Share |

Eddie Dwyer's Corner RSS Feed
The defense rises early and often during Wednesday afternoon's football camp, but the offense doesn't go quietly into the night
7/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July/August 2015

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius' defensive backfield coach Brian Strauchon '96 was applauding the efforts of his DBs on Wednesday afternoon, and rightfully so.

During the always entertaining offense versus defense "match" drill, senior defensive backs Samuel Brick and Joe Evans made their presence felt early and often.

Brick and Evans came up with alert and aggressive recoveries on the ball in breaking up deep routes near the Lorain Avenue end zone and Evans, off a nice read, intercepted a pass that was thrown across the middle.

The work of the defensive backfield carried over to the Junior Varsity match drill, as sophomore cornerback Drew Asadorian also went pick city.

Among the other defensive highlights on what was a hot and humid Wasmer Field saw senior defensive end Tito Vazquez disrupt the offense with a powerful penetration drive off the ball.

The offense had its moments, as senior tailback James Norris continued to display exceptional vision and speed in keying the ground game.

Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel turned a well-read keeper into a long gallop and Dennis also hooked up with gifted junior linebacker/tight end James Leyden on a smooth pass in the right flat that saw James catch the ball in stride and run for extra yardage.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will close out their preseason mini camps on Thursday with the Junior Varsity reporting at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5.

Following a day off on Friday, double sessions for the Varsity and Junior Varsity will get underway on Saturday starting at 10 AM. Saturday's double sessions will wrap up at about 2:30 PM.

Get your chores done early on Saturday and stop by Wasmer Field to take a look at a team with endless promise, the 2015 Saint Ignatius Wildcats.

  

       

Tuesday's camp produces plenty of highlights for the Varsity Football Wildcats, whose senior players will take part in an evening of prayer on Wednesday at Borromeo Seminary
7/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July/August 2015

Ohio City - As we reported on the corner last Friday, Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his seniors will take part in a state-wide and national day of the Holy Rosary at Borromeo Seminary tomorrow (Wednesday). The special evening of prayer will begin at 6 PM.

The Rosary will be said not only in thanks for the opportunity to play the game of football, but also for good health and sportsmanship throughout the nation as another season is about to get underway.

Former Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller High School Football coaching legend Gerry Faust, who went on to guide the fortunes of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Zips of the University of Akron, will be the main speaker for what is a tremendous display of spiritual camaraderie.

As Coach Kyle has expressed many times while discussing the success his record 11-time Division I state champions and three-time national champions have enjoyed: "To say faith has nothing to do with it is absurd."

"FEELING IT": That is the way Saint Ignatius senior quarterback Dennis Grosel described the rhythm he and his offensive teammates were in during Tuesday evening's "match" competition versus the defense.

With All-Ohio senior offensive tackle and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg showing the way up front, gifted senior tailback James Norris putting his exceptional speed and quickness on display in both the passing game and the running game, and Grosel firing strikes to an array of receivers, including All-Ohio senior wide receiver/safety Jack Cook, the Cats' offense was purring. Norris also did a solid job picking up the blitz.

The offense didn't miss a beat when junior backup quarterback Patrick Ryan took over.

With Ryan throwing some on-the-money tosses to junior tight end/linebacker James Leyden, senior running back Ian Forkapa and senior wideout Nick Freund, veteran offensive coaches Nick Restifo (offensive coordinator), Elvis Grbac (quarterbacks coach) and Terry Fergus '72 (running backs coach) were all smiles on what was a true summer night in Ohio City.

Any fan of football on any level would have appreciated Forkapa's second- and third-effort catch and run, and Ryan and Leyden hooked up on the play of the afternoon and evening, as Patrick let loose with a powerful, accurate and deep throw down the left sideline that kissed the blue sky and landed in the sure hands of a diving Leyden.

Leyden, who is better known for his skills as a tough and athletic linebacker, drew a wide smile from Coach Grbac for the second gear he displayed while going after the ball.

NOTE: Because of the special evening of prayer at Borromeo Seminary, the Wildcats' Varsity Camp will begin at 3 PM tomorrow (Wednesday).

LOOKING AHEAD: The corner will post its season preview on the 2015 Varsity Football Wildcats during the week leading up to the Jamboree in Canton, which is the final preseason tune up.  

   

 

     

 

   

 

 

  

 

Cats test their legs on Wasmer Field Monday afternoon as two-a-days draw closer
7/27/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2015

Ohio City - The Junior Varsity and Varsity Football Wildcats are putting an emphasis on conditioning during what is the final week of mini camps. Saturday will mark the first day of double sessions.

Monday afternoon on a sun-drenched Wasmer Field, the Jayvees and the Varsity took part in various sprints, drills that will prepare the Cats, both mentally and physically, for another trip to the Division I playoffs. The  record 11-time big-school state champs and three-time national champions are seeking a 27th appearance in the OHSAA's November show.

Like all of the great Saint Ignatius football teams of the past, the 2015 Wildcats are striving to become a team that is stronger than its opponents when the fourth quarter rolls around.

And how do you build up to that? In the challenging summer months, my friends.

SETTING THE PACE ON MONDAY: Senior wide receiver Mike Huber, a standout relay performer for Coach Kyle's Varsity Track and Field Team, which finished sixth in the state this past spring, set a torrid pace around the track at Wasmer Field. Mike was sprinting so strong that Coach Kyle told him to slow it down a bit.

JVs AIR IT OUT: Along with sophomore quarterbacks Daniel Alexander and Kyle Hall, Monday's jayvee passing attack in the match drill featured the receiving of Connor Kennedy and Riley Casey.

GROSEL AND COMPANY: Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, who is preparing for his second consecutive season as the Wildcats' field general, spread the wealth around during the Varsity match drills. Among those hauling in Dennis' authoritative throws were Mike Huber, versatile senior wideout Jim Berger, junior wide receiver Ryan Cook and senior wideout Colin Kruchan, who is another mainstay on Coach Kyle's track and field team. Cook is the brother of Saint Ignatius' All-Ohio senior safety/wide receiver/punt returner and captain Jack Cook.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Yes, it's early. But this seasoned corner is really impressed with the talent, toughness and depth that Saint Ignatius possesses up front and at the linebacker spots. Junior nose tackle Joe Gibbons might be one of the most underrated performers in the seven-county area.

CONGRATS TO COACH STRAUCHON: Saint Ignatius Defensive Secondary Coach Brian Strauchon from the Class of 1996 got engaged this past Saturday. Saying yes to becoming the future Mrs. Strauchon is Melanie Fleishour. Brian will be turning 37 on this coming double-sessions Saturday.

PAT HINKEL '09 and PADDY WHITE '14 IN THE HOUSE: The former Wildcat defensive backs took in Monday evening's Varsity drills.

Pat Hinkel, who excelled in football for Coach Kyle as an All-Ohio safety/running back on the Cats' 2008 Division I state champion and national runner-up team, went on to an outstanding career in the defensive secondary for Miami of Ohio. Pat said he is hoping to work under Coach Kyle as an assistant coach for the Wildcats this season. Pat was also a mainstay in basketball for former Saint Ignatius head coach Sean O'Toole '87 and added that soccer is still among his favorite sports.

Paddy, who is attending John Carroll University, spent four seasons in Saint Ignatius' football program and also did some solid work for the Wildcats' award-winning Student Broadcast Network.

Camp resumes on Tuesday with the Junior Varsity reporting at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5.      

 

            

 

 

 

 

   

            

 

An afternoon and evening of promise features a pair of young Wildcat offensive linemen
7/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2015

Ohio City - Junior tackle Brian Almady and sophomore tackle Juan Pen (just one n my friends) were among those Saint Ignatius Wildcats who left their mark on Friday's Junior Varsity and Varsity Preseason Football Camps.

As the sun was slowly setting on what was a picture-perfect day in Ohio City, Almady turned in some nice work during the evening's Varsity drills.

Brian not only drew some praise from Wildcats outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini '99 for his ability to pick up the linebacker, but was also singled out by Saint Ignatius' All-Ohio senior offensive tackle and captain Liam Eichenberg. Liam, who has committed to the University of Notre Dame, looks at Almady as a serious contender for the other starting tackle position.

Almady's block that turned away the oncoming linebacker allowed Wildcats gifted senior quarterback Dennis Grosel to combine with sharp route-running senior wide receiver Cal Grbac on a picture-perfect deep throw and catch down the left sideline and into the Lorain Avenue end zone.

In the afternoon's Junior Varsity Camp, Pen pleased both Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and savvy veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo with a block on a perfectly executed running play. The play also featured the multiple skills of sophomore Mark Bobinski, who burst through the hole with authority.

Coach Kyle emphasized that he and his staff are taking it slowly with Pen's progress after Juan suffered injuries as a freshman that forced him to get around in a wheel chair.

AIR CATS: While Grosel and junior quarterback Patrick Ryan were making the pigskin fly high and accurately through the blue skies of Ohio City, wide receivers Tyler Musbach, Colin Kruchan and Rob Soeder, along with tight end Robert Hilbig, were maintaining their high status in the Good Hands Club.

Musbach was not only running smooth routes, but also went airborne over the middle to bring down a tough reception.

*Among Friday's other highlights were an interception by versatile junior Travis Pot, who not only can handle the defensive secondary, but is also a very capable receiver, and the passing of sophomores Kyle Hall and Daniel Alexander during the Junior Varsity Camp.

JUNIOR VARSITY FOOTBALL ADDS CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC TO ITS 2015 SLATE

Coach Paul Yappel's JV Cats will make the short trip to Slavic Village to face the Ironmen on Thursday, August 27. The kickoff from Stefanski Stadium is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

A DAY OF PRAYER AND THANKS: Coach Chuck Kyle's upperclassmen will take part in a state-wide and national day of the Holy Rosary next week at Borromeo Seminary. The Rosary will be said not only in thanks for the game they love, but also for good health and sportsmanship.

JUST A REMINDER THAT THE ANNUAL PRESEASON FOOTBALL JAMBOREE WITH THE CANTON MCKINLEY BULLDOGS HAS BEEN MOVED UP ONE DAY FROM AUG. 21 TO AUG 20. SEE THE CORNER'S STORY FROM EARLIER THIS WEEK.

CAMP RESUMES ON MONDAY, WITH THE JUNIOR VARSITY REPORTING AT 3 PM.      

 

     

 

 

                   

PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE ON THE ANNUAL PRESEASON FOOTBALL JAMBOREE IN CANTON
7/22/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - The annual preseason matchup with the Canton McKinley Bulldogs has been moved to Thursday evening, August 20, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton (formerly Fawcett Stadium). It was originally scheduled for August 21.

The Jamboree will begin at 5 PM with a scrimmage between the Junior Varsity programs from Saint Ignatius and McKinley, and at 7 PM the Wildcats and the Bulldogs will meet on the Varsity level in what is always a game-conditions preseason matchup.

With the Jamboree being moved to August 20, the Bulldogs will have a full week of preparation for their regular season opener, which takes place on Thursday night August 27.

NOTE: The Jamboree date change to Aug. 20 also works out nicely for Saint Ignatius, as Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending State Champion Soccer Team opens its regular season on Aug. 21 versus longtime rival St. Edward on Wasmer Field.      

WILDCATS FOOTBALL RESUMES CAMP ON FRIDAY
7/20/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will return to Wasmer Field on Friday (July 24), with the Junior Varsity reporting at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5. The corner will report by 2:30.

The preseason camps continue on Monday, July 27, and the first day of double sessions is slated for Saturday, Aug. 1. The Cats will take part in their annual preseason drills versus the Solon Comets on Aug. 11 at 10 AM on the Comets' Stewart Field.

  

Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius standout center fielder Sam Fuller '15 for garnering first-team honors on the cleveland.com All-Star Baseball Team for 2015.
7/20/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

A St. Bonaventure University recruit, Sam earned All-State honors from the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association, as he excelled offensively, defensively and as a major threat on the base paths.

Sam's efforts helped Saint Ignatius to a 27-6 record and an appearance in the Division I State Semifinals.

Again, congrats to Sam, his family and the entire Wildcats Baseball Program. May God Bless Sam in all of his future endeavors.

  

Saint Ignatius Hockey will take what it learned from Saturday's scrimmages with defending State Champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales and continue to point to November and the start of a new season
7/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio - While it was a hot and humid Saturday outside the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, the Knights from Toledo St. Francis de Sales were cool customers in the Brooklyn Ice Arena as they displayed some of the form that led them to the OHSAA State Championship last March.

The Knights, who return a solid nucleus from their talent-rich title team, defeated the Ice Cats in both of Saturday's scrimmages, 5-4 in a matchup of the schools' underclassmen and 4-1 in the upperclassmen or Varsity scrimmage. Each scrimmage featured two periods of action.

"They're good, they're good," said Saint Ignatius Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 of the Knights, who are coming off their second State Championship Ice Hockey season after defeating St. Edward in the title game at Nationwide Arena in March. St. Francis de Sales also defeated St. Edward in the 2011 State Championship Game.

"That's why we do this stuff (scrimmage the best opponents possible), to see where we stack up," Coach O'Rourke continued. "It's a nice barometer in the summer. I thought for the most part it was a pretty even game. In the second period we came out a little bit better, because they were in our end a lot in the first period."

The Ice Cats, winners of three state championships (2000, 2010 and 2014) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior defenseman Cameron Cook, only to see the Knights respond with two goals and a 2-1 advantage after the first period.

St. Francis de Sales scored two late goals in the second and final scrimmage period, with the third Knights lamplighter coming against an empty net and the fourth one whistling home in the final seconds.

Saint Ignatius, which compiled a 32-4-3 record last winter, got solid play in goal from gifted senior veterans Wes Deacon and Dylan McKeon. McKeon came up with an exceptional two-saves sequence in the second period, an effort that saw Dylan turn away an authoritative shot and then, in a matter of two or three seconds, swallow the rebound attempt out of mid air with his glove.

"We pulled the goalie and one of our fellows didn't know we had pulled the goalie," said Coach O'Rourke. "I think he could have stopped that puck, which is why I am a little hesitant to do stuff like that (pull the goalie) in the summer. We haven't gone over it at all yet. But the kids wanted to go for it and that's fine.

"I thought it was a really good pace," Coach O'Rourke said of the scrimmage between two of Ohio's elite. "From the surrounding, you could tell it wasn't boring. It was fast and fun to watch."

Coach O'Rourke looks at his current team as one that might have a difficult time scoring, especially in the early going of the 2015-16 campaign.

"We have to develop some guys," said the man who has put Saint Ignatius Hockey on the state-wide and national map. "It could be that we drop a few games while we're trying to figure things out. We graduated Matty Geither, Ethan Whitney and Jack Wiegandt, those kind of guys who scored a lot of goals. But a lot of guys got to play today and they did some good stuff. We'll wait until we evaluate it."

The Ice Cats open their 2015-16 regular season in the traditional Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 27, 28 and 29 at the Kent State University Ice Arena.

 

   

    

 

           

Saint Ignatius Baseball's standout reliever Murphy O'Brien is committing to St. Bonaventure University
7/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Murphy O'Brien, whose school-record 10 saves helped lead Coach Brad Ganor's Cats to a 27-6 record and an appearance in the Division I State Semifinals, is making it official that he will be furthering his education and baseball career at St. Bonaventure in 2016.

O'Brien, who will be entering his senior year at Saint Ignatius in August, will eventually be joining Cats standout center fielder Sam Fuller '15 at St. Bonaventure. Sam committed to the baseball program at St. Bonaventure before the start of the 2015 season.

As part of his dominant performance out of the bullpen, O'Brien, a right-hander, was 1-0 and combined with left-hander Connor Adams '17 on a no-hitter. Connor, as we reported on the corner June 18th, has committed to Louisville.

Blessed not only with exceptional skills, but also the grit and leadership you need from your bullpen ace, O'Brien will serve as one of Coach Ganor's three captains in the spring of 2016. He will be joined in that role by first baseman Dennis Grosel '16 and right fielder Mike Rogers '16.

Congratulations from the corner go out to Murphy O'Brien, his family and the entire Saint Ignatius Baseball Program.  

  

The latest news from the OHSAA and the NFHS on the concussion issue. The OHSAA adopts National Recommendations
7/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM TIM STRIED, DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION SERVICES FOR THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Beginning immediately, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has joined dozens of states in adopting recommendations from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Concussion Summit Task Force, which will reduce the risk in football for concussions and head impact exposure. The recommendations were approved by the OHSAA’s Joint Advisory Committee on Sports Medicine in June and presented to OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross and the OHSAA staff. The OHSAA Board of Directors unanimously approved the changes in a conference call vote Monday.

The changes, which are listed below, become effective immediately, beginning with the start of football practices in Ohio on August 1. The NFHS is the governing body of high school sports in this country and Ohio follows its playing rules.

“With the support and leadership from the football coaches association, we have been out in front of concussion awareness and education, and these changes will now bring Ohio up to a place as a national leader in this area,” Dr. Ross said. “Like many of our regulations, these guidelines are to be followed and monitored by member schools and coaches, but we are fortunate in Ohio that many coaches have already been following these safety measures. There will always be a risk for concussion, but football is safer now than it has ever been, and these guidelines will make it even safer.”

The three principles that the guidelines reflect include exposure of an individual athlete to full contact in terms of frequency and duration, the cumulative effect of the exposure on an individual athlete, and recovery time for each athlete after contact. The recommendations adopted for immediate compliance include:

Spring, Summer and All Off-Season Contact

Already the rule in Ohio, there is no contact permitted except during the season, and pads may not be worn at any time except during the season. (Many states that allow spring football practice and contact in the summer have a much higher rate of concussions).

Preseason Practice (all practices prior to the first regular-season game)

Note: the following regulations apply to individual student-athletes. Position groups, etc., can alternate contact to adhere to the regulations. Also, contact with soft equipment such as bags, shields, sleds, etc., does not count toward contact limitations. Additionally, the task force noted that preseason practices may require more full-contact time than practices occurring later in the regular season to allow for teaching fundamentals with sufficient repetition:

1. Physical Examinations: Already the rule in Ohio, a medical examiner must certify each individual’s physical fitness no less than once each calendar year and these signed forms must be on file at the school before any candidate for a team may participate in practice.

2. Acclimatization Period: Already the rule in Ohio, a five-day acclimatization period is mandatory prior to any contact drills. Only helmets are permitted on the first and second days of practice. Shoulder pads may be added on days three and four. Full pads may be worn on the fifth day. Full contact is permitted on the sixth day.

3. Full Contact Limited During Two-A-Day Practices: When more than one practice takes place in a day, full contact is permitted only during one of the practices. With the importance of recovery time to help minimize concussion risks, consideration should also be given to the timing of full contact during the next day (i.e. if full contact occurs during session 2 of two-a-days, there should not be full contact in session 1 of two-a-days the following day).

Practice During the Season (all practices after the first regular-season game)

Note: the following regulations apply to individual student-athletes. Position groups, etc., can alternate contact during the week to adhere to the regulations. Also, contact with soft equipment such as bags, shields, sleds, etc., does not count toward full contact limitations:

1. Limit full contact on consecutive days.

2. A student-athlete is limited to 30 minutes of full contact in practice per day.

3. A student-athlete is limited to 60 minutes of full contact in practice per week.

4. A student-athlete can be involved in full contact in a maximum of two practices in a seven-day span.

“These regulations are being put into place for the safety of our student-athletes, and it is incumbent on coaches to monitor the contact in their practices,” Ross said. “Our coaches are educators and leaders. They want what’s best for kids, and these regulations are in line with these safety recommendations. As the report also states, these regulations will evolve and may become more restrictive as additional concussion research emerges.”

In addition, the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force has advised the OHSAA to review its current policy on total quarters permitted, which currently stands at 50 quarters total for the season for high school student-athletes and 32 quarters for 7th-8th grade student-athletes (or 28 quarters if only seven games are played). The Task Force also asks the OHSAA and all member schools to:

1. Continue to work with the football coaches association and all member schools to ensure that coaches have completed the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course, which is a requirement in Ohio.

2. Continue to place emphasis on proper fitting and care of helmets.

3. Continue to place emphasis on proper tackling and hitting techniques at all times, especially before full contact begins.

4. Know and follow the state law on concussion management protocol: http://www.ohsaa.org/medicine/Concussions/ConcussionRegulations.pdf

5. Develop and put into practice an Emergency Action Plan (will be distributed by the OHSAA in the fall 2015 as part of the “Anyone Can Save a Life” program).

6. Whenever possible, have a certified athletic trainer present at all football practices and contests.

7. Continue to place emphasis on hydration.

8. Continue to place emphasis on inclement weather regulations.

 The report of recommendations and guidelines from the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force can be found at the following link: http://www.ohsaa.org/medicine/2014NFHSMinimizingHeadImpact.pdf

 

  

Crew Cintron garners first-team honors on the cleveland.com All-Star Lacrosse Team for 2015. Five other Cats receive Honorable Mention
7/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - The gifted Crew Cintron, a junior attack this past spring, helped lead Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats to a 17-3 record that included a 14-game winning streak and an appearance in the OHSLA State Semifinals.

Crew tied the Wildcats' school record (Dan Hayden in 1996) with 65 goals this past season and he contributed 33 assists and 36 scoops. His consistent and savvy efforts earned him All-American and All-Ohio honors, first-team All-Midwest and first-team All-Region recognition.

Receiving Honorable Mention from cleveland.com were All-Midwest and All-Region honorees Alex Maruna '16, Alex Hornung '16, Patrick Mulach '15 and Ethan Whitney '15, and All-Region selection Christopher Rini '15.

Congratulations from the corner go out to these outstanding young men, Coach McManamon '96 and the entire Saint Ignatius Lacrosse Program.

  

 

 

 

A Derek Dietrich update and a couple of FYIs on Ice Hockey and Football
7/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - For our faithful readers who e-mailed the corner and said they enjoyed last month's updates on former Wildcats' baseball great Derek Dietrich '07 of the Miami Marlins, I can tell you that today Derek came up with his second pinch hit in less than 24 hours as the Marlins took three out of four games from the Cincinnati Reds in Marlins Park this weekend. Derek doubled to deep left-center field in the bottom of the seventh.

Derek has battled back from a mini slump and is currently hitting .295 while playing third base and pinch hitting. If you recall from the corner's updates last month, Derek hit two impressive home runs versus the Reds in the Queen City.

With the injury to Marlins standout second baseman Dee Gordon, it will be interesting to see if Derek receives more playing time. Dietrich has the ability to play third, second and shortstop. Whether or not Miami would use Derek as trade bait is another thing to consider.

Thank You for the e-mails. I am glad you enjoyed following Derek. And yes, the corner plans to take a look at Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2015-16 Ice Cats when they scrimmage defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales this coming Saturday at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. The Junior Varsity scrimmage is scheduled for 2 PM and the Varsity scrimmage is slated for 3:45 PM.  

The 2015  Football Wildcats will hold their next camp on Friday, July 24 at Wasmer Field. The Jayvees report at 3 PM followed by the Varsity at 5. This corner reports at 2:30 PM. Don't forget your running shoes gentlemen. Ohio City becomes Sprint City on the 24th.   

 

  

 

  

 

Saying goodbye to a man who was always there for others
7/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

While the family and friends of Ed Wolff are saying goodbye at Ed's Funeral Mass on Friday at 10 AM in St Columbkille Church on Broadview Road in Parma, followed by the Burial Service at Holy Cross Cemetery, this corner will be thinking of Thursday night's wake/viewing at Zabor Funeral Home in Parma.

As I was leaving Zabor Funeral Home on Thursday night, Ed's son Duane, who is a graduate of Saint Ignatius High School, pulled up the sleeves of his suit and shared with me that he was proudly wearing a pair of his dad's favorite cuff links. Ed's wife of 50 years, Judith, made the cuff links selection.     

It was only fitting that a young man trained in the Jesuit motto of "Men for Others" was donning part of his father's favorite clothing. For like those sparkling cuff links, Ed Wolff was truly a beam of light for those young lives he served as a teacher/coach at Byzantine Catholic and Midpark High Schools (now Berea-Midpark), and as a former Head Tennis Coach at Saint Ignatius.

Many of Ed's former student athletes, now adult men and women, expressed their appreciation and admiration for the roles Ed played in their lives. As I was opening the door to my car upon leaving Zabor Funeral Home, a voice from a car passing by said: "Mr. Dwyer, thank you for mentioning Mr. Wolff's career at Midpark in your tribute to him. He meant a great deal to us."

That woman's words and seeing the man Ed had nothing but the greatest respect for, his dear friend, colleague and former boss, Mr. Chuck Hendricks, brought both smiles and tears to these old Irish eyes.

I know I can speak for my late colleague and dear friend, Mr. Dick "Zip" Zunt '50, when I say that Chuck Hendricks was one of the greatest Athletic Directors in the history of area high school sports during his many years with the Midpark Meteors. Every time Ed and I would drive to and from a Saint Ignatius athletic event the past eight years, Chuck's name would come up at least two or three times.

I am certain that Ed, who worked with Chuck Hendricks and Baldwin Wallace University's outstanding Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple in managing the legendary boys sectional/district basketball tournament at then Baldwin Wallace College, was giving me a final gift by having the opportunity to see Chuck again. When I shook Chuck's hand in the funeral parlor, my memory when right to those many nights at Baldwin Wallace, nights when Ed, Chuck and Kevin made a relatively young reporter at the time feel like a million dollars.

As the woman in the car drove off on Pearl Road, I thought again of the roles people such as Ed Wolff, Chuck Hendricks, Dick Zunt and Kevin Ruple played, both in my life and my career. And those roles, my friends, are priceless.

If I may once again, Rest In Peace Ed.               

          

Congratulations from the corner go out to Luke Wagner '16 and James Norris '16 for earning Honorable Mention on the cleveland.com All-Star Track and Field Team for 2015
7/8/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Luke, who will be gearing up for another special season in cross country, anchored the Wildcats' all-junior 4x800 relay team that placed second at last month's annual state meet in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University (see the corner's posts from early June).

Wagner also placed sixth in Ohio in the 1600 meter run with an effort of 4:15.42. Luke was joined on the outstanding 4x800 team by classmates Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan and Mike Huber. Sullivan added a seventh-place effort in the finals of the 1600 meter run to his state meet weekend. Tom was right behind Luke in the 1600 at 4:16.64.  

Norris, who is currently preparing for what should be a fall to recall in Wildcats Varsity Football, placed fourth in the 100 meter dash finals at the state meet in what was a talent-laden field (again, see the June state meet posts). James ran a 10.87. Norris is the Wildcats' all-time leader in the 100 meter dash with a 10.66.

Wagner and Norris helped Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Cats to a sixth-place finish among Ohio's Division I teams.

Congrats to Luke, James and the entire 2015 Track and Field Team, which is pointing to the exceptional promise that awaits in the spring of 2016.  

   

 

My prayers and sympathy go out to the family and friends of Mr. Ed Wolff
7/6/2015

Ed, a former Head Tennis Coach for Saint Ignatius High School who recently served as a dedicated and gifted photographer and basketball statistician for Wildcats athletics, passed away on Sunday evening.

A member of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association and a state Tennis Official and photographer for the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Ed underwent heart surgery last month. Ed's daughter, Sharon, kept friends and colleagues up to date on her father's courageous battle.

Ed, who also coached at Midpark High School (now Berea-Midpark), taught photography and math and his work with the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association included running informative statewide clinics for the coaches and keeping the media informed with the latest Ohio high school tennis news and state polls. Ed's work as the Manager at the annual OHSAA Oberlin College Sectional and District Tennis Tournaments was impeccable.

Many of the Cleveland area's longtime high school basketball fans will also recall that Ed served as a statistician for Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Larry Chernauskas, when Larry was guiding his outstanding boys teams at legendary West Tech High School.

May God welcome into His Kingdom of Heaven a great family man who truly served others, Mr. Ed Wolff.

Again, my prayers and sympathy are with Ed's entire family. Rest in Peace My Friend.

- Eddie Dwyer           

Another answer for a faithful reader. Saint Ignatius' gifted left-hander Connor Adams, who will be entering his junior year in August, committed to the Louisville Cardinals' Baseball Program on June 18th, as we reported on the corner that evening.
7/1/2015
BEN CRAY'S SELECTION AS THE WILDCATS' THIRD CAPTAIN FOR 2015 HIGHLIGHTS TUESDAY'S FOOTBALL CAMP
6/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June/July 2015

Ohio City - Ben Cray, a mainstay at linebacker/fullback for Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69, was chosen as the Wildcats' third Captain by a vote from his senior teammates on Tuesday evening.

Ben joins senior offensive tackle/University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg and senior wide receiver/safety/punt returner Jack Cook in the Captains' roles. A fourth captain will be selected by the coaching staff as part of two-a-days in August. The fourth captain will come from the area of special teams.

Ben, a two-year varsity player, is following in the footsteps of his brother Mike Cray '13, who was one of Coach Kyle's Captains in the season of 2012 and a two-year mainstay on the offensive line.

The corner congratulates Ben and his family. Like his older brother Mike, Ben is not only a talented hard-nosed player, but a class act as well.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM TUESDAY EVENING'S CAMP

After Mother Nature's lightning and thunder sacked a large portion of the Junior Varsity Camp, the Varsity Wildcats took the field under a few light showers that eventually cleared into partly sunny skies.

Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, coming off a successful 2014 season as the starter for Saint Ignatius' veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo, continues to look sharp, as do Dennis' receivers.

Grosel was unleashing accurate and authoritative throws to talented senior wideouts Cal Grbac, Tyler Musbach and Mike Huber, and promising senior tight end Robert Hilbig. Dennis also hooked up with gritty and gifted junior tailback Jimmy Andrews on a nice check down.

Also making his entry into the good hands club was junior wide receiver Riley Kinzel, who made a tough, two-handed grab across the middle against tight coverage.

Complementing the wide receivers were the speed, skill, vision and hands of multi-skilled senior tailback James Norris, who is coming off an outstanding track season as one of the premier sprinters in the state.

A STRONG CASE FOR THE DEFENSE

Always at a disadvantage during this point of the preseason, the Wildcats' defense gave us a sneak preview of what we can look forward to once they put on the pads.

Senior Jack Cook, whose play on both sides of the ball and on special teams earned him All-Northeast Lakes District and All-Ohio recognition last year, set the tone for the D with a well-read pass breakup on the first play of the 11 versus 11 team competition.

Dean Stowers was "Dean The Dream" once again, as the junior defensive back, despite giving away several inches to the receivers, came up with a diving interception and also hung tough almost every time the route came his way.

Junior safety Travis Pot made an aggressive play in denying a deep pass route down the seam and the young men up front on defense, who are under the guidance of veteran Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Dan Corrigan '78, Defensive Line Coaches Mark Sullivan and Jim Reginelli '97, and savvy Linebackers Coaches Ryan Franzinger '02 and Dave Cicetti, showed us the depth and promise of what should be a formidable unit.

Among those applying pressure and disrupting the offensive flow were senior defensive end/linebacker Nathan Keirn, senior defensive end Tito Vazquez, junior nose tackle Joe Gibbons, junior defensive linemen Mike Chime and Patrick Viancourt, senior linebackers Ben Cray and Nick Lavigna, and junior linebacker James Leyden.

AT WEST POINT: Wildcats tough and talented junior tailback Jimmy Andrews recently attended the Army Football Camp. Jimmy said although his times weren't where he wanted them to be, he thought he did well in the various drills, which saw him play both offense and defense (at linebacker).

Camp resumes at Wasmer Field on July 24, with the Junior Varsity reporting at 3 PM and the Varsity at 5.

Coach Kyle emphasized to his players how vital it is for them to stay in prime condition during their time off and then reminded his Cats to bring their running shoes on July 24. Oh yeah, it's Sprint City come the 24th.

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July Weekend.             

 

     

 

 

 

 

   

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will be back on Wasmer Field tomorrow (Tuesday) as the Junior Varsity and Varsity camps resume
6/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - The Junior Varsity Cats will gets things started at 3 PM, followed by the Varsity team at 5 PM.

You might want to bring an umbrella, but then who knows? It's Cleveland.

HERE IS A LITTLE TIDBIT ON THE MENTOR CARDINALS, THE WILDCATS' WEEK 2 OPPONENT THIS COMING SEASON.

Coach Steve Trivisonno's Cardinals, who together with Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats have developed one of the finest Public School versus Catholic School football rivalries in the nation, will host the Cats on Sept. 4. The Friday night kickoff will be 7 PM from the atmosphere-rich venue of Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium.

In a recent article by The News Herald's talented reporter Jay Kron on the most successful football teams in The News Herald's coverage area over the past 15 seasons (2000-2014), it came as no surprise that the Mentor Cardinals sit at the top spot.

Kron's numbers have Coach Trivisonno's Cardinals with a record of 117-33 over the past 15 years, including three Division I state runner-up finishes in 2006, '07 and '13, 14 winning seasons and just one .500 season in 2005. You have to go back to 1997 to find the Cardinals' last sub-.500 season.

Just FYI from the corner, in that same time period (2000 through 2014) Coach Kyle's Wildcats are 135-49 and have won three of their record 11 Division I state championships - 2001, 2008 and 2011. The Cats' last sub-.500 season was in 2010 at 4-6 an they finished 5-5 in the injury-riddled fall of 2005 after losing to the Solon Comets in the first round of the playoffs.

Although Saint Ignatius leads its all-time series with Mentor, 11-7, the teams have split their last 10 meetings. The Cardinals have won five of the last eight encounters, including third round playoff victories at Byers Field in 2012 and 2013, and a regular season win over the Cats in 2014, also at Byers Field.

The 2012, 57-56 triple overtime victory by Mentor goes down as one of the greatest games in the OHSAA's football playoff history, ranking up there with Saint Ignatius' dramatic 31-30 victory over the Robert Smith-led Euclid Panthers in 1989 at Baldwin Wallace University's Finnie Stadium. That 1989 matchup with the Panthers was a regional final.

In their run to an 11th state football championship in 2011, the Wildcats defeated Mentor, 23-17, in a third round playoff game at storied Lakewood Stadium (now First Federal Lakewood Stadium). The Cats avenged a 38-24 defeat at Mentor, which took place during Week 3 of the 2011 regular season.

If you are wondering, along with Mentor eight other public schools finished in the top 10 of Jay Kron's success ratings. They were Chagrin Falls at 2, Willoughby South at 3, Kirtland at 4, Perry at 5, West Geauga at 6, Mayfield at 7, Madison at 8 and Euclid at the 10th spot. Lake Catholic was ninth.

Tom Banc's Euclid Panthers of the late 1980s and early 1990s belonged in everyone's "cream of the crop."  Just ask  the 1987,1989 and 1992 Saint Ignatius Wildcats.

See you at Wasmer Field tomorrow and Thank You again for all of prayers you have said and are saying for my daughter, Suzanne Patton. They are appreciated more than you will ever know.                   

 

 

       

CONGRATULATIONS TO COACH DAN ARBEZNIK'S RUGBY CATS, WHO FOLLOWED UP ON THEIR SECOND CONSECUTIVE VARSITY A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BY DEFEATING PICKERINGTON, 26-12, AND BRINGING HOME A THIRD CONSECUTIVE SUMMER 7S STATE CROWN.
6/28/2015
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MARY KAY CABOT'S STORY (cleveland.com) ON FORMER SAINT IGNATIUS AND UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN STANDOUT LINEBACKER JAKE RYAN '10, WHO IS LOOKING TO CONTINUE HIS GREAT RUN ON THE GRIDIRON AS A FOURTH-ROUND PICK OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS.
6/27/2015
As per another loyal reader's request, here is an early look at St. Joseph's Preparatory School, The Jesuit High School of Philadelphia and Saint Ignatius' mid-September opponent in Varsity Football
6/26/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

The corner can't say no to an old neighbor and a former West Tech Field companion from the 1950s and '60s, Mr. Teglas, aka "How are things on the West Coast?"

Mr. Teglas, who now relaxes on the beaches, roots on his Dodgers and USC Trojans, and counts his money after making his mark in the California area, e-mailed the corner and asked if I could give him an early look at the 2015 St. Joe's Prep Hawks.

Like many of the old West Senate football enthusiasts, Mr. T started following the Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats religiously after All-Ohio and All-American quarterback Joe Pickens '90 led the Cats to their first two Division I state championships in 1988 and 1989, and the first of their three national titles in '89.

Ok my friend, here we go.

You might recall that last season in early September, Saint Ignatius and "The Prep" battled each other down to the wire, with the Cats prevailing, 42-34, in a late afternoon-early evening encounter on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. The victory over the Hawks gave legendary Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 what was then his 311th career victory, making Coach Kyle the most successful high school football coach in Greater Cleveland and the winningest Division I coach in Northeast Ohio.   

Jack Cook '16, who joins fellow All-District and All-Ohio honoree Liam Eichenberg '16 (Notre Dame commit at offensive tackle) as two of Coach Kyle's Captains for 2015, put on a tremendous all-around performance against St. Joe's Prep.

Jack's memorable day started with the game’s first score, as he hauled in a 54-yard pass from quarterback Dennis Grosel '16, never broke stride and raced into the Day Drive end zone of Byers Field.

When he wasn’t making pad rattling tackles on special teams, Jack was batting away passes from Prep's big-time recruits. He came up with a huge interception in the end zone off a play that if successful could have led to a different outcome.

"It was awesome, honestly," Jack said as a September sun was setting behind the visiting section of Byers Field. "That was one of the best games I ever played in my life. The guys came in knowing we needed to win this one. There was so much heart, no one gave up. Our defense was phenomenal and Dennis threw some nice balls to everyone. It was just a great all around effort by everyone in refusing to lose."

Saint Ignatius, which leads its series with St. Joe's Prep, 2-1, got some significant help from the Hawks as far as last season's OHSAA computer-playoff points were concerned.

Coach Gabe Infante's Hawks, after starting their 2014 season at 1-3, went on a 10-game winning streak that included a second consecutive PIAA Class AAAA state championship, a 49-41 thriller over Pine-Richland. It was Pine-Richland's only setback in 16 games last fall.

Among those showing the way for The Prep in the state championship game was then sophomore tailback De'Andre Swift. Swift, the Hawks' leading rusher last season, solved Pine-Richland's defense for four second-half touchdowns, including runs of 58 and 47 yards, and a catch and run for 48 yards.

Entering his junior season, the 5-10, 200-pound Swift has 11 major-college scholarship offers, including Alabama, Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh.

Although St. Joe's Prep had 7 non-seniors in its lineup for the state championship matchup with Pine-Richland, the Hawks have some significant holes to fill this summer. Coach Infante will be developing his third starting quarterback since 2013 and The Prep faithful said goodbye to such 2014 mainstays as Olamide Zaccheaus (a Virginia recruit), John Reid (Penn State) and Jon Runyan (the University of Mchigan).

The Hawks open their regular season at Evangel Christian Academy. Evangel Christian, which finished 8-4 last season, has 13 Louisiana state football championships on its resume since 1993. A road trip to face New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep, which defeated St. Joe's Prep, 35-7, last year, and a home game versus Saint Ignatius follow Evangel Christian Academy.

Here is a look at St. Joe's Prep's 2015 schedule

Imhotep Charter (scrimmage)
At State College (scrimmage)
At Evangel Christian Academy (La.)
At Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
Home to Saint Ignatius
Bye
Malvern Prep
St. Joseph Regional (N.J.)
at La Salle College HS
Father Judge
Roman Catholic
 

 

 
 

    

For our loyal readers concerning an end to a long tradition in Canton
6/24/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

For those who have inquired, yes, it is no longer Canton's Fawcett Stadium.

After a gift of $11 million from New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson that will go a long way in fueling the Pro Football Hall of Fame's expansion efforts, Fawcett Stadium will now be known as Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Fawcett Stadium was built at a cost of $500,000. It had been a household name and fixture throughout football-rich Stark County and the entire state. During Saint Ignatius' run to an OHSAA record 11 Division I state football championships, Fawcett Stadium was the Cats' home away from home. Six of those 11 state titles took place in Fawcett Stadium.

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s "new village concept" and Mr. Benson's $11 million donation to the Hall of Fame’s expansion efforts is the largest individual gift the Hall of Fame has ever received.

Yes, Saint Ignatius will be traveling to "Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium" for its annual Jamboree game conditions preseason encounter with the McKinley Bulldogs. The date is Aug. 21 at 7 PM. You will have to excuse this old-timer, but I will miss the historic Fawcett Stadium name. A name that stood for 76 years.

No longer will the Wildcats' faithful hear what had become a pre-kickoff ritual every summer at the Jamboree - "And the team that needs no introduction to Fawcett Stadium!"

John A. Fawcett was a former Canton City Schools Board of Education member and standout athlete. The Hall of Fame has agreed with Canton City Schools to commemorate the memory of Fawcett with special exhibits at both Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and the Hall of Fame.

Thanks for the memories.

 

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats to scrimmage defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales on July 18th at the Brooklyn Ice Arena
6/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

If you want to cool off from the summer heat, take a ride over to the Brooklyn Ice Rink at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center on July 18th and watch the Wildcats and the Knights fine tune their games for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The Junior Varsity scrimmage is listed for 2 PM and the Varsity scrimmage is slated to get underway at 3:45 PM.

St. Francis de Sales brought home the championship trophy to Toledo last March by defeating St. Edward in the title game, 3-1. The Knights advanced to the championship face off at Nationwide Arena in Columbus by eliminating University School, 7-1, in the state semifinals.

The victory over the Eagles earned the Knights their second ice hockey state championship in school history. St. Francis de Sales’ first state championship came in 2011, also against St. Edward.

Like Saint Ignatius and St. Edward, St. Francis de Sales should be a serious contender again this coming winter, as the Knights were led in the title game by then juniors Jay Denman, Kyle Bloom and Mike White, and freshman Matt Barrow.

NOTE PENALTY CHANGES FOR 2015-16

From The National Federation of State High School Associations: In an effort to minimize risk of injury in high school ice hockey, the penalty structure has been revised to provide options for more stringent penalties when situations warrant.

The reformatting of penalty changes and revisions to four other rules were recommended by the NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 27-28 meeting in Indianapolis. All 2015-16 ice hockey rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

In the past, cross-checking, elbowing, goalkeeper contact, kneeing, slashing, tripping and roughing had options for a two-minute minor or five-minute major penalties. These violations now will include an option for game disqualification.

Fouls for grabbing the facemask and head butting had options for a five-minute major penalty or game disqualification. These violations now include an option for a five-minute major plus a 10-minute misconduct.

In other changes, the rules committee added a new article to Rule 6-1 to specifically address racial/ethnic slurs directed at officials or others. A game disqualification penalty will be assessed for violation of Rule 6-1-12: "No player, coach or bench personnel shall use any racial/ethnic slurs directed at officials or others during the warm-up, game, intermission or after the game."

Language regarding player equipment in Rule 3-4 was revised to reflect current trends. Equipment previously recommended such as padded pants, shin pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads and protective cup will be listed as required equipment since players are no longer skating without these essential items.

In accordance with other NFHS rules, a new Rule 3-8 was added stating that electronic devices shall not be used by team personnel or spectators to communicate with on-ice players or goalkeepers during play.

 

  

 


 

 

Congrats to Wildcats standout tennis player Nate Griffin '15, who garnered Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season from cleveland.com
6/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Nate, the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, wrapped up his final season with the Wildcats by finishing third in the OHSAA' s Division I state singles competition this spring at The Ohio State University.

In 2014, Nate brought home the Division I state singles championship and took his special place in the Wildcats' record books.

A four-time state singles qualifier, Nate will be furthering his education and tennis career at the University of Notre Dame.

Congratulations to Nate, his family and the entire Saint Ignatius tennis program.  

Cats XC/TF site reports that Tom Sullivan, C.J. Ambrosio, Pat Nolan and Luke Wagner make their mark at the New Balance Nationals
6/21/2015

The Wildcats' Cross Country/Track and Field site tweeted today that Sullivan, Ambrosio, Nolan and Wagner broke the school record by more than 15 seconds and placed 3rd in the nation in the 4xmile during this weekend's New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.  

Derek Dietrich '07 goes yard twice in the Marlins' 5-0 victory over the Reds at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park on Saturday night
6/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Derek, one of the most prolific players in Saint Ignatius' baseball history, blasted a lead-off home run that traveled 439 feet to deep right field as part of the Miami Marlins' three-run top of the fourth and he went touch 'em all time with a two-run shot that carried 346 feet to right in driving in both of the Marlins' runs in the seventh.

In two official at-bats (he was also hit by a pitch and walked), Dietrich was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. Heading into Sunday's action, Derek has five extra-base hits, five RBI and five runs scored this week, including three home runs.   

For a look at Derek's strong start to the week versus the Yankees, see the corner's posts from earlier in the week.

 

Wildcats Football wraps up another camp on Wasmer Field Thursday evening
6/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit June 2015

Ohio City - The Wildcats' Junior Varsity and Varsity teams will return to Wasmer Field on June 30th, with the JV Cats taking the field at 3 PM and the Varsity camp following at approximately 5 PM.

As Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 emphasized on Thursday, the Wildcats have to remember to stay sharp during the time off by doing the necessary work on their own.

Yes, the time spent in that outstanding new weight room during the early days of summer will pay dividends come November.

As we reported on the corner Wednesday afternoon, Twinsburg High School has the annual scrimmage with Saint Ignatius listed for Saturday, August 15 at 9 AM on Wasmer Field. Coach Kyle said during Thursday's camp that although the scrimmage with the Tigers has traditionally been a Friday date, he is fine with it being moved to a Saturday.

The Wildcats begin their preseason competition with a trip to Solon's Stewart Field on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10 AM for what is always a spirited encounter with Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets. Coach Kyle said he likes the idea of having three more days of practice before hosting Twinsburg on Aug. 15. Those who have access to the Wildcats' football page added the Twinsburg scrimmage to the schedule today (Thursday).   

A Saturday morning scrimmage in Ohio City. Wildcats, Tigers and an early breakfast, oh my.

HERE IS A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THURSDAY'S LATE AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENNG CAMP

JUNIOR VARSITY: Sophomore safety Justin Sands, a player who left a lasting impression on this corner during last fall's undefeated Freshmen season, turned in a perfectly timed interception and was active throughout the afternoon. Justin displayed what this old-timer likes to describe as some Barry Alvis-like skills (look up the name).

Both of the JV quarterbacks, sophomores Daniel Alexander and Kyle Hall, made some timely throws. Once again, the potential Daniel and Kyle displayed as freshmen is developing with the physical maturity.

VARSITY: Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel and his veteran receiving corps came out firing on all cylinders.

Dennis hooked up with senior All-Ohio wideout/safety/punt returner Jack Cook on what was a perfectly timed seam route that resulted in a Lorain Avenue end zone TD. The throw from Grosel had so much zip on it that it drew the attention of some of the bus riders in a passing by 22 Lorain, or 22 West Park Station if you will.

Grosel and gifted senior tailback/kickoff returner James Norris combined on a as-it's-drawn-up swing pass that James caught in stride and then rambled in space down the home sideline.

Junior quarterback Patrick Ryan and junior wide receiver Dean "The Dream" Stowers hooked up on routes that saw the fleet of foot Stowers not only secure the reception, but also pick up significant yards after the catch.

Senior quarterback David Welcsh made some solid throws that involved junior wide receiver Travis Pot and senior wideouts Nick Freund and Mike Huber. In an earlier set, Pot drew the praise of Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac for the turn-back-to-the-ball move and diving reception Travis made along the home sideline. "Way to go Potter," said the former St. Joseph High School and University of Michigan standout, and former NFL All-Pro quarterback.

Big-game tested senior wide receiver Cal Grbac, Elvis' son, was money during a late afternoon and early evening that drew some sun showers, as was senior tight end Robert Hilbig, who hauled in everything thrown his way off a variety of routes.

And last, but certainly not least, Saint Ignatius' outstanding offensive line coach Adam Rini '99 displayed his appreciation for a block turned in by junior center John Spellacy. Like the old-timer said last week, John is right up there with any player at his position in Northeast Ohio.

A HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL OF THE DADS OUT THERE AND WE WILL SEE YOU ON JUNE 30TH.

 

  

 

 

 

    

 

         

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

    

Saint Ignatius' standout southpaw Connor Adams accepts a baseball scholarship from the Louisville Cardinals, a 2015 NCAA Super Regional finalist that finished a record season at 47-18
6/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Connor, whose 7-1 record as a sophomore this past season helped lead Saint Ignatius to a Division I State Semifinal appearance and a 27-6 overall record that included a 15-game winning streak, chose Louisville over Wake Forest, Boston College, Virginia, The Ohio State University, Cincinnati and Miami, said Wildcats Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor.

At this month's Spring Sports Awards Banquet, Connor joined right-handers M.J. Nara '15 and Murphy O'Brien '16 as Saint Ignatius' Pitchers of the Year.

During the Wildcats' drive to the OHSAA's postseason tournament, Connor pitched a combined no-hitter with O'Brien versus the state's seventh-ranked Division I Rebels from Willoughby South at Classic Park, and he threw a complete game no-hitter in the 3-0 District Championship victory over Berea-Midpark at Strongsville High School.

Congratulations go out from this corner to Connor and his family, and the entire Saint Ignatius Baseball Program.

It was a pleasure to become acquainted with Connor this spring and a privilege to report on his impressive accomplishments.       

 

Just a reminder on Thursday's mini camp and a few other tidbits
6/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats' Junior Varsity and Varsity football teams will return to Wasmer Field tomorrow (Thursday) for another camp. The JV team will get things started at 3 PM and the Varsity will follow at approximately 5 PM.

*According to the Twinsburg High School 2015 football schedule, the annual scrimmage with Saint Ignatius is listed for Saturday, August 15 at 9 AM on Wasmer Field. In the past, the Tigers and the Wildcats have scrimmaged on a Friday. So we will double check with Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Mr. Rory Fitzpatrick '88 and make sure as to whether it will be Friday the 14th or Saturday the 15th. On Tuesday of that week (Aug. 11), the Cats are scheduled to travel to Solon's Stewart Field for the annual 10 AM drills/practice/7-on-7 with Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will complete their preseason on Friday, Aug. 21 with the annual game conditions Jamboree versus the Canton McKinley Bulldogs at 7 PM in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly known as Fawcett Stadium. The focus will then turn to the 7 PM Aug. 29th season opener versus the Normandy Invaders on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. Normandy is looking to bounce back from an 0-10 season in 2014.

A major change that could benefit Normandy, Valley Forge and Parma in terms of their football futures is that all three programs will be part of the newly formed Great Lakes Conference this upcoming season. It is a seven-team conference that will also include Bay, Elyria Catholic, Holy Name and Rocky River.

Valley Forge and Parma, who were both 4-6 in 2014, are also part of Saint Ignatius' 2015 football schedule.

For one of our readers who asked if the Parma schools have ever advanced to the OHSAA playoffs, the Normandy Invaders have made four appearances in the OHSAA's football postseason - 1981, 2004, 2005 and 2007. Parma made its first and only trip to the OHSAA playoffs as recently as 2009 and Valley Forge earned a spot in the OHSAA postseason in 2002.   

Back in the day as they say, Parma was among the most competitive teams in the area. Parma and Saint Ignatius went toe-to-toe in some memorable early season matchups from 1959 through 1979. During Saint Ignatius' first Division I state championship season of 1988, the Wildcats pulled out a 14-13 Week 6 thriller over Valley Forge.

Yes my friends, if you look back you will see that the Parma schools have produced some of the finest players in the history of area high school football.        

An early encore from Derek Dietrich during the Marlins' 12-2 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night
6/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Following up on his outstanding performance versus the visiting Yankees on Monday night (SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM MONDAY), former Saint Ignatius baseball standout Derek Dietrich helped fuel a Miami Marlins franchise-record, eight-run bottom of the first against New York on Tuesday night.

In two at-bats in the bottom of the first, Derek singled to left, scored a run and laced a two-out RBI triple to deep right center field. The Marlins totaled nine hits in the first inning, with Derek providing the first and last hits of the record inning

Derek, whose name dominates Saint Ignatius' all-time career numbers, also triggered a double play from his third base position in the top of the first.

.

 

Former Saint Ignatius baseball great Derek Dietrich '07 leads the Miami Marlins to a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night
6/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Derek, who was called up to the big club on Friday, homered deep over the right-field fence down the line off a 2-0 pitch from Masahiro Tanaka in leading off the bottom of the seventh and putting the Marlins in front to stay.

In the second inning, Derek doubled and came around to score the tying run.

Dietrich's line for the night was 2-for-3 with a round tripper for the game-winning RBI, a double and two runs scored. Derek's double in the second inning was his first hit since being called up and his difference-maker home run in the seventh was his 15th on the Major League level.

Congrats to Derek from this old-timer, who had the privilege to do a "Locker Room" cover story on Derek and his lifelong friend, Padua Franciscan and University of Akron baseball standout Jake Plata, during my 36-plus years at The Plain Dealer. I would still love to see Derek, a versatile infielder who bats left and throws right, in an Indians uniform. Performances like the one he had on Monday night will probably prevent that from happening.

The Marlins appreciate the versatility Derek brings to the diamond every day. Wearing No. 32, Derek started at third base on Monday night and can also handle the second base and shortstop positions.   

"Tanaka, what a great pitcher," said Derek to MLB.com. "And it's against the Yankees. I watched Derek Jeter growing up and it was always a team on my mind. Regardless who [the homer] was off, just to help get us a win is always special."

Prayers requested for Ed Wolff, who is recovering from major heart surgery
6/14/2015
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Ed, a sports photographer for Saint Ignatius and the OHSAA, a statistician for the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball program, an OHSAA tennis tournament official and a staff member for the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association, underwent emergency surgery on Saturday night. Ed coached at Midpark High School (now Berea-Midpark), was a former Head Tennis Coach at Saint Ignatius and a former longtime statistician for Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Larry Chernauskas at legendary West Tech High School.
 
Ed's daughter, Sharon, e-mailed the corner on Sunday night and said her dad is doing okay, but is heavily sedated right now and will be in for a long recovery. She said her dad had a triple bypass along with mitro valve repair. Sharon is asking the Saint Ignatius community to please continue to pray for her dad and the Wolff family.   
 
 
A tip of this old-timer's cap to Sam Fuller
6/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Although this corner did acknowledge Saint Ignatius' standout center fielder and St. Bonaventure recruit Sam Fuller '15 as an All-Ohio player in my Spring Sports Awards wrap up earlier this week, please allow me to congratulate Sam again for receiving All-Ohio honors from the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches' Association, an honor that represents the state's best of the best.

Not only did Sam's play give this corner plenty to smile and write about the past three years, but the first-class support and kindness he gave this old-timer on a daily basis has meant the world to me in some recent tough times.

All of the best to Sam in his future endeavors and congratulations again to one of the greatest center fielders that Saint Ignatius has ever produced.     

The East runs its streak to four by defeating the West, 34-22, in Friday's 43rd annual Cuyahoga County East-West All-Star Football Game at Baldwin Wallace University's Finnie Stadium
6/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The East unleashed a 28-point second quarter on its way to a fourth consecutive victory in the annual event presented by the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association. 

Lutheran East’s Robert Drake was voted as the Most Valuable Player for the East after setting an all-star game record with a 98-yard kickoff return. Rocky River quarterback Matt Lowry, who also excels in ice hockey, garnered MVP honors for the West.

Saint Ignatius' standout kicker Cory Griffith from the Class of 2015 had two extra points on the night for the West. Also representing the Wildcats' Class of 2015 for the West were defensive lineman Ray Brown and wide receiver Lenny Soeder. 

OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame to welcome 14 members; Officials of the Year announced
6/12/2015

From Tim Stried, Director of Information Services for the Ohio High School Athletic Association

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Annual banquet is Saturday in Columbus; Joe Pangrazio to enter National Hall of Fame July 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame will induct 14 new members Saturday at its annual banquet in Columbus and recognize the 2014-15 OHSAA Officials of the Year. Each of the 14 Hall of Fame inductees is being honored for significant contributions to interscholastic officiating in Ohio and were selected by the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame Committee. More information on the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/officials/HallofFame.htm 

  “The Officials Hall of Fame banquet is our opportunity to recognize the best officials in Ohio for their outstanding careers and their dedication to officiating,” said Beau Rugg, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner and one of last year’s Hall of Fame inductees. “It is a joy to recognize these highly respected individuals with induction into the Hall of Fame. We thank all officials for their service to student-athletes, coaches, schools and other officials.”

 In addition, the late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr., one of Ohio’s legendary football and basketball officials, will become the 28th Ohioan to enter the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame July 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will wrap up the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

Ohio’s 28 NFHS Hall of Fame inductees are more than any other state (Illinois ranks second with 23). The previous 27 Ohioans to be inducted are posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/NFHSHallOfFame.asp.

Pangrazio was a charter member of the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame in 1989, and last year he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. He was an OHSAA football official for 45 years (1955-2000) and an OHSAA basketball official for 55 years (1945-2000). He officiated six state football championships and 10 state basketball tournaments (eight boys, two girls). He conducted countless clinics and camps and was instrumental in recruiting and mentoring numerous new football and basketball officials. Pangrazio was also a highly successful college basketball official in several conferences and was a Big Ten Conference basketball officials observer and evaluator at Ohio State University for 25 years.

The OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame is the only Hall of Fame sponsored by the OHSAA. The OHSAA’s Circle of Champions recognizes individuals from various areas who had outstanding careers in high school athletics and have further contributed to interscholastic sports.

2015 OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame Induction Class:

Marie Anthony, Columbus (BK)

Dolores Billhardt, Willoughby (Administrator, deceased)

Joseph Grimes Jr., Shaker Heights (BK)

Eugene Wodzisz, Parma (BK, FT)

John Gurney, Shelby (BB, BK)

Galen Harris, Tipp City (BB, SB, VB, WR)

Ken Kaiser, Columbus (BK, FT)

Robert Peterfish, Columbus (SD, deceased)

Pat Porter, Chillicothe (BB, BK, SB, VB)

Bryan Reamsnyder, Toledo (FT, deceased)

Sue Sheck, Coshocton (BB, SB, BK, VB)

Brian Spangler, Reynoldsburg (BK, FT)

Melvin Staats, Newton Falls (BB, SB)

Elizabeth Van Tine, Englewood (CC, TF)

2014-15 OHSAA Officials of the Year:

Boys Cross Country - Ken Beard, West Milton

Boys Soccer - Douglas Billerman, Maria Stein

Girls Basketball - Jason Blazevich, Northwood

Wrestling - Russell Brode, New Franklin

Girls Soccer - Charles Daria, Bethel

Baseball - Frank Grubb, Grove City

Ice Hockey - Joseph Hrabak, Columbus

Boys Track and Field - Robert Jones, West Lafayette

Girls Cross Country - Arthur Joseph, Shadyside

Football – John Keener, Athens

Gymnastics - Maxine Matovic, Cleveland

Softball - Cheryl Opperman, Wellington

Boys Swimming and Diving - Jon Reidler, Blacklick

Volleyball - Mark Rose, Wheelersburg

Field Hockey - Todd Shapiro, Cleveland

Girls Track and Field - Pamela Spears, Lewisburg

Girls Swimming and Diving - Robert VanAlmen, Hartville

Boys Basketball - Mark Wanyerka, Olmsted Falls

 

 

They're back! The 2015 Varsity and Junior Varsity Football Wildcats create some mini camp moments on Wasmer Field Thursday afternoon.
6/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT CREDIT JUNE, 2015 (thank you tweeters).

Ohio City - Chuck Kyle '69, who enters his 33rd season as his alma mater's Head Football Coach with an area-best 316 career victories and an Ohio-record 11 Division I state championships, greeted a promising sophomore class that is coming off an undefeated freshmen season in 2014 and a large group of varsity players headlined by some battle-tested and talent-rich veterans.

Yes, it is the annual late spring ritual (summer doesn't officially begin until Father's Day, June 21) known as the mini camps.

Mother Nature threw a welcome-back bouquet to the Wildcats and their veteran coaching staff as temperatures were in the mid-70s late Thursday afternoon and partly sunny skies hovered over the turf on Wasmer Field, a setting that at times can go toe-to-toe with any sun screen known to mankind.

The junior varsity sophomores, despite their impressive fall to recall as freshmen, were a bit wide-eyed when they began their drills under the watchful eyes of a seasoned coaching staff, many of whom are part of one of the greatest runs in the history of Ohio High School Athletic Association football - the Ohio-best 11 big-school state championships, including a state-best five in a row (1991 through 1995), three national championships (1989, 1993 and 1995), a national runner-up in 2008 and a state-runner-up in 1996. Coach Kyle's Cats have made 26 OHSAA Division I playoff appearances since 1988.

Once they settled in, the sophomores showed some of the talent that left Wildcats Head Freshman Coach Rodney Gallaway smiling in the fall of 2014.

Quarterback Daniel Alexander, who definitely has grown a few inches since his freshman year, threw some nice authoritative passes, receiver Michael Drobnick made an early entry into the good hands club and Cameron Toppin drew some praise from Wildcats Defensive Secondary Coach Brian Strauchon '96 for the nice breakup he made near the Lorain Avenue end zone.

On the varsity level, senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, coming off a solid season offensively and defensively (first base) for the Wildcats' Division I state-semifinalist baseball team, was throwing the pigskin with power and accuracy, and the Cats' wide receivers were money at the end of those throws.

Grosel and senior wideout/long snapper Jim Berger had the highlight combo of the afternoon as Jim went air born in the back of the Lorain Avenue end zone to haul in a Grosel throw. Grosel put the ball in the only window he had and Jimmy B climbed the ladder as a few oohs and ahs came from his teammates and the Wildcats' faithful in the home stands.

Junior James Leyden, better known for his play at linebacker, displayed his ability as a tight end by making a second-effort catch in the left corner of the Lorain Avenue end zone off a nice toss from junior quarterback Patrick Ryan.

Senior wide receiver Ryan Berger, Jim's twin brother, and senior wideout Tyler Musbach displayed smooth route running in hauling in passes along the home sideline of Wasmer Field and Patrick Ryan got a "nice job" from Saint Ignatius' outstanding Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo after Patrick made a nice read in going to senior All-Ohio wide receiver/safety/punt returner Jack Cook off a quick slant.

Staying with the wide receivers, junior Michael Daugenti turned in an all-out effort diving catch along the visitor's sideline and sure-handed seniors Robert Hilbig and Nick Freund hauled in the pigskin off quick routes. Nick is coming off a solid season on the mound for the Varsity Baseball Cats.     

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior linebacker Alex Maruna, fresh off his All-Region and All-Midwest season for Coach Patrick McManamon's state-semifinalist lacrosse program, made a big-time read and pass breakup, and ever-present junior defensive lineman Patrick Viancourt displayed his range and quick reaction off the ball.

THE MEN UP FRONT: It was also great to see the Cats' offensive line back at work, a crew anchored by All-Ohio senior tackle and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg, junior center John Spellacy, who is beginning his second season as a starter (there is not a better center in the area) and senior tackle/guard Richard McGraw, who cracked the starting lineup last season. Liam is a three-year mainstay for Saint Ignatius' outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini '99.

GETTING THEIR KICKS: Saint Ignatius is blessed with two exceptional kickers/punters in junior Colin Goodfellow and sophomore Matthew Trickett.

Trickett, who is also a gifted soccer player, plans on doing double duty this summer and fall as a football kicker and a member of Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending Division I state champion soccer program. During his athletic career at Saint Ignatius, Coach McLaughlin was both a soccer standout and a kicker for Coach Kyle. Trickett did a little bit of everything last year for Coach Gallaway's freshman football team.

As for Colin Goodfellow, he was impressive last season as a kicker and a punter on both the junior varsity and varsity levels.

Colin recently competed in a kicking camp at The Ohio State University, home of Coach Urban Meyer's defending NCAA National Champions, and also put together another solid performance at the One On One Kicking Showcase at Purdue University.

"I came in second in the kicking competition," said Colin, who displayed his usual solid distance and exceptional hang time as one of two juniors to advance in the One On One Showcase at Purdue, while kicking from the college line. "I ended up coming in second to (senior) Matt Coghlin from Archbishop Moeller. I booted it halfway through the end zone with a 3.98 time."

Colin said he hopes to work out this summer at Ohio State with Buckeyes kicker Sean Nuernberger, under the tutelage and training of Coach Dick Seitz from One On One Kicking. Coach Seitz works with the Buckeyes' kickers.

BACK TO WORK: The Junior Varsity and Varsity Football Wildcats will take part in their next mini camp on June 18th. The Jayvees will get things started at 3 PM (note time).

CINCINNATI ST. XAVIER GAME AT BYERS FIELD: The annual Week 9 matchup with the Bombers on Oct. 24 will kick off at 2 PM on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. The Varsity Game will be preceded by a Junior Varsity matchup between St. Xavier and Saint Ignatius, with that kickoff scheduled for 10 AM on Byers Field.

 

           

 

 

 

        

     

 

   

     

 

   

Coming Thursday night on the corner - the first camp report on the 2015 Football Wildcats as they open the mini camp portion of their summer preparation. And we have some Region I football news from the OHSAA to report this evening
6/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

The corner will report on both the junior varsity and varsity portions of Thursday's mini camps, which begin at 3:30 PM with the junior varsity. The varsity mini camp will get underway at approximately 5 PM.

Throughout the mini camps, the two-a-days and of course the preseason scrimmages, the corner will again spend its summer vacation keeping you informed of the developments from Wasmer Field. You can have the beach. I'll take the turf field on West 30th and Lorain Avenue. 

The Wildcats will open their preseason competition with a trip to Solon High School on Aug. 11 for the annual practice/drills with Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets. The matchups with the Comets begin at 10 AM on Stewart Field.

After the annual preseason game-conditions Jamboree with the Canton McKinley Bulldogs in Canton's Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium) on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 PM, Saint Ignatius will open its 2015 season versus the Normandy Invaders on Aug. 29 at 7 PM on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. It will mark the first meeting on the gridiron between the Wildcats and the Invaders.

Things begin to heat up in Week 2, as on Friday, Sept. 4 at 7 PM, Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will be in Mentor's Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium for the annual matchup with Coach Steve Trivisonno's Cardinals. You won't find a better Public School versus Catholic School football rivalry in Ohio, if not the entire nation, my friends.

In case you didn't know, Canton McKiney has its second new head football coach in as many seasons.

Dan Reardon returns to Ohio to guide the fortunes of the Bulldogs after coaching high school football in Colorado since 2012. From 2004 to 2011, Reardon served as the head football coach at Youngstown Ursuline. He guided the Fighting Irish to a 53-6 record.

Reardon was named the Paul Brown-National Football Foundation Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010 after leading Youngstown Ursuline to state titles in each of those seasons. He was also an assistant coach on two state championship teams at Warren G. Harding. Reardon succeeds Thom McDaniels, who came out of retirement last summer for a second stint at McKinley in what was a tough season for "The Pups."

McKinley's future not only includes Coach Reardon, but the recently school-board approved merger with Canton Timken.

For a look at the Wildcats' 2015 football schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on football.

"Hot town, summer in the city" begins Thursday afternoon. Sorry, I know most of you are too young to remember that lyric from The Lovin' Spoonful. That and the days when salt tablets were supposed to be better for you than water.

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION: Rhodes, John Marshall and Parma are moving up to Division I, Region 1 for this coming football season. All three schools were Division II last year. That news is good for Saint Ignatius as far as the first-level computer points come into play, as the Wildcats take on Parma at Byers Field on Oct. 2. The kickoff will be 7 PM. The game with Parma will be a renewal of what was, with the exception of 1976, a traditional early season matchup from 1959 through 1979.                      

Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network presents its awards for the 2014-15 school year and Michael Berry is the recipient of the prestigious Fred DiSanto Award
6/9/2015
By Eddie Dwyer
 
Ohio City - The well-rounded James Zajaczkowski from the Class of 2015, whose clutch hitting and versatile infield play helped Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Wildcats to another Division I state final four appearance, is the 2014-15 recipient of the Golden Microphone Award from Jeff McCormick '83, Director of Broadcasting for the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network (SIBN).
 
The Dick Zunt SID Award went to the gifted Brendan DeVenney and the Moderator Awards were presented to Carter Spearry, Joe Mertens, John Selby, Dan Ertle, Michael Berry and Owen Miklos. Jeff McCormick is also Saint Ignatius' Director of Development and Planned Giving and the Sports Information Department Moderator. The Dick Zunt SID Award is named in honor of Saint Ignatius Hall of Fame inductee, the late Dick "Zip" Zunt '50. Dick was this old-timer's dear friend and colleague during our many, many years covering high school sports together for The Plain Dealer.
 
A huge congratulations from this corner goes out to Michael Berry '15, who on Monday night in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts was presented with the annual Fred DiSanto Award from Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88. A former Wildcat basketball and football standout, Mr. DiSanto '80 is a member of the Saint Ignatius Athletic Hall of Fame.
 
A young man who gave endless and selfless hours as a Team Manager for the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Program, Mike is not only a high school basketball guru, but also served his school as an outstanding color commentator for Saint Ignatius' highly successful lacrosse program. May God Bless Mike in his future endeavors at Boston College.  
A season that flowed with lasting memories. Saint Ignatius High School pays tribute to its outstanding Spring Sports Teams
6/8/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - With baseball, track and field and tennis making their marks in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's postseason Championship Tournaments, Rugby bringing home a second consecutive OhioRugby State Championship, Lacrosse advancing to the state semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons, Volleyball displaying a resilient State Quarterfinal run and Crew, aka The Wildcat Navy, excelling on the regional and national levels, the Spring of 2015 takes its place as one of the most memorable in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history.

Monday night in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Athletic Director Mr. Rory Fitzpatrick '88, with the assistance of Athletic Administrative Assistant Ms. Jennifer Fight and Miss Angela LoBue, Manager of Saint Ignatius' Communications Department, joined family and friends in paying tribute to the Wildcats' Student Athletes and their respective spring sports teams, teams whose accomplishments will take a permanent place on the pages of Saint Ignatius' record books.

HERE ARE THE SPECIAL 2015 AWARDS PRESENTED DURING THE ANNUAL SPRING SPORTS AWARDS CEREMONY.

TRACK AND FIELD

Note: Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats finished sixth among the 236 Division I teams competing in last weekend's 108th annual OHSAA Boys State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University (see the corner's posts from the weekend).

Most Valuable Sprinter: Junior James Norris (finished fourth in the state in the 100 meters)

Most Valuable Hurdler: Junior Jack Ruddy

Most Valuable Field Event Athlete: Senior Rai Walters

Most Valuable Distance Runner: Junior Luke Wagner. In what was his third consecutive trip to the OHSAA state meet last weekend, Luke anchored the second place 4x800 team and finished sixth in the 1600 meter run, joining fellow junior Tom Sullivan, who placed seventh.

Most Improved Athlete: Mike Huber, another of Coach Kyle's gifted juniors. Mike joined Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan and Luke Wagner on the outstanding all-junior 4x800 team.

Most Valuable 9th grader: Sprinter Phil Zuccaro. Endless potential personified.

Most Valuable Athlete Overall: Luke Wagner, who also excels for Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher in cross country.

The Fr. James O'Reilly Spirit Award: Tom Sullivan.

BASEBALL

Note: Coach Brad Ganor's 2015 Wildcats, a team in every sense of the word, advanced to the Division I state semifinals in what was the 88th annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournament at Huntington Park in Columbus. It was Saint Ignatius' 12th overall appearance in the state baseball semifinals and its fifth under Coach Ganor. Coach Ganor's 2008 and 2013 teams finished as state runners-up and Coach Ganor was an assistant to Coach Brian Morgan on the Cats' 2002 state championship team. Coach Ganor's 2007, '08 and '09 teams comprised what is a school-record three consecutive trips to baseball's final four.  

Captains Awards: Senior right-hander M.J. Nara and his battery mate, senior catcher and three-year mainstay Alex Panstares

Offensive Players of the Year: All-Ohio senior center fielder and St. Bonaventure recruit Sam Fuller and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel

Defensive Players of the Year: Senior shortstop Jake Kucia and senior catcher Alex Panstares

Pitchers of the Year: Sophomore left-hander Connor Adams, senior right-hander M.J. Nara and the ace of the bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien

Most Improved Players: Senior outfielder/pitcher Dylan Smolen and senior second baseman Mullen Socha

The Coaches' Cup: Presented to senior outfielder/designated hitter Dylan Welch and endless devotion Bullpen Catcher John Robinson

*Saint Ignatius' Baseball Captains for next season will be right fielder Mike Rogers '16, first baseman Dennis Grosel '16 and relief ace Murphy O'Brien '16.

TENNIS

Most Valuable Player: Four-time Division I state singles qualifier and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history (Spring of 2014), Nate Griffin from the Class of 2015. Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, placed third in Ohio this spring.

Most Improved Player: Singles mainstay Josh Hsia

The Coaches' Cup: Presented to Erich Schuette and Andy Siciliano

4th Year Award: Nate Griffin

2nd Year Award: Erich Schuette, Josh Hsia and Mitchell Pallaki

RUGBY

Note: Coach Dan Arbeznik's Wildcats brought home a second consecutive state championship by defeating their West Side rival St. Edward, 12-5, at Rocky River High School. Saint Ignatius also defeated the Eagles in the 2014 state title matchup on Dante Lavelli Field, 31-12.  

Captains Awards: Patrick Berry, Michael Mathews and Brendan Carney

The Coaches' Cup: Andrew Kerr

The Law Award: Brendan Carney

Bigger, Faster, Stronger Award: Brock Yoho

Most Improved Award: Kevin Stefancin

A-side Back of the Year: Andrew Baldado

B-side Back of the Year: Kevin O'Malley

A-side Forward of the Year: Luke Robinson

B-side Forward of the Year: Liam Garven

MVP A-side: Patrick Berry

MVP B-side Sean Neville

LACROSSE

Note: Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats went on a 14-game winning streak that took them to a Division I state semifinal matchup with perennial power Upper Arlington at Wooster High School, where the Golden Bears came away with an 11-5 victory.

Most Improved Offense: Senior midfielder Ethan Whitney

Most Improved Defense: Senior defense Christopher Rini

Co-Team MVP: Junior attack Crew Cintron and senior defense/captain Patrick Mulach

Offensive Player of the Year: Junior attack Alex Hornung

Defensive Player of the Year: Junior defense/captain Alex Maruna

Magis Award: Senior defense/captain Jack Mazanec

VOLLEYBALL

Defensive Player of the Year: Brian Messina

Offensive Player of the Year: Daniel Michals

MVP: Jack Eckman

The Coach's Cup: Nicholas Daly

CREW: Please note that the Saint Ignatius Crew Program will be holding a banquet and/or Awards Ceremony honoring its great season on another date. We will provide the special awards when they become available. 

In closing the special team awards, the corner would like to tip its cap to the AJacobs/Kucia Production of the 2015 Saint Ignatius Baseball Video, titled 2015 OHSAA Regional Champions and subtitled Season of Dreams. And that it was for Coach Ganor's Cats and those who had the privilege to follow them.

A keeper to cherish for every member of the Saint Ignatius Baseball Family, the video is dedicated in loving memory to Saint Ignatius' beloved teacher, mentor and true Man for God and Man for Others, former Wildcats' basketball standout, the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74. Jim lost a courageous battle to cancer in October of 2014.   

Saint Ignatius finishes sixth overall in Division I after Saturday's finals of the 108th annual OHSAA Boys State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University
6/6/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Pickerington North took home the Division I state team title with 52 points and was followed in the top 10 ten by Mason with 28 points, Cincinnati Northwest (24 points), Reynoldsburg (24 points), Hudson (20 points), Saint Ignatius (18 points), Centerville (17 points), Stow (16 points), Berea-Midpark (16 points) and Hilliard Davidson (15 points).

The Cats' finish was quite impressive, especially when you consider that last year, with Luke Wagner as its only representative, Saint Ignatius finished in a three-way tie for 48th place. There were 236 Division I boys teams competing at this year's state meet.

Under Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69, the Wildcats won the Division I state track and field championship in 2001 and were state runners-up to Glenville in 2005.

The future is extremely bright for Saint Ignatius' underclassmen-laden track and field program, as all five of the Cats' competitors at this weekend's state meet were juniors, including the gifted 4x800 relay team which placed second in Ohio in Division I. That fab four consists of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner.

CONGRATS TO COACH KYLE AND HIS MEN, WHOSE JOURNEY TO THE STATE MEET STARTED IN 15 to 20 BELOW DEGREE TEMPERATURES WHILE RUNNING ON THE STREETS AND ALLEYS IN OHIO CITY. WASMER FIELD WAS A SNOW COVERED FROZEN TUNDRA IN PRESEASON.

****FOR A DAY BY DAY PROGRESS ON THE WILDCATS AT THE 108TH BOYS STATE MEET, SEE THE CORNER'S WEEKEND POSTS BELOW.

       

Juniors Luke Wagner and Tom Sullivan finish sixth and seventh, respectively, in the finals of the 1600 meter run
6/6/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Luke scored three points with a solid effort of 4:15.42 in this talent-rich event and Tom was right behind in seventh place at 4:16.64 and two points.

Junior Gavin Gaynor of Hudson ran to the state championship in the 1600 with an impressive 4:12.16 and senior Brad Eagan of St. Xavier was second in 4:13.83.

Wagner, who was making his third consecutive appearance at the state meet, ran to an impressive fifth place in last year's 1600 meter state-championship race. He finished 11 spots higher than he did as freshman running at the state meet. Luke scored four points as Saint Ignatius' only representative at last year's state meet and his 4:14.06 bettered his previous personal best of 4:15.63 that he ran en route to the 2014 Amherst Regional championship.

Through 13 events, Saint Ignatius stands in fourth place with 18 points.

James Norris finishes fourth in the finals of the 100 meter dash late Saturday afternoon
6/6/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

James ran a 10.87 and scored five points for the Wildcats. He was the only Division I 100 meters finalist from a Catholic School.

Graduating senior Andy Isabella, the pride of the Mayfield Wildcats, brought home the 100 meter dash state championship in 10.66, Nick Gray of Pickerington North, also a graduating senior, was second in 10.70, and junior Deionne Harper of Massillon was third in 10.82. Freshman Zion Cross from Lorain took fifth place in 10.90.

Norris, who will be entering his senior year at Saint Ignatius in August, returned to the state meet this spring after also qualifying as a freshman. Cross, by the way, edged out Norris for first place at last week's Amherst Regional 100 meters final.    

Just a reminder that Luke Wagner and Tom Sullivan in the 1600 meter run and Wagner in the 800 meter run will join James Norris in Saturday's running finals, as they attempt to add to the eight points earned by the Cats' 4x800 relay team
6/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saturday's Division I running finals are scheduled to get underway at 4:30 PM, with the OHSAA schedule showing the 1600 meter run starting at 5:05 PM and the 800 meter run at 6:05 PM.

Be sure to see our posts below on the Cats' outstanding 4x800 relay team and on James Norris.

A LATE SPRING RITUAL ON THE CAMPUS OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: Day one of the 108th annual Boys and 41st annual Girls OHSAA State Track and Field Championships attracted an attendance of more than 13,300 into Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

James Norris finishes second in his 100 meter dash prelim heat with a 10.71 and qualifies for Saturday's final!
6/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

James, who will be entering his senior year at Saint Ignatius later this summer, holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 meter dash with a 10.66.

The top three prelim times were 10.59 by Nick Gray of Pickerington North, 10.62 by Mayfield's Andy Isabella and 10.67 by Massillon's Deionne Harper.  

Our report from Columbus has the Wildcats' 4x800 Team finishing second in a time of 7:47.32. The 4x800 was a finals event. Congrats to the all-junior team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner.
6/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In racking up eight points, the Cats' gifted 4x800 team bettered its first-place time at last week's Amherst Regional, which was 7:51.12.

Dublin Coffman took first place in a time of 7:44.97 (10 points) and St. John's Jesuit was third with an effort of 7:51.09 for six points.

The 108th annual Boys OHSAA State Track and Field Championships are taking place in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

 

Just FYI for our tennis fans
6/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In the annual Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association State Team Tournament, the OTCA's top ranked team, Cincinnati Sycamore, brought home the Division I championship by defeating Massillon Jackson, 3-0.

Sycamore advanced to the championship match by defeating St. John's Jesuit, 3-0, in the semifinals and Jackson earned a place in the title match against Sycamore with a 3-1 semifinal victory over Upper Arlington.

In the Division I consolation match, Upper Arlington prevailed over St. John's Jesuit, 3-1.

On its way to the State Team Tournament, Massillon Jackson defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-1, in the regional/quarterfinal round.

Due to Mother Nature's ace, The OTCA State Team Tournament was played at the Elysium indoor facility in Plain City. 

Just a reminder on Coach Chuck Kyle's State Bound Track Athletes
6/4/2015

HERE IS A REPEAT ON WHAT WE POSTED EARLIER THIS WEEK ON THE CORNER, AS THE WILDCATS' TRACK TEAM PREPARES TO CARRY THE FINAL BLUE AND GOLD BANNER FOR SAINT IGNATIUS' 2015 SPRING SPORTS SEASON.

By Eddie Dwyer

A total of five Wildcats will represent Saint Ignatius at the 108th annual Boys OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The all-junior 4x800 Relay Team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner, which ran a first-place time of 7:51.12 at last week's always demanding Amherst Regional, will be racing for points on Friday. The Division I running events are scheduled to get underway on Friday at 4:45 PM, with prelims and the 4x800 final.  

The rest of the Division I running finals are slated for Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Along with the gifted 4x800 team, junior James Norris returns to the state meet in the 100 meter dash. James, who also qualified for states as a freshman, ran a 10.78 in finishing second at the Amherst Regional.

Norris holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 with a 10.66.

Luke Wagner and Tom Sullivan, who are having exceptional seasons, will also be competing in the 1600 Meter Run. Wagner took home first place at the Amherst Regional with a time of 4:15.90 and Sullivan placed fourth in 4:18.36.

Wagner, who will be making his third consecutive appearance at the state meet, ran to an impressive fifth place in last year's 1600 meter state-championship race. He finished 11 spots higher than he did as freshman running at the state meet. Luke scored four points as Saint Ignatius' only representative at last year's state meet and his 4:14.06 bettered his previous personal best of 4:15.63 that he ran en route to the 2014 Amherst Regional championship.

Luke will also be competing in the 800 meter run this weekend. He qualified for the 800 with a fourth-place finish of 1:54.79 at Amherst last week.

All of the Best to Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his Wildcats this weekend.

It is official. Lacrosse will become an OHSAA sponsered sport in the 2016-17 school year.
6/4/2015

From Tim Stried, Ohio High School Athletic Association Director of Information Services, and posted by Eddie Dwyer

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Board of Directors approved a recommendation from an OHSAA subcommittee that boys and girls lacrosse become sports sponsored by the OHSAA beginning with the 2016-17 school year, Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., has announced. Lacrosse will be a spring sport with the first OHSAA statewide tournament series beginning in 2017. The Board unanimously (8-0) approved the recommendation during its regularly scheduled meeting today at the OHSAA Office in Columbus.

“The members of the subcommittee did an outstanding job studying lacrosse in Ohio and researching the sport both statewide and nationally,”  Ross said. “I know they also received tremendous assistance from Paul Balcerzak, commissioner of both the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association (OHSLA) and the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association (OSLA). Lacrosse is definitely growing in our state at both the youth and high school levels, and it's exciting when schools want their sport to be part of our association and also exciting that more students will be able to complement their high school experience with another participation opportunity.

“It also should be pointed out that the both the boys and girls lacrosse associations have required their membership to adhere to OHSAA Bylaws and Sports Regulations for several years now, so the transition to the OHSAA should be smooth,” Commissioner Ross continued.

Lacrosse will become the first sport in the OHSAA’s newly developed category called “emerging” sports, since lacrosse currently does not have the required 150 schools to become an OHSAA “recognized” sport per OHSAA bylaws. Currently organized by the OHSLA and OSLA, there were 122 boys schools and 118 girls schools that sponsored lacrosse in 2015, with an additional 18 boys club teams sponsored.

As an emerging sport, lacrosse will be handled very similarly as all OHSAA “recognized” sports, with the major exception being that the Board of Directors will conduct an annual assessment of lacrosse to review items such as growth and financial solvency to determine if it will continue as an “emerging”  sport; be elevated to a “recognized” sport, or be suspended or discontinued as an “emerging” sport.

The Ohio High School Lacrosse Association has been conducting a statewide tournament series since the 1988-89 school year, and the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association has had a statewide tournament series since 1999-2000. While both the boys and girls currently have two tournament divisions, the Board of Directors did not take action to determine how many tournament divisions there will be in lacrosse when the OHSAA begins oversight in 2016-17.

“On behalf of the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association and the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association, I would like to express sincere gratitude and excitement with the decision of the OHSAA Board of Directors to adopt boys and girls lacrosse as the newest OHSAA sports,” Balcerzak said. “It was quite a learning experience to work with the subcommittee, but I’m glad all of our efforts have paid off. Our associations are committed to making the transition to the OHSAA as smooth as possible, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The addition of boys and girls lacrosse increases the number of “recognized” and “emerging” sports sponsored by the OHSAA to 26, which includes 13 for boys and 13 for girls. The OHSAA last added sports in 2006-07 when boys and girls bowling were adopted.

  

An outstanding season comes to an end for Saint Ignatius Baseball, as the Cats are defeated by Westerville Central, 10-5, in Thursday's Division I State Semifinal at Huntington Park in Columbus
6/4/2015

The 88th annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournament is being played in Huntington Park, the home of the Indians' Class AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers.

By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats, making their 12th overall appearance in the OHSAA's baseball final four, found themselves trailing, 9-0, after five innings.

Saint Ignatius got back in the game with a five-run top of the sixth that featured a one-out, two-run single by standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller and a two-out, two-run double by gifted junior first basemen Dennis Grosel.

The day belonged to Westerville Central, however, as the Warhawks continued their magical ride through the OHSAA tournament after scoring their 10th run in the bottom of the sixth and setting the Cats down in order in the top of the seventh.

A program that is just in its 12th year of existence, Warhawks Baseball (now 25-4), in what is its first appearance at the state tournament, advances to Saturday's 10 AM Division I Championship Game versus seven-time state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (30-3). The Warkawks' previous highest finish in the OHSAA postseason baseball tournament was a Regional runner-up in 2011. Archbishop Moeller advanced to another title game by defeating Aurora, 6-1, in Thursday afternoon's semifinal at Huntington Park.

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, who were making their fifth trip to the final four in what was Coach Ganor's 11th year as the head of Saint Ignatius' baseball program, close their memorable season at 27-6. The Cats entered the matchup with Westerville Central on a 15-game winning streak.

Under the direction of Head Coach Jeff Kiefer, the Warhawks certainly weren't intimidated by the atmosphere of the state semifinals, as they came out swinging and made themselves right at home in the baseball-rich minor league facility in downtown Columbus.

Leading, 1-0, entering the bottom of the third inning, Westerville Central sent nine batters to the plate in its half of the third en route to scoring five more runs. Among the big swings for the Warhawks were a two-run triple by University of Toledo recruit Jeremiah Clarke, an RBI single by Florida Southern recruit Nick Buchanan and a two-run triple by Kyle Kiefer, Coach Kiefer's son.

Westerville Central, a member of the Ohio Capital Conference, stretched its lead to 9-0 with a three-run fifth that was highlighted by a one-out, two-run double by Drew Wallace.

Saint Ignatius showed the heart that drove it throughout the postseason by giving its faithful new life with a five-run top of the sixth. Along with the above-mentioned big hits by Fuller and Grosel, the Cats started the top of the sixth with back-to-back base hits by senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares and gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia.

A total comeback wasn't in the cards, however, as a leadoff walk, a two-out single by Buchanan and an error gave the Warhawks a five-run cushion entering the top of the seventh, where Coach Kiefer's bullpen said no more.

We would be remiss not to mention the effort of Westerville Central's talented and tough-minded junior right-hander Gavin Lyon, who, before tiring a bit in the top of the sixth, was a bulldog.

Lyon, who has already committed to The Ohio State University, went 5 1/3 innings. He threw 110 pitches, 80 of which were strikes, and struck out 12.

Saint Ignatius southpaw Connor Adams, who put together a sophomore season that included a no-hitter over Berea-Midpark in the district finals, a combined no-hitter during the regular season and a strong complete-game performance in last week's 3-1 triumph over Toledo St. Francis de Sales in the Bowling Green regional final, experienced his first loss in eight decisions this spring.

Each team had 10 hits, with the Wildcats committing three errors and the Warhawks two.

Bound for St. Bonaventure on a baseball scholarship, the multi-skilled Fuller went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases. Kucia, who is going to further his education and baseball career at Case Western University, had three hits in four at-bats.

"The Westerville pitcher was very good today," said Coach Ganor. "He was able to get out of a couple early jams. We had some chances early on, but just couldn't get the ball to bounce our way.

"They were able to make us pay for some defensive mistakes and capitalized on early walks," Coach Ganor continued. "I have said it before and I will say it again. The 2015 baseball team stands on its own and I am so proud to be the head coach at Saint Ignatius."

This old-timer would like to thank Coach Ganor, Coach Mark Terlep, Coach John Whelan, Coach Matt Blazer, Team Chaplin Drew Vilinsky, Wildcats outstanding Athletics Director Rory Fitzpatrick and all of the parents and families connected to Saint Ignatius Baseball for the privilege to have covered a team that took over a special place in my heart and mind - the 2015 Baseball Cats.

I would also like to express how grateful I am for having the privilege to have worked with Saint Ignatius' tireless Student Manager Kyle Kostura '15 in both baseball and football these past few years. Kyle was and is the best of the best.

A huge Thank You also goes out to Wildcats' Baseball Stats guru George Martin '17 and Saint Ignatius' Student Baseball Broadcasters Joltin' Joe Mertens '15, who will be furthering his education and broadcasting career at Mount Union, and Brendan DeVenney, who will be entering his junior year at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School later this summer. No one knows baseball better than Joe and the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network is in solid hands and voice the next few years, as Brendan has developed into a savvy and tell-it-like-it-is broadcaster.

If The Lord and Saint Ignatius' administration are willing, I hope to return to my corner for the Wildcats' 2015-16 sports season, starting with the football mini camps and two-a-days this summer.

In the words of the late, great Plain Dealer Stark County Columnist and Canton radio legend Hymie Williams, "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time." 

Upper Arlington is as advertised, as the three-time defending state champions turn away Saint Ignatius Lacrosse, 11-7, in Wednesday night's OHSLA State Semifinal matchup at Wooster High School
6/3/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Upper Arlington, which started strong and responded down the stretch in a manner one associates with a team that has won the last three big-school state championships, improved to 17-5 and advanced to Saturday's 3:30 PM State Championship faceoff versus the St. Xavier Bombers (17-5) at New Albany High School. Our Jesuit brothers from St. Xavier advanced to the title game by overpowering Olentangy Liberty, 14-3.

Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats, who saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end, put together another marvelous season, as the Cats close at 17-3.

Saint Ignatius was making its second state semifinal appearance since 2013. That 2013 season under Coach McManamon marked the program's third trip to the semifinals and the first since 1995.

Wednesday night, the Wildcats encountered a Golden Bears team that can attack in every phase of the game. That was evident in the first quarter when patient and precise Upper Arlington, behind the scoring of senior attack Justin Wick, took a 6-1 lead.

In the second quarter, Saint Ignatius found its game and behind goals by Alex Hornung, Jared Stepka and Crew Cintron, cut the deficit to 7-4 by halftime.

The Golden Bears came out for the third quarter and landed a counter punch that was powered by goals from senior midfield Maxwell Rankin and Wick. Wick's tough angle, top left corner shot made it a 9-4 game with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter.

Trailing, 10-4, in the final seconds of the third quarter, the Wildcats found a spark courtesy of a goal by Cintron, who is one of the premier players in the history of Saint Ignatius lacrosse. Crew's goal, which enabled the Cats to close to 10-5 entering the fourth quarter, was his 65th of the season and ties him with Dan Hayden (1996) for the most goals in a season by a Wildcats lacrosse player.

Hornung, who like Cintron is an All-Region and All-Midwest mainstay, had the Saint Ignatius faithful anticipating another trademark comeback, as Alex picked off a pass from the goalie and scored, and then sent another goal home that closed the gap to 10-7 with 4:31 left to be played. Hornung finished with four goals.

However, as Upper Arlington has done more than a few times during its impressive state title run, the Golden Bears, playing with patience and poise, pushed their advantage to 11-7 on Wick's fourth goal of the night.

After Wick's rally killer, Upper Arlington called a time out with 3:09 remaining and then executed exactly what the Golden Bears' coaching staff wanted - time-killing possessions.

MAKING THEIR MARK! SAINT IGNATIUS RUGBY BRINGS HOME A SECOND CONSECUTIVE RUGBYOHIO DIVISION I STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BY DEFEATING ST. EDWARD, 12-5, AT ROCKY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL ON TUESDAY NIGHT
6/2/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

In preseason, Saint Ignatius Head Rugby Coach Dan Arbeznik '00 said his 2015 Wildcats play with an edge about them that he hasn't seen in the 11 years he has been coaching the sport.
"They feel like they've been in the shadows of the great classes that have come before them and are ready to make a mark of their own," Coach Arbeznik said, referring to the Wildcats' state runner-up team of 2013 and state championship team of 2014.
On Tuesday night at Rocky River High School, Coach Arbeznik's 2015 Cats made an indelible mark in the young history of Saint Ignatius Varsity Rugby by turning away a St. Edward team that had defeated them twice in the regular season.  
And they did it in the OhioRugby Division I State Championship Match with strength, stamina, savvy and a will to succeed that their West Side rival couldn't overcome.
After St. Edward, which also lost to Saint Ignatius, 31-12, in last year's state title showdown, took a 5-0 lead on a try by Ryan Bradfield, Coach Arbeznik's Cats said not tonight and, in what was about a 30 second-plus response, roared back to even things up at 5 on a try by relentless Captain Patrick Berry.
It appeared the Cats took a 7-5 lead after the ensuing kick by multi-skilled full-back Andrew Baldado, but after the officials conferred, Andrew's effort was waved off.
With the score knotted at 5, Saint Ignatius came out for the second half and put a physical lock on the action.
In what was the play of the match, the Wildcats' Kevin Stefancin blocked a kick and the ever-present Geoff DiMassa '15 fell on the ball for a try that was capped by an authoritative kick by Baldado.
It was shades of that interception return for a touchdown against Lawrence Central on Byers Field during the 2013 Varsity Football season. Geoff was a mainstay at linebacker.
Two other Football Cats from the Class of 2015, Valiant Freeman and Michael Mathews, were heard from on Tuesday night, as they were part of a sure-tackling effort.
The player awards from Tuesday night should go to the Cats' defense, which time after time turned away the Eagles. And no turn away was more crucial than the try-line stand, if you will, that Coach Arbeznik's hungry bunch pulled off during the final minute of play as St. Edward was threating to possibly even the score.
Saint Ignatius closed its resilient season at 12-2-1 and for St. Edward, Tuesday night marked the Eagles' first loss in 11 matches this spring.
From the memorable trip to the Emerald Isle to a championship night in Rocky River. Yes, that is what dreams are made of. Mark it down.
Nate Griffin repeats as a Division I All-Ohio selection by the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association
6/2/2015

Here are the Division I All-Ohio Teams

First Team

Singles:Joey Thomas, Massillon Jackson;.Deepak Indrakanti, Cincinnati Sycamore; Nathan Griffin, Saint Ignatius; Vincent Anzalone, Willoughby South.

Doubles: Alex Taylor, Nakul Narendran, Cincinnati Sycamore; Gavin Aten, Carlos Martinez, Copley; Anthony Kanam, Jake Zalenski, Massillon Jackson; Cal Craven, Connor Michelich, Westlake.

Second Team

Singles: Bryan Yoshino, Dublin Coffman; Reid Teatsorth, Findlay; Jack Zelezny, Uppr Arlington; Mitchell Thai, Hilliard Bradley.

Doubles: Nadim Boulos, Sean Reid, Mason; Noah Stern, Alex Wittenbaum, Cincinnati Sycamore; Kevin Brown, Rejeev Laungani, Toledo St. John’s Jesuit; Nick Blair, Graeme Green, New Albany.

A team in every sense of the word. Coach Brad Ganor's 2015 Baseball Cats stand alone when the comparisons are made
6/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright June 2015

THE 88TH ANNUAL OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION STATE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

Fairview Park, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, led by its ever-present savvy senior leadership and its rich-in-promise underclassmen, will take a record of 27-5 and a 15-game winning streak into Thursday's 10 AM Division I state semifinal versus the Westerville Central Warhawks at Huntington Park in Columbus. Westerville Central stands 24-4.

Thursday's matchup with Westerville Central will mark the fifth state final four appearance in what is Coach Brad Ganor's 11th season as Saint Ignatius' skipper. The Cats were state runners-up in 2008 and 2013 under Coach Ganor and set a school record by making three consecutive trips to the final four in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Overall, this will be Saint Ignatius' 12th trip to baseball's final four. The Cats won the Division I state championship under then Head Coach Brian Morgan in 2002. Coach Ganor was the pitching coach on Coach Morgan's staff.   

The Warhawks from Westerville Central are making their first trip to the OHSAA's baseball final four in what is the 12th season of baseball at the school that is part of the Central District in Delaware County. Westerville Central was a regional runner-up in 2011.    

Coach Jeff Keifer's Warhawks, who captured their second consecutive Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Championship this spring and were ranked 14th in the final big-school state poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association, advanced to the matchup with the Wildcats by defeating Olentangy Liberty, 9-6, in last week's regional finals. Westerville Central banged out 11 hits against Liberty pitching, including five for extra bases.

Warhawks first baseman Jeremiah Clarke, who is bound for the University of Toledo, went 4-for-4 with three runs batted in. Westerville Central unleashed its offense early and often against Liberty, scoring two runs in the first inning courtesy of an RBI single by Clarke and an RBI triple by Nick Buchanan, who plans to further his education and baseball career at Florida Southern University.

The Warhawks tagged on four runs in a second inning that was highlighted by an RBI double by Gavin Lyon, who has The Ohio State University in his future plans, and a two-run double by Clarke.

Liberty (27-5) would responded with two runs in the top of the sixth, but Westerville Central answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

"Westerville Central has been a top team all season in Columbus and the state," said Coach Ganor, who will enter Thursday's state semifinal with 249 career victories. "They are very athletic and have some pitching that is top notch. Through their tournament run they have played and beaten some very good teams.

"I am sure with how close they are to Huntington Park, their fan base will be out in full force," Coach Ganor continued. "Our boys will be ready to go and we are just thankful to have the opportunity to still be playing baseball in June."

In this old-timer's humble opinion, the 2015 Wildcats are one of the most complete teams Coach Ganor has directed. Defense, offense, pitching and all of baseball's wonderful intangibles have been, for the most part, executed week in and week out by the tight-knit and resilient Cats. Just read any of the corner's stories below for a feel of the "team approach" Saint Ignatius takes to the diamond every day, whether it is a practice or a game.

The Cats, who tied with Olentangy High School for the 16th spot in the OHSBCA state poll and advanced to another state semifinal appearance by defeating Toleo St. Francis de Sales, 3-1, in the Bowling Green regional final, have faced some of the best of the best in Greater Cleveland and Ohio, and certainly won't be intimidated by what lies ahead.

In the other half of the Division 1 bracket, perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (29-3), the OHSBCA's top-ranked team, will be facing Aurora (22-5) in the state semifinals for the second time in three seasons. The first pitch is 1 PM on Thursday.

The Crusaders defeated Aurora, 13-1, in a 2013 state semifinal that marked the first trip to baseball's final four by the Greenmen. Archbishop Moeller then went on to defeat Saint Ignatius, 7-1, in the title game for its seventh state baseball championship.

Aurora advanced to Thursday's state semifinals by defeating 2014 Division I State Champion Massillon Jackson, 3-0, in last week's Canton regional final.

Moeller, overcoming five errors, earned its 12th trip to the state semifinals by defeating Mason, 7-4, in a regional final at the University of Cincinnati's Marge Schott Stadium last Friday. A three-run sixth inning showed the way for the Crusaders.

Mason closed its season at 23-7.

Moeller Head Coach Tim Held has now guided his program to seven state-semifinal appearances and will be seeking his fourth state championship this weekend.  

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats are gearing up for this weekend's state competition
6/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

A total of five Wildcats will represent Saint Ignatius at the 108th annual Boys OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The all-junior 4x800 Relay Team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner, which ran a first-place time of 7:51.12 at last week's always demanding Amherst Regional, will be racing for points on Friday. The Division I running events are scheduled to get underway on Friday at 4:45 PM, with prelims and the 4x800 final.  

The rest of the Division I running finals are slated for Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Along with the gifted 4x800 team, junior James Norris returns to the state meet in the 100 meter dash. James, who also qualified for states as a freshman, ran a 10.78 in finishing second at the Amherst Regional.

Norris holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 with a 10.66.

Luke Wagner and Tom Sullivan, who are having exceptional seasons, will also be competing in the 1600 Meter Run. Wagner took home first place at the Amherst Regional with a time of 4:15.90 and Sullivan placed fourth in 4:18.36.

Wagner, who will be making his third consecutive appearance at the state meet, ran to an impressive fifth place in last year's 1600 meter state-championship race. He finished 11 spots higher than he did as freshman running at the state meet. Luke scored four points as Saint Ignatius' only representative at last year's state meet and his 4:14.06 bettered his previous personal best of 4:15.63 that he ran en route to the 2014 Amherst Regional championship.

Luke will also be competing in the 800 meter run this weekend. He qualified for the 800 with a fourth-place finish of 1:54.79 at Amherst last week.

All of the Best to Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his Wildcats this weekend.      

Saint Ignatius and St. Edward will play for the Rugby State Championship at Rocky River High School
6/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

After having their title matchup on Saturday night at Hudson wiped out by Mother Nature, the Wildcats (11-2-1) and the Eagles (10-0) will stay closer to home and determine who is Ohio's best in Rugby when they meet at the "Pirates Port" on the campus of Rocky River High School tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7.

Last season, Saint Ignatius, controlling the action from the get-go, defeated St. Edward, 31-12, in the State Championship matchup at Dante Lavelli Stadium. The spring of 2014 was just the second season of Rugby being a Varsity Sport at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Cats rode the momentum of that title-game victory over the Eagles to their second consecutive State Sevens Championship last summer.

In 2013, St. Edward defeated the Cats, 22-13, in the state semifinals.

As for this regular season, St. Edward went 2-0 versus Saint Ignatius, winning 15-10 at the Midwest Boys Championship Final on the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkart, Indiana on May 3, and 31-17 at Wasmer Field on May 6.

If you can't make it out to Rocky River High School tomorrow (Tuesday) night, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network will bring you the action live.  

 

Here is a look at the Lacrosse State Semifinals, as Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats prepare for Wednesday's encounter with Upper Arlington
6/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius Lacrosse, which simply put is playing with an endless passion and purpose, will take a 17-2 record and a 14-game winning streak into Wednesday's 7 PM Division I state semifinal matchup with the Golden Bears of Upper Arlington at Wooster High School. Upper Arlington stands 16-5.

Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats will be making their second state-semifinal appearance in three years, as in 2013 the Lax Cats advanced to the state semifinal at the College of Wooster, where they were defeated by the Celtics of Dublin Jerome, 6-3. That 2013 season marked the program's third trip to the state semifinals and the first since 1995.

Coach McManamon's 2015 Cats are currently playing some of the best lacrosse in the Midwest, as they are coming off a 10-8, regional-championship victory over previously undefeated Hudson. That matchup took place on Saturday at Wooster High School. Hudson and Saint Ignatius faced off as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state, respectively.

While the Wildcats seem to have different heroes popping up every week, you always have to turn to the play of All-Midwest selections Crew Cintron (Attack), Alex Maruna (Defense), Ethan Whitney (Midfield), Patick Mulach (Defense), Alex Hornung (Attack) and Jack Mazanec (Defense).

Mazanec turned in a highlight-reel play on Saturday, as Jack, displaying his hockey skills, flashed over to what was an open net and turned away an authoritative shot by Hudson with the game still on the line.

As for Upper Arlington, the Golden Bears need no introduction to Ohio's avid lacrosse fans.

Upper Arlington enters Wednesday night's state semifinal having won the last three state championships, including an 11-5 triumph over Dublin Jerome last season.   

Behind six goals by junior attack Ben Baker, Upper Arlington advanced to the showdown with the Cats by defeating Solon,15-6, in a regional final at Columbus Academy on Saturday. Just FYI, Saint  Ignatius defeated Solon, 14-3, at Solon on April 29.

Baker had plenty of support, including four goals by senior attack Justin Wick, three goals from junior midfield Danny Logan and two scores from senior midfield Maxwell Rankin.
 
In the other half of the big-school final four, Olentangy Liberty, now 17-4, outscored Dublin Coffman, 9-3, in the second half and brought home the regional final trophy at Westerville Central on Saturday.
 
The Patriots were led by Nick Durtschi (four goals), Eric NeCamp (three goals) and Ethan Garland and Alex Lando, who each had two goals.
 
Olentangy Liberty will face Cincinnati St. Xavier (16-5) in a 7 PM state semifinal Wednesday at Kings Mills Kings.
 
Wednesday night's semifinal winners will faceoff in the 3:30 PM state championship game on Saturday at New Albany High School.
 
If you can't make it out to Wooster on Wednesday, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network will bring you the matchup live. You have to love Mike Berry's comments after every goal by the Cats.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

    

 

A tip of the corner's seasoned cap to Coach Casey Marcelo and the Volleyball Cats before we prepare for another week
5/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations to Coach Casey Marcelo, who did an outstanding job turning his team's season around and guiding the Cats to a State Quarterfinal appearance, where they were defeated by a strong Centerville team in four sets on Saturday. The scores were 23-25, 27-25, 21-25, 23-25.

Here are the Cats' Highlights.

Jack Eckman: Kills - 19, Digs - 12, Ace - 1; Danny Michals: Kills - 12; Nick Daly: Aces - 4; Brian Messina: Digs - 16; Jacob Hoshaw: Digs - 15, Ace -  1.

To Jack Eckman, Danny Michals, Brian Messina, Nick Daly, Richie Holzheimer, Jacob Hoshaw and the rest of the Volleyball Cats, Gentlemen, take a bow for the tough-minded perseverance you displayed this season. You can tell your grandkids some day about the character you guys displayed in the spring of 2015.

 

 

 

Wildcats Lacrosse steps up big time in the fourth quarter and defeats the previously undefeated Hudson Explorers, 10-8, in Saturday's Regional Championship Game at Wooster High School
5/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' All-Region standout Crew Cintron gives the Cats an 8-7 lead with 7:35 remaining in the fourth quarter and, after Hudson ties the score, Cintron steps up again and tallies a man-down goal that puts Coach Patrick McManamon's team up, 9-8, with 6:19 left.

A scoop and score by Cam Gerard extends Saint Ignatius' lead to 10-8 with 3:05 to go and the Cats' defense says no more, as another All-Region mainstay, Alex Maruna, seals the deal with an exceptional check.

The Cats will return to Wooster High School on Wednesday for a state semifinal matchup with the winner of the Solon-Upper Arlington regional final.

Coach McManamon's Cats, ranked second in the state coming into Saturday, now stand 17-2 and have extended their winning streak to 14 games.

Hudson, currently ranked No. 1 in Ohio, closes its season at 19-1.     

Saint Ignatius Lacrosse scores with four seconds remaining in the third quarter and takes a 7-6 lead over Hudson entering the fourth quarter.
5/30/2015
Down, 4-2, with 5:30 remaining in the second quarter, Saint Ignatius Lacrosse comes back to knot the score at 4 by halftime in Saturday's Regional Final matchup with Hudson at Wooster High School.
5/30/2015
Nate Griffin is defeated by Joey Thomas of Massillon Jackson in Saturday's Division I state semifinals
5/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Thomas prevailed, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), and advanced to the OHSAA big-school state championship match versus Deepak Indrakanti of Cincinnati Sycamore.

Griffin, who last year became the first state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, rallied from deficits of 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5 before tying the match at 6 all. However, Nate's return hit the net and Thomas moved on to the title match.

In the consolation match (third place), Griffin eventually defeated Vince Anzalone of Willoughby South, 4-6- 7-6 (9-7 in tie breaker), 7-5.

Nate was down 5-3 in the third set with Anzalone serving, when the match was stopped because of lightening in the Columbus area. The match was moved to the Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City, where Nate pulled out the third-place victory. Anzalone had defeated Nate in last week's Oberlin College District Championship match.

After defeating Griffin, Joey Thomas of Jackson went on to win the Division I state championship with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Indrakanti of Sycamore.

The corner tips its many caps to Nate Griffin, who is the epitome of class on and off the court.

Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, wrapped up his fourth consecutive appearance at the state tournament. 

The 96th annual OHSAA Boys State Tennis Tournament was played on the Varsity Courts at The Ohio State University.   

Saint Ignatius will send a strong contingent to next weekend's state track and field meet after finishing third at the Amherst Regional
5/29/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Berea-Midpark and Lima Senior each finished with 53 points on Friday night at Amherst, Saint Ignatius was next with 48 points and Toledo St. John's Jesuit (36 points) and Sandusky (32 points) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Here are the outstanding young men who will be representing Saint Ignatius at next weekend's 108th annual Boys OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University. The top four in each event at Amherst qualified for states.

The all-junior 4x800 relay team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner, which qualified with a first-place finish on Thursday night (7:51.12).

Junior James Norris, who finished second in the 100 meter dash (10.78). Zion Cross of Lorain was first in 10.74.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner first place at 4:15.90 and Tom Sullivan fourth place at 4:18.36.

800 Meter Run: Luke Wagner with a fourth-place finish of 1:54.79.

Note: Luke Wagner will be making his third consecutive appearance at the state meet and James Norris returns to the state meet after also qualifying as a freshman.  

 

 

 

THE BASEBALL CATS ARE STATE BOUND!
5/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats, behind a dramatic two-run top of the seventh inning that featured a clutch double by resilient junior outfielder Mike Rogers and a perfectly executed bunt by senior outfielder Dylan Smolen that produced the go-ahead run, defeated Toledo St. Francis de Sales, 3-1, in Friday's Reginal Final matchup at Bowling Green State University. 

Saint Ignatius, which will take a record of 27-5 and a 15-game winning streak into Thursday's 10 AM Division I state semifinal game versus the Westerville Central Warhawks (25-6) at Huntington Park in Columbus, also benefited from the gritty four-hit pitching of sophomore left-hander Connor Adams, who now stands 7-0 on the season. 

Thursday's matchup with Westerville Central will mark the fifth state final four appearance in what is Coach Ganor's 11th season as Saint Ignatius' skipper. The Cats were state runners-up in 2008 and 2013 under Coach Ganor and set a school record by making three consecutive trips to the final four in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Overall, this will be Saint Ignatius' 12th trip to baseball's final four. The Cats won the Division I state championship under Head Coach Brian Morgan in 2002.

HERE IS A LOOK AT SAINT IGNATIUS' REGIONAL FINAL TRIUMPH, WHICH STARTED WITH A FIRST-PITCH TEMPERATURE OF 82 DEGREES.

It was a cold and windy opening day at Dublin Jerome High School when Saint Ignatius junior outfielder Mike Rogers was hit in the right eye off an errant pickoff attempt while on second base.

Mike would suffer what was diagnosed as an orbital floor fracture and would miss eight games over the next two weeks. He also required stitches above his right eye.

After returning to the lineup, Mike, the essence of a team player, was wearing protective glasses. Those glasses couldn't distract from his energy and love for the game.

Friday evening, with his team locked in a 1-1 tie with a scrappy bunch of Knights from St. Francis de Sales and a trip to the Division I state tournament on the line, Mike, a player who cherishes every moment he is on the diamond, delivered big time for his teammates and coaches.

With one out and the bases empty in the top of the seventh inning, Saint Ignatius' gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia drew a walk. Rogers followed with an authoritative double to left-center field that put runners on second and third. Mike entered the game in the fifth inning as Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor wanted his top three defensive outfielders - Rogers in right field, senior Dylan Smolen in left and senior Sam Fuller in center - to be together down the stretch of a tension-filled game.

After Rogers' impressive hit, Smolen laid down a text-book bunt to the left side that brought home the go-ahead run as the Knights were unable to make a play at the plate.

Smolen would steal second on a pitch in the dirt and then, in what was a perfect example of heads-up base running, Smolen gave himself up between second and third on a ground ball to the left side with two outs, forcing the infielder into a run down that saw the Cats' third run score before the tag was applied on Smolen.

That was more than enough support for Saint Ignatius' talented and tough-mined sophomore southpaw Connor Adams, who closed the show with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh.

The good-natured and well-read Adams went the distance in yielding four hits, one run and walking two. He had one strikeout and needed just 77 pitches to win his seventh game of the season against no defeats. Forty nine of those 77 pitches were strikes and the majority of them were fastballs. I'll say it again, remember the name my friends.  

Friday evening's encounter with St. Francis was quite different from the 2013 regional-final meeting between the Wildcats and the Knights, which saw Saint Ignatius walk off Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College-West with a 14-0 triumph.

Fuller, one of the top players in the entire area and a St. Bonaventure recruit, led off the top of the first by lacing a 2-0 pitch into deep center field for a triple. Sam would score the game's first run by beating the throw home off a ground ball to the right side.

St. Francis, which closed its season at 23-9, knotted the score in the bottom of the fourth on a one-out, bases-loaded bunt to the right side by senior third baseman Nick Lankard. Lankard pitched the Knights to a 4-1 victory over Mansfield Madison in Thursday's regional semifinals.

It stayed that way until the decisive top of the seventh.

St. Francis got a strong effort from senior pitcher Casey Johnson, who, like Adams, was able to minimize the damage for most of the game. Johnson yielded five hits.

FROM DYLAN SMOLEN: "Just getting an opportunity to play for this team is a blessing. It's a special group of guys and anything I can do to help this team is really appreciative. At the beginning of the year I was a pitcher only and now I am starting in the outfield. Things have changed dramatically and this ball club has changed dramatically. I like where we're at right now. I think we can do a lot of things."

FROM MIKE ROGERS: "I was really excited to get back," said Rogers, a Lakewood resident who returned to the lineup in mid-April versus the Rangers in storied Lakewood Stadium. "I know a lot of those guys (the Rangers), so it meant a lot to get back on the field and play in my home town. I was excited and ready to play.

"It was a fastball," Rogers continued in describing his impressive double. "Coach Ganor told me to just trust my swing, that 'We trust in you.'  This means so much that I was able to get Kucia in scoring position for Dylan in such a big game. Probably the biggest base hit in my career by far."

FROM COACH GANOR: "I told Michael (Rogers) when we had that conference there that 'I believe in you.' He never wavered even though he started off the year the way he did with the injury.

"I can't say enough about Connor," Coach Ganor continued. "He is special for a sophomore. He has got the ability to battle and he works with a ton of confidence. I love his innocence,  l truly love just the fact that he is what he is. He doesn't mince any words and says what's on his mind, which is good and bad at times.

"Every year is special," said Coach Ganor, who will enter Thursday's state semifinal with 249 career victories. "But these guys, the 2015 Wildcats, stand on their own right now, they truly do. I am truly blessed to coach at this school."          

            

     

           

          

Nate Griffin is on to the Division 1 State Semifinals after defeating Bryan Yoshino, 6-2 in the third set
5/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In what was a highly competitive match, Griffin defeated Yoshino of Dublin Coffman, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. Nate, the defending Division I state singles champion, advanced to the match versus Yoshino by defeating Andrew Niehaus of Cincinnati St. Xavier, 6-1, 6-0, in Friday's opening round. 

Griffin advances to Saturday's state semifinal matchup versus Joey Thomas of Massillon Jackson. Thomas earned the right to face Griffin by defeating Reid Teatsworth of Findlay, 6-1, 6-4.

Nate, who will further his education and tennis career at the University of Notre Dame, is the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' illustrious athletic history.

The 96th annual Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys State Tennis Tournament will resume Saturday at 9 AM with the singles matches. The matches are being played at The Ohio State University's Varsity Outdoor Courts.

Nate Griffin defeats Andrew Niehaus of St. Xavier, 6-1, 6-0, in Nate's first match on Friday at the OHSAA State Tennis Tournament
5/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, is the defending Division I state singles champion, as last year he became the first state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history.

Friday's first round marks the 96th annual Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys State Tennis Tournament. The matches are being played at The Ohio State University's Varsity Outdoor Courts.

With the victory over Niehaus, Nate advances to the quarterfinals, where he will face sophomore Bryan Yoshino of Dublin Coffman. Yoshino advanced by defeating Cloverleaf sophomore Austin Hanna, 6-1, 6-2.

Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted Wildcats Lacrosse Team defeated St. John's Jesuit, 14-5, in a Regional Semifinal matchup on Wasmer Field Thursday night
5/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With the victory, the Lax Cats improve to 16-2, extend their winning streak to 13 games and advance to Saturday's 1 PM Regional Final in Wooster versus the undefeated Explorers from Hudson High School.

Hudson defeated Saint Ignatius, 12-10, on April 1st at Hudson. That was just the third matchup of the regular season and the Lax Cats, by all accounts, are a vastly stronger team than they were almost two months ago.

Thursday night, the talents of Crew Cintron, Alex Hornung and Jared Stepka rose early and often, as the gifted trio helped lead Saint Ignatius to a 9-2 lead by halftime.

Cintron, Hornung and Stepka combined for nine goals on the night, including four by the multi-skilled Cintron.

St. John's Jesuit (12-6) was also defeated by the Lax Cats, 21-5, in an April 18th regular season encounter on the Titans' Lyden Field.

As for Hudson, the 19-0 Explorers advanced to the Regional Final matchup with the Lax Cats by defeating Massillon Jackson, 16-5.

For those Saint Ignatius fans who are not familiar with Hudson, the Explorers landed the following players on the All-Region First Team, players who were mainstays during Hudson's first undefeated regular season since 2007.

Michael Charlton, Attack
Sam Gregory, Attack
Jake Krone, Goalie
Chris Motter, Face-off Specialist
Matt Rightnour, Defense

Motter and his supporting cast of Austin Ganley and Matt Restifo are considered to be one of the best face-off groups in Ohio. Matt Restifo, who is also a standout in footlball, is a nephew of Saint Ignatius' outstanding offensive coordinator in football, Mr. Nick Restifo.

Hudson second-team All-Region selection, Attack Gabe Vehar, found the back of the net three times on Thursday night versus Jackson.                    
                    

   

A defensive performance by Jake Kucia that takes its place among the best in Cats Baseball history, another solid effort by starter M.J. Nara and a school-best 10th save on the season by Murphy O'Brien lead the Cats past St. Edward, 2-0, in Regional play
5/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

From Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West

With Thursday's Regional SemifInal victory over the Eagles, Coach Brad Ganor's Cats improve to 26-5, extend their winning streak to 14 games and advance to Friday's Division I Regional Championship Game versus the 23-8 Knights from Toledo St. Francis de Sales.

The first pitch from Bowling Green State University will be 5 PM and sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (6-0) will take the mound for Coach Ganor.

St. Francis, which was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 14-0, in the 2013 Regional Finals, advanced to another Elite Eight  matchup with the Wildcats by defeating Mansfield Madison, 4-1, in Thursday's Regional Semifinal at Bowling Green.

Knights senior Nick Lankard pitched a complete-game two-hitter against Mansfield Madison and scored what turned out to be the game-winning run, as St. Francis senior center fielder John Williams lined a two-strike pitch to right field to score Lankard from second with the first of the Knights' three runs during their rally in the top of the seventh inning. Note: St. Francis' scoring details are courtesy of the Toledo Blade, one of Ohio's outstanding Newspapers, or the entire country for that matter.  

As for Saint Ignatius' run production against St. Edward, Cats junior third baseman Kevin Mingus drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk in the top of the third inning and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel delivered a two-out RBI double down the right-field line in the top of the fifth. The line score read 2-4-1 for the Wildcats and 0-4-0 for the Eagles.

Senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara improved his record to 7-1 by going 4 1/3 innings, yielding four hits, two walks and throwing 58 pitches, 37 of which were strikes.

Junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of the bullpen, went 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts, a walk and 27 strikes off the 47 pitches he delivered. It was O'Brien's school-best 10th save of the season.

St. Edward junior right-hander Jaret Edwards (now 7-4) went the distance in turning in a gutsy performance for the now 20-10 Eagles. Coach Joe Kasl's team entered Regional play having won 10 of its previous 12 games. Edwards retired the last seven Wildcats he faced after Dennis Grosel's two-out, run-scoring double in the fifth.   

THE TABLE SETTING FOR THE CATS' TWO RUNS: Senior right fielder/left fielder Dylan Smolen led off the top of the third inning with a walk. Senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, then beat out a bunt. The crafty Smolen, seeing that St. Edward was not covering third base after Fuller's bunt, advanced to the hot corner.

After a 1-3 putout put runners on second and third with one out, the Eagles intentionally walked junior first baseman Dennis Grosel and Dennis' cousin, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, drew the one-out, bases-juiced walk for the 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Fuller was hit by a pitch with one out. Senior second baseman Mullen Socha doubled to the gap in left-enter field, but Fuller was thrown out at home by two perfect throws from the Eagles. Up stepped Grosel, who went clutch rip city with a two-out RBI double down the right-field line.

HERE IS THE SEQUENCE OF THE JETER-ESQUE PLAYS BY SENIOR SHORTSTOP JAKE KUCIA, WHOSE HARD-NOSED, LEAVE-IT-ALL-ON-THE-FIELD MENTALITY DREW THE PRAISE OF TEAM CHAPLIN DREW VILINSKY '98 THROUGHOUT THE GAME.

Bottom of the first inning: With one out and St. Edward junior shortstop Evan Kayser on third after his leadoff triple, Jake fielded a ground ball and fired the throw home to standout senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, who applied the tag on Kayser for the second out of the inning.

Bottom of the second inning: Jake took a page right out of Derek Jeter's file, as he recorded the first out of the inning on a perfectly timed leaping one-handed catch near the outfield grass that took away a base hit.

Bottom of the third inning: Jake took the throw from senior pitcher M.J. Nara in a perfect rhythm, stepped on second and fired a strike to Dennis Grosel at first base to complete an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. Jake would want the corner to tip its cap to Grosel, who started the inning by making a diving stop of a sharp grounder, getting back up and beating the runner to first base for a 3 unassisted.

Bottom of the fourth inning: St. Edward had the bases loaded with not outs, when Grosel caught a pop fly in foul territory for the first out. The next batter slapped the ball up the gut, but Jake was money again, as he made a diving stop while the ball was in the air and tagged second base to end the threat with an unassisted double play.

Bottom of the sixth and seventh innings: After Jake ended the fifth with a 6-3 toss to Grosel, he still had two more web gems to leave on Ron Mottl Field.

With two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth, the next batter hit a high chopper over the mound that at first eluded Kucia's grasp. However, Jake never gave up the play, as he hustled after the ball and dove to tag out the runner who had broke from first base on the play, but stranded too far off the bag after reaching second base.

And last but not least, with no outs and a pinch runner at second base in the bottom of the seventh, Jake fielded another sharp grounder and, as though he was in the mind of the runner at second, applied the tag as he saw the runner straying off second base and fired a seed to Grosel to complete a double play. The Cats' junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, Coach Ganor's mainstay out of the bullpen, then ended the game with a strikeout.

FROM JAKE KUCIA:  "In that situation (in the bottom of the seventh), I'm getting the ball and looking him back to see if he goes back. Fortunately he kind of stumbled a little bit and I caught him off guard, tagged him and then threw to one (first base). This is a little surreal.

"This game means everything to me," Jake continued. "I grew up a Saint Ignatius fan, I went to Saint Ignatius because of my uncle (Wildcats Hall of Famer and John J. Wirtz award winner Scott Mutryn '94). I have him to thank for this. Our guys came out and competed. It was a great team win.

"We've been tight since day one," Jake said in reference to Coach Ganor's exceptional senior class. "From day one this season we said it's 'our' team, not one guy's team. We decided to take all of these juniors and sophomores and get them ready for the next level, games like this. I love all of the seniors, juniors and sophomores. It's just a great team."

FROM COACH GANOR: "Jake was phenomenal! He couldn't have been any better, he really couldn't have been. That is one of the best defensive games I have ever seen at Saint Ignatius in 17 years. That was impressive.

"We talk about Ben Jurevicius and some of the plays that he used to make and some of the plays that Jeremy Farrell and Derek Dietrich made, and that (Jake's efforts) is as good as anyone of them," Coach Ganor continued. "They had singular plays and Jake had a whole game of plays. He was just fantastic.

"They have some great players," Coach Ganor said of St. Edward. "They're scrappy and Jaret Edwards pitched a heck of a game. That's two games this year that he has pitched great against us. But the day really rested on M.J. (Nara), Murphy (O'Brien) and Jake."

FROM THE CORNER: Since the 9-1 regular season loss to St. Edward and Jaret Edwards on April 17th in The Pipe Yard, Coach Ganor's Cats have won 17 of their last 18 games.      

Saint Ignatius' outstanding 4x800 relay team brings home first place during the first night of the Amherst Regional
5/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With the 4x800 being one of the few finals events on Wednesday night, the all-junior team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Luke Wagner ran an impressive 7:51.12 for 10 points and secured a trip to next weekend's OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

St. John's Jesuit placed second in the 4x800 with a time of 7:53.36.

The performance by the 4x800 team locks up what will be a third consecutive appearance at the state meet by Wagner. Luke will be looking to add some more points for the Cats when the second day of the Amherst Regional gets underway on Friday at 4:30 PM.

Also scoring for Saint Ignatius with four points on Wednesday night was senior Rai Walters, who finished fifth in the long jump with a school-record effort of 22-06.25.

Heading into Friday, Sandusky is atop the boys standings with 20 points, Berea-Midpark is second with 15 points, Saint Ignatius is third with 14 points and Brunswick and St. Edward are fourth and fifth, respectively, with 10.50 and 10 points.

Leading the way in the girls standings is St. Joseph Academy with 22 points. Strongsville and Brunswick follow with 10 points each and rounding out the top five are Magnificat and Berea-Midpark with 9 and 8.50 points, respectively.    

Massillon Jackson defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-1, today in the Regional finals/quarterfinal round of the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association State Team Tournament.
5/27/2015

Here are the results courtesy of Jackson Coach Louie Thomas. Posted By Eddie Dwyer.

Singles: Court One - Did Not Finish; Zalenski of Jackson defeated Schuette of Saint Ignatius, 6-2, 6-1; Hsia of Saint Ignatius defeated Sloan of Jackson, 1-6, 2-6.

Doubles: Kanam-D.Thomas of Jackson defeated Pallaki-Mhanna of Saint Ignatius, 6-2, 6-0; Dickerhoof-Piekarski of Jackson defeated Sicillano-Callanan of Saint Ignatius, 6-1, 6-0.

NOTE: Joey Thomas of Jackson won the first set, 6-4, and was up 1-0 against Nate Griffin. The match was called once a team won 3 courts. Jackson faces Upper Arlington on Sunday at Reynoldsburg High School at 9 am. The rain site is the Lexington Racket Club in Lexington, Ohio.

Note: For a look at Nate Griffin's upcoming fourth consecutive trip to the OHSAA State Tennis Tournament and previews on Regional Track and Baseball, see the corner's stories below.
5/27/2015
Please note that the Saint Ignatius Lacrosse athletics page has the Lax Cats' Regional Semifinal matchup with Toledo St. John's Jesuit scheduled for Thursday night at 7 on Wasmer Field.
5/26/2015
The Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward Regional Semifinal Baseball Preview. It is another chapter in one of the most storied high school rivlaries in the nation.
5/26/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Saint Ignatius and St. Edward will meet for the second time this season with the stakes much higher, as a trip to the OHSAA Elite Eight is on the line Thursday at 3:30 PM in a Division I Regional Semifinal matchup on baseball-rich Ron Mottl Field at Cuyahoga Community College-West.

The winner of Thursday's game advances to Friday's 5 PM Regional Championship Game at Bowling Green State University versus the winner of Thursday's Regional Semifinal at BG between Mansfield Madison and Toledo St. Francis.

On the strength of a seven-run third inning, St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 9-1, in a regular season matchup on April 17th in The Pipe Yard. The Eagles are currently 20-9 and have won 10 of their last 12 games. St. Edward sophomore left-hander Quinn Lavelle improved to 4-1 by pitching a complete game in the 5-1 victory over Amherst at the Lorain District Championship Game.

Junior right-hander Jaret Edwards (7-3) is expected to take the mound for the Eagles on Thursday. Edwards, who has two one-hitters on the season, worked 5 and two thirds innings in the regular season game versus Saint Ignatius. He yielded two hits, one run, struck out 4 and walked 3. Sixty of his 97 pitches were strikes.

Since that loss to St. Edward, Saint Ignatius (25-5) has won 16 of its last 17 games and is currently on a 13-game winning steak after a 13-0 victory over Division III Regional qualifier Gilmour Academy on Tuesday.

The Wildcats' deep pitching staff is led by the 1-2 punch of senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara (6-1) and sophomore lefty Connor Adams. Adams (6-0) threw a complete game no-hitter in the 3-0 victory over Berea-Midpark at the Strongsville District Championship Game. The Wildcats also feature a solid bullpen led by junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien (1-0, nine saves).

Saint Ignatius' pitching staff is handled by one of the premier catchers in Ohio, senior captain and three-year mainstay Alex Panstares.   

THE TIES THAT BIND

Ohio City - For Saint Ignatius' first-year Assistant Baseball Coach John Whelan, the memories are as thick as his friendship with Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor.

"It was a huge win," Coach Whelan said, referring to the spring of 2005 when, as the Head Baseball Coach of his alma mater St. Edward, Whelan guided the Eagles to a victory over Saint Ignatius in the District Finals at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West.

"It was a huge win," Coach Whelan said. "Back then Saint Ignatius had Jeremy Farrell (son of Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell) and Derek Dietrich (Miami Marlins organization) on that team and had a great run. They were really, really tough to handle.

"In 2005, when we were fortunate enough to defeat them, Brad (Coach Ganor), who is a classy guy, told us to go on and win the whole thing," Coach Whelan continued. "I went out in the outfield with my St. Edward team after the game and was very emotional. I told the team that other than the day I got married and the birth of my children, it was the greatest day of my life. Those were some great battles back then."

Coach Ganor and Coach Whelan have known each other since they were five years old. They were teammates at St. Edward and their strong friendship growing up and eventual coaching rivalry were the subject of a Plain Dealer "Locker Room" cover story that this old-timer had the privilege of writing. During that same time period, The Plain Dealer allowed this corner the honor of doing "Locker Room" cover stories on John and Jeremy Farrell and Derek Dietrich and his lifelong friend, former Padua Franciscan and University of Akron baseball standout Jake Plata.

"Coaching with Brad is a blast," said Whelan, who went on to become a mainstay for St. Bonaventure's baseball program, where Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior center fielder Sam Fuller will be furthering his education and baseball career. "I really enjoy coaching here at Saint Ignatius, but what felt strange was seeing St. Eds on the other side. That's strange for me because I love that school."

Whelan, a 1992 graduate of St. Edward, was the Eagles' Head Baseball Coach for seven years and spent nine years overall in the program. "Almost my whole life, in every situation, I wanted St. Eds to win (over Saint Ignatius). And now it's like, no I want to beat that team.

"Two great schools and sometimes the best teams don't always advance in baseball," Coach Whelan said. "They have a great team and we have a great team. Everybody is looking forward to this matchup." 

SOME DIAMOND DUST: Coach Ganor, a 1993 graduate of St. Edward and a former football captain for the Eagles who went on to further his baseball career at Cleveland State University, got some revenge on Coach Whelan in the spring of 2006 when the Wildcats eliminated St. Edward in a District Semifinal at Lakewood Stadium. 

The last time Saint Ignatius and St. Edward met in baseball's postseason was the 2008 Division I State Championship Game. Under the direction of then Head Coach Danny Allie, St. Edward prevailed, 6-2. The Wildcats advanced to the '08 title game by defeating perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, 7-5, in the state semifinals. Coach Ganor's Cats rallied from a 4-0 deficit after three innings in eliminating the Moeller Crusaders.

AN IMPRESSIVE RUN: Under Coach Ganor, the Wildcats set a school record by making three consecutive trips to the state final four in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Cats were also state runners-up under Coach Ganor in 2013, losing to Archbishop Moeller in the title game.

AN OLD HOME AWAY FROM HOME: It will be great to return to Ron Mottl Field, where the late John Peyton did such an outstanding job for so many years running the tournament at Tri C-West. The memories are so thick from that field that I have to brush them from my face.                

 

 

     

 

    

Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats are preparing for this week's always demanding Amherst Regional
5/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Ohio City - As a warm breeze swirled across Wasmer Field, Saint Ignatius juniors James Norris, Jack Cook and Jack Ruddy, along with promising freshman Phil Zuccaro, spent their Memorial Day morning fine tuning their exceptional track skills.

Encouraging and advising the young Wildcats were Saint Ignatius Head Track and Field Coach Chuck Kyle '69 and his veteran Assistant Coaches Dan Corrigan '78 and Tim Franzinger, father of Wildcats assistant football and track & field coach Ryan Franzinger '02. Ryan is the Dean of Students at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. 

Norris, Cook, Ruddy and Zuccaro are part of a gifted and versatile group of Cats who will be representing Saint Ignatius in this week's talent-rich OHSAA Division I Amherst Regional Meet.

The Amherst Regional gets underway on Wednesday at 4 PM and resumes on Friday at 4:30 PM. When the demanding competition concludes on Friday evening, the top four in each event will qualify for the 108th annual OHSAA Track and Field Championships, June 5 and 6 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

On what was a humid Memorial Day morning, the warmest smiles were drawn from Coach Kyle and his exceptionally talented sprinter James Norris.

Norris, whose dream of a second state appearance last season came to an end when he tweaked a hamstring at the Lakewood District, is ready for that dream to become a reality.

To say that Norris is a vital cog in the Wildcats' overall track success is an understatement.

At last week's regional-qualifying Brunswick District Meet, Norris ran an impressive 10.82 in taking home first place in the 100 meter dash. He also finished a qualifying third in the 200 meter dash (22.44) and anchored Saint Ignatius' first-place 4x100 (43.17) and 4x400 (3:27.60) relay teams.

Along with Norris, the Cats' 4x100 team consists of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook and junior Quinn Lawless. Joining Norris on the 4x400 team are senior Alex Janis, sophomore Anthony Pelligrino and junior Mike Huber, who has also put together a solid spring.

Norris will be looking to carry his success this spring into his vital roles as a running back/slot back/receiver/kickoff returner for Coach Kyle's Varsity Football Team.

As for Huber, Mike is also a mainstay on Saint Ignatius' regional bound 4x800 relay team, which raced to first place at the Brunswick District in a time of 8:06.17. Joining Huber on the strong and talented 4x800 team are junior classmates Tom Sullivan, Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner.

Wagner, who like many of the Cats' track athletes, is also a standout for Dr. Mike Gallagher's highly successful cross country program. Luke is seeking his third consecutive appearance at the state track meet.

As you can see, Coach Kyle and his staff are blessed with a junior-laden team.

Wagner and Tom Sullivan left their mark at the Brunswick District by finishing 1-2, respectively, in the 1600 meter run with times of 4:18.60 and 4:18.76. Colin Kruchan was second in the 800 meter run with an effort of 1:58.91. Wagner ran a qualifying fourth place of 2:01.22 in the 800.

Jack Ruddy, who like Huber and Cook has a strong athletic lineage at Saint Ignatius, qualified for the Amherst Regional by placing third in the 300 meter hurdles at 41.16.

Sophomore C.J. Ambrosio and junior James Rogers made themselves at home in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium by going 1-2 in the 3200 meter run. Ambrosio ran a 9:45.79 and Rogers brought it home at 9:59.78.

Completing the tough-minded contingent headed for the Amherst Regional are senior Rai Walters, who took first place in the long jump at Brunswick with a performance of 22-01.25, and senior pole vaulter Sam Rapnicki, who finished a qualifying fourth at Brunswick (12-06).

The corner wishes all of the best to the Track and Field Cats, who have always treated this old-timer with kindness and respect.       

     

  

             

   

Nate Griffin to face Andrew Niehaus of St. Xavier in the first round of the OHSAA Division I State Tennis Tournament
5/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Nate Griffin, the defending big-school state singles champion who last year became the first state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' illustrious athletic history, will begin defense of his title on Friday (May 29) at The Ohio State University's Varsity Outdoor Courts. This year marks the 96th annual Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys State Tennis Tournament.

Singles play begins at 9 AM on Friday and Saturday.

If successful in his opening match against Cincinnati St. Xavier junior Andrew Niehaus, Nate will face the winner of the match between Bryan Yoshino of Dublin Coffman and Austin Hanna of Cloverleaf. Yoshino and Hanna are sophomores.

Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, is making his fourth consecutive appearance in the state tournament.

St. Xavier's Niehaus earned a trip to the state tournament by clinching third place in his district with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sycamore senior Aditya Venkitarama. Sycamore earned the top ranking in the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Division I Team State Poll.

Should weather become an issue during the tournament, play will be moved to the Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.     

HERE WE GO AGAIN! SAINT IGNATIUS AND ST. EDWARD WILL MATCH UP IN NEXT WEEKEND'S RUGBY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. THEY'RE DANCING IN THE STREETS OF WEST PARK OVER THIS NEWS
5/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats (11-2-1) advanced to the May 30th State Championship Match with the Eagles by defeating Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, 29-14, on Saturday night.

In what will be a rematch of last year's State Championship Match, won by Saint Ignatius, 31-12, the Ruby Cats and the Eagles will meet again at 7 PM next Saturday at the outstanding athletic complex on the campus of Hudson High School.

St. Edward advanced to the title match by defeating Lakota, 31-11, on Saturday.

The Eagles own two victories over Saint Ignatius this season, 15-10 at the Midwest Championship Final on the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkart (Ind.) on May 3rd and 31-17 on May 6th at Wasmer Field.

Those triumphs will soon be forgotten, however, if the tables are turned in Hudson next Saturday night.

  

HERE IS COACH CASEY MARCELO'S LOOK AT TODAY'S BIG VICTORY BY THE VOLLEYBALL CATS
5/23/2015
FROM COACH CASEY MARCELO AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER
 
After defeating the Stow Bulldogs in straight sets on Saturday afternoon, Wildcats Volleyball advances to an elite eight, state quarterfinal match versus Centerville on May 30th at 3 PM on the campus of Capital University.

Here is Coach Marcelo's report on the triumph over Stow: Jack Eckman led the team in kills with 10 and Dan Michals had 7 kills. Brian Messina stepped up with 6 aces.
 
The Cats controlled most of the match until set 3, when Stow Head Coach Matt Synder changed his rotation and came with a powerful offense. Saint Ignatius led most of the match with a 1 or 2 point differential until 19-18. Then a strong offense gave the lead to Stow at 23-22 and with Stow serving it was time for Cats Volleyball to take over.
 
Brian Messina gave a perfect pass to setter Rich Holzheimer who in turn provided a good back-row set to Danny Michals. The set was something new to the team and it was executed perfectly for a big kill. With the score 23-23, an aggressive serve gave the ball back to the Cats side and a back-row kill by Jacob Hoshaw gave the lead to Saint Ignatius at 24-23.
 
The following serve was aggressive and forced Stow to backset, and a read by Jack Eckman resulted in a match winning block.
 
Score: 25-9, 25-19, 25-23
 
Go Cats!!
 
- Coach Marcelo
Nate Griffin advanced to Saturday's Oberlin College District Tennis Championship match and was defeated by Vincent Anzalone of Willoughby South, 6-3, 6-3
5/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Nate, who was the defending district champ at Oberlin College, advanced to the championship match by defeating Joey Thomas of Massillon Jackson, 6-2, 6-3.

Vincent Anzalone, who reached the championship showdown with Griffin by defeating Nico Mostardi of Avon, 7-5, 6-4, advances to next weekend's OHSAA State Tournament as the No. 1 qualifier from the Donald Hunsinger Tennis Facility on the campus of Oberlin College.

The next five out of Oberlin advancing to state are 2. Nate Griffin, 3. Joey Thomas, 4. Nico Mostardi, 5. Austin Barr from Kenston and 6. Austin Hanna of Cloverleaf.

As we reported on the corner, the Wildcats' doubles teams were defeated on Thursday.

Nate Griffin, the defending Division I state singles champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, is making his fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament.

The state tournament will be held on May 29th and 30th on the Varsity Outdoor Courts at The Ohio State University. Play begins each day at 9 AM with singles matches.

If weather problems do arise, the rain facility for the state tournament is the Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.

    

Just FY for those who wondered
5/23/2015

The time change on this coming Thursday's OHSAA Division I Baseball Regional Semifinal matchup between Saint Ignatius and St. Edward (see the corner's post from earlier today) was made because of St. Edward's Baccalaureate Mass, which take place on Thursday night.

Once again, the game, originally slated for 5 PM, is now 3:30 PM at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West.

- Eddie Dwyer

   

AND A BIG CONGRATS TO COACH CASEY MARCELO'S GET HOT AT THE RIGHT TIME VOLLEYBALL CATS, WHO DEFEATED STOW IN STRAIGHT SETS THIS AFTERNOON AND ADVANCED TO NEXT WEEKEND'S STATE QUARTERFINALS
5/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Volleyball Cats have now won five consecutive matches and seven of their last eight matches. The State Quarterfinals are slated for next Saturday (May 30th) at Capital University. 

The Lax Cats close the show in style as they defeat St. Edward, 10-3, and move on to next week's Regional Semifinal vs. St. John's Jesuit with a record of 15-2 and a twelve-game winnng streak
5/23/2015

Alex Hornung's score with 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter extended Saint Ignatius' lead to 7-3 and Ethan Whitney and Cole Southworth added to their productive afternoon by sending home goals with 7:25 and 5:49 left, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

The Lax Cats, who shook off a slow start and put together another solid defensive game, move on to face Toledo St. John's Jesuit in a Regional Semifinal matchup on Thursday at a site and time to be announced.

The Titans from St. John' s Jesuit advanced by defeating Perrysburg, 12-3. Saint Ignatius defeated St. John's, 21-5, in a regular season encounter on April 18th at St. John's.        

St. Edward, which was also defeated by the Lax Cats, 16-4, in a regular season matchup on May 13 at Wasmer Field, drops to 8-9.

As Saint Ignatius' outstanding Lacrosse Student Broadcaster Michael Berry '15 will attest to, the Eagles, despite the final score, got a gutsy performance in goal from Kevin O'Donnell.

Lax Cats lead the Eagles, 4-2, at halftime in Saturday's OHSLA Postseason Tournament second round matchup on Wasmer Field
5/23/2015

St. Edward took 1-0 lead with 8:01 left in the first quarter, but Saint Ignatius, behind authoritative goals by Cole Southworth, Crew Cintron, Ethan Whitney and Alex Hornung, dominated most of the second quarter.

The Eagles also led, 2-1, with 8:38 to go in the second quarter before Cintron got the Cats back into their offensive flow by knotting the score at 2 with 6:35 remaining in the first half.

NOTE TIME CHANGE ON WILDCATS-EAGLES REGIONAL BASEBALL MATCHUP
5/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The first pitch for Thursday's Saint Ignatius vs. St. Edward Regional Semifinal Baseball Game at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West is now 3:30 PM, according to the latest OHSAA brackets. It was originally listed as a 5 PM game. Again, it is now listed by the OHSAA as 3:30 PM.

*The corner will be previewing the Wildcats-Eagles matchup early this coming week.  

Saint Ignatius continues its dominant run in District Track as the Cats bring home the Championship from the OHSAA Division I District Meet at Brunswick
5/22/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

After a solid performance during Wednesday's first day of competition (see the corner's post from Thursday), Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats continued what is a two decade-plus run in area district competition.

While most of those previous district titles were won at storied Lakewood Stadium (now First Federal Lakewood Stadium), Saint Ignatius made itself right at home in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium on Friday evening by taking first place with 148.50 points. Host Brunswick High School was second with 129 points.

The corner also tips its cap to the gifted Jaguars of St. Joseph Academy, who took home first place in the girls competition with 156 points. Brunswick was second with 141 points.

As the challenge of next week's always demanding Amherst Regional (May 27th May 29th) awaits Coach Kyle and his deep and talented team, we take a look at what were Friday night's highlights for the Cats. The top four from each event qualify for regional competition.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris took first place in an outstanding effort of 10.82 and Jack Cook was fifth in 11:29.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner (4:18.60) and Tom Sullivan (4:18.76) finished 1-2.

110 Meter Hurdles: C.J. Moore tied for fifth place (15.75) and Jack Ruddy finished eighth (16.00).

4x200 Meter Relay: Saint Ignatius was eighth (1:35.32).

4x100 Meter Relay: Saint Ignatius was first in 43.17.

400 Meter Dash: Alex Janis finished sixth in 53.02.

300 Meter Hurdles: Jack Ruddy was third in 41.16 and C.J. Moore was eighth in 43.96.

800 Meter Run: Colin Kruchan was second in 1:58.91 and Luke Wagner was fourth in 2:01.22.

The 4x400 Meter Relay Team of Alex Janis, Anthony Pelligrino, Mike Huber and James Norris took first place in 3:27.60.

200 Meter Dash: James Norris was third (22.44) and Phil Zuccaro was seventh (27.01).

3200 Meter Run: C.J. Ambrosio (9:45.79) and Jim Rogers (9:59.78) went 1-2.

High Jump: Kyle Aerni was fifth with an effort of 5-10 and Rai Walters tied for seventh with a jump of 5-08.

Shot Put: Alex Misencik was sixth with a toss of 44-04.75 and Mike Bodnar was 10th (40-10.50).

NOTE: In what were finals events from Wednesday night at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium, the team of Mike Huber, Tom Sullivan Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner racked up 10 points by winning the 4x800 in a time of 8:06.17.

Rai Walters took first place in the Long Jump finals with a 10-points effort of 22-01.25. Mike Lehto was fifth with a jump of 20-04.00. In other finals events from Wednesday, Sam Rapnicki was fourth in the pole vault (12-06.00), and Cory Griffith (145-07) and Mike Bodnar (142-05) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the discus.

 

 

      

    

The Lax Cats are gearing up for Saturday's high noon showdown with St. Edward in the second round of the OHSLA Postseason Tournament
5/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Patrick McManamon's Varsity Lacrosse Team drew a first-round bye and St. Edward earned the second-round matchup with the Lax Cats by defeating Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 12-4, in first round action.

The Lax Cats will take a record of 14-2 and an 11-game winning streak into what will be a noon start versus the Eagles tomorrow (Saturday) at Wasmer Field. St. Edward stands 8-8 on the season.

Saint Ignatius defeated St. Edward, 16-4, in a regular-season matchup on May 13th at Wasmer Field. 

Nate Griffin turned in a great day, but the news was not good on the other Cats competing in Thursday's Oberlin College District Tennis Tournament
5/21/2015

Results courtesy of Oberlin Tournament Manager Ed Wolff and Posted by Eddie Dwyer.

From The Donald Hunsinger Tennis Facility on the campus of Oberlin College.

Play will resume on Saturday at 9 am for the seeding to the State Tournament, which be held on May 29th and 30th on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Nate Griffin, the defending state singles champion and Saint Ignatius' only state champion in tennis, locked up his fourth consecutive trip to the State Tournament by defeating Kristian Santilli of Boardman, 6-0, 6-2, and Dominic Polifrone of Hudson, 6-2, 6-0. Nate will face Joey Thomas from Massillon Jackson on Saturday.

Saint Ignatius' Josh Hsia was defeated by Austin Barr of Kenston, 6-2, 6-0, and the Cats' Erich Schuette was defeated by Vincent Anzalone of Willoughby South, 6-3, 7-5.

The Wildcats' doubles teams were also defeated on Thursday.

Gavin Aten and Carlos Martinez from Copley turned away Saint Ignatius' Mitchell Pallacki and John Mhanna, 6-3, 6-1, and Connor Evans and Anthony Rozum of Walsh Jesuit prevailed against the Cats' Andy Sicilliano and Kevin Callanan, 6-2, 7-6 (3).    

Cats Track and Field has a solid opening night at the Brunswick District Meet and Congrats to Nate Griffin, who at today's opening round of the Oberlin District Tennis Tournament qualified for next week's State Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
5/21/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Nate Griffin is the defending Division I State Singles Champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history.

WE WILL HAVE MORE COMING UP ON TENNIS LATER THIS EVENING.

As for Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats, they head into Friday's second day of the talent-rich Brunswick District Meet having already brought home first-place efforts in the 4x800 meter relay and the long jump.

The team of Mike Huber, Tom Sullivan Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner racked up 10 points by winning the 4x800 in a time of 8:06.17.

Rai Walters took first place in the Long Jump finals with a 10-points effort of 22-01.25. Mike Lehto was fifth with a jump of 20-04.00. In other finals events, Sam Rapnicki was fourth in the pole vault (12-06.00), and Cory Griffith (145-07) and Mike Bodnar (142-05) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the discus.

In the qualifying events from Wednesday night, James Norris (11.07) and Jack Cook (11.24) went 1-4 in the 100 meter dash; the 4x100 meter relay team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris was second in 43.75; C.J. Moore and Jack Ruddy both qualified in the 110 meter hurdles, as did the 4x200 meter relay team of Anthony Pelligrino, Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Dean Stowers and C.J. Moore; Alex Janis qualified in the 400 meter dash; Jack Ruddy (3rd at 42.13) and C.J. Moore (5th at 43.33) qualified in the 300 meter hurdles; the Cats' 4x400 meter relay team had a first-place qualifying time of 3:28.76; Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner qualified in the 800 meter run, as did James Norris and Phil Zuccaro in the 200 meter dash.

NOTE: The top eight from Wednesday's qualifying events advanced to Friday's finals at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium, which begin at 4 PM.  

      

 

 

SAINT IGNATIUS HIGH SCHOOL NAMES FORMER HEAD COACH BRIAN BECKER AS ITS INTERIM HEAD VARSITY BASKETBALL COACH.
5/20/2015
By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT CREDIT MAY 2015
 
Saint Ignatius High School has announced that Mr. Brian Becker '77 will serve as the Wildcats' interim Head Varsity Basketball Coach. He succeeds Mr. Sean O'Toole '87, who coached the Wildcats from the 2008-09 season through this past season.
 
Coach Becker guided the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Program from 1990 until 2008. His teams won 15 Sectional Championships and 10 District titles.
 
Under Coach Becker, Saint Ignatius was the Division I State runner-up in March of 1998 and the Division I State Champion in March of 2001. Coach Becker's record at Saint Ignatius was 284-142.
 
Mr. Becker is a member of Saint Ignatius' Math Department and also serves as the Wildcats' Golf Coach and Freshmen Baseball Coach.   
Gifted sophomore left-hander Connor Adams fires a no-hitter at the Titans from Berea-Midpark, as top-seeded Saint Ignatius brings home the Strongsville Division I District Championship by defeating the Titans, 3-0, on Wednesday evening.
5/20/2015

CATS TO FACE ST. EDWARD IN NEXT WEEK'S REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - In pitching his second no-hitter of the season, the gritty and good-natured Connor Adams threw 103 pitches through seven complete innings, 63 of which were strikes.

Adams, who is now 6-0 on the season, walked four and struck out five while working rapidly and confidently. His previous no-hitter this spring was a combined effort in a 7-0 victory over Willoughby South on April 21st in Classic Park. Connor threw six innings against Willoughby South and standout junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of the Cats' bullpen, worked a perfect seventh inning that evening.

Saint Ignatius gave its young southpaw all of the support he needed  by scoring its three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Base hits by senior designated hitter Dylan Welch and senior shortstop Jake Kucia got the Wildcats' offense started, as Kucia ripped an RBI single to center field for a 1-0 lead.

Unselfish, sacrificing at-bats by sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs and senior right fielder Dylan Smolen produced Saint Ignatius' second and third runs. Like Adams, Jacobs' future is limitless and Smolen continues to carry a hot bat.

Senior catcher Alex Panstares, one of the best behind the dish in all of Northeast Ohio, did a veteran-like job of catching Adams and encouraging him on the diamond and in the dugout. Alex also displayed his exceptional defensive skills, as with runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the fifth he made an authoritative and on-the-money throw to pick off the runner at first base and end the threat. On the receiving end of Panstares' textbook snap throw was his first cousin, talented junior first baseman Dennis Grosel.

Saint Ignatius' defense was superb all around, as its outfielders and infieders allowed Adams to pitch to contact when he needed to. 

With the victory, Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Wildcats improved to 24-5, extended their winning streak to 12 games and advanced to the 3:30 PM May 28th OHSAA Division I Regional Semifinal at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West.

Saint Ignatius will face West Side rival St. Edward (20-9), which advanced to Regional play by defeating Amherst, 5-1, on Wednesday evening in the Lorain District Championship Game. St. Edward defeated the Cats, 9-1, in a regular season matchup on April 17th at The Pipe Yard in Lorain County.  

"I came into the seventh inning and said to myself if I get the first kid out, I'll be fine," said Adams. "It was really fun and great to just be part of the group and give the seniors another week. I am really comfortable with working fast.

"A fastball outside," Adams continued in reference to the pitches that were clicking for him on Wednesday. "In the first couple of innings my curve was working and then my changeup started working. Just being able to locate spots was the main point. It's been a tremendous experience, especially from the leadership of the seniors who have showed me just how important this experience is, playing high school baseball. It's been phenomenal."

FROM HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR, WHO PICKED UP CAREER VICTORY NO. 246: "Spoken like a veteran," Coach Ganor said of the comments Adams made about Saint Ignatius' mature beyond their years seniors. "He was obviously fantastic today. I didn't realize what the scoreboard had said until about the fifth inning. I looked up and said, 'Oh jeez.'

"Offensively we had that big inning," Coach Ganor continued. "We've been talking about wanting to score first and put the pressure on them, and we did it. I would have been happy with one and we put up three. No matter who you play, where you play or what year it is, this is always a tough game (the district final).  That's a good baseball team full of juniors (the now 15-11 Titans of Berea-Midpark). Between them and North Royalton with their young guys, there is some quality baseball in this district for years to come. But this (the 2015 Wildcats) is a special, special group of kids."                 

       

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats advance to Saturday's Division I North Regional Championship Match.
5/20/2015

Presented By Coach Marcelo and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM MASSILLON JACKSON HIGH SCHOOL - Behind a season high 19 kills by senior Jack Eckman and 15 digs from junior Brian Messina, the second-seeded Cats defeated ninth-seeded Medina in straight sets on Tuesday night and advanced to Saturday's high noon Regional Championship Match at Jackson High School.
 
The Cats will face the winner of tonight's 5:45 match between the third-seeded Stow Bulldogs and the fourth-seeded Polar Bears from Jackson. 
 
Here is Coach Marcelo's recap on the Medina match, which marked the fourth consecutive victory by Saint Ignatius and the sixth triumph in its last seven matches.
 
From Coach Marcelo: Medina started the match with a commanding lead of 12-5. The momentum changed at 17-12 when Brian Messina's serving provided the spark of a 7 point scoring run. A dig by Junior Jacob Hoshaw and a quick set by Sophomore Rich Holzheimer lead to a spectacular kill by Senior Nick Daly, as great defense put a stop to Medina's run.
 
The Cats never looked back. Two  big kills by Sophomore Danny Michals helped Saint Ignatius win the set, 25-21.
The big scoring run and the determination and grit of the Cats did not allow Medina back in the match. Sets 2 & 3 were dominated by Saint Ignatius with the scores of 25-15 and 25-18.
 
Go Cats!!

Coach Marcelo
Here is the final Division I state poll for 2015 by the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association.
5/19/2015
Courtesy of the OTCA's Ed Wolff. First place votes are in parenthesis.
 
1. Cincinnati Sycamore (10) 100
2. Upper Arlington 89
3. Massillon Jackson 79
4. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 64
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier 50
6. New Albany 45
7. Saint Ignatius 43
8. Mason  38
9. Centerville 16
10. Columbus St. Charles 5
No quit or panic in the Baseball Wildcats! Coach Brad Ganor's Cats, trailing, 2-0, after five innings, score single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and defeat North Royalton, 3-2, in a Division I District Semifinal on Tuesday afternoon.
5/19/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - Junior first baseman Dennis Grosel delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, scoring senior center fielder Sam Fuller, who came racing home from second base with the winning run. Fuller beat out a sharp ground ball to the shortstop with one out and then stole second base.  

Grosel's clutch hit, a shot that went off the tip or top of the third baseman's glove, fell into short left field and Wildcats Head Coach Brad Gannor never hesitated in waving the fleet of foot Fuller home.

Saint Ignatius, which got six solid innings from its No. 1 starter, senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara, turned to its ace out of the bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, for the seventh and eighth innings.

O'Brien was more than equal to the task, firing two hitless innings that featured three strikeouts, no walks and 17 strikes in the 24 pitches he delivered. A young man who has nine saves on the season, O'Brien celebrated his first victory on the Varsity level.

The Wildcats cut the deficit to 2-1 on an authoritative two-out RBI single to right field by sophomore designated hitter/outfielder Ryan Jacobs in the bottom of the sixth. Senior pinch hitter/infielder James Zajaczkowski led off the bottom of the sixth with a four-pitch walk and junior Dan Volpe, who was pinch running for Zajaczkowski, advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score off Jacobs' sweet swing.

Saint Ignatius' talented senior second baseman Mullen Socha, who had three hits on the afternoon, led off the bottom of the seventh with a base hit and advanced to second on a fielder's choice. After North Royalton's multi-skilled shortstop/relief pitcher Alex Sir Louis recorded the second out of the bottom of the seventh with a strikeout, the Bears' defense became unglued and the Cats scored the tying run.

Nara and his counterpart, North Royalton starter David Steward, turned in solid outings. M.J., a Walsh University recruit who entered the game with a 6-1 record, yielded two runs and six hits in the six innings he worked, striking out four and walking four. Nara threw 83 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Steward's impressive afternoon included 5 2/3 innings, five hits, an unearned run, six strikeouts, three walks and 62 strikes off the 107 pitches he threw.

The line score on the game read 3-8-0 for the Wildcats and 2-6-3 for the Bears. North Royalton scored its two runs in the top of the third, with the key blow being a one-out, two-run single down the first base line by Sir Louis. A 4-6-3 double play by the Cats prevented a bigger inning.   

Saint Ignatius, which improved its record to 23-5 and extended its winning streak to 11 games, advances to tomorrow's (Wednesday) 4:30 PM District Championship Game at Strongsville High School.

The Wildcats, the No. 1 seed at Strongsville, will face third-seeded Berea-Midpark, which defeated second-seeded Strongsville, 2-1, in eight innings in Tuesday evening's District Semifinal at Strongsville. Saint Ignatius defeated Berea-Midpark, 12-2, in a regular season matchup at Berea-Midpark on April 1.  

Gifted sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (5-0) will take the mound for the Cats.

Fourth-seeded North Royalton, which defeated Saint Ignatius, 5-2, in last year's District final at Strongsville and went on to finish as the Division I state runner-up to Massillon Jackson, closed its 2015 season at 13-16.

FROM COACH GANOR: "We were knocking on the door (early), but their kid (Steward) was great. That kid pitched a great game. We made them pay for some mistakes (in the seventh inning). They're a great program. There's a reason they were in the state championship game last year. Brad (Bears Head Coach Brad Klingbeil) does a great job.

"You look at our team, I'm just proud of their ability to fight" Coach Ganor continued. "It's a cliché to say played until the last out, but our guys played till the last out. They certainly do that. Whatever happens from here on out, these guys are a special group. That game right there is just indicative of our entire season, what they've been doing all year."

FROM DENNIS GROSEL: "It really happened quickly," Grosel said of his game-winning base hit. "The whole thing came down to us doing our jobs. You look at the scoreboard right now, a run in each of the last three innings. That's just being scrappy. We bit down and got the win. We said in the fourth and fifth innings that we were not going to lose this game."

FROM MURPHY O'BRIEN: "Honestly, it's not really whether a pitch is working, it's about throwing strikes. When you have a defense like that behind you it makes everything so much easier. Everyone came together and we got the win.

"It makes it even better because it's the playoffs," O'Brien continued in reference to his first Varsity win to go along with the nine saves he has racked up this spring. "Everyone is jacked up. When you get a win like that, it just feels great. I couldn't be happier. But we have a job that's not done yet."                    

        

      

Here is the latest news from the Ohio High School Athletic Association
5/18/2015

Courtesy of Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Information Services, tstried@ohsaa.org

OHSAA Member Schools Pass All Nine Referendum Items

84 percent of high school ballots returned as schools pass eight items; lone 7th-8th grade item also passes

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools passed all nine proposed Constitution and Bylaw revisions, Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., announced Monday, following the ballot counting procedure conducted at the OHSAA office. The approved changes, which include eight for high schools and one for 7th-8th grade schools, will go into effect August 1 unless otherwise noted. A simple majority is all that is required for a proposed amendment to be adopted.

The OHSAA’s annual referendum voting period began May 1 and ballots were due Friday, May 15. Each member school has one vote, which is cast by the principal. After 821 ballots were mailed to member high schools in late April, 691 were returned for a voter turnout of 84 percent. There are 832 member 7th-8th grade schools, with 401 returning their ballot (48 percent).

Full Text of High School Voting Results:http://www.ohsaa.org/members/refvote/2015ResultsHSReferendum.pdf

Full Text of 7th-8th Grade Voting Results:http://www.ohsaa.org/members/refvote/2015Results7th8thReferendum.pdf

Wildcats Baseball is tied for 16th in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll.
5/18/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Baseball Cats, who are 22-5 and riding a 10-game winning streak entering Tuesday's OHSAA Strongsville Division I District Semifinal matchup with North Royalton, tied for 16th place with Olentangy. The first pitch from Strongsville High School on Tuesday is slated for 2 PM.

The coaches' Top 10 are Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Wadsworth, Walsh Jesuit, Lakota West, Olentangy Liberty, Perrysburg, Willoughby South, Butler, Avon and Elder. The teams in bold face were defeated by Saint Ignatius this spring.  

Here are Saint Ignatius' first-round pairings for the annual Oberlin College OHSAA Division I District Tennis Tournament.
5/17/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Play begins on Thursday at 9 AM at the Donald Hunsinger Tennis Facility on the campus of Oberlin College.

The Wildcats' defending Division I state champion Nate Griffin, coming off his Sectional Championship at Oberlin, is matched against Kristian Santilli of Boardman, who finished fourth at the Canton Sectional.

Saint Ignatius' Josh Hsia, who finished third at the Oberlin Sectional, will face Austin Barr of Kenston, who placed second at the Solon Sectional.

The Cats' Erich Schuette, the fourth-place finisher at Oberlin, will matchup with Vincent Anzalone of Willoughby South, who brought home the Solon Sectional Championship.

In doubles play, Saint Ignatius' duo of Andy Sicilliano and Kevin Callanan will take on Walsh Jesuit's tandem of Connor Evans and Anthony Rozum. Sicilliano and Callanan finished third at the Oberlin Sectional and Evans and Rozum took second place at the Medina Sectional.

Saint Ignatius' Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna, who finished fourth at the Oberlin Sectional, will play Copley's duo of Gavin Aten and Carlos Martinez, who won the doubles title at the Medina Sectional.        

WILDCATS TO RACE FOR A NATIONAL TITLE
5/17/2015

Three Saint Ignatius crews will compete in Camden (N.J.) Friday and Saturday.

PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

FROM COACH WALTERS: Rarely do high school athletes have the opportunity to compete for a national championship. It’s a component to high school rowing that makes it unique.

Saint Ignatius will send three boats to race at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America national championships in Camden, N.J. this Friday and Saturday. They will face the country’s elite crews, which all had to qualify in order to earn the right to attend.

After winning the Midwest Championship on May 10, the Wildcats’ Varsity Eight faces a 31-boat field that will determine the fastest high school boat in the nation. Rival Pittsburgh Central Catholic will be targeting the boys from Ohio City, who will also have their hands full against Gonzaga College High School, St. Albans School, St. Joe’s Prep and Winter Park High School, among others.

The Saint Ignatius Junior Eight will look to unseat the Midwest Champion entry from St. Edward, and will also have to battle Pittsburgh Central Catholic. St. Joe’s Prep might be the favorite in this event after winning the Stotesbury Regatta, the world’s largest high school regatta, but the Wildcats have picked up some speed in the last week and will look to top last year’s bronze-medal finish.

With all athletes weighing in under 150 lbs., the Lightweight Eight event features 16 crews looking to take home a national title. The Saint Ignatius Lightweight Eight, which was assembled much later in the season than many other competitors, has had some very focused practices as of late. The Wildcats will look for payback against Midwest entries from New Trier High School and Ann Arbor Huron High School, not to mention powerhouses like St. Joe’s and Belen Jesuit Prep School.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 has these 27 athletes practicing through Wednesday before a Thursday afternoon departure. Best of luck to these men as they represent Saint Ignatius High School on the national stage in their final race of the year!

Here are the Regional Award Winners for Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse.
5/17/2015

From the Lax Cats' outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96, as voted on by the region's coaches

First Team:
Crew Cintron - attack
Ethan Whitney - midfield
Patrick Mulach - defense
Alex Maruna - defense
Charlie Zimmerman - face-off
Chris Rini - LSM

Second team:
Alex Hornung - attack
Jack Larsen - midfield
Jack Mazanec - defense

Honorable Mention:
Cole Southworth - attack
Jared Stepka - midfield 



Wildcats Lacrosse closes its regular season with a 15-4 victory over Medina at Wasmer Field on Saturday afternoon.
5/16/2015

The Lax Cats improve to 14-2 heading into the postseason playoffs and extend their winning streak to 11.

Wildcats Varsity Baseball closes its regular season with a 15-0 victory over Brunswick at Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday afternoon.
5/16/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brad Ganor's Cats, the No. 1 seed for the OHSAA Division I Strongsville District, improved to 22-5 and extended their winning streak to 10 games heading into Tuesday' District Semifinal versus the fourth-seeded Bears from North Royalton. The first pitch from Strongsville High School on Tuesday will be 2 PM.

Saint Ignatius and North Royalton met in the annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic in Progressive Field on April 24, with the Cats coming away with a 4-1 victory. Last season, the Bears, on their way to a Division I state runner-up finish, eliminated Saint Ignatius, 5-2, in the Strongsville District Championship Game.

Wildcats gifted sophomore left-hander Connor Adams worked three innings and came up with the victory over Brunswick on Saturday. Adams threw 42 pitches and struck out seven.

The Cats' offense scored early and often, putting up six runs in the second inning and taking command with a nine-run fourth inning. Senior right-handers Luke Diggs and Jacob Bangert worked the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.   

Among the big swings on Saturday were two doubles by sophomore outfielder Ryan Jacobs, a triple by senior outfielder Sam Fuller and doubles by senior designated hitter Dylan Welch, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, junior outfielder Mike Rogers and senior catcher Alex Panstares.

Senior first baseman Dennis Grosel drew two walks and had a single, and senior shortstop Jake Kucia laid down a bunt for a base hit. Saint Ignatius finished with 12 hits and played errorless baseball.

The statistics are courtesy of the Cats' outstanding senior Team Manager Kyle Kostura.   


 

 

 

Jack Cook and Luke Wagner were among the Track and Field Wildcats sharpening their skills during the Ninth Annual Olympic Challenge Meet on the track at Wasmer Field.
5/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Ohio City - An event that at one time was known as the All-Catholic Schools Meet, the theory behind hosting the Olympic Challenge Meet is to have some solid competition leading up to next week's District Meets.

Saint Ignatius will be competing in next week's Brunswick District at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium on the campus of Brunswick High School.

The Brunswick District Meet is scheduled for Wednesday and Friday at 4 PM both days.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE WILDCATS' HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT'S OLYMPIC CHALLENGE MEET, FOLLOWED BY COMMENTS FROM JUNIORS JACK COOK AND LUKE WAGNER, AND HEAD COACH CHUCK KYLE '69.

100 METER DASH: Jack Cook (11.12), Phi Zuccaro (11.19) and Anthony Pelligrino (11.59) finished 1-2-3. Note: Wildcats standout junior sprinter James Norris was resting in preparation for next week's district competition.

TWO MILE: Luke Wagner was first in 9:26.43.

JUNIOR VARSITY 4X800: Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin was first in a time of 8:33.61 and Saint Ignatius ran an 8:46.4.

HIGH JUMP: The Cats' Kyle Aerni (first place at 6-0) and Mac Nagel (tied for second at 5-10) made their mark.

4x800: NDCL (8:18.5), Saint Ignatius (8:23.0) and St. Edward (8:35.0) went 1-2-3.

300 IH: Jack Ruddy (41.36), C.J. Moore (43.10) and Matt Walcutt (43.98) were a tenacious threesome.

110 High Hurdles: C.J. Moore was third in 15.92.

Ninth-grade 1600: Liam McGuire ran a time of 4:36.3.

Pole Vault: Sam Rapnicki finished second at 12-6. Ludwig of Lake Catholic was first in 16-0.

1600: C.J. Ambrosio was third in 4:31.0.

800: Tom Sullivan (1:58.07) and Sean Sovacool (2:00.19) were first and third.

400 Meter : The Cats' Alex Janis was second in 51.98.

Log Jump: Rai Walters was first with an effort of 20-10 and Alex Ringfield was third with a jump of 19.5.

Shot Put: Cory Griffith was fourth (45-2) and freshman Alex Misencik was fifth (43-2 3/4).

Junior Varsity 4x400: Saint Ignatius was first in a time of 3:47.68.

Discus: Cory Griffith was second at 149-7.

Varsity 4x400: Saint Ignatius was second in a time of 3:33.92 and Lake Catholic was first in 3:24.55.

NOTE: There was no team scoring, however first, second and third place medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze) were awarded.

The thought behind the no team scoring is that a coach does not have to run an athlete in so many races just to try to score points. It gives the athlete an opportunity to focus on his special event and nail a great time or effort right before the districts.

FROM LUKE WAGNER, WHO IS ONE OF THE TOP CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK RUNNERS IN THE STATE:  "Just to keep my racing mentality," said Luke as to why he competed on Friday night with the OHSAA District competition coming up on Wednesday.  "This is a good meet to wind down the regular season and get prepared for the postseason."

In case you wondered, Luke said his best times heading into the district are 4:13 in the 1600, 9:26 in the 3200 and 1:55 in the 800.

FROM JACK COOK, WHO IS ALSO A TWO-WAY STANDOUT, PUNT RETURNER AND 2015 CAPTAIN FOR COACH KYLE'S VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM: "Four by 100 and four by 200, and sprint medley," said Jack of what were his main events during the regular season.

"It was great, that (Friday night) was my first time competing in the open 100. It felt great (finishing first), but I was kind hoping that some of the best athletes, like Justin Lane and Jerome Baker (from Benedictine) and Andrew Dowell (St. Edward) would be here. I wanted to run against them and see what that competition is like. Those are guys that are 'bigger, faster, stronger,' but I still did well. And Phil (Freshman Phil Zuccaro) ran really well too."

FROM COACH KYLE: "Jack Cook, actually," said Coach Kyle of the things that pleased him about Friday night's competition. "Jack won the 100 in what was certainly his best time of the year. That was nice to see. We were putting guys in where we wanted to stay sharp and maybe experiment with a couple of things. Tommy Sullivan ran a 1:58 half. That's a PR for him. And the youngster, freshman Liam McGuire, ran a 4:36 for a PR."           

The Wildcats' Nate Griffin brings home the OHSAA Division I Sectional Title at Oberlin College and will be joined in next week's District Tournament by singles teammates Josh Hsia and Erich Schuette, and both of Saint Ignatius' doubles teams.
5/15/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Friday's sectional finals on the Donald Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College certainly had a Blue and Gold flavor, as Nate Griffin, the defending Division I state singles champion, defeated Nico Mostardi of Avon, 6-3, 6-4, in the championship match.

The third-place singles match featured two Wildcats, Josh Hsia and Erich Schuette, with Hsia prevailing, 6-4, 6-4.

Griffin, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame and is the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, advances to next week's District Tournament at Oberlin. He will be joined in District singles play by Mostardi, Hsia and Schuette.

As was the case in singles play, Saint Ignatius' doubles teams matched up for third place on Friday. The Wildcats' duo of Andy Sicilliano and Kevin Callanan defeated teammates Mitchell Pallacki and John Mhanna, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. In finishing three and four, both of the Cats' doubles teams are headed for next week's District Tournament.

Finishing 1-2, respectively, in Friday's sectional-final doubles play were the district-bound teams from Westlake (Connor Michelich and Cal Craven) and St. Edward (Aditya Jha and Jack Ryan).

We will post the District Tournament draw on Sunday evening.

Congratulations to Coach Jon Barker and his Tennis Cats, and a huge THANK YOU GOES OUT TO OBERLIN TOURNAMENT MANAGER ED WOLFF FOR KEEPING US UP TO DATE THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.           

Saint Ignatius tennis standout Nate Griffin advances to Friday's finals of the OHSAA Division I Sectional Tournament at Oberlin College.
5/14/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Nate, the defending Division I state singles champion and the No. 1 seed at Oberlin, will face No. 2 seed Nico Mostardi of Avon in Friday's singles championship match. The finals and consolation round are scheduled to get underway at 3 PM on the Donald Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College.

Along with his state singles title last year, Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, became the first state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' illustrious athletic history.

Here are Thursday's results of the Singles Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches.

Singles Qurterfinals: Nate Griffin of Saint Ignatius defeated Peterjohn of North Royalton, 6-1, 6-1; Josh Hsia of Saint Ignatius defeated Jhaveri of Westlake, 6-1, 6-3; Erich Schuette of Saint Ignatius defeated Dubusker of St. Edward, 6-0, 6-0; Mostardi of Avon defeated Button of Westlake, 6-0, 6-0.

Singles Semifinals: Griffin defeated teammate Hsia, 6-1, 7-5; Mostardi defeated 3rd seed Schuette, 6-2, 6-1. Note: The Wildcats' Schuette and Hsia will face each other for third place on Friday.   

Here are Thursday's Results of the Doubles Semifinal matches.

Michelich and Craven of Westlake defeated Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano of Saint Ignatius, 6-1, 6-0; Jha and Rya of St. Edward defeated Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna of Saint Ignatius, 6-4, 6-3.

Note: The Wildcats' doubles teams will face each other for third place on Friday.

Here is a breakdown on the Regional Playoff Schedule for Wildcats Volleyball
5/14/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Casey Marcelo's Wildcats will begin North Regional play versus Medina on May 19 at 8 PM on the court at Massillon Jackson High School.

If successful, the Cats will advance to a May 23rd Regional Final versus the winner of the May 20th matchup between Stow and Massillon Jackson. The May 23rd Regional Final is slated for high noon at Massillon Jackson. 

Saint Ignatius Volleyball closes its regular season on a positive note and is now gearing up for the postseason playoffs.
5/14/2015
Presented by Coach Casey Marcelo and posted by Eddie Dwyer
 
From Coach Marcelo: Cats Volleyball ends its regular season with a win at home against Medina.
 
It was a Great way to end the regular season for our Seniors Bryce Boron, Nick Daly and Jack Eckman.
 
We will see Medina again next Tuesday at Jackson for the first round of playoffs.
Congrats go out to the Saint Ignatius Wildcats Lacrosse Program, which improved to 13-2 by defeating St. Edward, 16-4, on Wasmer Field Wednesday night. It was the Lax Cats' 10th consecutive victory.
5/14/2015
Nate Griffin, Erich Schuette, Josh Hsia and the Wildcats' Doubles Teams take care of business during the first day of the annual OHSAA Division I Sectional Tennis Tournament at Oberlin College.
5/13/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Senor Nate Griffin, the No. 1 seed at Oberlin College's Donald Hunsinger Tennis Facility, the defending Division I state singles champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, defeated JP Langhenry of St. Edward, 6-0, 6-0, and Stephen Bickford of North Ridgeville, 6-0, 6-0, in route to advancing to the quarterfinals.

Third-seeded Erich Schuette kept pace with Nate by defeating Joe Scott of North Ridgeville, 6-0, 6-0, and Jack Thorme of Avon, 6-0, 6-0, and the third of the Wildcats' gifted singles players, Josh Hsia, defeated all three of his opponents on Wednesday.

Josh prevailed over Austin Rivers of Avon Lake, 6-1, 6-2, Matt Bringman of Strongsville, 6-2, 6-1, and Frank Figueiredo of Lakewood, 6-0, 6-0.

In Wednesday's doubles action, the Cats' third-seeded team of Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna defeated the teams from Avon (6-1, 6-0), Westlake (6-4, 6-1) and North Olmsted (7-5, 6-3).

Saint Ignatius' fourth-seeded tandem of Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano defeated the teams from North Ridgeville (6-1, 6-0), St. Edward (6-3, 6-2) and Avon Lake (2-6, 6-2, 6-3).

Action resumes on Thursday at 2 PM.    

     

M.J. Nara pitches the Wildcats' Varsity Baseball Team into the District Semifinals, as the senior right-hander throws a two-hit shutout and strikes out 13 in Wednesday's 7-0, Sectional-Final victory over the Rhodes Rams.
5/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

From Classic Park in Lake County - M.J., one of Head Coach Brad Ganor's two captains, went seven complete innings in improving his record to 6-1.

The crafty and gifted Walsh University recruit fired 85 pitches, 59 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius, the No. 1 seed at the Strongsville District, will face the fourth-seeded Bears from North Royalton in a District Semifinal matchup on May 19 at Strongsville High School. The first pitch will be 2 PM.

North Royalton, the defending Strongsville District Champion and a 2014 Division I state runner-up, advanced to the matchup with the Cats by eliminating Parma, 9-7, in Wednesday's Sectional Finals. The Bears defeated Saint Ignatius in last year's District Championship Game at Strongsville.

The Wildcats, who improved to 21-5 with their Sectional Final victory over Rhodes and extended their winning streak to nine games, will close out their regular season on Saturday with a noon game versus the Brunswick Blue Devils at Baldwin Wallace University.

Along with Nara's dominant pitching, Coach Ganor's Cats came up with 14 hits against the Rams' talented southpaw Juan Perez. Perez, who entered the game with a record of 7-0, threw 130 pitches, 80 for strikes, struck out seven, walked three and yielded four earned runs in going the distance. Rhodes, now 15-7 on the year, committed four errors and Saint Ignatius played errorless baseball.

The game started with yet another web gem from the Wildcats' standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a play that saw the St. Bonaventure recruit run down a shot to deep right-center field off the bat of Rams promising catcher Mike Gonzalez and make an exceptional one-handed grab in stride. "I couldn't believe he got to that ball," Gonzalez said after the game.

Among those supplying the fuel for the Cats' offense were senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, smooth-swinging sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, Fuller, senior designated hitter Dylan Welch, senior right fielder Dylan Smolen, senior infielder James Zajaczkowski and junior third baseman Kevin Mingus.

Jacobs drew some rave reviews from his teammates when he drove a pitch to deep center field for a triple leading off the Cats' two-run bottom of the fourth. It was a majestic shot that came close to introducing itself to the 400-foot mark on the outfield fence.

Panstares had three authoritative hits, Welch provided two RBI singles, Smolen brought Jacobs home in the bottom of the fourth with a single and also laid down two nice sacrifice bunts, Fuller drove in a run with an infield hit and later in the game Sam showed excellent bat control by taking the pitch to right field for a base hit, and Zajaczkowski and Mingus highlighted a two-run sixth by lining Mr. Rawlings into left-center and left field, respectively, for doubles.

Zajaczkowski never gets cheated at the plate and Mingus' two-bagger was a liner down the left-field line that drew smiles from the coaching staff.

Rhodes' two hits came off the bats of left fielder Christian Castro and Perez. Although you might be fooled by Saint Ignatius' hit total and the seven runs (again, four of which were earned), Perez can pitch my friends.

FROM COACH GANOR: "I told their coaches during the game that there are some local colleges that would like that kid," said Coach Ganor in reference to the Rams' Perez. "He was vey good. You look at the score, but they didn't make some plays behind him and he pitched a heck of a game.

"But our job is to take care of business and M.J. was fantastic. He was really sharp today. We made them pay for their mistakes with some hits on top of the mistakes. All around, a great game by the guys. I am very proud of them."    

                     

Wildcats Volleyball defeats host Jackson in three sets on Tuesday night. Coach Casey Marcelo's team now prepares for tonight's Senior Night versus Medina at 7 in Sullivan Gym and the upcoming North Region playoffs.
5/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations from the corner go out to three Wildcats for being named to the All-North Region Team.

Second Team - Brian Messina and Jack Eckman, and Honorable Mention - Rich Holzheimer.

Saint Ignatius is seeded 2nd in the North Region and will be playing 9th seed Medina on May 20th at Jackson.
 

 
 
 
 
All in the family. The Grosel, Panstares and Mingus families share a special Tuesday evening in Classic Park, as freshman left-hander Tom Grosel makes a memorable Varsity debut in the Wildcats' 12-2 victory over Kingsway Christian School.
5/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

From Classic Park in Lake County - After a dominant month with the Freshmen Cats and pitching a complete-game shutout on the Junior Varsity level, Tom Grosel was called up to pitch Tuesday evening's Varsity game versus the Eagles of Kingsway Christian.

While Tommy's impressive performance included six complete innings, 0 earned runs, three hits, three strikeouts, 1 walk and 51 strikes in 78 pitches, it was who he shared it with, both on and off the baseball-rich diamond in Classic Park, that made it an evening that dreams are made of.

Supporting Tommy both offensively and defensively was his older brother, standout junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, and catching his Varsity debut was one of the top performers behind the plate that Northeast Ohio has to offer - his first cousin and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares.

Adding to the memorable family affair was Saint Ignatius' mainstay at the hot corner, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who is a first cousin to Panstares. 

"I was a little nervous at first, but with my brother and cousins on the field it really helped me out," said Tom Grosel after Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats improved to 20-5 and stretched their winning streak to eight games. "I was just looking to throw strikes and let my defense help me. My fastball was working well, the curveball was working and I threw a circle change a few times."

And how did his big brother and cousins evaluate the young southpaw's first outing with the "big boys?"

"He did very well," said Dennis Grosel, who is also Saint Ignatius' starting Varsity Football quarterback. "He impressed me along with Coach Ganor and the entire team. He just did a great job. I' couldn't be prouder of him."

The soft-spoken and humble Mingus, who lets his bat and glove do the talking, summed up what helped make what was once a backyard dream of four kids become a reality.

"it was easy to play behind him, he threw strikes, got outs and was impressive," Mingus said. 

Panstares, a three-year mainstay behind the dish, couldn't say enough about his first cousin's maturity and composure.

"He threw one JV game prior to this game, came right up with the big boys and took care of business," Panstares said. "He came out committed, knew he had to throw strikes and that is exactly what he did. It was an awesome experience. I think we can all agree that this was something we dreamed of, and never really thought it would happen.

"People think about playing in the pros and stuff, but we thought about playing in the Blue and Gold (of Saint Ignatius) together, all of us," Panstares continued.

Despite losing to the Cats, 12-2, in a game that was called in the bottom of the sixth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule, Kingsway Christian School, which is located in Orrville, Ohio in Wayne County, seemed to relish the experience of playing in Classic Park. The Eagles now stand 16-8.

Saint Ignatius, which tomorrow (Wednesday) evening will begin the most important stretch of its season when it returns to Classic Park to face the Rhodes Rams in a 5 PM Division I Sectional Final, scored its 12 runs on 11 hits. Wildcats No. 1 starter, senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara (5-1), will take the mound on Wednesday.

Rhodes, the pride of Old Brooklyn, advanced with an 18-0 sectional-semifinal victory over Cleveland John F. Kennedy  on Tuesday.

CATS JUMP ON THE EAGLES EARLY: With two outs and the base empty in the bottom of the first inning, Saint Ignatius scored four runs. The key blows were an RBI single by senior designated hitter Dylan Welch and a blast to deep left field by Panstares that the left fielder couldn't handle.

Dennis Grosel's authoritative shot into center field that he turned into a hustle double scored gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller, who led off the bottom of the second with a walk and advanced to second base on a pitch in the dirt. The Cats pushed their lead to 7-0 entering the top of third on a sacrifice fly RBI by Welch and a run-scoring base hit to left-center by Panstares.

A walk to multi-skilled senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a single to center field by junior outfielder Dan Volpe, an RBI single to left field by junior infielder Joe Evans, a single from Dennis Grosel and a bases-loaded single by Mingus made it a 9-0 game in the bottom of the third. Evans also turned in a couple of nice plays in the middle infield.

Dennis Grosel's one-out RBI double, a base hit by junior infielder George Asadorian and an error showed the way to two more runs in the Cats' half of the fifth inning, which was a solid answer to the two runs Kingsway Christian scored in the top of the fifth. The Eagles' key hits in their two-run fifth were provided by catcher Zach Chupp and shortstop Jesse Barrios.  

Saint Ignatius then called it a night in the bottom of the sixth on an error and an RBI double to left-center field off the bat of senior infielder James Zajaczkowski, who has swung the aluminum with clutch results all spring.

FROM COACH GANOR: "They have a couple of kids that can swing it," said Coach Ganor of Kingsway Christian. "They were enjoying the experience and I appreciate them wanting to take the ride up (from Wayne County) to play us. I thought Tommy did a great job. They aren't many freshmen who play varsity baseball. He did exactly what I thought he was capable of. It was fun to get everybody a chance to see some pitches."

ALMOST IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD: The Grosels reside in Willoughby, just a few minutes away from Classic Park. 

And speaking of the Grosels, Dennis isn't the only successful football player in the family. Tommy Grosel was a mainstay at linebacker this past fall for Coach Rodney Gallaway's undefeated Freshmen Team.               

The Freshmen Baseball Cats overwhelm the Patriots of Valley Forge, 21-4.
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Cats scored six runs in the top of the second inning and 11 runs in the third inning in what was a five complete innings, mercy run-rule victory on Monday in Parma Heights.

The oh so promising Freshmen Cats now stand 21-2 and have extended their winning streak to 12 games.

Saint Ignatius had 15 hits and committed just one error and Valley Forge came up with eight hits, but was charged with 11 errors.    

Monday's Saint Ignatius versus Canton Central Catholic Varsity Baseball Game falls to Mother Nature with the Crusaders leading, 4-1, in the top of the fourth inning.
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio  - Lightning and heavy rain forced the umpires to stop the game with a Canton Central Catholic runner on first base and one out in the top of the fourth inning.

Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff said the game will not be resumed or made up, and that under the rules the Cats' record remains 19-5 and Canton Central Catholic still stands at 18-6.

In the first game of the two-game series with the Crusaders, which was played on Friday night in Canton, the Wildcats prevailed, 6-3.

While Monday's sun was still shining on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, Canton Central Catholic took a 2-0 lead on a one-out, two-run double by senior left fielder Patrick Murphy in the top of the first inning.

The Wildcats cut the deficit to 2-1 behind an authoritative RBI single to left-center field by junior third baseman Kevin Mingus in the bottom of the first.

Canton Central Catholic built its 4-1 lead with single runs in the second and third innings.

A walk and back-to-back base hits by senior catcher Nic Millin and junior center fielder JC Colangelo accounted for the Crusaders' third run, and a single and a stolen base by Murphy, a single by junior picher Dan Platek and a one-out RBI single by junior third baseman Clay Davies made it a 4-1 game that Mother Nature decided to settle.

There were a total of 10 hits before the rain came pouring down, six by Canton Central Catholic.

Up next for the Varsity Baseball Cats is Tuesday's game at Classic Park versus Kingsway Christian School. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM and on the mound for Saint Ignatius will be Freshman Tom Grosel, the brother of Wildcats' standout junior first baseman/catcher and starting Varsity Football quarterback Dennis Grosel. Tom Grosel recently pitched a complete game shutout against St. Vincent-St. Mary after being called up to the Junior Varsity.

The Eagles of Kingsway Christian reside in Orrville, Ohio, are a member of the Ohio Christian Athletic Conference and proudly wear the colors of Navy and Green.  

      

  

  

WILDCAT CREW CLAIMS VARSITY EIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
5/11/2015

Rowers earn 2nd Midwest V8 gold in program history; 3 boats off to nationals

PRESENTED BY WILDCATS OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER ON THE CORNER.

FROM COACH WALTERS: Coxswain Liam Jenkins ’16 gripped the plastic handles that steer the rudder of his boat between his forefingers and thumbs. As his body surged forward with each stroke taken by the Saint Ignatius Varsity Eight, he hollered out calls to counter each move made by reigning Midwest champion Pittsburgh Central Catholic

The Wildcats took a one-seat advantage. Then another. As the gold shell in lane four approached the 500-meters-remaining mark, fans on shore began to roar. With its white blades whipping into the water at a furious 38 stroke rate, that gold boat appeared to be in the lead, followed so closely by Central, New Trier and Loyola Academy. Jenkins countered one more move from Central before calling the eight young meen in front of him up for their final sprint. They charged—into the red buoys of the last 250 meters of the race. Central chased them, taking a seat or two back. Cheers for the six boats competing in the biggest race of the day mixed into a tumultuous, chaotic noise.

As suddenly as the boats had come into view, they crossed the finish line. And for just the first time in 10 years, and second time in Saint Ignatius Crew’s 25-year history, the Wildcats were first across.

The victory sent the team into a frenzy of celebration that concluded a very challenging but successful weekend of racing at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association Championships.To add to its hardware count, the team earned silver medals in the Varsity Four, Junior Eight and 3rd Varsity Eight, plus a bronze in the Lightweight Eight. These finishes qualify the Varsity Eight, Junior Eight and Lightweight Eight to race at the National Championships in New Jersey in two weeks.

Several other boats qualified for the Midwest finals for Saint Ignatius, including the 2nd Varsity Eight, Lightweight Four, Freshmen Eight and an additional entry in the 3rd Varsity Eight.

For Head Coach Pat Connor '94, the V8 victory comes in his fourth year at the helm of the program. Yet when handing out medals at the end of the day, he shook off any credit and congratulations that had been sent his way, preferrring instead to highlight the hard work put in by the athletes on his team.

While the journey is not yet over, with one more weekend of racing left, the boys earned their time in the spotlight, where only a gold medal can eclipse the brightness of the sun.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball picks up a game for Tuesday
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Along with today's (Monday) 5 PM game versus Canton Central Catholic at Baldwin Wallace University, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats have added a 5 PM game for Tuesday versus Kingsway Christian School at Classic Park.

The Eagles of Kingsway Christian reside in Orrville, Ohio, are a member of the Ohio Christian Athletic Conference and proudly wear the colors of Navy and Green.

Just another reminder that Saint Ignatius begins OHSAA Tournament Play with a Division I Sectional Final on Wednesday versus the winner of Tuesday's Sectional Semifinal between the Rhodes Rams and the Fighting Eagles of John F. Kennedy. Wednesday's first pitch from Classic Park will be 5 PM.  

Wildcats Tennis moves up one notch in the weekly OTCA State Poll
5/11/2015
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Here is the fourth of the season's five weekly Division I polls, as compiled by The Ohio Tennis Coaches Association.
 
NOTE: Saint Ignatius is coming off a sweep of its three matches in Cincinnati this past weekend, victories over Indian Hill, St. Xavier and Upper Arlington. For a look at the Wildcats' matchups in this week's OHSAA Oberlin College Division I Sectional Tournament, see the corner's post from Sunday. 
 
First place votes are in parenthesis 
 
1. Cincinnati Sycamore (13)  130
2. Upper Arlington  115
3. Massillon Jackson  104
4. Toledo St. John Jesuit 92
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier  64
6. New Albany  61
7. Saint Ignatius  53
8. Mason  52
9. Centerville 24
10.  Columbus St. Charles 9
Here is the breakdown on Saint Ignatius Tennis for this coming week's Oberlin College OHSAA Division I Sectional Play.
5/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Senior Nate Griffin, the defending Division I state singles champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, is the No. 1 seed at the Oberlin College Tennis Facility. Nate's first match will send him against the winner of the match between Joe Moore of Valley Forge and JP Langhenry of St. Edward.

The Oberlin College Sectional Tournament begins at 9 AM on Wednesday and resumes on Thursday and Friday, with the finals slated for Saturday.

Cats singles player Erich Schuette, the third seed, will face the winner of the Daniel March (Elyria) vs. Joe Scott (North Ridgeville) match, and Saint Ignatius' Josh Hsia is matched against Austin Rice of Avon Lake.

In doubles play, the Wildcats' third-seeded duo of Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna will take on Steven Brown and Yuto Iwaizumi of Avon.

The Cats' other doubles tandem, fourth-seeded Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano, will face North Ridgeville's Nick Miller and Brandon Vocaire.

The Oberlin College Sectional Tournament is once again in the capable hands of Tournament Manager Ed Wolff    

Up next for the Varsity Baseball Wildcats
5/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (19-5, seven game winning streak)), currently playing their best baseball of the season, are scheduled to play the second game of their two-game series with Canton Central Catholic (18-6) on Monday at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM.

Gritty and gifted junior right-hander Nick Freund (4-1) will take the mound on Monday. For a look at Saint Ignatius' 6-3 victory at Canton Central Catholic on Friday evening, see the corner's post from Friday night.

On Wednesday, the Baseball Cats, seeded No. 1 for the Strongsville Sectional/District, will begin OHSAA postseason play in a Division I sectional final versus the winner of Tuesday' sectional semifinal between the Rhodes Rams and the Fighting Eagles of John F. Kennedy. Wednesday's first pitch from Classic Park is 5 PM.

For all of the highlights from Saint Ignatius Baseball, on all levels, see the corner's posts from Saturday night.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! 

 

   

Here is a corner's view on the talent-rich and baseball savvy beyond their years Saint Ignatius Freshmen and Junior Varsity Teams.
5/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Berea, Ohio - No, it never gets old for this seasoned corner.

Saturday morning at Baldwin Wallace University, I had the privilege and pleasure to watch the Saint Ignatius Freshmen and Junior Varsity Baseball Teams take on the ninth grade and JV Ramblers from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep.

For those who might not be familiar, let me introduce you to the Wildcats' baseball future.

After defeating Cathedral Prep's Freshmen and Jayvees by identical 10-0 final scores, the Freshmen and JV Cats are both riding 11-game winning streaks. The Freshmen Cats improved to 20-2 and the JV Cats now stand 21-3.

The Freshmen team from Cathedral Prep and the Ramblers' Junior Varsity went back to the Keystone State with records of 7-2 and 10-2, respectively.

One of the things that left a lasting impression on this old-timer was the sound defense played by the Saint Ignatius Freshmen, something you don't expect from young men who were in the eighth grade at this time last year.

Oh, there was more than enough offense from the young Cats, who sealed the run-rule victory over Cathedral Prep's Freshmen by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth. But it was the defense and the knowledge of the game put forth by Saint Ignatius' ninth graders that kept me shaking my head and smiling.

Right out of the gate, third baseman Sam Snyder, who is usually at second base, made a back-handed stop of a sharp grounder and fired to first base for the first out of the game. The final out of the top of the first inning was courtesy of shortstop Jack Eyink, who with a runner on third came up with a back-to-home plate catch in short center field.

The hot corner, the middle of the Cats' infield and gifted catcher Drew Asadorian were solid defensively all morning.

As for the offensive attack provided by Saint Ignatius' Freshmen, it started with a two-run bottom of the first that featured an RBI triple to deep left-center field by Justin Sands, an impressive rip that scored Mark Bobinski, who had led off  with a base hit and a stolen base. Sands scored the game's second run off  a ground ball to the right side by Asadorian.

After a two-run bottom of the fourth that was fueled by a base hit by Jonathon Barnes, a stolen base by Barnes, a throwing error and two, two-out run-scoring hits provided by Snyder (a double) and Matt Eindholm (a single), Saint Ignatius' Freshmen sealed the 10-0 mercy rule deal with six runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Among the Cats' big swings in their half of the fifth were a double to left-center field by Asadorian, an RBI double down the left-field line by first baseman Luke Wiskes, a two-run single by Snyder, a sacrifice fly RBI off the bat of Eindholm, and a that's ball game run-scoring single by Bobinski. Oh by the way, Wiskes also flashed some leather with a nice 3 unassisted effort in the top of the fifth.

Saint Ignatius got another solid outing from right-hander Matt Hunt, who yielded three hits, struck out two, walked two and picked off a runner.

FROM HEAD FRESHMEN COACH BRIAN BECKER: "I have to give credit to Kirby, because he handles all of the defensive stuff up the middle and at the corners," said Coach Becker of his son, Assistant Coach and former Wildcats baseball standout Kirby Becker. "The kids are well prepared and they really executed today.

"Justin Sands is a pretty special player," Coach Becker continued. "He runs, he hits and he plays the field. When we score early, we relax and seem to add on. Justin got us started today. And as Matt Hunt has done all season, he's a strike-throwing machine. Our team ERA is really good."

Just a note from the corner, Justin Sands is also pretty special on the gridiron as a safety.

JUNIOR VARSITY CATS ARE IN THAT SPECIAL CATEGORY: The JV Cats rode the pitching of Erik Demchuk, Braydon Nelson and the Man for All Seasons - Ben Delhees, a five-run second inning and four-run third to their impressive run-rule triumph.

Nelson ended the top of the fourth with two strikeouts and Delhees, a southpaw, took the air out of the Ramblers by closing the show with a 1-2-3 top of the fifth that included two strikeouts.

Saint Ignatius scored its 10 runs on seven hits and played errorless baseball, and Cathedral Prep's Jayvees managed just two hits and committed three errors.

Among those Cats fueling the offense in the bottom of the second were Delhees, Matt Wiegandt, Mark Geraci and Jack Siefert. Siefert abused a first-pitch fastball for an authoritative double to deep left-center field.

Ryan Cook and Danny Adler had key swings in the bottom of the third and Saint Ignatius took full advantage of two wild pitches, an errant pick off attempt and a hit batsman in taking total command.

Yes, the future is very bright for Wildcats baseball.   

Moments to cherish. The Saint Ignatius Baseball Program put together a three-game, run-rule sweep over the successful teams from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep on Saturday, a performance that was highlighted by the Varsity Cats' 14-4 triumph on Senior Day.
5/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Berea, Ohio - After the Wildcats' gifted and oh so promising Freshmen and Junior Varsity programs put together run-rule victories over Cathedral Prep's Freshmen and Jayvees by identical final scores of 10-0, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Team, led by the leadership, talent and character of a great Senior Class, completed the sweep over one of the strongest, if not the strongest team, Erie (Pa.) has to offer this spring.

The memorable day included a special tribute to the seniors and their parents, as senior Joe Mertens of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network did a first-class job with the introductions from the third-base broadcasting box at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. Joe and his talented partner, sophomore Brendan DeVenney, broadcasted all three games on what was a humid, but sunshine and blue-skies day in Berea.

Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Wildcats, who improved their record to 19-5 and extended their winning streak to seven games, pounded out 15 hits in handing the Ramblers only their second setback in 18 games this season.

The Varsity Cats also got a tough-minded start from senior right-hander Luke Diggs, who went four innings, yielded six hits and four unearned runs, struck out five and did not issue a walk. Luke, who improved his record to 4-2, threw 58 pitches, 42 of which were strikes.

Senior left-hander Brendan Adler and senior right-hander Jacob Bangert were solid out of the bullpen, as Adler bounced back and recorded the final out of the top of the fifth with a bases-loaded strikeout.

Bangert came on in the sixth and, after yielding a leadoff double to Cathedral Prep's Owen Means, set the Ramblers down on a fly out to senior Kurt Mantes in left field, a fly out to senior Sam Fuller in center field and a strikeout.

Saint Ignatius then settled the issue by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth and completing the 14-4, ten-run mercy rule victory.

The four-run bottom of the sixth came courtesy of a leadoff line-drive single to center field by senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski, who turned in another standout day at the plate, an error, a wild pitch, an RBI single into right field by Mantes, an infield hit by multi-skilled junior George Asadorian, a single to right field by senior right fielder Dylan Smolen that loaded the bases, an RBI single to center field off the sure swing of senior second baseman Mullen Socha, and two-out runs that saw savvy senior third baseman Dylan Welch get hit by a pitch with the bases full and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares draw the decisive bases-loaded walk.

Coach Ganor's team had plenty of offensive production on Saturday, including three singles and an RBI by Socha, a two RBI day from Welch, a two-hit, three RBI effort by Mantes that saw Kurt lace a triple to deep center field in the bottom of the second for the game's first run, two RBI from Panstares and two doubles and an RBI single courtesy of Fuller.

STARTING FAST: The Varsity Cats jumped out to a 6-0 lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the second inning and adding four runs in the bottom of the third. Along with Kurt Mantes' above-mentioned RBI triple, Saint Ignatius got a run-scoring single from senior pitcher/captain M.J. Nara in the bottom of the second. Saint Ignatius' No. 1 starter, M.J. was employed as the designated hitter on Saturday.

The Cats' four-run third was highlighted by a leadoff walk drawn by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia, one of Sam Fuller's two doubles, an RBI sacrifice fly by Dylan Welch, a sacrifice bunt by Alex Panstares that scored Fuller, who had advanced to third on Welch' sacrifice fly, a walk to James Zajaczkowski, a double steal, an RBI sacrifice fly by Mantes and a fly ball off the bat of Nara that the center fielder appeared to lose in the sun.

RAMBLERS MAKE SOME OFFENSIVE NOISE: Cathedral Prep got back in the game with a four-run top of the fourth that featured a leadoff single by Justin Perez, a two-out, run-scoring single by Owen Means and a two-out, two-run single by Carter Cross. Only a diving catch in left-center field by the ever-present Sam Fuller prevented the Ramblers from doing further damage.

FOUR WAS THE OPERATIVE NUMBER ON SATURDAY, AS THE CATS ANSWERED THE RAMBLERS' FOUR-RUN TOP OF THE FOURTH WITH FOUR RUNS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH. SAINT IGNATIUS HAD THREE FOUR-RUN INNINGS ON THE DAY - THE THIRD, FOURTH AND DECISIVE SIXTH.

PRAISE FOR A SOMETIMES OVERLOOKED ROLE: Wildcats' veteran Assistant Coach John Whelan pointed out late in the game on Saturday that junior Dan Volpe is doing a crafty job on the base paths as the courtesy runner.

FROM COACH GANOR: "Every year you get nostalgic about the senior class, but with this class, I keep comparing them to 2002 (the Cats' state championship season). There is just a great cohesiveness amongst them. With these guys, there is a 100 percent buy in. I truly think they have set the tone for years to come. No matter how the season ends, and I hope it ends on June 6th, they will still go down in history as one of the best classes that I have ever been associated with."                                            

SAINT IGNATIUS TRACK AND FIELD DOES A LOT OF EVERYTHING IN BRINGING HOME FIRST PLACE AT THE TRADITION-RICH EUCLID RELAYS ON FRIDAY.
5/8/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius totaled 103 points in edging second-place Solon (101 points). Rounding out the top five in storied Sparky DiBiasio Stadium were GlenOak (83.50 points), Mentor (81 points) and Glenville (63 points).

Here are the highlights turned in by Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted team.

3200 Meter Run: C.J. Ambrosio was third in 9:42.10 and Tom Sullivan was fifth in 9:44.20.

800 Sprint Medley: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and Mike Huber was third in 1:35.70.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in 11.01. Jaylond Butler of Cleveland Heights was first in 10.93. Note: Phil Zuccaro scored a point in Section 2 of the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 11.40.

4x200 Meter Relay: The team of Anthony Pelligrino, Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Rai Walters and C.J. Moore finished seventh in 1:33.53.

4x100 Meter Relay: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris finished third in 43.59.

4x800 Meter Relay: The team of Mike Huber, Pat Nolan, Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner finished FIRST in 8:02.54.

Distance Medley: The team of James Rogers, Jack Ruddy, Sean Sovacool and Tom Sullivan finished FIRST in 10:40.42.

Discus Throw Relay: Cory Griffith (150-04) and Mik Bodnar (132-07) were 1-2 in Flight 1.

400 Meter Dash: Kyle Hall scored two points with a time of 53.73.

High Jump Relay: Kyle Aerni was third with an effort of 6-04 and Rai Walters was in a three-way tie for ninth at 5-08.

Shot Put Relay: In Flight 2, Cory Griffith tied for second with a toss of 42-10 and Mike Bodnar was fourth at 42-00.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner brought home first place in a time of 4:16.50 and Tim Trentel was fifth in 4:33.90.

Long Jump Relay: Rai Walters was FIRST with an effort of 22-00.75.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki was second (12-06) and Mac Nagel was in a four-way tie for 5th at 11-00.

 

Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien get the job done on the mound as Saint Ignatius Baseball defeats the highly regarded program from Canton Central Catholic, 6-3, at CCC. The victory is the 240th in Brad Ganor's career as the Wildcats' Head Varsity Coach.
5/8/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Varsity Cats will take a record of 18-5 and a six-game winning streak into Saturday's 3 PM matchup with the Ramblers from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep at Baldwin Wallace University. For a look at the 16-1 Ramblers, see the corner's post from Thursday on the weekend in Wildcats' sports.

With Friday evening's victory over Canton Central Catholic, Saint Ignatius' savvy sophomore left-hander Connor Adams improves to 4-0 and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of Coach's Ganor's bullpen, picks up his ninth save.

****The Junior Varsity Wildcats, on the strength of a 3-1 victory at Canton Central Catholic on Friday, won their 10th consecutive game and improved to 20-3 overall and the Freshmen Cats continued their winning ways with a 10-0 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday. The Freshmen Cats outhit the Fighting Irish, 13-1.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE IMPRESSIVE VICTORY BY THE VARSITY CATS OVER THE NOW 18-6 CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC CRUSADERS. THE TIE FOR CCC WAS A SUSPENDED GAME THAT WAS CALLED DUE TO DARKNESS.

The Bats: Senior second baseman Mullen Socha delivers an RBI triple and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel provides a run-coring double as the Cats take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

In the third inning, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus doubles home Grosel, who drew a walk, and senior Dylan Welch made it 4-0 game with an RBI single.

Canton Central Catholic scored a run in the bottom of third and cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded and a run-scoring single up the middle.

The night belonged to the Blue and Gold, however, as in the top of the seventh Grosel scored on an error and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares followed with a sacrifice fly.

A Case for the Defense: Senior center fielder Sam Fuller and senior shortstop Jake Kucia were flashing the leather in Stark County on Friday evening, as Kucia came up with a web gem that saw him make a diving catch with two on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

"We played great defense tonight," said Kucia, who credited his teammate Fuller for what was another highlight-reel evening for Sam while roaming the outfield.

"I just got a great read on the ball," Kucia continued in reference to his diving stop in the bottom of the sixth. "I knew we needed someone to make a play and I wanted to be the one to make that big play consistently. Connor (Adams) did a great job keeping us in the game, being tough and getting out of situations. And Nick  Freund (junior right-hander) did well getting two key outs, Brendan Adler (senior left-hander) shut it down and let the defense make a play, and finally Murphy (O'Brien) was great again per usual. He is a gamer and comes up clutch when we need it."

****NOTE: THE CORNER WISHES TO THANK SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING SENIOR STUDENT MANAGER KYLE KOSTURA FOR PROVIDING THE VITAL INFORMATION FOR THIS REPORT. I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND WILL SAY IT AGAIN, KYLE  IS IRREPLACEABLE. 

 

 

WILDCAT NAVY READY FOR MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS
5/8/2015

PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC, NEW TRIER BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING CREW CATS

Presented by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09 and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH WALTERS: After months of training that began in August, the journey of thousands of strokes has brought Saint Ignatius Crew to the Midwest Championships, the full team’s final race for the 2014-2015 campaign.

Rowers will compete on Lake Dillon in Zanesville, Ohio this Saturday and Sunday for the right to race at the National Championship.

In the varsity eight category, Saint Ignatius has its biggest test in Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Although the two crews have split races this year, Central last edged out the Wildcats by 5 seconds. New Trier and Loyola Academy should also be in the mix for the medals, and the boys in the gold boats will need to have their best race in order to claim the team’s second-ever title.

The Saint Ignatius second varsity boat will double as the junior eight this weekend and just might be the favorite in both events. This crew has pushed the first varsity all spring and is coming off a 20-second victory at the Laddie Cup regatta.

In the third varsity eight event, Central Catholic, Loyola and Saint Ignatius will all field two boats, with St. Edward, St. John’s Jesuit and Upper Arlington each entering one shell to round out the nine entries. The Crew Cats have refined their catches and finishes since finalizing their lineups and both boats are capable of medalling.

New Trier will pose the biggest threat to the Saint Ignatius lightweight eight, which races in a final-only event on Sunday. The Wildcats have already defeated two of the three remaining crews, Rockford and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, but will need to overcome the perennial powerhouse in New Trier if they want to claim the lightweight trophy.

On the varsity side, Wildcat rowers will also compete in the varsity, second varsity and lightweight fours, as well as a few sculling events.

In freshmen and novice racing, Saint Ignatius will be challenged from crews across the region. The freshmen eight event will be filled with crews vying for medals, but the Wildcats should be among the contenders. Additionally, Saint Ignatius is putting out two novice eights and a few fours, all of which have their eyes on the medal stand. They will need to perform at their best this weekend in order to find themselves there on Sunday.

Stay tuned for results from the Midwest Championships. Let’s go Cats!

Make it 18 out of 20 for the Cats' Freshmen Baseball Team
5/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's young hitters scored three runs in the second inning and took command with a five-run fourth in defeating Archbishop Hoban, 9-1, at Hoban on Thursday evening.

Saint Ignatius (18-2), which tacked on a run in the sixth, solved the Knights' pitching to the tune of 13 hits. The Cats overcame three errors.

Archbishop Hoban, which avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the sixth, turned in a line score of 1-5-1.  

Wildcats Volleyball comes up with a strong effort, but is defeated by St. Edward for the third time this season.
5/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After winning the third set, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats nearly evened things up in the fourth set before the host Eagles rallied and extended their winning streak to six matches. The scores were 25-18, 25-18, 18-25 and 26-24.

St. Edward now stands 10-5 on the season and Saint Ignatius continues to leave it all on the court despite an under .500 record this spring.

 

 
 
The Euclid Relays and another challenging slate in baseball highlight a big weekend in Wildcats spring sports
5/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats, who are enjoying another exceptional outdoor season, will look to defend their title at what is one of the tradition-rich meets in the Greater Cleveland area - Friday's Euclid Relays at the Panthers' storied Sparky DiBiasio Stadium. The competition is scheduled to begin at 4 PM.

Last season, the Wildcats totaled 92 points in bringing home the first-place trophy at Euclid. The Mentor Cardinals were second with 87.50 points and the Glenville Tarblooders finished third with 78 points.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding  sprinter James Norris, now a junior, ran the best time in the 100 meter dash at Euclid last year, edging Darrien Hickman of Glenville, 11.20 to 11.22. James is coming off a 10.84 first-place effort during last weekend's Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington High School (see the corner's post from Sunday). The Wildcats will also be looking for junior distance and relay runner Luke Wagner to continue his excellent spring (excellent might be an understatement) and the continued success of their deep relay teams.

In baseball, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Wildcats will take a 17-5 record and a five-game winning streak into Friday evening's matchup with the Crusaders from Canton Central Catholic. The first pitch from Canton is slated for 5 PM. Year in and year out, the Crusaders play some of the best baseball the Northern part of the state has to offer in any division.

On Saturday, the Saint Ignatius Baseball Program will present its annual Senior/Family and Alumni Day tripleheader at the baseball rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. And the opponent will be one of the best from the Keystone State - the Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep Ramblers.

Saturday's action will begin with a 10 AM Freshmen matchup between the Ramblers and the Cats, followed by a 12:30 game matching the Junior Varsity programs from the respective schools. The highly anticipated Varsity encounter is scheduled for 3 PM.

Cathedral Prep is having another solid spring under Head Coach Dave Hess. The Ramblers are currently 16-1, with their only setback coming on Wednesday, 2-1, to Erie McDowell.

Coach Hess, now his seventh season at his alma mater, has a career mark of 121-30 that includes this year's 16-1 start. A former shortstop/pitcher for some of Cathedral Prep's strongest teams from 1978 through '81, Coach Hess went on to pitch for Clemson before an injury shortened his playing career.

Last year, Coach Hess guided the Ramblers to a 21-4 record and an appearance in the PIAA Semifinals. It was the Varsity program's best season in 20 years in terms of total victories. Cathedral Prep baseball owns 16 District 10 championships, 14 Metro titles and four Regional championships, including back-to-back efforts in 2013-14.

Cathedral Prep's Junior Varsity sported a 10-1 record through Wednesday. The Freshmen and Junior Varsity Wildcats were 17-2 and 18-3, respectively, through Wednesday's action.

Here is a look at the rest of this weekend's spring sports slate, as per the Saint Ignatius website schedules.

Volleyball:  After tonight's match at St. Edward, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats are scheduled to travel to Mount Vernon on Friday for a 7:30 PM match.

Lacrosse: The red-hot Lax Cats of Coach Patrick McManamon, who now carry a record of 11-2 after this week's 16-5 victory at University School, are scheduled to face Kiski Prep on Saturday at 2 PM on the campus of John Carroll University.

Tennis: Coach Jon Barker's Cats will continue to prepare for the upcoming OHSAA Sectional Tournament with a trip to Cincinnati this weekend. Saint Ignatius is scheduled to play Indian Hill on Friday at 4:30 PM and St. Xavier (9 AM) and Upper Arlington (noon) on Saturday.

NOTE: For an update on the Crew Cats, who are making May a month to remember, please see the report posted by the corner on Sunday. The outstanding report was courtesy of Saint Ignatius' Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09.    

M.J. Nara fires five innings of no-hit baseball, Murphy O'Brien picks up his eighth save and the Cats' bats erupt for eight runs in the top of the seventh during Wednesday evening's 9-0 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary
5/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Akron, Ohio - In a game that was played on a picture-perfect spring evening at Old Forge Field, Saint Ignatius senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara and St. Vincent-St. Mary's promising sophomore southpaw Brandon Bischof were locked in a pitchers' duel through six innings.

The Wildcats, who improved to 17-5 and won their fifth consecutive game, rode a one-out, RBI single into short right-center field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

It stayed that way until the top of the seventh, when the Cats took command by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs.

After Saint Ignatius stretched its lead to 3-0 on a two-run triple by Fuller, St. Vincent-St. Mary's outstanding young head coach Anthony Boarman went to his bullpen and replaced Bischof with senior reliever Brian Horning. Bischof experienced his first loss of the season in four decisions.

Things didn't get any better for the Fighting Irish (12-12), as Saint Ignatius senior pinch hitter/infielder James Zajaczkowski lined the first pitch he saw from Horning into right field for a run-scoring single.

The Cats' seventh-inning hit parade also featured a one-out, bases-loaded RBI single by standout senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, a run-scoring infield hit by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia, a bases-loaded walk by sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, who led off the inning with a base hit, and a two-run single to right-center field by junior first baseman/pinch hitter George Asadorian.

Nara, who went five complete innings without yielding a hit, improved his record to 5-1. M.J., who also serves as one of Head Coach Brad Ganor's captains, struck out six, walked four and threw 83 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Helping keep M.J.'s no-no effort intact was gifted senior second baseman Mullen Socha, who made a leaping catch of a line drive to end the bottom of the fifth.  

Junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, who entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Saint Ignatius clinging to a 1-0 lead, picked up his eighth save on the season. Murphy pitched 1 and 1/3 innings, yielded one hit, struck out three and threw 15 strikes in the 21 pitches he delivered.

The line scores on the game read 9-11-3 for the Wildcats and 0-2-1 for the Fighting Irish.

From Coach Ganor: "An eight-run seventh, we'll take that every time. But when you don't give up any runs, one's enough. I say it every year, but Anthony (Coach Boarman) does a terrific job with his program. The score is not indicative of how close of a game that was. It was a hard-fought battle until the end."

Coach Ganor said he will send his talented sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (3-0) to the mound on Friday evening, when the Cats board the bus again and travel to tradition-rich Canton Central Catholic to face the Crusaders in a 5 PM first pitch.

From M. J. Nara: "My curveball," said M.J. of the pitch that was really clicking for him on the Old Forge mound. "This team reminds me of our 2013 team (a Division I state runner-up to Archbishop Moeller). We had our ups and downs at the beginning (during 2013), but then right before the playoffs we went on a roll. Games were flying by."

Saint Ignatius is the No. 1 seed for the Strongsville Division I sectional/district and will begin OHSAA postseason play on May 13 in a sectional final versus the winner of the sectional semifinal between Rhodes and John F. Kennedy. The May13th sectional final is slated for 5 PM in Classic Park.  

           

     

         

    

The Wildcats' Freshmen Baseball Team now stands 17-2 after a dominant victory over North Ridgeville on Tuesday
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Freshmen Cats scored five times in the bottom of the first inning and added a five-run fourth to the mix in coasting to an 11-1 victory.

Coach Brian Becker's team had nine hits and committed one error. North Ridgeville's line read 1-7-2.  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball is postponed
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Today's game versus Eastlake North at Classic Park was called off because of the threat of rain.

Up next for the Baseball Cats is Wednesday's 5 PM game versus St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron.

Wildcats Tennis remains eighth in the weekly OTCA state poll
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Ed Wolff, Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Treasurer

1. Cincinnati Sycamore (15 first-place votes) 150
2. Upper Arlington 132
3. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 114
4. Massillon Jackson 109
5. (tie) St. Xavier 78
    New Albany 78
7. Mason  59
8. Saint Ignatius 48
9. Centerville 16
10. Columbus St. Charles 15
Saint Ignatius Baseball moves up two spots in this week's OHSBCA State Poll
5/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, which is 16-5 and riding a four-game winning streak, went from 19th to the 17th spot this week in the coaches' poll. Here are the current Division I rankings by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.

1. Archbishop Moeller, 2. Walsh Jesuit, 3. Perrysburg, 4. Wadsworth, 5. Lakota West, 6. Butler, 7. Mason, 8. Olentangy Liberty, 9. Willoughby South and 10. Westerville Central.

NOTE: The teams in bold face were defeated by Saint Ignatius this spring. Walsh Jesuit, which was defeated by the Wildcats, 4-1, on Saturday, moved up one spot this week. ****Despite what you might have read or seen tweeted elsewhere, Walsh Jesuit was ranked third in last week's poll and entered its game versus Saint Ignatius on Saturday evening with that ranking. The new poll was released today (Monday).

The second ten this week are: 11. Hudson, 12. Watkins Memorial, 13. St. Francis De Sales, 14. Massillon Jackson, 15. Elder, 16. Anthony Wayne, 17. SAINT IGNATIUS, 18. La Salle, 19. Avon and 20. Olentangy.

Other teams receiving votes were: St. John's Jesuit, St. Edward, Grove City, Brecksville-Broadview Hts., Lebanon, Harrison, Gahanna Lincoln, Troy and Milford.


    

Wildcats Varsity Baseball Seeded No. 1 for the Division I Strongsville Sectional/District
5/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Fairview Park - Coach Brad Ganor's Cats, coming off an impressive 4-1 victory over Walsh Jesuit in Saturday night's championship game of The Pipe Yard Classic, drew a bye in the first round and will take their No. 1 seed into a May 13th Sectional Final at Classic Park. Saint Ignatius will face the winner of the Sectional Semifinal between Rhodes and John F. Kennedy.

Host Strongsville garnered the second seed, Berea-Midpark was seeded third and defending Strongsville District Champion North Royalton is the fourth seed.

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE VICTORY OVER WALSH JESUIT, WHICH ENTERED SATURDAY NIGHT'S GAME VERSUS SAINT IGNATIUS AS THE THIRD-RANKED TEAM IN THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION'S DIVISION I STATE POLL.

THE INFORMATION IS COURTESY OF COACH GANOR.

Sophomore left-hander Connor Adams started and went five innings. Wildcats No. 1 starter, senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara, worked the sixth and seventh innings and picked up the victory. M.J., a Walsh University recruit, also had a key RBI as the Cats tied the score in the bottom of the fifth and scored three runs in what was the decisive sixth.

Two of Saint Ignatius' gifted young players, sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs and sophomore catcher Jeff Chonko, turned in solid performances. The sweet-swinging Jacobs had two hits and Chonko, in what was his first Varsity game after being called up from the Junior Varsity, did an excellent job behind the plate, both defensively and working with the pitchers.

Up next for the Cats is Tuesday's game versus Eastlake North in Classic Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.  Saint Ignatius will enter Tuesday's matchup with the Rangers carrying a record of 16-5 and a four-game winning streak.  

 

 

Crew Cats clean up at Laddie Cup Regatta
5/3/2015

Visit by Fr. Frank Canfield, sweep of Varsity Eight highlight the day.

PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT CREW COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J. was all smiles on Saturday as he watched the gold racing shell that bears his name tear down the 1,500-meter course in Orchard Lakes, Mich.

“The Canfield is running smooth today,” he exclaimed as he watched the Saint Ignatius Junior Eight cruise to a 20-second victory at the Laddie Cup Regatta. Fr. Frank’s presence at the Wildcats’ final tune-up before the Midwest Scholastic Rowing championships was icing on the cake for a day that included a sweep of the varsity eight events and medals in the varsity four, freshman eight, novice eight, junior four and lightweight four.

Conditions were ideal for racing, with sunshine and temperatures that reached the mid-70s, although winds picked up slightly as the day progressed.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 challenged the Varsity Eight, in the final race of the day, to race against the clock, holding nothing back. The crew blitzed down the course in 4:23, good enough for the day’s fastest time and an 11-second victory over St. John’s Jesuit from Toledo.

The Lightweight Eight, racing for the first time all spring, made a statement with its 6-second victory over host Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Likewise, Saint Ignatius’ depth was on display for the second week in a row when the Wildcats’ 4th Varsity Eight, racing in the Second Varsity Eight category, took home a gold medal by a 10-second margin.

Also taking gold was the Varsity Four, comprised of rowers from the Varsity Eight. The crew had to battle a little pressure early on, but crossed the line about 5 seconds ahead of St. Mary’s.These victories, combined with silver medals in the freshman eight, novice eight and lightweight four, plus a bronze in the junior four, garnered the Wildcats 215 points and the boys team points trophy. But the biggest ray of sunshine was Fr. Canfield, who spent seven years at Saint IgnatiusHigh School between 2006 and 2013 and currently resides at the Columbiere Center for retired Jesuits, about 20 minutes away from the racecourse.

Throughout the day Fr. Canfield was constantly surrounded by students and parents eager to catch up with their friend and mentor. Next Saturday and Sunday the Wildcat Navy will compete at the Midwest Championship in Zanesville and faces stiff competition from the likes of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, New Trier and Loyola Academy. The results of the regatta will determine which boats qualify for the national championship, so the team is ready to lay it all out on the line.

With support like Fr. Canfield on their side, the Wildcats are ready to face the Midwest's best.

James Norris, Luke Wagner and the Cats' relay teams show the way again as Saint Ignatius finishes second at the annual Gary Smith Track Invitational.
5/3/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats totaled 130 points in finishing one point behind Watkins Memorial, which took first place for the second consecutive year. Big Walnut was third with 91 points and Gahanna Lincoln finished fourth with 88 points.

Here are the Cats' many highlights from what is always a highly competitive meet at Thomas Worthington High School.

100 Meter Dash - James Norris takes first place in 10.84. Evan Caniff of Watkins Memorial was second in 10.95.

4x800 Meter Relay - Saint Ignatius' Team of Colin Kruchan, Pat Nolan, Tom Sullivan and Mike Huber took first place in 8:04.50. Hilliard Darby was second in 8:11.73.

110 Meter Hurdles: - The Wildcats' C.J. Moore was sixth in 15.76.

4x200 Meter Relay - The team of Quinn Lawless, Jack Cook, Anthony Pelligrino and Mike Lehto placed fifth in 1:32.64.

1600 Meter Run - Luke Wagner takes first place in 4:13.64. Jim Rogers was eighth in 4:41.57.

4x100 Meter Relay - Saint Ignatius' team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris took first place in 42.74.

3200 Meter Run - C.J. Ambrosio was second in 9:41.43. Lucas Bons of Dublin Coffman was first in 9:37.40.

300 Meter Hurdles - Jack Ruddy was eighth in 41.70.

200 Meter Dash - James Norris takes first place in 22.04. Phil Zuccaro was sixth in 23.14.

800 Meter Run - Luke Wagner takes first place in 1:56.49. Mathew Ridinger of Gahanna Lincoln was second in 1:56.72.

Long Jump - *Rai Walters (21-11.25) and Mike Lehto (21-07.50) place 1-2.

Triple Jump - Rai Walters places sixth with an effort of 36-06.50.

4x400 Meter Relay - The team of Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Anthony Pelligrino, Mike Huber and Pat Nolan finished sixth in 3:33.12.

Pole Vault - Sam Rapnicki places fifth in 13-00.00.

Discus - Cory Griffith placed second with a throw of 147-05 and Mike Bodnar was fourth with an effort of 143-00.

Shot Put - Cory Griffith was fourth (45-08.50) and Mike Bodnar was fifth (45-01.00).

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball improves to 16-5 and extends its winning streak to four after a 4-1 triumph over Walsh Jesuit in the championship game of The Pipe Yard Classic on Saturday night.
5/3/2015

Head Coach Brad Ganor's Cats knocked off a Walsh Jesuit team that entered this week's play ranked third in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll.

Saint Ignatius, which should move up a few notches in this coming week's poll, was ranked 19th this past week.

Up Next for the Wildcats is Tuesday's game versus Eastlake North at Classic Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.

We will provide you with some details from the Walsh Jesuit game on Sunday.    

Here are the All-Midwest Awards presented to the Lax Cats this weekend.
5/2/2015

From Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and posted by Eddie Dwyer

1st team All-Midwest
Attack, Junior Crew Cintron
Defense, Junior Alex Maruna

2nd team All-Midwest
Midfield, Senior Ethan Whitney

Honorable Mention: Defense, Seniors Patrick Mulach and Jack Mazanec, and Attack, Junior Alex Hornung.

And congratulations to the Saint Ignatius Lacrosse team for defeating "The Men from Moeller," 11-6, in today's MSLCA tournament action. The Lax Cats now stand 10-2.
5/2/2015
Congrats to former Michgan great and Wolverines Captain/LB Jake Ryan '10 for being selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. It was a privilege to cover and report on Jake's career at Saint Ignatius - Eddie Dwyer
5/2/2015
Wildcats Varsity Baseball rides the strong right arm of Luke Diggs and two-hit nights from Sam Fuller, Ryan Jacobs, Dylan Welch, Kevin Mingus and Dylan Smolen to a 9-1 victory over Mentor in the second game of The Pipe Yard Classic on Friday night.
5/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Lorain County - Senior right-hander Luke Diggs went the distance in improving his record to 3-2 and Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats now stand 15-5 after pounding out 14 hits against the Mentor Cardinals, who slipped to 9-7.

Saint Ignatius will send gifted sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (3-0) to the mound on Saturday evening when the Cats face the highly touted Warriors from Walsh Jesuit in The Pipe Yard Classic final. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 PM.

Walsh Jesuit, which is ranked third in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I state poll, advanced to the all Jesuit School matchup with Saint Ignatius by squeezing by Amherst Steele, 4-3, in Friday's first game at The Pipe Yard.

As for Diggs, it was evident he was ready to go during his pregame bullpen and that strength came to fruition in the bottom of the first inning when Luke sent Mentor down in order, including two strikeouts.

Diggs was in command, as his complete-game performance included four strikeouts, one walk, one run and five hits. Luke threw 77 pitches, 49 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius' bats were ringing from the get-go.

The Cats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, tacked on another run in the second inning and broke things open with a four-run top of the fourth. Included among Saint Ignatius' 14 hits, which came off three Cardinals pitchers, were two-hit nights by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, senior designated hitter Dylan Welch, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus and senior right fielder Dylan Smolen.

SETTING THE TABLE: Saint Ignatius did just that in the top of the first inning as Sam Fuller, one of the state's complete players, led off with a line drive single to left field. Fuller then stole second base and came around to score when junior first baseman Dennis Grosel hit a sharp grounder that the shortstop couldn't deal with. Grosel then advanced to second on the throw home.

After the Cats' Kevin Mingus hit an authoritative single to right-center field, Coach Ganor's team had runners on first and third with one out. Mentor would grab some momentum by picking off the runner at third, but, in what was a great at-bat by Saint Ignatius' Dylan Welch, Mr. Momentum immediately returned to the Wildcats' dugout.

Welch, a relentless worker in the batting cage, smoked a 3-2 pitch to left field for a single and Mingus, who had advanced to second during the rundown at third base, came home to score the game's second run.

ADDING ON AND BUSTING IT OPEN: With one out and the bases empty in the top of the second, Ryan Jacobs, one of Saint Ignatius' standout young hitters, doubled to the gap in right-center. Veteran Dylan Smolen then beat out a grounder to deep shortstop for a hit, putting Wildcat base runners on first and third.

After Smolen stole second base, Fuller made his presence felt again by driving the ball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly RBI and a 3-0 Saint Ignatius lead.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Cats put themselves in the driver's seat with a four-run fourth that featured a single by Jacobs, a bunt for a base hit by Smolen, another run-scoring single by Fuller, an opposite-field RBI single to left field by Grosel and a decisive two-out, two run single by Welch.

An opposite way RBI single to right field by senior second baseman Mullen Socha made it an 8-0 game in the top of the fifth and, after a line-drive single to center field by senior shortstop Jake Kucia was played into a double, the Wildcats' faithful were purring to the tune of a 9-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.

Mentor's only run, which came in the bottom of the sixth, was fueled by base hits from second baseman Tyler Thompson and center fielder Nathan Birtley.

FROM COACH GANOR: "Luke (Diggs) was outstanding. He pitched really well on Sunday (at St. Xavier), even though he took a tough loss. I was with him out in the bullpen before the game and I thought he was going to have a great game. He just looked sharp, he looked focused and I'm just proud of the way he came out, threw strikes and allowed us to extend the lead by putting up zeroes.

"Offensively, I would say the difference in tonight's game was Dylan Welch coming up with that big hit (with two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the fourth)," Coach Ganor continued. "We've spent a lot of time discussing how to come up with that hit, and Dylan went out and executed it."

FROM LUKE DIGGS: "The fastball was working tonight and it just feels good pitching in front of guys who have your back. The confidence level is great when you have people playing like that. We mixed in a few curveballs, but when you have the fastball working to the point where you're getting ground balls and pop ups, there's no reason to go away from it. I couldn't wait to get back on the mound tonight."

  

 

  

  

Saint Ignatius' Track and Field Team, which is having an outstanding spring, will head to Franklin County on Saturday for the annual Gary Smith Track Invitational at Thomas Worthington High School.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The competition will get underway at high noon in what is a tradition-rich May event.

At last year's Gary Smith Invitational, Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats finished second with 124.50 points. Watkins Memorial took home first place with 144 points.

Luke Wagner and James Norris, now juniors, continued to make their marks at the 2014 Gary Smith Invite, with Luke winning both the 1600 meter run (4:27.67) and the 800 meter run (1:57.60). Luke battled a stiff wind during the 1600.

The gifted and amiable Norris took first place in both the 100 meter dash (11.29) and the 200 meter dash (22.15).

Wildcats Tennis gears up for two matches in Columbus on Saturday after a 3-2 setback to University School on Wednesday at Magnificat.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' schedule in the State Capital will send the Tennis Cats against Cincinnati Country Day at 11 AM, followed by a match versus the Cardinals from Columbus St. Charles at 3 PM.    

The Freshmen Baseball Cats break open a tight game by scoring three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, and go on to defeat Walsh Jesuit, 7-1, on Thursday evening.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Cats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and the Walsh Warriors tied the score in the top of the fourth.

Saint Ignatius' late charge resulted in a line score of seven runs on seven hits. The Cats committed just one error. Walsh Jesuit's line read 1-5-3.  

Cats Volleyball gets back on the winning track
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Bouncing back from three losses to state-ranked teams at Centerville's Elite 8 (see the corner's post from Monday), Saint Ignatius Volleyball defeated host Brecksville-Broadview Heights in three straight sets on Wednesday night.

The scores were 25-10, 25-16, 25-19.

The next match for Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats is Friday night at 7 versus Brunswick in Sullivan Gymnasium. 

And one more time, congratulations to the Wildcats' Freshmen Baseball Team, which continued its winning ways by blanking Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 7-0, this evening.
4/29/2015
And congrats to the Wildcats' Varsity Lacrosse Team, which traveled to Solon tonight and came away with a 14-3 victory over a highly regarded Comets team. The Lax Cats now stand 8-2 on the season.
4/29/2015
Congratulations from the corner go out to freshman diver Alex Claus and sophomore Dimitri Simcox (200 MR, 100 Free and 200 FR) for earning Honorable Mention on the 2014-15 All-Star Swimming and Diving Team by cleveland.com
4/29/2015
The pitching of Nick Freund, a towering two-run home run by first baseman Dennis Grosel, solid play in the field and a three-run third inning lead the Varsity Baseball Cats to a 6-1 victory over Olmsted Falls on Tuesday evening.
4/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April/May 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Cats now stand 14-5 on the season after they were solid in all facets of the game in a sun-drenched, yes sun-drenched Bohlken Park.

Right-hander Nick Freund, who upped his record to 4-1, was tough-minded and talented on Tuesday evening as the amiable junior went six innings, yielded three hits and one run, struck out five, walked a batter and had a hit batsman. Nick threw 81 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Savvy senior southpaw Brendan Adler pitched a scoreless seventh. I say savvy, because Brendan, after picking up the victory in Friday night's 4-1 triumph over North Royalton at Progressive Field, took the baseball, wrote on it and then flipped it up into the stands to a young lady. On the baseball it read, "Will you go with me to my prom?" The answer was yes, my friends.

Freund, whose gutsy performance included plenty of offensive and defensive support, was staked to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, when junior first baseman Dennis Grosel turned on an inside fastball and sent Mr. Rawlings soaring over the right-field fence. The ball landed on the hill behind the scoreboard. Dennis' blast followed a one-out base hit and stolen base by red-hot senior second baseman Mullen Socha.

Saint Ignatius, which is scheduled to face Mentor on Friday evening at 6 bells in The Pipe Yard (Lorain County), started to pull away from Olmsted Falls courtesy of a three-run bottom of the third. Coach Dan Largent's Bulldogs from  the Southwest Conference are now a deceiving 9-9, with their mark against Ohio teams at 8-6. The Falls is 5-3 in SWC play.

The Cats' bottom of the third was fueled by a leadoff base hit from senior outfielder Dylan Smolen, a stolen base by Smolen and an RBI double to left field by gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit. Saint Ignatius combined a fielder's choice, a stolen base by senior Kurt Mantes and an error into its fourth run, and Grosel went the opposite way to left field for a sacrifice fly that brought home the third run of the inning and a 5-0 lead.

A bunt for a base hit by Fuller and another base hit by Socha opened the door for the Cats' sixth and final run in the bottom of the fifth.

Olmsted Falls avoided a shutout by turning back-to-back base hits by junior right fielder Aidan Kelley and senior left fielder Ryan Hanna, a one-out walk and a wild pitch into a run in the top of the sixth. Freund went out in style, however, as with runners on second and third with one out, Nick reached back and retired the Bulldogs with two strikeouts. Three of Freund's five Ks came in the top of the sixth.

The line scores showed Saint Ignatius at 6-7-1 and Olmsted Falls at 1-4-1.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: The Wildcats flashed their leather on Tuesday evening, as Dennis Grosel came up with two scoops at first base that would have brought a smile to the face of the late Vic Power, Dylan Smolen made a nice play for an out on a fly ball that the early evening wind in Bohlken Park was trying to circle away from him and senior shortstop Jake Kucia turned in a Derek Jeter-like catch on a sinking liner. With two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the seventh, Jake fielded a ground ball and alertly went the short way for a force at third that ended the game.

FROM HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "Nick (Freund) did a great job. His pitch count was perfect and he threw strikes. He had a couple of situations with some guys on and he battled. When you throw zeros up and then score runs on top of it, it kind of takes away their (the opponent) will."

FROM VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH MARK TERLEP: "In talking with Luke Diggs (senior right-handed pitcher) the other day, he gave me the comment that he really loves pitching in front of these guys. Our defense has been really playing solid behind our pitchers. We like our pitchers to pitch to contact and guys are making plays behind them. I talked today about confidence as the word of the day, and when pitchers can go out with confidence, knowing that the guys behind them will make the plays, they get the job done."

FROM NICK FREUND: "The fastball outside was really working well today," said Nick. "Then I would come with the curveball. I threw a few changeups, but mostly it was the fastball. 

"Up the middle and third base, great plays, Dennis Grosel with two great scoops at first and in the outfield Sam Fuller was roaming in center field as always, and Ryan Jacobs in left and Dylan Smolen in right made plays," continued Nick, in reference to the defense behind him. "I've been throwing to contact all season and letting my defense make the plays."

FROM DENNIS GROSEL, WHO IS ALSO THE WILDCATS' STARTING VARSITY FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK: "It felt good," said Dennis of his two-run blast that set the table for a successful evening. "With a guy on second and one out, I just thought about barreling it up, getting it through and making something happen. I was trying to get him (Mullen Socha) over and in. It was a fastball inside and I turned on it pretty good.

"The pitching is going well and we have their backs," Dennis continued while talking about the Cats' defense. "They throw strikes and we'll make the plays. It's been working out well for us so far."

THE FRESHMEN CATS CONTINUE THEIR WINNING WAYS: Coach Brian Becker's talented ninth graders came away with an 8-0 victory at Olmsted Falls on Tuesday.

The young Cats delivered 11 hits and limited the Bulldogs' freshmen to two hits. Saint Ignatius played errorless baseball and the Bulldogs made two miscues.                    

                  

           

     

Deep Saint Ignatius Rowing team ready to take on the Midwest
4/27/2015

Wildcat Navy has strong showing at Wesley Davids Regatta

PRESENTED BY WILDCATS OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

FROM COACH WALTERS: The Wildcat Navy, led by a strong performance from several varsity boats, earned two silver medals and two bronze medals on Sunday at the Wesley Davids Memorial Regatta.

In the First Varsity Eight event, Saint Ignatius’ 1st boat traded strokes with Detroit Boat Club early on. Although the crew slowly fell back, it never lost contact with Detroit, but missed gold by 3 seconds. The Wildccat 2nd boat worked its way past top crews from Canisius High School and Three Rivers Rowing Association in the same final, creating an open water gap en route to a bronze medal finish.

In the Second Varsity Eight, the Saint Ignatius 4th boat put on an inspiring race, pushing through the Saint Ignatius 3rd boat and Canisius High School’s 2nd boat to claim third behind Upper Canada’s and Detroit’s 2nd boats.That multiple Ignatius crews were racing up a category and still contending for medals indicates that the team’s speed runs deep.

The Varsity Four, which comprised the stern four rowers from the 1st boat, earned the Wildcats’ last medal of the day, placing 3rd - just 22 seconds ahead of Upper Canada

Saint Ignatius also sent four freshmen crews into the finals. Two freshmen eights finished fourth and sixth, and two freshmen fours placed fifth and sixth in their final.

For the boys in the gold boats, these finishes suggest that the team is in a strong position heading into the final month of the season, which includes both regional and national championships.

After a day off on Monday, the Wildcats begin the last two weeks of training for the full squad, culminating in the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship on May 9-10.

From top to bottom, Saint Ignatius Crew is ready to test its speed against some of the Midwest’s top teams.

Here is this week's Division I State Poll by the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association.
4/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Ed Wolff, OTCA Treasurer
 
First-Place Votes in parenthesis, followed by total points.
 
Division I
1. Cincinnati Sycamore (13) 130
2. Upper Arlington 110
3. Massillon Jackson  87
4. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 84
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier 71
6. New Albany  68
7. Mason 45
8. Saint Ignatius 26
9. Pickerington North 19
10. tie: Columbus St. Charles 8, Centerville 8
Here is this week's Division I State Poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.
4/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer. Voting took place on Thursday through Sunday.

1. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller

2. Lakota West

3. Walsh Jesuit

4. Perrysburg

5. Butler

6. Westerville Central

7. Wadsworth

8. Mason

9. Willoughby South

10. Avon

11. Olentangy Liberty

12. Kettering Fairmont

13. Watkins Memorial

14. Olentangy

15. Hudson

16. St. Francis DeSales

17. Gahanna Lincoln

18. Cincinnati Elder

19. Saint Ignatius

20. Massillon Jackson

Others receiving votes: St. Edward, Colerain, Anthony Wayne, Cincinnati La Salle, Troy and Mentor.

How the Volleyball Cats fared at the Elite 8 in Centerville.
4/27/2015

FROM COACH CASEY MARCELO AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Cats Volleyball drops 3 matches at the Elite 8 on Saturday.

Cincinnati Elder (#1) 3-0
Centerville (#5) 3-0
St. Edward (#7) 3-0
 
Elder defeated Saint Ignatius, 25-17, 25-14, 25-22
Centerville defeated  Saint Ignatius, 26-24, 25-23, 25-13
St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 26-24, 25-23, 25-13
 
Note from the corner: The state rankings of the teams the Wildcats faced are in parenthesis. Cincinnati St. Xavier won the Elite 8 Championship by taking an upset  "thriller" over Greater Catholic League rival Elder.
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MATCH AT MASSILLON JACKSON, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 11, WILL NOW BE PLAYED ON MAY 12.
 
 
Saint Ignatius rides that seven-run fourth to a 9-2 victory at St. Xavier and a split in Sunday's doubleheader versus the Bombers.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

That seven-run fourth (see the corner's recaps below) and another strong pitching performance by savvy sophomore left-hander Connor Adams enabled the Cats to bounce back from their 4-3, eight-inning loss in Sunday's first game (again see the posts below).

Adams, who was coming off six innings of no-hit baseball against a solid Willoughby South team, went 4 2/3 innings on Sunday and yielded just two hits before turning the baseball over to senor right-hander Jacob Bangert. Connor, who also had a solid day at the plate, now stands 3-0 on the season.

"Our hitting started to spark in the second game when we were able to string hits together in timely spots," said Adams. "We also came back strong in the second game in putting up 9 runs and it was a great way to answer back. I just went out there and had the same approach like every game, trying to pound the strike zone. "

Junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the key arm out of Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, worked the seventh in a non-save situation.

In improving to 13-5, Saint Ignatius scored its nine runs on 11 hits. The Cats left 11 on base and committed two errors.

St. Xavier, which is three games under the .500 mark, had five total hits, made two errors and stranded six base runners.

"All the guys knew that we needed to bounce back after that first game, and as a team we stepped up to the challenge," said Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares. "Our goal is to be peaking going into the playoffs and there's no doubt in my mind we will be."

Up Next for the Cats is Tuesday's scheduled game versus the Bulldogs from Olmsted Falls. The first pitch in Bohlken Park is slated for 5 PM.

This corner would like to express his thanks to Saint Ignatius' irreplaceable senior Student Manager Kyle Kostura, who ran down quotes for this report, and to St. Xavier High School for the courtesy of the Bombers' Mobile Link on Sunday. God be willing, we will see the Bombers and their faithful in Week 9 of the 2015 football season. It should be another dandy.    

 

  

Wildcats take total command of Sunday's second game at St. Xavier by sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs in the top of the fourth inning.
4/26/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

A hit batsman, a single by Kevin Mingus and a two-run double by Dennis Grosel started the seven-run barrage. Dylan Welch followed with an RBI single and a wild pitch on a swinging third strike helped open the door for a two-run double by senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a bases-loaded wild pitch and an RBI sacrifice fly by Sam Fuller.

Cats take a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the second inning of their second game at St. Xavier today.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Senior Dylan Smolen delivered an RB single that scored sophomore left-hander Connor Adams, who had singled and moved to second on a fielder's choice.

Standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller then delivered a run-scoring double and after walks to juniors Kevin Mingus and Dennis Grosel, the Cats left the bases loaded.  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball is defeated by Cincinnati St. Xavier, 4-3, in eight innings in what was the first game of a doubleheader today at St. Xavier.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Wildcats and the Bombers will play their second game shortly.

In the first game, Saint Ignatius, which now stands 12-5 on the season, took the early lead as senior shortstop Jake Kucia brought home the game's first two runs in the second inning.

St. Xavier, a member of Cincinnati's talent-rich Greater Catholic League South, scored three times in the bottom of the third in taking a 3-2 lead.

A walk to Wildcats junior first baseman/catcher Dennis Grosel  knotted the score at 3 in the top of the sixth and, after a scoreless seventh, the Bombers prevailed in the extra frame behind an RBI double by Spencer Helwig.

The line score showed Saint Ignatius with nine hits, an error and 14 left on base. St. Xavier's line was 4-7-2, with eight runners stranded.

Noah Stockman picked up the victory and now stands 2-1 on the season.    

 

Saint Ignatius Freshmen Baseball lets a 5-0 lead slip away, but comes back to defeat Brunswick, 6-5, in eight innings on Saturday.
4/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Cats led, 5-0, after four innings before the Blue Devils rallied with three runs in the fifth and two more in the top of the seventh.

After a scoreless top of the eighth, the young Cats improved to 12-2 by scoring the game winner in the bottom half of the frame.

The line scores were 5-9-2 for Brunswick and 6-8-3 for Saint Ignatius.  

Wildcats Relay Teams stand out again, as Saint Ignatius Track and Field finishes second at Saturday's Comet Relays
4/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the highlights for Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted track and field team at what was the 60th Annual Comet Relays in Amherst, Ohio, a meet that always features exceptional talent.

Berea-Midpark was first with 97 points, Saint Ignatius placed second with 91 points and Medina and Toledo St. John's Jesuit were third and fourth, respectively, with 55 and 52 points.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in a time of 11.22. First place went to Caleb Samol of Berea-Midpark in 11.09.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner took first place in 4:22.37.

3200 Meter Run: C.J. Ambrosio was fifth in 9:44.80.

4x100 Meter Relay: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris ran to first place in a time of 43.50. Medina was second in a time of 43.92.

4x400 Meter Relay: The team of Alex Janis, Mike Huber, Anthony Pelligrino and James Norris ran to first place in a time of 3:28.15. Sandusky was second in a time of 3:29.07.

4x800 Meter Relay: The team of Mike Huber, Tim Trentel, Pat Nolan and Colin Kruchan finished in seventh place with a time of 8:17.93.

4x1600 Meter Relay: The team of Pat Nolan, Sean Sovacool, Tom Sullivan and Luke Wagner ran to first place in a time of 17:51.83. Mentor was second in a time of 18:32.32.

800 Sprint Medley: The team of Quinn Lawless, Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro and Alex Janis placed 6th in a time of 1:38.79.

Distance Medley: The team of James Rogers, Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Sean Sovacool and Tom Sullivan ran to a first place time of 10:46.37. St. John's Jesuit was second in a time of 10:48.11.

4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdle: The team of Jack Ruddy, Matt Walcutt, Alex Ringfield and C.J. Moore finished second in a time of 1:05.40. Berea-Midpark was first in 1:00.50.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki was 11th at 12-00.00 and Matt Oriti was 16th at 11-00.00.

Long Jump Relay: Mike Lehto was third at 20-05.00, Rai Walters was seventh (19-08.00) and Jack Ruddy was 22nd (18-10.50).

Shot Put Relay: Cory Griffith was 9th at 46-06.00, Malique Burton was 26th at 41-09.50 and Mike Bodnar was 36th at 40-06.75.

Discus Relay: Cory Griffith was eighth at 144-04 and Mike Bodnar placed 11th at 137-00.

 

 

 

 

A night to cherish. Saint Ignatius' Varsity Baseball Team enjoys a 4-1 victory over North Royalton in Progressive Field.
4/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

The Wildcats seemed to savor every moment of their opportunity to perform in one of Major League Baseball's finest facilities, as they improved to 12-4 on the season behind what was the essence of a team victory over the North Royalton Bears.

Cleveland, Ohio - You could see the enjoyment in their eyes and carve their contagious spirit with a knife.

No matter how this promising spring comes to an end, the 2015 Saint Ignatius Wildcats Varsity Baseball Program will be remembered as a ball club that truly appreciated the game and considered it an honor to be "a teammate."

Friday night, at the annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic, Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff used seven different pitchers and cleared  their bench as every young man wearing those sharp gold jerseys had his moment under the bright lights of Carnegie and Ontario.

"I say we play every game here," said Ganor, shortly after his Cats defeated the 2014 Division I State Runner-Up Bears. "I said before the game that they needed to enjoy the experience, and I think they did. And the outcome was in our favor, which is great, but that's icing on the cake. The outcome was irrelevant in my mind. It was a once in lifetime experience for a lot of them."

Senior right-hander Luke Diggs opened what was a "Magnificent Seven" performance by the Saint Ignatius pitching staff by calmly snagging a pop up near the mound with one out and a runner on second in the top of the first inning. Bears shortstop Alex Sir Lewis had singled to center field with one out and advanced to second on a pitch in the dirt.

After a strong second inning by senior left-hander Brendan Adler that featured two strikeouts, Saint Ignatius got its offense on track with a three-run bottom of the second that featured a lead-off single by Dylan Welch and an RBI hustle double to right field by James Zajaczkowski.

Those three runs gave Adler, a young man who had ACL surgery less than a year ago, his first victory on the varsity level.

North Royalton, which defeated the Wildcats, 5-2, in last year' District Championship Game at Strongsville, got on the scoreboard with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the third. The Bears combined back-to-back singles by center fielder Garrett Strom and left fielder Reese Albright with an error in scoring their only run.

Saint Ignatius, which is scheduled to face Cincinnati St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday at noon on the Bombers' field, closed out the scoring in the bottom of the fourth on a sharp single through the left side by Zajaczkowski, a single to left field by senior catcher/captain Alex Pantares, a fielder' choice and  a two-out run-scoring single by senior pitcher/outfielder Dylan Smolen.

Completing the Cats' seven for seven innings pitching rotation were Jacob Bangert in the third inning, Richard McGraw in the fourth, Nick Freund in the fifth, Smolen in the sixth and the ace of Coach Ganor's bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, in the top of the seventh. O'Brien struck out two of the four batters he faced and Smolen's scoreless sixth featured a slick and smooth 5-4-3 double play that was started by Joe Evans at third base.

In what was one of the more impressive swings that didn't go for a hit on Friday night came off the bat of Wildcats junior first baseman/designated hitter George Asadorian, who drove a pitch to the 370-foot mark in left field.

The line scores on the game were 1-6-1 for North Royalton and 4-9-1 for Saint Ignatius.

"I'm proud of them, they had fun," Coach Ganor said. "I mean getting to hit under the dugout before the game, they truly felt like big leaguers for a night."       

  

 

 

   

          

PLEASE NOTE CHANGES FOR THIS WEEKEND'S VARSITY BASEBALL SCHEDULE.
4/24/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tonight's game versus North Royalton in Progressive Field is still a go. The first pitch in what is part of the Cleveland Indians' Charities annual High School Hardball Classic will be 8 PM.

Now stay with us as far as where Saturday's and Sunday's schedules stand. 

The annual Ohio Jesuit Cup Tournament, which was scheduled to get underway on Saturday at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School, has been officially canceled.

However, Saint Ignatius now plans to play St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday at St. Xavier. The first game is slated for noon, with the second game at approximately 2 PM or 2:30 PM.

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "We will plan to play St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday. If too much rain comes and we have to push back, we will only play one game on Sunday."

Please note postponement on April 28 Varsity Volleyball
4/23/2015

The Cats' volleyball match versus Hudson in Sullivan Gymnasium, scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, has been postponed because of a work scheduling conflict involving the Explorers' head coach.  

The Freshmen Baseball Cats roll to a mercy-rule victory over Euclid on Wednesday.
4/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's young Cats now stand 11-2 on the season after defeating the Panthers, 15-0. The game was called after 4 1/2 innings.

Today's line score read 15-9-0 for Saint Ignatius and 0--5-12 for Euclid. 

A big weekend awaits the Varsity Baseball Cats
4/22/2015


By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Auburn Township, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor’s Varsity Baseball Wildcats, coming off an impressive 7-0 victory over Willoughby South on Tuesday that improved their record to 11-4, will face 2014 Division I state runner-up North Royalton on Friday at 8 PM in Progressive Field.

Friday’s game is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic.

The Bears from North Royalton were bad news for the Cats last spring as they defeated Saint Ignatius, 5-2, in the Strongsville Division I District Championship Game.

After Friday night’s game it is on to Cincinnati St. Xavier bright and early Saturday morning for the annual Ohio Jesuit Cup Tournament.

Saint Ignatius will take on perennial power Walsh Jesuit at 4 PM Saturday and on Sunday the Baseball Cats will play either the Bombers from St. Xavier or the Titans from Toledo St. John’s Jesuit. Sunday’s first pitch is listed as 11 AM on the Cats’ schedule. Please check the Saint Ignatius and St. Xavier websites throughout the weekend for any delays or rescheduling of games.

At last season’s Jesuit Cup, which was played on the spacious campus of Walsh Jesuit, the Baseball Cats split their two games, losing to St. John’s Jesuit, 8-4, but going home with a smile after a 6-5, 10-inning victory over St. Xavier.

One of the major story lines to the thrilling victory over St. Xavier last year was the performance of Jacob Bangert, who is currently a key senior arm out of Coach Ganor’s bullpen.

In what was his first victory on the varsity level, Bangert pitched four shutout innings against St. Xavier. Jacob yielded
three hits and threw 59 pitches, 33 of which were strikes.

"For a kid that was on the junior varsity earlier in the season, he has shown a lot of moxie the last few weeks," Coach Ganor said of Bangert that Sunday afternoon of last spring. "He's deserving of the innings he is getting, that's for sure."

As for last year’s Saturday matchup with St. John’s Jesuit, the Cats spotted the Titans six runs and couldn't quite recover.

Here is a glance at Walsh Jesuit, St. Xavier and St. John’s Jesuit.

WALSH JESUIT: Under the direction of veteran Coach Chris Kaczmar, a 1988 graduate of Walsh Jesuit, the Warriors are ranked second to Archbishop Moeller in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Division I state poll.

Walsh Jesuit earned that ranking by getting out of the gate fast and winning nine of its first 10 games. If you are one who enjoys comparing scores, which in high school baseball can be a risky venture, the Warriors’ loss in that 10-game stretch was to defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson, 2-1, at Walsh Jesuit. Saint Ignatius defeated Jackson, 3-2, at Jackson on March 31. The Cats are ranked 17th in the OHSBCA Division I state poll.

As usual, Coach Kaczmar has an array of college recruits, including senior right-hander Ryan Feltner (The Ohio State
University) and senior southpaw Ty Shoaff (University of Missouri). Coach Kaczmar, a 2015 inductee into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, has comfortably surpassed the 400 career-victory mark and has a winning
percentage of .843.

The Warriors carry a resume that includes two state runner-up finishes and four state championships. They are a member of the North Coast League.

SAINT XAVIER: After being swept by Bloom-Carroll, 2-1 and 11-5, over the weekend, the Bombers bounced back with a 6-3 victory over Bishop Fenwick and stand 5-8 on the season after today's 4-0 loss to Ohio's top-ranked Archbishop Moeller (14-1). St. Xavier is now 0-4 in Cincinnati's Greater Catholic League South.

Among the Bombers to watch are Nathan Winning, who entered this week batting .400, Noah Mehrle (.351), Eric Jaun (.317), John Klare, a pitcher who is hitting .375, and Walsh University recruit Spencer Helwig.

ST. JOHN’S JESUIT: Like most teams in Ohio, the Titans have battled Mother Nature and their opponents. St. John’s Jesuit got off to a 4-1 start that included an 8-5 victory over Clay in Three Rivers Athletic Conference play.

Among the players most teams remember when they play the Titans are shortstop Dylan Dohanos, the versatile Ian Waddell and outfielder/pitcher T.J. Lake, who was 3-0 through the first month of the season.   



    



    



Connor Adams fires six innings of no-hit baseball, junior Murphy O'Brien combines on the no-no by retirng all three of the batters he faced in the seventh and Jake Kucia, George Asadorian and Mullen Socha help fuel the offense in a 7-0 victory over South.
4/21/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Captains Park in Lake County - Connor Adams, a gifted sophomore left-hander, improved to 2-0 on the season by relying mostly on his fastball Tuesday evening. He yielded two walks, struck out five and hit a batter, and 46 of his 79 pitches were strikes. Remember the name my friends.

Murphy O'Brien, a savvy junior right-hander, continued his dominance out of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen as he took over for Adams in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second and no outs. Adams was on a pitch count.

O'Brien calmly settled the issue and kept the no-hitter intact off a ground ball to the left side that gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia fielded and alertly threw to third base to force the lead runner, and two strikeouts.    

Kucia contributed big time with his bat and his glove, as Saint Ignatius improved to 11-4 and handed the Willoughby South Rebels just their third loss in 15 games. The South Rebels entered the game as the ninth-ranked Division I team in the state by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association. The OHSBCA poll ranked the Wildcats 17th in Division I this week. 

Along with his force-out toss to third in the seventh inning, Kucia helped keep the no-hitter alive by making a diving catch of a sinking liner in the top of the fifth and, in a quick heads-up reaction, firing the ball to junior Dennis Grosel at first base to double off the runner, who had reached on an error.

Multitalented junior designated hitter/ first baseman George Asadorian and Kucia staked Saint Ignatius to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with ringing RBI singles.

Coach Ganor's Cats took command with a five-run sixth inning that featured the third consecutive walk drawn by the keen batting eye of junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, Mingus' second stolen base on the evening, a picture-perfect bunt down the third-base line by sophomore outfielder Ryan Jacobs that went for a base hit, Asadorian reaching on a hit by pitch, an authoritative RBI single through the left side by steady senior second baseman Mullen Socha, another run-scoring base hit by Kucia, and a stolen base by Kucia that resulted in Jake coming around to score from second off a line-drive single to right-center field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller.

Saint Ignatius' take-charge sixth also saw the Cats score off a passed ball and a wild pitch.

The Cats' line score read 7-6-3 and it was 0-0-0 for the Rebels.

Up next for the Cats is Friday's 8 PM matchup with 2014 Division I state runner-up North Royalton at Progressive Field. The game is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic. Holy Name had to cancel its scheduled game for Thursday versus Saint Ignatius.

FROM COACH GANOR: "I was hoping for 80 pitches and he was just light of that going into the seventh inning," said Coach Ganor of Adams, a young man with a tough competitive nature. "He did a great job. I love his fire and passion in wanting to stay in the game. Even when I came out (to the mound) in the seventh (following two base on balls) he wasn't happy about it. But he's young and has a bright future so we don't want to jeopardize any of that, obviously.

"Going into today, that's what we needed," Coach Ganor continued in reference to his team's seven-run shutout of a top-10, state-ranked team. "We needed to have that game where we're not on the edge of our seats for the final out. I'm proud of the guys. It was a great job today."

FROM CONNOR ADAMS: "It was pretty much my fastball," Connor said of his impressive outing on Tuesday. "It was the only pitch I threw, except for their No. 4 batter (first baseman Dan Danford), I threw curves to him. I just go out and every hitter, I don't really look at the name. I just go at him. As soon as I get behind in the count, I get it over the plate and let my fielders make plays. I have faith in them."

FRESHMAN CATS NOW STAND 10-2: Coach Brian Becker's promising ninth graders rode a nine-run third inning on Tuesday to an 11-3 victory over Willoughby South. The Cats' line score read 11-7-4 and the Rebels' line was 3-5-1.     

 

             

Wildcats Tennis is ranked eighth in the first 2015 Division I state poll by the OTCA.
4/21/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here is the first of five weekly polls conducted by members of the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association. First place votes are in parenthesis.

Division I

1. Cincinnati Sycamore (11) 110
2. Upper Arlington 74
3. Toledo St. John Jesuit 72
4. Massillon Jackson 66
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier  64
6. New Albany  50
7. Mason 44
8. Saint Ignatius 24
9. Pickerington North 15
10. Columbus St. Charles 11

 
Wildcats Baseball ranked 17th in the first Division I state poll of the season by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association
4/20/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, the alma mater of Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin, just to name a couple, is ranked No. 1. The "Men of Moeller" received 21 first-place votes from coaches throughout the state.

Walsh Jesuit is ranked second, Lakota West is third, followed by Westerville Central and Mason in the fourth and fifth spots.

The Lakewood Rangers have cracked the top 10 at the sixth spot and rounding out that 10 are Troy at 7th, Olentangy Liberty at 8th and Willoughby South and Toledo St. Francis DeSales at ninth and 10th, respectively.

Completing the top 20 listing in Division I are in this order: Perrysburg; Watkins Memorial; a tie between Gahanna Lincoln and defending big-school champ Massillon Jackson; Cincinnati Elder; Anthony Wayne; Saint Ignatius;  a tie between St. Edward and Kettering Fairmont, and Hudson.

Other teams receiving votes included: Butler, Westerville South, Springboro, Wadsworth, Olentangy, Mount Vernon, Harrison, Berea-Midpark, New Philadelphia, Strongsville, Mentor, Glen Este, Cincinnati Colerain and Nordonia.

Note that this first poll does not include games from this past Friday through Sunday. The voting for this week's poll closed on Thursday evening, April 16th.

****Weather permitting, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (10-4), coming off a gutsy 4-3 victory over Strongsville, will face the state's ninth-ranked Rebels from Willoughby South on Tuesday at 5 PM in Classic Park. In its most recent "Top of the Crop" area poll, the News-Herald had the South Rebels (11-2) ranked No. 1.

SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY: In what was one of the more entertaining games of the 2014 season at Classic Park, Saint Ignatius, trailing, 5-2, entering the bottom of the seventh, scored a run off a walk to second baseman Quillan Austria, a line-drive single by designated hitter Nick Fabian and some shaky play by Willoughby South's middle infield.

First baseman Joe Khoury then delivered a game-tying, two-run double deep into the gap in left-center field and with two outs and runners on second and third, shortstop Jake Kucia drove a 2-1 fastball up the gut for the game-winning hit.

With the victory, the Cats, who trailed, 3-0, after four innings and 5-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, improved to 6-1 on the young 2014 season. 

    

 

 



 

 

The Wildcat Navy is making tremendous strides
4/20/2015


THE WILDCAT NAVY IS EDGED OUT BY MIDWEST POWER PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC

COURTESY OF SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach Walters

Saint Ignatius rowers proved they are within striking distance of the Midwest's top scholastic team when they raced against Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday. Although the Wildcats topped the Vikings in just one of five varsity races, the top four boats were between 1-5 seconds out of first place.

The lone victory came in the 5th varsity eight event, which Saint Ignatius won by 14 seconds.

The Wildcats' freshmen/novice crews were also defeated by the Vikings in their first races of the season.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 told his rowers to not hang their heads after the dual, but instead to focus on the improvements the team can make in the three weeks leading up the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association
championship.

On Sunday, six Saint Ignatius coxswains spent the day in workshops and clinics with two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Whipple.

Coxswain of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Champion U.S. Women's 8s, Whipple worked closely with the young men to improve their steering, calls and motivational tactics.

The team now looks to its first major regatta of the season, the Wesley Davids Memorial Championship Regatta in Columbus (formerly the Ohio Governors Cup), on Sunday.

On May 2, the Wildcats will race in Michigan at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep. Dillon Lake in Zanesville will host the Midwest Championship on May 9-10.



Volleyball Cats look to bounce back after a tough stretch against some of the state's best
4/20/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Head Coach Casey Marcelo

Cats Volleyball dropped three matches against highly ranked teams, St. Edward (#8) 3-0,  Walsh Jesuit (#1 D2) 3-1
and Cincinnati St. Xavier (#3) 2-0.
 
Here are the scores from those matches: St. Edward 32-30, 25-17, 25-16; Walsh Jesuit 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-15
and St. Xavier 25-18, 25-18.
 
From the corner: The Cats will now gear up for Saturday's 10 AM Elite Eight Tournament at Centerville High School.
Saint Ignatius' outstanding offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg commits to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame
4/19/2015


By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Auburn Township, Ohio – Putting an emphasis on what he described as the great academic opportunities that await him under the Golden Dome, Saint Ignatius’ standout junior offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg has given a verbal commitment to further his education and football career at the University of Notre Dame.

Liam, who will be entering his senior season this summer as one of the Captains for the 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Football Wildcats, chose Head Coach Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish after seriously considering defending National Champion Ohio State. Liam made an official visit to The Ohio State University this weekend.

The University of Michigan and Penn State were also among Liam’s considerations.

Liam, who as just a sophomore became a fixture at offensive tackle for Wildcats legendary Head Coach Chuck Kyle, said Notre Dame recruited him as an offensive tackle. At 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, Liam earned Associated Press All-Ohio and All-Northeast Lakes District Division I recognition this past fall and he has already been invited to participate in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Most recruiting sites have Liam rated as a high four-star recruit.

At Notre Dame, Liam will once again be teaming up with former Saint Ignatius offensive lineman Jim Byrne ’14, who was a two-time All-Ohio tackle under the tutelage of Saint Ignatius’ outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini ’99.

Liam said one of the factors in his decision was the recruiting process put forth by Notre Dame Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand, who was not overbearing when it came to the communication process.

“Coach Hiestand respected my space,” Liam said.

Putting everything in perspective, Liam said he can’t thank his parents, Gregg and Heather, enough for giving him the opportunity to attend Saint Ignatius High School.

“It’s because of the education I have received at Saint Ignatius and having the opportunity to play for a great coach in Mr. Kyle that I am able to attend such an outstanding university as Notre Dame,” said Liam, who plans to pursue the business field as part of his college studies.

This old-timer, who has the privilege to cover and report on Liam’s football career at Saint Ignatius, would like to express my congratulations to Liam, his family, Coach Kyle, Coach Rini and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.

Luke Wagner helps show the way as the Wildcats' Track and Field Team finishes second at the GlenOak Second Sole Eagle Elite on Saturday.
4/18/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Host GlenOak totaled 115.50 points in taking first place, with the Wildcats right behind the Golden Eagles with a second-place performance of 112 points. Medina was third with 108 points.

HERE ARE SOME OF SAINT IGNATIUS' MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS, WHICH INCLUDED ANOTHER BIG DAY FROM STANDOUT JUNIOR LUKE WAGNER.

BOYS 1600 METER RUN: First Place, Luke Wagner, 4:17.38. This was huge for Luke as he edged out one of his stern competitors, Kyle Mau of Hudson. Mau finished in 4:20.75.

BOYS 800 METER RUN: First Place, Luke Wagner, 1:58.86. Mike Huber was third in 2:02.91 and Pat Nolan was fourth in 2:03.95. 

LONG JUMP: First Place, Rai Walters, 21-05.50.

200 METER RUN: First Place, Phil Zuccaro, 22.74 (We told you about Phil during an undefeated freshmen football season this past fall).

4x400 METER RELAY: First Place, 3:28.61. The team of Alex Janis, Anthony Pelligrino, Mike Huber and James Norris.

400 METER DASH: Second Place, Alex Janis, 52.85.

3200 METER RUN: Second Place, Tom Sullivan, 9:43.78.

POLE VAULT: Third Place, Sam Rapnicki, 12-00.00.

300 METER HURDLES: Fifth Place, Jack Ruddy, 42.45.

DISCUS: Fifth Place, Cory Griffith, 134-10.

SHOT PUT: Fourth Place, Cory Griffith, 47-05.

  

The resiliency of starter Nick Freund, strong efforts in relief by M.J. Nara and Murphy O'Brien, and a game-ending double play turned by Mullen Socha that could go down as one of the most significant plays of the 2015 season.
4/18/2015

SAINT IGNATIUS VARSITY BASEBALL, WRAPPING UP A STRETCH OF GAMES THAT HAD SEEN IT STRUGGLE A BIT OFFENSIVELY, DUG DEEP WHEN IT MATTERED THE MOST AND TURNED AWAY A SOLID STRONGSVILLE TEAM, 4-3, ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY. THE VICTORY CAME IN WHAT WAS JUST THE SECOND HOME GAME OF THE SEASON FOR THE CATS. 

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Berea, Ohio - With the bases loaded with Mustangs and no outs in the top of the seventh inning, Wildcats junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, recorded the first out via a strikeout.

Strongsville's faithful cheered as the next batter sent a sharp grounder up the middle against a drawn-in infield that appeared to be targeted for center field.

However, instead of a base hit that would have tied the score and possibly brought home the go-ahead run as well, the baseball gods smiled in the direction of Saint Ignatius senior middle infielder Mullen Socha, who fielded the ball behind second base, stepped on the bag and fired to first to complete a game-ending double play. Web Gem City my friends.

Okay, it was just game 14 and, not being affiliated with a league, the main focus of a Wildcats baseball season is always the Ohio High School Athletic Association state playoffs, which begin next month.

That said, for anyone close to Coach Ganor's program Saturday's heart-pounder was just what a tough-minded and talented group of Wildcats needed.

After starting their season at 7-0, the Cats hit an offensive lull that saw them lose four of their next six games.

Coming off Friday's tough loss to West Side rival St. Edward, Saint Ignatius needed to get the adrenalin flowing again and recapture the resiliency it displayed throughout the first three weeks of the season.

Standing 10-4 heading into Tuesday's game versus Willoughby South at Classic Park, all of the Wildcats' goals are still in front of them as they look to finish the regular season strong and gear up for their time of year, which is always mid May.

NICK FREUND EARNS A BIG-HEARTED VICTORY: After yielding two runs in the top of the first inning, Saint Ignatius junior right-hander Nick Freund, displaying the work ethic that has earned him a spot in Coach Ganor's rotation, shutout the Mustangs over the next three innings. Nick earned the victory after going four-plus innings. He yielded three hits, struck out three and had three walks. Thirty eight of Nick's 60 pitches were strikes.

MR. VERSATILITY: Saint Ignatius junior Dennis Grosel, who can handle first base, third base and go behind the plate when senior captain Alex Panstares needs a breather, put on the catching gear and came up with two impressive plays on Saturday. Dennis accounted for the second out in the top of the fourth by throwing a seed down to second base to retire a would-be base stealer and in the top of the fifth, with runners on first and second and two outs, he ended the threat by picking off the runner at first base. Wildcats senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski did a nice job of blocking the runner off the bag and making the catch.

Maybe the versatility Grosel possesses is a family thing. Panstares, Dennis' first cousin and one of the premier catchers in the state, played left field yesterday and made two key grabs on the run. Grosel, for those not aware, is the Wildcats' starting Varsity Football quarterback.

THE CAPTAIN VOLUNTEERS HIS SERVICES: Coach Ganor shared with the corner that before Saturday's game, M.J. Nara, a senior captain and the Wildcats' No. 1 starter, told his coach that if he needed him he could go at least one inning in relief.

A right-hander bound for Walsh University, M.J. came on in relief of Nick Freund in the top of the fifth and threw a shutout inning that included two strikeouts.

A "NOT AGAIN" FROM THE MUSTANGS' FAITHFUL: Strongsville's loss on Saturday marked the second time this season that the Mustangs had the early lead on the Wildcats. The teams met on April 2nd at Strongsville and the Mustangs led, 4-0, after four innings before the Cats rallied to a 6-4 victory.

THE OFFENSE: Saint Ignatius' promising sophomore outfielder Ryan Jacobs cut the Cats' deficit to 2-1 with an RBI double down the left-field line in the bottom of the second inning. The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead with a two-run bottom of the fourth that featured a game-tying RBI single to right field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, and a run-scoring single by Mullen Socha that saw Mullen go the opposite way to right field. Alex Panstares' RBI double to deep left field in the bottom of the fifth made it a 4-2 game. Saint Ignatius' line score was 4-7-2.

After Zach Kahn's run-scoring double cut the Mustangs' deficit to 4-3 in the top of the sixth, Strongsville loaded the bases in the top of the seventh on two singles and an error. Kahn also turned in a solid game in center field. Strongsville's line score was 3-6-2. 

FROM COACH GANOR: "Nick was fantastic battling back," said Coach Ganor of Nick Freund. "When you're not playing well and you feel like the week has been a month, you start asking yourself if you're ever going to win another game. And then you do this and you feel like you can't lose a game. That's the story of high school baseball I guess, the ups and downs of it. But I'm very proud of them and their resiliency today."

MUSTANGS WIN THE MATCHUPS BETWEEN THE FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES: The day wasn't a total loss for Strongsville, as the Mustangs' freshmen handed the Wildcats' freshmen just their second loss in 11 games this spring, 10-7. The Mustangs' jayvees came up with a 3-2 victory over Saint Ignatius' junior varsity. It was the JV Cats' first setback in nine games.       

          

Behind 10 strikeouts by Tom Grosel, Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Baseball Wildcats defeat St. Edward, 6-0, on Friday evening.
4/18/2015

In improving to 9-1, the Freshmen Cats outhit the ninth grade Eagles, 7-2

- Eddie Dwyer 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball yields seven runs in the third inning and is defeated by St. Edward, 9-1, at The Pipe Yard in Lorain County on Friday evening
4/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Lorain, Ohio - In the words of Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Matt Blazer '94, Saint Ignatius was out scrapped by the Eagles in almost every phase of the game on Friday evening, as another chapter of the storied West Side rivalry took place under ideal blue sky and sunshine conditions in what is an atmosphere-rich baseball facility off Meister Road.

Saint Edward, which improved to 8-2 and has now won eight of its last nine games, rode a leadoff single by junior third baseman Jake Budyka, a sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Shayne Erny, two hit batsmen and a bases-loaded walk into a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

The Wildcats (9-4), who have lost four of their last six outings, were able to stay in the game early, as the Eagles left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings.

It was a short-lived stay, however, as Coach Joe Kasl's ball club scored seven times in what was a decisive bottom of the third inning.

St. Edward's seven-run outburst started with a line drive single to right-center field by promising sophomore Kevin Finzer, who was the designated hitter on Friday evening. Veteran senior left fielder Darien Knowles then laid down a bunt along the third-baseline and, after some indecisive fielding by the Cats, the Eagles had runners on first and third with no outs.

Three consecutive walks followed by a sacrifice fly to right-center field by baseball savvy junior shortstop Joe Weisenseel made it a 4-0 game. Keeping the pressure on with an aggressive approach on the base paths and coming up with clutch RBI base hits by senior center fielder Kyle Hegedus and junior first baseman Kevin Ruffing, St. Edward took an 8-0 lead into the fourth inning.

That was more than enough support for Eagles junior right-hander Jaret Edwards, who went 5 2/3 innings, yielded two hits, one run, walked three and struck out four in improving his record to 3-1. Edwards threw 97 pitches, 60 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius, which will face the Strongsville Mustangs for the second time this season when the teams meet in a 3 PM first pitch at Baldwin Wallace University tomorrow (Saturday), scored its run in the top of the fourth inning.

Wildcats senior outfielder Kurt Mantes led off the fourth with a double to right field. Senior designated hitter/infielder Dylan Welch reached on an error and a ground out to the right side of the infield off the bat of junior right fielder Mike Rogers enabled the Cats to avoid a shutout.

Saint Edward senior reliever Garrett Zorb closed out the game for Coach Kasl by pitching the final inning and a third. Zorb ended the top of the sixth with a strikeout and, after yielding a one-out single to Saint Ignatius senior second baseman Mullen Socha in the top of the seventh, coaxed a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Wildcats' line score read 1-3-1 and the Eagles, who scored their ninth run in the bottom of the fifth off a walk to Weisenseel, a passed ball, a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly by Hegedus, had seven hits and committed two errors.

"I don't know, I feel like this has been a week from hell offensively," said Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor, whose team has stranded several runners over its last six games. "We are out of sorts. If I knew what it was it would be fixed. But I don't know what it is. It's been a week that feels like three months.

"But we have to have a short memory," Coach Ganor continued. "We have another strong opponent tomorrow in Strongsville. We have to come ready to go."

The Wildcats and the Strongsville Mustangs met on April 2 at Strongsville, a game that saw the Cats rally from a 4-0 deficit after four innings and go on to defeat the Mustangs, 6-4.

"I'm kind of praying that this is that lull in the season that every team has," said Coach Ganor. "But these guys are going to snap out of it. They approach the game the right away and they play the game the right way. I couldn't be more proud to be the Saint Ignatius baseball coach and that wouldn't change if we lost every game from here on out. But we'll figure it out. That's the coaching staff's job, to figure it out and make us better, and it's their job (the players) to execute it."       

   

        

  

Just a reminder on this evening's Varsity Baseball Game versus West Side rival St. Edward
4/17/2015

The 9-3 Wildcats will travel to The Pipe Yard in Lorain County this evening for a 5 PM first pitch versus the host Eagles, who are 7-2 after their 3-0 victory over Eastlake North on Thursday. Senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0) is scheduled to take the mound for Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats.

Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network will bring you tonight's game live and this seasoned corner will be on hand for game coverage.

- Eddie Dwyer   

Here is the latest news from the Ohio High School Athletic Association
4/17/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From the OHSAA Board of Directors' Meeting

The board approved a contract extension with the Branin Natatorium in Canton to host the OHSAA state swimming tournament through 2025. With 2,500 seats, Branin is the largest natatorium in Ohio and has hosted the state tournament for the last 33 years.

The board was provided with the final slate of 10 referendum items (nine high school and one 7th-8th grade) that will go to the membership for voting in May. The annual referendum voting period is May 1-15. A majority vote by the membership (one vote per school) is the only method for making changes to the OHSAA constitution and bylaws. A separate release will be sent April 17 and the referendum items will be posted on the OHSAA’s Member School Resources page at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/default.htm

Since the board’s January meeting, 33 member schools were penalized for committing infractions of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations. The list of infractions and penalties is always included in the complete meeting minutes, but media members may request the list in advance from Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Information Services, at tstried@ohsaa.org.

The attendance and financial reports from the 2014 regional and state fall tournaments except football were presented to the board. The football reports will be presented at the Board’s June meeting. The state cross country championships drew 10,239 fans and resulted in a profit of $25,695, but when combined with the regionals, which have not been able to sell tickets, the overall tournament resulted in a loss of $44,621. The field hockey district and state tournaments (both run by the OHSAA state office) resulted in a profit of $3,405. The golf state tournaments drew 3,988 fans and resulted in a loss of $10,061. The girls tennis state tournament had 1,321 fans and resulted in a loss of $4,146. The soccer state championships at Crew Stadium drew 11,125 fans (second-highest in OHSAA history) and, when combined with the regional tournaments and the state semifinals, resulted in an overall profit of $142,191. The volleyball state tournament drew 12,105 fans and, when combined with the regional tournaments, resulted in overall profit of $65,135.

The board was presented with the most recent independent audit report by Schneider Downs, which covered the fiscal year ending July 31, 2014.  The report, which received the highest possible rating, will be posted on the OHSAA website at: http://www.ohsaa.org/general/about/default.asp

The board approved a recommendation from the OHSAA District Athletic Board Review Committee to rescind a district-to-state representation regulation in the sport of golf that had required the number of teams included in each district tournament to be such that at least two state qualifiers came from each district tournament. The regulation was put into place in 1988, was reaffirmed by the Board in 1997 and meant that in some divisions districts would be combined in order to assure that representation resulted in at least two state qualifiers.

 

Cats Freshmen Baseball stands 8-1 after a 3-0 loss to St. Vincent-St. Mary on Thursday.
4/16/2015

The young Cats managed two hits and the Fighting Irish totaled nine hits.

St. Vincent-St. Mary scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and added two runs in the second inning.

Varsity Volleyball drops a tough match to Archbishop Hoban and will now gear up for Friday's matchup with the Eagles from St. Edward.
4/16/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Volleyball Cats were defeated by the Hoban Knights in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night, 3-1.

Scores: 24-26, 25-21, 20-25, 13-25

Jack Eckman had 8 kills and 4 aces, and Brian Messina sent home 4 aces.

Up next for Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats will be Friday's encounter with St. Edward at 6:30 PM in Sullivan Gym.
And congrats go out again to Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Baseball Cats, who improved to 8-0 with a 14-6 victory over Avon on Wednesday evening.
4/15/2015

The young Wildcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead after two innings. They outhit Avon, 8-4, in a game that saw nine errors committed, including five by the Eagles.

- Eddie D.  

Lax Cats come up with an impressive 15-2 victory over North Canton Hoover on Wednesday night.
4/15/2015

In what was a key early season matchup, Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats made themselves at home in the Vikings' Memorial Stadium.

It was sweet revenge for the Lax Cats, as Hoover ended Saint Ignatius' 2014 season by coming away with a 7-6, sudden-victory overtime triumph at Wasmer Field. That victory sent the Vikings on to the Elite Eight.

Hoover entered Wednesday night's faceoff ranked third in Ohio.

Up Next for the 4-2 Lax Cats is Saturday's 3 PM encounter with the Titans from St. John's Jesuit in Toledo.

- Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer  

M.J. Nara, Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien pitch the Varsity Baseball Wildcats to a 2-0 victory over Boardman at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.
4/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Berea, Ohio - M. J. Nara improved to 2-1 on the season after the senior right-hander/captain worked the first four innings on Wednesday evening, yielding just one hit and racking up eight strikeouts. A Walsh University recruit, M.J. threw 59 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

Savvy southpaw Connor Adams pitched the fifth and sixth innings, and also gave up just one hit. Connor, a sophomore, had three strikeouts and recorded 23 strikes in the 31 pitches he fired to junior catcher Dennis Grosel.

Completing the two-hit shutout over the Spartans was the ace of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien. Murphy threw a 1-2-3 top of the seventh off two groundouts and a strikeout, as the Baseball Cats won for the ninth time in 12 games this season.

Saint Ignatius, which was playing its first home game of the spring, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and added the second run in the bottom of the third.

Junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who has been swinging an authoritative bat, led off the bottom of the first with a double to deep right-center field. Gifted senior center field Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, drew a walk and Grosel followed with an infield hit that loaded the bases with no outs.

After the Wildcats scored on a fielder's choice, Boardman right-hander Sam Varga (1-1) did a nice job of damage control in the first inning, as he pitched out of what could have been a big inning for the Cats by coaxing a groundout and a double play.

Saint Ignatius made it a 2-0 game in the third behind a leadoff walk to senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a textbook sacrifice bunt by Mingus and a ringing RBI single to right field by Fuller.

The official line scores on the game were 0-2-0 for Boardman and 2-5-1 for the Wildcats. Boardman's coaching staff said the Spartans are now 6-5.

Up next for Coach Ganor's Cats is Friday evening's annual matchup with West Side rival St. Edward. The first pitch from The Pipe Yard in Lorain County will be 5 PM and senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0) will be on the mound for Saint Ignatius.

Coach Joe Kasl's St. Edward Eagles are 6-2 heading into Thursday's game at Eastlake North. The Eagles had their six-game winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss at Midview in Grafton on Tuesday. Midview's Middies scored in the bottom of the first inning on three walks and a sacrifice fly.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares teams with two of his first cousins on the 2015 Wildcats Varsity Baseball Team - Kevin Mingus and Dennis Grosel.

COACH GANOR ON WHAT WAS ANOTHER BOUNCE-BACK VICTORY BY HIS RESILIENT WILDCATS: "The pitching was very good," said the veteran skipper. "M.J., Connor and Murphy, fantastic. They are our top three and they did everything we expected them to do. Offensively, I know that we are going to be fine. It was the lack of aggressiveness, though, that frustrated me today.

"We faced a great pitcher (Vanderbilt recruit Chris Machamer) yesterday," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Tuesday's 5-0 loss at Massillon. "We were facing more of a typical type of a high school pitcher today and I don't think we had great approaches at the plate. I thought we took better approaches yesterday against a guy with exceptional talent. Today we weren't as aggressive. That will come and we'll talk it out and get better at it. But it was frustrating to watch, especially the three backwards Ks in one inning. We just can not have that."

Boardman's Varga recorded his three backwards Ks in retiring the Cats in order in the bottom of the sixth.                    

 

    

Congrats from the corner go out to Coach Brian Becker's 7-0 Freshmen Baseball Cats, who made the most of their three hits and went on to defeat Massillon's Freshmen, 2-1, on Tuesday evening.
4/15/2015
No excuses offered. Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff tip their caps to Massillon's Chris Machamer after the gifted right-hander pitched the Tigers to a 5-0 victory over the Varsity Baseball Cats on the Tigers' Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field Tuesday.
4/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Massillon, Ohio - With Machamer, a Vanderbilt recruit, limiting the Wildcats two hits and striking out 11, the Tigers improved to 7-3. Just a junior, Machamer threw 101 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. He walked two and hit a batter.

Massillon did all of its damage in the bottom of the first inning, scoring five runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batsmen.

Machamer, who improved to 2-0 on the young season, yielded an infield hit off the bat of senior second baseman Mullen Socha in the top of third inning that saw the Tigers' third baseman and shortstop collide as they were both charging the ball.

Saint Ignatius' only other hit came in the top of seventh inning, an authoritative single to right field by promising junior Kevin Mingus.

The Tigers made two exceptional defensive plays in support of Machamer, an over-the-shoulder diving catch in deep center field by senior John Henry Bronczek off a ball hit by Mingus in the top of the second inning and a sliding one-handed grab of a line drive by junior left fielder Brock Wenger that shot off the bat of Wildcats junior George Asadorian leading off the top of the sixth.

After the first-inning outburst by Massillon, the Baseball Cats, now 8-3, got shutout pitching from a bullpen that consisted of senior lefty Brendan Adler, senior right-hander Jacob Bangert and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien.

Adler came on in relief of junior right-hander Nick Freund and put out the fire by ending the bottom of the first with two strikeouts. Adler worked through the fourth inning before Bangert and O'Brien each pitched 1-2-3 innings in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, respectively.

HIGHLY TOUTED: Machamer, who is also a very capable infielder and outfielder, has been rated by Prep Baseball Report as the No. 1 prospect in Ohio. Before deciding on 2014 National Champion Vanderbilt, Machamer also was considering Stanford, South Carolina, LSU, Kentucky, Michigan and Virginia. 

Prior to Socha's two-out infield hit in the top of the third inning, Machamer retired the first eight Wildcats he faced, five of them on strikeouts. With Saint Ignatius runners on second and third and two outs, he ended the top of the third with a K and went on to strike out the side in the top of the fourth.

TIGERS ROAR EARLY: Massillon's five-run first inning was highlighted by a line drive single to left field by senior shortstop Andrew David, an RBI single to center field by sophomore designated hitter Bryce Hymes and a two-run single to left-center field by junior second baseman Ronnie Meyer. The line score from Tuesday evening was 0-2-0 for the Wildcats and 5-5-0 for the Tigers.

UP NEXT for the Cats is Wednesday's 5 PM matchup with the Boardman Spartans at Baldwin Wallace University, which will be Saint Ignatius' first home game of the season. The 1-2 punch of senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara and savvy sophomore southpaw Connor Adams will see time on the mound versus Boardman, although both young men will be on a pitch count as Coach Ganor looks to have his rotation set heading into the annual Ohio Jesuit Cup at Cincinnati St. Xavier on April 25 and 26.

FROM COACH GANOR ON TUESDAY'S GAME AT MASSILLON: "This was a game where you just tip your cap," Coach Ganor said. "He (Machamer) pitched a great game and beat us. The first inning aside, I thought we played great, I really do. We stayed aggressive and got great defense and great pitching, we just got beat by a better pitcher. We'll get better and move forward, that's all you can do.

"I love seeing pitchers like that," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Machamer. "Because we're going to see that in the playoffs and it's just making our guys better. Our guys are good enough to learn and adjust to different types of pitchers, and when you face arms like that they become better hitters because of it. We've lost three of our last four 11 games into the season. It's not like we lost three of our last four in the second week of May. If it was, I would be very concerned going into the playoffs.

"There is so much baseball ahead of us and you don't see anybody that's negative about anything right now, which is great," said Coach Ganor. "It's a testament to these kids and their ability to persevere. It's great when you're winning, but the challenge of a great team is what you're going to do when you are not winning. I'll take my chances with a team that has been tested by great competition and that's what we saw today, a very good team with a great pitcher."  

  

  

             

Head Coach Chuck Kyle watches his Track and Field Wildcats bring home first place at the 27th annual Medina Relays on Saturday
4/11/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Cats raced to numerous first-place finishes and were in the thick of things in nearly all of the events, as they brought home first place with 94 points.

Solon's Comets took second place with 81 points, Berea-Midpark was third with 70.50 points and host Medina placed fourth with 70 points.

Here is a look at Saint Ignatius' highlights throughout the day.

First Place in the 4x1600 Meter Relay, 18:30.23: The team of C.J. Ambrosio, Jim Rogers, Sean Sovacool and Luke Wagner.

First Place in the 4x800 Meter Relay, 8:03.30: The team of Mike Huber, Luke Wagner, Pat Nolan and Colin Kruchan. Note: Berea-Midpark was second in 8:21.68.

First Place in the 4x100 Meter Relay, 43:19: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris. Note: St. Edward was second in 43.73.

High Jump Relay: Kyle Aerni, First Place, 5-10.00. Rai Walters was seventh (5:06.00) and Mike Lehto was 10th (5:03.00).

Long Jump Relay: Rai Walters, First Place, 20-11.75. Mike Lehto was fourth (20-02.00) and Jack Ruddy was 10th (18:04.00).

Second Place in the 4x400 Meter Relay, 3:34.03. The team of Alex Janis, James Norris, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan. Note: Austintown Fitch was first in 3:29.93.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in 10.99. Note: Joe Harrington of Austintown Fitch was first in 10.88 and Shaun Crawford of St. Edward was third in 11.17.

3200 Meter Run: Tom Sullivan was third in 9:58.74.

110 Meter Hurdles: C.J. Moore was fourth in 16:37. 

4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdles: The team of C.J. Moore, Alex Ringfield, Matt Walcutt and Jack Ruddy placed second in 1:04.60. Note: Berea-Midpark was first in 58:45.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki finished among the top five with an effort of 13.00.00 and the Cats' Distance Medley Team placed fifth.

Shot Put Relay: Malique Burton and Cory Griffith, 10th and 11th, respectively.

Discus Throw Relay: Cory Griffith 8th and Mike Bodnar 12th.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball experiences a 3-2, eight-inning loss at Lakewood on Saturday afternoon. Coach Mike Ribar's Rangers improve to 6-0 and Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats lose for just the second time in 10 games.
4/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Lakewood, Ohio -  Saint Ignatius, which was coming off an impressive victory in the Super Prep Series Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky (see the corner's post from Friday), took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out RBI single up the middle by talented and gritty junior right fielder Mike Rogers. It was a fitting moment for Mike, as the Lakewood resident came up with his first varsity hit and first varsity run batted in. Mike attended Lakewood Catholic Academy elementary school before enrolling at Saint Ignatius.  

Lakewood, a club that like the Wildcats seems to have a solid chemistry, took advantage of three Saint Ignatius errors and base hit by catcher Joe Young in grabbing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

It stayed that way until the top of the sixth, when the Cats, with one out and the bases empty, got an outstanding at-bat from senior first baseman/pinch hitter James Zajaczkowski. James, displaying a keen eye at the plate, fouled off numerous pitches before drawing a walk.

With two outs, gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller sent a sharp ground ball through the right side of the Rangers' infield and the score was knotted at 2.

After Fuller stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball, Lakewood's talented and versatile first baseman/relief pitcher Max Lavisky saw to it that Fuller would stay right there, as Max recorded a strikeout.

Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning by Wildcats senior left-hander Dylan Smolen, Lavisky sent Saint Ignatius down in order in the top of the eighth.

The 2015 Rangers, who, in the words of Head Coach Mike Ribar, just love the game, came up with a signature victory when they scored the winning run in bottom of the eighth after there were two outs and nobody on base.

Lavisky, a player that impressed this corner, had the purple and gold faithful cheering loud and clear in First Federal Lakewood Stadium after he drove a pitch to deep right-centerfield for a double. In his previous at-bat, which resulted in a single to right field, Lavisky drew the praise of Saint Ignatius' veteran assistant coach John Whelan for Max's ability to keep his hands back. 

After a Saint Ignatius error, Lakewood third baseman/relief pitcher Ben Bulchik drew a walk and the bases were now loaded in the bottom of the eighth.

Lavisky, standing on third base and listening to every word from Coach Ribar, scored the winning run off a wild pitch and the Rangers and their fans enjoyed the moment under the sunny blue sky and brisk, but comfortable temperatures that hovered over one of Ohio's tradition-rich athletic settings.

ROGERS FOR THE DEFENSE: Although it was not a good day defensively for Saint Ignatius, Mike Rogers came up with a few leather winners that added to his special hometown performance (see the lead paragraph to this story).

In the bottom of the fourth, Mike charged a ball in right field that had single written all over it and threw out the Ranger at first base.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth and Lakewood runners on first and second with just one out, Mike hauled in a fly ball in right field and fired to junior Dennis Grosel at first base to double off the runner.

Note: A tip of the cap also has to go out to Lakewood center fielder Andrew Lesko, who made an exceptional diving catch in the top of the second inning that prevented a couple of runs from scoring.

FROM WIDCATS HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "That's a mentality that we know as coaches, but they have to learn," Coach Ganor said of opponents always giving their best shot against the Wildcats and his young players realizing that they have to bring the same mentality. "They're new to this, a lot of them, and they have to learn how to feel the rise every single game.

"It was a baseball game in which we made a couple of mistakes and they made us pay for them," Coach Ganor continued. "We didn't make a couple of plays and we lost. It was one of those days. Our season has been great so far. We've shown a lot of fight, and we showed a lot of fight today. They made a couple more plays than we did and they won the game, 3-2. They're (Lakewood) a good, solid baseball team. They had us on the ropes and they took advantage of it."

UP NEXT FOR THE VARSITY CATS: A trip to Massillon on Tuesday to face the Baseball Tigers. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.

JV CATS IMPROVE TO 5-0: Leading the offensive barrage in a 16-7 victory over Lakewood's Jayvees were Jack Siefert (3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBI); Griffin Hunt (2-for-3, 2 RBI); Jeff Chonko (3-for-3, a double and 4 RBI) and Danny Adler with a double and a run batted in.        

                 

   

Behind the clutch hitting of Dylan Welch and Sam Fuller and a defensive gem in right field by Mike Rogers, the Varsity Baseball Wildcats defeat Illinois' defending Class 3A state champion Lemont High School, 2-1, on Friday afternoon.
4/10/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 8-1 heading into Saturday's 2 PM first pitch versus the Lakewood Rangers at First Federal Lakewood Stadium, also benefitted from the strong pitching of sophomore southpaw Connor Adams, who started and went five innings, and shutdown efforts out of the bullpen by juniors Nick Freund and Murphy O'Brien.

Friday's victory over Lemont was the second of the Cats' two games at the Super Prep Series Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Saint Ignatius was defeated by Lockport (Illinois), 7-3, on Friday morning at Ballard High School.

Here is a corner's view on the impressive bounce-back victory over Lemont, which took place at Sky View Park and resulted in the 230th career victory for Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor. Brad took over the Saint Ignatius baseball program in 2005.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - With his team trailing, 1-0, with two outs and the bases empty the bottom of the fourth inning, Wildcats savvy senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski drew a walk. Gifted senior second baseman Mullen Socha followed with a line-drive base hit to right field and senior designated hitter Dylan Welch drove a 1-2 pitch into right-center field that scored junior infielder Joe Evans with the tying run. Evans was running for Zajaczkowski.

Saint Ignatius, which turned in an outstanding defensive performance, flashed its leather in the top of the sixth inning while keeping it a 1-1 game.

Zajaczkowski made a Vic Power-like scoop at first base for the first out of the sixth inning and junior right fielder Mike Rogers charged the ball off a single by Lemont's Austin Tittle and fired a perfect throw to junior third baseman Dennis Grosel, who applied the tag on an Indians base runner who was attempting to advance from first to third on Tittle's hit.

Rogers was seeing his first action after being hit in the eye off an errant pick-off attempt at second base by Dublin Jerome in the season opener at Jerome. Mike was wearing a protective mask on Friday.

After Rogers' defensive gem helped junior Nick Freund to a scoreless sixth inning of relief, Socha, facing Indians reliever Ryan Sublette in the bottom of the sixth, beat out a grounder to the right side that seemed to handcuff Lemont's first and second basemen.

Welch then advanced Socha to second base with a picture-perfect sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Socha advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit to right field off the bat of multi-skilled senior center fielder Sam Fuller that the Indians' right fielder couldn't come up with despite a diving attempt.

A St. Bonaventure baseball recruit, Fuller's game-winning hit came off a 3-2 pitch.

Murphy O'Brien, who has been lights out as the Cats' closer, pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh and the sting of Friday morning's loss was gone.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Cats scored their two runs off Lemont on five hits and the Indians finished with six hits. Both teams played errorless baseball.

Connor Adams' impressive five innings saw him yielded one run, strike out three and walk one. He made 73 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

During Saint Ignatius' 7-3 loss to Lockport, the Wildcats left the bases loaded four times. The Lockport game was called after five innings because of the tournament's time-restriction rule of one hour and 50 minutes.

GOLDEN GLOVE: Senior shortstop Jake Kucia was working his magic again in both of Friday games. From his sliding back-handed stop and throw in the morning to his two putouts in Murphy O'Brien's 1-2-3 seventh inning against Lemont, Jake was money.

FROM COACH GANOR: "That was a good bounce back win. I don't know if I directly challenged them (after the Lockport loss), but I challenged them to rise to the occasion before the Lemont game. We found a way to get the job done when we had the opportunities.

"I'm proud of that," Coach Ganor said in reference to his 230th career victory at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. "If you would have told me 20 years ago that I would have 230 wins as Saint Ignatius' baseball coach, I probably would have told you that you were crazy. I can't think of a better place to have 230 victories, that's for sure.

"The true blessing of 230 wins are the 2015 players and all of the players that came before them," Coach Ganor continued. "That's the mark of a good coach, to have great players, and I have been truly blessed with great players.  

"We'll enjoy this for about 12 hours and be ready to go again tomorrow at Lakewood."              

 

 

            

Wildcats Baseball jumps out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but strands too many runners the rest of the way and is defeated by Lockport (IL), 7-3, on Friday morning.
4/10/2015

Louisville, Kentucky

The Cats, who lost for the first time in eight games this season, will close out their trip to the Super Prep Series high school tournament by facing the Lemont (IL) Indians this afternoon at Sky View Park. 

The Varsity Baseball Cats will wrap up their trip to Louisville, Kentucky with two games on Friday.
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - After two days of rainouts in Louisville, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats will look to salvage two games from the Super Prep Series Baseball Tournament by facing two of Illinois' best on Friday.

At 10 AM at Ballard Park the 7-0 Cats will face Lockport Township High School and at 12:30 PM in Sky View Park, Saint Ignatius will match its baseball skills with those of Illinois' defending Class 3A state champs, the Indians from Lemont High School.

Lockport has won 29 conference championships overall, including five in a row from 2010 through 2014, and 16 regional titles. Among the Porters' mainstays are Cole Bellair, a senior right-handed pitcher who is bound for the University of Illinois; Tyler Hair, a senior shortstop headed for Northern State University; Austin Moralis, a senior southpaw who plans to continue his baseball career at Heartland Community College; Jordan Johnston, a right-handed pitcher who has committed to Marshall University and junior infielder Anthony Cocco.

Along with their 2014 state title, the Lemont Indians have compiled a record of 56-12 over the past two seasons combined.

*A must for any baseball fan: After Mother Nature threw her second consecutive shutout on Thursday, the Baseball Cats, Coach Ganor, veteran Assistant Coach Mark Terlep, family and friends of the Baseball Cats, Saint Ignatius' gifted Student Broadcaster Brendan DeVenney '17 and this old slugging catcher visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. What a wonderful and fascinating experience it was.   

Mother Nature 2, Cats Baseball 0
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - For the second consecutive day, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Baseball Team had its game in the Super Prep Series Tournament wiped out by a persistent rain. The Cats were scheduled to play Hurricane High School, West Virginia's defending Class AAA state champion,  but Mother Nature had another curve up her sleeve.

CATS ADD A GAME FOR FRIDAY: Saint Ignatius will now play two games on Friday before heading back home. At 10 AM the Wildcats will face Lockport (Illinois) as part of the Super Prep Series Tournament and at 12:30 PM they will take on an opponent to be announced.

Louisville, Kentucky - CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' STANDOUT SENIOR GUARD ANDRE' WOLFORD, WHO RECEIVED HONORABLE MENTION ON CLEVELAND.COM'S 2014-15 ALL-STAR BASKETBALL TEAM.
4/9/2015
Baseball Cats hopeful of beginning play in the Super Prep Series Tournament
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - After Mother Nature wiped out Saint Ignatius' opening game on Wednesday night (see the post below from Wednesday), the 7-0 Wildcats are scheduled to face West Virginia's defending Class AAA state champion, Hurricane High School, today at 3 PM on the diamond at Ballard High School.

Coach Brian Sutphin's Hurricane Redskins feature the skills of Trey Dawson, a pitcher/shortstop who is bound for LSU, and J.T. Rogoszewski, a pitcher/designated hitter who will be furthering his education and baseball career at North Carolina.

CATS ADD A GAME FOR FRIDAY: Saint Ignatius will now play two games on Friday before heading back home. At 10 AM the Wildcats will face Lockport (Illinois) as part of the Super Prep Series Tournament and at 12:30 PM they will take on an opponent to be announced.

*We will have a report on today's matchup with Hurricane coming up later on the corner.    

Saint Ignatius' opening game in the Super Prep Series Baseball Tournament is canceled because of the heavy rain, winds and lightning that hit the Louisville, Kentucky area on Wednesday night.
4/8/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Louisville, Kentucky - The Varsity Baseball Cats were scheduled to face Brother Rice out of Chicago at 8 PM tonight (Wednesday), but the weather took its toll on what is an impressive field at Eastern High School.

If Mother Nature doesn't throw us another curve on Thursday, the 7-0 Wildcats will face Hurricane High School, a state champion out of West Virginia, at 3 PM on the diamond at Ballard High School in Louisville.

Note date change on Volleyball matches versus Archbishop Hoban
4/8/2015

The matches versus the Hoban Knights, originally scheduled for April 22 in Sullivan Gymnasium, been moved up to April 15th in Sullivan Gym. The Junior Varsity match is scheduled for 5:30 PM, followed by the Varsity match at 7 PM.

Please note site change for Saturday's Varsity Baseball game.
4/8/2015

Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats will be traveling to Lakewood Stadium on Saturday for a 2PM matchup with the Rangers. The game was originally scheduled for Baldwin Wallace University. 

An 11AM Junior Varsity game will precede the Varsity encounter. 

CONGRATS FROM THE CORNER GO OUT TO SENIOR CAPTAIN ETHAN WHITNEY FOR EARNING A SPOT ON THE CLEVELAND.COM ALL-STAR HOCKEY TEAM FOR THE 2014-15 SEASON, AND TO FELLOW SENIOR CAPTAINS MATTY GEITHER AND JACK MAZANEC FOR GARNERING HONORABLE MENTION.
4/7/2015
Junior Varsity Baseball Cats improve to 4-0
4/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Ashland, Ohio - It was nice to get a look at the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Baseball Program on Monday, which played Ashland's Jayvees prior to the Varsity matchup.

Under the direction of Matt Rosinski '08 (Head Coach), Joe Dorocak '08 (Assistant Coach) and Steve Nelson (Assistant Coach), the JV Cats improved to 4-0 on the young season by defeating the JV Arrows, 9-1.

This old-timer was impressed by the work of sophomore southpaw Sean Mather, whose first outing on the mound included three complete innings, no hits, seven strikeouts and three walks. Mather struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning.

Also catching the corner's baseball-rich Irish eye was sophomore first baseman Christion Ramos, who produced an RBI single in the Cats' four-run first inning and also came up with a smooth over-the-shoulder catch along the first baseline that took away a possible extra-base hit.

Other Saint Ignatius highlights included a leadoff double down the left-field line by sophomore catcher Jeff Chonko that helped fuel a two-run sixth inning, a Brooks Robinson-like stop of a sharp grounder at third base by sophomore Seth Warren and a diving catch in center field by sophomore Evan Steigerwald.

Yes, the future is always bright in Ohio City.      

    

Jake Kucia, Sam Fuller, Alex Panstares and Dennis Grosel help fuel a 14-hit evening and senior right-hander Luke Diggs strikes out six and does not issue a walk, as the undefeated Baseball Wildcats run-rule host Ashland, 12-0, on Monday.
4/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

THE 7-0 CATS WILL NOW GEAR UP FOR THE SUPER PREP SERIES TOURNAMENT IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING. THEIR FIRST GAME IS WEDNESDAY AT 8 PM VERSUS THE CRUSADERS FROM CHICAGO BROTHER RICE AT BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FIELD. BROTHER RICE STOOD 8-1 THROUGH MONDAY'S PLAY.

SENIOR CAPTAIN AND NO. 1 STARTER, RIGHT-HANDER M.J. NARA, IS EXPECTED TO TAKE THE MOUND ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

Ashland, Ohio - It was the Wildcats' offense, not rainy days and Mondays, that had the Ashland Arrows' faithful feeling a bit down.

Saint Ignatius came out swinging and sprayed authoritative hits all over Ashland's Bud Plank Field, making Monday's gray skies and occasional drizzle that much more of a gloomy setting for the home team.

A leadoff single by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a one-out RBI double by junior first baseman Dennis Grosel to deep right-center field, and a run-scoring single by senior shortstop Jake Kucia off an 0-2 pitch led the way to what was a three-run top of the first inning by Coach Brad Ganor's Cats.

And the hits just kept on coming.

After an RBI by senior designated hitter/first baseman James Zajaczkowski off a fielder's choice made it a 3-0 game, Saint Ignatius rode a two-out bunt for a base hit by Fuller, a stolen base by Fuller and two errors by the Arrows to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Cats began to take total command in the top of the fourth.

Ashland (0-3) continued to play a little shaky in the field, as with one out and nobody on in the top of the fourth a two-base throwing error brought the gifted Fuller to the plate. Sam, a St. Bonaventure recruit, ripped a curveball into right field for a run-scoring double and a 5-0 lead.

With two outs and Fuller on second, Ashland elected to intentionally walk Grosel, who was 2-for-2 at that point. It was like pick your poison, however, as multi-skilled senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares delivered an RBI single up the middle. Grosel hustled to third on Panstares' base hit and Panstares alertly advanced to second on the throw to third.

Upped stepped the gritty Kucia who not only swung a hot bat, but also played another outstanding game at the 6 position.

Kucia, the nephew of former Saint Ignatius three-sport standout (football, baseball and basketball) Scott Mutryn '94, sent Mr. Rawlings to Rip City by lacing a two-out, two-run single to left field that pushed the Wildcats' lead to 8-0.

That was more than enough support for Cats senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0), who went five complete innings, yielded three hits, struck out six and did not issue any free passes. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Coach Ganor's club secured the run-rule victory with a four-run top of the fifth that was highlighted by back-to-back scorching singles by senior outfielder/pitcher Dylan Smolen and senor second baseman Mullen Socha, a two-run double by Fuller, a base hit by junior infielder Joe Evans, an RBI sacrifice fly by junior first baseman George Asadorian and a run-scoring single by Panstares. Fuller was 4-for-4 with three RBI.

"There is no one star, that's what I love about our team," said Kucia, who was 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. "We're so closely knit. If a guy doesn't get a job done, everybody's there to pick him up and the next guy will get the job done. It's a team thing, a team sport. It's a new guy every day and I love coming out here every day and seeing who that new guy is going to be.

"I love playing behind Luke (Diggs), he's one of my best friends," Kucia continued. "When he's confident, there is no hitting him. He's a gamer. He's special."

HOW WILDCATS VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH MARK TERLEP SAW MONDAY'S IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

"I like how we came out aggressively, came out swinging the bats," Coach Terlep said, referring to the Cats' three days off (Good Friday through Easter Sunday). "They came out and jumped on them. That was really nice to see. Like Jake said, when Luke (Diggs) has faith in himself he comes out and does what he did today. He's capable of that. He has that in him."    

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

        

       

A Trick or Treat football note and some Diamond Dust on the talented and resilient 6-0 Varsity Baseball Cats
4/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - As we projected in the winter, when Saint Ignatius' 2015 Varsity Football Schedule was being completed, the annual rivalry game with the St. Edward Eagles in Week 10, Saturday Oct. 31st, will be played during the afternoon. It is the Eagles' home game and St. Edward's athletic website shows it as a 2 PM kickoff.

In 2009, the last time the Wildcats versus the Eagles rivalry fell on Halloween, the City of Lakewood asked that it be moved to the afternoon so as not to cause any traffic or safety problems for the Trick or Treaters. The teams obliged and the game was still a sellout. 

You know what this corner is going to say next, but it's true. The Eagles and the Wildcats could play at 8 AM in the Madhouse on Madison and Lakewood Stadium, now First Federal Lakewood Stadium, would still be packed. I still have trouble calling my old home away from home First Federal Lakewood Stadium. But I'm adjusting.

The watering holes and restaurants along Madison Avenue loved the business that came their way in the Halloween afternoon of 2009 and, if Saint Ignatius and defending Division I state champion St. Edward put together the seasons they are projected to have in 2015, the registers and credit card/debit card swipes will be flowing before and after the game this coming season.

Just a little side note. In their last six regular-season meetings, Saint Ignatius and St. Edward have split, 3-3. However, the interesting side to that is the Wildcats won three times in First Federal Lakewood Stadium (2009, '11 and '13), St. Edward's home field, and the Eagles came out victorious three times on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium (2010, '12 and '14), the home turf of Saint Ignatius.

DIAMOND DUST: Ok, it's early.

That said, this old-timer is in full agreement with Wildcats Baseball senior veterans Alex Panstares (catcher/captain), M.J. Nara (No. 1 pitcher/captain), Sam Fuller (center fielder) and Jake Kucia (shortstop), along with junior first baseman and two-year vet Dennis Grosel, when it comes to the impact the new juniors and sophomores have had on Saint Ignatius' 6-0 start this spring.

Among those underclassmen who have already left their mark with some savvy play are junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, who has been nearly flawless out of Head Coach Brand Ganor's bullpen; sophomore southpaw starter Connor Adams, who threw a gem on Opening Day at Dublin Jerome; junior right-hander Nick Freund, who has displayed composure and a slick fielding glove on the mound; junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who has been abusing Mr. Rawlings; versatile junior infielder Joe Evans, a young man with endless hustle and a high baseball IQ, and junior outfielder Daniel Volpe and junior first baseman George Asadorian, who have obvious God-given skills.

During Thursday's impressive comeback at Strongsville (see the corner's story below), another new face left an impression on yours truly and Wildcats veteran Hitting Coach Matt Blazer - sophomore outfielder/pitcher Ryan Jacobs. This corner really likes the way Ryan steps into the batter's box and swings with the confidence of a four-year veteran.

NO ONE BETTER: Senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, who left a lasting impression on the corner when he stepped up as just a sophomore on the Wildcats' 2013 Division I state runner-up team, is off to a marvelous start this season. Alex is not only handling a relatively young staff pitching with great leadership and baseball knowledge, but his defense has been flat out tremendous. His snap tosses to first base have already frozen more than a few base runners through six games and he has sent runners attempting to steal back to their respective dugouts a bit deflated.

After the Wildcats rallied from a 4-0 deficit at Strongsville by tying the score with a four-run top of the fifth, Alex set the tempo for the decisive two-run sixth by throwing out a runner at second base to end the bottom of the fifth.

Yes, he is the Cats' Man Behind The Mask, or The Dish, if you will.

READY TO GO SOON:  The news on Saint Ignatius' junior outfielder Michael Rogers just keeps getting better. Mike, who was hit in the face by the baseball and suffered a fracture to his right eye off an errant pick-off attempt at second base by Dublin Jerome last Sunday, shared with the corner on Thursday that he expects to be back playing as soon as the special protective mask that the doctors recommended arrives.

THE ARROWS ARE UP NEXT, FOLLOWED BY A TRIP TO LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Coach Ganor's Cats will board the bus from Saint Ignatius at noon on Monday and head for Ashland to face the Arrows, and then it is off to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament, April 8th through the 10th.

Senior right-hander Luke Diggs will take the mound versus Ashland, which is the alma mater of Indians veteran play-by-play cable television broadcaster Matt Underwood.

Have a great Easter Weekend!                    

 

        

     

No Panic! Down 4-0 after four innings, the Varsity Baseball Wildcats tied the score with a four-run top of the fifth and, behind a two-run sixth that featured the go-ahead RBI base hit by James Zajaczkowski, went on to a 6-4 victory at Strongsville
4/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, who got another outstanding all-around performance from senior center fielder Sam Fuller and more solid pitching, improved to 6-0. All six of those victories have come on the road, as Saint Ignatius does not play its first home game until April 11th versus Lakewood at Baldwin Wallace University.

The Wildcats will travel to Ashland on Monday and then head to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament, April 8th through the 10th.

Here is a corner's view on what was another big-hearted victory by the gifted and selfless 2015 Wildcats.

After a late afternoon/early evening of baseball that saw him make two diving, run-saving and momentum-shifting catches, and come up with a clutch hit in Saint Ignatius' impressive comeback at Strongsville on Thursday, standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller talked about everything but his own impressive efforts. But then that seems to be his nature.

"All of the young guys are filling out their roles, they know what they need to do and they get it done," said Fuller, a St. Bonaventure baseball recruit. "Joe Evans (junior infielder) lays down a huge bunt and gets the guy into scoring position, Zaj (senior first-year player James Zajaczkowski) gets up there and with two strikes doesn't try to do too much with it, just hits the ball right back up the middle and we score the go-ahead run there. That was huge.

"Like you said, the team chemistry," Fuller continued. "The seniors have taken the juniors under our wings. We hang out and do stuff together. It's really a great group of guys."

And great is no exaggeration when describing the hitting, fielding, throwing and base-running skills that Fuller brings to the diamond every day.

"He saves runs," said Saint Ignatius' veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor of one aspect of Fuller's many skills.

This corner was able to coax some comments from Sam regarding his two big catches at Strongsville, including his all-out extension, one-handed grab in left-center field in the bottom of the fifth that came with a runner on base, one out and the score knotted at 4. Saint Ignatius, trailing 4-0, tied the score with a four-run top of the fifth.

"It comes a lot from the positioning by the coaches and watching the ball for myself," Fuller said. "It's all about positioning and just going out there and executing it."

Strongsville, which has had some memorable encounters with the Wildcats in Varsity baseball, executed almost flawlessly en route to its four-run lead.

With one out and nobody on in the bottom of the third, the Mustangs road a walk to second baseman Sami Mehead, an RBI double to the gap in right-center field by first baseman Caleb Thomas and a throwing error to a 2-0 lead.

After Fuller took away a base hit with a diving catch in center field for the first out in the bottom of the fourth, Strongsville made it a 4-0 game behind a double by catcher Jake Boker, a walk to third baseman Charles Lewis, an error and a two-out, two-run bases-loaded double by Mehead.

"It doesn't appear that there is ever any panic," Coach Ganor said of his 2015 Cats. "Coach Blazer (Cats veteran hitting coach Matt Blazer) said it perfectly, you can't teach that stuff. And they have it. That's a testament to these senior leaders, guys who have been on the team since their sophomore year and have been around the big-game experience. They have taught everyone else how to react to situations."

Saint Ignatius' reaction was what one expects from a program that is traditionally among the state's best every spring.

With senior second baseman Mullen Socha fueling the Cats' four-run top of the fifth with a one-out base hit and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Ryan Jacobs (RBI single), Fuller (RBI double) and junior third baseman Kevin Mingus (a game-tying, two-run double) providing the clutch hits, there was almost a hush hovering over the Strongsville dugout.

After Wildcats' No. 1 starter M.J. Nara got some work in by pitching a scoreless bottom of the fifth that was highlighted by Fuller's big-time catch in left-center, gritty senior shortstop and Strongsville resident Jake Kucia led off the top of the sixth with a walk. Evans followed with his picture-perfect sacrifice bunt and Zajaczkowski sent a 1-2 pitch into center field for a base hit and a 5-4 Saint Ignatius lead.

Senior pitcher/outfielder Dylan Smolen, pinch running for Zajaczkowski, stole second base and came around to score Saint Ignatius' sixth run, the final tally of the game, off a sharp ground ball to the left side from the bat of Jacobs.

Then it was time for the Wildcats' bullpen to take over and, as they have done throughout the first week of the young season, senior right-hander Jacob Bangert and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien turned the Mustangs away in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

Zajaczkowski's big hit in the top of the sixth was not his first special moment in Saint Ignatius' six games in five days stretch (see the corner's other baseball posts). Not bad for a young man who was cut as a freshman, sophomore and junior, and served most of this school year as The President of the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.

"We'll take it,' said Coach Ganor of his team's 6-0 start. "We got all of the games in, which is a surprise, and we're ready to go again next week." 

To all of the Saint Ignatius family, have a wonderful Easter Sunday and we will see you in Ashland and Louisville, Kentucky next week.   

         

            

 

  

           

  

     

Larry Arthur is honored by the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association
4/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Ohio City - This corner couldn't have been happier to learn that the GCBCA was dedicating Wednesday night's All-Star Games in Sullivan Gymnasium to Larry Arthur.

An outstanding coach at Holy Name High School, where he excelled as a basketball player, Saint Ignatius and John Carroll University, Larry celebrated Wednesday night's honor with his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann. He emphasized in the GCBCA Game Program bio that he and Mary Ann enjoy time spent with their daughter Erin, son Michael and daughter-in-law Kelly.

During my 37 years at The Plain Dealer, this old-timer had a period of time as relatively young reporter that coincided with Coach Arthur's head coaching career at Saint Ignatius. Larry had a tremendous impact on my career.

How great it was to have the opportunity to cover and report on Larry as a coach one more time, as two years ago he and his great friend John Cooney guided the fortunes of the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball Team. It was a team that included the young skills of Andre' Wolford, Dylan Nieto and Dre'Mont Jones, among others.

Larry, my deepest congratulations and Thank You for the kindness and respect you always treated me with during our careers.   

 

 

Saint Ignatius seniors Andre' Wolford and Jaylin McDonald were among the stars that came out in Sullivan Gym on Wednesday night. Cats senior basketball mainstay Dylan Nieto is bound for Baldwin Wallace University.
4/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2015

Ohio City - Okay, the level of intensity wasn't going to remind you of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar going up against Robert "The Chief" Parish in those glory days known as the Lakers versus the Celtics.

And quite frankly, defense was an afterthought.

But then Wednesday's 31st annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games in Sullivan Gymnasium were, at times, entertaining.

Let's face it, and this comes from someone who has covered this event several times, it is a venue for many of the area's seniors to have fun and attempt to showcase skills they couldn't display in the team structure of the regular season.

Three of Saint Ignatius' gifted seniors, Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto were selected to play in the GCBCA's tripleheader. Dylan had to sit out because of an injury that is coming along just fine, but Jalylin and Andre' had some nice moments to take home with them.

McDonald, who received the Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award during Tuesday night's annual Winter Sports Banquet, competed in the "Boys Red Game" for the West Team. A senior Captain this past season and a three-year letter winner during his varsity career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, Jaylin used his athletic 6-foot-6 frame to score off some nice fluid moves around the rim, including a smooth one-hander along the baseline, alter shots and grab both defensive and offensive rebounds.

In the second game of the night, the "Boys White Game," Wolford also was a member of the West Team.

Less than two minutes into the game, Andre' showed why he finished his high school basketball career as one of the most prolific long-range shooters in Wildcats basketball history.

Displaying the form that created so much excitement in Sullivan Gymnasium the past two seasons, Andre' fired home a 3-pointer that brought back memories of that night during his junior year when he put his name in the Wildcats' record books with a single-game mark of eight 3-pointers versus Cleveland Heights.

Andre', a two-year letter winner, an All-Northeast Lakes District selection, a Captain this winter, Saint Ignatius' Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and the Cats' co-Most Valuable Player with multi-skilled junior guard Deven Stover, also scored in transition and off a nice move along the baseline courtesy of an assist from Berea-Midpark's standout 6-11 post Nolan Gerrity.

NIETO BOUND FOR BALDWIN WALLACE: Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius' senior forward Dylan Nieto, who shared with the corner on Wednesday night that he is going to further his education and basketball career at Baldwin Wallace University.

The recipient of the Wildcats' Most Improved Player Award during Tuesday night's banquet, Dylan, in this corner's humble opinion, was one of the area's unsung players. A two-year letter winner, Dylan also considered Ohio Wesleyan and Capital before deciding to play for Baldwin Wallace's Duane Sheldon, a coach this old-timer has the highest respect for.



 

 

     

 

 

   

Wildcats Varsity Baseball wears down Berea-Midpark with talent and depth, 12-2, at the Titans' home field on Wednesday evening.
4/1/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Head Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats will take a record of 5-0 into Thursday's scheduled game at Strongsville High School versus the Mustangs. The first pitch is slated for 4:30 PM and both the corner and the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will be on hand for game coverage. Joltin' Joe Mertens will have the lead call for the SIBN.

The game info from Berea-Midpark, scoring and key moments, was provided by the Wildcats' outstanding Senior Team Manager Kyle Kostura and posted by yours truly. Kyle's information allowed the corner to take in Wednesday evening's 31st annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games, which were played in Sullivan Gymnasium and dedicated to Saint Ignatius' veteran teacher and former Head Basketball Coach Larry Arthur.

Here is the Kostura/Dwyer production.

Berea, Ohio – The Titans from Berea-Midpark treated their faithful to an early 2-0 lead.

At that point, Saint Ignatius made sure the Titans remembered the April Fools’ Day they played the Wildcats, as Coach Ganor’s team responded with 12 unanswered runs.

Saint Ignatius’ standout senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares described his team’s big-time response as being a combination of solid pitching from juniors Nick Freund and Rich McGraw, clutch hits, sound at bats, and unselfish baseball that led to big innings. Freund was making his first Varsity start and McGraw made his first Varsity appearance.

Among the Wildcats’ defensive gems were a slick double play turned in by the gifted senior combo of shortstop Jake Kucia and second baseman Mullen Socha, and a highlight-reel diving stop at first base by senior James Zajaczkowski.

Versatile junior Joe Evans also provided a solid day at the hot corner.

The depth Coach Ganor’s team possesses was probably best exemplified on Wednesday by multi-skilled junior Dennis Grosel, who is normally the starting first baseman.

Grosel gave Panstares a little rest by going behind the plate and coming up with a performance that saw him throw out a runner at second base and go 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk.

As we have mentioned before in our baseball game reports, Grosel is also one of the top starting quarterbacks in area high school football.

From the Captains

Alex Panstares: "It's good to have games where some younger guys get opportunities and step up. Today we had some of those guys really deliver for us and that's big. I've been really happy with our execution and energy level all week, but we have to come ready to go again tomorrow and finish the week strong."

Senior Captain/No. 1 starting pitcher M.J. Nara: "Great team energy. It shows what this team is capable of, coming back from 2-0 to winning 12-2, and what kind of group of guys we have."

Another of Coach Ganor’s versatile men for others, senior outfielder/pitcher/infielder Kurt Mantes will be on the mound at Strongsville.

The old corner, not the hot one that Joe Evans fielded so well, can't wait to get back on the diamond.

   

A look at the 2015 Saint Ignatius Crew Spring Season, courtesy of Head Coach Pat Connor '94 and Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09
4/1/2015

Presented by Coach Connor and Coach Walters and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

WILDCAT NAVY READY TO FACE THE NATION

Now that the Cuyahoga River has thawed, the Wildcat Navy’s golden fleet is covering a lot of water. Having completed an extended winter  training, Head Coach Pat Connor sees no reason why his rowers can’t compete with the nation’s best crews. The team’s first varsity boat 2k average is the fastest during Coach Connor’s tenure and compares with that of national championship-caliber crews.

The Wildcats are fortunate to have one strongest Senior Classes this year, who are pushing the team’s performance to new levels, as well as setting an excellent example for the large class of Freshmen.  The Wildcats are also fortunate to have all of their coaches return from last year, and to pick up Veteran Coach Russ Eckles and recent graduate Connor Walters, an Alum of both Saint Ignatius Crew and Marietta Rowing and a member of the Communications Department at Saint Ignatius High School.

Camp Bob Cooper in South Carolina will host all 85 rowers and 8 coaches for a spring training trip, during which the team expects to see significant speed gains. Seniors Matt Barni, Michael DeGrandis, Will Fistek and Brian Kungl are the captains and represent the highly committed senior class pursuing its first team Midwest Championship, as well as medals at SRAA Nationals.

The Wildcat’s schedule kicks off with a Race against two of the best teams in the Midwest: Pittsburgh Central Catholic and New Trier out of Chicago.

Central Catholic has won the top varsity race for the last 5 years and has medaled nationally for the last two years, including a National Championship 2 years ago. New Trier typically finishes in the top 3 in the Varsity Race at Midwest.

The Wildcats are looking to schedule a competition against last year’s National Champion, Gonzaga College High School out of Washington DC and against National Runner-Up Saint Joseph’s Prep out of Philadelphia after this year’s Jesuit Cup Regatta in New York City was cancelled due to weather. The Wildcats would have faced the top schools in the country (all of which are Jesuit Schools), including Gonzaga, Saint Joseph’s Prep, Fordham Prep and several others.



 



 



 



Here are Saint Ignatius' Special Award Winners from Tuesday night's annual Winter Sports Banquet in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.
4/1/2015

VARSITY BASKETBALL

Third-Year Award Winners: Junior Deven Stover and Senior Jaylin McDonald

Fourth-Year Award Winner: Senior Student Manager Michael Berry

ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-NORTHEAST LAKES DISTRICT SELECTIONS: Senior Andre' Wolford for Third Team and Deven Stover for Special Mention.

Silver Certificate Awards from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association: Juniors Jimmy and Ryan Berger; junior Michael Hollis; junior Kyle Kalish; junior Tim Kiefer; junior Nolan Meehan; junior Tyler Musbach; junior Joe Palmer and junior Deven Stover.

Gold Certificates from the OHSBCA: Seniors Michael Berry, Joe Isabella, Dylan Nieto and Mikal Outcalt.

Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game Selections: Jaylin McDonald, Dylan Nieto and Andre' Wolford.

Captains Awards: Jaylin McDonald, Mikal Outcalt, Kyle Kalish and Andre' Wolford.

Saint Ignatius High School Team Awards for 2014-15

Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Award: Jaylin McDonald

Most Valuable Substitute: Jimmy Berger

Most Improved Player: Dylan Nieto

Most Valuable Defensive Player: Kyle Kalish

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Andre' Wolford

Most Valuable Players: Andre' Wolford and Deven Stover

The Prestigious Coaches' Cup: Joe Isabella

Jim Skerl '74 A.M.D.G. Awards: Michael Berry and Mikal Outcalt

Steve Ehretsman Courage & Perseverance Awards: Senior Dre'Mont Jones, Tyler Musbach and junior Ian Burry

BOWLING

Most Valuable: Junior Ralph Deadwyler - High Average 203

Most Improved : Sophomore Nick Frank and Senior Josh Jaroz. Plus 18 pins average from last year.

Coaches' Award: Senior Antonio DiFranco

Captain Award: Junior Gianni Schaefer

Athletic/Academic Awards: Senior Garret Forst and Junior Austin Venczel

HOCKEY

Four-Year Lettermen: Jack Wiegandt '15

Offensive MVPs: Matty Geither '15, Ethan Whitney '15 and Aidan Spellacy '16

Defensive MVPs: Dylan McKeon '16, Wes Deacon '16 and Brian Russell '16

Most Improved: Jared Stepka '16 and Kevin Yarcusko '15

Father Styles Coaches' Cup: Jack Wiegandt and Jack Mazanec '15

Captains Plaques: Jack Wiegandt, Jack Mazanec, Matty Geither, Ethan Whitney, Kevin Yarcusko, Brady Wells '15 and Aidan Spellacy

Video and Stats: Seniors Luke Liberatore and Patrick Millican

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Third-Year Award: Junior Rayon Artis

New Varsity School Record: 1m Diving - 11 Dive -- 521.15, Freshman Alex Claus

All-American Consideration Performances: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay and sophomore Dimitri Simcox in the 50 Free

Special Awards High Point: Senior Chris Ubert (255.0), Rayon Artis (244.50), Sophomore Marcus Hong (271, high point for the team overall) and Alex Claus (103)

Captains Award: Chris Ubert and Junior Chas Zwissler

Most Valuable Swimmers: Chris Ubert and Marcus Hong

Most Valuable Diver: Alex Claus

John B. Lewis Award: Junior Kurt Gregorek

Most Improved Swimmers: Freshman Anthony Fragassi and Junior Patrick Corrigan

Newcomer of the Year: Alex Claus

Coaches' Cup: Sophomore Joey Libertin

All-Ohio Diver: Alex Claus (1m, 7th place)

All-Ohio Swimmer: Rayon Artis  (50 Free, 7th place)

WRESTLING

Coaches' Cup: Ryan Bush

Most Valuable Wrestler: Joe Conway (Finished in Fifth Place in the OHSAA Division I State Tournament at 195 pounds)

Wildcat Award: Besar Vajusi and Anthony Delsanter

Most Improved Wrestler: Tyson Long

Marilyn A. Sullivan Award: Joe Conway

State Qualifiers/Placers: Joe Conway

Captains: Ryan Bush and Joe Conway

Four-Year Lettermen: Ryan Bush and Besar Vajusi

Three-Year Lettermen: Joe Conway, Anthony Ferritto, Nate Keirn, Gavin Rivera, Hunter Toth and Tito Vazquez 

 

        

 

 

The Varsity Baseball Wildcats excute their offense with some "small ball," play a solid defensive game and get another superb effort from their bullpen in Tuesday evening's 3-2 victory over defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson.
3/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Massillon, Ohio- As he stood along the first-base dugout in Massillon Jackson's atmosphere-rich baseball facility, Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor smiled and said: "Today was a collective effort."

And that is what it usually takes to bring home a victory when you are playing on the home diamond of the defending big-school state champions.

In improving to 4-0, the Baseball Cats executed unselfishly at the plate, made some outstanding plays defensively and continued to get a great effort from their bullpen.

Seniors Jacob Bangert and Brendan Adler, along with junior stopper Murphy O'Brien, slammed the door on what is always a potent Jackson offense. Bangert, who relieved starter Dylan Smolen in the bottom of the third inning, now stands 2-0 on the season.

"Those were two really good pitchers," Coach Ganor said of Jackson's Sam Miller and Zach Meese. Miller started for the Polar Bears, but had to be removed from the game after being hit by a line drive near his shoulder and rib area in the top of the third inning.

On came Meese, a senior southpaw, who went the rest of the way while keeping his team in the game.

"We've faced good pitching now for three days in a row," said Coach Ganor, referring to Sunday's doubleheader at Dublin Jerome and Monday's game at Archbishop Hoban. "The small ball and the willingness to bunt in the three hole or four hole. The unselfishness is what we had hoped for and it's showing through right now."

After both teams took their traditional pregame infield drill under a sky that looked more suitable for late November, the skies cleared to a bright blue and the sun came out. And so did the Saint Ignatius offense.

Junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, a young man we introduced you to after his big offensive evening at Archbishop Hoban on Monday night, led off the top of the first inning at Jackson by lining an 0-1 pitch into right-center field.

Senior shortstop Jake Kucia then drew a walk off an excellent at-bat and the Cats went on to take a 2-0 lead off some heads-up small ball and hustle on the base paths that forced run-producing fielder's choices.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the third inning, when the Polar Bears, playing their first game of the new season, knotted the score at 2 on an RBI single through the left side by junior outfielder Nate Cobb and a sacrifice fly senior outfielder Jake Kempt.

After Jackson drew their fourth walk of the third inning, Bangert came on with runners on first and third and two outs.

Bangert, who emerged out of the bullpen last season, calmly retired the next batter on a 6-4 force. The Polar Bears might have done some more damage in the third inning if it wasn't for another great snap throw by senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares that picked a runner off first base. Junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, the Wildcats' starting Varsity Football quarterback, completed the pickoff with a smooth and sure sweeping tag.  

Saint Ignatius wasted little time in responding to Jackson's two-run third, as Smolen, who moved to right field after being relieved by Bangert, sent a leadoff line drive into center field for a base hit in the top of the fourth inning. That is why pitchers must have short memories my friends.

The unselfishness that Coach Ganor referred to then came to the fore as the powerful hitting Mingus laid down a bunt that Jackson's third baseman couldn't handle. Kucia followed with a sacrifice bunt that many major leaguers have difficulty executing.

With two outs, Panstares delivered what turned out to be the game-winning hit off an RBI single to right field.

From there, one of the game's and season's great story lines took place as Adler, a left-hander, came out of Coach Ganor's bullpen and threw three shutout innings. It was less than a year ago that Brendan's 2014 season ended on a torn ACL.

In the bottom of the seventh, it was O'Brien time.

After striking out five of the six batters he faced in his two previous perfect seventh-inning closer's role appearances, O'Brien came out of the bullpen to finish Tuesday's impressive victory. And he didn't disappoint.

Although it wasn't as perfect as his previous outings, O'Brien started with a strikeout. He then yielded a base hit to junior infielder Jon Conkle and the tying run stood on second base with one out after pinch runner Zach Mottice came up with a steal.

The big-hearted O'Brien said no more, however, as he sealed the victory with another strikeout and a fly out to right field.

Saint Ignatius will look to make it a 5-0 start to the 2015 season when they travel to Berea-Midpark on Wednesday at 4:30 PM. Junior right-hander Nick Freund is scheduled to make his first Varsity career start.

"Between Jacob (Bangert), Brendan (Adler) and Murphy (O'Brien) that's good, solid stacked pitching," Coach Ganor said. "And Alex (Panstares) had a heck of a game behind the plate. It's early to say put it in Murphy's hands and the game's over, but so far when he has had his opportunities he's done it."

FRESHMEN COMPLETE A JACKSON SWEEP: The Freshmen Cats also made the trip to Massillon Jackson on Tuesday and went home with a 9-3 victory. On Monday, the Junior Varsity Wildcats defeated the Polar Bears, 6-1.

IN OUR PRAYERS: Our prayers and sympathy go out to Saint Ignatius' tireless Senior Team Manager Kyle Kostura, whose Great Uncle, Dan Leonard, passed away on Tuesday. Dan, from the Archbishop Hoban Class of 1960, was inducted into Hoban's Hall of Fame as an outstanding football quarterback.    

 

Stars will come out in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night
3/31/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

As we reported earlier this month on the corner, storied Sullivan Gym will be the site of this year's annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association's Boys All-Star Games.

Featuring many of the area's senior mainstays, the tripleheader will be held tomorrow night (Wednesday), with the tipoffs at 6 PM, 7:15 and 8:30. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Saint Ignatius' standout seniors Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto have been selected to participate in this year's big-school game by the area's coaches.

The first report of the spring season on the "Crew Cats," courtesy of Head Coach Pat Connor '94
3/31/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH CONNOR: The Wildcat Rowing Team raced in the Rustbelt Invitational Regatta this past weekend at Lake Dillon against Pittsburgh Central Catholic, New Trier (Chicago) and Saint Edward. This is considered one of the toughest races of the season as Central Catholic has won the 1st Varsity 8 Race in the Midwest for the last 5 years, and New Trier typically finishes in the top 3 every year. Central Catholic took 3rd Nationally in the V8 Last year, and won Nationals in the V8 two years ago. Most of their rowers returned this year.

Conditions were abysmal with an air temperature of 18 degrees, and a wind of 10-20 MPH creating very choppy conditions. Due to that, only the 1st Varsity 8 Race was able to be held.

The Wildcats surpassed Central Catholic to win that race by a significant margin, with New Trier finishing 3rd and St. Edward coming in 4th. Complete results can be found here:  http://www.row2k.com/results/resultspage.cfm?UID=601519&cat=1#.VRqwf_nF98E.

All 85 members of the Wildcat Crew will be heading to South Carolina over Easter Week for a Training Trip, and look to have a complete re-match against Central Catholic and possibly defending National Champions Gonzaga College High School, and Saint Joseph’s Prep upon their return.

 Patrick Connor ‘94

Computer Science

Head Coach, Saint Ignatius Crew

Wildcats Kevin Woidke to attend The Ohio State University as a preferred walk-on
3/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Fairview Park, Ohio

Senior Kevin Woidke, who at 6-foot-6 and 288 pounds was one of the anchors on the offensive line for Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Football team this past fall, will be attending The Ohio State University in the summer, where he will join his brother Ian, a former Football Wildcat who is a sophomore studying International Business and Economics.

Kevin's dad Jim, a Saint Ignatius graduate, said the exciting news about Kevin is that he received a preferred walk-on invitation from The National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes.

"He is really pumped about the opportunity and is looking forward to getting there this summer," said Jim Woidke. "While he had some scholarship offers from other schools, his heart was with OSU. So, should be an interesting summer and fall!"

More than 40 years ago, Jim Woidke was the standout tailback for this corner's undefeated and un-scored upon Saint Ignatius of Antioch Football Cougars. Jim would go on to play Varsity Basketball for the Wildcats of Saint Ignatius.

Congratulations to Kevin and the Woidke family and may God Bless You, now and in the future.

Go Buckeyes!  

  

 

Saint Ignatius overcomes a four-error third inning behind the clutch hitting of Kevin Mingus, Dennis Grosel, Jake Kucia and Kurt Mantes and goes on to defeat Archbishop Hoban, 7-3, in Akron on Monday evening.
3/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Akron, Ohio - It wasn't pretty, but Coach Brand Ganor's Wildcats were able to improve 3-0 behind their offense and some resilient pitching that held up despite six errors.

Although the Cats were not at the top of their game defensively, they actually did pull off some solid defensive plays, including an on-the-money throw from center field by senior Sam Fuller that took down a runner at the plate, a seed from left field by senior Kurt Mantes that nearly threw out another runner at the plate in what was a debatable call, and a rare 2-3-4 out in the bottom of the sixth inning that wiped out an Archbishop Hoban threat.

Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, ignited Saint Ignatius' offense with a leadoff triple in the top of the first inning and scored on a two-out, line-drive single to left-center field by junior first baseman Dennis Grosel.

Wildcats junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, a name to remember my friends, delivered a two-out, bases-loaded double that made it a 4-0 game in the top of the second inning. It was an authoritative shot to right center field and the first of Kevin's two impressive doubles on the evening.

Archbishop Hoban, which was playing its first game of the 2015 season, came back to cut the deficit to 4-3 by scoring two runs in the bottom of the second and a run in the bottom of the third. One of the keys to the game, however, was the Knights' inability to do more damage in the third inning.

Saint Ignatius, thanks in a large part to Fuller's highlight-reel throw from center field to home plate that was referred to in the second paragraph, survived a third inning that saw it commit four errors.    

The Wildcats' two-out hitting came to the fore again in the top of the fifth, as Coach Ganor's team would push its lead to 6-3 on an RBI single by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia and a run-scoring double to deep right field by Mantes.

Grosel, who is also a standout quarterback for Saint Ignatius' varsity football team, closed out the scoring with an RBI single down the left-field line in the top of the seventh that was argued as being a foul ball by Archbishop Hoban.

Wildcats talented and tough-mined junior relief pitcher Murphy O'Brien then sealed the deal with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh that included two strikeouts. In his first outing of the season on Sunday, O'Brien wrapped up a 3-2 victory at Dublin Jerome by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Saint Ignatius' bullpen also turned in a strong fifth inning at Archbishop Hoban by junior Nick Freund, as Nick displayed his ability to field his position.

HOW THE SKIPPER SEES IT:  "You live and learn, three games in and as good as we felt yesterday (Sunday), that's baseball," said Coach Ganor in referring to his team's errors on Monday. "But, we found a way to win and we did it offensively. Our defense wasn't as sharp today, but we had a good offensive day. And we made some big pitches in big situations. That's the key to team victories.

"Sunday (the doubleheader sweep over Dublin Jerome), I thought our pitching and defense carried our offense," Coach Ganor continued. "Today, we needed a little more offense and they found it. As long as they learn the difference between wins and quality wins then I'm okay with that. I thought Kevin (Mingus) had a great game today, quality at-bats. And Sam (Fuller) had a great day until he went down (with cramps). All in all, a win is a win and I'll take it."

Diamond Dust: The key 2-3-4 play we referred to in the lead in paragraphs of this report saw Wildcats senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares make a picture-perfect snap throw to Grosel at first base with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Panstares' throw caught the runner off first base and Grosel teamed with crafty senior second baseman Mullen Socha on the putout, as Mullen made the tag in the run down for the third out.

Saint Ignatius senior reliever Jacob Bangert had coaxed the second out in the bottom of the sixth on a pop fly that was hauled in by Grosel in foul territory.

Can You Diggs It: Senior starting right-hander Luke Diggs made his 2015 debut a successful one on Monday evening. In his four complete innings, Luke, as per the Wildcats' stats, yielded two earned runs, had three strikeouts and walked a batter.

JAYVEES IMPRESS: The corner tips its cap to the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Baseball Team, which opened its season on Monday with a 6-1 victory over the highly regarded program from Massillon Jackson.

UP NEXT, THE DEFENDING STATE CHAMPS: Speaking of the Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson, the 2014 Division I State Champions are scheduled to host the Varsity Baseball Wildcats tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5 PM. If Mother Nature gives her okay, senior southpaw Dylan Smolen will take the mound for the Cats.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST: It was great to see Wildcats junior outfielder Michael Rogers back in the dugout with his teammates on Monday evening. During Sunday's doubleheader sweep at Dublin Jerome, Mike was hit in the face by the baseball off an errant pick-off attempt by Jerome while Mike was on second base. Mike suffered an injury to his right eye that included a fracture and he said on Monday that he "could" miss four to six weeks. The corner's prayers are with Mike and his family for a safe and speedy recovery.                 

  

M.J. Nara, Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien were lights out on the mound, Jake Kucia and Mullen Socha flashed the leather and the hits were timely as Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Cats swept Dublin Jerome, 3-2 and 6-1, at Jerome.
3/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Dublin, Ohio - Pitching, defense and timely hitting.

They have always been and always will be the recipe for success when it comes to America's Pastime.

Sunday afternoon, the Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Wildcats opened their 2015 Baseball Season by doing plenty of the above and now stand 2-0 after returning from Dublin, Ohio with a doubleheader sweep of the Celtics from Jerome High School by scores of 3-2 and 6-1. 

Playing under a sky at Dublin Jerome that offered occasional, but brief appearances by the sun and battling stiff winds and temperatures that were brisk baby, the Cats played with savvy, pitched with confidence and unveiled a senior shortstop-second base duo of Jake Kucia and Mullen Socha that could go down as one of the best in Saint Ignatius' baseball history.

"Yeah, I thought it was very good, very good," said Saint Ignatius' veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor, referring to a Wildcats pitching staff that allowed just three total hits in the two games combined. "And the defense was outstanding. We've only been on a field twice and I think today was indicative of the work they put in during the offseason, to be able to produce like that right out of the gate."

After a single and two stolen bases by Saint Ignatius' gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller led to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one, Cats senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara shook off some control issues in the bottom of the first.

Nara, a big-game tested pitcher since his sophomore year, settled in and blanked the Celtics through four hitless innings. With the cold weather, Coach Ganor worked his No. 1 starter just those four innings and M.J.'s opening-day effort saw him throw 69 pitches, 42 of which were strikes, and finish with five strikeouts and three walks. Nara revealed to the corner that he threw almost exclusively a four-seam fastball, mixing in just one curveball and one changeup.

Saint Ignatius , which is scheduled to travel to Archbisop Hoban on Monday for 5 PM encounter with the Knights, combined performances out of the bullpen by senior Jacob Bangert and junior Murphy O'Brien that can be best described as gutsy and overpowering.

After Jerome took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats tied the score with a run in the top of the sixth, an inning that was fueled by a consecutive base hits by senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, and a sacrifice bunt by Kucia.

Bangert then kept his team in the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth.

With Kucia a vacuum at shortstop and his up-the-middle mate Socha displaying smooth footwork and glove work on a field that had obviously taken some of winter's best shots, Saint Ignatius scored the go-ahead run off a two-out, RBI sharp grounder to the left side by Panstares in the top of the seventh. Only a diving catch in left field by Jerome's Andrew Adolph prevented further damage.  

Enter O'Brien.

Needing just 12 pitches, 11 of which were strikes, O'Brien struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh and the Cats celebrated victory No. 1 in what appears to be a season of great promise. O'Brien said he threw 11 fastballs and just one curveball, which came off the final pitch of the game.

Another game one highlight was the plate awareness of senior outfielder Dylan Welch, who reached base three times. Saint Ignatius faced the Celtics' ace in game one, University of Cincinnati recruit Clayton Colvin. 

The top storyline of game two was the pitching of sophomore left-hander Connor Adams.

Adams, as good-natured as he is talented, pitched with the confidence of a four-year starter in limiting the Celtics to one hit before senior southpaw Brendan Adler, taking the mound less than a year after knee surgery, closed it out in the seventh inning.

Displaying a fluid and at times overpowering delivery, Adams struck out six, walked two and hit a batter. He seemed to have the Celtics guessing in the bottom of the fifth, when he struck out the side. The Wildcats staked the young man with unlimited potential to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Saint Ignatius came up with a number of timely hits in game two, including the first hit and run batted in of his Wildcat baseball career by senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski, which made it a 4-0 game in the top of the fifth. Kucia's hustle double set up an RBI for junior first baseman George Asodorian in the top of the sixth and junior infielder Joe Evans delivered an RBI single in the top of the seventh that scored Fuller, who reached on an authoritative double to left field. Fuller is a St. Bonaventure recruit.

Jerome's run in the second game was courtesy of an RBI single by Will Zeigler in the bottom of the sixth.

"It was a great two wins for the team today," said Zajaczkowski, the President of the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network, who came out of the announcing booth and won a spot with this year's Baseball Cats.

"I am just happy that I was able to contribute when called upon," continued the young man who is always the epitome of class. "Obviously it was a great feeling."

And before heading home, Zajaczkowski added: "I don't think there is any doubt about that," when asked if his first hit and RBI as a Wildcat will be something he will always cherish.

This corner can say with confidence that James won't be the only one recalling that special moment.       

  

Just another reminder on tomorrow's Varsity Baseball Doubleheader.
3/28/2015

Weather permitting, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats will travel to Dublin, Ohio on Sunday to face the Jerome High School Celtics in a season-opening doubleheader. The first pitch from Dublin Jerome will be 1 PM. Dublin is the home of the finest college football coach in these United States, Mr. Urban Meyer of The Ohio State University National Champion Buckeyes.

The corner will join Coach Ganor and the 2015 Baseball Cats for game coverage and The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will take advantage of the press box, as it will bring you the games live. Joltin' Joe Mertens is expected to be on the lead call.

THE CORNER TIPS ITS CAP TO VILLA ANGELA-ST. JOSEPH HEAD BASKETBALL COACH BABE KWASNIAK FOR ADDING YET ANOTHER CHAPTER TO THE STORIED CHAMPIONSHIP TRADITION AT VIKING VILLAGE, AND TO ERIC FLANNERY (ST. EDWARD), SONNY JOHNSON (GARFIELD HEIGHTS) AND JEREMY HOLMES (CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC) FOR PUTTING TOGETHER EXCEPTIONAL SEASONS.

This old-timer has had the privilege of covering and reporting on all four of those above mentioned young men as players and coaches.

- Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer

   

Congratulations from the corner to Coach Dan Arbeznik's Varsity A Rugby Cats for sending the "Men from Moeller" home with a sound 57-5 defeat.
3/28/2015

The defending state champion Rugby Cats will now ride the emotion of Saturday's impressive effort against Archbishop Moeller at Wasmer Field on to the green fields of Ireland, as they gear up for their Easter Break trip to the Emerald Isle.

- Eddie O'Dwyer

Wildcats Lacrosse opens its 2015 season with an impressive 16-7 victory over Upper St. Clair (Pa.) on Wasmer Field Friday night.
3/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The brisk temperatures that hovered over the Cleveland area on Friday night certainly didn't slow down a Saint Ignatius offense that was described by veteran Wildcats Broadcaster Michael Berry '15 as "savvy."

Helping show the way for Coach Pat McManamon's Attack Group were Crew Cintron, Jared Stepka and Alex Hornung, who each had multiple goals.

The gifted Cintron helped fuel the offensive flow with two early goals and his third goal with just over 6 minutes remaining pushed the Lax Cats' lead to 12-6.

Coach McManamon's team will take its 1-0 record on the road Saturday evening, as the Lax Cats will be at Thomas Worthington to face the Cardinals at 5 PM.  

Saturday's annual Brunswick Elite Track and Field Meet, where the Wildcats were scheduled to compete, has been canceled because of the weather.
3/27/2015
Where The Cats Play, unless Mother Nature says otherwise.
3/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

It all starts tonight with the 2015 season opener for Coach Patrick McManamon's Varsity Lacrosse Team. The Lax Cats are scheduled to face Upper St. Clair (near Pittsburgh) at 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. On the Upper St. Clair website it is listed as 6 PM, so arriving early to Wasmer Field might be a good choice.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Lax Cats are slated to travel to Thomas Worthington for a 5 PM faceoff.

In volleyball, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats will look to open their season at Beavercreek High School on Saturday. On the Saint Ignatius volleyball website page, the opponent is listed as Beavercreek High School and the match is listed at 10 AM. However, it appears on the Beavercreek website page as a 1 PM match with the Wildcats. We suggest that you double check with Coach Marcelo and his staff. And, if you are traveling to Beavercreek High School, it is located at 2660 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, Ohio (Greene County).

And while we're on the subject of our friends from Greene County, congratulations to the Beavercreek Boys Bowling Team, which recently brought home its first state championship. Yes, it is Beavercreek, not Beaver Creek as you might have seen posted elsewhere. Ah yes, I remember well the powerhouse Beavercreek girls basketball teams from my many years at The Plain Dealer.

Back to this weekend, Coach Jon Barker's Tennis Cats are scheduled to open their 2015 season tomorrow (Saturday), when they travel to The Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Maumee, Ohio near Toledo to face the Titans from
St. John's Jesuit. It is slated as a 3 PM match. The Shadow Valley Tennis Club is located at 1661 S Holland Sylvania Rd. The telephone number for the facility is 419-865-1141.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's defending State Champion Rugby Cats will protect their home turf on Wasmer Field tomorrow (Saturday), when they take on the Crusaders from Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller at 3:30 PM. The Cats are gearing up for next month's trip to Ireland (see the corner's Rugby preview from last week).

And last, but certainly not least, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats, as we posted earlier this week, are now hoping to open their new season on Sunday with a doubleheader at Dublin Jerome. The first game with the Celtics is down for 1 PM, followed by the second game at 3 PM. The first pitch for Sunday's second game is an approximate time.

Unless Mother Nature throws us a wicked curve, the corner will be making the trip to Dublin Jerome on Sunday with Coach Ganor and the 2015 Cats.

FOR A LOOK AT THE ABOVE MENTIONED SPRING SPORTS TEAMS, ALONG WITH TRACK AND FIELD, SEE THE CORNER'S PREVIEWS THAT WERE POSTED THIS WEEK AND THE PRIOR WEEK.

STAY WARM AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.   



 

THANK YOU
3/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

On a personal note, I would like to thank those loyal readers of the corner for the prayers and sympathy they expressed to the Colbert, White, Stamper and Dwyer families these past few days, as my brother-in-law, the late Mr. George "Butch" Colbert, was celebrated today at a wonderful and moving Mass in front of an amazing turnout at St. Christopher Church in Rocky River.

Butch passed away on Friday after a long illness.

Grieve not...

Nor speak of me with tears...

But laugh and talk of me...

As though I were beside you...

I loved you so...

'twas Heaven here with you...

- George "Butch" Colbert, a loving father to Mary White and Coreen Stamper, a loving grandfather to Paddy White and Sean and Shannon Stamper, and a loving and devoted husband of 55 years to Mary Anne Colbert, nee Dwyer.     

 

Senior Kyle Kostura, one of the finest Student Managers this corner has come across in 44-plus years of covering area high school sports, shared with us his college decision.
3/25/2015

FROM KYLE KOSTURA '15

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Mr. Dwyer,

I am happy to let you know that I will be attending Green Mountain College in Vermont to further my education. I am in a special sect of the college called The Killington School of Resort Management. So I'm continuing to manage something, except it will involve a ski resort instead of football or baseball players. 

I will live and work at the Eastern United States' biggest ski resort., Killington Ski Resort. The sports management that I have done here at Saint Ignatius truly inspired me to continue onto something in management. It will be a great experience.

Also! I will only be a short hour and a half drive from Alex Panstares (Wildcats standout senior catcher /captain) at Williams College. So I'll be able to see him every so often.

I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful conversations throughout the past three years. I will miss them for sure this fall. Also, thank you for the incredible stories you have included me in over the years. It truly means a lot to see my name in such stories and recaps. I can't wait for baseball this weekend!

Wildcats Varsity Baseball Opener at Dublin Jerome has been moved to Sunday.
3/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In what Head Coach Brad Ganor described as a weather-related move, the Baseball Cats will now travel to Dublin on Sunday for a 1 PM doubleheader with the Celtics. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Saturday in Dublin.

Sunday's trip will start with an 8:30 AM Mass at St. Pat's on Bridge Avenue.  

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Track and Field Preview. A strong contingent of juniors are expected to lead the way this spring.
3/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Ohio City - After a challenging preseason courtesy of Mother Nature, Coach Chuck Kyle's "hearty" young men are preparing for Saturday's Brunswick Elite Meet.

The competition in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium, which has become a traditional start to the Wildcats' outdoor season, is scheduled to get underway at 10 AM. Last year, the Brunswick Elite Meet and other meets throughout the state were cut short because of snow and sleet. We can only hope that the early forecast of cold and partly sunny holds up.

"We really had a difficult time practicing what we would want to do," said Coach Kyle of the Wildcats' recently completed indoor season. "Because usually in February you get some melting, and we didn't get any. So we didn't get on the track at all (in Wasmer Field) until March 16th. And at that point the indoor season was over.

"But our kids are rather hearty in what they do," continued the man who took over his alma mater's track and field program in the spring of 1974. "We went outside, found roads that were shoveled somewhat, ran up hills and did what we could.

"With that in mind, that portion of the season (indoor) is really about conditioning and strength," Coach Kyle said. "And we did a pretty good job with that."

So good that the Wildcats' 4x800 relay team won the 3200 event at the annual Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches' Boys Indoor State Meet in Akron earlier this month. The team, comprised of juniors Colin Kruchan, Luke Wagner, Mike Huber and Tom Sullivan, ran a 7:56.58.

"That was encouraging, it was a very good time for that meet," said Coach Kyle, who is a member of the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches' Hall of Fame. "We also had a couple of sprint groups who made it to the (indoor) state meet. So that was good for where we were at that point, because we can't train like some of the other schools."

Outdoors, in the words of Coach Kyle, is where the Cats hope to be catching up. A very young team last year, Saint Ignatius is looking to reap some of the benefits this spring.

"We're still kind of young," Coach Kyle said. "Instead of sophomores, there are a lot of juniors."

The 2015 Wildcats are expected to do very well on the track and in certain field events they will be fine. Coach Kyle's distance and sprint athletes are solid and experienced, and there are some young hurdlers with promise.

"With the field events, there is a little inexperience there, but we'll be okay," said Coach Kyle.

AMONG THE NAMES TO WATCH: Junior Luke Wagner, a two-time state qualifier who finished fifth in Ohio last year in the 1600 against a Division I field that Coach Kyle described as highly competitive.

"From the 800 on up, Luke is very good," Coach Kyle said of the young man who also excels for Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's highly successful Cross Country Program. "So we'll see how it plays out. Does he put an emphasis on the 1600, the 3200 or the 800? We'll see as we go."

Junior Tom Sullivan: "Tommy really does focus on the 3200 once we get outdoors," said Coach Kyle. "He did a great job last year."

Junior Colin Kruchan: Colin finished second to Luke Wagner in the 800 during last year's District Meet. He is referred to by Coach Kyle as a "reliable veteran," despite being only a junior.

Junior Mike Huber: Last year was Mike's first year with the track team and he truly came to the fore during this year's indoor season.

"He focused on the 400, but in the indoor season Mike ran the 800 and the 400, and really made great progress as a member of the indoor state championship relay team." - Coach Kyle.

Junior Tim Trentel: An 800 and mile competitor, Tim is right there ready to contribute on any of the relay teams. He lends significantly to what should be a major strength for the Cats this spring - depth.

Junior James Rogers: "This is James' first year in track. In the past years he competed in swimming and just felt he needed the rest. We are looking forward to him, because he has looked great in workouts. He ran in a few indoor meets just to get the feel of it." - Coach Kyle. Note: Like Wagner, Sullivan and Trentel, Rogers also competes for Coach Gallagher's cross country team.

Junior James Norris: James, who is also a gifted tailback/kick returner in football, holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 meters with a 10.66, a feat he accomplished as a freshman. "Last year he was on his way to break that, but he had a little tweak in his hamstring at the district and we didn't want to risk it," said Coach Kyle. Note: James is a major factor in the 100 right up to the 400. Unlimited potential.

Also counted on to contribute significantly this spring are junior Quinn Lawless, a starting defensive back in football who is doing very well in the 100 and 200, junior Nick Cristescu, a Saint Ignatius of Antioch grad who is a steady relay performer, and junior Jack Cook, a standout defensive back/wideout/punt returner in football who is looking to improve his speed. A solid baseball player in the springs of 2013 and '14, Jack, said Coach Kyle, is doing very well. Cook was a member of one of the relay teams that qualified for this month's state indoor meet.

Note: A couple of freshmen are looking solid in the sprints - Phil Zuccaro, who was a game-breaker (19 TDs) for Coach Rodney Gallaway's undefeated freshmen football team this past fall, and Josh Crayton-Prioleau, who was also among the gifted freshmen football players. As an eighth-grader at St. Bernadette, Zuccaro won the 200 meters during Saint Ignatius' annual Wasmer Games.  

Seniors who will add to the depth and talent of the relays, distances and the sprints include Sean Sovacool, a captain in cross country who excels in long distance, and Alex Janis, who is solid in the 400.

Field Events: Senior Rai Walters will show the way in the long jump and high jump, senior Sam Rapnicki will be the Cats' main man in the pole vault and senior Cory Griffith, an All-Ohio kicker/punter in football, is back as a three-year mainstay in the discus and shot put.

Hurdlers: Look for juniors C.J. Moore and Jack Ruddy to emerge. Coach Kyle said Ruddy is the nephew of former Wildcats football great Mark Ruddy '90, who helped the Cats to their first two state championships in the falls of 1988 and '89, and their first national title in football in '89.

Coach Kyle's overall outlook: "Overall, we'll be a nice team," Coach Kyle said. "We have depth. I think every meet we compete in we will be one of the teams to possibly win the meet. We'll be right up there at every meet. If we get some points in the field events early in the meet, once we get to the track we'll be pretty strong. Last year I couldn't always say that, because we had so many sophomores."

Coach Kyle said he looks at some of the usual suspects - Berea-Midpark, Solon, St. Edward and Brunswick - to be among the area's best.  

*IN CLOSING THIS REPORT WE HAVE TO MENTION THAT THE WILDCATS WILL NOT BE AT THEIR HOME AWAY FROM HOME WHEN IT COMES TO THIS YEAR'S DISTRICT MEET.

SAINT IGNATIUS, WHICH HAS HAD A TWO-PLUS DECADE DOMINANCE AS A TEAM AT THE LAKEWOOD DISTRICT, WILL BE COMPETING AT THE BRUNSWICK DISTRICT THIS SPRING. COACH KYLE SAID HE BELIEVES THE CHANGE WAS MADE BECAUSE OF RENOVATIONS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN LAKEWOOD STADIUM.

HOWEVER, MOST OF THE SAME TEAMS FROM THE LAKEWOOD DISTRICT WILL BE JOINING SAINT IGNATIUS AT BRUNSWICK, INCLUDING DEFENDING GIRLS DISTRICT CHAMPION SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY, AND THE WILDCATS ARE CERTAINLY NO STRANGERS TO BRUNSWICK AUTO MART STADIUM.                        

 

     

           

 

     

 

  

 

     

   

        

Time Change on Friday's Lacrosse game.
3/24/2015

Friday's season opener between the Lax Cats and Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh is now scheduled for 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. Through last week, the time of the game was listed as 7:30 PM on the Saint Ignatius Lacrosse website page.

Once again, it is now being tweeted out as a 6:30 PM start. All of the Best to Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and the 2015 Lax Cats.

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Preview. A solid group of seniors will serve as the foundation, on and off the diamond.
3/23/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

The corner takes a look at the Baseball Cats, who are coming off a season that saw them finish 19-8 after a 5-2 loss to North Royalton in the Strongsville Division I District Championship game. North Royalton went on to a state runner-up finish after losing to Massillon Jackson, 5-1, in the big-school championship game. The 2014 Cats finished in a three-way tie for the 20th spot in last year's final state poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.  

Ohio City - Sitting in the office of Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor, senior captains Alex Panstares and M.J. Nara almost echoed each other's thoughts while discussing the 2015 Wildcats.

And chemistry was the operative thought.

"We have a good group of seniors coming back," said Panstares, who will be entering his third consecutive spring as a mainstay behind the plate for Coach Ganor. "I think the seniors will all do a nice job of taking the underclassmen and putting together this team that is already pretty tight. It's a great group of guys, on and off the field. Everyone really gets along well."

Nara, who emerged on the scene with seven saves during the Wildcats' Division I state-runner up season of 2013, is now the No. 1 starter. It's a role M. J. relishes.

"Our team chemistry is great, everyone is just clicking together this year," said Nara, a Walsh University recruit.  "Watching practices, our defense has improved a lot, especially in the infield. So that's going to be huge."

Along with the honor of being at the top of the rotation for one of the state's highly recognized big-school programs, Nara emphasized that his other major role is being there for the Cats' younger arms. And there are plenty of those this spring.

"Talking with them about pitches and calming their nerves," Nara said.

With their big-game experience, Panstares and Nara are quick to point out that although the Wildcats have looked sharp in practice and appear to have a solid bond, they haven't accomplished anything yet as far as the 2015 season is concerned.

"We have to go out and execute it," Panstares said. "One of the things we've spent a lot of time on in practice is bunt defense. It's all of the little things. There are some teams that can come out and just mash and overpower you. We're going to have to be a scrappy team that battles and executes."

As Nara sees it, the 2015 Wildcats also have to  play "the mental side of baseball."

"We can't be too high or too low, we have to stay at an even keel," Nara said. "And you can't turn it on and off when it comes to energy."

As one of the standout catchers in all of Northeastern Ohio, if not the entire state, Panstares has worked with some solid top of the rotation pitchers since 2013. And he doesn't hesitate in saying that Nara is right there with all of them.

"The nice thing about this year is that we have guys who potentially could be playoff starters," said Panstares of the promising underclassmen. "The key is going to be the depth we have in the bullpen, guys you can put out there and trust. I think we have those guys."

Among those trustworthy veterans are senior right hander Jacob Bangert, who turned in several strong outings out of the bullpen last year, senior right hander Luke Diggs, who can start or come on in relief, and versatile senior southpaws Dylan Smolen and Brendan Adler. Adler is coming back from a 2014 knee injury and Smolen is also a capable outfielder. 

"So far through live sessions and bullpens, I'm excited about some these younger guys," Panstares continued. "Sophomore (lefty) Connor Adams, juniors Nick Freund and Murphy O'Brien and others have really impressed."

As Nara was quick to interject, the key to Saint Ignatius' 2015 pitching staff will be "living low."

"We don't have guys that can bring it in the low to mid 90s, so we have to stay low and hit our spots," Nara said.

As for the Wildcats' other position players, an area that Panstares says has exceptional depth, you can start with senior center fielder Sam Fuller; senior outfielder Kurt Mantes, who has moved from the infield; veteran junior first baseman/third baseman Dennis Grosel, who is also the Cats' standout varsity football quarterback; baseball savvy senior middle infielders Jake Kucia (shortstop) and Mullen Socha (second base), and junior first baseman George Asadorian.

Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit with exceptional defensive and base running skills, put together some of the finest at-bats last season that this corner has seen in nearly 45 years of covering and reporting on area high school baseball. And Saint Ignatius' veteran hitting coach Matt Blazer will concur with that statement.   

Vying for starting roles and providing that depth Panstares referred to will be junior second baseman/shortstop Joe Evans, senior third baseman/first baseman Dylan Welch, junior outfielders Dan Volpe and Michael Rogers, junior third baseman/second baseman Kevin Mingus and senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski.

In what is a great example of perseverance, Zajaczkowski, the President of the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network, has come out of the broadcasting booth to earn a spot on Coach Ganor's talented and competitive roster.

And when it comes to the 2015 roster, let us not forget Senior Team Manager extraordinaire Kyle Kostura, who keeps all of us in line, and Senior Lead Broadcaster for Wildcats Baseball Joe Mertens. Just like last spring and through the early fall, I will count on Joe's expertise on my beloved Indians.  

Coach Ganor, who also serves as the Director of Saint Ignatius' Robert M. Walton '41 Center for Learning, is entering his 11th season as the Wildcats' skipper and his 17th spring overall in the program.

The man who has guided the Baseball Cats to four state final fours, including a school record three consecutive trips in 2007, '08 and '09, and two state runner-up finishes in '08 and 2013, says that when it comes to his team's strengths this spring chemistry is definitely No. 1.

"We're always talented and there have been years with varying levels of talent, but usually we have a highly talented team compared to most," said Coach Ganor, a former baseball standout at St. Edward High School and Cleveland State University who has compiled 222 career victories at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Coach Ganor was the Pitching Coach for Saint Ignatius' 2002 State Championship Team under Coach Brian Morgan, a team that featured, among others, a gifted sophomore outfielder/pitcher named Brian Hoyer.

"This year is a lot like those teams that made it to the final four, where the chemistry is so similar,' Coach Ganor continued. "And probably a little bit better (in terms of the chemistry). I go back to 2002 when I said that team had the best chemistry of any team I have coached. They were great friends and highly talented, and I would compare this team to that chemistry of 2002.

"Talent will win out most of the time," said Coach Ganor. "But when you're in a tight game, that chemistry and that willingness to sacrifice yourself for the team comes into play. And that's how you win a district final, a regional final or a state final. The thing you can't ever coach is the team chemistry and I can guarantee you that this team will be ready for the playoffs by mid May."

NOTE: MOTHER NATURE PERMITTING, THE BASEBALL CATS WILL OPEN THEIR SEASON ON SATURDAY AT DUBLIN JEROME. IT IS A SCHEDULED DOUBLEHEADER AT 11 AM AND 1:30 PM, BUT AS COACH GANOR EMPHASIZED, HE WILL BE HAPPY IF THEY GET ONE GAME IN.

After Saturday, the Wildcats are slated to travel to Archbishop Hoban on March 30th, to defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson on March 31st and to Strongsville on April 2. All three of those road games are scheduled for 5 PM.

During the Easter Break (April 8-10), the Cats will travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament and they will play their first home game on April 11th versus the Lakewood Rangers at Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch from Berea will be 3 PM.           

    

 

         

    

 

 

     

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Tennis Preview. Senior Nate Griffin, coming off his All-Ohio and record-setting season of 2014, will again show the way for Coach Jon Barker
3/22/2015

Presented by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach and Math Teacher Jon Barker '87 and Posted by Eddie Dwyer. Copyright March 2015

From the corner: Nate Griffin, who last month signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to further his education and tennis career at the University of Notre Dame, will look to pick up where he left off last spring when he became the first State Singles Champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history.

Last year marked the 95th Annual Boys State Tennis Tournament. Yes, quite a stretch of time before Nate made his special mark in the Wildcats' Record Books.

Coach Barker's Tennis Cats are scheduled to open their 2015 season this coming Saturday (March 28), when they travel to The Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Maumee, Ohio near Toledo to face the Titans from St. John's Jesuit. It is slated as a 3 PM match. The Shadow Valley Tennis Club is located at 1661 S Holland Sylvania Rd. The telephone number for the facility is 419-865-1141.

HERE IS COACH BARKER'S OUTLOOK ON WHAT SHOULD BE ANOTHER SPECIAL SPRING AROUND THE NET.

From Coach Barker: Indeed, Nate Griffin is back. Each year, he returns to the team even stronger than the previous year, so we're excited to see how his game has developed over the past year.

Nate will be the first to tell you, however, that the road will not be an easy one. There are a lot of tough, young players in Ohio, and since he won the state singles title last year, he is no longer flying below the radar -- everyone knows who he is and would like to take a shot at playing him.

Fortunately, our regular season schedule is filled with some of the toughest competition from across the state, so Nate will have nothing but challenging matches before the tournament.

Nate has been so much fun over the past three years.  Obviously, we've loved watching how his hard work and unrelenting pursuit of excellence have paid off.  He has such a good mind on the court and, although his friendly nature and good sportsmanship might fool you, he is a relentless competitor.  I've also been lucky to work with Nate in math class in each of the past two years.  In the classroom, Nate is equally impressive -- he has one of the best math minds I've encountered at Saint Ignatius, and he truly loves pushing himself and exploring new math concepts.

Erich Schuette and Josh Hsia have also been working hard and are welcome returnees to the singles lineup. 

Josh is a tireless worker and plays with a quiet intensity, while Erich's outgoing, fun personality and big physical game keep the team lively and everyone laughing and on his toes.

The departure of a number of last year's seniors makes room for some of our younger players to step into varsity doubles roles. Returning varsity players junior Mitchell Pallaki and sophomore Andy Siciliano didn't see much varsity action last year, so they are eager to prove themselves as they move into regular playing spots. Then we have a bunch of other young players who are sure to see some playing time over the course of the season as we sort out the final playing positions.

Our schedule is rough and we'll be traveling quite a bit to play some of the best teams in the state. Now, we just need the temperatures to jump about 20 degrees. The guys are looking forward to the challenge.

Note from the corner: The doubles team departures from last season included the graduation of the state-qualifying tandem of Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye.

Here is Coach Barker's tennis savvy staff: Dr. Jerry McKeever '66, Assistant Coach - Varsity, Jim Cogan '62, Assistant Coach - Varsity and Cindy Reagan, Head Junior Varsity Coach.

Just FYI, the 96th Annual Boys State Tennis Tournament is scheduled for May 29th and 30th at The Ohio State University's Outdoor Varsity Tennis Courts.

Play begins both days at 9 a.m., with Division II singles players, followed by Division I singles players, followed by doubles teams. The Rain Facility: The Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.

THAT'S A -30-, OR IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE PLAIN DEALER STARK COUNTY SPORTS COLUMNIST AND CANTON AREA RADIO LEGEND HYMIE WILLIAMS: "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time."  

     
     
   
     

     


 
Former Saint Ignatius great David Habat '10 is defeated by Drake Houdashelt, 3-1, in Sudden Victory Overtime during Saturday night's NCAA 149-pound National Championship Match at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
3/21/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

In what was an exceptional match of strength, strategy and counter moves, Houdashelt, from the University Missouri, countered a straight on move for two points and won the national title in his home state. Houdashelt, who is from O'Fallon Mo., was the No. 1 seed at 149 pounds.

Habat, the third seed from Edinboro University, became the first wrestler to score off Houdashelt during the national tournament when he tied the match in the second period.

Both Habat and Houdashelt finished their outstanding college careers with 134 victories.

Congratulations to David, whose efforts helped restore Coach Tim Flynn's Edinboro program to national prominence.

And congrats to Wildcats Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan, who had two of his former wrestlers competing for National Titles this weekend (Habat and George DiCamillo '12 from Virigina), and to The Ohio State University Buckeyes, who captured their first NCAA National Team Championship in wrestling this weekend. 

Congratulations go out to former Saint Ignatius state champion and All-Ohio wrestler David Habat (Edinboro), who will wrestle for a National Championship at 149 pounds in Saturday's finals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.
3/20/2015
George DiCamillo comes up one victory shy of earning All-American honors.
3/20/2015

From UVA wrestling: Schopp puts DiCamillo on back & pins him in 2:33. Crazy end to great year for DiCamillo, who finishes 28-9 & 1 win shy of A-A.

Coming next week. The corner previews Saint Ignatius' 2015 Varsity Baseball, Tennis and Track and Field Teams.
3/20/2015
The 2015 Saint Ignatius Rugby Preview. The defending state champs are bound for the Emerald Isle this spring.
3/20/2015

Presented by the Wildcats' outstanding Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00 and posted by a once fine Irish lad, who is now an elder statesman with the appreciation that true greatness knows gentleness.

FROM COACH ARBEZNIK

We return 4 starters from last year's championship squad. Captain Michael Mathews is back at fly half while Andrew Baldado is back at full-back. Captain Patrick Berry returns at prop and will be joined by Captain Brendan Carney. Luke Robison is also returning as a starter from last year's squad.

This team plays with an edge about them that I haven't seen in the 11 years I've been coaching. They feel like they've been in the shadows of the great classes that have come before them and are ready to make a mark of their own.  It is without question that this was our most difficult schedule.  We were to start the year off playing against two-time defending National Champion Cathedral and last year's 5th place finisher Notre Dame LaSalette. Unfortunately Mother Nature wiped those two fixtures from the schedule.  We played  #2 Penn last weekend at Saint Ignatius and learned some hard lessons.  We went down early, but outscored them in the second half in a losing effort of 28 to 17. The kids showed great composure and an attitude that is indifferent to the ebbs and flows of fortune.

We were to travel to Pennslyvania this weekend for a clash with Xavier (ranked #4 in the country) but again, Mother Nature struck first and covered the fields before we could get to them. Again, all matches canceled. 

With all of our early matches wiped out, we'll be looking forward to our inaugural trip to Ireland. We leave on April 2nd and return April 12th.  We'll be playing 3 Jesuit schools: Saint Ignatius of Galway, Clongowes Wood of Kildare (where James Joyce went to high school), and Belvedere of Dublin. Belvedere advanced to the National Championship recently by beating Clongowes, 27 to 26. I've seen tape. These kids can play.

This (the 2015 Rugby Cats) is a great group who epitomize what it is to have grit. If we can stay healthy, I'm sure we can hang with anyone in the country. The fun part about this year is that we get to see how we hang with people throughout the world too.

- Dan

Note from the corner: James Joyce was a great Irish writer, novelist and poet. He was born in 1882 and died in 1941. He was one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century.

Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles.

 
    

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Lacrosse Preview
3/20/2015

Presented by Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH MCMANAMON

The 2015 season should be a very good one. We have 25 players returning from last year’s team. Although we lost some great leaders off of last year’s team we are replacing them with seasoned and experienced players.

Pat Mulach will be finishing his great career at Saint Ignatius this season. He has been a 4 year member of our varsity team and has been a starter since the day he stepped on campus.

We underwent some changes on the coaching staff this year due to job transfers, but I feel we are a stronger and a much more disciplined team with the addition of Mike Cillo to our varsity staff. Mike will be our defensive coordinator this season. Coach Cillo has been on the JV staff at Saint Ignatius for over 5 years, so he is not new to our program.  His no-nonsense approach meshes well with our whole staff. Mike has decades of playing and coaching experience, having been a former player at North Carolina State and a native of New Hampshire.

As always our defense will be one of the strong suits again.  We have sophomore Carter Blossey stepping back into the cage this season from the start and we are very pleased with his development from last year to this year. Carter took over the goalie position last year a little more than half way through as a freshman and really excelled. We expect big things from him in his sophomore campaign.

Luckily for Carter he has one of the best defenses in the state with the trio of Pat Mulach, Alex Maruna and Jack Mazanec. Jack is making the switch from long stick middie to close defense and he has been a one man wrecking crew at practice.

Both Alex Maruna and Pat Mulach are considered to be among the top defensemen in the state, having been recognized last year by the area coaches for the 1st team awards.

We also have great depth and experience at defense with Chris Rini, Kevin Gross (returning from a torn ACL), Connor Sullivan and John Dzurec, who were part of last year’s team. They are joined by newcomers to the Varsity in Stephen Zupan and sophomore Sean Keller.

On the offensive side of the ball we are really pleased with how our attack group is starting to shape up.  Alex Hornung and Crew Cintron will be returning for their second year on the varsity and we are really excited to see them perform as the starters for the whole season. Alex has already committed to Canisus for lacrosse and Crew is weighing several options as well. Cole Southworth will be returning as well this year and Cole has really improved this season. We expect to see him stuff the stat sheet on certain nights.  The above will be joined this season by newcomer Sam Humphrey, sophomore Riley Kinzel and junior Jack Hallagan.

We also have the extremely versatile and talented Ethan Whitney, who will be splitting time between attack and midfield. Ethan has progressed so much in the last few weeks at the attack position, and we can only imagine where he will end up once this season ends.

At the midfield we have a very talented and seasoned group who are led by Ethan, of course, and then also the Avdey Brothers. Sophomore Brent Chernosky has looked very impressive so far in practice and he has worked his way into the first line for now.

Last year we struggled at the face off X, but Charlie Zimmerman has really dedicated himself to the FOGO position this year and it has showed. Plus the addition of freshman Anthony Ameo and sophomore Grayson Gerard have put the pressure on Charlie to continue working and improving each day in practice. 

As always we have a very tough schedule this year and we are looking forward to a very successful 2015 season.

And that demanding schedule will get underway next Friday (March 27), when the Lax Cats host Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh at 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. Coach McManamon said Upper St. Clair has a Saint Ignatius alum, Michael Downey, on its staff.   

This and that in Wildcats Sports, including the All-Star Basketball news, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Mom and Dad take part in baseball practice and Michael Berry is BC bound.
3/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

From the Scottrade Center in St. Louis - Former Wildcats wrestling greats David Habat (Edinboro) and George DiCamillo (Virginia) were in action today at the annual NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

In the 149-pound competition, David advanced to the semifinals and garnered All-American honors in the process by going 10 up in third period en route to a 10-0 quarterfinal victory. George (133 pounds) will be wrestling back tonight after being defeated in a major decision by two-time All-American Cody Brewer of Oklahoma, 14-4.

STARS WILL COME OUT IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM: Wildcats Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 shared with the corner that his home floor in Sullivan Gym will be the site of this year's annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association's Boys All-Star Games.

Featuring many of the area's senior mainstays, the tripleheader will be held on April 1st with the tipoffs at 6 PM, 7:15 and 8:30. Tickets will be available at the gates the night of the games.

Saint Ignatius' standout seniors Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto have been selected to participate in this year's big-school game by the area's coaches.

WILDCATS PARENTS PUT THEIR SANDLOT SKILLS ON DISPLAY:  Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor came up with a very unique and special way for the parents of the Wildcats' players to see once and for all what their sons go through every day/night in practice. A little harmony and bonding, if you will.

Friday's practice session in Sullivan Gymnasium included participation by the parents in every drill their sons perform on a regular basis. The word is that some of the parents are going to ask for a varsity letter at this year's Spring Sports Banquet.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, CONGRATULATIONS FROM THIS CORNER GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING SENIOR BAKSETBALL MANAGER AND LACROSSE BROADCASTING GURU MICHAEL BERRY, WHO HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY BOSTON COLLEGE. AS THIS OLD-TIMER EMPHASIZED IN THE LAST VARSITY BASKETBALL GAME STORY FOR THE 2014-15 SEASON, YOU WON'T COME ACROSS A FINER YOUNG MAN.   

     

Just FYI on the Wildcats' website lacrosse schedule, courtesy of Head Coach Patrick McManamon
3/20/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

From Coach McManamon '96: This Saturday is a scrimmage against Cranbrook at 10 am.  Cranbrook won the D2 state championship in Michigan last year. They are a very high quality club coached by the former WRA coach and player Mat Wilson.

The first regular season game is next Friday (March 27 at 7:30 PM) at Saint Ignatius against Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh, who has a Saint Ignatius alum, Michael Downey, on staff.  

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Volleyball Preview
3/18/2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Presented by Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Casey Marcelo and Posted by Eddie Dwyer. Copyright Credit for March 2015.

Here is Coach Marcelo's outlook on his 2015 Wildcats

FROM COACH MARCELO

Key returning players

Nick Daly, Senior Outside Hitter - Second year letterman and taking lead attack role. His
experience last year from starting/bench player has given him the challenge to take the lead role for the 2015 season.

Danny Michals, Sophomore Outside Hitter - Second year letterman whose responsibility will be hitting and passing. He was also a starting/bench player last year. With his experience in varsity and his club season as a lead attacker, he will flow well with our new offensive system.

Jack Eckman and Bryce Boron, Seniors - Second year lettermen. Have made great strides in their blocking and attacking from last season and they will be a major part of our front row defense.

Jacob Hoshaw, Junior, Returning Libero - Second year letterman. Takes the role of lead defensive player and has proven himself as one of the top libero in the North region.

More from Coach Marcelo: “We are trying something new this season with the 6-2 offense (6 hitters - 2 setters). In the past the offense was a 5-1. This year with 2 setters will allow 3 attackers in the front row at every rotation. Last year's returning setter, Rich Holzheimer, a sophomore, and last year's defensive specialist, Brian Messina, a junior, will be taking the setting roles.

“We are basically a young team with a very strong defense and look to extend our eight consecutive years of regional champion," Coach Marcelo continued. "The majority of the varsity players have played off season and that will help with our competitiveness. The boys really enjoy working with each other, which shows on the court as high energy and excellent communication. The team is not as tall as other teams in the region, but our new offense will allow a very dynamic attack and will challenge the other teams.”

Coaching Staff

Varsity

Head Coach Casey Marcelo, Assistant Greg Doherty

Junior Varsity

Head Coach Anne Kent, Assistant Kevin Eichenbaum

Coach Kent’s Junior Varsity finished among the state’s best last spring.

Note: Coach Marcelo and his staff will announce the 2015 Captains next week. The season opener, which is listed on the Saint Ignatius volleyball website page as at Beavercreek High School on March 28 at 10 AM, appears on the Beavercreek website page as 1 PM on the 28th. We suggest that you double check with Coach Marcelo and
his staff. And, if you are traveling to Beavercreek High School on the 28th, it is located at 2660 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, Ohio (Greene County).

All of the best from this corner to Coach Marcelo, Coach Doherty, Coach Kent, Coach Eichenbaum and the 2015 Volleyball Wildcats.   



 



    



 



Coming up this evening on the corner. The 2015 Varsity Volleyball Preview. The corner will be previewing the Wildcats' Spring Sports Teams through next week.
3/18/2015
The Alley Cats' Ralph Deadwyler finishes the 2014-15 season among the GCIBL's best.
3/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ralph, a junior mainstay for Coach John Kastanis' Varsity Bowling Team, placed sixth among the final top 10 averages in the Greater Cleveland Interscholastic Bowling League with a 203.34.

In the GCIBL's "Costanzo Points," Ralph finished 10th with 125.

As far as the final team numbers in the GCIBL's various categories, the Alley Cats turned in the third-highest Baker Game (244), the third-highest Baker Series (447), the third-best OHSAA Series (3,564) and finished third in the Team Series for Scratch (3,162).

In the final standings, the Alley Cats were third in Scratch (65-19), tied for second in OHSAA (10-2) and tied for ninth in Handicap (40-44).

PLEASE NOTE: The GCIBL's postseason Singles Tournament & Awards Presentations are scheduled for 9 AM on Saturday at Cloverleaf Lanes.

The corner expresses its congratulations to Ralph Deadwyler and all of the Alley Cats, and a Thank You to Coach Kastanis for providing his weekly reports throughout the winter.   

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball is turned away by top-seeded Lorain, 70-62, in Saturday night's Division I District Championship Game at Midview High School.
3/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2015

Grafton, Ohio - Trailing by just two points with four minutes and 14 seconds remaining, the Wildcats were outscored, 16-10, down the stretch on Saturday night.

Hurt by the Titans' ability to get numerous second shots and turning the ball over more than 20 times, Saint Ignatius, the district's third seed, closed another solid winter at 16-9. It was a season that was highlighted by one of the most demanding schedules in Northeast Ohio, if not the entire state.

Lorain, under the direction of veteran coach John Rositano, displayed the athleticism, quickness, ability to get the rim and clutch perimeter shooting that one associates with a team that was seeded No. 1 at the blended Grafton Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights Districts and was ranked second in Ohio in the season's final big-school poll by the Associated Press.

The now 25-0 Titans advance to Wednesday's Regional Semifinal versus the second-seeded St. Edward Eagles (20-5), winners of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights District. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles are the defending Division I state champions. The Lorain-St. Edward matchup will take place at 7 PM in the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

Saint Ignatius was led by a 20-point night from gifted All-District senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford, an effort that saw Andre' send home three 3-pointers and make all three of his free-throw opportunities.

Wildcats senior forward Dylan Nieto was outstanding off the bench, as he scored 11 huge points, went to the rim with authority and hustled from baseline-to-baseline, as did tireless senior post/captain Mikal Outcalt. Cats All-District junior guard Deven Stover contributed nine points.

Lorain was the recipient of a smooth 20-point effort from 6-foot-2 junior guard Daviere Andrews. The young man who proudly wears the numeral 0 on his jersey, hit four big-time 3-pointers, including three in the first half, made three strong drives to the rim and was 2-for-2 from the line.

Supporting Andrews was his brother Devon, a 6-5 All-District senior guard/forward who finished with 14 points, senior Eddie Williamson, an ice-in-his-veins point guard who made five clutch free throws among his seven points, and the young man who time after time provided second and third shots for the Titans - 6-5 All-District sophomore post/forward Nazihar Bohannon. Bohannon finished with 19 points, 18 of those coming from around-the-rim follows and put backs.

Saint Ignatius made 19 two-point baskets, had four 3-pointers and was 12-of-18 from the foul line. Lorain hit 20 two-pointers, five 3-pointers and was 15-of-25 from the foul line. The Titans led 17-16 after the first quarter, 32-28 at halftime and 45-43 entering the final eight minutes.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON WHAT TOOK PLACE IN MIDVIEW'S SOLD-OUT EDWARD T. KUBUSKI MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87.

Saint Ignatius, which was playing without starting senior post Dre'Mont Jones (knee injury), its main force down low, moved to a 22-19 lead off an offensive rebound and an athletic lay in by senior forward Dylan Nieto and a steal and an assist by junior point guard Jimmy Berger that led to a layup in transition by senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford.

Lorain responded with a 3-pointer by junior guard Daviere Andrews and took a 24-22 lead on a breakaway layup by junior post/forward Nazihar Bohannon off a steal and an assist from senior guard/forward Devon Andrews.

After a Bohannon free throw increased the Titans' lead to 25-22, Nieto made a strong baseline drive that he converted into a three-point play and the score was knotted at 25 with three minutes and 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

A play that hurt Saint Ignatius time and again Saturday night - an offensive rebound and a put back by Bohannon - had Lorain back in front by two points and Coach John Rositano's team led, 29-25, after senior forward Rashod Berry followed a missed shot.

Saint Ignatius made it a two-point game off a tear drop down the lane by Wolford, but Daviere Andrews offset that with another 3-pointer.

Trailing, 32-27, the Wildcats cut the deficit to four points on a free throw by senior forward/captain Jaylin McDonald and the Titans took that 32-28 lead into their locker room at halftime.

Lorain held seven- and eight-point advantages early in the third quarter, but Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, on the strength of a 3-pointer by junior point guard/captain Kyle Kalish and a two-handed slam dunk down the lane by McDonald, closed to 40-35 with 5:01 left in the quarter.

In what was an entertaining final five minutes of the third quarter, another put back by the ever-present Bohannon was answered by a three-point play from Wolford.

After Bohannon scored in transition, Saint Ignatius, trailing by six points, put together a 5-0 run that featured two free throws by Jimmy Berger off a one-and-one and two free throws by Wolford that cut the Cats' deficit to 44-43 with 1:06 to go in the third quarter.

A free throw by Titans senior point guard Eddie Williamson gave his team a two-point lead entering the final eight minutes.

Daviere Andrews would start the fourth quarter by hitting a nothing-but-net 3-pointer, but Saint Ignatius trimmed that five-point deficit to one point on a driving one-hander down the lane by Kalish and a breakaway layup by senior post/captain Mikal Outcalt off an assist from Kalish.

Lorain kept its composure and led by five points again after Devon Andrews converted a steal into a slam dunk.

The Wildcats answered with three points from junior guard Deven Stover, a sequence that saw Deven hit a free throw, miss the second one and hustle after his missed free throw and convert that effort into a layup with 4:14 remaining to be played.

From that point, Lorain would make sure that everyone remembered the night the Titans advanced to the "Sweet 16," as Coach Rositano's team moved to an eight-point lead on a three-point play by Williamson off his athletic drive down the lane with 2:16 left.

Nieto, who played with passion from the moment he took the court, made it a six-point game off an authoritative move to the rim with 1:45 remaining. But Bohannon, who was a force in the paint all night, put back yet another shot.

After two more points by Bohannon in the final minute, this time off an assist from Devon Andrews, Wolford, one of the finest long-distance shooters in Saint Ignatius' basketball history, delivered what was his final 3-pointer in the Wildcats' Blue and Gold.

Devon Andrews would then bury two free throws and Nieto scored the final two points of the game off another all-out effort. Dylan injured his Achilles on the game's last play.

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE: "It seemed like we were right there and then they would make a play. Give Lorain credit, they are an extremely well coached team. Obviously they have a lot of athletes. There were times when I thought we had them pinned back against the wall, and they would make a five or seven point run.

"I'm so proud of these kids in this room," Coach O'Toole continued. "They battled until the final buzzer and made Saint Ignatius very proud. What can you say? We came into the District title game and lost to an undefeated team. They (the Titans) have a great shot. They're a very good team. We knew they could shoot it, but they're so good at getting to the rim that you want them to take jump shots. And again, give them credit. They made their jump shots. They're a very disciplined team.

"It was a great run. I'm very, very proud of our kids," said Coach O'Toole, who recognized every one of his seniors after the game, telling each one of them individually how much they meant to the program these past four years. Coach O'Toole also paid a special tribute to one of the finest young men you will ever have the privilege to meet, Wildcats Senior Manager Michael Berry.

And on that note, this old-timer would like to express his thanks to Coach O'Toole, his entire staff, Michael Berry and all of the Basketball Wildcats for the privilege of being associated with you. To the seniors, Thank You for all of your kindness and respect, and May God Bless You, now and in the future.      

 

JOE CONWAY COMES UP WITH A TAKEDOWN IN THE FINAL SECONDS AND FINISHES IN FIFTH PLACE AT 195 POUNDS IN THE 78TH ANNUAL INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING STATE TOURNAMENT.
3/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Joe showed Saturday's crowd in the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State Universit