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NOTE: COACH DREW VILINSKY'S JUNIOR VARSITY HOCKEY TEAM WILL FACE THE JV TEAM FROM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL IN A 10 AM SEMIFINAL AT SUNDAY'S ANNUAL JUNIOR VARSITY STATE TOURNAMENT IN SERPENTINI ARENA AT WINTERHURST. THE CORNER WILL BE ON HAND FOR GAME COVERAGE.
3/1/2015
Wildcats Varsity Basketball closes out the regular season with a 62-46 victory over the Benedictine Bengals.
3/1/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The area's 12th-ranked Wildcats were led by their gifted guard tandem of junior Deven Stover and senior Andre' Wolford, who scored 15 and 11 points, respectively.  

Promising 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet contributed nine points for Coach Sean O'Toole Wildcats, who will take a record of 13-8 into Wednesday's Division I sectional semifinal matchup with the neighboring Lakers from Max S. Hayes. The tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium will be 7 PM.  

Justin Layne, one of the area's top football recruits as a wide receiver/defensive back, and Spencer Johnson paced the Bengals with 11-point efforts.

Congratulations to all of the seniors associated with the Wildcats' Basketball Program on what was their annual "Senior Night" and just one more time I will post the words I wrote on opening note concerning the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74, whose basketball number 34 was retired on Saturday night in a special ceremony at Sullivan Gymnasium.

"The season opener was highlighted by a tribute to the Wildcats’ City Championship Basketball Team of 1973-74, which featured the skills of the late Mr. Jim Skerl ’74. Jim scored 26 points in the 61-51 victory over John F. Kennedy and earned Plain Dealer "Dream Team" honors for his efforts.
A “Man for Others” throughout his life, Jim was a devoted teacher and mentor for the students of Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades before a courageous battle with cancer took his life in October.
During the special tribute to the 1973-74 Wildcats, which included a highlight video, I couldn't help but recall how many of Saint Ignatius' opponents throughout the years would often tell reporters that they were convinced angels tipped in shots down the stretch of tight games at Sullivan Gymnasium.
Well, the way I see it, if for some reason the rims appear a bit friendly this winter, we'll all know the name of one of those angels."  
Saint Ignatius finishes 11th at the 88th annual OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Tournament in the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.
2/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Along with the seventh-place finish by Saint Ignatius' gifted freshman diver Alex Claus (see the corner's post from Saturday afternoon), the Wildcats' highlights included a seventh-place effort by junior Rayon Artis in the 50-yard free style (21.33) and an eighth-place finish by the 200-yard freestyle relay team of  sophomore Dimitri Simcox, sophomore Marcus Hong, freshman Cian O'Haimhirgin and Artis. The time was 1:26.51.

Here are the final top 20 team standings in Division I. The beat goes on in the Queen City, as our Jesuit brothers from St. Xavier won their 36th, yes 36th, state swimming championship. Death, taxes and the Bombers' poise in the pool.

1. Cincinnati St. Xavier 335; 2. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 134; 3. Hudson 127; 4. Solon 125; 5. Toledo St. Francis De Sales 113; 6. Columbus St. Charles 110; 7. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 100; 8. Centerville 96; 9. Strongsville 94; 10. Mason 84; 11. Saint Ignatius 72; 12. Walsh Jesuit 63; 13. Lakota East 58; 14. Dublin Jerome 57; 15. North Canton Hoover 54; 16. Powell Olentangy Liberty 46; 17. Upper Arlington 41; 18. Vandalia Butler 40; 19. Dublin Scioto 39; 20. Cincinnati Sycamore 39.

Congratulations to the young Cats on putting together a winter to remember and showing the entire state the promise that lies ahead in 2015/2016.

THE MAN OF COACH SULLIVAN'S MEN OF THE MATS, SENIOR JOE CONWAY, WRAPS UP A GREAT WEEKEND BY BECOMING THE 195 POUND BRECKSVILLE SECTIONAL CHAMPION WITH AN 8-2 VICTORY!
2/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Men of the Mats go 9-3 in the finals in garnering a second-place finish overall.

Here are the final team standings from Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

1. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 329.5; 2. Saint Ignatius 198; 3. Maple Heights 143; Parma 140.5; 5. Garfield Heights 107.5; 6. Shaker Heights 86.5; 7. Cleveland Heights 73; 8. Normandy 63.5; 9. Bedford 60.5; 10. Valley Forge 42.5; 11. Rhodes 22; 12. Lincoln West 4.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TERRIFIC 10 WHO WILL BE COMPETING AT NEXT WEEKEND'S MENTOR DISTRICT AND A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE SAINT IGNATIUS WRESTLING PROGRAM AND ITS TIRELESS COACHING STAFF FOR REACHING HEIGHTS THAT I AM SURE MAKE THE FIRST OHSAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM IN SAINT IGNATIUS' RICH ATHLETIC HISTORY - THE MARCH OF 1988 STATE WRESLTING CHAMPS - VERY PROUD. 

GENTLEMEN, TAKE A BOW!

Michael Drobnick places second at 170 pounds and Besar Vajusi and Tommy Gallagher finish fourth at 182 and 138, respectively.
2/28/2015
And the hits just keep on coming - Tristan Brady takes third at 160, 15-0, and Cal Miller brings home third place at 152, 11-0.
2/28/2015

And another tip of the corner's cap goes out to Zach Tomford, who finished fifth at 145 with an 8-2 decision.

Another wrestling update: Ryan Bush records a pin to become the Brecksville Sectional Champion at 132, Gavin Rivera places third at 126 with a pin and Tyson Long (120) and Anthony Delsanter (106) take third place with decisons.
2/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Long, who displayed his big heart to this corner during summer and fall football practices, won 11-0 and Delsanter prevailed, 3-1.

ALSO, a tip of the corner's cap goes out to Quade Rasmussen, who took fifth place at 113 pounds with a 10-4 decision.  

The Wildcats will advance 10 wrestlers to next weekend's tradition-rich Mentor District.
2/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The news from the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional continues to be outstanding (see the corner's post from Friday night), as Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats have advanced 10 wrestlers to "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Wrestling for first/second in the finals at Brecksville will be the firm of Conway, Bush and Drobnick, and competing for third/fourth will be Miller, Brady, Vajusi, Delsanter, Long, Rivera and Gallagher.

The top four in each weight class advance to district competition, so the Cats are guaranteed to have 10 at Mentor next weekend.

Congratulations to Coach Sullivan and his staff for continuing to bring Saint Ignatius Wrestling back to prominence.    

Saint Ignatius Hockey rolls to an 11-0 victory over Midview in Saturday's OHSAA District Quarterfinals at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Kevin Yarcusko's Hat Trick leads the offensive barrage.
2/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats, the district's top seed, improved to 31-3-3, extended their winning streak to 19 games and, most importantly, advanced to Tuesday's District Semifinal matchup with the fourth-seeded Padua Bruins.

Tuesday's semifinal is scheduled for 7 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena and the corner will be on hand for game coverage at "The Big Barn on Memphis."

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Cats defeated Padua twice during the regular season by scores of 8-1 and 7-1.

With the 11-0 triumph over the Midview Middies on Saturday afternoon, the Ice Cats, the defending state champions and the top-ranked team in the state, have outscored their first two postseason opponents by a combined total of 23-0. The Cats defeated Avon Lake, 12-0, in an upper bracket game this past Wednesday.

Like Wednesday's game with Avon Lake, Saturday's matchup was called after two periods.

Junior goalie Dylan McKeon had two saves on two shots by the Middies, senior forward Kevin Yarcusko provided a hat trick and the other lamplighters were produced by ever-present senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney; senior forward/captain Matty Geither; sophomore forward Connor Koehnke; senior forward/captain Jack Wiegandt; junior forward Zack Kisel; senior forward Brady Wells; senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec and junior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy.     

Congratulations to Saint Ignatius freshman Alex Claus, who completed an outstanding season by finishing seventh in Saturday's Division I diving finals at the 88th annual OHSAA State Meet in Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium.
2/28/2015

 

HERE ARE OHIO'S  TOP 10 DIVERS FOR 2015

 

1 Cameron Thatcher Powell Olentangy Liberty 252.75 428.80 630.90

 

2 David Waszak North Canton Hoover 193.00 334.15 524.60

 

3 Noah Hickey Centerville 227.70 352.50 523.40

 

4 Jecorlin Frazier Toledo St. Francis DeSales 216.65 344.10 501.70

 

5 Isaac Karn Piqua 212.80 343.00 498.30

 

6 Alex Kowal Powell Olentangy Liberty 215.85 343.90 487.75

 

7 Alex Claus  Saint Ignatius 209.65 333.00 472.35

 

8 Curtis Roden North Canton Hoover 222.05 348.30 464.10

 

9 Caleb Aho Findlay 224.00 334.35 461.05

 

10 Ryan Hunter Vandalia Butler 220.15 335.60 449.90

 

 

 

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats advance 11 wrestlers to the semifinals and have two competitors in wrestle backs after the opening night of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional Tournament. Here are the standings and semifinal pairings.
2/28/2015

From the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional

Action resumes on Saturday at 10 AM. How they stand: 1. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 107; 2. Saint Ignatius 79.5; 3. Maple Heights 49; 4. Parma 47; 5. Garfield Heights 40.5; 6. Bedford 23; 7. (tie) Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights 22; 9. Normandy 18; 10. Valley Forge 15.5; 11. Rhodes 9; 12. Lincoln West 4. 

The Semifinal Pairings. Note: The top four wrestlers in each weight class after Saturday's competition advance to next weekend Mentor District, aka "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

106 pounds: Jar.Bronstrup (B-BH) vs. Delsanter (SI); Primous (MH) James (Bed).

113: Rasmussen (SI) vs. Wochna (Breck); Nelly (GH) vs. Ramos (Parma).

120: Rasheed (MH) vs. Jas.Bronstrup (B-BH); Long (SI) vs. Louis (GH).

126: Assad (B-BH) vs. Riley (GH); Rivera (SI) vs. Stowers (MH).

132: Sanderfer (CH) vs. Callahan (SH); Topoly (B-BH) vs. Bush (SI).

138: DeMicco (B-BH) vs. Gallagher (SI); Moss (MH) vs. Workman (Parma).

145: Lucas (B-BH) vs. Frost (Norm); Woldarek (Parma) vs. Howard (CH).

152: Hiles (B-BH) vs. Miller (SI); Anderson (Bed) vs. Colon (Rhodes).

160: Czubik (Norm) vs. Meinhard (SH); Brady (SI) vs. Blogna (B-BH).

170: Glass (MH) vs. Brown (Bed); Kinney (B-BH) vs. Drobnick (SI).

182: Lewis (Parma) vs. Vajusi (SI); Atkinson (MH) vs. Strnad (B-BH).

195: Suhayda (B-BH) vs. Cain (MH); Conway (SI) vs. Driver (Parma).

220: Simpson (GH) vs. Spear (Parma); Sternad (B-BH) vs. Hunt (CH).

285: Crosby (VF) vs. Nelson (GH); D’Anna (B-BH) vs. Robertson (MH).


 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball experiences a tough 51-47 loss to Bedford in Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night.
2/27/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February/March 2015

Ohio City - Trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Wildcats picked up their game in third quarter and outscored the Bearcats, 22-7, over the next eight minutes in taking a four-point lead into the final quarter.

In what was a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Saint Ignatius moved to a 43-38 lead after senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto buried a 3-pointer off an assist from senior post Dre'Mont Jones.

Bedford, ranked 11th in the Top 25 area poll, kept chipping away at the free throw line and, after three free throws by 6-foot-7 senior post Shamar Jeffrey and two makes from the charity stripe by junior forward Tre Granger, took a 44-43 lead.

During that 6-0 sequence by Bearcats, Saint Ignatius twice missed the front end of 1-and-1 free-throw opportunities.

Two free throws by the Wildcats' standout junior guard Deven Stover put Saint Ignatius back in front, 45-44, with 3 minutes and 10 seconds remaining to be played, but Jeffrey set home a baseline jumper to give Bedford a one point lead with 1:52 left.

After Jeffrey went slam city off a follow, the Bearcats held a three-point lead with 1:34 to go and Saint Ignatius called a time out.

The Wildcats turned the ball over on their next possession, but senior forward/captain Mikal Outcalt picked off a pass and drove nearly the length of the Sullivan Gymnasium floor for a layup that cut the deficit to 48-47 with 1 minute and 10 seconds remaining.

After Bedford junior guard Cam Brandon made 1 of 2 free throws, Saint Ignatius had a possession in which it missed three shots at the rim in attempt to tie the score.

Granger's free throw with 32.2 seconds left pushed the Bearcats' lead to three points and, after a timeout by the Wildcats with 18.6 seconds to go, Saint Ignatius misfired on what would have been a game tying 3-pointer. Bedford then sealed a huge road win on a free throw by 6-5 senior post/forward Myron Prewitt with 2.2 seconds remaining on the clock.

Coach Pete Priola's Bearcats, who will now take a record of 17-5 into the OHSAA postseason tournament, were led by Jeffrey's 12 points and an 11-point night from their skillful senior point guard Mike Smith.

Bedford made 10 2-point shots, four 3-pointers and was 19-of-31 from the foul line. The Bearcats had 12 turnovers and 29 total rebounds, including 19 off the defensive glass.

Saint Ignatius, which did not have a double-digit scorer, totaled 13 2-pointers, five 3-pointers and was just 6-for-11 at the foul line. The Cats turned the ball over 14 times and pulled down 35 rebounds, with 16 of those coming off the offensive glass.   

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field.

The Wildcats, the area's 12th-ranked team, slipped to 12-8 heading into Saturday night's final game of the regular season versus the Benedictine Bengals. The 7:30 Varsity tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium will be preceded by a 6 PM Junior Varsity Game.

Along with the significant difference in free throw attempts on Friday night, Saint Ignatius will look at the quarter scores and see that it was held to seven points in both the second and fourth quarters.

HERE ARE THE COMMENTS FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87 AND A RECAP OF SAINT IGNATIUS' 72-55 VICTORY OVER BEDFORD IN JUNIOR VARSITY ACTION.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "Bedford has a lot of weapons, all of their losses were to very good teams. Defensively they blocked a lot of our shots and limited us in a lot of our looks. I'm very proud of the kids for the run we made in the third quarter. I thought we were flat in the first half Obviously, there are little things we still have to do, especially come tournament time. We got in foul trouble and they (the Bearcats) made some great plays defensively. We have to be better prepared and for some reason, we came out flat."

THE JUNIOR VARSITY WILDCATS STAND 16-3 AFTER FRIDAY NIGHT'S 17-POINT VICTORY OVER THE BEARCATS' JUNIOR VARSITY.

Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 watched their JV Cats jump out to an 11-0 lead.

Among the tone-setting baskets were a breakaway layup by sophomore guard guard Devin Jackson, a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Michael Spear and a 3-pointer by Jackson off sophomore guard Tommy Aris' offensive rebound and assist.

Bedford would close to 16-11, but Saint Ignatius took an 18-11 lead into the second quarter after always-hustling sophomore forward Quinton Farren powered up two points off another assist by Aris.

Things got a bit tight in the second quarter, as after sophomore forward James Leyden gave the Wildcats a 10-point lead by scoring off his offensive rebound, the Bearcats went on a 12-0 run.

Trailing by two points, Saint Ignatius responded with a driving one-hander from sophomore guard Alex Ringfield, a one-hander down the lane by 6-10 sophomore Malique Burton, two free throws by gifted 6-7 sophomore post/forward Austen Yarian, who returned from the injured list, a strong move down low by Burton and a basket by Yarian off a picture-perfect assist from versatile sophomore guard Colin Goodfellow.

Bedford would cut an eight-point deficit to four points, but the Wildcats closed out the first half with six unanswered points, including a reverse layup along the baseline by Yarian courtesy of an assist from Leyden.

The JV Cats, who will close out their season on Saturday at 6 PM versus the Junior Varsity Team from Benedictine in Sullivan Gym, began to take control in the third quarter.

After a put back by Farren and back-to-back 3-pointers by Jackson and Spear, Saint Ignatius stretched a 10-point advantage to 18 points and the Bearcats' coaches were on their feet yelling for a timeout.

The JV Cats led by 19 points after Jackson scored off a give-and-go assist from Leyden and hard-nosed sophomore forward Ben Delhees produced one of his trademark hustle baskets.

Bedford would make another charge, as the Bearcats closed to 11 points late in the third quarter. The JV Cats had the answer again, however, as the multi-skilled Goodfellow buried two key 3-pointers. Colin is an outstanding kicker/punter and a more than capable back-up quarterback in football.

The Bearcats wouldn't go quietly into the cold night, as they cut the deficit to seven points early in the fourth quarter.

However, just when Mr. Momentum was leaning in the direction of the Bedford bench, he turned right around and rode on the backs of a Goodfellow layup off another Aris assist, an Aris layup off a return the favor pass from Goodfellow, a basket by Farren off an Aris dish and a sweet ball fake and drive to the basket by Goodfellow.

Goodfellow led all scorers with 14 points, Spear and Jackson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, and Farren contributed nine points.

Showing the way for Bedford were freshman guard/forward Kenny Wilkins with 13 points and junior forward Daron Falkner and sophomore forward Josh Caldwell, who each  tossed in 12 points.

LOUD AND CLEAR: Lending its loyal support to the Wildcats on Friday night was the CYO program from St. Raphael. The young men and young ladies, who sat in the upper section of the home side in Sullivan Gym, had the grand facility that sits near West 30th and Lorain rocking.

   

  

  

  

  

 

     

 

 

      

  

Here are the Wildcats' Prelim Results from Friday's 88th annual OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Meet.
2/27/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

DIVISION I PRELIMS FROM THE C.T. BRANIN NATATORIUM IN CANTON, OHIO.

200 Medley Relay: Saint Ignatius placed 12th.

12. Saint Ignatius Seed: 1:36.64 Prelim: 1:36.59  
    1) Marcus Hong Sophomore   2) John Hessler Sophomore              
    3) Dimitri Simcox Sophomore  4) Rayon Artis Junior

50 Yard Freestyle: Junior Rayon Artis was seventh in the prelim with a time of 21.42. Rayon will compete in Saturday night's final heat.

100 Yard Butterfly: Sophomore Marcus Hong placed 17th in the prelim with a time of 52.08.

100 Yard Freestyle: Sophomore Dimitri Simcox finished 11th in the prelim with a time of 46.47.

200 Yard Freestyle Relay: Saint Ignatius finished sixth and on to Saturday night's finals.

6. Saint Ignatius Seed 1:27.81 Prelim 1:26.62 
    1) Dimitri Simcox              2) Marcus Hong               
    3) Chris Ubert Senior        4) Rayon Artis

400 yard Freestyle Relay: Saint Ignatius finished 13th.

13. Saint  Ignatius Seed 3:11.49 Prelim 3:12.86 
    1) Dimitri Simcox              2) Marcus Hong                
    3) Chris Ubert                   4) Rayon Artis 

NOTE: The Wildcats' qualifiers will join standout freshman diver Alex Claus in Saturday's finals. The Division I Diving competition is scheduled to begin at 9 AM on Saturday, followed by the Division I girls and boys swimming finals at 4 PM.

                    

 

              
              

            

The top-seeded Ice Cats take care of business Wednesday night as they defeat the Shoremen from Avon Lake, 12-0, in an Upper Bracket Game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
2/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio - The game, which came to an end after two periods and had a running clock come into play after the score was 6-0, saw Saint Ignatius improve to 30-3-3, win for the 18th consecutive time and, most importantly, advance to Saturday's Quarterfinal Round of the OHSAA Brooklyn District.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, the top seed at Brooklyn, the two-time Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Champions, the top-ranked team in Ohio and the defending state champions, will continue their defense of the Brooklyn District Championship when they face the Midview Middies (14-11-1) in Saturday's Quarterfinals at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop at high noon.

Midview advanced to the Quarterfinals by defeating Benedictine, 7-5, on Tuesday night.

Avon Lake, which finished its season at 2-23-2, got another valiant effort from its standout junior goalie Keegan Sullivan, who finished with 47 saves. Sullivan, a southpaw, is Ohio's all-time career leader in saves.

Mark Mastroianni, one of Saint Ignatius' three outstanding junior goalies, put in a sold performance that included four saves.

The Ice Cats, who had 10 different players score, were treated to two-goal nights by sophomore forward Benji Rechin and junior defenseman Brian Russell. Rechin, sophomore forward John von Keyserling and freshman defenseman Quinn Warmuth scored their first goals of the season.

HERE ARE COACH O'ROURKE'S COMMENTS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S 12 AND ON TO THE QUARTERFINALS.

"We tried to keep it classy," Coach O'Rourke '90 said after he picked up his 289th career victory as the head of his alma mater's outstanding ice hockey program.  "We got a lot of guys playing time that normally don't get a ton and we got the goalie in there that has done a nice job all year in Mastroianni.

"Mark (Mastroianni) probably deserved more starts than I gave him, but we also have two other guys (junior goalies Dylan McKeon and Wes Deacon) who are playing out of their skulls," Coach O'Rourke continued. "It was nice to give Mark a start here (in the OHSAA playoffs). He is a big part of our team and does a great job in practice keeping guys sharp. We just happen to have three junior goalies who are all very good.

"I thought Avon Lake played hard and their goalie did a good job. It looks to be a young, healthy program," Coach O'Rourke said of the Shoremen.

Saint Ignatius' deep lines and offensive firepower produced four goals in the first 10 minutes and 11 seconds of the first period, with the fourth goal coming off the unassisted stick of Brian Russell. The Ice Cats' first three goals were courtesy of Benji Rechin, the ever-present senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney and hockey savvy senior forward/captain Matty Geither.

Completing the hit parade were sophomore forward Connor Koehnke, senior forward Kevin Yarcusko with an authoritative wrister that brought about the running clock, and lamplighters from senior forward Peter Hyland, Quinn Warmuth, Russell's No. 2 on the night, John von Keyserling, Rechin's No. 2 on the night, and senior forward Brady Wells.

"We saw Midview play the other night," Coach O'Rourke said of Saturday's Quarterfinal matchup. "They're good. They have a nice top line that can fly."

Flying up and down the Brooklyn Arena with the Ice Cats. As far as this old-timer is concerned, that sounds like a challenge Saint Ignatius would welcome.   

 

                  

 

  

 

The Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Preview. A special tribute to the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74 highlights the final weekend of the regular season.
2/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

Ohio City - Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, ranked 12th in the area and carrying a record of 12-7, will wrap up their 2014-15 regular season with two extremely challenging home games this weekend.

Simply put, the Bedford Bearcats, who pay a visit to Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night, and the Benedictine Bengals, who come calling to Ohio City on Saturday night, will only add to what has been a talent-rich list of opponents this winter. Both nights will begin with 6 PM Junior Varsity Games, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity matchups at 7:30.  

Bedford, which experienced a tough home loss to undefeated Lorain on Tuesday night, currently stands 16-5 and is ranked 11th in the area.

As for Benedictine, don't be fooled by the 8-12 record. The Bengals are playing their best basketball of the season and are riding high after their 52-49 victory over ninth-ranked Walsh Jesuit at the "Home of Champions" on Tuesday night. Walsh Jesuit's only other setback in 21 games this season was to top-ranked St. Vincent-St. Mary.

Saturday's game versus the Bengals will feature the annual "Senior Night," along with a special tribute to Saint Ignatius' beloved teacher, mentor and former basketball standout, the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74. The Saint Ignatius Athletic Department and Basketball Program will be retiring Jim's Number 34. A fixture at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, Jim lost a courageous battle with cancer this past fall.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF THE BEDFORD BEARCATS AND THE BENEDICTINE BENGALS, ALONG WITH COMMENTS FROM COACH O'TOOLE.

Bedford: Coach Pete Priola's Bearcats will need a short memory after their tough loss to unbeaten Lorain, which is ranked among the state's elite and will carry the No. 1 seed into the Midview District.

The Bearcats, on the strength of a 17-0 run, led, 38-33 at halftime. But as it has done many times during its 21 consecutive victories, Lorain came storming back and handed Bedford an 80-71 loss. Lorain also defeated the Bearcats in a thriller on Jan. 23 at Lorain, 63-62.

Showing the way for Coach Priola is 5-foot-8 guard Mike Smith, who is the team's leader and best defender. Mike is averaging 8.8 points per game, including a 16-point night against Lorain on Tuesday, and is complemented in the backcourt by 5-9 point guard Cam Brandon. A young man who can fly up the court, Brandon is averaging 10.8 points and is also coming off a solid 16-point effort against Lorain.

Down low, Bedford has strength and athleticism. Forward Myron Prewitt averages nearly 12 points and uses his physical 6-4 frame very effectively off the offensive glass. Six-foot-7 post Shamar Jeffery, who is flirting with 10 points per game, looks to attack the rim and 6-6 post Lamont Rhodes is an active shot blocker. Also keep an eye on 6-2 wing/forward Armond Perry (7.2 points per game), who can hit 3-pointers and also put the ball on the floor and attack, and 6-2 guard/wing Tre Granger, who is contributing nearly 7 points per game.

Last season at Bedford, the Wildcats trailed by five points at halftime before rallying to a 62-57 victory.

Benedictine: Unlike Bedford, the Bengals are currently roaring with emotion after their big win over the Walsh Jesuit Warriors, a team that defeated Saint Ignatius by 13 points this season.

The big two for the Bengals are junior guard/wing Justin Layne and sophomore forward Marlon Moore. Layne and Moore combined for 32 points versus Walsh Jesuit, including 18 points by Moore. Benedictine outscored the Warriors, 23-16, in the fourth quarter.

Layne is one of the state's top football recruits, as his skills in the defensive secondary (7 interceptions) and as a wide receiver/special teams mainstay helped lead the Bengals to the Division IV state championship this past fall.

Another Bengal who can make things happen is Jamari Patterson. Last season, Benedictine gave Saint Ignatius all it wanted before the Cats, who trailed by seven points after the first quarter, squeezed out a 54-51 victory on the Bengals' home floor.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "I think Bedford is one of the most underrated teams in the entire area. It's a veteran team that plays extremely hard and with a lot of freedom on both sides of the floor. They've played a great schedule.

"They're good, they're dangerous and they have depth," Coach O'Toole continued in his assessment of the Bearcats. "It's going to be a tough game, a great test going into the (OHSAA postseason) tournament."

In discussing Benedictine, Coach O'Toole spoke highly of Layne and the Bengals' overall athleticism. Coach O'Toole emphasized that Saturday's main focus is the tribute to the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74 and how honored he, his players and his coaches are to be part of "such an historic event."

"Number 2 is Senior Night," Coach O'Toole said. "I'm very excited for our seniors. Benedictine is always a great rival and it is a team with a lot of skilled young players."  

                     

 

 



 



 



 

Wildcats Freshmen Basketball Teams experience a tough night at St. Edward.
2/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Lakewood, Ohio - There have been more than a few upsets and unexpected moments in what is one of the storied all-sports high school rivalries in the nation - Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward.

It's not a stretch to say that the unexpected has, from time to time, found a home in the longtime West Side rivalry.

That said, Saint Ignatius' Blue and Gold Freshmen Basketball Teams certainly didn't expect what happened on St. Edward's Coach Jim Connors Court Tuesday night.

The Eagles' Freshmen Gold and Green Teams avenged being swept in Sullivan Gymnasium on Jan. 19th by sweeping the Cats' Freshmen, 57-37, in game that matched the St. Edward Gold versus the Saint Ignatius Blue, and 51-35, in a nightcap that sent the Wildcats' Gold against the Eagles' Green.

In Tuesday night's first game, the St. Edward Gold led by eight points after the first seven minutes (Freshmen quarters are 7 minutes) thanks to a 3-pointer by guard Brandon Riley and a free throw by point guard Richard White.

A baby hook in the lane by forward Emmett Chambers and a put back by guard Michael Dowell stretched the Eagles' lead to 18-6, before Saint Ignatius responded with a 3-pointer by forward Joshua Ozanne.

Ozanne's driving one-hander kept it a nine-point game until the St. Edward Gold went on a 10-0 run that featured a 3-pointer from guard Alec Weisenseel, a put back by Dowell and a backdoor layup by Weisenseel. After forward/guard Justin Pagan buried a 3-pointer, the Eagles led, 33-13, at the halftime break.

The Saint Ignatius Blue refused to call it a night as the Wildcats started the second half with baskets from forwards Kyle Paul and Aymin Bahhur.

In what was a decisive sequence, however, the St. Edward Gold outscored the Wildcats, 7-2, and pushed its advantage to 41-19 on an inside move by Chambers and two free throws by Dowell with 2 minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Sparked by the hustle and scoring of forward/guard Dominic DiNunzio, Bahhur, forward/post Chris Larsen and guard Mark Bobinski, the Wildcats' Blue was able to cut a 22-point deficit to 16 points entering the final seven minutes.

Just when the Wildcats had some momentum, the Eagles took it right back in the fourth quarter courtesy of a jumper by Riley and a three-point play by Weisenseel.

The Saint Ignatius Blue, which got a nine-point effort from Ozanne, and seven points from both DiNunzio and Bahhur, walked off Coach Jim Connors Court at 14-4. St. Edward's Gold, which improved to 10-8, was led by Weisenseel's 12 points, 11 points from Dowell and eight-point nights by Chambers and forward Mason Lawler.

ST. EDWARD GREEN 51, SAINT IGNATIUS GOLD 35: The Wildcats' Gold rode on Mr. Momentum's back in the early going.

Fueled by the play of post/forward Luke Wiskes and 3-pointers by guards Matthew Hunt and Jonathon Barnes, Saint Ignatius took leads of 10-0 and 13-1 in the first quarter.

The Eagles' Green kept its composure, however, and responded with a 10-0 run that was highlighted by a 3-pointer by guard Robbie Mikovsky early in the second quarter.

Now clinging to a two-point lead, the Wildcats answered with a 3-pointer by guard Hugh Sweeney.

After a smooth drive to the rim by guard Ryan McClain gave St. Ignatius a four-point lead in the early stages of the second half, St. Edward's post/forward P.J. Flannery, a son of the Eagles' outstanding Head Varsity Basketball Coach Eric Flannery, scored off two nice moves down low to tie the score and converted a steal into a three-point play that vaulted St. Edward to a 22-19 lead with 4 minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The Wildcats closed to 22-21 on a running one-hander by McClain. After St. Edward forward Patrick Daugherty and Saint Ignatius' Hunt exchanged 3-pointers, the Eagles moved to a 27-24 advantage off a teardrop down the lane by guard Robert Toney.

A basket by Wildcats forward Evan Massouh made it a one-point game, but St. Edward stretched that to 32-26 behind another 3-pointer by Daugherty and a hustle basket by Toney with 2:15 left in the third quarter.

Saint Ignatius Gold, which lost for just the fifth time in 18 games, cut a seven-point deficit after three quarters to 37-32 on a basket by Massouh. But Flannery, who stepped up big, especially in the second half, hit a jumper from the top of the key and drove nearly the length of the court for a layup that upped the Eagles' lead to 10 points with 2:55 remaining to be played.

St. Edward (11-5) then hurt the Cats off the offensive glass down the stretch and took command on two baskets by post William Henry III. Flannery and Henry III finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively.                        

     

The Ice Cats and the Men of the Mats are preparing for their postseasons.
2/24/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Along with the Wildcats' Swimming and Diving Team, which is preparing for this weekend's 88th annual State Meet at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio (see the corner's posts below), Saint Ignatius' Hockey and Wrestling teams are gearing up for their postseasons.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will take a record of 29-3-3, a 17-game winning streak, the No. 1 ranking in the state and the top seed into an OHSAA Upper Bracket Game at the Brooklyn District. Coach O'Rourke's two-time Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Champions will face the Shoremen from Avon Lake in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop at 6 PM in "The Big Barn on Memphis."

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats will be competing in the OHSAA Division I Sectional at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School on Friday and Saturday. Friday's action begins at 6 PM and matches resume on Saturday at 10 AM.

Here is the 12-team field at Brecksville-Broadview Heights: Saint Ignatius; Brecksville; Bedford; Cleveland Heights; Garfield Heights; Lincoln-West; Maple Heights; Normandy; Parma; Rhodes; Shaker Heights and Valley Forge. The top four qualify for next weekend's Mentor District , aka "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Coming Wednesday. A preview on this weekend's Varsity Basketball Games versus Bedford (Friday ) and Benedictine. Both games will be played in Sullivan Gymnasium.
2/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saturday's game versus the Benedictine Bengals will feature the annual "Senior Night" and a special tribute to Saint Ignatius' beloved teacher, mentor and former basketball standout, the late Mr. Jim Skerl '74. The Saint Ignatius Athletic Department and Basketball Program will be retiring Jim's Number 34.

A fixture at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, Jim lost a courageous battle with cancer this past fall.  

Wildcats Varsity football now has a full 10-game slate for the 2015 season, as the Cats will play the Lions from Assumption College School in Week 7.
2/23/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City - All of the details are still being finalized, including the time of the game (afternoon or evening), but Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 said Assumption College School from Brantford (Ontario, Canada) has agreed to meet the Wildcats in what would be a home game for the Cats.

The Week 7 encounter will mark the second meeting on the gridiron between the Lions and the Wildcats, as they met for the first time in Week 4 of last season at Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. Saint Ignatius came away with a 49-13 victory in what was an afternoon game.

After compiling a 12-0 season in 2013, the Lions finished 10-2 in 2014, losing to the Burlington Assumption Catholic Secondary School Crusaders, 28-9, in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations' Bowl Game.

The fall of 2014 was still a banner season for the Lions, as they captured their fifth consecutive CWOSSA Championship and enter 2015 as the five-time reigning Brant County champions.

The said news for the Lions' faithful is that highly successful Head Coach Kent Dixon has announced his retirement.  In seven seasons, Coach Dixon guided the Lions to a record of 58-6.

During their visit to Cleveland last season, the Lions took in a Browns game before heading back home.

As reported in the headline on this report, Saint Ignatius now has a full 10-game regular season for 2015. In a story the corner broke last month, the Wildcats filled their other open date by signing a two-year agreement with the Walsh Jesuit Warriors.

The 10 opponents for this coming fall include the three Parma Schools - Normandy, Valley Forge and Parma Senior (all three games at Byers Field) - the Mentor Cardinals at Mentor in Week 2, versus Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep in the Keystone State in Week 4, Walsh Jesuit at Byers Field in Week 5, Assumption College School in Week 7 (site and time TBA), Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman Stadium in Week 8, Cincinnati St. Xavier in a Week 9 home game (site TBA) and St. Edward in Week 10 at tradition-rich Lakewood Stadium, now known as First Federal Lakewood Stadium.

The 53rd Saint Ignatius vs. St. Edward gridiron game is slated for Halloween this coming season. The last time that occurred, in 2009, the City of Lakewood asked both schools to move the game to the afternoon and both St. Edward and Saint Ignatius obliged. "The Madhouse on Madison" was still packed three rows deep around the fences that afternoon. But then the Cats and the Eagles could play at 7 AM and the game would still sell out.         

Saint Ignatius' Swimmers and Diver are gearing up for this weekend's 88th annual State Meet.
2/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Representing Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats will be Rayon Artis in the 50 yard free style, Dimitri Simcox in the 100 yard freestyle, Marcus Hong in the 100 yard butterfly, diver Alex Claus and the always in the thick of things 400 freestyle, 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.

Here is the schedule of the Division I events from the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio. 

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Friday, February 27

9:00 A.M. Girls and Boys Div. I Preliminaries:
all events, 15 minute break after 100 fly
   
Saturday, February 28
9:00 A.M. Boys Division I Diving Competition
4:00 P.M. Girls and Boys Division I Finals:
all events, 15 minute break after 100 fly, awards following each event
Wildcats Varsity Basketball remains in the 12th spot in the Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com
2/23/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats (12-7) will wrap up their regular season with home games versus 11th-ranked Bedford on Friday night and the Benedictine Bengals on Saturday night. Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87 said the Glenville game that was wiped out by the weather last week will not be rescheduled.

 

Wildcats standout outfielder Sam Fuller commits to St. Bonaventure.
2/22/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

FROM WILDCATS HEAD BASEBALL COACH BRAD GANOR: "Sam has been a varsity mainstay since 2013 and we expect him to be an offensive and defensive leader this year as our center fielder. St. Bonaventure provided the D1 opportunity we knew Sam was capable of and also allows him to pursue his passion to one day become a doctor.

"None of this would have been possible without the help of first year assistant coach John Whelan, who was a captain of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies and played for Coach (Larry) Sudbrook in the mid-90's. John was instrumental in facilitating the dialogue between St. Bonaventure and Sam."

FROM THE CORNER: Sam has not only left a lasting impression on this old-timer with his exceptional defense and base-running skills, but last season he put together some of the most impressive at-bats this corner has ever witnessed in nearly 45 years of covering and reporting on area high school baseball.

Congratulations to Sam, his family, Coach Ganor and the entire Saint Ignatius Baseball Program, which has made a tremendous addition in Coach Whelan. I had the privilege to cover and report on Coach Whelan when he was guiding the St. Edward Eagles' baseball program.     

Here are the results from this weekend's Division I Sectional Bowling involving the Alley Cats.
2/22/2015

FROM ERNST LANES IN CHARDON, OHIO

1. Willoughby South 911 956 1,002 214 145 185 183 188 189 3,973

2. Mentor 876 877 966 160 168 232 216 174 164 3,833

3. Brush 893 869 898 199 170 174 159 177 198 3,737

4. Saint Ignatius 977 818 869 176 143 156 213 197 140 3,689

5. Garfield Heights 862 792 779 162 169 155 196 136 150 3,401

6. Eastlake North 802 794 767 116 173 214 147 140 158 3,311

7. Mayfield 595 749 588 78 110 160 97 138 119 2,634.

TOP 20 INDIVIDUALS: 1 Dean Vargo South (Willoughby) 200 193 248 641; 2 Sam Niemczura South(Willoughby) 179 235 182 596; 3 John Goodwin South (Willoughby) 162 218 214 594; 4 Kyle Fishleigh Mentor159 210 215 584; 5 Justin Graehling Mentor 206 155 199 560; 6 Clayton Eason Brush 190 209 157 556; 7 Kimberly Storts South (Willoughby) 196 182 177 555; 8 Trenton Miller Brush 191 178 179 548; 9 Cedric Crawford Saint Ignatius 182 176 190 548; 10 Christian Manley Mentor 188 138 221 547; 11 Tommy Mankiewicz Mentor 177 181 185 543; 12 Ralph Deadwyler Saint Ignatius 193 161 189 543; 13 Nathan Marek Garfield Heights 228 154 147 529; 14 Bradley Vojtkofsky Mayfield 162 203 157 522; 15 Garret Forst St. Ignatius 206 155 159 520; 16 Seth Gardner Garfield Heights 169 155 185 509; 17 Mike Taddeo Brush 162 174 172 508; 18 Jack Steinmetz, North (Eastlake) 147 193 162 502; 19 Nick Wiese Mentor 146 193 146 485; 20 Tyler Heppner North (Eastlake) 173 175 136 484.

NOTE: AS ALWAYS, WE WILL BE LOOKING FORWARD TO COACH JOHN KASTANIS' REPORT ON THE SECTIONAL COMPETITION.



Here is the OHSAA schedule of events for this weekend's Division I Swimming & Diving State Tournaments.
2/22/2015

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Friday, February 27

9:00 A.M. Girls and Boys Div. I Preliminaries:
all events, 15 minute break after 100 fly
   
Saturday, February 28
9:00 A.M. Boys Division I Diving Competition
4:00 P.M. Girls and Boys Division I Finals:
all events, 15 minute break after 100 fly, awards following each event

2015 OHSAA Swimming & Diving State Tournaments
C.T. Branin Natatorium, Canton
February 25 - February 28,  2015

*The Freshmen Basketball Doubleheader at St. Edward has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 5 PM on Coach Jim Connors Court. The corner will be on hand for game coverage.
2/22/2015
Wildcats Junior Varsity Basketball improves to 15-3 with a 55-31 victory at Cleveland Heights.
2/22/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Cleveland Heights - You can add the name Michael Spear to Saint Ignatius' "Saturday night's alright for perimeter shooting" performance at Cedar and Lee.

With the Varsity Wildcats setting yet another school record for 3-pointers in a game during their victory over the Varsity team from Cleveland Heights (SEE THE CORNER'S VARSITY STORY BELOW), Spear, a sophomore guard, actually set the tone by dialing long distance earlier in the evening.

Behind Spear's game-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, Saint Ignatius Head Junior Varsity Coach Chris Salata '94, and his Assistants Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Chris Salata '01, watched their young Cats steadily wear down the JV Tigers.

Saint Ignatius scored on a layup by sophomore guard Devin Jackson off the opening tipoff that came courtesy of an assist from sophomore guard Tommy Aris.

Spear followed with his first trey and after sophomore forward James Leyden went coast-to-coast for a layup, the score was 7-0. Leyden is a name to remember in football, my friends.

Cleveland Heights, trailing, 11-1, after Wildcats sophomore forward Quinton Farren scored in transition off an assist from Spear, closed to 11-6.

But sparked by Spear's second and third 3-pointers, another layup by Leyden, this time off a steal and an assist by sophomore guard Connor Meehan, a second- and third-effort put back by Spear, a breakaway layup by Aris, a follow by Farren, and a smooth teardrop down the lane by sophomore guard Colin Goodfellow off an assist from hustling sophomore forward Ben Delhees, it was Katy Bar the Door.

Already back on their heels, the Tigers were staggered by a steal from Aris that Tommy converted into a three-point play, Spear's fourth and fifth 3-pointers, and two free throws by Goodfellow.

Saint Ignatius had 15 two-point baskets on the night and Spear accounted for all of his team's points from 3-point land. The Cats weren't as sharp from the foul line, however, as they went 10-of-19 from the charity stripe.   

 

          

    

Rayon Artis is first in the 50 free, Dimitri Simcox is second in the 100 free, Diver Alex Claus is second and the Cats' 400 free relay team is 2nd during Saturday's Northwest District State-Qualifying Meet.
2/22/2015

From Bowling Green State University

NOTE: Automatically qualifying for next week's state meet will be the top two individuals and relays. The remaining 16 at-large individuals/relays qualifiers will be determined by times from all of the statewide district sites.

How they finished: 1. Toledo St. Francis De Sales 408; 2. Strongsville 303; 3. Saint Ignatius 239; 4. St Edward 222; 5. Findlay 207; 6. Fremont Ross 156; 7. Sylvania Southview 113; 7. Amherst 113; 9. Avon 102; 10. Ashland 80; 11. Perrysburg 69; 12. Normandy 58; 13. Westlake 44; 14. Mansfield 42; 15. Berea-Midpark 38; 16. Oregon Clay 36; 17. Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 28; 18. Lakewood 27; 19. Sylvania Northview 15; 20. Elyria 13; 21. Parma 10.

50 free: 1. Artis (STI) 21.41; 2. Williams (STF) 21.57. 100 free: 1. Arslanian (STR) 46.09; 2. Simcox (STI) 46.85. 200 free: Hopkins (FIN) 1:42.10; 2. Skupnik (STR) 1:43.67. 500 free: 1. Hopkins (FIN) 4:37.98; 2. Noonan (STF) 4:42.24. 100 back: 1. Sobczak (STF) 50.17; 2. Pichette (STR) 51.18. 100 breast: 1. Brooks (AVO) 57.88; 2. McDaniel (ASH) 58.02. 100 fly: 1. Pichette (STR) 49.55; 2. Arshlanian (STR) 50.57. 200 IM: 1. Sobczak (STF) 1:51.15; 2. Brooks (AVO) 1:54.31. 200 FR: 1. STF (Sobczak, Borgman, B. Gordon, E. Williams) 1:25.04; 2. STR 1:27.27. 400 FR: 1. STF (A. Borgman, B. Gordon, B. Varnes, C. Sobczak) 3:09.29; 2. STI 3:11.49. 200 MR: 1. STR (C. Ostrowski, K. Whitlock, M. Pichette, D. Arslanian); 2. STF 1:34.98. Diving: 1. Frazier (STF) 541.85; 2. Claus (STI) 469.35.

NOTE: Next week's OHSAA Swimming & Diving State Tournaments will be held at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, February 25 - February 28.

 

For the second time this season, the Wildcats set a new school mark for 3-pointers in a game as Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball drops in 15 shots from beyond the arc in Saturday night's 70-61 victory at Cleveland Heights.
2/21/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Cleveland Heights, Ohio - After tossing in a school record 14 3-pointers during a 41-point victory over Shaw in Sullivan Gymnasium on Dec. 18th, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats traveled to Cleveland Heights' Cappelletti Court on Saturday night and rode 15 treys to a nine-point victory over a young, but full of promise, group of Tigers.

For senior guard Andre' Wolford its was another memorable night against Cleveland Heights, as Andre' led a balanced Wildcats offense with 17 points and five 3-pointers. In last season's victory over Cleveland Heights in Sullivan Gym, Andre' buried a school-record eight 3-pointers.

Saturday night also marked the return to the lineup of standout junior guard Deven Stover, who missed the past three games after suffering an eye injury at St. Edward on Feb. 6th. Deven scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers. He wore goggles as a preventative measure, but they certainly didn't hamper his usual attack-the-basket nature.

Rounding out the 3-point assault were senior wing Dylan Nieto with three key treys, junior point guard Kyle Kalish with two tempo-setting baskets from beyond the arc in the first quarter and in-rhythm launchers from junior point guard Jimmy Berger and junior wing Michael Hollis.  Kalish and Nieto finished with 10 and 9 points, respectively.

Showing the way for Cleveland Heights were 6-foot-5 sophomore post Jaylen Harris with 15 points and freshman guard Chaz Hardin, who had 14 points. Hardin dropped in three 3-pointers. The Tigers are now a very deceiving 7-14.

The Wildcats, who entered the game as the area's 12th-ranked team, will take a record of 12-7 into Friday night's headliner versus a solid Bedford team at Sullivan Gym and will close out their regular season on Saturday night against the Benedictine Bengals, also in Sullivan Gym.

ANSWER CITY: After winning the first quarter, 17-10, with four 3-pointers in eight minutes, Saint Ignatius moved to a 26-14 lead behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Wolford, a strong driving one-hander to the rim by Stover and two free throws by 6-7 junior post Sharief Irish.

Cleveland Heights would answer with a 7-0 run, only to watch Nieto silence the mini storm with a 3-pointer and Stover make another authoritative move to the basket.

Trailing by nine points at halftime, the Tigers closed to 32-27 on baskets by freshman forward Grayson Green and 6-5 junior forward Mike Pettit.

Once again, the Wildcats had the response necessary, as Stover went deep with a trey and 6-6 senior forward Jaylin McDonald sent home two points off a perfect alley-oop pass from Kalish.

Coach Andy Suttell's Tigers weren't lacking for effort, by any means. It was just a case of Saint Ignatius holding a shooting hand that was as hot as the weather outside was freezing.

Following another mini run, Cleveland Heights trailed by six points and its faithful were back in the game.

But the Wildcats would have none of that.

First it was another 3-pointer by Stover, followed by a smooth trey from Wolford that never disturbed the rim. Then, after Hardin cut the deficit to nine points with one of his three 3-pointers, Stover delivered from beyond the arc again, and Berger fired in a pull-up 3-pointer off the dribble.

After Cleveland Heights closed to 11 points, Wolford dialed long distance again for what was Saint Ignatius' sixth 3-pointer of the third quarter.

The final eight minutes featured more counter punching by Saint Ignatius, as Coach O'Toole's team was on top by 13 points after a steal and a three-point play by senior forward/post Mikal Outcalt, and another quick-hitting 3-pointer by Nieto.

The young Tigers still had plenty of life, a fire that saw them slice the deficit to eight points in the late stages of the fourth quarter.

The night belonged to the team from Ohio City, however, as the last player Cleveland Heights' coaches wanted to see with the ball in his hands, Wolford, got another good look at the basket.

Sending home number five from deep on Cappelletti Court, Wolford's 13th career 3-pointer against the Tigers came with 2 minutes and 2 seconds remaining, and the Wildcats would go on to seal the deal on a five-footer by Kalish off a Berger assist and two free throws by Kalish.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "I'm very happy that we shot it well. We shoot the ball a lot in practice, and it wasn't just one guy tonight either. Going into the tournament, we're going to have to shoot it. Because I imagine we're going to see some zone (defenses) and teams that are going to pack it in on us. We are a very capable shooting team. That's a record the kids have worked hard to obtain.

"They (Cleveland Heights) have a great future and I think their future is this year's tournament, I really do," Coach O'Toole continued. "I think they are going to be a tough out (at the Euclid District). We have to do a better job of guarding, we had way too many fouls in the first half and gave them some free ones. So there's always something you want to improve on. But on the road, I'm very, very happy with this victory."

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "We kept a pretty decent lead for most of the game. Everybody stepped up. We want to finish the regular season strong. Every time they made a run, we just settled down and took good shots in rhythm. After missing three games, especially the St. Joe's game where my dad (Reggie Stover) played, I was anxious to get back in there. We have attackers and shooters. When we knock down shots like that, it forces the defense to come out. And then we attack."                             

      

Just a reminder that tonight's (Friday) Varsity Gold Wrestling Match versus Lake Catholic has been cancelled. Mother Nature by a cold-hearted pin.
2/20/2015
ADD FRIDAY NIGHT'S VARSITY AND JUNIOR VARSITY BASKETBALL GAMES AT GLENVILLE TO THE CANCELLED LIST. MOTHER NATURE'S FULL-COURT PRESS PREVAILS AGAIN.
2/19/2015
This evening's Junior Varsity Basketball Game versus East Tech and the Freshmen Basketball doubleheader at St. Edward have been cancelled.
2/19/2015
The Saint Ignatius Swimming Program is preparing for Saturday's Northwest District competition.
2/19/2015

After a strong third-place finish during last weekend's sectional at Cleveland State University, Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats will be heading to Bowling Green State University's Recreation Center for Saturday's Division I Northwest District.

The competition will take place in Cooper Pool, with the boys and girls timed swimming finals scheduled for 3 PM. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students.

Automatically qualifying for next week's state meet will be the top two individuals and relays. The remaining 16 at-large individuals/relays qualifiers will be determined by times from all of the statewide district sites.

Strongsville, Saint Ignatius, St. Edward and Toledo St. Francis are projected to be the foursome to watch at BGSU. Leading the Wildcats' charge will be Junior Rayon Artis with the top time in the 50 freestyle. The always strong relay teams from Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School will also be in the thick of things, as they continue their spirited competition with the relay teams from Strongsville.

NOTE: Next week's OHSAA Swimming & Diving State Tournaments will be held at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, February 25 - February 28.

 

  

The Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Preview. Mother Nature permitting, the Wildcats will travel to Glenville on Friday night and to Cedar and Lee on Saturday night to face Cleveland Heights.
2/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City - NOTE: With frigid temperatures in the forecast for the next few days, there is a possibility of numerous cancellations among the area's athletic events. We suggest you stay up to date with your most trusted weather person and also check the Saint Ignatius Website to see if there are any weather-related cancellations/postponements involving the Wildcats.

THAT SAID, HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON THIS WEEKEND'S OPPONENTS IN VARSITY BASKETBALL - COACH MICHAEL HOLT'S GLENVILLE TARBLOODERS AND COACH ANDY SUTTELL'S CLEVELAND HEIGHTS TIGERS - WITH COMMENTS FROM SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87.

The Glenville Tarblooders: Glenville, which was defeated by a tough and talented East Tech team, 73-67, in this month's annual Senate Athletic League City Championship Game, is scheduled to host the Wildcats on Friday night. A 6 PM Junior Varsity Game will precede what should be an entertaining Varsity encounter.

Coach Holt's Tarblooders have put together some impressive performances this winter while battling to stay above the .500 mark. The Glenville staff described the hard-fought loss to the tradition-rich East Tech Scarabs as part of a growing process that they hope is peaking at the right time - with the OHSAA postseason tournament right around the corner.

The Tarblooders, who also lost to East Tech by five points during the SAL's regular season play, are wrapping up what has been a demanding non-league schedule this winter.

Glenville (9-8) gave a very talented Berea-Midpark team all it could handle before the Titans turned the Tarblooders away in overtime, 71-68. Coach Holt's team also took on the St. Edward Eagles, one of the premier teams in the state. Although the Eagles had more than Glenville could deal with, the Tarblooders grew up a little bit that night.

With its standout senior point guard Roy Hatchett tossing in 24 points, Glenville turned back the Cleveland Heights Tigers, 67-64, in another nonleague headliner. A three-year varsity mainstay, Hatchett has taken his exceptional range to an average of nearly 18 points a game this season. Roy can bury the 3-pointer off the catch or the dribble.

Among those supporting Hatchett are sophomore guard Jerome Wright (12.2 points per game); freshman guard Christian Guess (11 points per game); senior forward Bernard O'Neal (7.4 points per game); freshman forward Joshua Manningham (6.7 points per game); senior forward Taylor Fultz (5 points per game) and junior center Bridell Wiley (3 points per game).

Coach O'Toole on the Tarblooders: "They are extremely athletic, have good size and an outstanding leading guard (Hatchett). They're always well coached and will give you a variety of defenses. And obviously, they're going to play with a lot of confidence at home.

"I'm very excited to be going to 'The Ville,'" Coach O'Toole continued. "There is a lot of tradition and atmosphere there. I scouted many a game there, but never played there. I'm very excited. Glenville comes over to our Summer League, so we know the kids and have a great relationship with Glenville. It's going to be a great test on the road."

The Cleveland Heights Tigers: In what is one of the finest Public School versus Catholic School basketball rivalries in Ohio, the Wildcats, currently 11-7 and ranked 12th in the seven-county area, will make the short trip to Cedar and Lee for a Saturday night headliner on Coach Jim Cappelletti's Court. The action will begin with a Junior Varsity matchup at 6 bells, followed by another chapter in the storied Varsity rivalry at 7:30.

Like Glenville, there are few secrets between the Wildcats and the Tigers. Cleveland Heights and Saint Ignatius also match their skills in the summer and Coach O'Toole and Tigers Head Coach Andy Suttell are great friends who coached together when Coach O'Toole was guiding the fortunes of the Euclid Panthers.

Coming off a 69-62 loss to Coach Brian Swift's talented Tigers from Warrensville Heights, Cleveland Heights carries a very deceiving 7-13 record.

Playing another who's who schedule, Coach Suttell's team features an outstanding 6-foot-5 sophomore forward/wing Jaylen Harris (15 points per game). Surrounding Harris is athletic and strong 6-5 junior forward Malik Smith (nearly 14 points per game), 6-5 junior post Mike Pettit (13.4 points per game) and one of the area's top freshman guards, Yahel Hill (12.6 points per game). Hill is extremely quick, adept at penetrating to the rim and a major threat from the perimeter.

Among those contributing quality minutes in their supporting roles are 6-2 freshman wing Grayson Green, 5-8 freshman guard Chaz Hardin and 6-4 freshman post Tyreke Smith. All three of those young Tigers are flirting with 5 points per game.

Coach O'Toole on Cleveland Heights: "A very dangerous team. I know their record does not indicate that, but they spent half of their season without two of their better players and two of their stronger players. If you look at their body of work, this is a team that was winning at St. Edward in the fourth quarter and was up four in the third quarter against an undefeated Lorain team.

"Jaylen (Harris) is one of the best sophomores in the state and their other young kids are battle tested. They've played high level basketball their whole lives," Coach O'Toole continued. "If I'm not mistaken, it's the last game in Cleveland Heights Gymnasium before they build a new gym and a new high school. So obviously there will be a lot of pride at stake. It is one of the most prideful programs in the State of Ohio."

Note: Under legendary coach Jim Cappelletti, a member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame, Cleveland Heights made six state Final Four appearances, including four in the 1990s. The Tigers were state runners-up in 1975 and 1995, and state champions in 1997. Their great run in the '90s included three consecutive Final Fours - '93, '94 and '95. Cleveland Heights' most recent trip to the Final Four was in 2003.

As this old-timer mentioned earlier this week, I had the privilege, and I emphasize privilege, to cover and report on Coach Cap's 400th and 500th career victories.               

 

    

 

 

    

     

               

 

     

THE ICE CATS FINISH NO. 1 IN THE FINAL STATE POLL FOR 2014-15.
2/17/2015

BY EDDIE DWYER

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats, who will take a 17-game winning streak, a record of 29-3-3 and the No. 1 seed into the OHSAA Brooklyn District, will also carry the state's top ranking into postseason play.

In what was the final poll of the season, the Ice Cats took over the No. 1 spot from Toledo St. Francis DeSales with 96 points and six first-place votes.

The Knights from St. Francis, who defeated Saint Ignatius, 6-1, at the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Holiday Tournament, finished with 93 points and four first-place votes.

University School and St. Edward were third and fourth, respectively, giving the Great Lakes Hockey League three of the top four spots in Ohio. The Ice Cats won the GLHL's regular season championship at 10-0 and this past weekend powered their way to a second consecutive GLHL Cleveland Cup.  

Saint Ignatius will begin its quest for what would be the program's fourth state championship when it faces the Shoremen of Avon Lake on Feb. 25 in an Upper Bracket game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis." The puck will drop at 6 PM.

Here is how the season's final state poll shaped out.     

1. Saint Ignatius 96 (6)

2. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 93 (4)
                 
3. University School 80

4. St. Edward 60

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 53

6. Olentangy Orange 40

7. Findlay 37

8. Bowling Green 29

9. Dublin Jerome 28

10. Columbus St. Charles 13

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Upper Arlington and Rocky River.

Wildcats Basketball drops two spots in area poll.
2/16/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats (11-7), the third seed at the Blended Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights sectional/district (see the corner's opponent post from Sunday evening), slipped from 10th place to 12th in this week's Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com.

The Cats are gearing up for two road games this weekend - at Glenville to face Coach Michael Holt's Tarblooders on Friday night and a trip to Cedar and Lee on Saturday night for a matchup with Coach Andy Suttell's Cleveland Heights Tigers on Coach Jim Cappelletti's Court. For those too young to recall, "Coach Cap" was a legendary coach at Cleveland Heights and is a member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. This old-timer had the privilege of covering Jim's 400th and 500th career victories.    

We will be previewing this weekend's matchups later this week.  

 

The Alley Cats are gearing up for Sectional Play.
2/16/2015

Here is the latest news on the Saint Ignatius Varsity Bowling Team courtesy of Head Coach John Kastanis.

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results from our final week of the season, Week - 12.

Saint Ignatius High School vs. Olmsted Falls High School.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Lost, 0-7 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 3,004 (977; 1,009;
1,018) vs. Olmsted Falls High School = 3,175 (1,014; 1,020; 1,141).

2) Handicap = Wildcats Win in this category, 4-3  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,163 (1,030; 1,062; 1071) vs. Olmsted Falls High School = 3,175 (1,014; 1,020; 1,141).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Lost, 0-1 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins. plus the total of two Baker Games. Wildcats Total Pin Fall = 3,414/Olmsted Falls High School Total Pin Fall = 3,630.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 182;228 = Series total 410 vs. (Olmsted Falls High School) = 218;237 = 455.

Our star bowlers.

Junior Ralph Deadwyler =  268; 204; 223 = 695 Series  (Awesome).

Senior Garret Forst = 191; 221; 196 = 608 Series (Awesome).

Junior Gianni Schaefer = 206 game = 570 Series.

Junior Austin Venczel = 211 game = 573 Series.

Senior Antonio DiFranco = 201 game = 558 Series.

From Coach Kastanis: "We did outstanding. These scores would actually win in every category on any given day. Olmsted Falls High School out  bowled us, they were unbeatable. Their scores set record highs for the season.

"I am very proud of my team on how they came prepared to bowl. They went up against a team that was a state runner up last year. We finished the season on a good and positive note.  Looking forward to the Sectionals on February 21st."

NOTE: According to the OHSAA Bowling Website's latest update, here is where the Alley Cats will be knocking them down in postseason tournament play.

Ernst Lanes

10561 Grant St

Chardon, OH  44024

  1. Brush
  2. Cleveland Heights
  3. Garfield Heights
  4. Mayfield
  5. Mentor
  6. North (Eastlake)
  7. South (Willoughby)
  8. Saint Ignatius


 

Rich in skill and depth, and possessing a forecheck that is second to none in Ohio, the Ice Cats brought home their second consecutive Cleveland Cup by dominating University School, 5-0, on Sunday evening in OBM Arena at IceLand USA.
2/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - During the first period of Sunday's second annual Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Championship Game, two very fitting songs echoed over the loud speaker system as Saint Ignatius continued to pound away at the University School goal.

One was by the Rolling Stones whose dominant lyric is "If you start me up I'll never stop, never stop" and the other, which dates back a few years, was the "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.

The Saint Ignatius Wildcats Varsity Hockey Team, en route to winning its 17th consecutive game and improving to 29-3-3, got the start it was looking for courtesy of a steal and a score by gifted senior forward/captain Matty Geither and never stopped until the game was well in hand at OBM Arena in IceLand USA.

Yes, the top-seeded Ice Cats attacked early and often in building their own "Ring of Fire" around the Preppers at both ends of the OBM ice.

After Geither made it a 1-0 game with 9 minutes and 48 seconds remaining in the opening period, fellow senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec pushed it to 2-0 off an assist from junior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy with 5:05 to go in the first period.

Spellacy, who had two goals and two assists on the evening, rose the Wildcat flame even higher when he scored from the right side off a power play with the second period just three minutes and 16 seconds old.

The third linchpin in Coach Pat O'Rourke's powerful offensive wheel, senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney, accounted for the Cats' second consecutive power play goal when he rebounded a shot to perfection and sent the puck home off assists from junior forward Zack Kisel and Spellacy with 10:15 left in the second period.

Less than three minutes later, Spellacy, who never stops when he's on the ice, blasted an authoritative shot to lamplighter land off an assist from Mazanec and it was "burn, burn, burn," that ring of Ice Cats fire.

After Spellacy's second goal, University School made a change at goal, taking out junior Alec Silver and replacing him with sophomore Jackson Polish. Silver finished with 18 saves and Polish, who came up with a couple of impressive stops in his stretch, including a one-on-one effort, had 12 saves.

Saint Ignatius' gritty and active junior goalie Dylan McKeon (19 saves) answered every flurry that the Preppers threw at him.

Along with their traditional forechecking capabilities, the Ice Cats, ranked second in the state poll, did a tremendous job of containing and shutting down University School's standout senior forward Evan Krueger.

Krueger scored all of his team's goals during Saturday night's 5-1 victory over St. Edward in the Cleveland Cup semifinals. The Preppers were the second seed at the Cleveland Cup and were ranked third in this past week's state poll.

Saint Ignatius' next game won't be until Feb. 25, when the Ice Cats face the Shoremen from Avon Lake at the OHSAA Brooklyn District. The puck will drop at 6 bells in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Saint Ignatius is the No. 1 seed and the defending Brooklyn District champion.

HERE ARE COMMENTS FROM COACH O'ROURKE, WHOSE TEAM WAS HONORED BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND PERIODS FOR GOING 10-0 IN THE GREAT LAKES HOCKEY LEAGUE'S REGULAR SEASON PLAY.

COACH O'ROURKE'S IMPRESSIONS OF A SECOND CONSECUTIVE CLEVELAND CUP ARE FOLLOWED BY COMMENTS FROM MATTY GEITHER AND AIDAN SPELLACY.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "That was probably our best game of the year. The third period we just tried to work the clock a little bit. We came out flying. They're a great team (the Preppers). You wouldn't expect that to happen against University School. But the chances that we had, we buried them. Numbers 8, 12 and 13 (Spellacy, Geither and Whitney) were flying around out there. Those are our big guns and if we're in a big game and they're playing well, that's probably a good sign. It just elevates everybody.

"You never expect to keep their No. 8 (Krueger) off the scoreboard. He had five last night and he's the best player in the state. So we were mindful of him, but we just go with our pressure and depth and see what happens. We didn't have anybody on him one-on-one, we just said when he's (Krueger) out there yell your heads off and help each other out on him. I think we took the air out of them when we got up a few in the second period. I thought it was a pretty complete performance by us.

"Everything is about winning states, but if we're playing in this tournament we might as well win it. For the seniors, it is their fourth year in a row of either winning the Baron Cup or the Cleveland Cup."

FROM MATTY GEITHER, WHO WAS HONORED SUNDAY EVENING BY THE COACHES OF THE GLHL AS A 2014-15 ALL-LEAGUE SELECTION: "It's really nice to earn those things en route to our ultimate goal," said Matty of the GLHL's regular season and Cleveland  Cup championships. "From the start today, we wanted to jump on them (the Preppers) pretty quick and play physical. So I think we did that. And we were putting pucks in the net, which is awesome.

"I was up by the blue line and their player kind of made a pass and I picked it off. I looked up and saw the left side of the net," said Matty of his tone setter.

Geither emphasized that the time the Ice Cats will have off from now until Feb. 25 will be good in terms of resting injuries and getting in the practice time that will allow the team to correct some things and hone their game.

FROM AIDAN SPELLACY, WHO HAS CONTINUED AN EXCELLENCE IN HOCKEY AT SAINT IGNATIUS THAT WAS STARTED BY HIS DAD, KEVIN, AND HIS BROTHERS PADDY AND KEVIN: "I got a little speed in the zone and Matty Geither took a couple of guys to the net which gave me the space to cut back," Aidan said of the first of his two goals. "I saw the top right open, so I thought I would put it there. Our depth is unreal. We have four deep lines that can go out there at any moment, run the forecheck and put the puck in the zone. It's a great advantage."

Note: Including its two regular season victories over the Preppers, the Ice Cats have outscored University School this winter, 17-3. The only way they could meet again this season would be in the State Final Four, or "Frozen Four," as Ohio's hockey faithful like to refer to the finals.

Coach O'Rourke's Cats outscored their three opponents in this week's Cleveland Cup - Gilmour Academy, Lake Catholic and University School - 16-1.                                      

   

       

        

Saint Ignatius' Varsity Basketball Wildcats will face the Max S. Hayes Lakers in their OHSAA postseason opening game.
2/15/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Wildcats, the third seed at the Blended Division I Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights District, will host Max S. Hayes in a sectional semifinal matchup on March 4. The tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium will be 7 PM.

A heavy favorite to defeat the Lakers, the Wildcats would then advance to a sectional final against the winner of Avon versus Amherst Steele on March 7 at 7 PM. That game would also be played in Sullivan Gym.

If successful in Sectional play, Saint Ignatius would advance to the District Tournament at Midview High School on March 12. More than one gym rat is anticipating a Wildcats versus top-seeded Lorain in the March 14 Midview District Final. We'll wait and see, my friends.  

Wildcats swimmers place third at the Cleveland State University Division I Sectional.
2/15/2015

Here are Saturday's results from the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University.

DIVISION I SECTIONAL

How they finished: 1. Strongsville 403; 2. St. Edward 381; 3. Saint Ignatius 336; 4. Amherst 214; 5. Avon 178; 6. Normandy 149; 7. Berea-Midpark 114; 7. Westlake 114; 9. Lakewood 112; 10. Elyria 85; 11. Avon Lake 71; 12. Parma 59; 13. North Olmsted 28; 14. Olmsted Falls 22; 15. Valley Forge 18; 16. Max Hayes 12.

200MR: 1. Strongsville (Ostrowski, Whitlock, Pichette, Arslanian) 1:38.67; 2. St. Ignatius 1:38.89; 3. St. Edward 1:39.56. 200 free: 1. Skupnik (ST) 1:46.69; 2. Manderfield (SE) 1:48.29; 3. Chambers (SE) 1:50.94. 200IM: 1. Brooks (Av) 1:58.13; 2. Beck (SE) 2:02.29; 3. Rebholz (ST) 2:03.37. 50 free: 1. Artis (SI) 22.02; 2. Babson (SE) 22.25; 3. Tamesis (Av) 22.28. 100 fly: 1. Pichette (ST) 50.91; 2. Arslanian (ST) 51.46; 3. Hong (SI) 51.70. 100 free: 1. Arslanian (ST) 47.51; 2. Simcox (SI) 48.41; 3. Skupnik (ST) 48.47. 500 free: 1. Ubert (SI) 4:57.72; 2. Manderfield (SE) 4:58.05; 3. Pecze (Am) 4:59.95. 200FR: 1. St. Ignatius (Simcox, Ubert, O'Haimhirgin, Artis) 1:28.86; 2. Strongsville 1:29.02; 3. St. Edward 1:31.27. 100 back: 1. Pichette (ST) 52.97; 2. Hong (SI) 52.97; 3. Ostrowski (ST) 54.88. 100 breast: 1. Brooks (Av) 1:00.06; 2. Beck (SE) 1:00.12; 3. Mlincek (Am) 1:03.14. 400FR: 1. Strongsville (Pichette, Ostrowski, Rebholz, Skupnik) 3:15.55; 2. St. Ignatius 3:15.74; 3. St. Edward 3:19.78.

 

 

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball is turned away by a talent-rich Villa Angela-St. Joseph team, 76-57, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.
2/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City - The Wildcats trailed by 12 points at halftime, closed to nine points after three quarters and cut the deficit to seven points early in the fourth quarter before the Vikings began to take command.

Saint Ignatius, which entered the game as the 10th-ranked team in the area, slipped to 11-7 and will now focus on Sunday's draw for the Division I Blended Brecksville-Broadview Heights/Midview  District. Saint Ignatius is the third seed behind No. 1 Lorain and No. 2 St. Edward. The fourth seed is Berea-Midpark.

Villa Angela-St. Joseph, ranked No. 2 in the area behind St. Vincent-St. Mary and the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division III state poll, now stands 15-2 and remains unbeaten in Ohio. The Vikings' losses were to national powers Oak Hill Academy from Mouth of Wilson, Virginia and The MacDuffie School (MA).

After the Cats closed to seven points in the early stages of the fourth quarter, VASJ went on a 10-2 run and extended its lead to 15 points on a three-point play by 6-foot-9 senior post Derek Pardon, a layup by underrated senior guard Simon Texidor off an assist from 6-10 senior forward Carlton Bragg, a thundering two-handed slam sunk by Bragg off a dish from senior point guard Vaughan Johnson and one of Texidor's seven 3-pointers on the night.

Saint Ignatius would close to 60-48 on a 3-pointer by junior forward Tim Kiefer with 4 minutes and 1 second remaining, but Johnson answered with a running one-hander.

Trailing by 14 points, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats made it a 10-point game on two free throws by junior point guard/two guard Jimmy Berger and an authoritative move down the lane by senior guard Dylan Nieto.

Coach Babe Kwasniak's Vikings answered with another nothing-but-net 3-pointer from Texidor and, after Saint Ignatius senior forward/captain Jaylin McDonald brought the Wildcats' faithful back into the game with a soaring rim-rattling dunk off a follow, Texidor dialed long distance again.

Saint Ignatius junior point guard Kyle Kalish buried a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 68-57 with 2:06 left, but the Vikings put their second consecutive victory over the Wildcats in the books behind two free throws by Johnson, two free throws by their gifted and savvy senior guard Brian Parker and another slam dunk by Bragg off a breakaway.

Texidor's seven baskets from beyond the arc led the way to his game-high 25 points. Parker finished with 19 points, including a 9-for-9 performance from the foul line, and Bragg, a Kansas Jayhawks recruit, tossed in 10 of his 13 points in the second half.

Senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford paced the Cats with 18 points, including three 3-pointers.

Saint Ignatius shot 45 percent on its two-point shots, but was just 7-of-24 on 3-pointers. The Cats were 6-of-7 from the free-throw line and were down for 15 turnovers, a number that Coach O'Toole believed to be too kind.

Villa Angela-St. Joseph shot 42 percent on its two-pointers, was 10-of-19 on its 3-pointers and had a significant edge at the foul line, as the Vikings were 18-of-23 from the charity stripe. VASJ, which turned the ball over 17 times, outrebounded the Cats, 37-25.

Up next for Saint Ignatius is Friday night's matchup with Glenville at the home of the Tarblooders.

Here is more on Saturday night's action from a brisk Ohio City, including comments from Coach O'Toole and a quick recap of the Junior Varsity matchup, which saw the JV Vikings remain unbeaten by defeating Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Team, 62-47. The JV Cats are now 14-3, with two of their losses coming at the hands of Villa Angela-St. Joseph.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: While he was pleased with the job his team did in limiting the Vikings' multi-skilled big men - Bragg and Pardon - to a combined 18 points, Coach O'Toole said Villa Angela-Joseph deserves all of the credit for offsetting that with an outstanding deep perimeter game that produced 10 3-pointers.

"Obviously, Texidor hit seven," Coach O'Toole said. "We knew he could shoot it. They're so good inside, that was our focal point. And when I say inside, I'm not just talking about Pardon and Bragg. Parker is one of the best scorers at the rim that they have. We were trying to limit their point-blank opportunities, but to their credit they shot extremely well.

"It was a much better game than the final score is going to indicate," said Coach O'Toole, who for the third consecutive game was without the talents of junior guard Deven Stover. Deven suffered an eye injury at St. Edward on Feb. 6, but was in a snazzy suit last night as he rooted his teammates on from the bench.

Coach O'Toole emphasized that some of the same things that have hampered his team lately came to the surface again on Saturday night.

"Consistency, shot selection, decision making," the Cats' veteran coach said. "We're playing great teams, there is no doubt about that. But the bottom line is that we have to find a way to beat these great teams. We can't just come close. It's a team (VASJ) that you can't fall behind on. We got to the line seven times and that's just not enough. We have to attack better.  It's (VASJ) a very good team, a very good team."

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:  After losing by eight points on the Vikings' Timothy W. Robertson Court last month, Saint Ignatius' Jayvees found themselves trailing by just one point entering the second quarter after Wildcats' 6-10 sophomore post Malique Burton hit a turn-around jumper in the lane.

The JV Vikings picked up their defensive intensity, got their transition game in gear and won the second quarter, 16-8.

Saint Ignatius cut a nine-point halftime deficit to five points early on in the third quarter, only to watch Villa Angela-St. Joseph go on an 11-0 run.

Leading by 13 points entering the final seven minutes, the Vikings kept their perfect season intact by stretching their advantage to 20 points in the late stages of their 62-47 victory.

VASJ got 14-point performances from 6-5 post Quinton Dove and 6-3 forward Daniel McGarry, and the Wildcats were led by sophomore guards Connor Meehan and Michael Spear, who tossed in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Saint Ignatius was again without its standout 6-7 sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian, who is battling a hand injury.                     

     

 

 

The Ice Cats will play for their second consecutive GLHL Cleveland Cup Championship after defeating Lake Catholic, 5-1, during Saturday evening's semifinals in OBM Arena at IceLand USA.
2/14/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Pat O'Rourke's team rode two goals by senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec and lamplighters by Ethan Whitney, Cam Gerard and Jared Stepka to its 16th consecutive victory.

Junior West Deacon had 14 saves between the pipes for Saint Ignatius and Lake Catholic's standout goalie Charlie Denner, by all reports, turned in another stellar effort.

The Ice Cats (28-3-3), the top seed at the Cleveland Cup after going 10-0 in the Great Lakes Hockey League's regular season play, will face second-seeded University School (20-10-3) in Sunday's 5 PM Cleveland Cup Championship Game in OBM Arena at Iceland USA.

Last season, in what was the inaugural Cleveland Cup Championship Game, Saint Ignatius defeated University School, 4-2, in OBM Arena. Ice Cats gifted forward Matty Geither showed the way by scoring two goals over the final 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

University School advanced to Sunday's championship game by defeating third-seeded St. Edward, 5-1. Leading the way for the Preppers was their outstanding senior forward Evan Krueger, who accounted for all five of his team's goals. Lake Catholic was the fourth seed.  

Saint Ignatius won both of its regular season meetings with University School, 7-2 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and 5-1 at The Pond.           

Ice Cats to face Lake Catholic in Saturday's semifinal round of the Cleveland Cup.
2/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, the defending champion of the Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament, will take a 15-game winning streak and a record of 27-3-3 into Saturday's semifinal matchup with Lake Catholic in OBM Arena at IceLand USA. The puck will drop at 5 PM.

Saturday's other semifinal will match University School and St. Edward at 7:10 PM. University School was the Cleveland Cup runner-up last season after losing to the Ice Cats, 4-2, in the 2014 inaugural Cleveland Cup Championship Game. Gifted forward Matty Geither showed the way for Saint Ignatius by scoring two goals over the final 10 minutes and 30 seconds.   

Three of this year's Cleveland Cup semifinalists are ranked among the top four teams in the state - Saint Ignatius at 2, University School at 3 and St. Edward at 4. Toledo St. Francis DeSales holds down Ohio's No.1 spot.

*If successful against fourth-seeded Lake Catholic (15-10-2), Saint Ignatius, the No. 1 seed, will return to IceLand USA on Sunday for the Cleveland Cup Championship Game. The puck will drop in OBM Arena at 5 PM Sunday. The Ice Cats earned their top seed by going 10-0 in GLHL regular season play.

*In their only meeting during the regular season, the Ice Cats defeated the Lake Catholic Cougars, 4-1, in a Great Lakes Hockey League matchup at the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Jan. 10. Junior Dylan McKeon had 21 saves between the pipes and the Cats' goals were scored by Jack Wiegandt, Matty Geither, Matt Wiegandt, and Seth Whitney.

Veteran fans of the Ice Cats will recall that Saint Ignatius defeated Lake Catholic, 7-0, in last season's state semifinals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. In that game, current Ice Cats Jack Wiegandt, Ethan Whitney and Matty Geither accounted for five goals, as Wiegandt and Whitney had two-goal afternoons. Saint Ignatius' other two goals came off the stick of Beck Schultz '14. As just a sophomore, Dylan McKeon came away with the shutout.    

The Saint Ignatius versus Villa Angela-St. Joseph Varsity Basketball Preview.
2/12/2015

Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City – As a standout power forward for Saint Ignatius in the late 1980s and as a veteran of the area’s high school coaching ranks, Sean O’Toole ’87 has faced and coached against numerous rich-in-talent basketball players and teams.

That is why it was impressive to hear Coach O’Toole describe Coach Babe Kwasniak’s Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings, Saint Ignatius’ opponent on Saturday night in Sullivan Gymnasium.

“It’s an incredible high school-talented team,” said Coach O’Toole of the Vikings, who are currently 13-2, ranked No. 1 in The New Herald’s “Top of the Crop,” No. 2 in the seven-county Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com and No. 1 in the
Division III state poll by the Associated Press. “Rare do you see when you have three Division I players (college recruits) in the starting lineup. And, who is to say where some of their other guys are going to play. Great size, great
experience and they play extremely well together."

The big three that Coach O’Toole referred to are 6-foot-10 Carlton Bragg, 6-8 Derek Pardon and 6-2 Brian Parker.

You will have a hard time convincing Coach O’Toole and his staff that there is a better threesome in Ohio.

“They have guys that can shoot it, they have the bigs (post players) that dominate the rim and studs that can get to the rim off the bounce,” Coach O’Toole said. “There really isn’t a weakness to their game.”

Villa Angela-St. Joseph’s two setbacks this winter came to national powers Oak Hill Academy from Mouth of Wilson, Virginia and The MacDuffie School (MA).

Coach Kwasniak’s team entered this week averaging 83 points per game.

Bragg, a five-star recruit and a McDonald’s All-American who has committed to the Kansas Jayhawks, is averaging better than 20 points a game. Parker is flirting with 16 points per game and Pardon checks in with
nearly 13 points an outing.

The “thrill-some threesome” from Viking Village will lead a deep and versatile VASJ team into Saturday’s 7:30 Varsity tipoff in Ohio City. If you don’t have a ticket, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you the action live with veterans James Zajaczkowski ’15 and Liam Garven ’15 on the call.

The Varsity Game will be preceded by a Junior Varsity matchup at 6 bells, as the JV Cats will look to avenge last month’s 60-52 setback on Timothy W. Robertson Court in the newly renovated and tradition-rich gymnasium at Viking Village. Last month’s encounter with the Vikings was a Junior Varsity-only game. Joltin Joe Mertens and Brad Anderson will have the SIBN call on the JV Game.

Coach Kwasniak, one of the top young coaches in the country and one of the finest point guards in the Vikings’ rich basketball history, has built a solid supporting cast around his “big three.”

Among the other Vikings to watch are 6-2 Simon Texidor (12.7 points per game), 6-3 Jeff Grudzinski (8.6 points per game), point guard Vaughan Johnson (3.1 points per game), and 6-3 TreVon Williams (3.3 points per game).

Coach O’Toole is also impressed with how Coach Kwasniak mixes his defenses and runs a lot of quick hitters offensively.

“They utilize their players’ strengths well,” Coach O’Toole said, emphasizing that because of the Vikings’ exceptional length second shots will be a huge key on Saturday night. “It’s a game we’re excited for. This is a high level, tournament-like game for us. There is no doubt that this game is going to get us ready for our district.

“They’re good, they’re real good,’ Coach O’Toole continued. “And we’ve played a lot of good teams. They’re just well coached and everyone one of them plays their role. They’re dangerous in so many different ways. If you focus on one guy, the other four will kill you.”

The Wildcats, 11-6 and ranked 10th in the Top 25 area poll, are expected to be without their gifted junior guard Deven Stover for at least one more week. Deven suffered an eye injury in the tough eight-point loss at St. Edward last Friday. Seasoned high school basketball fans will recall that Deven’s dad, Reggie Stover, was a former Vikings standout under legendary coach Mike Moran.

Last season, in a sold-out Viking Village, VASJ steadily pulled away from Saint Ignatius, 69-54.

The Vikings, who led by seven points entering the final eight minutes, were paced by Bragg’s 21 points and 19 points from Parker.   



 



 



  



Saint Ignatius Hockey wins its 15th consecutive game by defeating Gilmour Academy, 6-0, in Wednesday night's quarterfinal round of the Great Lakes Hockey League's second annual Cleveland Cup in OBM Arena at IceLand USA.
2/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - Goals by senior forwards Kevin Yarcusko and Brady Wells got the offense on track in the first period and the Ice Cats took total command with a four-goal second period that featured lamplighters by senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec, Wells, junior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Zack Kisel.

Cats junior goalie Dylan McKeon made 11 saves en route to his shutout and, despite the final score, Gilmour Academy's senior goalie Michael Bridges was outstanding with 55 saves. Bridges drew the praise of Saint Ignatius' highly successful Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

Saint Ignatius, the defending Cleveland Cup Champion and the top seed for the tournament after going 10-0 in GLHL regular season play, will take a record of 27-3-3 into Saturday's 5 PM semifinal round at IceLand USA. There will be a re-seeding for the semis after Thursday night's second round of quarterfinal play.

"The only teams we can't play in the semis would be University School and St. Edward, it could be anybody else depending on how the other quarterfinals go," said Coach O'Rourke.

The Ice Cats could, however, see either University School or St. Edward in Sunday's 5 PM championship game.

HERE IS A LOOK AT THE ICE CATS' THIRD VICTORY OVER GILMOUR ACADEMY THIS SEASON. THE LANCERS SLIPPED TO 7-21-3.

"We started out slow tonight," said Coach O'Rourke, whose team also defeated the Lancers, 10-0 and 4-0, during the GLHL regular season. "Their goalie (Michael Bridges) played well again. He is very good. We settled for some far out shots early on, but finally we got the puck in closer and got to the net a little bit. I'm pretty happy with that.

"Other than that, I really don't have much to say," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Win and advance. It will get tougher as it goes on. That's why you play all year long, to get the number one seed and maybe get a little bit easier of a game in the first round. But he (Bridges) played great. He was excellent.  

"We kind of had their number this year, but Gilmour is a good program," Coach O'Rourke said. "They're just having a little rough stretch."

After Yarcusko and Wells set the tone in the first period, the Ice Cats', rich in talent and depth, began to wear down the Lancers. Yarcusko's authoritative blast came off an assist from sophomore forward Connor Koehnke with 7 minutes and eight seconds remaining in the first period and Wells went unassisted less than a minute later.

The Ice Cats took their game up a notch or two in the second period and, despite the valiant efforts between the pipes by Bridges, just had a little too much offensive thunder for Gilmour's defense.

In what was a perfectly executed play, Mazanec made it 3-0 off assists from Spellacy and standout senior forward/captain Matty Geither with just over nine minutes to go in the second period.

Following one of McKeon's trademark saves, Wells found the left corner (the goalie's glove side) of the net off helpers from senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney and Spellacy, and the gifted and good-natured Spellacy pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 5-0 off another assist from Geither and a helper courtesy of junior defenseman Geoff Allman with 3:13 left in the second period.

Coach O'Rourke's Cats then closed out the scoring on a lamplighter by Kisel off assists from Whitney and junior defenseman Brian Russell as the final two minutes of the second period were approaching.

FROM BRADY WELLS, WHO WAS ALSO PART OF COACH RYAN FRANZINGER'S AND COACH DAVE CICETTI'S HARD-NOSED SENIOR LINEBACKER CORPS THIS PAST FALL.

"The first one (Brady's first of his two goals on the night), we were working pretty good down low with Aidan Spellacy and Matty Geither and, after Aidan shot it, the puck was sitting right on the goal line. I saw that the ref wasn't going to blow a whistle so I just kind of bull-rushed the goalie and made sure it went in. I wasn't going to be denied there.

"The second goal was a power play. I was out there with Ethan (Whitney) and Aidan (Spellacy). We were passing the puck well and Ethan came off the boards, drew the defenseman from the middle out on him, passed to me down low, I walked the goal line, the goalie over pursued a little and it was an easy short side goal on that one.

"The thing I love about the way we're playing right now is that we're playing physical and we're all positive. That's probably the most important thing, being all together, especially through the end of the season when things get tense."

*CATS ALSO SEEDED NO. 1 FOR THE OHSAA BROOKLYN SECTIONAL/DISTRICT: The defending champions of the Brooklyn District and the 2014 State Champions, the Wildcats will play their first OHSAA postseason tournament game versus Avon Lake on Feb. 25 at 6 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Coach O'Rourke said that St. Edward, Rocky River, Padua Franciscan and Holy Name round out the top five seeds at Brooklyn.

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball survives an overtime battle with John Adams, 70-67, in Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday afternoon. The Wildcats trailed by five points at halftime.
2/11/2015
Posted by Eddie Dwyer
 
Cleveland, Ohio - The Wildcats, ranked 10th in the latest Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com, came away with their 11th victory in 17 games by outscoring the Rebels, 8-5, in overtime.
 
The Cats won it on a steal near midcourt by savvy junior point guard Jimmy Berger that Jimmy converted into a breakaway layup with 34.2 seconds remaining, and two free throws by versatile junior forward Tim Kiefer, who was intentionally fouled with 15.5 seconds left.
 
Saint Ignatius missed the front end of a one-and one free-throw situation with 2.9 seconds to go, but John Adams, which slipped to 8-8, misfired on a final shot.
 
The Wildcats shot a shaky 37 percent from the field. They were 20-of-44 on two-point shots and just 7-of-29 on their 3-point attempts.
 
John Adams won the rebounding battle, 42-39, including a 30-20 advantage off the defensive glass. The Rebels were 23-of-39 on two-point shots and 6-of-23 on 3-pointers.
 
Leading the way in the scoring column for Saint Ignatius were sophomore post Matt Davet and senior guard Andre' Wolford, who finished with 19 and 18 points, respectively, and Berger, who contributed 14 points.
 
The Rebels were led by a 16-point performance from guard TreVon Rutledge and 14-point afternoons by guard Brooklyn Simms and guard/forward Joey Johnson.
 
Saint Ignatius will need to take its game to a higher level on Saturday night as the talent-rich Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings will be paying a visit to Sullivan Gymnasium. The Vikings are ranked second in the seven-county area and No. 1 in the Division III state poll.
 
The corner will be previewing the matchup with VASJ on Thursday night.
 
NOTE: THE STATISTICAL INFORMATION ON THIS GAME WAS COURTESY OF SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER AND JUNIOR VARSITY BASKETBALL STATISTICIAN ED WOLFF.                   
 
         
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ice Cats are back to the No. 2 spot in the latest state poll.
2/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Toledo St. Francis DeSales regained sole possession of the top spot after being tied for No. 1 with Saint Ignatius last week. The Wildcats, University School, St. Edward and Toledo St. John's Jesuit round out the top five.

Here is how this week's poll shaped out, with the first place votes in parenthesis.

1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 86 (5)

2. Saint Ignatius 84 (4): The Ice Cats (26-3-3), winners of 14 consecutive games, will begin their quest for a second consecutive Cleveland Cup when they face the Lancers from Gilmour Academy tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 6 bells in the quarterfinals of the Great Lakes Hockey League postseason tournament in OBM Arena at IceLand USA. The top-seeded Cats wrapped up their GLHL regular season at 10-0 by defeating St. Edward, 5-2 (see the corner's story from Sunday night).   

3. University School 71

4. St. Edward 58

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 48

6. Bowling Green 34                

7. Findlay 28

8. Olentangy Orange 24

9-Tie. Dublin Jerome 23

9-Tie. Columbus St. Charles 23

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Upper Arlington, Holy Name and Rocky River.

A look at the 2014-15 John Adams Basketball Rebels
2/10/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City - Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats (10-6), ranked 10th in the area, will make their yearly appearance at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday afternoon, where they will take on the Rebels from John Adams in a 4 PM tipoff. There is no Junior Varsity Game this year, just the Varsity matchup.

A member of the Senate Athletic League, the Rebels (8-7) have played a non-league schedule that has included a couple of ranked teams. Two of John Adams' setbacks were to the area's ninth-ranked Scarabs of East Tech, also a member of the SAL. The Scarabs and the Wildcats had a down-to-the-wire battle during last month's annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University before Saint Ignatius prevailed.

Among the Rebels who play with a cause every night are 6-foot guard Brooklyn Simms, who is averaging 14.5 points per game, 6-2 forward Joey Johnson, the team's leading scorer at 15.2, and 5-11 guard TreVon Rutledge, who is at 11.9 points per game.

Simms is a left-hander who is very active and has above average range. He is the Rebels' No. 1 scoring option. Johnson is a scorer and rebounder who leaves it all on the floor, and Rutledge enjoys attacking the basket.

Other Rebels to keep an eye on are 6-3 forward Landell Lawrence and 6-1 forward Jordan Laverette, who check in at 7.4 and 6.3 points per game, respectively. Lawrence follows every shot and Laverette is a tough defender and an exceptional leaper.

John Adams' scoring averages were courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath. Always credit your sources my friends, even in this day of unaccountable journalism.

NOTE: After Wednesday's encounter with the Rebels, the Cats will gear up for Saturday night's headliner in Sullivan Gymnasium versus one of the area's, state's and nation's best, the talent-rich Vikings from Villa Angela-St. Joseph. The corner will preview Saturday's game later this week.      

   

 

Wildcats basketball rises two spots in the area poll. Note time change on John Adams game.
2/9/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats (10-6) moved from 12th to 10th place in this week's seven-county area Top 25 poll by cleveland.com.

The Wildcats have two games this week. They will face the John Adams Rebels on Wednesday at 4 PM in Quicken Loans Arena and on Saturday night in Sullivan Gymnasium the Cats will take on one of the top teams in the nation, Coach Babe Kwasniak's Vikings from Villa Angela-St. Joseph. The Vikings are ranked second to St. Vincent-St. Mary in the area poll and are the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division III state poll.

Saturday night's action will begin with a 6 PM Junior Varsity Game, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity matchup at 7:30. The JV Cats will be looking to even things up after losing to the Vikings' Junior Varsity at VASJ last month.   

Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior tennis player Nathan Griffin is the recipient of the prestigious John Harlow Award from the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association.
2/8/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Nate, a University of Notre Dame national letter of intent signee and an All-Ohio first-team selection who last spring became the first state singles champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, joins Hathaway Brown sophomore Lauren Gillinov as this year's John Harlow Sportsmanship Award winners from the OTCA.

Initiated in 1999 in memory of the late John Harlow, a long time state tennis official and coach, the award is presented to the student athlete who in the eyes of the Officials at the State Tennis Tournament best exemplifies the ideals and principals of sportsmanship over the two day tournament.

Nate now stands along side former Wildcat Dominic Ozanne as a John Harlow Award winner. Dominic earned the respect of the officials while finishing fourth in the 2003 State Tournament.

Congratulations to Nate, his family, Coach Jon Barker '87 and the entire Saint Ignatius Tennis Program.   

Trailing, 2-1, the Ice Cats score three unanswered goals in the final eight minutes of the second period, tag on another lamplighter with 3:18 left in the third period and go on to defeat St. Edward, 5-2, in Sunday's regular season finale at Winterhurst.
2/8/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Lakewood, Ohio - In finishing 10-0 in the Great Lakes Hockey League's regular season play, Saint Ignatius improves to 26-3-3 overall and extends its winning streak to 14 games.

St. Edward, which also lost to the Wildcats, 3-0, on Jan. 31st at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, slips to 20-8-4 and closes its GLHL regular season at 4-5-1.

Saint Ignatius sophomore forward Connor Koehnke knotted the score at 2 by scoring unassisted with 7 minutes and 8 seconds remaining in the second period.

Senior forward/captain Jack Wiegandt then fired home two consecutive goals, as junior forward Zack Kisel and senior defenseman Jimmy Grisanti assisted on Wiegandt's go-ahead goal with 4:36 left in the second period.

Following a nice glove save by Ice Cats junior goalie Dylan McKeon, Wiegandt struck again off helpers from senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec and Kisel, and Saint Ignatius took a 4-2 lead into the third and final period.

After killing off a St. Edward power play, the Ice Cats took control on Mazanec's power play goal with 3:18 remaining in the third period. Providing the assists were senior forwards/captains Matty Geither and Ethan Whitney.

A little scuffle broke out in front of the Saint Ignatius bench with 55.9 seconds left to play, but order was quickly restored and a player from each team was hit with a misconduct penalty.

The Ice Cats, who fell behind 1-0 with the game not three minutes old, went respond city and evened things up on a goal by junior forward Jared Stepka with 11:05 remaining in the first period. Koehnke and junior forward Cam Gerard assisted.

St. Edward's offense featured goals by Will Armbruster and Stephen O'Sullivan.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's team, which entered Sunday's game tied with Toledo St. Francis DeSales for the top spot in the state poll, will begin its quest for a second consecutive Cleveland Cup when it faces Gilmour Academy in the GLHL's quarterfinals of postseason tournament play on Wednesday at OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA. The puck will drop at 6 PM.       

HERE ARE COMMENTS FROM COACH O'ROURKE AND JACK WIEGANDT ON SUNDAY'S SPIRITED ENCOUNTER IN SERPENTINI ARENA AT WINTERHURST.

From Coach O'Rourke '90: "They're probably the No. 3 or 4 team in the state, so they're not chopped liver," said Coach O'Rourke of St. Edward. "They are one of the best programs all time in Ohio (the Eagles have 11 state ice hockey titles), so we knew they were going to give us a great game. We've been down many times before, so we don't get rattled by that.

"They got the lead twice and we tied it up pretty quickly both times," Coach O'Rourke continued. "We just go with our depth and try to wear teams down. So we figured maybe by the middle of the second or third period we might catch them. It was a physical game, a fun game to watch. It's just how it is every time we play them. We could see them two more times this year (in the quest for the Cleveland Cup and in OHSAA  District Play at Brooklyn). We always like to play them and we hope that they like to play us. It brings out the best in both of us. Two great teams going at it."

From Jack Wiegandt, who also was the overall MVP on Saint Ignatius' record sixth Division I state champion soccer team this past fall: "We try to keep our composure and stay calm," Jack said of the Ice Cats' ability to bounce back from two single-goal deficits on Sunday. "We knew if we played our game we would come back.

"It feels good to really come together as a team," Jack continued. "My first goal, I took the puck and went around the net. I tried to wrap it or find me someone. I just tapped it in. The second one, Jimmy (Grisanti) shot it and Zack Kisel was in front, screening the goalie. There was a lane right there for me.

"It's all work ethic," Jack said of the way the Ice Cats have played since early January. "We don't give up, we're always working till the end. It's hard to rattle our team. We stay calm and composed. How last year ended (the now storied 1-1, seven-overtime tie with Sylvania Northview in the 2014 state championship game) lights a fire under us every time we go out there."

SHOTS ON GOAL: SAINT IGNATIUS' STATS CREW HAD THE CATS WINNING THE BATTLE, 41-22.

AND, IN CLOSING, IT WAS GREAT TO SEE THE ICE CATS' GIFTED JUNIOR FORWARD/CAPTAIN AIDAN SPELLACY RETURN TO THE ICE THIS WEEKEND AFTER RECOVERING FROM AN INJURY. AIDAN HAD A GOAL IN SATURDAY EVENING'S 5-1 VICTORY OVER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL AT THE POND.         

           

    

A savvy and big-hearted pass from Jim Berger to Andre' Wolford for the game-winning basket caps off an emotional test of wills between the Cats and the Timken Trojans, 60-58, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.
2/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City - A humble, soft-spoken, gifted student athlete who brings obvious physical gifts to the basketball floor, Saint Ignatius' senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford said all of the credit for his game-winning layup as time was expiring goes to Wildcats junior point guard Jim Berger.

"The ball was tipped, Jim got it, looked up and, in no hesitation, just threw it to me," Wolford said after be broke down the left side of the floor, took the nearly length of the floor, on-the money assist from Berger and beat the trailing defender to the rim. "That's all Jim right there, great vision, great vision."

A play that will be remembered by the Wildcats' faithful for years to come, the Berger-to-Wolford strike gave Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats an emotional 60-58 victory over a talented and strong-willed Canton Timken team in Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 10-6, got three pressure-packed 3-pointers from Wolford over the final three minutes, with the third one giving the Wildcats a 58-55 lead with 32.6 seconds remaining. Andre' finished with five 3-pointers and tied Timken's 6-foot-6 post Jordan Davis for game honors with 19 points.

The Trojans from Timken, who lost for just the third time in 18 games, cut the deficit to 58-57 on two free throws by their endless hustling 6-4 guard LePear Toles. With seven seconds left, Davis went to the line for two free throws. A transfer to Timken from Garfield Heights High School, Davis tied the score with his first free throw, but missed his second attempt.

In the battle for the rebound, the ball was tipped out to Berger, who, displaying the great floor vision Wolford referred to and ice in his veins, made the pass that was probably the talk of more than one watering hole in Ohio City around 10 PM.

"It was very important, for our confidence," said Wolford, referring to a victory over a solid Timken team that came on the heels of Friday night's tough loss at rival St. Edward, a game the Eagles didn't secure until the final 26 seconds. "We played our hearts out last night (versus St. Edward). But we knew this team (Timken) was tough, so we had to come out and try to play the same exact way as we did last night. We played together and played smarter, for the most part. And we got a win."

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW AT SOME OF THE OTHER KEY MOMENTS FROM SATURDAY NIGHT'S THRILLER, ALONG WITH COMMENTS FROM COACH O'TOOLE AND A RECAP OF THE JUNIOR VARSITY'S BOUNCE-BACK WIN OVER THE TIMKEN JAYVEES, 73-56.

A SWEET 16: Timken held a 17-10 lead late in the first quarter before an authoritative basket down low by multi-skilled junior forward Tim Kiefer and a 3-pointer from 6-5 junior guard Michael Hollis made it a two-point game.

After the Trojans' Jordan Davis converted a put back into a three-point play, Timken led, 22-15, with 7:40 remaining in the first half.

Then came a run by the Cats that had the Trojans reeling a bit.

Scoring 16 unanswered points, Coach O'Toole's team moved to a 31-22 lead after junior point guard Kyle Kalish sent home his third 3-pointer with 4:07 to go before halftime. Some of the other key moments in the run were an offensive rebound and lay in by senior forward/captain Jaylin McDonald off a missed free throw, an athletic move down low by McDonald for two more points, Kalish's second twine tickler from beyond the arc and a three-point by Jim Berger off his smooth pull-up jumper.

Hollis, or "St. Chris Pride" as some of the Wildcats' faithful, such as Patrick White, like to refer to Michael's every move, gave his team a 10-point lead off a running one-hander with 1:13 to go in the first 16 minutes.

TROJANS GET BACK ON THEIR HORSE: Trailing by eight points after a 3-pointer by Andre' Wolford, Timken picked up its intensity at both ends of the floor and closed to 44-42 in the final minute of the third quarter on a basket by LePear Toles.

NIETO ANSWERS: Wildcats senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto responded to Toles' basket with a 3-pointer off a Berger assist and Saint Ignatius took a five-point lead into the final eight minutes, setting the stage for the dramatic finish we described in the lead paragraphs to this report.

HALFTIME ADJUSTMENT: "The first half, I was having a bad, bad game, defensively and offensively," said Wolford, who holds Saint Ignatius' single-game record with eight 3-pointers versus Cleveland Heights last season. "I tried to get myself back in a rhythm during the warm ups at halftime. After halftime, I just shot with confidence and they were going in." Timken's faithful can vouch for that, as Andre's three-trey sequence that we described in the lead-in paragraphs had some of the Trojans' spirited faithful shaking their heads.

BY THE NUMBERS: Saint Ignatius finished with 10 3-pointers and 26 points off 2-point shots, but was only 4-of-10 from the free-throw line. The Trojans were 19-of-26 from the charity stripe. As for rebounds, it was all even at 36 for both teams.

DOWN TO THE WIRE AGAIN: Last season at the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University in East Canton, Timken rallied from a double-digit deficit and defeated the Cats in the final seconds, 62-60.

ON THE MEND: It was great to see Wildcats talented junior guard Deven Stover on the bench Saturday night cheering on his teammates. Deven suffered an eye injury in the second quarter at St. Edward on Friday night, but in his own words, he feels great. The swelling in his eye that was evident on Friday night has gone way down.

AS COACH O'TOOLE SAW IT: "We got good looks that we just didn't knock down and again we struggled from the line. Those are not recipes for success. We we're a very good free-throw shooting team going into this weekend (the Cats were 3-for-12 from the foul line versus St. Edward). So we have to get that ironed out. We're a team that should put teams away (at the charity stripe). Jimmy (Berger) has great vision, he sees down the floor, he sees over the top. He has great instincts and great court awareness. Andre' did exactly the right thing. With seven seconds (left), you have to get wide and get down the floor. They chased the rebound and Jimmy was able to find him."

JUST A THOUGHT: But is it possible that Jimmy Berger's skills as one of the top long snappers in area football come into play with his court vision and crafty assists?

BACK ON TRACK: After suffering just their second loss of the season at St. Edward on Friday night, Saint Ignatius' gifted Junior Varsity Basketball Wildcats improved to 14-2 with the 17-point victory over Timken on Saturday night.

The JV Cats held a 40-15 lead late in the first half and were up by 22 points in the closing stages of the third quarter before Timken went on a 10-1 run and closed to 51-38 entering the final seven minutes (JV quarters are 7 minutes).

A smooth jump stop move by talented and tenacious sophomore guard Michael Spear, followed by one of Spear's three 3-pointers, had Saint Ignatius in front, 56-38, early in the final quarter.

After hard-nosed sophomore forward Ben Delhees scored off one of the many heads-up assists by strong and active sophomore forward James Leyden, Coach Chris Salata's Cats led, 67-48, with 2 minutes and 9 seconds remaining to be played.

Timken would cut the deficit to 12 points in the final minute, but Saint Ignatius left no doubt on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Dillon Pietrangelo and a put back by sophomore forward John Wild.

Spear led the Cats with 15 points and Leyden and ever-hustling sophomore guard Tommy Aris each scored 11 points.     

                      

       

   

 

 

        

Ice Cats defeat University School, 5-1, at The Pond on Saturday evening and will take a record of 25-3-3 and a 13-game winning streak into Sunday's regular-season finale against St. Edward. The puck will drop at 2:30 PM in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.
2/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer with the scoring courtesy of Saint Ignatius Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

From Coach O'Rourke on Saturday's game versus University School: Wes Deacon had 23 saves in the win. Our goals were scored by Jack Mazanec (2), Ethan Whitney, Aidan Spellacy and Connor Koehnke.

From the corner: The Ice Cats will enter Sunday's 2:30 PM matchup with St. Edward at Winterhurst undefeated in Great Lakes Hockey League play. Saint Ignatius prevailed over the Eagles, 3-0, in a GLHL encounter at the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Jan. 31.

The GLHL quarterfinal postseason playoffs get under way on Wednesday at IceLand USA's OBM Arena in Strongsville.

   

Coach Mark Sullivan's Varsity Gold Wrestlers put on a solid performance in the annual Senior Night and Alumni Night at Sullivan Gymnasium.
2/7/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer with the results courtesy of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Head Wrestling Coach Jonathan Polick.

Here are the results from Friday night. 

Saint Ignatius 72 versus Bedford 3

106 pounds: James (Bedford) decision over Rasmussen 4-2; 113: Delsanter (SI) by forfeit; 120: Long (SI) major decision over Haywood 12-0; 126: Rivera (SI) by forfeit; 132: Gallagher (SI) pinned Bridges 1:21; 138: Bush (SI) by forfeit; 145: Jennings (SI) by forfeit; 152: Miller (SI) major decision over Anderson 12-4; 160: Brady (SI) pinned Dow 3:26; 170: Drobnick (SI) major decision over Brown 11-2; 182: Vajusi (SI) pinned Dean-Phillips 0:44; 195: Conway (SI) by forfeit; 220: Keirn (SI) by forfeit; 285:Vazquez (SI) pinned Hill 4:30.


 

SIBN lineup for Saturday night's Canton Timken Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Games.
2/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Versatile senior Joe Mertens, who is patiently awaiting baseball season, will double as a broadcaster for both the Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Games tonight (Saturday) versus Canton Timken. Joe and Lou Williams will handle the 6 bells JV call versus the Trojans and Joe will team with savvy veteran Liam Garven on the 7:30 Varsity game. 

"Leaving it all on the floor." Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball battles St. Edward down to the final seconds before the Eagles' clutch free-throw shooting leads the way to a 63-55 victory over the Wildcats on Coach Jim Connors Court Friday night.
2/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Lakewood, Ohio - Trailing by eight points with 5 minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats came storming back with a 10-0 run that was highlighted by a baseline drive by senior guard Andre' Wolford, a basket from junior point guard Jim Berger, a steal by Berger, a 3-pointer by Wolford and a three-point play from senior guard Dylan Nieto off Dylan's determined drive to the basket. Nieto's effort put the Cats in front, 40-38, with 2:48 left in the third quarter.

With his team leading by four points entering the final eight minutes, senior post Dre' Mont Jones, who was a force inside all night, pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 48-42 on an authoritative drive to the rim with 7:49 left in the fourth quarter.

St. Edward, which defeated the Wildcats by 18 points in Sullivan Gymnasium on Jan. 24, answered with two free throws from its gifted senior forward Kipper Nichols, a 3-pointer by junior point guard Sean Flannery and two more free throws by Nichols before capping a 9-0 run with a two-handed slam dunk by Nichols that increased the Eagles' lead to 51-48 with 4:19 remaining to be played. Nichols finished with a game-high 27 points on 10 baskets and a 7-for-7 night from the foul line.

Playing without its standout junior guard Deven Stover, who suffered an eye injury with 5:42 remaining in the second quarter and the score tied (Deven did not return to the floor), Saint Ignatius knotted the score at 51 on another 3-pointer by Wolford. St. Edward kept its poise and led, 54-51, after 6-foot-9 junior post Derek Funderburk thundered home a slam dunk off an alley-oop pass from Flannery that resulted in a three-point play with 3:03 left. Funderburk tossed in 12 points.

After a basket by Jones, he and Nichols exchanged two pointers that left the Eagles clinging to a 56-55 lead. Wolford and Jones led the Cats with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

However, St. Edward, which has now won the last five games in what is a legendary West Side rivalry, rode two free throws by senior guard Darien Knowles, two more no-doubters from the charity stripe by Nichols and three free throws from Flannery in turning back the Cats, who missed four key free throws over the final 58.2 seconds.

The Eagles, the defending Division I state champions and the 11th-ranked team in this week's Associated Press big-school state poll, were 19-of-25 from the foul line, shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded Saint Ignatius, 31-25. Veteran Coach Eric Flannery, Sean Flannery's father, watched his team win for the eighth time in its past nine games and improve to 13-4 overall.

Saint Ignatius, which now stands 9-6 heading into Saturday night's game versus 15-2 Canton Timken in Sullivan Gymnasium (a 7:30 Varsity tipoff), shot 47 percent from the field, but was just 3-of-12 from the foul line. The Cats turned the ball over 16 times and St. Edward had 18 turnovers.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE '87: "We didn't come here to play close," said Coach O'Toole, who praised the effort his Wildcats gave, both the starters and those who provided key moments off the bench. "We got better  tonight and we played a lot better than our last game (13-point loss at Walsh Jesuit on Jan. 31st), that's for sure. But we have to finish and we have to make plays.

"We were sloppy with the ball when we needed not be sloppy," Coach O'Toole continued. "We have to get shot attempts. But I'm very, very proud of these kids. They came out and absolutely brought a toughness tonight that we need and didn't have a week ago. I thought we got great minutes from our starters and I thought our bench gave us great minutes. We have to make our free throws, but I thought the big thing was our turnovers. We got some easy baskets when we executed, and obviously St. Eds is a great team.

"I thought Dre' Mont rebounded like a machine down there for us," Coach O'Toole said in his closing comments. "We did what we needed to do, we were aggressive and we defended. Obviously losing Deven (Stover) was huge, I'm really worried about him with his eye (that swelled close and was cut). But everybody stepped up great, there was no setback or let down. People picked him (Deven Stover) up, and that's what this team does. There is no time to worry and not time to sulk, because Canton Timken is very good. They are well coached and their guards are great."

For a look at the Timken Trojans, see the corner's preview from Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

HERE IS A RECAP ON THE WILDCATS-EAGLES JUNIOR VARSITY GAME, WHICH SAW THE JV CATS EXPERIENCE JUST THEIR SECOND LOSS THIS SEASON AND ST. EDWARD'S JAYVEES GAIN A SPLIT IN THE ANNUAL HOME AND HOME SERIES.

St. Edward 55, Saint Ignatius 42: The packed house at St. Edward, a great atmosphere for high school basketball, saw one of the major turning points occur after Wildcats sophomore guard Michael Spear drove down the lane for two points that cut the deficit to 17-10.

Responding to Spear's authoritative move, the Eagles answered with a 13-0 run that was highlighted by a layup from sophomore guard Jonathan Politowski off an assist from freshman point guard Michael Dowell, a follow by sophomore forward Kevin Kramer, a baseline drive by Dowell and a 3-pointer and a hustle follow by sophomore guard Jack Sullivan.

Saint Ignatius trailed, 30-13, at halftime after Cats sophomore guard Tommy Aris buried a long-range 3-pointer as time was expiring in the first half.

The Wildcats started to pick up their offense in the second half, as Spear scored off a nice backdoor cut and then sent home a 3-pointer off an alert and aggressive offensive rebound by sophomore forward Quinton Farren.

St. Edward had the answer again, however, as the Eagles were the recipients of another 3-pointer by Sullivan and a layup by sophomore guard Kevin Dever off an assist from Kramer.

Trailing by 19 points in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats closed to 43-29 on five consecutive points by Spear, including another 3-pointer. Saint Ignatius was playing without its multi-skilled 6-foot-7 sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian, who is recovering from a hand injury.

Dever pushed the Eagles' lead to 16 points by draining two free throws and Saint Ignatius cut that deficit to 12 points on a 3-pointer by sophomore forward/post James Leyden and a free throw by Aris with 5 minutes and 7 seconds remaining to be played.

After a layup by St. Edward sophomore forward William Lavelle mad it a 14-point game, the Wildcats clawed back and closed to 11 points on a basket by Spear in transition off an on-the-money assist from sophomore guard Ryan Cook.

The night belonged to the home team, however, as the Eagles turned Saint Ignatius away on another layup by Lavelle, a basket by Dowell and a crowd-pleasing baseline drive to the rim by Lavelle.

Spear led all scorers with 14 points and Leyden finished with nine points. Lavelle paced the Eagles with 12 points, Sullivan was right behind him with 11 points, and Dever and Dowell contributed nine and eight points, respectively.

The Wildcats had 16 baskets from the field, including four 3-pointers, but were just 6 of 19 from the foul line. St. Edward dropped in 20 2-point shots, four 3-pointers and was 3 of 8 from the charity stripe.

Up next for the JV Cats is Saturday's (tonight) 6 PM tipoff with the Jayvee Team from Canton Timken.         

     

     

               

     

 

           

Former Saint Ignatius wrestling standout David Habat '10 continues to reach new heights.
2/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

David, a senior at Edinboro, is currently ranked as the No. 1 NCAA Division I wrestler at 149 pounds by InterMat.

"A Dream Come True" for Saint Ignatius' "Terrific 12."
2/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

Ohio City – This corner would like to extend his congratulations to the 12 Saint Ignatius senior student athletes who took part in Wednesday’s National Signing Day Ceremony in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.

Here is a list of those outstanding young men, along with the colleges/universities that they will be attending to further their educations and athletic careers. The corner has also added some comments from two of the terrific 12, M.J. Nara
and Mikal Outcalt, along with comments from their coaches.

Bobby Barsic - Soccer - College of the Holy Cross

Nathan Griffin - Tennis - University of Notre Dame

Cory Griffith - Football - Duquesne University

Clark Gronek - Soccer - George Mason University

Dre'Mont Jones - Football - The Ohio State University

JoeMack Leonardo - Soccer - San Francisco University

Kyle McCarthy - Crew - University of Wisconsin

M.J. Nara - Baseball - Walsh University

Mikal Outcalt - Soccer - University of Pittsburgh

Jamel Robinson - Football - Walsh University

Erich Schuette - Tennis - Northern Illinois University

David Sisson - Soccer - Davidson College

From M.J. Nara, Baseball Captain and the mainstay on Coach Brad Ganor’s promising pitching staff for 2015: “Ultimately, you want a state championship, but as a child this is something you dream of. It’s everything you worked towards coming true. Walsh University (located in East Canton, Ohio) has a beautiful campus and I know a lot of the guys on the baseball team there (from summer competition). Their coaches are awesome, Head Coach Tim Mead and Pitching Coach Rob Rose. It’s a beautiful school and everything just clicked as far as my decision.

“It was awesome sitting up there today (on The Breen Center stage with his classmates), knowing that we succeeded in our dreams,” M.J. continued.

M.J. on the Wildcats’ upcoming baseball season: “We want to be playing for a state championship in June, anything less is unacceptable. We have some young guys who can throw. We’ll be just fine.”

Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor on M.J.:Being named Captain for 2015 (by his teammates) was no surprise to me. During our state runner-up season in 2013 as a sophomore, M.J. showed the grit and moxie that I knew would one day turn colleges onto him. He recorded 7 saves that season. In 2014 we transitioned him into a starter and his two most memorable moments came in a loss in Maryland, where he took a no-hitter to the 7th inning, only to suffer the loss 1-0 after leaving with men on base, and a gritty win over a tough Normandy team in the 2014 District Semifinal. M.J. will have a great year in 2015 and I am sure he will make Walsh University very happy when he gets there.”

From Mikal Outcalt, an All-Ohio and All-American goalkeeper for the Wildcats’ nationally ranked record sixth Division I state champion soccer team and a Captain for the Varsity Basketball Team, who is bound for the University of Pittsburgh on a soccer scholarship: “It’s a dream come true. I mean it’s amazing. I came in as a freshman and accomplished the goals that I set for myself. And the team reached its goals on top of everything. I want to thank first of all my family. They have been supportive of me throughout my life and my soccer career. And the entire soccer coaching staff in general, who have been huge in supporting me. If I needed time for extra work or for college stuff, they were always there for me. And Coach O’Toole (Cats Head Basketball Coach Sean O’Toole ’87), he’s been awesome in helping me.

“I would also like to thank Brendan Cash, who was the senior goalie when I came in,” Mikal continued. “When I came up to the varsity, he really took me under his wing and kind of showed me the ropes. I felt that helped me grow up a lot
earlier than I expected to.”

Wildcats nationally acclaimed Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin ’85 on Mikal:Mikal ends his high school career as a two-time state champion and one of the finest goalkeepers ever to play at Saint Ignatius. Over the past four years he has left his mark as a great leader, a terrific teammate, and a great goalkeeper. In our biggest games Mikal was at his best, especially during this season’s state championship game, where he made several key saves late in the game to secure the victory.”

May God Bless these 12 young men for others, Eddie Dwyer.   



 



       



 



Casey Mullarkey '10 continues to excel in USA Speed Skating.
2/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Ellen & Matthew Mullarkey 

To the Saint Ignatius Community,

"We just want to let Saint Ignatius know that Casey Mullarkey, Class of 2010, has been a member on the USA National Short Track Speed Skating Team since September 2014. He will represent the USA on the 2015 World Cup Team this weekend in Dresden, Germany, skating the 1500 meter distance February 6, 7 & 8th. He will also skate for the USA at the University Games in Granada, Spain February 13-15.  He has been training in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Olympic Oval for the past two years and you may have watched him skate at the January, 2014 Olympic trials."
Go Wildcats!

- Ellen & Matthew Mullarkey

The Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward and Canton Timken Varsity Basketball Preview.
2/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

Ohio City – Coming off a disappointing 13-point setback at Walsh Jesuit last weekend, a game that saw the undefeated Warriors rally from a seven-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Wildcats, 42-22, over the final 16 minutes, Saint Ignatius has little time to dwell on what happened at “The
Dome” that sits near Wyoga Lake Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

After watching film on the second half of the Walsh Jesuit game, the Wildcats are well aware that they lost two significant game-changing battles to the gritty, almost “Hoosiers”-like Warriors – the loose balls and the rebounds.

Saint Ignatius (9-5), ranked 12th in this week’s cleveland.com Top 25 area basketball poll, will attempt to shore up those two facets of its game, along with its offensive consistency, when it travels to Coach Jim Connors Court on the campus of St. Edward Friday night for the second of the annual home and home series with its longtime West Side Rival. The Junior Varsity tipoff on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood is scheduled for 6 PM, followed by the Varsity encounter at 7:30.

If you can’t make it out to the game, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you the action live from Coach Jim Connors Court. SIBN President James Zajaczkowski and his savvy partner Liam Garven will have the Varsity call.

“We just played them, so obviously there are no secrets,” said Wildcats Head Coach Sean O’Toole ’87.

Just two weeks ago, Coach Eric Flannery’s defending Division I state champion St. Edward Eagles came into Sullivan Gymnasium and, behind strong first and third quarters, defeated Saint Ignatius, 73-55. It was St.  Edward’s fourth consecutive victory over the Wildcats, as the Eagles went 3-0 versus the Cats last season – two regular season games and a regional semifinal. In 2012-13, Saint Ignatius swept the home and home series for the first time since the winter of 2004-05. The Cats were the last team to defeat St. Edward on Coach Jim Connors Court (Feb. 2013).

Coach Flannery’s Eagles will take a 12-4 record and a ranking of fifth in the cleveland.com poll into what should be a loud and enthusiastic setting on Friday night. Love that stage in the Eagles Nest. It
reminds this corner of his coaching days at Saint Ignatius of Antioch.

In their matchup in Ohio City two weeks ago, St. Edward limited the Wildcats to eight points in the first quarter and 11 points in the third quarter. The Eagles complemented their defense with an offense that
produced four players in double figures.

Six-foot-9 sophomore center Derek (D.J.) Funderburk and 6-6 senior forward Mike Ryan led the way for Coach Flannery with 15 and 14 points, respectively, gifted 6-7 senior forward Kipper Nichols finished with 13 points and 5-9 junior point guard Sean Flannery, Coach Flannery’s son, contributed 10 points, including two key 3-pointers in the first half. Ryan, in this old timer’s humble opinion, is one of the area’s underrated performers.

The Wildcats got a game-high 22 points from junior guard Deven Stover and a 13-point effort from senior guard Andre' Wolford.

St. Edward, ranked 11th in the Associated Press Division I state poll, enters Friday’s tipoff having won seven of its last eight games. After a shaky performance from the foul line in a 63-62 loss to MacDuffie (MA) in the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University in East Canton, the Eagles bounced back with a 20-for-22 night from the charity stripe in last weekend’s 63-49 home victory over Toledo St. John’s Jesuit, the state’s 12th-ranked Division I team. St. Edward played without Funderburk against the Titans of St. John’s, but the lengthy and active post player is expected to return to the lineup on Friday night.

“We have to worry about ourselves right now,” said Coach O’Toole. “We have to compete for four quarters. We have to do what we need to do to get ourselves better for the (OHSAA postseason) tournament. This week it’s 100 percent about correcting what we need to correct so that we go into the tournament on a high note. We have correctable errors. They (Walsh Jesuit) made plays and we did not, that’s the bottom line. We went in with a nice lead at the half. The first three minutes usually dictate the second half and they certainly did in that case.”

Walsh Jesuit started the third quarter with an 8-0 run that the Warriors stretched to 15-3.

SAFETY FORCES NIGHT WILL HIGHLIGHT SATURDAY’S GAME VERSUS CANTON TIMKEN IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM.

Coach O’Toole and his basketball program, along with the entire Saint Ignatius family, will honor our men and women who have dedicated their lives to keeping our City and its surrounding communities safe.

The 7:30 Varsity Game versus the Trojans from Canton Timken will be preceded by a 6 PM matchup between the schools’ Junior Varsity teams.

Seasoned Wildcats basketball fans will recall that last winter Saint Ignatius and Canton Timken met in the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University. The Cats and the Trojans battled to a 30-30 tie after the first 16 minutes.

Saint Ignatius put together a third quarter that saw it outscore Timken, 21-8, but the Trojans came storming back over the final eight minutes and came away with a 62-60 victory. Wildcats guard Deven Stover scored 24 points in 27 minutes that afternoon, including three 3-pointers and a 9-for-10 effort from the foul line.

After squeezing by Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, 52-51, on Tuesday night in the basketball-rich Memorial Fieldhouse, Canton Timken stands 14-2. Timken blocked a shot in the final second to secure the victory over CVCA.

Among the Trojans to watch are 6-6 junior post Jordan Davis, a Garfield Heights transfer who can be a load inside, multi-skilled 5-10 sophomore guard Darryl Straughter, 6-5 junior forward/guard LePear Toles and 6-0 junior guard T.J. Lipkins.

Despite 20 points and 13 rebounds by Davis, the Trojans were defeated by the Warren G. Harding Raiders, 80-66, at Harding this past weekend. Saint Ignatius defeated the Raiders, 61-55, in Week 5 at Harding.

Timken’s other setback was to Huntington St. Joe’s Prep, 76-65.

“It was a great game last year (versus Timken), obviously,” said Coach O’Toole. “We have a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter and end up losing at the buzzer. They have great guard play and are a well-coached team. They have high energy and they have added size (Davis) into it. It’s a team that has a great chance to compete in their district and get to a regional, or even further.”      



 



  



 



 



 



        



The Ice Cats are tied for first place with Toledo St. Francis DeSales in the latest state poll.
2/3/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Hockey Team, which has won 12 consecutive games and remains undefeated in Great Lakes Hockey League play, received 85 voting points, as did the St. Francis Knights.

The Ice Cats received 4 first-place votes and the Knights were the recipients of 5 first-place votes this week. St. Francis defeated Saint Ignatius, 6-1, during the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Holiday Tournament at IceLand USA in Strongsville.

HERE IS THIS WEEK'S STATE POLL

1. Toledo St. Francis 85 (5)

1. Saint Ignatius 85 (4) The Ice Cats (24-3-3) will close out their regular season with GLHL games versus the state's third-ranked University School Preppers on Saturday at 4:40 PM at The Pond and versus West Side rival St. Edward, Ohio's fourth-ranked program, on Sunday at 2:30 PM in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

3. University School 69

4. St. Edward 61

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 41

6. Bowling Green 38

7. Findlay 36

8. Dublin Jerome 25

9. Columbus St. Charles 20

10. Olentangy Orange 19

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Upper Arlington, Rocky River and Holy Name.

Saint Ignatius basketball now 12th in latest area poll.
2/2/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats (9-5), who travel to St. Edward on Friday night and host Canton Timken on Saturday night, went from the 9th spot to 12th place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll.

St. Edward (12-4), which defeated the Wildcats, 73-55, on Jan. 24th in Sullivan Gymnasium, is ranked fifth by cleveland.com and stands 11th in the latest AP Division I state poll. Canton Timken is 13-2 after a 14-point loss to Warren Harding.

As always, the corner will be previewing this weekend's games later this week.

My prayers and condolences go out to veteran area high school reporter and current St. Edward website sports reporter Norm Weber on the recent passing of his father, Rudolph Weber.
2/1/2015
The Kastanis Report. A look at the past four weeks in Saint Ignatius Bowling by Coach John Kastanis.
2/1/2015

Presented by the Head Coach of the Alley Cats, Mr. John Kastanis, and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH KASTANIS: For starters, we finished 27th out of 37 teams in the Bearcat Classic Tournament held in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We had struggled early on battling changing conditions. This was a very good experience for us learning from our mistakes.

Here are the bowling results for Week 8: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Brookside High School.   
There are three different categories:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 5-2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category =
2,622 (833;975;814) vs. Brookside High School = 2,359 (726;791;842).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 2-5  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,036 (932;1,074;1,030) vs. Brookside High School = 3,151 (990;1,055;1,106).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, -0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin Fall= 3,002/Brookside High School Total Pin Fall = 2,755.     

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 166;214 = 380 Series vs.(Brookside High School) = 179;217 = 396. 

Our star bowlers for the Eighth Week:

                       Junior Austin Venczel = 209; 227 = 584 Series (Awesome)
                       Sophomore Devin Venczel = 220 = 541 Series (Awesome)
                       Senior Josh Jarosz  = 202 = 539 Series (Awesome)

Here are the bowling results for Week 9: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Holy Name High School.   
There are three different categories:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 5- 2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category =
2,796 (877;1,005;914) vs. Holy Name  High School = 2767 (949;947;871).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 2 - 5 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2,955 (922;1,062;971) vs.Holy Name High School = 3,273 (1,103;1,123;1,047).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 3,160/Holy Name  High School Total Pin fall = 3,120.     

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 152;212 = 364 Series vs. (Holy Name High School) = 196;157 = 353. 

Our star bowlers for the Ninth Week:

                       Junior Cedric Crawford= 193; 222 = 591 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Ralph Deadwyler = 216; 194 = 580 Series (Awesome)
                       Senior Antonio DiFranco = 221; 197 = 418 Two game Series (Awesome)

Here are the bowling results for Week 10 Bowling: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Brooklyn High School.   
There are three different categories:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category =
2,762 (897;972;893) vs. Brooklyn High School = 1,968 (616;710;642).                        

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2,993 (974;1,049;970) vs. Brooklyn High School = 3,141 (987;1,112;1,042) .

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 3,083/Brooklyn High School Total Pin fall = 2,162.     

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 185;136 = 321 Series vs. (Brooklyn High School) = 108;86 = 194. 

Our star bowlers for the tenth week:

                       Junior Cedric Crawford= 199; 211; 213 = 623 Series (Awesome)
                       Sophomore Nick Frank = 212; 201 = 580 Series (Awesome)
                       Senior Antonio DiFranco = 235 = 554 Series (Awesome)

Here are the bowling results for Week 11: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Padua Franciscan High School.   
There are three different categories:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 5- 2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category =  2,903 (931;983;989) vs. Padua Franciscan High School = 2,574 (935;868;771).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 5-2 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,080 (986;1,044;1,050) vs. Padua Franciscan High School = 3,154 (1,113;1,064;977) .

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall = 3,246/ Padua Franciscan High School Total Pin fall = 2,912.     

4) Baker Games( Wildcats) = 190;153 = 343 Series vs. (Padua Franciscan High School) = 146;192 = 338. 

Our star bowlers for the eleventh week:

                       Junior Gianni Schaefer = 222; 235 = 634 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Austin Venczel = 245; 225 = 631 Series (Awesome)
                       Senior Antonio DiFranco = 225; 200 = 617 Series (Awesome) 

NOTE: The Alley Cats are scheduled to close out what has been an exceptional regular season when they face the Bulldogs of Olmsted Falls on Saturday at 9 AM on Buckeye Lanes.                     
                      
               
                     

Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Basketball lays down the hammer early and often en route to a 57-33 victory over the Jayvee Team from Walsh Jesuit.
2/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit entered Saturday night's Junior Varsity basketball matchup with records of 12-1 and 13-2, respectively.

Should be a heck of a game, right?

Well, what looked like an intriguing encounter on paper certainly didn't surface on the court at Walsh Jesuit.

Saint Ignatius' gifted and mature beyond their years sophomores introduced themselves to their Jesuit brothers by scoring 21 unanswered points. The Warriors from Walsh Jesuit didn't score a point until 20.1 seconds remained in the first quarter.

It was the names you have heard before who helped land the early barrage for Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his assistants Brian McLaughlin '84 and Andrew Salata '01.

If multi-skilled 6-foot-7 post/forward Austen Yarian wasn't moving without the ball and scoring underneath, he was stepping out and hitting perimeter shots.

A three-point play by Yarian made the score 14-0 with 2 minutes and 40 seconds left in the first quarter. The remaining seven points of the 21-0 start came courtesy of a layup by guard Connor Meehan off an on-the-money assist from guard Tommy Aris, a steal and a free throw by Yarian, a breakaway layup by endless-hustle guard Colin Goodfellow and a steal and an authoritative move to the basket by 6-4 forward Quinton Farren.

Going to their bench early and often and also mixing starters with substitutes, Saint Ignatius' coaches watched their JV Cats put together a second quarter that was highlighted by a quick pull-up 3-pointer by Goodfellow and a three-point play by Meehan off another Aris assist.

The Cats did some more roaring in the early stages of the third quarter, as after Yarian scored off a Farren assist, forward James Leyden powered his way to a three-point play, guard Michael Spear buried a 3-pointer and Yarian followed a missed shot, the score read Saint Ignatius 40, Walsh Jesuit 14.

Saint Ignatius' Jayvees, who will take a 13-1 record into St. Edward on Friday night (6 PM) as they attempt to sweep the Eagles' Junior Varsity this season, added 3-pointers by guard Devin Jackson, guard Ryan Cook and Goodfellow in leaving no doubt.

The Wildcats were led by Yarian's 17 points and Walsh Jesuit also got a 17-point effort from 6-4 forward Jack Trimpe.                 

 

 

Walsh Jesuit, trailing by seven points at halftime, goes on to outscore Saint Ignatius by 20 points over the final 16 minutes and remains undefeated with a 64-51 victory over the Cats at Walsh Jesuit on Saturday night.
1/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - Coach John Norris' Warriors, ranked 10th this past week in cleveland.com's Top 25 area basketball poll, started the second half with an 8-0 run and outscored the Wildcats, 19-8, in the third quarter.

Keeping its composure and responding to every Saint Ignatius challenge over the final eight minutes, Walsh Jesuit, now 16-0, moved to an eight-point lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by gifted 6-foot-5 junior wing Mitch Peterson and hard-nosed junior guard Nate Reich, who plays much bigger than his 5-foot-11 frame.

The Warriors, who won the battle of the boards and the loose balls, held a 10-point advantage after Peterson buried two free throws with 3 minutes and 4 seconds remaining to be played.

Saint Ignatius, the area's ninth-ranked program, closed to 54-46 on a put back by sophomore post Matt Davet with 2:27 left, only to watch Walsh Jesuit pull away on a layup by junior guard Joe Iacobacci, a three-point play by underrated senior forward/post Dom Mittiga and the free-throw shooting of Iacobacci and Peterson.

Peterson and Iacobacci led the way for Coach Norris with 15 and 13 points, respectively, and 14 points by junior guard Deven Stover and 10 points from senior guard Andre' Wolford were the highs for Saint Ignatius.

The final numbers didn't lie as the Wildcats were 17-of-44 from the field and 15-of-24 from the free-throw line. Saint Ignatius hit on just 2 of 15 3-point shots.

Walsh Jesuit, which was coming off Friday night's hard-fought home victory over rival Archbishop Hoban, was 21-of-47 from the field, 16-of-22 from the foul line and made 6 of its 15 shots from beyond the arc. In what was a telling stat, the Warriors outrebounded the Cats, 35-21.

Saint Ignatius, which slipped to 9-5 on the season, will travel to St. Edward's Coach Jim Connors Court on Friday night for the second game of the home-and-home series with the Eagles. St. Edward defeated the Wildcats, 73-55, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Jan. 24. Coach Sean O'Toole's team will then host Canton Timken on Saturday night.

Here are Coach O'Toole's comments from Saturday night, followed by a recap on the Warriors-Wildcats Junior Varsity Game, which saw Saint Ignatius roll, 57-33, and improve to 13-1 in the process.

After Saint Ignatius' junior point guard Jim Berger made a hustle save along the sideline and fired a savvy over-the-shoulder pass to senior guard Andre' Wolford for a basket that cut the Wildcats' deficit to 14-13 entering the second quarter at Walsh Jesuit on Saturday night, you could sense there was an energy flowing from Coach O'Toole's Cats.

Those emotions grew even stronger when Wolford buried a 3-pointer and strong and skilled junior forward Tim Kiefer converted an authoritative drive to the rim into a three-point play.

The Warriors from Walsh Jesuit would cut the Wildcats' four-point lead in half, only to watch Saint Ignatius' senior post Dre'Mont Jones respond with a three-point play and a five-point Saint Ignatius lead with 1 minute and two seconds remaining the first half.

After endless energy junior point guard Kyle Kalish made two of three free throws after being fouled while attempting a 3-pointer, the Wildcats took a 29-22 lead into the visitors' locker room at halftime.

Not perfect by any means, but a solid 16-minute effort when you consider you are playing on the road against an undefeated team.

However, as quick as that emotion rose in the second quarter, it was brought back down to earth by a third quarter that, as documented in this story's lead-in paragraphs, saw Coach John Norris' Warriors start the second half with an 8-0 run.

It was a run that fueled a 19-8 third quarter in favor of Walsh Jesuit and carried over to the final eight minutes, which were also won by the Warriors, 23-14.

Yes, the young men from Wyoga Lake Road might not pass "the eye test," but as Coach O'Toole shared with this old-timer in the corner's Thursday preview on the Walsh Jesuit game, Coach Norris' players have a ton of heart and intelligence.

And more talent than the "eye test" will ever reveal.

"Quite frankly, it was the total package," said Coach O'Toole of the disappointing loss. "We didn't defend, we didn't get the hustle categories, loose balls, rebounds, and our shot selection was poor. And when we did get high percentage shots, we didn't finish.

"It's frustrating," Coach O'Toole continued. "The first half, it wasn't great. But hey, a seven point lead. As far as the second half, there is just no consistency. I have to figure out how to develop this consistency and who it is. I am going to have to sit down and evaluate this. We're a much better team than what we performed like in the second half.

"Give them credit," Coach O'Toole said of Walsh Jesuit. "It was a physical battle, and they won the battle."    

   

 

            

 

     

 

         

Wes Deacon turns in a 30-save night between the pipes as The Ice Cats make it 12 in a row with a 3-0 triumph over St. Edward on Saturday evening in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
1/31/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats, Ohio's second-ranked team, rode goals by senior forward Peter Hyland and senior forwards/captains Ethan Whitney and Matty Geither to their 12th consecutive victory. The Ice Cats now stand 24-3-3 and remain undefeated in Great Lakes Hockey League play.

Assisting on Hyland's goal were Geither and senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec. Junior forwards  Zach Kisel and Cam Gerard had the helpers on Whitney's goal and Whitney assisted on Geither's lamplighter. The goals by Whitney and Geither were off power plays.

The Ice Cats will close out their regular season with GLHL matchups versus University School at The Pond on Saturday (Feb. 7) at 4:40 PM and versus St. Edward in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst on Sunday (Feb. 8) at 2:30 PM.

St. Edward, which was tied with University School for the third spot in this past week's state poll, now stands 20-7-3 on the season. The Eagles were defeated by University School, 3-1, on Friday night at Winterhurst.    

    

 

Congratulations go out to Saint Ignatius' Varsity Blue Wrestling Team, which took first place at Saturday's Peg Leg Scuffle in Garaway High School. The Blue Men of the Mats had 10 placers.
1/31/2015
The Ice Cats win their 11th consecutive game by defeating Gilmour Academy, 4-0, on Friday night in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
1/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With sophomore forward Connor Koehnke, senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec, senior forward/captain Jack Wiegandt and his brother Matt, a sophomore defenseman, providing the offense, Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2014 Division I state champions improved to 23-3-3 and remained unbeaten in Great Lakes Hockey League play.

The Ice Cats, ranked second in the state poll and carrying an 11-game winning streak, will return to the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Saturday to face West Side rival St. Edward. The puck will drop at 4:45 PM.

St. Edward (20-6-3) earned a tie for third place with University School in this week's state poll. However, University School came into Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst on Friday night and defeated the Eagles on their home ice, 3-1. The Preppers were defeated by Saint Ignatius, 7-2, last weekend in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

 

    

The Saint Ignatius at Walsh Jesuit Varsity Basketball Preview and a look at what the Wildcats' other winter sports teams are up to.
1/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January/February 2015

Ohio City – Saint Ignatius High School’s veteran Head Basketball Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 described this weekend’s opponent, the Walsh Jesuit Warriors, as a disciplined team that works extremely well as a unit at both ends of the floor.

That cohesiveness, blended with a veteran nucleus from last season, has Coach John Norris’ Warriors standing 14-0 entering this weekend. One of the underrated coaches in all of Northeast Ohio, Coach Norris is a 1996 graduate of Walsh Jesuit.

Walsh Jesuit, ranked 10th in cleveland.com’s seven-county area Top 25 poll, will host rival Archbishop Hoban on Friday night and then gear up for what has the makings of a great Jesuit School rivalry game when Saint Ignatius comes calling to Wyoga Lake Road in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday night.

A 6 PM Junior Varsity Game will precede Saturday’s 7:30 Varsity matchup and the action will be brought to you live over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network. SIBN President James Zajaczkowski ’15 and his partner Liam Garven '15 will have the varsity call.

The Wildcats will take the floor in what is expected to be a packed house at Walsh Jesuit with a record of 9-4 and a ranking of 9th by cleveland.com.

“By no means are they the physical team that we’ve seen with the St. Eds (St. Edward) and St. Vs (St. Vincent-St. Mary) and some of the other teams we’ve played, but they play with a ton of heart and intelligence,” Coach O’Toole said of the Warriors. “They play within their skill set, have good depth and Johnny Norris has done a great job keeping his guys focused on the task at hand. At this point of the season, if you’re undefeated, you’re absolutely doing things
right.”

Walsh Jesuit did plenty of things right on January 11th of last season, when they traveled to Sullivan Gymnasium and took the Wildcats down to the final buzzer.

It was a twin-spin that saved the night for Saint Ignatius, as Eric Black ‘14, who finished with a game-high 28 points, converted a high-low assist from his twin brother David ’14 with the final seconds ticking off the clock and the Wildcats
turned back the Warriors, 62-60, snapping Walsh Jesuit’s six-game winning streak in the process.

Saint Ignatius led, 40-26, with four minutes remaining in the third quarter before Walsh Jesuit stormed back behind then sophomore guard/forward Mitch Peterson. Peterson scored 15 of his 22 points over the final 16 minutes.

Now a 6-foot-5 junior, Peterson leads Coach Norris’ offense with an average of 19.4 points per game. Wildcats savvy Assistant Coach Jerry Porath describes Peterson as a long, skilled player with good range. Peterson, who enters Friday night’s game versus Archbishop Hoban with 25 3-pointers, can also put the ball on the floor and get to the free-throw line.

Defense has been one of the Warriors’ major calling cards this winter. Eight times they have held the opponent to less than 50 points and six times the opposition has scored under sixty points.

Among those complementing Peterson are post Dom Mittiga, guards Nate Reich and Joe Iacobacci, forward Nick Schlosser, guard Dominic Canzone, forward Ben Kanieski and guards Justin Jordan and Patrick Keough.

Mittiga, a skilled and patient performer, is averaging 11 points a game. Reich, who plays bigger than his 5-foot-11 size, currently averages 7.9 points and has buried 17 3-pointers. Iacobacci, an all-round contributor who makes plays for others (how appropriate for a Jesuit School player), checks in at 7 points a game and Schlosser and Canzone are at 6.7 and 6.3 points per game, respectively.

Keough averages 3.8 points, Jordan (2.6 points per game) has eight 3-pointers and Kanieski (2.4 points per game) has six baskets from beyond the arc.

“As I tell our kids, whatever it takes to get the W (the win),” said Coach O’Toole. “We’ve just have to go out there and build on Sunday (a 66-55 victory over Youngstown Ursuline, the state’s eighth-ranked Division III team). That’s the
goal, get better every day. It’s a tough place to play on the road and with Johnny (Coach Norris) you expect the unexpected. All of their kids play physical and tough, and they’re unselfish.”

And that can be said about the Jesuit team wearing the Blue and Gold as well.

WHAT THE WIILDCATS’ OTHER WINTER SPORTS TEAMS ARE UP TO THIS WEEKEND.

HOCKEY: Coach Pat O’Rourke’s defending state champion Ice Cats, currently ranked second in Ohio and unbeaten in Great Lakes Hockey League play, will take a record of 22-3-3 and a 10-game winning streak into Friday night’s faceoff with the Lancers from Gilmour Academy. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 8 PM.

On Saturday, the Ice Cats return to Brooklyn’s Ice Arena, a.k.a. “The Big Barn on Memphis,” for a 4:45 PM matchup with the St. Edward Eagles. St. Edward is tied with University School for the state’s third-place ranking.

WRESTLING: The Varsity Blue Men of the Mats are scheduled to compete in Friday’s Elyria Catholic Double Duals. Matches are slated to begin at 6 PM.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: As per the Wildcats’ swimming page, Coach Jeff Ridler’s men will be hosting Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep and Erie (Pa.) Maria Villa Academy in Friday’s Senior Night at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University. The warm up is scheduled for 6 PM and the competition for 7 PM. On Saturday, again according to the swimming page, the Wildcats are scheduled to compete in the Hathaway Brown Blazer Invitational, with the warm up at 11 AM and the competition at high noon.

BOWLING: The Alley Cats are scheduled to be on the Cloverleaf Lanes for Saturday’s 9 AM match with the Bruins from Padua Franciscan High School.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend. Enjoy the Super Bowl and don’t be deflated, no matter what the outcome is.                         



                    



Wildcats wrestlers split their OHSAA dual team matches in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
1/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In what were Region 2-B quarterfinal matches in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's State Wrestling Dual Team Tournament, the Wildcats' Men of the Mats overpowered Garfield Heights, 60-16, but were defeated by the Parma Redmen, 37-35. 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Football to face Walsh Jesuit in 2015 and 2016.
1/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT CREDIT JANUARY 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' outstanding Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 has secured an agreement that will have the Warriors from Walsh Jesuit on the Wildcats' Varsity Football schedule for Week 5, both this upcoming season and in 2016.

Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit will meet on Sept. 26th this fall in a 7 PM game on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium. The Wildcats will travel to Walsh Jesuit in Week 5 of 2016.

This upcoming season's Saint Ignatius at Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep game is now Week 4.

By securing Walsh Jesuit on the schedule, the Wildcats have just one open date to fill for 2015 and that is Week 7.

Saint Ignatius leads its all-time gridiron series with Walsh Jesuit, 5-4. Coach Chuck Kyle '69 is 3-0 all-time versus the Warriors.

The Wildcats and the Warriors last met on the varsity level in 1993, a state-semifinal matchup on a rain-drenched and muddy grass surface in Canton's Fawcett Stadium. With legendary tailback Eric Haddad scoring five touchdowns Saint Ignatius defeated Walsh Jesuit, 34-0, and went on to the fifth of its record 11 Division I state football championships and the second of its three national titles by defeating Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, 38-20, in Massillon's Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. After the Saint Ignatius-Walsh Jesuit state semifinal game in 1993 Fawcett Stadium switched to a turf surface.

Along with the addition of Walsh Jesuit, the other opponents for next season include Mentor (at Mentor), the above-mentioned game in Philadelphia with St. Joe's Prep, the three Parma Schools - Normandy, Parma Senior and Valley Forge - all at Byers Field, Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman, Cincinnati St. Xavier at John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium and defending Division I state champion St. Edward in tradition-rich Lakewood Stadium. Again, Week 7 is the only date to fill.             

Mullen Socha to further his education and baseball career at Washington and Jefferson.
1/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor has informed the corner that his talented and savvy senior infielder Mullen Socha has decided to play baseball next year at Washington and Jefferson. Mullen will follow Aaron Klinec '08 and Mike Ruffing '12 as the next Wildcat to play for Coach Jeff Mountain.

Mullen, who is slated to play second base for Saint Ignatius this coming season, is the 59th player from Coach Ganor's program to go on to play college baseball since 2005.

Congratulations to Mullen, his family, Coach Ganor and the entire Wildcats Baseball Program.

 

My prayers and sympathy go out to Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Wrestling Coach/ Assistant Football Coach Mark Sullivan and his family on the recent passing of Mark's father, Edward J. "Ed," Jr. Our prayers are also with the Cats' Men of the Mats.
1/27/2015
Ice Cats remain second in the weekly state ice hockey poll.
1/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Knights from Toledo St. Francis DeSales continue to hold down the top spot with 90 points and 9 first-place votes.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will take a record of 22-3-3 and a 10-game winning streak into this weekend's action.

Here is how this week's poll shaped out.

1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 90 (9)             

2. Saint Ignatius 80 (hosts Gilmour Academy on Friday at 8 PM and hosts St. Edward on Saturday at 4:45 PM. Both games will played at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center).  

3-Tie. University School 67

3-Tie. St. Edward 67

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 48                

6. Findlay 33

7. Columbus St. Charles 32

8. Bowling Green 27

9. Olentangy Orange 20

10. Dublin Jerome 14

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Dublin Coffman, Rocky River, Lake Catholic and Upper Arlington.           




Coming Thursday. A preview on Saturday night's Saint Ignatius (9-4) at Walsh Jesuit (14-0) Varsity Basketball Game.
1/27/2015
Cleveland.com drops Saint Ignatius two spots in its latest Top 25 area basketball poll.
1/26/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats, who improved to 9-4 by defeating Youngstown Ursuline, 66-55, in Sunday's Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University, went from seventh to ninth place in this week's rankings.

In what should be a great Jesuit School rivalry game, the Wildcats will travel to Walsh Jesuit on Saturday night to face the currently undefeated and 10th-ranked Warriors.

You might recall that Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit played a down-to-the-final-buzzer thriller at Sullivan Gymnasium last season, with the Cats prevailing, 62-60.

The corner will be previewing Saturday night's matchup with the Warriors later this week.    

Deven Stover, Andre' Wolford, Dylan Nieto, Jaylin McDonald and Dre'Mont Jones help show the way as Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball bounces back with a 66-55 victory Youngstown Ursuline in Sunday's Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout.
1/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

NORTH CANTON, OHIO - The Cats rebounded from last night's tough loss to St. Edward by handing the Youngstown Ursuline Fighting Irish just their second loss in 15 games this season.

Ursuline, whose only other setback was to talent-rich St. Vincent-St. Mary, entered Sunday's matchup with Saint Ignatius as the 10th-ranked Division III team in the state.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, who will enter Saturday night's game at Walsh Jesuit High School with a record of 9-4, found a consistency at both ends of the Walsh University floor during what was Sunday's 4th Annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout.

Junior guard Deven Stover, coming off a game-high 22 points in the loss to St. Edward, led a balanced Saint Ignatius offense with 16 points. Right behind Deven was senior guard Andre' Wolford, who scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers. Andre' was selected as the game's Most Valuable Player, marking the second time this month that Andre' has brought home the MVP Trophy from a major showcase event.

Andre' was also the MVP of the Wildcats' victory over East Tech in the 5th Annual Cleveland Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University.

Saint Ignatius got solid efforts from senior forwards Jaylin McDonald (10 points and eight rebounds) and Dylan Nieto (9 points in 10 minutes, including two 3-pointers), and also making his presence felt was strong and active senior post Dre'Mont Jones (eight points and eight rebounds), who is bound for the National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes on a football scholarship. Dre' was coming off a 10-rebound performance against St. Edward.

The Wildcats shot 48.8 percent from the field, including a 7-for-13 effort on 3-pointers, and were 19-of-25 from the free-throw line. They outrebounded Ursuline, 41-34, with 33 of those rebounds coming off the defensive glass.

Ursuline shot 31.1 percent from the field and was 6-of-23 on its 3-point attempts. The Irish were 11-of-21 from the free-throw line. Leading the way for Coach Keith Gunther's team was the 1-2 punch of junior guard David Collins (21 points) and senior guard/forward Mark Hughes (17 points).

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE, AND BASKETBALL, ARE FREE: For the weekend, Deven Stover was 18-of-21 from the free-throw line, including the 8-for-9 effort against St. Edward.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF SUNDAY'S KEY SEQUENCES, FOLLOWED BY COMMENTS FROM COACH O'TOOLE AND DEVEN STOVER.

Sparked by a 3-pointer and a baseline drive by senior forward Jaylin McDonald, a basket down low by sophomore post Matt Davet off an assist from junior point guard Jim Berger, a 3-pointer by senior guard Andre' Wolford and a layup by senior post Dre' Mont Jones off another on-the money assist from Berger, Saint Ignatius held a seven-point lead after the first eight minutes.

The Wildcats also won the second quarter, as Wolford buried three 3-pointers in the quarter.

After Saint Ignatius extended its lead to 26-15 on 3-pointers by Wolford and senior forward Dylan Nieto with 2 minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the first half, Ursuline closed to 26-18 on a 3-pointer by its skillful senior guard/forward Mark Hughes.

Just when the Ursuline faithful were getting into the game, Wolford kissed the sky with another basket from beyond the arc and gifted junior guard Deven Stover sent home an authoritative put back that extended the Wildcats' lead to 31-18.

Ursuline cut the deficit to eight points on a 3-pointer by junior guard Greg Parella, followed by two free throws from the ever-present junior guard David Collins.

Following a second-effort power move by Davet, Saint Ignatius took a 10-point lead to its locker room at the halftime break.

In what was a third quarter won by Ursuline, 17-15, the Fighting Irish quickly closed to four points on six consecutive points by Collins (a 3-pointer and a three-point play). The Wildcats would push their advantage to nine points, but the Irish had plenty of fight left as Parella sent home another 3-pointer and 6-foot-5 sophomore post Armon Nasseri made it a four-point game again off a move down the lane.

Two free throws by Stover gave Saint Ignatius a six-point lead with 2:06 left in the third quarter, but Nasseri answered with two more points.

Nieto, who gave Coach O'Toole and his staff a solid 10 minutes in his reserve role, turned a strong move to the rim into a three-point play and a seven-point Wildcats lead with 1:25 to go in the third quarter.

Nasseri would score from close range in cutting Ursuline's deficit to five points, but Nieto came up big again, as Dylan fired in a 3-pointer with 46.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

After Collins hit two free throws, Jones made a strong and athletic tip-in and Saint Ignatius took an eight-point lead into the final eight minutes.

Those final eight minutes saw the Wildcats seal the deal behind a breakaway layup by McDonald off a perfect see-the-floor assist from Berger, two free throws from Berger off a 1-and-1, and eight fourth-quarter free throws by Stover.

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "After we lost (to St. Edward at a packed Sullivan Gymnasium), Coach O'Toole and everybody else said to not let it get to us. We'll have 64 more minutes with that team (St. Edward). We're going to see them two more times (at St. Edward on Feb. 6 and hopefully in the postseason). But we knew we had a game to play today. So we put our minds to it and got the win. That's what is good about our team, we don't take to hanging our heads. There are still a lot of games ahead of us and of course the playoffs, which are the most important. So we keep on playing, forget about the past and set a new path."

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "I was so happy we were playing today. We needed to get that memory and that thought (the 18-point setback to St. Edward) out of our mind. I thought we got better today. We saw plenty of improvement. That's a very good team (Ursuline). They're 13-2 and their only loss coming in was to St. Vincent-St. Mary, which in my opinion is as good a team as there is around. I was very happy with the variety of ways we scored. Obviously Andre' shot it well, but our guards ran the floor and distributed it well. Dre'Mont and Jaylin were very strong inside and our bench gave us great minutes. And defensively we were solid. They (Ursuline) have three excellent guards that can score, but we made them work. I'm sure of that."                

    

    

                 

  

Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity Basketball improves to 12-1 after a 65-50 victory over St. Edward's jayvees.
1/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - Sparked by 3-pointers from sophomore guards Tommy Aris and Michael Spear, a strong drive to the rim by sophomore forward Quinton Farren, a 3-pointer from sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian, three foul shots by Farren and a crowd-pleasing athletic move to the basket by Aris, Coaches Chris Salata '94, Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 watched their Wildcats move to a 35-23 lead by halftime and never look back.

It was more of the same in the third quarter as the JV Cats moved the ball with a rhythm and patience that would have made future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs smile.

After hard-nosed sophomore forward Ben Delhees scored off a layup, Ben, moving without the ball and cutting down the lane, added two more points off a picture-perfect assist from Aris. "Q" Farren then put back a shot and, after instant energy sophomore guard Connor Meehan drove to the basket with authority, Saint Ignatius carried a 14-point lead into the final seven minutes (JV quarters are 7 minutes).

The Cats, on the strength of a soft one-hander in the lane by Yarian, a hustle steal by sophomore forward James Leyden and a basket by Meehan off a smooth assist from sophomore guard Devin Jackson, maintained their 14-point lead for most of the fourth quarter.

St. Edward would close to 10 points in the late stages of the quarter, only to watch Saint Ignatius settle the issue on a highlight-reel fake and drive to the rim by multi-skilled sophomore guard Colin Goodfellow and a quick and authoritative move to the basket by Aris that Tommy converted into a three-point play.

Farren finished with a game-high 15 points, Aris and Yarian each scored nine points and Leyden tossed in eight points. Jack Sullivan was the high man for St. Edward with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Michael Dowell and Kevin Dever finished with nine and eight points, respectively.    

 

     

     

Ice Cats make it 10 in a row with a solid 7-2 victory over University School on Saturday evening.
1/24/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' deep lines and physicality were more than the Preppers could deal. The Ice Cats improved to 22-3-3, extended their winning streak to 10 games and remained unbeaten in Great Lakes Hockey League play.

The game, which was played at the home of the Ice Cats, the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, matched the state's second (Saint Ignatius) and third-ranked teams.

Senior forwards/Captains Jack Mazanec and Ethan Whitney each had two goals for the Ice Cats and rounding out the scoring for Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 were senior forward/Captain Matty Geither, senior forward Peter Hyland and sophomore forward Connor Koehnke.

Saint Ignatius, which got 28 saves between the pipes from junior Dylan McKeon, will host Gilmour Academy on Friday night at 8 in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, and will return to "The Big Barn on Memphis" for a Saturday faceoff with West Side rival St. Edward at 4:45 PM. St. Edward was ranked fourth in this past week's state poll.     

 

 

St. Edward controls the first and third quarters and goes on to defeat Saint Ignatius, 73-55, in Saturday night's area basketball headliner at a packed Sullivan Gymnasium.
1/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - The Eagles, Ohio's defending Division I state champions, limited the Wildcats to eight points in the first quarter and 11 points in the third quarter.

St. Edward, now 11-3 on the season, complemented its defense with a balanced offense that saw four of its players finish in double figures. Six-foot-9 post Derek (D.J. ) Funderburk and 6-6 forward Mike Ryan led the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively, 6-7 forward Kipper Nichols finished with 13 points and 5-9 point guard Sean Flannery, the son of Eagles Head Coach Eric Flannery, contributed 10 points, including two key 3-pointers in the first half.

Ranked fifth in this past week's Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com, St. Edward led by nine points at halftime and pushed that advantage to 18 points entering the final eight minutes. The Eagles had a 23-point lead with just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats, the area's seventh-ranked team, got a game-high 22 points from gifted junior guard Deven Stover and a 13-point effort from senior guard Andre' Wolford. The Cats were 18-of-52 on their shots from the field and 17 of 20 from the free-throw line. St. Edward hit on 25 of its 52 shots and the Eagles were 18-of-24 from the charity stripe.   

Saint Ignatius will now take a record of 8-4 into Sunday's matchup with 13-1 Youngstown Ursuline in the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University. The tip off will be 2:30 PM.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON WHAT WAS THE FIRST OF THE ANNUAL HOME-AND-HOME SERIES BETWEEN THE WILDCATS AND THE EAGLES. THE LONGTIME RIVALS WILL MEET AGAIN IN TWO WEEKS, FEB. 6 TO BE EXACT, ON COACH JIM CONNORS COURT IN THE EAGLES NEST.

"I thought we attacked well tonight," said Wildcats Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87 after his team was defeated by a St. Edward program that extended its winning streak to seven games. "They're an excellent team with great size. We're going to play them again in two weeks, so we'll figure something out.

"Right now we have to get our minds together," Coach O'Toole continued. "We've got a game tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:30 and have to get ready for that. You're playing at home with a great, great atmosphere for a great cause ("Coaches Versus Cancer"). We have to figure out how to play from behind, better than we do right now.

"That's on my shoulders," Coach O'Toole said. "We (the coaches) have to figure out if we get behind, what is going to be our style, who is going to be our personnel? We just weren't ready for that big of a deficit. It just kept growing. Credit St. Eds. They played extremely well, extremely unselfish. They had great balance.

'But we'll be there (at St. Edward) in two weeks and give it another shot. We learned some things tonight and we'll try to improve on that. But tomorrow (versus Youngstown Ursuline) is a big day. No time to sulk. We have to recover quickly, mentally and physically. This is a tough, well coached team from Ursuline and we have to go down there (Walsh University) and find a way to win a basketball game.

"Playing tomorrow (Sunday) isn't the worst thing in the world. Let's get our minds off this (the 18-point loss to St. Edward) and get going."

Although the lead-in paragraphs pretty much tell the story from Sullivan Gym on Saturday night, there were some key sequences that led to the Eagles' impressive victory, their fourth consecutive triumph over the Cats dating back to last season when they defeated Saint Ignatius twice in the regular season and also in the Regional semifinals.

Saint Ignatius' Deven Stover, who was 8-for-9 from the free-throw line, buried two free throws that cut the Wildcats' deficit to 12-8. However, in the final seconds of the first quarter and the first minute of the second quarter, St. Edward's talented and tireless point guard Sean Flannery sent home 3-pointers that pushed the Eagles' lead to 10 points.

A three-point play by Saint Ignatius' strong and athletic senior post Dre'Mont Jones made it a six-point game with just under six minutes remaining in the first half. But St. Edward answered with a jumper from the top of the key by forward Mike Ryan, a two-handed slam dunk along the baseline by multi-skilled forward Kipper Nichols off a no-look pass from guard Darien Knowles, and an off-balance leaning one-hander down the lane by Nichols that stretched the Eagles' lead to 12 points.

Trailing by 13 points in the late stages of the first half, the Wildcats closed to eight points on a three-point play by senior guard Andre' Wolford and a smooth driving one hander by Stover.

St. Edward increased its lead to 11 points on a three-point play in the post by the 6-9 Derek Funderburk and Wolford's one-hander down low enabled Saint Ignatius to close to nine points by halftime.

Coach O'Toole's Cats stayed within seven to nine points in the early stages of the third quarter before a 3-pointer by Eagles senior guard David Dowell ignited what turned out to be the decisive quarter.

Following two free throws and a three-point play by Funderburk, a free throw by 6-5 forward Dan Chambers and a put back by Ryan, St. Edward was in front by 18 points and kept the pressure on from there.

After Knowles and Wolford exchanged 3-pointers, the Eagles led by 18 points entering the final eight minutes and stretched that to 60-39 on another trey by Knowles early in the fourth quarter. Knowles' driving one hander down the lane made the score 66-43 with 2 minutes and 58 seconds left.

   

 

 

       

         

              

Wildcats Varsity Gold Wrestling Team continues to excel.
1/24/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, coming off their outstanding performance at last weekend's Catholic Invitational Tournament, traveled to Walsh Jesuit on Friday night and came away with two victories.

The Wildcats defeated Mentor, 56-6, in their first dual, and fought their way to a 35-32 victory over Walsh Jesuit in their second match.

Coach Sullivan's tough, talented and resilient young men appear to be peaking at the right time of the season.

HERE ARE THE RESULTS FROM WALSH JESUIT

Saint Ignatius 56, Mentor 6

106 pounds: Rasmussen (SI) d. Brunkala 7-2, 113: Delsanter (SI) d. Ryan 8-1, 120: Long (SI) p. Dorsey 5:01, 126: Victor (M) d. Toth 4-2 ot, 132: Bush (SI) p. Kosmero 2:17, 138: Bobak (M) d. Tomford 6-0, 145: Ferritto (SI) d. Piercy 4-3, 152: Miller (SI) p. Wank 1:21, 160: Brady (SI) p. Greig 0:29, 170: Drobnick (SI) p. Shelley 0:57, 182: Vajusi (SI) md. Rush 20-6, 195: Conway p. Hill 0:26, 220: Keirn (SI) md. Gordon 12-4, 285: Vazquez (SI) d. Ross 3-2.

Saint Ignatius 35, Walsh Jesuit 32

106: Rasmussen (SI) md. Beatty 13-5, 113: Kahwaji (WJ) tf. Delsanter 17-1, 120: Mackall (WJ) p. Long 1:28, 126: Johnson (WJ) p. Toth 1:47, 132: Bush (SI) p. Schmidt 4:42, 138: Dipietro (WJ) p. Tomford 1:32, 145: Haught (WJ) d. Ferritto 11-7, 152: Miller (SI) md. Johnson 10-0, 160: Brady (SI) p. Malone 1:46, 170: Frisone (WJ) d. Drobnick 1-0, 182: Blanchard (WJ) d. Vajusi 5-2, 195: Conway (SI) p. Solomon-Stone 1:03, 220: Keirn (SI) d. Cavanaugh 9-6, 285: Vazquez (SI) by forfeit.

 

 

The SIBN's Joe Mertens and Matt Mackenzie will broadcast the Saint Ignatius-St. Edward Junior Varsity Basketball Game.
1/23/2015

Saturday's JV game will tip off at 6 PM and will precede the highly anticipated Varsity game, which is scheduled for 7:30 in Sullivan Gymnasium. As we reported earlier in the week, the games are sold out.

For a preview on the Cats-Eagles Varsity game, see the corner's post from Thursday morning.  

What the Wildcats' other winter sports teams are up to this weekend and a reminder on Coaches Versus Cancer Night.
1/22/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Along with the highly anticipated Varsity Basketball matchups with St. Edward and Youngstown Ursuline (see the corner's preview below), Saint Ignatius' Varsity Wrestling, Ice Hockey and Bowling teams are scheduled for action this weekend.

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, who are coming off an outstanding performance at the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament in Toledo, including a championship performance by sophomore Kaden Russell (see the corner's post from Sunday), will be traveling to Walsh Jesuit on Friday night for matches versus the Walsh Jesuit Warriors and the Mentor Cardinals. The action is scheduled to begin at 6 PM.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, ranked second in Ohio, will be hosting the state's third-ranked University School Preppers on Saturday at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Saint Ignatius will take a 21-3-3 record and a nine-game winning streak into what is a key Great Lakes Hockey League matchup.

As per the Saint Ignatius bowling website, The Alley Cats, a.k.a the Wildcats' varsity keglers, are slated to face the Brooklyn Hurricanes on Saturday at 9 AM on the Buckeye lanes.

*Just a reminder that as part of Saturday night's Varsity Basketball game versus St. Edward in  Sullivan Gymnasium, Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87, Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 and Coach O'Toole's entire basketball program will present the annual "Coaches Versus Cancer" night. The game is a sellout.

The "Coaches Versus Cancer" night will recognize those members of the Saint Ignatius family and others who have survived or are battling the disease. The night will also include a special tribute to Saint Ignatius' beloved teacher and mentor, and true "Man for Others," Mr. Jim Skerl '74, who lost a courageous battle with cancer this past fall.

A FANTASTIC FOURSOME: The corner tips his The Ohio Sate University cap and many Wildcats caps to lead broadcaster Carter Spearry, Saint Ignatius' outstanding golfer Owen Miklos, Ice Cats standout Aidan Spellacy (currently sidelined with an injury) and, last but not least, Jack O'Rourke, son of Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90, for the outstanding job they did broadcasting last weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. Cleveland-based Jesuit Classic in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Jack O'Rourke, who is in the seventh grade at St. Angela Merici School in Fairview Park, doubled as a video camera man and an analyst. There are very few people on this earth who know hockey, and all the other major sports, like Jack does.      

 

  

Wildcats Varsity Basketball is gearing up for Saturday night's matchup with West Side rival St. Edward and Sunday's encounter with 12-1 Youngstown Ursuline.
1/22/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius and St. Edward will add another chapter to their storied rivalry when they meet in the first of their annual home-and-home series on Saturday night.

As usual, Sullivan Gymnasium will host a full house of fans and neutral gym rats, as, in the words of Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 on Wednesday afternoon, "Yes, we are definitely sold
out."

If you don't have a ticket for the 7:30 Varsity tipoff, which will be preceded by a 6 bells Junior Varsity encounter, you can try again in two weeks. On Feb. 6, St. Edward will host St. Ignatius on Coach Jim Connors Court in the Eagles Nest.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats enter Saturday night's game with a record of 8-3 and a seventh-place ranking in the seven-county area poll by cleveland.com.

The defending Division I state champion Eagles, guided by veteran Eric Flannery, are ranked fifth in the area poll and will take a six-game winning streak and a record of 10-3 into Sullivan Gymnasium.

Saturday night's Junior Varsity and Varsity games will be broadcast live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network, with SIBN President James Zajaczkowski '15 and his savvy partner Liam Garven '15 on the
varsity call.

To refresh your minds on the recent round-ball history between the Wildcats and the Eagles, Coach O'Toole's Cats swept the Eagles during the 2012-13 season, becoming the first Saint Ignatius Varsity basketball team to accomplish that feat since Coach Brian Becker's 2004-05 Wildcats.

Last winter, Coach Flannery's Eagles went 3-0 against the Wildcats. St. Edward won the regular season matchups, 61-34 on Coach Jim Connors Court and 73-70 in overtime at Sullivan Gymnasium. On the postseason tournament trail, the Eagles came out strong, built an 18-point lead by halftime and went on to a 70-59 victory over the Cats in a Division I Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

Here is a look at Saturday night's matchup, with comments from Coach O'Toole. We will also take a glance at Youngstown Ursuline, Sunday's 2:30 PM opponent in the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes showcase at Walsh University.

"A lot of weapons, as usual," Coach O' Toole said of the 2014-15 St. Edward Eagles. "They have great size, length and depth, and are extremely well coached with a variety of different looks. I think the thing that stands out is their length. They're 6-9, 6-7, 6-6 and 6-5.

"They play a variety of defenses, half court, three quarter court or full court," Coach O'Toole continued. "They maximize their team size very well. They're a seasoned team that every time I've seen them,
they've improved. They are absolutely one of the top teams in the state playing a national schedule.

"It is what it is," said Coach O'Toole. "They'll be jacked, we'll be jacked. They're very dangerous on the offensive glass and around the rim. So we have our hands full. It's not like it is some secret formula, but turnovers and offensive rebounds given up will be key stats. Any team you play, you want to limit your turnovers and their seconds shots. But this is a team (St. Edward) that can really get to the offensive glass and a team that can really get out and score off turnovers."

Keying the Eagles' attack once again is one of the premier players in Ohio, 6-foot-7 senior forward Kipper Nichols. Averaging 18.3 points per game, Nichols is described by Saint Ignatius' veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as a very skilled big man who is great in the open court, handles the ball well, will go coast to coast and has range up to 20 feet.

Kipper also has very good footwork in the post and is very patient posting up.

Supporting Nichols is 6-9 sophomore center D.J. Funderburk (15.1 points per game), who is long, runs the floor well and attacks the offensive glass with a passion. Funderburk also has a nice 15-to-18 foot jumper. The other veteran "big" is 6-6 senior forward Mike Ryan (9.1 ppg). An underrated performer who is a very active rebounder and defender, Ryan hit three 3-pointers in Monday night's 15-point victory over Cleveland Heights.

Coach Porath looks at 6-2 senior guard Darien Knowles (9.7 ppg) as the Eagles' best athlete, a skilled attacker with high energy.

Without question, one of the keys to St. Edward's recent success has been the solid all-around play of junior point guard Sean Flannery (6 ppg). The son of Eagles Head Coach Eric Flannery, Sean is a very efficient point
guard with a high basketball IQ. Sean is not only a distributor, but also a relentless defender who can bury the 3-pointer.

Among those contributing to Coach Flannery's depth are 6-5 junior forward Dan Chambers, 6-2 senior guard Frank Geib and 6-1 senior forward Andrew Dowell, whose exceptional all-around athleticism and leadership played a major role in St. Edward's drive to the Division I state football championship.

THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Wildcats strong and active senior post Dre'Mont Jones was back at practice this week after missing last weekend's victories over Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and Cincinnati Shroder. An All-Ohio and All-American defensive end, Dre' was making his official football visit to The Ohio State University, the home of the 2015 National Champions.

YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE, AT A GLANCE: Coach O'Toole has nothing but the highest regard for Fighting Irish Head Coach Keith Gunther and his tough and talented young men.

After a 66-59 loss to talent-rich St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ursuline has gone on a 10-game winning streak and enters this weekend's play at 12-1. The Irish are ranked 10th in the Associated Press Division III state poll.

Among Coach Gunther's leave-it-all-on-the-floor performers are Greg Parella, Mark Hughes, David Collins, Vince Venzeio and Anise Algahmee.

Again, Sunday's tipoff between Saint Ignatius and Ursuline will take place at 2:30 PM in Walsh University.



 



 



Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity Basketball experiences its first loss of the season, 60-52, at Villa Angela-St. Joseph on Tuesday night.
1/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Cleveland, Ohio - In what was a matchup of two unbeaten teams, the JV Vikings from Villa Angela-St. Joseph rode the play of guard Jerry Higgins and post Quintan Dove, along with an 18-for-29 performance from the foul line, to what is now a 10-0 record.

Higgins and Dove were the game's high scorers with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Dove was 9-for-9 from the free-throw line and Higgins hit on 7 of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe.

Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity, which lost for the first time in 12 games this season, was 8-for-15 from the free-throw line. The Wildcats got a team-high 14 points from sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian, who hit four shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and was 5-for-10 on his free-throw attempts.

Sophomore forwards Quinton Farren and James Leyden each scored eight points, and sophomore guard Colin Goodfellow contributed a solid seven points. Farren brought a roar from the Saint Ignatius faithful by letting go of a high-arcing, running one-hander just across midcourt and burying a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 41-39 entering the fourth quarter.

Farren's three-point play off a big-time offensive rebound knotted the score at 52 with 1 minute and 29 seconds remaining to be played, but VASJ closed out the game with eight unanswered points, six of those coming courtesy of Higgins. Higgins scored eight of the Vikings' final 10 points.

The JV Cats will now focus on Saturday night's game versus the Junior Varsity from St. Edward in Sullivan Gymnasium. The tipoff will be 6 PM, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity matchup at 7:30.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON TUESDAY NIGHT'S MATCHUP, WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TIMOTHY W. ROBERTSON COURT IN THE NEWLY RENOVATED AND HISTORY-RICH GYMNASIUM AT VIKING VILLAGE.

"You have a one-point lead on the road against a very good team with possession. We have to make some better decisions down the stretch," said Wildcats Head Coach Chris Salata '94 after his Junior Varsity program lost for just the second time in its last 33 games and the first time in 12 games this winter.

"I told the kids I'm extremely proud of how they executed," Coach Salata continued. "We got the shots we wanted in the fourth quarter. They just didn't go down for us. We knew this was going to be a challenge coming in. This was a (VASJ) team that hadn't lost a game.

"Fortunately, we don't have time to worry about it," Coach Salata said. "We have to go right back to work with St. Edward coming to our gym on Saturday night. It's okay to be disappointed, I think they should be disappointed. We've worked way too hard not to be. But we've also worked way too hard not to learn from it."

The JV Cats clung to a one-point lead down the stretch after sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian sent home a 3-pointer.

After a key turnover by the Wildcats, Villa Angela-St. Joseph would answer with a layup by its talented post Quintan Dove and move to a 52-49 lead on a strong drive to the rim by guard Jerry Higgins with 1 minute and 46 seconds remaining to be played.

Saint Ignatius would tie the score on a three-point play by sophomore forward Quinton Farren with 1:29 left (see the lead-in paragraphs at the top of this report), only to watch the Vikings rattle off the game's final eight points.

The Wildcats won the first quarter, 15-9, but were outscored in the second quarter, 21-10. The Cats had more than twice the number of fouls called on them in the first 14 minutes (JV quarters are 7 minutes) than were whistled against the Vikings. Just a fact, not a commentary.

Coach Salata's team would win the third quarter by three points and find itself trailing by just two points entering the final seven minutes after Farren sent home a shot from just beyond half court (again, see the lead-in paragraphs).

However, with Higgins at the helm of the Vikings' ship, Villa Angela-St. Joseph stayed true to its course down the stretch.

 

        

       

 

 

 

 

    

   

 

The Ice Cats' ranking remains at No. 2 in the state poll.
1/20/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats will take a nine-game winning streak and a record of 21-3-3 into Saturday's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the state's third-ranked Preppers from University School. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 4:45 PM.

Here is how this week's state poll shaped out. Toledo St. Francis DeSales received seven first-place votes. 

1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 70 (7)             

2. Saint Ignatius 60

3. University School 58

4. St. Edward 46

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 43                

6. Findlay 22

7. Olentangy Orange 20

8. Columbus St. Charles 17

9. Bowling Green 16

10. Dublin Jerome 13

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Upper Arlington, Padua Franciscan, Rocky River and Holy Name.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball now seventh in the area poll by cleveland.com.
1/19/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Despite two victories this past week, the Wildcats (8-3) went from the sixth spot to seventh in the Top 25 seven-county poll.

The Cats are gearing up for Saturday night's highly anticipated matchup with the area's fifth-ranked St. Edward Eagles in Sullivan Gymnasium. The Junior Varsity tipoff will be 6 PM, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30. The Eagles stand 10-3 after their 15-point victory over Cleveland Heights on Monday night.

As always, the corner will be previewing Saturday night's game later this week.   

 

Dylan Nieto's 22 points lead Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball to a 10-point victory over Cincinnati Shroder on Sunday.
1/18/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Cats' victory, which upped their record to 8-3, was part of the Flyin' to the Hoop Good Samaritan High School Basketball Invitational at Trent Arena in Dayton.

Behind eight of senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto's team-high 22 points, Saint Ignatius took an early 20-11 lead and went on to turn back the Jaguars, 74-64.

Nieto finished with five 3-pointers and was supported in the scoring column by senior guard Andre' Wolford, who tossed in 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

Saint Ignatius withstood a game-high 25 points from Shroder's standout senior guard and Kent State recruit Jalen Avery. However, the Cats limited the Jaguars' other standout guard, Datalion Battle, to 10 points. Battle was coming off a Shroder single-game record of 51 points against Cincinnati Hughes on Friday night.

With the loss to Saint Ignatius, the Jaguars stand 6-5 on the season.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats will now begin their preparation for Saturday night's first game of the annual home-and-home series with longtime rival and defending Division I state champion St. Edward. The Junior Varsity tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium will be 6 PM, followed by the always highly anticipated Varsity game at 7:30. Get your tickets early. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO SOPHOMORE KADEN RUSSELL, WHO RECORDS PINS AGAINST HIS OPPONENTS FROM LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (a 2014 state placer) AND TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC AND BRINGS HOME THE 182-POUND CHAMPIONSHIP AT SUNDAY'S ANNUAL CATHOLIC INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT.
1/18/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Toledo Central Catholic High School: The other outstanding performances by Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats were third-place finishes by Joe Conway, Cal Miller and Tyson Long, a fourth place by Quade Rasmussen and fifth-place finishes by Gavin Rivera and Tito Vazquez.

Saint Ignatius goes 6-1 during Sunday's finals and finishes fifth overall at the CIT.

Again, congratulations from this old-timer to the entire Wildcats Wrestling program, which when completely healthy can make its mark and then some.    

The Ice Cats bring home the Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland-based Jesuit Classic Championship Trophy by defeating St. Rita, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon.
1/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright, January 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio -  Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats scored two goals in both the first and second periods and added another lamplighter with 9 minutes and 22 seconds remaining to be played in defeating St. Rita (Chicago, Illinois) for the second time in less than 24 hours at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Providing the goals for Saint Ignatius were senior forwards/Captains Jack Wiegandt and Jack Mazanec, junior defenseman Brian Russell, junior forward Jared Stepka and senior forward/Captain Matty Geither.

Junior goalie Wes Deacon turned in his second outstanding game in the tournament by turning away 27 shots. Wes had 25 saves in Saturday morning's 3-1 victory over the Culver Military School (Indiana).

Senior forward Brady Wells showed the way in the assists department with three on the day and Jack Wiegandt was selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player for his solid all-around play throughout the weekend.

The Ice Cats, who improved to 21-3-3 and extended their winning streak to nine games, will now gear up for Saturday's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the Preppers from University School. The puck will drop at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Here is a corner's view on another successful Sunday in "The Big Barn on Memphis," a.k.a. the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Saint Ignatius Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 said win or lose the main thing he wanted from this weekend's Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland-based Jesuit Classic was four good games that would challenge his team.

Mission accomplished and then some.

After defeating St. Rita from Chicago, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center, the Ice Cats not only answered every challenge, but walked away with the tournament's championship trophy as well.

Sunday's championship game was Saint Ignatius' second faceoff with St. Rita in less than 24 hours, as the Ice Cats rallied from a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Mustangs, 5-2, in Saturday night's semifinal round (see the corner's story below from Saturday night).

In improving its overall record to 21-3-3 and extending its winning streak to nine games, Saint Ignatius went 4-0 in the tournament and outscored the opposition, 18-5. The Ice Cats' other victories were versus Findlay, the tournament's third-place finisher, and the Culver Military School (Indiana).

"I thought St. Rita came out real strong (Sunday), which we thought they would," Coach O'Rourke said. "But we got lucky and had a couple of power plays early on. I thought we actually played better last night (Saturday)."

Saint Ignatius, ranked second to Toledo St. Francis DeSales in the state poll, took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by senior forward/Captain Jack Wiegandt with 10 minutes and 7 seconds remaining in the first period. Senior forward Brady Wells assisted.  

On what was a picture-perfect play, the Ice Cats made it 2-0 when senior forward/Captain Jack Mazanec scored off assists from senior forward Peter Hyland and senior forward/Captain Matty Geither. Mazanec's goal came with 3:01 left in the opening period.

Following a five-minute major penalty on the St. Rita Mustangs, Saint Ignatius extended its lead to 3-0 on a goal from junior defenseman Brian Russell off assists from Jack Wiegandt and Wells. Russell's score came with 1:04 left on the penalty and 8:53 to go in the second period.

With both teams at full strength, the Ice Cats began to pull away off a goal by the ever-hustling junior forward Jared Stepka. Stepka was assisted by Wells and sophomore forward Connor Koehnke with 7:15 remaining in the second period.

St. Rita (26-11-2) would close to 4-1 with 28 seconds left in the second period, but the afternoon belonged to Saint Ignatius as Geither went Rip City off an exceptional on-the-stick breakaway pass from Stepka. Sophomore defenseman Seth Whitney also assisted on what was the game's final score.

"When we're playing really well we're relentless," said Coach O'Rourke. "There's no letup. We always have some things to fix, but if the energy is there, the effort is there and the hitting is there, we have the depth to wear teams down. The accumulative effect will hopefully show in the second and third periods."

The Ice Cats totaled 34 shots on goal to the Mustangs' 28. Saint Ignatius also had a significant advantage in the rips at the goal, 50-30.                 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO COACH MARK SULLIVAN'S MEN OF THE MATS, AS THE WILDCATS ADVANCED 10 WRESTLERS, INCLUDING SIX TO THE SEMIFINALS, FOR SUNDAY'S DAY 2 OF THE ANNUAL CATHOLIC INVITATIONAL AT TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL.
1/18/2015
Down, 2-0, with 3:44 remaining in the second period, the Ice Cats storm back for a 5-2 victory over St. Rita in the semifinals of the Cleveland based Jesuit Classic at the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Saturday night.
1/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio - Kevin Yarcusko cut the deficit to 2-1 with one of his authoritative shots as just 23 seconds remained in the second period and Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats, the tournament host, put together a dominant third period that was highlighted by goals from Brian Russell, Cam Gerard (the go-ahead goal), Matty Geither and Jack Mazanec.

Saint Ignatius, which extended its winning streak to eight games, will take a record of 20-3-3 into Sunday's 11:45 AM final at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The final will be a rematch between the Wildcats and St. Rita (Chicago, Illinois), which now stands 26-10-2.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR COMEBACKS.

Here is a corner's view of the impressive turnaround by the team this old-timer likes to refer to as "The Ice Cats."

After his team was able to overcome early penalties that resulted in power play goals by St. Rita and a 2-0 lead for the team from the Windy City, Saint Ignatius' highly successful Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 talked about what he described as one of the best 15 minutes of hockey his team has played all season.

And the veteran coach also addressed the penalties.

"When we're playing at our best we feel we're a hard-hitting team," said Coach O'Rourke after his Ice Cats scored five unanswered goals and defeated St. Rita, 5-2, during Saturday night's semifinals of the Cleveland-based Jesuit Classic at Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center. The other half of the Jesuit Classic is being hosted by Walsh Jesuit and is being played on the ice at Kent State University.

"We like to hit and we lift weights so we can hit and absorb hits too, if the other team is hitting," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Sometimes we take penalties like that and we just kill them off, but we really didn't do a good job of that tonight. Normally we have a pretty good penalty kill, but they're really a good team out of Chicago and they had a good power play. But we're not going to stop hitting. We can't stop hitting, otherwise we don't play well."

After a scoreless first period that saw Saint Ignatius outshoot St. Rita, 12-6, in shots on goal, the visitors took full advantage of their power play opportunities. St. Rita held a 1-0 lead after Tony Faron scored off a two-man advantage with less than three minutes gone in the second period and stretched that to 2-0 behind a power play goal by Kennedy Dowling with 3 minutes and 44 seconds remaining in the second period.

Saint Ignatius, which under Coach O'Rourke has established itself as one of the elite programs in Ohio, kept its composure and got back in the game on a power play goal off the quick and powerful stick of senior forward Kevin Yarcusko with 23 seconds to go in the second period. Assisting Kevin were junior forward Jared Stepka and junior defenseman Geoff Allman.

Playing like the second ranked team in the OHSAA state poll, the Ice Cats dominated the third period.

Peppering shots at St. Rita goalie Ian Gedlowski, who played extremely well for the first two periods and the early portion of the final 15 minutes, Saint Ignatius tied the score on an unassisted goal by junior defenseman Brian Russell with 8:38 left.

The Ice Cats went ahead to stay on a lamplighter by junior forward Cam Gerard off assists from senior forwards/Captains Jack Wiegandt and Ethan Whitney, and left no doubt when senior forward/Captain Matty Geither went unassisted and then gave the faithful his trademark pump fist, and senior forward/Captain Jack Mazanec scored off an assist from senior forward Peter Hyland.

Saint Ignatius had a shots on goal advantage in the final 15 minutes of 25-5 and for the game it was 46-21. The rips on goal also belonged to the Ice Cats, 62-25.

"I think it (the penalties) got us fired up a bit and we started to control the play with some of our physicality," said Coach O'Rourke. "Kevin (Yarcusko) came out of the penalty box and buried a goal that got us back in the game and we came into the locker room with a little bit of momentum. The third period was excellent, one of our best in awhile."  

            

         

      

 

       

 

  

    

Ice Cats score three goals in the third period and go on to defeat Culver Military School, 3-1, on Saturday morning in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
1/17/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, which won its seventh consecutive game, now stands 19-3-3 on the season heading into this evening's 5:30 faceoff with St. Rita (Chicago, Illinois) at Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Wes Deacon's 25 saves, Jack Wiegandt's two goals and a lamplighter by Ethan Whitney showed the way against Culver Military School (Indiana), as all of the scoring came in the third period.

The Cats' gifted sophomores keep their JV basketball record unblemished
1/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius Head Junior Varsity Coach Chris Salata '94 and his savvy Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 have done an excellent job of keeping their players focused on the job at hand, instead of the overall record.

Yes, the JV Cats, who are comprised of members from Saint Ignatius' gifted sophomore class, are now 11-0 after wearing down the Junior Varsity Team from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, 62-42, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night.

If you are into numbers, that makes it 31 victories in the last 32 games for Saint Ignatius' jayvee program. The Cats split with St. Edward's Junior Varsity last season.

Friday night's triumph over the Cardinals from Cardinal Mooney was very similar to this season's previous 10 victories. Saint Ignatius' strong and versatile front court and deep backcourt just kept coming at Mooney until it was time to clear the bench.

The front line of James Leyden, Austen Yarian, Quinton Farren and Malique Burton established their authority early, Devin Jackson got the guards clicking and after a jumper by guard Tommy Aris and a put back by hardnosed forward Ben Delhees, the Wildcats led, 16-7, entering the second quarter.

Saint Ignatius then took its game up a notch or two in the second quarter and outscored the team from Mahoning County, 22-5. The dominant second quarter featured big plays by many of the players mentioned above and also some endless hustle by Luke Baker.

With Saint Ignatius substituting freely throughout the second half, Cardinal Mooney hung with the Cats for most of the third quarter. That said, Mooney couldn't deal with two athletic driving one-handers by forward Mike Lehto and 3-pointers by guards Ryan Cook and Colin Goodfellow that were sandwiched around more hustle by Baker.

It was 53-27 entering the final seven minutes.

Up next for the JV Cats is Tuesday night's game at Villa Angela-St. Joseph, a 6 PM Junior Varsity only matchup. The Junior Varsity teams from Saint Ignatius and VASJ will also face each other on Feb. 14, when the Vikings' talent-laden Varsity Team comes calling to Sullivan Gymnasium.   

                 

Andre' Wolford and Jaylin McDonald help power the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Team to a 71-54 victory over Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night. The JV Cats defeat Cardinal Mooney's jayvees, 62-42, and now stand 11-0.
1/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - Leading by 10 points at halftime after senior forward Jaylin McDonald thundered down a two-handed slam-dunk off an one-the-money alley-oop pass from junior point guard Kyle Kalish, Saint Ignatius, now 7-3 approaching the midpoint of the regular season, began to take command behind 11 third-quarter points by senior guard Andre' Wolford that featured three nothing-but-net 3-pointers. Wolford finished with a game-high 15 points.

After Cardinal Mooney, which lost for the third time in nine games, cut a 16-point deficit to 11 points, Wolford buried his third trey of the third quarter and then scored on a backdoor layup off a Kalish assist. Following a 3-pointer by McDonald, the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals were trailing, 50-31, with 4 minutes and 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter and never recovered.

Here is a corner's view on the Wildcats-Cardinals Varsity matchup, followed by a recap on the Cats' undefeated Junior Varsity program.

"I was just patient," said Saint Ignatius senior guard Andre' Wolford after he fueled a decisive 23-point third quarter on Friday night that showed the way to a 71-54 victory over a high-energy Youngstown Cardinal Mooney basketball team.

As we pointed out in the lead-in paragraphs above, Andre' scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the third quarter and set the tone for the final 16 minutes by draining two of his three third quarter 3-pointers in the first 40 seconds of the second half.

"They started playing a zone and I knew it was my time to start knocking down shots," Andre' continued. "When they got out of the zone I was still knocking down shots. I was just confident and letting them go." 

Confident and oh so talented.

Anyone who follows Saint Ignatius knows that Wolford is one of the premier perimeter shooters in Wildcats basketball history. He holds the Jesuit Preparatory School's single-game record with eight 3-pointers versus Cleveland Heights last season. And Andre', who moves exceptionally well without the ball, can also take it to the rim off the dribble.

"We knew they were going to come out and play hard," said Wolford of what is Cardinal Mooney's trademark. "So we went out and played harder. The main thing was to be patient, don't try to force anything and get into a rhythm. They (Cardinal Mooney) didn't slack off one time the entire game. As the season has gone on, we've gotten better at it (going 100 or 110 percent the entire game)."

Playing without starting senior post Dre' Mont Jones, who was making his official football visit to the home of the NCAA National Champions, The Ohio State University, Saint Ignatius found itself in a 19-19 tie early on in the second quarter.

Displaying the ball movement and patience Wolford referred to, the Wildcats clawed their way to a 10-point lead that featured back-to-back 3-pointers by 6-foot-7 senior forward Jaylin McDonald and junior point guard Kyle Kalish. Saint Ignatius was able to hold that 10-point advantage entering the halftime break thanks to a power move down low by promising 6-6 sophomore post Matt Davet, two free throws by Davet, a layup in transition by strong and talented 6-7 junior post Sharief Irish that was courtesy of a highlight-reel assist from junior point guard Jimmy Berger, and the rim-rattling dunk combo of Kalish to McDonald that was prominently mentioned in the lead-in paragraphs.

Along with the 3-pointers delivered by Wolford and McDonald, the telling third quarter included a key basket by multi-skilled junior forward Tim Kiefer off a Davet assist, an authoritative driving one hander by Jimmy Berger and two free throws by senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto that were followed by Dylan's second 3-pointer on the night.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Cats then kept the Cardinals on their heels in the fourth quarter behind a put back by Wolford, a layup by tireless senior post Mikal Outcalt off a Wolford assist, two free throws by Outcalt, a layup by Davet off a Kalish dime, and a smooth driving one-hander by Nieto.  

Along with Wolford's 15 points, Saint Ignatius got 10 points from both McDonald and Nieto, nine points from junior guard Deven Stover and eight-point efforts Davet and Outcalt.

Cardinal Mooney was led by junior point guard Antonio Bruno, who tossed in 11 points, including three 3-pointers. The Cardinals were also the recipients of nine-point nights from junior forward/post D.J. Anderson and junior forward Andrew Armstrong, and an eight-point performance from junior guard Trell Thomas.

"Andre' can obviously fill it up and I was happy for Jaylin," said Coach O'Toole. "Jaylin is grinding at practice, working so hard. He's so coachable, so versatile and a team player through and through. He will play any role.

"We limited the self-inflicted wounds tonight," Coach O'Toole continued. "We were very patient and unselfish with the basketball, and took what they gave us. Our depth was great. We had great minutes off the bench keeping guys fresh. I'm very happy with this win."

On Sunday, Saint Ignatius, ranked sixth in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, will be at Trent Arena in Dayton, Ohio for the annual Flyin' to the Hoop Good Samaritan High School Basketball Invitational. The Cats will face the Jaguars from Cincinnati Shroder at 10 AM.

"They sound like some teams we have played this season, very athletic and skilled, and guards who can really score," Coach O'Toole said of the Jaguars. "It's (Flyin' to the Hoop) a great opportunity, a great exposure for our kids and a great measure of where we are."

In senior Jalen Avery, Shroder features one of the premier guards in Ohio. A Kent State recruit, Avery is averaging 25.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. He is joined in the backcourt by another exceptional athlete, Ditalion Battle.

After Sunday, Saint Ignatius will begin its preparation for next Saturday night's (Jan. 24) first of the annual home-and-home series with longtime rival and defending Division I state champion St. Edward. The Junior Varsity tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium will be 6 PM, followed by the always highly anticipated Varsity game at 7:30. Get your tickets early.  

 

                

Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey defeats Findlay, 5-1, in Friday's opening round of what will be a four games in three days weekend tournament for the Ice Cats.
1/16/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer.

The Ice Cats will take a record of 18-3-3, including a six-game winning streak, into Saturday morning's matchup with the Culver Military School from Indiana. The puck is scheduled to drop at 11 AM in the Brooklyn Ice Area.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Cats are slated to face St. Rita (Chicago, Illinois) at 5:30 PM on Saturday at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and Sunday's final round is to be determined.

The corner will be on hand for coverage of the St. Rita game on Saturday evening and also Sunday's final round. 

The Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network will bring you live coverage on Friday night's Youngstown Cardinal Mooney versus the Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Wildcats.
1/15/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Joe Mertens and Matt Mackenzie will bring you the 6 PM Junior Varsity Game from Sullivan Gymnasium and SIBN President James Zajaczkowski and his partner Liam Garven will call it as they see it for the 7:30 Varsity matchup.

For a look at the Cardinals from Cardinal Mooney, see the corner's post from Wednesday night.  

A look at the weekend in Wildcats Varsity Basketball and where the other Winter Cats play.
1/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - After a 54-51 loss at Division II power Cleveland Central Catholic last weekend that was decided in the final three seconds, Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats (6-3) will look to get back on the winning track when they host Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (6-2) on Friday night.

The tipoff from Sullivan Gymnasium will be 7:30 PM and the Varsity game will be preceded by a Junior Varsity matchup with Cardinal Mooney at 6 bells. Coach Chris Salata's JV Cats are looking to improve to 11-0.

The Varsity Cardinals from Cardinal Mooney have been labeled as a "strong and physical team" by most of their opponents. Warren John F. Kennedy Coach John Richards, after losing to Mooney by 20 points at Warren JFK last week, told the Youngstown Vindicator's outstanding reporter Kevin Connelly that the Cardinals all look like men that live in the weight room and that they have kind of a football mentality with a very aggressive approach.

Hey, doesn't it all start with football in the Steel Valley?

Coach O'Toole has some of the same impressions of the Cardinals.

"When you walk in the gym and see them, they don't necessarily pass the eye test," Coach O'Toole said. "There is no 6-8, 6-7 or 6-6. But after watching them play, they certainly pass the eye test. They get the most out of their talent and play extremely hard and smart.

"It's a skilled team and an unselfish team," Coach O'Toole continued in his references to Coach Brian Danilov's Cardinal Mooney Cardinals. "They'll play a variety of defenses and they have guards that can shoot and drive. They're tough kids who are going to play every second until there's a whistle. It's going to be a heck of a challenge for us."

Among Coach Danilov's mainstays is 6-foot-2 junior forward Andrew Armstrong, a hard-nosed scorer and defender. A safety for Cardinal Mooney's tradition-rich football program, Armstrong averages nearly 16 points per game and is described by Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as a relentless rebounder and a player who is always attacking the basket.

Among Armstrong's supporting cast are 5-10 junior guard and primary ball handler Antonio Bruno (14 points per game), 5-11 junior guard Trell Thomas (13 points per game), who had 18 points and six rebounds at Warren JFK, including 15 points in the first half, and 6-5 junior forward D.J. Anderson, who Coach Porath said is a left-hander with range to 15 feet and a good attacker and rebounder.

The Cardinals' setbacks this winter came to Canton South, 65-59, and to Lake Catholic, 76-66. Lake Catholic jumped out to a 26-15 lead after the first eight minutes. Cardinal Mooney won its first five games this season, including a 45-42 victory over Benedictine.

On Sunday, Saint Ignatius, ranked sixth in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, will be at Trent Arena in Dayton, Ohio for the annual Flyin' to the Hoop Good Samaritan High School Basketball Invitational. The Cats will face the Jaguars from Cincinnati Shroder at 10 AM.

"They sound like some teams we have played this season, very athletic and skilled, and guards who can really score," Coach O'Toole said of the Jaguars. "It's (Flyin' to the Hoop) a great opportunity, a great exposure for our kids and a great measure of where we are."

In senior Jalen Avery, Shroder features one of the premier guards in Ohio. A Kent State recruit, Avery is averaging 25.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. He is joined in the backcourt by another exceptional athlete, Ditalion Battle.

WHERE THE OTHER CATS PLAY

HOCKEY: Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (17-3-3), ranked second in the state poll, are gearing up for a four games in three days tournament at the Brooklyn Ice Arena this weekend.

In what is a new schedule, Saint Ignatius will face off with Findlay on Friday at 7 PM, will take on the Culver Military School from Indiana on Saturday at 11 AM and on Saturday evening at 5:30, Coach O'Rourke will send his Ice Cats against St. Rita (Chicago, Illinois). Sunday's final round games are to be announced.

The corner will be on hand for the St. Rita game on Saturday evening and Sunday's final round.

WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats will be competing in the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Toledo Central Catholic High School. The matches get underway at 10 AM.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: As per the schedule on the Saint Ignatius website, Coach Jeff Ridler's rich with talent young men will be competing in the Northeast Classic this weekend at the University of Akron.

BOWLING: Coach John Kastanis' Alley Cats are scheduled to face the Green Wave keglers from Holy Name on Saturday at 9 AM on the Cloverleaf lanes.

Have a great weekend and we'll see you at Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night and on the ice at Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center Saturday evening and Sunday. Make that near the ice.                 

        

  

Saint Ignatius hockey remains in the second spot in this week's state poll.
1/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer. The Ice Cats received two first-place votes this week.

1. Toledo St. Francis 97 (8)

2. Saint Ignatius 90 (2)
                 
3. University School 82

4. St. Edward 60

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 53

6. Findlay 42

7. Columbus St. Charles 33

8. Olentangy Orange  31

9. Bowling Green 21

10. Dublin Jerome 19

Others receiving votes: Upper Arlington, Holy Name, Lake Catholic, Rocky River and Dublin Coffman.

Wildcats drop one spot in the latest area basketball rankings.
1/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Wildcats (6-3) went from fifth to sixth place in this week's seven-county Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com.

PLEASE NOTE THAT FRIDAY'S GAME AT SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM IS A MATCHUP WITH YOUNGSTOWN CARDINAL MOONEY. THE JUNIOR VARSITY GAME IS SCHEDULED FOR 6 PM, FOLLOWED BY THE VARSITY TIPOFF AT 7:30.

THE WILDCATS' GAME WITH YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE IS SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 25TH, AS PART OF THE DUNK FOR DIABETES TOURNAMENT AT WALSH UNIVERSITY.

Saint Ignatius pays tribute to its 2014 Varsity Football Team.
1/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - The 2014 Varsity Football Wildcats, a team in every sense of the word, were honored by their coaches and the Saint Ignatius Administration on Sunday afternoon in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.

Sunday's festivities featured the annual Varsity Football Awards, which were preceded by a reception in The Breen Center Lobby.

After an introduction/invocation by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88, the audience was treated to another amazing Highlight Video by former Saint Ignatius standout athlete and coach Jack Corrigan '70. Jack is currently the radio voice of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies.

The highlight video was titled "Best You Got" and the 2014 Football Wildcats certainly gave their best from the first mini camp in early June to what was a 26th OHSAA Division I playoff appearance in November. The Cats advanced to the second round of the Region 1 playoffs, where they lost a tough battle to the Hudson Explorers. Hudson finished the regular season as the top-ranked Division I team in Ohio by a state-wide media panel.

Among the Wildcats' seven victories were triumphs over defending Pennsylvania big-school state champ St. Joseph's Prep out of Philadelphia and Ohio's then two-time defending Division I state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in a game played at Dublin Coffman High School. Saint Ignatius' 2014 schedule was rated by MaxPreps as being among the top 10 most demanding schedules in the nation.  

The 2014 Cats also put another special mark on their season as they made their legendary Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69 the all-time winningest high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area. Chuck will enter the 2015 season, his 33rd as his alma mater's head football coach, with a record of 316-79-1. That mark includes 66 OHSAA playoff victories since 1988, a record 11 Division I state championships, three national titles and a national runner-up.

Sunday was highlighted by the Varsity Awards presentations.

After Coach Kyle acknowledged his first and second-year award winners, he and members of his Varsity staff presented the individual awards. Taking part in the indivual presentations were Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo; Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach Dan Corrigan '78; Quarterbacks Coach Elvis Grbac; Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Ryan Franzinger '02; Offensive Line Coaches Adam Rini '99 and Paul Yappel; Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus '72; Defensive Secondary Coach Brian Strauchon '96; Linebackers Coach Dave Cicetti and Defensive Line Coach Jim Reginelli '97.

Here are the individual awards for 2014

Most Valuable Defensive Lineman: Senior first-team All-Ohio and All-American Defensive End Dre'Mont Jones, a The Ohio State University football recruit.

Most Valuable Linebacker: Senior Geoff DiMassa.

Most Valuable Defensive Back: Senior Michael Mathews.

Most Valuable Offensive Lineman: Junior Liam Eichenberg, an All-Ohio Special Mention.

Most Valuable Wide Receiver: Junior Jack Cook, an All-Ohio Special Mention.

Most Valuable Offensive Back: Junior Quarterback Dennis Grosel.

Most Valuable Special Teams Player: Senior Punter/Place Kicker Cory Griffith, an All-Ohio Special Mention.

Most Improved Player: Senior Defensive Back Ian Ryan. The Ryan Express continues its run at Saint Ignatius.

Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Player: Senior Wide Receiver Anthony Paoletta.

Most Valuable Defensive Scout Team Player: Sophomore Defensive Lineman Michael Chime.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Award: Senior Safety Derek Smith.

The Coaches' Cup: Presented to Senior Defensive Back Valiant Freeman.

Most Valuable Athlete: Jack Cook.

The 2014 Captains Plaques: Presented to Senior Defensive Back Lawrence Birchler, Senior Tight End/Fullback J.R. Klonk, Dre'Mont Jones and Senior Wide Receiver David Shibley.

NOTE: Two of the four Captains for the 2015 season were announced at Sunday's Awards Ceremony. They are Liam Eichenberg and Jack Cook.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Athletic Trainer Hank Gaughan ATC presented his annual Student Manager Awards. Known as "The Fantastic Four," Hank's solid supporting cast consisted of four-year Award Winner Josh Jarosz, third-year Award Winners Kyle Kostura and Nick "Ace" Ventura, and second-year man Brendan Stefancin.

They say never say "never," but in this corner's humble opinion there might never be another Student Manager at Saint Ignatius like the tireless and devoted Kyle Kostura '15.

Described by Coach Kyle as being like an honorary assistant coach, Kyle will be a special gift to any college or university lucky enough to land him.

On personal note, this old-timer would like to express my thanks to Coach Kyle and his entire staff for the privilege of being associated with the 2014 Saint Ignatius Wildcats. And to the players, THANK YOU for your kindness and respect and always know that you will be in my prayers. The Good Lord Be Willing, I will look forward to being part of another special football season in 2015.       

 

         

  

Wildcats Junior Varsity Basketball Team improves to 10-0.
1/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 watched their Wildcats put together a take-charge 10-0 run in the third quarter and go on to defeat the Junior Varsity Team from Cleveland Central Catholic, 59-44, on Saturday night in the St. Stan's Social Center.

The 10-0 run, which began with 5 minutes and 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the score tied at 27, was fueled by two quick baskets from 6-foot-7 sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian and the hard-nosed hustle by sophomore forward James Leyden.

Some of the more impressive sequences in the run were a rebound and an outlet pass by Yarian that would have brought a smile to the face of Bill Walton, an on-the-money assist from sophomore guard Devin Jackson that resulted in two points for sophomore forward Quinton Farren and a layup by Leyden off a perfect dish from sophomore guard Alex Ringfield.

With sophomore guards Connor Meehan, Tommy Aris and Colin Goodfellow continuing to fuel the spark that has the JV Cats standing 10-0 heading into Friday's 6 PM home game versus Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, Saint Ignatius took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Cats started to take total command in the final seven minutes on a pull-up jumper at the foul line by Yarian, an offensive rebound and a put back by Farren, a strong move along the baseline by Farren and two free throws from Meehan.

Saint Ignatius then kept the Ironmen on their heels behind the combination of sophomore guard Ryan Cook to sophomore forward Ben Delhees.

Yarian finished with a game-high 16 points, Meehan totaled nine points, including a 5-for-6 effort from the foul line, and Delhees contributed eight points.

 

 

       

Saint Ignatius' Swimming and Diving Team lost a meet to St. Edward on Saturday in which the Cats won most of the events.
1/11/2015

From Cleveland State University

St. Edward 95, Saint Ignatius 88

200MR: SI (Hong, Hessler, Artis, Simcox) 1:38.80. 200 free:Ubert (SI) 1:49.17. 200IM: Olexa (SE) 2:03.17. 50 free: Artis (SI) 22.01. Diving: Claus (SI) 270.05. 100 fly: Hong (SI) 53.98. 100 free: Simcox (SI) 48.52. 500 free: Ubert (SI) 4:49.75. 200FR: SI (Simcox, Ubert, O'Haimhirgin, Artis) 1:30.99. 100 back: Hong (SI) 54.38. 100 breast: Beck (SE) 1:01.52. 400FR: SI (Simcox, Artis, Hong, Ubert) 3:20.18.

As you can see, the Cats won the majority of the events, but the Eagles had enough third through fifth place finishes to come out the winner.  

In a game that went down to the final second, Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball is turned back Cleveland Central Catholic, 54-51, in a Saturday night thriller at Central Catholic.
1/10/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Cleveland, Ohio - The Ironmen, ranked third in this past week's Associated Division II state poll, rode the clutch free-throw shooting of junior forward Tervell Beck, junior guard Desmond Crosby and senior post Montel McRae to its eighth victory in nine games this season.

Two free throws by Crosby gave Central Catholic a two-point lead with 3.5 seconds remaining and McRae hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1.1 seconds left, making the score 54-51. McRae was fouled after Saint Ignatius was whistled for a tough traveling violation with 2.5 seconds on the clock.

The 6-foot-8 Beck, who led all scorers with 16 points, twice made both ends of a one-and-one free-throw situation in the final 2 minutes and 46 seconds.

Saint Ignatius, Ohio's 10th-ranked Division I team, missed a couple of close range shots down the stretch in losing for the third time in nine games. The Wildcats led, 15-8, after the first quarter, trailed, 25-23, at halftime and were on top, 42-39, entering the final eight minutes.

Central Catholic buried five 3-pointers in outscoring Saint Ignatius, 17-8, in the second quarter.

Wildcats standout senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford scored a team-high 14 points, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT'S MATCHUP IN THE ST. STAN'S SOCIAL CENTER, INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87.

After his Wildcats lost a game that was there for the taking, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole addressed what has become an inconsistent offensive attack.

"We're playing very good teams and we have to become more complete," Coach O'Toole said after the Wildcats were turned away by the Ironmen of Cleveland Central Catholic, 54-51, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd on the campus of Central Catholic.

"Giving up 54 points defensively should have been good enough to win this game," Coach O'Toole continued.

As Coach O'Toole and some of his staff emphasized, Saint Ignatius got plenty of opportunities on offense that it didn't convert  or execute, including a couple of key close-range shots in the final minutes.

The Wildcats came out poised and determined in the first quarter and, after sophomore post Matt Davet powered up two points down low, led, 15-8, after the first eight minutes.

Sparked by the defensive hustle of senior forward/captain Mikal Outcalt, Saint Ignatius held a 21-16 lead after senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto scored off an authoritative driving one-hander.

It was at that point, however, Central Catholic ran off three of its five second-quarter 3-pointers and took a 25-21 lead after 6-5 senior forward Antwon Lillard buried a long-range trey.

Outcalt, better known for his prowess as an All-American soccer goal keeper on Saint Ignatius' record sixth state championship team, did a nice job of moving without the ball and scored off a layup that cut the deficit to 25-23 by halftime. The Wildcats managed just eight second-quarter points.

Coach O'Toole, who will send his Cats against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium, emphasized that Outcalt gave his team tremendous energy.

In what was a give-and-take third quarter, Saint Ignatius took a 32-30 lead on a 3-pointer by senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford and a put back by junior guard Deven Stover.

After Central Catholic knotted the score on two free throws by Lillard, Davet scored off a Wolford assist and Wolford sent home another 3-pointer that gave the Cats a five-point lead.

Back came the Ironmen as Coach Jeremy Holmes' team tied the score at 37 behind a 3-pointer by 5-10 senior guard Kareem Locklear and a smooth one-hander along the baseline by gifted 6-8 junior forward Tervell Beck.

Nieto put Saint Ignatius back on top with a deep 3-pointer from the left side, Beck scored off a clever spin move and, after Wildcats senior post Dre'Mont Jones muscled in two points, Coach O'Toole's team led by three points entering the final eight minutes.

While the temperature was frigid outside, the grand and storied gym in St. Stan's Social Center was rocking with a high-pitch fever after Central Catholic moved to a 46-42 lead on a Beck 3-pointer with 5 minutes and 13 seconds remaining.

A put back by Outcalt made it a two-point game, but the Ironmen responded with three consecutive free throws, including a one-and-one by Beck, and led, 49-44, with 2:46 to go.

Saint Ignatius closed to 49-45 on a Wolford free throw and in the final 2:28 Central Catholic became a bit unglued and the Wildcats were able to sandwich a floating one-hander down the lane by junior point guard/captain Kyle Kalish between two turnovers by the Ironmen.

After Beck and Kalish each converted one-and-one situations at the foul line, Saint Ignatius' gritty and tieless junior guard Jimmy Berger made an exceptional steal along the baseline under the Cats' basket and fired an on-the-money assist to a teammate for what appeared to be the tying basket. The ball wouldn't drop, however, and the Ironmen still led by two points.

After a timeout by Saint Ignatius with 29.5 seconds left, the Cats were able to knot the score at 51 on a basket by Jones inside.

However, as we described in the lead in paragraphs to this report, Central Catholic hung on thanks to three clutch free throws and a traveling call on Kalish in which some contact occurred.      

             

      

  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey defeats Lake Catholic, 4-1, in the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Saturday evening.
1/10/2015

Presented By Wildcats Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Lake Catholic 4-1 today. Dylan McKeon had 21 saves in the win. Goals were scored by Jack Wiegandt, Matty Geither, Matt Wiegandt, and Seth Whitney. Next weekend we host a tournament at Brooklyn and play four games in three days.

From the corner: The Ice Cats now stand an impressive 17-3-3 against their demanding schedule, which will resume on Friday in the Brooklyn Ice Arena when the Cats host St. Rita from Chicago in the opening night of the Cleveland Jesuit Classic. The puck will drop at 8:30 PM.    

Wildcats Varsity Gold Wrestling goes 1-1 versus Padua Franciscan and Brunswick.
1/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats defeated Padua, 42-31, in the first dual and were defeated by host Brunswick, 42-27, on Saturday afternoon.

We will have more on the corner following Saturday night's basketball headliner at Cleveland Central Catholic.  

Congrats to former Cathedral Latin School football and track great and Michigan State standout tailback Clinton Jones for being selected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
1/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Clinton is among 15 players who will join former Youngstown State and The Ohio State University Head Coach Jim Tressel as part of The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

After his outstanding athletic career for the Cathedral Latin Lions in the early 1960s, Clinton went on to All-American honors as a tailback for the Michigan State Spartans and was among the top six in the Heisman Trophy voting before playing in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers.

Clinton was a mainstay for the Michigan State team that battled Notre Dame to a 10-10 tie on Nov. 19, 1966 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan, commonly referred to as the "Game of the Century."

Again, congratulations to the Jones family from this corner of the world, which still remembers the local legends.

Ice Cats dominate the Lancers from Gilmour Academy in the Gilmour Ice Arena on Friday night.
1/9/2015

Presented By Saint Ignatius Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Gilmour 10-0 tonight. The game was called after 2 periods as per state rule.

Wes Deacon had 3 saves in the shutout. Goals were scored by Peter Hyland (2), Ethan Whitney (2), Matty Geither, Seth Whitney, Zack Kisel, Cam Gerard, Jared Stepka, and Kevin Yarcusko. We play again tomorrow at 4:45 at Brooklyn vs. defending Kent District champion Lake Catholic.

From the corner: The Ice Cats will take a record of 16-3-3 in Saturday's matchup with the Cougars. Saint Ignatius eliminated Lake Catholic in last season's state semifinals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

As reported in the corner's post from Wednesday night (see below), Saturday's 4:45 PM faceoff at Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center will feature a special tribute to Saint Ignatius' 2013-14 John J. Wirtz Athlete of the Year Award winner Nick Gajkowski '14. Nick was a state champion in hockey and rugby.

Saturday's festivities at the Brooklyn Ice Arena will also include the Ice Cats' first "Dollar Dog and Pretzel Day."        

Saint Ignatius at Cleveland Central Catholic Varsity Basketball Preview and a look at what the rest of the Winter Cats are up to this weekend, including a tribute to 2013-14 John J. Wirtz Award Winner Nick Gajkowski.
1/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

Ohio City - As he, his staff and his players were watching film on Saturday night's opponent, the state-ranked Ironmen from Cleveland Central Catholic, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 told his Wildcats that the emphasis Saturday night and throughout the remainder of the season is on the "meat and potatoes, not style points."

"We just have to execute," Coach O'Toole said. "No style points, we don't have to rush things. We're not making ESPN highlights. Do your job, whether it's setting a screen, coming off a screen, spacing the floor, delivering the pass, making the catch and scoring. Just fill your role and I think we're a team that can compete with most."

Coming off Sunday's 51-40 victory over a skilled and well-schooled East Tech team in the 5th Annual Cleveland Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University, Saint Ignatius will take a 6-2 record into Saturday night's matchup with Central Catholic. The game will be played at the home of the Ironmen - the unique and tradition-rich St. Stan's Social Center on the campus of Central Catholic. Ironmen home games bring back rich memories for this old-timer, as I had the privilege to cover many of the outstanding Central Catholic teams of the 1980s and 90s, including the great Earl Boykins.

A 6 PM Junior Varsity Game will precede Saturday night's highly anticipated Varsity matchup, which is scheduled to tip off at 7:30. The Wildcats' Junior Varsity Team will put its 9-0 record on the line against the JV Ironmen.  

When we say Saturday's Varsity Game is highly anticipated it is a description that is supported by the rankings and the records.

Central Catholic stands 7-1 after Tuesday night's 78-69 home loss to the undefeated and talent-rich Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary. SVSM is currently ranked second in the Associated Press Division II state poll and the Ironmen are the state's third-ranked Division II team.

You might recall that Saint Ignatius, now ranked 10th among Ohio's Division I programs, took St. Vincent-St. Mary down to the final buzzer before losing to the Fighting Irish, 72-71, in a New Year's Eve matinee at Sullivan Gymnasium.

"It seems like we continue to go from the frying pan to the fire," said Coach O'Toole of his team's demanding Christmas Break schedule - at Canton McKinley on Dec. 20, versus tall and talented Berea-Midpark at home on Dec. 23, at Warren G. Harding on Dec. 27 to face the gifted Raiders, versus St. Vincent-St. Mary, a trip to talent-laden University of Detroit Jesuit High School on Jan. 2, and the game this past Sunday versus 2014 Division I state semifinalist East Tech.

"We've faced great, great players and you have two of the best players in Cleveland on this team," said Coach O'Toole of Central Catholic's 6-foot-5 senior forward Antwon Lillard and 6-8 junior forward Tervell Beck. "They also have other incredible athletes who bring size, strength and quickness. They play a variety of defenses and they also do a variety of things on offense. It's a game in which we have to be able to defend the entire floor.

"The big thing is that we have to prevent them from getting transition," Coach O'Toole continued in his references to the Ironmen. "It's a team that is awfully good when they get out in transition. Controlling their transition baskets and limiting them to one shot, those are necessities. The best way to get them to play five-on-five is to be patient and get high-percentage shots that we now know we can convert.

"It's a great atmosphere, we love playing those guys over there," Coach O'Toole said. "They have a lot of tradition with great success over the years. Our schedule is loaded with great teams and Central Catholic is absolutely one of them."

Coach O'Toole scouted Tuesday night's headliner between St. Vincent-St. Mary and Central Catholic and said the Ironmen had every chance to win it. "And I stand by my statement that St. Vincent-St. Mary is the best team that I have seen so far this season," Coach O'Toole emphasized. "If St. V is one, this team (Central Catholic) is one B."

Lillard and Beck entered this week averaging 22.1 and 20.6 points, respectively. Coach Jeremy Holmes' big two are supported nicely by 6-9 senior post Montel McRae, junior guard Desmond Crosby, senior forward Drevon Mills and senior guard William Hullum. And there are others.

Wildcats outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath describes Hullum as an aggressive player off the bench who has range and can get to the hoop, and the 6-2 Mills as a high energy performer who is an excellent rebounder and defender. Mills, said Coach Porath, looks to draw contact and charges.

Last season, the Ironmen and the Wildcats met in the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace Univeristy and Saint Ignatius, on the strength of a 17-7 fourth quarter, prevailed, 59-52. Current senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford was the story that afternoon as Andre' came off Coach O'Toole's bench and scored 15 points in 14 minutes, including three 3-pointers.

Entering Saturday night's game, Saint Ignatius' leading scorers are multi-skilled junior guard Deven Stover at 12.9 points per game and Wolford at 12.4. Andre' has 19 3-pointers and is shooting 46.3 percent from beyond the arc. Junior point guard/captain Kyle Kalish is averaging 8.7 points and 3.4 assists, and is shooting 83.3 percent on his two-point shots.

Coach O'Toole and his staff welcome the return of strong and athletic senior post Dre'Mont Jones (9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game), who was in San Antonio competing in last weekend's U.S. Army All-American Bowl and missed the past three games. Dre', a defensive end, is a The Ohio State University football recruit.  

One final note pertaining to Saturday's game, Central Catholic, as part of its demanding week, will host Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday night. St. Thomas Aquinas is ranked No. 1 in the AP Division IV state poll.

WHERE THE OTHER CATS PLAY THIS WEEKEND

HOCKEY: The 15-3-3 Ice Cats, ranked second in the state poll, travel to the Gilmour Ice Arena on Friday night for an 8:40 faceoff with the Lancers from Gilmour Academy and Saturday will feature a special tribute to Nick Gajkowski from the Class of 2014, when Coach Pat O'Rourke's Cats take on the Cougars from Lake Catholic at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop in Brooklyn's John M. Coyne Recreation Center at 4:45 PM.

A state champion in both hockey and rugby, Nick is Saint Ignatius' 2013-14 recipient of the prestigious Wirtz Award, which is named in honor of the late and legendary Wildcats Coach and Athletic Director, Mr. John J. Wirtz. The Wirtz Award is presented to Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Year.

Saturday's game versus the Cougars is Saint Ignatius' first "true" home game of the season and first "Dollar Dog and Pretzel Day."

BOWLING: It will be a big weekend for the Alley Cats' Junior Varsity Team, as the JV Cats have been called up to bowl against Brookside High School's Varsity Team on Saturday at 9 AM on the Buckeye Lanes. Coach John Kastanis' Varsity Team will be in Cincinnati this weekend for the Bearcat Tournament.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: Coach Jeff Ridler's men will face University School on Friday at 5 PM at Hathaway Brown and on Saturday the Cats will compete against West Side rival St. Edward at 1 PM in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium at Cleveland State University.

WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, who got a gutsy performance from senior Joe Conway at 195 pounds during the prestigious Brecksville Holiday Tournament (see the corner's posts below), are scheduled to wrestle the Padua Bruins and the Brunswick Blue Devils on Saturday at 11 AM at Brunswick High School.

Have a safe and great weekend, and try to stay warm. 

  

Ice Cats remain second in the weekly state poll.
1/6/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Saint Ignatius (15-3-3), which travels to the Gilmour Ice Arena on Friday night for an 8:40 Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the Lancers from Gilmour Academy, remains in the second spot in the state ice hockey poll. Here is how the poll shaped out for this week. The first-place votes are in parenthesis.

1. Toledo St. Francis 80 (8)             

2. Saint Ignatius 71
                 
3. University School 58

4. St. Edward 56

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 46

6-T. Columbus St. Charles 27

6-T. Dublin Jerome  27

8. Bowling Green 20

9. Findlay 18

10. Olentangy Orange 17

Others receiving votes: Holy Name, Lake Catholic and Walsh Jesuit.

Wildcats Varsity Basketball is ranked 10th in the AP Division I state poll.
1/6/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here is the first Associated Press big-school boys basketball poll for the 2014-2015 season. The first-place votes are parenthesis.

1. Gahanna Lincoln (2) 9-0 96

2. Garfield Heights (3) 8-0 75

3. Sylvania Southview (1) 8-0 73

4. Westerville S. (2) 7-0 66

5. Dublin Coffman (2) 8-0 61

6. Wilmington (1) 7-0 50

7. Mason 7-0 48

8. Huber Hts. Wayne (3) 6-2 43

9. Dublin Jerome (1) 8-0 38

10. Saint Ignatius 6-2 35

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11. Massillon Jackson 32, 11. Lorain 32, 13. Kettering Fairmont 30. 14. St. Edward (1) 24, 15. Walsh Jesuit 21, 15. Louisville 21, 17. Centerville 17, 18. Columbus Northland 14, 18. Mentor 14, 20. Brunswick 13.

 

The Junior Varsity Basketball Wildcats improve to 9-0.
1/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The JV Cats defeated the Junior Varsity Team from Brunswick on Monday night, 48-36, at Brunswick. Michael Spear led Saint Ignatius with 10 points.

Saint Ignatius totaled 17 2-point shots, two 3-pointers and was a bit shaky in the free-throw department, making 8 of 14 from the charity stripe.

Up next for the Cats' Junior Varsity is Saturday's game at Cleveland Central Catholic. The tipoff is scheduled for 6 PM.

Wildcats Basketball moves up on spot in the area poll.
1/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats (6-2), who are preparing for Saturday night's game at currently undefeated and second-ranked Cleveland Central Catholic in the St. Stan's Social Center, moved from sixth to fifth place this week in the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area poll.

In a game of state-wide interest, Central Catholic will be hosting the undefeated and third-ranked Fighting Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary on Tuesday night.  The Ironmen will also have a home game on Friday night versus St. Thomas Aquinas.

The only game the Cats have scheduled this week is Saturday night's visit to Central Catholic.      

Down 10 points early in the third quarter, Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball rallies to a 51-40 victory over East Tech in the 5th Annual Cleveland Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University.
1/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2015

At Ursprung Gymnasium, Berea, Ohio - After he watched his team manage just four points in the second quarter and find itself trailing by eight points at halftime, and 10 points early in the third quarter, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Sean O'Toole '87 had every right to be frustrated.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, their defense was good enough to limit East Tech to nine points in the second quarter and, behind a strong finish to the third quarter and even a stronger final eight minutes, Coach O'Toole's Cats were able to walk away with a 51-40 victory during Sunday's Cleveland Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.     

The Wildcats improved to 6-2 and snapped a two-game losing streak. Up next for Coach O'Toole's Cats is Saturday night's matchup with the highly touted Ironmen of Cleveland Central Catholic. The tipoff in the St. Stan's Social Center will be 6 PM for the Junior Varsity Game, followed by the Varsity encounter at 7:30.

"I'm very frustrated with how we came out to play today," said Coach O'Toole. "My job is to make sure we're ready to play and we weren't ready to play. So that's on my shoulders. We knew how they were going to be attacking and how we were going to play. And we just didn't execute.

"But I give them (the Scarabs) credit," Coach O'Toole continued. "They're a good team with great guards and we couldn't even get good looks. We weren't executing and that's very frustrating."

Leading by three points after the first eight minutes, East Tech, a Division I state semifinalist last season, stretched its lead to 18-12 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Markell Johnson.

The Scarabs pushed their advantage to 22-12 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Anthony Carmon and a steal by Carmon that resulted in him hitting 1 of 2 free throws with 17.2 seconds remaining in the first half.

Saint Ignatius trailed, 22-14, at halftime after junior point guard/Captain Kyle Kalish beat the buzzer with a running one hander. That deficit could have been larger if it weren't for two 3-pointers from Wildcats senior guard/wing Dylan Nieto. 

East Tech, which entered the game ranked 14th in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, held a 10-point lead with 6 minutes and 32 seconds left in the third quarter.

It was at that point Saint Ignatius began to play like the area's sixth-ranked team.

Wildcats senior guard/Captain Andre' Wolford buried three free throws after being fouled while attempting a 3-point shot and his 3-pointer cut the deficit to 24-20 with 6:03 to go in the third quarter.

Saint Ignatius sophomore post Matt Davet made it a three-point game by splitting a pair of free throws, but East Tech responded with a three-point play from Carmon along the baseline and led, 29-21, after Johnson turned a steal into a breakaway layup with 3:57 remaining in the third quarter.

In what was a huge momentum-changing shot, Wildcats basketball savvy junior guard Jimmy Berger sent home a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to five points with 3:29 left in the third quarter.

Two free throws by Wolford kept the deficit at five points with exactly two minutes to go in the third quarter and after a steal by Kalish, a free throw by senior forward/Captain Jaylin McDonald and another steal by Kalish that he converted into a layup, Coach O'Toole's team trailed by two points.

East Tech (6-3) got its faithful back in the game on an authoritative one-handed slam dunk along the baseline by Johnson, but on the strength of a put back by Saint Ignatius' strong and talented junior post Sharief Irish Coach Brett Moore's Scarabs clung to a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

With less than a minute gone in the fourth quarter, Irish made his presence felt again by powering up two points that knotted the score at 33. Gifted junior guard Deven Stover drained two free throws that put the Cats on top, 35-33, and after the Scarabs missed two free throws, Kalish pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to four points on a driving one hander.

East Tech, a household name in Ohio High School Basketball from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, regained its composure and rode five consecutive points by Carmon to a 38-37 lead with 4:22 left.

In what was this corner's turning point, Saint Ignatius answered with an in-rhythm 3-pointer by junior forward Tim Kiefer, a clutch rebound by Kiefer, a determined driving one-hander by Jimmy Berger and an athletic put back by Wolford that followed a turnover by the Scarabs.

The Cats, who also benefitted from Irish taking a charge off a heads up defensive play down the stretch, sealed the deal behind the clutch free-throw shooting of Kalish, Davet and McDonald, including four free throws by Kalish in the final 1:22.

East Tech's Carmon and Johnson led all scorers with 19 and 15 points, respectively, and Saint Ignatius was the recipient of 12 points from Wolford and a 10-point effort from Kalish. Wolford and Carmon were selected as the game's Most Valuable Players.

The Wildcats shot 41 percent for the game. They totaled 33 rebounds, made seven steals and, in a stat that Coach O'Toole said, "that just can't happen," turned the ball over 21 times.

The Scarabs shot 29 percent. Coach Moore's team committed 18 turnovers, pulled own 30 rebounds and made 12 steals.

"The kids are patient and they're waiting for their opportunities and their roles," Coach O'Toole said. "Here is what I am happy about, we will have five good days of practice this week (in preparation for Cleveland Central Catholic). I'm so happy about that. We really need to iron up how we're playing. We'll figure it out, I promise you that."    

    

                

Ice Cats break open a tight game versus Bowling Green High School with a five-goal third period.
1/4/2015

PRSENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Bowling Green, 6-2, today. It was tied 1-1 going into the 3rd then we broke it open. Dylan McKeon had 23 saves in the win. Goals were scored by Kevin Yarcusko, Connor Koehnke, Jared Stepka, Jack Wiegandt, Zack Kisel, and Jack Mazanec.

From the corner: With the victory over the six-time state champion Bobcats, Saint Ignatius improved to 15-3-3. Sunday's game was played at Bowling Green State University and matched the state's second (the Ice Cats) and ninth-ranked teams.

Up next for Saint Ignatius is Friday night's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the Lancers from Gilmour Academy. The puck is scheduled to drop in the Gilmour Ice Arena at 8:40 PM.    

Junior Gianni Schaefer helps key the Alley Cats in Week 7. It is the weekly Kastanis Report.
1/4/2015

FROM SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

From Coach Kastanis: Here are the bowling results for Week 7 Bowling; St. Ignatius High School vs. Valley Forge High School. There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category =  2,948(950;1032;966) versus Valley Forge High School = 2,594 (835;907;852).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 2-5 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,128 (1014;1090;1024) vs. Valley Forge High School = 3,171 (1013;1102;1056).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin Fall= 3,332/ Valley Forge High School Total Pin Fall = 2,979.     

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 161;223 = 384 Series vs. Valley Forge High School = 172;213 = 385 Series. 

Our star bowlers for the Seventh Week:

                       Junior Gianni Schaefer = 194; 236; 251 = 681 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Ralph Deadwyler = 213; 236; 199 = 648 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Austin Venczel = 237; 201 = 596 Series (Awesome)

From Coach Kastanis: We are moving forward each week, bowling average or above average, which is a good sign that we are not only being consistent, but improving each week. We are first place in the Scratch Division and tied for second in the OHSSA Division.

On the Junior Varsity side of things, continued improvements: 1) Scratch =  Wildcats JV Win, 7- 0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2,439 (871;836;732) vs. Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School JV team = 1,412 (444; 466; 502).

2) Handicap = Wildcats JV Win in this category, 7 - 0 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,114 (1096;1061;957) vs. Brecksville JV team = 2,336 (752; 774; 810).   

3) OHSAA = Wildcats JV win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 2,880/ Brecksville JV team = 1,627.     

4) Baker Games: (Wildcats JV) = 220;171 = 391 series versus (Brecksville JV team ) =  96;119 = 215 series.

Star bowlers for this Match:

                      Sophomore Devin Venczel = 196; 211 = 568 Series (Awesome)
                      Sophomore Nick Frank = 203; 179 = 531 Series (Awesome)
                      Freshman Anthony Doran = 212; 192; 195 = 599 Series (Awesome)
                       
From Coach Kastanis: Our Varsity Team will be in Cincinnati for the Bearcat Tournament, we will advance our JV team to bowl the Brookside Varsity Team. We will have to reschedule our JV match the following week, as we meet Cleveland Central Catholic.

Michael Spear's 25 points help lead the JV Cats to a 64-44 victory over the Jayvee Team from the University of Detroit Jesuit.
1/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2015

Detroit, Michigan - We're noticing a trend lately with Saint Ignatius' deep, versatile and extremely talented Junior Varsity Basketball Team.

It's not a bad thing, as far as the final results are concerned.

Over the past few games, it seems the JV Cats need about 7 or 8 minutes to put things in high gear.

But, oh my, once Coach Chris Salata's team starts laying down the hammer, Katy can't find anything strong enough to "Bar The Door."

Friday night in Curley Hall on the campus of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, the Cubs' Jayvees trailed the Cats, 20-15, entering the second quarter.

Two 3-pointers, one by sophomore guard Deven Jackson and another by sophomore guard Michael Spear had the Cats up by seven in the second quarter, and two late first-half baskets by tireless sophomore guard Tommy Aris enabled Saint Ignatius to take a six-point lead into the halftime break.

But then you would expect a tight game between two teams that took the floor for the opening tipoff undefeated.

Just when whispers of a barn burner were coming from the stands, 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Quinton Farren powered up two points down low and Spear made an athletic follow.

Trailing by 10 points, the Cubs were heard from again as they clawed to within seven points.

Then that young man named Spear revved up the Saint Ignatius engine as he took a steal and an assist from strong and active sophomore forward James Leyden and scored off a driving one-hander.

Spear, who finished his night with a game-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, buried two shots from beyond the arc and Aris went coast-to-coast for two more points and a 15-point Wildcats lead.

There was still some life from the home team, however, as Detroit Jesuit trailed by nine points after closing out the third quarter with a 6-0 run.

That mini run seemed to fire up the now 8-0 JV Cats, as they went on to outscore the Cubs, 14-3, in the fourth quarter. A decisive 12-1 run by Saint Ignatius was more than Detroit Jesuit could deal with. It started with a driving one-hander by Spear and was followed by an authoritative move to the rim by Leyden.

A steal by Leyden led to a Farren layup off a Jackson assist, Farren scored in transition off a dish from Spear and another "Q" shot in transition found a home off an assist from Aris.  "Q" is Farren's basketball nickname.

After Jackson and Aris scored off assists from 6-7 sophomore wing/post Austen Yarian, the Cats were purring to a 64-42 lead.

The Cubs are now 5-1.       

 

   

  

 

 

WILDCATS VARSITY BASKETBALL IS TURNED BACK BY THE HIGHLY REGARDED CUBS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL, 61-50, IN THE MOTOR CITY ON FRIDAY NIGHT.
1/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2015

Detroit, Michigan - The Saint Ignatius Wildcats made the trip to the University of Detroit Jesuit High School on Friday without the services of some of their key elements.

Coach Sean O'Toole and his staff were minus three starters - senior post Dre'Mont Jones (in San Antonio for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl), senior forward/Captain Jaylin McDonald (ill) and junior point guard /Captain Kyle Kalish (ill). Another key player in Coach O'Toole's rotation, junior guard Ryan Berger, was also out with illness.

Now there is no question that the Cubs of Detroit Jesuit are among the elite, if not right at the top, that the state of Michigan has to offer in boys basketball. Anyone who witnessed the Cubs' 30-point victory over the Wildcats in Sullivan Gymnasium last season will vouch for that.

However, even without some main pieces, Saint Ignatius could have won Friday night's matchup in Curley Hall on the atmosphere-rich campus of the University of Detroit Jesuit, an outcome that was secured by Coach Pat Donnelly's Cubs, 61-50. Coach Donnelly is a Rocky River native who has done an outstanding job with the Detroit Jesuit program.

Of course the operative words for Saint Ignatius are could have, as the Cubs got some breathing room by outscoring the Wildcats, 16-6, in the third quarter.

"It's (Detroit Jesuit) a great team, I just feel we have a enough talent to win that game, I do," said Coach O'Toole after his Cats lost for the second time in seven games this young season. "We need to execute better. It's about tightening things up at both sides of the floor. Obviously there is a game plan defensively that we have to follow, and we had breakdowns. Offensively, we have to take good shots. We can not settle for shots. We're not a team that can settle for shots."

Getting some solid play from 6-foot-7 junior post Sharief Irish, 6-6 sophomore post Matt Davet and 6-4 junior forward Tim Kiefer, Saint Ignatius increased a three-point lead after the first eight minutes to 23-17 early in the second quarter.

The now 5-0 Cubs responded with a 3-pointer from their gifted 6-1 junior point guard Cassius Winston and knotted the score at 25 on a transition pull-up trey by Winston with three minutes and 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

The final 2:38 of the first half was a back-and-forth exchange, as Detroit Jesuit took a two-point lead on a put back by its versatile senior guard Gary Collins only to watch Saint Ignatius junior point guard Jimmy Berger, Ryan's twin brother, steal the ball from Winston and drive for a breakaway layup.

After Wildcats senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto buried a 3-pointer off the glass that gave Saint Ignatius a 30-29 lead, Detroit Jesuit took advantage of the second-shot department and led, 31-30, at halftime.

What could be described as the turning point came after Wildcats multi-skilled 6-4 junior guard Deven Stover hit two free throws that tied the score at 32 with less than a minute gone in the third quarter.

Another 3-pointer by the highly recruited Winston fueled a 9-0 run that also featured two free throws by Cubs 6-3 junior guard Matt Schearer, a strong follow from Collins and a transition layup by Collins off a bounce-pass assist from Winston.

An authoritative post-up move by Davet made it a seven-point game, but Detroit Jesuit responded with six unanswered points - another basket by Collins off a Winston assist, a tip-in by 6-9 sophomore post/forward Gregory Eboigbodin and two free throws by Winston.

After Davet scored again down low off a picture-perfect assist from senior guard/Captain Andre' Wolford, Saint Ignatius trailed, 47-36, entering the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats, who face East Tech on Sunday at 3:30 PM in the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University's Ursprung Gymnasium, closed to 47-39 on a three-point play by Stover early in the fourth quarter and also trailed by eight points after Irish hit both ends of a 1-and-1 free-throw situation with 4:21 remaining.

Detroit Jesuit had the answers down the stretch, however, as Coach Donnelly's team rode some clutch free-throw shooting by Winston and Collins to a 13-point advantage with 29.7 seconds left.

Winston and Collins each tossed in 17 points and Eboigbodin had nine points. Davet led the Cats with 13 points, including six baskets, Stover totaled 10 points and was 4-of-5 from the free-throw line, and Irish finished with nine points.

"If it means extra passes and longer possessions, then that's what it means," said Coach O'Toole of his team's shot selections. "I know we're going to miss shots, I just want to take good shots. That's a team you definitely can't play from behind on. They handle it well and they execute well. We got good minutes from guys, no doubt. But as a coach, you want to execute better, that's all."  

  

      

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

     

Jack Wiegandt's two goals help lead the Ice Cats to a 7-1 victory over Padua on Friday night.
1/2/2015
Presented by Wildcats Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and Posted by Eddie Dwyer
 
OBM Arena in IceLand USA
 
From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Padua 7-1 tonight in Strongsville. Goals were scored by Jack Wiegandt (2), Matty Geither, Jared Stepka, Kevin Yarcusko, Peter Hyland, and Jimmy Grisanti. Wes Deacon had 11 saves in the win.
 
We play next on Sunday vs. Bowling Green at Bowling Green State University. Bowling Green is ranked in the state top ten this year and is one of the most storied programs in state history. That game will wrap up a 15 games in 22 days odyssey that has really tested our team's character and chemistry.  So far, they have come through with flying colors.
 
Oddly enough, we haven't had a true home game at Brooklyn yet this season! That will end soon, as after one more road game at Gilmour Academy next Friday, we play Lake Catholic at 4:45 on Saturday, January 10th in what will be our first ever "Dollar Dog and Pretzel Day," as well as the day we honor 2013-14 Wirtz Award winner Nick Gajkowski, who was a state champion both in hockey and in rugby last year.
 
From the corner: With their Great Lakes Hockey League victory over the Bruins from Padua Franciscan, the Ice Cats improved to 14-3-3. The puck will drop at 1:30 PM on Sunday for the matchup with the Bowling Green High School Bobcats at BGSU. Located in Wood County in the Northwest District of Ohio, Bowling Green High School has won six state ice hockey championships.
 
The Ice Cats and the Bobcats are ranked second and ninth, respectively, in the state poll.      
The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network will bring you live coverage on this evening's Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Games at Detroit Jesuit.
1/2/2015

Senior Joe Mertens and freshman Brad Anderson will describe the action of the Junior Varsity Game, as the JV Cats look to move to 8-0 on the season, and seniors James Zajaczkowski (SIBN President) and Liam Garven are expected to have the call on the Varsity matchup, which features the 4-0 Cubs from Detroit Jesuit and the 5-1 Wildcats.

The Junior Varsity Game is scheduled for 4:30 PM and the Varsity Game is slated for six bells.     

ICE CATS SKATE TO A 2-1 VICTORY OVER TOLEDO ST. JOHN'S JESUIT IN THURSDAY NIGHT'S TOLEDO WALLEYE WINTERFEST.
1/2/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer, with the information courtesy of Saint Ignatius Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Toledo St. John's Jesuit, 2-1. Connor Koehnke and Matty Geither had our goals. Dylan McKeon had 21 saves in the win.

From the corner: Thursday night's game saw the Ice Cats open the New Year with a victory over a Titans team that played the Cats to a 5-5 tie during the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament at Kent State University. Part of the Toledo Walleye Winterfest, the action took place outdoors in Fifth Third Field, the home of the Toledo Mud Hens. The game matched the state's second (Saint Ignatius) and fifth-ranked teams.

The Ice Cats will take a record of 13-3-3 into tonight's (Friday) Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the Padua Bruins at IceLand USA. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 PM in OBM Arena.    

A test of wills. Saint Ignatius and St. Vincent-St. Mary leave it all on the floor before SVSM prevails, 72-71, at Sullivan Gymnasium. The JV Cats stand 7-0 after dominating SVSM's Jayvees.
12/31/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright December/January 2014-15

Ohio City - Trailing, 70-65, with 41.6 seconds remaining, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats closed to 70-69 as standout senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford completed a four-point play (a 3-pointer and a free throw) with 21.8 seconds left.

St. Vincent-St. Mary's outstanding senior guard Josh Williams buried two free throws with 14.5 ticks remaining on the clock and, after calling a timeout with 4.3 seconds to go, Saint Ignatius missed a 3-point shot. The Cats rebounded the ball and made a two-point basket as the final buzzer was sounding. Coach Dru Joyce's Fighting Irish walked out of what was a packed Sullivan Gymnasium with a 72-71 victory and will now take a 7-0 record into the New Year.

In a game that matched the area's third (SVSM) and sixth-ranked teams, Saint Ignatius lost for the first time in six games. The Wildcats will now prepare for Friday's trip to the Motor City, where they will face the undefeated Cubs of Detroit Jesuit. The Junior Varsity tipoff will be 4:30 PM, followed by the Varsity game at 6 bells.

St. Vincent-St. Mary, which lost to Saint Ignatius by 10 points in last year's New Year's Eve matinee at LeBron James Arena, held a hot hand all afternoon and into the early evening. The Fighting Irish shot 57 percent on two-point shots, 46 percent from 3-point land and were 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Thirty-six of SVSM's 72 points came on 3-pointers, including six by 6-foot-5 junior Henry Baddley, who finished with a game-high 25 points.  

The Wildcats' postgame stats showed Saint Ignatius shooting 52 percent on its 2-point shots, hitting six of its 23 3-point attempts and going 11 of 14 from the charity stripe.

Wolford led the Cats with 21 points, including four 3-pointers, and multi-skilled junior guard Deven Stover had 20 points, which included two 3-pointers.

Saint Ignatius pulled down 36 rebounds and committed nine turnovers, and St. Vincent-St. Mary totaled 26 rebounds and turned the ball over eight times.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON WHAT WAS THE SECOND OF WHAT HOPEFULLY WILL BECOME A NEW YEAR'S EVE MATINEE TRADITION INVOLVING TWO OF THE FINEST PROGRAMS THE STATE HAS TO OFFER, YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT.

In addressing his team, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 told them how proud he was of them, that they definitely left it all on the floor against a St. Vincent-St. Mary team that has been labeled by many as one of the top three or four programs the state has to offer this season.

Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Brian Carey '78 added how proud he was of the Cats and emphasized to them that a tough one-point loss to a talent and tradition-rich SVSM program only hurts if they don't learn from it.

Despite playing without its main man in the middle, 6-foot-4 senior post Dre'Mont Jones, Saint Ignatius went toe-to-toe, and them some, with the Fighting Irish. Dre', a The Ohio State University football recruit, is in San Antonio preparing for Saturday's annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Dre' was tweeting football teammate and Saint Ignatius Student Broadcaster Joe Mertens for updates throughout Wednesday's game.

Before we go any further, let me emphasize that the reference to Dre'Mont is by no means an excuse or a way to take anything from what was a gutsy performance by SVSM, a team that had just arrived home on Tuesday after an outstanding effort in the prestigious Slam-Dunk-To-The-Beach Classic.

Coach O'Toole was quick to point out the solid job 6-7 junior post Sharief Irish did in Dre'Mont's absence, as Sharief scored eight points, went strong the glass and also altered a few shots.

"Coming in, St. Vincent-St. Mary is ranked No. 1 in Ohio in the MaxPreps poll," Coach O'Toole said. "I scouted them and I told you that it was the best team I've seen up to this point. Not to disrespect any team that I haven't seen, but from what I saw I think they are extremely intelligent, extremely skilled and extremely unselfish. And obviously, we played them well enough to win.

"Both teams shot the ball well," Coach O'Toole continued. "They shot it a little bit better. It was the type of game that you can look at in its entirety, being consistent, not giving up something easy and making the right play offensively. This could have been any play throughout the game.

"We were down, we battled and cut it to one (point) and had a chance to tie it with a three (a 3-point shot)," said Coach O'Toole. "It's early in the season still, and we'll be much better prepared for those scenarios, situational basketball at both ends of the floor. Defensively, how we're going to foul, if we're going to foul, and try to get a couple of traps and a turnover. Offensively, executing whether it's two minutes to go or the end of the game, and what we're looking for. We were there and had a chance, but there's no time to worry about it because we go up to Michigan now and play their top team."

Coach O'Toole said his Wildcats will only gain confidence from the loss and they certainly played with a trust for one another throughout Wednesday's 32 minutes.

Trailing, 21-16, in the second quarter, Saint Ignatius rode three 3 pointers by senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford, some strong play by junior point guard Jim Berger at both ends of the floor, two free throws by Irish and Wolford's third trey, which came off a nice drive and dish by junior point guard and Captain Kyle Kalish, to a 36-34 lead by halftime.

With SVSM's 6-5 junior forward Henry Baddley dropping in nothing-but-net 3-pointers from NBA range, the Fighting Irish twice built seven-point leads in the third quarter.

Thanks to a 3-pointer and an authoritative drive by junior guard Deven Stover, and a smooth move to the rim by Wolford, the Wildcats made it a five-point game entering the final eight minutes.

Wolford's two free throws with 6:52 left cut the deficit to one point and Stover's pull-up jumper kept it a one-point game.

SVSM would respond with a mini 9-4 run that featured the scoring of Baddley and his gifted teammate, senior guard Josh Williams, who finished with 17 points. Baddley's sixth 3-pointer pushed the Irish lead to 65-59.

Back came the Wildcats, however, as Jim Berger came up with a steal and hit both ends of a one-and-one after being fouled off his steal.

After 6-6 senior forward and Captain Jaylin McDonald converted an authoritative move across the lane into an elevated one-handed hook shot that hit nothing but net, Saint Ignatius trailed, 65-63, with 2 minutes and 17 seconds remaining. Jaylin gave his team a solid effort at both ends of the floor every second he was on the court.

Saint Vincent-St. Mary kept its composure, built another five-point advantage and offset an impressive baseline drive by Wolford with two free throws by sophomore guard John Williams, Josh's brother, with 41.6 seconds left.

The outcome was then determined on the thrilling scenario that we described in the corner's lead in paragraphs.

AUSTEN YARIAN'S 27 POINTS LEAD THE JUNIOR VARISTY CATS TO A 71-48 VICTORY OVER ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY'S JAYVEES. THE CATS IMPROVE TO 7-0 AND SVSM NOW STANDS 2-1.

The Junior Varsity Team from St. Vincent-St. Mary hung around in the early going and then discovered what the JV Wildcats' first six opponents this season experienced - the talent, size and depth that Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 have to work with can be a bit overwhelming.

Leading, 17-9, after the first quarter, the JV Cats took it up another notch in the second and third quarters and took a 22-point lead into the final seven minutes (JV quarters are seven minutes).

One thing was quite obvious even in the early going. SVSM couldn't deal with the talent and versatility of Saint Ignatius' Mr. Inside and Outside - 6-7 sophomore wing/post Austen Yarian.

Yarian hurt the Fighting Irish with his pin-point passing from the wing, his ability to post up, drive to the basket and hit from the outside. It all added up to 27 points on 11 baskets, including a 3-pointer, and a 4-for-6 afternoon from the free-throw line. When he wasn't scoring, Yarian was dishing off some nice assists and rebounding and altering shots.

Another load SVSM couldn't handle was Cats' 6-4 sophomore forward Quinton Farren, who was doing his thing around the basket to the tune of 13 points and hustling from baseline to baseline.

Saint Ignatius also got solid play from gifted 6-2 sophomore guard Colin Goodfellow , who scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and exceptional floor direction and defensive hustle from sophomore guard Connor Meehan.

Coach Chris Salata's deep bench again produced solid minutes, as sophomore guards Alex Ringfield and Devin Jackson, and sophomore forwards James Leyden and Ben Delhees, did plenty of damage.

Up next for the JV Cats is Friday's 4:30 PM matchup with a highly regarded Detroit Jesuit JV Team at Detroit Jesuit.    

           

                                         

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO WILDCATS STANDOUT SENIOR LEADER JOE CONWAY, WHO REBOUNDED WITH A 6-3 VICTORY AND PLACED FIFTH AT 195 POUNDS IN THE 54TH ANNUAL BRECKSVILLE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT, THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS HIGH SCHOOL HOLIDAY WRESTLING EVENT IN THE NATION.
12/30/2014
Ice Cats remain in the second spot in the season's second state poll.
12/30/2014

Posted by Eddie Dwyer. First place votes are in parenthesis.

1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 77 (7)             

2. Saint Ignatius 70
                 
3. St. Edward 68 (1)

4. University School 48

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 40

6. Dublin Jerome 26

7. Findlay 20

8. Columbus St. Charles 19

9. Bowling Green 17

10. Olentangy Orange 16

Others receiving votes: Lake Catholic, Sylvania Northview, Gilmour Academy, Dublin Coffman, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Walsh Jesuit, Holy Name and Rocky River.





  

   





 
 
 
 
 
 
A new voice joins the SIBN team for Wednesday's JV Basketball game and Cats 195-pound senior Joe Conway will be wrestling for fifth/sixth place at the Brecksville Holiday Tournament.
12/30/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Joe was defeated by his opponent from Miami Trace High School in today's semifinals and will be seeking a top five or six finish.

Joining savvy senior Joe Mertens for Wednesday's New Year's Eve matinee broadcast of the junior varsity basketball game versus St. Vincent-St. Mary will be freshman Matt Mackenzie. The Junior Varsity Wildcats tip off at 1:30 PM in Sullivan Gym, as they look to improve to 7-0.

*Following the JV game will be the highly anticipated 3 PM Varsity matchup between the 6-0 Fighting Irish and the 5-0 Wildcats.

FOR A PREVIEW ON THE VARSITY GAME, SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM MONDAY NIGHT.

 

Wildcats continue to be among the area's top swimming and diving times.
12/30/2014

IN THE 200 YARD MEDLEY RELAY: Hudson 1:35.92, Solon 1:36.13, Walsh Jesuit 1:38.86, Strongsville 1:39.45, University School 1:40.00, Saint Ignatius 1:40.45, St. Edward 1:40.80, Hawken School 1:40.90, Wadsworth 1:42.67 and Chagrin Falls 1:43.11.

IN THE 50 YARD FREESTYLE: Trevor Lake, Bay 20.29; Brendon Mulcahey, Hudson 21.16; DJ Arslanian, Strongsville 21.55; Joey Reilman, Walsh Jesuit 21.75; Sam Stankivicz, Rocky River 21.94; Jared Stergar, Eastlake North 22.00; Dmitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 22.11; Zachary Hostoffer, Gilmour 22.14; Rayon Artis, Saint Ignatius 22.21; Anthony Immormino, Solon 22.21.

IN THE ONE METER DIVING (6 DIVES): Peter Nachtwey, Chagrin Falls 291.00; Anthony Styrt, Solon 288.98;
Alex Claus, Saint Ignatius 260.30; Dalton Shevlin, Solon 236.70; Matt Akers, Westlake 226.04; Isaac Cooper, Kenston 205.95; Dominic Campo, Westlake 205.35; Nolan Honsacker, Aurora 198.65; Isaac Cooper, Kenston 189.00; Luke Binder, University 172.75.

IN THE 100 YARD FREESTYLE: Trevor Lake, Bay 44.92; Michael Reilman, Walsh Jesuit 46.17; Zachary Hostoffer, Gilmour Academy, 47.36; Brendon Mulcahey, Hudson 47.54; Mike Pichette, Strongsville 47.79; DJ Arslanian, Strongsville 47.88; David Madej, Brecksville 47.95; Ross Palazzo, Hudson 48.22; Cole Clampffer, Hudson 48.36; Rayon Artis, Saint Ignatius 48.75.

IN THE 500 YARD FREESTYLE: Michael Reilman, Walsh Jesuit 4:40.77; Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 4:44.20; David Bates, Hawken School; 4:46.45; Matt Rakovec, Hawken School 4:46.77; Ross Palazzo, Hudson 4:48.22; Charlie Stewart-Bates, University School 4:49.59; Chris Ubert, Saint Ignatius 4:49.75; Jamie Skupnik, Strongsville 4:52.44; Patrick Olivier, Wash Jesuit 4:52.76; Michael Crookshanks, Notre Dame- Cathedral Latin 4:54.29.

IN THE 200 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY: Hudson 1:27.59; Brecksville-Broadview Heights 1:28.13; Saint Ignatius 1:29.21; Solon 1:29.68; Bay 1:29.76; Rocky River 1:31.04; Hawken School 1:31.12; Strongsville 1:31.34; Wadsworth 1:31.76; University School 1:31.82.

IN THE 400 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY: Brecksville-Broadview Heights 3:11.57; Hudson 3:12.68; Solon 3:14.44; Strongsville 3:14.98; University School 3:17.83; Bay 3:18.60; St. Edward 3:19.60; Walsh Jesuit 3:20.93; Saint Ignatius 3:21.34; Hawken School 3:22.20.

Congrats to all of the Cats who posted these times and continued success in 2015.

 

 












Wildcats Basketball faces another challenging three-game stretch.
12/30/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014-January 2015

Ohio City – Challenged down to the wire by their last three opponents – at Canton McKinley, home to Berea-Midpark and at Warren G. Harding, the Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Wildcats are standing 5-0 and holding on to the sixth-place ranking in the seven-county area Top 25 poll by cleveland.com.

Never one to shy away from a demanding schedule, Wildcats Head Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 put together a Holiday Break slate that has some of the Wildcats’ most knowledgeable fans saying, “Wow.”

Wow indeed.

After starting their Christmas Break with the above mentioned victories, the Wildcats are preparing for three games in five days this week. It is a stretch that will give Coach O’Toole and his staff a solid measuring stick.

It all starts on Wednesday in Sullivan Gymnasium, where the Cats will host the tradition-rich Fighting Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary in a New Year’s Eve matinee. The Junior Varsity game tips off at 1:30 PM, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity matchup at 3 PM.

Under the direction of veteran Head Coach Dru Joyce, St. Vincent-St. Mary is now 6-0 after Monday night’s 52-50 victory over a talented Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas) team in the annual Slam Dunk to the Beach Classic. Coach Joyce’s Irish, who won the fourth quarter on Monday night, 21-15, are ranked third in the area by cleveland.com. Sunrise Christian Academy had defeated the top-ranked team in New York, Christ the King, on Sunday.

“From what I’ve seen so far this season, it’s the best team I’ve seen,” said Coach O’Toole of St. Vincent-St. Mary. “They have a high basketball IQ, they share it well, they space it well, they go to the glass and they have great scoring balance. And, they are extremely well coached. Those are tough combinations to beat.”

Also highlighting the 6-0 start by the Fighting Irish are victories over defending Division I state champion St. Edward, 69-60, a 15-point triumph over highly touted Massillon Jackson and a six-point victory over St. Benedict’s Prep from Newark, New Jersey.

Showing the way for the Irish are 6-foot-2 senior guard Josh Williams, who checks in with 20.3 points per game, including a 26-point effort against Sunrise Christian Academy on Monday night, 6-foot-5 junior wing Henry Baddley with 12.3 points per game and 6-foot-6 senior forward Jibri Blount, who is at 10.7 points and 10 rebounds per game. Then there are 5-foot-10 senior guard Johnnie Robinson and 6-2 sophomore guard Jayvon Graves, who both are averaging more than seven points.

Among others who have kept the eyes of the Fighting Irish faithful smiling are 5-10 sophomore guard John Williams, Josh’s brother, and 6-5 junior forward Niko Lalos. Lalos, said Wildcats outstanding assistant coach
Jerry Porath, is a physical player with high energy and excellent range.

Coach Porath pointed out that Josh Williams and Baddley are also strong rebounders, with Baddley excelling off the offensive glass.

“They have skill, speed and intelligence,” Coach O’Toole continued in his references to St. Vincent-St. Mary. “They share and space it so well that it’s like pick your poison.”

Coach O’Toole, who led his Wildcats to a 74-64 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary in last season's New Year's Eve matinee at LeBron James Arena, is not one to offer excuses. But this corner will offer that Saint Ignatius will be without its powerful and athletic 6-4 senior post Dre’Mont Jones, who is a The Ohio State University football recruit.

An All-Ohio and All-American defensive end, Dre’ is competing in this weekend’s (Jan. 3) annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Dre’ was a force in the Warren G. Harding game, scoring 17 points and
grabbing 10 rebounds while going against a 6-foot-9 opponent.

The three games in five days stretch resumes on Friday, when the Wildcats travel to the Motor City to face the gifted and physical Cubs from Detroit Jesuit. Please note the starting times of 4:30 PM for the Junior Varsity Game and 6 PM for the Varsity tipoff.

Saint Ignatius’ gym rats will recall that last season the Cubs came into Sullivan Gymnasium and, with their highly recruited point guard Cassius Winston showing the way (18 points), stunned the Wildcats, 82-52. Detroit Jesuit shot 57 percent from the field in taking a 53-29 lead by halftime and ended up shooting 52 percent for the entire game. The 6-foot 1 Winston, who is just a junior, earned All-Detroit Area and All-Michigan honors last season.

Although they graduated a few key pieces from last winter, the Cubs, under the direction of veteran Head Coach Pat Donnelly, are currently 4-0. Among those four victories is a 44-22 triumph over a highly regarded Toledo St. John’s Jesuit team at St. John’s on Dec. 20. Coach Donnelly, the Detroit Free Press Coach of the Year last season, is a Rocky River native.

Closing out the challenging week will be Sunday’s 3:30 PM matchup with the East Tech Scarabs in the annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Ursprung Gymnasium on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.

One of the most history-rich basketball programs to ever perform on Cleveland’s storied high school hardwoods, East Tech made its 11th state Final Four appearance last season and the first since 1972, when the Scarabs won their third state championship. East Tech was defeated by eventual state champion St. Edward in last season’s state semifinals.

The Scarabs of 1958 and 1959, who won back-to-back state championships, were among the greatest all-around teams in the rich history of Greater Cleveland High School basketball. Those teams were ahead of their time my friends.

Along with their three state championships, the Scarabs were state runners-up in 1960, 1962 and 1967.

Although East Tech leads its all-time series with Saint Ignatius, 30-8, Coach O’Toole has enjoyed success against the Scarabs since taking the head coaching position at his alma mater in 2008-09.

East Tech is currently 5-2 and ranked 14th in the area poll.

So there you have it, what should be a memorable three-game stretch.

Oh, in case you’re interested, when classes resume at Saint Ignatius after Christmas Break the Cats’ first game will be Jan. 10th versus currently undefeated and second-ranked Cleveland Central Catholic. That game will be played on the home court of the Ironmen in the St. Stan’s Social Center.

“It’s all about preparing for the big picture in March (the OHSAA postseason tournament),” Coach O’Toole said of Saint Ignatius’ who’s who schedule. “No victory is too big and no loss is too overwhelming.”    



 



          



                



 



CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE CORNER GO OUT TO WILDCATS TOUGH AND TALENTED SENIOR WRESTLER JOE CONWAY, WHO ADVANCED TO TUESDAY'S 195-POUND SEMIFNALS AT THE TRADITION-RICH BRECKSVILLE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT.
12/29/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are Tuesday's 195-pound semifinal pairings at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

195 – Stencel (Oregon Clay) vs. Gregory (Toledo C.C.); Conway (Saint Ignatius) vs. Jones (Miami Trace).

Joe is among eight Cats to advance to the second day. Now in its 54th year, the Brecksville Holiday Tournament is the nation's oldest continuous high school holiday wrestling tournament.

We wish all of the best to Joe and Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats on Tuesday. The second round begins at 10 AM, with the finals scheduled for 6:30 PM.

Saint Ignatius Hockey closes out its play in the St. Edward Eagles Classic at Winterhurst by skating to a 2-2 tie versus Olentangy Orange.
12/29/2014

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach O'Rourke: We tied Olentangy Orange today (Monday), 2-2. Ethan Whitney and Matty Geither scored our goals. Dylan McKeon had 19 saves.

From the corner: The Ice Cats went 3-0-1 in the tournament, including a victory over Olentangy Orange during Saturday's first round in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

Saint Ignatius will now take a record of 12-3-3 into its New Year's evening (yes, Jan. 1 2015) outdoor matchup with Toledo St. John's Jesuit at Fifth Third Field, the home of the Toledo Mud Hens. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:30 PM.

The game is part of the Toledo Walleye Winterfest. St. John's Jesuit and Saint Ignatius have already met once this season, a 5-5 tie in the Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament on the ice at Kent State University.    

WILDCATS VARSITY BASKETBALL REMAINS IN THE SIXTH SPOT IN THIS WEEK'S AREA TOP 25 BY CLEVELAND.COM. WE WILL HAVE MORE ON THE BASKETBALL CATS LATER TODAY AS THEY PREPARE FOR THREE GAMES IN FIVE DAYS.
12/29/2014
CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' ALL-AMERICAN SOCCER GOAL KEEPER MIKAL OUTCALT FOR BEING SELECTED AS THE AREA'S GOALIE OF THE YEAR ON THE CLEVELAND.COM ALL-STAR SOCCER TEAM AND TO STEVE MILHOAN AND DAVID SISSON FOR EARNING HONORABLE MENTION.
12/29/2014
Saint Ignatius Hockey completes a solid Sunday at Winterhurst.
12/28/2014

PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Upper Arlington 6-2. Wes Deacon had 20 saves in the win. Goals were scored by Jack Wiegandt, Seth Whitney, Matty Geither, Kevin Yarcusko, Cullen Frebes, and Jared Stepka. We play tomorrow at 10:50 AM vs. a TBA opponent.

From the corner: After defeating the Golden Bears of Upper Arlington on Sunday night and the Raiders from Shaker Heights during Sunday's afternoon action (see the corner's post below), the Ice Cats stand 12-3-2.

The Ice Cats turn back Shaker Heights in the second round of the annual St. Edward Eagles Holiday Classic at Winterhurst.
12/28/2014

Presented by Wildcats Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and posted by Eddie Dwyer

From Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst

Coach O'Rourke: We beat Shaker 3-2. Dylan McKeon had 19 saves in the win. Goals were scored by Jared Stepka, Jack Mazanec and Ethan Whitney. We play Upper Arlington tonight at 5:30.

From the corner: Saint Ignatius hockey, ranked second in this week's state poll, will enter tonight's game against the Golden Bears of Upper Arlington with a record of 11-3-2 on the season.

For the gentleman who e-mailed the corner and said the Ice Cats have only two setbacks and one tie on the season, I beg to differ.

Saint Ignatius lost to Bethel Park (Pa.) in the Walsh Tournament, was defeated by Northbrook (Illinois) Glenbrook North at the annual Culver Military School Cornfield Cup in Indiana, and was defeated by top-ranked Toledo St. Francis DeSales at the Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament in OBM Arnea at IceLand USA.

The Cats' ties came against Toledo St. John's Jesuit at the Walsh Tournament and to Findlay at the Padua Tournament.       

A look at the weekend in Saint Ignatius Bowling. It's the Alley Cats' Kastanis Report.
12/28/2014

PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS. POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER.

FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results for Week 6. Saint Ignatius High School vs. Lutheran West High School.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win, 7-0 (7 point total).  Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2,679 (804; 888; 987) versus Lutheran West  High School = 2,372 (766; 852; 754).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category, 2- 5 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2,820 (847; 931; 1042) vs. Lutheran West  High School = 2,948 (958; 1044; 946).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus the total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 2,982/ Lutheran West  High School Total Pin fall = 2,621.     

4) Baker Games: Wildcats = 169;134 = Series total 303 vs. Lutheran West  High School = 130;119 = 249. 

Our star bowlers for the Sixth Week:

Junior Ralph Deadwyler =  212; 209; 206 = 627 Series  (Awesome)
Junior Cedric Crawford = 173; 163; 277 = 613 Series (Awesome)
                       
FROM COACH KASTANIS: We are moving forward. As of this week, we should move into first place in the scratch division. We battled to overcome Lutheran West High School, due to challenging conditions. We are working hard with guys on how to adjust to changing lane conditions as we move forward to the coming weeks.

On the JV side of things, showing consistant improvements:

Sophomore Devin Venczel = 195; 180 = 526 Series (Awesome)
Senior Josh Jarosz = 210; 196 = 552 Series (Awesome)

1) Scratch =  Wildcats JV Win, 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2,120 (729; 726; 665) vs. Cleveland Central Catholic  High School JV team - Forfeit.
2) Handicap = Wildcats JV Win in this category, 7- 0 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2,756 (941; 938; 877) vs. Central Catholic High School JV team - Forfeit   

3) OHSAA = Wildcats JV win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall = 2440 / Central Catholic High School - JV team Forfeit.     

4) Baker Games: Wildcats JV = 140; 180 = Series total 320 vs. Central Catholic High School JV team - Forfeit.

Star Bowlers for this Match:

                       Senior Josh Jarosz =  210; 196 = 552 Series  (Awesome)
                       Sophomore Devin Venczel = 195; 180 = 526 Series (Awesome)
                       
FROM COACH KASTANIS: I am very proud of this JV Team. They continue to show improvements and are holding first place in both the Scratch and the OHSSA Divisions.     




FOR A STORY ON THE VARSITY BASKETBALL WILDCATS AND THEIR VICTORY OVER WARREN G. HARDING ON SATURDAY NIGHT, SEE THE FOURTH POST DOWN.
12/28/2014
Saint Ignatius' JV Basketball Cats remain unbeaten. Here is a recap on their victory at Warren G. Harding on Saturday night.
12/28/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Trumbull County - Junior Varsity Coaches Chris Salata '94, Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 watched their young Cats pick up the team's sixth victory in as many games this winter by wearing down Warren G. Harding's JV program, 58-33, on Saturday night.

With the score tied at 15 with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Cats rode a layup by 6-foot-7 sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian off an assist from sophomore forward James Leyden, a basket down low by sophomore forward Quinton Farren, a moving-without-the-ball jumper by sophomore guard Devin Jackson and a follow by sophomore guard Michael Spear to a 23-16 lead late in the second quarter.

After the Raiders' jayvees cut the deficit to four points by halftime, Saint Ignatius shook off the post-Christmas lull and went on to outscore Harding, 22-5, in the third quarter.

Some of the third-quarter highlights included a 3-pointer by Spear, a pull-up jumper by Spear in transition that was started with a nice outlet pass by Yarian, two free throws by Spear, a layup down low by Farren off an assist from Yarian, another basket by Farren that came off a steal by Spear and another assist from Yarian, and a strong move to the rim by Yarian.

It was more of the same in the late stages of the third quarter as the Cats took command on a driving layup in transition by sophomore forward Ben Delhees, a steal and a jumper by tireless sophomore guard Tommy Aris and another hustle layup by Delhees.

Yarian (7 baskets) and Farren (6 baskets) led all scorers with 14 and 13 points, respectively, Spear finished with 12 points and Harding got a 12-point performance off six baskets from promising 6-5 sophomore Antonio McQueen.   

 

 

Here are the results from this weekend's Wildcats Swimming and Diving Meet versus Strongsville and Solon.
12/28/2014

Strongsville 105, Saint Ignatius 75

Solon 103, Saint Ignatius 83

200 MR: 1. Strongsville 1:42.15; 2 .Solon 1:44.11. 200 freestyle: 1. Guo (Solon) 1:46.35; 2. Skupnik (Strongsville) 1:48.06. 200 IM: 1. Pichette (Strongsville) 1:59.95; 2. Swissler (Saint Ignatius) 2:06.53. 50 freestyle: 1. Arslanian (Str) 21.87; 2. Artis (Saint Ignatius) 22.21. Diving: 1. Styrt (Sol) 288.98; 2. Claus (Saint Ignatius) 260.3. 100 butterfly: 1. Pichette (Str) 50.83; 2. Pinchot (Sol) 51.0. 100 freestyle: 1. Arslanian (Str) 47.88; 2. Guo (Sol) 49.07. 500 freestyle: 1. Ubert (Saint Ignatius) 4:51.06; 2. Zwissler (Saint Ignatius) 4:57.78. 200 freestyle relay: 1. Strongsville 1:31.34; 2. Solon 1:31.85. 100 backstroke: 1. Pinchot (Sol) 52.76; 2. Ostrowski (Str) 54:62. 100 breaststroke: 1. Whitlock (Str) 1:03.35; 2. Hessler (Sant Ignatius) 1:06.67. 400 freestyle relay: 1. Strongsville 3:16.47; 2. Saint Ignatius 3:22.86.

The Ice Cats defeat Olentangy Orange, 5-2, in Saturday night's opening round of the annual Winterhurst Holiday Tournament.
12/28/2014

PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: We beat Olentangy Orange tonight 5-2. Goals were scored by Ethan Whitney (2), Zack Kisel, Matty Geither, and Aaron Casile. Dylan McKeon had 17 saves in the win. We play Shaker Heights tomorrow (Sunday) at 12:10 PM at Winterhurst.

FROM THE CORNER - Coach O'Rourke's Cats, ranked second to Toledo St. Francis in this week's state poll, now stand 10-3-2 on the season.  

Dre'Mont Jones and Deven Stover help show the way as the Varsity Basketball Wildcats turn back the Harding Raiders, 61-55, in "The Palace" on the campus of Warren G. Harding High School. Cats JV Basketball defeats the Raiders' Jayvees, 58-33.
12/27/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Warren, Ohio - Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Wildcats improve to 5-0 heading into their New Year's Eve afternoon headliner in Sullivan Gymnasium versus Coach Dru Joyce's outstanding basketball program from St. Vincent-St. Mary. The Junior Varsity tipoff with SVSM will be 1:30 PM and the Varsity game will follow at 3 PM.

Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats now stand 6-0 after wearing down the JV team from Warren G. Harding.

And we congratulate Saint Ignatius' Freshmen Gold Team, which started off Saturday's tripleheader in "The Palace" with a 44-40 triumph over the Freshmen from Warren G. Harding.

The corner just arrived home from Trumbull County, where we watched Coach O'Toole and his staff get double-figure performances from senior post and Ohio State football recruit Dre'Mont Jones (17 points), junior guard Deven Stover (15 points) and senior guard Andre' Wolford (13 points).

The Raiders from Warren G. Harding couldn't deal with Jones in the low post, Stover was 9-of-13 from free-throw line, including five clutch free throws in the final 2 minutes and 3 seconds, and Wolford buried four 3-pointers.

Warren G. Harding (6-1), which battled deficits for almost the entire game, was led by senior guard Shondell Jackson and junior point guard Gabe Simpson, who scored 17 and 14 points, respectively.

Harding was 18-of-28 from the free-throw line and Saint Ignatius hit on 13 of its 22 shots from the charity stripe.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT "THE PALACE," WHERE THE WILDCATS' FAITH IN ONE ANOTHER TOOK CENTER STAGE DOWN THE STRETCH.

An exhausted, but pleased Sean O'Toole applauded the efforts and character of his team, and the skills displayed by the opponent, after his now 5-0 Saint Ignatius Wildcats turned back previously unbeaten Warren G. Harding, 61-55, on the Raiders' home floor Saturday night.

"They have a point guard, they have shooters, they have attackers and they have the big stud in the middle, they have everything," said Coach O'Toole after his Cats handed the Raiders their first loss in seven games this winter.

"It's the second game in a row where we're sharing the ball to 42 (points) in a half," Coach O'Toole continued. "In the second half, I don't know if we're getting a little tired or maybe being a little too selective. As far as playing with leads, I thought we played much smarter in the fourth quarter in this game than the last one. We spread it well, got to the line and made the ones (free throws) that mattered at the end."

Coach O'Toole was referring to Tuesday night's home game versus another previously undefeated team, the tall and talented Titans from Berea-Midpark. Leading by 18 points with less than a minute gone in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats hung on for a 60-59 victory.

Saint Ignatius, ranked sixth in this past week's Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com, rode a strong inside-outside game to a 12-point lead at halftime. Senior post Dre'Mont Jones, who is better known for his skills as an All-Ohio and All-American defensive end in football, provided the offensive muscle down low for Coach O'Toole and senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford barley disturbed the twine while dropping in four 3-pointers in the first 16 minutes.

The fourth trey by Andre' came off a highlight-reel assist from junior point guard Jim Berger, who displayed exceptional cross court vision in finding Wolford along the baseline.

Harding, which lost to the Wildcats by eight points at Sullivan Gym last season, began to get its offense on track in the third quarter and twice cut the deficit to six points. Thanks to the continued production around the rim by Jones, a strong drive down the lane by senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto and some poor decisions with the basketball by the Raiders, Saint Ignatius held an eight-point lead entering the final eight minutes.

That eight-point lead could have been less if wasn't for an outstanding hustle play by senior forward and Captain Mikal Outcalt, who ran nearly the length of the floor, went airborne and blocked a shot from behind before falling to the floor. Of course Mikal knows all about leaving his feet as an All-American goal keeper for Saint Ignatius' state champion soccer team.     

After the Wildcats made it a 10-point game on a smooth driving one-hander by multi-skilled junior guard Deven Stover, Harding sliced the deficit in half on a three-point play by gifted senior guard Shondell Jackson and a pull-up jumper by 5-foot-8 junior point guard Gabe Simpson.

Saint Ignatius, which hosts the nationally ranked Fighting Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary in a New Year's eve afternoon special (1:30 JV, 3 PM Varsity), led by seven points with 5:37 left before the Raiders closed the gap to two points on five consecutive throws, including four by Jackson.

In the final 2 minutes and 3 seconds, Stover buried five key free throws, including two that pushed the Cats' lead to six points with 11.2 seconds remaining, and Harding couldn't find its perimeter game when it mattered the most.

"Coach Culler said it best, it was a great win and there are still plenty of things we're going to get better at," Coach O'Toole said of the savvy postgame comment by Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Kirk Culler. "I do have to mention Dre'Mont Jones. He was an incredible presence for us. I hope he has a great All-Star (football) game (at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 3) and I pray that he stays healthy. At 6-4, he dominated that rim tonight.

"With Dre's presence and the shooters and unselfish kids we have, I'm very excited about this team. Just be in it for the I on your chest. No matter who scores what, we just want the W in the end and do it the right way."     

 

      

         

       

 

   

 

 

           

The Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network will bring you live coverage of the Wildcats versus Warren G. Harding Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball Games.
12/27/2014

If you can't make it out to Warren G. Harding for tonight's (Saturday) game, Joe Mertens and Brendan DeVenney will have the call on the Cats' 5-0 Junior Varsity and SIBN President James Zajaczkowski and his right hand man, Liam Garven, will look to call another victory for the 4-0 Varsity Wildcats.

The Jayvee game is slated for 6 bells and the varsity tipoff will follow at 7:30.

  

Wildcats Basketball travels to Warren G. Harding, a look at Where the Other Cats Play and congrats to Saint Ignatius' swimmers for being among the area's leaders.
12/26/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio – Last season, Saint Ignatius defeated Warren G. Harding, 60-52, in what Wildcats Head Coach Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 described as an ugly win.

However, as Coach O’Toole also emphasized that Dec. 28, 2013 night at Sullivan Gymnasium, sometimes you have to win ugly.

When you play the who’s who schedule Saint Ignatius faces year in and year out, you will take the victory, pretty or not.

Clinging to a three-point lead entering the fourth quarter in last winter’s matchup with the Raiders, the Cats won the
final eight minutes, 22-17.

Tomorrow (Saturday) night, Coach O’Toole and his 4-0 Cats travel to Warren G. Harding to face a Raiders team that is 6-0 after squeezing out a two-point victory over Strong Vincent (Erie, Pa.) earlier this week. Saint Ignatius’ Junior Varsity Team will put its 5-0 record on the line at 6 PM, followed by the intriguing Varsity matchup at 7:30.

Saint Ignatius remained unbeaten by defeating Berea-Midpark, 60-59, in Sullivan Gym on Tuesday night (see the corner’s story from Dec. 23). The Cats led by 18 points with just under eight minutes left in the fourth quarter before the now 6-1 Titans went on a 23-2 run and took a 59-56 lead with 2 minutes and 24 seconds remaining.

Coach O'Toole's Cats found that ninth life, however, and pulled it out on clutch baskets by 6-4 senior post and Ohio State football recruit Dre’Mont Jones and junior point guard Kyle Kalish.

Warren G. Harding welcomed back four starters from a team that finished 13-11 last season. Among the names to remember are 6-foot-4 senior Shondell Jackson, who entered this week averaging more than 18 points a game, point guard Gabe Simpson, who was right around the 16 points per game mark, 6-5 Shakem Johnson and Jarelle Johnson, who were at 14.4 and 12.3 entering this week, and 6-9 sophomore Derek Culver, who was flirting with 12 points per game.

WHERE THE OTHER CATS PLAY

The Wildcats' swimmers and divers will be competing against Solon and Strongsville tonight (Friday) at 6 PM at
Cleveland State University, and the Cats will return to CSU on Saturday at 5:50 PM for the George W. Morton Relays.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey, which sports a 9-3-2 record and is ranked second to Toledo St. Francis in the state poll, will return to action on Saturday, when the Ice Cats face Olentangy Orange in the Winterhurst Tournament. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:50 PM.

In wrestling, Coach Mark Sullivan's young but oh so talented and tough minded men of the mats will be competing in the tradition-rich Brecksville Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29th and 30th.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Wildcats Dimitri Simcox, Raymon Artis, Marcus Hong and Chris Ubert, who each qualified among the area's leaders in the weekly swimming and diving times by cleveland.com, and to the Cats' 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams, whose times were also among Greater Cleveland's best.

See you in Trumbull County tomorrow night.  

Senior Garret Forst helps lead the Alley Cats past Benedictine. It is the Week 5 Bowling Report by Wildcats Head Coach John Kastanis.
12/26/2014

FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results for Week 5: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Benedictine High School.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win 5-2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 3,162 (1065; 1099; 998) versus Benedictine High School = 3,108 (947; 1030;1131).                        

2) Handicap = Wildcats Win in this category 5-2  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 3,390 (1141; 1175; 1074) versus Benedictine High School = 3,360 (1039; 1110; 1211).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                          
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 3,564/ Benedictine High School Total Pin fall = 3,507.    

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 196;206 = Series total 402 versus Benedictine High School) = 199; 200 = 399 Series. 

Our star bowlers for the fifth week: Senior Garret Forst =  2,27; 264; 220 = 711 Series  (Awesome). This is the highest score for the Cats this year.
                      Junior Austin Venczel = 221; 257 = 634 Series (Awesome)
                      Junior Ralph Deadwyler = 248; 216 = 659 Series (Awesome)
                      Junior Cedric Crawford = 214 game = 582 Series (Outstanding)
                      Junior Gianni Schaefer = 244 game = 576 Series (Outstanding)

FROM COACH KASTANIS: This was an important match to win, as the Wildcats had step up and make it happen.  Benedictine High School is one of the top teams in the District.  I am very proud of our young men on their achievement. As of right now, Saint Ignatius holds high Team Scratch Series of 3,162 and high OSHAA Series of 3,564.

Here is the first state ice hockey poll for 2014-15. Ice Cats are ranked second.
12/24/2014

1. Toledo St. Francis                88 (8)             

 2. Saint Ignatius            85 (2)
                 
 3. St. Edward            83

 4. University School        68

 5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit                48

 6. Dublin Jerome                41

 7. Sylvania Northview                22

 8. Lake Catholic            20        

 9. Olentangy Orange                17

 10. (tie) Bowling Green                15

 10. (tie) Findlay                    15

Congrats to some of the Cats' standout fall athletes
12/24/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations go out to Dre'Mont Jones (defensive line), Liam Eichenberg (offensive line) and Cory Griffith (place kicker) for earning first team honors on cleveland.com's All-Star Football Team, and to Jack Cook (wide receiver) and Ray Brown (defensive line) for receiving honorable mention.

And congrats to Harrison Vonderau for being named to the All-Star Golf Team and Owen Miklos for receiving honorable mention, and to Luke Wagner for receiving a spot on the All-Star Cross Country Team.   

   

The Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball Team continues to excel and we have a little baseball talk as the New Year approaches.
12/24/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, still burning the midnight oil. They don't have such a thing as the 3 or 4 AM oil.

I can't say good night without mentioning a few highlights on the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball Team.

Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01, a mainstay on the Wildcats' State Championship Team of March 2001, watched their JV Cats defeat Berea-Midpark's Jayvee Titans, 62-35, on Tuesday night in Sullivan Gym.

The JV Cats, who now stand 5-0, were coming off Monday afternoon's defensive clinic over another team nicknamed the Titans, Toledo St. John's Jesuit (see the corner's post from Monday night).

Riding the play of sophomore post/forward Austen Yarian, 6-foot-10 sophomore post Malique Burton and sophomore guard Michael Spear, the Cats started with a 7-0 run and rode Spear's 11 first-quarter points to a 17-7 lead after the first seven minutes.

Spear, who would make the late, great Red Holzman proud with the way Michael moves without the ball, dropped in three 3-pointers in the first quarter off his quick and accurate release.

With Yarian, Burton and relentless sophomore forward Quinton Farren doing their thing around the basket, and guards Alex Ringfield and Devin Jackson scoring and displaying endless hustle, the JV Cats rode an authoritative drive to the basket by Ringfield, a smooth driving one-hander by sophomore guard Tommy Aris, a 3-pointer from Jackson and a power move to the rim by Burton to a 34-17 lead by halftime.

Saint Ignatius started to take total command in third quarter as Yarian scored off an on the money assist from Aris and the Cats followed with two impressive "Q" shots - consecutive 3-pointers by Farren.

It was Katy Bar The Door after Yarian sent home a breakaway one-handed slam, hard-nosed sophomore forward Ben Delhees muscled up a put back, Spear scored in transition and Ringfield buried a trey.

Spear finished with a game-high 13 points, Farren and Yarian each scored 10 and Ringfield tossed in nine points.

WE'RE TALKING BASEBALL: Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor told the corner on Tuesday night that the Varsity Baseball Wildcats and 2014 Division I state runner-up North Royalton will be meeting in the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic on Friday, April 24th in Progressive Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 8 PM.

In what will be a quick turnaround, the Wildcats will board the bus and head to Cincinnati St. Xavier for the next day's first round of the annual Jesuit Tournament.

TO ALL OF THE OUTSTANDING STUDENT ATHLETES AND COACHES THAT I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF REPORTING ON AND WORKING WITH AT SAINT IGNATIUS, LET ME WISH THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR.  

  

 

  

        

 

 

As the clock is ticking down to 30 seconds, Saint Ignatius' Kyle Kalish hits a pull-up jumper over the outstretched arms of Berea-Midpark's standout 6-foot-11 center Nolan Gerrity and the Cats withstand a furious rally by the Titans, 60-59.
12/23/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit Decenber 2014

From Saint Ignatius' Sullivan Gymnasium - Leading by 18 points after senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford slammed home two points down the lane off a smooth assist from junior point guard and Captain Kyle Kalish with 7 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Basketball Team survived an impressive comeback by Berea-Midpark thanks to a jumper by Kalish that went off the glass and into the net as the clock was approaching 30 seconds left to be played.

Coach Duke Barther's Titans of Berea-Midpark, who trailed by 17 points at halftime in a game that featured the sixth (Saint Ignatius) and 12th-ranked teams in the area, outscored Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, 33-17, over the final two quarters.

Saint Ignatius improved to 4-0 on the young season and Berea-Midpark, which got a strong second half from junior guard Joey Bachie, now stands 6-1.

Wildcats junior guard Deven Stover led all scorers with 21 points, 11 of those coming in the first quarter, and Wolford finished with 15 points.

The Titans had three players in double figures, as 6-foot-6 junior forward/post Bret Swinnerton scored 17 points, Bachie tossed in a clutch 14 points, including 11 in the second half, and 6-foot-11 senior post Nolan Gerrity contributed 13 points.

Up next for the Varsity Wildcats is Saturday night's trip to Trumbull County to face the always tough Warren G. Harding Raiders.

Congratulations go out to Saint Ignatius' gifted Junior Varsity Team, which upped its record to 5-0 by defeating the JV team from Berea-Midpark, 62-35.

Here is a corner's view on Tuesday night's Varsity heart-pounder, including comments from Coach O'Toole and Kyle Kalish.

A roar echoed throughout Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night after Saint Ignatius junior point guard Kyle Kalish  came up with a steal near midcourt, raced to the basket and, in one quick athletic motion, fired a pass to senior guard and fellow Captain Andre' Wolford, who was breaking free down the lane.

Wolford took the on-the-money assist from Kalish, soared in the air and thundered down a one-handed dunk that extended Saint Ignatius' lead over Berea-Midpark to 54-36 with just under eight minutes remaining to be played.

Most opponents that come into storied Sullivan Gymnasium and find themselves trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, let alone 18 points, usually take on the appearance of a defeated team.

However, as Wildcats Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87 said more than once in his pre-game analysis of Coach Duke Barther's Titans, Berea-Midpark is a strong, tough team, both mentally and physically.

First it was 6-foot-6 junior post/forward Bret Swinnerton, who left everything he had on the Sullivan Gym floor, burying a 3-pointer that made it a 15-point game. Then 6-11 senior post Nolan Gerrity, a University of Maryland at Baltimore recruit, hit two free throws and 6-2 junior guard Joey Bachie, following his missed shot, powered up an offensive rebound along the baseline that resulted in a three-point play.

With Coach Barther on his feet seemingly orchestrating every possession, Swinnerton beat the Cats for a layup off a length of the floor play and a Gerrity basket, followed by two free throws by 5-8 (if he's that)senior point guard Demonte Taborn, put the Titans only four points behind with 4:06 on the clock.

Thoroughly out played for three quarters, Berea-Midpark had run off 14 unanswered points before Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled junior scorer Deven Stover hit two free throws that increased the Wildcats' lead to 56-50 with 3:49 remaining.

Bachie and Co. were determined to make Saint Ignatius remember the night the Titans visited Sullivan Gymnasium, as Bachie muscled up two more points that fueled a 9-0 run that was highlighted by a 3-pointer and a layup by senior guard Jamie Bloxson.

Trailing, 59-56, with 2 minutes and 24 seconds left, Coach O'Toole's Cats made it a 59-58 game on a quick and authoritative move to the rim by 6-4 senior post and Ohio State football recruit Dre'Mont Jones.

Saint Ignatius then forced a jump ball and the possession arrow favored the Cats with 47.6 seconds remaining. The stage was set for Kalish, who seemed to have ice in his veins as he pulled up and hit the high floater over Gerrity.

The Cats missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation with 2.1 seconds on the clock, and the game ended with the Titans unable to execute a near length-of-the-court desperation pass. Tuesday night marked the second consecutive tough loss for Berea-Midpark versus Saint Ignatius. The Wildcats, behind a three-pointer at the buzzer by Stover, defeated the Titans, 67-64, in last season's Division I District Championship Game at Midview.  

FROM KYLE KALISH: "It's kind of a blur right now, but I'll give you my best," said Kyle when asked to talk about his game-winner. "They put tight pressure on us, the first time they pressed the whole game. I get the ball, I crossed to the right side of the court and Dre'Mont and I believe it was Tim Kiefer (6-4 junior forward) set two nice screens for me. It opened me up, I came around, the big guy, Nolan Gerrity, came further up on me and to be honest, I just heaved it up there. I had to shoot it as high as I could, gave it a chance and it went in.

"We were playing good defense," Kyle continued in reference to the Titans' remarkable comeback. "They were just making tough shots. He (Bachie) was a bruiser in there and he was getting those second chances. Our problem was we didn't rebound near the end, they were getting a lot of second shots."

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "I want to give Berea-Midpark credit, because a lot of teams fold at that time (down 18 early in the fourth quarter). Somehow the wind got sucked out of us and we got a little tight. Silly turnovers, silly possessions defensively and they (the Titans) were attacking.

"We had to get out of our pressure (defense), because they were getting over the top," Coach O'Toole continued. "They're probably as big a team as we will play. Not only are they tall, but they're strong and they're well coached. I'm very proud with how we played those first three quarters, but obviously we have to find out what went wrong and that's the coaches' job.

"When you're playing with that big of a lead it's not just baskets," said Coach O'Toole. "The clock is your ally. We have to force them to play us a little higher and wider and force them to start gambling and get out of position, so we can get easier shots. We were forcing shots and turning the ball over, and that can not happen."      

                     

     

      

 

 

A look at Tuesday night's Varsity Basketball Headliner. Berea-Midpark at Saint Ignatius. Where The Other Cats Play.
12/22/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City - It was March 8, 2014, the Saturday afternoon that Saint Ignatius' standout guard Deven Stover, then just a sophomore, broke the hearts of the Berea-Midpark faithful.

On the strength of Stover's 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Wildcats defeated the Titans, 67-64, in the championship game of the OHSAA Midview Division I District Basketball Tournament. Deven finished with a team-high 25 points.

Less than two months prior to that March meeting, January 24th, 2014 to be exact, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats traveled to Berea-Midpark and the house on Bagley Road was packed for what was a Friday night regular season headliner. Coach Duke Barther's Titans came away with a 70-61 triumph.

So, I guess it is safe to say that the stage is set for tomorrow night, when the Titans make the easy trip from Berea to Ohio City for a pre-Christmas showdown between two of the area's top teams. Tuesday's action gets underway with a 6 bells Junior Varsity matchup, followed by the Varsity Game at 7:30.

Saint Ignatius will enter the game with a 3-0 record and a sixth-place ranking in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll. Berea-Midpark, despite its 6-0 record, was dropped from 10th place to the 12th spot in this week's cleveland.com poll. According to cleveland.com, the strength of the Titans' schedule was a factor in this week's voting.

If you can't make it out to Tuesday's game, senior Joe Mertens, a standout Scout Team Player for the Varsity Football Program and one of the most knowledgeable Major League Baseball enthusiasts you will ever come across, will join the versatile and talented Brendan DeVenney for the SIBN Broadcast of the Junior Varsity Game. Savvy veterans James Zajaczkowski '15 and Liam Garven '15 will have the call on the Varsity matchup.

"They lost a lot through graduation," said Coach O'Toole of Coach Barther's Titans. "But watching them play, they're extremely long, extremely athletic and extremely well coached. Along with the great length, they have great toughness. They draw fouls well, they'll throw three or four different defenses at you and they can get out and run, and get to the rim."

Probably the biggest graduation loss for Berea-Midpark was Special Mention All-Ohio guard Alex Brown, who had two exceptional games versus the Wildcats last season.

Coach Barther, who this corner had the privilege to cover and report on when Duke was doing a marvelous job with the then Midpark Meteors program, picked up his 200th career victory this past weekend when his Titans overwhelmed Avon Lake. Coach Barther added victories 201 and 202 with dominant triumphs over the Max S. Hayes Lakers and the John Marshall Lawyers.

When Coach O'Toole talks about the Titans' length and ability to get to the rim, the names that come to mind right away are the talented twosome of 6-foot-11 senior post Nolan Gerrity and 6-6 junior forward/post Bret Swinnerton. Gerrity is no stranger to the Wildcats as he played a major role in the Titans' success last winter.

Another Titan who has been making memories this season is 6-1 senior guard/forward Jamie Bloxson.

"Berea-Midpark shares the ball well and is patient," said Coach O'Toole, who on Saturday night at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse versus McKinley picked up his 110th victory in what is his seventh season as his alma mater's Head Basketball Coach.

"They can play games in the 90s and they can play in the 40s," Coach O'Toole continued in his reference to Coach Barther's Titans. "But we want to play at our tempo, push with poise and see how we play. I'm anxious for the challenge."

After Tuesday night's game, Coach O'Toole will prepare his Cats for Saturday's trip to Warren G. Harding.

WHERE SOME OF THE OTHER CATS WILL BE PLAYING

Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey, which sports a 9-3-2 record, will return to action on Saturday, when the Ice Cats face Olentangy Orange in the Winterhurst Tournament. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:50 PM.

The Wildcats' swimmers and divers will be competing against Solon and Strongsville on Friday at 6 PM at Cleveland State University and the Cats will return to CSU on Saturday at 5:50 PM for the George W. Morton Relays.

In wrestling, Coach Mark Sullivan's young but oh so talented and tough minded men of the mats will be competing in the tradition-rich Brecksville Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29th and 30th.

HAVE A WONDERFUL AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND MAY THE BEST COME YOUR WAY THIS NEW YEAR.

In the words of the late and outstanding Stark County Sports Columnist Hymie Williams, "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time."       

   

 

 

 

 

Remember The Wildcats. Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Basketball Team stages an authoritative rally in Monday's 71-51 victory over the Titans from St. John's Jesuit. Varsity Cats are now sixth in the area poll.
12/22/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City - Trailing, 17-9, after the first quarter in Sullivan
Gymnasium on Monday afternoon, the Wildcats' gifted Junior Varsity Basketball
Team outscored the Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit, 22-3, in the second
quarter. That second quarter became part of a 49-13 run as the Jayvee Cats put
on a defensive clinic, especially in the half court.

Under the direction of Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his
Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01, the JV Cats will
take a 4-0 record into Sullivan Gym tomorrow (Tuesday) for a 6 PM tipoff versus
the Junior Varsity Team from Berea-Midpark. The JV game will be followed by the
much-anticipated 7:30 Varsity encounter between Coach Sean O'Toole's 3-0
Wildcats and Coach Duke Barther's 6-0 Berea-Midpark team.

Here is a corner's view of Monday's Junior Varsity Game versus
the Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit, along with a glance at the Varsity
Blue and Gold Freshmen Teams, and the cleveland.com area Varsity
Basketball Rankings.

FROM SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM: After his 4-0 Junior Varsity Basketball
Wildcats put together a defensive effort on Monday afternoon that would have
impressed any coach on any level, Saint Ignatius' Chris Salata emphasized
that it was as impressive as his JV Cats have looked in the defensive half
court.

Coach Salata pointed to his team's ability to shrink the floor and
apply intense ball pressure as they keys to Saint Ignatius' dominate 22-3
second quarter, a seven-minute stretch that Toledo St. John's Jesuit never
recovered from.

The Titans, who slipped to 2-3 after falling to the Cats, 71-51,
came out draining 3-pointers and held an eight-point lead entering the second
quarter.

Saint Ignatius, taking its play at both ends of the court to
another level, overwhelmed its Jesuit brothers in the second quarter as
multi-skilled 6-foot-7 sophomore forward/post Austen Yarian scored six
consecutive points, including a three-point play off a slick assist from sophomore guard
Connor Meehan and a turn-around baby hook in the lane that caught the Titans'
defensive interior flat footed.

This old-timer swears that Yarian could be a 6-7 guard, even a
point guard, if called upon to do so.

One of the keys to the Wildcats' defensive surge was the play of
sophomore guard Tommy Aris, who cooled off the Titans' impressive guard Houston
King. King, who scored eight points in the first seven minutes, including two
3-pointers, went scoreless in the second quarter.

In what was an I and I stretch (intense and impressive), Aris
turned his hustle offensive rebound into two free throws, tough and talented
sophomore guard Michael Spear followed with two free throws that knotted the
score at 19 and a steal and a layup by Aris gave Saint Ignatius a lead it would
never relinquish, only build upon.

Another turnover by the Titans led to a layup by Aris and, after a
3-pointer by sophomore guard Alex Ringfield, a steal and an assist by Aris that
resulted in two free throws by sophomore guard Devin Jackson and Meehan's
second 3-pointer of the first half, Saint Ignatius led, 31-20, by halftime.

"When we play like that in the half court, as you saw, it
leads to so many easy buckets," Coach Salata said. "I don't think we
had to run half-court sets more than a half dozen times there. It was just
run-outs and layups."

It was more of the same in the third quarter, another seven
minutes that the Cats controlled with passionate defense and an attacking
offense.

Among the third quarter highlights were a lay in by 6-10 sophomore
post Malique Burton off a Yarian assist, as the young men who honed their
skills in the legendary Saint Ignatius of Antioch League combined perfectly, a
basket by relentless 6-4 post/forward Quinton Farren off a Meehan steal, a
3-pointer by Spear, two free throws Farren, a basket by Spear off another
on-the-money assist from Yarian, a three-point play by Spear that was courtesy
of yet another Yarian offering, a textbook drive down the lane by Yarian that
was set up by an assist from Aris, and two more baskets by Farren that had
assists from Aris and Jackson as their label.

Following a driving layup by Yarian and an offensive rebound and a
put back by Burton early in the fourth quarter, Saint Ignatius had gone on a
49-13 run after trailing, 17-9, entering the second quarter.

"I think we discovered our identity today," Coach Salata
said. "It was everybody, it was contagious, absolutely contagious. Our
bench was completely into it and this was a small crowd being a week day
afternoon game. We didn't have a varsity game following us. They provided their
own energy today, which is exciting.

"Across the board, his hustle, his leadership, he was great
off the glass and finished at the rim," Coach Salata said of Yarian,
who scored a team-high 16 points. "He was everything we thought he would
be. So we're looking forward to continuing that."

Eleven players hit the scoring column for Saint Ignatius,
including 13 points by Spear, 10 by Meehan, eight by Farren and six by both
Burton and Aris.

The Titans, who are sure to remember their pre-Christmas trip to
Sullivan Gym, were led by King's game-high 18 points and 11 points from guard CJ Patton. Eight players scored for St. John's Jesuit.

*THE FRESHMEN CATS SPLIT THEIR TWO GAMES VERSUS ST. JOHN'S JESUIT,
WITH THE WILDCATS' BLUE TEAM WINNING, 57-32, AND IMPROVING TO 4-O AND THE GOLD
TEAM, WHICH GOT OFF TO A ROUGH START AGAINST AN UNDEFEATED TITANS FRESHMEN TEAM,
LOSING, 67-39. THE GOLD TEAM NOW STANDS 3-1 AND ST. JOHN'S JESUIT'S NO. 1
FREHSMEN TEAM, WHICH HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF SIZE, IS 5-0.

MOVING ON UP: Coach Sean O'Toole's 3-0 Varsity Basketball Team
moved from eighth place to the sixth spot in this week's cleveland.com Top 25
area rankings. Despite its 6-0 record, Berea-Midpark dropped from 10th place to the 12th spot this week.



 



Junior forward and Captain Aidan Spellacy delivers four goals as Wildcats Hockey closes out its play in the Padua Holiday Tournament with an 8-1 victory over Olentangy Liberty.
12/21/2014
POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90
 
From Coach O'Rourke: We tied Findlay late last night, 3-3. Mark Mastroianni had 15 saves in the game. Aidan Spellacy, Matt Wiegandt and Brian Russell scored our goals.
 
This morning (Sunday), we beat Olentangy Liberty 8-1. Dylan McKeon had 3 saves in the win. Goals were scored by Aidan Spellacy (4), Jack Wiegandt, Jared Stepka, Geoff Allman and Matty Geither.
 
FROM THE CORNER: The Wildcats' record now stands at 9-3-2. Up next for Coach O'Rourke's Ice Cats is a matchup with Olentangy Orange on Dec. 27 in the Winterhurst Tournament. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:50 PM.
SAINT IGNATIUS HOCKEY SKATES TO A 3-3 TIE VERSUS FINDLAY IN THE NIGHTCAP OF SATURDAY'S THIRD ROUND IN THE ANNUAL PADUA FRANCISCAN HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT. SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON ON THE MATCHUP WITH TOLEDO ST. FRANCIS.
12/21/2014
CONGRATS TO THE WILDCATS' VARSITY GOLD WRESTLING TEAM ON ITS 36-33 AND 42-21 VICTORIES OVER STRONGSVILLE AND FREMONT ROSS IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM ON SATURDAY EVENING.
12/21/2014

Here are the matches

Saint Ignatius 42, Fremont Ross 21

113: Delsanter (SI) med. default Chapman. 120: Long (SI) d. Scott 8-2. 126: Rivera (SI) p. McAfee 3:57. 132: Ruente (FR) d. Toth 11-8. 138: Hetrick (FR) by ff. 145: Grine (FR) by ff. 152: Miller (SI) p. Barth 3:50. 160: Drobnick (SI) d. Franks 7-3. 170: Johnson (FR) p. Vajusi 5:58. 182: Russell (SI) p. Contreras :09. 195: Andrews (SI) by ff. 285: Gibbons (SI) by ff.

Strongsville 43, Fremont Ross 26

113: Chapman (FR) by ff. 120: Porter (S) p. Scott 1:42. 126: Archer (S) p. McAfee 1:31. 132: Ruente (FR) p. Prijulel 3:51. 138: Erdelac (S) m.d. Hetrick 15-2. 145: Grine (FR) t.f. Muricio 15-0. 152: Cromleigh (S) d. Barth 6-4 ot. 160: Franks (FR) d. Lake, 14-8. 170: Johnson (FR) p. Heiser 2:52. 182: Caruso (S) p. Contreras 3:58. 195: Ginese (S) by. ff. 220: Hale (S) by ff. 285: Carrara (S) by ff.

Saint Ignatius 36, Strongsville 33

113: Delsanter (SI) by ff. 120: Porter (S) d. Long 3-0. 126: Archer (S) d. Rivera 8-1. 132: Rezabek (S) p. Toth 1:42. 138: Erdelac (S) by ff. 145: Muricio (S) by ff. 152: Cromleigh (S) d. Miller 3-2 utb. 160: Drobnick (SI) p. Lake 1:18. 170: Vajusi (SI) p. Heiser 5:09. 182: Russell (SI) p. Caruso :51. 195: Andrews (SI) p. Ginese 1:59. 220: Tomcany (S) by ff. 285: Vazquez (SI) p. Hale 1:46. Pin City my friends.

 

Trailing, 42-40, entering the final eight minutes Saint Ignatius rallies to a 58-54 victory over a Canton McKinley team that, in the words of Cats Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole, was hungry for a victory.
12/20/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

From the basketball-rich Memorial Fieldhouse in Canton, Ohio - The Wildcats, who improved to 3-0, turned back the now 0-5 Bulldogs on a clutch denial defensive effort by senior forward and Captain Jaylin McDonald, two clutch free throws by senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford off a technical foul, two free throws by junior point guard and Captain Kyle Kalish, two more from the charity stripe by standout junior guard Deven Stover with 13.3 seconds remaining, and a free throw by versatile junior guard Jim Berger with 4.8 ticks on the clock.

The Wildcats were also the recipients of a huge buzzer beating 3-pointer by senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto that cut Saint Ignatius' deficit to two points entering the fourth quarter.

Saint Ignatius, which was 18-of-46 from the field, including a 5-for-12 effort on 3-pointers, and made 17 of its 27 free throws, will now focus its attention on Tuesday night's headliner versus the 5-0 Titans from Berea-Midpark. The Varsity tipoff from Sullivan Gymnasium will be 7:30 PM and will be preceded by a Junior Varsity Game at 6 bells.

McKinley, whose record is quite deceiving, was 16 of 20 on its 2-point shots, 5 of 16 on 3-pointers and 7-of-10 from the foul line.

The 3-0 Wildcats' Junior Varsity Team rode a 28-3 run to a 35-10 lead by halftime and went on to defeat McKinley's Junior Varsity, 60-36. The Bulldogs' Jayvees are now 1-4.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON COACH O'TOOLE'S 110TH CAREER VICTORY IN WHAT IS NOW HIS SEVENTH SEASON AS THE HEAD OF HIS ALMA MATER'S BASKETBALL PROGRAM AND THE WILDCATS' SIXTH CONSECUTIVE VICTORY OVER MCKINLEY. THE BULLDOGS STILL LEAD THE SERIES, 28-13.

"Welcome to the House."

Those are the words painted on the wall behind the lower level of the home stands in Canton's legendary Memorial Fieldhouse.

"The House" has welcomed many exceptional players and has been the venue of hundreds and hundreds of great games, matchups that have gone down to the wire and then some.

Saturday night's annual encounter between Saint Ignatius and Canton McKinley wasn't the most fundamentally sound or most colorful game that has echoed through the walls of the grand facility.

However, in terms of heart, hustle and that fondly used term of finding a way, the Wildcats and the Bulldogs were certainly deserving of their presence on the hallowed court in Stark County.

Here was McKinley, a team that hasn't reached the victory column this young season and a program that suffered a 51-point loss at Saint Ignatius' Sullivan Gymnasium last season, playing with a passion as proud as the storied Bulldogs teams of the past.

Trailing, 17-11, early in the second quarter, Coach Bryant Bolden's "Pups" rode the play of gifted 6-foot-4 senior forward Marquise Gaines and 5-10 sophomore guard Emanuel Burton to a 20-20 tie.

After Saint Ignatius took a 27-22 lead on a strong drive to the hoop by senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto and a 3-pointer by nose-for-the-ball junior forward Tim Kiefer, Burton answered with a rainbow trey and Gaines knotted the score on a layup off an assist from Burton.

It stayed that way as the teams headed for the 10-minute halftime break.

"They're doing things well and they're very athletic," Coach O'Toole said of the Bulldogs, whom he scouted twice this past week. "They hit some tough shots tonight and that's the name of the game, hitting shots."

After a Kiefer follow gave Saint Ignatius a 31-30 lead with 4 minutes and 57 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Gaines buried a 3-pointer and McKinley was on top, 33-31.

Saint Ignatius, which is off to a 3-0 start, took the lead on a strong move to the hoop by senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford and a running one-hander down the lane by junior guard and Captain Kyle Kalish.

With strong and active senior forward/post Marcellius Pittman continuing to attack the basket, 6-4 sophomore forward Isaiah Smith sending home a baseline jumper, 5-7 freshman guard Dyson Berry contributing a 3-pointer and Smith scoring off an assist from Gaines, the Bulldogs moved to a 42-37 lead late in the third quarter.

It took an ice-in-his-veins, beat the clock 3-pointer from Nieto from near the left baseline to quiet the mini storm and bring Coach O'Toole's team to within two points entering the final eight minutes.

"Defensively, we kept them to right around where we thought would we need to be in order to win," Coach O'Toole said. "But offensively, we thought we left points on the ground. Give them credit, they made things difficult for us."

The fourth quarter was no different from the first three, as the test of wills continued until Saint Ignatius got some breathing room on two free throws by standout junior guard Deven Stover that put the Cats up, 57-52, with 13.3 seconds left.

"We're still feeling out situations," said Coach O'Toole, who also received some authoritative play down low from 6-4 senior post and Ohio State football recruit Dre'Mont Jones. "The fourth quarter becomes a situational quarter and we have a lot of good kids who are doing their drills and we're (the coaching staff) doing our best to maximize who can get out there and help this team. It's going to be a challenge moving forward, but that's what I have to do. Make decisions."

Gaines led all scorers with 16 points, Pittman totaled 14 points on seven baskets and Burton finished with 11 points, including his three 3-pointers.

Stover was 6-for-10 from the charity stripe and had nine points for the Cats and Kalish led Saint Ignatius with 10 points. Nine players hit the scoring column for Coach O'Toole.

THE 3-0 JUNIOR VARSITY CATS CONTINUE TO IMPRESS IN A 60-36 TRIUMPH

After McKinley's Jayvees took a 3-0 lead on a three-point play in transition by sophomore guard De'Shaun White with 3:45 reaming in the first quarter, it was Katy Bar The Door for the Bulldogs' faithful.

The Wildcats of Coaches Chris Salata, Brian McLaughlin and Andrew Salata went on a demanding 28-3 run that the young Pups could never recover from.

After Saint Ignatius' strong and active sophomore forward James Leyden fired a pass to gifted sophomore guard Tommy Aris for a backdoor layup along the baseline and Aris buried two free throws, Saint Ignatius led, 53-18, in the fourth quarter.

With the Wildcats going to their bench early and often, sophomore guard Michael Spear tossed in 11 points off a variety of shots, Aris finished with nine points and sophomore guard Alex Ringfield had eight points.

Up next for the JV Cats is Monday's 2 PM tipoff against Toledo St. John's Jesuit in Sullivan Gymnasium.           

 

        

         

       

    

Saint Ignatius Hockey is defeated by Toledo power St. Francis during Saturday's morning round of the annual Padua Franciscan Holiday Tournament in OBM Arena at IceLand USA.
12/20/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

From Coach O'Rourke: We lost 6-1 to Toledo St. Francis this morning. Wes Deacon had 40 saves in the game.  Aidan Spellacy had our only goal. We play again tonight at 9 versus Findlay.

From the corner: The St. Francis DeSales Knights, the class of Lucas County, are definitely one of the premier programs in all of Ohio as advertised.

The Ice Cats will take a record of 8-3-1 into tonight's faceoff with Findlay.

Now it's on to the storied Canton Memorial Fieldhouse for tonight's coverage of Saint Ignatius versus McKinley basketball. We will have more on Wildcats hockey and the other winter sports later tonight.

Wildcats Wrestlers are defeated by St. Edward despite a fantastic 41-second pin at 182 pounds by Cats sophomore Kaden Russell.
12/20/2014

Here are the results from Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium. St. Edward prevailed, 58-14.

106: Kazimir (SE) by ff.; 113: Leidich (SE) p. Delsanter 1:49; 120: Long (Saint Ignatius) md. Hepner 18-9; 126: Bentley (SE) p. Rivera 2:44; 132: Collier (SE) p. Toth :45; 138: Ladnier (SE) tf. Bush 18-2; 145: Conway (SE) by ff.; 152: Miller (Saint Ignatius) md. Santillo 8-0; 160: Carpenter (SE) md. Drobnick 16-2; 170: Leidich (SE) d. Vajusi 7-5; ****182: Russell (Saint Ignatius) p. Stepic :41; 195: Howard (SE) md. Andrews 15-7; 220: Knapp (SE) by ff.; 285: Ward (SE) p. Gibbons 1:19.

No overtimes needed. Saint Ignatius overpowers Sylvania Northview, 7-1, in Friday's nightcap of the Padua Franciscan Holiday Tournament.
12/20/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Strongsville, Ohio - It was nine months and 11 days since Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview played the now well-documented State Championship Game in what was the 37th annual Ohio High School Athletic Association State Ice Hockey Tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

After three periods and seven overtimes, the game remained tied at 1-1 and the OHSAA made the decision, which was based on concerns for the health of the players, to end the game after the seventh OT and declare the schools who both carry the nickname of the Wildcats as co-State Champions.

That March 8th evening in the State Capital, which saw Northview senior goalie David Marsh make a remarkable 77 saves and Saint Ignatius' then sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon turn away 31 shots, drew national attention from the media.

Friday night in the OBM Arena at IceLand USA, Saint Ignatius and Northview were reacquainted on the ice in the first round of the annual Padua Franciscan High School Holiday Tournament.

Although Friday's encounter was a physical and spirited game, the was no drama to speak of as it was clear that Saint Ignatius, with its deep and hockey savvy lines, was the superior team.

Wearing down Northview, Coach Pat O'Rourke Ice Cats walked out of OBM Arena after 11 PM with a solid 7-1 victory, one that saw Saint Ignatius again dominant the shots or RIPS on goal, 56-21. Helping fuel the Cats' offense were two-goal performances by senior forward and Captain Matty Geither and sophomore forward Connor Koehnke.

Senior forward Kevin Yarcusko, junior forward Jared Stepka and multi-skilled senior forward and Captain Ethan Whitney accounted for the other goals   

In improving their record to 8-2-1, the Ice Cats went home to get a few hours of shut eye and prepare for their second game in the Padua Tournament, an 8:45 AM Saturday faceoff with Toledo area power St. Francis.

Northview, which was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 4-1, in the 2010 State Championship Game, stands 5-4-2 on the season.   

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON THE ICE CATS' FOURTH CONSECUTIVE VICTORY, INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM MATTY GEITHER AND COACH O'ROURKE.

Saint Ignatius' Matty Geither is easy to smile, but carries a killer instinct on the ice.

Like his older brother and former Ice Cats mainstay, the prolific Liam Geither, Matty is a scorer. He can smell a goal from the parking lot of every arena he plays in.

"I would say it was in the back of our minds every day at practice," Matty said of Friday night's game versus Sylvania Northview in the Padua Franciscan Holiday Tournament. "We weren't just focusing on this game as much as the whole tournament. We didn't want to put all of our efforts toward Northview, but yeah, it was definitely great to get out here and take it at them."

Geither took it to Northview's defense with six minutes and 26 seconds remaining in the first period, as he gave his team a 1-0 lead by scoring off an assist from gifted and gritty junior Captain Aidan Spellacy.

Just over a minute later, senior forward Kevin Yarcusko made it a 2-0 game by powering the puck past the Northview goalie's stick side.

It stayed that way until 9.3 seconds were left in the first period, when Northview's Zack Galecki snuck one past traffic. It was a 2-1 game entering the second period and there were a few whispers in the OBM Arena stands that maybe, just maybe, we could be in for another barnburner between the tradition-rich programs who both carry the label of the Wildcats.

Not so fast my friends.

Although the first period score might indicate otherwise, it was obvious, even in the tight early going, that Saint Ignatius was the more skilled and more physical team. And the five goals that followed, all by the Blue and Gold from Ohio City, substantiated that.

First it was Geither fueling the fire again with his second goal, which came courtesy of a helper from junior defenseman Brian Russell.

With Saint Ignatius doing a solid job of killing off penalties (they were hit with 10), Coach Pat O'Rourke's team stretched a 3-1 advantage after two periods to 5-1 on a smooth with the stick goal by junior forward Jared Stepka and the first of two goals on the night by sophomore forward Connor Koehnke, who plays with the confidence of a much older player. Junior forward Zack Kisel was awarded with an assist on Koehnke's first lamplighter.

"I was in the high slot and Brian Russell took a shot," Geither said of his second goal. "It bounced off the goalie and I remember seeing Peter Hyland (Saint Ignatius senior forward), his stick was right there. But the puck hopped over his stick and I was right there."

Saint Ignatius left no doubt, which was what most of its fans wanted after last season's state championship game, when ever-present senior forward and Captain Ethan Whitney scored with 3:10 remaining in the third period and Koehnke completed his two-bagger less than two minutes later.

"We're getting the puck on net and we're burying them," said Geither, who has helped Saint Ignatius total 25 goals over its last four games, including the sweet 7 on Friday night.

'Two different teams," said Coach O'Rourke of this season's Saint Ignatius and Northview teams. "They have different players and their goalie (Marsh) has graduated, and we have a few different players. It was just a Padua Holiday Tournament game and it is always good to play a Toledo-area team to see how we match up.

"I think they're (Northview) rebuilding a bit," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Our goal is to try to wear teams down and a lot of guys contributed tonight. I think we're playing pretty well, but there are a couple of things we're working on that need improvement.

"We switched our defensive zone to something different last week and had some success," said Coach O'Rourke. "Tomorrow (Saturday) we'll see it (the new defensive zone) against a real high caliber opponent (Toledo St. Francis), where the shots will be more even. Tomorrow we'll see how good we are. The jury is out right now."

FROM THE CORNER: Officiating at the Padua Holiday Tournament was former Saint Ignatius hockey mainstay Kevin Joseph. Kevin was as smooth as the ice in the games he officiated - firm in his decisions, but fair.

Also in the house known as IceLand USA was one of the greatest all-around hockey players in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history - Miles McQuinn. Miles is working as a Radio Broadcast Intern for the Columbus Blue Jackets while attending The Ohio State University.            

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

     

         

 

 

          

 

 

Wildcats bury 14-pointers, a single-game school record according to Saint Ignatius' record books, in a 91-47 victory over Shaw at Sullivan Gymnasium on Thursday night.
12/18/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City - Junior point guard and Captain Kyle Kalish led the 3-point barrage with four in-rhythm treys in the third quarter that hit nothing but net, as Kyle and All-District junior guard Deven Stover finished with game-highs of 19 and 18 points, respectively.

According to the Saint Ignatius Basketball Website records, the 14 3-pointers by Coach Sean O'Toole's Cats on Thursday night are a new Wildcats single-game mark. Saint Ignatius dropped in 13 3-pointers versus Villa Angela-St. Joseph in 2000.

Current senior guard and Captain Andre' Wolford holds the Wildcats' individual record for 3-pointers in a game with 8 versus Cleveland Heights last season.

With Thursday night's dominant victory, Saint Ignatius improves to 2-0 heading into Saturday night's game versus the McKinley Bulldogs (currently 0-3) at the storied Memorial Fieldhouse in Canton. A 6 PM Junior Varsity game will precede the 7:30 Varsity matchup with the Bulldogs. For a preview on Saturday's game, see the corner's post from Wednesday night.

The Wildcats' Junior Varsity Team also improved to 2-0 by defeating Shaw's jayvees, 77-41, on Thursday night. It was a nice 16th Birthday present for talented sophomore post/forward Austen Yarian, who along with helping key the JV victory, tossed in four points during the Varsity game.

Getting back to the Varsity game, the scorebook showed the Wildcats with 28 baskets from the field, including the 14 3-pointers, and a 21-for-27 night from the foul line.

The Shaw Cardinals, who are now 2-3 on the young season, were led by senior guard Maurice Lashley's 12 points, including three 3-pointers. The Cardinals finished with seven baskets from beyond the arc.

*HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON THURSDAY NIGHT'S IMPRESSIVE VICTORY, INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM COACH O'TOOLE AND DEVEN STOVER.

After last weekend's 25-point victory over John Hay on what was opening night in Sullivan Gymnasium, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 said he was "pleased."

As someone who has known Coach O'Toole since his days as a standout power forward under Coach Larry Arthur in the mid-to-late 1980s, I can confidently say that the man who directs his alma mater's basketball program was more than pleased following Thursday night's 91-47 victory over the Shaw High Cardinals in Sullivan Gym.

"As a group, everybody is getting a little better," Coach O'Toole said after his deep and versatile Cats improved to 2-0. "And that's a goal. I thought we got better tonight. Were we prefect? No. Do we have room to grow? Yes. But I thought we got better and that's a goal every time we step on the floor."

With guards Deven Stover, Andre' Wolford and Kyle Kalish helping stet the tempo in the early going, Saint Ignatius rode two 3-pointers by Wolford, a 3-pointer by senior forward Dylan Nieto, two free throws by Kalish, four free throws by Stover, a 3-pointer by junior forward Tim Kiefer and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Stover to a 29-7 lead after the first eight minutes.

After junior point guard Jim Berger, who plays with passion and smarts at both ends the floor, made a big-time block in transition and in the next defensive sequence took a charge, senior post and Ohio State football recruit Dre'Mont Jones followed a shot with authority and the Cats led, 31-10.

Shaw, which left every thing it had on the floor, closed to 40-26 behind the long-range shooting by senior guard Maurice Lashley and junior guard Keon Smith.

The night belonged to the Wildcats, however, as Stover's three-point play helped Saint Ignatius to a 47-27 lead by halftime.

"We knew they were going to be taller and a little more athletic than John Hay, so we came out with a pressing defense in trying to trap and get loose balls," said Stover, who is one of the premier juniors in Northeast Ohio. "All week we focused on our shooting and tonight it showed. We just got in a rhythm and kept it going."

And that harmonious beat grew even louder after halftime, as Kalish unleashed an early third quarter barrage that had the Cardinals' faithful wishing they could turn down the sound of a roaring home crowd responding to Kyle's sweet music from beyond the arc.

Hitting four consecutive 3-pointers that barley tickled the twine, Kalish pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 30 points.

After versatile senior guard Joe Isabella added the first of his two 3-pointers, strong and promising 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet powered up two points. Jim Berger, who teams with his twin brother Ryan, then had another impressive sequence that saw him bury a 3-pointer and come up with a savvy big-time tip assist on a Kiefer basket.

Following two more baskets by Davet, one off an on-the-money dish from Kiefer and the other a smooth hook in the lane that would have a drawn the approval of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Wildcats took a 76-37 lead into the final eight minutes.

Saint Ignatius then added a little pre-"Christmas on Campus" victory icing courtesy of another rainmaker from Isabella, Kiefer's second 3-pointer and the record-setting trey from junior guard/forward Michael Hollis. Kiefer finished with 11 points as the Cats had 13 players in the scoring column.

"The first game (versus John Hay) I fouled out," said Stover. "But Coach told me to get back into it, that it was just game one. So I focused all week on trying to attack and just being myself. I'm just happy that we got another W. Yeah, we have depth, a lot of it. And we're going to need it in the postseason.

"Tonight, the goal was to limit Shaw to 46 points and they got 47," added a smiling Stover. "We played well at both ends and overall we did a great job."

MORE FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "He went to the line 11 times and made nine free throws, that's Dev's game," Coach O'Toole said of Stover's efforts on Thursday night. "What I like about Dev is that he is a complete player. He can score every way.

"Kyle (Kalish) is playing so well on both sides of the ball," Coach O'Toole continued. "As well as he's scoring, he creates the entire tempo with his pressure. He's constantly in a stance pressuring the basketball. Jimmy (Berger) makes plays that you can't teach. He has great instincts, great vision and is unselfish. Everyone is playing in their role. I can only remember three bad shots in tonight's entire game."

HERE IS A RECAP ON ANOTHER ENTRY IN THE WIN COLUMN FOR THE SAINT IGNATIUS JUNIOR VARSITY PROGRAM.

The JV Cats (2-0) handed the Junior Varsity Team from Shaw its second defeat in five games this season.

Helping key the 77-41 victory were 6-foot-4 sophomore post/forward Quinton Farren with 18 points, 6-2 sophomore forward James Leyden with 12 points and 6-7 sophomore post/forward Austen Yarian with nine points.

Farren had seven baskets, including a 3-pointer, and was 3-for-3 from the foul line. Leyden sent home five shots from the field and was 2-for-2 from the Charity Stripe. James is also a gifted linebacker/tight end in the Wildcats' football program.

Farren, Yarian and Leyden made their presence felt off the boards, especially the offensive glass.

Among those many Cats contributing solid minutes were sophomore guard Michael Spear with seven points, sophomore guard Thomas Aris, who hustled from baseline to baseline, made some nice unselfish dishes and went to the boards with passion, 6-10 sophomore post Malique Burton, who hustled after a loose ball and turned it into two points and followed with an athletic tip-in down the lane, sophomore guard Dillon Pietrangelo, who made the most of his time and buried a 3-pointer, and sophomore post/forward John Wild, who turned a nice inbounds pass from sophomore guard Ryan Cook into a strong layup.

Saint Ignatius made 25 two-point shots, 4 3-pointers and was 15-of-22 from the foul line.  

      

 

           

    

 

  

 

    

            

 

           

     

          

Easter Break trip to Louisville, Kentucky set for Wildcats Baseball
12/18/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer from Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor

April 8             Brother Rice                          Louisville, KY             8:00pm

April 9             West Carter                           Louisville, KY             5:30pm

April 10           Lockport                                Louisville, KY             10:00am

Wildcats Weekly Basketball Preview Part 2. Saint Ignatius and Canton McKinley will meet on the hardcourt for the 41st time when the Wildcats travel to Canton's basketball-rich Memorial Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
12/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City - After previewing Thursday night's home game versus the Shaw High Cardinals (see the corner's preview from Tuesday night), we take a look at Saturday night's opponent, the storied Canton McKinley Bulldogs.

Although McKinley leads the all-time series, 28-12, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats will be seeking their sixth consecutive victory over the Bulldogs in what is Coach O'Toole's seventh season as the head of the basketball program at his alma mater. Action gets underway in Canton's Memorial Fieldhouse with a 6 PM Junior Varsity matchup, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30.    

As we reported in Tuesday's preview on Shaw, Saint Ignatius has dominated its last two basketball meetings with McKinley. The Cats left the Memorial Fieldhouse with a 68-40 triumph in the 2012-13 season and last season, in what was one of the most lopsided losses in the Bulldogs' rich athletic history, Saint Ignatius overwhelmed McKinley, 87-36, in Sullivan Gymnasium.

The Wildcats are currently 1-0 after last weekend's 85-60 victory over John Hay in Sullivan Gym and McKinley enters Friday night's game versus North Canton Hoover in the Memorial Fieldhouse with a record of 0-3.

Under the direction of first-year head coach and former McKinley mainstay Bryant Bowden, the Bulldogs are coming off a 73-50 loss at Massillon Jackson on Tuesday night. McKinley struggled with Canton GlenOak on opening night and came up short to Coach Andy Suttell's Cleveland Heights Tigers, 60-55, on Dec. 9 at Cedar and Lee. The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs, 18-13, in the fourth quarter.

"When you think about McKinley, obviously it's their great tradition," said Coach O'Toole of a program that owns three big-school state championships (1984, 2005 and 2006), has been the state runner-up eight times, has made 23 state final four appearances and has been voted as the Associated Press State Poll Champion eight times.

Coach O'Toole went on to say that he still feels the Memorial Fieldhouse is the best high school basketball facility in all of Ohio and that it is a great opportunity for his players to go and play there.

"They have a great following, great fan support," Coach O'Toole continued. "They're  going to be ready to play us. They've faced a brutal schedule. I'm excited anytime we go on the road and get a quality opponent like this. It will be a regional-type atmosphere in the Fieldhouse."

Saint Ignatius' veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath scouted the McKinley at Cleveland Heights game and said he was impressed with the Bulldogs' discipline, that the players and the coaching staff appear to be very committed.

Among the names leading "The Pups" this season, as McKinley's faithful refer to their basketball program, are 6-foot-4 senior forwards Marcellius Pittman and Marquise Gaines, junior guard Chuck Hall, 6-3 senior forward Daron Davis and junior guard/forward Phillip Hunter II.

Pittman and Gaines each scored 15 points in the loss at Jackson.

SOME PUPS HISTORY: While the Raymar Morgan-led McKinley state championship teams of 2005 and 2006 are still fresh in most gym rats' minds, teams this corner rates among the best he has ever seen, it was a former Clevelander who showed the way to McKinley's first state basketball championship in 1984.

All-Ohio guard Gary Grant, who went on to an All-American career at the University of Michigan and a lengthy career in the NBA, developed his raw skills as a young kid at Cudell Recreation Center, which is located at West Boulevard and Detroit on Cleveland's West Side. Gary attended Wilbur Wright Junior High before the Grant family moved to Canton. Gary's older brother, Donald, was a mainstay on West Tech's City Championship basketball team of 1979. West Tech, one of the greatest Public Schools in the nation at one time, is now the apartment complex you see, "The West Tech Lofts," while traveling East or West on I-90.

This old-timer was privileged to do a Plain Dealer feature story on Gary Grant the day he kept a promise to his mentors at Cudell by returning to the recreation center and giving a tremendous inspirational talk to the young boys and girls during a summer day while he was excelling at the University of Michigan.

I wish I had $5 for every time I saw Gary, while he was just a young kid, outshoot much older players at Cudell in games of "Horse" or "21."

Yes, the construction of I-90 took its toll on the city's West Side, and I speak from first-hand experience, but tearing down houses will never destroy the memories of those neighborhoods and their rich history and traditions.

AND SPEAKING OF A TRADITION THAT IS FOREVER YOUNG, SAINT IGNATIUS HIGH SCHOOL, THE WILDCATS AND THE MCKINLEY BULLDOGS MET IN A STATE FINAL FOUR ENCOUNTER IN MARCH OF 1998.

BEHIND A TREMENDOUS PERFORMANCE BY SENIOR GUARD DAVE RAGONE (BETTER KNOWN TO YOUNGER FANS AS THE STANDOUT QUARTERBACK HE WAS), COACH BRIAN BECKER'S WILDCATS "UPSET" MCKINLEY IN THE STATE SEMIFINALS BEFORE BEING TURNED AWAY BY COACH ERIC FLANNERY'S ST. EDWARD EAGLES IN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

THE ADVOCATES OF SEPARATE TOURNAMENTS FOR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS WERE CHEWING ON THEIR PENS THAT NIGHT WHEN SAINT IGNATIUS AND ST. EDWARD, SCHOOLS THAT ARE ABOUT A SIX-MILE DRIVING DISTANCE FROM ONE ANOTHER, IF THAT, TOOK THE FLOOR IN ST. JOHN ARENA WITH THE DIVISION I STATE TITLE ON THE LINE.

Have a great and safe weekend and we'll see all of you certified gym rats at the Shaw game tomorrow (Thursday) night and at the Memorial Fieldhouse on Saturday night. Don't forget to bring along a new or used toy on Thursday night to donate to needy children as part of Friday's "Christmas on Campus." See the corner's preview on the Shaw game from Tuesday night.    

     

 

  

  

 

 

 



 

 

THE KASTANIS REPORT. A weekly look at the Saint Ignatius Bowling Program, via "The Alley Cats'" Head Coach John Kastanis.
12/16/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY COACH KASTANIS

FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results for Week 4: Saint Ignatius High School vs. Westlake High School.   
There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.

1) Scratch = Wildcats Win 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2592 (870; 896; 826) vs. Westlake High School = 2069 (692; 659; 718).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category 5-2  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2924 (990; 1016; 918) vs. Westlake High School = 3047 (1018; 985; 1044).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 2977/ Westlake High School Total Pin fall = 2467.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 194;191 = Series total 385 vs. Westlake High School = 219;179 = 398. 

Our star bowlers for the Fourth week:

                       Senior Garret Forst =  230  (Awesome)
                       Junior Austin Venczel = 205; 191; 208 = 604 Series (Awesome)
                       Sophomore Nick Frank = 172; 191 = 512 Series (Outstanding)
                       Freshman Anthony Doran = 197 game (Outstanding)

From Coach Kastanis: Due to scheduling and the makeup match with St. Edward, we had utilized 8 of 11 players for the Westlake match, giving a JV player an opportunity in a Varsity match.

On the JV side of things, showing consistent improvements:
                      Sophomore Devin Venczel = 184; 205; 180 = 569 Series (Awesome)
                      Senior Josh Jarosz = 185; 193; 148 = 526 Series (Awesome)
                      Sophomore Nick Frank = 193; 175;171 = 539 Series (Awesome)

From Coach Kastanis: We had to add Freshman Anthony Doran to the Varsity make up against St. Edward, as we faced Benedictine High School's JV team using only 4 bowlers on JV.

1) Scratch =  Wildcats JV lost 2-5 (7 point total).  Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 1908 (646; 658; 604) vs. Benedictine High School JV team  = 1929 (671; 630; 628).                       

2) Handicap = Wildcats JV lost in this category 0-7  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2505 (845; 857; 803) vs. Benedictine's JV team = 3120 (1068; 1027; 1025).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats JV lost 0-1 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 2116/Benedictine's JV team Total Pin fall = 2171.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats JV) = 114; 94 = Series total 208 vs. Benedictine's JV team = 118;124 = 242.

****St. Edward Varsity make up match from Week 2.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win 5-2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2749 (1012; 860; 877) vs. St. Edward High School = 2743 (939; 936; 868).

From Coach Kastanis: This was one of the best matches that these young bowlers faced from both sides, a 6 pin difference entering the Baker Games.                     

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category 3-4 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2943 (1082; 930; 931) vs. St. Edward High School = 2935 (1003; 1000; 932).

From Coach Kastanis: We lost the last game by one pin. The point system is 2 points/game won and one point for the total pins in this catergory.

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Lost 0-1 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                          
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 3087/St. Edward's Total Pin fall = 3116.    

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 185;153 = Series total 338 vs. St. Edward = 191;182 = 373. 

Our star bowlers for this Match:

                       Senior Garret Forst =  245; 202; 160 = 607 Series  (Awesome)
                       Junior Ralph Deadwyler = 207; 171; 244 = 622 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Cedric Crawford = 212; = 536 Series (Outstanding)

 
 
  •  
 
 
 
 
 
 
A rare Thursday night of hoops brings the Shaw High Cardinals, aka 'The Red Ball Express," to Sullivan Gymnasium.
12/16/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

From Ohio City, via The Polar Express - What better way to lead into Friday's "Christmas on Campus " than by turning the attention of those semester-final exams taxed minds on some Wildcats' basketball.

Thursday night, Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Cats will take a 1-0 record into storied Sullivan Gymnasium where they will host the Shaw High Cardinals, or "The Red Ball Express" as some of Shaw's strongest teams of the 1990s were nicknamed.

As part of "Christmas on Campus," Saint Ignatius is asking that fans attending the Shaw-Saint Ignatius game donate a new or used toy for those children and families in need. The toys will be passed out on Friday.

As for Thursday's hoops action, it all begins with a Junior Varsity matchup at 6 PM, when the JV Cats will also be looking to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

In early December of last year, Coach O'Toole guided his varsity program to 71-50 victory at Shaw.

Leading by 12 points at halftime, the Wildcats took command by outscoring the Cardinals, 22-11, in the third quarter. Saint Ignatius shot 56 percent on its 2-point attempts from the field during that Saturday afternoon matchup in East Cleveland. 

The Junior Varsity Wildcats also made themselves at home on the Cardinals' court last season by coming away with a 62-32 triumph over Shaw's jayvees. Guard Ryan Berger and forward/post Tim Kiefer, now key members of the varsity team, each tossed in 11 points.

As for the 2014-15 Shaw Cardinals, they will bring a record of 2-2 into Ohio City. Shaw has defeated Richmond Heights and Maple Heights, and has been turned away by the Lorain Titans and the Warrensville Heights Tigers.

Lorain, ranked 12th in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, dominated the Cardinals. As for the encounter with Coach Brian Swift's 13th-ranked Warrenville Heights Tigers, Shaw led by three points entering the fourth quarter before Warrensville Heights rallied to a 78-71 victory at home. Some of you seasoned gym rats might recall that Coach Swift was one of the premier point guards in Ohio while playing for St. Peter Chanel and Warrensville Heights.

"Traditionally, they'll mix their defenses," said Coach O'Toole of Shaw. "They'll play some zone, and in their zone they will trap or gamble on passes. It's a very instinctive team. They have great quickness, anticipate well and attack the basket well.

"They have some kids who can knock down the threes (3-point shots)," Coach O'Toole continued. "So as much as we have to contain their penetration, we have to be aware of who their shooters are, where they are and get to them on the catch."

Coach O'Toole emphasized that Shaw will also employ a pressing defense, including variations of the diamond press, and that his Wildcats will be ready for that.

"We have to limit their run outs and leak outs, and make them try to score on us five on five," said Coach O'Toole, who led his Cats to an 85-60 victory over John Hay in Saturday night's season opener for Saint Ignatius at Sullivan Gymnasium. Despite that victory, the Wildcats dropped one notch to eighth place in this week's area poll. Okay.

Among the Cardinals' offensive leaders are senior guard/forward Maurice Lashley (11 points per game), 6-foot-7 sophomore forward G'Warren Douglass (9.0), 6-2 senior guard/forward Brandon Keyes (12.7), junior forward Christian Mason (13.3) and junior guard Keon Smith (6.0).

Saint Ignatius' opening-night victory over John Hay saw the Wildcats make 35 of their 77 shots from the field, including five 3-pointers, and hit on 10 of their 16 free throws. Senior wing and captain Andre' Wolford scored a team-high 18 points in 22 minutes. Andre' was 6-for-11 from the field, including a 4-for-8 effort from beyond the arc. Senior post Dre'Mont Jones, a The Ohio State University football recruit, scored 11 points in 13 minutes, and junior point guard and captain Kyle Kalish had eight points, seven assists and played a solid all-around floor game.

The Wildcats also won the rebounding battle against the Hay Hornets, 48-33, and finished with 12 players in the scoring column.

After Thursday night's game with Shaw, the Wildcats will gear up for Saturday's trip to the basketball-rich Memorial Fieldhouse in Canton, where they will face the McKinley Bulldogs. A 6 PM Junior Varsity game will precede the 7:30 Varsity tipoff. The Cats have dominated their past two matchups with McKinley, winning by 28 points at the Memorial Fieldhouse in the 2012-13 season and by 51 points at Sullivan Gymnasium last season.

Along with the corner's varsity and junior varsity coverage of the Shaw game, we will take a look at the 2014-15 McKinley Bulldogs, or "The Pups," as they are referred to by their faithful.

We can tell you right now that McKinley stands 0-3 after a 73-50 loss at young, but oh so talented Massillon Jackson on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs will host North Canton Hoover on Friday night before welcoming the Cats to the Memorial Fieldhouse on Saturday evening.

Among McKinley's 0-3 start is a 60-55 loss to Coach Andy Suttell's Cleveland Heights Tigers on Dec. 9 at Cedar and Lee.        

 

  

   

 

 

                   

 

 

In what is just over nine months since their storied State Championship Game, Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview will face off in Friday's nightcap of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament. It's the corner's Where the Cats Play, Dec. 18-21.
12/15/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

While Saint Ignatius' students are undergoing an all-important final exams week, we thought you would like to know what the Wildcats' athletic teams will be up to heading into the Christmas Break.

As the headline on this report states, Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview, whose March 8, 2014 State Championship Game encounter in Nationwide Arena drew national attention, will get reacquainted on Friday night when they meet in the nightcap of the opening round of the Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9 PM in OBM Arena at IceLand USA, which is located in Strongsville.

If you would like to recall the epic state title battle between Saint Ignatius and Northview, which because of a concern for the health of the players was called after seven overtimes with the scored tied at 1-1, see the corner's hockey preview that was posted on Nov. 21. The OHSAA declared Saint Ignatius and Northview co-State Champions last season.

Saint Ignatius, which had an impressive finish during this past weekend's Cornfield Cup Tournament at Culver (IN) Military School (see the corner's posts below), will take a record of 7-2-1 into IceLand USA.

Sylvania Northview (5-3-2) is coming off a 6-0 setback to Toledo St. Francis.

In what will be a quick turnaround for Saint Ignatius, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will face St. Francis in a second round matchup at 8:45 AM on Saturday. Saint Ignatius returns to the ice in OBM arena on Saturday night at 9 to take on Findlay, and the Cats will close out their play in the Padua Christmas Tournament on Sunday, with the opponent(s) and times to be announced.

BASKETBALL: Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, who opened their season with a strong 85-60 victory over John Hay, will host the Shaw High Cardinals on Thursday night and will travel to the tradition-rich Memorial Fieldhouse on Saturday night to face the McKinley Bulldogs. Both of those 7:30 PM varsity games will be preceded by junior varsity matchups at 6 bells. The corner will preview this week's basketball action on Tuesday night.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SAINT IGNATIUS IS ASKING FANS WHO ATTEND THE SHAW GAME TO DONATE NEW OR USED TOYS AT THE GATE. SAINT IGNATIUS WILL DISTRIBUTE THOSE TOYS ON FRIDAY AS PART OF THE ANNUAL "CHRISTMAS ON CAMPUS."

WRESTLING: It is another demanding weekend for Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats, as the Wildcats will wrestle rival St. Edward on Friday at 7:30 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium and return to Sullivan Gym on Saturday at 2 PM to face Strongsville and Fremont Ross.

The Varsity Blue Team will be wrestling at the Bowling Green State University Duals on Saturday and Sunday.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats will put their talents and endurance on display during Saturday's 40th Viking Relays in Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University.

BOWLING: COACH JOHN KASTANIS' ALLEY CATS, COMING OFF A TOUGH LOSS TO ST. EDWARD, ARE SCHEDULED TO FACE THE BENEDICTINE BENGALS ON SATURDAY AT 9 AM ON THE CLOVERLEAF LANES.

Have a great and safe week.  

           

CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO FRESHMAN ALEX CLAUS, WHO TURNED IN A SCHOOL-RECORD PERFORMANCE IN THE I-M SPRINGBOARD DURING THE PRE-NEB REEB INVITATIONAL OVER THE WEEKEND. A BRIGHT FUTURE, TO SAY THE LEAST.
12/15/2014
Despite a solid all-around performance versus John Hay in the season opener, Saint Ignatius Basketball drops one spot to eighth place in the latest cleveland.com Top 25 area poll.
12/15/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the current Top 10 teams in the area.

1. Villa Angela-St. Joseph

2. Cleveland Central Catholic

3. Shaker Heights

4. Garfield Heights

5. St. Vincent-St. Mary

6. St. Edward

7. East Tech

8. Saint Ignatius

9. Bedford

10. Berea-Midpark 

 

Here are the final results from The Neb Reeb Invitational swimming meet. Wildcats finish 12th.
12/15/2014

1. Cincinnati St. Xavier 451; 2. Hudson 220; 3. Solon 209; 4. Upper Arlington 208; 5. Columbus St. Charles 203; 6. University School 182; 7. Lewis Center Olentangy 173.5; 8. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 153; 9. Walsh Jesuit 119; 10. Bay 116; 11. Powell Olentangy Liberty 100.5; 12. Saint Ignatius 89; 13. Ontario 79; 14. Granville 69; 15. Grove City 67; 16. Dublin Jerome 64; 17. Westerville North 56; 18. Hilliard Darby 55; 19. Dublin Scioto 53; 20. Hilliard Davidson 51; 21. Marysville 44; 22. Findlay 43; 22. Dublin Coffman 43; 24. Pickerington North 40; 25. Mount Vernon 38; 26. Village Academy 36; 27. Westerville South 34; 28. Westerville Central 33; 28. Worthington Kilbourne 33; 30. Gilmour 31; 31. Lancaster 29; 32. Galion 25; 33. Fremont Ross 23; 34. Olentangy Orange 19; 35. New Albany 18; 36. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 15; 37. Gahanna Lincoln 13; 38. Ashland 11; 39. Columbus Bishop Hartley 6; 39. Columbus Bishop Watterson 6; 41. Colonel Crawford 2; 41. The Wellington School 2.

200MR: 1. Hudson (Clampffer, Palazzo, Goeke, Mucahey) 1:35.92*; 2. Solon 1:36.13; 3. Cincinnati St. Xavier 1:36.55. 200 free: 1. Palazzo (Hu) 1:42.10; 2. Imbus (CSX) 1:45.05; 3. Williams (MV) 1:45.50. 200 IM: 1. House (CSX) 1:52.41*; 2. Sobczak (TSFD) 1:55.15; 3. Guo (So) 1:55.41. 50 free: 1. Lake (Bay) 20.29*; 2. Miller (WN) 21.01; 3. Koethke (GC) 21.07. 100 fly: 1. Bowen (US) 51.12; 2. Weaver (DS) 51.22; 3. Pinchot (So) 51.26. 100 free: 1. Lake (Bay) 44.92*; 2. Reilman (WJ) 46.17; 3. Weaver (DS) 46.53. 500 free: 1. Neri (UA) 4:44.70; 2. Spichiger (Gr) 4:46.00; 3. Stadler (WS) 4:46.47. 200FR: 1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales (Sobczak, Schofield, Borgman, Gordon) 1:26.82*; 2. Cincinnati St. Xavier 1:27.14; 3. Columbus St. Charles 1:28.14. 100 back: 1. Reilman (WJ) 48.96*; 2. Bowen (US) 50.40; 3. Pinchot (So) 51.42. 100 breast: 1. Palazzo (Hu) 56.75*; 2. Welty (CSC) 57.82; 3. Guo (So) 57.94. 400FR: 1. Hudson (Clampffer, Palazzo, Johnson, Mulcahey) 3:12.68; 2. Cincinnati St. Xavier 3:12.77; 3. Solon 3:14.44.

*- meet record.

WILDCATS HOCKEY CLOSES ITS PLAY IN THE CORNFIELD CUP WITH ITS THIRD CONSECUTIVE VICTORY, A 5-0 TRIUMPH OVER CULVER MILITARY SCHOOL.
12/14/2014

Junior Wes Deacon is stellar in goal and the offense continues to excel, as senior captain and forward Ethan Whitney shows the way with two lamp lighters.

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED FROM THE HOOSIER STATE BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "We defeated Culver 5-0 today. We went 3-1 at the tournament and played 4 tough teams, which was our hope. We ended up in 3rd place.

"Wes Deacon had 21 saves in the shutout. Goals were scored by Ethan Whitney (2), Peter Hyland, Matt Wiegandt, and Matty Geither. Our next game is on Friday night at Strongsville vs. Sylvania Northview. You might remember the last time we played them..."

FROM THE CORNER: Yes, up next is another encounter with the team we "shared" the state championship with last March. Less than a year after their storied seven-overtime battle, the Ice Cats (now 7-2-1) and Northview (5-2-2 through Friday) will be meeting in the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament at IceLand USA in Strongsville. The Cats' schedule shows it being a 9 PM faceoff on Friday.

Sunday's victory over host Culver (IN) Military Academy was another impressive win, especially when you consider that Culver has more than 20 state championships among its hockey credentials.  

The goal by senior forward and captain Matty Geither versus Culver gave him five lamp lighters for the tournament. 

IT WAS A GREAT REBOUND WEEKEND FOR COACH O'ROURKE'S CATS. PAT AND HIS STAFF DID A TREMENDOUS JOB OF GETTING THE TEAM FOCUSED AFTER FRIDAY NIGHT'S TOUGH LOSS.

A look at how the Varsity Blue Wrestling Team finished this weekend and a score on Saint Ignatius-St. Edward bowling.
12/14/2014

Congrats go out to the Wildcats' Varsity Blue Wrestling Team, which finished fourth during this weekend's Painesville Riverside Rumble Tournament.

Here  are the final team standings, which included nine matches: 1. Hudson 9-0; 2. Ravenna 8-1; 3. Chardon 7-2; 4. Saint Ignatius 6-3; 5. Girard 5-4; 6. Riverside 4-5; 7. Pymatuning Valley 3-6; 8. Geneva 2-7; 9. St. Edward 1-8; 10.
Beachwood 0-9.

As always, the corner will be looking forward to reading and posting Sunday's Weekly Kastanis Report from Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach John Kastanis.

A report from one of my friends, who bowls three to five times a week, is that St. Edward edged the Wildcats, 3,116 to 3,087, on Saturday afternoon. He said Saint Ignatius was victorious in scratch play, but that the Baker Games told the tale.

I'll wait to see what Coach Kastanis has to say.

- Eddie Dwyer   

 



 



 



 



 



Depth, skill, a balanced offense and a relentless defensive effort in the second and third quarters. The Varsity Basketball Wildcats opened their 2014-15 season with a resounding 85-60 victory over previously undefeated John Hay.
12/13/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City - With junior point guard Kyle Kalish pushing the ball at every opportunity, dishing off on-the-money assists, scoring and forcing turnovers, senior wing/guard Andre' Wolford dropping in 12 of his team-high 18 points and three of his four 3-pointers, and senior post Dre'Mont Jones, junior post Sharief Irish and sophomore post Matt Davet going to the rim with authority, Coach Sean' O'Toole's Cats thundered to a 45-28 lead by halftime and never looked back.

Saint Ignatius was 35-of-78 from the field, including 5 3-pointers, and hit on 10 of its 16 free throws. Twelve players scored for the Cats. Saint Ignatius won the rebounding battle, 47-34.

John Hay, which lost for the first time in four games this young season, hit on 24 of its 55 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and was 9-of-15 from the charity stripe. Hornets standout senior guard/forward Isaiah Noel led all scorers with 24 points.

Up next for the Wildcats is Thursday night's game versus the Shaw High Cardinals in Sullivan Gymnasium and then on Saturday night the Cats of Coach O'Toole '87 will travel to the storied Memorial Fieldhouse in Canton to take on the Bulldogs from McKinley. Both of those games are 7:30 varsity tipoffs and will be preceded by 6 PM junior varsity games.

Speaking of junior varsity, Coaches Chris Salata '94, Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 guided the JV Wildcats to an impressive 68-28, opening-night triumph over the junior varsity program from John Hay on Saturday. The Hornets' jayvees now stand 2-1.

HERE IS A LOOK AT WHAT WAS AN IMPRESSIVE NIGHT OF BASKETBALL ON THE CAMPUS OF CLEVELAND'S JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL.

Saint Ignatius' junior point guard Kyle Kalish, one of the Wildcats' four captains, said he and his teammates stressed getting out and running against the John Hay Hornets during Saturday night's Varsity Basketball season opener in Sullivan Gymnasium.

"We're faster this year and we have shooters," said Kalish, whose dad, Scott, was one of the finest backcourt players to ever wear the Blue and Gold while playing for the Wildcats in the mid-1980s. "Our game is the break, that's how we try to score - drive and kick. In order to do that, though, we have to pressure. And that's basically what we did tonight."

Pressuring John Hay from the get-go and running like the wind when the opportunities presented themselves, Saint Ignatius moved to a 16-8 lead on one of four 3-pointers by senior wing/guard and captain Andre' Wolford and a strong and athletic spin move to the hoop by senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto with 2 minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

With Kalish supplying the assists, including an unselfish highlight-reel, behind-the-back effort, and the Wildcats' ball-hawking defense beginning to take its toll, Coach Sean O'Toole's Cats clawed their way to a 17-point advantage with 2:44  left in the first half.

A Wolford drive off a Kalish dime, another trey by Wolford, a basket by 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet off a Kalish assist and a steal by senior guard Joe Isabella that saw Joe score off a return assist from Kalish enabled Saint Ignatius to hold that 17-point advantage by halftime.

"The name of the game is easy buckets and the best way to easy baskets is through pressure and turnovers," said Coach O'Toole, who has begun his seventh season as the Head Basketball Coach at his alma mater. "We're trying to get our measurements down and when all five guys are working together it's fun to watch.

"We were consistent there in the second quarter in building the lead," Coach O'Toole continued. "Give John Hay credit, they kept attacking and they shot a high percentage. What they lack in size they certainly don't lack in heart and effort. Those kids (the Hornets) are good. They're to be commended."

In what was a match up of the seventh (Saint Ignatius) and 25th-ranked teams in this past week's Top 25 area poll by cleveland.com, the Wildcats became more aggressive on the offensive glass and stretched their led to 61-33 late in third quarter.

John Hay, which got nine baskets and a 6-for-7 performance at the foul line from the multi-skilled Isaiah Noel, did make a mini 6-0 run in the final minutes of third quarter.

It was too little, too late, however, as Saint Ignatius left no doubt with an early fourth-quarter barrage that featured Wolford's fourth 3 pointer, a power move down the lane by 6-foot-4 senior post Dre'Mont Jones and a play that saw Dre'Mont, an All-Ohio and All-American defensive end in football, hustle after his own missed free throw and power up two more points.

A The Ohio State University football recruit, Dre' finished with 11 points.

"We scored in a variety of ways and did a great job inside with our post presence," said Coach O'Toole. "When you establish that post presence, everything opens up on both sides of the floor. That was a nice three-man rotation with our unselfish bigs (Jones, Davet and 6-7 junior Sharief Irish)."

As for the work Kalish did from the point of attack, Coach O'Toole described it as pushing the ball with poise.

"It's really something great," Kalish said of the unselfishness and tight bond that the 2014-15 Wildcats seem to have established. "And our speed this year is outstanding. The pressure we put on the ball is going to lead to a lot of points at the other end."

Kalish finished with 8 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and dished out 7 assists.

JV CATS STATS: The Junior Varsity Wildcats totaled 24 two-point shots and four 3-pointers en route to their 40-point victory over John Hay's jayvees. Saint Ignatius was 8-of-12 from the foul line.

Michael Spear led the way for the Cats with 14 points, including three 3-pointers, Alex Ringfield and Devin Jackson scored 8 and 7 points, respectively, and turning in 6-point efforts were Thomas Aris, Qunton Farren and James Leyden.

The JV Cats got their offense and defense flowing in the second half, as they outscored John Hay, 39-10, over the final 14 minutes.

Saturday night's season opener was highlighted by a tribute to the Wildcats’ City Championship Basketball Team of 1973-74, which featured the skills of the late Mr. Jim Skerl ’74. Jim scored 26 points in the 61-51 victory over John F. Kennedy and earned Plain Dealer "Dream Team" honors for his efforts.

A “Man for Others” throughout his life, Jim was a devoted teacher and mentor for the students of Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades before a courageous battle with cancer took his life in October.

During the special tribute to the 1973-74 Wildcats, which included a highlight video, I couldn't help but recall how many of Saint Ignatius' opponents throughout the years would often tell reporters that they were convinced angels tipped in shots down the stretch of tight games at Sullivan Gymnasium.

Well, the way I see it, if for some reason the rims appear a bit friendly this winter, we'll all know the name of one of those angels.  

   

 

     

    

     

     

  

              

Saint Ignatius Hockey wins both of its games during Saturday's second round of the Cornfield Cup Tournament at Culver (IN) Military School.
12/13/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90

From Coach O'Rourke: "We beat Carmel IN, 6-0.  Wes Deacon had 18 saves in the shutout. Goals were scored by Matty Geither (2), Aidan Spellacy, Jack Wiegandt, Ethan Whitney, and our newly minted University of Notre Dame admit Jack Mazanec.

"We play tomorrow (Sunday) at 11 AM, probably against Culver."

From the corner: The Ice Cats, who will carry a record of 6-2-1 into Sunday's game, rebounded from a tough opening night loss by defeating Shattuck St. Mary (Minnesota), 7-2, on Saturday morning and then took the ice again at 5:30 PM and continued to light up the lamp against Carmel, which was the Hoosier State Runner-Up last season.

Saturday night's all right for scoring as far as Matty Geither is concerned, as the senior captain and forward followed up on his two goals versus Shattuck St. Mary by sending home two more against Carmel.

For a look at the Wildcats' games from Friday night and Saturday morning, see the corner's posts below. 

 

Ice Cats rebound from a tough opening night and defeat Shattuck St. Mary, 7-2, in Saturday morning's second round of the Cornfield Cup at Culver (IN) Military School. Matty Geither's two goals lead the offensive firepower.
12/13/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90

From Coach O'Rourke: We beat Shattuck St. Mary (Minnesota), 7-2, this morning.

Goals were scored by Matty Geither (2), Jack Wiegandt, Zack Kisel, Kevin Yarcusko, Jack Mazanec, and Aidan Spellacy.

Dylan McKeon had 20 saves in the win.

FROM THE CORNER: In coming back from Friday's 6-1 loss to Glenbrook North (see the corner's post from Friday night), the Ice Cats improved to 5-2-1. They will face Indiana power Carmel this evening at 5:30. Carmel was the Hoosier State Runner-Up last season and has garnered the top ranking in Indiana this season.

NOTE: THE CORNER WILL HAVE A WRAP UP ON HOCKEY AND OTHER WILDCATS EVENTS LATER TONIGHT AFTER OUR COVERAGE OF THE VARSITY BASKETBALL SEASON OPENER VERSUS JOHN HAY AT SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM. ACTION GETS UNDERWAY TONIGHT WITH A 6 PM JUNIOR VARSITY TIPOFF, FOLLOWED BY THE VARISTY GAME AT 7:30.

 

Wildcats Swimmers and Divers test their skills at the Pre-Ned Reeb Invitational on Friday night.
12/13/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With freshman Alex Claus coming up with a solid performance in the I-M Springboard and the Cats' 200-yard freestyle relay team posting a time of 1:31.89, Saint Ignatius totaled 317 points on Friday night.

Upper Arlington had a 456-point evening, Hudson scored 412 and Akron Firestone turned a 153-point night.

The tradition-rich Ned Reeb Invitational takes place on Saturday at The Ohio State University. 

It was a tough night for the Ice Cats during the Cornfield Cup Tournament at Culver (Indiana) Military School.
12/12/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius was defeated by Glenbrook North, 6-1, during Friday evening's first round. Junior forward Zack Kisel accounted for the Wildcats' only goal.

Glenbrook North was the 2013-14 Illinois State Runner-Up and entered this week as the third-ranked team in Illinois.

The Ice Cats will look to bounce back in the Cornfield Cup when they face Shattuck St. Mary on Saturday at 9 AM. Shattuck St. Mary, a U18 AA program from Minnesota, has helped hone the skills of several NHL players, including Pittsburgh Penguins great Sidney Crosby.

The Cats, who now stand 4-2-1 on the season, will return to the ice on Saturday evening at 5:30 to face Carmel (IND) and Sunday's final opponent in the tournament is to be announced, as is the time the puck will drop on Sunday.

Carmel was the Hoosier State Runner-Up last season and is currently ranked No. 1 in Indiana.   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Ignatius did not qualify any of its four wrestlers for Saturday's quarterfinals of the talent-rich Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament.
12/12/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Twelve area wrestlers did advance to Saturday's 10 AM quarterfinals of what is one of the most demanding and prestigious high school wrestling events in the nation. Friday afternoon's action marked the 21st edition of the Ironman.

Saturday's finals will be wrestled at 6 PM.

Just how challenging is this year's Ironman? Well, nineteen different states are represented and 15 of the nation's Top 50 teams have made themselves at home on the campus of Walsh Jesuit High School this weekend.

Here are the top 10 team standings heading into Saturday.

1. Blair Academy (N.J.) 84.5; 2. Oak Park River Forest (Ill.) 82.5; 3. St. Paris Graham 81; 4. Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 79.5; 5. St. Edward 51; 6. Broken Arrow (Okla.) 49; 7. Massillon Perry 48; 8. Elyria 47; T9. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 46; T9. Montini Catholic (Ill.) 46.

Blair Academy is no stranger to Walsh Jesuit, having won 12 championships in its previous 19 appearances at the Ironman. The team from the Garden State is seeking its fourth consecutive Ironman championship.

St. Edward in 2006 was the last area team to bring home the Ironman title.   

Congratulations to Rayon Artis and Dimitri Simcox, who were listed among the cleveland.com Swimmers To Watch for the 2014-15 season.
12/12/2014

Rayon Artis: As a sophomore last season, Rayon was a member of the state-qualifying 200 MR, finished 19th in the 50 Free, was a member of the third-place 200 FR and a member of the third-place 400 FR.

Dimitri Simcox: As a freshman last season, Dimitri was a member of the Wildcats' third-place 200 FR and third-place 400 FR.

- Eddie Dwyer 

 



 
A Thank You from this corner.
12/11/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

My sincere thanks go out to Mrs. Rita Wilhelm and her son, Mike, a 1985 graduate of Saint Ignatius and an Assistant Coach for the Chicago Bulls of the NBA, for being two of the corner's faithful readers.

It is an honor and a privilege to help inform the Saint Ignatius faithful around the globe on the progress of the Wildcats' gifted student athletes.

Again, Thank You to two of the Cats' most faithful followers,  Rita and her gifted son, Mike.

ON THAT NOTE, just a reminder that we will be posting updates on Saint Ignatius' Winter Sports Teams this weekend and will have game coverage of Saturday night's Varsity Basketball Season Opener versus John Hay from Sullivan Gymnasium. Action gets underway with a 6 PM Junior Varsity tipoff, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30.

For a preview on what all of the winter sports teams are up to this weekend and a look at the John Hay Hornets, see the corner's stories that were posted from Sunday through Wednesday night.

Have a great and a safe weekend and, when they are not playing the Cavaliers, all of the best to the Bulls and Coach Wilhelm.      

A preview on Saturday night's season opener in Varsity Basketball versus "Hey, John Hay!"
12/10/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Seniors Jaylin McDonald, Mikal Outcalt and Andre' Wolford, and junior Kyle Kalish will help lead the Varsity Basketball Wildcats as the Captains for 2014-15.

*Please note that the season opener will include a tribute to the Wildcats’ City Championship Basketball Team of 1973-74, which featured the skills of the late Mr. Jim Skerl ’74. A “Man for Others” throughout his life, Jim was a devoted teacher and mentor for the students of Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades before a courageous battle with cancer took his life in October.

Ohio City – After sending his Wildcats through Wenesday’s practice, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 took time out to share his thoughts on the John Hay Hornets, the Cats’ opponent on Saturday night in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Saturday’s game marks the season opener for Saint Ignatius, while John Hay will enter the 7:30 varsity tipoff having already played three games.  A 6 PM junior varsity matchup will get things started in storied Sullivan Gym.

If you can’t make it down to what is one of the city’s atmosphere-rich facilities, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will provide live coverage on both the junior varsity and varsity games. The main thrill-some threesome over the air waves for Wildcats
Basketball will be seniors James Zajaczkowski, Liam Garven and the versatile Joe Mertens.

“They’re extremely athletic and extremely skilled,” said Coach O’Toole of the Hornets, who enter Saturday night's game as the 25th-ranked team in cleveland.com’s Top 25 seven-county area poll. Saint Ignatius garnered a seventh-place ranking in cleveland.com’s
preseason poll and held that spot this week even though the Cats have yet to play a game.

“I saw them last night and what they lack in size they make up for with speed and toughness,” Coach O’Toole said after scouting John Hay’s 97-64 victory at Lincoln-West on Tuesday night. “They score extremely well in transition and they shoot it well.  They have great balance.”

Leading that balanced attack is the versatile Isiah Noel, a young man who can play both guard positions and also the small forward or 3 spot.

Rated as one of the area’s Top 50 players to watch by cleveland.com in preseason, Noel scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had six assists in a 73-67 victory over Martin Luther King Jr. The box score on Tuesday night’s victory over Lincoln-West shows Noel with 24 points, however, a headline on cleveland.com has a young man named Anthony Donerson scoring the 24 points.

Currently sitting at 2-0, John Hay is scheduled to host Collinwood on Friday.

“Defensively, they do a lot of things,” Coach O’Toole continued. “We’ve only seen man (man-to-man defense), but we know from the past that they can play multiple full-court pressures and employ different half-court defenses. Anytime you’re going into your first
game, you expect the unexpected.”

Coach O’Toole, who enters his seventh season at Saint Ignatius with a record of 107-37 at his alma mater, emphasized the word “matchups” when discussing Saturday night’s opener.

“We have to keep them away from the rim, guard our yard and make sure we keep them in front of us and limit their shot selections, especially in transition. We have to be getting back and matching up.

“And we have to make sure we’re getting high-percentage shots, because they have a high basketball IQ. They’re smart players. Every one of their kids can get to the rim.”

Last season, Coach O’Toole watched his Wildcats defeat John Hay, 76-59.  Saint Ignatius moved to a 20-point lead by halftime and led by 22 points entering the final eight minutes.

Showing the way was current senior wing and captain Andre’ Wolford, who solved the Hornets’ defense for 19 points in 19 minutes, including five 3-pointers.

Wolford would go on to set a Saint Ignatius single-game record of eight 3-pointers last season during an 87-62 victory over Cleveland Heights at Sullivan Gym.

Note: Wolford and Wildcats standout junior guard Deven Stover were also listed among cleveland.com’s preseason Top 50 players to watch.

Note 2: For an in-depth look at the 2014-15 Varsity Basketball Wildcats, see the corner’s story from Dec. 4.

A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: It will be fun to see how the Wildcats’ Junior Varsity Basketball Team progresses this
winter, as they are following in the footsteps of one of the strongest JV basketball teams in Saint Ignatius’ rich athletic history, the 20-1 JV Cats of 2013-14.

Okay all of you faithful and knowledgeable gym rats, here we go again starting Saturday night.  





    



Saint Ignatius Wrestling preparing for the prestigious and tradition-rich Walsh Ironman.
12/9/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Walsh Jesuit High School will continue its tradition of hosting what is one of the premier high school wrestling events in the United States, a tournament laden with talent not only from Ohio, but other parts of the nation.

The first session gets underway on Friday at 1 PM and Saturday's action begins at 10 AM, with the finals slated for 6 PM.

Coach Mark Sullivan's Saint Ignatius Wildcats will be looking to improve upon last year's 49th place finish at the Ironman that saw the Cats score 22 points.

Saint Ignatius is coming off a solid performance at last weekend's demanding Solon Comet Classic, especially when you consider the Wildcats, because of injuries, entered the Comet Classic without some significant wrestlers.

Led by a third-place finish by senior Joe Conway at 195 pounds and a fourth-place effort by junior Tito Vazquez at 285, Saint Ignatius placed 13th out of 24 teams at Solon, scoring 87 points.

As always, the corner will provide updates on the Wildcats' wrestlers at the Ironman.

For any questions on the event, call Walsh Jesuit's outstanding Athletic Director Barb Salata at 330-929-4205. 

Anthony Ruggiero, a member of the Wildcats' 2009 state semifinalist baseball team, is still playing the game he loves.
12/9/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor.

Coach Ganor: "I received a message from Anthony Ruggiero '09, who went on to play at Niagra University after high school."

From Anthony: "I signed with a team that is a part of a league based out in Houston, Texas. The league is played in the states of Colorado, Texas, Arizona,  and New Mexico. My team is located in Roswell, New Mexico. I signed with the Roswell Invaders, which is coached by a guy named Dave Ramsey. I  don't know too much information about the team overall; I just signed a  couple months ago and this will be my first season coming up this year.  I'm home until spring training in April, which is in Texas, and then I  head out to Roswell after that for the season."

Saint Ignatius hockey is gearing up for the talent-laden Culver Tournament.
12/9/2014

By Eddie Dwyer,
Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City – Coach Pat O’Rourke’s Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey Team, which year in and year out plays one of the most demanding schedules in the nation, will board the buses this weekend and head to Culver (Indiana) Military School for another major challenge.

“It’s is one of the premier tournaments in the Midwest each year,” said Coach O’Rourke ’90 of the tradition-rich Culver Tournament.

Tradition and talent always reign supreme at the Culver Tournament, where the teams compete for the Cornfield Cup.

When you look at the records of the teams the Ice Cats will be competing against this weekend you can appreciate why Coach O’Rourke and his players savor this yearly challenge and how it prepares them for their regular season and postseason competition in Ohio.

“These teams play in states that have different rules than Ohio in terms of when they can start their seasons, so they have quite an advantage on us in terms of experience and
even practice time,” Coach O’Rourke pointed out.

Anyone who knows Coach O’Rourke realizes he is not offering any excuses, just the facts. As we hinted to above, the bigger the challenge the better the Ice Cats seem to play.

Along with the Wildcats, here are the elite powers competing in what should be another outstanding Culver Tournament, followed by Saint Ignatius’ schedule in the tournament.

Saint Ignatius: 2014 Ohio State Champions, current record 4-1-1.

Culver Military Academy: 2014 Indiana State Champions.

Glenbrook North: 2014 Illinois State Runner-Up, current record 30-7-2, ranked 3rd in Illinois.

New Trier Green: 2014 Illinois State Champions, current record 25-5, ranked 1st in Illinois.

Shattuck St. Mary U18 AA from Minnesota: One of the strongest programs in the country; does not play
postseason states or nationals.

Carmel: 2014 Indiana State Runner-Up, current record 18-4-1, ranked 1st in Indiana.

Here is Saint Ignatius’ schedule at Culver: Friday versus Glenbrook North at 6:15 PM; Saturday
at 9 AM versus Shattuck St. Mary (a program that has helped hone the skills of several NHL players, including Penguins great Sidney Crosby); Saturday at 5:30 PM versus Carmel (IND) and Sunday’s
opponent and time is TBA (to be announced).

Note: Saint Ignatius is coming off back-to-back, 6-0 triumphs over Holy Name and Walsh Jesuit in Great Lakes Hockey League play. For a game story on the victory over Holy Name and a recap on what was the second triumph over Walsh Jesuit this young season, see the corner’s posts from
over the weekend. 
  



 



Saint Ignatius versus John Hay Varsity Basketball preview coming Wednesday night on the corner and a congratulations to Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath.
12/8/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The corner will post the preview on Saturday night's home opener versus  "Hey, John Hay" after Wildcats Head Coach Sean O'Toole and his staff get one more look at the Hornets early this week.

****Congratulations to one of Coach O'Toole's right hand men, Coach Jerry Porath, as Coach Porath's son, Brendan Porath '01, and Brendan's wife, Aimee, welcomed Sean Donovan Porath into to the world on 12/8/14 at 11:15 AM.

Don't you just love the heck out of grandkids?  

The Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer and Buckeyes Assistant Coach/Running Backs Coach Stan Drayton visited Saint Ignatius on Monday.
12/8/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Coach Meyer, who has guided his Buckeyes to the Big Ten Championship and an NCAA playoff showdown with Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, along with Coach Drayton, visited with the family of Wildcats All-Ohio and All-American senior defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, who is an Ohio State recruit.

Coach Meyer and Coach Drayton also visited with Saint Ignatius Head Coach Chuck Kyle, Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Nick Restifo, Saint Ignatius Head Athletic Trainer Hank Gaughan, ATC, Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick, Saint Ignatius Head Freshman Football Coach Rodney Gallaway and yours truly.

It was an honor for this old-timer to be part of the conversation with Coach Meyer and Coach Drayton. All of the Best to the Buckeyes when they take on the Crimson Tide.  

The idle Wildcats varsity basketball team remained in the seventh spot in this week's Top 25 area basketball poll by cleveland.com.
12/8/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Coach Sean O'Toole's Cats open their 2014-15 season on Saturday night when they host John Hay in Sullivan Gymnasium ( 6 bells for the JV game with the varsity matchup to follow at 7:30 PM).

John Hay (1-0) is currently ranked 25th in the cleveland.com poll. Before facing the Wildcats on Saturday John Hay travels to Lincoln-West on Tuesday and hosts Collinwood on Friday.

The corner will give you a preview on John Hay later this week.

For an in-depth look at the 2014-15 Varsity Basketball Wildcats, see the corner's post from last week.  

A reminder on Mikal Outcalt and Coach Mike McLaughlin and a look ahead to what's coming up on the corner this week.
12/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior soccer goalkeeper and varsity basketball player Mikal Outcalt, a University of Pittsburgh soccer recruit, will be among 42 of the nation’s elite high school soccer players from fall playing states that will take part in the Fourth Annual High School All-American Game this coming Saturday in Raleigh, NC.

The players selected are seniors who will have finished their high school careers and have represented their high school teams during the fall season. These players have achieved many regional and national awards and will attend some of the top universities across the country.

Wildcats Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85, who has guided his state and nationally acclaimed program to a record six boys state championships and two national titles, has been chosen as an Honorary Coach for the game.

The High School All-American Game is being held the same weekend and in the same proximity as the men’s NCAA Division I College Cup. The participants will arrive on Thursday and will attend the NCAA semi-final games on Friday as well as the championship game on Sunday. The event is being sponsored in part by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Adidas, Unicosports and Soccer.com.

Coming up this week, the corner will take a look at the Wildcats' season opener in basketball. Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats will face John Hay on Saturday night in Sullivan Gymnasium. The Junior Varsity tipoff is 6 PM, followed by the varsity game at 7:30.

We will also whet your appetite for one of the nation's premier high school wrestling events, the annual Ironman at Walsh Jesuit High School, where the Wildcats' men of the mats will be competing this coming weekend.

Be sure to check out the corner's "Kastanis Report," which was posted on Sunday afternoon, to see how the varsity bowling team, aka "The Alley Cats," are knocking them down. Coach John Kastanis' Cats have two matches this Saturday - a 9 AM encounter with the Westlake Demons and a makeup match with the St. Edward Eagles at 1:30 PM. Both of those matches are scheduled for Buckeye Lanes.

After dominating Great Lakes Hockey League opponents Holy Name and Walsh Jesuit over the weekend (see the corner's posts below), Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats are gearing up for this coming weekend's always demanding Culver Tournament.

And rounding the corner and heading for home, we can tell you that Saint Ignatius' swimming and diving team has two events scheduled this coming weekend - versus Upper Arlington and Firestone on Friday at 6 PM at Upper Arlington High School and the annual Ned Reeb Invitational on Saturday at The Ohio State University, with the time listed as TBA on the Wildcats' schedule.

Here is how Saint Ignatius' swimmers fared this past weekend.

SOLON RELAYS

How they finished: 1. Hudson 142, 2. Solon 110, 3. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 84, 4. Hawken School 78, 5. Saint Ignatius 78, 6. Walsh Jesuit 72, 7. Amherst Steele 52, 8. Poland Seminary 8.

Diving: Solon (Styrt, Shevlin) 244.20. 200MR: H (Clampffer, Johnson, Goeke, Coburn) 1:42.02. 850 free: H (Alexander, Nelson, Ruscin, Palazzo) 7:51.99. 4x100IM: H (Mulcahey, Alexander, Tuckerman, Wiley) 3:57.80. 200FR: H (Johnson, Coburn, Nelson, Mulcahey) 1:32.37. 200 fly: Solon  (Guo, McNulty, Gross, Pinchot) 1:40.13. 200 back: B (M Krusinski, Savena, Martin, Madej) 1:42.17. 200 breast: H (Palazzo Johnson, Faiman, Wiley) 1:56.96. 400FR: B (Madej, Lynch, Martin, M Krusinski) 3:18.92.

SWIM FOR A SOLUTION INVITATIONAL (No team scores)

Teams Participating: Gilmour Academy, Saint Ignatius, University School and Chagrin Falls.

200MR: Saint Ignatius (Simcox, Hong, Ubert, Artis) 1:45.04; 50 Free Perry (US) 23.61; 50 Back: Hong (Saint Ignatius) 26.76; 100 Fly: Bowen (US) 52.19; 200 FR: Saint Ignatius (Hong, Simcox, Ubert, Artis) 1:33.32; 100 Breast: Hostoffer (GA) 1:00.93; 50 Fly Steffy (US) 25.19; 100 Free Agan (CF) 52.61; 50 Breast Hostoffer (GA) 28.56; 100 Back Bowen (US) 52.14; 400 FR US (Bowman, Cannon, Halawa, Eiban) 3:30.52.       

Have a great and safe week.    

 

    

 



An early look at where the Wildcats' 2015 varsity football schedule stands.
12/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, December 2014

The Wildcats currently have two open or to be announced dates for 2015, Weeks 4 and 7.

Here is where the schedule stands.

Week 1: Versus Normandy at Byers Field.

Week 2: Versus Mentor at the Cardinals' Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium.

Week 3: Versus Valley Forge at Byers Field.

Week 4: TBA.

Week 5:  At Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep.

Week 6: Versus Parma at Byers Field.

Week 7: TBA.

Week 8: Versus Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman.

Week 9: Versus Cincinnati St. Xavier at John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium.

Week 10: Versus 2014 Division I state champion St. Edward at tradition-rich Lakewood Stadium.

And on that Week 10 note, the corner expresses its congratulations to Head Coach Rick Finotti, Coach Scanlon, Coach Gallagher, Coach Massinen and the rest of the Eagles' staff on their outstanding run to the big school state crown. Here's hoping the Wildcats-Eagles storied rivalry has many more memorable chapters.

In another Week 10 note, the last time the Cats and the Eagles met on Halloween in Lakewood Stadium (2009), the City of Lakewood asked the schools to move the game up to an afternoon kick off and they obliged. It could be the same scenario in 2015.

Of course, as this old-timer always says, Saint Ignatius and St. Edward could play at 8 AM and the Madhouse on Madison would still be packed.      

Wildcats baseball standout MJ Nara commits to Walsh University.
12/7/2014
By Eddie Dwyer
 
Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius senior pitcher MJ Nara, who gave a college commitment to Walsh University this weekend. 
 
An ace out of the bullpen for Coach Brad Ganor's 2013 Division I state runner-up team and a cornerstone on last season's District Final runner-up as a starter, MJ, said Coach Ganor, is expected to be No. 1 in the rotation this coming spring.
 
A young man with a savvy baseball mind, who is also a great postgame interview, MJ will serve as one of Coach Ganor's Captains in 2015.
 
Again, congrats to MJ, his family, Coach Ganor and the entire Wildcats Baseball Program.  
The Kastanis Report. Volume Two on the 2014-15 Saint Ignatius Bowling Team, or as tagged by the corner seven seasons ago, "The Alley Cats."
12/7/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented By Wildcats Head Bowling Coach John Kastanis.

Here are the bowling results for Saint Ignatius High School versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.

1) Scratch =  Wildcats Win 5- 2  (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2694 (908; 970; 816) vs. Brecksville-Broadview Heights  High School = 2621 (779; 961; 881).                        

2) Handicap = Wildcats lost in this category 5 - 2  (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2947 (969; 1066; 912) vs. Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School = 3080 (932; 1114; 1034).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games.                          
Wildcats Total Pin fall= 3035/ Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Total Pin fall = 2987.    

4) Baker Games: (Wildcats) = 179;162 = Series total 341 vs. (Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School) = 200;166 = 366. 

Our star bowlers versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

                       Senior Garret Forst =  215 = 550 Series (Awesome)
                       Senior Josh Jarosz = 214 = 532 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Cedric Crawford = 221 = 569 Series (Awesome)
                       Junior Ralph Deadwyler = 212; 213 = 571 Series (Awesome)

                     
On the JV side of things, showing consistant improvements.
                      Sophomore Devin Venczel = 182  = 509 Series (Awesome)
                      Freshman Anthony Doran = 237 = 602 Series (Awesome)
                      Sophomore Nick Frank = 199 = 556 Series (Awesome)

From Coach Kastanis: "We struggled against a much improved Brecksville-Broadview Heights team. We will work hard this week in practice on much needed spare shooting and making adjustments on changing lane conditions.

"We will be bowling a double shift this coming weekend, as we have a match with Westlake at 9 AM and the makeup match with St. Edward at 1:30 PM."

Joe Conway finishes third at 195 pounds during the Solon Comet Classic.
12/7/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius' senior leader Joe Conway, who pinned Devin Johnson of Chardon in 2:17 on Saturday night and placed third at 195 pounds in the 30th edition of the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic wrestling tournament.

The Wildcats, who also got a fourth-place effort from junior Tito Vazquez at 285, finished 13th among the 24 teams competing at Solon High School. Coach Mark Sullivan's team totaled 87 points.

Brunswick brought home the Solon Comet Classic championship with 192.5 points, Oregon Clay from Lucas County was second with 173.5 points and Toledo Central Catholic finished third with 157.5 points. 

Evening update on Saint Ignatius Wrestling at the Solon Comet Classic.
12/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats stood in 15th place with 83 points. Senior Joe Conway was preparing to wrestle for third place at 195 pounds.

Brunswick was in first place with 178.5 points, followed by Lucas County Oregon Clay with 164.5 points and Toledo Central Catholic with 133.5.

The Wildcats' Matt Jones and Besar Vajusi finished sixth at 145 and 170, respectively, and Anthony Ferritto placed seventh at 138.

We will have a wrap up later tonight. 

Wildcats Hockey skates to its second consecutive 6-0 triumph in GLHL play, as The Ice Cats defeat Wash Jesuit on the ice at Kent State University.
12/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer, with the scoring courtesy of Wildcats Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

Saint Ignatius' promising young goalie Mark Mastroianni had 11 saves in the shutout.

Goals were scored by Kevin Yarcusko, Brady Wells, Matty Geither, Aidan Spellacy, Jack Wiegandt, and Jared Stepka.

Coach O'Rourke's Cats improved to 4-1-1 overall and now stand 2-0 in the Great Lakes Hockey League with four points.

The Ice Cats opened their GLHL play on Friday evening by defeating Holy Name, 6-0, at Quicken Loans Arena (see the corner's story from Friday night).

Up next for the defending state champs is a Dec. 12th match up with Glenbrook North (Northbrook, Illinois) at the annual Culver Tournament. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:15 PM.  

Saint Ignatius wrestling update from the Solon Comet Classic.
12/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats' Gavin Rivera (126 pounds), Anthony Ferritto (138), Besar Vajusi (170) and Joe Conway (195) each wrestled their way into the quarterfinals before losing tough matches.

We will have more as it becomes available and a complete wrap up on the Cats' efforts later tonight.

Wildcats Wrestlers stand 17th after the first night of the Solon Comet Classic.
12/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius will need a strong wrestle back effort on Saturday, when the action begins with the Consolation matches at 10:30 AM in Solon High School.

Here are the top 23 teams after Friday night.

1. Oregon Clay (Lucas County) 85.5; 2. Brunswick 84; 3. Crestwood 69.5; 4. Toledo Central Catholic 66; 5. Lake Catholic 62; 6. Green 60; 7. Willoughby South 57; 8. Chardon 56.5; 9. Strongsville 50.5; 10. Twinsburg 49.5; 10. Walsh Jesuit 49.5; 12. Solon 47.5; 13. Pickerington North 45; 14. Firestone 44.5; 15. Nordonia 42.5; 16. Jackson-Milton 38.5; 17. Saint Ignatius 33; 18. Kenston 29; 19. Mentor 28.5;  20. Eastlake North 23.5; 21. Riverside 22; 22. Orange 21; 23. Berkshire 16. 

Experience, depth and exceptional speed on the ice. Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Hockey Wildcats put it all on display in Quicken Loans Arena on Friday evening as they dominated Holy Name, 6-0, in a Great Lakes Hockey League matchup.
12/5/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, December 2014

CLEVELAND, OHIO - The Ice Cats improved to 3-1-1 overall and eared two points in the standings after defeating the Green Wave in what was the opening game of the 2014-15 Great Lakes Hockey League season.

Senior Captain and forward Jack Wiegandt got things started with the first of Saint Ignatius' four first-period goals. The Whitney brothers, Ethan, a senior captain and forward, and Seth, a sophomore defenseman, tallied lamp lighters that came just 1 minute and 2 seconds apart, and the first of two goals on the night by junior captain and forward Aidan Spellacy capped the early barrage.

After Spellacy's second goal and a lamp lighter by junior forward Zack Kisel pushed the Cats' lead to 6-0 with 1 minute and 19 seconds remaining in the second period, a running clock came into play.

Saint Ignatius will look to earn two more points in the GLHL standings when it travels to Kent State University on Saturday to take on the Walsh Jesuit Warriors at 3:55 PM. The Ice Cats defeated the Warriors, 3-0, in last weekend's annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament on the ice at Kent State.

HERE IS THE CORNER'S LOOK AT FRIDAY NIGHT'S IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE FROM THE Q, WITH COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90 AND AIDAN SPELLACY.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "We have speed and it shows up well on the big ice," said Coach O'Rourke after his Ice Cats blended their quickness and the abundant amount of experience that has returned from last season' state championship team into a combination that a young Holy Name attack could not deal with.

The Green Wave is coached by Tim Sullivan, Coach O'Rourke's good friend and former hockey teammate in the Winterhurst leagues. 

"A lot of room to move and operate," Coach O'Rourke continued. "We try to turn it into a track meet and see if teams can keep up with us. That's the whole thing. We have good depth and we run four lines pretty much. If teams can keep up, we tip our caps to them. That's why it so important to keep our feet moving out there. If we're just standing around, it's not as hard to keep up with us. But if we keep our feet moving, eventually it will wear on them. And I think that is what happened out there tonight a little bit.

"We had a lot of people in front of the net and that was one of our main focuses all week," Coach O'Rourke said. "And we were shooting the puck low, which we also stressed. We went to work tonight."

The Ice Cats, who defeated a veteran Holy Name team, 4-2, in last season's Brooklyn District Championship Game, put together a work ethic on Friday evening that produced a shots on goal advantage of 40-7. On the "Rips at the Net" system that Saint Ignatius' veteran Assistant Coach Joe Geither employs, the Cats were a smoking 53-6.

FROM AIDAN SPELLACY: "There are really no weak points on this team," said Aidan, who is continuing a rich family tradition of excellence in Saint Ignatius hockey. "Whenever everyone buys into what we're talking about, what Coach O'Rourke is talking about, systems and stuff, we're a hard team to beat.

"When we all buy in, work hard, finish checks and get shots on net, all it takes is a little one to trickle in and the flood gates open."

AIDAN ON HIS TWO-GOAL NIGHT: "The first one, I was in the corner and I walked out and no one (among Holy Name's defenders) came out on me, which I thought was kind of weird. So I just decided to let it go and it went top right. On the second one, I got a great pass in the corner and the kid stepped up on me. I think I just tapped it around and shot. I was going to go tap it in, but ah, I saw it was trickling in. It was a lot of fun."

WHERE AIDAN SEES A NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT: "I think what we need to work on is the D zone. We didn't have to work too much on that tonight, because we were just dominant in the offensive zone. But once we go to the upcoming Holiday Tournaments and play out of state teams, we're going to have to step it up defensively."

THE ASSIST MAKERS: Helping show the way on five of Saint Ignatius' six goals (Jack Wiegandt's lamp lighter was unassisted) were junior defenseman Brian Russell and Kisel on Ethan Whitney's goal, Russell on Seth Whitney's goal, senior forward Brady Wells and junior forward Cam Gerard on Spellacy's first goal, Wells and sophomore defenseman Matt Wiegandt on Spellacy's second lamp lighter, and Ethan Whitney on the sixth and final goal that was provided by Kisel.

THE WILDCATS' "STARS OF THE GAME" BY THE MONSTERS' ORGANIZATION: The honors went to rock steady junior goalie Dylan McKeon, Aidan Spellacy and Jack Wiegandt.   

   

 

  

 

 

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a reminder on hockey and wrestling and a few Cats-related football notes.
12/4/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Ice Hockey Team, which is off to a 2-1-1 start this young season, will open its Great Lakes Hockey League play on Friday versus the Green Wave of Holy Name. The puck will drop in Quicken Loans Arena at 4:30 PM. For ticket information, click on Athletic News, which is to the left of this post. A ticket to the Saint Ignatius versus Holy Name game is also good for The Monsters game that follows.

The corner will be at Quicken Loans Arena for game coverage of the Cats vs. the Green Wave.

Also on Friday, Coach Mark Sullivan's young, but tough and talented varsity wrestling team will be competing in the 30th edition of the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic. Friday's action begins at 4:30 PM at Solon High School and the tournament resumes at 10 AM on Saturday. For a preview of the 2014-15 Wrestling Cats and more information on the Solon Comet Classic, see the corner's story from Tuesday morning.

A Saint Ignatius Touch: Along with Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer '04, Sunday's 1 PM game versus the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium will also have a Wildcats flavor on the other side of the field.

In case you didn't know by now, the Colts' All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck is the son of former Saint Ignatius standout quarterback and star basketball player Oliver Luck '78. Oliver was the Wildcats' John J. Wirtz Athlete of the Year Award Winner for the 1977-78 school year and is currently the Athletics Director for the Mountaineers of West Virginia, where he excelled as a quarterback before going on to an NFL career with the then Houston Oilers.

Andrew Luck was an All-American quarterback at Stanford, where his accomplishments found their way on to the corner. You would be surprised how many Saint Ignatius alums never made the connection to Oliver before the corner started reporting on Andrew's outstanding NCAA career.  

A Bengals Roar from Wasmer Field: Saint Ignatius graciously opened its Wasmer Field gates to Benedictine this week, so the Bengals could practice for Friday's 10 AM Division IV OHSAA State Championship Football Game versus Kettering Archbishop Alter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The Bengals have their own turf field, but it's a facility without lights. With daylight ending shortly after 4 PM these days, Benedictine bused over to Saint Ignatius every day after school this week and took full advantage of the Wildcats' hospitality by fine-tuning its skills under the bright lights of Wasmer.

During Olmsted Falls' playoff runs under now retired Head Coach Jim Ryan, Saint Ignatius extended the same hospitality to the Bulldogs when their grass field became unplayable by mid-November.

                       

Rich in depth and versatility. The 2014-15 Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Preview.
12/4/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Ohio City – As he was preparing his team for Wednesday evening’s scrimmage versus the Golden Eagles from Canton GlenOak, Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 sat down with the corner and discussed his 2014-15 Varsity Wildcats.

“What is nice is that we feel everyone on this roster has the capability to help this team,” said Coach O’Toole, who enters his seventh season at his alma mater with a record of 107-37 at Cleveland’s Jesuit Preparatory School, including a mark of 41-11 over the past two seasons combined. “That provides a lot of competition at practice, which I think brings out the best from our team. We’re going to compete weekly for playing time and we’re going to compete weekly for roles.”

Coach O’Toole’s Wildcats, ranked seventh in cleveland.com’s preseason Top 25 area poll, finished 20-7 last winter and garnered a final seven-county Top 25 ranking of sixth place. The Cats won 10 of their final 13 games in 2013-14, and, after capturing the District Championship at Midview, advanced to the Sweet 16 in Division I.

“I think we have a lot of versatility,” Coach O’Toole said. “I really like the depth of our guards. I think we shoot it well, I think we handle it well and we have size at the guard position and are long at the wings, which I like. And we have plenty of bodies at the 4s and the 5s, and they’re all different. We have strong kids in the post, kids with long, lanky bodies and skilled guys that can knock down jump shots.”

Coach O’Toole emphasized that at this point of the preseason it is all about role identification. It’s the number one priority.

"Defining who’s in what role and understanding that it could change,” Coach O’Toole continued. “We return one starter, so experience will be a factor. But we also return guys who had roles off the bench (last season). It’s been a great offseason, but again, nothing is determined at this point. We have guys coming off football and soccer, so everyone is kind of competing and I think it will be that way for a while. I’m excited. There are a lot of tools on this team that can help us be successful.”

The Wildcats’ returning starter is 6-foot-5 junior guard Deven Stover, a Specia Mention All-Northeast Lakes District selection last winter.

Deven closed out his sophomore season in style, as he totaled 54 points over the final three games (two district matchups and one regional semifinal). He had an afternoon most young players can only dream about, as his 3-pointer at the buzzer led Saint Ignatius to a 67-64 victory over a talent-rich Berea-Midpark team in the Midview District Championship Game. Deven finished with a team-high 25 points and added 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a key steal. He was 6 of 9 from the field, including 4 for 5 from 3-point land, and 9 of 12 from the free-throw line.

“I think one of our real strengths is that we’re really deep,” said Stover, whose eyes light up at the mention of this upcoming season. “We have numerous people at every position and those who can play every position. Like Coach O’Toole said, if he had to rank all of the teams in the state, in terms of depth, he would rank us No. 1. And I would agree with that.

“Everyone who made the team can play,” Deven continued. “We have multiple scorers, multiple attackers and multiple shooters. Coach O’Toole said he had tough time getting this roster down.”

The easy to smile, but all business on the court Stover said he could see the difference right from the first preseason practice in the fall.

“Everyone was pushing it, attacking, playing together and not making many mistakes,” Deven said. “We seem to be coming together nicely as a team. When we lock down on D (defense), we keep that momentum going and we don’t stop.”

Like most teams in early December, there are areas that need work and, in Stover’s opinion, the one that stands out right now is the Wildcats’ help defense.

“Anticipating a pass or getting a deflection that leads to a score,” said the young man who was selected as Saint Ignatius’ “Most Outstanding Offensive Player” last season.

When Coach O’Toole referred to his returning varsity players who “played roles off the bench” last winter, the two that come to mind right away are sharp-shooting senior guard Andre’ Wolford and versatile 6-foot-6 senior forward Jaylin
McDonald.

Recipients of the program’s “Most Valuable Substitutes Awards” during last season’s annual Winter Sports Banquet, Andre’ and Jaylin will bring a lot of big-game experience and big-game moments to the floor.

Wolford, who, in Coach O’Toole’s words, had a great summer, put his name in the Cat Stats record books by draining a single-game record of 8 3-pointers in last winter’s 87-62 victory over Cleveland Heights at Sullivan Gymnasium. Andre’
sent home 4 3-pointers in each half in route to finishing with 26 points.

Saint Ignatius had two players among the recent listing of the Top 50 area players to watch by cleveland.com, Stover and Wolford.

As for McDonald, Jaylin has the skills to be a factor both inside and outside. In last season’s 61-39 victory over Lakewood in the district semifinals, Jaylin hit all seven of his shots from the field, pulled down six rebounds and helped
key a defense that shut down one of the area’s top offenses.

With Jaylin stepping up at both ends of the floor, the Wildcats held two of Lakewood’s top offensive weapons scoreless and handed the Rangers just their fourth defeat in 25 games.

With the graduations of twin 6-foot-6 post players Eric and David Black (now at Case Western Reserve University), fellow All-District honorees Isiah Barbra and Danny Bova and 6-foot-7 McDonald's Game nominee Jake Strippy, Coach O’Toole said he and his staff have to make sure that all five guys on the floor rebound.

“And decision making,” Coach O’Toole said. “We want our shot attempts to be at the right amount, limit our turnovers and take balanced open shots. The ball will fit. We have guys that can shoot the basketball. So we have to make the right plays and don’t force action that doesn’t need to be forced. Defensively, we’re still a work in progress. We’ll see whether we’re a man to man team or flirting with some other different styles.

“The nice thing about basketball is that it’s truly one game at a time,” Coach O’Toole added. “Twenty two rehearsals for the big dance (the OHSAA postseason tournament).”

Two players who will be counted on to help the Cats play with what Coach O’Toole refers to as pace and poise are junior point guards Kyle Kalish and Jim Berger. Kyle and Jim have the type of basketball skill and savvy that at times will allow them to be on the floor together. Kyle is the son of one of the top backcourt players in Wildcats basketball history, Mr. Scott Kalish, who ran the offense for Coach Larry Arthur in the mid-1980s.

“The rotation could be 10, it could be 12 or it could be eight, you just never know,” said Coach O’Toole.

Along with Stover, Wolford, McDonald, Jim Berger and Kalish, the candidates for that rotation are 6-foot-4 senior Dre’Mont Jones, a first-team All-Ohio defensive end who is bound for The Ohio State University on a football scholarship; 6-foot-5 senior post/forward Mikal Outcalt, an exceptional athlete whose All-American play as the goal keeper helped Saint Ignatius’ soccer program to a record sixth state championship last month. Mikal is headed for the University of Pittsburgh on a soccer scholarship; senior point guard/two guard Joe Isabella and senior wing Dylan Nieto, who not only have skills on the floor, but last season joined Mikal Outcalt as Silver Certificate Award winners from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association (Presented to a junior or senior who maintains a 3.2 accumulative GPA and exhibits the highest form of citizenship and sportsmanship throughout his high school career); strong and skilled 6-foot-7 junior post Sharief Irish, whose great uncle Colin Irish established himself as one of the premier players in the history of Greater Cleveland area basketball while playing for the legendary Cathedral Latin School teams of 1977, ’78 and ’79; junior guard Ryan Berger, an ice-in-his-veins clutch shooter and Jim’s twin brother; gifted 6-foot-4 junior forward/post Tim Kiefer, who played for both the outstanding junior varsity team of 2013-14 and the varsity program; talented 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet, who plays with a maturity and a basketball IQ beyond his years; junior guards/wings Nate Ellifritt and Michael Hollis; 6-foot-7 sophomore wing/forward Austen Yarian; 6-4 sophomore post/forward Quinton Farren and 6-foot-3 junior forward Tyler Musbach.  

Saint Ignatius always plays a demanding schedule and this winter will be status quo. In fact, Coach O’Toole describes his 2014-15 slate as the toughest in his seven years as the Wildcats’ head coach.

“There are a lot of great players and great teams in the area, and we’re playing all of them,” Coach O’Toole said.

The Wildcats open their season versus John Hay on Dec. 13 in Sullivan Gymnasium and come right back on Dec. 18 to host the Shaw High Cardinals, aka The Red Ball Express.

The early part of the schedule includes a trip to the tradition-rich Canton Memorial Fieldhouse on Dec. 20 to face the McKinley Bulldogs. The Cats return to Sullivan Gymnasium on Dec. 23 for a matchup with Berea-Midpark. We'll see if Saint Ignatius and Berea-Midpark can duplicate their thriller from last season's district final.

Christmas Break will also include a trip to Warren G. Harding on Dec. 27, a New Year's Eve 3 PM tipoff versus the Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary in Sullivan Gymnasium and a game versus talent-rich Detroit
Jesuit on Jan. 2 in the Motor City.

Coach O'Toole's Cats will face the legendary program from East Tech (ah, my boyhood memories of the Scarabs) in the annual Scholastic Play-By-Play tournament at Baldwin Wallace University on Sunday,
Jan. 4 and will travel to the storied St. Stan's Social Center on Jan. 10 for a tipoff against the talent-rich Ironmen of Central Catholic.

Some other dates to note are Jan. 24 in Sullivan Gym, which is the first game of the annual home and home series with defending Division I state champion St. Edward; the rematch with St. Edward at the Eagles Nest on Feb. 6; a date with John Adams in Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 11 at 4:15 PM; a Feb. 14 tipoff in Sullivan Gym with arguably the most talented team in Northeast Ohio, the Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings; a short trip to Cedar and Lee on Feb. 21 to face the Cleveland Heights Tigers and two intriguing home games that will wrap up the regular season, versus Bedford on Feb. 27 and versus Benedictine on Feb. 28.

*Please note that the season opener versus John Hay on Dec. 13 in Sullivan Gymnasium will include a tribute to the Wildcats’ City Championship Basketball Team of 1973-74, which featured the skills of the late Mr. Jim Skerl ’74. A “Man for Others” throughout his life, Jim was a devoted teacher and mentor for the students of Saint Ignatius for nearly four decades before a courageous battle with cancer took his life in
October.

*Also, the Saint Ignatius family is asking that students and adults take part in a donation of toys for needy children as a feature for the Dec. 18 game versus Shaw in Sullivan Gym. The donations will be a great complement to “Christmas on Campus,” which takes place on Dec. 19.     



 



 



                  



 



Senior Leadership and Promising Youth. The 2014-15 Saint Ignatius Varsity Wrestling Preview.
12/2/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2014

Saint Ignatius’ Gibbons Hall: Now in his 12th year as the Head Wrestling Coach at Saint Ignatius High School, Mark Sullivan, in a calm but definitive manner, said the new season could be a very exciting one for a team rich in promise.

"We have a lot of young wrestlers that will contribute, but we will also have four seniors in the lineup that have improved every year, and that’s just a testament to their hard work,” Coach Sullivan said. “They’ve been here (Gibbons Hall) the whole summer working out and doing the things they need to do to be leaders. I think that is why this team is doing so well right now, the senior leadership.”

The four seniors who have been showing the way are Captain Ryan Bush (132 pounds), Anthony Ferritto (138 pounds), Gavin Rivera (126 pounds, a district qualifier at 120 last season) and Joe Conway (195 pounds). The Cats received a tough blow when a fifth senior leader, Michael Penn, suffered a broken ankle in the preseason. Michael was coming off a football season that saw him garner All-District Special Mention as a nose tackle.

Another senior the coaching staff can turn to with the loss of Penn is 170-pounder Besar Vajusi. Besar brings devotion and a solid work ethic to the program, and the versatility to wrestle at 170 or 160.

"I think this is a team of improvement,” said Coach Sullivan, who guided his 2013-14 Wildcats to 14 dual meet victories, which tied the all-time Saint Ignatius single-season dual meet mark previously set by the 2002-03 team.

"They work hard and they improve,” Coach Sullivan continued in reference to his current Cats. “We have a very large freshman class and a very large sophomore class, and these young guys are learning that work ethic from the great example set by our seniors.”

What Coach Sullivan and his staff have stressed throughout the entire offseason and preseason is positioning.

"Wrestling is a sport of position, whether you’re on the offense, defense or neutral, you have to be in good position,” Coach Sullivan said. “And I think that is something we were not doing. It’s something college coaches and Olympic coaches work on daily. It has to be stressed daily.”

While his senior leadership is invaluable, Coach Sullivan is also very pleased with the enthusiasm and the talent his young wrestlers have brought into the room.

"It’s impressive,” said the man who was an outstanding nose tackle at The Ohio State University under the late and legendary Woody Hayes and doubles as a defensive line coach for another legend – Saint Ignatius Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69. “Their enthusiasm for the program is exciting.”

The excitement begins right out of the gate as Saint Ignatius’ men of the mats begin yet another demanding schedule at the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic this Friday and Saturday (see the corner’s Comet Classic info at the end of this story).

From there it is on to one of the most demanding and nationally acclaimed high school wrestling events in the nation – the Ironman at Walsh Jesuit on Dec. 12-13 – and the Christmas Break begins with the always highly anticipated dual
meet versus perennial state power St. Edward on Dec. 19 at 7:30 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium.

"We’ll know right away, we have one of the toughest schedules in the state and it’s by design,” Coach Sullivan said. “We come out very hard in the beginning with the Solon Classic, the Ironman and the Brecksville Holiday Tournament (Dec. 29-30). Toward the end of the season we taper it off a little so we’re peaking for the state tournament.

"Our program is gaining a lot of momentum,” Coach Sullivan continued. “People know we do things the right way and they want to emulate us.”

AMONG SOME OF THE OTHER NAMES TO REMEMBER IN 2014-15: Junior Kyle Vilsack (170 pounds), who as a rare sophomore captain last season placed third at the Solon Comet Classic at 152 pounds and qualified for the Mentor District, aka “The Mentor Meat Grinder,” with a second-place effort at the North Royalton Sectional; Quade Rasmussen, who as a freshman last season won a sectional championship at 106; sophomore Tristan Brady (currently a 160-pounder who placed fifth at the Solon Comet Classic last season at 145); sophomore Cal Miller (currently a 152-pounder who qualified for districts last year at 138); sophomore Kaden Russell (182 pounds); junior Hunter Toth (currently a 126-pounder who qualified for districts last year at 113); 145-pound sophomore Matt Jones and the upper weights support of juniors Nate Keirn and Tito Vazquez, sophomore Jimmy Andrews (fifth in the sectionals as a freshman) and sophomore Joe Gibbons.

FROM THE CAPTAINS’ PROSPECTIVE

Ryan Bush: “Last year, our positioning wasn’t as good as it should be. It’s was a focus throughout this summer and in the preseason (scrimmage) at Mentor we had better positioning there than we had all last season. We also worked on our conditioning a lot. We had kids not being in as good a shape as they should have been and running out of gas at the end of matches. We’ve stepped up the pace of our practices.”

Ryan emphasized that Wildcats fans should keep an eye on sophomore Matt Jones, who didn’t have the opportunity to wrestle last year because of an injury. “He’s really pushed himself and he’s going to surprise a lot of people. I think he
has a chance to make it down to states this season. He’s definitely capable of it.”

Bush said his 2013-14 season didn’t end like he would have wanted it to, when he missed qualifying for districts by just two points. “I want to get to districts and I want to go down to states this season,” he said without blinking an eye. “The
schedule we wrestle definitely prepares us for the state tournament.”

Ryan added that he has put a personal emphasis on winning the first period of his matches this winter, as last season he was wrestling back too often. He is counting on his “leg defense,” a better stance and better positioning to help
solve that problem.

"We’re going to open up a lot of eyes,” Bush said before he returned to the practice room in Gibbons Hall on Monday afternoon. “It’s going to be an exciting season for us.”

From Kyle Vilsack: “Since my freshman year, this program has evolved a lot. We’ve added a lot of young multi-sport athletes. When we’re wrestling a dual meet, we feed off each other’s energy. We’re working more on our feet and being more aggressive, but in a clean way.”

Kyle pointed out that since Ohio is known for wrestlers who are good on their feet, the Wildcats are trying to get better on top and bottom, which comes into play when you face teams from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

"We’re a  young team with a lot of potential, but there is more to come,” Kyle added. “Our hands and our stance are high priorities.”

Vilsack said his priority is improving his work on his feet. Although his jump to 170 pounds after wrestling at 152 last season has gone “pretty smoothly,” the increase in weight, he said, definitely adds a different feel to the match.

Kyle pointed to senior Joe Conway and his grit and determination in overcoming injuries and said sophomores such as Kaden Russell, Tristan Brady and Cal Miller could be strong candidates for Captain next season. Sophomore Quade Rasmussen, said Kyle, faced some tough competition last winter in route to a sectional championship.

"We should try to win the matches we’re supposed to, stick to the basics, set our goals and have the determination to get there,” Kyle said of the promise that lies ahead this winter. “Practice very hard every day and during match time, rely on our abilities and what the coaches have taught us.”

Note: Kyle Vilsack said the Wildcats will soon be naming a third Captain for this season.

A WELL BLENDED STAFF

Coach Sullivan is blessed with an excellent staff, one that he said “blends well.”

That staff consists of tireless Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Polick and Assistant Coaches David Armstrong, Dan Castillo, Nate Kmetz, Russ Tischer, Reggie Bathurst, Mike Cline and savvy veteran Art Thomas.

Coach Armstrong wrestled for the Collinwood Railroaders and furthered his wrestling career at Oklahoma and Cleveland State.

SOLON COMET CLASSIC INFORMATION

Where: Solon High School, 33600 Inwood Drive.

When: Friday’s action begins at 4:30 PM and Saturday’s schedule gets underway at 10 AM with Consolations, followed by the Semifinals at high noon and the Finals at 6:30 PM.

General Admission is $7 and $4 for Students and Senior Citizens (62 and older).

This is the 30th Solon Comet Classic. Last year, Nordonia (183.5 points) and Oregon Clay from Lucas County (181 points) finished 1-2. The Wildcats placed 12th with 90 points.      





Dre'Mont Jones garners first-team All-Ohio honors.
12/1/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

As expected, Saint Ignatius' standout senior defensive end Dre'Mont Jones was named to the first-team defense on the 2014 Associated Press Division I All-Ohio Football Team. The team was released by the AP on Monday evening.

Dre', an Ohio State verbal and a first-team All-Northeast Lakes District selection, was the only Wildcat to receive first-team or second-team honors.

Receiving All-Ohio Special Mention were wide receiver/safety Jack Cook, who put together an outstanding junior season, highly recruited junior offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg and senior punter/kicker Cory Griffith, who showed the way for the Cats' special teams. Jack, Liam and Cory joined Dre' on the All-Northeast Lakes District first team, which was released on Nov. 19.

The corner wishes to express its congratulations to all four of these outstanding young men.

*A tip of the corner's cap also goes out to Mentor's outstanding Head Football Coach Steve Trivisonno, who not only plays Saint Ignatius every season, but in 2015 has added a trip to Cincinnati St. Xavier on the Cardinals' schedule.

According to the Mentor website news tweets, the Cardinals will play Saint Ignatius at Mentor's Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium in Week 2 and travel to St. Xavier Stadium in Week 3. The Cardinals open up their 2015 season at home versus Boardman. Mentor's remaining seven regular season games in '15 will come from the newly formed Greater Cleveland Conference. Of course us old geezers remember those days of the previous GCC fondly - a heck of a conference in football, basketball and baseball.

      

Coach Pat O'Rourke's final wrap up of the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament. The Ice Cats stand 2-1-1 heading into Friday's GLHL matchup with the Green Wave from Holy Name.
11/30/2014

ON THE ICE AT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "We tied Toledo St. John's Jesuit Saturday night, 5-5.  Good game, back and forth.  We outshot them 43-20. Dylan McKeon had 15 saves in the pipes. Goals were scored by Zack Kisel, Peter Hyland, Aidan Spellacy and Kevin Yarcusko (2).
 
Today (Sunday) we beat Walsh Jesuit, 3-0. Shots were 43-11 in our favor.  Wes Deacon had 11 saves in the shutout. Goals were scored by Matty Geither (2) and Aidan Spellacy."
 
Note: For the recaps on the Ice Cats' tournament games versus Bethel Park (Pa.) and Padua, see the corner's posts from Friday and Saturday.
 
For a look at what is coming up on the corner this week, see the post below. 
 
Coming this week on the corner
11/30/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

We will preview Coach Mark Sullivan's Varsity Wrestling Wildcats as they prepare to open their season this coming weekend at the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic and we will also be previewing Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats, who tip off their 2014-15 season on Dec. 13 versus John Hay in Sullivan Gymnasium.

On Friday evening, the corner will find a corner in Quicken Loans Arena to report on Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Hockey Team, as the 2-1-1 Ice Cats open their Great Lakes Hockey League schedule with a matchup against the Green Wave of Holy Name. The puck will drop at 4:30 PM.

Saint Ignatius, en route to the 2013-14 OHSAA Division I State Co-Championship, defeated Holy Name, 4-2, in the Brooklyn District Championship Game.  

Have a great and safe week.   

Wildcats versus St. Edward in Varsity Bowling is postponed, but the Alley Cats and the Eagles meet in a Junior Varsity match. It's the first "Kastanis Report" of the season.
11/30/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS.

FROM COACH KASTANIS: We were schedule to bowl St. Edward, but  we had granted them a makeup due to their football game last evening. The makeup will be in two weeks on Saturday, 12/13, at Buckeye Lanes.

However, we did bowl St Edward's Junior Varsity and here are the results for that match.   

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.

1) Scratch =  Wildcats JV Win, 7- 0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2366 (774; 782; 810) versus St. Edward High School JV = 1759 (597; 584; 578).

2) Handicap = Wildcats JV lost this category, 0 - 7 (7 point total). Wildcats total Handicap pin fall = 2890 (980; 987; 923) vs.St. Edward JV = 3019 (1017; 1004; 998). We had given them over 200 pins/game. Very difficult to makeup.

3) OHSAA = Wildcats JV Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games. Wildcats JV Total Pin fall= 2678, St. Edward's JV Total Pin fall = 1986.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats JV) = 187; 125 = Series total 312 vs. (St. Edward JV) = 117; 110 = 227. 

Our star bowlers for the JV:                                            

                      Senior Josh Jarosz = 171 = 493 Series (Awesome)
                      Freshman Anthony Doran = 233; 181 = 570 Series (Awesome)
                      Sophomore Nick Frank = 193 = 498 Series (Awesome).




Saint Ignatius hockey bounces back and defeats the Padua Bruins, 8-1, in Saturday morning's second round of the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament on the ice at Kent State University.
11/29/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "Wes Deacon had 10 saves in the win.  Shots were 44-11 in our favor.

Goals were scored by Peter Hyland (2), Kevin Yarcusko, Zack Kisel, Cam Gerard, Jack Wiegandt, Matty Geither and Ethan Whitney.

We play Toledo St. John's Jesuit tonight at 7:15."

From the corner: The Ice Cats bounced back from Friday afternoon's 1-0, opening-round loss to defending USA Hockey National Champion Bethel Park (Pa.) and now stand 1-1 on the young season heading into tonight's faceoff with the always tough Titans from St. John's Jesuit.

For a look at the Bethel Park game, see the corner's post from Friday.  

Wildcats hockey loses a tough 1-0 opener to Pennsylvania power Bethel Park in Friday's annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament on the ice at Kent State University.
11/28/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "We lost 1-0 to Bethel Park, PA. They are the defending national champs and have been playing games for a month already. We outshot them, 36-20, but they scored a power play goal in the first period that bounced off a couple of people and we could not get the equalizer."

The Ice Cats (0-1) will face what Coach O'Rourke described as a much-improved Padua team during Saturday's second round. The puck will drop at 10 AM on the ice at Kent State University.

FROM THE CORNER: In defeating Providence Catholic (Illinois), 2-1, at last season's USA Hockey national high school championship in Omaha, Nebraska, Bethel Park was able to shake off the loss it suffered to Peters Township (Pa.) in the Penguins Cup (state championship) final. 

The Bethel Park Black Hawks are the first team from Pennsylvania to win the USA Hockey tournament.




 

Saint Ignatius honors its state champion soccer team and its highly successful golf and cross country programs.
11/24/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2014

FAIRVIEW PARK, OHIO – With Thanksgiving just three days away, the Saint Ignatius family said “Thank You” to a true thrill-some threesome during Monday night's annual Fall Sports Awards Banquet in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.

The Wildcats’ varsity soccer, golf and cross country teams were recognized for providing many week day and weekend chapters in what is the storied and rich history of Saint Ignatius Athletics.

And no chapter was more moving and more memorable than the one written by Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 and his 2014 Division I state soccer champions.

"This was a dream season," said Coach McLaughlin, just minutes after he completed his 20th fall as his alma mater's head soccer coach by guiding his Wildcats to a 2-1 victory over a gutsy Olentangy Liberty team in the Nov. 8 OHSAA State Soccer Championship match in Columbus’ Crew Stadium.

Saint Ignatius (20-2-1) not only brought home another gold trophy, but an Ohio High School Athletic Association state record sixth boys Division I soccer championship. Number five also came against the Patriots of Olentangy Liberty, 4-2, in 2011.

"It was an amazing group of young men and a great group of coaches to be with every day," said Coach McLaughlin, who closed out season 20 with his record sixth state title, 331st career victory and his 87th triumph in 101 OHSAA postseason matches. "We spent a lot of time talking about Xs and Os this season, but we spent even more time talking about fighting, working hard and becoming brothers on the field and how that's what you're going to remember more than anything. A lot of people can play soccer, but what these boys developed throughout the season was a bond and a brotherhood that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

"I think when the game is on the line, those intangibles really take over, the love that they have for each other and how hard they work for each other," Coach McLaughlin continued. "When you get a spirit like that, then you have the opportunity to do special things."

The Wildcats, who ran off 13 consecutive victories in securing title six, did plenty of special things in the first 40 minutes of the state championship match, including two goals by junior midfielder John Duldner and a staunch defensive effort that staked the Cats to a 2-0 lead by halftime. Duldner, who did not score a goal on the varsity level during the regular season, finished with four key goals during the postseason run.

Defense was Saint Ignatius’ calling card all season and it came to the fore again under the blue-gray sky that hovered over Crew Stadium that brisk, but comfortable Saturday afternoon.

It was senior All-American and All-Ohio goalkeeper Mikal Outcalt flying around the box and using all of his 6-foot-4 frame en route to big-time saves, and the Cats' outstanding back line raising its level of play time after time.

Olentangy Liberty (19-2-2), which also lost a regular season match up with Saint Ignatius on the Patriots' pitch, did come out with more aggression in the second half and closed to 2-1 with less than eight minutes gone in the final 40 minutes.

With both teams in an attack mode and both goalies continuing to rise to the occasion, the final 30 minutes were physical to say the least.

As the Wildcats and the Patriots fought for their right to the 50-50 balls,the championship match came to an end with Saint Ignatius turning away a flurry of shot attempts as the seconds ticked down.

"We just kept going at it and going at it," said Wildcats senior captain David Sisson, who was an integral part of the back line. "Every shot (down the stretch), they had four or five guys running at the ball trying to throw something in front of it." David also pointed out that the Cats had to deal with the Patriots' use of space in a counter attack. The space friendly professional pitch in Crew Stadium was a factor for both teams.

"Me and Jack Wiegandt are very strong players and we just get up and get down the field, Hunter Gordon takes care of business on the wings, and he hits people when he needs to and stays back when he needs to, and Dean Miller does what needs to be done," Sisson said while describing the now legendary back
line of 2014. "We hit hard when we need to and we're smart when we need to be.

"I've been dreaming about this since I was freshman, Sisson continued.  "Me and (senior captain) Bobby Barsic walked out of here after the 2011 state championship game and said we're going to win this when we're seniors. And we did!"

And Saint Ignatius' passionate Student Body didn't walk out of Crew Stadium on the afternoon of Nov. 8 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 late last month.

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 crate 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 was turned away, Jim was once again standing tall in their hearts and minds.

VARSITY GOLF

Coach Brian Becker’s 2014 men of the links ran off five consecutive tournament championships, brought home sectional and district titles and finished 4th overall at the state tournament in Columbus.

The Wildcats’ two-day total of 647 put them just 11 strokes behind first place Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and only two strokes out of runner-up Columbus St. Charles.

Showing the way was junior Harrision Vonderau, who had a terrific state tournament by garnishing an overall second place individual finish. Harrision shot a two-day total of 153, firing rounds of 76 and 77 on the windy Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University.

Senior Kevin Duncan, who completed an outstanding All-Ohio career at Saint Ignatius, also finished in the top ten
with two solid rounds of 80. Coach Becker returns 11 of the 12 varsity members off of this year’s team and hopes for even better results next year.

CROSS COUNTRY

Behind their marvelous junior Luke Wagner, the harriers of Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher ’71 placed sixth at the annual state race on the National Trail Raceway course in Hebron, Ohio.

Saint Ignatius’ sixth-place effort was a one spot improvement over their 2013 state race.

One of the premier runners in Ohio, Cool Hand Luke ran a solid 15:44 in finishing fifth in the big school race.

Luke, who captured numerous first places during the course of the season, teamed with fellow “Cat Pack” members Jim Rogers and Tom Sullivan in finishing 1-2-3 at the Medina District. In helping bring home the regional championship at Tiffin, Luke turned in a first-place effort of 15:47.

Wagner will be back at it in the spring as he looks to make a third consecutive appearance at the annual state track and field meet in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. Luke qualified in the 1600 meter run as both a freshman and a sophomore.

You will see Luke and his sister, Maggie, a mainstay in cross country and track at St. Joseph Academy, making that Madison Avenue/Bunts Road turn at the annual Lakewood District Meet.

HERE ARE THE TOP FALL AWARDS IN SOCCER, GOLF AND CROSS COUNTRY.

SOCCER

MVP: Jack Wiegandt, who is also a mainstay and captain for Coach Pat O'Rourke's defending state champion Varsity Ice Hockey Team.

OFFENSIVE MVP: Sophomore scoring machine Stephen Milhoan.

MVP MIDFIELDERS: Matt Nigro and Bobby Barsic.

MVP DEFENDERS: David Sisson and Hunter Gordon.

COACHES CUP: Mikal Outcalt and Lawrence Karpeh.

MAGIS AWARD: Dean Miller.

GOLF

Coaches Cup: Owen Miklos

MVPs: Kevin Duncan and Harrison Vonderau.

Captain Award: Kevin Duncan.

Rookie of the Year: Geoff Allman.

State Qualifying Team: Kevin Duncan, Harrison Vonderau, Kyle McCafferty, Zach Morris, Geoff Allman and Owen Miklos.

CROSS COUNTRY

Team MVP: Luke Wagner.

Senior MVP: Sean Sovacool.

Junior MVP: Tom Sullivan.

Sophomore MVP: CJ Ambrosio.

Freshman MVP: Liam McGuire.

Most Improved Senior: Nick Daly.

Most Improved Junior: Conor Reilly.

Most Improved Sophomore: Pat Nolan.

Most Improved Freshman: Brett Saunders.

Coaches Award: Brennan Leitch.

Spirit Award: Andrew Ohliger.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Congrats to the Browns and former Wildcats mainstay Brian Hoyer '04 for rallying past the Falcons, 26-24, on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
11/23/2014
Coach John Kastanis' Wildcats are set to open a new season. An outlook on a very determined Saint Ignatius Bowling Team. The "Alley Cats" are ready to prowl the lanes.
11/21/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS.

Here is the list of our returning bowlers:

Senior = Garret Forst
Senior = Antonio DiFranco
Senior = Josh Jarosz
Junior = Gianni Schaeffer (Captain)
Junior Cedric Crawford
Junior = Austin Venczel
Junior = Ralph Deadwyler
Sophomore = Nick Frank
Sophomore = Devin Venczel

New Bowlers:

Sophomore = Nizar Derghan
Freshman = Anthony Doran

AS COACH KASTANIS SEES THE NEW SEASON: "I have a great outlook this year. Speaking with the team, I see and feel their determination and eagerness to go to states after the disappointing season of last year that saw them missing states by only 20 pins.

"They know what happened last year and they are set in their thoughts and talents to succeed to go to states this season," Coach Kastanis continued.

"We did get two new bowlers, Anthony Doran, a freshman coming in with a 195 average, and sophomore Nizar Derghan, coming in as a first time bowler, is very excited in learning," said Coach Kastanis. 

"We will keep the corner and its readers posted as the season begins this Saturday at Cloverleaf Lanes."

Thank you, Coach John Kastanis and Coach Jim Viets.

NOTE: Here are a couple of the major highlights from last season. 

GCIBL Conference Tournament Champions and OHSAA Sectional Champions.

The Alley Cats finished eighth at the OHSAA District Tournament on the AMF Riviera Lanes, with the top six teams advancing to the OHSAA State Tournament.   

"Unfinished Business." The Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey Preseason Outlook.
11/21/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, November 2014

FROM THE JOHN M. COYNE RECREATION CENTER IN BROOKLYN, OHIO – In previewing Saint Ignatius’ upcoming 2014-15 varsity hockey season, a winter covered with promise, it is only fitting to look back one more time at how the Ice Cats’ 2013-14 season came to an end on the evening of Saturday, March 8, 2014.

In what is now one of the most dramatic and test-of-time discussed Championship Games, not only in the history of Ohio High School Ice Hockey, but the history of high school sports throughout the nation, Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview battled for three periods and seven overtimes before Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Dr. Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., announced to the crowd in Columbus’ Nationwide Arena that the game would end in the 1-1 tie and both schools would be designated as OHSAA State Champions for the 2013-2014 season.

"After the seventh overtime, the head coaches, school athletic administrators and OHSAA administrators had a lengthy
discussion,” said Dr. Ross in his official news release following the decision to have co
-state champions. “Many
players on both teams were
seriously fatigued and neither coach or school administrator objected to ending the game
before the eighth overtime began.

"By national rule, there is no shootout procedure in high school hockey,” Dr. Ross continued in his release.
While the decision is being questioned by fans, the OHSAA commends the coaches and school athletic administrators in reaching this decision together without conflict. This is an opportunity to show that wins and losses, even in a state championship game, are not more important than player safety. Had a player been seriously injured in the eighth overtime due to fatigue, the decision to allow the game to continue would have been seriously questioned more than the decision to end it."

Saint Ignatius closed its season with a record of 30-4-6. Northview left Nationwide Arena with a record of 17-13-2. The teams had already set the state mark for the longest Championship Game before the game was called. They were
about to tie Ohio's all-time record, regular season or postseason, of eight overtimes (2007, Solon versus Aurora).

The Ice Cats came out of their locker room and onto the ice for what they thought would be an eighth overtime.
Northview did not come out of its locker room.

Northview, which was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 4-1, in the 2010 State Championship Game and lost two and
tied one in three meetings with the Ice Cats during the regular season of 2013-14, got an amazing State Championship Game record of 77 saves from its big-hearted and gifted senior goalie David Marsh. Marsh totaled 41 saves in the seven overtimes.

Saint Ignatius, which spent most of the seven overtime periods at Northview's end of the ice, only to be turned away by Marsh, tied the score 7 minutes and 15 seconds into the third period on a goal by senior forward Danny Brogan off an assist from senior forward and captain Beck Schultz. Northview took a 1-0 lead 6 minutes and 42 seconds into the first period on a lamp lighter by senior wing Jacob Koback off helpers from senior wing Cody Estrel and junior center Josh Koback.

Saint Ignatius Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90, who was treated to 31 saves from his then sophomore goalie Dylan
McKeon, earned his second state title as the leader of his alma mater’s ice hockey program. A Scott Pick-coached Saint Ignatius team also brought home a state crown in 2000. The weekend of March 8, 2014 marked the Ice Cats’ sixth state final-four appearance. Saint Ignatius advanced to the now storied title game by defeating Lake Catholic, 7-0, in the state semifinals.

Northview won the state championship in 2012 and was a state runner-up in 2013, 2010, 2006, 1990 and
1982.

"We were involved in a six-overtime game a couple of years ago against St. Eds," said Coach O'Rourke during the postgame interview with the media. "It was a District Final and we lost that one. So I kind of knew some things about lack of gas and stuff I wish I didn't.

"Both teams played great," Coach O'Rourke continued. "I think we had the better play a little bit. We outshot them, 78-32. But their goaltender (David Marsh) was outstanding. We probably wouldn't be sitting here as co-champions if we
had a better shooting percentage today. It's something we'll never forget and kind of a weird ending, but I understand the rationale (in ending the game) totally and trust Dr. Ross completely that it was a basic issue of player safety at some point."

Coach O'Rourke added that he was told the 101 minutes (three 15-minute periods and seven 8-minute overtimes)
that Saint Ignatius and Northview went at it were just four minutes off the national mark of 105. The game started at 2 PM and ended at 6:40 PM.

So there you have it, a somewhat necessarily detailed but brief recap of what is now “The Game” in the 37-year history of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Ice Hockey Tournament. It was a game that drew media attention throughout the nation and parts of the world, and became a highlighted news report on almost every form of creditable reporting by national cable and radio outlets, social media, television and newspapers. From The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com to the New York Times and from ESPN to CBS Evening News, its outcome scanned the globe, if you will.

AND WHAT HAS THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FEDERATION AND THE OHSAA DONE TO PREVENT ANOTHER CASE OF DUAL CHAMPIONS ON THE ICE?

In case you missed it, here is the answer.

"If a contest is tied after regulation play, the following shall apply: There shall be a maximum of five 8-minute overtimes, with any goal resulting in sudden victory for the team that scores. The first overtime shall consist of all five skaters per team, while overtimes two through five shall consist of four skaters per team. Should the contest remain tied after the fifth overtime, a shootout will take place to determine a winning team.”

Procedures approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors on June 5th 2014 to be used starting with the 2015 Ice Hockey District and State Finals Tournament.

NEARLY NINE MONTHS AFTER ITS HARD TO SWALLOW CO-CHAMPIONSHIP, A GIFTED AND DEEP SAINT IGNATIUS ICE HOCKEY TEAM IS WRAPPING UP A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE AND PHYSICALLY
DEMADNING PRESEASON IN PREPARATION FOR WHAT COACH O’ROURKE AND HIS BIG-GAME
TESTED PLAYERS ARE DESCRIBING AS “UNFINISHED BUSINESS.”

The corner sat down with Coach O’Rourke and his five outstanding captains – Ethan Whitney, Matty Geither, Jack Wiegandt, Jack Mazanec and Aidan Spellacy – after Thursday's practice in the Brooklyn Ice Arena and discussed a winter that brings with it "a bit of a chip on our shoulders.”

From Aidan Spellacy: “It was kind of bittersweet,” said the multi-skilled and hard-nosed junior forward. “With a state championship, you picture throwing your gloves up in the air and celebrating with your teammates. It (the ending) was kind of shocking, but then we got on the bus together and saw that we were on ESPN and that kind of helped balance it out a little.

"As for this year, it is going to be challenging filling in for all of the outstanding senior forwards we had last year,” continued the young man who is carrying on a strong hockey lineage at Saint Ignatius. “But we have a lot of young guys who are stepping up. We are looking really good back in the defensive end and
hopefully that will carry on this year and get us back down to Columbus, where we can win it all. We also have a lot of offensive depth returning.”

A good portion of those young guys stepping up that Spellacy referred to are the result of Coach Drew Vilinsky’s rock solid Junior Varsity program. Last winter, Coach Vilinsky ’97 guided his Wildcats to a thrilling shootout victory over St. Edward in the JV State Championship Game at Winterhurst’s Serpentini Arena.

From Ethan Whitney: “It definitely left a sour taste in our mouths,” said the ever-present, tough-minded, hockey savvy and gifted senior forward in reference to March 8, 2014. “Hopefully it will serve as motivation this year. But it’s a new season. Like Aidan said, we didn’t lose a lot of offensive depth. We did lose some solid defenders, but I’m very confident in the defenders we have coming up.

"I’m sure that is what a lot of the critics will say about our team this year. That we lost a lot on defense,” Ethan continued. “It’s a new year, but kids are still going to talk about the championship from last year. It’s hard to forget, but something we want to forget and just focus on this year. Like I said, we have to use it as motivation. We know we’re going to get a lot of stuff from kids (opposing players) on the ice, like ‘Yeah, you guys have half of a state championship.’ We’re expecting that.”

Whitney said the Cats have been working on a new floor check (and we’ll leave it at that) and that they “are evolving from last year.” Ethan added that the offensive firepower and veteran goaltending (Dylan McKeon and Wes Deacon) the Cats possess are exciting, but that they can’t get overconfident.

"Confidence is good, but arrogance is not good,” said the young man whose leadership qualities appear to be as strong as the exceptional play he brings to the ice.

From Matty Geither: Ethan Whitney also pointed out that Saint Ignatius’ young defenders have to “find their roots.” Well, when it comes to following and growing from your roots, Geither, like Spellacy, has done just fine, thank you.

The brother of one of the most prolific players in Wildcats ice hockey history, Liam Geither ‘12, Matty has established his own identity on the ice while still appreciating what he learned from Liam. A player who has that same nose for the puck and the back of the net that Liam Geither carried through three exceptional varsity seasons, Matty Geither said he saw the inner fire in the Cats right from the start of this summer’s preseason workouts.

"You could tell we were ready to play,” Matty, now a senior forward, said of the physical preseason conditioning that included beach runs in the summer and more intensity in the weight room. “We are doing it with a purpose,” he said.

"We’re a very young team this year, a lot of sophomores,” Matty continued. “It’s kind of nice to have that balance with the seniors. We know what to do, and we’re helping them (the younger players) out. I think I can speak for all of the captains and all of the seniors in that we’re all very confident in what we have –
our goaltending and the rookies that are coming up. In practice, we’re telling them what to do and they’re getting it. That’s a good start.”

Matty also added that those preseason workouts will play a major role in one of the Cats’ main objectives this year – becoming more physical in their attack.

From Jack Wiegandt: Like Geither, Wiegandt said he can see that the Wildcats have even more energy this season. And when you talk about energy and determination, there probably isn’t a better example of that at Cleveland’s Jesuit Preparatory School than Jack Wiegandt.

Just two weeks (Nov. 8) from helping Coach Mike McLaughlin’s Varsity Soccer Team to a record sixth boys state championship with his outstanding play in defensive back line, Jack, the ultimate team player, is ready to do whatever is asked of him.

"We have a lot of guys back from a team that went all the way last season, so we know what it takes to win,” said Jack, who joined Ethan Whitney and Beck Schultz ’14 as a trio that each produced two goals in the dominant state semifinal victory over Lake Catholic last season. “We have to keep up the hitting and not give the puck away. We’re strong on top, where our three offensive lines appear to be solid.”

And like his fellow captains, Wiegandt, a winner no matter what arena he enters or field he steps on, has all of the confidence in the world in the sophomore class.

From Jack Mazanec: “Coming out of that game, there was definitely a lack of closure,” Mazanec said of the epic state championship battle with Northview. “Coming out of the locker room for what we thought was going to be another round (of overtime) and then going back in after they called it, you’re kind of shocked.”

Jack pointed out how difficult it is to win back to back state championships because players can come complacent. He emphasized, however, that won’t be the case with Saint Ignatius, which “has something to prove moving forward.”

A forward last season, Jack, a senior, said he will probably be playing more in the center this season. “So I am going to have to work more on defense and defensive zone, and get used to that, face offs and defensive positioning as well,” he said. “I think it will be fun.

"There are a lot of new line combinations on the team, so it’s kind of like just getting that chemistry together and playing like a team, figuring each other out,” Jack continued.

A soft spoken, but astute observer of the game, Jack is convinced that the new guys coming up won’t be content just being on the team, that they are ready to compete and contribute to the depth on the varsity level.

From Coach O’Rourke: “We can play really fast,” said the man who will be entering his 11th season as the
Wildcats’ head coach with two hundred and sixty victories. “It will be interesting to see if anybody else in the state can keep up with us.”

Coach O’Rourke praised his five captains and pointed how unique it is to have an entire team of really nice kids, who are able to become physical and rough and tumble hockey players once they hit the ice.

"These guys (the five captains) are like assistant coaches, I run things by them all the time,” said Coach O’Rourke, who pointed out that it’s like “nervous energy” right now and that he feels his Ice Cats are ready to explode.

After two final scrimmages this weekend versus Dublin Jerome and Dublin Coffman, the Cats can explode for real over Thanksgiving Day Weekend when they open their new season by competing in the annual Walsh Jesuit Tournament at Kent State University. Saint Ignatius’ opening game in the tournament takes place on Nov. 28 versus Bethel Park (Pa.) at 3 PM.

Winners of the inaugural Cleveland Cup by capturing the first Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason
Championship Tournament on Feb. 9 of last season in OBM Arena at IceLand USA, the Ice Cats open their GLHL schedule by facing Holy Name on December Fifth in Quicken Loans Arena. The puck will drop at 4:30 PM.

Leading the way to last season's GLHL Cleveland Cup was Matty Geither, who scored two goals over the
final 10 minutes and 30 seconds to key a 4
-2 victory over University School in the championship game.

Another highlight of the Cats’ new season will be an outdoor game versus Toledo St. John’s Jesuit on New Year’s Day. The game will take place on Fifth Third Field, the home of the AAA Toledo Mud Hens, with the puck to be dropped around six thirty PM.

The event is being sponsored by the Toledo Walleye, an ECHL (minor league) team that is affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings.

For a complete look at the Ice Cats’ schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on hockey.

"I don’t know if we have a lot of yellers, but we have a lot of lead by example guys,” Coach O’Rourke said of this season’s take charge guys. “Like a lot of years, I’m hoping for a nice year for the seniors. These guys deserve the world, so I’m hoping we can deliver it, at least in a hockey sense.

"But now we have to go out there and prove it,” Coach O’Rourke continued. “We can’t go out there and say we’re Saint Ignatius and just throw our gloves on the ice. In fact, they’ll probably be treating us as state champions and giving us their best shot. We know that every team we play, no matter what their record, if they beat us that makes their season. But these guys, I know, don’t take any game for granted. I’m not worried about overconfidence and I’m certainly not worried about arrogance, because we just got our butts kicked in Detroit (a scrimmage versus Detroit Jesuit).

"We’ll definitely play four lines, but right now we feel the first three are pretty solid,” added Coach O’Rourke. “We have
great depth and we have to use it with sense. Nobody’s giving us a free pass to Columbus, so we have to learn how to do it all over again. It’s like a journey together. We’ll be together the next five months and that’s why we call it a brotherhood or a family, at least for this period of their lives. They’re a fun group to be around and they keep us young, us old geezers.”