DICK ZUNT, A MAN WHO SYMBOLIZIED SAINT IGNATIUS' MOTTO OF “MEN FOR OTHERS,” TO BE REMEMBERED BY THE GCFCA.
STORY POSTED ON 6/15/10
As the corner reported back in April, the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association will be dedicating Friday night's 38th annual Cuyahoga County East-West All-Star Game to the late Dick “Zip” Zunt '50.
The kickoff in John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium will be 7 p.m., and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, Home Team Marketing, the Browns and Winning Edge will again be among the major sponsors. All tickets are $5 at the gate.
As readers of this corner know by now, Dick Zunt, my longtime friend, colleague and mentor, died on Jan. 2 after a courageous battle with cancer. “Zip” spent nearly five decades of his life reporting on high school athletics for The Plain Dealer. For more than 20 years, Dick and I did double-team coverage on the East-West game as one of our summer rituals. We were always joined by the Sun Newspapers dynamic duo of Dom DiPasqua and the late Joe Stitt.
During the tribute to “Zip,” members of his family will take part in a special pre-game coin toss ceremony at 6:30 p.m. In memory of Dick, the players from both teams will wear the initials D.Z. on their helmets.
It is only fitting that the game is being played at Don Shula Stadium for the second consecutive summer, as Dick, a member of Saint Ignatius' Athletic Hall of Fame, also graduated from John Carroll University.
In other blue and gold connections, Wildcats June graduates Kevin Johnson, Pat Dowd and Stewart Ross were selected to the West squad and former Saint Ignatius assistant coach Jeff Chase will be recognized as an "Honorary Coach" for the West. We congratulate them and Wildcats quarterback Mark Myers '10 and tight end Brendan Carozzoni '10, who will be competing for Ohio in Saturday night's Big 33 Classic in Hershey, Pa.
Carozzoni and Myers are University of Pittsburgh recruits, so they might have supporters from both sides of Hersheypark Stadium. Myers has been selected as one of Ohio's captains. Saturday's kickoff is also 7 p.m.
COACH KYLE TAKES HIS WELL-DESERVED PLACE AMONG OHIO'S BEST.
POSTED ON 6/15/10.
By Eddie Dwyer
Copyright, June 2010
This corner would like to again express its congratulations to Saint Ignatius head football coach Chuck Kyle '69, who on Friday night will be officially inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The festivities will take place at the Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton in Columbus, Ohio.
Coach Kyle, a former All-City running back under the late John J. Wirtz, is synonymous with football excellence in Ohio. He is preparing for his 28th season as the head coach of the Wildcats.
Chuck, who is the son and grandson of former successful high school coaches, has a career record of 273-59-1. It is a mark that includes a state-record 10 Division I state championships, three national crowns (1989, 1993 and 1995) and a second-place national ranking by MaxPreps in 2008, when the 'Cats captured their 10th Ohio title. Coach Kyle has led the Wildcats to winning streaks of 39, 38 and 25 games (twice). He has an impressive postseason record of 56-12 and his Saint Ignatius teams currently own an Ohio-best streak of 22 consecutive big-school playoff appearances.
As eye-popping as the above numbers are, the record on Coach Kyle's resume that will definitely stand the test of time is the remarkable five consecutive Division I state championships (1991-95). And in 1996, the 'Cats were state runners-up!
In 1994, Coach Kyle led Ohio to an impressive victory over Pennsylvania in the annual Big 33 Classic and last summer he displayed his coaching skills on a national and world-wide stage by leading Team USA to the Gold Medal in the IFAF Junior World Championship at Canton's legendary Fawcett Stadium.
Last month, in his 37th season as Saint Ignatius' head track and field coach, Chuck guided the 'Cats to the Lakewood District and Amherst Regional Division I championships. His 2001 track and field team raced to the Division I state championship.
Again, congratulations to the man they call “Chico."
MENTOR AND SAINT IGNATIUS WILL EXTEND THEIR FOOTBALL RIVALRY.
POSTED ON 6/17/10.
Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 said Thursday that the Wildcats and the Mentor Cardinals have agreed to a two-year extension to what has become one of the most attractive football matchups in Northeast Ohio.
The 'Cats and the Cards, who meet Week 6 at Byers Field this coming season, will continue their annual home-and-home series through at least 2012. The 2011 and '12 games will be played during Week 3.
- EDDIE DWYER
TWO WILDCATS CLOSE OUT THEIR HIGH SCHOOL CAREERS ON A NIGHT WHEN ONE OF SAINT IGNATIUS' FINEST IS REMEMBERED.
POSTED ON 6/18/10.
By Eddie Dwyer
Copyright, June 2010
After excelling on the defensive line for the West during Friday night's 38th annual Cuyahoga County All-Star Football Game at John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium, Saint Ignatius' Pat Dowd '10 spoke about the special connection the game had for him and his teammate, Kevin Johnson '10.
“It meant a lot,” Dowd said of the opportunity to play in a game that was dedicated to the late Dick “Zip” Zunt '50, a member of the Saint Ignatius Athletic Hall of Fame and a Hall of Fame Sports Writer for The Plain Dealer for more than 40 years. “Zip” died on Jan. 2 after a courageous battle with cancer.
“Obviously, I'm from Saint Ignatius and there is a connection,” Dowd continued. “I'm very happy we dedicated this game to Mr. Zunt. I know he would have loved this game. It was back and forth, big hits and a couple of big plays. A close game (won by the East, 21-14).
"We wish his family the best and hope they enjoyed this game for him.”
Something tells me “Zip” was enjoying it too, from a seat we all can only hope to share some day.
Dick was a great supporter of the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association, whose scholarship fund benefits from the All-Star Game's ticket sales. The GCFCA voted earlier this year to dedicate Friday's game to “Zip,” an event he covered for 37 consecutive summers.
Prior to the kickoff, members of Dick's family and some of his dearest friends took part in a dedication ceremony near midfield in Shula Stadium. His family was presented with a beautifully framed and assembled East-West jersey with Dick's name on it. It was courtesy of Mike and Matt Duda of Sports Focus Sporting Goods.
As for the game, Kevin Johnson, who will further his education and football and track careers at Baldwin-Wallace College, made some jarring tackles on special teams.
Dowd, who is bound for the University of Dayton on a scholarship, performed on Friday night just like he did throughout his career as a Wildcat – with strength, passion and consistency.
“It was a lot of fun, a great group of guys,” Dowd said of the honor of being selected to the West team. “I think we formed a bond and came out tonight saying let's get some intensity, let's get fired up. It's an All-Star game, let's have some fun.
“Win or lose, I didn't want any regrets. Being my last high school game, I didn't want to hold anything back. I wanted to play my heart out and have a blast. And I did.”
Dowd emphasized that he is very excited about Dayton, where he will be joined by West teammate Clay Krafft, a savvy and skilled linebacker from North Royalton High School, and East quarterback Jake Voigt, who had an outstanding career for Coach Jim McQuaide at Solon.
CONGRATULATIONS go out again to Saint Ignatius head football coach Chuck “Chico” Kyle '69, who was officially inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame on Friday night in Columbus (see the corner's tribute story that was posted on June 15th).
MARK MYERS FIRES THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN PASS AS OHIO DEFEATS PENNSYLVANIA FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR.
POSTED ON 6/20/10.
A tip of the helmet, if you will, goes out to Saint Ignatius all-state quarterback Mark Myers '10, who threw the winning touchdown pass in Ohio's 18-15 victory over Pennsylvania on Saturday night in the annual Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey, Pa.
Myers, who followed up his 22-yard game-winning toss to Glenville's Christian Bryant by running for a 2-point conversion, completed 8 of 16 passes for 127 yards. He and Wildcat teammate Brendan Carozzoni '10, a tight end for Ohio, will now further their educations and football careers at the University of Pittsburgh.