The fall season has been a busy and productive one for Saint Ignatius Athletics. All four Wildcats fall sports teams have driven deep into the playoffs, with one team still alive in the state title hunt.
The Golf Cats' season was the first to begin and the first to come to a close. The men of Brian Becker '77 enjoyed a solid season with several tournament wins, including the Tannehauf Invitational. The Wildcats finished first as a team at Sectionals before missing out on the State Tournament by a mere four strokes on a rainy day at Pine Hills Golf Course. However, sophomore Andrew Kaye qualified as an individual, and repped the Wildcats well in Columbus.
A consistent season saw the Cross Country Cats near the front of the pack in nearly every race this season. The squad finished second at both the District and Regional Meets to clinch a berth to the State Meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. The Wildcats raced well as a team in the State Meet, but could not push to the front of the pack, taking tenth as a team. The Wildcats return many runners and will likely move up in the rankings next year.
A youthful soccer squad overcame inexperience and a difficult schedule to mount a lengthy postseason run. For the fourth straight season, the Wildcats clawed and fought their way to the State Semifinal. Bryce Horton's clutch goal in double overtime vs. University School clinched the Wildcats a spot in State Semifinals to rematch with the Medina Bees. Unfortunately, cold weather and a hot goalkeeper shut the Wildcats out of the state championship. Despite the loss, however, the Wildcats have a remarkably young team with impressive talent, which bodes well for Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 and Co.
A fork in the road presented itself following a Week 8 loss to Archbishop Moeller. The Wildcats entered the final two weeks of the regular season with a 7-1 record and big games against St. Xavier and St. Edward. In impressive fashion, the Wildcats won both to clinch the top seed in the Division I, Region 1 bracket. The Football Cats won their first round game against Massillon Perry, and face Euclid in the Regional Semifinal this Friday. The Wildcats have garnered many honors for the great season, with a number of players receiving All-Northeast Lakes District honors, including Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who was named coach of the year. Darian Kinnard was also selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which will take place on Saturday, January 6. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.