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The corner salutes Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats on another impressive performance, this time a 3-0 triumph over the host Battling Bees from Medina on Thursday night
5/6/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Volleyball Cats now stand an impressive 18-4 with the end of the regular season rapidly approaching.

Next up for Coach Casey Marcelo's gifted team are a May 10th match at Archbishop Hoban and the May 12th home match in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium versus the Massillon Jackson Polar Bears.

The Cats are ranked 5th in The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll. They are the No. 1-ranked Division I team in the North Region.

Here are some stats from last night's triumph at Medina, courtesy of Coach Marcelo.

G1     Us 25 - 8 Opp.
G2     Us 25 - 19 Opp.
G3     Us 23 - 11 Opp.
G4     Us - - - Opp.
G5     Us - - - Opp.
Final  Us 3 - 0 Opp.

Games Played: 3

Serve
Attempts: 68  Aces: 24  Errors: 11
Aces/Game: 8.0  Ace%: 35.29  Serve%: 83.82

Serve Receive
Receptions: 31  Errors: 6  Avg: 2.16

Setting
Total Sets: 54  Assists: 25  Errors: 1
Assists/Game: 8.3

Attack
Attempts: 55  Kills: 28  Errors: 11  KE: .309
Kills/Game: 9.3

Defense / Custom
Digs: 24  Blk S: 8  Blk A: 9  Blk E: 8  BHE: 0
Digs/Game: 8.0  Blocks/Game: 4.2
Blk Attem: 0  Custom 2: 0
Custom 3: 0  Custom 4: 0

Kevin Mingus drives home the game-winning run with a two-out line drive to the gap in left-center field in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Baseball Cats celebrate their fifth consecutive victory, 3-2 over a very capable Eastlake North team
5/5/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

FROM CLASSIC PARK, THE HOME OF THE LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS AND, ALONG WITH BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY'S FISHER FIELD, ONE OF SAINT IGNATIUS' TWO HOMES.

In what was a highly competitive and well-played high school baseball game, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats rode Kevin Mingus' game-winner in the bottom of the 10th to their 13th victory in the past 15 games. High School games are seven innings.

Thursday evening's matchup with the Eastlake North Rangers under the clouds and blue sky at atmosphere-rich Classic Park was played in two hours and 27 minutes. No one in attendance was complaining , however, after Saint Ignatius and North left it all on the majestic Classic Park diamond.

Simply put, my friends, North is a stronger team than its nine victories would indicate.

The Cats, who now stand 14-8, will ride a five-game winning streak into Friday's 6:30 PM matchup with Avon at The Pipe Yard Classic in Lorain County. Avon is the top seed for the Lorain County Division I District.

Coach Ganor will send his ace, junior southpaw and Louisville recruit Connor Adams, to the mound on Friday evening in The Pipe Yard.

Yes, you can say Thursday night's heart-pounder at Classic Park was "just a regular season game." But then that's the beauty of high school athletics, where pride, respect and a desire to succeed for your school take precedence.

Saint Ignatius, a Division I State Semifinalist last season, grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Senior right-hander Nick Freund, Thursday's starter for Saint Ignatius, led off the bottom of the first by drawing a walk. Nick then stole second base.

With one out, Nick advanced to third on a pitch in the dirt and, after senior third baseman Dennis Grosel was hit by a pitch, Nick scored the game's first run when the Rangers were unable to complete what would have been an inning-ending double play.

North, who despite its under .500 record is still considered a "team to watch" by The News Herald's outstanding high school staff, moved to a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning.

The key swings for the Rangers were provided by right fielder Steven Davies, third baseman/pitcher David Kalinowski, second baseman Danny Ward, left fielder Kenny Uzarevic and shortstop Jacob Arrison. Ward tied the game on a one-out single, Uzairavec came up with a clutch two-out single, and Arrison followed with the base hit that put his team ahead, 2-1.

What might have gone unnoticed to the novice fan were the exceptional relay throws from the outfield by Cats gifted junior right fielder/left fielder Ryan Jacobs and rock-steady senior center fielder Mike Rogers, efforts that possibly prevented two more runs for North in the top of the second. 

Jacobs and senior left fielder Dan Volpe also made key running catches in the top of the fourth inning that kept it a 2-1 game. Dan was coming off a performance at Valley Forge on Wednesday that saw him belt two home runs and deliver five RBI.

Saint Ignatius, which is seeded an underrated third for the Strongsville Division I District, knotted the score at 2 in the bottom of the fifth.

Senior John Robinson, who also delivered a "touch 'em all time" blast at Valley Forge, led off the bottom of the fifth as a pinch hitter and took one for the team. Baseball savvy junior infielder Joe Gutbrod, running for Robinson, promptly stole second base and Volpe laid down a bunt that he beat out for a hit, putting runners on first and third with no outs.

After a 1-3 putout by the Rangers, senior second baseman Joe Evans stepped to the plate and executed a suicide -squeeze bunt that tied the score. Joe continues to have a solid, solid season.

North got out of the fifth without any further damage and both teams had the pitching and defensive answers through the next 4 1/2 scoreless innings.

After the 1-2-3 top of the 10th inning, which was highlighted by running catches from Jacobs and Rogers, the stage was set for the humble, but oh so talented Mingus.

Mingus greeted left-center field with an authoritative two-out shot that scored Evans with the winning run. Evans led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk, beat out a run-down throw to second base and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Dennis Grosel.

Dennis Grosel also turned in a web gem for Coach Ganor in the top of the eighth by making a diving catch off  an attempted sacrifice bunt, getting up and flipping the ball to his brother Tommy to complete a double play. Tommy Grosel is a sophomore first baseman/left-handed pitcher.

Not only did the Cats play another errorless game, but they benefitted from gritty efforts on the mound by Freund and junior right-handed reliever/starter Griffin Hunt.

Freund, who earned Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Week honor for his no-hitter versus Archbishop Hoban last week, worked five complete innings before moving to right field. Nick yielded 2 runs on 7 hits, struck out 2 and walked 3. He threw 79 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

Hunt, who picked up the victory with five shutout innings, yielded just 1 hit, struck out 3 and walked 2. Griffin threw 62 pitches, 36 of which were strikes.

Griffin also made history on Thursday evening by throwing a 1-2-3 top of the ninth that required JUST 3 PITCHES.

It was the first 3-pitch inning in Coach Ganor's 18 years as a coach at Saint Ignatius, including his 12 years as Saint Ignatius' Head Coach. Hunt was greeted by an excited Coach Ganor and the rest of the Cats as he was making his way to the home dugout in Classic Park following the top of the ninth.

FROM COACH GANOR: "They're better than whatever their record said," said Coach Ganor of the North Rangers. "A walk-off win, what's better than that?

"We almost had one last week in Nick's no-hitter, he had four pitches in an inning I think," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Hunt's three-pitch effort. "Griffin did a great job and Nick did a great job battling and holding it down. We needed him to go deep in the game because of the number of games this week (six in six days).

"And Kevin Mingus hitting the ball like a senior," Coach Ganor said. "Two seniors, Joe Evans and Kevin Mingus, coming up with the big plays."

The official line scores on the game were 2 runs, 8 hits and 2 errors for North, and 3 runs, 8 hits and 0 errors for Saint Ignatius.

NOTE: Here is a corner's view of the Avon Eagles, Saint Ignatius' opponent in Friday evening's Pipe Yard Classic in Lorain County.

As we mentioned in the early paragraphs of tonight's Eastlake North game story, Avon is the top seed for the Lorain Division I District Tournament.

Under Head Coach Frank DeSmit, the Eagles have reached the District finals four times. However, none of those four District-final appearances produced a trip to the Regional semifinals.

Avon is ranked fifth in The Morning Journal's weekly Top of the Crop. The Morning Journal's top four teams are Vermilion, Elyria Catholic, Midview and Westlake.

Among the Eagles to keep an eye on are Ethan St. Clair, Logan Doenges, Shane Docherty and Jeff Laraway.

Doenges entered this week with 43 strikeouts on the mound and is also a capable hitter. Docherty has contributed as both a starting pitcher and a strong arm out of the bullpen, Laraway is a heady athlete and the versatile St. Clair took a .542 batting average into this week with 32 hits, 12 stolen bases and 21 runs scored.

 

 

  

       

       

             

 

    

 

 

   

Saint Ignatius Rugby remains seventh in the nation in the weekly Goff Rugby Report rankings
5/5/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Dan Arbeznik's two-time defending state champions will take an 8-4 record into this weekend's (May 7-8) prestigious Midwest Championship Tournament at the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Indiana.

As expected this week, the Goff Report moved St. Edward from fifth to the No. 1 spot in the nation. That was based on the Eagles' 17-12 victory over previous No. 1 Gonzaga College High School (Washington DC) last weekend at Notre Dame College. Gonzaga is now No. 2 in the nation.  

Saint Ignatius, which remained seventh in the nation, is gearing up for this weekend at the Midwest, which is a great preparation for the upcoming state tournament.    

Wildcats Volleyball defeats St. Edward, 3-0, at the Eagles Nest on Wednesday night and sweeps the regular-season series versus its West Side rival
5/4/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Casey Marcelo's Wildcats, who rose to the occasion in a heart-pounding second set on Coach Jim Connors Court Wednesday night, won by scores of 25-21, 30-28 and 25-21.

Saint Ignatius trailed, 7-4, in the first set before getting into a rhythm and unleashing its court savvy and athleticism.

The 30-28 score of the second set tells you just about everything you need to know when it comes to the Cats' resiliency.

As for the decisive third set, Saint Ignatius took an 11-10 lead and never looked back.

Coach Marcelo's Cats, who have played a who's who in Ohio schedule, now stand 17-4 and are expected to earn the No. 1 seed for the North Region in the annual Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association State Tournament, which begins the Week of May 16th. The tournament draw is Monday.

 
 
 
 
 
Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball bangs out 18 hits, including two home runs by senior outfielder Dan Volpe and a round-tripper by senior catcher John Robinson, in Wednesday evening's 16-5 victory over Valley Forge on the Patriots' home field
5/4/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Parma Heights, Ohio - After finding out this afternoon that Wednesday's game was moved from Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West to Valley Forge High School, the Baseball Cats were more than happy to take their act across the street from Tri-C to the home field of the Patriots.

While the baseball facility that sits behind Valley Forge High School isn't quite as nice as Ron Mottl Field, it has a tradition that has seen it host some of the finest high school baseball teams and players ever to lace up a pair of spikes in Greater Cleveland.

Coach Brad Ganor's 2016 Wildcats brought back some memories of those teams late Wednesday afternoon and early evening, as they rode a potent offense to a 16-5 victory over the Patriots.

Saint  Ignatius, behind an 18-hit attack, improved to 13-8, stretched its winning streak to four and has now won 12 of its last 14 games.

With Coach Ganor utilizing a lineup that featured several non-starters, Saint Ignatius struck with four runs in the top of the first inning and added three more tallies in the top of the second in route to an early 7-0 lead.

The big blows in the first inning were run-scoring singles by senior catcher John Robinson, senior center fielder Mike Rogers, junior first baseman Christion Ramos and senior left fielder Dan Volpe.

Junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs got things started in the top of the second inning with his hot bat, as Ryan belted a ground-rule double that bounced over the fence in left field. It was Jacobs' fourth double in three days.

After a walk to senior designated hitter Dennis Grosel, Jacobs scored off an errant pick-off attempt at second base and Robinson followed with a two-run blast over the fence in left-center field that made it a 7-0 game.

Valley Forge, under the direction of former St. Peter Chanel All-Ohio baseball and basketball standout Izzy Santiago, got back in the game by scoring three times in the bottom of the third inning after there were two outs and the bases empty.

Sophomore shortstop Brendan Santiago, Izzy's son, got the Patriots' offense started with a base hit to right field. Junior center fielder Taylor Pupkiewicz then singled through the left side and a walk to freshman first baseman Drew Birch loaded the bases.

Valley Forge followed with a run-scoring single through the left side by freshman second baseman Dylan Magda, a bases-loaded walk to junior designated hitter Shane Sullivan and cut the deficit to 7-3 on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

Coach Santiago, who is also one of the top basketball officials in Northeast Ohio, watched his Patriots make it a 7-4 game in the bottom of the fourth behind a lead-off walk by senior catcher Jeremy Kubes, a stolen base by Kubes and a two-out RBI single by Brendan Santiago.

Just when the Valley Forge faithful were back in the game, it was Katy Bar the Door.

Coach Ganor's Wildcats would score nine runs over the next three innings in taking total command, including four runs in the top of the fifth.

First it was Volpe with the first of his two home runs on the evening, a solo shot over the center field fence, and after gritty junior infielder Joe Gutbrod drew a walk and stole second base, junior pitcher/outfielder Danny Adler laced a run-scoring double to the gap in left-center field.

The other key hits in the top of the fifth were an RBI single by standout senior infielder/designated hitter George Asadorian and a single by the Cats' junior left-handed pitching ace Connor Adams, a Louisville recruit. Connor saw some time in left field on Wednesday.

Saint Ignatius' two-run sixth was highlighted by a single from Volpe that came with two outs and the bases empty, another excellent at-bat by Gutbrod that resulted in a walk, a wild pitch, a slow chopper to the left side off the bat of Adler that scored the Cats' 12th run, and a run-scoring single by George Asadorian.

Coach Ganor and his staff watched their team close out an 18-hit evening with a three-run top of the seventh that included an infield single by Adams, a sharp single up the middle from junior infielder/outfielder Alec Guy, a walk to promising junior infielder/pitcher Erik Demchuk and the seal on Volpe's five-RBI night, a three-run home run by Dan that accounted for runs 14, 15 and 16.

Valley Forge scored its fifth and final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh off base hits from Pupkiewicz and Birch, a walk and a fielder's choice. The Patriots, who could meet the Wildcats again in a May 12th OHSAA Division I Sectional Final, are now 4-17.

The line scores on the game were 16 runs, 18 hits and 1 error for Saint Ignatius, and 5 runs, 7 hits and 3 errors for Valley Forge.

FROM WILDCATS VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH MARK TERLEP

"Yes, a great offensive day and the nice thing is that it was from other guys who haven't seen a lot of opportunities," said Mark. "They got some at-bats and took advantage of it.

"A guy like Danny Volpe, I couldn't be happier for a guy like that," Mark continued. "And Alec Guy comes off the bench, sees one pitch and drives it up the middle.

"Get an opportunity and take advantage of it. It's like I said, Danny Volpe is getting a headline today."

UP NEXT: The Cats will continue their six games in six days week on Thursday with a 5 PM first pitch versus the Rangers from Eastlake North at Classic Park.

The Rangers were 9-11 through their first 20 games. One of their big stories is the return to the mound of Eric Scavnicky, who had Tommy John surgery in July of 2014. His return this season featured a complete-game, one-hit shutout over Berkshire.

An all-around player, Scavnicky entered this past weekend as one of the top two leaders in runs scored in the News-Herald's coverage area with 22. He was also carrying a .420-plus batting average.

Among the other names to remember on the Eastlake North roster are Kenny Uzarevic, a young man who was hitting over .360 and had 14 stolen bases and 19 runs scored entering last weekend, Chuck Finucan and his 17 stolen bases, Chase Axelrod with 20 runs scored and Jake Arrison, who had five victories on the mound entering last weekend and 10 stolen bases.

 

 

      

 

    

 

           

 

   

 

       

 

  

          

Here is an update from Coach Casey Marcelo on the upcoming Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association postseason tournament
5/4/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Marcelo passes along that the seeding for the annual state tournament will take place this coming Monday and, as Coach Marcelo emphasized, since the Cats are ranked as the No. 1 Team in the North Region they are expected to receive the No. 1 seed.

Coach Marcelo said if things go as expected at the seed meeting, Saint Ignatius' first postseason matchup would take place on Wednesday, May 18th, at Massillon Jackson High School versus an opponent to be determined at Monday's seeding.   

Congrats to Wildcats Baseball standout Nick Freund for earning Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Week honor and to the 4x800 Relay Team of Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan, who garnered a Special Mention as the Athletes of the Week
5/4/2016
By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Congratulations to Senior Nick Freund on being selected as Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Week

Nick threw the Varsity Baseball Program's 17th no-hitter last week, as the Cats defeated Archbishop Hoban, 2-0.
 
Along with his no-hitter, Nick had 4 hits, 3RBI and a stolen base during the week.
 
Nick was a two-sport athlete, competing in Varsity Football as a wide receiver in the fall. When Nick isn't throwing no-hitters, he roams right field and hits in Coach Brad Ganor's lead-off spot. Nick currently has the Wildcats' third-best, on-base percentage.
 
Athlete of the Week Special Mention - This week we also need to recognize the special accomplishment by the members of the outstanding 4 x 800 relay team, the first Saint Ignatius track team to run in the prestigious Penn Relays.
 
The fabulous foursome of Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan finished in 7th place overall and 4th among teams from the United States that were competing in the Boys' 4x800 Championship of America race this past Saturday at Philadelphia's historic Franklin Field.
 
Congratulations again from this corner to Nick Freund, Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan.

 
A congratulations to Riley Houde and a corner's pocket of Spring Sports items
5/4/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

This old-timer would like to express my congratulations to Riley Houde of Coach Mike McLaughlin's defending State and National Champion Soccer Team, who has committed to further his education and soccer career at the University of Dayton.

The Flyers are not only getting a special player, but an outstanding young man as well.

CASEY AND HIS MEN OF THE NETS

All of the best to Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats, who after defeating Brecksville-Broadview Heights at home on Tuesday night, will take a 16-4 record into tonight's rematch with St. Edward at the Eagles Nest.

Saint Ignatius defeated the Eagles in a five-set thriller, 3-2, at Sullivan Gymnasium on April 8th. The Junior Varsity action at St. Edward will begin at 6 bells, followed by the Varsity encounter at 7 PM.

In the latest state rankings by the coaches association, Coach Marcelo's Cats are fifth and St. Edward is ninth. The top three programs in Ohio this week are Archbishop Moeller, Hilliard Darby and Elder.

WINDOW DRESSING?:  The Lax Cats are flattered to be recently recognized as one of the top teams in the Midwest, a well-deserved honor, but again, as Saint Ignatius Lacrosse standouts Crew Cintron and Cam Gerard said after last week's dramatic victory over Hudson, we'll find out who the best team in the state is at the end of the season.

The Lax Cats are currently third in the LaxPower state computer ratings and remain No. 1 in the area's coaches poll.

TENNIS UPDATE: Weather permitting, the Cats will look to bounce back in today's 4 PM match at Avon Lake after being defeated by Solon on both the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels. The scores versus the Comets were 4-1 in both matches.

We'll keep you posted if Mother Nature throws a curve at today's scheduled Varsity Baseball game versus Valley Forge at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West. Valley Forge has the first pitch listed as 4:30 PM and sophomore southpaw Tommy Grosel is expected to take the mound for the Cats.

Braydon Nelson pitches another gem, the Cats are solid defensively and put together some timely hits in defeating one of Ohio's best, the Canton Central Catholic Crusaders, 5-0, at Classic Park on Tuesday evening
5/3/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Lake County - You can now make it three consecutive impressive performances for Saint Ignatius' gifted 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior right-hander Braydon Nelson.

Nelson, riding what he described as a live fastball, controlled Ohio's defending Division III state baseball champion Canton Central Catholic on a three-hit shutout, 5-0, Tuesday evening under a blue sky and a majestic setting sun in Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains.

Classic Park is also one of the Wildcats' two home fields, along with Fisher Field on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.

Nelson, who is as soft spoken and humble as he is talented, made himself at home Tuesday on the same mound where he picked up his first Varsity career victory with five strong innings against the Mentor Cardinals on April 20th.

In throwing his second consecutive shutout and improving to 3-0 on the year, the big righty went the distance with just 67 pitches in seven innings, 42 of which were strikes. Nelson had two strikeouts and one base on balls, as he consistently had the Crusaders beating the ball into the ground.

Saint Ignatius' defense was superb for the second evening in a row. The Cats' infield of senior third baseman/Captain Dennis Grosel, senior shortstop Kevin Mingus, senior second baseman Joe Evans and sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, Dennis' brother, made play after play behind Nelson.

Dennis and Tommy Grosel combined on three highlight-reel 5-3 plays in the top of the second, fifth and seventh innings, efforts that helped the Wildcats hand Canton Central Catholic just its third loss in 20 games this spring.

Coach Brad Ganor's Cats, winners of three straight and 11 of their past 13 games, now stand 12-8 heading into Wednesday's game versus the Valley Forge Patriots at Ron Mottl Field on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College-West. Tommy Grosel, who doubles as a smooth first baseman/left-handed pitcher, will take the mound at Tri-C for the 4:30 PM first pitch. Note that the starting time is what Valley Forge, the home team, has posted. Better early than late.

As for Saint Ignatius' offense, which totaled nine hits in route to its five runs, the Cats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after there were two outs and the bases empty.

Junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs, who continues to swing an authoritative bat, drove a 3-2 pitch into deep left field for a double to start the offense in the second inning. Ryan had two doubles in Monday evening's 2-0 victory over Brunswick at Baldwin Wallace University.

Senior center fielder/Captain Mike Rogers followed Jacobs' blast by drawing a walk and Tommy Grosel delivered an RBI single to center field.

Saint Ignatius gave Nelson a nice cushion to work with by scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The left-handed hitting Dennis Grosel, a first-team Division I All-Ohio quarterback this past fall, went the opposite way for a base hit in leading off the bottom of the fourth.

Senior designated hitter John Robinson then drew a walk and senior shortstop Kevin Mingus ripped a single through the left side for an RBI and a 2-0 lead. Kevin's key hit scored senior outfielder Dan Volpe, who was a courtesy runner for Dennis Grosel.

The Cats' runners moved up to second and third when the throw home off Mingus' single bounced away from the catcher.

The versatile Jacobs then stepped to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt that scored junior infielder Joe Gutbrod from third base. Joe was the courtesy runner for John Robinson. An errant pick-off attempt followed and Saint Ignatius led, 4-0, entering the top of the fifth.

Preventing the Cats from doing even further damage in the bottom of the fourth was an outstanding running catch in right-center field by Crusaders senior center fielder JC Colangelo to end the inning.

Coach Ganor's club closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth on a lead-off triple by Rogers that flirted with The News-Herald sign in deep right field and a one-out RBI single by promising sophomore catcher Drew Asadorian.

After yielding a two-out, bases-empty single in the top of the seventh to Central Catholic junior second baseman Cameron Ruffin, Nelson ended the game with a strikeout. Ruffin broke up Nelson's no-hit bid with a two-out, bases-empty single in the top of the fifth. The Crusaders' other hit on the evening came off a one-out single by junior pitcher Quinton Heck in the top of the sixth.

"I guess after Nick's (senior right-hander/right fielder Nick Freund) no-hitter last week (versus Archbishop Hoban) I was feeling that Braydon was on his way today, but the baseball gods didn't allow it," said Coach Ganor. "All in all, a great all-around game. Timely hitting and great defense, with all four (of the infielders) making great plays. Picking each other up on a bad throw and making good throws. But the day goes to Braydon Nelson. Sixty seven pitches in seven innings, that's pretty good."

Coach Ganor was also quick to point out the outstanding job Drew Asadorian did behind the plate in calling the entire game for Nelson. "He called every single pitch, beginning to end," Coach Ganor said. "I like that from a sophomore. We have confidence in Drew to do that and Braydon believes in the sequence he was calling. That's great stuff."

Coach Ganor also praised Canton Central Catholic's legendary Head Coach Doug Miller, saying that Coach Miller represents all that is good about baseball.

"He is a man I have looked up to for a long time," Coach Ganor emphasized. "I mean that guy is a special, special person. I know his players will rally for him in the tournament. It's no wonder that he has 700 wins and has spent 37 years (teaching and coaching) at one school. I can only dream that I would have a fraction of that type of career at Saint Ignatius. He's definitely a role model for young coaches and will certainly be missed."

Coach Miller, who this corner emphasized in my preview look at the Canton Central Catholic-Saint Ignatius matchup, is a great coach and even a greater person. He is expected to retire at the end of this school year. Along with the amazing 700 victories, Coach Miller has guided his Crusaders to three state championships, two state runner-up finishes, six regional tiles and 12 district championships.

Unless Mother Nature throws us a curve, we'll see you at one of my old homes away from home on Wednesday, Ron Mottl Field. The Patriots of Valley Forge entered this week with a record of 4-15.

If Wednesday's game is played, it could be the first of two meetings between the Cats and the Pats in nine days.

Saint Ignatius is scheduled to face the winner of the Division I OHSAA Sectional Semifinal Game between Garfield Heights and Valley Forge on May 12 in a Sectional Final.  

         

   

        

 

  

   

 

 

         

         

    

Saint Ignatius, behind the right arm of Murphy O'Brien and a two-run fourth inning that was fueled by Kevin Mingus, Ryan Jacobs, Tommy Grosel and Drew Asadorian, defeated the visiting Brunswick Blue Devils, 2-0, on Monday evening
5/2/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Berea, Ohio - "Efficient" was the word Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor used in describing the effort Wildcats gifted senior right-hander Murphy O'Brien put forth on Monday evening at baseball-rich Fisher Field on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.

O'Brien, a St. Bonaventure University recruit, was both productive and tough-minded when he needed to be in pitching the Cats past a Brunswick team that now stands a deceiving 6-12 on the season The Blue Devils have some young faces this year, but faces with promising talent written all over them.

In helping his team improve to 11-8 and presenting Coach Ganor with his 260th career victory, O'Brien evened his record at 2-2 by throwing six complete shutout innings in Saint Ignatius' 2-0 victory. "Murph" fired 90 pitches to the plate, 51 of which were strikes, yielded three hits, struck out five and walked two.

The Wildcats, who supported O'Brien with an errorless performance in the field, scored all of the runs they needed in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Senior shortstop Kevin Mingus started the bottom of the fourth by ripping a single to left field. Endless-potential junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs then laced a double past the third-base bag and down the line, and Saint Ignatius was in business with runners on second and third and no outs. It was the first of two doubles on the evening by Jacobs.

After senior center fielder/relief ace Mike Rogers drew a walk that loaded the bases, sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel drove the ball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly and the first of the game's two runs.

Remember the name Tommy Grosel, my friends. Tommy, who handles first base in a near flawless fashion and doubles as a left-handed pitcher, plays the game with a maturity beyond his years.

After Jacobs tagged up and went to third on Tommy Grosel's sacrifice fly, catcher Drew Asadorian, another sophomore who brings savvy, skill and leadership behind the plate, laid down a perfectly executed bunt to the right side that made it a 2-0 game.

Rogers came on in the top of the seventh inning and closed it out for his fourth save on the season. Mike threw a 1-2-3 seventh of two ground outs and a strikeout. He fired 10 pitches, seven of which were strikes.

Along with Jacobs' two doubles, the Cats got a pair of singles from both Mingus and senior third baseman Dennis Grosel, Tommy's brother, and a sharp single up the middle from senior designated hitter/catcher John Robinson in leading off the bottom of the second inning.

The line scores on the game were 2 runs, 7 hits and 0 errors for Saint Ignatius, and 0 runs, 3 hits and 2 errors for Brunswick.

As for the Cats' errorless day, the leather was flashed early when senior second baseman Joe Evans, who is having a solid spring, dove to his left off a hard liner that had base hit written all over it, came up with the ball on the edge of the right field grass and fired to first base to end the top of the first inning.  

FROM COACH GANOR ON MONDAY EVENING'S VICTORY OVER BRUNSWICK

"I thought Murphy did a real nice job today, real efficient," said Coach Ganor of his senior right-hander, who became a starter this season after saving a school-record 10 games out of the bullpen on last year's Division I state final four team. "We talked after his last start about getting through the fifth inning. He had been getting to the fifth inning and we really challenged him in his work leading up to today to work on getting himself in position to get through the fifth inning.

"I thought today he looked as strong in the fifth inning as he did in the second inning," Coach Ganor said. "That's a great sign moving forward because we want to throw him through five innings.

"The defense played very solid today," continued Coach Ganor. "If that ball gets through, who knows? It could be a different ball game (Joe Evans' defensive tone-setter in the top of the first inning). Drew (Asadorian) did a real nice job behind the plate working with 'Murph.' (O'Brien) and he executed the safety squeeze. Tommy (Grosel) came up with a real nice RBI by not trying to do too much. Just hit a fly ball and score a run. That's high school baseball."

UP NEXT: The storied Crusaders from Canton Central Catholic on Tuesday at 5 PM in Classic Park. Junior right-hander Braydon Nelson (2-0) will take the mound for Coach Ganor.

The Crusaders from Canton Central Catholic are under the direction of 34-year Head Coach and Hall of Famer Doug Miller. Coach Miller is not only one of the finest coaches in the history of Ohio High School Baseball, but a man who epitomizes class.

Last week, Coach Miller's Crusaders presented him with his 700th career victory. Canton Central Catholic is the defending Division III State Champion. Along with three state titles, Coach Miller has guided the Crusaders to two state runner-up finishes, six Regional titles and 12 District Championships.

The Crusaders entered this week with a record of 17-2 and are ranked fifth in the latest Division III state poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association. Saint Ignatius is in a three-way tie for 16th with Solon and Lebanon in the OHSBCA Division I state rankings. Those Division I rankings don't even have the Cats' record listed, so take it for what it's worth.

Canton Central Catholic, which finished 26-7-1 in its championship season of 2015 (the Crusaders play a schedule laden with Division I and II teams), are coming off a 3-0 loss to Massillon Jackson on Saturday at Doug Miller Field. The Jackson Polar Bears are currently 17-0 and ranked No. 1 in the OHSBCA Division I rankings. Jackson brought home the Division I State Baseball Championship in 2014.  

Saint Ignatius traveled to Jackson's outstanding baseball facility on a cold, snow flurries Friday evening on April 8th and, in a game that had the atmosphere and intensity of a State Final Four matchup, was turned away by the Polar Bears, 3-2.

Canton Central Catholic is led by its 1-2 pitching punch of Clay Davies and Jake Vance. Vance is an Ohio State recruit. Davies, a senior right-hander, pitched seven strong innings in the loss to Jackson and experienced his first setback in six decisions this season.

Note: The outstanding high school sports staff at the Canton Repository has reported that this season will be Coach Miller's last at Canton Central Catholic. Coach Miller also serves as the Crusaders' Athletic Director.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Rafi Asadorian, who in 1986 pitched one of the 17 no-hitters in Cats Baseball history, is a cousin of current Saint Ignatius mainstays George and Drew Asadorian. George is a standout senior hitter/infielder and you can read about Drew's skills in the game story above.

Rafi, said George and Drew, is a CFO who is currently living in California.

A FAMILIAR NAME: On the Brunswick Coaching Staff is former Berea High School (now Berea-Midpark) Baseball mainstay Paul Moviel. Paul not only excelled on the mound for the then Berea Braves, he could also swing the bat with the best of them.

Paul is the older brother of former area pitching standouts Greg (Saint Ignatius) and Scott Moviel (St. Edward). The big lefty Greg Moviel, in this seasoned reporter's humble opinion, is not only the greatest pitcher in Saint Ignatius' baseball history, but the best big-game pitcher this corner ever had the privilege to cover and report on. Greg's 36-1 career record at Saint Ignatius will support that. Oh no, Mike Buddie will never speak to me again.

You can find out everything you want to know about Scott Moviel from Saint Ignatius' current Assistant Coach John Whelan, who was Scott's Head Coach at St. Edward.                        

 

     

    

 

   

 

 

  

       

May He Rest In Peace
5/2/2016

FROM SAINT IGNATIUS ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH JIM CAHILL '89 ON THE PASSING OF WILDCATS DEDICATED FOOTBALL STATISTICIAN AND LOYAL SUPPORTER OF SAINT IGNATIUS ATHLETICS, MR. DAVE POPLAR '87.

COACH CAHILL: Dave Poplar (Class of 1987) died in a car accident early Saturday morning just north of Columbus.

Dave was a constant over the years at Saint Ignatius football and basketball games. Because he was always at football games, I asked him to be part of the stat crew I put together two years ago. Dave became the leader of the crew. He would be up until the wee hours of the morning after a game just to make sure the stats were correct.  He had an eye for detail and brought organization to the stat crew.

Dave even traveled to Paramus, NJ as well as to Philadelphia during the past two seasons to support the Wildcats as a fan and as a one man stat crew. He was truly dedicated to the job.

Dave was one of the people behind the scenes who went the "extra mile" for the football program, and for Saint gnatius in general. Dave was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge with regards to Saint Ignatius football.

Dave was truly "A Man for Others" and will be missed.
 
 
Gonzaga College High School gets stronger as the matchup moves on and defeats the Rugby Cats, 21-6, on Sunday afternoon
5/1/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Leading, 7-6, at the half, Gonzaga went on to display some of its national credentials in route to handing the Wildcats their fourth setback in 12 matchups this spring.

Gonzaga and Saint Ignatius entered the weekend as the No. 1 and No. 7  teams, respectively, in the Goff National Rankings. Sunday's match was played in Obetz, Ohio, a Village in Franklin County.

With the victory, Gonzaga went home with a split in its trip to Ohio. St. Edward, the nation's fifth-ranked team, defeated the perennial powerhouse from Washington (DC), 17-12, on Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame College.

Up next for Coach Dan Arbeznik's Cats are the Midwest Championships on May 7-8 at the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Indiana.

FROM COACH ARBEZNIK ON THE GONZAGA MATCHUP: "We took a 6 to 0 lead into the 32nd minute of the match, but they scored right before halftime to make it 7 to 6. Andrew Baldado had 2 penalty kicks for us.

"In the second half they scored 2x and kept us away from their own line," Coach Arbeznik continued. "Our kids played hard and showed a lot of courage out there. Gonzaga was bigger and more athletic than our guys. In the end their size just wore us down as we were starved for the ball and consistently penalized for our mistakes. Our kids never backed down and fought the good fight." 

Saint Ignatius Baseball is seeded third for the Strongsville Division I Sectional/District
5/1/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2016

Sunday's voting order for the seeding at Strongsville went 1. St. Edward, 2. Strongsville, 3. Saint Ignatius, 4. Lakewood.

The Wildcats (10-8) will open their OHSAA Division I tournament play with a 4:30 PM Sectional Final matchup on May 12th versus the winner of the Sectional Semifinal game between Valley Forge and Garfield Heights. That Sectional Final will be played at one of the Baseball Cats' home sites - either Classic Park or Baldwin Wallace University.

If successful on May 12th, the Cats will advance to the 2 PM May 18th District Semifinal at Strongsville High School, where they are expected to face the Strongsville Mustangs.

The Strongsville District Championship Game is slated for May 19th at 4:30 PM.

Saint Ignatius is the defending Strongsville District Champion after defeating Berea-Midpark, 3-0, in last year's District Final that saw current Wildcats standout junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams throw a no-hitter at the Titans.          

The Lax Cats turn back Carmel (IN) High School, 12-11, on Sunday afternoon in the Hoosier State
5/1/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

After taking an 8-5 lead into the halftime break, the Lax Cats withstood Carmel's second-half play and improved to 10-2 with Sunday's victory at the Greyhounds' Murray Stadium.

Up next for Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted team is next weekend's annual MSLCA Tournament, which will be held at Western Reserve Academy. The Cats' Lacrosse web page shows the dates as May 6-7.

Saint Ignatius' triumph over Carmel was quite impressive when you consider that the Greyhounds have won four Indiana High School Lacrosse Association State Championships (2011, '12, '14 and '15), have been a state runner-up five times and have made 15 state final-four appearances.

The Lax Cats entered the game as the top-ranked team in Northeast Ohio by the area's coaches and the fourth-ranked program in the LaxPower State Computer Ratings.

NOTE: With Sunday's triumph, the Lax Cats are now third in the LaxPower computer ratings behind No. 1 Upper Arlington and No. 2 St. Xavier. Carmel (11-4) is currently second in the LaxPower ratings for Indiana.       

Saint Ignatius Lacrosse update: The Lax Cats lead Carmel (IN) High School, 8-5, at the half
5/1/2016
Just a note of interest for our rugby fans on Sunday's high noon matchup between Gonzaga College High School and Saint Ignatius
4/30/2016

Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), the top-ranked team in the nation by the highly respected Goff Report, was defeated by St. Edward, the nation's fifth-ranked team, 17-12, at Notre Dame College on Saturday afternoon.

The Rugby Cats, ranked seventh in the nation, are scheduled to face Gonzaga tomorrow (Sunday) at noon in Obetz, Ohio, a Village in Franklin County.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer   

Coach Casey Marcelo reports that his Volleyball Cats finished fourth during Saturday's highly competitive Elite Eight Tournament at Centerville High School. The Cats defeated St. Xavier, 3-2, but lost in straight sets to both Hilliard Darby and Elder.
4/30/2016
Wildcats Lacrosse is defeated by Culver Military Academy Prep, 10-5, on the Eagles' Oliver Field Saturday afternoon
4/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Lax Cats, the top-ranked team in Northeast Ohio and currently the fourth-ranked program state-wise by the LaxPower computer ratings, experienced what teams in Indiana have been talking about for years - the excellent defense the Culver Military Academy Prep Eagles bring to the field.

That was on display during a rainy Saturday in the Hoosier State, as Culver was able, for the most part, to keep the Lax Cats' potent offense in check.

With the 10-5 victory, Culver improved to 13-3 and showed why it is ranked among the nation's best.

The Lax Cats, who close out their trip to Indiana on Sunday with an 11 AM face-off at Carmel High School, now stand 9-2.   

Congratulations to the Wildcats' outstanding senior foursome of Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan, who finished seventh in Saturday's High School Boys' 4x800 Championship of America at the prestigious Penn Relays
4/30/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

This corner expresses its thanks to Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin for an outstanding representation of Saint Ignatius High School and Ohio Track and Field.

Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin combined for a 7:48.09 seventh-place effort on Saturday, bettering their sixth-place qualifying time of 7:49.03 from Friday. Friday's qualifying time ranked as the 10th fastest time in the nation, so you can see how special Saturday's performance was.

Here are the individual times Coach Chuck Kyle's fab four put together in Philadelphia's Historic Franklin Field, while competing with the premier 4x800 high school teams in the nation and some from around the world.

Luke Wagner (1:58.01), Tom Sullivan (1:58.27), Mike Huber (1:56.85) and Colin Kruchan (1:54.96).

The first and second place times on Saturday were 7:33.71 and 7:35.20, with both coming from schools in Jamaica, St. Jago (first place) and St. Elizabeth Tech.

The oldest and longest running men's and women's track and field competition in the United States, the Penn Relays were held for the first time in 1895. They are presented by the University of Pennsylvania.

Wagner, Sullivan, Huber and Kruchan finished second in a time of 7:47.32 during last year's 4x800 competition at the 108th annual OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.  

Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin are excited about what awaits them in OHSAA District, Regional and State competition this spring. As we reported on the corner a few weeks ago, both the District and Regional meets for the Cats this spring will be held at Amherst Steele High School.

                

Wildcats Varsity and Junior Varsity Baseball comes home with a sweep over the Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep Ramblers at Erie's historic Ainsworth Field on Saturday
4/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - The corner is battling the flu and couldn't make the trip to the Keystone State today with the Baseball Cats, but after some treatment and a tune-up in the doctor's office this morning, will be back in the dugout on Tuesday for what should be a great matchup between the Wildcats and the Canton Central Catholic Crusaders at Classic Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM. This old-timer will give you a look at what is yet another solid Canton Central Catholic team on Monday.

After turning away the Ramblers from Erie Cathedral Prep and their potent offense, 9-6, on Saturday, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Wildcats now stand at 10-8.

Here is a look at the Cats' Varsity triumph over Cathedral Prep, with comments from Head Coach Brad Ganor and highlights from Saint Ignatius' outstanding Team Manager George Martin '16.

FROM COACH GANOR: "We came out with very good energy, especially on the heels of playing at Progressive Field," said Coach Ganor. "We were aggressive on the bases and swung the bat well. Cathedral Prep was a very good hitting team. One of the better contact teams we have played this year.

"Connor (Wildcats junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams) battled, got out of some jams and was solid as is to be expected," Coach Ganor continued. "We have a big week coming up with a lot of games and our guys need to get some rest and be ready."

FROM GEORGE MARTIN: "The bats came out hot today in Erie as the Wildcats took a W against the Ramblers of Cathedral Prep. The Cats had a total of 10 hits with 9 singles and a double. Sophomore Tommy Grosel and junior Ryan Jacobs each had 2 singles on the day. Senior Dennis Grosel had the team's only double with a bomb to the gap in left field.

"Nick Freund and Dennis Grosel each had a pair of RBIs," George continued. "The Cats saw pitches well as the starting pitcher for the Ramblers only threw 3.2 innings. With 9 runs in total, Connor Adams had plenty of comfort at the mound. Connor allowed 5 hits, only 1 earned run and had 3 Ks as well. He left 7 men on base and proved once again he's cool under pressure with men on the base paths.

"The highlight on the defensive end came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Tommy Grosel snagged a line drive and stepped on first to turn a double play. Griffin Hunt came in to close the game and shut Cathedral Prep down with 1 hit and 1 K."

A tip of the corner's cap also goes out to the Junior Varsity Wldcats, who shutdown Cathedral Prep's Jayvees, 6-0. The JV game in Erie preceded the Varsity matchup.      

Wildcats Track and Field captures first place in the Varsity portion of the Berea Kiwanis Berea-Midpark Titan Relays at Baldwin Wallace University on Friday evening
4/30/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Inspired by the performance of Saint Ignatius' outstanding 4x800 Relay Team at the prestigious Penn Relays on Friday morning (see the corner's posts from Friday), Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats went on to capture the 14-event Varsity competition at the Titan Relays with 86 points. Medina was second with 82 points and Berea-Midpark was third with 80 points.

Among the Wildcats' highlights were a first-place by the 4x100 team of Phil Zuccaro, Anthony Pelligrino, Quinn Lawless and James Norris in 42.78; a first place by the Distance Medley Team of Tim Trentel, Pat McGuire, Pat Nolan and C.J. Ambrosio in 10:44.17, edging out Boardman, which ran a 10:44.18; a second place by the 800 sprint medley team of James Norris, Anthony Pelligrino, Phil Zuccaro and Kyle Hall in 1:35.12, as Berea-Midpark took first place in 1:34.14; a first place in the 4x200 by the team of Anthony Pelligrino, Phil Zuccaro, James Norris and Quinn Lawless in 1:28.88; a first-place in the long jump relay by Mike Lehto, an effort of 21-06.50; a third place by James Rogers in the 3200 meter run at 9:31.36, and a second place by the 4x1600 team of Andrew Szendrey, Liam McGuire, C.J. Ambrosio and Connor Reilly in 8:26.80.

Now the Track Cats will turn their attention to the Penn Relays and today's (Saturday) 4x800 Championship of America, and root on their talented and tough-minded senior teammates Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan, who have developed into one of the nation's finest relay teams under Coach Kyle and his outstanding staff. The Championship of America 4x800 race is scheduled for 4 PM from historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

           

Wildcats Varsity Baseball is defeated by Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 5-4, on a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning at Progressive Field on Friday evening
4/29/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April/May 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Yes, it was a loss that now has Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats standing 9-8 heading into Saturday's 1:30 PM first pitch versus the Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep Ramblers at Erie's storied Ainsworth Field.

That said, Friday evening's 5-4 setback to the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees, which was the result of a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning, was as much about the opportunity and experience of playing at the home of the Indians as it was the game.

Saint Ignatius and Brecksville-Broadview Heights, two clubs that have been at or just over the .500 mark for the past few weeks, played a spirited game that was part of the Cleveland Indians Charities annual High School Hardball Classic.

Coach Ganor, who like the Bees' coaching staff, utilized a different pitcher every inning and made sure that every healthy player saw the field, emphasized to his Wildcats just before they departed Progressive Field to always remember and cherish the experience of playing in a Major League Baseball Park.

Friday night was, as Coach Ganor said, about sharing that experience with their teammates, friends and families, whether the outcome was a win, a loss or a tie.

Yes, Friday night's game could have ended in tie, as just before the start of the seventh inning the umpires informed both teams that the seventh inning was going to be the final one even though the game was tied at that point. High School games are seven innings, but of course extra innings come into play just like college level and the Minor and Major Leagues.

Not Friday, however.  

There was a two-hour time limit placed on the games at the annual Hardball Classic and the Bees and the Cats were just minutes from approaching that limit. St. Edward and Olmsted Falls were waiting patiently in the concourse, as the Eagles and the Bulldogs were scheduled to play the final game of the Hardball Classic.

After Saint Ignatius was retired in order in the top of the seventh, Brecksville-Broadview Heights loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on an error, a one-out hit batsman and a two-out intentional walk to the Bees' more than capable hitter Dan Harwood.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights' Jesse Chodkiewicz then stepped to the plate and brought home the winning run by drawing another base on balls, and the Bees and their faithful added an extra memory to their experience at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

The early innings provided plenty of action that saw Brecksville-Broadview Heights take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The big blows were an RBI single by Harwood and a bases-loaded, two-run single by Joe Raffin.

Saint Ignatius responded  with two runs in the top of the second inning and took a 4-3 lead with two more tallies in the top of the third.

Cats senior catcher Jon Robinson ignited the two-run second inning with a sharp single through the right side, senior shortstop Kevin Mingus followed with an infield hit and senior captain/center fielder/relief ace Mike Rogers loaded the bases with a sharp single the opposite way to left field. Senior outfielder Dan Volpe was then hit by a pitch, making it a 3-1 game, and a ground out to the right side off the bat of senior outfielder/pitcher Nick Freund brought home Saint Ignatius' second run. Nick was coming off a marvelous no-hitter that he threw at the Archbishop Hoban Knights on Wednesday evening at Baldwin Wallace University.

Coach Ganor's Cats moved to a 4-3 lead in the top of the third courtesy of the first of two authoritative base hits off the bat of junior infielder Joe Gutbrod, a single to right field by senior third baseman/captain Dennis Grosel and one-out, run-scoring hits off the bats of Mingus and Rogers.

With two outs and the bases empty in bottom of the fifth, Brecksville-Broadview Heights would go on to tie the score at 4-4 behind a run-scoring triple to right-center field off the bat of Griffin Stevens.

The final line scores on the game from the scorer at Progressive Field were 5 runs, 5 hits, 1 error and eight runners stranded for the Bees, and 4 runs, 9 hits, 2 errors and 9 left on base by the Cats.

Not only did Coach Ganor use a pitcher per inning, one of those pitchers actually worked two innings, but from different sides of the mound. Rogers, who is a southpaw, pitched right-handed in the fifth inning and went back to his left arm in the bottom of the seventh. Mike previously went right-left in a single game while playing for his summer team.

This corner was impressed with the 1-2-3 inning gifted junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs threw in the bottom of the third. Heat City, my friends. I think Coach Ganor, who doubles as the Pitching Coach, was also impressed.

It was great to see injured players Jeff Chonko and Jack Seifert have the opportunity to coach third and first base, respectively, and help get the offense flowing. Among those Coach Ganor also allowed to coach the bases were standout senior infielder/designated hitter George Asadorian, gifted Team Manager George Martin, Team Chaplin Drew Vilinsky, better known as one of the premier Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Coaches in the state, and the Wildcats' super stats man, Joe Ertle.

The Varsity Baseball Cats will board the bus at 8 AM on Saturday so they can support the Junior Varsity Cats in their 11 AM game versus Erie Cathedral Prep's Jayvees.

As for the Varsity Ramblers, who take on the Cats at 1:30 PM in Ainsworth Field, they stood 9-2 this week. It is a program that has produced 17 District 10 titles, including the last two, 14 Metro Championships and five Regional crowns, three of which have come over the past three seasons.         

  

  

        

                

Here is just a little sidebar on how physical Friday's 4x800 qualfying race at the Penn Relays was
4/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Wildcats' outstanding Assistant Coach Alex Voigt, who is in Philadelphia with the Cats' fantastic foursome.

From Coach Voigt: "They actually re-started the race because it was so hectic and one guy went down 10 meters in!

"The guys (Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan) handled themselves very well in their preparation and during the race itself," Coach Voigt continued. "The pack was quick to thin out by the end of the first lap, but the guys stuck with the top group and remained there for the race."

Here are the official times for Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan as they advanced to Saturday's 4 PM 4x800 "Championship of America" at the Penn Relays
4/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Luke (1:57.61), Tom (1:58.49), Mike (1:57.95) and Colin (1:54.98).

For a story on the tremendous accomplishment by Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin, see the corner's post from earlier this morning.

BEHIND A GREAT LEG OF 1:54.98 BY COLIN KRUCHAN, SAINT IGNATIUS' GIFTED 4X800 RELAY TEAM RUNS A 7:49.03 THIS MORNING AND QUALIFYS FOR SATURDAY'S 4 PM 4X800 CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT THE PRESTIGIOUS PENN RELAYS!
4/29/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April/May 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted 4x800 relay team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan did Saint Ignatius and Ohio track and field proud on Friday morning, as they advanced to Saturday's 4x800 Championships at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia's historic Franklin Field by running a 7:49.03 during Friday's Big-School qualifying race.

The oldest and longest running men's and women's track and field competition in the United States, the Penn Relays were held for the first time in 1895. They are presented by the University of Pennsylvania.

Wagner, Sullivan, Huber and Kruchan finished second in a time of 7:47.32 during last year's 4x800 competition at the 108th annual OHSAA State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University. Their mark of 7:49.03 on Friday morning is currently the 10th fastest time in the nation.

Saint Ignatius, which was fourth in its heat on Friday, qualified at sixth overall. The Cats' marvelous foursome was just two seconds out of first place.

Wildcats Assistant Track Coach Alex Voigt described Friday morning's qualifying race as being "very physical," but added that Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin are in great spirits and looking forward to the challenge and honor that awaits them Saturday afternoon.

AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS TO LUKE, TOM, MIKE AND COLIN, NOT ONLY GREAT COMPETITORS, BUT EVEN GREATER YOUNG MEN.

GOD BLESS AND ALL OF THE BEST TOMORROW IN WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS "THE 4X800 HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP OF AMERICA" AT THE PENN RELAYS.

 

A Blue Devil Sweep. Saint Ignatius Volleyball and Rugby post impressive Thursday night victories over Brunswick
4/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

According to the Cats' Rugby web page, Coach Dan Arbeznik's two-time defending state champions defeated the Blue Devils from Brunswick, 31-14, on Wasmer Field and improved to 8-3 on the season.

Up next for the Rugby Cats is Sunday's intriguing high noon match up with Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) in Obetz, Ohio. Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the respected Goff Rugby Report and the Cats are ranked seventh by Goff.

On Saturday, Gonzaga will be in Cleveland to face Goff's fifth-ranked St. Edward Eagles at Notre Dame College. It is a 2 PM kickoff.

Obetz is a Village in Franklin County that was founded in 1838. It once served as a Stagecoach Junction. "For Work, For Play, The Village of Obetz, For Everyone."

Not that sounds like a good site for Rugby.

As for Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats, they swept the regular season series from the Blue Devils with another straight-sets victory, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20, on Brunswick's court Thursday night.

Ranked sixth in the latest coaches state poll, the now 14-2 Volleyball Cats will travel to Centerville on Saturday for the Elite Eight Tournament. The action is slated to begin at 10 AM.      

Here are a few baseball, basketball, football and track items from this old-timer's corner
4/28/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

FAIRVIEW PARK, OHIO - Just a reminder that if Mother Nature doesn't have another wicked change-up available, Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Wildcats will make the short trip across the bridge to Progressive Field on Friday for a 5:30 PM matchup with the Bees from Brecksville-Broadview Heights. The game is part of the Cleveland Indians Charities High School Classic.
 
Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Matt MacKenzie are expected to bring you the live broadcast from Progressive Field over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network and this old catcher will find a corner in the Wildcats' dugout.
 
The Baseball Cats, 9-7 and on a three-game winning streak, are riding the emotion of the no-hitter tossed by senior right-hander Nick Freund in Wednesday evening's 2-0 victory over Archbishop Hoban at Baldwin Wallace University. See the corner's posts from Wednesday night on Nick's gem.
 
As for Brecksville-Broadview Heights, the Bees have won nine consecutive Southwestern Conference Championships, brought home District titles in 2007 and 2009, and advanced to the Elite 8 in 2007. Since 2005, Brecksville has produced 30 players who have earned playing positions at various colleges or universities, including six at the Division I level.
 
Among the Bees to watch is senior left-handed pitcher/outfielder Jackson Gilbride, an Ohio Northern recruit who was 6-0 in eight starts last season with 1.38 ERA and 51 strikeouts, and also swung the bat to the tune of a .371 average with a 526 on-base percentage and 32 runs scored.
 
Also keep an eye on the Bees' versatile John MacDonald, a third baseman/catcher/pitcher who played five different positions in one game last season. John is bound for the University of Mount Union. The other Brecksville mainstays are middle infielder/pitcher Joe Raffin, also a University of Mount Union recruit, outfielder/lefty pitcher Erik Birk, who will be going on to play for Coach Brian Harrison at Baldwin Wallace University, and Dan Harwood, a southpaw pitcher/outfielder/first baseman who had a 3-0 record and an ERA last spring of 2.01, and led the Bees in at-bats and runs batted in. Dan has committed to the College of Wooster.
 
A CORNER'S SALUTE GOES OUT TO WILDCATS BASKETBALL STANDOUTS RYAN BERGER '16 AND TIM KIEFER '16, WHO HAVE DECIDED TO FURTHER THEIR EDUCATIONS AND BASKETBALL CAREERS AT JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY AND OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, RESPECTIVELY. GOD BLESS GENTLEMEN AND ALL OF THE BEST, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.
 
THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE 2016 WEEK 8 FOOTBALL MATCHUP BETWEEN THE WILDCATS AND THE CRUSADERS OF ARCHBISHOP MOELLER AT OTTERBEIN UNIVERSITY ARE ALL SET.
 
The Varsity Game will played on Friday night, Oct. 14th, with a 7 PM kickoff and the Cats' Junior Varsity and Freshmen Teams will travel to Otterbein on Saturday morning, Oct. 15th, with the Freshmen Game versus Archbishop Moeller slated for 10 AM and the Junior Varsity encounter with the Crusaders' Jayvees kicking off at 11:30 AM.
 
Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 couldn't say enough about the outstanding cooperation and arrangements Otterbein's Athletic Department put forth in making its site available for one of the premier matchups in the state.
 
AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, THE CORNER WOULD LIKE TO AGAIN EXPRESS ALL OF THE BEST TO SAINT IGNATIUS' GIFTED 4X800 RELAY TEAM, WHICH HAS BEEN INVITED TO COMPETE IN THE PRESTIGIOUS PENN RELAYS THIS WEEKEND AT HISTORIC FRANKLIN FIELD IN PHILADELPHIA.
 
THE 4X800 COMPETITION IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN AT 9:40 AND 9:50 TOMORROW (FRIDAY) MORNING AND SATURDAY'S 4X800 CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE SLATED FOR 4 PM.
 
THIS CORNER'S PRAYERS AND WELL WISHES ARE WITH THE FABULOUS SENIOR FOURSOME OF LUKE WAGNER, TOM SULLIVAN, MIKE HUBER AND COLIN KRUCHAN.           
 
 
IN WHAT WAS A TRUE TEST OF WILLS, SAINT IGNATIUS LACROSSE, BEHIND THE GAME-WINNING GOAL BY GIFTED SENIOR ATTACK CREW CINTRON IN SUDDEN VICTORY OVERTIME AND A FOUR-GOAL NIGHT FROM RELENTLESS SENIOR MIDFIELD CAM GERARD, TURNED BACK HUDSON, 13-12.
4/27/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April/May 2016

From Wasmer Field on the campus of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School

Anyone who was fortunate enough to be in attendance at Wasmer Field on Wednesday night for what was a matchup of the No. 1 (Saint Ignatius) and No. 2 (Hudson) lacrosse programs in Northeast Ohio, won't soon forget what they witnessed.

Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats, a group of young men who are rich in talent and experience, and oh so determined, turned back a skilled, savvy and big-hearted group of Hudson Explorers when multi-skilled senior attack Crew Cintron, a Lehigh University signee, turned to one of his savvy moves and provided the game-winner 40 seconds into Sudden Victory Overtime.

The Lax Cats, who improved to 9-1 after their 13-12 thriller and completed their regular season home schedule unbeaten, will now gear up for a weekend trip to Indiana to face nationally ranked Culver Military School on Saturday and Carmel High School on Sunday.

Hudson, which battled back from deficits all night and forced the overtime off an authoritative 20-yard shot by tireless senior midfield Luc Jambon with 5.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, a blast that hit the back of the net in a blur, now stands a deceiving 7-2 on the season.

Along with Cintron's money move and shot, Crew's third goal of the night, Saint Ignatius fans won't soon forget the marvelous effort turned in by Lax Cats senior midfield Cam Gerard, who seemed to be everywhere in leading his team with a four-goal night. But then this corner has grown accustomed to Cam's firepower while covering and reporting on him as a Captain/forward for Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2016 State Champion Ice Hockey Team.

As for Hudson's faithful, they will expound, and rightfully so, on the hustle and heart of Explorers senior midfield Nathan Menendez, who was constantly bringing his team back when at times it appeared out of reach. Nathan unleashed his speed, transition skills and offensive prowess in keeping the Explorers in the game.

FROM COACH MCMANAMON '96, WHO HAS DEVLOPED SAINT IGNATIUS LACROSSE INTO A STATE AND NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PROGRAM.

"The Cam Gerard show," said Coach McManamon, wearing a wide smile. "The last three games, he's been a leader, he really has. He's just taken over and when you need that moment, he's found that moment. He has just risen up. Whether it's offense, defense or the clearing game, he's done it all.

"We have a lot of seniors on this team, a lot of experience," continued Coach McManamon. "I told these guys in the locker room I think it's now probably the seventh time most of them have played this team (Hudson) and we're 5-2, or something like that, against them. They're a big team up here (in Northeast Ohio), but we've got an eye on a bigger prize right now. Up here is important, but now it's about playing the teams that really matter."

Coach McManamon also pointed to the defensive efforts by senior Stephen Zupan on Wednesday night, how the Cats' attack persevered, how sophomore Anthony Ameo III kept battling and fighting in the face-offs with Hudson senior and four-year mainstay Chris Motter, who will be going on to play lacrosse in college, and the "steady hand" on defense of senior Alex Maruna.

"I can't say enough about our guys," Coach McManamon said. "We have so many guys to talk about it's hard to list them all."

FROM CREW CINTRON, A CONSISTENT ALL-REGION, ALL-MIDWEST AND ALL-STATE SELECTION WHO EARNED FIRST-TEAM ALL-MIDWEST HONORS LAST YEAR AND WAS THE LAX CATS' CO-TEAM MVP IN 2015.

"We drew up a play for Cam Gerard, of course, the kid was hot," said Crew. "I was supposed to come around and feed Cam. I came around, got the pass and just went hard to the cage. My guy (defender) ended up getting tripped up behind me. I saw he was on the ground and took a shot at the cage.

"I kind of stepped in a little bit and tangled him up a little bit," Crew continued in reference to the savvy move he made, a move that opened him up for the game-winner. "I use that move sometimes to get guys tangled up and it works a lot, too. So that's what I went for."

FROM CAM GERARD, WHO IS MAKING AN INDELIBLE MARK ON HIS ATHLETIC CAREER AT SAINT IGNATIUS.

"That's what we like to do when the other team scores, go on runs," said Cam of the consistent leads of two, three and four goals that the Lax Cats built throughout Wednesday night's game. "We had to slow the game down and play our way because they (the Explorers) like to play fast. We like to play fast, but not close to how fast they play. We need to slow it down more and that's hard to do when they're winning most of their face-offs".

THE TELLING SEQUENCE

That fast-paced attack by Hudson that Cam Gerard referred to came to the fore with the Cats leading, 11-9, with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter.

Menendez kept attacking and quickly produced two goals that knotted the score at 11 with 1:54 remaining in regulation.

Gerard rose to the occasion with his fourth goal, an out of nowhere effort that gave Saint Ignatius a 12-11 lead with 58.8 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.

That set the stage for Jambon's game-tying rocket and Crew Cintron's sweet move and score in OT.

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

Both Crew and Cam are in full agreement that cutting down the turnovers is the key for the Lax Cats' success, something they have been doing a great job of since their only setback this season, a 12-10 loss at perennial Ohio power Upper Arlington earlier this month. That night, the Lax Cats, who were in the game right down to the final minute, committed 23 turnovers.

And as far as the area, region and computer polls? Well, Crew said it best. "We'll know who the best team in the state is at the end of the season."

SOME NUMBERS: Along with the combined seven goals that Gerard and Cintron produced, the Lax Cats received a two-goal night from both junior midfield Brent Chernosky and ever-present senior attack Sam Humphrey, a goal from veteran midfield Matt Avdey and a heads-up goal by junior attack Riley Kinzel.

Among the key assist makers were standout senior attack Alex Hornung, who is a Canisius College recruit, junior midfield Aaron Casile and Humphrey, Cintron and Chernosky.

FROM THIS CORNER: Just a parting comment, and I don't know their names yet, but the SIBN threesome that broadcasted last night's game at Wasmer Field were OUTSTANDING. Savvy commentary and play by play combined with a colorful touch of humor that only added to what was a great game. And their critiques on certain sequences were professional, not degrading, and right on the money.

Wow, a thrill-some threesome to say the least. Gentlemen take a bow.                 

 

      

 

 

          

                       

 

 

Here is a look at Nick Freund's masterpiece from Wildcats outstanding Team Manager George Martin '16
4/27/2016

From George Martin and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

A huge congratulations goes out to Wildcats senior right-hander Nick Freund, who Wednesday evening pitched the 17th no-hitter in Saint Ignatius' baseball history, as the Cats turned back Archbishop Hoban, 2-0, at Baldwin Wallace University
4/27/2016
Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH/PITCHING COACH BRAD GANOR: "Nick Freund will be remembered forever. Being able to throw a no-hitter is very special. Between Connor's no no in the playoffs, and Nick today, those are two of the better games I have ever seen while coaching at Saint Ignatius.
 
Nick was in total command from the beginning. He and Drew (Drew Asadorian) called basically the whole game and for a sophomore catcher to be that composed, says a lot.
 
Their pitcher was almost matching Nick pitch for pitch, but with Joe (Evans) getting the lead-off single, executing the bunt with Ryan (Jacobs) and Dennis (Grosel) delivering, Nick had it the rest of the way.
 
Our second run was just icing and let us breathe a little bit.  All I ever want is to create memories these kids will have for their whole life. Today, Nick created his own."
 
Note: According to Saint Ignatius' "Cats Stats," Nick Freund's gem is the 17th no-hitter in Wildcats Baseball History, counting two by Andy Hargrove, the son of former Indians Manager Mike Hargorve, in 1999 and 2000, and three perfect games - Steve Ronay in 1923, Al Hutz in 1972 and Bob Baxter in 1992.
 
Nick's pitching mate, junior left-hander Connor Adams, pitched a no-hitter in last year's 3-0 District-Championship Game victory over Berea-Midpark and Connor and Nick's classmate, ace right-hander Murphy O'Brien, combined on a no-hitter versus Willoughby South last season.   
 
CONGRATS TO NICK, HIS FAMILY, COACH GANOR AND THE ENTIRE SAINT IGNATIUS BASEBALL PROGRAM!   
 
 
A tip of the corner's cap goes out to Coach Jon Barker's Tennis Cats, who continued their winning ways with a 4-1 victory at Shaker Heights on Tuesday
4/27/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

For a look at the tremendous progress the Tennis Cats have made, see the corner's post from Monday, courtesy of Coach Barker.

Just fyi, along with the coverage on tonight's Lacrosse headliner versus Hudson on Wasmer Field, the corner will have a recap on this evening's Varsity Baseball Game versus Archbishop Hoban
4/27/2016
Just a reminder on Wednesday night's Lacrosse headliner, as Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats take on the Hudson Explorers
4/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius and Hudson enter Wednesday's 7:30 PM matchup on Wasmer Field ranked 1-2, respectively, in Northeast Ohio.

The Cats and the Explorers are third and 10th, respectively, in the latest LaxPower Ohio Computer Ratings.

This old-timer is looking forward to the privilege of covering and reporting on the Lax Cats tonight (its past midnight, but then that's an early night for this grinder of the keys).

See you at Wasmer Field.    

The corner salutes Coach Pat Connor's and Coach Connor Walters' Crew Cats, who are being honored as the Saint Ignatius Student Athletes of the Week.
4/26/2016
Congratulations to the rowers of the 4th Varsity 8 + boat for being named the Athletes of the Week.
 
This past weekend at the Rustbelt Catholic Championship, the Saint Ignatius 4th Varsity 8+, which emerged from several tough weeks of training and some other adversity, ran away in their event with a 7-second victory over rivals Pittsburgh Central Catholic and St. Edward, as well as Canisius
 
The  crew consisted of Nick Showman '18 (C), Gideon Hils '17 (8), Sam Smucny  '17 (7), Sean Michaels '16 (6), Colman Turner '16 (5), Owen Egan '18  (4), David Turk '18 (3), Louis Calabrese '18 (2), and Chris Caulkins '17 (1). These young men are a great example of perseverance and hard work paying off as the team approaches championship races.
 
For a complete breakdown on the Crew Cats' successful weekend, see the weekly report from Coach Walters that was posted on the corner yesterday (Monday).
 
- Mr. Eddie Dwyer  
 

 

Braydon Nelson throws the Cats' first complete game of the season and Saint Ignatius rides that outstanding performance and a seven-run fifth inning to a 7-0 triumph over the Green Wave of Holy Name on Tuesday evening at Baldwin Wallace University
4/26/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Berea, Ohio - It is safe to say that it appears Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach/Pitching Coach Brad Ganor has solidified his third starter in the Wildcats' rotation.

Junior right-hander Braydon Nelson, coming off his first Varsity victory with five strong innings against Mentor last week, took the mound on Baldwin Wallace University's newly turfed and baseball-rich field Tuesday evening and fired a complete-game, two-hit shutout at Holy Name.

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 8-7, complemented Nelson's gem by scoring all of its seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Cats sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, with the big blows coming with two outs - a line-drive RBI single to left field by senior designated hitter John Robinson, an authoritative two-run, bases-loaded single from junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs and a two-run single by senior center fielder/tri-Captain Mike Rogers, who led off the inning by drawing a walk.

Saint Ignatius also took advantage of some perfectly executed bunting, two throwing errors and a passed ball in both setting the table and keeping the decisive fifth inning outburst rolling.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Nelson, an amiable, but quiet and humble young man, has now added his first Varsity shutout to what is a 2-0 record. And, you can mark down Tuesday's dominant performance as the first complete game this spring by the Wildcats' talented staff.

"He was very efficient," said Coach Ganor of Nelson, who recorded the first two outs in the top of the sixth inning on two pitches. "I'll take a seven run inning all the time, we haven't had many of those. It feels good to relax and enjoy a game."

In a compiling a line that would draw a smile from any Head Coach/Manager on any level, Nelson's 2-hit blanking of the Green Wave included four strikeouts, no walks and 55 strikes in the 80 pitches he threw.

As Coach Ganor said with a warm smile, "Today was about Braydon Nelson."

MAKING WAVES: Holy Name senior pitcher Spencer Harrington threw four shutout innings and coming up with the two hits for the 6-9 Green Wave were senior right fielder Joe Rivera and sophomore center fielder Matthew Springer.

UP NEXT for the Cats is Wednesday's 5 PM matchup with the Archbishop Hoban Knights at Baldwin Wallace University. Coach Ganor will call on versatile senior right-hander/leadoff hitter/right fielder Nick Freund to make the start against the Knights.

Archbishop Hoban is coming off a 13-2 loss to Ohio Jesuit Tournament Champion Walsh Jesuit earlier this week and last weekend the Knights were defeated by Youngtown Cardinal Mooney, 7-3, in the Catholic School Showcase at Cene Park in Youngstown.

Hoban split a doubleheader with Aurora on April 16th and was defeated by the Padua Franciscan Bruins, 10-4, on April 15th at Archbishop Hoban.

Last season, the Wildcats traveled to Archbishop Hoban and, after overcoming some early errors, defeated the Knights, 7-3. Current senior shortstop Kevin Mingus had two impressive doubles that day, including one with the bases loaded.          

          

Here are the current LaxPower top ten computer ratings in Ohio for Lacrosse
4/25/2016

Rnk Team                       PR     In    Cor   Chp  WL Pct  W  L  T
  1 Upper Arlington           98.34  99.81  0.08  0.00  0.90   9- 1- 0
  2 Cincinnati St Xavier     97.80  95.85  0.09  0.00  0.91  10- 1- 0
  3 Saint Ignatius               97.51  97.74  0.02  0.00  0.89   8- 1- 0
  4 Dublin Coffman            95.99 94.74 0.07 0.00 0.91 10- 1- 0

  5 Dublin Jerome 95.42 95.66 0.05 0.00 0.73 8- 3- 0

  6 Olentangy Liberty         95.31  95.89  0.05  0.00  0.73   8- 3- 0
  7 Chagrin Falls                95.00  92.33  0.11  0.00  1.00   8- 0- 0
  8 Olentangy Orange        94.61  92.66  0.07  0.00  0.89   8- 1- 0
  9 Columbus DeSales       94.52  91.87  0.07  0.00  0.86   6- 1- 0
 10 Hudson                         94.26  92.45  0.09  0.00  0.88   7- 1- 0

Here are the current Division I State Rankings by the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association for the week ending 4/24/16
4/25/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer. The first-place votes and total points received follow the school's name.

1. - Archbishop Moeller (9) - 194
2. - Hilliard Darby (8) - 186
3. - St. Xavier (4) - 160
4. - Elder - 153
5. - Centerville - 134
6. - Saint Ignatius (1) - 115
7. - Pickerington North - 88
8. - Beavercreek - 43
9. - Westerville South - 42
10- Olentangy - 33
..... Lakota East - 24
..... Jackson - 15
..... Dublin Coffman - 8
..... Hilliard Davidson - 5

Note: Saint Ignatius was ranked fifth last week. Archbishop Alter and Walsh Jesuit are now ranked 1-2, respectively, in Division II (Walsh Jesuit was No. 1 last week) and the top two teams in the North Region remain Walsh Jesuit and Saint Ignatius.    

Here is a current update on the progress of the Wildcats' young, but gifted Tennis Team, courtesy of Head Coach Jon Barker. Josh Hsia carries an undefeated record as the No. 1 singles player.
4/25/2016

Presented By Coach Jon Barker and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH BARKER: After some tough early matches and some tougher weather, the tennis team has been finding its rhythm of late

This past weekend, all four doubles teams made their way to their respective finals of the Medina Doubles Tournament, and the team successfully defended its title there, accumulating 31 points out of 32 possible points. Copley and Revere finished second and third, respectively.

Last week, the team knocked off St. Edward (4-1), Walsh Jesuit (4-1) and Westlake (4-1).

Junior Josh Hsia has looked extremely strong, picking up where he left off last season. He had impressive wins over University School's Gota, Westlake's Jhaveri, and Hawken's Leizman. Josh is undefeated on the year in the #1 spot; his only loss came in the finals of the Medina Doubles tournament.

The team sits at 5-3 for the season. In spite of all the rain/snowouts, the young team has meshed well and is excited as we head toward sectionals.

Friday evening's baseball game at Progressive Field, Wednesday night's Lacrosse headliner versus Hudson and another big weekend in track and field highlight a spring edition of the corner's Where the Cats Play
4/25/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Yes, it's another smorgasbord of Wildcats' Spring Sports action this week and weekend, as six of the seven programs have their plates full of competition.

Here is a breakdown on the early week and weekend events, team by team.

BASEBALL: Coach Brad Ganor's 7-7 Wildcats, coming off Sunday's 11-2 victory over the St. Xavier Bombers in the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament (see the corner stories from the weekend), will host the Green Wave of Holy Name on Tuesday at 5 PM at Baldwin Wallace University.

The Green Wave, a Division II regional qualifier last season, was 4-6 through its first 10 games this spring. Three of those losses came in the season-opening Mingo Bay Baseball Classic at Myrtle Beach.

On Wednesday, the Baseball Cats will host the Archbishop Hoban Knights at 5 pm at Baldwin Wallace University, and on Friday the Cats take their game to Progressive Field for a 5:30 PM encounter with the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees. The matchup with the Bees is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Classic.

Brendan DeVenney '17 will lead the live broadcast over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network on Friday and yours truly will find a corner in the Wildcats' dugout at Progressive Field.

On Saturday, it's a trip to historic Ainsworth Field to face the Baseball Ramblers from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:30 PM. Ainsworth Field was once graced by the presence of the late, great Yankees Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth, who made Erie, Pennsylvania one of his barn storm stops.

No, Ainsworth Field isn't a "pretty" ballpark, but its walls are accompanied by a rich tradition and history that includes a home run by The Babe that is still the subject of conversations at the local Erie morning diners and watering holes.

Hey, this old West Denison catcher will never forget the home run former Wildcat standout Neal Jacobs sent sailing out of Ainsworth Field. Neal's majestic shot interrupted a man across from the field who was trimming his lawn when the ball off Neal's bat landed on it.    

The corner will take at look at Archbishop Hoban, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Erie Cathedral Prep as the week progresses.

LACROSSE: Coach Patrick McManamon's 8-1 Lax Cats, the top-ranked program in Northeast Ohio, will face the always lacrosse-rich Hudson Explorers on Wednesday at 7:30 PM on Wasmer Field in what is one of the highlight encounters of the regular season that this old-timer is looking forward to.

Over the weekend, the Lax Cats will be in the Hoosier State of Indiana to face Culver Military Academy on Saturday at 2 PM and Carmel High School on Sunday at 11 AM.

RUGBY: Coach Dan Arbeznik's state and nationally recognized program will be hosting the Brunswick Blue Devils on Thursday at 7:30 PM and will be taking on Gonzaga College High School out of Washington D.C. on Sunday at noon on a neutral field.  

TENNIS: Coach Jon Barker's team is coming off its second consecutive championship at the Medina Doubles Tournament (see Coach Barker's update on the Cats from this evening) and also posted impressive victories over St. Edward, Walsh Jesuit and Westlake last week.

The early week schedule for Coach Barker's rapidly improving team has the Tennis Cats on the road to face Shaker Heights in a 4 PM Tuesday match and at Medina Highland on Wednesday for another 4 PM matchup.

TRACK AND FIELD: As we reported on the corner last week, the Wildcats' gifted 4x800 relay team of seniors Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber, Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner has been invited to compete in the prestigious Penn Relays at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia this weekend. The 4x800 competition begins on Friday at 9:40 and 9:50 AM, and Saturday's 4x800 Championships are slated for 4 PM.

As for the rest of Coach Chuck Kyle's team, they will be competing in Friday's Titan Relays at Berea-Midpark High School. The starting time is listed as 1 PM on the Saint Ignatius Track and Field web page and I am told that the early time is because it is Prom Weekend at the home of the Titans.

VOLLEYBALL: Coach Casey Marcelo's men of the net, one of the premier Division I programs in the state, are coming off a strong 2-1 showing during this past weekend's demanding "Spikes for Tykes" Tournament.

Coach Marcelo's 13-2 Cats are slated to travel to Brunswick on Thursday for a 7 PM matchup with the Blue Devils and on Saturday they will head to Montgomery County for the Elite Eight Tournament at Centerville High School. Matches get underway at 10 AM on Saturday.

NOTE: The Crew Cats do not have a competition scheduled this weekend, but for a look at this past weekend's outstanding performance, see the corner's post from earlier today that is presented by Assistant Coach Connor Walters.

Have a great and safe week and weekend!         

   

   

  

 

 

          

Here is a look at another exceptional weekend in Wildcats Crew from outstanding Assistant Coach Connor Walters
4/25/2016

Present by Coach Walters and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Wildcats win four races at Rustbelt Catholic Championship

Two weeks after an April snowstorm postponed the Rustbelt Catholic Championship, a re-scheduled event was held on Saturday morning at Lake Milton, just outside of the Youngstown area. Saint Ignatius, St. Edward, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Canisius (Buffalo) were all in attendance.

Shortly before the start of racing, PCC Head Coach Jay Hammond declared, “The Rustbelt will rise again.”

Well, the Cleveland-area schools held up their own end of the bargain, as the Wildcats and Eagles won all seven races between them. Saint Ignatius clinched first place in the 2nd, 4th and 5th Varsity 8s, as well as the 1st Freshman 8. St. Edward won the 1st and 3rd Varsity 8s, plus the 2nd Freshman 8.

In each of the varsity victories for the Wildcats, the crews charged hard through the start and into the body of the 1,500m course, building large, open-water leads over the field. The 2V8 won by nearly 8 seconds, the 4V8 finished 7 seconds ahead of second-place Central and the 5V crushed two entries from Central by 16 seconds. For their performance in the 2V8 race, the Wildcat entry was awarded the Previts Cup, named for the mother of former head coach Matt Previts ’97.

Saint Ignatius’ win in the Freshman 8 was much closer than any of the varsity victories. The Wildcats pushed out to an early lead of about one length over Central and held off several advances from the Vikings, who retained overlap going into the last 250m. Yet the Freshmen from Ohio City remained strong and crossed the line 2.7 seconds up on Central.

That victory meant the Daniel P. Murphy Cup returns home to Saint Ignatius High School for the first time in a number of years. The trophy is named in memory of Daniel “Murph” Murphy, a hard-working Wildcat oarsman who was killed in an ATV accident early during his sophomore year at Saint Ignatius. Hats off to the Wildcat Freshmen for bringing it home again.

The Wildcat and Eagle lightweights got to battle each other in the 3V race, with the Eagles steadily pulling away down the course for a 5-second victory. The 1st Varsity race was by far the closest of the day through 750m, with St. Ed holding a slight lead over Central and Ignatius, who were about even. The Ignatius 1V, however, made contact with a marker buoy and fell behind by about a length. Yet the crew maintained its poise and even gained back ground on the two leading crews before ultimately finishing 3rd.

For the squad, it was a solid day of racing and all crews are looking to build on their performance as the countdown to the Midwest Championships hits 20 days. Next weekend, Canisius will travel to Cleveland for a Friday dinner and Saturday scrimmage with Saint Ignatius, in an effort to continue the friendship formed by the two Jesuit schools.

Connor Walters '09

Communications Coordinator: Mission
Assistant Coach: Varsity Rowing
Co-Moderator: C.A.T., Labre, The EYE


 
Before the corner lays this old catcher's body on his declining recliner, a tip of my many caps goes out to Cats outstanding senior center John Spellacy, who has announced that he has committed to East Carolina University
4/24/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

John, who this old-timer of the gridiron has referred to many times as the best center in Ohio and best man in the middle I have seen in many, many years, is coming off a 2015 season that saw him earn All-Northeast Lakes District and All-State recognition.

In 2016, John is joining Wildcats standout linebacker Johnny Velotta as two of the Wildcats' four Captains. The two other Captains will be announced during the summer practices.

Again, congratulations to John, the Spellacy family, Wildcats Head Coach Chuck Kyle, Cats outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.

God Bless and all of the best John, now and in the future. I'll see you on Wasmer Field soon.    

Wildcats Varsity Baseball rides a three-run first inning and a seven-run seventh to an 11-2 victory over Cincinnati St. Xavier in Sunday's consolation game of the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament at St. Xavier
4/24/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Cincinnati, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' gifted senior Dennis Grosel, whose leadership on the baseball diamond  is as vital as the potent bat he swings, said it was great to see the Wildcats sustain a potent offense on Sunday at St. Xavier High School.

The Cats, with Grosel contributing two hits and three runs batted in, took charge in the first inning and settled the issue in style with a seven-run top of the seventh in an 11-2 triumph over the Xavier Bombers at the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament.

Saint Ignatius and St. Xavier were playing for third place in the tournament, as Walsh Jesuit and Toledo St. John's Jesuit earned the right to meet in the OJT Championship Game with their victories on Saturday.

Walsh Jesuit defeated the Wildcats on Saturday and St. John's Jesuit prevailed over St. Xavier. The Warriors from Walsh Jesuit took home the OJT 2016 tournament title with a 13-8 victory over the Titans from St. John's Jesuit on Sunday. That game was also played at St. Xavier.  

"We've kind of struggled with the bats this year, we've been on a hill, up and down" said Grosel, who joins senior center fielder/closer Mike Rogers and senior right-handed pitcher Murphy O'Brien as Head Coach Brad Ganor's three Captains. "We have to concentrate on the uphill and keep the bats rolling."

Grosel, who was a first-team All-Ohio Division I quarterback/Captain for Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats this past fall, echoed Coach Ganor's sentiments by pointing out that Saint Ignatius not only swung the bats with authority on Sunday, but capitalized on almost every St. Xavier mistake.

"That's what separates a 5-4 game from an 11-2 game," Grosel said of the forced and unforced errors St. Xavier committed.

The Wildcats wasted little time in grabbing the momentum, as they took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

With one out and the bases empty, senior second baseman Joe Evans, who is having a solid spring, was hit by a pitch and advanced to second base on an errant pick-off attempt at first base.

Up stepped Grosel with his first RBI on the day, scoring Evans  with a double to deep center field.  The other key hit in the top of the first was a run-scoring double by junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs.

St. Xavier, which like Saint Ignatius stands 7-7 heading into this week, cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit.

The Wildcats responded with a run in the top of the second and it stayed a 4-1 game until the bottom of the fifth, when the Bombers closed to 4-2.

Trailing, 4-2, entering the top of the seventh inning, it was Katy Bar the Door for St. Xavier.

The Bombers were hit with a seven-run barrage from Saint Ignatius that started when St. Xavier's left fielder lost a high pop into a tough sun with one out and the bases empty. After senior outfielder/leadoff hitter Nick Freund, who has been a constant for most of the season, drew a bases-loaded walk, Evans laced a base hit to center field that scored two runs and Freund came around to score when the ball got by the center fielder.

Grosel and senior shortstop Kevin Mingus completed the seventh-inning onslaught with RBI doubles. The final line score on the game read 11 runs, 11 hits and 3 errors for the Wildcats and 2 runs, 4 hits and 4 errors for the Bombers.

"That's typical high school baseball, you have to capitalize on mistakes," said Coach Ganor. "They (Walsh Jesuit) capitalized on our mistakes yesterday and we capitalized on St. Xavier's today. There's the two different outcomes.

"I thought Connor (Wildcats gifted junior southpaw Connor Adams) did a great job," Coach Ganor continued.  "He said he didn't have his best stuff today, but that's the mark of an ace pitcher, when you don't have your best stuff and are able to battle and give your team a chance to win. And that's exactly what he did."

In his six complete innings, Adams, a Louisville Cardinals recruit, yielded 4 hits, two unearned runs, walked two and struck out six. In the 95 pitches Connor threw, 59 of them were strikes.

Rogers, who reached base every time he stepped to the plate on Sunday and was 3-for-3 on the day with an RBI, came on to pitch in the bottom of the seventh.

Among the Cats' other big days were the two hits produced by Jacobs.

Up next for Saint Ignatius is Tuesday's matchup with old West Senate rival Holy Name. The first pitch from Baldwin Wallace University will be 5 PM.

Getting the starting call from Coach Ganor on Tuesday versus the Green Wave is promising 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior right-hander Braydon Nelson, who won his first Varsity game last week with five strong innings against the Mentor Cardinals at Classic Park.         

 

 

   

    

 

        

   

 

 

Here is a corner pocket on five of the other Wildcats Spring Sports Teams from their Saturday competition
4/23/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

TRACK AND FIELD

The Wildcats finished third at Saturday's tradition-rich Amherst Relays with 81 points. Solon was first with 96 points and Berea-Midpark was second with 90 points.

Here are the highlights for the Cats from Amherst Steele High School.

3200 Meter Run - C.J. Ambrosio, 1st place in 9:24.38

1600 Meter Relay - 1st place in 18:20.13, Jim Rogers, Liam McGurie, Connor Reilly and Tom Sullivan

4x800 Meter Relay - 1st place in 8:02.27, Pat Nolan, Tom Sulllivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan

800 Sprint Medley - 1st place in a new meet and stadium time of 1:34.03, James Norris, Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro and Colin Kruchan. Broke the previous mark of 1:34.44 set by Medina in 2006.

110 Meter Hurdles - C.J. Moore, 3rd place, 15.49.

300 Meter Hurdles - Jack Ruddy, 5th place, 41.73

Distance Medley - 3rd place in 10:57.96, Greg Caniglia, Pat McGuire, C.J. Ambrosio and Jim Rogers.

4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdles - 2nd place in 1:01.65, C.J. Moore, John Wetula, Jack Ruddy and Alex Ringfield.

4x400 Relay - 5th place in 3:31.34, Kyle Hall, Pat Nolan, Phil Zuccaro and Mike Huber.

RUGBY

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Cats traveled to Columbus on Saturday afternoon to face Indianapolis power Cathedral High School and were defeated in the final seconds, 10-8.

Saint Ignatius took an 8-5 lead on a try by Jack Ryan and a kick for points by Aidan Gill with approximately two minutes remaining.

Up next for the Cats is a matchup with Brunswick on Thursday at 7:30 PM on Wasmer Field.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach Casey Marcelo Cats now stand 13-2 after winning two of three matches during Saturday's demanding "Spikes for Tykes" Tournament at Capital University.

The Cats defeated Dublin Coffman, 25-18, 25-19, were defeated by Archbishop Alter 25-23, 25-13, and won in three sets over Westerville South.

Saint Ignatius, ranked fifth in the state in Division I, is scheduled to travel to Brunswick on Thursday evening.

LACROSSE

Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats, ranked No. 1 in Northeast Ohio and second in the LaxPower state computer ratings, improved to 8-1 with a 7-0 triumph over Western Reserve Academy at Wasmer Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Lax Cats return to Wasmer Field on Wednesday night for a 7:30 encounter with the area and state-ranked Hudson Explorers.

CREW

The talented and tough-minded rowers of Head Coach Pat Connor and Assistant Coach Connor Walters brought home four championships this weekend  - 2V, 4V, 5V and 1F - along with the Previts Cup and the Daniel P. Murphy Memorial Cup at the Rustbelt Catholic Championships on Lake Milton, which is just outside the Youngstown area.   

        

 

 

 

Walsh Jesuit breaks open a 1-1 game by scoring three times in both the fifth and sixth innings and goes on to defeat Saint Ignatius, 7-1, in the first day of the annual Ohio Jesuit Baseball Tournament at St. Xavier High School
4/23/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Cincinnati, Ohio - On what was a perfect day for baseball, Saint Ignatius saw chances slip away late Saturday afternoon and Walsh Jesuit, a four-time state champion and two-time state runner-up, jumped on the opportunities that came its way.

In what was the second game of the opening round at the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament on the sun-drenched campus of Cincinnati St. Xavier, the Wildcats and the Warriors battled to a 1-1 tie through 4 1/2 innings.

It was at that point, Walsh Jesuit welcomed Mr. Momentum back into its dugout with a three-run bottom of the fifth and then gave its standout senior right-hander Dominic Canzone, a The Ohio State University recruit, a pressure-less cushion heading into the seventh inning by scoring three more times in the bottom of the sixth.

The 7-1 victory over Saint Ignatius pushed the Warriors' record to 11-3 and advanced them to Sunday's OJT Championship Game versus Toledo St. John's Jesuit (8-2). The first pitch will be 11 AM on the main Varsity diamond at St. Xavier.

St. John's Titans made sure St. Xavier would remember them and their promising young pitcher, sophomore McCoy Butler, by defeating the Bombers, 3-0, in Saturday's first game.

Saint Ignatius and St. Xavier, who now stand 6-7 and 7-6, respectively, will meet in Sunday's 11 AM consolation, or third-place game, on the Bombers' other diamond.

"We had our chances," said Wildcats' veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor, who will send his gifted junior left-hander and Louisville recruit Connor Adams to the mound on Sunday. "When we got it to even there, the momentum went on our side.

"We talk all of the time to these guys about high school baseball being a game of momentum," Coach Ganor continued. "We have to understand that it (the momentum) shifted our way. If we were able to go out there in the bottom of the fifth inning and put up a zero, then it's a different game. A totally different game. We come up and we're more confident at the plate and we put more pressure on them.

"One-one, there's pressure (on Walsh Jesuit)," Coach Ganor said. "Four to one or 7-1, there's no pressure."

In a game that matched two of the finest pitchers in Northeast Ohio, Canzone and Saint Ignatius' gifted and gritty senior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, a St. Bonaventure recruit, O'Brien started the bottom of fourth with a strikeout that saw him battle back from a 3-1 count.

Canzone, who also swings a capable bat as the second hitter in Coach Chris Kaczmar's order, was then hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a fielder's choice and took third on a pitch in the dirt.

After Warriors senior designated hitter Mac Shinaberry drew a two-out walk, the first run of the game came home off a passed ball.

The Wildcats, who entered the weekend on a five-game winning streak and having won six of their previous seven games, answered with a run in the top of the fifth that was fueled by a leadoff single from sophomore first baseman/pitcher Tommy Grosel and a sacrifice bunt by senior center fielder Mike Rogers.

Sophomore outfielder Justin Sands was then inserted as a courtesy runner for Tommy Grosel and Justin advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Following a bouncer back to the mound for the second out of the inning, senior right fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Freund delivered a game-tying RBI single. Senior second baseman Joe Evans, who joins Freund as two of Coach Ganor's hottest hitters, followed with an authoritative single that put runners on first and third.

Walsh Jesuit kept it a 1-1 game, however, as Canzone was able to coax an inning-ending ground out.

Just when it seemed Saint Ignatius had taken the momentum away from the Warriors, the team from the North Coast League answered big time in the bottom frames of the fifth and sixth innings.

Coach Kaczmar's talented and opportunistic club loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, courtesy of an error, a sacrifice bunt by senior third baseman Nate Reich, a single to center field by senior second baseman Bryce Marshall and a walk to junior shortstop Brendan Regan, a Michigan State recruit.

Canzone then helped his cause with a two-run single through the right side and his battery mate, senior Dan Mendenhall, followed with an RBI single to right field.

Leading, 4-1, Walsh Jesuit scored three more times in the bottom of the sixth with the big blow being a two-out, two-run double to deep left-center field by Canzone.

Coach Ganor singled out the continued solid approach that Freund is taking to the plate, as Nick had two more hits on Saturday, Evans' hot bat, the three hits that junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs gave the offense on Saturday, and the effort from O'Brien.

O'Brien worked 4.1 innings, yielded three hits, four runs of which only one was earned, struck out two, walked three, hit a batter and threw 40 strikes in his 74 pitches.

In improving to 4-0 on the season, Canzone went the distance. He totaled 89 pitches of which 67 were strikes, yielded seven hits (two were infield hits) and one earned run, had a hit batsman and struck out five.

A PROMISING TITAN: Right-hander McCoy Butler, who pitched St. John's Jesuit past host St. Xavier on Saturday, was a wide-eyed freshman last season with a strong arm, but needing to learn how to pitch.

Well, the progress is coming along just fine, thank you.

In a three-hit complete game shutout over the Bombers on their home field, Butler, now 1-0 this season, struck out four, did not walk a batter and kept his poise every time St. Xavier attempted to get back in the game.

The Titans will turn to big-game tested southpaw Joey Sabol (4-0) in Sunday's OJT Championship Game versus Walsh Jesuit.    

       

   

 

     

  

 

          

  

   

 

 

  

 

 

 

      

  

A tip of the corner's cap goes out to Jackson Murphy, whose superb effort on the mound helped the Junior Varsity Wildcats to a 2-1 victory over St. Edward on Friday
4/22/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Head Coach Cody Dearth and his Assistant Steve Nelson have the JV Cats off to an 8-2 start.

St. Edward's Junior Varsity is now 5-3.

Tonight's Wildcats Baseball Game versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights at Progressive Field has been postponed. It has been rescheduled for April 29.
4/22/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The game, which was scheduled for 5:30 PM, was postponed because Progressive Field absorbed too much rain over the past 24 hours.

Part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Classic, the game has been rescheduled for next Friday, April 29, at 5:30.

Coach Brad Ganor's Cats will now focus on the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament at Cincinnati St. Xavier this weekend. Saint Ignatius will face Walsh Jesuit on Saturday, with the first pitch from the campus of St. Xavier slated for 4 PM.

St. Xavier and Toledo St. John's Jesuit open the OJT with a 1 PM game on Saturday.

Sunday's championship and consolation games are scheduled for 11 AM.    

Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats return to their winning ways at Stow on Thursday night
4/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Rebounding from Tuesday's straight-sets loss to Walsh Jesuit in what was a matchup of the state's two undefeated boys volleyball teams at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium, the Cats showed just how tough minded they are on Thursday night at Stow.

After dropping the first set, 22-25, Saint Ignatius went on to a 3-1 victory by dominating the next three sets versus the Bulldogs, 25-12, 25-16 and 25-11.

Up next for the now 11-1 Volleyball Cats is Saturday's "Spikes for Tykes" Tournament at Capital University.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Casey Marcelo described Saturday's venue as grueling in that it begins at 8 AM and goes on until the early evening.

Along with the state's Division I fifth-ranked Wildcats, Saturday's play at Capital University will feature some of Ohio's other premier programs, including the 13-0 Warriors from Walsh Jesuit, who are ranked No. 1 in Division II.

There is a possibility, and we emphasize possibility, that Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit could have a rematch on Saturday.

Here is Coach Marcelo's look at Thursday night's triumph over the Stow Bulldogs.

FROM COACH MARCELO: "We started the match with players that need some playing time and also rewarded them on starting a match, which is very important to young players. They deserve the honor of starting for all the hard work they put in at practice.

"In matches 2, 3 and 4 we put in the strongest lineup and wanted to work on more aggressive play," Coach Marcelo continued. "I think the hard week has taken its toll. It will be good to have a rest and be ready for Saturday.

"We had a good showing by Matt Sapanaro and James Purcell tonight with aggressive attacking, and Jacob Hoshaw was consistent with his aggressive serving."

 

Coach Nick Restifo's All-Ohio Quarterbck/Receiver Academy set for June 11
4/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Here are the details on one of the finest football camp days in the nation. The corner will be on hand to report on the atmosphere and happenings from Wasmer Field.

ALL-OHIO QUARTERBACK/RECEIVER ACADEMY
Saturday June 11, 2016 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
 
Wasmer Field at Saint Ignatius High School
Registration 8:30-9:30 a.m. in Fr. Sullivan Gym
 
OPEN TO ANYONE ENTERING THE 6TH TO 9TH GRADE IN 2016
 
BRING TURF SHOES AND/OR TENNIS SHOES
 
· Learn fundamentals of the quarterback/receiver positions
· Learn drills to improve performance/Skill development
· Receivers work on stance, start, releases and route running, pass catching
· Taking snaps from under the center and shotgun/Proper stance/alignment
· Drop back and Roll/Sprint out technique/ Shotgun and under Center Techniques
· Ball faking and play action
· All campers will receive an All-Ohio Quarterback/Receiver Academy t-shirt
 
STAFF INCLUDES: NICK RESTIFO (Coach of 16 All-Ohio Quarterbacks), JIM CAHILL (Saint Ignatius Freshman QB
coach), former NFL (Colts) quarterback TOM ARTH (Head Coach John Carroll University), BRIAN BEIGIE (John Carroll  University Receiver coach), MATT HOYER (Quarterback, University of Akron) and JOSIAH  KEDZIOR (Saint Ignatius Receiver coach).
 
The All-Ohio Quarterback Academy is under the direction of Coach Nick Restifo. Coach Restifo has been
coaching quarterbacks at Saint Ignatius High School for 35 years. He has tutored 16 All-Ohio First Team or
Honorable Mention quarterbacks since he began coaching quarterbacks in 1981.
 
COST $55.00    
Make checks payable to All-Ohio Quarterback Academy c/o Nick Restifo 1911 W30th Cleveland, OH 44113
 
If you have any questions contact Nick Restifo at nrestifo@ignatius.edu or by phone (216) 651-0222 ext. 502
All participants required to have their own health insurance.
 
INFORMATION SLIP
 
NAME______________________________  GRADE ENTERING IN 2016 ______ Position: QB_____Rec_____
 
ADDRESS___________________________CITY______________________ZIP___________
PHONE #__________________
 
CELL PHONE ___________________________School_____________________________________
 
E-mail address__________________________________________ Adult   S    M      L    XL
 
 
And while we're on the subject of Wildcats Lacrosse, a huge congratulations again to Cats standout Crew Cintron, who today officially signed to further his education and lacrosse career at Lehigh University
4/21/2016
Here are the latest LaxPower computer ratings for Ohio boys lacrosse
4/21/2016

Through Wednesday's action. Updated ratings were released today.

Rnk Team                       PR     In    Cor   Chp  WL Pct  W  L  T
  1 Upper Arlington        98.34  99.68  0.05  0.00  0.88 7- 1- 0
  2 Saint Ignatius            98.00  97.72  0.01  0.00  0.88 7- 1- 0
  3 Cincinnati St Xavier      97.72  95.24  0.07  0.00  0.90 9- 1- 0
  4 Dublin Coffman            96.84 95.47 0.05 0.00 0.90 9- 1- 0   

  5 Dublin Jerome 95.65 95.79 0.04 0.00 0.73 8- 3- 0

  6 Olentangy Liberty         95.48  96.23  0.01  0.00  0.70 7- 3- 0
  7 Olentangy Orange          95.01  92.07  0.05  0.00  0.86 6- 1- 0
  8 Dublin Scioto             94.89  91.38  0.07  0.00  0.91 10- 1- 0
  9 Chagrin Falls             94.86  91.30  0.08  0.00  1.00 6- 0- 0
10 Columbus DeSales          94.67  91.11  0.06  0.00  0.83 5- 1- 0
11 St Francis DeSales        94.62  91.70  0.01  0.00  0.89 8- 1- 0
12 Hudson                    94.51  92.17  0.07  0.00  0.86 6- 1- 0
13 Bishop Watterson          93.65  91.59  0.04  0.00  0.75  6- 2- 0
14 Olentangy HS              93.04  93.32 -0.04  0.00  0.50 5- 5- 0
15 University School         93.00  90.75  0.00  0.00  0.71 5- 2- 0
16 Archbishop Moeller        92.82  90.87 -0.00  0.00  0.67 4- 2- 0
17 Summit Country Day        92.54  89.35 -0.01  0.00  0.80 8- 2- 0
18 Mason 92.38 91.07 -0.07 0.00 0.44 4- 5- 0

19 Loveland                  92.29  88.11  0.06  0.00  0.88 7- 1- 0
20 Worthington Kilbourne     91.93  91.28 -0.05  0.00  0.45 5- 6- 0

The corner salutes Wildcat Lacrosse standout Jared Stepka, the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week
4/21/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

In splitting two games against two of the state's premier teams, 17-time state champion Upper Arlington and Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Jared totaled 4 goals on 8 shots.

At Upper Arlington, a tough 12-10 setback that was described as a marvelous game by those in attendance, Jared had 2 goals on 2 shots and 4 ground balls.

Jared changed the dynamic of both games, which included a 15-4 home triumph over Archbishop Moeller, by forcing defenses to adjust from focusing on Crew Cintron and Alex Hornung to being forced to focus on Jared and up top middies.

This past winter, Jared's relentless play, both offensively and defensively, helped the Saint Ignatius Wildcats' Ice Hockey Program to its fourth OHSAA State Championship.

Again, congrats to Jared, his family, Saint Ignatius Head Lacrosse Coach Patrick McManamon and the entire Wildcats Lacrosse Program, which stands 7-1 heading into Saturday's 3 PM matchup with Western Reserve Academy.

  

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO COACH CHUCK KYLE'S OUTSTANDING 4X800 RELAY TEAM, WHICH HAS BEEN INVITED TO COMPETE IN THE PRESTIGIOUS PENN RELAYS!
4/21/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The team of seniors Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan will be representing Saint Ignatius at the oldest and longest running men's and women's track and field competition in the United States on April 29th and 30th at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Held for the first time in April of 1895, the Penn Relays are presented by the University of Pennsylvania.

The Big School High School Boys 4x800 competition is scheduled to begin on Friday, April 29th, at 9:40 and 9:50 AM.

The High School 4x800 Championship of America is slated for Saturday, April 30th, at 4 PM.

Again, congratulations to Luke, Tom, Mike and Colin, their families, Mr. Chuck Kyle '69 and his staff, and the entire Saint Ignatius Track and Field Program.   

 

The Lax Cats improve to 7-1 by turning away the North Canton Hoover Vikings on Wednesday evening at Wasmer Field
4/20/2016

The Lax Cats, coming off their impressive victory over Archbishop Moeller on Sunday afternoon, outscored the Vikings, 6-0, in the second half.

Rated No. 2 to Upper Arlington in the latest LaxPower Computer Ratings (see the ratings post from Thursday), Saint Ignatius will face Western Reserve Academy on Saturday at 3 PM on Wasmer Field.

Note: Two reports were tweeted out on the final score last night, 12-2 and 11-2. The North Canton Hoover website reported the final score as 11-2.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

The "resilient" Wildcats, behind the pitching of Braydon Nelson and Mike Rogers, and clutch hits by Drew Asadorian, Nick Freund and Joe Evans in a four-run second inning, turn back the Mentor Cardinals, 5-4, at Classic Park on Wednesday evening
4/20/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

From Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains and, along with Baldwin Wallace University, one of Saint Ignatius' two homes away from home.

The Wildcats of Head Coach Brad Ganor, who got off to an 0-5 start this season that included three losses in Florida, evened their record at 6-6 and extended their winning streak to five games.

Mentor's Cardinals, under the direction of Jeff Haase, led 1-0 after the top of the first inning and trailed by one run heading into the top of the seventh before being turned away by senior Mike Rogers' third save of the season. The Cardinals now stand 5-5.

Saint Ignatius' 5-4 triumph, which Coach Ganor described as winning ugly, but also being resilient, was highlighted by a four-run bottom of the second.

Mentor made it a one run game by scoring two runs in the top of the third inning and the Cats scored their fifth and eventual winning run in the bottom of the fourth.

A Cardinals' run in the top of the sixth cut the deficit to 5-4 and that is how it ended after Rogers, who took the mound in the top of the seventh, recorded a strikeout and senior shortstop Kevin Mingus hauled in a high pop fly in left field. Mike's K and Kevin's game-ending catch came with Mentor runners on first and second. Those runners reached on back-to-back one-out walks.

Among the Cats' highlights were the five complete innings that oh so promising junior right-hander Braydon Nelson gave his team in earning what is Braydon's first victory on the Varsity level. He is now 1-0 after showing moments of promise in his other starting opportunities this young season.

Braydon's five innings included three runs, all of which were unearned, three strikeouts, two walks and 87 total pitches, 56 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius' four-run second inning began with a one-out walk by Rogers and a sharp ground ball off the bat of sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel that the shortstop couldn't handle. Sophomore catcher Drew Asadorian followed with an authoritative game-tying RBI single and, with two outs, gritty junior third baseman Mark Geraci was hit by a pitch.

Up stepped senior right fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Freund and senior second baseman Joe Evans, who both went Rip City to right field for run-scoring hits, with Joe's being a two-RBI shot that came off a 1-2 pitch and staked the Cats to a 4-1 lead.

Mentor, which scored the game's first run on an RBI single by senior left fielder Ricky Valeri in the top of the first inning, cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the third by taking advantage of three errors by the Cats, including one that resulted in the Cardinals' second and third runs.

After Saint Ignatius moved to a 5-3 lead  in the bottom of the fourth, a run that was fueled by Tommy Grosel's sharp single past the third baseman, a ground ball to the right side by Asadorian that moved Tommy to second and an error, Mentor closed to 5-4 in the  top of the sixth off back-to-back doubles by junior second baseman Tommy Klepcyk and junior center fielder and lead-off hitter Nathan Birtley. Those consecutive two-baggers came with two outs and the bases empty.

The line score on the game was 4 runs, 7 hits and 1 error for the Cardinals, and 5 runs, 8 hits and 4 errors for the Wildcats.

FROM BRAYDON NELSON, WHO WAS KIND ENOUGH TO  SHARE HIS THOUGHTS WITH THE CORNER AFTER HIS POSTGAME OUTFIELD SPRINTS.

"It feels great to get the first win (on the Varsity level)," Braydon said. "The offense kept me going with the run support and allowed me to do my thing on the mound.

"Honestly, I would say everything (fastball, curveball and changeup ) was working pretty well for me today," Braydon continued. "I had to make some tough pitches, because the Mentor hitters were doing pretty well answering.

"It was fun pitching in this game," said Braydon, who was acknowledged in Coach Ganor's post-game talk for "Keeping us in the game."

FROM COACH GANOR

"Win ugly, but win, just find a way,' Coach Ganor said. "To get it back to even (6-6) is great. I'm happy for them, they're resilient. We're finding that out. We wondered for the first week if we were resilient, but the last two weeks I'm seeing a lot of resiliency."

The resiliency Coach Ganor referred to has come in the form of six victories in the Cats' last seven games, including a current five-game winning streak.

"Mentor was a real good hitting team and today we had to battle on the mound," said Coach Ganor, who will lead his Cats against the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees on Friday at 5:30 PM in the Cleveland Indians Charities High School Classic at Progressive Field. "I thought Braydon did a great job on the mound. He picked up the defense when we needed him to. That's a good one-run game that will get your blood flowing a little bit. It might have flowed a little more than I wanted it to, but all in all, I'm very happy for them to get it back to 6-6."

NOTE: After Friday night's game at Progressive Field it's off to the Queen City of Cincinnati on Saturday for the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament at St. Xavier High School. The Cats' first game is Saturday at 4 PM versus Coach Chris Kaczmar's Walsh Jesuit Warriors.

Saturday's 1 PM game matches the host Bombers of St. Xavier against the Titans of Toledo St. John's Jesuit and Sunday's championship and consolation games are both scheduled for 11 AM.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage both Friday night at the home of the Tribe and on the campus of St. Xavier over the weekend.

Providing live broadcasts from Progressive Field and St. Xavier will be the golden tones of Brendan DeVenney and Matt MacKenzie, who promise to do their best Vince Scully and Tom Hamilton over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

Mr. Vince Scully, the eloquent Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has begun his 67th and what he says will be his last season before it is on to retirement.

And Mr. Tom Hamilton, well what can you say? In this old-timer's humble opinion (and I grew up listening to the radio, not watching TV), the best of the best in the Indians' broadcasting history.

Have a great and safe weekend!         

    

  

 

  

      

  

         

 

 

The Cats' Bats and Base Running make their mark, Connor Adams' left arm is money, as is Griffin Hunt's work out of the bullpen. It all adds up to a 5-1 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary at Classic Park on Tuesday.
4/19/2016

Presented By Saint Ignatius' outstanding Team Manager George Martin '16 and Head Coach Brad Ganor, and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer.

THIS OLD-TIMER WAS COVERING THE VOLLEYBALL HEADLINER BETWEEN THE CATS AND THE WALSH JESUIT WARRIORS ON TUESDAY NIGHT, BUT WILL RETURN TO THE DIAMOND ON WENDESDAY FOR THE BASEBALL CATS' GAME VERSUS THE MENTOR CARDINALS IN CLASSIC PARK. THE FIRT PITCH IS 5 PM.

From Joltin' George Martin: The Cats' bats were working today, as they constantly put the ball in play to force the Irish to make plays on the defensive end. With 4 total hits, Nick Freund, Dennis Grosel, and Mike Rogers were feeling good at the plate. Dennis had two singles on the day and Freund as well, as the entire offense was like speed demons on the base paths. Rogers worked the count on a walk and hit a single to center as well. The Cats jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back as they scored 5 runs in total.

The Wildcat defense was strong throughout the game as junior Erik Demchuk had a marvelous play at 3rd base to highlight a great night. Junior phenom, Connor Adams, pitched 4 innings of no run baseball. He had a total of 60 pitches with 39 of them being strikes. He allowed 2 hits and fanned 5 batters. Safe to say Adams pitched the way he has all season.

Sensational reliever Griffin Hunt came in to shut down St. Vincent-St. Mary in the final three innings. He gave up 3 hits and a run, but it was not earned. He struck out 5 batters while throwing 50 pitches. Griffin has proven himself to be a trustworthy reliever for Coach Ganor and the Wildcats so far this season.

From Coach Ganor, whose Cats improved to 5-6 and extended their winning streak to four games: Connor Adams settled in and worked with great tempo. I wanted him to throw 60 pitches so we could have him back 100% for the Jesuit tournament this weekend, and he did just that. Griffin did what he has been doing all year, throwing strikes. I thought Nick Freund had a great day and was all over the bases. We have been talking about each week starting new. We played well last week and this week started off well. We know we will have a tough one with Mentor tomorrow so we need to turn our attention immediately to that game.

FROM THE CORNER: Coach Jeff Hasse's Mentor Cardinals stand 5-4 after their 7-4 triumph at Shaker Heights on Tuesday evening.

Two of Cardinals' four losses were to St. Edward, 4-2, and Strongsville, 8-7.

Last season, two of the current Wildcats, shortstop Kevin Mingus and left fielder Ryan Jacobs, each had two hits as Saint Ignatius defeated Mentor, 9-1, at The Pipe Yard Classic in Lorain County.

On the mound for the Cats on Wednesday in Classic Park will be promising 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior right-hander Braydon Nelson.

Just a little side note, Mentor graduate Kade McClure got off to a 6- 0 start for the University of Louisville this season. Saint Ignatius' gifted junior southpaw Connor Adams is a Louisville recruit.   

Wildcats Volleyball was right there in two of the three sets, but Walsh Jesuit rode its talent, mental toughness and aggressiveness to a three-set victory over the Wildcats in what was a battle of the unbeatens in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night
4/19/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Wash Jesuit, the state's top-ranked Division II program, improved to 13-0 with a 25-23, 25-15, 25-23 straight-sets triumph over the Cats, who are Ohio's fifth-ranked Division I team.

Coach Casey Marcelo's Wildcats, off to the best start in Saint Ignatius' volleyball history, lost for the first time in 11 matches this season.

"They executed really well across the board and read our defense pretty well," said Coach Marcelo of the Warriors, who are also the top-ranked team in the North Region, one spot ahead of Saint Ignatius. "They were pretty quick and we didn't have answers to some of their attacks. We did, towards the end, but it was a little too late.

"It's disappointing to let it slip away (the third and decisive set that saw the Cats holding a 22-17 lead)," Coach Marcelo continued. "But I have confidence in our guys to learn from this. They (Walsh Jesuit) had the fortitude to fight and overcome their adversities, and we have had matches that came out that way. We just have to learn to be very, very aggressive towards the end."

After a see-saw first set in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium that saw the Warriors' ever-present Joey Piazza go slam city down the stretch and key Walsh Jesuit's 25-23 win, Coach Brad Seislove's team pretty much controlled a significant portion of the second set, 25-15.

Coach Marcelo's Cats, adjusting to the Warriors' power attack, played their game in the third set and moved to a five point lead, 22-17.

Keeping its composure, Walsh Jesuit went on an aggressive 8-1 closing run and their faithful applauded what was a gut-check effort on the road.

"We really stayed about our process," said Coach Seislove, a 2006 graduate of Walsh Jesuit. "We kind of set forth what we want to do at every match. We want to win the battle of serve and pass, and I thought we did an excellent job of doing that tonight.

"We have a lot of real special kids on this team, Joey (Piazza), Paul (Collins) and Eric (Bulgrin) are returning starters and they have been part of three runs to the state tournament," Coach Seislove continued. "Just their work ethic and the way they come in every day is something special. They lead the team and the team is following suite. Every day we walk into practice it's to get better, and they (Piazza, Collins and Bulgrin) set the tone."

Piazza (16 kills), Collins (15 kills) and Bulgrin (6 blocks) helped show the way again on Tuesday night and got plenty of support from Colin Waltz (40 assists) and Cory Grumbach(12 digs), among others.

ON BOTH SIDES: Special is a word than can be used for both the Cats and the Warriors, as Saint Ignatius, despite the disappointing setback, exuded class. As Coach Marcelo emphasized, his team will learn from this and carry the experience to bigger and better things as April concludes and May begins.

"I just think we needed to take the game to them, and we didn't," Coach Marcelo said.

A POSSIBLE REMATCH THIS WEEKEND?: Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit will be competing in the "Spikes for Tykes" Tournament this weekend at Capital University. Depending on the draw, they could, and we emphasize could, match up for the second time in five days. The tournament includes other state powers such as Elder, Centerville and Archbishop Alter.

THE TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: With Division I top-ranked Cincinnati St. Xavier, Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit, the sport of boys volleyball in Ohio has a strong Jesuit presence. By the way, Coach Seislove's Warriors defeated St. Xavier last weekend for the first time.

CONGRATS TO THE JV CATS OF COACH ANNE KENT, WHO DEFEATED WALSH JESUIT, 25-20, 18-25, 25-19, AND IMPROVED TO 5-3.

The strong, active and enthusiastic play of the Cats' John Moynihan left an impression on this old-timer.

HERE ARE SOME STATS FROM THE SAINT IGNATIUS-WALSH JESUIT VARSITY MATCHUP, COURTESY OF THE WILDCATS' STATS CREW.

Games Played: 3

Serve
Attempts: 50  Aces: 3  Errors: 5
Aces/Game: 1.0  Ace%: 6.0  Serve%: 90.0

Serve Receive
Receptions: 45  Errors: 3  Avg: 2.49

Setting
Total Sets: 66  Assists: 25  Errors: 0
Assists/Game: 8.3

Attack
Attempts: 71  Kills: 26  Errors: 13  KE: .183
Kills/Game: 8.7

Defense / Custom
Digs: 19  Blk S: 2  Blk A: 20  Blk E: 27  BHE: 6
Digs/Game: 6.3  Blocks/Game: 4.0
Blk Attem: 0  Custom 2: 0
Custom 3: 0  Custom 4: 0.

 

 

 

 

 

 
       
   

       

 

   

   

 

 

  

 

   

 

 

  

 

      

 

   

 

       

 

  

 

  

Tuesday's Volleyball showdown with Walsh Jesuit, the annual Ohio Jesuit Baseball Tournament and the 61st running of the Amherst Comet Relays headline what promises to be another memorable week in Wildcats Athletics
4/18/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Fairview Park, Ohio -  It all starts tomorrow night at 7, when Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats, off to a program-best 10-0 start and ranked fifth in the state in Division I, take on the Walsh Jesuit Warriors, who are Ohio's top-ranked program in Division 2. The Warriors and the Cats are ranked 1-2, respectively, in the North Region.

The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network will be on hand for coverage tomorrow night in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium and yours truly will be honored to get my first look at the 2016 Volleyball Cats.

Thanks to Coach Marcelo's faithful reports, the corner has been able to keep up with the Cats' success. Yes, seven spring sports have this old-timer burning the 1 to 2 AM oil, never mind midnight.

We'll see you at Fr. Sullivan Gym tomorrow night!

Note: After Tuesday night's headliner, the Saint Ignatius website schedules have the Volleyball Cats slated to travel to Stow on Thursday night (7 PM), and competing in a tournament at Capital University on Saturday at 9 AM.

BASEBALL

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (4-6), coming off their impressive display of offense in a doubleheader sweep of Grove City and Upper Arlington (see the corner's story from Saturday), have five games scheduled this week, starting with Tuesday's 5 PM first pitch versus St. Vincent-St. Mary in Classic Park.    

The Cats return to Classic Park on Wednesday to face the Mentor Cardinals at 5 PM and then it is the baseball highlights of the week - Friday's 5:30 PM matchup with the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees in Progressive Field and the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament at St. Xavier on Saturday and Sunday.
 
Friday's matchup with the Bees on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic.
 
As for the tradition-rich Ohio Jesuit Tournament, Coach Ganor's Wildcats will face Coach Chris Kaczmar's Walsh Jesuit Warriors on Saturday at 4 PM. The Bombers of St. Xavier and the Titans from Toledo St John's Jesuit will open tournament play at 1 PM on Saturday. 
 
Sunday will begin with Mass at 8 AM, breakfast at 9 and at 11 AM, the winners and losers from Saturday will match pitches in the championship and consolation games. Again, both of Sunday's games will be played at 11 AM.
 
As for Brecksville-Broadview Heights, the Bees have won nine consecutive Southwestern Conference Championships, brought home District titles in 2007 and 2009, and advanced to the Elite 8 in 2007. Since 2005, Brecksville has produced 30 players who have earned playing positions at various colleges or universities, including six at the Division I level.
 
Among the Bees to watch is senior left-handed pitcher/outfielder Jackson Gilbride, an Ohio Northern recruit who was 6-0 in eight starts last season with 1.38 ERA and 51 strikeouts, and also swung the bat to the tune of a .371 average with a 526 on-base percentage and 32 runs scored.
 
Also keep an eye on the Bees' versatile John MacDonald, a third baseman/catcher/pitcher who played five different positions in one game last season. John is bound for the University of Mount Union. The other Brecksville mainstays are middle infielder/pitcher Joe Raffin, also a University of Mount Union recruit, outfielder/lefty pitcher Erik Birk, who will be going on to play for Coach Brian Harrison at Baldwin Wallace University, and Dan Harwood, a southpaw pitcher/outfielder/first baseman who had a 3-0 record and an ERA last spring of 2.01, and led the Bees in at-bats and runs batted in. Dan has committed to the College of Wooster.  
 
Walsh Jesuit, whose tradition on the diamond speaks for itself, was 7-2 as of Saturday afternoon. The Warriors received an outstanding performance from The Ohio State University recruit Dominic Canzone in last week's 9-1 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary, as Dominic yielded just one hit and struck out eight. SVSM's run was unearned.
 
Supplying the offense against St. Vincent-St. Mary were seniors Mac Shinaberry with three hits and Bryce Marshall, who also had a multi-hit game.
 
As for the Titans of St. John's Jesuit, the season started with three consecutive victories and then Mother Nature made sure she would be the one remembered, as the Titans experienced seven, count them seven, cancellations.
 
St. John's Jesuit, 4-2 entering Tuesday's game with Toldeo Whitmer, opened its season with an 8-0 win over Toledo Start, as junior Joey Sabol threw five innings for the victory, yielding only two hits while striking out four. Fellow junior Jared Telecky keyed the offense with a double and two runs batted in.
 
The Titans then traveled to Orchard Lake St. Mary's and played in conditions that featured "snow storms" and 35 degree temperatures. St. John's Jesuit built a 9-2 lead and hung on for a 9-8. victory. Titans senior Sam McClurg had 3 hits in 4 at-bats, drove in two runs and scored three.
 
St. Xavier's Bombers were 4-5 entering Saturday's game versus Hamilton Badin. Two of their setbacks were to perennial power and Queen City rival Archbishop Moeller, 4-1, at the University of Cincinnati, and 5-3 to the Harrison Wildcats of Hamilton County on Friday in the Great American Ball Park.
 
We'll take a look at Wednesday's opponent, the Mentor Cardinals, on Tuesday.
 
TRACK AND FIELD
 
Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Wildcats improved to 3-0 on the season with another impressive performance, this time at the GlenOak Second Sole Eagle Elite (see the corner's post from Saturday night).
 
The Track and Field Cats are gearing up for Saturday's tradition-rich Amherst Comet Relays, which get underway at 9 AM at Amherst Steele High School. 
 
LACROSSE
 
Coach Patrick McManamon's savvy and skilled 6-1 lacrosse team, coming off Sunday's impressive 15-4 victory over Archbishop Moeller, will host North Canton Hoover on Wednesday at 7:15 PM and on Saturday Western Reserve Academy pays a visit to Wasmer Field for a 3 PM face-off.
 
TENNIS
 
Coach Jon Barker's Cats have a busy week that begins Tuesday with a 4 PM match versus Westlake at Magnificat and continues with matches at Walsh Jesuit on Wednesday at 4 PM, at Lakewood on Thursday at 4 PM, and then it is back to Magnificat on Saturday for the Medina Doubles Team Tournament at 7:45 AM.
 
RUGBY
 
Coach Dan Arbeznik's talented and tough-minded young men will be after their eighth victory in 10 encounters on the paddock when they face Indiana power Indianapolis Cathedral at 3 PM on Saturday in Columbus.
 
CREW
 
The Cats' rich-in-promise rowers are looking forward to this weekend, when a re-scheduled Rustbelt Championship is set to take place on Lake Milton. Saint Ignatius will have the opportunity to face Pittsburgh Central Catholic, St. Edward and Canisius High School.
Here are the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coaches Association's Division I rankings for the week ending 4/17/16
4/18/2016

1. - St. Xavier (9) - 179
2. - Hilliard Darby (8) - 171
3. - Centerville (2) - 169
4. - Elder (2) - 167
5. - Saint Ignatius (1) - 142
6. - Archbishop Moeller (1) - 121
7. - Pickerington North - 104
8. - Beavercreek - 63
9. - Olentangy - 58
10- Lakota East - 32
..... Westerville South - 28
..... Jackson - 9
..... Pickerington Central - 6
..... Brunswick - 5

Note: Walsh Jesuit and Saint Ignatius, who are gearing up for Tuesday night's showdown in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium, are ranked 1-2, respectively, in the North Region and the Warriors are ranked No. 1 in Division II.

For a look at another successful weekend for the now 10-0 Volleyball Cats, see Sunday's post on the corner from Coach Casey Marcelo.

Here is the weekly look at the Crew Cats from Wildcats Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09
4/18/2016

Presented By Coach Walters and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH WALTERS: The Wildcat Navy competed at the Cincinnati Invitational this weekend, which put them up against some of the best teams in the region, including Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club, St. Louis Rowing Club,  Westerville Crew and New Trier.

It was a tough day of racing at 2,000m distances (scholastic races are usually 1,500m), but the team learned a lot from their performance.

Most races had heats in the  morning and the top two or three in each would advance to the finals. The Varsity 8 placed 2nd in their heat and 4th in the grand final.

In the 2nd Varsity 8 final the two Wildcat entries finished 4th and 6th. A third entry in the 2nd Varsity 8 did not advance out of the heat. The  Lightweight 8 finished 5th of five and struggled to find a strong rhythm in their final-only event. Shortly afterward, that crew split up into two 4s and both had much better races against heavyweight boats.

The  surprise of the day for the Varsity Wildcats was the 2nd Varsity 4, which advanced to the petite (second-level) final, but due to a marshaling error rowed in the grand final and managed to beat another crew.

On the Freshman/Novice side, the Saint Ignatius  Freshman 8 qualified for the grand final, finishing 6th. The Wildcat  Novice 8 did not advance out of their heat.

The two Novice 4s that competed for Saint Ignatius earned 2nd and 4th places finishes in their petite final, after advancing out of the morning's head race.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 told the team at the end of the day that choosing to face top clubs and scholastic teams was intentional, and it was clear from each boat's performance in the finals that all crews made  improvements from their morning races.

The team looks ahead to next weekend, when a re-scheduled Rustbelt Championship is set to take place on Lake Milton and Saint Ignatius will face Pittsburgh Central Catholic, St. Edward and Canisius High School.

 
The Lax Cats control the second and third periods and go on to defeat Archbishop Moeller, 15-4, on Wasmer Field Sunday afternoon
4/17/2016

Posted By  Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coming off Friday night's tough 12-10 loss at Upper Arlington, which was described by observers as a great display of lacrosse, Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats wore down the Crusaders from Archbishop Moller and now stand 6-1 on the season.

After a 2-2 first period, the Lax Cats went on to outscore Moeller 4-0 in the second period and 7-0 in the third period in route to the 15-4 triumph over the team from the Queen City.

The Crusaders headed back home with a record of 3-2.

Helping show the way for Saint Ignatius was the talent-rich 1-2 senior punch of Canisius College recruit Alex Hornung and Lehigh University recruit Crew Cintron, who each scored three goals.

Jared Stepka, a standout on the Wildcats' 2016 State Champion Ice Hockey Team, contributed two goals, as did the ever-present Sam Humphrey.

Up next for the Lax Cats is Wednesday night's 7:15 face-off with the Vikings from North Canton Hoover on Wasmer Filed.

Here is how the Vikings have fared this season.

4/15/2016           L           Chagrin Falls 13           Hoover V 12                             
4/11/2016      W           Hoover V 10           Univeristy School 7                             
4/9/2016           PPD           Shaker Heights           Hoover V 0                             
4/5/2016           W           Hoover V 12           Medina 9                             
3/31/2016           L           St. Edward 5           Hoover V 4                             
3/23/2016           W           Hoover V 17           Westlake 11                             
3/22/2016           W           Hoover V 16           Archbishop Hoban 4

 

 

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats are now a perfect 10! A battle of the unbeatens takes place Tuesday night, as Walsh Jesuit visits Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.
4/17/2016
From Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Volleyball Coach Casey Marcelo and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
Cats improve to 10-0  with a tri-match triumph over Archbishop Hoban (D2-8) and Mt. Vernon (D2-5) in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

From Coach Marcelo
 
Versus Archbishop Hoban, 25-16, 25-17, 21-25, 25-18
Danny Michals 20 kills; James Purcell 7 kills; Phil Catanzaro 5 aces, 32 assists; Jacob Hoshaw 19 digs, 2 aces.
 
Versus Mt. Vernon - 25-23, 25-11, 21-25, 25-21
Danny Michals 21 kills, 2 aces; James Purcell 11 kills; Rich Holzheimer 39 assists; Jacob Hoshaw 18 digs.
 
Come see us at home Tuesday night versus Walsh Jesuit (7 PM), as the only undefeated teams in the state square off, and cheer on your Volleyball Cats!!!
Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Cats are now 3-0 this season after taking first place at Saturday's GlenOak Second Sole Eagle Elite
4/17/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Among the many highlights for the Track and Field Cats were the Stadium Record first place of 10.79 in the 100 meter dash by standout senior sprinter James Norris, who is bound for Cornell University.

Sophomore Phil Zuccaro was third in the 100 meter dash at 11.11 and James (21.82) and Phil (22.20) were 1-2 in the 200 meter dash.

In the 800 meter run, Colin Kruchan and Mike Huber were 1-2, respectively, with Colin running a 1:57.91 and Mike a 1:58.48.

The Cats' outstanding 4x800 team of Pat Nolan, Mike Huber, Liam McGurie and Colin Kruchan took first place in 8:01.46.

Jim Rogers was fifth in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:33.44, C.J. Ambrosio was fourth in the 3200 meter run at 9:32.95 and Tom Sullivan was sixth in the 3200 at 9:58.37.

Saint Ignatius' 4x200 relay team of Anthony Pelligrino, Jack Cook, Mike Lehto and Quinn Lawless was seventh in a time of 1:31.87.

Jack Ruddy was fourth in 300 meter hurdles at 40.96 and C.J. Moore was eighth in 41.34. C. J. Moore was also sixth in the 110 meter hurdles at 15.84.

Mike Lehto was fifth in the long jump at 20-10.50, Mac Nagel was 7th in the pole vault at 11-00.00, and Kyle Aerni tied for 4th place in the high jump with a 6-00.00.

The final top five point totals were Saint Ignatius 95.50; GlenOak 74.50; Canton McKinley 58; Glenville 49 and Copley 44.50.

Saint Ignatius' other first-place performances came at the season-opening Brunswick Elite on Easter Saturday and the Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier.

Mother Nature took first place at last week's tradition-rich Medina Relays.

Up next for Coach Kyle's Cats is Saturday's 61st Annual Comet Relays at Amherst Steele High School. The competition begins at 9 AM.    

 

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball totals 20 runs and 22 hits in sweeping two of the state's highly regarded programs in a doubleheader on Saturday, 6-0 over Grove City and 14-7 versus host Upper Arlington
4/16/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

From the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Upper Arlington High School

It was a picture-perfect spring day in Franklin County on Saturday and Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor couldn't have drawn it up any better for his Wildcats, who have had difficulty scoring runs during the first three weeks of the season.

After defeating a solid Youngstown Ursuline team, 1-0, on Thursday, the Cats erupted for their biggest offensive output of 2016 and now stand 4-6 heading into Tuesday's 5 PM first pitch versus St. Vincent-St. Mary in Classic Park.   

With not a cloud in the blue sky that hovered over the home of the Golden Bears of Upper Arlington, Saint Ignatius rained hits and runs all over Grove City and Upper Arlington, and walked away with a doubleheader sweep over two of the Central District's highly respected programs.

In game one, the Wildcats scored all of their runs in the first three innings and rode the gifted right arm of senior Murphy O'Brien to a 6-0 triumph over the Greyhounds from Grove City. The Greyhounds entered their matchup with Saint Ignatius with a 9-3 record.

O'Brien, a St. Bonaventure University recruit who is also one of Coach Ganor's tri-Captains, worked 5 1/3 innings in blanking Grove City. Murphy yielded two hits, struck out six, walked three and fired 92 pitches, 55 of which were strikes.

Murphy now stands 1-1 as a starter this year after setting a school record with 10 saves as the ace out of the bullpen in 2015.

Promising 6-foot-4 junior right-hander Braydon Nelson put a seal on the shutout with an inning and two thirds that saw Braydon give up one hit, record two strikeouts and no walks. He threw 22 pitches, 14 for strikes.

The nightcap featured a matchup between host Upper Arlington and Saint Ignatius that was pretty much all about a Wildcats offense that produced 14 runs.

Upper Arlington, which also defeated Grove City, 3-1, in Saturday's opener, is now 9-4 after being hit early and often by Saint Ignatius' now hot bats.

Only a four-run bottom of the seventh allowed the Golden Bears to walk off their field with a 14-7 loss.  

Senior right-hander Nick Freund got the starting call from Coach Ganor and worked 3 2/3 innings. Nick, who is 1-0 this spring, yielded two hits, three runs, one of which was earned, walked three and had one strikeout.

Junior right-hander Danny Adler turned in workman-like 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Cats, yielding three hits. Danny had a strikeout and did not issue a walk.

THE CATS' BATS

Saint Ignatius' offense versus Grove City saw Freund, who doubles as a starting right fielder, come up with two hits and a number of his teammates each produce one hit. The Wildcats also took advantage of six errors by the Greyhounds.

Coach Ganor's club took command against Grove City with a three-run third inning that featured a sharp lead-off single by senior catcher John Robinson, a base hit through the left side by junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs, an error and RBI singles by senior center fielder/tri-Captain Mike Rogers and versatile junior infielder/pitcher Erik Demchuk.

Rogers led the 12-hit attack against Upper Arlington with three hits and senior second baseman Joe Evans, who is having an impressive start to the season, had two hits.

Also touching up the Golden Bears' pitching for two-hit games were sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel and junior infielder Christion Ramos. Christion hit a towering double to the base of the fence in left field that had the Wildcat faithful on their feet.  

Providing the big blow that unleashed the Cats' offense against Upper Arlington was senior outfielder Dan Volpe, who delivered a two-out, bases-loaded three-run triple to deep left-center field. Rogers followed with an RBI single and the Golden Bears were back on their heels. Volpe also had a double to deep left-center field in the Grove City game.

FLASHING THE LEATHER: Saint Ignatius' defense played a significant role during Sweep Saturday as Tommy Grosel was money at first base, senior shortstop Kevin Mingus and Evans controlled the middle infield, sophomore catcher Drew Asadorian continued to show his savvy behind the dish, and Rogers patrolled the outfield from the 8 position.

FROM MURPHY O'BRIEN: "If I had to choose, probably the curve ball," O'Brien said when asked what pitch was clicking for him on Saturday afternoon. "I was really comfortable throwing that in hitters' counts.

"It's really hard to say right now," O'Brien continued when asked if the Cats are totally back and prepared to gear up for another postseason run. "We've got some momentum. Those wins today were great wins. That was the best we've played all year. If we carry this on, that could be the turnaround."

FROM COACH GANOR: "We knew it was coming at some point," said Coach Ganor of the impressive offensive display the Cats put forth on Saturday. "It takes pressure off the pitchers, pitchers are more comfortable and can get into a rhythm.

"I'm really happy for the offense and hope that we're building in confidence, feeling some success and trying to build on that," Coach Ganor continued. "It's hard to play a doubleheader and win a doubleheader. But to take two down here against two quality programs, I'm very happy with that.

"Each week is a different week, and now we're moving on to the next one."

FROM A VERY SPECIAL FAN, COACH GANOR'S SON, DOMINIC: "They played very good today and we hope that they win every single game and get to the state championship. They pitch good, but they have to hit the ball better. If they get to the MLB (Major Leagues), that's great. But they have to go to college first."

Note: I believe that Dominic Joseph Ganor will soon be 7 years old.

STICK AROUND LONG ENOUGH, AND YOU'LL SEE SOMETHING NEW: This seasoned reporter saw a first yesterday, as Coach Ganor and Grove City Head Coach Ryan Alexander played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would be the home team at Upper Arlington. Grove City won.

That was one of the few highlights on the day for the Greyhounds.                     

 

        

                   

Wildcats Lacrosse is turned back by host Upper Arlington, 12-10, on Friday night in what was a back-and-forth battle at the home of the Golden Bears
4/15/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Lax Cats, who kept coming back from deficits, lost for the first time in six outings this spring.

Saint Ignatius entered the game as the No. 1 team in the LaxPower Computer Ratings and Upper Arlington was rated fourth. The Golden Bears are now 6-1.

Upper Arlington's lacrosse faithful, who have followed a tradition that has produced 17 lacrosse state championships for the Golden Bears, including three in a row (2012, '13 and '14), described Friday night's matchup with The Lax Cats as a great game for anyone with an appreciation of the sport.

The Lax Cats return home for a 1 PM Sunday face-off with Archbishop Moeller on Wasmer Field.

Moeller's Crusaders improved to 3-1 with a 14-8 victory at Sycamore on Friday. The Crusaders entered the face-off with the Aviators rated 10th by LaxPower.

 

Here is a corner's glance at the Wildcats' sports weekend, including a look at Upper Arlington and Grove City, who will face Saint Ignatius in a Varsity Baseball Doubleheader on Saturday at Upper Arlington
4/15/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track and Field Team, off to a 2-0 start with triumphs at the Brunswick Elite and the Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier, will be traveling to Canton GlenOak High School on Saturday for the Sole Elite Invitational. The competition begins at 9 AM
 
Coach Casey Marcelo's 8-0 Volleyball Cats, ranked fifth in the state, will host a tri-match with Mount Vernon and Archbishop Hoban on Saturday at 9 AM in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.
 
Coach Patrick McManamon's multi-skilled and savvy 5-0 Lacrosse Team will travel to Upper Arlington tonight (Friday) for a 7 PM matchup with the Golden Bears, and return home on Sunday for a 1 PM game versus Archbishop Moeller on Wasmer Field. In the latest Lax Power computer ratings, the Wildcats are No. 1 and Upper Arlington is rated fourth.
 
Coach Pat Connor's and Coach Connor Walters' Wildcats' Rowers, aka the 2016 Crew Cats, or the Wildcat Navy as some refer to them, will be competing at Saturday's Cincinnati High School Invitational on Lake Harsha, Ohio.
 
In Varsity Baseball, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (2-6), coming off Thursday night's 1-0  victory over tradition-rich Youngstown Ursuline at Baldwin Wallace University, will be competing in a doubleheader on Saturday at Upper Arlington High School.
 
The Wildcats' Baseball Page shows Saint Ignatius playing Upper Arlington at 12:30 PM and Grove City at 3:30 PM. However, Upper Arlington shows its game versus Saint Ignatius as being at 3 PM, and Grove City has its game with the Cats listed as 12:30 PM. Hey, either way, the action for the Cats will begin at 12:30 PM.
 
Upper Arlington, under the direction of second-year Head Coach Tom Marker, went 2-0 on its trip to Alabama and returned to Ohio and won three of its next five games while battling Mother Nature's postponements.
 
The Golden Bears graduated eight key players from last year's 20-10 team. Returning from 2015 are the capable bats of senior outfielder John Dible (.356 and 25 RBI last year) and senior first baseman Nick Finelli (a 338 hitter in 2015).
 
Graduation also took a toll on the pitching staff, but Upper Arlington did welcome back junior John Hendrix, whose resume includes a victory over 2015 Division I State Runner-Up Westerville Central. Westerville Central defeated Saint Ignatius in last year's State Semifinals, 10-5.
 
As for the 8-2 Greyhounds of Grove City, they put together two solid victories this week, 10-6 over Groveport Madison Senior and 6-0 at Newark.
 
In the victory over Newark, Dan Rutan pitched four innings and totaled seven strikeouts. Cole Antle delivered three hits for the Greyhounds and also producing multi-hit games versus Newark were Nick Erwin, Blake Griffith and Hayden Cartt.
 
The Greyhounds galloped to District Championships in two of the past four seasons.
 
Here is a look at Upper Arlington's Diamond Dust
 
State Champions: 1987, 1990

State Runner-Up: 1947, 1989

Regional Runner-Up: 1960, 1966, 1972, 1973, 1984, 1986, 1995

District Champions: 1947, 1955, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2010

League Titles, Central Buckeye League: 1945, 1947, 1950, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965

Central Ohio League: 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977

Ohio Capital Conference: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003

Rounding the corner and heading home.
 
See you at the Golden Bears' field of dreams on Saturday. Have a great and safe weekend.          
 
 
 
 
 
   
The corner congratulates Wildcats 2015 Captain/Linebacker/Fullback Ben Cray for being selected to compete in the annual Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association All-Star Game
4/15/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The 44th Annual Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association East-West High School All-Star Scholarship Game will be played on June 10th in John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium. The kickoff will be 7 PM and tickets will be on sale at the gates that evening for $8.

Ben '16 will be representing Coach Chuck Kyle's Saint Ignatius Wildcats as a member of the West Team. The annual GCFCA All-Star Game is presented by The Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals.

The corner congratulates Ben, a first-class young man that this old-timer had the privilege and pleasure to cover and report on during his football career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Congrats also go out to Ben's family, Coach Kyle, Wildcats linebacker coaches Ryan Franzinger '02 and Dave Cicetti, running backs coach Terry Fergus '72 and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.      

Wildcats Baseball turns back Youngstown Ursuline, 1-0, behind a clutch hit by Kevin Mingus and the arms of Tommy Grosel, Griffin Hunt and Mike Rogers
4/14/2016

Courtesy of Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor and Cats outstanding Team Manager George Martin '16

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer upon returning home from a rough night in Saint Ignatius Rugby (see the corner's story that is below this post).

From the new turfed infield surface at Baldwin Wallace University

Coach Ganor: "Tommy did a good job battling even though he didn't have his best stuff," Coach Ganor said of his promising sophomore left-hander Tommy Grosel, who helped lead the Baseball Cats to a 1-0 victory over the tradition-rich program from Youngstown Ursuline on Thursday evening.

"Drew Asadorian (sophomore catcher) was solid in his first varsity action and Kevin Mingus (senior shortstop) got the clutch hit we have been waiting for," Coach Ganor continued. "Maybe this will turn into the tale of two seasons, the cold and the warm. We can only hope that the warm will generate some heat with the lumber."

George Martin: "A defensive battle at its finest," said George after the Cats improved to 2-6 by "escaping" a 7th inning that saw the Ursuline Fighting Irish (now 5-3) load the bases with 2 outs.

"Wildcat pitching was phenomenal as Tommy Grosel pitched 4 innings and only allowing 1 hit," George continued. "He fanned 3 batters on 75 pitches. He accumulated 38 strikes and 37 balls with 6 walks at his expense. Grosel, showing great composure throughout, allowed no earned runs. Griffin Hunt came in to relieve Grosel of his duties and shined as he allowed no hits. With 1K, Griffin's dominating presence was not just felt on the mound. He made an exceptional play covering 1st base that surely seemed would allow a hit.

"Senior Michael Rogers came in for the close game save and had an impressive inning as he had a strikeout," George said. "Senior Kevin Mingus came up big with 2 outs in the 3rd to score Nick Freund from 2nd base. Hits were few today so the single by Mingus drew great excitement from the dugout and the Saint Ignatius fans in attendance. Freund and Joe Evans each had singles as well."

The corner will be joining the Cats on their trip to Upper Arlington for Saturday's doubleheader. Saint Ignatius will face the host Golden Bears at 12:30 PM and then it's a 3:30 first pitch versus the Greyhounds from Grove City. We'll take a look at the Golden Bears and the Greyhounds on the corner Friday.     

Dominant was the operative word from Wildcats Head Rugby Coach Dan Arbeznik in reference to St. Edward after the Eagles defeated the Cats, 31-5, on Thursday night
4/14/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Lakewood, Ohio - From St. Edward's Brother James Everett, C.S.C., Stadium

In what was an encounter between the nation's sixth (Saint Ignatius) and eighth-ranked programs, Coach Tom Cleary's St. Edward Eagles, in the words of Wildcats' outstanding Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00, dominated every phase of Thursday night's highly anticipated matchup.

The Eagles, who were defeated by Saint Ignatius in the past two Ohio Rugby State Championship matches, soared to a 21-0 lead in the first half.

After the Wildcats were able to close the deficit to 21-5 on a try by Marcus Hogan with just under five minutes remaining in the first 30 minutes, St. Edward left no doubt by scoring two more tries in the second half and shutting down the Cats the rest of the way in route to a 31-5 triumph.

Coach Cleary's Eagles now stand 8-0 on the season and Coach Arbeznik's Wildcats lost for just the second time in nine matches this spring.

"Anybody watching from the stands probably saw that we played about 55 minutes of defense and five minutes of offense out there," Coach Arbeznik said. "We just couldn't hang on to our possession. St. Eds did a real nice job of taking our ball once we went to ground.

"They were excellent in every facet of the game, really quick with their hands, attacking space and just playing quick," Coach Arbeznik continued in his references to the Eagles. "There was a wide gap out there tonight."

St. Edward established its play early and often, as tries by Pat Conway, Jack Bradfield and Joey "Doughnut" Donay showed the way to the 21-0 first-half lead. Bradfield added three conversions for an 11-point night.

The leave-no-doubt sealers for Coach Cleary's Eagles came off the second-half tries of Jaret Williamson and Zach Heisterkamp.

"They say you learn more from your losses, and I'm a firm believer in that myself," Coach Arbeznik said. "So we're going to look at the tape and see a lot of areas that we can improve on. St. Eds was the hungrier team coming out tonight."

Coach Arbeznik added that the Eagles are the best team his Wildcats have faced so far this season, and that includes Xavier out of New York and Penn (Ind.), the nation's fourth and fifth-ranked teams, respectively, and Westlake out of Austin, Texas, one of the very best rugby programs the land of the Longhorns has to offer. Westlake is the alma mater of New Orleans Saints All-Pro quarterback and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

Up next for the Rugby Cats is the April 23rd matchup with Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral in Columbus at 3:15 PM.

EAGLES ALSO CLAIM THE B-SIDE MATCHUP: St. Edward's B-Side Team, a two-time defending state champion that hasn't lost a matchup in two years, defeated the Wildcats' B-Side, 17-0, on Thursday evening.

BUT THE CATS' FRESHMEN AVOID THE THREE-MATCH SWEEP WITH AN IMPRESSIVE EFFORT: Behind Danny Scelza's three tries, the Freshmen Cats wore down the Freshmen Eagles, 32-15, in getting Thursday's tripleheader on the paddock started.         

 

  

        

OHSAA Division I Football moves to a four-region setup starting this coming 2016 season!
4/14/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Release Courtesy of the Ohio High School Athletic Association

OHSAA Division I Football Tournament Format Moves to Four Regions

Regional alignment will now mirror Divisions II-VII; number of playoff qualifiers (32) will remain the same.

Starting this coming season, eight Division I Teams from each region will now quality for the playoffs.

Saint Ignatius is now a member of Division I, Region 2. Again, the top eight teams from each of the new four Division I regions at the end of the regular season will qualify for the playoffs. 

Region 2

Saint Ignatius, St. Edward, Austintown-Fitch, Berea-Midpark, Canton GlenOak, Canton McKinley, Cleveland Heights, Cleveland John Marshall, Cleveland Rhodes, Cuyahoga Falls, Euclid, Lakewood, Massillon Jackson, Mentor, North Canton Hoover, Shaker Heights, Solon, Stow-Munroe Falls.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The tournament format for the OHSAA Division I football playoffs will move from two regions to four regions beginning this fall following a 9-0 vote this morning by the OHSAA Board of Directors during its April meeting. With four regions (map is linked below), Division I moves back into the same format as Divisions II through VII, with a greater emphasis on the regional championship games and decreased travel.

The proposal, which came jointly from the OHSAA staff and the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association, does not change the number of Division I qualifiers (32, same as other divisions), but will have its tournament field comprised of eight qualifiers coming from each of four regions, rather than 16 teams from two regions, as has been done beginning in 2013 when the OHSAA expanded the football playoffs to seven Divisions and reduced the number of schools in Division I to only the largest 72 schools in Ohio.

“Changing Division I to four regions is a great decision for many reasons,” Beau Rugg, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner and the state’s football administrator, said. “First and foremost, it cuts down significantly on travel, especially in the first round. It also allows Division I to go back to having a true regional championship game in the third round, followed by the state semifinals.”

For the last three years, the regional finals in Division I were the fourth round, which also served as the state semifinals.

Each of the four regions in Division I will contain 18 schools and will qualify eight to the playoffs. The Division I regional map for 2016 is posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/2016/2016DivisionIRegions.pdf

Of note, only 22 of Ohio’s 88 counties currently have a Division I football school, thus Division I will have three split counties (Cuyahoga, Franklin and Montgomery) in order to equally place 18 teams into each region. In Divisions II through VII, the OHSAA draws regional boundaries so that all teams within a county that are in the same division are kept in the same region.

“Back in 2013, we had initially talked about having four regions for Division I, but at that time we thought that since there was a smaller number of teams in Division I, that might lend itself better to having just two regions,” Rugg said. “But with only two regions the last three years, the increased travel and lack of emphasis on the regional championship game wasn’t always well received.”

The new format in Division I will be included in the 2016 football tournament regulations that will be voted on by the Board of Directors at its next meeting June 2. Any other proposed changes to the tournament regulations will also be acted upon by the Board in June.

2016 OHSAA Football Division I Schools by Region

Region 1

Brunswick, Dublin Jerome, Elyria, Findlay, Lewis Center Olentangy, Powell Olentangy Liberty, Lewis Center Olentangy Orange, Lorain, Marysville, Medina, Newark, North Royalton, Parma, Strongsville, Toledo Start, Toledo Whitmer, Westerville Central, Westerville South

Region 2

Austintown-Fitch, Berea-Midpark, Canton GlenOak, Canton McKinley, Cleveland Heights, Cleveland John Marshall, Cleveland Rhodes, Saint Ignatius, Cuyahoga Falls, Euclid, St. Edward, Lakewood, Massillon Jackson, Mentor, North Canton Hoover, Shaker Heights, Solon, Stow-Munroe Falls

Region 3

Beavercreek, Columbus Westland, Dublin Coffman, Gahanna Lincoln, Grove City, Grove City Central Crossing, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Huber Heights Wayne, Kettering Fairmont, Lancaster, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North, Reynoldsburg, Springfield, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington

Region 4

Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati Colerain, Cincinnati Elder, Cincinnati Oak Hills, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Cincinnati Sycamore, Cincinnati Western Hills, Centerville, Clayton Northmont, Fairfield, Hamilton, Lebanon, Liberty Township Lakota East, Mason, Middletown, Milford, Springboro, West Chester Lakota West

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the Top 10 nationally ranked teams heading into tonight's Saint Ignatius at St. Edward Rugby headliner
4/14/2016

From Alex Goff of the highly respected Goff Rugby Report

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Goff Rugby Report Boys HS Single-School Rankings 2016 #9
Rank Prev Team Notes
1 1 Gonzaga (DC) Defeated Xavier (4)
2 2 Sacramento Jesuit (Calif.) Defeated Granite Bay (MS5) by 2
3 3 Herriman (Utah) Defeated Olympus (29)
4 4 Xavier (NY) Lost to Gonzaga (1)
5 5 Penn (Ind.) Idle
6 6 Saint Ignatius (Ohio) Idle last week
7 8 Kahuku (Hawaii) Defeated St. Francis
8 9 St. Edward (Ohio) Idle last week
9 16 Snow Canyon (Utah) Defeated San Diego Mustangs (MS13)
10 10 Mira Costa (Calif.) Idle
A Track and Field note of interest and a reminder on Thursday night's headliner in Rugby
4/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' outstanding Track and Field Coach Mr. Chuck Kyle '69 shared with the corner on Wednesday afternoon that his Track and Field Wildcats have been moved from the OHSAA Brunswick District to the OHSAA Amherst District this spring.

The move means that the Wildcats will be competing at Amherst in back-to-back weeks, both in District and Regional competition.

AND, just a reminder that Coach Dan Arbeznik's state and nationally acclaimed 7-1 Rugby Cats will be make the short trip to St. Edward tomorrow (Thursday) night for the highly anticipated regular season matchup with the 7-0 state and nationally recognized Eagles of Coach Tom Cleary.

Action begins with the Freshman matchup at 5 PM, followed by the B-Sides match at 6 bells and the A-Sides showdown at 7:15.

We'll see you under the Golden Dome at St. Edward.       

This old-timer congratulates the Lax Cats' outstanding senior Crew Cintron, who will officially sign a National Letter of Intent with Lehigh University on Thursday at 5 PM
4/13/2016

The corner, in one of the many stories it did for the Communications Department that was requested in February, reported on Crew's commitment to Lehigh in a special NCAA Signing Day Program.

Congrats again to Crew, his family, Lax Cats outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon and the entire Saint Ignatius Lacrosse Program.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer     

Congratualtions to the Wildcats' Varsity Lacrosse and Volleyball teams, who continued their winning ways on Wednesday night
4/13/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats, ranked fifth in the state, improved to 8-0 with a straight sets triumph over the Hudson Explorers in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium and Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats made themselves at home at St. Edward by defeating the Eagles, 11-2.

The now 5-0 Lax Cats, ranked No. 1 in Northeast Ohio and the top-rated team in the LaxPower Computer Ratings, will travel to Upper Arlington on Friday for 7 PM matchup with the Golden Bears. Upper Arlington is rated fourth by LaxPower.

    

Wildcats Baseball receives another strong outing from junior southpaw Connor Adams, but for the second consecutive season the Cats can't solve Massillon's outstanding senior right-hander Chris Machamer and are defeated by the host Tigers, 2-0
4/13/2016

By Eddie Mr. Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

From storied Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field in Massillon, Oho - Connor Adams, who has put together three solid outings this season, continued to suffer from a lack of offensive support as Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball dropped to 1-6 after being handcuffed for the second straight season by the Massillon Washington Tigers' outstanding senior right-hander Chris Machamer, 2-0, on Wednesday evening in Stark County.

The now 5-1 Tigers gave Machamer all of the support he needed by scoring single runs in the first and sixth innings.

Machamer, who also swings a potent bat, is now 2-0 on the season. He limited the Cats to three hits, striking out 12 and walking two. The University of Kentucky recruit threw 104 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.

It was like a bad memory surfacing again for the Wildcats, as last season on the same mound in the Tigers' Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field, Machamer fired a two-hitter at Saint Ignatius, striking out 11 in Massillon's 5-0 victory. That night, Machamer threw 101 pitches, 59 for strikes.

"I don't care if we're playing Venice (Fla.), Machamer or whoever, it doesn't matter," said Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor. "I hope they (Saint Ignatius' hitters) have some gut check the next time they take the field when Connor is on the mound, and realize that he has given us a chance to win every time he has been out there.

"He's (Adams) pithing against one of the best pitchers in the country (Machamer) and some of the best teams in the country (during the Cats' Florida trip), and we have to help him out," continued Coach Ganor. "That's all there is to it."

Adams, a skilled and savvy junior left-hander and a University of Louisville recruit, threw six complete innings on Wednesday evening. Connor yielded four hits, no earned runs, struck out 10 and issued two walks. He threw 98 pitches, with 64 of them being strikes.

Massillon staked its ace to an early lead by combining a leadoff base hit, a sacrifice bunt, a pitch in the dirt, a walk and a sacrifice fly into a run in the bottom of the first inning.

Just in case Machamer needed it, the Tigers clawed out another run in the bottom of the sixth that was fueled by a leadoff double from Machamer's battery mate, catcher Vince Murray. Murray drove the pitch into left field.

Machamer, who ripped a double to deep left field in the bottom of the third, was then intentionally walked and Massillon made it a 2-0 game on a passed ball and a throwing error.

In closing the show, Machamer, who was in attendance at Saint Ignatius' 3-2 loss to host Massillon Jackson last Friday, pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, striking out the last two batters he faced. Machamer was still throwing in the mid 90s in the seventh inning.

"We get a chance to play again tomorrow, string a few hits together, hopefully, and get a win," Coach Ganor said.

Saint Ignatius, which has totaled just 10 runs in its seven games combined, will send sophomore left-hander Tommy Grosel to the mound on Thursday at 5 PM versus Youngstown Ursuline at Baldwin Wallace University.

A FEW BRIGHT SPOTS: Along with Adams' effort on the mound, Cats senior designated hitter George Asadorian produced two of Saint Ignatius' three hits and senior right fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Freund had two solid at-bats that resulted in a walk each time.

HERE IS A CORNER'S GLANCE AT 5-2 YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE, THE CATS' OPPONENT ON THURSDAY AT BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY.

Coach Matt Weymer's pitching staff welcomed back two seasoned veterans in Vinnie Lucente and Vito Petrillo, along with their battery mate, senior Drew Potesta.

Lucente stood out in Ursuline's Division III District Championship Game victory over South Range last spring with a nine-strikeout performance.  Ursuline is 20-5 in postseason play over the last five seasons.  

The Fighting Irish bats feature Petrillo, Logan Pullin, Gianni Quattro and Alex Schlosser.

Two results on Ursuline's schedule caught this old-timer's good eye - a 7-5 home victory over Walsh Jesuit and a 3-0 loss at perennial power Canton Central Catholic.

Coach Weymer is in his first year at Ursuline after guiding New Middletown Springfield to a 101-38 record and two state runner-up finishes over five seasons. Matt succeeded Irish coaching legend Sean Durkin, who in 18 seasons guided Ursuline to 306 victories, a state championship in 2000 and 11 district titles.

 

 

   

    

      

 

         

Behind the skill and senior leadership of Mike Rogers, Joe Evans, Kevin Mingus and Nick Freund Saint Ignatius Baseball rallies from a two-run deficit and goes on to its first victory of the season, 5-4 over Midview. It's 250 career wins for Coach Ganor!
4/12/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2018

From the campus of Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio - In winning its home opener after starting the season with five tough losses on the road, including three in Florida, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats found themselves trailing the Middies of Midview, 3-1, entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

Midview, under the direction of new Head Coach Todd Ratica, entered the game with a 5-0 record.

Under a perfect Tuesday evening blue sky and a bright sun that glowed off Baldwin Wallace University's new turfed infield surface, the Middies rode a bases-loaded, two-run double to deep center field by junior third baseman Derek Delumba to a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning and took advantage of some miscues in the field by the Cats in tacking on another run in the top of the fifth.

Trailing by two runs entering the bottom of the fifth, the Cats got to the Midview bullpen as senior right fielder Nick Freund led off with a sharp single to left field.

After Freund advanced to third on consecutive wild pitches, senior second baseman Joe Evans delivered an RBI infield hit that cut the deficit to 3-2.

Following a Midview error that put runners on first and second, it appeared the Middies might get out of the inning clinging to a one-run lead after they came up with a force at third base and a strikeout.

The Cats refused to be denied, however, as senior shortstop Kevin Mingus delivered a two-out, game-tying single through the left side of the infield and senior center fielder/tri-Captain Mike Rogers followed with an authoritative two-run single to center field, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

Midview made things interesting by scoring a run in the top of the sixth, and the Middies carried the momentum into the top of the seventh after Saint Ignatius left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth.

The Cats loaded the bases in the sixth on a leadoff infield hit by sophomore first baseman Tommy Grosel, who unleashed his deceiving speed, some hustle on the base paths by Tommy that saw him beat a throw to second base off a bunt by Freund, and a perfectly executed bunt down the third baseline by Evans for a base hit. 

Midview's southpaw reliever Owen Hawke was equal to the challenge, however, as he ended the threat and kept his team in the game by recording a pop out, a strikeout and a fly out.

The evening belonged to the Wildcats and Mike Rogers in particular.

Mike came on in relief in the top of the seventh and sealed the victory with a 1-2-3 inning save off a strikeout, a fly out and a soft liner to Mingus at shortstop..

Ah yes, the first one and the first of many more to come is in the books.

The line score on the game was 4 runs, 5 hits and two errors for Midview, and 5 runs, 10 hits and five errors for Saint Ignatius. The Wildcats scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning, tallying off an error, a sacrifice bunt by Evans, a passed ball and a scorching ground ball off the bat of junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs.   

Despite those five errors by the Cats, this corner tips his cap to junior third baseman Mark Geraci, who was nails at the hot corner all evening, a performance that drew the praise of Coach Ganor after the game.

The victory went to Cats junior right-hander Griffin Hunt, who came on in relief of junior right-hander and starter Braydon Nelson in the fourth inning. Griffin settled down after the Delumba two-run double and pitched out of a bases-loaded situation that featured a smooth 5-2 force at home (Geraci to senior catcher John Robinson), a strikeout and a fly out to Jacobs in left field.  

Up next for the Cats is Wednesday evening's encounter with the 2016 Massillon Baseball Tigers on Massillon's storied Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM. For a look at the Tigers, see the corner's story on a Big Week in Wildcats Athletics that was posted on Monday night.

FROM COACH GANOR, WHO PICKED UP HIS 250TH CAREER VICTORY ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

"It doesn't get any easier tomorrow (at Massillon), but we can savor this one for a couple of hours. We talk all of the time about getting the two toughest wins of the year, the first one and the last one. The first one always comes at some point. We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of time this year.

"I like the way that we went up, we went down and then we fought back," Coach Ganor continued. "That says a lot about the character of the team. If they can continue to fight and play like that, we'll be fine. It's only going to warm up, it's not going to get any colder. I don't think it can.

"I thought it was a good collective team win tonight," said Coach Ganor. "And I thought Mark Geraci did a great job at third base, he made some big plays. The pitching staff held on. Michael (Rogers) came in for the exact role we built him for, to shut them down."

FROM MIKE ROGERS, ONE OF THE CLASSIEST STUDENT ATHLETES THIS SEASONED CORNER HAS  EVER HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO COVER AND REPORT ON.

"Coach Ganor said before the game that if we continued to bring the energy we did against Massillon Jackson (a 3-2 setback at Jackson last Friday night), we would be fine the rest of the season. We kept that energy up tonight and it showed.

"I just wanted to get that done (his game-winning, two-run single) and forget about every other previous at-bat, it felt great," Mike continued.

Mike said his 1-2-3 seventh inning save was awesome, that he turned to his fastball off his live left arm.        

           

 

 

 

               

   

    

Congratulations from the corner to Wildcats Volleyball standout Danny Michals for being selected as the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week
4/12/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Danny helped lead the undefeated and state's fifth-ranked Wildcats Volleyball Team to a thrilling five-set victory over St. Edward in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night, after the Cats trailed 2 sets to 1.

On the night, Danny had 24 kills and was among those leading his team to the decisive 15-9 victory in the 5th set.

The following day, the Cats, in what was a less than 24-hour turnaround, headed down to Columbus and defeated St. Francis DeSales and Dublin Coffman in straight sets to finish the weekend 3-0.

To perform the way Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats did on Saturday in Columbus, after coming off such an emotional victory over their rival, speaks volumes for the program.  

On the year, Danny has a very solid overall kill efficiency of .357 and he has helped his team to its best start in the program's history. The Cats are 7-0 heading into Wednesday's 7 PM matchup with the Hudson Explorers in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Congrats to Danny, his family, Coach Marcelo and his staff, and the entire Saint Ignatius Volleyball Program.

 
With his team now 7-0 and carrying a fifth-place state ranking, Cats outstanding Head Coach Casey Marcelo recaps last week's memorable matches in Saint Ignatius Volleyball
4/11/2016

Presented By Coach Marcelo and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

If the weather clears up as forecasted, a big week in Wildcats Athletics will take place
4/11/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From soggy Cleveland, Ohio -  Coach Brand Ganor's Baseball Wildcats hope to play their "Home Opener" on Tuesday versus the Midview Middies at Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM.

Mother Nature said not today to Monday's attempt at a Home Opener versus St. Vincent-St. Mary. The Cats have another date with SVSM on April 19th at Classic Park.

As for the Midview Middies, they are off to a 5-0 start under new Head Coach Todd Ratica.

The Middies, who have moved from the West Shore Conference to the Southwestern Conference, have defeated North Olmsted, 5-4; Amherst Steele, 7-2; Avon, 5-4; Berea-Midpark, 8-5, and Westlake, 11-1.

That victory over Avon at All-Pro Freight Stadium on March 31st was a solid indication that the Middies are buying into Coach Ratica's emphasis on developing a winning culture.

In last week's Morning Journal Top of the Crop rankings, Midview was ranked second to Amherst despite the victory over the Comets.

The Baseball Cats, who are 0-5 versus a schedule that has included three of Florida's highly regarded programs - Venice, Tampa Jesuit and Lakewood Ranch - and games at Boardman and at Massillon Jackson, will hit the road again on Wednesday for a highly anticipated matchup with the Massillon Tigers. The first pitch from the Tigers' storied Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field will be 5 PM.

The Massillon Tigers, who are riding a four-game winning streak, came up with a 4-3, nine-inning victory over longtime rival Canton McKinley on Schroeder Field, as junior second baseman Cole Davis displayed his perseverance.

Davis, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his previous at-bats that night, lined a walk-off, two-out single to left field with runners on the corners and the Massillon faithful celebrated a triumph over the McKinley Bulldogs. And in Massillon, it doesn't get any better than that.

The victory over McKinley saw Massillon's freshman left-hander Jonathan Machamer pitch into the fourth inning before being relieved by junior right-hander Seth Blankenship, who went the rest of the way, striking out seven.

Of course the Wildcats are familiar with the older Machamer, Chris, a senior who, supported by some solid defensive plays, shut down Saint Ignatius, 5-0, on a two-hitter last season at Schroeder Field. Chris struck out 11 while throwing 101 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. Chris is a major college recruit.

Guiding the fortunes of the Massillon Tigers is the new skipper Spike Ridgley, A 1998 graduate of Massillon Washington, Coach Ridgley was an Assistant Coach at Mount Union, was a member of the Massillon Jackson staff that helped guide the Polar Bears to the 2014 Division I State Baseball Championship and a Head Coach at Green.

Following Wednesday's trip to Massillon, the Baseball Cats are scheduled to face Youngstown Ursuline on Thursday at Baldwin Wallace University (5 PM) and on Saturday the Cats travel to Upper Arlington for a doubleheader. They will face Upper Arlington at 12:30 PM and Grove City at 3:30. The corner will give you the skinny on Ursuline, Upper Arlington and Grove City later this week.   

Here is a look at where the rest of the Cats are scheduled to play this week

Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track and Field Team, off to a 2-0 start with triumphs at the Brunswick Elite and the Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier, will be traveling to Canton GlenOak High School on Saturday for the Sole Elite Invitational. The competition begins at 9 AM

On Wednesday night, Coach Casey Marcelo's 7-0 Volleyball Cats, ranked fifth in the state, will host Hudson at 7 PM and on Saturday at 9 AM the Cats are hosting a tri-match with Mount Vernon and Archbishop Hoban.

Coach Jon Barker's Tennis Cats, coming off a third-place finish at the annual St. Edward Tournament and having their Monday match vs. St. Edward rained out, are slated to be at Hudson on Tuesday at 4 PM and at Hawken School on Thursday, also at 4 PM.

It is a big week for  Coach Patrick McManamon's multi-skilled and savvy 4-0 Lacrosse Team, as the Lax Cats will make the short trip to St. Edward on Wednesday for a 7 PM encounter with the Eagles, will travel to Upper Arlington on Friday for a 7 PM matchup with the Golden Bears, and return home on Sunday for a 1 PM game versus Archbishop Moeller on Wasmer Field.

In the latest Lax Power computer ratings, the Wildcats are No. 1 and Upper Arlington is rated fourth.

And you thought we forgot about the rescheduling of one of the most highly anticipated regular-season Rugby matches in the state.  If that happened, I wouldn't be able to travel through West Park any longer.

Yes, Thursday night at 7:30 in Brother James Everett, C.S.C, Stadium under the Golden Dome on the campus of St. Edward High School, Coach Dan Arbeznik will send his state and nationally acclaimed Rugby A Side Wildcats against the state and nationally recognized A Side Eagles of Coach Tom Cleary.

Coach Arbeznik's Cats, who left their mark in the State of Texas over Easter Break, will take a 7-1 record and a five-match winning streak to 7-0 St. Edward. Saint Ignatius defeated the Eagles in the past two Ohio Rugby State Championship matches.

Thursday's action begins with a Freshmen matchup at 5 PM, followed by a B-Sides encounter at 6:15, and then it's the 7:30 kickoff between the state's best of the best.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Pat Connor's and Coach Connor Walters' Wildcats' Rowers, aka the 2016 Crew Cats, or the Wildcat Navy as some refer to them, will be competing at Saturday's Cincinnati High School Invitational on Lake Harsha, Ohio.              

            

      

 

      

            

      

 

Wildcats Volleyball moves up one notch to fifth place in the latest state rankings
4/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Here are the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association State Rankings for the week ending April 10. See the corner's Sunday post on Coach Casey Marcelo's undefeated Cats.

1. - Centerville (9) - 190
2. - Elder (3) - 179
3. - Hilliard Darby (8) - 158
4. - St. Xavier (1) - 148
5. - Saint Ignatius - 117
6. - Archbishop Moeller - 100
7. - Beavercreek - 80
8. - Pickerington North - 73
9. - Olentangy - 37
10. - Lakota East - 20
..... Westerville South - 14
..... Gahanna Lincoln - 10
..... St. Edward - 8
..... Westerville North - 8

Congratulations to the Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse program, which is rated No. 1 in the LAXPOWER Computer Ratings
4/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The top five programs are the Lax Cats, Dublin Coffman, defending state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier, Upper Arlington and Dublin Jerome. 

Cats Baseball Home Opener versus St. Vincent-St. Mary has been rained out. A game versus the Midview Middies has been added to the schedule for Tuesday at Baldwin Wallace University.
4/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The St. Vincent-St. Mary game was scheduled for Baldwin Wallace University today at 5 PM, but the wet and damp conditions prevailed.

Up next for the Cats is the addition of Midview to Tuesday's schedule. The Midview game is slated to be played at Baldwin Wallace University at 5 PM. So hope is eternal for a Tuesday Home Opener.

As always folks, stay with us on these unpredictable spring sports schedules. They can change within the hour.   

On Wednesday, Wildcats Baseball is scheduled to face the Massillon Tigers on the Tigers' storied Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM.

The corner will take a look at the Midview Middies and the Baseball Tigers from Massillon in its weekly "Where The Cats Play" later today.   

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats have now rolled a perfect seven!
4/11/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

After putting a mark in the record book by coming up with their first Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium triumph over West Side rival St. Edward in a five-set thriller on Friday night, the Volleyball Cats improved to 7-0 on the young season by sweeping St. Francis de Sales (25-11, 25-15, 25-15) and Dublin Coffman (25-13, 25-18, 25-14) in a tri-match at Coffman on Saturday.

The scores from the one-for-the-books match with currently 0-7 St. Edward were 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 15-9.

Up next for the Wildcats is Wednesday's match versus the Hudson Explorers in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium. The schedule on the Saint Ignatius Volleyball web page has the action beginning at 6 bells.

Yes, it's early, but the talented, deep, versatile and well-rounded Wildcats now have the attention of every program in Ohio.

To come back in less than 24 hours and play like the Cats did yesterday after such an emotional victory over St. Edward speaks volumes. 

Unless Mother Nature has another changeup, the corner is looking forward to seeing this season's SIBN baseball crew as this old catcher will be providing coverage of Monday's Varsity Baseball Home Opener vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary at Baldwin Wallace
4/10/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The first pitch on Monday is scheduled for 5 PM and promising 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior right-hander Braydon Nelson is expected to get the starting call against the Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St Mary.

As we reported in Friday night's look at St. Vincent-St. Mary, which was part of our game coverage on Massillon Jackson, Coach Anthony Boarman's Fighting Irish have won three of their first four games.

Last season, the Wildcats erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning and defeated SVSM, 9-0, on Akron's unique, but storied Old Forge Field.

Again, if things clear up weather wise, we'll see you at one of the finest universities in the nation, the home of the Yellow Jackets and the home of one of the greatest Sports Information Directors in the history of college athletics, Kevin Ruple.

Ah yes, those oh so many memorable nights in BW's George Finnie Stadium, when yours truly and my longtime friend and colleague, the late Mr. Dick "Zip" Zunt '50, gave double-team coverage to the early playoff charge by Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Cats. Kevin Ruple's professionalism and concern for the job the media faced was and is unmatched.  

Many of our young fans won't recall this, but the Cats' storied gridiron run, which was honed on Wasmer Field (when it was dirt and grass), started on the fields of dreams known as Lakewood Stadium and George Finnie Stadium, now referred to as The George Finnie Stadium and Tressel Field.  

When you talk about high school football atmosphere, and this is meant as no insult to Byers Field, the storied facilities that sit on Bunts Road and Madison Avenue in Lakewood, and on Bagley Road in Berea, were and are special.

Can you say Joe Pickens and Robert Smith? Or how about Scott Mutryn and Bobby Adams?

PS - And this corner also loves the baseball atmosphere at Baldwin Wallace University and Lakewood High School.           

 

While we're talking baseball, this old-timer would like to tip my seasoned cap to Wildcats Baseball Stats Coordinator Joe Ertle and Team Managers George Martin and Tommy Bodziony for the OUTSTANDING job they do.
4/9/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Gentlemen, your work is invaluable. THANK YOU!

And thank you for your kindness and respect.

For a look at what was a highly competitive baseball game at the home of one of the state's best, see the corner's Friday night game story below on the Wildcats-Massillon Jackson matchup
4/9/2016
Just a friendly tip to the tweeters
4/9/2016

It is Baldwin Wallace University, no hyphen.

In the days of Baldwin-Wallace College, the hyphen was used, but that changed a few years back when the outstanding school became known as Baldwin Wallace University.

Also, it is GlenOak High School, the G and O are upper case with no space. The Varsity Football Wildcats will be traveling to face the Golden Eagles of GlenOak in Week 7 of the 2016 season. Ah, Friday night football, it's the best.  

  

AND A TIP OF THE CORNER'S MUCH NEEDED CAP THIS EVENING GOES TO COACH PATRICK McMANAMON'S TALENT-RICH LACROSSE TEAM, WHICH IMPROVED TO 4-0 BY DEFEATING NORTH ALLEGHENY, 16-5, ON WASMER FIELD
4/8/2016
Can you dig it? Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats rally past St. Edward, three sets to two, and improve to 5-0 in Fr. Sullivan Gym on Friday night.
4/8/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Marcelo's Cats trailed the Eagles, two sets to one, but came storming back with a rally that included the 15-9 clincher in the fifth set.

Ah yes, that St. Patrick's Day Preview from Coach Marcelo is holding up big time.

Wildcats Varsity Baseball is still in pursuit of its first victory in the young 2016 season, but plenty of promise came to the fore in Friday night's 3-2 loss at tradition-rich Massillon Jackson
4/8/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

Massillon, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, which lost to three of the strongest teams the state of Florida has to offer and was shutout at Boardman on Wednesday, battled one of Ohio' premier programs, Massillon Jackson, down to the last pitch on Friday night.

Although disappointed with the 3-2 setback to the now undefeated through six games Polar Bears, the Wildcats walked out of Jackson's first-class and baseball-rich facility knowing they are capable of returning to the form that saw them finish as a state runner-up in 2013 and advance to the state semifinals in 2015.

"It's tough to sit with zero wins right now, but I asked them to bring energy for two hours and we played a good baseball game," said Saint Ignatius' veteran skipper Brad Ganor. "We just got beat. That's baseball. If we can duplicate that for the rest of the season, we're going to be more than fine.

"I don't know how many times I walked away from a loss feeling good, but I feel really good," Coach Ganor continued. "That's a good baseball team (Jackson). He (Polar Bears Head Coach Bill Gamble) does a great job with his program. That's a deep playoff-type team and we're right there with them."

In what was a matchup of two class-personified programs, teams that are almost mirror images of each other, Saint Ignatius (0-5) rode two hit batsmen, a stolen base and a two-out balk to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

After strong plays by senior outfielders Nick Freund and Mike Rogers kept Jackson off the board in the bottom of the third inning, the Wildcats moved to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Nick and Mike turned in running and diving catches in right and center field, respectively.

With two outs and the bases empty in the top of the fourth, Saint Ignatius senior designated hitter George Asadorian laced a double down the left-field line and senior shortstop Kevin Mingus followed with an RBI single to left-center field.

Jackson, which brought home the Division I State Baseball Championship in 2014 and was a regional runner-up in 2015,  loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth off an error, a base hit by first baseman/ clean-up hitter Jon Conkle and a walk.

The Polar Bears' three-sport standout (football, basketball and baseball), senior shortstop Jake Pallotta, drew a bases-loaded walk and Jackson knotted the score at 2 on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of second baseman Chad Matthus that saw Rogers make another diving catch.

Both teams turned to their bullpens after four innings on what was a brisk night in Stark County. 

Following a 1-2-3 top of the fifth by Polar Bears reliever Glen Richardson that featured two strikeouts, Saint Ignatius thwarted a potentially productive bottom of the fifth for Jackson with a 4-6-3 double play.

After the Polar Bears had runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the fifth, Cats senior second baseman Joe Evans stayed with a sharp one-bounce liner that appeared to have base hit written all over it, made a perfect toss to Mingus for the force at second and Kevin fired the relay to first base to end the threat.

Riding the emotion of his play at second, Evans led off the top of the sixth inning with a line-drive single to left field and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs.

Richardson was equal to the challenge, however, as he ended the top of the sixth with two more strikeouts.

With the Polar Bears and their faithful making themselves heard, Jackson scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth and turned back Saint Ignatius in the top of the seventh.

The  versatile Pallotta led off the bottom of the sixth by drawing another walk. Cade Mottice, who was running for Pallotta, stole second base off a swinging third strike, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored the game's final and go-ahead run off a sharp single by designated hitter Justin Johnston through a drawn-in left side of the Cats' infield.

Pallotta then came on to pitch the top of the seventh and, with the exception of a one-out, bases-empty walk to Rogers, got the decisive final three outs on a leadoff pop up to the catcher off one pitch, a strikeout following Rogers' walk and a game-ending bouncer back to the mound.

"The hitting is going to come, the timely hits are going to come, we'll keep getting good pitching and we'll be okay, I truly believe that," said Coach Ganor, whose Wildcats defeated the Polar Bears, 3-2, at Jackson last season.  "As down as I was the other day, I wouldn't say I'm on top of the world, but I feel a heck of a lot better." 

Here are the pitching lines for Wildcats starter Murphy O'Brien and Polar Bears starter Noah Evans.

Murphy: Four innings, 66 pitches, 37 of which were strikes, two hits, two runs (1 earned) and three walks.

Noah: Four innings, 52 pitches, 34 of which were strikes, two hits, two runs, two hit batsmen, a balk, no walks and two strikeouts.

A STAT FROM THE HOT CORNER: Jackson entered Friday night's game having outscored its first five opponents by a combined score of 48-5. That included three shutouts by the Polar Bears' pitching staff.

NOTE: The Cats have added another game versus St. Vincent-St. Mary for this coming Monday. If Mother Nature's wrath calms down by Monday, the first pitch will be 5 PM on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.

As for the Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary, Coach Anthony Boarman's club won three of its first four games this season. Coach Boarman currently teaches American History, Economics and Personal Finance at St. Vincent-St. Mary and is also the school's website manager as well as an Irish Athletes for Christ advisor.

Like his dad, Dan, a legendary and highly successful football coach who recently retired as SVSM's head man on the gridiron, Anthony is a class act.    

Last season, on a perfect May afternoon at Old Forge Field in Akron, the Cats erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning and went on to a 9-0 victory over the Fighting Irish.

Stay safe and warm this weekend!       

 

           

   

    

 

  

     

The Wildcats' Crew is put to shore by Mother Nature
4/8/2016

From Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09

Eddie, I just wanted to pass along word that this weekend's Rustbelt Championship has been cancelled due to the expected weather. We may reschedule for one of our weekends when we don't have a regatta, but that is yet to be determined.

Have a nice weekend,
Connor

From Medina High School: The 2016 Medina Relays that were scheduled for this Saturday, April 9th at Ken Dukes Stadium have been cancelled due to the impending weather this weekend.
4/7/2016
NOTE: Saturday's Varsity Baseball Game vs. St. Edward at historic League Park has been postponed because of the forecast of snow and freezing temperatures. No makeup date has been determined.
4/7/2016
Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse defeats the always capable Polar Bears of Massillon Jackson, 15-4, on Wednesday night at Wasmer Field
4/6/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Lax Cats now stand 3-0 heading into Friday's 7 PM encounter with North Allegheny (Pa.) on Wasmer Field.

On Saturday at 1 PM, Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted team will host Shady Side Academy (Pa.).

In the most recent Burning River Lacrosse Northeast Ohio Coaches Top 10 poll, the Lax Cats and the Hudson Explorers were ranked 1-2, respectively, St, Edward (not St. Edwards) was third and the Jackson Polar Bears were fourth.

Volleyball Cat Fever, be a believer. Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats geared up for Friday's 7 PM matchup with St. Edward by defeating the Brunswick Blue Devils, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-17 in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night
4/6/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The deep and talented Cats, coming off their impressive showing in last weekend's Saint Ignatius Invitational (see the corner's post from Sunday), will take a 4-0 record into Friday night's can you dig it with the Eagles of St. Edward in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Danny Michals with 9 kills and Phil Catanzaro's 7 aces showed the way versus Brunswick.  

The pitching is there, but the hitting and fielding still need polishing as Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball is defeated by the Boardman Spartans, 4-0, on a cold, wet and windy Wednesday night in Mahoning County
4/6/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2016

From the campus of Boardman High School

Wildcats savvy southpaw Connor Adams certainly deserved a better fate, as the junior Louisville recruit pitched four-plus innings of hitless baseball, yielding an unearned run, striking out nine and walking three.

The now 0-4 Cats, who managed just three hits and committed four errors, could not take advantage of early opportunities and were kept off balance all night by the Spartans' crafty senior right-hander Hudson Widrig.

In going the distance, Widrig threw 108 pitches, 69 of which were strikes, had seven strikeouts and issued just one base on balls in firing the three-hit shutout and improving to 2-0 on the season.

Widrig, who does not possess an overpowering fastball, did an exceptional job of spotting his pitches.

Boardman, which like Saint Ignatius was coming off a spring break trip to Florida, is 2-5 on the young season.

The Spartans also had their troubles in the field, as they matched the Wildcats' four errors.

A BUS RIDE HOME THAT THIS BASEBALL ENTHUSIAST TRULY APPRECIATED AND RESPECTED

Following Wednesday night's frustrating loss, Saint Ignatius' veteran skipper Brad Ganor, along with Wildcats Assistant Coaches Mark Terlep, John Whalen and Frank DeSico '09, huddled in the aisle near the front of Cindy's bus and discussed what they can do differently in order to get the Wildcats' promising offense in gear.

Not only was I impressed by the baseball knowledge that was being passed among these seasoned coaches, but the obvious love and admiration they have for the game and their players, and how strongly they want these promising young men to succeed.

And they were not trying to impress this old-timer, because they thought I was catching some Zs during the nearly two hour ride home from Mahoning County and the alma mater of Bernie Kosar.

It was great to see Frank DeSico again, as the former University of Notre Dame baseball standout and former Saint Ignatius football and baseball star gave this corner plenty to write about in the school year of 2008-09, when Frank helped the 2008 Wildcats bring home their 10th of a record 11 Division I State Football Championships and was a mainstay on Coach Ganor's 2009 Division I State Semifinalist Baseball Team. That 2009 team sealed what is a school record under Coach Ganor of three consecutive appearances in the OHSAA State Baseball Final Four, '07, '08 and '09. Saint Ignatius alos advanced to the final four under Coach Ganor in 2013 and 2015. The 2008 and 2013 teams were State Runners-Up.  

Coach Ganor emphasized to this corner in the dugout after the loss to Boardman that the lack of offense the Wildcats have experienced through four games is on him and his coaches. The Cats have been outscored by a combined runs total of 23-3 in those four games, three of which saw Saint Ignatius face some of the strongest talent the state of Florida has to offer.

FROM COACH GANOR: "You need to score to win," said Coach Ganor. "We had opportunities early and weren't able to capitalize with base runners. It's about time to find the right lineup that is going to help us get that first one of the season, that's all it is about now.

"Connor (Adams) did a nice job," Coach Ganor continued. "We're sitting in a 1-0 game and had opportunities, and they (the Spartans) tacked on a couple more and put it out of reach. When you have runners on second and third (with one out in the top of the second) and don't get anything out of it, its' tough. We had a couple of mental mistakes with missed signs. But those are the kind of things that are on us as coaches. We have to do a better job of making our points and working them harder in practice.

"Right now, what we're doing in practice and the position we're putting them in as a coaching staff is not putting them in a position to succeed. And that starts with me. Ultimately it will start at the top and we have to reevaluate our work and make sure these guys feel confident to go out there and succeed, because they're a talented group. If they weren't talented, they wouldn't be on this team."

BOARDMAN'S EARLY AND LATE MOMENTS: With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the second inning, the Spartans combined a walk, two passed balls and an error into a 1-0 lead.

A few miscues by the Cats, combined with an RBI single down the left-field line by shortstop Alex Cardona, a sacrifice fly RBI by third baseman Lou Cardona and a run-scoring single from infielder Coleman Stauffer keyed Boardman's three-run fifth inning.

After Saint Ignatius was retired in order in the top of the sixth, the Cats were able to come up with a base hit by senior infielder Joe Evans with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the seventh, an effort that saw Joe rip the pitch into center field. A lineout to center field sealed the deal for the Spartans and Widrig took home his complete game, a bulldog effort, to say the least.

NO EXCUSES OFFERED: Saint Ignatius' coaching staff did not bring this point up, but it is worth mentioning that the Cats played without their standout senior catcher/tri-captain Dennis Grosel, who was sidelined with a sore knee that resulted from a play at the plate during the Florida trip.

UP NEXT PREVIEW: Unless Mother Nature throws one of her wicked curves, Saint Ignatius is scheduled to make the trip to Stark County on Friday for a 5 PM first pitch versus the always baseball sound Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson. On Saturday, Saint Ignatius and St. Edward are slated to add another chapter to their storied rivalry in a 2 PM first pitch at historic League Park. 

Jackson, which has brought home two state baseball championships (1947 and 2014), stood 5-0 with three shutouts entering today's (Thursday) home game versus North Canton Hoover. The Polar Bears outscored those five opponents by a combined score of 48-5. That 2014 state title for the Polar Bears was the result of a 5-1 victory over North Royalton in the Division I State Championship Game.

Last season, behind some small ball, a sound defense and strong work out of the bullpen, the Cats defeated Jackson, 3-2, at the Polar Bears' baseball-rich facility. Coach Ganor described the victory as a "collective effort."

Although St. Edward came away with an impressive 9-1 regular season victory over Saint Ignatius last season at The Pipe Yard in Lorain County, the Wildcats won the big one, a 2-0 triumph over the Eagles in a Division I Regional Semifinal on Ron Mottl Field. Among the Cats' heroes were then senior shortstop Jake Kucia (now at Case Western Reserve University) with a defensive game for the ages and current standout senior right-hander and tri-captain Murphy O'Brien, who came out of the bullpen and recorded his school-record 10th save of the season.

Now a starter, "Murph" is expected to be on the mound versus Jackson on Friday.

St. Edward is under the direction of first-year Head Coach Matt Rosinski, a former standout pitcher for Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio University, and a former Assistant Coach for the Wildcats.               

   

                                 

 

 

  

The Saint Ignatius at St. Edward Rugby Matches have been rescheduled for April 14th
4/6/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Because of a forecast which calls for freezing temperatures and possible snow showers, the matches, which were originally scheduled for this Friday, were reset for next Thursday, April 14th, at St. Edward.

Here is the schedule for April 14th.

5pm - Freshmen
6:15pm - B-sides
7:30pm - Varsity A sides.

Congratulations from this corner to Wildcats senior track and cross country standout Luke Wagner on receiving the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week Award
4/5/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Luke, an Iowa State cross country and track recruit, put together outstanding performances in two major track and field meets over the Easter break.

March 26th Brunswick Elite
1st place in the 1600 Meter Run
1st place in the 800 Meter Run
 
Luke helped the Wildcats' Track and Field team win the tradition-rich Brunswick Elite, a 117-115 down to the wire first-place battle with the Solon Comets (see the corner's story from Easter Saturday).  

April 2nd Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier (Hilliard Davidson is also known as the Wildcats)
 
1st place in the 1600 Meter Run
1st place in the 800 Meter Run
 
Luke was money again, as he led Coach Chuck Kyle's track and field program to first place in what is one of the most demanding early season outdoor competitions in Ohio (see the corner's post from this past Saturday). 
 
A four-year varsity competitor in cross country and track, Luke helped lead the charge as Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's Cross Country Cats brought home the state championship this past fall. This spring, Luke is seeking what would be his fourth consecutive appearance at the annual OHSAA State Track and Field Meet. Luke is part of a deep and big-meet tested Wildcats track and field team.   
As of now, here is what is scheduled for Wednesday in Wildcats Athletics
4/5/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Instead of a "Where The Cats Play" for this week, we're going to play it day to day.

Here is what is scheduled on the Varsity level for Wednesday

Baseball: Scheduled to play at Boardman at 5 PM

Tennis - at University School, 4 PM

Lacrosse - hosts Massillon Jackson at 7:30 PM on Wasmer Field

Volleyball - hosts Brunswick in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium at 7 PM

Friday night's highly anticipated Rugby matches at St. Edward have been postponed
4/5/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

FROM CATS HEAD COACH DAN ARBEZNIK: "The matches for this Friday are definitively off on account of the weather. St. Edward is telling me that it is planning on rescheduling for Friday, April 15th or Thursday, April 14th."

From the corner: Friday night's forecast, as of last night, includes possible snow showers and temperatures in the 20s.

The Cats and the Eagles are both ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation. Saint Ignatius defeated St. Edward in the past two Ohio Rugby State Championship matches.

Coach Arbeznik's Cats, coming off an impressive trip to Texas (see the corner's posts from last week), are 7-1 and on a five-match winning streak.     

And the congrats keep coming, this time to Wildcats junior post Matt Davet, senior guard/forward Deven Stover and junior wing/post Austen Yarian for receiving Honorable Mention on the cleveland.com All-Star Basketball Team for 2015-16
4/4/2016
Congratulations from the corner to Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats, who earned a sixth-place ranking in the first state poll of the season by the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association. See the corner's Sunday post on the Cats' big weekend.
4/4/2016
If Mother Nature doesn't throw a curve, it appears there is a change of venue for Saturday's Varsity Baseball Game versus St. Edward
4/4/2016

The St. Edward Athletic Department confirmed that the Wildcats-Eagles matchup has been switched from Don Mills Field in Strongsville to history-rich and newly renovated League Park. The first pitch is slated for 2 PM.

We will keep our fingers crossed, as this week's weather forecast is not promising, to say the least.  

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Cats go 3-0 in the season opening Saint Ignatius Invitational, defeating some of the best teams the state has to offer
4/3/2016

Presented by Coach Marcelo and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

 

The Cats start season 3-0, while hosting the tournament on Saturday and defeating Top 10-ranked teams Pickerington North(10), St. Charles (D2-6) and Beavercreek (4).

 

Pickerington North - 25-20, 25-19, 25 - 20

Danny Michals 15 kills, 2 aces, Rich Holzheimer 28 assists, 2 aces, Brian Messina 21 digs.

 

St. Charles - 16 - 25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-15

Kills; Danny Michals 20, James Purcell 12, Phil Catanzaro 10. Rich Holzheimer 38 assists, Pat Gleydura 3 aces and Brian Messina 20 digs.

 

Beavercreek - 25-20, 28-18, 25-16

Kills: Danny Michals 10, Matt Saponaro 7

 

From Coach Marcelo: The toughest team we played was Pickerington North with their Ohio State University recruit, Dejon Clark. The Cats played a fantastic defensive game in not allowing the Panthers to gain any momentum. Captain Brian Messina providing 21 digs led the charge in the defusing of the Panther attack. Junior setter, Rich Holzheimer, orchestrated opportunities for the hitter to score at a very high percentage. The team as a whole had the determination and grit to stop the Panther attack.

 

The second match was with St. Charles (D2-6) and the Cardinals are a very skilled team and well balanced. They would come at you from different directions and were solid in defense. This match was more about match up and we used the bench to get our win. This year's team is very deep and using the bench helped us fine tune our way to the win. Junior Danny Michals had a career high of 20 kills to lead the Cats and junior setter Rich Holzheimer provided 38 assists. Senior Pat Gleydura had three aces.

 

The tournament was very tough with playing 3 matches in a short amount of time. The focus of this season is to get all of the team members to be able to play at a high level. The last match of the day with Beavercreek showed how deep our team has become. Towards the end of the first set sophomore Aidan McCaffrey took the setting position. Rich Holzheimer did an awesome job all day and just wanted to have fresh legs. Aidan was able to finish the match and by the second set we had fresh players on the court, Matt Saponaro, David Castele, Sean Getty and Seamus Wilson. These guys took control of the rest of the match and beat a fourth ranked team.

 

Up next for the Cats is Wednesday's 7 PM matchup with the Brunswick Blue Devils in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium. 

 
Wildcats Track and Field impresses again, this time at the demanding Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier
4/2/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's potential-rich Track and Field Wildcats, coming off their solid first-place performance at the Brunswick Elite (see the corner's Easter Saturday story), continued to show why 2016 could be a spring of special things to come during Saturday's Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier.

Competing at one of the tradition-rich and highly competitive venues of the early outdoor season, Saint Ignatius' deep and strong relay teams were money and the gifted Iowa State recruit Luke Wagner '16, one of the Wildcats' all-time greats in track and cross country, brought home first-places in the 800 and 1600 meter runs.

Jim Rogers '16, a humble, but oh so talented track and cross country athlete who is bound for Yale, took first place in the 3200 meter run.

HERE ARE THE CATS' HIGHLIGHTS FROM ANOTHER SATURDAY AFTERNOON OF SUCCESS

100 Meter Dash: Phil Zuccaro was second in 11.49

200 Meter Dash: Phil Zuccaro was second in 23.01

400 Meter Dash: Kyle Hall was eighth in 54.10

110 Meter Hurdles: C.J. Moore was 7th in 17.03

800 Meter Run: Luke Wagner took first place in 2:02.98

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner took first place in 4:28.84

3200 Meter Run: Jim Rogers took first place in 9:53.02

3200 Meter Hurdles: Jack Ruddy was eighth in 44.35

Distance Medley Relay: Saint Ignatius was second in 10:57.16

4x800 Meter Relay: Saint Ignatius was first in 8:21.36

4x1600 Meter Relay: Saint Ignatius was second in 8:38.10

4x100 Meter Relay: Saint Ignatius was second in 44.01

4x110 Shuttle Hurdles: Saint Ignatius was fourth in 1:07.80

800 Meter Sprint Relay: Saint Ignatius was second in 1:38.27

Pole Vault: Craig Cirino was sixth at 11-00.00

Long Jump: Mike Lehto was 10th at 19-07.00

Discus: Mike Bodnar was ninth, 124-03.50

Shot Put: Mike Bodnar was 12th, 41-01.50

Congratulations from this corner on another strong showing.  

 

 

  

 

 

 

My prayers and sympathy go out to the family of former Wildcats Basketball Coaching Legend Marty Chambers
4/2/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Marty, who this corner had the privilege of reporting on during his outstanding area high school coaching career, passed away this weekend.

Former Wildcats Head Basketball Coach and current Associate Athletic Director Sean O'Toole '87, who had great admiration for Coach Chambers, shared the sad news with this corner.

To say Marty was a legend in the Greater Cleveland Coaching circles would be an understatement.

Probably the best way this old-timer can pay tribute to Coach Chambers is by sharing with you the memories I have of Marty, memories I wrote for the Saint Ignatius Athletic Department a few years ago.

SOME CHAMBERS MUSIC

It has to go down as one of the most colorful and successful periods in the Wildcats' round-ball history.

Marty Chambers '52, one of the top high school coaches this area has ever seen, directed the 'Cats to what Saint Ignatius Hall of Fame inductee, the late Dick “Zip” Zunt '50, described as a “litany of success.”

In nine seasons as Saint Ignatius' head coach, Marty compiled a record of 160-55. That mark included three consecutive West Senate titles and three consecutive City Championships in 1976, '77 and '78. Those teams were the only ones in the history of West Senate basketball to win three consecutive city titles.

Marty also coached the Wildcats to several sectional and district championships, and twice his teams appeared in regional championship games.

Among Marty's many postseason honors were West Senate and Greater Cleveland Coach of the Year (1976, '77 and '78); Northeastern Ohio District Coach of the Year (1976 and '78); Akron Cage Classic Championship Coach (1979); United States All-Stars Dapper Dan Game Championship Coach (1980); Cleveland area Independent Coach of the Year (1980-81); and Dayton Midwest All-Star Classic Coach (1982).

Marty was also recognized by the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association as a Hall of Fame coach and a recipient of the GCBCA's prestigious Golden Deeds Award.

THE TRIPLE CROWN

Coach Chambers' 1977-78 season will always be remembered for the record third straight city championship.

What many longtime gym rats forget, however, is that Oliver Luck '78, better know for his prowess on the gridiron as an outstanding and versatile quarterback, came up with some last-minute heroics in both the 1977 and 1978 city championship games.

I was on hand for the 1978 match up with the John Adams Rebels in Public Hall and watched Luck soar to the basket, outmaneuver and out-muscle John Adams' 6-foot-6 All-Star Tyrone Evans for a rebound off the second of two missed free throws by the 'Cats and pass the ball back out.

After Luck's big-time play, Mike Sweeney was fouled and accounted for the final point of the game with a clutch free throw in the 'Cats' 49-47 victory. Coach Chambers always referred to Oliver Luck as his “Ace in the Hole.”

 A member of Saint Ignatius' Athletic Hall of Fame, Oliver went on to a very successful career as a quarterback for the Mountaineers of West Virginia and played in the NFL with the then Houston Oilers. Oliver is the father of the Indianapolis Colts' outstanding quarterback and former Stanford All-American Andrew Luck.

LIONS AND WILDCATS, OH MY!

In my mind and the minds of other savvy gym rats in the area, there was another huge game in the 1977-78 season, one that drew significant attention from Cleveland's print, radio and television media.

The Wildcats and the Cathedral Latin Lions, the defending Class AA state champions, played what was arguably the regular-season game of the year in Greater Cleveland. Saint Ignatius, behind a clutch shot by Mike McNally, came away with an 85-84 victory. Today they would refer to that game as “An Instant Classic.”

Cathedral Latin snapped a long losing streak to the Wildcats in basketball by defeating Saint Ignatius in what was another thriller during the 1978-79 season.

A BLUE AND GOLDEN MOMENT AT THE HOME OF THE GOLDEN FLASHES FOR COACH CHAMBERS' CATS.

Just two days after he was named to the first team on The Plain Dealer's prestigious All-Scholastic Basketball Team, Saint Ignatius senior John Shimko buried a 12-foot jumper off an assist from Fred DiSanto with two seconds remaining in the second overtime, leading the Wildcats to a 51-49 victory over Lake Catholic in a Class AAA regional semifinal game that attracted more than 3,000 fans to Kent State University.

That March 20, 1980 night marked the Wildcats' 10th straight victory after losing at Lake Catholic on February 1. The Cougars, making their first regional venture, entered the game having won 13 of their last 14 outings. DiSanto and Shimko led Saint Ignatius with 16 and 14 points, respectively, and Lake Catholic's standout 6-7 senior post Dave Youdath finished with 23 points and seven rebounds.

The 6-5 Shimko, who averaged 23 points a game and scored a school-best 571 points that season, was also chosen as a first-team All-Ohio selection by both the Associated Press and the United Press International.

DYNAMIC DUO

Complementing Shimko was Coach Chambers' gifted back-court tandem of senior Fred DiSanto and junior Mike Trivisonno. DiSanto and Trivisonno looked so much alike in high school that fans from opposing schools would many times ask if they were brothers.

Coach Chambers described DiSanto as a player with deceiving quickness who wasn't afraid to “shoot from downtown” and said that giving point guard Trivisonno the ball was like “putting it in a Brink's truck.”

COACH LARRY ARTHUR TAKES THE REINS

Larry Arthur, an assistant on Coach Chambers' staff who along with former Cats' Assistant Coach Frank O'Brien had tremendous admiration and respect for Coach Chambers, began his head basketball coaching duties at Saint Ignatius in the 1984-85 season. Coach Brian Becker succeeded Coach Arthur in 1990 before Coach O'Toole took over the basketball reins at his alma mater in the 2008-09 season. Coach Becker, whose late father Gerry, another area coaching legend, was a great friend of Coach Chambers, is currently in his second stint as the Wildcats' Head Basketball Coach.    

Again, my prayers and sympathy are with Marty's family, all of his former players and coaches, and all of his dear friends. It was a privilege to cover Marty and honor to be among those he called a friend.

FROM SEAN O'TOOLE: "When I was growing up, Coach Chambers was an iconic figure, a big reason, along with the great spirituality and education, why so many of us as little kids wanted to come and play basketball at Saint Ignatius.

"He was a great coach who was known and recognized on the area, state and national levels. Coach Chambers was a dear friend, a dear confidant. He loved Saint Ignatius. Right up until his death, Coach Chambers was a season ticket holder.

"Coach Chambers was very active in our Coaches Association. Just last week at our annual All-Star Games (the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association), there was Coach Chambers in the lobby helping sell tickets. He was devoted to the game of basketball in Greater Cleveland and all of the young men who played for him. And he would offer guidance and help to any young player or any young coach who approached him.

"I don't think it is a stretch to say that before Coach (Chuck) Kyle's great football teams, Coach Chambers' basketball teams were legendary at Saint Ignatius.

"It's a great loss for the area basketball community and of course, for Saint Ignatius High School."            

   

     
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It's a final from "The Big D." Saint Ignatius' Rugby Cats, scoring 33 unanswered points, defeat the Jesuit Rugby Rangers from Dallas, 33-3, and complete their trip to Texas by going 4-0 in the land of the Longhorns
4/1/2016
By Mr. Eddie Dwyer
 
From the Forest City of Cleveland, Ohio, the Best Location in the Nation
 
Coach Dan Arbeznik's deep in talent and determined Wildcats will say goodbye to the Great State of Texas after defeating all four of the teams put in front of them this week.
 
Entering the week as the seventh-ranked program in the nation, Saint Ignatius extended its winning streak to five matches and will take a 7-1 record into next Friday's (April 8th) highly anticipated matchup with the St. Edward Eagles on Coughlin Field in Brother James Everett (C.S.C.) Stadium under the golden dome on the campus of St. Edward High School.
 
The action begins on Coughlin Field with a match between the school's respective B programs at 6:30 PM, followed by the Varsity A encounter between two programs who have met in the Ohio Rugby State Championship Match the past three years, with the Cats bringing home the title in 2014 and 2015. St. Edward was also a state Rugby champion in 2012. The Varsity A match is slated for 8 PM.
 
Dallas' Jesuit Rugby Rangers, who now stand 6-4-1 on the season, gave their faithful some early hope by taking a 3-0 lead off a penalty kick with 27 minutes remaining in the first half.  
 
However, as we reported in the update post below that preceded this report, Saint Ignatius responded with 21 unanswered points in taking a 21-3 lead into halftime.
 
With marvelous Marcus Hogan scoring the Cats' first try in the response to the Rangers' penalty kick, and Wheeling Jesuit Rugby recruit Matt Woisnet highlighting the 33 unanswered-points barrage with the match's final two tries, Coach Arbeznik's team left a lasting impression on the Senior Night crowd in Postell Stadium.
 
Saint Ignatius' versatile standout Andrew Baldado turned in another solid night off the conversion kicks and the ever-present Timmy "Truck-Stick" Vanderhoof, a Saint Ignatius Spring Sports Athlete of the Week honoree, sent home a try that, by all reports, had the Rangers glancing at the scoreboard.
 
We thought our fans might enjoy seeing a background on the Rangers' Rugby Program, so here it is courtesy of The Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.
 
The program has seen much success with numerous appearances in the State Final Four, highlighted by State Championships in 2001 and 2010. Jesuit has taken tours to the Cayman Islands (2001), Arizona (2004), Southern California (2005), Washington (2006), Utah (2007 for the National Championships) and Ireland in 2009. The school’s administration and the Rugby program teamed up to offer the experience of Rugby’s cultural and social exchanges through various tours, and have established a goal to offer them every few years to members of the program.
 
Here is a numerical breakdown of the Rangers' Rugby success: 7 Rugby Tours, 12 State Final Four Appearances, 2 State Championships, 10 WEST Regional Championship Appearances, 1 WEST Regional Pool Championship, 1 NATIONAL TOURNAMENT and "Countless memories and friendships to last a lifetime!"
 
From the corner: Rugby arrived at Jesuit Dallas or Dallas Jesuit, as both are acceptable, in 1997 as a Club Team.
 
The Program became established in the 1999-2000 school year, when Coach Anthony Acchione was able to attract athletes to the sport with his "Try it" approach.
 
Have a great weekend in anticipation for next Friday night's Coughlin Field clash.
 
 
 
 
It's Wildcats Rugby updates from "The Big D"
4/1/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

From the Forest City of Cleveland, Ohio, the Best Location in the Nation: Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats, who are attempting to go 4-0 on their Texas trip, improve to 7-1 overall and extend their wining streak to five matches,  are up 21-3 at halftime versus The Jesuit Rugby Rangers from Dallas, Texas in what is "Senior Night" at the Rangers' Postell Stadium.

Jesuit Dallas took a 3-0 lead on a penalty kick with approximately 27 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Cats came storming back with 21 unanswered points, a run that was fueled by a try from marvelous Marcus Hogan and the ensuing conversion kick by standout Andrew Baldado.

A try from Wheeling Jesuit Rugby recruit Matt Woisnet extended the Cats' lead to 26-3 and another try from Woisnet that was capped by Baldado's conversion put the Cats in total command, 33-3.

We will have a wrap up on the corner once the match in The Big D becomes final.   

A Friday, Saturday and Monday corner's glance at Where The Cats Play
3/31/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Coach Dan Arbeznik's 6-1 nationally recognized Rugby Cats will look to go 4-0 on their Texas Trip when they take on the Jesuit Dallas Rangers Friday at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time in the Big D.

On Saturday, a Wildcats Volleyball Team that Head Coach Casey Marcelo is very excited about (see the corner's St. Patrick's Day Preview) will open its season at 10 AM with the annual Saint Ignatius Invitational in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted Track and Field Wildcats, coming off Easter Saturday's impressive 117-115 first-place victory over the always sound Solon Comets at the Brunswick Elite (see the corner's Easter Saturday story), will travel to Hilliard Davidson High School for Saturday's tradition-rich and always challenging Wildcat Premier.

The competition, which features some of the strongest boys and girls track teams in Ohio, will get underway with field events at 9 AM.

Monday will mark the opening of Saint Ignatius' Tennis Season (see the corner's preview from Easter Sunday), as Coach Jon Barker's Wildcats are scheduled to face North Canton Hoover at 4:15 PM on the courts at Magnificat High School.

Have a great and safe rest of the week and weekend.

      

A tough week in Florida comes to an end for Saint Ignatius Baseball, as the Cats are defeated by Lakewood Ranch from Bradenton, 9-2, early Thursday evening
3/31/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats were outscored by their three opponents this week - Venice (Fla.), Tampa Jesuit and Lakewood Ranch - by a combined runs total of 19-3.

Lakewood Ranch jumped on the Cats early.

The Mustangs rode a passed ball, a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and scored three more runs in the bottom of the second by bunting a runner home from third and taking advantage of an error that resulted in two runs.

Errors plagued the Wildcats all week.

Lakewood Ranch pushed its lead to 8-0 in a two-run third inning that was highlighted by an RBI double.

Saint Ignatius, which has three games on tap next week in Ohio - at Boardman on April 6th, at Massillon Jackson on April 8th and versus longtime West Side rival St. Edward on April 9th at historic League Park - scored its two runs in the top of the fourth inning.

It was reported that one of those two runs was the result of Danny Adler stealing home plate and the second run was courtesy of a rip city RBI single off the first baseman's glove by Erik Demchuk that scored Jack Siefert.

We wish Coach Ganor, his staff, the Wildcats, Team Manager and Stats guru George Martin '16, along with the SIBN crew, a safe return to the best location in the nation.

God be willing, this old-timer is looking forward to covering and reporting on the Cats in Boardman and of course versus the Eagles of St. Edward.

Gentlemen, I've bee around too many excellent baseball teams who experienced just what you did this week. Learn from it, shake it off, cleanup the errors and we'll show everyone over the next two months just how talented the 2016 Baseball Cats are.            

  

CONGRATS FROM THE CORNER TO WILDCATS RUGBY STANDOUT ANDREW BALDADO FOR EARNING PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS FROM EAGLE IMPACT RUGBY ACADEMY
3/31/2016
Congrats from the old-timer go out to Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats, who improved to 3-0 on their Texas trip and 6-1 overall by defeating the highly regarded Westlake High School Rugby Club of Austin, Texas, 22-14, on Wednesday night
3/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - In what was described as a hard-fought match between the nation's seventh (Saint Ignatius) and 11th-ranked programs, the Rugby Cats did Cleveland proud again as Timmy Vanderhoof, Aidan Gill and Owen North each produced a try.

Andrew Baldado provided two conversions and also a kick for points, as the Cats, Ohio Rugby's 2014 and 2015 State Champions, turned back the 2014 and '15 Rugby Texas Division I High School State Champs.

Westlake, from Austin Texas, is the alma mater of the New Orleans Saints' All-Pro quarterback and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

According to the Rugby schedule on the Saint Ignatius Athletics page, the Cats have a day off to enjoy Texas on Thursday and will close out their Easter Break trip with a match versus Dallas Jesuit on Friday at 5 PM in the Big D.

When the Cats return home their focus will turn to the April 8th match at St. Edward.    

Saint Ignatius Baseball slips to 0-2 on the season after losing to Tampa Jesuit, 6-1, on Wednesday evening in what was the Cats' second game of their Easter Break trip to Florida
3/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a RBI single off the capable bat of promising junior left fielder Ryan Jacobs. Ryan's RBI scored senior catcher and tri-captain Dennis Grosel, who had singled.

The Tigers of Tampa Jesuit, ranked 25th in the PerfectGame.org Top 50 National Rankings, knotted the score in the bottom of the second and rode bases-loaded sacrifice flies to a 3-1 lead before sealing it with three more tallies in the late innings.

Wednesday night's game was played in one the most atmosphere-rich high school baseball facilities in the nation, Tampa Jesuit's Paul Straub Field at Hyer Family Park.

At 4 PM on Thursday, the Cats take on the Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.) Mustangs. For a look at Lakewood Ranch High School, see the corner's glance right bellow this post.

Thursday's game will be brought to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

HERE IS HOW THE WILDCATS' OUTSTANDING TEAM MANAGER AND STATISTICIAN GEORGE MARTIN '16 SAW WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S GAME ON PAUL STRAUB FIELD.

The Wildcats came out ready to play tonight and the final score doesn't give credit to the intense game that was played in Tampa.

Wildcats batting immensely improved from the first game as the Cats had 6 hits and 1 run.

NOTE FROM THE CORNER: SAINT IGNATIUS WAS LIMITED TO ONE HIT IN MONDAY'S 4-0 LOSS TO THE VENICE (FLA.) INDIANS.

Dennis Grosel kept the 1st inning alive with a single and from there scored off a Ryan Jacobs single. Also, Nick Freund and Joe Evans had singles as well. George Asadorian was the big hitter tonight as he scorched 2 doubles before going down with an apparent hamstring injury.

But in the end, momentum could not stay on the Wildcats' side. Two Wildcats were caught stealing and a lack of execution hurt Saint Ignatius tonight.

The pitching was in question as the staff gave up 11 combined walks.

St. Ignatius ace, Murphy O'Brien, started the game tonight and pitched 3.1 innings. Location was a struggle tonight as Murphy gave up 5 walks, but had 3 Ks before getting pulled. He had a total of 67 pitches with 37 strikes and 30 balls. He gave up 2 hits and had 1 earned run.

Erik Demchuk came in to pitch two thirds of the 4th inning and 1/3 of the 5th before getting replaced by sophomore Tommy Grosel. Demchuk gave up 1 hit, 1 earned run, and 3 walks. Grosel came in to work 1.2 innings and had 1 K, 2 hits, and 0 earned runs. Defensive miscues allowed for 3 runs to score while Grosel was on the mound.

The Jesuit Tigers had 5 hits and mainly executed off errors and walks. Alex Mocny was the hit Tiger as he had 2 singles.

Jesuit High pitching, although giving up 6 hits, was dominate with a total of 7 Ks. Jack Anderson pitched 6 innings and shut down 5 Wildcats. He had 83 pitches with 58 strikes and 25 balls. He gave up 6 hits and 1 earned run.  

     

  

Here is a corner's glance at Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.), Saint Ignatius' opponent on Thursday, the Cats' final day of comeptition on their Easter Break trip
3/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

As for Lakewood Ranch Baseball, the Mustangs from Bradenton, Florida have been up and down this season and were battling to stay above .500 after 20 games.

Lakewood Ranch enters Thursday's 4 PM first pitch versus Saint Ignatius coming off loses to Sarasota, 8-4, and Tampa Catholic, 12-2.   

Different times tweeted out for tonight's Rugby match
3/30/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

I guess this probably only matters if you are in the great State of Texas, but the Cats' Rugby page tweeted last night that this evening's match versus The Westlake High School Rugby Club (Austin, Texas) is slated for 7 PM Central Time.Tweets on the Athletic News page are saying the kickoff is 5:30 PM Central Time.

My suggestion is arrive in time for a 5:30 Central matchup and enjoy some of that great Texas hospitality.

Oh well, they can play at midnight and the corner will still have a recap.

As we reported on the corner last night, Saint Ignatius and Westlake entered the week as the seventh and 11th-ranked teams in the nation, respectively, and they are both the two-time defending champions in their respective states.

         

The Rugby Cats improve to 2-0 on their Texas trip and 5-1 overall by turning back the Cy-Fair Rugby Club from Cypress, Texas, 15-13, on Tuesday night
3/29/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Dan Arbeznik's resilient Cats will now gear up for Wednesday's 7 PM (Central Time) matchup with the Westlake High School Rugby Club (Austin, Texas). The match will feature the nation's seventh (Saint Ignatius) and 11th-ranked programs.

Westlake is the alma mater of New Orleans Saints All-Pro Quarterback and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

Like Saint Ignatius in Ohio Rugby, Westlake is the two-time defending Rugby Texas Division I High School State Champion.

The Westlake Rugby Program has been in existence for eight years.

As for Tuesday night's encounter with a fired-up Cy-Fair program, the Cats led, 15-8, after Owen North produced a try with 7 minutes left. North's effort came off the 8-man pick.

The Cy-Fair Bobcats wouldn't go quietly into the lights and heat of a Texas night without scoring a try with a minute remaining.

As it turned out, that last score made Chris Fedor's effort - slotting the kick for points and a 10-0 lead - very significant.   

 

 

 

 

   

Here is a corner's glance at Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit, Saint Ignatius' baseball opponent on Wednesday night
3/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with some information courtesy of Tampa Jesuit High School

Cleveland, Ohio - The Tampa Jesuit Tigers will enter Wednesday's matchup with the Wildcats ranked 25th in this week's PerfectGame.org Top 50 rankings. Tampa Jesuit was ranked 23rd last week.

Wednesday's first pitch is scheduled for 7 PM and Saint Ignatius' standout senior right-hander, tri-captain and St. Bonaventure commit Murphy O'Brien is expected to take the mound for Cats Head Coach Brad Ganor. The game will be broadcast live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

The Cats will have the opportunity to play in the Tigers' atmosphere-rich Paul Straub Field at Hyer Family Park, which features the Joseph Capitano '56 Trophy Hall and is widely considered among the finest high school sports complexes in the nation.

Paul Straub Field, where Tampa Jesuit has called home since 2011, was named Field of the Year by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.

The Tigers' rich baseball history includes a long list of alumni who have played on the college level and many more who have played professionally, including Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Al Lopez Sr., and New York Yankees mainstay Lou Piniella.

Lopez Sr., a catcher and manager, led the Indians and the Chicago White Sox to American League Pennants in the 1950s.

The Tampa Jesuit Baseball Program has a tradition that has produced four State Championships and numerous District and Regional titles. In 2014, the Tigers were Florida's 5A State Baseball Champs. Tampa Jesuit baseball has been a familiar name among the national rankings and in 1997 Tigers Baseball was crowned as a National Champion.

Like Saint Ignatius, Tampa has a strong all-around athletic program, one that won the FHSAA Boys' Athletic Program of the Year award in 1997-98, and had the most state championships and places at state events in 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2005-06.

The Tigers were the Tampa Tribune Athletic Program of the Year in 2003-04, and the St. Petersburg Times Athletic Program of the Year in 2004-05. Tampa Jesuit's baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer, and track and field teams have combined for a total of 19 state championships.

Tampa Jesuit also has a history of strong wrestling and swimming teams, with numerous individual state champions in both sports. Along with the national title in baseball in 1997, the Tigers brought home a national soccer championship in 2001. 

Tonight's Varsity Baseball Game at Sarasota (Fla.) High School has been cancelled because of adverse weather in the Sarasota Area.
3/29/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

Up next for the Baseball Cats is Wednesday's 7 PM game versus Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit.

Note: Sunny with blue skies and a little nip in the air here in the Forest City. "Let's Play Two."

 

 

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats open their trip to the State of Texas with a 66-15 victory over St. Thomas of Houston
3/28/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer from my palatial estate in Fairview Park, right down the street from Rugby-rich West Park, the home of the gifted Jaguars from St. Joseph Academy.

The two-time defending state champion Rugby Cats, who will return to the St. Thomas pitch on Tuesday at 7 PM to face the Cy-Fair Rugby Club from Cypress, Texas, are now standing 4-1 on the young season.

Coach Arbeznik's talented, tough-minded and resilient young men showed everyone in attendance on Monday night why they are ranked seventh in the nation.

The St. Thomas and Cy-Fair followers are hoping the Cats, on their return to the hotel, aren't humming the lyrics sung by the late, great Dean Martin, "Goin' back to Houston, Houston, Houston."

Supplying the offense for Saint Ignatius were Aidan Gill and Timmy Vanderhoff , who each had two tries, tries from Nick Zolikoff, Brock Yoho, Owen North, Andrew Baldado, Alex Chura and Chris Fedor, and the powerful conversion kicking leg of Baldado.

As for Tuesday's opponent, the Cy-Fair Bobcats, one of their products, Cody Cloud, is among the State of Texas' promising young Rugby athletes.

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Wildcats Baseball is defeated by the Venice (Fla.) Indians, 4-0, in the season opener on Monday night at Venice High School
3/28/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with comments to the corner from Head Coach Brad Ganor and an up-close breakdown on Monday's game from Wildcats' outstanding Statistician and Team Manager George Martin '16.

Fairview Park, Ohio - Venice, ranked 29th in the nation by PerfectGame.org, has won three Florida State Baseball Championships in the past four years, and a number of state titles before that.

The Indians complied a 29-3 record in route to another state crown last season, an effort that earned them a third-place spot in Baseball America's 2015 Top 50 Rankings.

Saint Ignatius opened its new season after finishing 27-6 last year and advancing to the OHSAA Division I state baseball final four for the fifth time under veteran skipper Brad Ganor, and the 12th time overall. Those 27 victories included a 15-game winning streak.

Up next for the Baseball Cats is Tuesday's game at Sarasota (Fla.) High School. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 PM and the game will be broadcast live by the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

Junior right-hander Braydon Nelson (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) will take the mound for the Wildcats.

Sarasota's Sailors are currently ranked second in the State of Florida by MaxPreps.

Six members oft the current Sarasota team will be furthering their educations and baseball careers at the next level.

They are Grant Horwitz who recently committed to San Diego State University, Nick Derr (FSU), Nick Long (UF), Andrew Jones (FAU), Adam Imwalle (SCF) and Vaun Brown (Florida Sourhern).

Derr, Long and Jones were invited to compete in the Florida Elite Showcase back in mid-October and didn't disappoint. The Florida Elite is one of the most prestigious and longest running showcases in the State of Florida.

FROM GEORGE MARTIN '16: The Cats started the season slow tonight. They couldn't get a feel at the plate and had some mental errors on the field. First game jitters were definitely in play.

The Wildcats had one hit - Joe Evans' (senior second baseman) hard line drive to right center. The Cats got picked off 3 times at first as well, and left men on 3rd twice. They had a total of 10 strikeouts and many ground outs to a talented 2nd basemen in Venice's Scott Dubrule.

Wildcat pitching did well. Adams (junior southpaw and Louisville recruit Connor Adams) had 4.1 innings of work with 4 strikeouts. He had 72 pitches with 41 strikes and 31 balls. He gave up 4 total hits and 2 earned runs. Connor yielded a home run to Jacob Grubbs to right field. Griffin Hunt came in during the 5th for 2 innings of work. He had 1 strikeout and gave up 1 hit and 1 earned run.

Tommy Grosel (sophomore right-hander) looked great tonight in finishing a tough game. He pitched 1.0 inning and had a strikeout. He did not yield a hit. In total, the Cats' pitching had 6 strikeouts, 4 runs, and 3 earned runs. The Cats' defense had 2 errors that gave Venice momentum.

Venice pitched exceptionally well. Caleb Williams started off the game by pitching 5 innings with 5 Ks and 1 hit. He had a total of 72 pitches with 44 strikes and 28 balls. The Indians' Trevor Holloway came on in relief for an inning. He had 3 Ks. Brad Jones ended the game by pitching the 7th and striking out two Wildcats. In total, Venice had 10 strikeouts and gave up 1 hit.

Venice batting did well also The Indians had 5 hits and showed their Florida speed with 3 stolen bases. Grubbs' HR in the bottom of the fourth gave Venice a 2-0 lead. Also, Shane Shifflet doubled in the bottom of the 4th to continue the Indians' momentum.

All in all, the Cats played well for their first game when you compare the fact that Venice is midway through its season. With some cleaning up to do, the Cats have a shot to leave Florida on a high note.

FROM COACH GANOR: "They are very good," said Coach Ganor of Venice. "They showed why they have won so many state championships. We weren't as sharp defensively as we will be in a couple of weeks. But I would rather open the season against teams like this than go beat up on somebody. I wouldn't have it any other way."




   

Just a reminder on the Wildcats' Baseball and Rugby Teams, as they open their Easter Break competition on Monday night
3/27/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

The Varsity Baseball Cats are at Venice (Fla.) for a 7 PM first pitch on Monday and the Rugby Cats will matchup with St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, also at 7 PM. Monday night's Varsity Baseball game will be brought to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

NOTE: Venice has a rich baseball tradition that includes three state titles in the past four years.

The Indians compiled a 29-3 state-championship season in 2015 and were ranked third in Baseball America's 2015 High School Top 50.

As for St. Thomas Rugby, it has produced Kingsley McGowan of Team USA. After graduating from St. Thomas in 2010, McGowan achieved All-American and National Championship fame at St. Mary's in California and was one of the first Americans to be part of a world rugby trophy for the United States. Kingsley picked up the game as a junior at St. Thomas.  

       

A hard-working, spirited group of Cats, led by Josh Hsia, will carry the fortunes of the 2016 Saint Ignatius Varsity Tennis Team
3/27/2016

Presented By Wildcats outstanding Head Tennis Coach Jon Barker '87 and Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH BARKER: Obviously, with the departures of Nate Griffin and Erich Schuette, our lineup will look quite different this season. 

Last year's #3, Josh Hsia, came on very strong in the second half of last season. He continued to improve in the off season and is ready to assume the first singles responsibilities. Josh is quick, athletic, hard working, and he hits a very heavy ball; it will be fun to see him take on the area's best.

Also returning are seniors Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna, and juniors Andy Siciliano and  Kevin Callanan. Those guys were our regular doubles players last season and embraced the role. Their doubles games improved immensely over the course of last season as they learned the flow of the doubles game and got to know their partners. They'll play a huge role on this year's squad, keeping us deep through our doubles lineup.

Junior Marton Tamasy and sophomores Richie Hofstra, Brian Zhu and Jack Showman grew, got stronger and worked hard on their games over the winter, and they are hungry to make their mark as regular Varsity players.

We are also excited about the arrival of solid freshmen Jack McNally and Drew Barclay.

This is a hard-working and fun group. They have a positive, playful spirit and we expect to see great growth over the course of our jam-packed and challenging season. 

The Wildcats open their 2016 season on April 4th at 4:15 PM versus North Canton Hoover on the courts at Magnificat High School.




Phil Zuccaro (1st place in the 100 and 200), C.J. Ambrosio (1st 3200), Luke Wagner (1st place in the 1600), the 1-2 punch of Wagner and Colin Kruchan in the 800 and a 1st place in the 4x800 enable the Cats to edge Solon, 117-115, at the Brunswick Elite
3/26/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Brunswick, Ohio - The Cats' versatile, deep and gifted Track and Field Team opened its 2016 outdoor season with some strong competition from the always sound Solon Comets.

And Coach Chuck Kyle's program responded in a manner one would expect from a team that is definitely rich in potential.

When we say the 2016 Wildcats have depth, that was evident early and often under the blue skies in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium on Judy Kirsch Field, as Saint Ignatius entered one of the state's tradition-rich, opening-weekend meets without a few of its key competitors. Understandably so, it is family Easter Vacation time.

No problem.

Yes, Coach Kyle and his staff saw the Cats challenged. But then that is what you're looking for in this developmental and sharpening-skills portion of the season.

Along with the first-place efforts by Phil Zuccaro (11.27 in the 100 meter dash and 22.36 in the 200 meter dash); the 8:17.72 first place by the 4x800 relay team of Pat Nolan, Greg Caniglia, Tim Trentel and Colin Kruchan; C.J. Ambrosio's 9:36.76 first place in the 3200 meter run; Luke Wagner's 4:19.61 first place in the 1600 meter run; and the 1-2, 18-points punch of Wagner (1:58.81) and Kruchan (1:59.65) in the 800 meter run that we used as the headline to this report, Saint Ignatius had several other promising performances on a day that lingered in the mid-50's and did not see a drop of moisture.

In the 4x100 meter relay, the team of Zuccaro, Jack Cook, C.J. Moore, and James Zassick placed second to Solon, 44.03 to 44.47. The 4x400 meter relay team of Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Wagner, Zuccaro and Kruchan finished fourth (4 points), the high jump saw Mike Lehto place fourth (4 points), Craig Cirino and Zack Morgan each scored a point in the pole vault, and Lehto also scored a point in the long jump at sixth place.

Jack Cook complemented his effort in the 4x100 relay by placing third in the 200 meter dash at 23.30 and sixth in the 100 meter dash at 11.65.

James Rogers turned in a fourth-place performance of 10:01.12 in the 3200 meter run and Moore (43.36) and Alex Ringfield (44.19) earned third and sixth place, respectively, in the 300 meter hurdles.

The team of John Wetula, Tom Barrett, Lehto and Zassick placed fifth in the 4x200 meter relay at 1:36.66 and a young name to remember in cross country and track, my friends, Nick Saul, was seventh in the 1600 meter run at 4:42.71. Nick was described by three-time state track meet qualifier Luke Wagner as "The future of our team."

While the afternoon was very comfortable, the throwers and field-events competitors were greeted by a brisk morning on the campus of Brunswick High School.

Saint Ignatius' young shot put and discus athletes, Alex Misencik and Justin Perpar, more than held their own under the direction of Coach Ryan Franzinger '02.

In the discus, Alex had a third-place of throw of 129-03, which bettered his previous personal best by 15 feet. Justin was fifth in the discus with a throw of 124-10, as he and Alex accounted for eight key points.

Alex scored two points in the shot put with a fifth-place throw of 43-11.50, and Justin was eighth at 40-05.00

Here are the final standings and point totals.

1. Saint Ignatius, 117; 2. Solon, 115; 3. Berea-Midpark 92 points; 4. Strongsville 80 points; 5. Brunswick 50 points; 6. Buckeye 42 points; 7. Akron Firestone 21 points and 8. Normandy, 10 points.

From Iowa State Track and Cross Country recruit Luke Wagner on his first-place effort in the 1600 meter run.

"I went out kind of moderate," said the young man who has placed his name among the outstanding runners (cross country and track) in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history. "It was just like any other pace, nothing crazy.

"Two laps in, I was about 2:09, which is kind of where I wanted to be, right around there. I took the lead and I kind sensed the other guy struggling a bit, so I wanted to take out the competition while I could.

"Once I hit the last lap, I was a little bit ahead and the wind from the straightaway right here (the open end of Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium) was pretty strong. It kind of took a little bit out of me, my legs. So once I hit the last 200 my legs were kind of tired, but I was just able to open up my stride, finish the race and get the job done."

From Alex Misencik: "I think I have to get in the weight room more," said Alex, who was pleased with his effort in the discus, but not in the shot put. "I was sick last week, so I have to get back in there and work on quicker feet.

"I think it is really nice to be coached by our record holder," Alex said of Coach Franzinger, who is the Wildcats' all-time leader in the discus at 189-4, Saint Ignatius' Dean of Students and a former Cats football great. "It's neat, because he is helping me get better so hopefully I can break the record that he has. It's so great to have such a knowledgeable person teaching me."

From Coach Franzinger: "Alex's 15-feet, going from 114 to 129 was definitely the highlight of the throws today," said the man who helped lead Saint Ignatius to the OHSAA Division I State Track and Field Championship in the spring of 2001 and the OHSAA Division I State Football Championship in the fall of 2001, both as a player/track and field competitor under Coach Kyle. "You hope for that sort of improvement by the end of the year and he's already at that. That's a good sign, because he could add another 15 feet by the end of May. That's how I see it."                   

      

 

 

            

This old-timer couldn't lay his head on a pillow without saying congratulations once again to Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse, which defeated the Solon Comets, 13-7, at Stewart Field and improved to 2-0. Up next, April 6th vs. Jackson on Wasmer Field.
3/24/2016
Attention all of you West Park rich in rugby history enthusiasts! Saint Ignatius and St. Edward are currently ranked seventh and eighth in the nation, respectively. Mark it down, Cats at Eagles on April 8th.
3/24/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

A salute to Saint Ignatius standout Brock Yoho on finding this week's rankings. Bring it home in Texas!

The 2016 Saint Ignatius Track and Field Preview. A strong, experienced and sucessful senior class will show the way.
3/23/2016

By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

ALL FIVE OF THE WILDCATS WHO LED SAINT IGNATIUS TO A SIXTH-PLACE FINISH AT STATE AND A THIRD-PLACE AT THE ALWAYS DEMANDING AMHERST REGIONAL RETURN.

Cleveland, Ohio - Mr. Chuck Kyle '69, better known around the area's scholastic scene as one of the most successful football coaches in Ohio's rich gridiron history, and the entire nation for that matter, has begun another season in the sport he has guided with the same passion for more than four decades - Wildcats Track and Field.

Coach Kyle, who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations' Hall of Fame on July 2 (see the corner's story from March 1st), looks at his 2016 Track and Field Wildcats as a team in which "the potential is there."

"You look back at the previous three years, some of these guys were sophomores, but they were contributing heavily," said Coach Kyle of a veteran nucleus that will be the foundation in which this year's team is built on. "Last year, a number of them made it to the State Meet.
 
"They're seniors now, which is the nice thing about it," Coach Kyle continued. "But you never know with spring sports seniors, there's a lot of proms and graduations. Sometimes it's a little different. So far, these guys have been really enthusiastic about the season. They're talking about setting goals and what they're going to be talking about come May. Right now we're just approaching April. Easter Vacation is going to hit, but that's okay, some guys will be around.
 
"Once Easter Vacation is over, it's okay, it's the heart of the season right now,'" Coach Kyle said.
 
As Coach Kyle emphasized, once you get into mid-May, from that point on it is Districts, Regionals and then States.
 
"We have the capability of getting people down state," said the man who is a member of the Ohio Football Coaches Association's Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame and the Ohio Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.
 
Coach Kyle pointed out that there are some things that need to be smoothed out. Last year, the Wildcats had a bad exchange during the 4x100 meter relay at the talent-rich Amherst Regional that cost what was one of the top relay teams in Ohio an appearance at the State Meet. The Cats would have been one of the favorites in the 4x100 state competition.
 
"I think the kids, freshmen all of the way up to seniors, are buying into it, so that's wonderful," said Coach Kyle. "They're training hard."
 
After a third-place finish at the Amherst Regional, Saint Ignatius, led by five junior qualifiers, placed sixth at what was the 108th annual OHSAA Boys State Track and Field Championships in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
 
Showing the way was the 4x800 meter relay team of Colin Kruchan, Tom Sullivan Mike Huber and Luke Wagner, which finished second in the state and scored eight points. That savvy and skilled all-junior relay ran a 7:47.32 at state, bettering its first-place effort of 7:51.12 at the Amherst Regional.
 
Iowa State recruit Luke Wagner, who helped lead Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's Cross Country Cats to the State Championship this past fall, will be seeking his fourth consecutive appearance at the State Track and Field Meet.
 
The Cats' other points at the 2015 State Meet came from standout sprinter James Norris and the efforts by Wagner and Sullivan in the 1600 meter run.
 
James finished fourth in the 100 meter dash in 10.87. He was second at the Amherst Regional in 10.78. Now a senior who will be furthering his education and track career at Cornell, after also considering Princeton and The Ohio State University, James is in pursuit of a third trip to the State Meet. He holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 meter dash with a 10.66.
 
Just a little FYI, James was the only sprinter from a Catholic School in the Division I 100 meter dash state finals last year.     
 
The dynamic duo of Wagner and the Duke University bound Sullivan placed sixth and seventh, respectively, during last year's 1600 meter state-championship run. Luke's time was 4:15.42 and Tom's effort was 4:16.64.
 
"Unusually do you have two guys from the same school score in that event," said Coach Kyle of Luke's and Tom's effort in the state 1600. "That was great."
 
Early last summer, members of Coach Gallagher's Cross Country Program and Coach Kyle's Track Team competed in the Nationals and finished third in the nation in the 4 x mile, as it is referred to in national competition.   
 
"The indoor season, we don't necessarily put a lot emphasis on. We use it for training," said Coach Kyle, who guided Saint Ignatius to an OHSAA outdoor Track and Field State Championship in 2001 and an OHSAA outdoor Track and Field State Runner-Up in 2005. "But at this year's indoor meet (at The University of Akron), without overrunning anyone, we still finished third in the state out of 68 teams represented there. So that's a great indication going into the spring."
 
The Cats' efforts at the Nationals and in the Indoor State Meet show, Coach Kyle said, that his Cats are used to big competition, that the 2016 spring potential truly exists.
 
Highlighting Saint Ignatius' efforts at the Indoor Meet was Norris, who took home the 60-meter dash state championship with a record time of 6.8. It marked the first time a Saint Ignatius track athlete accomplished that feat.
 
Coach Kyle is looking for James to carry that tremendous indoor time not only to the 100 meter dash this spring, but also the open 200. "We feel he is strong enough to handle that, along with the relay," Coach Kyle said.    
 
The other indoor highlights included Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and Norris taking third place in the 4x200; the team of Kruchan, Patrick Nolan, Huber and Wagner finishing second in the 4x800 relay, right on the heels of National Champion Dublin Coffman; Sullivan's fifth place in the 1600-meter race; Kruchan's Runner-Up effort in the 800, and C.J. Ambrosio's 8th place in the 3200-meter race with a personal-best 9:24.
 
Nolan, Ambrosio and senior Jim Rogers, who is bound for Yale, are among the other track and field veterans that Coach Kyle and his staff are relying on. C.J. and Jim turned in solid seasons for Coach Gallagher's State Champion Harriers. Another big-meet tested young man, both in cross county and track, is Tim Trentel, who Coach Kyle is hoping can stay healthy.
 
"On the track we're pretty good and we have a veteran hurdle group back," said Coach Kyle, referring to C.J. Moore, who scored at last year's District Meet, a level of competition that Saint Ignatius Track and Field has dominated for well over 20 seasons. Another name to remember among the hurdlers is Jack Ruddy, the nephew of former Wildcats Football great and Cats' Assistant Freshmen Football Coach Mark Ruddy. Alex Ringfield, said Coach Kyle, is also "coming along nicely."
 
As for the field events, Coach Kyle said there is a wait and see approach right now, but that in the early relay meets the Cats should be just fine. "We need a couple of them to get to that level where we can take them down state," said the Hall of Fame Coach.
 
Kyle Aerni is a name to remember in the high jump and the above mentioned Pat Nolan has three-event potential.  
 
Coach Kyle's Track and Field Cats face another impressive schedule, starting with the tradition-rich Brunswick Elite this Saturday in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium on Judy Kirsch Field. The field events are scheduled for 10 AM, with the running events slated to start between 11:30 AM and 12:15 PM. The corner is looking forward to getting a right out of the gate look at the Cats.
 
"Right after that, we're in Columbus for the Hilliard Davidson Meet (April 2nd at 9 AM),' said Coach Kyle. "There are a lot of good teams in Columbus this year. Then it's the Medina Relays, which have taken place for years now. So we have some nice meets right away, where there are some relay events that allow you to get your depth going, along with some really strong competition."                   
 
FROM ASSISTANT COACH, DEAN OF STUDENTS, WILDCATS RECORD SETTER IN THE DISCUS AND FORMER FOOTBALL STANDOUT RYAN FRANZINGER 'O2 ON HIS YOUNG THROWERS: Sophomore, Alex Misencik, is obviously one of the young throwers to be mentioned. For the throwers overall, senior Michael Bodnar, junior Justin Perpar, and Alex are our veterans, however, keep an eye on junior Michael Chime who has recently started up after his wrestling season. Sophomore Jack Jamieson also has shown early potential.
 

        

Here are the schedules for Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats and Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats, as they embark on their Easter Break trips to Texas and Florida, respectively.
3/23/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

HERE ARE THE OPPONENTS THE NATIONALLY RANKED AND TWO-TIME DEFENDING STATE CHAMPION RUGBY CATS WILL FACE DURING THEIR VISIT TO THE LAND OF THE LONGHORNS.

THE 3-1 CATS ARE COMING OFF AN IMPRESSIVE 13-11 VICTORY OVER PERENNIAL POWER XAVIER OF MANHATTAN, N.Y., A MATCH THAT TOOK PLACE ON WASMER FIELD SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

3/28 At St. Thomas of Houston, Texas, 7 PM

3/29 Versus Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas) at St. Thomas, 7 PM

3/30 At Westlake of Austin, Texas, 5:30 PM

4/1 At Dallas, Texas Jesuit, 5 PM

THE RUGBY CATS, UPON RETURNING HOME FROM TEXAS, WILL GEAR UP FOR THE APRIL 8TH MATCH AT ST. EDWARD.

NOTE: ALL OF THE BEST TO THE RUGBY CATS FROM THIS OLD-TIMER, WHO HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO COVER AND REPORT ON COACH DAN ARBEZNIK'S TOUGH-MINDED AND TALENTED TEAM LAST WEEKEND.

BELOW ARE THE OPPONENTS COACH GANOR'S GIFTED AND GRITTY BASEBALL CATS WILL TAKE ON IN FLORIDA, AN EASTER BREAK TRIP THAT FEATURES THE START OF A VERY PROMISING 2016 SEASON FOR A TEAM THAT HAS A SOLID BLEND OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE.

FOR A PREVIEW ON THE 2016 BASEBALL CATS, SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM LAST WEEK.

COACH GANOR GUIDED THE BASEBALL CATS TO A DIVISION I STATE SEMIFINALIST APPEARANCE LAST SPRING, MARKING THE FIFTH TIME SAINT IGNATIUS BASEBALL HAS REACHED THE STATE FINAL FOUR UNDER COACH GANOR. COACH GANOR'S 2007, '08 AND '09 TEAMS SET A SCHOOL RECORD BY ADVANCING TO THE STATE FINAL FOUR THREE CONSECUTIVE SEASONS, AND HIS 2008 AND 2013 TEAMS WERE STATE RUNNERS-UP.

IN SAINT IGNATIUS' 2002 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, 2000 STATE RUNNER-UP SEASON AND 2004 STATE FINAL FOUR SPRING, COACH GANOR WAS THE WILDCATS' ASSISTANT COACH/PITCHING COACH FOR THEN HEAD COACH BRIAN MORGAN. BRAD TOOK OVER THE VARSITY HELM IN 2005.

HERE ARE THE TEAMS AWAITING COACH GANOR AND HIS CATS, AS THEY BOARD THE BUSES TOMORROW BOUND FOR FLORIDA.

3/28 At Venice, Florida, 7 PM

3/29 At Sarasota, Florida, 7 PM

3/30 At Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit, 7 PM

3/31 At Lakewood Branch (Bradenton, Fla.), 4 PM

Note: The corner will provide recaps on the games in Florida and will have its first full game coverage when the Cats return home for the April 6th matchup at Boardman.

TO THE RUGBY CATS, BASEBALL CATS, THEIR COACHES AND FAMILIES, HAVE A BLESSED AND WONDERFUL EASTER.

Mr. Eddie Dwyer               

 

      

 

The 2016 Saint Ignatius Rowing Preview
3/21/2016

Presented By Wildcats Varsity Rowing Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Another Deep Squad Ready to Take On a Challenging Region: Wildcat Rowing 2016 Preview

FROM COACH WALTERS: After a successful 2015 campaign that saw Saint Ignatius rowing claim its second-
ever Varsity 8 title at the Midwest Scholastic Championships, the bar has been set  high for the 2016 squad.

A deep varsity team and focused core of freshmen will all play their part as the Wildcat Navy looks to expand upon last year’s successes, which also included  qualifying three boats to the national championships.

Head Coach Pat Connor ’94 has brought on some additional coaches in Erik Meister ’08 and stroke of the 2015 Varsity 8 Bendeguz Pigniczky ’15, and rallied his staff around a uniform rowing stroke. The fundamentals were hammered hard
throughout the winter erging and lifting season, and the team has hit the water with dramatically improved skill.

Returning from last year’s Varsity 8 are seniors Cormac Purcell and Liam Jenkins, a coxswain. While all seats are up for grabs—and the rowers are hungry—look for members of the 2015 Junior and Lightweight 8s to contend for many first-boat seats.

This year, it could be argued that the coveted Midwest Varsity 8 title is to be contended like never before. While the Wildcats secured last year’s trophy, results from the past fall indicate that Pittsburgh Central Catholic, St. Edward and New Trier will likely be their biggest challenges in retaining it.

The team will focus on fielding five Varsity 8s and two freshman/novice 8s  throughout the course of the season, although additional entries in smaller boats or junior and lightweight categories are always on the table.

Things ramp up with the annual spring training trip, once again to Summerton, South Carolina, at Camp Bob Cooper. The five days of rowing-intensive training are always a catalyst for progress, from top to bottom.

The remainder of the team’s schedule is located almost entirely in Ohio, but don’t plan on watching any home races this spring. Saint Ignatius will race for the Rustbelt Championship on Lake Milton on April 9 before heading to Cincinnati for an invitational a week later. The crew travels to Orchard Lakes, Michigan for a tune-up on May 7, a week before the Midwest Scholastic Championship on Zanesville’s Lake  Dillon. Top finishers at Midwest will return to Lake Dillon for SRAA Nationals just two weeks later, on May 27-28.

The two-month sprint to the national grand finals begins on March 28. Fans and supporters can follow the team on Twitter or Instagram @sihsrowing. Let’s go Cats!



 
The always impactful Steve Avdey and Alex Hornung show the way as Coach Patrick McManamon's tough and talent rich Varsity Lacrosse Team opens its Season with a 15-6 victory over University School at Wasmer Field on Monday night
3/21/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Steve, a force in the midfield, and Alex, one of the best of the best in Ohio, combined for seven goals, including four by Steve, as the Lax Cats made an impressive 2016 debut versus the Preppers.

Up next for Coach McManamon and his relentless, versatile and deep team, is a trip to Solon on Wednesday to face the Comets at 7:15 PM. It's Solon's season opener.

After the Easter Break, the Lax Cats return to Wasmer Field on April 6th for a 7:30 PM matchup with the always capable Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson.

Congrats gentlemen and we'll see you in April.

Note: For a preview on Saint Ignatius' 2016 Lacrosse Season, see the corner's post from this past Friday.   

 

Saint Ignatius pays tribute to its outstanding Winter Sports Teams and Athletes on Monday evening at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts
3/21/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

In what was a winter that saw Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats bring home the program's fourth OHSAA State Hockey Championship; standout 182-pound junior Kaden Russell become Saint Ignatius' first State Wrestling Champion since the back-to-back efforts in 2011 and 2012 by former Wildcats great and Virginia standout George DiCamillo; the Varsity Basketball Cats advance to the Division I Regional Finals or OHSAA Elite 8, if you will; the Wildcats' Swimming and Diving Team place seventh in Ohio; Coach Jim Viets' Bowling Program, aka "The Alley Cats," capture the hearts of the kegler faithful at Saint Ignatius and, although the Track and Field Team will recognized during the Springs Sports Awards, we give another shout out to the Cats' outstanding senior sprinter James Norris for becoming the first Saint Ignatius Track Athlete to take first place in the 60 meters (6.8) during the annual Indoor State Meet at the University of Akron.

As the corner has done for every postseason Awards Ceremony since 2008, here are the 2016 Special Award Winners from each of the five winter sports teams.

ICE HOCKEY

OFFENSIVE MVPS: All-Ohio senior forward Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Connor Koehnke

DEFENSIVE MVPS: All-Ohio senior goalie Dylan McKeon, All-Ohio senior Defenseman Brian Russell and the ever-present senior forward Jared Stepka

MOST IMPROVED: Junior forwards Cullen Frebes and John von Keyserling

THE FATHER STYLES COACHES' CUP: Senior goalie Mark Mastroianni, junior defenseman Matt Wiegandt and senior forward Cam Gerard

CAPTAINS' PLAQUES: Aidan Spellacy, Jared Stepka, Cam Gerard, Brian Russell and Dylan McKeon

BASKETBALL

MVP OFFENSE: All-Ohio Special Mention senior guard Deven Stover

MVP DEFENSE: Senior point guard Kyle Kalish

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Junior forward/post Austen Yarian

THE COACHES' CUP: Senior forward Tyler Musbach

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Senior guard Ryan Berger

THE 5-TOOL AWARD (selfless, leader, good teammate, defender and rebounder): Senior guard Jimmy Berger

SWIMMING AND DIVING

MVP SPRINTER: Dimitri Sixcox

MVP STROKE/IM: Marcus Hong

MVP DISTANCE: Joey Libertin

MVP DIVER: Alex Claus

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Nicholas Hong

JOHN B. LEWIS AWARD: John Libertin

COACHES' CUP: Rayon Artis

CAPTAIN: Patrick Corrigan

WRESTLING

COACHES' CUP: Tito Vazquez III

MOST VALUABLE WRESTLER: Kaden Russell

WILDCAT AWARD: Kyle Vilsack and John Robinson

MOST IMPROVED WRESTLERS: Cal Miller and Hunter Toth

THE MARILYN A. SULLIVAN AWARD: Kyle Vilsack

STATE QUALIFERS/PLACERS: Cal Miller, State Qualifier at 160 pounds, Kaden Russell, the 2016 OHSAA 182-pound State Champion and Kyle Vilsack, fourth place in Ohio at 195 pounds. 

CAPTAINS: Cal Miller, Kaden Russell and Kyle Vilsack

BOWLING, THE TALENTED, BIG-HEARTED AND CLASS PERSONIFIED ALLEY CATS

COACH AWARD: Cedric Crawford

MVP: Ralph Deadwyler; High Average 206

MOST VERSATILE: Devin Venczel and Vinny Doran

HIGH SERIES: Giannni Schaefer 707

HIGH GAME: Devin Venczel 268

ATHLETIC/ACADEMIC AWARD: Austin Venczel 

MOST IMPROVED: Nizar Dergham

Congratulations again to all of the Cats' winter sports teams and athletes from this old-timer, and God Bless You in all of your future endeavors - Mr. Eddie Dwyer

 

 

 

 

          

THE CORNER SALUTES RUGBY MAINSTAYS BROCK YOHO, MATT WOISNET AND DAN CARTER
3/20/2016

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

FROM WASMER FIELD

This old-timer would like to recognize Brock, Matt and Dan on their recent college decisions.

Brock will be attending the University of Kentucky and Matt and Dan will be furthering their educations and rugby careers at Wheeling Jesuit.

Although Kentucky currently has a Club Rugby Program, they are awarding Brock for his academic prowess.

Congratulations gentlemen and May God Bless You, now and in the future.     

Andrew Baldado's kick for points helps lead Saint Ignatius Rugby to a 13-11 triumph over traditional power Xavier (NY) on Wasmer Field Sunday afternoon
3/20/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Xavier, a Jesuit School in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, was coming off Saturday's 24-14 victory over the nation's second-ranked Kingsmen from Penn High School (Mishawaka, Ind.).

That makes the Wildcats' triumph on a brisk, early winter-like Sunday in Ohio City even more impressive.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's hard-nosed and big-hearted team, which entered the weekend ranked 18th in the nation, improved to 3-1 and will now gear up for its trip to Texas over the Easter Break.

The Rugby Cats bounced back from Friday night's 22-14 setback to Penn on Wasmer Field, a match that saw Saint Ignatius move to a 14-5 lead by halftime.

Xavier's loss to the Wildcats on Sunday was its first in five matches this season. The Knights, the nation's eighth-ranked program, have won four national titles and more than 20 East Coast Championships.

"The kids showed so much heart," said Coach Arbeznik, who has guided his Cats to the past two Ohio State Rugby Championships. "For them to play as one unit was special. We probably had five new faces in the starting lineup. A few injuries from Friday night resulted in a lot of other guys getting the opportunity to come out play.

"Jimmy McCabe came out and played a great half for us," continued Coach Arbeznik. "Dan Carter, Montell Martin and Nick Zolikoff, we had a lot of guys come in who normally wouldn't have necessarily played as much as they did. The kids played so hard, they really did a nice job."

Trailing, 5-0, after the team from the Big Apple struck with a try in the early going that was followed by an unsuccessful conversion, the Cats responded like a two-time state-champion, nationally recognized program.

Owen North, whose physical presence was evident from the get-go, powered his way for a try and standout fly-back Andrew Baldado followed with a conversion off his reliable leg that put Saint Ignatius in front, 7-5, with just under 16 minutes remaining in the first half.

About six minutes later, Baldado was money on a kick for points that extended the Cats' lead to 10-5.

The big-game tested Knights would close to 10-8 on a kick for points approaching two-plus minutes left in the first half, and it remained that way entering the second half.

"One of the reasons we went to Ireland last year was that kicking is such a fundamental aspect of good rugby," Coach Arbeznik said. "You can take advantage of space. When a team spreads the field like that, there is no where to go. There's nothing but just you and the defender, and the kids are coached on how to tackle properly. There is no where to go. So often times the space is over their heads and you have to put the ball on your foot to do that.

"When we were in Ireland we saw a lot of how we can execute that," said Coach Arbeznik.

Xavier, which is now 1-1 all-time versus Saint Ignatius, continued to execute its highly regarded kicking prowess and took an 11-10, early second-half lead on a kick for points.

In the end, it all came down to the kicking.

Baldado , one of the more versatile players in the state, gave the Cats a 13-11 lead on a kick for points with just under six minutes left and it held up after the Knights came up short on a long-range kick for points in the match's final moments.

Prior to Xavier's attempt at victory, three minutes were added to the clock because of injuries after the clock had expired.

Coach Arbeznik said Xavier, being on the East Coast, has a lot of Irish immigrants who attend the Jesuit School. So he wasn't surprised at all that the Knights went for the long-distance kick for points.

"They have a lot of the same skills that we saw in Ireland," said the man who has put Saint Ignatius Rugby on the map.

Along with the kicking game on both sides, the Cats' victory over one of the nation's Top 10 programs was highlighted by a key shoe-string tackle by Alex Chura. Also, Aidan Gill and Sean Whalen were among those Wildcats turning in some authoritative second-effort runs.    

FROM ANDREW BALDADO: "This year by far is the toughest schedule, a bunch of nationally ranked teams and we're nationally ranked ourselves. It's a very important year for the program going forward, too, taking ourselves from a state recognized team to an entire nationally recognized program. This weekend was huge, because everybody (Saint Ignatius, Penn and Xavier) came out of it 1-1. So this win today was huge for us on a national scale."

IMPRESSIVE: ONE OF THE KNIGHTS WHO LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION ON ALL OF US IN THE SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER WASMER FIELD PRESSBOX WAS 8-MAN MALIK FISHER, WHO RIPPED OFF SOME POWERFUL AND IMPRESSIVE LONG RUNS.

A TIP OF THE CORNER'S CAP: Goes out to the Wildcats' Rugby announcers/stats crew/scoreboard operator for the outstanding job they did this weekend presenting the Penn and Xavier matches over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

The thrill-some threesome of sophomores Joe Molnar (Play By Play), Tommy Lavelle (Stats and Scoreboard) and Leo Minerd (Color Commentary), who are members of the Cats' Junior Varsity Rugby Program, were all over the action. They also have keen sense of humors.      

For a complete look at Saint Ignatius' Rugby Schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on Rugby. The annual regular season matchup with St. Edward is April 8th at the home of the Eagles.

         

 

                 

 

   

 

Just a little note from a proud Grandpa
3/19/2016

Since I am in a Rugby state of mind after Friday night's coverage versus Penn (Ind.) and gearing up for Sunday's 11 AM encounter with Xavier (New York) on Wasmer Field, you will have to allow this proud grandpa a shout out to my granddaughter, Caitlin Patton, who is a freshman at Saint Joseph Academy and today scored the first try of the season for the Jaguars' Junior Varsity in their match at Fort Wayne.

- Grandpa Dwyer, aka the old-timer, this corner, etc.    

Former Wildcat great and current Virginia standout George DiCamillo comes up a little shy in what was his pursuit for All-America status this year
3/18/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

During Friday night's 133-pound Consolation Round of 12 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in New York, George got the riding time point, but a two-point near fall at the buzzer gave Jade Rauser of Utah Valley State the 8-6 decision.

As we reported on the corner this morning, George was defeated in the Quarterfinals by Zane Richards of Illinois, 12-4, and had to begin the always demanding wrestle backs.

Congratulations to George on a tremendous season, which included another ACC Championship.   

A tale of two halves. Saint Ignatius Rugby storms to a 14-5 lead by halftime, but nationally acclaimed Penn High School, taking advantage of mistakes, rallies to a 22-14 victory at Wasmer Field on Friday night
3/18/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Penn, from Mishawaka, Indiana, didn't improve to 5-0 before being challenged to the end by Coach Dan Arbeznik's 18th-ranked nationally Wildcats, who now stand 2-1 on the young season.

Saint Ignatius rode impressive tries by Brock Yoho and the ever-present Andrew Baldado, and two ensuing conversions by Baldado, to the 14-5 halftime lead.

Baldado has moved to fly-half this year after excelling as a full-back on Coach Arbeznik's back-to-back State Championship teams of 2014 and 2015.

Penn, currently the nation's second-ranked program, flashed those credentials by jumping on a few mistakes by the young Wildcats.

The Kingsmen, playing with the wind at their backs in the second half, closed to 14-12 with 21 minutes and two seconds remaining in the challenging and entertaining match on Wasmer Field.

Following a line out to Penn and another of what were several powerful runs by the Kingsmen's Will Vakalahi, Sam Scholtes put the program from the Hoosier State in front, 15-14, behind a powerful kick of nearly 35 yards with six minutes remaining.

Taking advantage of a penalty and another line out, Penn sealed the deal on a try as time was expiring and Scholtes complemented the sealer with another strong conversion.

FROM COACH ARBEZNIK:  "The kids played a fantastic first half, it was almost flawless," said the man who has built Saint Ignatius Rugby into a state and nationally recognized program in less than four years.

"We made some mistakes in the second half," Coach Arbeznik said. "Obviously we didn't have the wind with us, but that really didn't play too much of a factor in it at all. Penn, there's a reason they're ranked second in the country. They don't make a lot of mistakes.

"In the second half, we made a couple of mistakes when we could have turned the screws on them," Coach Arbeznik continued. "We had a penalty when we were kicking to touch and the kid from Penn makes a fantastic play. He jumps up in the air and throws the ball back in. That was a big play in the game, and then right after that we had a scrum down and they took our scrum away. They were able to clear their lines and bust forward.

"We were really hurting them," said Coach Arbeznik  "We were up with 20 minutes left to play in the second half and we're down at the 10-meter line right there. And that was our time, our chance to score. So we kind of let that get away from us and that was a big momentum shift. We kind of got out of game near the end.

"It's early, we're a young team and some of the mistakes we made were young player mistakes. So looking at it as a whole, I'm happy with the results. There was a lot of improvement and a lot of good play from the young kids."

UP NEXT: Sunday's 11 AM kickoff on Wasmer Field with the nation's eighth-ranked Knights from Xavier, a Jesuit High School located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, N.Y.

The Knights, whose history shows them going by several nicknames, including the Cadets, the Bruins and, in rugby at one time, the Outlaws, have brought home four National Titles and more than 20 East Coast Championships in rugby.

The Xavier players are staying with the families of various Saint Ignatius Rugby players this weekend.

A LITTLE SPORTS HISTORY WITH PENN HIGH SCHOOL: In the falls of 2005 and 2006, Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Football Wildcats took on Penn and defeated the Kingsmen in both seasons, including a 41-19 victory in Mishawaka in 2005.

That 2005 game in Indiana saw Wildcats outstanding wide receiver Robby Parris have a big night. As a University of Notre Dame recruit, Robby was a fan favorite in the Hoosier State, so much so that fans, young and old, were seeking out his autograph after the game.

LOOKING ON: In attendance at Wasmer Field on Friday night were a few players and coaches from St. Edward. The Eagles and the Wildcats have matched up in the past three State Championship Rugby Matches, with Saint Ignatius, as we mentioned above, winning the last two.

One of the Eagles coaches was reportedly impressed with the hard-nosed running of some of the Wildcats' younger players, including sophomore full-back Sean Whalen. Maybe he was recalling the St. Edward at Saint Ignatius Freshmen Football Game from the fall of 2014, when Sean powered his way past two Eagles near the goal line and into the scoreboard end zone of Wasmer Field.

MARK IT DOWN: Saint Ignatius will make the short trip to St. Edward on April 8th for the annual regular season matchup with the Eagles.

Have a great and safe weekend, and this old-timer will see you at Wasmer Field on Sunday morning.                        

    

     

Crew Cintron, Alex Hornung and Sam Humphrey will lead the offense and Alex Maruna and Carter Blossey will show the way defensively. It's the 2016 Saint Ignatius Lacrosse Preview.
3/18/2016

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS OUTSTANDING HEAD COACH PATRICK MCMANAMON '96.

FROM COACH MCMANAMON: As we look towards the start of our season we are very eager to get the first one in the books.

The players have worked hard this off season to prepare for a successful 2016 campaign. Our off season captains practices and weight lifting has put the entire program further ahead than we had been in years past in terms of skill.

We have 19 players returning from last year’s Final Four team with 13 of them being seniors.

This year’s teams looks to expand on the offensive prowess from last year on the backs of seniors Crew Cintron, Alex Hornung and Sam Humphrey, who combined to provide more than 200 points in the 2015 campaign.

We lost some great leadership from last year in Pat Mulach and Jack Mazanec on the defensive side of the ball, but with 4 year starter Alex Maruna and 3 year starter Carter Blossey between the pipes we are confident they will pick up the defensive torch.

Our schedule this season, as usual, is one of the toughest in all of Ohio with regular season match-ups against Upper Arlington, Archbishop Moeller and Culver to name a few. We are excited that the Midwest Tournament will return to the campus of Western Reserve Academy; this great tournament will be an opportunity to see some of the top teams from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana all in one place.

With the return of our state champion hockey players and 3-year varsity players Cam Gerard and Jared Stepka, our midfield is starting to take shape.

Led by seniors Steven and Matt Avdey and junior Brent Chernosky, the midfield should provide a formidable task for most teams.

Sophomore Anthony Ameo has really built upon his stellar freshmen varsity campaign and has excelled at the face-off X. Anthony has dedicated himself to being one of the top face-off men in the country and he is well on his way.  We are excited to see him compete outside of practice and hopefully provide us with a definitive edge on number and time of possession.

We are looking forward to seeing how our newcomers at the midfield can contribute.  Sophomores Bain Kurtz (another Ice Cats mainstay) and Max Maruna have looked good in practice and converted attackmen Parker Ripich has shown a very good burst and north/south dodging ability. Seniors Alex Leszcz and Jack Hallagan will help to bring a toughness and defensive mindset to our midfield.

The offense will be led by attackmen Alex Hornung, Sam Humphrey and Crew Cintron.  In my years of coaching I can’t remember a more skilled attack group. This group has been playing together for the better part of 5 years and it shows.

Crew last year tied the school record for goals in a season with 65 and also added 32 assists.

Alex Hornung has one of the slickest sticks in the area; his ultra-quick release, uncanny ability to hit low angle shots and the skill to keep the ball in his stick under extreme pressure is fun to watch. Sam is often overlooked by teams, but he has really improved from last season and has increased his quickness and his lacrosse IQ has grown immensely. I envision Sam getting a lot of points this year as teams will look to tilt the field toward Crew and Alex. 

Our defense will have some new faces in some starting spots for the first time in several years.  As we move through the early part of the season we have two definitive starters at close defense in Alex Maruna and Sean Keller. Several players are battling for that 3rd close defense starting spot.

Sophomore Connor Sims has looked very impressive this year at long stick middie and the competition is tight there as well.  The versatile John Dzurec has been moving between LSM and close defense, his athleticism and work ethic will keep him on the field.

Junior Carter Blossey has been our wall in the cage for the last 2 seasons and this season he looks poised to take another step forward. His leadership and command of the defense can be heard in practice every day. He is always challenging the new guys to get in the right spot and to be anticipating and harassing the shooters. He is unflappable between the pipes and we look forward to watching Carter grow throughout the season.    

Lastly, the area lacrosse teams have all seen steady improvement. We have been moved to a new region as lacrosse prepares to become an OHSAA sport with the 2017 season.

Our NEO rivals have been moved to the Northeast region, like Hudson, Massillon Jackson and North Canton Hoover, to name a few, but we still have St. Edward, Medina and now the very tough programs from the Olentangy area of Columbus in our region.

As we like to say it is a long short season and the first test will be this Saturday’s scrimmage against a very athletic and skilled Shaker Heights team.

For a complete look at the Lax Cats' 2016 schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on Lacrosse.  

Wildcats Rugby mainstay Timmy "Truck-Stick" Vanderhoof is the first Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week for Spring Sports
3/18/2016
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Timmy Vanderhoof '16, a co-Captain for the Rugby Cays, followed up his 3 try performance in the Cats' 67-0 triumph over of Kenmore West of Buffalo (N.Y.) on March 5th with 2 more tries in the 29-0 victory at Archbishop Moeller last weekend.
 
The Corner will look forward to seeing the "Truck-Stick" in action tonight, as the two-time defending State Champion Wildcats host nationally ranked Penn High School out of Mishawaka, Indiana at 7:30.
 
For a preview on the 2016 Rugby Cats, see the corner's post from March 11th.
 
 
 
The news was not good this morning, as former Saint Ignatius two-time state champion and current Virginia standout George DiCamillo was defeated by Zane Richards of Illinois, 12-4, in the 133-pound quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships in New York
3/18/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

We wish George all of the best as he now wrestles back.

Congratulations to former St. Edward standout Dean Heil of Oklahoma State, who advanced to tonight's semifinals at 141 pounds and is now a two-time All-American.

Congratulations from this old-timer to former Wildcats wrestling great and current Virginia standout George DiCamillo, who has advanced to the 133-pound quarterfinals of the NCAA Championhips in New York
3/17/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

George, a three-time ACC Champion, is slated to face Zane Richards of Illinois in Friday's quarterfinals, which are scheduled to begin at 10 AM EST.

If you followed the corner's posts/wrap ups on this month's OHSAA Division I Individual State Wrestling Tournament you know that Saint Ignatius' standout 182-pound junior Kaden Russell became the Wildcats' first state champion since George DiCamillo went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.

During his consecutive state-championship seasons, George was a combined 72-0.

All of the best on Friday to George, a young man this corner had the privilege to cover and report on during his fabulous Saint Ignatius career under Head Coach Mark Sullivan.    

Skilled, tough minded and willing to do the extra work. It's a high expectations, and rightfully so, 2016 Saint Ignatius Volleyball Preview.
3/17/2016
FROM WILDCATS OUTSTANDING HEAD COACH CASEY MARCELO AND POSTED AND ARRANGED BY EDDIE DWYER
 
Coach Marcelo: The narrative of the 2016 season cannot be fully appreciated without background.
 
The story starts with the 2013 team that had All-Region players like Jeff Granger, Ian McKenna and Mike Robertson, just to name a few, and the team was favored to be in the finals, but fell short a the Elite Eight round.
 
During that off season we needed to find out why the volleyball program was not moving to the next level of elite teams. What we needed was not the development of the top players, but the entire program.
 
In order to develop, top level players need playing time and to get playing
time in off-season club volleyball was the option.
 
The North did not have much in terms of club volleyball. So in the summer of 2013 we, area coaches, created leagues that are now going strong.
 
Now that you have the background story, the 15 players on the 2016 Saint Ignatius Varsity Team have taken extra time to develop their skills during the off season and we have seen the improvements in each one of the players.
 
Our outside hitter, junior Danny Michals, has become one of the North Region’s
top hitters and is very hard to stop. His job is to get the team points regardless of how hard the other team wants to stop him. He jumps out of the gym and is smart on how to score.
 
Danny will hit around blockers, give an explosive hit or give a changeup. The team is confident that he can do the job.
 
The other hitter we have is Junior James “JP” Purcell, who is 6-foot-6 and plays as a middle hitter. His arm span and jump make him one of the top middle hitters in the Region. He is quick with a very fast arm swing and with his vertical reach he can get through blocks and score.
 
One player that stood out during tryouts was senior Seamus Wilson. An opposite side hitter, Seamus brings a high speed swing that will impress a lot of players. We are looking for some good production out of him this session.
 
These hitters would not be as successful if not for three-year setter, junior Rich Holzheimer. He has shown the he can make great decisions in a very fast match. Rich has the exceptional ability to set the hitter that has the highest percentage of scoring.
 
Rich is also a big target to a passer and that is a very good complement to a setter. He does this by using his quickness and knowledge of the game to get to every pass. Once he gets to a pass the set will be consistent and placed on the hitter’s wheelhouse. Rich makes a hitter look good.
 
This team is the best defensive in the North and this is evident because seniors Brian Messina and Jacob Hoshaw were passers everyone wanted on their club team. These seniors are relentless in getting to the ball and stopping the other team from scoring.
 
I have seen Brian dig hits that I thought were not possible to dig, but he has proven himself time and again. Jacob’s defense is unquestioned and he will go through anything to get a ball. Jacob has a rocket jump serve that is impressive to watch.
 
This season, freshman Phillip Catanzaro is part of the Varsity and we will see him as a setter and outside hitter. Phillip plays beach volleyball and USA Volleyball ranked him 2nd in the country in his age group.
 
Also, Phillip will be featured in the April issue of USA Volleyball as a player to  watch and we are proud of his accomplishment. He is a very quick player and eager to learn, and he is the type of player who can make things happen.
 
The other attackers, David Castele, Jacob Davis, Micheal Getty, Tom Getty and Matt Saponaro, are very important to the success of our session. They provide the extra energy that we will need during matches and are key in out playing the opponent. I will not hesitate to put these players in for an important adjustment to score.
 
In the defensive end with Aidan McCaffrey, Sean Getty and Pat Gleydura, we have players who we have confidence in making the adjustment to stop the other team.
 
Coach Kevin Eichenbaum has taken the Assistant Varsity position and has enriched the program with his knowledge of the game and enthusiasm. His passion for the game resonates with the players and could help the team reach the elite levels.
 
The 2016 team is favored to travel to the Championship Tournament with a goal of making the final four at the end of the season.
 
And we will do this using every player on the team. Come watch our fast paced matches and you will see how much fun we have!

FROM THE CORNER: Coach Casey Marcelo and his staff, which includes Head Junior Varsity Coach Anne Kent, are too humble to point it out, but they and the young men who proudly play/played for the Volleyball Cats did an outstanding job last spring in turning the team's season around and advancing to the State Quarterfinals.
 
Coach Marcelo's Cats open their 2016 season with the annual Saint Ignatius Invitational on April 2nd in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium. The action gets underway at 10 AM.
 
On April 6th, the Volleyball Cats host the Brunswick Blue Devils at 7 PM and on April 8th, the St. Edward Eagles come calling to Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium at 7 PM.
 
For a complete look at the schedule on all levels, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on Volleyball.
A seasoned group of seniors, big-game tested arms and youth that is expected to be served this spring. It's the 2016 Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Preview.
3/16/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - When asked if there were any of the younger players who have really pleased or impressed him during the  preseason, Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor quickly responded: "Yeah, all of them that are on the roster."

Saint Ignatius, coming off a 2015 campaign that saw it make its fifth State Final Four appearance under Coach Ganor, who is now in his 12th season as the Wildcats' skipper, will build around six seasoned veterans, 10 seniors overall, a gifted junior class and two sophomores.  

Showing the way will be three of the finest Captains in Saint Ignatius' rich history on the diamond - senior outfielder Michael Rogers, senior right-handed pitcher and St. Bonaventure University recruit Murphy O'Brien, and one of the most gifted athletes to ever walk the halls of Saint Ignatius, senior catcher Dennis Grosel. Dennis, a First-Team Division I All-Ohio quarterback this past fall, can also handle the infield corner positions if called on to do so.

After losing to the Westerville Central Warhawks, 10-5, at Huntington Park in the semifinals of what was the 88th annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournament last June, the Wildcats have not let the sting of that loss fade away. It was a setback that snapped Saint Ignatius' 15-game winning streak.

Instead, the Cats are using it as the motto or motivation to a 2016 season that they have labeled "Unfinished Business."

"I would say it's more so the program motto," said Grosel, who was a major factor in Saint Ignatius finishing 27-6 last spring and advancing to what was the program's 12th overall appearance at the State Baseball Tournament. The Wildcats were state runners-up in 2008 and 2013 under Coach Ganor and Coach Ganor led them to a school-record three consecutive State Final Fours in 2007, '08 and '09.

Saint Ignatius' only State Baseball Championship came in the spring of 2002 under former Wildcat baseball and basketball mainstay Brian Morgan. Coach Morgan's 2000 team was a state runner-up and his 2004 club was a state semifinalist. Coach Ganor was a Pitching Coach/Assistant Coach for Coach Morgan before taking over the Varsity helm in 2005.

"We've thought it through and thought it through again about what it takes to get the job done (a state baseball championship), since we've only got it done once," Grosel said. "We've been saying it (Unfinished Business) all year and using it as motivation in the weight room. Just coming into practice with a mindset that we have to do more than last year and more than we've ever done (the current players) to finish our business."

O'Brien, a talented, tough-minded and gregarious athlete, said the feeling of that loss to Westerville Central in the state semifinals last year was "the worst." Murphy, whose dominant work out of the bullpen was a huge key in the Wildcats improving from a District Final loss in 2014 to a State Final Four last spring, will be taking the mound as a starter this year.

Last season, as Coach Ganor's closer/stopper, O'Brien was 1-0 and a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities with those 10 saves being an all-time Wildcats best. "Murph" also totaled 28 strikeouts and just three base on balls in 21.1 innings pitched. He had a .328 earned run average.

O'Brien sees one of the major roles that he and his fellow captains face is helping develop the team's chemistry.

"You can have all of the talent in the world, but I was never closer to a group of guys in my life than last year's team," O'Brien said. "The juniors coming up, there is a lot of talent there, but we have to jell together."

As far as Rogers is concerned, the responsibility lies in "showing them what Varsity baseball is all about," that it is not JV Baseball anymore.

"All practices have to be intense," said Rogers, who will be furthering his education and baseball career at Ashland University. "We need to go 100 percent so when we do get into a game situation, we can handle anything. They have to realize that the Varsity game is faster than any game they've played thus far."

Like O'Brien, Rogers is taking on a new role this spring, moving from right field to center field, where he will replace the outstanding Sam Fuller from the Class of 2015. Sam has already been named a Captain at St. Bonaventure as just a freshman. Sam was definitely one of the finest to roam center field at the high school level that this old-timer has ever seen. His bat and base running skills were also game changers.  

Speaking like a true quarterback, Grosel pointed to the infield, where there is only one returning starter, senior third baseman Kevin Mingus. Kevin also might see some time at shortstop.

The ace of the starting pitching staff will be junior left-hander Connor Adams, a University of Louisville recruit. The gifted and good-natured Adams was 7-1 in 10 starts last season. He yielded 33 hits and eight earned runs  in 53.1 innings pitched, struck out 45 and walked 16. His ERA was 1.050.

Connor's big moments in 2015 came when he fired a no-hitter versus a solid-hitting Midpark team in the Strongsville District Championship Game and threw a gritty four-hitter in the 3-1 triumph over Toledo St. Francis de Sales at the Bowling Green Regional Championship/State Qualifying Game.

Another young arm to keep an eye on is sophomore Tom Grosel, Dennis' brother.

Tommy was called up to the Varsity as a freshman last year and had a big-time debut that included a 1-0 record, three strikeouts, a walk and an earned run average that was comfortably below 1.70.

In Dennis Grosel and big-game tested junior outfielder Ryan Jacobs, the Wildcats have a nice 1-2 punch.

Jacobs hit 349 last spring and Grosel delivered a .388 batting average that included 33 hits in 30 games, 22 walks, seven doubles, two home runs, 20 runs batted in and 21 runs scored.

Another name to remember is senior right-handed pitcher/outfielder Nick Freund, who went 4-1 last year with a 3.203 ERA.

"I see George Asadorian as being a big bat for us," said Coach Ganor in reference to his senior first baseman/designated hitter. "In (senior) Joe Evans, it's his job to lose at second base and we're looking for Rich McGraw (6-foot-4 senior left-hander) and senor outfielder Dan Volpe to make significant contributions."

Coach Ganor also referred to one of the great stories on his Wildcats Baseball Team, John Robinson.

John, after being cut from the team last year, asked Coach Ganor if he could stay connected with the program as a volunteer bullpen catcher last spring. Now a senior, John has earned a roster spot as a backup catcher and a bat off the bench with possible designated hitter opportunities. John was also a 220-pound wrestler for Coach Mark Sullivan's high rising program this winter, leaving everything he had on the mat.

"He was at every game and every practice last year, which is a real testament to him," said Grosel of Robinson. "It's not because he was a bullpen catcher that he got the spot this year. He definitely came and earned it."

AS COACH GANOR SEES HIS 2016 WILDCATS: "I wouldn't say there are any concerns," said the veteran skipper, who excelled in football and baseball at St. Edward High School and went to pitch for the Cleveland State University Vikings.

"It's the ability of the seniors to continue to do what they are capable of doing and we need some juniors to fill some holes for us, whether it's in the middle infield, the outfield, a corner spot or on the mound," Coach Ganor continued. "I think it's just us getting those juniors to take their game to another level. The expectations are high in the Saint Ignatius program and if you're a member of the program, we expect you to be able to fill those roles."

MURPHY O'BRIEN ON GOING FROM THE CLOSER/STOPPER ROLE TO A STARTER: "It's definitely going to be different because of the stamina. You definitely have to be able to go five or six innings, maybe seven, instead of one or two innings. I'm really excited. I've been working really hard."

MIKE ROGERS ON MOVING FROM RIGHT FIELD TO THE CENTER FIELD: "I've been working on my speed a lot in the offseason. Sam (Fuller) was one of the best outfielders I ever played with, if not the best. No one in the outfield is going to have that type of speed this year, so as a group we've been working on getting better reads on balls, trying to cut balls off in the gap and plays along those lines, like getting the ball in quick."

YOUNG CATS: Some of the many names to remember among the young faces are 6-4 right-handed junior pitcher/infielder Braydon Nelson, who is expected to pitch some big innings this year; junior infielder/right-handed pitcher Eric Demchuk, who saw some varsity time last season; junior infielders Christion Ramos and Mark Geraci; junior right-hander pitcher/infielder Griffin Hunt; junior right-handed pitcher/infielder Jack Siefert; and great program guys in junior infielder Joe Gutbrod, a grandson of the late St. Joseph High School Hall of Fame Football Coaching legend Bill Gutbrod, and junior infielder/outfielder Alec Guy.

Also, keep an eye on sophomore outfielder Justin Sands, who swings a more than capable bat and plays a solid outfield. Justin is also a promising safety in football.

ON THE MEND: Junior catcher Jeff Chonko, a great teammate, is injured and is hoping to work his way back for his senior season.

AND COUNTING: Coach Ganor enters this season with 249 career victories.

FLORIDA BOUND: The Wildcats open their season in Florida over the Easter Break with games versus Venice in Sarasota on March 28 at 7 PM, versus Sarasota on March 29 at 7 PM, versus Tampa Jesuit in Tampa on March 30 at 7 PM, and versus Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton on March 31 at 4 PM.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Cats stay on the road when they come home with games at Boardman on April 6 at 5 PM and at Massillon Jackson on April 8 at 5 PM. In what is an early meeting this year, Saint Ignatius and St. Edward get together on April 9 at 2 PM in the Northern Ohio complex. That's followed by an April 13th trip to Massillon to face the Tigers at 5 PM.

THE ANNUAL VISIT TO PROGRESSIVE FIELD:  In what is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic, the Cats will take on the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees on April 22nd at 5:30 PM at the corner of Ontario and Carnegie.

For a look at the complete schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on baseball.

Have a great spring season and this old catcher will see you at all the fields of our dreams.  

 

 

    

 

     

         

              

 

 

          

    

 

  

     

       

  

        

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            
                                                                                             
     
                                           

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO SAINT IGNATIUS' GIFTED SENIOR GUARD AND THREE-YEAR VARSITY MAINSTAY DEVEN STOVER ON EARNING SPECIAL MENTION ON THE 2015-16 ASSOCIATED PRESS DIVISION I ALL-OHIO BASKETBALL TEAM
3/16/2016
Wildcats Football adds Medina Highland to its Junior Varsity level schedule for 2016
3/16/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 told the corner on Wednesday that the Junior Varsity Football Wildcats will travel to Medina Highland on Saturday, September 24th for a 10 AM kickoff with the Hornets' Jayvees.

Medina Highland will be entering its second season in its atmosphere-rich $8 million football facility/stadium.      

The corner will gear up for double coverage of the Wildcats' two-time defending State Rugby Champions this weekend
3/15/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

This old-timer will strap on my boots and head to Wasmer Field on Friday night for the 7:30 PM Home Opener vs. Mishawaka (IND) Penn and on Sunday it's an 11:00 AM showdown with New York City (N.Y.) power Xavier.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Rugby Cats stand 2-0 after defeating Archbishop Moeller, 29-0, at Moeller over the weekend.

For a look at Coach Arbeznik's 2016 two-time defending State Champions, see the corner's post from Friday, March 11.

 

TUNE IN TNT ON THURSDAY AT 1:30 PM TO SEE FORMER WILDCATS GREAT SHONN MILLER AND HIS CONNECTICUT TEAMMATES TAKE ON COLORADO IN THE NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
3/14/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Shonn, one of the finest players this old-timer had the privilege to cover and report on while he was developing his skills under former Saint Ignatius Coach and current Associate Athletic Director Mr. Sean O'Toole '87, is averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds, and is shooting 58 percent from the field and 79 percent from the foul line.

Shonn scored 19 points in Saturday's 77-62 victory over top-seeded Temple in the American Athletic Conference Semifinals and added 13 points in Sunday's 72-58 triumph over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, played in Orlando, Fla.

All of the Best to Shonn and the Huskies during March Madness.

 

   

Just a reminder on the upcoming spring season, another heartfelt congratulations and a kind response to one of our fans concerning James Norris
3/14/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

We will keep the Spring Sports Season previews rolling over this week and next.

In case you missed it with all that was going on in Wildcats Ice Hockey and Basketball, the corner posted an outlook on Saint Ignatius' two-time defending State Champion Rugby Program this past Friday (March 11), courtesy of the Cats' outstanding Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00.

****Monday afternoon, Saint Ignatius' Athletic Department, Administration, Staff and Student Body, including the Wildcats' outstanding Pep Band, paid tribute to Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and his now four-time OHSAA State Ice Hockey Champions with a Rally in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

Please allow this old dog one more bark in saluting Coach O'Rourke and his Ice Cats. As I have said and printed many times this season, and the previous eight seasons of covering Saint Ignatius Hockey, it was a privilege to be allowed to report on so many of the Ice Cats' games this winter. Again, Thank You for that privilege.

JUST A KIND RESPONSE CONCERNING JAMES NORRIS: To the male adult and obviously great Wildcat Fan who, while passing me by in his car as I was leaving Monday's Rally and making my way to my on-its-last-leg, but loyal Ford Focus, rolled down his window and said, "Hey Eddie, how come you didn't report on James Norris' record at the Indoor Meet?"

Sir, not only did I report on it, I posted it on the corner that late Saturday night/wee hours of Sunday morning, significantly less than 24 hours after it happened. And that was after I reported on our  five winter sports teams that day/night, including constant wrestling posts and day/night double-coverage game stories on Ice Hockey and Basketball.

My line, after giving James' great accomplishment a big headline, was that I wasn't going to lay my head on a pillow before I recognized James' super effort in the 60 meters. I have the highest regard for James and would never do anything to slight his or any of the accomplishments of Saint Ignatius' Student Athletes. My doctors will attest to that.

Have a great week and weekend, and gear up for the Spring Sports Season, Mr. Eddie Dwyer.          

 

      

 

A tip of the corner's cap goes out to former Wildcat Track and Field standout Rai Walters '15 on being selected as the University Athletic Association's Indoor Track and Field Rookie of the Year.
3/14/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Rai, a mainstay on the Carnegie Mellon University Men's Track and Field Team, won the long jump at the UAA Championships with a school record mark of 7.17 meters. He broke his own school record of 6.95 meters that he set in competition at Case Western Reserve University in late January of this year.

With his effort at the UAA Championships, Rai currently ranks fifth in Division III.

Rai becomes just the second representative from Carnegie Mellon to ever receive the UAA Indoor Track and Field Men's Rookie of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Rai, his family and the Track and Field Programs from Carnegie Mellon and Saint Ignatius.   

Aidan Spellacy, Dylan McKeon and Brian Russell, standouts on the Ice Cats' now fourth OHSAA State Ice Hockey Championship Team, have earned first-team All-Ohio Honors.
3/13/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Aidan, a senior forward/Captain, Dylan, a senior Alternate Captain and a three-year fixture between the pipes, and Brian, a senior defenseman/Captain, were joined on the All-Ohio First Team by University School's mainstays, senior forward/Captain Ryan Gorbett and senior defenseman Zach Goetsch, and Toledo St. Francis de Sales standout senior forward/Captain Kyle Bloom.

Bloom was also selected as Ohio's Mr. Hockey.

The All-Ohio Team is selected by the same 10 voters from around the state who vote on the Top 10 teams each week.  

A FEW NOTES OF INTEREST ON THE 2016 STATE CHAMPIONS FROM CLEVELAND'S JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL.
 
FROM COACH PAT O'ROURKE '90: "Aidan played in yesterday's state championship game with a badly separated shoulder. He toughed it out and in fact played very well. What an outstanding captain he was!
 
"With our win yesterday, I'm pretty sure we became just the 5th local team ever to win the "Triple Crown" of hockey - regular season division title, city tournament title, and state title."
 
Note from this old-timer: Aidan Spellacy, despite the badly separated shoulder, totaled a goal and three assists in the 4-3 State-Championship Game victory over University School on Saturday at Nationwide Arena. The Ice Cats brought home No. 4 in what was the 39th Annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament.
 
  
A School Calendar Year that has produced State and National Championships in Soccer, a State Cross Country Championship, a State Ice Hockey Championship and a State Wrestling Champion in Kaden Russell. Gentlemen, take a bow.
3/13/2016
Saint Ignatius Basketball sees leads of four and three points slip away in the final 55.8 seconds of the second overtime and is defeated by Garfield Heights, 70-69, in Saturday night's OHSAA Division I Regional Championship Game at The Wolstein Center
3/12/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit, March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - With a trip to Friday's Division I State Semifinals on the line, Garfield Heights junior guard Shawn Christian buried a deep fall-away, buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the game into the first 4-minute overtime.

After Christian gave the Bulldogs a 59-56 lead in the first OT with another three-ball, the Cats responded with a layup from junior post Matt Davet.

Garfield Heights, a Division I State Semifinalist last season, held a 60-58 lead after senior guard Braun Hartfield hit one of two free throws. Saint Ignatius would tie the score at 60 on two free throws by senior guard Deven Stover with 53.3 seconds left in the first overtime and it stayed that way entering the second 4-minute OT.

Bulldogs senior post/forward Willie Jackson, a Missouri recruit, put his team on top, 62-61, with a put back, only to watch Stover sandwich a strong post-up move and two fee throws around a Garfield Heights turnover with 1:44 remaining in the second overtime.

Saint Ignatius, a Division I State Champion in 2001 and a State runner-up in 1998, both under Head Coach Brian Becker '77, appeared to be headed for its first Final Four appearance since that winter to recall in '01 after two free throws by senior point guard Kyle Kalish had the Wildcats holding a 67-63 lead with 55.8 seconds left.

However, Christian stepped up again with a 3-pointer and Coach Becker called for a timeout with 39.2 seconds remaining and the Cats clinging to a one-point lead.

Kalish was money again with two free throws with 38.5 seconds to go, but the Bulldogs would beat the Cats to the glass for a put back that cut the deficit to 69-68.

Then came the crucial final 17.2 seconds that saw Saint Ignatius turn the ball over on a traveling call under tight defensive pressure.

Following the turnover, Willie Jackson went strong to the rim, the ball rolled out and Hartfield soared in the air for a tip-in that gave Garfield Heights the 70-69 lead with seven seconds left.

The Wildcats misfired on both of their final two shots, and the Bulldogs and their faithful were celebrating a second consecutive trip to the Final Four. Garfield Heights also advanced to the State Semifinals in 2011 and 1950.

For Saint Ignatius, a great season came to an end at 20-7 and a fifth-place area ranking versus one of the most demanding schedules in the state. Along with 2001 and 1998, the Wildcats also made trips to the State Tournament in 1953, 1952 and 1923.  

Garfield Heights, which advances to the 94th Annual OHSAA State Boys Basketball Tournament with a record of 23-4, will face Columbus Regional Champion Westerville South (24-4) on Friday at 8:30 PM in a Division I State Semifinal at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. Westerville South defeated Garfield Heights by three points in last year's State Semifinals.

The Bulldogs, who defeated the Wildcats by six points in Game 20 of the regular season at Garfield Heights, were ranked third in the seven-county area and ended up being the only area team ranked in the Division I State Poll at the ninth spot.   

BY THE NUMBERS: Deven Stover led all scorers with 30 points in 35 minutes. Deven was 8-of-17 from the field and 14-of-17 from the free-throw line. Wildcats junior post/wing Austen Yarian finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Matt Davet totaled 11 points and 7 rebounds. Saint Ignatius out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 48-44.

The Cats were 27-of-38 from the free-throw line and Garfield Heights hit on 16 of its 29 attempts from the Charity Stripe. Saint Ignatius was 20-of-61 from the field and the Bulldogs also took 61 shots, connecting on 22. Coach Sonny Johnson's team made 10 of its 29 3-point attempts.

Coach Becker's Cats were just 2-of-18 on 3-pointers, with both of them coming off two-handed, buzzer-beating launches by senior guard Ryan Berger, one from just over half court and the other nearly a full-court effort.

Ryan's crowd-pleaser from just over half court cut the deficit to 16-8 entering the second quarter and his near full-court effort tied the sore at 40 entering the fourth quarter. Ryan gutted it out all night on an ankle he sprained during the District Final victory over St. Edward. He sat out the Solon Regional Semifinal on Wednesday night and left everything he had on the court Saturday night.  

Garfield Heights standout senior guard and Louisville recruit Frankie Hughes, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, led four Bulldogs in double figures with 20 points. Willie Jackson and Marreon Jackson finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively, and Christian had 10 points. Willie Jackson also pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds, with 11 coming off the defensive glass.

There were 13 lead changes in the game and the score was tied seven times. Saint Ignatius outscored Garfield Heights in the paint, 30-14.

FAST START AND BIG RESPONSE: Sonny Johnson watched his Bulldogs jump out to a 12-point lead early in the second quarter and Brian Becker saw his Cats respond with a 10-0 run. It was game on!

FROM COACH BECKER, WHO WILL ENTER NEXT SEASON WITH 318 CAREER VICTORIES, INCLUDING 304 AT HIS ALMA MATER SAINT IGNATIUS: "It was one of the more emotional games that I have coached in. We showed a lot of heart and clawed our way back. Ryan Berger throws in a couple of half-court shots and they hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. It was everything you could want from a high school game, except the win at the end.

"That kid showed the heart of a lion," Coach Becker continued in reference to Ryan Berger. "He could hardly walk up and down. I give that kid all of the credit in the world. He is just a gutsy young man that I want on the floor with his fellow seniors. He was in a tremendous amount of pain and just gutted it out. He made plays when he had the opportunities.

"The seniors showed great, great leadership on and off the floor," Coach Becker said. "They're really good examples of how to play the game the right way. Tonight was unfortunate. We just didn't make enough plays. We had opportunities and showed a lot of character and a lot of heart in terms of battling back.

"It's just hard to have these seniors go out this way," said Coach Becker, who was coaching in his fourth Elite Eight or Regional Final Game . "But we proved we were one of the best teams in the state. They have five guys going Division I (to college) and we battled them pretty well."   

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "After (Shawn) Christian hit that three (3-pointer), they quickly had all of the momentum going into the first overtime. But we didn't put our heads down. We knew we could play with this team, we can play with any team in the state. We came back out there and did our thing, and unfortunately it wasn't enough in the end.

"It was a great job by the team," Deven continued after he closed out an outstanding three-year Varsity career at Saint Ignatius. "It was draining (four quarters and two overtimes), but we were prepared. We were told to leave it all on the floor and we did. We all played to our level. It's just sad."         

                 

 

   

      

THE ICE CATS BRING HOME THEIR FOURTH OHSAA STATE ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP, 4-3 OVER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL, AS CAM GERARD, ZACK KISEL AND AIDAN SPELLACY SHOW THE WAY!
3/12/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted, tough-minded and team-first Ice Cats withstood two third-period goals by a big-hearted University School program and defeated the Preppers, 4-3, in the Championship Game of the 39th Annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament in Columbus' Nationwide Arena, the home of the NHL's Blue Jackets.

The Ice Cats, who were also OHSAA State Champs in 2000, 2010 and 2014, finished their remarkable season at 38-2-1 and will enter next season on a 26-game winning streak. Those big-time numbers include both regular season and Cleveland Cup postseason championships in the Great Lakes Hockey League, a state-qualifying championship at the always demanding Brooklyn District and first-place finishes in some of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation.  

In what was an all-Cleveland area State Championship matchup, Saint Ignatius defeated its Great Lakes Hockey League rival University School for the fourth time this year. The Preppers, who closed their memorable winter at 26-12-2, won OHSAA State Ice Hockey titles in 2003 and 2009 and now have three state runner-up finishes, 2016, 2004 and 2002. University School, Ohio's third-ranked team, advanced to the state ice hockey final four for the 12th time.  

Saint Ignatius, ranked second in the season's final State Ice Hockey Poll and coming off a dominant 5-1 victory over top-ranked and 2015 State Champ Toledo St. Francis de Sales in Thursday night's state semifinals, struck early on a back-hander by senior forward /Captain Cam Gerard just 14 seconds into the first period. Assisting were All-GLHL senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy and gifted and gutsy senior forward/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka.

University School would knot the score at 1 early in the second period on a lamplighter by senior forward James Koch, only to watch the Ice Cats respond with two goals from ever-present senior forward Zack Kisel and a goal by Spellacy.

Kisel's goals came at 5:01 and 5:08 of the second period and Spellacy struck at 12:58 of the second period. Ending what was a tradition-rich family lineage in Saint Ignatius Ice Hockey, Aidan also contributed three assists on the afternoon.

Gerard complemented his early goal with two assists and Kisel scored his two goals on just three shots. Kisel and Gerard provided the helpers on Spellacy's goal.

Trailing, 4-1, after two periods, the rich in pride Preppers scored a minute into the third period on a goal by their gifted senior forward/Captain Robby Engoglia and scored the game's final lamplighter off a second-effort by junior forward JD Clemens with 39 seconds remaining.

Engoglia and Clemens each totaled two assists.

Saint Ignatius outshot University School, 39-21, including 23-7 in the second period.

The Ice Cats and their outstanding young man between the pipes, senior goalie Dylan McKeon, who are remembered around the nation for the 4 hour and 40 minutes, 7-overtime 2014 co-State Championship with Sylvania Northview, left the site of that highly publicized game with a much broader smile late Saturday afternoon.

McKeon finished with 18 saves and the Preppers' resilient man behind the mask, senior Alec Silver, totaled 35 saves. Coach Andre Lacroix's Preppers advanced to Saturday's title game by defeating Dublin Coffman, 3-2, in two overtimes during Thursday afternoon's State Semifinal at Nationwide Arena. Engoglia provided the game-winner 54 seconds into the second overtime.

Coach O'Rourke '90, who can now add the 32nd OHSAA-sanctioned Team Gold Trophy to Saint Ignatius' tradition-rich and title-filled trophy case, and put up another State Championship Banner in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, was guiding his Ice Cats in what was the program's seventh state "Frozen Four" appearance.

Three of Saint Ignatius' now four ice hockey state titles have come under the guidance of one of the finest coaches and human beings God has ever put on this earth - Mr. Pat O'Rourke.

Note: Saint Ignatius has also won numerous Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships and two consecutive Rugby State titles (2014 and 2015) in what are sports yet to be sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

NOTE 2: The Ice Cats' regular season victories over University School were 3-1 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, 4-0 at The Pond and 5-3 in what was an exceptional GLHL Cleveland Cup Championship Game in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA. This old-timer labeled the Cleveland Cup final as the best all-around game I have ever witnessed. Skilled, strong, fast and all business hard-nosed hockey.

But then that's what two of classiest programs in the nation are expected to produce.

To Coach O'Rourke, his outstanding staff on all levels and especially the young men I call The Ice Cats, CONGRATULATIONS AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.

THANK YOU, MR. EDDIE DWYER    

            

 

  

University School's senior forward/Captain Robby Engoglia makes it a 4-2 game early in the third period
3/12/2016
Zack Kisel and Aidan Spellacy continue to rack up the points and the goals, as the Ice Cats responded with three lamplighters after US tied the score. Saint Ignatius 4, the Preppers 1 heading into the third period.
3/12/2016
Senior forward/Captain Cam Gerard sends home a backhand just 14 seconds into the first period! The Ice Cats take the 1-0 lead off Cam's heads-up rebound effort.
3/12/2016
"Let's Play Two." - the late Ernie Banks. Super Saturday begins with the Ice Cats vs. University School State Championship encounter in Nationwide Arena and then we head to CSU for Basketball game coverage of the Elite Eight matchup with Garfield Hts.
3/12/2016

Approximate arrival time at the Wolstein Center, courtesy of Mr. Patrick White, is 6:20 to 6:30 PM for the 7 PM tipoff with the Bulldogs.

Heck, that's plenty of time to get Matt Davet's pregame analysis, plus the best Student Body Section in the land will be warmed up and ready to go. This old-timer will have ice in his veins.

For a look at today's huge games, see the corner's Friday afternoon salute to Coaches Pat O'Rourke '90 and Brian Becker '77.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

THIS WEEK'S SAINT IGNATIUS STUDENT(S) AWARD GOES TO THE WILDCATS' OUTSTANDING STUDENT BODY SECTION FOR ITS INCREDIBLE SUPPORT OF THE CATS' ATHLETIC TEAMS.
3/11/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer, who has had the privilege to point out what is an undying support by the Saint Ignatius Student Body, the best I have seen in nearly five decades of high school sports coverage.

This old-timer salutes the Student Body with a few of the lyrics that roared from the Ice Cats' locker room in Nationwide Arena on Thursday night after Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted team showed everyone in Toledo who the real No. 1 is.

I came to get down 
So get out your seats and jump around
Jump around, jump around, jump around
Jump up Jump up and get down!

 

  

THE CORNER SALUTES COACH PAT O'ROURKE'S ICE CATS AND COACH BRIAN BECKER'S BASKETBALL WILDCATS, WHO WILL BE COMPETING FOR STATE AND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, RESPECTIVELY, ON SATURDAY. HERE IS A LOOK AT ANOTHER SUPER SATURDAY.
3/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

FROM THE CAMPUS OF CLEVELAND'S JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL

The Ice Cats, coming off their tremendous 5-1 triumph over 2015 State Champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales in Thursday's night's State Semifinal matchup (see the corner's story from last night), will take a 37-2-1 record and a 25-game winning streak into Saturday's State Championship Game versus Great Lakes Hockey League rival University School (26-11-2).

In what is the 39th annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament, the puck will drop at 2 PM on Saturday in Columbus' Nationwide Arena for what is an all-Cleveland area State Championship Game between two great programs from the same great league, the GLHL.

The Ice Cats have defeated the University School Preppers three times this winter, 3-1 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, 4-0 at The Pond and 5-3 in what was an outstanding GLHL Cleveland Cup Championship Game at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA.

Saint Ignatius brought home State Ice Hockey Championships in 2014, 2010 and 2000 and University School was Ohio's king of the ice in 2009 and 2003. The Preppers were also state runners-up in 2004 and 2002. Saint Ignatius and University School have a combined 19 state semifinal appearances, including 12 by the Preppers.

For Coach Brian Becker's Basketball Wildcats (20-6) and Coach Sonny Johnson's Garfield Heights Bulldogs (22-4), Saturday's 7 PM OHSAA Division I Regional Championship Game at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University has few secrets.

The Cats and the Bulldogs met at Garfield Heights in Game 20 of the regular season's 21-game schedule and the Bulldogs turned away the Cats in a thriller, 66-60.

Garfield Heights is led by an array of big-time recruits, including Missouri-bound 6-foot-6 senior forward/post Willie Jackson and 6-5 senior guard Frankie Hughes, who has committed to the Louisville Cardinals. Among the other names to remember are guards Shawn Christian, Marreon Jackson and Charles Jackson, and forward Braun Hartfield.

As Coach Becker has emphasized all season, "It is about what we do, not what the opponent does!"

And what the Cats have done behind their big men, 6-7 junior post Matt Davet and 6-8 junior post/wing Austen Yarian, gifted 6-5 senior guard Deven Stover, senior guards Kyle Kalish and Jimmy and Ryan Berger, and their talent-rich depth highlighted by 6-4 senior forward Tim Kiefer, 6-3 senior forward Tyler Musbach, 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis, 6-7 senior post Sharief Irish, and 5-10 junior point guard Devin Jackson, has quite frankly, been more than their postseason opponents have been able to deal with.

Saint Ignatius is in pursuit of its second Division I State Basketball Championship, as Coach Becker '77 guided the Cats to the 2001 big-school title. The Cats were also state runners-up to St. Edward in 1998. Saint Ignatius' other appearances at the State Tournament were in 1953, 1952 and 1923.

Garfield Heights was a Division I State Semifinalist last season and also advanced to the State Tournament in 2011 and 1950.

The winner of the Wildcats-Bulldogs second encounter of the season will advance to a State Semifinal matchup versus the Columbus Regional Champion on March 18th at 8:30 PM in the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. The Columbus Regional Championship Game matches Gahanna Lincoln (25-2) versus Westerville South (23-4) on Saturday at Ohio Dominican University. It's a 7 PM tipoff.  

If you can't make it out to the Cats' Hockey and Basketball headliners, the best of the best, seniors Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos, will have the call on the Ice Cats over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network and the golden tones of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring you the Wildcats-Bulldogs Elite Eight basketball showdown over the SIBN.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WOLSTEIN CENTER WILL PUT TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE CATS-BULLDOGS HOOPS HYSTERIA AT 4 PM ON SATURDAY.

God Bless and All of the Best to our Ice Cats and the Basketball Cats, Saint Ignatius' incomparable Student Body Section and great adult fans - Mr. Eddie Dwyer.                    

    

 

The 2016 Saint Ignatius Rugby Preview. New faces will be showcased, but depth, experience and talent still abound for the two-time reigning State Champions, who face the strongest schedule in the nation.
3/11/2016

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY WILDCATS OUTSTANDING HEAD COACH DAN ARBEZNIK '00

FROM COACH ARBEZNIK: We have a good group of guys once again.

At the Varsity level we're returning 4 starters from last year's state championship team. Andrew Baldado ('16) will be moving to fly-half to replace Michael Mathews. Andrew started as a sophomore at full-back 2 years ago and last year in those championship matches against Saint Edward.  We also have Brock Yoho ('16) returning in our pack. He'll be moving to hooker to replace Luke Robison ('15). Matt Woisnet ('16) returns at tight-head prop and Timmy Vanderhoof  ('16) returns at outside center.

Although we'll be showcasing many new faces to the starting line-up, they're certainly not without experience.

Seniors Tim Nemes, Marcus Hogan, Owen North and David Strasshofer all saw minutes in last year's state championship game. Jimmy Desmarteau ('17) is our only Junior to be starting in the squad this year, but we expect big things out of Josef O'Brien ('17), Chris Fedor ('17) and Eddie Patton ('17) coming off the bench.

The squad will also feature 3 or 4 sophomores in the starting line-up (Aidan Gill at flanker, Alex Chura at wing, Sean Whalen at fullback, and Nick Zolikoff at flanker).

We have good depth and will certainly need to draw from it. Hands down this is the toughest schedule in the country.  There are 2 different national champions crowned on the field annually (club and single school). We'll play the Single School champ (Gonzaga of DC) on May 1st in Columbus. The match will serve as an appetizer to the first home-match of Columbus' team in America's first professional rugby league. We also play the Club Champion (Cathedral of Indianapolis) on April 23rd in Columbus.

We'll see stiff tests against other nationally ranked programs: #3 Penn on March 18th here on Wasmer and #8 Xavier on March 20th. We travel to Texas over Spring break where we'll play 4 matches over 5 days. Amongst those, we'll meet-up with #11 Westlake in Austin on March 30. We also face #34 Dallas Jesuit on April 1 and #35 Saint Thomas in Houston on March 28.

Here in Ohio, we're certainly not overlooking Archbishop Moeller, who is always an extremely dangerous program (and much better than MANY of those other teams who are nationally ranked).

However the team to beat is again St. Edward. We face them on April 9th at St. Edward. They're currently ranked #6 in the country and #1 in the State.  They'll be the favorite to win the State Championship once again. I suppose what the guys of '14 and '15 did hasn't been enough to earn the squad any respect.  It's a slight this group will make our mission to correct.

We're very excited about the future of the program. Our Freshman and Sophomore classes are absolutely loaded with talent and rugby IQ. Even with losing multiple players to the Varsity, they should be extremely competitive within their respective divisions.

We're also looking forward to a great group of 8th graders coming here and playing next year. In total there are 19 guys from the grade school program who will be lacing-up boots with us next year. Among them are Chris Mathews of Saint Bernadette (the final member of a great family to play for us) along with Owen and Patrick Keane of Our Lady of Angels and Jake Daley of Saint Angela.

The 2017 season will be another big travel year for us. We're currently finalizing our itinerary for our tour of France.  The guys will be leaving on Wednesday, March 22 and returning on Sunday April 2. In addition to training and matches, the guys will be visiting Paris and Normandy. One of the highlights of the trip will be a day spent touring the beaches of Normandy and the American cemetery. All parents and players at all levels will be invited to go with the team next year.

There are certainly other great things for the program on the horizon, but I'll leave them for another update.

GO HOCKEY AND BASKETBALL!!!

Coach Dan Arbeznik


 


 
 
A tempo-setting power play goal by Aidan Spellacy, a two-goal night from Seth Whitney and a brilliant 33-save performance by Dylan McKeon help lead the Ice Cats to a 5-1 victory over top-ranked Toledo St. Francis in Thursday's state semifinals
3/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Columbus, Ohio - After Saint Ignatius experienced a four-goal loss to 2015 State Champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales in the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament final, Ice Cats outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke, although disappointed, emphasized that his main concern was that his team learned from that Dec. 20th setback.

Well, what Saint Ignatius absorbed from that Sunday evening encounter with the Knights in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA, was put on display Thursday night in the semifinals of the 39th Annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament in Nationwide Arena, the home of the NHL's Blue Jackets.

The Ice Cats, scoring three first-period goals and shutting down St. Francis de Sales' highly touted offensive machine with a brilliant defensive effort keyed by a 33-save performance from senior goalie Dylan McKeon, outplayed the Knights from the get-go until the team from Toledo got a power play goal late in the third period. St. Francis de Sales and Saint Ignatius were ranked 1-2, respectively, in the season's final State Poll.   

In what was a 5-1 final, the same score St. Francis won by at the Padua Tournament, Saint Ignatius was, without question, the superior team on Thursday night. St. Francis entered the state semifinals with an 8.7 goals per game average.

After attacking at every opportunity, playing their trademark aggressive, but hockey savvy game, and denying the Knights the ability to get into an offensive flow, the Ice Cats will take a 37-2-1 record and a 25-game winning streak into Saturday's all-Cleveland Area State Championship Game versus Great Lakes Hockey League rival University School. The puck will drop at 2 PM in Nationwide Arena.

Saint Ignatius, which has won state ice hockey titles in 2014, 2010 and 2000, advanced to the state semifinals for the seventh time. St. Francis de Sales, which experienced just its second setback in 38 games this winter, was making its ninth state-semifinal appearance. Along with 2015, the Knights also brought home the state championship in 2011 and they were a state runner-up in 1988.   

University School (26-11-2), which lost to Saint Ignatius three times this season, including a down-to-the-wire, 5-3 setback in the Championship Game of the Great Lakes Hockey League's annual Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament, advanced to a fourth meeting with the Ice Cats this winter by defeating Dublin Coffman, 3-2 in two overtimes, at Thursday afternoon's State Semifinal in Nationwide Arena. US has a storied ice hockey history that includes 12 state-semifinal appearances, two state championships (2009 and 2003) and two state runner-up finishes (2004 and 2002). 

The Preppers, Ohio's third-ranked team, defeated the Coffman Shamrocks on a goal by standout senior forward/Captain Robby Engoglia 54 seconds into the second overtime. University School was also the beneficiary of a 24-save afternoon from its veteran goalie Alec Silver.

Coffman, which got 38 saves from its man between the pipes, Grant Powell, closed its season at 28-9-3.

"We thought we had a chance to beat them, I never dreamed we would beat them by four goals, they're incredible," said Coach O'Rourke '90, who picked up his 330th career victory at his alma mater Saint Ignatius. "We worked hard in practice all week and then we had a little adversity because one of our better players got the flu (standout senior forward Jared Stepka). So we had to re-do our plan. 

"Jared came down here and toughed it out," Coach O'Rourke said. "He kind of pulled off a Willis Reed, because he couldn't play the number of minutes he usually plays. But he kind of inspired everyone else by just showing up. We put the puck on net a couple of times and got a couple of lucky goals, but we didn't have to beat them in the best of a seven-game series, we just had to beat them tonight.

"So it's awesome," continued the man who has developed Saint Ignatius Hockey into a state-wide and nationally recognized program. "Now we turn our attention to University School, which is another awesome team. I'm sure they're going to be raring to go."

Coach O'Rourke's Ice Cats we're raring to go on Thursday night as they jumped on St. Francis de Sales shortly after the Knights killed off a man advantage for Saint Ignatius. On the power play again, the Ice Cats took advantage by taking a 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal by gifted and gritty senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy 6 minutes and 59 seconds into the first period.

Saint Ignatius, with the undying support of its Student Body Section roaring throughout Nationwide Arena, tacked on two more first-period goals courtesy of the authoritative stick of junior forward/defenseman Seth Whitney and the ever-present skate and stick skills of senior forward Zack Kisel.

Whitney's first of two goals on the night came off an assist from the big-hearted Stepka at 7:30 of the first period and Kisel's lamplighter was courtesy of a helper from Spellacy at 13:40 of the opening period.

With the St. Francis faithful stunned, to say the least, Whitney made it a 4-0 game by going unassisted at 3:03 of the second period.

McKeon, a three-year Varsity mainstay as the Cats' Man Behind the Mask, handled everything thrown his way and Coach O'Rourke watched his Ice Cats make it a 5-0 game on a goal off the quick stick of junior forward Cullen Frebes two minutes and 53 seconds into the third period. Assisting Frebes were sophomore forward Bain Kurtz and one of the top defenseman in the state, junior Matt Wiegandt.

"Coach drew up a great plan and the defense, we just went out there and tried our best to do what Coach said to do," said Wiegandt. "It worked. We were just trying to get the puck out as much as we could and make hard plays. Dylan (McKeon) had a great game. It's a great feeling knowing that he is back there.

"We love it," added Wiegandt of Saturday's all-Cleveland area and all-Great Lakes Hockey League State Championship Game. "University School is a great team. It's going to be another great game."

And when the Ice Cats and the Preppers get together on the ice, "great" usually ends up being the operative word.

St. Francis de Sales, which will be graduating a strong nucleus from what has been an impressive two-year run, avoided the shutout on a power play goal by junior forward Warren Natyshak off assists from senior forward/Captain Brendan Furry and senior forward Matt Vild.

Knights senor goalie Kade Phipps, who was 34-0 between the pipes entering the state semifinals, came up with 27 saves.

"We're so happy to be here," said Coach O'Rourke. "Dylan saved our bacon early in the game with a couple of breakaway saves. You know what, it's an unbelieving feeling defeating Goliath. Like I said to you on Sunday, it's like the USA beating Russia. We'll enjoy this tonight and refocus on Friday for a very good University School team."

    

   

 

  

                  

            

 

                 

 

  

Saint Ignatius sets the tempo by limiting Solon to two points in the first quarter and advances to Saturday's Division I Regional Championship Game versus Garfield Heights by bringing the Comets down to earth, 64-45, in Wednesday night's Regional Semis
3/9/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's Basketball Wildcats ended Solon's Cinderella ride to the Sweet 16 on Wednesday night by outscoring the Comets, 16-2, in the first eight minutes and 38-27 over the third and fourth quarters.

Saint Ignatius, which continues to play a relentless defense, one that Solon couldn't cope with, improved to 20-6 and advanced to Saturday's 7 PM Regional Championship/State Qualifying showdown with the 22-4 Garfield Heights Bulldogs in The Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University. The Bulldogs advanced by turning back Warren G. Harding, 49-43, in Wednesday night's other Regional Semifinal at The Wolstein Center.  

The winner of Saturday's Elite Eight matchup, which feature's the seven-county area's third (Garfield Heights) and fifth-ranked teams, will advance to the Division I Semifinals of the 94th annual OHSAA State Boys Basketball Tournament, which begin on Friday, March 18th at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Either Saint Ignatius or Garfield Heights will face the Columbus Regional Champion at 8:30 PM on the 18th. The Division I State Championship Game will tip off in The Schottenstein Center on March 19th, also at 8:30 PM.

The Columbus Regional Final, which is being played at Ohio Dominican University on Saturday at 7 PM, will match Westerville South against the winner of Thursday night's semifinal between Gahanna Lincoln and Upper Arlington.  

Garfield Heights and Saint Ignatius will be meeting for the second time this season, as on Feb. 17th the Bulldogs held off the Wildcats, 66-60, in a regular-season encounter at Garfield Heights. Coach Sonny Johnson's Bulldogs lost to Westerville South, 60-57, in last year's State Semifinals. Garfield Heights also advanced to the State Tournament in 2011 and 1950.   

"I thought our defense again was really good," Coach Becker '77 told this corner just moments after his team's sixth consecutive victory. "Solid defense, that's what gets you through the Regionals and on to Columbus. We know who we're playing, we know Garfield Heights. They're men amongst boys, with five guys going Division I (Division I Universities). But will conjure up something, I'm sure we will.

"Playing for a trip down to Columbus, this is where we wanted be," continued the man who guided his alma mater Saint Ignatius to its only State Basketball Championship, a 49-46 victory over Cincinnati Elder in March of 2001. Coach Becker also coached the Wildcats to a state runner-up finish to St. Edward in 1998. Saint Ignatius' other appearances at the State Tournament were in 1953, 1952 and 1923.

"I'm glad to be practicing tomorrow," said Coach Becker with that familiar wide smile.

Solon, which is under the direction of Tony DeCesare, who played for Coach Becker at Saint Ignatius and earned his spot among the Cats' all-time assist leaders, battled back into the game by outscoring  the Wildcats, 16-10, in the second quarter.

The Comets just couldn't matchup with Saint Ignatius' size, versatility, depth, defense and work off both backboards, as the Cats stretched a 12-point lead after three quarters to 64-40 late in the final quarter.

Saint Ignatius finished with four players in double figures, including a game-high 18 points from 6-foot-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian, 14 points from 6-7 junior post Matt Davet and 10-point nights from gifted senior guards Deven Stover and Kyle Kalish.

The Cats outrebounded the Comets, 39-28, with Davet (9 boards) and Yarian (7 boards) showing the way. Solon was 10-of-13 from the foul line and Saint Ignatius was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.

Solon turned the ball over 15 times and the Cats had 12 turnovers. Saint Ignatius totaled 18 assists, including six from Yarian and five from standout senior guard Jimmy Berger.

The Comets, who won three of their last four regular season games and upset Mayfield, Cleveland Heights and Mentor along the tournament trail, closed their season at 13-13. Promising sophomore guard Sincere Carry led Coach DeCesare's team with 10 points, including a 6-for-6 night from the foul line, and was supported by eight-point efforts from senior guard Reid Thompson and junior guard Jason Steele.

SETTING THE TEMPO: Leading, 4-2, in the early going of the first quarter, the Cats closed out the quarter on a 12-0 run that was highlighted by two 3-pointers by Kalish, a steal and a layup by Yarian, a strong move down low by senior forward Tim Kiefer and another basket by Yarian.

SOME LIFE FOR THE COMETS:  After Stover scored off a baseline move courtesy of an assist from Yarian and Davet made it a 20-4 game by hitting two free throws, Solon's offense found some life and closed to 20-11 on five consecutive points by senior forward Daryl Johnson Jr. and a strong move to the rim by Steele.

Following two free throws by Stover, the Comets chipped away some more and, following an impressive drive to the basket by sophomore guard Michael Bekelja, trailed by eight points.

On the strength of a follow by Stover and another strong move in the paint by Davet, Saint Ignatius held a 10-point lead, but the Comets trailed by eight points entering the third quarter after Carry hit a soft jumper from the top of the key.

REGAINING CONTROL: Saint Ignatius did just that at the start of the second half, as Yarian was money down low, Stover went to the rim with authority and Davet's endless passion on the offensive glass resulted in his soft one-hander at the rim.

After a hustle put back by Kalish, a power spin move by Davet and a one-hander in the lane by 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis, the Cats led by 16 points with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.

SETTLING THE ISSUE: With Yarian and Davet running the floor like guards and continuing to have their way down low, Coach Becker's Cats took what little life the Solon Student Body Section had left on two more free throws by Stover, baskets by Yarian and Davet, a steal and a layup by Yarian, a Kalish drive that was as determined as his tailback days at St. Chris and two more points from Davet.

CONTINUING TO STEP UP DEFENSIVELY: "With (senior guard) Ryan Berger being out (sprained ankle), we all had to step up on D," said Yarian, who honed some of his many basketball skills while playing as a kid in the legendary Saint Ignatius of Antioch League. "He is one of our big defenders. But at the end of the day, we just want to win and in the tournament the defense you play has to be tough."

WE'LL SEE YOU IN THE WOLSTEIN CENTER ON SATURDAY NIGHT, AS THE BASKETBALL CATS SEEK THEIR FIRST FINAL FOUR APPEARANCE SINCE THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON OF 2001.

MARCH MADNESS, BABY! THE WILDCATS' STUDENT BODY SECTION HAS ADDED A WHOLE NEW CHAPTER  AND VERSE TO THAT TRADITIONAL SAYING.    

     

 

 

                 

       

 

  

         

   

 

 

OK Coach Welo, congrats on taking over the football helm at "The Home of Champions." Being a former Wildcat you know all about champions, so how about adding Saint Ignatius to the Bengals' schedule in the near future?
3/9/2016
Please note the updated scoring averages on Solon's key players and the comment from Assistant Coach Jerry Porath that the corner added to the Solon vs. Saint Ignatius Regional Semifinal Preview below
3/8/2016
Saint Ignatius Basketball is prepared to end Solon's late-season magical run when the Cats and the Comets meet in Wednesday's Division I Regional Semifinal at The Wolstein Center
3/7/2016
By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016
 
Fairview Park, Ohio - The last time Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Brian Becker '77 matched up against the Solon Comets in a key postseason game was March 8, 2006 in the District level at old Cleveland South High School.
 
To say that the Cleveland South Sectional/District was special would be an understatement.
 
It was, without question, the yearly end of winter ritual gathering spot for every savvy gym rat in the city, and a showcase for some of the greatest players and teams in the history of Greater Cleveland Basketball. 
 
Several celebrated players left their mark on the old floor off Broadway, including NBA mainstay Charles Oakley from John Hay, Ohio Mr. Basketball selections Damon Stringer of Cleveland Heights, Sonny Johnson of Garfield Heights and Chet "The Jet" Mason from the Cleveland South High Flyers, and the incomparable Malcolm Sims of Shaker Heights, just to name a few.
 
To have had the opportunity several times to witness and report on the packed house at South High for the traditional Saturday afternoon District Championship Game still gives this old-timer goose bumps.
 
In 2006, Solon, led by its 1-2 punch of standout post Dallas Lauderdale and court-savvy point guard Steve Valentino, defeated the Wildcats, 64-54, at South High and survived a battle with the Bedford Bearcats before running into one of the greatest teams in Ohio's rich boys basketball history, the Raymar Morgan-led 2005 and 2006 Division I State Champions from Canton McKinley. "The Pups" overwhelmed the Comets, 68-38, in a Region Final at the University of Akron.
 
Coach Becker, in what were his final two seasons during his first stint as his alma mater's head basketball coach, would guide Saint Ignatius at the Warrensville Heights Sectional/District and the Euclid Sectional/District.
 
Wednesday at 8 PM in the OHSAA Division I Regional Semifinals at The Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University, Coach Becker will lead his 19-6 Wildcats against a 13-12 Solon team that is under the direction of former Saint Ignatius basketball player Tony DeCesare. You will find Tony's name among the all-time assist producers in Wildcats history, as he developed his skills under Coach Becker.
 
If you can't make Wednesday's game, the golden tones of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring it to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.   
 
While the Wildcats have been ranked among the area's best all season and are riding a five-game winning streak that includes impressive victories over Brecksville-Broadview Heights and St. Edward in District play, Coach DeCesare's Comets are Cleveland's "Cinderella" team thus far in the postseason.
 
After winning three of its last four regular season games and upsetting Mayfield, Cleveland Heights and Mentor in the postseason, Solon finds itself in a Regional with three of the most talented teams in Northeast Ohio, if not the entire state. Wednesday's other semifinal at The Wolstein Center matches the basketball-rich programs from Garfield Heights and Warren G. Harding at 6:15 PM.
 
While Saint Ignatius advanced to Regional play with a strong, 58-51 finish against longtime West Side rival St. Edward, Solon had its faithful on the edge of their seats in a 64-62 District Final victory over Mentor, the No. 1 seed at the Euclid District.
 
Mentor, trailing 63-59 with less than a minute remaining, made it a one-point game off a 3-pointer by Jack Korsok. A free throw by the Comets' promising sophomore guard Sincere Carry held up as the Cardinals misfired on a 3-pointer as time was expiring. Korsok did grab the rebound after the missed 3-pointer, but the officials waved off Jack's put back that would have forced overtime.  
 
The Cardinals' highly successful Head Coach Bob Krizancic told the News-Herald's outstanding reporter Alex Hooper that Solon is a "scary team" because everyone on the floor can handle the basketball and Reid Thompson "shoots the ball tremendously well."
 
Thompson, the Comets' 6-foot-3 senior guard, has had games this season of 37 points versus Euclid and 35 points versus John F. Kennedy. Averaging nearly 18 points per game, Thompson is complemented by Carry's 16  points per outing and junior guard Jason Steele, who checks in at 11 points per game.
 
Wildcats outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath describes Carry as "an excellent point guard."   
 
Good shooting guards have come Saint Ignatius' way in abundance this season and the Wildcats, in most cases, have done just fine when it came to limiting their productivity. Just ask the area's top-ranked St. Vincent-St. Mary.
 
The Wildcats' defense on the perimeter came to the fore in the seven-point District Championship victory over St. Edward at The Wolstein Center on Saturday night, when Coach Becker's team pretty much shut down the Eagles' high-powered 3-point shooting.
 
THE TIES THAT BIND: As we reported in the corner's St. Edward game story Saturday night, Saint Ignatius' gifted 6-5 senior guard Deven Stover grew up playing basketball with most of the Comets while attending school on the lower levels in the Solon School District. Deven's sister, Alexis, is a standout on the Lady Comets' State Final Four-bound Varsity Basketball Team. Of course their father, Reggie, excelled in basketball at then St. Joseph High School under the legendary Mike Moran and also at the University of Cincinnati.
 
This old-timer had the privilege to do a feature story on the Stover family last winter for the Saint Ignatius Alumni Magazine.
 
ON THE MEND: Wildcats talented 6-4 senior guard Ryan Berger is questionable for Wednesday night after being injured in the St. Edward game. If Ryan is unable to play, the Cats' exceptional depth will be called on once again.
 
JUST FYI: Coach Becker's Cats defeated Warren G. Harding, 75-62, in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on December 29th and were defeated by Garfield Heights, 66-60, on February 17th at Garfield Heights' impressive and atmosphere-rich facility.
 
Don't worry, the Wildcats are not looking ahead, I am.   
 
      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The state's top-ranked teams face off, as No. 2 Saint Ignatius and No. 1 Toledo St. Francis meet in Thursday's semifinals of the 39th annual State Ice Hockey Tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus
3/7/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Fairview Park, Ohio - Just minutes after Saint Ignatius was defeated by defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales, 5-1, in the championship game of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA, Wildcats highly successful Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 pulled no punches.

"They're super, they're an awesome team," Coach O'Rourke said in reference to St. Francis. "They are the team to beat in the state and everybody knows it. I hope we get another crack at them, maybe later on in the season.

"We didn't play terrible, but every mistake we made they jammed right down our throats for a goal," Coach O'Rourke continued. "They're (the Knights) a veteran team, they're talented and they work hard. That's a good combination to have. If you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay for it, which they did. If we learn from it, it will be good. But if we don't learn from it, then shame on us."

Well, the Ice Cats certainly learned from that Sunday evening in Strongsville, as following the Dec. 20th regular-season encounter with St. Francis, the Ice Cats have gone on to 24 consecutive victories with that 24th straight win coming this past Saturday, an impressive 3-1 triumph over West Side rival and 11-time state champion St. Edward in the annual Brooklyn District Championship/State Qualifying Game (see the corner's game story on the triumph over the Eagles that was posted Saturday night).

And, what Coach O'Rourke hoped for back in late December is now a reality - another crack at the highly touted Knights.

Saint Ignatius, ranked second in the final State Ice Hockey Poll for the 2015-2016 season, will take a 36-2-1 record into Thursday's State Semifinal face off with Ohio's top ranked St. Francis, which carries a record of 36-1-0.

The puck will drop at 7 PM in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, the home of the Blue Jackets. If you can't make it to the game, the hockey savvy tandem of Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos will bring it to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.  

"Toledo St. Francis is the best team we've seen in a long, long time," Coach O'Rourke told this corner on Sunday. "They are very fast and skilled and love to go on offense.

"They are a senior-laden team and they have experience in the Final Four from last year," Coach O'Rourke said. "They don't lose often and if they win back-to-back titles, they will go down as one of the greatest teams in Ohio hockey history.

"That said, we'll give them our best shot and see what we can do," continued Coach O'Rourke. "This is one time when the Wildcats are firmly the underdogs and honestly, I'd put it on a 1980 USA vs. USSR scale. But who knows, maybe another "Miracle" is in store on Thursday. I know one thing - to win, we'll need as many fans in those seats as humanly possible. Our boys thrive on their support."

In the December face off with the Knights, St. Francis scored two goals in each of the first two periods, including a hat trick by its gifted senior forward/wing Kyle Bloom.

After St. Francis senior left wing Mike White made it a 4-0 game off a power play goal at 10:07 of the second period, Saint Ignatius got on the board 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the third period off a power play effort by senior forward Zack Kisel.

Most of the early evening belonged to the Knights, however, as they displayed the ability to kill off penalties and added on a short-handed, unassisted empty-net goal by senior forward Jay Denman 11 minutes and 3 seconds into the third period.

St. Francis' man between the pipes, senior Kade Phipps, came up with 23 of his 36 saves in the third period. 

Despite the four-goal differential in the Dec. 20th meeting with the Knights, Coach O'Rourke emphasized that Saint Ignatius' savvy and skilled senior goalie/Alternate Captain Dylan McKeon played well. Dylan had 26 saves, including 10 in the first period and 14 in the second period, and turned away two clear one-on-one opportunities by St. Francis, including one by the hockey-rich Bloom.

St. Francis was penalized seven times that evening and Saint Ignatius drew three penalties.

Following that tough loss to the Knights, the Ice Cats began their drive to 24 consecutive victories by going 6-0 and brining home the championship of the prestigious Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena in the Windy City.

Saint Ignatius' 36 victories include a second consecutive regular season championship of the Great Lakes Hockey League and a third straight Cleveland Cup in the GLHL's annual postseason tournament.

The Great Lakes Hockey League is represented by two of its teams in this year's Final Four, or "Frozen Four," if you want to be trendy, as joining the Ice Cats in Columbus is Cleveland Cup runner-up and Kent District Champion University School.

The Preppers and the Ice Cats played a tremendous game in the Cleveland Cup final, with Saint Ignatius, behind a big-time goal by senior wing/Captain Aidan Spellacy, prevailing, 5-3.

University School, ranked third in Ohio, takes on the state's sixth-ranked Shamrocks of Dublin Coffman in Thursday's 4 PM State Semifinal at Nationwide Arena.

St. Francis, which entered its District Championship/State Qualifying Game versus fifth-ranked Bowling Green at the Tam-O-Shanter averaging 8.7 goals per game, got all it wanted from the Bobcats before going on to a 4-2 victory. It marked the first back-to-back District hockey titles in the Knights' history.

Bowling Green closed out its winter at 26-6-2.

St. Francis turned the Bobcats away on two goals by senior forward Brendan Furry, including the game-winner in the second period, and 20 saves by Phipps, eight of which came in the first 10 minutes. Phipps enters the state semifinals with a 34-0 record in goal this season

Knights Head Coach Chris Varga watched his team outshoot Bowling Green, 35-22.

FIVE STATE TITLES: That is how many Saint Ignatius and St. Francis have combined for, with the Ice Cats bringing home OHSAA gold trophies in 2000, 2010 and 2014, and the Knights doing the honors last season and in 2011.

The Ice Cats are making their seventh State Final Four appearance and the Knights have reached the Final Four for the ninth time.

    

 

 
Coach Brian Becker to matchup with one of his former players in Wednesday's 8 PM Regional Semifinal Basketball Game versus the Solon Comets at The Wolstein Center
3/7/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

The Comets are under the direction of Tony DeCesare, who in 1999 dished out a Cats' record 15 assists in one game. Tony also holds Saint Ignatius' single-season assists mark with 171.  

Former Saint Ignatius football and basketball standout, and University of Notre Dame wide receiver Robby Parris tied Tony's single-game assist mark in 2006.

We will have more on the Cats-Comets Sweet 16 matchup in a Corner's View on the Comets later today.

NOTE: ALL STATISTICAL NUMBERS ARE FROM THE "CATS STATS"  THAT APPEAR IN THE 2015-16 SAINT IGNATIUS ALL-SPORTS PROGRAM.

 

Another FYI, on Monday this old-timer will take a corner's view on the Wildcats' upcoming Regional Semifinal Basketball matchup with the Solon Comets and the Ice Cats' State Semifinal matchup with Toledo St. Francis de Sales
3/6/2016
Just FYI on the upcoming Spring Sports Season
3/6/2016

The corner will be posting the annual spring sports previews over the next few weeks.

- Eddie Dwyer

One last item before I call it a night, or a morning. It concerns the gifted and amiable James Norris.
3/6/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

During Saturday's State Indoor Meet at the University of Akron, James ran an Ohio-record 6.8 in the 60 meters.

James, who will be furthering his education and track career at Cornell, is even more excited about the upcoming Saint Ignatius outdoor track and field season than I am. And that's saying something.

Congrats to James on an exceptional effort.

After a Saturday/Sunday morning of covering and reporting on the tremendous accomplishments of our winter athletes/sports teams and James' 60 in 6.8 dash, it is time for, in the words of the late, great Plain Dealer Stark County Sports Columnist and Canton area radio legend Hymie Williams, "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time."         

Wildcats Basketball is bound for the Sweet 16 after turning away West Side rival St. Edward, 58-51, in a Division I District Final matchup on Saturday night at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center
3/5/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Wildcats came out strong on Saturday night and showed the crowd of 4,301 in the Wolstein Center why they have been ranked among the area's best from the get-go this winter.

Defending with passion, going to the glass with authority and scoring both in the half court and in transition, the Cats rode their size, skill and athleticism to a 15-point lead over rival St. Edward in what was the championship game of the Division I Strongsville District. The game was moved from Strongsville High School to Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center in order to accommodate the large crowd that a Wildcats-Eagles matchup always attracts.

While Saint Ignatius' tremendously supportive Student Body could be heard all the way to Public Square as Coach Becker's Cats were building an impressive lead that stood at 31-16 in the late stages of the first half, St. Edward Head Coach Eric Flannery was busy trying to keep his team in the game on a night when the Eagles' vaunted perimeter shooting was as dreary as the weather.

But then this was Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward with a trip to next week's OHSAA Regional Tournament on the line.

As one of the Wildcats' faithful sitting behind this veteran gym rat said when the Cats were purring to the tune of that late second quarter lead, "Keep the pressure on, no lead is safe with these guys! They're streaky."

That fan was probably thinking back to the Jan. 22 regular-season matchup at St. Edward, when the Eagles, trailing by 15 points late in the first half, went on to an 83-80, double-overtime victory. Saint Ignatius would avenge that loss with a 52-49 victory in the regular-season finale at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

No sooner did those words of advice come out of that fan's mouth when St. Edward would go on a 13-3 run and close the gap to five points by halftime.

After Eagles senior forward Daniel Chambers buried a 3-pointer from the top of the arc that made it a two-point game with 7 minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Saint Ignatius' gifted 6-foot-5 All-District senior guard Deven Stover scored on a layup.

St. Edward kept attacking, however, and took a 38-36 lead on a 3-pointer by junior guard Jack Sullivan.

After Coach Becker got his point across during a timeout, the Wildcats stepped up with a 7-1 run that was highlighted by a 3-pointer from 6-4 senior guard Ryan Berger and a layup by 6-3 senior guard Jimmy Berger, Ryan's twin brother. Jimmy Berger's layup, which gave the Cats a four-point lead entering the fourth quarter, was courtesy of a steal and an assist by multi-skilled 6-8 junior post/wing Austen Yarian.

A give-and-take final eight minutes saw St. Edward close to 43-42 on a driving left-hander by Chambers.

Saint Ignatius answered with an impressive move down the lane by versatile 6-7 junior post Matt Davet, but the Eagles responded again and knotted the score at 35 behind the free-throw shooting of Sullivan with 3:07 remaining to be played.

Stover, who battled foul trouble for most of the evening, played with the savvy of a three-year Varsity player down the stretch.

With Stover sandwiching two clutch free throws and a strong post-up move around a layup by senior forward Tyler Musbach off a Jimmy Berger assist, the Wildcats held a six-point lead with 2:19 left.

St. Edward sliced that lead in half behind a 3-pointer by its outstanding All-District senior point guard Sean Flannery with 1:46 remaining, but Stover was money on a soft one-hander along the baseline.

Flannery, a son of Coach Flannery, converted a three-point play that cut the deficit to 53-51 with 1:23 to go, but Saint Ignatius kept its OHSAA Tournament Trail intact and avoided Heartbreak Highway behind a layup by Yarian off a Jimmy Berger dime and the free-throw shooting of Yarian.

As the final second ticked off the clock, the 2016 rubber match with the Eagles read Saint Ignatius 58, St. Edward 51.  Another chapter in one of the most storied high school athletic rivalries in the nation was in the book.

UP NEXT FOR THE NOW 19-6 WILDCATS: Wednesday night's Regional Semifinal matchup with the 13-12 Solon Comets, who ended Mentor's season on Saturday night. It will take place right back at the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center at 8 PM. A tip of the corner's cap goes out to the outstanding staff from Strongsville and the Wolstein Center for running a first-class District Championship Game.

Just FYI, the Solon Comets are under the direction of former Saint Ignatius Basketball Player Tony DeCesare.

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "The difference is, we've learned from our mistakes from earlier in the season," said Deven, who is looking forward to Wednesday's matchup with his hometown Solon Comets. Deven attended elementary and middle school in the Solon District and his sister, Alexis, is a mainstay for the Lady Comets' Varsity Basketball Team that is headed to the State Final Four.

"We came out aggressive and our Student Section was overpowering, which helped us a lot," Deven continued. "Unlike what we did at Eds (on Jan. 22), we didn't panic. We knew they were going to make a run, but we came out and played together, took our time, got the ball in the post and scored easily. And that allowed us to prevail."

FROM COACH BECKER: "Staying connected at the arc," Coach Becker said of his team's ability to limit one of the top 3-point shooting teams in Ohio to four treys and an 18-percent shooting percentage on 3-pointers. "I think a bunch of guys played really great defense tonight. Hollis (6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis) played great defense, as did Stover, Kyle Kalish (senior point guard) and a bunch of other guys.

"Obviously it wasn't a perfect game by any means," Coach Becker continued. "I think this is our ugly game of the tournament, but we grinded it out on defense."

BY THE NUMBERS: Deven Stover and Austen Yarian finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The Eagles got 16 points from Sean Flannery and 14 from Daniel Chambers.

St. Edward was 15-of-22 from the foul line and the Cats connected on 10 of their 16 free throws. Saint Ignatius had six 3-pointers on the night and, as we mentioned above, the Eagles finished with just four baskets from beyond the arc.      

            

               

     

 

 

       

SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING JUNIOR WRESTLER KADEN RUSSELL DEFEATS ERIC DELUSE OF LANCASTER, 4-3, AND BRINGS HOME THE 182-POUND STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TO CLEVELAND'S JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL
3/5/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Kaden becomes the Wildcats' first state wrestling champion since the great George DiCamillo went back to back in 2011 and 2012. George is currently a standout for the Virginia Cavaliers.

In making his first state finals appearance after winning titles at both the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional and the tradition-rich Mentor District, Kaden handled the big-stage pressure that went hand in hand with what was the 79th Annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Completing his OHSAA postseason competition (Sectional  District and State) unbeaten, Kaden, 38-5 overall this winter, turned away a talented and savvy wrestler in Saturday night's 4-3 championship-match victory, Eric Deluse from Lancaster.

Deluse ended his season at 50-2.

Kaden advanced to the title match by defeating St. Edward's Tyler Stepic, 18-13, on Friday night and Deluse earned the right to face Kaden for Ohio's 182 crown by defeating Jacob Bria of Fairfield, 2-1, in Friday night's other semifinal.

A huge congratulations goes out to Kaden, his family, Head Coach Mark Sullivan, Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Polick and the entire Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program.

For a look at the Wildcats' memorable weekend at states, see the corner's posts that began on Thursday night.  

Congratulations to Wildcats 195-pound senior standout Kyle Vilsack on his fourth-place finish in Ohio
3/5/2016
Jared Stepka's unassisted goal and big-time assist, Matt Wiegandt's short-handed goal off that Stepka assist and a sealer by Bain Kurtz off a helper from Cullen Frebes lead the Ice Cats to a 3-1 triumph over St. Eds in Saturday's District Title Game
3/5/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

From The Brooklyn (Ohio) Ice Arena  - With the victory, Coach Pat O'Rourke's first in a District Final matchup with St. Edward, the Ice Cats improve to 36-2-1, extend their winning streak to 24 games and advance to Thursday's 7 PM State Semifinal Game versus defending Ohio champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales in Columbus's Nationwide Arena, the home of the Blue Jackets.

The Ice Cats, winners of three OHSAA State Hockey Championships (2014, 2010 and 2000), will be making their seventh state final four appearance, or "Frozen Four" if you want to be trendy.

Saint Ignatius and St. Francis de Sales faced off in the Championship Game of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament this season, with the Knights prevailing, 5-1. The Ice Cats have improved immensely since that Sunday evening encounter at the OBM Arena in Strongsville. St. Francis and Saint Ignatius finished 1-2, respectively, in the season's final state poll.

St. Edward, which was also defeated by Saint Ignatius, 1-0, in a January 9th regular-season encounter in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst, entered Saturday's District Title Game as the defending Brooklyn District Champion.

Saint Ignatius, which won both the regular season Great Lakes Hockey League Championship and annual GLHL postseason Cleveland Cup Championship, wasted little time in making its mark on Saturday's game.

With less than a minute gone in the first period, endless energy senior wing/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka chipped and stabbed away at the puck for an unassisted goal and a 1-0 lead.

It stayed that way until St. Edward junior forward Curtis Szelesta fired home an authoritative lamplighter 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the second period. Providing the helpers were senior forward Jason Steckle and junior defenseman Adam Sabitsch.

The Eagles appeared to be riding the momentum train after Saint Ignatius was called for a 2 minute penalty as time was expiring in the second period. St. Edward carried that 2-minute man advantage into the third period.

In what was definitely the turning point of the game, Ice Cats junior defenseman Matt Wiegandt teamed with Stepka on an exceptional display of skating and passing, as it was Wiegandt to Stepka and Stepka back to Wiegandt for Matt's go-ahead, short-handed goal with 13:38 remaining in the third period.

With the Eagles' faithful not as loud as they were in the second period, Saint Ignatius took command on a goal by sophomore forward Bain Kurtz off an assist from junior forward Cullen Frebes, 8 minutes and 46 seconds into the third period.

After killing off a St. Edward power play, something they were very successful at all afternoon, the Ice Cats skated and defended their way to a Thursday night encounter with the defending state champs in Nationwide Arena.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior goalie Dylan McKeon turned in a 14-save performance that included some exceptional glove work in traffic and the Eagles' talented man between the pipes, senior Warren Hill, had 28 saves.

The Ice Cats entered Saturday's game as the No. 1 seed at Brooklyn and St. Edward was seeded second.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "I thought we were having the better of the action. You kind of hope you deserved it a little bit. The kids worked hard.

"It was an awesome game, they got us last year (in the District Title Game) and we got them back this year. I'm so happy for our seniors. We're going back to Columbus, and that's what it's all about.

"Good speed, good skill, either team could have won it. We're going to enjoy this today and tomorrow and then get back to work. It's an awesome, awesome feeling.

"It's a big step for our program. We came in thinking we're the underdog. They're (the Eagles) the 11-time state champions. They play like it, they're great. But we're a program on the rise."

FROM MATT WIEGANDT AND JARED STEPKA: "The puck just kind of squirted out and I went with it," said Matt of the big-time, short-handed goal that put the Ice Cats in front to stay. "We just kept going and Jared made a perfect pass to me, I just had to touch it. It was perfect."

"It's the first time we ever beat those guys in a District final, it's a great feeling," Jared said. "It's my senior year, so there's no better feeling."     

 

                     

              

  

     

Wildcats 195-pound mainstay Kyle Vilsack wins by an injury default versus Aaron Naples of Brunswick this morning and will wrestle for third place later today at the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament
3/5/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Kyle continues what has been an exceptional display of wrestling back this weekend.

NOTE: THE CORNER WILL HAVE A COMPLETE WRAPUP ON KYLE'S THIRD-PLACE MATCH AND KADEN RUSSELL'S PURSUIT OF A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP AT 182 POUNDS AFTER OUR COVERAGE OF WILDCATS DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP ICE HOCKEY AND BASKETBALL, BOTH VERSUS ST. EDWARD.

This old-timer wants to join Kym Russell is also saying CONGRATULATIONS TO WILDCATS 160-POUND STANDOUT CAL MILLER ON A GREAT SEASON
3/4/2016
Saint Ignatius' strong and tough-minded 195-pound senior Kyle Vilsack defeats Grant Martin of Uniontown Lake, 7-0, on Friday night and advances to Saturday's Consolation Semifinals
3/4/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Kyle advances to face Aaron Naples of Brunswick on Saturday morning in his pursuit of a possible third-place finish at 195.

This old-timer wishes Kyle, a class act, nothing but the best.

 

Men of the Mats junior standout Kaden Russell defeats Tyler Stepic of St. Edward, 18-13, and advances to Saturday evening's Division I State Championship Match at 182
3/4/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Kaden will attempt to become the Wildcats' first state wrestling champion since the great George DiCamillo went back to back in 2011 and 2012. George is currently a standout for the Virginia Cavaliers.

In what is his first state finals appearance, Kaden, the Mentor District Champion, has now defeated the talented Tyler Stepic three times over the past two seasons, with the previous two victories coming by pins.

As we reported on the corner earlier today, Kaden pinned Stepic in less than 20 seconds at the annual regular season matchup between the Wildcats and the Eagles back in December at St. Edward.

Kaden, who is also a safety/running back for the Wildcats' Varsity Football program, will face Eric Deluse of Lancaster in Saturday evening's 182-pound championship match at the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament in The Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Deluse advanced to the title match by defeating Jacob Bria of Fairfield, 2-1, in Friday night's other semifinal at 182.

Saturday evening's Divisions I, II and III Championship Matches will be wrestled concurrently beginning at 5:45 PM.

Congratulations and all of the best on Saturday evening from this corner to Kaden, his family, Head Coach Mark Sullivan, Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Polick and the entire Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program.

 

Kyle Vilsack (195 pounds) records a 31-second pin over Dakota Howard of St. Edward in the second consolation round and will wrestle again tonight as a shot at third place is still possible. Cal Miller (160) is defeated by Darby's Jared Ball, 8-2.
3/4/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Darby High School is located in Hilliard, Ohio.

Kyle will wrestle Grant Martin of Uniontown Lake tonight.

A little history on Kaden Russell versus Tyler Stepic, courtesy of the corner
3/4/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Kaden was ill and did not wrestle in the State Team Tournament matchup with St. Edward last month. The Eagles, en route to yet another State Team Championship, controlled that match.  

However, in the annual regular season match versus the Eagles a week before Christmas, an event yours in sports covered at the Eagles Nest, Kaden pinned Tyler Stepic in less than 20 seconds. That was the Cats' only victory on the night, but what an impressive one.

Kaden also recorded a pin over Tyler in the 2014-15 season.

The big Saint Ignatius-St. Edward weekend starts tonight, as Cats standout 182-pounder Kaden Russell will wrestle St. Edward's Tyler Stepic in the semifinals of the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament
3/4/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Kaden advanced to the big-time matchup with Tyler Stepic by pinning Colton Carroll of Ashville Teas Valley in 31 seconds.

It's a Saturday doubleheader of Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward
3/4/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Two chapters on the same day of the storied rivalry known as Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward will get underway at 1 PM on Saturday in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, as Coach Pat O'Rourke's top-seeded Ice Cats take on the second-seeded Eagles in the Brooklyn District Championship/State Qualifying Game.

The Ice Cats enter the game with a record of 35-2-1 (an early season forfeit is now being factored in) and a 23-game winning streak.

St. Edward, the defending Brooklyn District Champion, advanced to another District Final matchup with the Ice Cats by defeating the third-seeded Padua Franciscan Bruins, 3-0, on Thursday evening at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

In their only meeting this season, Saint Ignatius defeated St. Edward, 1-0, on January 9th at the Eagles' home ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

On Saturday night, Coach Brian Becker's 18-6  Varsity Basketball Wildcats, coming off their dominant 60-23 District Semifinal victory over Brecksville-Broadview Heights at Strongsville High School on Thursday night (see the corner's game post from Thursday), will face Coach Eric Flannery's St. Edward Eagles in an OHSAA Division I District Championship Game at Cleveland State University (the Wolstein Center). The tipoff is 7 PM.

St. Edward advanced by defeating North Royalton, 79-61, in Wednesday night's District Semifinal at Strongsville.

The Cats and the Eagles split their two regular season meetings, with St. Edward winning at home, 83-80, in double overtime on Jan. 22, and St. Ignatius defending its home court, 52-49, in the regular-season finale on Feb. 20.

NOTE: If you can not make it to Saturday's games, the best high school ice hockey broadcasting combo in the nation, Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos, will bring you the action live from the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

On Saturday night, the savvy tones of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will have the call on the Wildcats-Eagles highly anticipated third basketball matchup of the season, live over the SIBN from the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University.

Please call Saint Ignatius' Athletic Department, 216-651-0222, ext 222, for the availability of tickets on both of Saturday's Wildcats-Eagles headliners.

 

          

   

Kaden Russell advances to Friday's 182-pound quarterfinals and Cal Miller (160) and Kyle Vilsack (195) display their resiliency during the opening night of the 79th annual OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament
3/3/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After losing his opening 195-pound match, 8-4, to Noel Caraballo of Olmsted Falls, Kyle Vilsack bounced back with a 2-1 victory in Thursday night's Division I, Consolation Round 1 at The Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University and will wrestle on Friday morning.

Cal Miller was pinned in his first match at 160 pounds by Kyle Lawson of Powell Olentangy Liberty, but then Cal showed great mental toughness by recording a pin in the Consolation Round 1.

Kaden Russell, who entered the tournament as the Mentor District Champion and a No. 1 seed, won a tough, 4-3 opening match over Anthony Perrine of Nordonia and advanced to Friday's quarterfinals.

The corner will be posting results on Kaden, Cal and Kyle throughout Friday. We wish them all of the best, as they continue to represent Saint Ignatius in the season's premier wrestling event.     

Trailing, 7-0, with 4:09 left in the first quarter, Saint Ignatius goes on to outscore Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 60-16, the rest of the way and advances to Saturday night's District Final matchup with St. Edward by dominating the Bees, 60-23
3/3/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

From Strongsville High School - Coach Brian Becker's deep, versatile and gifted team shut out the Bees, 10-0, in the third quarter and limited them to six points in the fourth quarter in what was a complete domination of the Strongsville District's third-seeded team.

Saint Ignatius, the second seed at Strongsville, will take an 18-6 record into Saturday's 7 PM OHSAA Division I District Championship Game at Cleveland State University versus top-seeded and longtime rival St Edward.  It will be the rubber match of the season with the Eagles, as St. Edward defeated the Cats, 83-80, in double overtime at the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court on Jan.22 and the Wildcats answered with a 52-49 triumph over St. Edward in the regular-season finale at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on February 20th.

Saint Ignatius' 11 player-laden scoring column in its official book showed the Berger twins, senior guards Jimmy and Ryan, leading the way with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Jimmy buried four 3-pointers and Ryan sent home three from beyond the arc. The Cats finished with 9 treys.

The story of the night was Saint Ignatius' defense, which after allowing the Bees to take a 7-0 lead with 4 minutes and 9 seconds remaining in the first quarter, completely shutdown everything Brecksville-Broadview Heights had to offer. The out-manned Bees closed their season at 20-4.

"With our length and quickness, I think we're capable of playing really good defense," Coach Becker said. "We've shown that throughout the season. When you defend well in the tournament, good things are going to happen.

"I also thought we took care of the basketball tonight and Kyle Kalish (Cats senior point guard) did a fabulous job on their conference Player of the Year (senior guard Dan Auble), holding him to four points and frustrating him all night," Coach Becker continued. "That was a big key to our defense tonight, not letting Auble handle the ball much and Kyle did a spectacular job of that.

"There was good action out of us tonight, I thought Austen Yarian (Cats 6-8 junior wing/post) played a solid game and was all over the glass," said Coach Becker. "He's capable of bringing that every night.

"A District Final game at Cleveland State, we'll see what happens," Coach Becker said. "I think it will be a great atmosphere. We're playing to see who goes to the Regionals (also at Cleveland State), so that's what you want. It's the third time this season we're meeting and it will be the marquee matchup in Greater Cleveland."

THE EARLY GOING : The Bees had their faithful Student Body in the game early as "The Swarm" was buzzing to the tune of Brecksville-Broadview Heights' 7-0 lead as the midpoint of the first quarter was approaching.

Then, like a cold wind in your face, reality began to set in.

Saint Ignatius, like the good teams always do, responded with a 10-0 run and their was a bit of a hush among the faithful in red, gold and black. "Why so quiet?, why so quiet?" asked the always heard from Saint Ignatius Student Body Section.

Fueling the Cats' 10-0 answer were multi-skilled 6-foot-3 senior guard and recent Gannon University recruit Jimmy Berger with a 3-pointer and a layup down low, 6-4 senior forward Tim Kiefer with a basket off an assist from versatile  6-7 junior post Matt Davet and something that has become a huge factor in the Cats' recent success - a nothing-but-net 3-pointer from 6-3 senior forward Tyler Musbach.

There was another moment of excitement from the upper stands on the scorer's table side of Strongsville High School's atmosphere-rich and cozy gymnasium, as The Swarm expressed a loud appreciation for a 3-pointer that knotted the score at 10 entering the second quarter.

That enthusiasm was again short-lived, however, as a Davet put back and another basket from downtown Strongsville by Jimmy Berger had the Wildcats' engine purring again.

Jimmy Berger's twin brother, 6-4 senior guard Ryan Berger, kept that offensive engine roaring by burying two 3-pointers and two free throws from talent-rich 6-8 junior post/forward Austen Yarian, a follow by 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis and a smooth jumper in the lane by gifted 6-5 senior guard Deven Stover had Saint Ignatius in front by 12 points entering the halftime break.

SHUTOUT CITY: No, not even this graybeard can recall a Division I level District game that saw one team go scoreless for an entire quarter. But that's how good a Saint Ignatius defense keyed by senior point guard Kyle Kalish, Yarian and Jimmy Berger was on Thursday night off Lunn Road.

Brecksville's third-quarter defense wasn't bad either, but when you don't score, the 10 points the Wildcats put on the board in the quarter seemed like 20 points.

The Cats' four baskets and two free throws over those eight minutes came courtesy of a breakaway driving layup by Kalish, a put back by Yarian off his offensive rebound, another soft jumper from Stover, two free throws by Stover and an authoritative move along the baseline by Kiefer that had Saint Ignatius' Student Body in top from again. Simply the best, better than all the rest. That's how this old-timer rates the Cats' supporting cast, aka the Student Body.

And their taking their prime-time act to CSU's Wolstein Center on Saturday night.          

If Katy wasn't barring the door after the third quarter, she was definitely searching for the key in the fourth quarter, as it was with less than three minutes remaining to be played before the Bees scored a second-half point. They finished with six points in the closing minutes.

Saint Ignatius' free-flowing offense over the final eight minutes featured 3-pointers from the Berger twins, Yarian's presence around the rim, the endless hustle of junior forward Quinton Farren, and that familiar 3-point form from junior guard Michael Spear.

Yarian cleaned the glass like a veteran 14-story window washer in downtown New York and he altered and blocked shots that would have had Austin Carr saying, "Get that weak stuff out of here!"

See you at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and the Wolstein Center on Saturday. How's the coffee at CSU these days?        

                     

     

 

        

Saint Ignatius' State Champion Cross Country Team will join the Cats' State and National Champion Soccer Team, along with the Wildcats' Marching Band, at this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade
3/3/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer, Courtesy of Wildcats outstanding Head Cross Country Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher '71

From Coach Gallagher

Runners and Parents,

The Cross Country Team has been invited to march in the parade on 3/17.
If you are interested, please sign up wit Coach Voigt so we can get a head count.
We will meet at 1 PM at East 22 and Superior. We will be with Soccer and our Band.
We are in Division III, Section 3 P. Please wear your white XC  jackets.
 
- Thanks, Doc 
Congratulations to Wildcats basketball mainstays Deven Stover, Matt Davet, Jimmy Berger and Kyle Kalish for receiving Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District recognition
3/2/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Deven garnered a well-deserved, first-team spot in Division I and Matt Davet, Jimmy Berger and Kyle Kalish received Honorable Mention.

Read from earlier tonight about Jimmy Berger's commitment to Gannon University that he shared with the corner.  

Here is a corner's view of Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Saint Ignatius' opponent in tomorrow night's District Semifinal Basketball Game at Strongsville High School
3/2/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - In a matchup whose postseason history included some spirited encounters at the old Baldwin Wallace College Sectional/District in the 1990s, now Baldwin Wallace University, the 17-6 Wildcats and the 20-3 Bees will tip off at 7 PM in Strongsville High School's cozy and atmosphere-rich gymnasium.

Saint Ignatius and Brecksville-Broadview Heights enter Thursday's win or go home game as the second and third seeds, respectively, at the Strongsville District. The winner will advance to Saturday night's District Championship Game versus top-seeded St. Edward, which defeated North Royalton, 79-61, in tonight's District Semifinal at Strongsville.

Coach Steve Mehalik's Bees qualified for District play after dominating the Rhodes Rams in a Sectional final last weekend at the Bee Hive, and Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats will take the floor tomorrow night at the home of the Strongsville Mustangs after two lop-sided Sectional victories over their near West Side neighbors, Lincoln-West and Max S. Hayes.

In their victory over Rhodes, the Bees, who are not shy when it comes to shooting from the perimeter, buried 12 3-pointers, including six by 6-foot-1 junior guard Matt Dimitrijevs, who played just three quarters.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath described Dimitrijevs as a very good offensive player, an excellent shooter with range and an athlete who can put the ball on the floor and attack along the baseline.

Dimitrijevs leads the Bees' balanced offense with 11.3 points per game, a number that includes 54 3-pointers.

Complementing Coach Mehalik's deliberate attack are a pair of 6-0 senior guards, Dan Auble and Andrew Bruno.

A solid all-around player, Bruno averages 8 points per game and has 22 3-pointers. Coach Porath emphasizes that Bruno plays much bigger than his size and is an excellent defender and shooter who will also attack off the dribble.

Auble, who averages 11.1 points per outing and has 15 treys, is Coach Mehalik's floor general. A conference MVP, young Mr. Auble puts the sting in the Bees' attack. He pushes the ball with authority and speed, can hit the pull-up jumper and plays defense like his life depends on it.

"One of the best point guards we will face." - Coach Porath.

While Brecksville-Broadview Heights faces a significant height disadvantage in trying to match up with the Wildcats, they do have a capable post in 6-6 junior Jared Bazil.

Bazil, a strong and active player, is mostly called on to screen and roll. He does average 9.3 points, however, and, as Coach Becker said after scouting Brecksville, "The big kid can run and he plays extremely hard."

Two other Bees who have contributed to the 20-win season are 6-1 senior Dan Harwood and 6-1 senior P.J. Austin.

Harwood, an athletic wing who has 16 3-ponters and averages 8.3 points, is a capable attacker and a strong rebounder. Austin, who can bring instant offense off the bench, has recently turned in some big shooting nights. He is averaging only 6.1 points, which is deceiving in the Bees' offense, but has delivered 24 3-pointers.

Also keep an eye on skilled 6-3 freshman Kenny Ganley and 6-0 senior Danny Shirilla. Shirilla is an all-around athlete who draws charges and is an excellent free-throw shooter.

FROM COACH BECKER:  "It's 100 percent about what we do," said Coach Becker of tomorrow night's matchup with the Bees. "This isn't taking anything away from Brecksville, they're a very well-coached team, they shoot the ball very well and they're disciplined. But if we come out and play the way we're capable of playing on the offensive and defensive end, the game will take care of itself.

"I really believe it's about possessions, taking care of the ball," Coach Becker continued. "We have to make sure we're contesting their shots and creating tempo. We want to run the floor and push them into a game that's uncomfortable for them. But if it turns into a slow-down game, we're also capable of doing that. We've seen a lot of styles, and that's the beauty of our schedule. What we see from Brecksville is not going to be any different. It's how we handle it and how we execute that will dictate the game."

Note: If you can't make it out to Strongsville tomorrow night, Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring it to you live (audio only) over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

See you out at Lunn Road tomorrow night.               

        

 

 

  

Saint Ignatius' standout student athlete Jim Berger will further his education and basketball career at Gannon University
3/2/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' gifted 6-foot-3 senior guard Jimmy Berger, whose play at both ends of the floor has helped Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Team to a 17-6 record, a fifth-place ranking in the seven-county area and a Division I District Semifinal matchup with Brecksville-Broadview Heights on Thursday night at Strongsville High School, told the corner after practice on Wednesday that he has made a commitment to play basketball at Gannon University in Erie (Pa.) Pennsylvania.

Jimmy, who also excelled in football for the Wildcats as a wide receiver/long snapper, said he decided on Gannon University after also considering John Carroll University, Marietta, Capital and Wheeling Jesuit.

"Coach Reilly (Golden Knights Head Basketball Coach John T. Reilly) is really a nice guy and all, and I loved all of the other coaches," said Jimmy, who teams with his 6-4 twin brother Ryan in giving Coach Becker on the most multi-skilled tandems in the area. "They're (Gannon's coaching staff) super nice and very genuine. The place is awesome. I really liked the campus, which is very nice."

Jimmy said he believes Gannon would like to have him as a point guard, but that the Golden Knights are also aware of his ability to play the 1, 2 or 3 positions as he has shown throughout his career at Saint Ignatius.

Engineering is a field that Jimmy is considering as a main course of study, but which field he isn't quite sure yet.

The corner would like to express its congratulations to Jimmy, a first-class young man, the Berger family and the entire Saint Ignatius Basketball Program. Gannon University's coaching staff has landed one of the finest, both academically and athletically, to ever wear the Blue and Gold and the Cat Paw.         

   

Congratulations to Kaden Russell, Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Week
3/2/2016
By Eddie Dwyer
 
KADEN RUSSELL, SAINT IGNATIUS' ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Congratulations from this corner go out to Kaden Russell, whose outstanding wrestling season continued this past weekend with Kaden bringing home the 182-pound championship at the tradition-rich Mentor District.

Kaden's state-qualifying, No. 1 seed performance at the "Mentor Meat Grinder" included a 4-0 record that was highlighted by pins of 1 minute and 36 seconds and 46 seconds. Kaden defeated highly regarded Jimmy Leonard of Louisville, 9-3, in the championship match.
 
As we posted on the corner Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Kaden, Cal Miller (160 pounds) and Kyle Vilsack (195) will represent Saint Ignatius in the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament, Thursday through Saturday at The Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The Division I prelims get underway Thursday at 5:50 PM and the Division I Consolation Round I is also scheduled for Thursday at 8:45 PM.
 
Here is a reminder on the opening-night pairings Cal, Kaden and Kyle face.

Cal Miller (33-10) vs. Kyle Lawson (33-1) from Powell Olentangy Liberty
Kaden Russell (34-5 and a Mentor District Champion) vs. Anthony Perrine (28-4) of Nordonia
Kyle Vilsack (30-9) vs. Noel Caraballo (46-2) of Olmsted Falls

Again, all of the best this weekend to Cal, Kaden and Kyle, Head Coach Mark Sullivan and his outstanding staff headed by Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Polick.

 
The Captains do a great job of showing the way and everybody chips in as the Ice Cats defeat Holy Name, 5-0, and advance to the game they have played for all season, Saturday's 1 PM District Championship matchup at the Brooklyn Ice Arena
3/1/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2016

Brooklyn, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Ice Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke '90, just moments after his Wildcats wore down Holy Name, 5-0, in Tuesday night's OHSAA District Semifinal at the historic Brooklyn Ice Arena, said now it is on to the game his top-seeded Ice Cats have played for all season.

"We're there, and we'll take a crack at it," said Coach O'Rourke, who will lead his 35-2-1 Ice Cats into Saturday's 1 PM District Championship/State Qualifying Game in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. "This is so much fun, we wouldn't trade it for anything. We want to be in the District final every year, take our crack at going to Columbus and whatever happens, happens."

A three-time State Champion (2014, 2010 and 2000) that has had earned six appearances in the annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament, Saint Ignatius made Saturday's District Championship Game happen by unleashing its savvy, skill and exceptional senior leadership on Tuesday night versus one of the premier goaltenders in Ohio, Holy Name's C.J. Balodis. 

The Ice Cats, ranked second in the final state poll of the season, will  face the winner of tomorrow's (Wednesday) other District Semifinal matchup at Brooklyn between second-seeded St. Edward, the state's fourth-ranked team, and the third-seeded Bruins from Padua Franciscan. St. Edward is the defending Brooklyn District Champion.

No matter who the opponent is on Saturday at The Big Barn on Memphis, a standing-room crowd is expected to be on hand to see who advances to the March 10th State Semifinal at Nationwide Arena, the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Of course, if Saturday's matchup is longtime West Side rival St. Edward, you know the drill. Arrive early.

As for Tuesday's night's performance against the Green Wave of Holy Name, the Ice Cats extended their winning streak to 23 games by continuously putting the pressure on Balodis and Co.

Sophomore forward Bain Kurtz, who split time with the Ice Cats and Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Selects this winter, chipped home the puck off an authoritative pass/shot from junior defenseman Seth Whitney and Coach O'Rourke's hockey savvy team was on top, 1-0, eight minutes and 21 seconds into the first period. Kurtz's heads-up lamplighter came shortly after Saint Ignatius killed off a power play opportunity for the Green Wave.

With Ice Cats standout senior goalie/Alternate Captain Dylan McKeon holding down the fort and Saint Ignatius' defense playing smart and relentless hockey, Holy Name couldn't produce a consistent offensive flow.

Just 29 seconds into the second period, the Ice Cats made it a 2-0 game on a threesome senior combination that saw center/Captain Cam Gerard score off assists from wing/Captain Aidan Spellacy and defenseman/Captain Brian Russell.

After Saint Ignatius killed off another Holy Name power play, Wildcats' ever-present junior forward Benji Rechin was there for the rebound and was money on his team's third goal of the night with 8:08 remaining in the second period. Assisting were junior forward John von Keyserling and multi-skilled junior forward Connor Koehnke.

"They're good and let's face it, their goalie is all world," said Coach O'Rourke in reference to the Green Wave and Balodis. "I'm glad he's a senior and I never have to see him again in my life, because he did that to us earlier this season and really did it a couple times to us. Even in the game where we scored 8 goals, he made all kinds of crazy saves."

Balodis made 62 saves in a 4-0 loss to the Ice Cats last month and Tuesday night he was credited with 57 saves.

"When you're working with 60 to 70 shots, you've just got to be patient and positive, and they were," Coach O'Rourke continued. "The captains did a great job leading us. Everybody's on full alert right now. If you lose it's over and if you're a senior, sometimes your career might be over.

"It's like fighting a wounded animal," Coach O'Rourke said. "We just had to keep pumping shots on them and understand that we're not going to sore the pretty SportsCenter highlight goal, it's going to be the down and dirty just three feet away tips and stuff like that, the greasy goals. That's playoff hockey. It was a good game overall and we pretty much limited their chances. I think it was just a matter of time before we broke through."

Saint Ignatius continued to break through in the third period, as Koehnke took the puck on a visit to authoritative shot city and the score was 4-0, four minutes and 36 seconds into the third period. Koehnke's blast was courtesy of an assist from Rechin.

After Holy Name's coaching staff took Balodis out of the game to a roar of appreciation from the Green Wave's always faithful Student Body section with 9:59 remaining to be played, Spellacy went unassisted for the fifth and final goal.

Balodis was replaced between the pipes by fellow senior Ryan Madden, who finished with nine saves.

McKeon, who Coach O'Rourke said is having "a great senior year," had some exceptional glove saves while turning away everything that came his way. Dylan finished with a 14-save shutout.

"Everybody chipped in and all of the lines were clicking," said Coach O'Rourke. "It was fun playing in front of a big crowd and I guess will get even a bigger crowd on Saturday."

JUST FYI: On January 9th during the regular season, the Ice Cats defeated St. Edward, 1-0, on the Eagles' home ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst  and they defeated Padua Franciscan, 6-0, on January 22nd at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.      

 

 

      

            

 

      

  

 

 

  

 

   

    

 

Saint Ignatius Head Football and Track and Field Coach Chuck Kyle '69 to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame
3/1/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, with the release courtesy of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Coach Chuck Kyle '69, who has won an area-best 321 games, a record 11 Division I state championships, three national titles and a national and state runner-up in his 33 years as his alma mater's Head Football Coach, is one of four coaches, five athletes, two administrators and one contest official who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. The 34th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 97th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

Along with Coach Kyle, the other coaches who will be honored this year are Peg Kopec, who retired last year after winning 12 state championships in 42 years as girls volleyball coach at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois; Pete Boudreaux, who has won an amazing 43 state championships in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field at Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Catholic High School; and Jack Holloway, who led his wrestling teams at New Castle (Delaware) William Penn High School to seven state championships and 13 undefeated seasons during his 25-year career.

The most celebrated high school football coach in the Greater Cleveland area and the most successful Division I coach in Northeast Ohio, Coach Kyle is a four-time Associated Press Division I Coach of the Year who set a state record by guiding his Saint Ignatius teams to 22 consecutive OHSAA playoff appearances (1988-2009). His Wildcats, who have made 26 OHSAA playoff appearances overall, have put together numerous winning streaks, including a high of 39 consecutive victories.  

In the summer of 1994, Coach Kyle led Ohio to a resounding victory over Pennsylvania in the Big 33 All-Star Football Game played in Hershey, Pa., and in the summer of 2009, in then legendary Canton Fawcett Stadium, he guided Team USA to the International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship. In bringing home the Gold Medal, Team USA, which included former Saint Ignatius and Miami of Ohio great Pat Hinkel '09, currently an Assistant Coach for the Wildcats, was dominant from start to finish.

Coach Kyle received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission in 2009, in 2010 he was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

A longtime member of  Saint Ignatius' English Department, Coach Kyle brings the same love and passion he has for football into the classroom every day.  

A former standout running back at Saint Ignatius under the late coaching legend, Mr. John J. Wirtz, Coach Kyle has also guided the Wildcats' track and field program for more than four decades. His Wildcats track and field teams have numerous District Championships throughout Northeast Ohio and in 2001 they brought home the Division I State Championship. In 2005, Coach Kyle's track and field Cats were the big-school state runner-up.

Coach Kyle's accomplishments and dedication to the sport of track and field earned him an induction into the Ohio Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

The two administrators who are part of the 2016 NFHS Hall of Fame class are Tim Flannery, who served on the NFHS staff for 16 years and was responsible for starting the highly successful NFHS Coach Education Program. Tim had a 30-year career in Ohio, including 15 years as the Director of Athletics at North Olmsted High School, and Ennis Proctor, who retired in 2011 after 20 years as executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

The five athletes to be inducted by the NFHS are Steve Spurrier, a three-sport standout at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee, before his highly successful collegiate career as a player and coach; Marlin Briscoe, an outstanding football and basketball player at Omaha (Nebraska) South High School prior to becoming the first African-American starting quarterback in the National Football League; Joni Huntley, a three-sport athlete at Sheridan (Oregon) High School in the early 1970s who later competed in the high jump at two Olympics; Tom Southall, who overcame a physical disability to become one of the best athletes in Colorado history at Steamboat Springs High School (1979-81), and the late Ken Beardslee, one of the top pitchers in high school baseball history during his three years (1947-49) at Vermontville (Michigan) High School.

Rounding out the 2016 class is the late Eugene “Lefty” Wright, a cross country and track and field contest official in Minnesota for almost 50 years. 

The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and performing arts programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 447.

The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

       

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, Coach Brian Becker's Basketball Cats and Coach Mark Sullivan's thrillsome-threesome on the mats - Cal Miller, Kaden Russell and Kyle Vilsack - carry the Wildcats' banner into another week of OHSAA postseason action
2/29/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February-March 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - March can come in like a lion or a lamb, but Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will have only one state of mind on Tuesday night in the historic Brooklyn Ice Arena, as they take on the Green Wave from Holy Name in an OHSAA District Semifinal Ice Hockey matchup.

When the puck drops at 7 PM in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, the top-seeded Ice Cats, 34-2-1, winners of 22 consecutive games and ranked second in the final state poll for this season, will leave March's madness to the hoopsters as they stay cool, calm and focused on the job at hand.

A gifted and veteran team, Saint Ignatius is looking at its 8-1 and 4-0 regular-season triumphs over fifth-seeded Holy Name as old new news. The Ice Cats realize that the Green Wave has a history in all sports of rising to the occasion against all odds.

Ah yes, the days when Holy Name was also referred to as "The Little Davids." 

Tuesday night's postseason encounter marks the second time in three seasons that Coach O'Rourke's Cats will be facing Holy Name at the District level.

In March 2014, the Ice Cats defeated the Green Wave, 4-2, in the Brooklyn District Championship Game and went on to advance to the State Championship Game matchup with Sylvania Northview, which resulted in the now storied seven-overtime tie and co-State Title with Northview.

As for the current Green Wave, goalie C. J. Balodis is the name to remember.

In a Feb. 2 regular season matchup with Saint Ignatius at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, Balodis turned in an outstanding 62-save evening as the Ice Cats prevailed, 4-0. Coach O'Rourke has nothing but the highest regard for C.J.

Holy Name advanced to the District Semifinals by defeating the fourth-seeded Rocky River Pirates, 3-2.

If victorious on Tuesday night, the Ice Cats will face the winner of Wednesday night's District Semifinal between second-seeded St. Edward and the third-seeded Padua Franciscan Bruins, and their All-Great Lakes Hockey League junior goaltender Lynsey Wallace, in Saturday's 1 PM District Championship/State Qualifying Game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. St. Edward is the defending Brooklyn District Champion.

Just a reminder that two of the best at what they do, Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos, will bring you live audio coverage of Tuesday night's Ice Cats-Green Wave District Semifinal encounter over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

STATE WRESTLING

As we posted on the corner Sunday night along with their pairings, Cal Miller (160 pounds), Kaden Russell (182) and Kyle Vilsack (195) will represent Saint Ignatius in the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament, Thursday through Saturday at The Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The Division I prelims get underway Thursday at 5:50 PM and the Division I Consolation Round I is also scheduled for Thursday at 8:45 PM.

Here is a reminder on the opening-night pairings Cal, Kaden and Kyle face.

Cal Miller (33-10) vs. Kyle Lawson (33-1) from Powell Olentangy Liberty

Kaden Russell (34-5 and a Mentor District Champion) vs. Anthony Perrine (28-4) of Nordonia

Kyle Vilsack (30-9) vs. Noel Caraballo (46-2) of Olmsted Falls

Again, all of the best this weekend to Cal, Kaden and Kyle, Head Coach Mark Sullivan and his outstanding staff headed by Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Polick.

DISTRICT BASKETBALL

Coach Brian Becker's Sectional Champion Wildcats (17-6), ranked fifth in the seven-county area and seeded second at the Strongsville Division I District, will face Coach Steve Mehalik's third-seeded Sectional Champion Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees (20-3) in Thursday night's District Semifinal at Strongsville High School.

Thursday's tipoff is 7 PM and if you can't make it to the game, the golden tones of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring you live audio coverage over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

As we referred to in Saturday night's game story on the Sectional Final victory over Max S. Hayes, Coach Mehalik's Brecksville Bees are a strong perimeter shooting team. They buried 12 3-pointers in their dominant Sectional Final triumph over the Rhodes Rams.

Saint Ignatius and Brecksville had some spirited postseason meetings in the 1990s at the old Baldwin Wallace University Sectional/District (then Baldwin Wallace College), when the Bees were under the direction of one of the finest coaches this old-timer ever had the privilege to cover, Mr. Dave Bielak. Dave guided Gilmour Academy to a state runner-up finish in the 1991-92 season and led his teams at Brecksville to four District Championship games. I had the opportunity to cover Dave's son, Bryan, who was a standout on the 2014 North Royalton baseball team that defeated Saint Ignatius in district play and finished as the Division I state runner-up.  

The winner of the highly anticipated Brecksville-Saint Ignatius encounter advances to a 7 PM District Championship Game on Saturday versus the winner of Wednesday night's semifinal at Strongsville High School between top-seed St. Edward and the fourth-seeded North Royalton Bears.

We will have more on the Bees from Brecksville-Broadview Heights later this week. I can already hear "The Swarm" warming up for the battle of the Student Sections.

We'll see you at the historic Brooklyn Ice Arena tomorrow night.       

 

   

 

 

   

 

   

Here are the First Day Division I State Wrestling matchups for Cal Miller, Kaden Russell and Kyle Vilsack
2/28/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The 79th annual OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament takes place on March 3rd, 4th and 5th at The Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Here are the first day matchups for Cal Miller at 160 pounds, Kaden Russell at 182 and Kyle Vilsack at 195.

The Division I preliminaries are scheduled for Thursday at 5:50 PM and the Division I Consolation Round I is also slated for Thursday at 8:45 PM.

Cal Miller (33-10) vs. Kyle Lawson (33-1) from Powell Olentangy Liberty

Kaden Russell (34-5) vs. Anthony Perrine from Nordonia (28-4)

Kyle Vilsack (30-9) vs. Noel Caraballo from Olmsted Falls (46-2)

We wish all of the best to Head Coach Mark Sullivan, his outstanding staff and Cal, Kaden and Kyle as they represent Saint Ignatius in Ohio's yearly premier wrestling event.

 

And you thought the only basketball minds associated with Saint Ignatius worked out of Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium
2/28/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here is a little item that Saint Ignatius' outstanding Swimming and Diving Coach Mike Lehto included in his state-tournament recap that he sent to the corner on Sunday.

Went to the NE CYO basketball final this afternoon. Happy to say that the junior CYO team from Saint Ignatius, the 216ers, will be traveling next weekend to compete in the State CYO basketball championships.

The Wildcats' Junior Varsity Selects take a 1-0 lead with 6:43 to go in the second period, but St. Edward's quick response, unassisted short-handed goal and defense key the Eagles' second consecutive JV State Championship, 3-1
2/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

From Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst, Lakewood Heights Boulevard - After a physical, but scoreless first period that saw the Wildcats total five shots on goal to the Eagles' three, Coach Drew Vilinsky's Junior Varsity Selects  took a 1-0 lead on an exceptional rebound move by Charlie Klenkar that was assisted by Santino Pignatiello 8 minutes and 17 seconds into the second period in the Championship Game of the annual Ohio Junior Varsity State Ice Hockey Tournament.

St. Edward, seeking a second consecutive JV state-title game victory over Saint Ignatius, wasted little time in responding as Danny Soucie knotted the score on a lamplighter with 5:53 left in the second period. Assisting Soucie were Thomas Palumbo and Jacob Butze.

The Eagles then grabbed a big chunk of the momentum when Andrew Tomer gave St. Edward the lead, 2-1, off a short-handed unassisted effort with 3:30 to go in the second period.

After both teams killed off penalties, with the Eagles' penalty kill coming off the 19 seconds that remained on a late second period call, Hunter Mullen brought the St. Edward faithful to their feet with a smooth display of skating and shooting that pushed the Eagles' advantage to 3-1 with 10:09 remaining to be played.

Frank Crisafi was awarded an assist on Mullen's goal, but the majority of the work came from Hunter's crafty move on the ice.

Saint Ignatius was on the power play with 8:32 left, but St. Edward stepped up with another penalty kill.

With talented and tough-minded goalie Benny Savarino keeping the JV Cats' hopes alive down the stretch, the Eagles locked up the championship trophy behind a defense that secured its space and worked on the clock.

St. Edward outshot the Cats, 10-3, in the third period and 24-18 overall. Savarino had 21 saves and the Eagles' man between the pipes, Jacob Ward, had 17 saves.

The Eagles closed out their 2015-16 JV campaign at 29-7-2, including two victories in three meetings with Saint Ignatius, and the Wildcats wrapped up their outstanding season with a 24-6-2 mark, the Great Lakes Hockey League's JV Tournament Championship and a state runner-up trophy.

"They (St. Edward) played a real nice heavy game, which is what you want, good physical games like that," said Coach Vilinsky. "Give them credit, they did a real nice job of taking away time and space.

"During the second period we got some momentum, we outshot them," Coach Vilinsky continued. "But it showed by the way they answered why they're good, yeah they're really good. Their coaches do a real nice job of getting their guys to make that next shift. We had our chances, too, in front of the net, with one-timers that didn't go. Credit to St. Eds, they did a nice job."

Coach Vilinsky pointed to Savarino and his ability to control the game and slow it down a bit. "He has a nice future in front of him, Benny's a very, very solid goaltender," Coach Vilinsky added. "He has a sense of the game."

Coach Drew also emphasized that a huge reason why the JV Cats are able to accomplish what they do stems back to the team's Chapel talks and weightlifting.

"We have really good kids," said the man who blends faith and life's  lessons into his exceptional coaching skills. "This group of kids did an excellent job of trusting us and what we were putting in front of them."

For a look at the JV Cats' 6-2 state-semifinal victory over University School, see the corner's post from earlier today.

In closing, this old-timer would like to thank Coach Vilinsky, his coaching staff and the 2015-16 Junior Varsity Selects for Sunday's privilege of covering and reporting on your efforts and skills. May God Bless You and all of the best, now and in the future - Mr. Eddie Dwyer.  

    

 

 

     

  

 

      

     

From Head Coach Mike Lehto after Saint Ignatius' seventh place finish at this weekend's 89th annual OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Tournament in Canton, Ohio's C.T. Branin Natatorium
2/28/2016

From Coach Mike Lehto and posted by Eddie Dwyer.

Coach Lehto: One of the goals that we set this swim season was to get back on the board at States in Canton. "The board" displays the top 10 teams during the meet.  Happy to say we finished on the board, placing seventh overall. We took down six guys and they all contributed to the point total. Five of the guys swam individual events or dove.

Here is a rundown of what the swimmers did.
Joey Libertin - 13th in the 200 free, equaling his best time

Rayon Artis - 8th place in the 50 free, best time
                    - also did his best time leading off the 400 freestyle relay
Dimitri Simcox - 10th place in the 50 free, 6th place in the 100 free
Marcus Hong -   8th place in the 100 fly; best time
                        - 16th place in the 100 back; best time
Alex Claus - 6th place finish in 1M diving, equaling his freshmen year finish

Rayon, Dimitri, Marcus and Cian O'Haimhirgin combined on the 200 and 400 free relay placing 4th in both for season best times.

The future looks bright for the Wildcat swimmers as five of the six state qualifiers will be returning next year.

 

Here we go again! St. Edward defeats Columbus St. Charles, 5-1, in Sunday's second state semifinal matchup at Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst and will face off with Saint Ignatius in the 3 PM Junior Varsity State Championship Game.
2/28/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

St. Edward enters the title game having defeated its previous four opponents in this year's JV State Tournament by a combined score of 34-1.

The Wildcats' JV Selects have defeated their previous State Tournament opponents - Holy Name, Sylvania Northview, Newark and University School - by the combined score of 32-2.

Saint Ignatius and St. Edward each have three shutouts in this year's State Tournament play.

See you at Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst one more time today. Again, another chapter in what is the storied athletic rivalry between the Cats and the Eagles gets underway at 3 PM. 

Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity Selects Hockey Team rides four second-period goals to a 6-2 triumph over University School in Sunday morning's State Semifinal matchup at Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst
2/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Lakewood Heights Boulevard - With the victory over the Preppers from University School, Coach Drew Vilinsky's gifted and gritty team will take a 24-5-2 record into Sunday's 3 PM Championship Game of the annual Junior Varsity State Tournament versus the winner of Sunday's other state semifinal between St. Edward and Columbus St. Charles.

The Eagles of St. Edward are a heavy favorite to advance to what would be a rubber match with the Wildcats this season. St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-2, at the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Dec. 19 and the Cats, led by two big-time goals from  Michael McCaffrey, evened things up with this month's 2-1 triumph over the Eagles in the Championship Game of the Great Lakes Hockey League's Junior Varsity Tournament.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF SUNDAY'S IMPRESSIVE STATE SEMIFINAL VICTORY OVER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL.

Before the Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity Selects took the ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst for Sunday morning's State Semifinal matchup with the always sound program from University School, Wildcats outstanding Head Junior Varsity Coach Drew Vilinsky spoke highly of the talents Preppers sophomore goalie Kyle Flatow possesses.

Although a 6-2 victory by Saint Ignatius might not reflect it, Flatow was as advertised.

Unfortunately for the talented Flatow and the University School faithful, Coach Vilinsky's JV Selects played a brand of unselfish and aggressive, but smart hockey that needs no hype.

"We got pressure low against him," said Coach Vilinsky after he guided his Wildcats to another Championship Game appearance in the annual Ohio Junior Varsity State Tournament. "He was making the original save, but it was the dirty goal, getting their for the rebound, and that's a huge deal. We've been emphasizing that type of play for about a month, getting guys to the net. And we did a nice job of that and it paid dividends this morning."

The Wildcats wasted little time in doing just what Coach Vilinsky and his staff have been preaching, as they took a 1-0 lead with the game not two minutes old on a goal by Connor McGowan off  an assist from Bruno Moreal.

Flatow and his Prepper teammates were able to keep it a 1-0 game until the decisive second period, when the Cats' JV Selects took their play to an even higher level.

The four-goal barrage in the second period started fast and furious as the ever-present Bain Kurtz went unassisted with just 13 seconds gone in the period.

With Flatow and Saint Ignatius' man between the pipes, Benny Savarino, both making some special stops, it stayed a 2--0 game until the final four minutes of the second period., when the Wildcats ran off three more goals and took command of the game.

First it was Michael Eppich with a lamplighter courtesy of an assist from Will Sauerland, then it was Kurtz with his second goal of the morning off a helper from Michael McCaffrey .

From there, Moreal, McCaffrey, McGowan and Billy Bowman continued to help generate the offense and the JV Selects were able to offset two third-period goals by the Preppers behind the play of Xavier Baszuk and Colin Allen.

Flatow finished with 36 saves for the now 18-12-3 JV Preppers and Savarino was credited with 13 saves.

OK, now I have to crank up the Lakewood Heights engine again and get ready for the 3 PM title game of the annual and well run OJVST.  

      

  

  

      

 

  

 

See you at Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst in a few hours for the Wildcats' JV Selects versus University School's Jayvees in a semifinal match up of the State Junior Varsity Hockey Tournament. The puck drops at 8 AM.
2/28/2016
Wildcats seniors close out their final season in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium with a 9-0 home mark this winter after defeating Max S. Hayes, 93-42, in Saturday night's Division I Sectional Final
2/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker, after his Wildcats defeated the classy Lakers from Max S. Hayes, 93-42, in Saturday night's Division I Sectional Final at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium, thanked his seniors first and foremost on closing out their final season in the stored gymnasium that sits on Lorain Avenue undefeated.

The 2015-16 Cats had only seven home games during their 21-game regular season and the eighth and ninth games in Fr. Sullivan Gym came via OHSAA Sectional play this week versus Lincoln-West and Max S. Hayes.

So now, a gifted senior class led by guard/forward Deven Stover, the Berger twins, guards Jimmy and Ryan, point guard Kyle Kalish, forwards Tyler Musbach and Tim Kiefer, post Sharief Irish and guard Michael Hollis will continue to lend their talent and experience to the talented juniors as the 17-6 Wildcats prepare for Thursday night's Division I District Semifinal versus the sharp-shooting and basketball savvy 20-3 Bees from Brecksville-Broadview Heights. I can hear "The Swarm" buzzing already.

The tipoff for what will be a matchup of the second (Saint Ignatius) and third-seeded teams at the Strongsville District is scheduled for 7 PM at Strongsville High School. Arrive early my friends, Strongsville's gym is a cozy setting.

In eliminating a talented, but young team from sixth-seeded Rhodes, 70-41, in a Sectional Final at the Bee Hive on Saturday afternoon, Coach Steve Mehalik's Bees dropped in 12 3-pointers. Gifted junior guard Matt Dimitrijevs sent home six of those treys in just three quarters of action.

While Thursday night certainly won't mark the first time this season that Saint Ignatius has had to prepare for a solid perimeter-shooting team, just let me say that Coach Mehalik is one of the area's best and he will have a few other things up his sleeve of basketball knowledge.

We will tell you a little more about the well-schooled Bees this coming week, but before we get into some of Saturday night's highlights versus Max S. Hayes, here are some early impressions of Brecksville-Broadview Heights from Coach Becker, whose father, Gerry, was a legend at Brecksville.

"Brecksville is a very good basketball team," said Coach Becker, who has 315 career victories (counting two seasons at Fairview) and 301 at his alma mater Saint Ignatius. "They shoot it extremely well, they handle the ball very well and they have a big kid that runs the floor. They've won 20 games and have some seniors that are pretty good players. That's how you win basketball games, so we have our hands full coming in on Thursday."

THE BIG FELLAS: With 6-foot-8 junior post/wing Austen Yarian and 6-7 junior post Matt Davet leading the way, and 6-4 senior forward and 6-3 senior wing/forward Tyler Musbach hurting the Lakers inside and from the perimeter with 3-pointers, the Cats held a 35-10 lead after the first eight minutes.

HIS FIRST TRIP TO SLAM CITY: After multi-skilled 6-3 senior guard Jimmy Berger slammed home two points with authority early in the second quarter, he was kind enough to turnaround on the bench after his night was over and share with this corner that his impressive second-quarter dunk was the first of his playing career at Saint Ignatius. His twin brother Ryan, a talented 6-4 guard, has elevated above the rim more than once in his career at West 30th and Lorain Avenue.

A DEEP BENCH: That came to the fore again on Saturday night as every Wildcat hit the scoring column.

Endless-hustling junior forward/post Quinton Farren scored off a strong, crowd-pleasing reverse layup, junior guard Michael Spear sent home one of his perfect-form 3-pointers and junior guard Colin Goodfellow, an All-Ohio punter in football, scored off a sweet assist from junior point guard Devin Jackson and then buried a deep 3-pointer.

After Spear hit two free throws and sophomore forward/post Luke Wiskes, a standout on the Junior Varsity team this winter, made a nice post-up move along the baseline, the Cats took a 63-23 lead to their meeting room at halftime.

CLOSING WITH STYLE AND SPORTSMANSHIP: After some strong play by Michael Hollis in the third quarter helped extend the Cats' lead to 73-28 entering the final eight minutes, Saint Ignatius put the seal of approval from Coach Becker on a heads-up follow of his own shot by Ryan Berger, a slam dunk by Farren off another Jackson assist, a Wiskes basket courtesy of a Jackson assist and a slick dribble move along the baseline by Jackson that resulted in his soft 1-handed floater. Saint Ignatius then just ran down the clock on its remaining offensive possessions.

THE FINAL NUMBERS: Davet and Yarian led the way for the Cats with 12-point nights, Kalish, Farren and Spear each tossed in eight points, and Musbach and Kiefer both rolled a seven spot.

The Lakers got a 12-point effort from talented junior forward Devin Long, 11 points from 6-8 sophomore post Donovan Johnson and six fourth-quarter points by sophomore guard Marquell Atwood.

SOME TALK OF A POSSIBLE SITE CHANGE IF, AND WE EMPHASIZE IF, THERE IS A THIRD MEETING BETWEEN SAINT IGNATIUS AND ST. EDWARD IN SATURDAY'S DISTRICT FINALS: With concerns that Strongsville wouldn't be a large enough venue to handle a 2016 rubber match between the longtime West Side rivals, Baldwin-Wallace University's Ursprung Gymnasium is a site that has popped up in the rumor mill.                           

    

    

Saint Ignatius' Swimmers finish seventh overall at the OHSAA State Meet in Canton, Ohio's C.T. Branin Natatorium. St. Xavier totals an all-time best 398 points in bringing home its 8th consecutive state swimming title and 37th overall.
2/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius Head Coach Mike Lehto will be sending the corner his officials numbers on Sunday, but according to the OHSAA the highlights for the Wildcats during Saturday evening's finals were fourth-place finishes in both the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:24.84) and the 400 yard freestyle relay (3:07.33). A tip of the cap to the team of Dimitri Simcox, Marcus Hong, Cian O'Haimhirgin and Rayon Artis.

Dimitri Simcox put together a sixth-place effort in the 100 freestyle (46.12), Rayon Artis was eighth in the 50-yard free style (21.25) and Marcus Hong was eighth in the 100 yard butterfly (50.29).

Again, corner will post the official numbers from Coach Lehto on Sunday.

In what they are referring to in the Queen City as a foregone conclusion, our Jesuit Brothers from St. Xavier swam their way to their eighth consecutive state championship and their 37th, yes 37th, overall. The 398 points the Bombers racked up this weekend are the most in the history of Ohio high school swimming.

Congratulations to St. Xavier from this old-timer, whose been around long enough to appreciate how impressive those numbers are.      

Kaden Russell defeats Jimmy Leonard of Louisville, 9-3, and takes home the 182-pound championship at the tradition-rich Mentor District
2/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

As we posted this afternoon, Kaden will join Kyle Vilsack (second place at 195 pounds) and Cal Miller (fourth place at 160 pounds) in next week's (March 3-4-5) 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Congratulations to Head Coach Mark Sullivan, his outstanding coaching staff and all of Saint Ignatius' Men of the Mats on a memorable Mentor Meat Grinder.

God Bless and all of the best to Kaden, Cal and Kyle this coming week at the big show in Columbus.

Here are the top team scores from Mentor 1. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 212, 2. Massillon Perry 159, 3. Aurora 113, 4. Uniontown Lake 94, 5. Saint Ignatius 81, 6. Walsh Jesuit 80.5, 7. Austintown Fitch 72, 8. Hudson 64, 9. Chardon 57, 9. Mentor 57, 9. Willoughby South 57.   

   

THE THRILLSOME THREESOME OF CAL MILLER (160 pounds), KADEN RUSSELL (182) AND KYLE VILSACK AT 195 ARE STATE BOUND!
2/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Cal won his qualifying match, 7-4 over Jared Torch of Dover and will wrestle Jadon Kinney of Brecksville-Broadview Heights for third place at 160.

Kyle was victorious in his semifinal match, 5-4, and will wrestle Devin Johnson of Chardon for the 195-pound title at Mentor, and Kaden Russell made a statement with a 46-second pin over Zach Blackistone of Massillon Perry and will wrestle Jimmy Leonard of Louisville for the 182-pound championship. 

Michael Drobnick at 170 was defeated in his quest for third place, but will wrestle tonight for an alternate spot at state. Michael pinned Austin Van Pelt of Riverside in 2:58, but then was defeated by Joey Andrassy of Stow, 8-3. 

Again, the 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament will be held next week (March 3-4-5) at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

CONGRATULATIONS FROM THIS OLD CORNER TO KADEN, CAL AND KYLE.   

Michael Drobnick stays alive for a shot at third place at 170 pounds, but Saturday's consolation round at the Mentor District wasn't kind to the Wildcats wrestlers
2/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In the consolations, Anthony Delsanter was defeated by Zion Shaver of Massillon, 10-4, at 106 pounds and Patrick McGraw lost a tough, 8-7 overtime decision to Joey Hirsch of Solon at 113.

At 138 pounds, Tommy Gallagher was defeated by Noah McCumbers of Massillon, 3-1.

Hunter Toth at 145 pounds was victorious in his first consolation match, defeating Devin Flagg of Massillon Jackson, 12-10 in overtime. However, Hunter was then defeated by Kyle Hennig of Mentor, 5-2.

Logan Toth also got off to a good start on Saturday morning with an 8-6, 152-pound victory over Joe Woods of Mayfield. Sam Rocazella of Chardon then spoiled the momentum by pinning Logan in 0:49.

The good news from Saturday morning was Michael Drobnick's 8-0, major decision over Simon Turner of Hudson, which kept Michael in contention for third place at 170 pounds.

Just a reminder that Cal Miller (160), Kaden Russell (182) and Kyle Vilsack will be wrestling in the semifinals.

The Mentor Meat Grinder, if you will, qualifies Division I wrestlers to next week's (March 3-4-5) 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.  

The Ice Cats erupt for four goals in the first 2 minutes and 50 seconds of the second period and go on to defeat Midview, 9-1, in the second round of the tradition-rich OHSAA Brooklyn District on Saturday afternoon
2/27/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Brooklyn, Ohio - Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted team, the top seed at Brooklyn and the second-ranked team in the state, got a hat-trick performance from ever-present senior forward/defense/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka and two-goal afternoons from standout senior wing/Captain Aidan Spellacy and multi-skilled junior forward Connor Koehnke.

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 34-2-1 (adding a forfeit victory), advances to Tuesday's District-Semifinal matchup with the Green Wave of Holy Name. The puck will drop at 7 PM in the historic Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

The Ice Cats defeated Holy Name in two late-season Great Lakes Hockey League matchups, 8-1 on the Green Wave home ice and 4-0 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Holy Name's outstanding keeper between the pipes, C.J. Balodis, turned in a 60-plus save evening in the 4-0 loss to the Cats.

Midview, which closed its season at 13-14-2, was led by a big-hearted effort in goal on Saturday, as senior Jared Meredith totaled 62 saves.

After Saint Ignatius took a 1-0 lead just two minutes and four seconds into the first period on a goal by Spellacy off an on-the-money assist from senior forward Zack Kisel, the Middies from Midview knotted it up at 1 on a lamplighter by forward Nicholas Verlotti five minutes and four seconds into the opening period.

The Ice Cats responded with an authoritative unassisted goal by Koehnke and, after Midview killed off a power-play opportunity for Saint Ignatius, made it a 3-1 game on Stepka's first of his three goals. Junior forward Cullen Frebes assisted.

It was Katy Bar The Door in the second period, as Coach O'Rourke's regular season GLHL champions and postseason GLHL Cleveland Cup champs, took command on goals by Koehnke (off assists from Spellacy and junior defense Seth Whitney), Stepka (assists to Koehnke and senior defense Geoff Allman), senior forward/Captain Cam Gerard (helpers from Spellacy and Kisel), and 40 seconds later it was Stepka again with the Ice Cats' seventh goal. Assisting on Jared's hat trick was Allman.

Saint Ignatius, which will take a 22-game winning streak into Tuesday's faceoff with Holy Name, left no doubt in the third period, as sophomore forward Bain Kurtz and Spellacy provided goals 8 and 9.

Frebes and junior defense Andrew Zedella assisted Kurtz, and Kisel and Gerard lent the helping hands on Spellacy's second lamplighter of the afternoon.

Ice Cats senior goalie/Alternate Captain Dylan McKeon was rock steady as usual with eight saves.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE '90: "We started a little bit slow, but the kids have to understand that everybody is playing for their lives right now. A team doesn't want their season to end and hopefully you will play your best game this time of the year.

"They (Midview) played well, their goalie was excellent. You just have to stay patient and stay confident, keep shooting and hope a few go through. He (Meredith) was one of the best goalies we've seen. That can happen in the state tournament, you run into a hot goalie and all of sudden you're out. You always have to be on full alert.

"We were a little bit rusty, but we'll get back to practice and sharpen up things for the next game here against Holy Name."

 

     

 

            

  

 

Just fyi from the corner
2/27/2016

After a 16-hour day on Friday and a few winks (the operative word is few), this old-timer is going to crank up the engine and get ready for another marathon today, starting with postseason game coverage on Coach Pat O'Rourke's top-seeded Ice Cats versus the Midview Middies at high noon in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

In between hockey game coverage and game coverage of the Wildcats Basketball in a 7 PM Sectional Final versus the Max S. Lakers at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium, the corner will give you some updates from the Mentor District Wrestling Tournament, where the Cats had a memorable Friday night in advancing three wrestlers (Cal Miller, Kaden Russell and Kyle Vilsack) to the semifinals and 7 other Men of the Mats to the consolation rounds. SEE THE CORNER'S POSTS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT.

After I post the hockey game story and before heading to Fr. Sullivan Gym for OHSAA hoops, we will also have some swimming highlights from the second and final day of the OHSAA State Swimming Tournament from the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.

I can promise you this old-timer won't lay his head on a pillow before I not only give you the basketball game coverage, but complete wrap ups and highlights from wrestling and swimming tonight.

- All the best to all of our teams, Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

After the first night of the Mentor Division I District, Cal Miller (160), Kaden Russell (182) and Kyle Vilsack (195) have advanced to the semifinals and 7 other Cats are in the consolation rounds
2/26/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tomorrow's (Saturday) second and decisive day/evening gets underway at 10 AM, as the Cats and other wrestlers throughout Northeast Ohio look to survive the Meat Grinder and advance to next week's (March 3rd, 4th and 5th) 79th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Oho State University.

Kaden Russell and Kyle Vilsack joined Cal Miller in Saturday's semis by also putting together 2-0 opening nights, as Kaden defeated the game Logan Hall from Canton McKinley, 8-6, and Kyle Vilsack recorded a pin over Wayne Findley of Brush in 3:24.

Wow, an end to an eventful night on the campus where we've seen a few other memorable sports encounters. Please see the corner's previous posts to get a feeling for what a night of perseverance it was.  

Good Luck to Coach Mark Sullivan, his outstanding staff and the thrill-a-minute, big-hearted Wildcats, aka The Men of the Mats.      

An up and down opening night at Mentor continues, as Cal Miller wins his second match, but Tommy Gallagher and Michael Drobnick are defeated in their second matches
2/26/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Cal Miller improves to 2-0 on the night with a 52-second pin over Bryan Zahe of Madison at 160 pounds, but Tommy Gallagher drops his second match at 138 to Tyler Whitmyer of Uniontown Lake, 5-0, and Michael Drobnick is defeated in his second match at 170, 8-2 by Logan Lacourt of Massillon Perry.

More to come from the land where now legendary Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium sits.  

Michael Drobnick at 170, Kaden Russell at 182 and Kyle Vilsack at 195 are all victorious at the Mentor District
2/26/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats showed their resiliency at the Mentor District on Friday night (see the corner's first post of the evening), as Michael Drobnick defeated Mayfeld's 170-pounder Anthony Fornaro in a pin at 2:45, standout 182-pounder Kaden Russell disposed of Cannon Carlile of Boardman in a pin at 1:36, and Kyle Vilsack picked up a 5-2 victory at 195 pounds over Marqus Young of Akron Ellet.

Wildcats 285-pound senior Tito Vazquez III joined the wrestle-back list after North Canton Hoover's Bruce Wolff handed Tito an 8-1 setback.

We will have more coming up from Center Street in Mentor.   

Tommy Gallagher and Cal Miller help get the Wildcats back on track after a tough start at the Mentor Division I District Wrestling Tournament
2/26/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After 106-pounder Anthony Delsanter was defeated by Jeff Brickford of Madison in a pin at 3:16, and Patrick McGraw experienced a setback to Darese Sparkman of Massillon Perry, 3-2, at 113 pounds, Tommy Gallagher was victorious over Mark Knaus of Riverside in a 3:31 pin at 138 pounds.

A tough first night at the Mentor "Meat Grinder" continued with Hunter Toth losing his match at 145 to Dylan Bailey of Madison, 3-2, and Logan Toth losing in a 3:18 pin to Gary Wokojance of Barberton at 152.

Cal Miller got some momentum back by pinning Collin Hall of Hudson in 3:31 at 160 pounds.

The Wildcats will need some strong wrestling backs as they head into the 170-pound match.

We will have more coming up on the corner from the home of the Cardinals.  

 

Congratulations to the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Select Team on its shutout over Holy Name in Friday's first-round action of the annual Junior Varsity State Hockey Tournament. I will look forward to seeing you on Sunday in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst
2/26/2016

As I have done for the past few years, this old-timer is looking forward to my Sunday game coverage on the JV Selects in the final round of the Junior Varsity State Tournament. It's become a yearly routine that I truly look forward to, seeing the future of Saint Ignatius' Hockey Program up close.

With all of my obligations to our numerous Varsity teams, this is the one time in the winter sports season that I can cover and report on Coach Drew Vilinsky's outstanding Junior Varsity Program. It's a privilege and a pleasure.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer 

Saint Ignatius to send a solid contingent into Saturday's Division I Swimming finals of the 89th annual OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Tournament
2/26/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, with a huge tip of the corner's cap to the OHSAA and Canton, Ohio on presenting another outstanding event.  

Saturday's Division I Finals at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio are scheduled to begin at 4 PM. There will be an award ceremony following each event.

As you can see from the continuous results posted on the corner earlier this afternoon and sitting right below this report, Coach Mike Lehto's Wildcats, a young team, took on the challenge of a talent-laden Division I field, both in individual and relay prelim events.

Among the solid efforts were a fourth-place finish by the Cats' 400-yard freestyle relay team; a fifth-place effort by Marcus Hong in the 100-yard butterfly; a seventh-place finish by the 200-yard freestyle relay team; eighth and 10th-place finishes, respectively, by Rayon Artis and Dimitri Simcox in the 50-yard freestyle; an eighth-place performance by Dimitri Simcox in the 100-yard freestyle; an 11th-place effort by Marcus Hong in the 100-yard backstroke, and a 14th spot in the 200-yard freestyle by Joey Libertin.

We wish all of the best to Coach Lehto's gifted young men in Saturday's finals, as they continue to represent Saint Ignatius with physical gifts that are complemented by strong minds.

And yes, our Jesuit brothers from St. Xavier continued to make their statement throughout the morning and afternoon. Once again, the Bombers, whose program is synonymous with Ohio High School Swimming, are gong after their eighth consecutive state championship and their 37th overall. And the frosting on that dominance consists of 46 district titles.

Note: For those faithful readers who asked why this old-timer puts in "so many late hours" tracking down certain Saint Ignatius results, first of all it is part of my job in helping the Wildcats' athletic teams get their just props and, in an event like the State Swimming and Diving Tournament, the OHSAA makes it clear that there are no media credentials for schools.     

Here are the corner's continous updates on the Wildcats' swimmers from today's Division I prelims at the 89th annual OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Tournament
2/26/2016

Posted by Mr. Eddie Dwyer, the man who always credits his sources. A dying breed.

From the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio, OHSAA Central.

400 yard freestyle relay, the team of Rayon Artis, Marcus Hong, Cian O'Haimhirgin and Dimitri Simcox finished fourth in a time of 3:08.59.

100 yard backstroke, Marcus Hong, 51.60, 11th place

200 yard freestyle relay, the team of Dimitri Simcox, John Hessler, Cian O'Haimhirgin and Rayon Artis finished seventh in 1:26.88

200 yard freestyle, Joey Libertin, 1:42.61, 14th place

500 yard freestyle, Joey Libertin, 4:47.10, 21st place

50 yard freestyle, Rayon Artis, 21.19, 8th place and Dimitri Simcox, 21.24, 10th place

100 yard butterfly, Marcus Hong, 50.10, 5th place

100 yard freestyle, Dimitri Simcox, 46.20, 8th place and Rayon Artis, 48.59, 24th place

Our Jesuit brothers and perennial Ohio swimming power, the St. Xavier Bombers, are off to another strong start. Death, taxes and the Bombers in the pool. St. Xavier is seeking its eighth consecutive state swimming title and 37th overall.

Rounding the corner this weekend
2/26/2016

Posted By Mr. Eddie Dwyer

On Friday, the corner will have a report/updates on the Wildcats' 11 District qualifiers from the first round of the tradition-rich Mentor District Wrestling Tournament, aka the Mentor Meat Grinder, along with reports on the Cats' gifted swimmers in the 89th annual OHSAA Boys State Swimming and Diving Tournament at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.

Please see the corner's post from Thursday on Wildcats' talented and tough-minded sophomore diver Alex Claus, who turned in a solid sixth-place, podium qualifying performance in the Division I competition. It was a big day for our area divers (again, see Thursday's post). 

Matches at the Mentor District, where wrestlers from all over Northeast Ohio are looking to qualify for next weekend's annual OHSAA Individual State Tournament, get underway at 5 PM on Friday and resume Saturday at 10 AM.

The Boys Division I swimming preliminaries at the State Tournament are scheduled for 9 AM on Friday and Saturday's finals are slated for 4 PM.

Saturday, along with reports from Swimming and Wrestling, the corner will go from the ice to the hardwood with doubleheader game coverage on the Ice Cats versus the Midview Middies in a high noon Sectional final at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Team in a 7 PM Sectional final versus the Max S. Hayes Lakers at Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.

All of the best to all of the Wildcats' coaches and competitors in what is another full calendar weekend of OHSAA postseason competition.       

       

Congratulations to Saint Ignatius sophomore Alex Claus on a sixth-place, podium performance at Thursday's Division I State Diving competition
2/25/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

THE 89TH ANNUAL OHSAA STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING TOURNAMENT FROM THE C.T. BRANIN NATATORIUM IN CANTON, OHIO

HERE ARE THE TOP 10 Division 1 Boys from Thursday's diving competition. Alex placed seventh in Ohio last season.

Along with Alex, four other Division I area divers finished among the top 10 in the state on Thursday, including Ohio's runner-up, Lyle Yost of Shaker Heights.  

 Rank, Order, Diver Name, Team Affiliation, Prelims, Semis, Finals

 1 13 Cameron Thatcher Powell Olentangy Liberty 268.60 441.20 633.80

 2 19 Lyle Yost Shaker Heights 243.10 385.00 555.80

 3 7 Jecorlin Frazier Toledo St. Francis de Sales 233.75 359.00 527.55

 4 20 Austin Flaute Centerville 233.10 346.55 509.45

 5 2 Sam Wiedemann Centerville 235.15 353.65 494.40

 6 4 Alex Claus Saint Ignatius 219.35 333.25 481.60

 7 14 Jacob Smrdel Solon 217.40 344.70 476.60

 8 9 Matt Akers Westlake 200.30 330.65 471.75

 9 1 Dalton Shevlin Solon 202.00 310.75 424.35

10 3 Tyler Brezina Canton McKinley 210.80 305.65 422.90

Note: The prelims of the Boys Division I Swimming competition are scheduled for Friday at 9 AM and the finals are slated for Saturday at 4 PM.   

 

Looking ahead, a tip of the cap and an item from Coach Becker on the late, great John J. Wirtz
2/25/2016

Posted By Eddie, I always fill my obligations, Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio (the laundry room of the 200 West Apartments to be specific).

One thing I meant to do last night before my tired Irish eyes said no more was give a shout out to Saint Ignatius' outstanding Pep Band for another great spirited performance during the Cats' Sectional Semifinal basketball game versus Lincoln-West.

You can have the taped music, I'll take the Cats' gifted Pep Band any day of the week. Gentlemen, I tip my cap to you.

From Coach Becker on the late, great Saint Ignatius three-sports coaching legend and athletic director, Mr. John J. Wirtz.

"Eddie, from what I can gather from your articles (during your career at The Plain Dealer), John's career basketball record, including St. Mary's, was 335-117. He had 58 wins and 27 losses at St. Mary's so that would have given him a Saint Ignatius record of 277-90 in 18 seasons.

"Thanks for all the kind words and help along the journey this season."

Excuse me for looking ahead, but if Coach Becker's Cats do face the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees in the March 3 District Semifinal at Strongsville, a sidebar to the game would be the matchup between two of the finest Student Body sections in the state, if not the entire country - our devoted Wildcats supporters versus "The Swarm" that never says die once their Bees take the court.

That said, I don't look at the Bees as "a given" on Saturday afternoon versus my old neighbors from Old Brooklyn, the Rhodes Rams. Rhodes basketball was one of this old-timer's major beats during my last of nearly four decades at East 18th and Superior. When you're Ram tough, you leave it all on the court.

If the Rams do pull off the "upset," this corner will have some Saint Ignatius versus Rhodes tales to share with you next week. Don' worry, I have a few Wildcats-Bees memories stored up also.

Have a great week and weekend, and please check out the class act by Coach Pat O'Rourke and his Ice Cats that was part of my hockey recap from Wednesday night.   

 

 

 

 

 

Note time change on Saturday's Rhodes at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Division I basketball sectional final
2/25/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The OHSAA has announced that the Rams and the Bees, seeded sixth and third, respectively, at the Strongsville District, will tip off at high noon on Saturday in the Bee Hive.

The winner of the Rhodes-Brecksville game will face the winner of Saturday night's sectional final between the second-seeded Saint Ignatius Wildcats and the Lakers from neighboring Max S. Hayes in a March 3, 7 PM District Semifinal at Strongsville High School. The Cats and the Lakers tip off at 7 PM on Saturday in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium.  

Congratulations from the corner go out to Wildcats standout swimmer Dimitri Simcox, the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week
2/25/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Dimitri, a junior standout, took home 4 Division I Northwest District titles this past Saturday at Bowling Green State University. He won the 50 and 100 Freestyle events, as well as being a member of the first place 200 and 400 Freestyle Relays.

Dimitri and his teammates will be competing in the annual OHSAA State Swimming competition beginning on Friday at 9 AM with the preliminaries in the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.

Saturday's Division I finals are scheduled for 4 PM.

Congratulations to Dimitri, his family, Head Coach Mike Lehto and the entire Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving Program, and all of the best this weekend.  

The Ice Cats take care of business by defeating Garfield Heights, 11-1, in Wednesday's sectional play </