Saturday, which get underway at 9 AM.   

And, I can't rest my head on a pillow without saying congrats to Cats Volleyball Coach Casey Marcelo and his talented and big-hearted team and also give you a baseball note related to the SIBN!
5/12/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Marcelo and his Men of the Nets closed out a marvelous regular season by putting the heat on the Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson, 3-1, in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Thursday night.

The Cats, 20-4 and ranked fourth in the state this week, will now gear up for Wednesday's (May 18th) 5 PM North Region Semifinal matchup with the Stow Bulldogs in Massillon Jackson's atmosphere-rich gymnasium.

Coach Marcelo's Wildcats are the No. 1 seed in the North  Region.

And, starting with Wednesday's (May 18th) 2 PM District Semifinal Game versus the Strongsville Mustangs at Strongsville High School, the thrill-some threesome of Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Matt MacKenzie will broadcast all of the Baseball Cats' OHSAA Tournament Games live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

This old catcher will find a corner in Coach Brad Ganor's dugout for what is a 46th consecutive OHSAA baseball postseason for this seasoned pen and pad. And No. 46 stared with a sweet six off the bat of George Asadorian on Thursday.     

    

 

Josh Hsia and Jack McNally in singles play and the doubles duo of Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicilliano key the Cats' drive to Friday's 2 PM Semifinals of the OHSAA Division I Sectional Tennis Tournament on the Don Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College
5/12/2016

Results courtesy of Tournament Manager Mr. Rich Hagen and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

FROM THE DON HUNSINGER TENNIS COURTS ON THE CAMPUS OF OBERLIN COLLEGE

In singles play, Josh Hsia continued his successful spring by advancing to Friday's semifinals with victories over Mike Pandy of Elyria, 6-0, 6-0, and Spencer Gray of Avon Lake, 6-1, 6-0.

Josh is scheduled to face Jake Frombach of Avon in Friday's semifinals on the Don Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College.

Jack McNally took Josh's lead and went on to victories over Siwei Wang from Rocky River, 6-3, 6-0, Dan O'Meara of Westlake, 6-2, 7-5 and A J Perez of Lakewood, 6-0, 6-0.

Jack is slated to play Taylor Benjamin of North Olmsted in Friday's semifinals.

As for Thursday's doubles play, Student Body President Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicilliano were tireless and tenacious in defeating Alexander Grunder and Jon Pizzo of Lakewood, 6-1 and 6-0, and Sundeep Tudu and Dalton Harmuth of Berea-Midpark, 6-0, 6-0.

Saint Ignatius' gifted doubles team of John Mhanna and Richie Hofstra also came up with impressive triumphs versus Westlake, 6-3, 6-3, Strongsville, 6-0, 6-1 and St. Edward, 6-0, 6-0.

JUST A REMINDER AGAIN THAT FRIDAY'S SEMIFINALS ARE SCHEDULED FOR 2 PM AND SATURDAY'S FINALS WILL BEGIN AT 9 AM.

THE CORNER, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF MR. HAGEN, ONE OF THE TOP COACHES IN THE HISTORY OF OHIO HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS DURING HIS MARVELOUS CAREER AT BRUSH HGH SCHOOL, WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.      

 

George Asadorian drives in six runs and Connor Adams works a solid four innings on the mound, as the Varsity Baseball Wildcats defeat Valley Forge, 14-0, in Thursday's Division I Sectional Final at Baldwin Wallace University's Fisher Field
5/12/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Berea, Ohio - The Wildcats, winners of 16 of their past 19 games, improved to 17-9 and advanced to Wednesday's (May 18th) OHSAA Division I District Semifinal matchup with the Strongsville Mustangs at Strongsville High School. The first pitch will be 2 PM.

Saint Ignatius is the third seed at the Strongsville District. St. Edward is seeded No. 1 and Strongsville is the second seed.

Playing in the postseason is all the incentive the Cats need, but those seeds are sure to add a little fuel to the fire next week.

As far as Thursday afternoon at Fisher Field on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats took care of the business at hand and eliminated Valley Forge from the OHSAA tournament with a 14-0 triumph that required just 4 1/2 innings of work.

The game was called after the top of the fifth inning because of the state's 10-run mercy rule.

Saint Ignatius took control by scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the second inning that stretched its lead to 7-0. Five more Cats crossed the plate in the bottom of the fourth as it was Kay Bar the Door for the Patriots.

Coach Ganor's team took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and scored twice in the bottom of the third. The Cats produced their 14 runs on 10 hits.

Cats senior designated hitter/infielder George Asadorian, who has bounced back from a shoulder injury, is again displaying that fluid and authoritative swing.

In helping fuel Saint Ignatius' run-rule victory, George drove in a Varsity single-game career high of six runs.

George started his 6 RBI evening with a sacrifice fly to deep left-center field that made it a 2-0 game in the bottom of the first inning and completed his sweet six in the bottom of the fourth inning with a bases-loaded double that flirted with the base of the fence in left-center, a rip city shot that cleared the bases.

"It's just great to be back," said George, who teams with his brother Drew, a talented sophomore catcher, in Coach Ganor's lineup. "I think we got stronger over the time I was hurt and that was a great thing. I'm really happy to come back and see a stronger team. We had a slow start at the beginning of the season (0-5), but that doesn't matter, we have six key games left and it's just another great day to be a Wildcat.

"I was off for three weeks and itching to get back," George continued. "I found a way to get back (in the lineup) and just kept swinging the bat, swinging the bat and seeing pitches well. You know, keep that inside-out swing to right field.

"We played some great teams at the beginning of the season," George said in reference to Saint Ignatius' season-opening trip to Florida. "But we learned from that experience, battled back, found ourselves, became more aggressive at the plate and came together as a team. We are a tough team to beat right now."

Among the other Wildcats who produced key swings off Patriots pitching were senior shortstop Kevin Mingus, senior right fielder Nick Freund, who is one of the top table setters in Northeast Ohio, and junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs, who ripped a two-run triple to deep left-center in the Cats' four-run second inning.

Saint Ignatius continues to complement its hot bats with sound pitching and heads-up, havoc-causing base running.

Gifted junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams, who just might be the best 4-3 record pitcher in the state, worked the first four innings for Coach Ganor on a Thursday evening that actually ended with sunshine and a sky that had hints of blue.

Connor yielded just one hit, a two-out single up the middle in the top of the second inning by Valley Forge's starting sophomore pitcher Brandon Skory, struck out four, walked one and had 38 strikes in the 56 pitches he threw.

Cats junior right-hander Braydon Nelson, who continues to show endless promise and sports a 3-0 record as a starter, pitched a hitless top of the fifth that featured 11 strikes in the 19 pitches he threw, two strikeouts, one walk and a 1-3 putout to end the game.

FROM COACH GANOR: "We knew we were probably a little more athletic than them," said Coach Ganor of the Patriots. "You still have to play the game and you can't look ahead. That's all we're preaching. And now it's Strongsville and that is all that matters, playing that game.

"It will be nice to enjoy Saturday," Coach Ganor said of the regular season matchup with the Tallmadge Blue Devils at Baldwin Wallace University's Fisher Field. The first pitch for Saturday's Senior Day Game will be high noon.

"They are playing exactly how we thought they were capable of playing," Coach Ganor continued in reference to his 2016 Wildcats, "I think our record is going to turn out to be deceiving."

NOTE: Coach Ganor has added a final regular season game to the schedule and that will be against the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees on Monday at 5 PM at Baldwin Wallace University. The Bees defeated the Cats, 5-4, in last month's Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic at Progressive Field.      

                

               

 

TODAY'S SECTIONAL FINAL BASEBALL GAME BETWEEN THE WILDCATS AND THE VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS HAS BEEN MOVED TO BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY'S FISHER FIELD. THE FIRST PITCH REMAINS AT 4:30 PM.
5/12/2016
Wildcats Baseball will face Valley Forge in Thursday's OHSAA Sectional Final
5/11/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, the No. 3 seed at the Strongsville District, will host Valley Forge tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:30 PM in a Division I sectional final at Classic Park.

Valley Forge advanced to face the Cats by defeating Garfield Heights in a sectional semifinal on Wednesday.

It was just a week ago, May 4th to be exact, that Saint Ignatius traveled to Valley Forge and came away with a 16-5 victory in what was a regular-season matchup. Two home runs and five RBI by senior outfielder Dan Volpe highlighted the Cats' 18-hit attack at Valley Forge.

In May of 2014, Saint Ignatius and Valley Forge met in a Division I sectional final at Classic Park and the Cats walked away with a 4-1 victory.    

Junior left-hander Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit, will take the mound on Thursday for the 16-9 Wildcats, winners of 15 of their past 18 games. Adams is a deceiving 3-3 on the season.    

 

 

For the gentleman who inquired regarding the re-tweet from Burning River today, yours truly posted the information on those Lax Cats who earned All-Midwest recognition on Saturday May 7th
5/11/2016
ALL OF THE BEST TO COACH JON BARKER'S TENNIS CATS, WHO ARE SCHEDULED TO BEGIN OHSAA SECTONAL PLAY ON THURSDAY AT THE DON HUNSINGER TENNIS COURTS AT OBERLIN COLLEGE. FOR A LOOK AT THE CATS' MATCHUPS, SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
5/11/2016
Saint Ignatius Lacrosse is currently third in Ohio by the LaxPower computer ratings and sixth in the Midwest by LaxPower. Please note that Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick said tonight's scheduled game at St. John's Jesuit has been cancelled
5/11/2016

Here are the current Top 25 Teams in the LaxPower State Computer Ratings.

   Rnk Team                       PR     In    Cor   Chp  WL Pct  W  L  T
  1 Cincinnati St Xavier     98.34  99.03  0.08  0.00  0.88  14- 2- 0
  2 Upper Arlington           97.94  99.07  0.11  0.00  0.81  13- 3- 0
  3 Saint Ignatius              97.81  98.47  0.08  0.00  0.86  12- 2- 0
  4 Dublin Coffman           97.31 96.89 0.11 0.00 0.88 14- 2- 0

  5 Olentangy Liberty         96.78  97.85  0.04  0.00  0.75  12- 4- 0
  6 Dublin Jerome              96.66 97.22 0.10 0.00 0.75 12- 4- 0

  7 Columbus DeSales         95.92  94.11  0.06  0.00  0.83  10- 2- 0
  8 Olentangy Orange          95.72  93.75  0.10  0.00  0.87  13- 2- 0
  9 Dublin Scioto                  95.08  93.52  0.09  0.00  0.82  14- 3- 0
10 St Francis DeSales        94.81  92.08  0.03  0.00  0.86  12- 2- 0
11 Hudson                    94.65  94.46  0.06  0.00  0.69   9- 4- 0
12 Summit Country Day        94.60  92.11  0.04  0.00  0.87  13- 2- 0
13 Chagrin Falls             94.58  92.48  0.14  0.00  0.85  11- 2- 0
14 Delaware Hayes      94.26  93.34  0.01  0.00  0.75   9- 3- 0
15 Loveland                  94.13  92.23  0.06  0.00  0.80  12- 3- 0
16 Mason                      94.08 93.61 -0.02 0.00 0.58 7- 5- 0

17 University School         94.04  92.56  0.04  0.00  0.79  11- 3- 0
18 North Canton Hoover         93.86  93.03  0.00  0.00  0.69   9- 4- 0
19 Bishop Watterson          93.39  92.19  0.04  0.00  0.67  10- 5- 0
20 Olentangy HS              93.34  94.82 -0.10  0.00  0.44   7- 9- 0
21 Archbishop Moeller        93.32  93.65 -0.08  0.00  0.46   6- 7- 0
22 Toledo St John's          93.13  90.55  0.09  0.00  0.81  13- 3- 0
23 Worthington Kilbourne     93.10  94.57 -0.12  0.00  0.41   7-10- 0
24 Milford                   92.90  89.63  0.09  0.00  0.86  12- 2- 0
25 New Albany                92.83  92.65 -0.06  0.00  0.56   9- 7- 0

CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE CORNER GO OUT TO WILDCATS OUTSTANDING SENIOR SPRINTER JAMES NORRIS, THE SAINT IGNATIUS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
5/11/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

In helping Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track and Field team to a Championship performance at last weekend's tradition-rich Euclid Relays, James won the 100 Meter Dash (10.80), anchored  the winning 4 x 100 Relay (42.85) and ran on the winning 800 Sprint Medley Relay (1:34.59).

An officer in Saint Ignatius' National Honor Society, James is the Wildcats' all-time record holder in the 100 meters with a 10.66. During last year's 108th annual OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University, James finished fourth in Oho in Division I with a time of 10.87. He was the only sprinter in the 100 meters state final from a Catholic School.

James was also second at the demanding Amherst Regional last year in 10.78 and first at the 2015 Brunswick District in 10.82. This spring, the Track and Field Cats will be competing at both the Amherst District and Amherst Regional.

James, who also competed in football for the Wildcats as a tailback/kick returner, will be furthering his education and track career at Cornell University, where he will be part of Coach Adrian Durant's program. Coach Durant is one of the most respected coaches in the nation.

Again, congratulations to James, his family, Coach Kyle and the Cats' outstanding track and field coaching staff.       

Former Wildcat Lacrosse Standout Brett Hornung is Honored by Marquette University
5/11/2016

From Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Marquette University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics recently announced its Ralph H. Metcalfe Senior Award winners during its annual awards banquet at the Milwaukee Hilton. Marquette’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also awarded its own accolades as part of the Blue and Golden Globes.

Track athletes Tatyiana Pashibin and Brett Tobin won the Ralph H. Metcalfe Senior Service Award for their contributions to Marquette and the Milwaukee community, while teammate Sarah Poirier won the senior female academic award for a 3.98 grade point average as a biomedical sciences major. Lacrosse player Brett Hornung was given the men’s academic award for his 3.91 GPA as an international affairs major.

A pair of Senior CLASS Award candidates captured the Ralph H. Metcalfe Senior Athlete Awards with lacrosse player B.J. Grill taking the men’s honor and Jacie Jermier of the women’s soccer team earning the female award.

Men’s lacrosse player Jacob Richard was given SAAC’s Cura Personalis Award, which has been annually awarded as well.

Other SAAC awards given out for the second year included an honor for the top men’s and women’s newcomer, best record-breaking performance, top support staff member and a ‘For the Love of the Game’ Award .

Basketball players Allazia Blockton and Henry Ellenson won the rookie of the year awards after rewriting the MU record books during their freshman campaigns. Each was named the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year in their respective sport and sits first in their program history in scoring as a freshman.

Andy DeMichiei of men’s lacrosse was one of two recipients of the Record Breaking Performance Award. DeMichiei earned the award by tallying seven goals in Marquette’s 11-7 victory against St. John’s on April 9. Taylor Louis of volleyball earned the women’s award after setting a new MU single season record for kills as a redshirt freshman.

Men’s basketball senior Michael Mache was given the ‘For the Love of the Game’ Award. After spending three years as a team manager for the women’s basketball team, Mache joined the men’s team as a walk-on in early 2014 and was awarded a scholarship as a senior on Jan. 15, 2015.

President's Award: Tatyana Pashibin, women's track & field

SAAC - Blue and Golden Globes
Rookie of the Year: Henry Ellenson, men’s basketball
Rookie of the Year: Allazia Blockton, women’s basketball
Record Breaking Performance: Taylor Louis, women’s volleyball
Record Breaking Performance: Andy DeMichiei, men’s lacrosse
Courage Award: Jacie Jermier, women’s soccer
For the Love of the Game: Michael Mache, men’s basketball
Cura Personalis: Jacob Richard, men’s lacrosse
Blooper Award: Will Ford, track & field
Support Staff of the Year: Katie Simet, academics

Ralph H. Metcalfe Senior Awards
Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award: B.J. Grill, men's lacrosse
Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award: Jacie Jermier, women's soccer 
Outstanding Senior Male Leadership & Service Award: Brett Tobin, men's track & field
Outstanding Senior Female Leadership & Service Award: Tatyana Pashibin, women's track & field
Outstanding Senior Male Scholar Award: Brett Hornung, men’s lacrosse
Outstanding Senior Female Scholar Award: Sarah Poirier, women’s cross country/track & field

Ralph H. Metcalfe

Ralph H. Metcalfe was known as the world's fastest human from 1932-34. Metcalfe was the NCAA champion in the 100- and 200-yard events in 1932-34 and he broke or tied every world record from 40-220 yards. For five consecutive years (1932-36), he captured the AAU 200-meter title, the Central Collegiate Conference 100- and 220-yard crowns and the Drake Relays 100-yard honors in each of his three varsity seasons at Marquette.

Metcalfe served as senior class president and was the captain of the MU track team in 1934. He placed second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters in the 1932 Olympics, and came back in the 1936 Olympics to finish second in the 100 and help the U.S. win gold in the 400-meter relay.

After his college career, he joined the armed forces and served in World War II. After he got out of the army, he went go on to a life of public service and was a congressman for the state of Illinois.

He was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975 and an inaugural member of the M Club Hall of Fame in 1972.

 

The Volleyball Cats now stand 19-4 after defeating the Archbishop Hoban Knights, 3-0, at Hoban on Tuesday night
5/10/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Here are some statistics on Tuesday night's game, courtesy of Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Casey Marcelo.

The Volleyball Cats, the top seed for next week's North Region Postseason Tournament (see the corner's posts from Monday night), will close their regular season on Thursday at 7 PM versus Massillon Jackson in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

TEAM STATISTICS

@ Hoban
G1     Us 25 - 19 Opp.
G2     Us 25 - 19 Opp.
G3     Us 25 - 17 Opp.
G4     Us - - - Opp.
G5     Us - - - Opp.
Final  Us 3 - 0 Opp.

Games Played: 3

Serve
Attempts: 72  Aces: 6  Errors: 9
Aces/Game: 2.0  Ace%: 8.33  Serve%: 87.5

Serve Receive
Receptions: 42  Errors: 2  Avg: 1.88

Setting
Total Sets: 80  Assists: 34  Errors: 1
Assists/Game: 11.3

Attack
Attempts: 87  Kills: 38  Errors: 11  KE: .310
Kills/Game: 12.7

Defense / Custom
Digs: 54  Blk S: 5  Blk A: 1  Blk E: 4  BHE: 25
Digs/Game: 18.0  Blocks/Game: 1.8
Custom 1: 0  Custom 2: 0

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball rides a five-run first inning and a strong five-inning effort on the mound by Tommy Grosel to an 8-0 victory over Benedictine on Tuesday evening at Fisher Field on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University
5/10/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Berea, Ohio - The Cats' bats, which produced 12 hits on Tuesday, supported a strong five-inning performance by sophomore left-hander Tommy Grosel, who now stands 3-0 on the season.

Junior right-hander Danny Adler and senior southpaw/center fielder Mike Rogers each pitched a perfect inning in closing out the victory, with Adler striking out one Bengal in the top of the sixth and Rogers fanning two in the top of the seventh.

Tommy Grosel's five-inning line on the evening was 0 runs, 2 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts. Tommy threw 56 pitches, 40 of which were strikes.

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats improved to 16-9 and were victorious for the 15th time in their past 18 games.

The focus now turns to Thursday's OHSAA Division I Sectional Final versus the winner of Wednesday's Sectional Semifinal between the Garfield Heights Bulldogs and the Valley Forge Patriots. Thursday's sectional final, which will be played at either Baldwin Wallace University or Classic Park, has an OHSAA first-pitch time of 4:30 PM.

As for Tuesday evening's victory over a now 9-15 Benedictine team, Saint Ignatius jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back.

Cats right fielder Nick Freund, who is enjoying an exceptional senior season, led off with a single to right-center field, stole second base with one out and came home on an RBI double by senior third baseman Dennis Grosel, Tommy's brother.

Coach Ganor's team then executed some savvy base running in pushing its lead to 2-0, and a run-scoring single off the hot bat of junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs made it a 3-0 game.

Rogers then followed with a base hit and a stolen base, and Tommy Grosel helped his cause with a two-run single through the right side.

The Cats made it 6-0 in the bottom of the second behind a hit batsman, a single off the strong bat of senior designated hitter George Asadorian and some heads-up base running by George Asadorian and Dennis Grosel.

Following a scoreless third inning, Benedictine, which is under the direction of Saint Ignatius graduate John Ellis '01, loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning on an error and back-to-back base hits by center fielder Max Monachino and shortstop Jordan Barrett.

With the bases full of Bengals and no outs, Tommy Grosel got some help from his big brother and his sophomore battery mate Drew Asadorian, George Asadorian's brother.

Dennis Grosel charged a sharp grounder to the left side and fired to Drew Asadorian for a force at home, a play that saw Drew make a nice pick of the ball while still keeping his foot on home plate.

After an infield fly rule pop up to senior second baseman Joe Evans for the second out, Tommy Grosel said not tonight as he recorded a strikeout and left the bases juiced.

Saint Ignatius, the third seed for the Strongsville District, closed out the scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth that were the result of a leadoff single and a stolen base by Freund, a fielder's choice, a triple to deep right-center field by Dennis Grosel, and an RBI sacrifice fly to deep right field off the bat of George Asadorian.

The line scores from Tuesday night's game between two outstanding schools who were once storied rivals, were 0-2-0 for the Bengals and 8-12-1 for the Wildcats.

FROM COACH GANOR: "Tommy was very efficient and we played good defense," said Coach Ganor, who picked up his 265th career victory in what is his 12th season as the Wildcats' skipper. "These games are all about, and for them (Benedictine), too, getting ready and getting at-bats for the playoffs.

"I'm very happy with our approach, being aggressive early in counts," Coach Ganor continued. "We want to try to stay aggressive when we have hitters' counts. The guys did that. Today was good in that we had a couple of days off and it was nice to get back in the swing of things. We'll have a good practice tomorrow and be ready to go on Thursday for the playoff game."

Coach Ganor will hand the ball on Thursday to ace junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams, who carries a very deceiving 3-3 record.       

         

 

   

Congrats to Coach Marcelo and his standouts Danny Michals, Rich Holzheimer, Jacob Hoshaw, Brian Messina and Phil Catanzaro for receving All-Region Honors
5/9/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Fairview Park, Ohio - Along with the top seed in the North Region, the Cats' Danny Michals and Rich Holzheimer earned first-Team All-Region honors. Second-Team recognition went to Jacob Hoshaw, and Brian Messina and Phillip Catanzaro received Honorable Mention.
 
And, in what was an extremely well-deserved honor, a Coaching Achievement Honor went to Saint Ignatius' Casey Marcelo.
 
God Bless and All of the Best, Gentlemen, on what we're sure will be a great tournament run.  
 
As expected, the state's fourth-ranked Volleyball Cats earn the top seed for next week's North Region Postseason Tournament at Massillon Jackson High School
5/9/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - The top-seeded Volleyball Cats, currently 18-4, will open their postseason play on May 18th versus the eighth-seeded Stow Bulldogs (currently 6-16). The match will begin at 5 PM on the court at Massillon Jackson High School.

Saint Ignatius defeated Stow, 3-1, in a regular-season matchup at Stow on April 21st.

If successful on the 18th, Coach Casey Marcelo's gifted team will advance to a May 20th 5 PM North Region Final versus the winner of the May 17th semifinal between Brunswick and Medina.

A victory on May 20th sends the Cats to the State Tournament at Capital University on May 28th.

Here is the rest of the Region's seeding order: 2. St. Edward (6-12); 3. host Massillon Jackson (16-4); 4. Medina (12-6); 5. Brunswick (9-11); 6. Hudson (8-11); 7. Brecksville-Broadview Heights (7-12) and 8. Stow (6-16).

Congratulations and all of the best from this corner to Coach Marcelo and his talented and tough-minded Cats, who earned their top seeding by playing one of the most demanding schedules in the state.      

Here is this week's Division I State Baseball Poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association
5/9/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Division I
Place   ID      School                                  1st     Pts     Record 
1       764     Massillon Jackson                  27     270     20-0   
2       1470    Springboro                                     211     23-2   
3       292      Butler                                             206     21-3   
4       1203    Olentangy Liberty                          168     21-3   
5       1034    Milford                                           166     18-2   
6       876     Gahanna Lincoln                             79      20-3   
7       1614    Walsh Jesuit                                   48      17-4   
8       1211    Olentangy Orange                          42      21-3   
9       350     Twinsburg                                        37      18-4   
10     717     Hilliard Darby                                   36       17-1   
11      1606    Wadsworth                                     34      18-5   
12      1056    Archbishop Moeller                        26      17-7   
13      1428    Solon                                             25       18-3   
14      904     Loveland                                        20        18-3   
15      1671    Westerville Central                       19         17-5   
16      1684    Westlake                                       18        17-5   
17      178     Beavercreek                                    12      19-5   
18      336     Centerville                                       10      18-8   
18      842     La Salle                                           10      18-6   
20      550     Fairfield                                              7     18-6   
20      972     Mason                                                7     18-6   
Other teams receiving votes (points):
Harrison (5), Saint Ignatius (4), Olentangy (3), Hudson (3), St Francis de Sales (3),
Thomas Worthington (1).

Just FYI for those who inquired, the Tennis Cats will begin OHSAA Sectional Play on Thursday on the Don Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College. For a breakdown on the Cats' matchups, see the corner's story from Sunday.
5/9/2016
Here is a look at the Crew Cats' championship performance at the Laddie Cup, courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09
5/9/2016

From Coach Walters and posted by Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Wildcats top dog at Laddie Cup, final tune-up before Midwest Championship

COACH WALTERS: For several years now, Saint Ignatius Crew has made the Laddie Cup at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Michigan) the last race of the regular season. With most rowers competing in multiple categories and races, the regatta serves as a good final day of racing preparation before the Midwest Championship.

The Wildcats did what they had to do in the 8s, winning the Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, Lightweight 8, Freshman 8, plus the Lightweight 4, en route to claiming both the men’s points and overall team points trophies.

Saint Ignatius crews also secured silver medals in the 2nd Varsity 8, Junior 8, Varsity 4, Junior 4, and Novice 4, as well as bronze medals in the Varsity 4 and Novice Lightweight 4.

This was the third consecutive year Saint Ignatius won the men’s points trophy, with 215 points, which also happened to be good enough for the overall trophy (combined men’s and women’s teams) by a slim margin of 3. Saint Ignatius last took home both trophies in 2014.

Overcast skies and some quartering headwinds throughout the morning gave way to some sunshine and slightly calmer waters in the afternoon. The better weather arrived at about the same time as legendary Jesuit Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J., who currently lives at the Columbiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan, and came to see the Wildcats race in the shell that bears his name.

With positive results from Saturday’s racing, Head Coach Pat Connor’s Wildcat Navy turns its attention to next weekend’s Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship, set for Zanesville’s Lake Dillon.

 The team has raced most of the top contenders so far this season, including New Trier, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, and St. Edward, so they are prepared for some fierce competitions next weekend.

This year’s regatta perhaps suggests that the Midwest is really open for business. New Trier has proven to be lightning quick this spring, as three consecutive national championships in the Freshman 8 category bear fruit. St. Edward’s champion Junior 8 from 2015 now looks to make its mark in the Varsity 8. Jay Hammond’s Central Catholic is perpetually strong in the 8s. Loyola Academy and Upper Arlington will also contend.

So where does that pit Saint Ignatius crews? Right in the mix. The team has seen serious gains in speed throughout the last few weeks and the results have proven that the team has both the skill and depth to hang with the best in the region. Wildcat crews have a long history of success at the Midwest Championship and this year’s team is absolutely prepared to keep that lineage going and earn the right to race for a national championship.

It’s crunch time for Saint Ignatius Crew. LET’S GO CATS

Wildcats Varsity A Rugby finishes fourth at the annual Midwest Championship Tournament after being defeated by St. Edward, 27-0, in Sunday's Consolation Match on the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Indiana
5/8/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Cats now stand 9-6 heading into Friday's 7:30 PM home match versus Cincinnati St. Xavier on what will be Senior Night.

After Friday, the Cats' focus will be on the State Tournament and hopefully a third shot at their rival St. Edward.

The Eagles also controlled the April 14th regular-season matchup with the Cats, 31-5, in front of a standing-room crowd on St. Edward's Coughlin Field paddock.   

Saint Ignatius is the two-time defending State Champion after defeating the Eagles in the past two state-championship matches.  

Saint Ignatius Tennis is gearing up for this week's OHSAA Sectional Play at Oberlin College
5/8/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Jon Barker's Cats will again be competing at the Oberlin College Sectional/District on the Don Hunsinger Tennis Courts.

Here are the Cats' matchups for Sectional Play this week, which is schedule for May 9-14.

Singles Play

Saint Ignatius standout Josh Hsia will face the winner of the match between Tim Hewston of Valley Forge and Mike Pandy of Elyria.

Brian Zhu of Saint Ignatius is matched with Lewin Gaedeke of Rocky River and the Cats' Jack McNally is slated to play Siwei Wang from Rocky River.

Doubles Play

Saint Ignatius' Mitchell Pallaki and Andy Sicillano will face the winner of the match between Orlando Lopez and Nidal Abukhalil of Valley Forge versus Alex Grunder and Jon Pizzo of Lakewood.

The Cats' John Mihana and Richie Hofstra will face the winner of the match between Nate Churgovich and Peter Zleza of North Ridgeville versus Brandon Johnson and Brandon Price of Strongsville.

We wish all of the best this week to Coach Barker and his Wildcats.

NOTE: With the Oberlin College Sectional/District set to get underway, this corner would like to say one more time Rest in Peace to my late friend and colleague Ed Wolff, who, as the OHSAA Tournament Manager, did such an outstanding job for the media when it came to reporting results from the Don Hunsinger Tennis Courts.

A day doesn't go by without Ed's friends at Saint Ignatius praying for his family. I know Ed will be looking on from a very special view as the annual  OHSAA Tennis Tournament gets underway.

Rest in Peace My Friend.

Edward Wolff, July 12, 1942-July 5, 2015 

        

 

 

CONGRATS TO THE CREW CATS, WHO ON SATURDAY WON THE MEN'S AND OVERALL ST. MARY'S PREP LADDIE CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS AT ORCHARD LAKE, MICHIGAN. MEN'S POINTS AND OVERALL POINTS TROPHIES BELONG TO SAINT IGNATIUS CREW
5/7/2016
Saint Ignatius Rugby is defeated by Penn, 26-0, in Saturday's Midwest Championship Tournament. The Cats will face St. Edward in Sunday's Consolation Match.
5/7/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Earlier today, the Rugby Cats defeated a "depleted" Brownsburg team, 43-0.

Sunday's consolation match at the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Indiana will be the second meeting between Saint Ignatius and St. Edward this season. On April 14th, the Eagles defeated the Cats, 31-5, at St. Edward.

It will be interesting to see how this match will play out, since a much bigger encounter between the Cats and Eagles could be on tap (the State Championship Match).

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Cats have defeated the Eagles in the past two State Championship matches

Note: Penn will go on to face ND LaSalette in Sunday's Championship Match. LaSalette advanced to the title match by defeating St. Edward, 10-7.

The Lax Cats bring home the B Bracket MSLA Championship at Western Reserve Academy. Several Cats garner All-Midwest Recognition.
5/7/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted team will be bringing home another trophy for the Athletic Department to put on display.

 A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Jared Stepka, Crew Cintron, Alex Maruna and Anthony Ameo, who were named 1st team All-Midwest this weekend.

Cam Gerard and Alex Hornung were named 2nd team All-Midwest, and Matt Avdey, Carter Blossey and Sam Humphrey were Honorable Mentions.

The 12-2 Lax Cats are ranked third in the Ohio computer ratings and seventh in the Midwest by LaxPower, and are the top team in the area in the coaches poll.

 

  

With George Asadorian and Nick Freund helping fuel the offense and Murphy O'Brien and Braydon Nelson taking care of business on the mound, the gifted and priorities-first Baseball Cats defeated Mentor, 7-3, in Saturday's Pipe Yard Classic
5/7/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Lorain County - In the top of the fifth inning of Saturday's matchup with the Mentor Cardinals at The Pipe Yard Classic, Saint Ignatius' standout senior shortstop Kevin Mingus had to leave the game and join his family for what was a very special day.

Kevin, after changing out of his baseball uniform in his car at The Pipe Yard parking lot, headed downtown to The Cathedral, where his sister, Ellen, and her second-grade classmates made their First Communion.

A special day indeed, as Kevin revealed that his sister's First Communion ceremony was moved to The Cathedral because of the work being done on the roof of his Parish Church, St. Angela.

Never let it be said that the deep and talented Baseball Wildcats don't have their priorities in order.

After Kevin said goodbye and headed for his quick change of clothes, his replacement, gritty junior infielder Mark Geraci, promptly did his best Derek Jeter impersonation by leaping high in the air, snagging a line drive and taking away what looked like a sure base hit for the Cardinals from Mentor.

Yes, a special day. That's all I'll say on that subject.

However, if my late mother, Marie Fergus Dwyer, was still with us and witnessed Mingus hustling off to be with his little sister on her big day and a few seconds later saw Geraci climb the ladder in The Pipe Yard for an impressive out, would have surely said, without a second's hesitation and accompanied a wily Irish smile, "God's ways are strange, but sure." 

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, playing their sixth game in six days and coming off a tough one-run loss to Avon in Friday's first-round of The Pipe Yard Classic (see the corner's story from Friday night), had to rebound from a shaky start on Saturday that saw Mentor take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Saint Ignatius, calling on the resiliency that saw it win 5 of those 6 games this week in route to improving to 15-9, rode the bulldog mentality on the mound of senior right-hander and starter Murphy O'Brien, three innings of strong relief work by endless-potential junior right-hander Braydon Nelson, the unselfish approach of Joe Evans, and the bats of George Asadorian, Nick Freund, Dennis Grosel, Ryan Jacobs, Mingus and Tommy Grosel to a 7-3 victory over Mentor and a split in its two games at The Pipe Yard Classic.

George Asadorian, a strong-hitting senior infielder/designated hitter, and Nick Freund, a multi-skilled senior right fielder, lead-off hitter and right-handed pitcher, each had three hits.

Dennis Grosel, a senior third baseman/Captain, and Ryan Jacobs, a talent-rich junior outfielder, each had a pair of RBI and George Asadorian, Mingus and sophomore first baseman/left-handed pitcher Tommy Grosel , Dennis' brother, drove in the Cats' other three runs.

Mentor, which also lost a highly competitive 5-4 game to Saint Ignatius on April 20th at Classic Park, came out fired up under a mix of clouds and a hazy blue sky that hovered over The Pipe Yard.

With one out and the bases empty in the top of the first inning, senior left fielder Ricky Valeri drew a walk and stole second base. Cardinals impressive senior shortstop Matt Eiswerth also drew a base on balls and, after O'Brien recorded a strikeout for the second out of the inning, junior catcher Tom Noll delivered an RBI single off a 1-2 pitch.

Junior first baseman Matt Detering followed with an authoritative two-run double to left field and Mentor had the early momentum with a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals saw 39 pitches in the top of the first inning.

Rallying around O'Brien, who is also one of Coach Ganor's Captains, Saint Ignatius answered with a four-run bottom of the first, added two more runs in the third inning and scored its seventh and the game's final run in the fourth inning.

Freund started the four-run bottom of the first with a lead-off single the opposite way to left field. After Freund stole second base, Mentor tried to maintain its early charge behind a diving catch by Valeri off the bat of Evans.

It wasn't to be for the Cardinals, however, as Freund stole third base and scored on a 6-3 groundout by Dennis Grosel.

The Cats then came up with some two-out heroics that included a two-run-single by Jabobs and a rip city RBI double to left-center field by Mingus.

Saint Ignatius senior catcher John Robinson, who was also being unkind to Mr. Rawlings on Saturday, got the two-run bottom of the third started with a double to deep left-center field. George Asadorian then laced a run-scoring single to right-center field and Tommy Grosel accounted for the Cats' sixth run off a 4-6 fielder's choice.

Freund was the igniter again in the bottom of the fourth as Nick laid down a running bunt to the left side for a base hit and alertly advanced to second off a pitch in the dirt. After Nick went to third base on a 4-3 ground out, Dennis Grosel brought him home with a sharp single to center field.

O'Brien, a St. Bonaventure University recruit, settled in after the first inning and threw three innings of shutout ball before being relieved by Nelson for the start of the fifth inning. "Murph" totaled 89 pitches in those four innings with four strikeouts and a walk. Sixty one of those 89 pitches were strikes.

Nelson, who picked up his first Varsity career victory in the April 20th triumph over Mentor as the starting pitcher (he has since added two more wins), closed out Saturday's show with three hitless and scoreless innings that totaled 32 pitches.

The line score on the game was 7 runs, 12 hits and 2 errors for Saint Ignatius, and 3 runs, 3 hits and 1 error for Mentor.

FROM COACH GANOR: "A great bounce back win against a good-hitting team," Coach Ganor said after he watched his Wildcats win for the 14th time in their past 17 games.

"Giving up three runs in the first inning, and with six games in six days, you think this might be one of those days where they're lethargic," said Coach Ganor . "But in the Ignatius way, they fought back, answered with four and extended the lead.

"Murph" did a great job of settling down after the first inning and getting us deeper in the game, and then Braydon came in and was very efficient," Coach Ganor continued. "George Asadorian and Nick Freund each with three hits and Joe Evans moving guys over by hitting the other way. That's great, great baseball and selfless baseball."

UP NEXT: The Cats are scheduled to face the Benedictine Bengals on Tuesday at 5 PM on Fisher Field at Baldwin Wallace University. On Thursday it is the OHSAA Division I Sectional Final matchup versus the winner of Wednesday's Sectional Semifinal between Garfield Heights and Valley Forge. Thursday's 4:30 PM Sectional Final is slated for Classic Park.

Next Saturday, May 14th, the Varsity Cats will face the Tallmadge Blue Devils at high noon on Baldwin Wallace University's Fisher Field.

To all of the mothers out there, especially my three beautiful daughters, Melissa Jurcak, Suzanne Patton and Laura Murphy, a HAPPY AND WONDERFUL MOTHERS' DAY.       

    

       

 

  

 

        

    

 

          

Saint Ignatius Track and Field puts on an awesome performance at Friday evening's tradition-rich Euclid Relays
5/7/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted men of the spring rolled to first place with 132.50 points in Euclid's Sparky DiBiasi