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Rounding the corner with weekend coverage on the Cats
8/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The corner will have game coverage on the Wildcats' 2015 Varsity Football season opener versus the Normandy Invaders on Saturday at 7 PM from Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. For a preview on the Cats-Invaders matchup, see the corner's story that was posted Tuesday evening. Saint Ignatius enters the game as the top-ranked team in the area. 

Saturday's corner posts will also include a wrap up on the first day of the Ohio Jesuit Cup, as the Nationally Acclaimed Soccer Cats will host the action on Wasmer Field. THE CORNER WILL PROVIDE GAME COVERAGE ON SUNDAY'S FINALS OF THE JESUIT CUP IN VARSITY AND JUNIOR VARSITY PLAY.

We will round the corner with a Saturday wrap on Saint Ignatius' gifted Cross Country Team, as Coach Mike Gallagher's Harriers open their season at the Canton GlenOak Golden Eagle Invitational on Saturday morning. The starting time is listed as 9:30 AM. Coach Gallagher's tough-minded and big-meet tested runners are ranked No. 1 in the coaches' preseason state poll.

Coach Brian Becker will provide us with a recap on his strong and steady Wildcats Golf Team during Saturday's University School Six-Team Challenge at Quail Hollow Golf Club. The tee off time is 2 PM. Coach Becker will also give us his wrap on Sunday's fist round of the prestigious Kiely Cup at Canterbury Golf Club.

Have a great and safe weekend.     

CONGRATS FROM THE CORNER GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' ALL-OHIO SENIOR OFFENSIVE TACKLE, CO-CAPTAIN AND UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME RECRUIT LIAM EICHENBERG FOR BEING SELECTED AS THE TOP O-LINEMAN IN THE AREA IN CLEVELAND.COM'S PRESEASON RATINGS - EDDIE DWYER.
8/28/2015
Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Football Team leaves room for improvement during Thursday's 27-2 season-opening victory at Central Catholic, but displays the pieces and the promise that could be the foundation for another successful season
8/27/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Cleveland, Ohio - As freshmen last fall, they produced an undefeated season.

Now a year older, wiser and stronger, Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Football players have the potential to be even better this season.

While some first-game mistakes accompanied their 27-2 victory over a quick and athletic Cleveland Central Catholic Junior Varsity team on Thursday evening, the young Wildcats did enough good things to spoil any thoughts the Ironmen and their faithful had of a potential upset.

"I thought it was a good first game from the standpoint we were put into a lot of different situations," said Saint Ignatius' Head Junior Varsity Coach Paul Yappel, who also serves as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the Wildcats' Varsity program. "The free kick after the safety, punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return, all of our special teams were used. All of those things in a first game are helpful to a young team, a young group. We never know how a first game is going to go in terms of how are they going to react? We've practiced, we've scrimmaged, but now it's for real.

"They played well for the first time out," Coach Yappel continued. "There is definitely room for improvement, but that's what this whole experience is for them as a JV player, developing and improvement. We move on now to our second opponent and we have to be ready to step our game up in every area, individually and collectively."

The JV Cats, who will now gear up for an 11 AM Sept. 5 kickoff versus the Junior Varsity Team from Mentor at Wasmer Field, turned to their special teams and defense from the get-go.

After a booming opening kickoff off the leg of Matthew Trickett went into the end zone, Central Catholic took possession at its 20-yard line on the sun-drenched turf in Stefanski Stadium.

From there, the Wildcats' defense was all over the Ironmen.

After Cats defensive end Jeffrey Outcalt sacked the quarterback on the first play from scrimmage, Saint Ignatius' team pursuit had Central Catholic looking up at a third down and 25 yards to go from its 5-yard line.

Things only got worse for the Ironmen as they tried a swing pass in the end zone and the play was eaten up by Wildcats defensive back Max Corrigan-Mook, who tackled the receiver in the end zone for a safety after the receiver caught the ball. If these old eyes aren't deceiving me, I think Central Catholic was going to try a double pass out of its end zone. But Corrigan-Mook was a step ahead of anything the Ironmen had in mind.

Saint Ignatius, which complemented its defense and special teams with a balanced offense, pushed its lead to 17-0 by halftime behind the arm of quarterback Daniel Alexander and the running of gifted and hard-nosed tailback Mark Bobinski.

Bobinski's highlight-reel cut back resulted in his 11-yard touchdown run. Mark put on a display of strength, balance and speed throughout the game.

Alexander threw for a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and sealed the deal when he faked the handoff to multi-skilled tailback Josh Crayton-Prioleau and bootlegged into the end zone. Crayton-Prioleau set up Alexander's TD sprint around the left side with some impressive runs that carried the Cats inside Central Catholic's 2-yard line. Drew Alessandro's extra-point kick closed out the scoring.

Prior to Alexander's touchdown run, Saint Ignatius made it a 20-2 game on a 36-yard field goal by Trickett that was set up by a blocked punt by defensive back Brock Hausmann, who also recovered the ball in the same motion. Trickett doubles as a mainstay for Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally acclaimed Varsity Soccer program.

In what were two other outstanding plays, Wildcats standout safety Justin Sands ran down a Central Catholic receiver who, after catching a tipped pass, cutting across the field and breaking away down the left sideline, appeared to be headed for the end zone. Just seconds later, Sands made a diving interception deep in Saint Ignatius territory off a great read and reaction, and the Ironmen would have to settle for their two points off a safety as their only score on the evening.

I have written it before and have said it many times, every time I watch Justin Sands play this old-timer sees flashes of former Wildcat great Barry Alvis, a defensive stalwart at safety on Saint Ignatius' first Division I State Championship Team of 1988. Barry was a first-team selection on one of the greatest Plain Dealer All-Scholastic Teams ever assembled - the 1988 team that appeared on Thanksgiving Morning.

"The defense did well," said Coach Yappel. "There were times where they let up a big play, but they were able to come back and prevent the score. That's part of it too. How do you deal with adversity? They responded well."

UP FRONT, WHERE IT ALL STARTS ON OFFENSE: This graybeard would like to tip my cap to the Junior Varsity Offensive Line of Co-Captain John "Jack" Jamieson, Tobias Engel, William Corte, Juan Pen, Wrigley LaSpisa and Ryan Borchert for the job they turned in on what was a perfect late August evening for football. Both Coach Yappel and Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini '99 have done an exceptional job with the development of these young blockers and pass protectors.

"I think we did a good job (up front)," Coach Yappel said. "We don't have a lot of depth on our offensive line and I think those guys are learning to play together. They need to continue to take steps forward. If they continue to improve, obviously the offense will as well."   

    

 

       

 

  

 

   

      

   

 

                  

Here are some notes on the Varsity Soccer Team's impressive victory over Padua Franciscan on Wednesday night
8/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats outstanding Teacher--Biological Sciences, Assistant Soccer Coach and Student Senate Moderator, Mr. Joseph Popelka '84.

FROM COACH POPELKA: Padua remains the only program we have played in each of the now 40 seasons (we now stand at 30-5-5 versus the Bruins).

Lodge Dils went the distance in goal--only had to make one save in the 10-0 victory, 7-0 at halftime. We outshot them, 35-4.

Scoring order:

1-Vrablic (his first varsity goal) from Milhoan

2-Milhoan from Houde

3-Karpeh from Milhoan

4-Houde from Karpeh

5-Patacca (his first varsity goal) from Vrablic

6-Patacca from Parente

7-Duldner from Milhoan

8-Duldner from Gotsky

9-Gotsky (his first varsity goal) unassisted

10-Vrablic from Collins

Milhoan continues to lead team with now 6 goals. Milhoan and Karpeh both have 4 assists.

The JV-A team won, 7-0, over Padua's Junior Varsity. Thomas Hogan led the scoring with 4 goals.
 
Junior Varsity Coach Jim Brennan '85 remains perfect against all teams from Parma (his hometown) in his 23 year career.

 
Along with Football and Soccer, the Wildcats' highly regarded Cross Country and Golf Teams will be in action this weekend
8/27/2015

From the corner's Where The Cats Play that was posted on Aug. 22

On Saturday, Aug. 29th at 9:30 AM, Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher '71 will send his highly regarded 2015 Saint Ignatius Cross Country Team into its first meet of the season, the always challenging Golden Eagle Invitational on the course at Canton GlenOak High School.

Coach Gallagher's Harriers, who are ranked No. 1 in the preseason coaches state poll, finished sixth in last year's 86th Running of the Boys State Cross Country Championships at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

Brian Becker's Varsity Golf Program, which is off to a solid start this season, will be competing in the University School Six-Team Challenge on Aug. 29 at 2 PM on the course at Quail Hollow Country Club. Then it is on to the prestigious 36 hole Kiely Cup held at Canterbury Country Club on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 30 and 31.

As we reported on the corner Wednesday, the 2015 Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats are the area's preseason No. 1. Just FYI, the Cats' defensive line and linebackers are talented, deep and as tough as they come.
8/27/2015
Just another reminder on this afternoon's Junior Varsity Football season opener, as Coach Paul Yappel's JV Cats make the short trip to Stefanski Stadium to face the Central Catholic Ironmen.The kickoff is 4:30. The corner will provide game coverage.
8/27/2015
The corner wishes to express its congratulations to the nationally accalimed Varsity Soccer Cats, who moved to 2-0 on the young season with a 10-0 victory over Padua Franciscan on Wasmer Field Wednesday night. The Soccer Cats led, 7-0, at halftime.
8/27/2015

Coach Mike McLaughlin's gifted team will now gear up for Saturday and Sunday's annual Ohio Jesuit Cup, which Saint Ignatius will host on Wasmer Field.

The corner will provide game coverage on Sunday's finals.

For a complete schedule on the Jesuit Cup, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on soccer. 

Gutting it out. Saint Ignatius' Freshmen Football Team calls on its resiliency and rallies to defeat Cardninal Mooney, 7-6, in Youngstown on Wednesday night.
8/26/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Youngstown, Ohio - It's safe to say that before their high school academic and athletic careers are over, Saint Ignatius' Freshmen Football Wildcats will experience many moments to be cherished.

I have hunch, however, that when looking back on those four-year memories they will fondly recall the night they played their first official football game in the white, blue and gold, and how they found a way to pull out a dramatic, if not pretty, 7-6 victory over the Freshmen Football Cardinals from Cardinal Mooney.

And they did it in Cardinal Mooney's will-testing venue of Don F. Bucci Stadium. Will testing for seniors, let alone 13 - or 14-year-old kids.

"It's a character win," said Saint Ignatius Head Freshmen Coach Rodney Gallaway, who guided his 2014 Freshmen to an undefeated season. "You don't want to plan for tight games like that, but even if it's ugly, you have to learn to win those types of games."

The Freshmen Cats did move the ball throughout most of the first half, only to hamper themselves with some momentum-thwarting mistakes.

Cardinal Mooney scored with 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter and appeared to be in position to secure a victory after Saint Ignatius turned the ball over on a fourth-quarter interception.

However, it was at that point the Wildcats' Freshmen put together a string of dramatic plays. And none was bigger than the fumble recovery by linebacker Daniel Scelza at the Saint Ignatius 23-yard line after the Cardinals were chirping with a first-and-10 at the Wildcats' 25 with 4:01 left and counting. Scelza's determined effort came with 3:27 remaining.

Keeping its composure, Saint Ignatius, which ran the ball effectively throughout a good portion of the game, rode an authoritative run by Ian Lucic to a first down at the Cardinal Mooney 35 with 1:40 left on the clock. Jahadge Floyd and Jack Kennedy were also among those Cats keying the ground game.  

From there, it was time to go up top.

On what was an exceptional pass and catch, Wildcats quarterback Christian Smodis found wide receiver Nigel Drummond open down the left sideline after Nigel froze the defender. In what was a display of balance, strength and sure hands, Drummond hauled in the pass and put his teammates in business at the Cardinals' 2-yard line with 1 minute and 17 seconds remaining.

Smodis then scored off a keeper up the gut and calm and cool place kicker Patrick Otter sent home the winning PAT with 1:03 left.

Cardinal Mooney had one last surge left, as the Cardinals drove to the Cats' 35 with 43 ticks left on the clock.

But then came another one of those plays the Freshmen Cats will still recall in June of 2019.

Defensive back Mitchell Puhalsky, reading the play perfectly, intercepted a pass deep in Saint Ignatius territory and Coach Gallaway's big-hearted kids ate up the final 17 seconds and celebrated victory No. 1 of the 2015 gridiron season.

"I thought the defense played well, they made the plays when they had to," said Coach Gallaway.

 

 

   

 

  

 

 

     

 

 

  

Congrats to seniors Jack Cook and Cal Grbac for being ranked among the defensive backs and receivers to watch, respectively, by cleveland.com. The Cat is out of the bag. With Mentor's preseason ranking of No. 2, Saint Ignatius will be No. 1
8/26/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With Mentor's youth at quarterback, this old-timer would have gone Saint Ignatius, defending state champ St. Edward and Mentor. But all in all, it's a solid preseason poll.

Again, congrats to Jack and Cal.

Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcast Network and WHKW-AM will bring you the Varsity Football Wildcats live this weekend.
8/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City -  The golden tones of Carter Spearry on the Play-By-Play and Brendan DeVenney with the Color Commentary will provide the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network's live coverage of Saturday's 7 PM season opener versus the Normandy Invaders from Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium.

The savvy Matt MacKenzie will assist Carter and Brendan with Stats, Twitter and Updates.

Veteran Play-By-Play guru Ed Daugherty and Color Commentator Bryan Hoffart from the Class of 1980 will also have live coverage of the Cats-Invaders over WHKW-AM 1220. Ed and Bryan are scheduled to be on the air at 6:30 PM.   

Another season is upon us. Here is the corner's preview on Saturday night's Varsity Football season opener versus the Normandy Invaders
8/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - One of the new highlights on Saint Ignatius' 2015 Varsity Football Schedule is the addition of the three Parma Schools - Valley Forge, Parma Senior and Normandy. The Patriots, Redmen and Invaders have agreed to two year contracts with the Wildcats. 

If you are a gray beard like yours truly, you will recall that Parma Senior and Valley Forge used to be regulars on Saint Ignatius' gridiron schedule. But we'll refresh your memory on that when the Cats face Valley Forge in Week 3 and Parma Senior in Week 6.

Saturday night, Coach Chuck Kyle '69 will send his Wildcats against a program Saint Ignatius has never played on the Varsity football level - the Normandy Invaders. The kickoff from Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium will be 7 PM.

Now in his 33rd season as his alma mater's Head Football Coach, Coach Kyle enters Saturday's game as the most successful Division I coach in Northeast Ohio and the winningest coach in the Greater Cleveland area with 316 career victories. Those 316 wins, which have all come at Saint Ignatius, include an Ohio-best 11 Division I state championships, a record five consecutive big-school titles (1991-95), a state runner-up in 1996, three national championships in 1989, '93 and '95, and a national runner-up in 2008.

As for the Normandy Invaders, the past five seasons have produced little or no success.

After a 1-9 fall in 2010, the Invaders were 3-7 in 2011, 2-8 in 2012 and 0-10 in both 2013 and 2014. Normandy's last victory on the Varsity level came in Week 9 of 2012, a 12-7 triumph over Valley Forge. The Invaders will enter Saturday's night matchup with Saint Ignatius on a 21-game losing streak.

It wasn't that long ago when Normandy was a major player in the OHSAA Division II football playoffs.

In the fall of 2007, the Invaders, behind the play of All-Ohio senior two-way standout Russ Galeti and gifted sophomore Jake Squirek, advanced to the third round of the playoffs before losing a hard-fought game to an outstanding Mayfield team, 12-7.

Galeti is the son of former longtime television and radio sports personality Chuck Galeti and Squirek is the son of former Cuyahoga Heights, Illinois and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek, who made one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history - an interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl VXIII versus the Washington Redskins.

Normandy also qualified for the football playoffs in 2005, 2004 and 1981. The Invaders followed their highly successful 2007 season with 5-5 efforts in both 2008 and 2009.   

In 2015, Coach Rick Dornbush is going to rely on the experience of quarterback/punter Bailey Archacki; the versatile Brandon Calta; wide receiver/defensive back David Flors; offensive lineman Mike Francek; Ben Jones, who is another all-purpose player; defensive lineman Frank Ragone; wide receiver/defensive back Vlad Sokol; and two-way linemen Will Armstrong, Dustin Wylie and Nico Conforte.

Normandy does have experience on both sides of the ball, but faces an all-too-familiar concern - lack of depth. The Invaders are competing in a new conference this season. Formerly a member of the Northeast Ohio Conference, Normandy has joined Parma Senior, Valley Forge, Holy Name, Rocky River, Bay and Elyria Catholic in forming the Great Lakes Conference.

COACH KYLE ON THE 2015 NORMANDY INVADERS

"Offensively, they'll come out in a no-back and the quarterback throws it around," said Coach Kyle, whose Wildcats are seeking their 27th OHSAA playoff appearance since the fall of 1988. "They're trying to create some matchups. So that's kind of interesting. We've seen teams who do that, Mentor does it and there's other teams who do it.

"For our secondary, that's a challenge this week - to make sure we're all communicating. When they go no-back there could be somebody running right down the field with nobody on him. When they run the ball, it's kind of a zone concept. The quarterback runs quite a bit, he'll take off. They spread you out and then you have to make some plays.

"Defensively, they are more of a four front, but then in obvious passing situations they'll blend into a 3-4. They're not afraid to blitz, they'll come at you and try to make something happen. Again, that's a good test in terms of communication from our offensive line. We want to make sure we're picking things up and that the quarterback (standout senior Dennis Grosel) makes the read. If the blitz is coming out of the secondary, then that's the quarterback's job to know that guy is leaving his spot and where to throw.

"Coming out of the gate we're working on the opponent, but we're also working on the mechanics we need, the communications we need. So that's kind of what our week has been all about. It's going to be nice to be at Byers Field a number of times this year, for our Student Body and for those who love to see the Wildcats play. It's nice to be in town instead of Indianapolis, New Jersey or Cincinnati."

The Wildcats have one long trip this season, a Week 4 visit to two-time defending Pennsylvania big-school state champ St. Joseph's Prep, the Jesuit School of Philadelphia. Saint Ignatius prevailed over St. Joe's Prep in a thriller at Byers Field last season.

A challenging stretch run will include another 7 PM matchup with Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman High School in Week 8, a 2 PM game versus St. Xavier in Week 9 at Byers Field and the always highly anticipated encounter with West Side rival St. Edward, which takes place on Halloween at 2 PM in legendary Lakewood Stadium.

The annual early major test is Week 2, Friday Sept. 4 at Mentor. Saint Ignatius and Mentor will be ranked 1-2 in the cleveland.com Top 25 preseason area poll.

THE YOUNG MEN WHO HELP DEFEND THE MIDDLE AND THE OUTSIDE, AKA SAINT IGNATIUS' DEEP AND TALENTED LINEBACKERS: THE CORNER GOT A LOOK AT THE T-SHIRTS THAT THE FATHER OF WILDCATS TOUGH AND TALENTED JUNIOR INSIDE LINEBACKER JOHNNY VELOTTA MADE FOR THE WILDCATS' LBs. BLUE WITH THE WILDCAT LOGO, THE WORDS ON THE FRONT SAY "LINEBACKER LEGION."

FOR A PREVIEW ON THE 2015 FOOTBALL WIDLCATS, SEE THE CORNER'S STORY THAT WAS POSTED ON AUGUST 18.       

                           

 

 

    

 
 
 
 
 
A tip of the corner's cap goes out to sophomores John "Jack" Jamieson and Tom Grosel for being selected as the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Football Captains by their teammates
8/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Jack is a gifted, strong and hard-nosed lineman who caught this old-timer's attention during his performance in a 7-6 Freshmen Football victory at then unbeaten Erie Cathedral Prep last season. That performance, which included Jack's victory-saving blocked extra point, allowed the 2014 Freshmen Cats to remain unbeaten and then go on to an undefeated season by defeating St. Edward the following week.  

Tommy Grosel, who excels as a linebacker, joins his brother Dennis, a standout senior quarterback for Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Wildcats, as Captains in Saint Ignatius' storied football program. Tommy brings relentless pursuit, toughness and a nose for the ball every time he takes the field.

Congratulations again to two very deserving young men.

JUST A REMINDER NOTE: COACH PAUL YAPPEL'S JUNIOR VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM WILL OPEN ITS 2015 SEASON ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON VERSUS THE CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC IRONMEN. THE KICKOFF FROM CENTRAL CATHOLIC'S ATMOSPHERE-RICH STEFANSKI STADIUM IS 4:30 PM.    

   

 

 

Just a reminder on Wildcats Freshmen Football and the Junior Varsity A and Varsity Soccer matchups on Wednesday night.
8/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Coach Rodney Gallaway's Freshmen Football Wildcats will open their 2015 season tomorrow night (Wednesday) when they travel to Youngstown to take on the ninth grade Cardinals from Cardinal Mooney. The kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Varsity Soccer Cats, the fourth-ranked team in the nation and coming off a brilliant opening night 8-1 victory over St. Edward (see the corner's story from Friday night), will return to Wasmer Field tomorrow (Wednesday) night to face the Padua Franciscan Bruins. The action gets underway at 8 PM. Padua enters its annual matchup with the Cats at 1-1 after losing to the Bay Rockets, 3-0, on the pitch at Bay Monday night.

Tomorrow night's Varsity encounter will be preceded by a 6 PM matchup between Coach Jim Brennan's outstanding Junior Varsity A program and the JV team from Padua. The Wildcats' Junior Varsity A opened its season with a 6-0 triumph over the Junior Varsity Gold team from St. Edward.    

 

 

CONGRATS GO OUT TO WILDCATS SENIOR QUARTERBACK DENNIS GROSEL FOR BEING RANKED AMONG THE TOP THREE SIGNAL CALLERS IN THE AREA AND SENIOR OUTSIDE LINEBACKER ALEX MARUNA FOR BEING SELECTED AS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE LBS IN THE AREA BY CLEVELAND.COM - EDDIE DWYER
8/25/2015
Coming Tuesday night, the corner will preview the Normandy Invaders, Saint Ignatius' opponent in Saturday night's Varsity Football opener at Byers Field. Today, cleveland.com picked the 2015 Cats to be the most successful among the area's Independents
8/24/2015

The Independent ranking, coupled with the fact that cleveland.com wrote back in the winter about how strong the Football Wildcats are going to be in 2015, seems to tell you who Thursday's No. 1 preseason area program is going to be, or should be.

- Eddie D.    

WILDCATS SOCCER JUMPS FROM AN 11TH PRESEASON RANKING TO FOURTH PLACE IN THE FALL FAB 50 HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL RANKINGS BY SIMA AND TOP DRAWER SOCCER.COM - EDDIE DWYER
8/24/2015
Harrison Vonderau and Owen Miklos finish 1-2 as the Cats' Varsity A Golf Team brings home the University School Invitational
8/23/2015
It's the corner's trademark Where The Cats Play for the Week of Aug. 24th through the 31st
8/22/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - All four of Saint Ignatius' fall sports programs will be in action this coming week.

It all starts on Wednesday, when Coach Rodney Gallaway guides his 2015 Freshmen Football Team in its season opener at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. The kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM. Coach Gallaway led his 2014 Freshmen Cats to an undefeated season.

On Wednesday night, Coach Mike McLaughlin's nationally acclaimed Varsity Soccer Program will host the Padua Bruins on Wasmer Field. The 8 PM Varsity match will be preceded by a Junior Varsity A game between the Cats and the Bruins at 6 bells.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer opened its 2015 season with a near flawless 8-1 victory over West Side rival St. Edward in front of a packed house on the pitch at Wasmer Field. Standout junior forward Steve Milhoan scored five goals. See the corner's story from Friday night.

On Saturday and Sunday, 8/29 and 8/30, Coach McLaughlin's gifted and unselfish team will host the prestigious Ohio Jesuit Cup on Wasmer Field, as our Jesuit brothers from Toledo St. John's Jesuit, Cincinnati St. Xavier and Walsh Jesuit pay a visit to Ohio City.

For a complete schedule of the Jesuit Cup, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on soccer. The corner will provide game coverage on next Sunday's finals

Thursday evening, Coach Paul Yappel's Junior Varsity Football Team will open its 2015 season at atmosphere-rich Stefanski Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Central Catholic Ironmen. As of today, 8/22 at 6:02 PM to be exact, the Saint Ignatius JV Football schedule page had the kickoff listed as 4:30 PM. But you might want to check with the Athletic Department. If we hear anything different on the starting time we will be sure to post it on the corner.

On Saturday, Aug. 29th at 9:30 AM, Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher '71 will send his highly regarded 2015 Saint Ignatius Cross Country Team into its first meet of the season, the always challenging Golden Eagle Invitational on the course at Canton GlenOak High School.

Coach Gallagher's Harriers, who are ranked No. 1 in the preseason coaches state poll, finished sixth in last year's 86th Running of the Boys State Cross Country Championships at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

Brian Becker's Varsity Golf Program, which is off to a solid start this season, will be competing in the University School Six-Team Challenge on Aug. 29 at 2 PM on the course at Quail Hollow Country Club. Then it is on to the prestigious 36 hole Kiely Cup held at Canterbury Country Club on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 30 and 31.

And last, but certainly not least, Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Football Wildcats, winners of a record 11 OHSAA Division I state championships and three national titles, will begin what will be Coach Kyle's 33rd regular season when they face the Normandy Invaders on Saturday, Aug. 29. The kickoff from Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium will be 7 PM.

*The corner will preview on Tuesday night what will be the first Varsity matchup on the gridiron between the Cats and the Invaders.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a great week.   

    

Gifted junior forward Stephen Milhoan scores five goals as Saint Ignatius Varsity Soccer opens its 2015 season with a dominant and unselfish 8-1 victory over St. Edward in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 at Wasmer Field Friday night
8/21/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Steve Milhoan, who now has 25 career goals, fired home the first goal of the night off a picture-perfect assist from multi-skilled senior forward Lawrence Karpeh just 14 seconds into the matchup of the longtime West Side rivals.

Steve's five goals against the Eagles are one short of the Wildcats' all-time, single-game mark of six by David Maier. Maier's six goals came in a first-round playoff game in 2000.

As Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach/Player Quality Control Coach Joe Popelka '84 pointed out, only two other Wildcats soccer players are on record for having scored five goals in a game -  Rob Previts in 1983 and the school's all-time leading goal scorer, Pablo Aycinena (76 career goals). Pablo scored 5 goals against Holy Name in 1999, which was his sophomore season. Previts, who is the Athletic Director at St. Thomas More elementary school in Brooklyn, was a soccer teammate of Coach Popelka and Saint Ignatius' celebrated Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85.

Milhoan's five goals and one assist, on what was a picture-perfect late summer night in Ohio City, are also the second most number of points in a game by a Wildcat soccer player.

Saint Ignatius, the fourth-ranked team in USA Today's preseason National Poll, was greeted with an enthusiastic roar from its large and supportive student body as it entered Wasmer Field.

The defending and record six-time Division I state champion Cats, who led, 3-0, with the matchup not 10 minutes old, finished with 25 shots on goal, including 15 by Milhoan. St. Edward had five shots on goal.

Here is the offensive breakdown on Saint Ignatius, which played a near flawless first half.

The sequence of goals: Milhoan, Milhoan, Karpeh, Milhoan, senior midfielder Hayden Parente and Milhoan in the 6-0 first half, and Milhoan and junior midfielder Riley Houde in the second half.

Karpeh had three assists on the night and also dishing out assists were senior midfielder John Duldner, Houde and Milhoan. Milhoan's second goal was unassisted as was Hayden Parente's goal.

St. Edward's goal came off a penalty kick as the Cats' first-year Varsity goalies, juniors Lodge Dils and Max Heath, did a solid job on opening night.

Here are the postgame comments from Steve Milhoan and Coach McLaughlin.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: "We talk about a lot of different things we want to do on the field and then you hope the players are ready to do it. With such a big crowd it was great that they had their composure and were ready from the get-go. I think we have some dangerous players on this team.

"It was nice to see how they shared the ball with each other," Coach McLaughlin continued. "That made the difference. In each of those first three or four goals, one guy could have taken it himself. But he looked up and found the guy that was even more open and sent him a simple pass and he was able to put it in. This was an unselfish night. We have dangerous players and when they play unselfish, good things can happen. You saw that tonight."

STEVE MILHOAN: "The last time we talked, I said it was all about that hard work we've been putting in, and it showed tonight. We were ambitious. We wanted to get that first goal early and it came 14 seconds into the game. It was nice.

"I think it starts because we're brothers, we play for the boys behind us," Steve continued in reference to the Wildcats' explosive, but unselfish attack. We're not a selfish team. We look to reward the guy next to us. That's how we play. It's all about that family. It would have been nice, like you said, to get that record. But if I can dish a couple off balls off to my teammates, that's even better." 

CONGRATULATIONS ALSO GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING JUNIOR VARSITY COACH JIM BRENNAN ''85, WHOSE JUNIOR VARSITY A CATS DEFEATED ST. EDWARD, 6-0, ON FRIDAY NIGHT. NOW IN HIS 23RD SEASON AS HIS ALMA MATER'S JV SOCCER COACH, JIM REMAINS UNDEFEATED VERSUS THE JUNIOR VARSITY PROGRAM AT ST. EDWARD.

Providing the offense for the JV A Cats versus the Eagles were midfielder Joe Kalic and freshman forward Bryce Horton, who each had two-goal nights, and midfielder Richie Holzheimer and freshman midfielder Kory Nekoloff, who both found the back of the net off heads-up shots.

And a tip of the corner's cap also goes out to Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity B/Freshmen Team, which started the evening with an impressive 9-0 victory over St. Edward. It was a memorable debut for new Coach Anthony Fior '02, a former player in Saint Ignatius' highly respected soccer program.

  

    

    

           

         

     

 

     

 

Cats run the ball with authority and display their depth and talent on defense during Thursday night's 28-0 victory over Canton McKinley in what was the final preseason tuneup.
8/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit  August 2015

Canton, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' veteran Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus '72 was all smiles on the sideline as the seconds were ticking off the clock in the third and final quarter of Thursday night's Football Jamboree versus the McKinley Bulldogs at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium).

The Wildcats completed their productive preseason with a 28-0 triumph.

Coach Fergus' running backs produced more than 220 yards on the ground in the annual game-conditions encounter between the Wildcats and the Bulldogs, and set the tone with 120 yards rushing in the first quarter by senior tailback James Norris. Saint Ignatius had 190 yards rushing by halftime.

Norris carried the load 14 times in the first quarter and scored the Cats' first touchdown on an 8-yard gallop over the right side with 9 minutes and 1 second remaining in the opening quarter.

Senior tailback Elijah Wahib rushed for 39 yards on seven carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run, senior tailback Ian Forkapa ran for 31 yards on five carries, junior tailback Dean Stowers had four carries for 32 yards, and senior tailback Nick Berlin, who unleashed a shake and bake spin move, picked up 23 yards on four carries.

Coach Adam Rini's and Coach Paul Yappel's offensive linemen have to love those numbers as much as Coach Fergus does.

The Cats' passing game wasn't as sharp as it has been all summer, but the air attack did provide some clutch plays, including a perfectly executed 7-yard swing pass from senior quarterback/captain Dennis Grosel to Norris in the left flat that, along with junior Colin Goodfellow's second extra-point kick, made it a 14-0 game with just two seconds gone in the second quarter.

On what was a picture-perfect throw and catch, Grosel hooked up with sure-handed junior wide receiver Travis Pot on a deep sideline route that gave St. Ignatius a first and goal at the 4. The Grosel to Pot combo set up the hard-nosed TD run by Wahib with 2:34 remaining in the first half.

Staying with the passing game, junior quarterback Patrick Ryan and senior wide receiver Mike Huber had the Wildcats' faithful buzzing in the closing moments after they combined on a kiss-the-sky, in stride deep route that would have drawn a wide grin from Hall of Famer Broadway Joe Namath. It covered 66 yards.

"That's what we wanted to do," said Saint Ignatius' outstanding head coach Chuck Kyle '69 of the Wildcats' ground game. Coach Kyle will now begin preparing his Wildcats for the Aug. 29th season opener versus Normandy when the Cats return to Wasmer Field on Saturday for a 10 AM practice.

"We weren't super throwing the ball, but we did hit some big ones that helped move the sticks," Coach Kyle continued. "At times we were a little off, but that's okay. But we ran the ball very hard and that is what we've worked on for a long time, for months. So that's good to see. If you run the ball well against a Canton McKinley team, that says something."

Coach Kyle was also impressed with the effort by his defense, especially up front. Saint Ignatius' quick, aggressive and deep defensive linemen and linebackers were a bit too much for the Bulldogs.

WHAT THE COACHES SAID ABOUT THE FRESHMEN AND JUNIOR VARSITY SPLIT-FIELD SCRIMMAGES VERSUS MCKINLEY'S FRESHMEN AND JV SQUADS

Wildcats Junior Varsity Coach Paul Yappel: "It gives us an opportunity to come out and compete. I think that's always important, especially as we continue along this development process with these guys. I think that's what it is really all about at this level, to see guys progress from day one, until now and then going forward. We're looking forward to next Thursday, when we do it for real."

The JV Cats open their season on Aug. 27 at Cleveland Central Catholic. The kickoff from Stefanski Stadium is scheduled for 4:30 PM.

Coach Yappel pointed out that what is impressive about sophomore tailback Mark Bobinski is not just his running ability, but his pass blocking. "He's hard-nosed and he's a complete football player," Coach Yappel said.

Sophomore quarterbacks Daniel Alexander and Kyle Hall are, said Coach Yappel, both playing well . "And the credit for that goes to Coach Grbac," he said of Wildcats Varsity and JV Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac. "You can't ask for a much better coach. And I think both guys (Alexander and Hall) know what they have there and they're soaking it all in."

Saint Ignatius Freshmen Coach Rodney Gallaway: "They were very athletic," Coach Gallaway said of the Bulldogs' ninth graders. "They'll have a nice squad this year. They have some big guys that obviously can move. For us, I thought we played well at times. We ran the ball pretty well. I think that's going to be a strength for us.

"The passing game came along as we got going. I think there were a few of those quick jitters. Defensively, I thought we did fine. We have to keep improving with the defensive back position, but everywhere else we seemed fine. We don't get to hit a lot (in practice), so live competition is great."

The Freshmen Cats open their season on Aug. 26 at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. It is a 6 PM kickoff.                            

     

     

 

Wildcats Varsity A and B golfers finish second and seventh, respectively, at Wednesday's Walsh Jesuit "Tradition" Tournament
8/19/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats Head Golf Coach Brian Becker '77

FROM COACH BECKER: Today, the Varsity golf teams competed in the Walsh Jesuit “Tradition" Tournament held at Brookledge Golf Club in Cuyahoga Falls. The teams finished second and 7th in the field of 20.

The Wildcats were led by senior Zach Morris, who shot a 4 over par round of 75. That was good enough to place Zach in the top five overall in the tournament.

Green won the star-laden team event with a very solid  score of 306. The Cats will be back in action this Saturday, when they travel to Windmill Lakes to defend their University School Invitational victory from last year. Below are the Wildcat individual scores and the top 8 of 20 team scores from the tournament.

Saint Ignatius “A”                 Saint Ignatius “B”                           Teams scores
1. Zach Morris 75                1. Louis Williams    78                    1. Green 306
2. Harrison Vonderau 77     2. Patrick Devine    79                    2. Saint Ignatius “A” 311
3. Andrew Zawie 77            3. Kyle McCafferty    81                  3. St. Charles 312
4. Owen Miklos 82              4. Cam Gerard    85                        4. St. Edward 318
5. Tommy Lauer 84             5. Hunter Rinkus    86                    5. Walsh Jesuit Gold 319
                                                                                                   6. Walsh Jesuit Maroon 320
                                                                                                   7. Saint Ignatius “B” 323
                                                                                                   8. St. John's Jesuit 326

Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel is selected as the fourth captain for the 2015 Varsity Football Wildcats
8/19/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - The announcement on Dennis Grosel's selection as the fourth captain was made by Wildcats Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 before Wednesday's practice, which was the final one of the preseason.

The Cats will travel to Canton tomorrow (Thursday) for their last tune up for the 2015 season, as they will face the McKinley Bulldogs in the annual 7 PM game-conditions Jamboree in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly Fawcett Stadium. Split-field scrimmages between Saint Ignatius' and McKinley's Junior Varsity and Freshmen programs will precede the Varsity Jamboree at 5 PM.

Coach Kyle's Wildcats will turn their focus to the Aug. 29 season opener versus the Normandy Invaders when they return to Wasmer Field for a 10 AM practice on Saturday. The kickoff versus the Invaders on the 29th will be 7 PM on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium.

"Jack (Cook), Liam (Eichenberg) and Ben (Cray) have done a great job, in the offseason and so far this year," said Grosel of the other three seniors he joins as Coach Kyle's Captains for 2015.

Cook, a wide receiver/ cornerback/ special teams standout, and Eichenberg, an All-District, All-Ohio and All-American offensive tackle who has committed to the University of Notre Dame, were selected as captains during the winter Football Awards Banquet. Cray, a football savvy middle linebacker/fullback, was chosen as the third captain by his teammates during the summer camps. Ben follows his brother Mike '13 as a football captain at Saint Ignatius.

"It means a lot to be accepted by my peers and the coaches as one of their leaders, their captain," Grosel continued. "Even before I was selected as the fourth captain, I felt being a quarterback was a given role where you have to step up and lead. But this is truly an honor."

Grosel, who threw for more than 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns in helping lead the 11-time state champion Wildcats to their 26th OHSAA Division I playoff appearance last year, has also been selected as a Captain for Coach Brad Ganor's 2016 Varsity Baseball Team.

"It shows how much my brothers, my friends accept me," Grosel said of the rare honor of being a two-sport captain at Saint Ignatius. And during the same school year.

"My hard work has paid off," he said. "It's nothing I have done differently, is just who I am. I like helping out the guys, it comes natural to me. It makes it that much more of an honor to be their role model, their captain."

No one was happier for Grosel than his brother, Tom, who is a promising sophomore linebacker for the Wildcats and a endless potential pitcher in the Cats' baseball program. Dennis Grosel is a standout first baseman/catcher.

FOR A LOOK AT THE 2015 VARSITY FOOTBALL WILDCATS, SEE THE CORNER'S PREVIEW FROM TUESDAY NIGHT.       

 

  

           

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Football Preview. Skill, experience and depth abound as the Wildcats look to refuel their running game
8/18/2015
By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015
 
Ohio City -  Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who has entered his 33rd season as the head man of his alma mater's football program, said there is certainly a noticeable plus every day his 2015 Wildcats take the practice field.
 
"Every day, you see the experience we have in our skill area," said the man who last season became the winningest high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area and the most successful Division I coach in Northeast Ohio. Coach Kyle has entered another new season with 316 career victories, an Ohio-best 11 big-school state championships, including a record five in a row (1991-95), a state runner-up in 1996, three national titles (1989, '93 and '95) and a national runner-up in 2008. Saint Ignatius is seeking an impressive 27th OHSAA Division I postseason playoff appearance since 1988.

"There is so much to learn, pass patterns and running schemes, and to have that kind of experience has helped us go at a good pace, a good tempo always in practice," said Coach Kyle, who will guide his Wildcats into their final preseason test on Thursday night when they face the Canton McKinley Bulldogs in the annual game-conditions Jamboree at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium). The kickoff will be 7 PM.

"When you have a Dennis Grosel back at quarterback, he has a real good feeling for what we want to do and shows exceptional leadership there," continued Coach Kyle in reference to the Wildcats' gifted senior field general. Dennis has had an outstanding preseason and is coming off a 2014 effort that included 2,039 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air in 10 games. Grosel missed two regular season games last fall because of an injury.

Backing up Grosel is junior Patrick Ryan, another strong-armed leader who would start for many other programs in the area. 

"We have two explosive players back at wide receiver in Cal Grbac and Jack Cook," Coach Kyle said. "They can take it to the house anytime. Yardage after the catch, you know. Dennis is going to put it there, so now, come on guys, take the ball and get a little bit more, a lot more. That's what we experienced last year with them (Grbac and Cook) and so far in the scrimmages that has been pretty apparent."

In garnering All-Ohio and All-District recognition last fall, Cook, an outstanding senior two-way player and special teams contributor, hauled in 47 passes for 870 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 18.5 yards per reception. Jack's dad, Kevin, is a former Wildcats and University of Virginia football standout, who this old-timer had the privilege to cover and report on during my 37 years at The Plain Dealer.

Grbac, a senior and a son of former St. Joseph High and University of Michigan star quarterback Elvis Grbac, who earned All-Pro honors in the NFL, grabbed 28 passes in 2014 for 642 yards and four touchdowns. Elvis Grbac works with Coach Kyle and veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo as the Wildcats' Quarterbacks Coach.


During the 28-23 second-round playoff setback to Hudson last year, Cal Grbac combined with Grosel on a 98-yard touchdown pass, which tied the school record of Brian Hoyer to Chris Rigo against Westerville North in August of 2003 at Lakewood Stadium. Brian Hoyer '04 is currently competing for the starting QB job with the Houston Texans.

Wildcats wide receivers coach Josiah "The Difference Maker" Kedzior '04, who was Hoyer's main target during their days together at Saint Ignatius, is blessed with one of the deepest group of receivers in Ohio.

Among those complementing Cal Grbac and Jack Cook will be the Berger twins, seniors Jimmy and Ryan, senior Tyler Musbach, senior Nick Freund, senior Colin Kruchan, senior Mike Huber, senior tight ends Robert Hilbig and Danny Yanosko, junior tight end/linebacker James Leyden and junior wide receivers Travis Pot, Ryan Cook (Jack's brother), Michael Daugenti and Riley Kinzel. And there are others.

Jimmy Berger also excels as a long snapper, a job he has handled since his sophomore season.

"I have been very impressed with Dennis Grosel," said Jack Cook, who is a Captain this season. "He is throwing the ball extremely well and has matured a lot. His decision making, you can see it now. He knows everything that's going on and makes decisions well. He can make all of the big throws that we need him to, so I'm really excited to play in this offense this year."

It is no secret that Saint Ignatius has put an emphasis on its running game this summer. In the five-point playoff loss to Hudson last season, the Cats were outrushed 212-74 and averaged just 1.38 yards per carry.

"With (senior) James Norris and (junior) Jimmy Andrews back, we have two different running styles, but styles that are very effective for what we are trying to do," said Coach Kyle. "So we're excited about that."

Keeping Norris and Andrews healthy will be the key to Saint Ignatius' running game, as both went through nagging injuries last fall. Norris scored three rushing touchdowns last season and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. One of Ohio's top sprinters in track, Norris returned 16 kickoffs in 2014 for 214 yards. Andrews averaged nearly 4 yards a carry, rushed for two touchdowns and had five kickoff returns totaling 93 yards.

Providing the depth for veteran Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus '72 will be seniors Ian Forkapa, David Welcsh and Elijah Wahib, and junior Dean Stowers. And there are other reinforcements among the underclassmen.

The running game will be keyed by an offensive line that returns three veterans, including All-Ohio and All-District senior tackle/captain Liam Eichenberg, a University of Notre Dame recruit and a three-year varsity mainstay. Savvy and hard-nosed junior John Spellacy also returns as the starting center for Offensive Line Coaches Adam Rini '99 and Paul Yappel. Senior guard/tackle Rich McGraw saw plenty of starting time last season and senior guards Michael Bodnar and Matthew Woisnet, and junior tackle Brian Almady, have made strong starting bids throughout the preseason.

Eichenberg, who was offered a scholarship from the Ohio State Buckeyes before he even played in a varsity game, emphasized that the offensive line "is getting a lot better" from the first scrimmage with Solon to the second one versus Twinsburg. "It's going to come down to the offensive and defensive lines," he said. "Last year we kind of struggled with the running game and defenses picked up on that. I feel if we are able to run the ball against St. Xavier, we can run it against anyone. If we do well against them, we can beat anyone."

"We're trying to make sure that the running game really creates an issue for the defenses, because certainly there were some games last year when we couldn't get the running game going," Coach Kyle said of last season's 7-5 finish. "It left us too one dimensional."

Although he emphasized that the defensive line graduated some key players, including All-Ohio, All-District and All-American Dre'Mont Jones, a The Ohio State University recruit, and endless energy Ray Brown, now at John Carroll University, Coach Kyle likes the promise and depth that veteran Defensive Coordinator Dan Corrigan '78 and his assistants Mark Sullivan and Jim Reginelli '97 are putting together.

Among the names to remember up front defensively are big-game tested senior end Tito Vazquez and tough as nails senior end Nate Keirn. Up front from last year's outstanding Junior Varsity defense are junior tackles Joe Gibbons and Mike Chime, and junior ends Michael Czaja and Patrick Viancourt.

Linebackers Coaches Ryan Franzinger '02 and Dave Cicetti have welcomed back a talented trio in seniors Alex Maruna and Nick LaVigna on the outside and football heady senior Ben Cray in the middle. Cray is also one of Coach Kyle's Captains this fall.

Last season, Maruna, who is also an outstanding lacrosse player, had 37 tackles, including three sacks and three other tackles for losses, a pass breakup, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. If sacking the quarterback was allowed in preseason, LaVigna, who has worked extremely hard on his quickness and strength off the edge, would have double digits in that area by now.

The line backing corps is another area of exceptional depth. Junior Johnny Velotta on the inside and the multi-skilled Leyden on the outside will allow the Wildcats to keep fresh legs going. Another name to remember from last year's tough and talented JV linebackers is junior Adam Shibley. Shibley is currently recovering from an injury. Coming on as of late as a linebacker is junior Ben Delhees, who played running back most of last season.

"With the defense as a whole, everyone just plays well together," said Cray. "Everyone does their job and good things happen. I don't pay attention to the preseason rankings, I know what we're capable of."

In the defensive secondary, the experience lies at the cornerback positions, where Jack Cook and fellow senior Quinn Lawless return. Sam Brick (2 interceptions in 2014) is another senior who has had a very productive summer and junior Alex Ringfield has had his moments in camp. Coach Kyle's secondary is coached by Brian Strauchon '96 and former Saint Ignatius football and track star Kevin Johnson '10, who went on to a solid football career and a National Champion track career at Baldwin Wallace University.

Playing mostly at safety last fall, Jack Cook made 22 tackles, broke up 12 passes and had four interceptions.

"I don't care what scheme you run (defensively), with modern day football, you're on an island out there at cornerback," said Coach Kyle, who added that the Wildcats currently have a committee of good athletes vying for the safety positions, among them senior free safety Joey Evans, junior Kaden Russell, who is a playmaker at strong safety, and junior Mike Lehto, a long jumper and high jumper in track who is also part of the Wildcats' special group of wide receivers.

"From the defensive line, the linebackers and the secondary, I think that our quickness can cause problems," Coach Kyle said. "They're quick and there is some real solid depth developing. That's going to be nice, very nice."

Saint Ignatius has had a long-standing tradition of exceptional kickers and this season should be no different. Junior Colin Goodfellow, under the tutelage of former Wildcats clutch kicker Seamus Hennessey '09, has displayed throughout the preseason an exceptional leg as both a kicker and a punter.

"We had a chance to give him some experience last year," emphasized Coach Kyle. "He has taken that experience and now he can be quite a weapon. You'll see us doing 50 yard field goals and kickoffs going into the end zone. As a punter, when Colin hits it right, it's a home run."

As for the Wildcats' 2015 schedule, it has a new look with the three Parma Schools, Normandy, Valley Forge and Parma Senior, signing two-year contracts with Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit returning to the schedule. The Warriors have also signed on for two years. Saint Ignatius opens its season on Aug. 29 versus the Normandy Invaders. The kickoff on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium will be 7 PM.

There is only one long trip this year and that is Week 4, when the Cats board the buses and head to Philadelphia to face two-time defending Pennsylvania big-school state champion St. Joseph's Prep. Saint Ignatius defeated St. Joe's Prep in a thriller last season at Byers Field, a game in which Jack Cook put forth an outstanding all-around performance.

The Cats have three Friday night games this fall - Sept. 4 at Mentor, Sept. 11 versus Valley Forge at Byers Field and Oct. 2 versus Parma Senior at Byers Field. I personally love Friday night games. The Sept. 11 game with Valley Forge will be the 1,000th in Saint Ignatius' football history. Coach Kyle's Cats are playing the Valley Forge Patriots on what The Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell Calendar has listed as Patriot Day.

As was the case last season, the Wildcats will close out their regular season with a demanding three-game stretch of versus Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman High School at 7 PM, versus St. Xavier at 2 PM on Byers Field and versus West Side rival St. Edward on Halloween afternoon at 2 PM in tradition-rich Lakewood Stadium. Go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on football to see all of Saint Ignatius' football schedules.

"That's playoff football, regional-final caliber football," Coach Kyle said of those final three regular season games.        

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

            

Ben Delhees' play impressing the coaches. Johnny Velotta brings home a traditional toss as two-a-days come to an end on Monday evening
8/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats ended a spirited and productive double-sessions camp and will now focus on Thursday night's game-conditions Jamboree in Canton versus the McKinley Bulldogs. The 7 PM kickoff in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium) will be preceded by 5 PM split-field scrimmages between the Wildcats' and Bulldogs' Freshmen and Junior Varsity programs.

The McKinley Varsity is under the direction of new Head Coach Dan Reardon, who did a marvelous job with the football program at Youngstown Ursuline.

Saint Ignatius will now have one session of daily practices for the remainder of the 2015 season, including Tuesday's and Wednesday's tune ups for the final preseason test against McKinley. Yes, it's back to school this week.

The Wildcats open their 2015 season on August 29 versus the Normandy Invaders. Kickoff time will be 7 PM on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium.

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM MONDAY'S FINAL TWO-A-DAYS

What Saint Ignatius' linebackers coaches Ryan Franzinger '02 and Dave Cicetti observed on Wasmer Field during Saturday's scrimmage versus Twinsburg was even more evident in the film they watched on Monday - that junior linebacker Ben Delhees turned in an impressive morning against the Tigers.

"Ben's made the transition to pretty much playing linebacker full time this year", said Coach Cicetti of a young man who has also contributed to the program as a running back. "It has been a journey for him through developing his technique. But on Saturday he really had an excellent scrimmage. His technique was sound, his reads more importantly, reading the offensive linemen, were really sound. And he made plays as a result.

"We just watched the film," Coach Cicetti continued. "It was as good as it looked on the field. So that's always good. He's coming along. It's very promising to see his progress, especially on Saturday."

Ben, a hard-nosed but amiable young man, is also a significant competitor for the Wildcats' basketball and baseball programs.

ON FIRE: In Monday's afternoon session of doubles, senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, who has been nearly flawless throughout the preseason, combined with junior wide receiver Michael Daugenti on a perfect pass and catch off a crossing pattern.

COMING ON STRONG: Junior strong safety Kaden Russell continues to impress, as on Monday Kaden made a quick-reaction aggressive pass breakup and later turned in a picture-perfect interception in the right flat.

A TRADITION CONTINUES: In what has become a final two-a-days tradition, the linebackers' one-handed (blocking) bag throw, junior inside linebacker Johnny Velotta bagged first place with tosses of 18, 20 and 22 yards. Junior outside linebacker James Leyden provided the competition with throws of 16 and 20 yards, but Johnny wouldn't be denied.

As Coach Franzinger pointed out, Velotta kept the inside linebackers' winning ways alive, as last season Wildcats football and hockey mainstay Brady Wells from the Class of 2015 took first place.

Note: The corner's 2015 Varsity Football Preview will be coming up over the next day. For the 2015 Soccer, Cross Country and Golf previews, see the corner's posts over the past few weeks.

We will see you in Canton for the annual Jamboree on Thursday night and at Wasmer Field on Friday night for the highly anticipated season opener between our nationally ranked Soccer Cats and the St. Edward Eagles. The Junior Varsity A Cats will face the Eagles' Jayvees at 5:30 PM, followed by the Varsity matchup at 7:30.

Saint Ignatius' talent-rich Marching Band will be performing at Friday's soccer headliner.   

        

 

 

          

   

 

  

 

For those parents and fans attending Thursday evening's preseason Football Jamboree in Canton, please note this post
8/17/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats' Freshmen and Junior Varsity teams are scheduled to scrimmage the McKinley Bulldogs' Freshmen and Junior Varsity Teams beginning at 5 PM Thursday in Canton's Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly Fawcett Stadium. They will be split-field scrimmages.

At 7 PM, the Wildcats' Varsity will take on the Bulldogs' Varsity in the annual game-conditions Jamboree.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: Gates will open at 4:15 PM. Tickets are $5 for all spectators.

Only Gates 5 & 6 (behind the scoreboard) and Gates 7 & 8 (by the Zimmerman Symphony Center) will be open.   Spectators should park in the McKinley staff and student lots, which are located just south of the Stadium, off Blake Avenue.

****All seating will be on the South (Pressbox) side. There will be no seating on the North side behind the Saint Ignatius bench. There are no restrooms or concession stands on that side due to ongoing renovations. 

 

  

Harrison Vonderau's round of 73 helps lead Saint Ignatius A to a third-place finish in Monday's Hudson Explorer Invitational at The Counry Club of Hudson
8/17/2015
 
COMING THIS WEEK ON THE CORNER, THE 2015 VARSITY FOOTBALL PREVIEW
8/17/2015
A combination of experience and new faces. Saint Ignatius' 2015 Student Football Managers are a unique, but savvy seven
8/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius' Mr. Hank Gaughan, ATC, one of the most respected Athletic Trainers in Ohio, if not the entire nation, began guiding the invaluable Student Football Managers at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School in 1985. In 1991, Hank also took on a full-time teaching career at Saint Ignatius in the fields of Health and Physical Education.  

While Hank has developed several young men who have go on to higher levels in the athletic managerial field, he will be the first to tell you that he has said goodbye to one of the premier Student Managers ever to wear the Blue and Gold - Kyle Kostura from the Class of 2015.

"It was nice that he showed up (during this summer's preseason football camps), just to try to break the three kids in," said Hank of Kostura's willingness to help show the way for a fall of 2015 Student Manager core that will include three freshmen, three juniors and the veteran of the group - senior  Nick "Ace" Ventura.

One of the freshmen Kostura helped break in is his cousin, Declan McCarthy. As Hank put it, "We still have a little of the Kostura blood in the group."

As the Student Managers for one of the most storied football programs in Ohio, the challenges and responsibilities are always numerous. Hank was quick to point to games at Byers Field this season, when his Managers will be responsible for a Freshmen and Junior Varsity doubleheader versus Parma and a Junior Varsity and Varsity doubleheader versus St. Xavier.

"We'll see what happens when we get to that point," said Hank, a graduate of Holy Name High School who served his country for four years in the Navy before earning his undergraduate degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now Baldwin Wallace University) and his Master's Degree from Cleveland State University. "Right now, I'm just worrying about getting though doubles (two practices a day). It will take them a few weeks, but once we get back to the school routine we'll be sending them out to freshmen games and rotating on the Saturdays. I am a big hands on guy in terms of learning."

HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN WHO COMPRISE WHAT HANK DECRIBES AS AN UNOFFICIAL FAMILY, WHERE IN THE END, EVERYBODY HELPS OUT.

Four-year veteran Nick "Ace" Ventura: "I've learned to work hard and to push it every day. I think what is most important is the relationship I have developed with Mr. Gaughan. I think it's wonderful. The toughest part of the job is probably the helmet, they are just so many parts to it. And when we travel, it's difficult knowing where everything is. I am planning on going to Arizona State and looking at athletic training there as well."

Nick added how much he enjoys the big rivalry games, including the well documented yearly meeting with St. Edward, which will take place on Halloween afternoon this season in tradition-rich Lakewood Stadium.

Freshman Declan McCarthy: "What really motivated me to do this is that I can't play football. I wanted to do something with the football program. So I thought, why not be a manager? Anything I can do to help out, I'll do it." Declan concurred with Nick Ventura in saying that caring for the helmets is the most difficult part of the job. "Mr. Gaughan is a great guy, a great person. I can tell he loves working here. I feel great doing my job and love being here at Saint Ignatius. Go Cats!"

Freshman Michael Gallipoli: "I really wanted to be involved with the football team, but I didn't really have the commitment to practice and everything. So, I couldn't think of a better thing than being a manager. Coming here every day and having a good attitude, you always have to have a good attitude and be able to work 110 percent every day," continued Michael of the responsibilities of being a Saint Ignatius Student Football Manager. "The short period I have been here Kyle (Kostura) has really taught me to work hard and always do your best in everything you do at Saint Ignatius. And it is always a pleasure to work with Mr. Gaughan."

Freshman Luke Van de Walle: Luke has strong current ties to the Wildcats as his uncle, Kevin Cook '86, is a former Wildcats great and two of Kevin's sons, Jack and Ryan, are currently key members of the Varsity football team. Ryan is a junior wide receiver and Jack is a senior All-Ohio defensive back/wide receiver and co-captain. Kevin Cook called his nephew and told him about Saint Ignatius' Student Manager program. "I thought it would be great to become involved with such a great program," Luke said. "I felt it couldn't hurt to try it out and now than I am down here, I am really enjoying it. The first day doing this, I was really lost. But Kyle (Kostura) helped me a lot. Mr. Gaughan is a great guy who has put a lot of time into this football program. He is very passionate about doing things well."     

Junior Brendan Stefancin: Brendan had the special experience of being a Student Manager for Coach Dan Arbeznik's State Champion Rugby Team this past spring and he has the ring to prove it. Brendan has followed his older brothers as Student Managers at Saint Ignatius and his uncle, Daniel J. Stefancin  '77, is a member of the Wildcats' Athletic Hall of Fame. Brendan said being a Student Manager for the rugby team was easier than being a Student Manager for the football team, pointing to the sizes (number of players) of the respective teams. "Mr. Gaughan is just the greatest mentor ever," Brendan said. "I can't even explain how great he is." Brendan is pointing toward a future in education as a teacher.         

Junior Tadeusz Bogielski: "My freshman and sophomore year I was actually playing football. I broke my leg going into eighth grade, so it was a struggle. When I had my meeting with Coach Kyle, he asked me if I would like to be part of this, because Kyle (Kostura) was graduating and they needed somebody else to come in. I knew "Ace" and I knew (Brendan) Stefancin, so I thought great, I can stay with the sport, watch and be with the team in an important role as a manager. Having a player's standpoint before becoming a manager really helps in knowing the inside job, the players' needs. There are no words to describe how much Kyle (Kostura) has done for this team. Following in his footsteps is a lot. Mr. G (Gaughan) is the bomb. He is the one that spends the most time here. Props to him."

And a late addition to the Managerial Team, Junior Herman Wearsch: Herman played football at Saint Ignatius for two years as a defensive lineman before developing tendonitis in his left knee and ankle, and also developing problems with one of his heels. He said he might try returning to football his senior year. "I thought I would try to do something to help the team in other ways. I want to play, but I was injured too long to the point where I was behind everyone."

SOME FINAL WORDS ON THE 2015 STUDENT FOOTBALL MANAGERS FROM THE YOUNG MAN WHO HAS TRULY SET THE TEAM MANAGER BAR AT SAINT IGNATIUS TO A NEW LEVEL OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, IN BOTH FOOTBALL AND BASEBALL.

"They're ready to go. They really want to get into it," said Kyle Kostura. "They're eager to learn and they're having fun. I think they'll be one heck of a (Student Manager) team. I want to see the managerial program continue to move forward and continue growing - to become one of the best in the state of Ohio, if not the entire country.

"This has meant the world," Kyle said while helping the young trainers during a practice two weeks ago. "Obviously, I'm still here. I don't want to let go of it. I'll be back helping new kids. It has a place in my heart."

     

                                   

 

                       

The Wildcats' depth and experience at the skill positions come to the fore early and often and the defense responds nicely as the Cats control Saturday morning's scrimmage versus Twinsburg on Wasmer Field
8/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - With this coming Monday marking the start to the final week of the preseason, Saint Ignatius Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69 was pleased with what he saw from his Wildcats throughout most of Saturday's scrimmage versus Coach Mike Bell's Twinsburg Tigers.

"With the experience we have back at the skills, quarterback, running back and the receivers, it's very nice," Coach Kyle said after his team controlled the scrimmage from the get-go. "The execution is nice and the knowledge is nice. In other words, it's nice this year that they (the veteran skilled players) can turn around and tell you, all right, this is what I read, this is what I did, I didn't do this, I did that. You're going, okay, thank you. I'm glad we see that and understand.

"So that's nice, because they're knowledgeable about what we're doing."

Coach Kyle also liked what he saw out of the running game, an area the Wildcats are putting a major emphasis on while they strive to improve over last year's production on the ground.

"We ran the ball well today, the inside drill I thought we ran real well," said Coach Kyle. "We got out here and popped a few good runs."

"Defensively, we're gaining experience as we go," Coach Kyle continued. "I think we have some good quickness and speed. And that's what is going to carry us on defense. The kids work hard and they're quick. That sometimes makes up for a little inexperience. When you can react and recover quickly, that's good."

After promising junior kicker/punter Colin Goodfellow finished his special work in the special teams drills, the Wildcats and the Tigers got down to some physical matchups.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM SATURDAY MORNING

*Wildcats strong and hard-nosed senior offensive guard Michael Bodnar set the tone with an impressive pancake block on one of Twinsburg's top defensive linemen.

*Operating behind an offensive line anchored by senior All-Ohio tackle, co-captain and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg, the Cats established the running game on their first possession off a smooth keeper by standout senior quarterback Dennis Grosel and some nifty moves and bursts by gifted senior tailback James Norris.

*Saint Ignatius also benefited from the second-effort running by senior backs Ian Forkapa and David Welcsh, and unleashed some solid kickoff and punt returns.

*Multi-skilled senior defensive back/wide receiver and co-captain Jack Cook, who garnered All-Ohio recognition last season, made a textbook interception off a great read and later combined with Grosel on some big-time throws, catches and routes.

*In what was one of Grosel's many impressive throws on the morning, Dennis rolled to his left and fired a pass down the left sideline that hit Cook in stride as Jack took it into the Lorain Avenue end zone. The same combination hooked up for another score late in the scrimmage. 

*Grosel also lofted a kiss the sky deep throw down the right sideline that senior wide receiver Colin Kruchan, a standout track performer for the Cats, ran under in the Lorain Avenue end zone. Denns then rolled to his left and got the ball to Norris in space. It was good morning, good afternoon and goodnight for Twinsburg's defense as James, one of the top sprinters in Ohio, raced into the Lorain Avenue end zone.

*Senior tight ends Robert Hilbig and Danny Yanosko, junior wideout Travis Pot and senior wide receivers Tyler Musbach and Nick Freund also turned in some nice routes and receptions, and junior quarterback Patrick Ryan continued to look more than solid as Grosel's backup.

*Grosel left another mark on the Tigers' defense when he and sure-handed and smooth route running senior wide receiver Cal Grbac combined on a deep seam route.

*In the Junior Varsity portion of the scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Matt Viancourt turned in a quick and aggressive pass breakup and sophomore wide receiver Sam Snyder visited the Lorain Avenue end zone off a good-hands TD reception. Sophomore quarterback Kyle Hall continued to pick up his game.

*The Varsity defense, which got strong pressure off the edge all morning from senior outside linebacker Nick LaVigna, closed out its day with crowd-pleasing, open-field tackles courtesy of junior defensive back Alex Ringfield and junior linebacker Johnny Velotta.

*And last, but certainly not least, junior tailback Dean "The Dream" Stowers" had the faithful roaring after he hit the hole, made a tough cut up field and rambled down the home or right sideline for a long touchdown run into the land of plenty, aka the Lorain Avenue end zone.

Dean's TD gallop brought back memories for this old-timer of former Lincoln High Presidents and Baldwin Wallace great Wee Willie Avery.

The Wildcats will close out their preseason matchups when they travel to Canton's Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium) on Thursday evening for the annual game-conditions Jamboree with the McKinley Bulldogs. The kickoff will be 7 PM and will follow a 5 PM JV scrimmage between the Wildcats and the Bulldogs.

IN CLOSING, THE CORNER WOULD LIKE TO SEND OUT ITS PRAYERS AND BEST WISHES FOR A HEALTHY RECOVERY TO TWINSBURG'S GIFTED ATHLETE KHADAFHI TAYLOR, WHO SUFFERED A BROKEN LEG DURING SATURDAY MORNING'S VARSITY SCRIMMAGE.    

     

   

 

 

      

 

     

Saint Ignatius Football picks up the pace during its final tuneup for tomorrow morning's scrimmage versus the Twinsburg Tigers on Wasmer Field
8/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats, who will match their skills with those of Coach Mike Bell's Twinsburg Tigers on Saturday at 9 AM, put an emphasis on the two-minute drill during Friday's second session of doubles.

Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel was on fire during the two-minute drill, as he unleashed two touchdown passes to gifted senior wide receiver/defensive back Jack Cook. Dennis also combined with senior wideout Ryan Berger on another TD toss off a smooth, sure-handed route by Berger and he threw a crowd-pleaser down the right sideline to senior tight end Robert Hilbig.

The defense had its moments in the two-minute drill, especially in the area of the pass rush.

A MOMENT TO CHERISH: Sophomore wide receiver Emmanuel Cruz, who is not going to overwhelm you with his size, was all smiles after he combined with junior quarterback Luke Baker on a key reception against the Varsity defense. Emmanuel's smile was priceless and no one was happier for him than Cool Hand Luke Baker.

FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior linebacker Brady Notarianni drew the attention of linebackers coach Dave Cicetti on Friday after Brady penetrated through the offensive line and batted down a pass in the backfield.

AIR RYAN: Junior quarterback Patrick Ryan combined with senior tight end Danny Yanosko on an impressive throw and catch off a deep seam route.

Patrick also hooked up with the Berger twins, Ryan and Jimmy, on two big gainers through the air during Friday's first session and he found sure-handed senior wideout Nick Freund in stride off a solid sideline route by Nick.

A TIP OF THIS CORNER'S CAP: Goes out to young running back Hugh Sweeney, who more than held his own on Friday in the running backs versus the linebackers blocking drill.

See you at Wasmer Field bright and early tomorrow morning. For a look at the coaching career of Twinsburg's new Head Coach Mike Bell, check out the corner's post from Thursday night.     

   

    

Wildcats golfers finish third at the Tannenhauf Classic
8/14/2015

Presented By Wildcats Head Coach Brian Becker '77 and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH BECKER: The varsity golf team shot 313 and finished a close third in the field of 25 on Friday at the Tannenhauf Classic in Alliance, Ohio.

The Wildcats were led by senior Owen Miklos with a top 10 round of 76. The Saint Ignatius individual scores and Top 5 team scores are included.

Saint Ignatius will return to action on Monday, when it travels to The Country Club of Hudson for the annual Hudson Explorer Invitational. The Hudson field includes five teams that competed in last year's state championship tournament: Hudson, Columbus St. Charles, Walsh Jesuit, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin and Saint Ignatius.

Saint Ignatius' individual scores from Friday
Owen Miklos        76
Tommy Lauer      78
Zach Morris         79
Andrew Zawie     80
Patrick Devine     80
Michael Vallee     83

Top 5 team scores
1. Green.                            308
2. Canton Central Catholic 311
3. Saint Ignatius                313
4. Canton Hoover              314
5. Uniontown Lake            315


 
OHSAA approves new Divisional Assignments
8/13/2015

From Tim Stried, Director of Information Services for the Ohio High School Athletic Association and posted by a sun-drenched Eddie Dwyer (see the corner's football camp report that follows this OHSAA release). 

Board of Directors Approves New Divisional Assignments

Revised divisional breakdowns are posted at OHSAA.org after public school enrollment numbers recalculated

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association board of directors approved new divisional assignments Thursday based on updated school enrollment figures that do not include charter school, community school and STEM school students in the public schools where they reside. Divisional assignments for the next two-year cycle had originally been approved in June, but at its meeting last Thursday the board reversed an earlier decision to include those students in public school enrollment counts, resulting in recalculation of divisional dividing lines based on the updated enrollment figures.

 The new divisional breakdowns are posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/sptdivis15.htm

 The new enrollment figures are posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/hsenroll15.htm

 FOOTBALL: The new regional maps and lists of schools in each division are posted on the OHSAA’s football page at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/default.asp

The passage of Ohio House Bill 487 in July of 2014 now gives charter school, community school and STEM school students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school. The OHSAA decided to include those students in the enrollment counts of their local public school. (For districts with multiple high schools, those students were divided evenly among that districts’ schools.) However, last week’s action by the board in their first meeting of the 2015-16 school year reversed that decision.

The OHSAA’s six District Athletic Boards are to have fall tournament information reposted in their respective web sites by September 1. This includes all tournament sites, managers, contact information and assigned schools.

The OHSAA is in the process of forming a committee to study the issue of determining the best way to include charter school, community school and STEM school students in enrollment counts in the future.

In June, the OHSAA issued a release explaining why charter school and STEM school students were included in enrollment counts. The release is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/Memos/20150626.pdf

 

 

The Varsity Cats continue to fine tune their game as they prepare for Saturday morning's scrimmage versus Mike Bell's Twinsburg Tigers
8/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - After Saint Ignatius' Hall of Fame Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69 sent his Wildcats through another afternoon and evening of double-sessions on a sun-drenched Wasmer Field Thursday, he spoke to the Cats about being cohesive.

The man who has molded the Wildcats into a state and national power, emphasized how being cohesive makes a good team great.

As the sun was setting in Ohio City, Coach Kyle told his young men to take 10 seconds and think about how they can improve when they host the Twinsburg Tigers in the second preseason scrimmage of the summer. The scrimmage will take place on Saturday at 9 AM on Wasmer Field.

Twinsburg is under the direction of veteran Mike Bell, who previously was the head football coach at Lake Catholic and most recently guided Eastlake North's varsity football program for one season.

The last time Coach Bell faced the Wildcats on the gridiron was in the 2010 season opener, when he guided Lake Catholic to a 28-21 victory over the Cats at Cleveland Browns Stadium, now FirstEnergy Stadium. Coach Bell led Lake Catholic’s football program from 2002-13. During that span, the Cougars amassed a 94-49 record and a 16-8 mark in postseason play.

Saint Ignatius is coming off Tuesday's scrimmage at Solon, a performance in which the Wildcats did plenty of good things that offset some miscues such as dropped passes (see the corner's scrimmage report from Tuesday).

HERE IS A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THURSDAY'S SPIRITED SESSIONS.

Senior defensive back/running back Daniel Volpe made a highlight-reel leaping one-handed interception during the first session, an effort that drew a roar of approval from his teammates.

Senior linebacker Anthony Corte displayed his nose for the ball in the evening session, both in the punting drills and in match competition. Anthony was all over the ball carrier as the punt team attempted to run a fake to the visitor's sideline of Wasmer Field.

During the evening's group competition, the Wildcats' deep and talent-rich defensive linemen and linebackers displayed some excellent technique.

Junior quarterback Patrick Ryan and his receivers put together a solid series in the evening session of match, as gifted seniors Jack Cook and Ryan Berger hauled in touchdown passes in the right and left corners of the Lorain Avenue end zone, respectively.

Wide receiver Travis Pot and tight end James Leyden, part of Saint Ignatius' strong junior class, also hooked up with Ryan on big plays. Travis combined with Ryan on a touchdown pass and he also made a tough, sure-handed diving catch across the middle. James, who also excels as a linebacker, caught a perfect seam pass in stride from Ryan and galloped into the Lorain Avenue end zone. James shared with the corner how much he enjoyed his camp visit this summer to The Ohio State University, the home of Coach Urban Meyer's defending NCAA National Champions.

Big-game tested senior wide receiver Cal Grbac and junior wideout Michael Daugenti were also money during the match series.

The evening session was capped by a Junior Varsity scrimmage that saw sophomore quarterback Kyle Hall and sophomore wide receiver Connor Kennedy combine on several clutch routes. Hall displayed poise in the pocket and Kennedy made three exceptional first-down grabs along the home sideline, including a big-time second effort for extra yards after the catch. In a display of excellent reaction and good hands, Kennedy also caught a pass that was tipped by the defender and turned the play into a visit to the Lorain Avenue end zone.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE

During the JV scrimmage, sophomore safety Justin Sands closed on the ball and came up with a perfectly timed pass breakup that pleased Coach Kyle, and sophomore linebacker Matt Viancourt, the brother of hard-nosed junior defensive lineman Patrick Viancourt, turned a heads-up read into an authoritative solo tackle near the visitor's sideline.

Note: The Cats will have their final preparation for Saturday's scrimmage on Friday, with the double sessions beginning at 2 PM.

   

 

       

  

 

   

 

The 2015 Varsity Soccer Preview. Coach Mike McLaughlin's young team, in terms of Varsity experience, enters the season ranked among the nation's best
8/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - While preparing his team for what will be his 21st season as his alma mater's Head Soccer Coach, Mike McLaughlin '85 looked back on last year's record sixth Division I State Championship fall and the emotions and challenges that accompanied the Wildcats throughout their memorable journey.

"I think the world can pull you in a lot of different directions," said Coach McLaughlin, who will be directing what will be the 40th year of Saint Ignatius Soccer. "But what's amazing about being here at Saint Ignatius is that you keep getting pulled back to the things that matter most. And one of those things is our faith.

"Last year, sure we're playing soccer," Coach McLaughlin continued. "But we spent a lot of time last year talking about our faith, talking about believing in each other and believing in the plan. When you start the season, you want it to be perfect. But more often than not, it's not perfect. You're going to have ups and downs.

"The season wasn't perfect for us, on the field we struggled a bit as players were injured," Coach McLaughlin said. "But they (the 2014 state champs) kept believing that we could do this. Ultimatley, the fact that we were able to come together through the hard times on the field and also the hard times with Jim Skerl, everybody who was part of that will never forget the bond that was created."

Behind two goals by Johnny Duldner, a junior midfielder last season, and another staunch defensive effort that was keyed by an outstanding back line and the resiliency of All-American goalie and University of Pittsburg recruit Mikal Outcalt '15, Saint Ignatius turned back Olentangy Liberty, 2-1, in the state championship match on the pitch in Columbus' Crew Stadium. The record sixth OHSAA boys state soccer title came off what was the Cats' 13th consecutive victory.

Saint Ignatius' devoted Student Body didn't walk out of Crew Stadium that blue- gray November Saturday afternoon without one last moving cheer.

"Mr. Skerl, Mr. Skerl!" echoed through the stands as the Wildcats' faithful took time out to pay tribute to their late devoted teacher and mentor, Mr. Jim Skerl '74. Jim lost a courageous battle to cancer in late October of 2014.

A fixture at Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades, Mr. Skerl was a great fan of Coach McLaughlin's program, so much so that he would stand on a milk cart behind the fence that runs along the benches at Wasmer Field and root on his beloved Soccer Cats.

As every Saint Ignatius student, soccer player and coach realized when that final shot attempt by Olentangy Liberty was turned away, Jim was once again standing tall in their hearts and minds.

"We're going to remember that the rest of our lives," said Coach McLaughlin, before turning his attention to his oh so promising 2015 Wildcats Soccer program.

"It's young, we only have four seniors," Coach McLaughlin said of the makeup of the 2015 Varsity Soccer Cats. "We have 13 juniors and one sophomore. We kind of set it up last year when we had a huge roster of 25, so that so many of the young kids could be around last year's seniors, who were such exceptional kids, soccer players and leaders. We wanted them (the young players) to soak that in.
 
"I'm grateful that it worked out and I think these younger players have seen guys do it the right way. I'm excited to see them make their mark on the big stage."
 
Although Saint Ignatius graduated two outstanding goalies and four-year fixtures in Outcalt and George Mason University recruit Clark Gronek, Coach McLaughlin is confident that youth will be served in front of the net. Junior Lodge Dils (6-foot-3) is the starter this fall and he will be backed up by another more than capable junior, 6-5 Max Heath.
 
"I think we're going to have a lot of offensive opportunities created," said Coach McLaughlin. "We have a lot of speed and skill up front. We graduated a core part of our defense. That's the rebuild, our back line. But the core of our offense is still there, so I think we're going to be really dangerous this year going forward and attacking. It should mean lots of goals."
 
And providing that offensive firepower for the second consecutive season will be the gifted Stephen Milhoan, who enters his junior season with 20 goals, 11 assists and 51 points, including six game-winning goals. Milhoan is one of the premier players not only in Ohio, but also the nation.
 
Another gifted player to watch at the offensive end is senior Lawrence Karpeh, who brings 11 goals, six assists and 28 points to the table, including four game-winning goals.
 
Karpeh will join Duldner and four-year varsity mainstays Hayden Parente and Hunter Gordon as Coach McLaughlin's four captains. Again, they are the only seniors on this year's team.
 
"We haven't had many four-year varsity players in the program, so Hayden and Hunter have been around and have kind of seen it all," Coach McLaughlin said. "That's why they're going to be among the generals on the field. That's such a great thing. They have the respect of their teammates as great leaders on and off the field.
 
"You go as far as your senior leaders take you,"  Coach McLaughlin continued. "And with those two (Parente and Gordon) and Lawrence and Johnny, it's absolute quality."
 
And where that quality will have to come to the fore, especially early in the season, is on defense.
 
"You win with defense," said the man who has a career coaching record of 331-46-43, including 244-32-43 in the regular season and 87-14 in the OHSAA playoffs. "Our regular season schedule might be the hardest schedule that we've ever played. We won last year because of the schedule we played. By the time we got to the playoffs, there was nothing more we could see from the state. So we were ready, battle tested. Now we have to go play the games and see how our defense sorts out.
 
"It's a young group of defenders, but they're good. I can't wait for them to show people what they're all about."
 
And the Wildcats' faithful won't have to wait long, as Saint Ignatius opens its 2015 soccer season versus longtime rival St. Edward on Friday night, August 21, at atmosphere-rich Wasmer Field. The Saint Ignatius Marching Band will be performing in what should be a night to cherish.
 
For a complete look at the Soccer Cats' demanding 2015 schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on soccer. Among the 16 teams on the Cats' regular-season slate are six nationally ranked programs. Saint Ignatius enters the season as the fourth-ranked team in the nation by USA Today. 
 
*In an interesting note to the upcoming season, the Soccer Cats' fifth match this year will mark the 750th in the program's history. From 1976 through 2014, the program is 531-128-86.
 
*Along with the record six state championships (2004, '05, '08, '10, '11 and '14), Coach McLaughlin also has on his resume 10 final four appearances, a state runner-up in 2009 and national titles in 2005 and 2010.
 
*Coach McLaughlin's outstanding coaching staff: Dan Crew and Mark Blades, Varsity Assistants; Jim Brennan and Darren Keefe, Junior Varsity A; Anthony Fior, Junior Varsity B; Joe Popelka, Player Quality Control.
 
*Coach Popelka and Coach McLaughlin are celebrating 25 years together in the sport of soccer.
 
HOW THREE BIG-GAME TESTED CATS SEE THE 2015 SEASON
 
Hayden Parente: "We had to come together as a family," said Hayden of the emotional time he and his teammates faced during last season's playoffs and Mr. Jim Skerl's courageous battle with cancer. "We dedicated the season to Mr. Skerl and Saint Ignatius. We went out and did what he told us to do - win a state championship.
 
"Brotherhood, for sure," continued Hayden when asked what he looked upon as the strength of the 2015 Soccer Cats. Hayden added that he and his teammates are excited about the demanding schedule and that he is definitely pleased with where the young defense is at this early point of the season.
 
Hunter Gordon: "That was one of the toughest times of my life and for the other guys who were extremely close to Mr. Skerl," said Hunter of the challenges of late last fall. "The way we got through it was coming together on the soccer field. We put our cleats on and forgot about everything but playing for Mr. Skerl. Everything was for him at that point.
 
"I think one of our major strengths this year, not just ability wise, is that when we step on the field we don't think about being a very young team. We're all soccer players, we're all here to do the same thing. The junior class is very solid and with them as a core, if they step it up this year we're going to great, if not amazing. There are going to be about five or six guys starting for the first time, but we all have great relationships, there are no egos.
 
"Our defense is all about hard work," continued Hunter, who said he has been putting an emphasis on his fitness. "I think that is what is going to separate us this year - just how hard we work. I am the only returnee in the back four, but of the other guys we have coming in there, three or four are just exceptional players."
 
Stephen Milhoan: "I would say our strengths are our midfield, and we have a pretty good back line," said Steve, who is the youngest player (16 years old) on the United States Men's National Futsal Team. Futsal is similar to indoor soccer, only with a smaller ball.
 
"There are a lot players who stepped it up from last year, which is great. Our back line is going to be just as strong, if not stronger, as last year. From the first day of practice, everyone's been talking about hard work. This team really gets along, which is great going into a season where we will have the targets on our backs.
 
"You always want to improve and I would say the biggest thing for me was fitness, being able to match play and run the whole game. That and staying clean with my touches and working on free kicks.
 
"It's great," Steve continued in reference to Saint Ignatius' talent-laden schedule. "Like they say, you have to beat the best in order to be the best. We'll take the schedule. It's going to be fun.
 
"Mr. Skerl's words were and are an inspiration to us. He gave us something more to fight for."
 
Note: The corner would like to express its thanks to Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach and teacher Joe Popelka '84 for all of the informative statistical information.
 
Joseph Popelka '84
Teacher--Biological Sciences
Soccer Coach, Student Senate Moderator
          

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

         
Louis Williams' Top-10 round of 75 helps the Wildcats Varsity Gold Golf Team to a top five finish at Wednesday's Medina "Walker Classic." St. Xavier records top team score with a 295
8/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats Head Coach Brian Becker

From Coach Becker: Today, both Varsity golf teams competed in the Medina "Walker Classic" tournament at Shale Creek Golf Course. Congratulations go out to senior Louis Williams on a  top ten individual finish with a solid round of 75.

Varsity "Blue"                                     Varsity "Gold"

Andrew Zawie        77                             Louis Williams    75 (top 10 finish)
Zach Morris           78                              Patrick Devine    77
Tommy Lauer        80                              Hunter Rinkus    81
Harrison Vonderau  80                            Jake Moraca       81
Owen Miklos          87                              Kyle McCafferty  82

Team total: 315                                       Team  total: 314

Team scores for the tournament
1. Cincinnati St. Xavier 295
2. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 303
3. Hudson 305
4. North Royalton 313
5. Saint Ignatius Gold 314
6. Chagrin Falls 314
7.Columbus Bishop Watterson 314
8. Saint Ignatius Blue 315
9. Kent Roosevelt 315
10.University School 317
11. Massillon Jackson 318
12. Walsh Jesuit 319
13. Findlay 319
14. Medina Green 321
15. St. Edward 321
16. Highland 326
17. Brunswick 340
18. Medina White 371
 
- Brian Becker,'77
Math Teacher
Varsity Golf Coach
Varsity Basketball Coach
P: 216-651-0222 ext 232
Wildcats Soccer ranked fourth in the nation in USA Today's preseason Top 25 poll
8/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Copley ranked 22nd.

1.     AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL Usaf Academy, CO 20-0-0

2.     ST. BENEDICT'S PREP Newark, NJ 19-1-0

3.     WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY High Point, NC 21-0-2

4.     ST. IGNATIUS HIGH SCHOOL Cleveland, OH 20-2-1

5.     OLATHE EAST HIGH SCHOOL Olathe, KS 20-1-0

6.     MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY HS Milwaukee, WI 23-1-2

7.     COMMACK HIGH SCHOOL Commack, NY 21-1-1

8.     CONCORD CARLISLE HIGH SCHOOL Concord, MA 20-0-1

9.     PETERS TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL Mcmurray, PA 22-2-0

10.  ST. CHRISTOPHER'S HIGH SCHOOL Richmond, VA 23-1-1

11.  WHEATON ACADEMY West Chicago, IL  24-1-1

12.  CANTON HIGH SCHOOL Canton, MI 23-0-3

13.  OLENTANGY LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL Powell, Oh 19-2-2

14.  NEEDHAM HSMS Needham Heights, MA 19-0-0

15.  OAK RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL El Dorado Hills, CA 15-4-1

16.  RIVER HILL HIGH SCHOOL Clarksville, MD 18-0-1

17.  FAIRPORT HIGH SCHOOL Fairport, NY 18-4-0

18.  WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL Sewell, NJ 25-1-0

19.  ST. THOMAS AQUINAS HIGH SCHOOL Overland Park, KS 19-2-0

20.  JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL Carmichael, CA 24-2-1

21.  EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL Woodbury, MN 21-1-0

22.  COPLEY HIGH SCHOOL Copley, OH 20-1-1

23.  ST. ANTHONY'S HS Melville, NY 12-3-1

24.  GLASTONBURY HIGH SCHOOL Glastonbury, CT 15-5-2

25.  LEE'S SUMMIT SENIOR HS Lees Summit, MO 19-3-0

 Also receiving votes: Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.), Brookfield East (Brookfield, Wis.), Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.), Guerin Catholic (Noblesville, Ind.), Aviation (Long Island City, N.Y.), Avon (Avon, Conn.), Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.), Morgantown (Morgantown, W.Va.), Unity Christian School (Hudsonville, Mich.), Hood River Valley (Hood River, Ore.), Holy Ghost Prep (Bensalem, Pa.), Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Goshen (Goshen, Ind.), South Burlington (South Burlington, Vt.), Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.), Walt Whitman (Bethesda, Md.), Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.), Scotch Plains Fanwood (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Marin Academy (San Rafael, Calif.) .

 

  

The Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit bring home the Saint Ignatius Invitational. Wildcats A & B golfers finish sixth and seventh, respectively
8/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and presented by Wildcats Head Coach Brian Becker '77

The Saint Ignatius Invitational was held at the Red Tail Golf Course.

1. Toledo St John's Jesuit - 296; 2. Cincinnati St. Xavier - 301; 3. Westlake - 306; 4. Columbus Bishop Watterson - 309; 5. Walsh Jesuit - 318; 6. Saint Ignatius A - 318; 7. Saint Ignatius B - 321.

*Tommy Sullinger 69 and Alex Morrison 70 of St. John's Jesuit finished 1-2.

HERE ARE SAINT IGNATIUS' SCORES

Michael Vallee                77

Andrew Zawie                 78

Zach Morris                    78

Owen MIklos                  79

Tommy Lauer                  80

Harrison Vonderau           81

Patrick Devine                 82

Cam Gerard                     84

Louis Williams                  85

Hunter Rinkus                  86

Kyle McCafferty               86

Jake Moraca                    87
 
 
Rob Salisbury returns to Saint Ignatius as the Wildcats' new Head Swimming and Diving Coach
8/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88

Dear Swimmers, Divers and Parents - I am happy to  announce to you that Saint Ignatius High School has hired Rob Salisbury as our next Head Coach for Swimming and Diving. Rob comes to us most  recently from the Berea-Midpark program, but Rob was the head coach here at Saint Ignatius from 1994-2000.  Coach Salisbury brings a wealth of  experience to the position along with a great understanding of the  traditions of Saint Ignatius. Below is a more complete bio for Coach Salisbury:

Rob began his very successful coaching career as an Assistant Coach at Cleveland State University from 1981 to 1983. He was then hired as the Berea High School Swimming and Diving Team Head Coach from 1983 to 1994. In 1994 he began coaching the Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving Team and continued there through 2000. The highlight of Rob’s Saint Ignatius career was when the boys earned the State Runner-Up title in the 1999-2000 season and finished 5th in the United States that same year. Rob has been on the Ohio High School Swim Coach Association Board for the past fifteen years where he has served as President of the organization. Rob has also served as an instructor at Fast Lane Swim Camp for many years. The Berea High School Swimming and Diving Team was thrilled to have Rob return as Head Coach in 2003.

While attending college, Rob was a member of the University of Akron swim team and water polo team. He graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and graduated from Cleveland State University with a Master of Arts in Education. In 2015, Rob was awarded the Carl Wirthwein Award at the Ohio High School State Meet.  This award is the most prestigious award given at the Ohio High School State Meet every year and is awarded to a person who has made a major impact on Swimming in Ohio.

Please join me in welcoming Coach Salisbury back to Saint Ignatius High School. I will be sure to pass on all of your contact information so that he can get in touch with you in the coming days. I know that  everybody is looking forward to the annual swimming and diving picnic (a tradition that started when Rob was the head coach).

Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your patience during our coaching search.

Rory Fitzpatrick '88, C.A.A

Athletic Director
 
P: (216) 651-0222 x222
The Junior Varsity Football Cats add a game with Kirtland to their 2015 schedule
8/11/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Paul Yappel's JV Cats will travel to Kirtland on Monday, Sept. 21. The kickoff will be 5 PM.

The matchup with the Hornets gives the JV Cats nine games for this upcoming season.

 

There are things to improve on, but for the most part the Wildcats had plenty of positive moments during Tuesday's drills/scrimmage at Solon
8/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Solon, Ohio - Saint Ignatius Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69 saw plenty of things he liked from his team's first preseason test versus the Solon Comets on Tuesday morning.

Things such as dropped balls, however, have to be cleaned up.

"Solon is really good at slanting their defense, they're technically very good at that," said the Hall of Fame Coach who has entered his 33rd season as the most successful high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area and the winningest Division I coach in Northeast Ohio with 316 career victories, a record 11 big-school state championships, three national titles and a national runner-up. "For the most part, I thought we handled that pretty well.

"There's times you have to be patient, things can get clogged up because of the slant pinch," Coach Kyle continued in reference to the Comets' defense. "But then there were times when, okay, we read it right and had a couple of nice runs. We're putting a lot of emphasis on, we're going to run the ball effectively. And we did okay.

"We're kind of veteran with the receivers, so there were some good moments (in the receiving department) and some moments when I don't know if our concentration was great, because we dropped a couple. And we don't do that."

Coach Kyle was especially pleased with the kicking game provided by standout junior punter/kicker Colin Goodfellow.

"Colin Goodfellow is a very good kicker," said the man who has led his program to an OHSAA mark of 26 Division I playoff appearances. "He is going to be a weapon."

During Tuesday's special-teams drills at Solon, Goodfellow had a punt that was at least 60 yards in the air. And, as Coach Kyle emphasized, Colin's kickoffs go in the end zone.

"Defensively, we graduated some people, but I thought our kids handed it pretty well today," said Coach Kyle. "Here and there, there would be a fade or a shuffle pas that we have to work on a little bit. But overall, up front I thought we did really well. We handled the run and we had a good pass rush.

"I think Solon is going to be a very good team."

HERE ARE SOME OF TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS TO GO ALONG WITH COLIN GOODFELLOW'S BIG LEG

A solid kickoff return by junior defensive back Alex Ringfield.

An authoritative block during a kickoff return by junior safety Kaden Russell.

Solon had its early moments up front on defense before junior tailback Jimmy Andrews and senior tailback Ian Forkapa, reading the holes provided by the Cats' O-Line, ripped off a couple of nice gains.

Junior punter Jeff Chonko also got off a healthy punt.

Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel continued to hold a hot hand, as he hit senior tailback James Norris in stride down the left sideline and also went to his gifted junior tight end James Leyden for a couple of big plays.

Senior defensive lineman Stephen Zupan made a quick-reaction tackle in the red zone.

Junior quarterback Patrick Ryan put together a spirited series in which he displayed his running ability and also hooked up with senior tight end Danny Yanosko on a perfectly timed pass and catch in capping the series.

Sophomore quarterback Daniel Alexander also turned in a solid series that saw him click big-time with wideouts Michael Drobnick and Sam Snyder.

Grosel struck again with a powerful throw down the seam to senior wide receiver Tyler Musbach, as Tyler made a highlight-reel, full-extension catch, and a picture-perfect swing pass to Norris, who caught the ball in stride and rambled inside the 3-yard line. Grosel then capped the series with a keeper that he took into the end zone off a clever ball fake.

The Cats' first-team defense was dominant throughout most of the morning.

Solon would put together a late scoring drive, only to watch Saint Ignatius respond with a touchdown reception by All-Ohio senior wide receiver/defensive back/captain Jack Cook. Helping set up Jack's TD was Leyden, who hauled in a pass down the right sideline and stiff-armed his way for more yardage.

Double sessions resume tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 PM, as the Cats gear up for Saturday's 9 AM scrimmage with the Twinsburg Tigers on Wasmer Field.      

   

         

      

 

The Football Cats tuned up for tomorrow's (Tuesday) 10 AM preseason test at Solon with a few first session highlights and then Mother Nature came on a blitz
8/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Although most of Monday's second session was wiped out by lightning, thunder and rain, the Cats did come up with some early highlights by their promising defensive backs, notably C.J. Moore with a perfectly timed pass breakup, safety Mike Lehto with two more solid plays on the ball and strong safety Kaden Russell with a heads-up read that resulted in an interception in the right flat.

Senior wide receiver Tyler Musbach put on a clinic early Monday afternoon, as he made several smooth catches that included a leaping two-handed grab off a deep route that ended in the Lorain Avenue end zone. Tyler went up and snagged the pigskin like he does when he's going after an offensive rebound in basketball.

Standout junior kicker/punter Colin Goodfellow sent field goals of 50 and 55 yards through the uprights before the clouds came and senior quarterback Dennis Grosel received praise from veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo and Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac for the perfectly timed, in-stride pass he fired to senior tailback James Norris off a swing play.

SEE YOU AT THE COMETS' STEWART FIELD IN THE MORNING ON THE CAMPUS OF SOLON HIGH SCHOOL.

****NOTE: FOR A PREVIEW ON THE WILDCATS' 2015 CROSS COUNTRY AND GOLF TEAMS, AND A LOOK AT THE GOLF TEAM'S IMPRESSIVE START TO THE SEASON, SEE THE CORNER'S POSTS BELOW.          

  

The 2015 Cross Country Preview, as presented by Head Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher, DDS
8/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 

FROM COACH GALLAGHER ON HIS 2015 WILDCAT HARRIERS

 

The Cross Country team faces a very competitive schedule this season. The 2015 campaign opens with the Golden Eagle Invitational on the GlenOak High School Campus in Canton. The rolling course is notoriously hot and challenging even for veteran runners, and will expose the fitness of the team early on.

 

The Wildcats will celebrate Labor Day weekend with a trip to Hilliard Davidson for the Hot Summer Bash, where they will take on the top teams in the Columbus area on a fast,spectator friendly course.

 

The squad splits up on 9/12 with the Freshmen at the Walsh Jesuit Tomahawk Invitational and the Varsity, Junior Varsity and Open runners at the Tiffin Carnival, one of the largest meets in the country. This race is not for the faint of heart as the runners will encounter a course that is lightning fast with fans packed two deep for the entire 3.1 miles.

 

The Varsity will make the long drive south to the Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational in Louisville (KY) on 9/19. This is a new race for the team and one that will bring them face to face with the best teams from Southern Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The remainder of the team will run at Forest Hills Park that weekend, a race the Cats always look forward to for the challenge of the 800 meter, 15% grade, leg burning hill at the midway point in the race.

 

The Freshmen, JV and Open runners will race at Cloverleaf High School on 9/26. The two loop course is scenic, but always tough and hilly.

 

The Paul Primeau Invitational on 10/2 is a late afternoon race on the spectacular Gilmour Academy Campus that always offers a classic cross country experience for the Freshmen, JV and Open runners with overcast skies, cool temperatures and fall colors. The Varsity will head back to Columbus for the Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley on 10/3, for a competitive tune up as it heads into the month of October.

 

The entire team will then race at the Stow invitational in Silver Springs Park on 10/10, which will showcase the best teams from Akron, Hudson and Northeastern Ohio.

 

The regular season wraps up at the Sim Earich meet on 10/17 at the Trumble County Fairgrounds. This is one of the most enjoyable races of the season. The boys cross over meadows, through barns, over bridle trails and finish in front of the fair's two-story grandstand.

 

The district and regional races follow on successive weekends, culminating with the OHSAA State Meet on 11/7.   

 

We return one of the strongest senior classes ever to wear the blue and gold. This group is crucial to the success of this year's team. They include co-captains Tom Sullivan, Tim Trentel and Luke Wagner, and state qualifier Jim Rogers.

 

Juniors, including state qualifier CJ Ambrosio; state qualifier Colin Caniglia; Collin Kelly, Pat Nolan, Gabe Ohliger and Andrew Szendrey, and sophomore letter winners Mike Fitzgerald and Liam McGuire, are looking to contribute and contend for the state team.

 

This year's 75-member squad includes 17 returning lettermen, a strong JV squad, and a great freshman class. The Cats look forward to competing again at the State Championship Meet on 11/7 at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron ,Ohio

 

Note: The team welcomes new assistant coaches, Ken Sullivan '06, Bob Wolf '08 and Fr. Paul Shelton S.J. to the staff, who join returning coaches Brian Gallagher '07, Alex Voigt and Kevin Hippley '95.

 

- Doc Gallagher '71

 

FROM THE CORNER

 

LAST YEAR'S STATE MEET: Luke Wagner ran a solid time of 15:44.45 in finishing fifth at last year's 86th annual State Championship Meet, helping Coach Gallagher's harriers to a sixth place finish as a team on the National Trail Raceway course. The Cats posted a time of 1:21:54.73.

 

St. Xavier senior Michael Vitucci raced to a first place finish at 15:34.53, as the Bombers finished third overall. St. Xavier was the defending Division I state champion. Mason (121 points) and Hilliard Davidson (124) finished first and second, respectively.

 

LAST YEAR'S REGIONAL MEET: Luke Wagner took first place in a time of 15:47.73, with his average mile 5:05.1. CJ Ambrosio placed 14th with a time of 16:29.47, Tom Sullivan was 16th at 16:34.13 and Jim Rogers finished in 26th place with an effort of 16:52.43.

 

Coach Gallagher's Cats put forth a team winning time of 1:22.50.28 (81 points) and their average was 16:34.06 at Hedges Boyer Park. Ashland was second at 1:23.15.63 (94 points) and its average was 16:39.13.

 

LAST YEAR'S DISTRICT MEET: Luke Wagner, Jim Rogers and Tom Sullivan raced to the top three spots in the Division I race and Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's Cats earned five of the top sixteen places en route to successfully defending their Medina District Championship.

 

How they finished: 1. Saint Ignatius 29; 2. Wadsworth 78; 3. Medina 84; 4. Strongsville 87; 5. Berea-Midpark 105; 6. North Royalton 120; 7. Brunswick 205; 8. Cloverleaf 236; 9. Normandy 268; 10. Highland 280; 11. Garfield Heights 372; 12. Parma 375; 13. Valley Forge 414.

 

Top individuals: 1. Wagner (SI) 16:20.09; 2. Rogers (SI) 16:26.75; 3. Sullivan (SI) 16:28.07.

 

  

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Golf Preview, as presented by Head Coach Brian Becker
8/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH BECKER ON HIS 2015 MEN OF THE LINKS

The 2015 version of the Saint Ignatius golf team will be looking to better the outstanding season put together by the 2014 team, in which the Wildcats finished in the top three in 15 of their 18 events.

Highlighted by a 5-event winning streak, the team ended the 2014 season with sectional and district titles.

A fourth-place finish in the OHSAA State Tournament with a team total of 647 strokes was just two strokes behind state runner-up Columbus St. Charles and 9 team strokes behind the 2014 state champion, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller.That type of season will provide the added incentive for the team to achieve higher goals.

Senior Harrison Vonderau was the individual state runner-up last year and the 4-year letter winner will be counted on to provide the leadership and consistent play needed for the Cats to make a charge at a state championship this fall.

Returning senior Owen Miklos, who carried a 76.2 season tournament average, should provide the Wildcats with a serious one combination entering into tournament play.

The Wildcats' supporting cast will come from 11 of 12 possible returners. Seniors Geoff Allman, Zach Morris and Michael Vallee all have state tournament experience and are closely challenged by seniors Andrew Zawie, Kyle McCafferty, Louis Williams, Tommy Lauer and Patrick Devine, and junior Hunter Rinkus, for a shot on the tournament team.

It will be an exciting tournament season with the Kiely Cup hosted by Canterbury Country Club as just one of the marquee tournaments on the schedule, a schedule versus some of the state's top golf programs.

- Brian Becker '77

Math Teacher

Varsity Golf Coach

Varsity Basketball Coach
 
Wildcats golfers open their 2015 season by bringing home the championship at the CVCA Invitational on Monday at Silver Lake Country Club
8/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Cats senior Andrew Zawie takes Medalist Honors with a 74.

Up next for Saint Ignatius' Men of the Links is tomorrow's Saint Ignatius Invitational at Red Tail Golf Course. The tee off time is listed as 8:30 AM. 

Here are the top 6 teams scores and the Wildcats' individual scores from the CVCA 18-team tournament, courtesy of Head Coach Brian Becker '77.

1. Saint Ignatius      309
2. Hudson                320
3. Chagrin Falls       325
4. Walsh Jesuit        327
5. Aurora                  333
6. University School 338

Individual Saint Ignatius scores:
Andrew Zawie (Sr.)         74 Individual Winner of the tournament
Owen Miklos (Sr.)           75 Overall 4th place in the tournament
Tommy Lauer (Sr.)         78
Harrison Vonderau (Sr.) 82
Jake Moraca (Fr.)           85

COMING UP OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, THE CORNER WILL PREVIEW THE WILDCATS' 2015 SOCCER, CROSS COUNTRY, GOLF AND FOOTBALL SEASONS.
8/8/2015
Wildcats Football wraps up its second day of full pads contact and will now focus on Tuesday's first preseason test versus the Solon Comets
8/8/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Monday's double sessions will be preceded by the annual Team Photo Day. The Cats will take the field at 2 PM.

On Tuesday, Saint Ignatius will board the buses and head to Solon's Stewart Field for the annual preseason matchup with Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets. The action is scheduled to begin at 10 AM.

HERE IS A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS THAT TOOK PLACE DURING SATURDAY'S DOUBLE SESSIONS, AS COACH CHUCK KYLE'S TEAM GOT ANOTHER TASTE OF SPIRITED CONTACT AND COMPETITION.

BALL HAWKING: During the "match" session between the Varsity offense and defense, the Wildcats turned in some solid defensive play against the passing game.

Among those who displayed a nose for the ball were junior safety Kaden Russell, senior middle linebacker/captain Ben Cray, senior cornerback Sam Brick, senior safety Joe Evans, junior defense back Alex Ringfield and senior cornerback Quinn Lawless.

Brick, who has made his presence felt throughout camp, fired across the middle and came up with an authoritative deflection that saw the ball go up in the air and into the hands of a diving Evans. Sam also provided tight deep coverage on a ball that was targeted for the Lorain Avenue end zone.

Lawless' tight coverage took away a sideline route and Quinn also provided a heads-up interception.  

AIR BAKER: Junior quarterback Luke Baker turned in some nice throws during Saturday's first session, including a quick hitter across the middle and a pass for significant yardage to the home sideline of Wasmer Field.

GOOD HANDS CLUB: Senior wide receivers Mike Huber and Nick Freund, junior wideouts Travis Pot and Ryan Cook, and senior tight end Danny Yanosko were among those hauling in passes from senior quarterback Dennis Grosel and junior QB Patrick Ryan.

WHEREVER NEEDED: Senior quarterback David Welcsh switched over to running back on Saturday and turned in a couple of impressive efforts off carries up the gut. Senior tailback Ian Forkapa and junior tailback Dean "The Dream" Stowers also carried the load when called on.

ANOTHER CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Junior nose tackle Joe Gibbons and junior linebacker Johnny Velotta laid down some pad-rattling efforts in the second session.

HIGH PRAISE: "Man, Velotta is really a good tackler!" - Saint Ignatius' All-Ohio senior offensive tackle/captain and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg.

A TRUE CAPTAIN: After sophomore offensive tackle Juan Pen buried a linebacker with a picture-perfect block during the Junior Varsity scrimmage that closed out Saturday's sessions, Eichenberg sought out Juan and congratulated him on the block. Juan missed all of his freshman season with leg injuries that forced him to use a wheel chair.

 

   

 

 

A Junior Varsity scrimmage caps off the first day of hitting for the JV and Varsity Football Cats
8/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Coach Paul Yappel's Junior Varsity Offense and Defense matched their skills in Friday's final session, with their teammates urging them on from both sidelines of Wasmer Field.

Sophomore linebacker Logan Joyce turned in a strong first series, including an outstanding display of pursuit that saw Logan cover significant ground in running down the ball carrier on the home sideline.

Playing with the fire that goes hand-in-hand with Coach Ryan Franzinger's and Coach Dave Cicetti's linebackers, Joyce also recorded a sack off a determined push up the middle and he made his presence felt off the edge.

Offensively for the JV Cats, sophomore quarterback Daniel Alexander read was available after dropping back to pass and ran for big yardage. Daniel also hooked up with sophomore Connor Kennedy on a couple of nice plays through the air and sophomore Michael Drobnick made a diving catch of an Alexander toss for a touchdown in the right corner of the Lorain Avenue end zone.

FROM THE VARSITY SESSIONS: Earlier this week, this corner wrote about Wildcats senior linebacker Nick LaVigna and the impressive and relentless play Nick has displayed off the edge. That was evident again on Friday, my friends.

Nick told the corner that he worked extremely hard on his speed and strength in the offseason and that certainly has come to the fore throughout camp.

Junior quarterback Patrick Ryan combined with senior wide receiver Ryan Berger on two nice routes across the middle. Patrick put the ball on Berger with authority, while at the same time giving his receiver enough of a lead. Berger displayed solid concentration in hauling in the throws and taking on the contact.

We said it before and we'll say it again, senior quarterback and returning starter Dennis Grosel is having an exceptional preseason. He added to that on Friday with picture-perfect throws to All-Ohio senior wide receiver/defensive back Jack Cook, senior wideout Colin Kruchan and senior running back Ian Forkapa.

With Coach Adam Rini's offensive line showing the way, senior tailback James Norris and junior tailback Jimmy Andrews ran with a purpose throughout Friday's sessions.

Tomorrow's (Saturday) double sessions will get underway at 10 AM, as the Cats prepare for two scrimmages next week, at Solon on Tuesday (10 AM) and versus Twinsburg on Aug. 15 at Wasmer Field (9 AM).

Have a great and safe weekend.

    

              

Highlights from OHSAA Board of Directors Meeting
8/6/2015

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

OHSAA Board of Directors Meeting Highlights

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors held its August meeting Thursday morning at the OHSAA office. The following are highlights from the meeting. Complete meeting minutes will be posted at OHSAA.org.

 

-          The board voted to immediately remove community school students and STEM school students from the school enrollment counts and reconfigure the divisional assignments for the 2015-16 sports tournaments. In the spring, those students had been included in the public school enrollment counts for the next two-year cycle after the passage of Ohio House Bill 487, which gives them participation opportunities. The full release is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/news/misc/20150806enrollment.pdf

-          The board reviewed the member high school list for 2015-16. Several schools still need to confirm membership by submitting the board resolution card, however it is expected the number of member high schools will be 822. Ohio has the third-most member schools in the country behind California and Texas.

-          Since the board’s June meeting, five 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 2015 winter sports tournaments were presented to the board. The boys basketball regional and state tournaments resulted in proceeds of $1,100,391. The girls basketball regional and state tournaments resulted in proceeds of $134,935. The bowling state tournaments resulted in a loss of $7,937. The gymnastics state tournament resulted in a loss of $16,566. The ice hockey district and state tournaments resulted in proceeds of $31,061. The swimming and diving state tournament resulted in a loss of $12,704. The individual wrestling state tournament resulted in proceeds of $247,653. The dual team wrestling regional and state tournaments resulted in a loss of $52,647.

-          The board approved the 2015-16 Officials Handbook and the 2015-16 Media Regulations and Broadcast Rates. Those documents are now posted at OHSAA.org. The board also approved a policy on use of the OHSAA logos, trademarks and trade names. That document will be posted on the News & Media page at OHSAA.org.

-          The board approved two appointments to fill unexpired terms on district athletic boards as interim representatives for the 2015-16 school year. In the Central District, Ryan Fitzgerald, athletic director at Hamilton Township High School, will serve as the Class AA representative, while in the East District, Bill Love, athletic director at Gnadenhutten Indian Valley High School, will serve as the Class AA representative. A position remains to be filled in the Northeast District.

 

 

OHSAA to revise enrollment counts for 2015-16
8/6/2015

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D.

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 For Immediate Release – August 6, 2015

Contact – Tim Stried, Director of Information Services, tstried@ohsaa.org

 OHSAA to Revise School Enrollment Counts for 2015-16

Board of directors votes to withdraw community school and STEM school students and reconfigure tournament divisional assignments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association board of directors deliberated Thursday and voted to remove students who attend community schools and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) schools from their local public school enrollment counts. This decision changes the OHSAA’s previous policy and will result in the OHSAA revising and reposting the enrollment counts for each school and the divisional alignments that will be used for the upcoming fall tournaments. Winter and spring sports divisional alignments will follow in the near future.

 

The passage of Ohio House Bill 487 in July of 2014 now gives those students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school. Since data from the Ohio Department of Education included the public school district where those students reside, the OHSAA decided to include those community school and STEM school students in the enrollment counts of their local public school. For districts with multiple high schools, those students were divided evenly among that districts’ schools. However, today’s action by the board in their first meeting of the 2015-16 school year reversed that decision.

 

“Simply put, the decision to include charter school students was based on our longstanding past practice of counting kids who had participation opportunities," OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross said. “We were not wrong to make that decision at the time, but the feedback we’ve received from many member schools across the state about the negative impact this had on tournament divisional movement for schools, combined with the belief that so few of these students currently take advantage of these participation opportunities, made us realize it is best for us to study this issue further. This is a new issue we now have to address and has many ramifications. I give extreme credit to our board, which is comprised of elected school administrators from around the state, for recognizing that and changing the course in this particular area.”

 

As soon as possible, the OHSAA will configure the new divisional assignments for fall sports, including new regional assignments in football, and will post the updated information at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/sptdivis15.htm

 

The OHSAA had already begun the process of forming a committee to study the issue. The committee will still meet this fall to determine the best way to include community school and STEM school students in enrollment counts in the future.

 

In June, the OHSAA issued a release explaining why charter school and STEM school students were included in enrollment counts. The release is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/Memos/20150626.pdf

 

  

 

A spirited competition highlights Wednesday's Double Sessions for Wildcats Football
8/5/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Ah yes, contact in full pads is just three days away and the enthusiasm and competitive nature are rising to a whole new level.

Wednesday evening, the Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats' wide receivers and defensive backs matched each other's skills in what was an emotional and entertaining drill.

Directing the competition were veteran wide receivers coach Josiah "Juice" Kedzior and newly hired assistant coach Kevin Johnson. Saint Ignatius' outstanding junior punter/kicker Colin Goodfellow assisted in the spirit of the drill by serving as a quarterback, a position Colin played in his earlier years at Saint Ignatius

Although there was some question at the end as to which until prevailed, those involved decided it was a draw. This corner wants to see a rematch on Friday.

In an earlier drill, which matched the Varsity defensive backs against the Varsity wide receivers, Saint Ignatius' senior wide receiver/defensive back/captain Jack Cook made several exceptional catches, including a two-handed grab near the goal post in the Lorain Avenue end zone.

During the same drill, senior quarterback Dennis Grosel fired an one-the-money throw to junior wideout Travis Pot off a deep sideline route, an effort that pleased Cats Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac.

Grosel, who is having an exceptional summer, also hooked up with senior wide receiver Cal Grbac on a perfect in-stride toss and catch that resulted in another visit to the Lorain Avenue end zone.

Coach Grbac also singled out Jack Cook for his effort in making a smooth "adjustment to the route" off yet another authoritative pass from Grosel.

Senior wide receiver Tyler Musbach also displayed his ability to adjust to the ball along the sideline and senior wideout Nick Freund took a picture-perfect pass from junior quarterback Patrick Ryan in stride and left his footsteps in touchdown territory, aka the Lorain Avenue end zone. If this keeps up, maybe the city will rename the 22 Lorain bus the Cats' Express. Ah, if I had $5 for every time I rode the old reliable 22.

WEDNESDAY'S FIRST SESSION: Junior linebacker/tight end James Leyden continued to impress with his pass-catching ability and the Berger twins, senior wideouts Ryan and Jimmy, showed why they are certified members of the Good Hands Club.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Junior Mike Lehto, a talented all-around athlete who entered this season better known for his skills as a wide receiver, came up with two interceptions from his safety position, and senior defensive back Joe Evans made a quick reaction to a pass in the flat and a few plays later Joe intercepted a deep ball.

GROUND CONTROL: Junior tailback Jimmy Andrews made some nice cuts and strong bursts through the hole, as Wednesday's afternoon session was coming to an end.

 

 

    

 

 

 

  

  

 

 

  

Double Sessions, Day 3. Offense and Defense go home with something to build on
8/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Okay, it was just the third double session of the preseason for the Saint Ignatius Football Wildcats.

But for someone who stands in the shadows of the sunset on Wasmer Field, the praise that came from more than one coach on Tuesday was quite encouraging for the young men wearing the white (offense ) and blue (defense) jerseys.

Wildcats football savvy Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger made a point to single out the excellent job Saint Ignatius senior wide receiver Ryan Berger was doing in beating the defense off sure-handed routes. Anytime a defensive coach with Ryan Franzinger's resume tips his cap to the offense, that's high praise my friends.

Saint Ignatius senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, who his entering his second season as the Wildcats' field general, continues to impress as the first preseason test of the summer is rapidly approaching - Aug. 11 at 10 AM on Solon's Stewart Field versus Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets.

Grosel hooked up with senior wide receiver Tyler Musbach on a crossing pattern that saw the veteran QB read the excellent effort Musbach was making in breaking through the coverage across the middle. Tyler caught the ball in stride, turned up the sideline and outran the defense as he galloped in the direction of the Lorain Avenue end zone.

In what Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo described as another nice read, Grosel swung the ball out to senior tailback Elijah Wahib in the left flat for what was a solid "dig."

Grosel capped his series by stepping up in the pocket and connecting with senior wideout Colin Kruchan in stride and then going in the direction of Musbach once again, an effort that drew a "nice throw" from Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: If hitting was allowed at this point of the season, Wildcats senior linebacker Nick LaVigna would probably have six or seven sacks by now. Nick continues to impress with his quick and strong pressure off the edge.

Among those turning in solid plays for the men wearing the blue on Tuesday were senior defensive back Quinn Lawless, who aggressively broke up a potential first-down completion, senior cornerback Sam Brick, who in a display of perfect timing and sure hands stepped in front of a pass along the home sideline and came up with the interception, and senior linebacker Braden "Brady" Notarianni, who made a quick reaction to the ball in a can-you-hear-the-thunder stop.

IN THE HOUSE: Taking in the Wildcats' first session on Tuesday were former NFL All-Pro center LeCharles Bentley, who earned consensus All-American honors at The Ohio State University and All-Ohio honors at Saint Ignatius, and former Wildcats All-Ohio defensive end/tight end Kevin Kavalec, who is entering his junior season in what has been an outstanding college career as a defensive lineman/linebacker for Boston College.

Double sessions resume on Wednesday at 2 PM.        

 

  

  

      

 

 

   

OHSAA extends contract to keep the state football finals at Ohio Stadium in Columbus
8/4/2015

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

OHSAA Extends Football Finals Stay in Columbus Through 2016

Extra year added to two-year contract; all-session tickets for 2015 state finals go on sale to public Aug. 17

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The high school football state championships will remain in Ohio Stadium in Columbus for an additional year, through 2016, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday jointly with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.

The announcement comes as details are being finalized for the 2015 state championships, which include a public all-session ticket sale date of Monday, Aug. 17 for the seven state championship games (see details below).

The Sports Commission and the Ohio State Athletics Department were awarded a contract to host the football championships in 2014 and 2015, with the OHSAA intending to move the finals in 2016 back to Stark County, which hosted the championships for 24 years (1990-2013). However, the massive renovations underway in Canton at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly Fawcett Stadium, are not expected to be completed until 2017.

“We are very grateful for the cooperation of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and Ohio State for working with us on this extension,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said. “We have been in conversation with the folks in Stark County about the timeline for the renovations in Canton. As we have said all along, we are very blessed in Ohio to have some of the best football stadiums in the country and student-athletes will be so proud to say they played for a state title in Ohio Stadium or in Stark County.”

Beyond 2016, details are being discussed as to which venues will host the football state championship games and in which years.

“We are excited to add another year of Ohio’s best high school football teams competing for state titles in Columbus,” said Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan. “The State Football Finals in 2014 were incredible from an attendance standpoint and the student-athlete and fan experience. We look forward to creating new memories in the Horseshoe in 2015 and 2016.”

The 2015 state championships in Ohio Stadium will be played December 3, 4 and 5. Additional high school football information is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/default.asp

All-session tickets for the 2015 state finals include two options. An all-session ticket at the club level, which includes access to the indoor club area before and between all seven games, is $105. A reserved seating ticket is $84. Public tickets will be available at Ticketmaster.com starting Aug. 17. Single session tickets will be available for purchase in November.

 

 

 

Cats aired it out on offense in Day 2 of Double Sessions
8/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - The pigskin was flying fast and furious on Monday afternoon and early evening, as Saint Ignatius put the talents of its versatile receiving corps on display early and often during what was the second day of doubles for the 2015 Football Wildcats.

Junior wide receiver Riley Kinzel sort of set the tone when he went high in the air down the middle and made a big-time, two-handed catch near the Lorain Avenue end zone off a throw from junior quarterback Patrick Ryan.

Wildcats No. 1 quarterback, senior Dennis Grosel, combined with All-Ohio senior wide receiver/defensive back Jack Cook and gifted junior tight end/linebacker James Leyden on a pair of smooth throws and receptions.

Senior wide receiver Nick Freund made a variety of catches, as did junior wideout Travis Pot, senior tight end Robert Hilbig, senior wideouts Ryan Berger and Colin Kruchan, and junior wide receiver Michael Daugenti.

Daugenti, a member of Coach Josiah "Juice" Kedzior's well-schooled route runners, displayed his awareness and reaction by hauling in a pass across the middle that had been deflected twice.

Among Hilbig's highlighters were a one-handed grab in stride en route to the Lorain Avenue end zone and a tough catch down the middle after he collided with promising sophomore safety Justin Sands.

"Way to use the body Nick," yelled Coach Kedzior after Freund fended off the cornerback and made a diving catch. Coach Kedzior also gave a "Way to go Potter" to Pot for Travis' efforts throughout both sessions.

Among Monday's other highlights was seeing former Wildcat standouts Pat Hinkel and Kevin Johnson helping coach Saint Ignatius football.

Pat, an All-Ohio safety/running back for Saint Ignatius' 2008 Division I state championship team who went on to an outstanding football career at Miami of Ohio, was working with the freshmen on Monday. Kevin, who excelled as a running back/defensive back for the Cats before going on to a successful career in football and National Champion honors in track and field for Baldwin Wallace University, was assisting with both the junior varsity and varsity.

Among the many great things that Coach Chuck Kyle continues to do throughout his Hall of Fame career is welcome back his former players to his staff.

         

  

 

        

 

      

A corner's view of the first day of doubles for the 2015 Football Wildcats
8/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit August 2015

Ohio City - Throughout the early summer mini camps this old-timer was impressed time and again with the depth and talent of  Saint Ignatius' defensive linemen and linebackers.

After watching them again during Saturday's first day of double sessions on Wasmer Field, my impressions were only enhanced.

Led by tough, tenacious and savvy seniors Ben Cray (a captain for 2015), Nick LaVigna and Alex Maruna, and complemented by the promise juniors James Leyden, Johnny Velotta and Adam Shibley possess, the 2015 linebacker corps could go down as one of the best in the Wildcats' rich football history. Shibley is expected to return from the injured list in a few weeks.  

And there are others who will only add to that LB depth and talent by the time Week 1's preparation for the Normandy Invaders rolls around. Saint Ignatius opens its 2015 season versus Normandy on Aug. 29. The kickoff  from Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium is 7 PM.

Up front, the Wildcats graduated an exceptional 1-2 punch in Ohio State recruit Dre'Mont Jones, an All-Ohio and All-American honoree, and the underrated Ray Brown.

However, the cupboard of defensive linemen is well-stocked once again.

Among the names to remember are seniors Tito Vazquez and Nate Keirn, and juniors Patrick Viancourt, Joe Gibbons, Mike Chime and Michael Czaja.

GETTING OUT IN SPACE: During Saturday's drills, Saint Ignatius continued to put an emphasis on the running game and creating more quick-hitting space for its tailbacks, especially gifted senior James Norris. James is one of the premier sprinters in Ohio.

GROSEL TO GRBAC: Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, fresh off his camp visit to William & Mary, hooked up with smooth route-running senior wide receiver Cal Grbac on a deep toss into the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field that was as picture-perfect as Saturday's weather.

CAN STILL SLING IT: Cal's dad, Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach and former St. Joseph High standout athlete Elvis Grbac, showed he still has plenty of zip in the arm that led him to an outstanding career at the University of Michigan and an All-Pro NFL career. Elvis provided the passes during Saturday's second session of matchups between the receivers and the cornerbacks.

COMING UP: Just a reminder that the Wildcats' first preseason test will take place on Aug. 11, when they travel to Solon's Stewart Field for a 10 AM matchup of skills with Coach Jim McQuaide's Comets.

Have a great and safe weekend.   

    

 

 

 

   

 

  

         

The preseason football camps end on a picture-perfect Thursday and now the focus turns to double sessions, which begin on Saturday
7/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit July/August 2015

Ohio City - With starting senior quarterback Dennis Grosel attending a camp at William & Mary, junior quarterback Patrick Ryan and senior quarterback David Welcsh directed Saint Ignatius' Varsity Offense to several productive moments Thursday afternoon and evening.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will now rest for a day before returning to Wasmer Field on Saturday at 10 AM, which will mark the first day of double sessions for the 2015 OHSAA football season.

As for Thursday's final camp, the Junior Varsity took the field at 3 PM and ran some sharp drills that featured a nice route and catch by sophomore Max Pike off a quick-release throw from sophomore quarterback Daniel Alexander. The JV running game again featured the balance, vision and quick-to-the-hole ability of sophomore Mark Bobinski.

Veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo, despite having his veteran field general unavailable (see the lead sentence to this report), watched the Cats' offense more than hold its own during Thursday's Varsity match or team competition (offense versus defense).

Ryan, who is leading in the competition to become the backup to Grosel, came out firing with authority and accuracy as he connected with multi-skilled junior tight end/linebacker James Leyden off an excellent read and throw. Patrick also unleashed an impressive kiss-the-sky deep throw down the right or home sideline of Wasmer Field, and made another nice read in connecting with junior wide receiver Michael Daugenti along the left sideline.

After Leyden hauled in the pass from Ryan, he put on a different jersey and moved to linebacker.

Welcsh, displaying the experience of a veteran signal-caller, made a nice look-off toss to gifted senior wide receiver Jim Berger and combined with senior wideout Colin Kruchan on a deep throw and catch along the left sideline near the Lorain Avenue end zone.

The Varsity running game complemented the passing attack with some productive carries from senior tailbacks James Norris and Elijah Wahib.

Among Thursday's other entertaining drills was the spirited competition between the interiors of the Wildcats' offensive and defensive lines.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: Junior linemen Michael Chime and Michael Czaja made their presence felt throughout the evening's offense versus defense matchup.

We'll see you bright and early on Saturday morning.   

     

         

 

 

 

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.

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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.