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It was a great day for Nate Griffin, but the news on the rest of the Cats competing at Thursday's Oberlin College District Tennis Tournament was not good.
5/21/2015

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

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

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

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

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

The Wildcats' doubles teams were also defeated on Thursday.

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

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      

 

 

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       

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

Presented By Coach Marcelo and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        

      

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

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

OHSAA Member Schools Pass All Nine Referendum Items

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honorable Mention:
Cole Southworth - attack
Jared Stepka - midfield 



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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

 

 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

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

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

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

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

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

TWO MILE: Luke Wagner was first in 9:26.43.

JUNIOR VARSITY 4X800: Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin was first in a time of 8:33.61 and Saint Ignatius ran an 8:46.4.

HIGH JUMP: The Cats' Kyle Aerni (first place at 6-0) and Mac Nagel (tied for second at 5-10) made their mark.

4x800: NDCL (8:18.5), Saint Ignatius (8:23.0) and St. Edward (8:35.0) went 1-2-3.

300 IH: Jack Ruddy (41.36), C.J. Moore (43.10) and Matt Walcutt (43.98) were a tenacious threesome.

110 High Hurdles: C.J. Moore was third in 15.92.

Ninth-grade 1600: Liam McGuire ran a time of 4:36.3.

Pole Vault: Sam Rapnicki finished second at 12-6. Ludwig of Lake Catholic was first in 16-0.

1600: C.J. Ambrosio was third in 4:31.0.

800: Tom Sullivan (1:58.07) and Sean Sovacool (2:00.19) were first and third.

400 Meter : The Cats' Alex Janis was second in 51.98.

Log Jump: Rai Walters was first with an effort of 20-10 and Alex Ringfield was third with a jump of 19.5.

Shot Put: Cory Griffith was fourth (45-2) and freshman Alex Misencik was fifth (43-2 3/4).

Junior Varsity 4x400: Saint Ignatius was first in a time of 3:47.68.

Discus: Cory Griffith was second at 149-7.

Varsity 4x400: Saint Ignatius was second in a time of 3:33.92 and Lake Catholic was first in 3:24.55.

NOTE: There was no team scoring, however first, second and third place medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze) were awarded.

The thought behind the no team scoring is that a coach does not have to run an athlete in so many races just to try to score points. It gives the athlete an opportunity to focus on his special event and nail a great time or effort right before the districts.

FROM LUKE WAGNER, WHO IS ONE OF THE TOP CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK RUNNERS IN THE STATE:  "Just to keep my racing mentality," said Luke as to why he competed on Friday night with the OHSAA District competition coming up on Wednesday.  "This is a good meet to wind down the regular season and get prepared for the postseason."

In case you wondered, Luke said his best times heading into the district are 4:13 in the 1600, 9:26 in the 3200 and 1:55 in the 800.

FROM JACK COOK, WHO IS ALSO A TWO-WAY STANDOUT, PUNT RETURNER AND 2015 CAPTAIN FOR COACH KYLE'S VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM: "Four by 100 and four by 200, and sprint medley," said Jack of what were his main events during the regular season.

"It was great, that (Friday night) was my first time competing in the open 100. It felt great (finishing first), but I was kind hoping that some of the best athletes, like Justin Lane and Jerome Baker (from Benedictine) and Andrew Dowell (St. Edward) would be here. I wanted to run against them and see what that competition is like. Those are guys that are 'bigger, faster, stronger,' but I still did well. And Phil (Freshman Phil Zuccaro) ran really well too."

FROM COACH KYLE: "Jack Cook, actually," said Coach Kyle of the things that pleased him about Friday night's competition. "Jack won the 100 in what was certainly his best time of the year. That was nice to see. We were putting guys in where we wanted to stay sharp and maybe experiment with a couple of things. Tommy Sullivan ran a 1:58 half. That's a PR for him. And the youngster, freshman Liam McGuire, ran a 4:36 for a PR."           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

   

The Wildcats' Nate Griffin brings home the OHSAA Division I Sectional Title at Oberlin College and will be joined in next week's District Tournament by singles teammates Josh Hsia and Erich Schuette, and both of Saint Ignatius' doubles teams.
5/15/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Friday's sectional finals on the Donald Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College certainly had a Blue and Gold flavor, as Nate Griffin, the defending Division I state singles champion, defeated Nico Mostardi of Avon, 6-3, 6-4, in the championship match.

The third-place singles match featured two Wildcats, Josh Hsia and Erich Schuette, with Hsia prevailing, 6-4, 6-4.

Griffin, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame and is the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, advances to next week's District Tournament at Oberlin. He will be joined in District singles play by Mostardi, Hsia and Schuette.

As was the case in singles play, Saint Ignatius' doubles teams matched up for third place on Friday. The Wildcats' duo of Andy Sicilliano and Kevin Callanan defeated teammates Mitchell Pallacki and John Mhanna, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. In finishing three and four, both of the Cats' doubles teams are headed for next week's District Tournament.

Finishing 1-2, respectively, in Friday's sectional-final doubles play were the district-bound teams from Westlake (Connor Michelich and Cal Craven) and St. Edward (Aditya Jha and Jack Ryan).

We will post the District Tournament draw on Sunday evening.

Congratulations to Coach Jon Barker and his Tennis Cats, and a huge THANK YOU GOES OUT TO OBERLIN TOURNAMENT MANAGER ED WOLFF FOR KEEPING US UP TO DATE THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.           

Saint Ignatius tennis standout Nate Griffin advances to Friday's finals of the OHSAA Division I Sectional Tournament at Oberlin College.
5/14/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Nate, the defending Division I state singles champion and the No. 1 seed at Oberlin, will face No. 2 seed Nico Mostardi of Avon in Friday's singles championship match. The finals and consolation round are scheduled to get underway at 3 PM on the Donald Hunsinger Courts at Oberlin College.

Along with his state singles title last year, Nate, who is bound for the University of Notre Dame, became the first state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' illustrious athletic history.

Here are Thursday's results of the Singles Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches.

Singles Qurterfinals: Nate Griffin of Saint Ignatius defeated Peterjohn of North Royalton, 6-1, 6-1; Josh Hsia of Saint Ignatius defeated Jhaveri of Westlake, 6-1, 6-3; Erich Schuette of Saint Ignatius defeated Dubusker of St. Edward, 6-0, 6-0; Mostardi of Avon defeated Button of Westlake, 6-0, 6-0.

Singles Semifinals: Griffin defeated teammate Hsia, 6-1, 7-5; Mostardi defeated 3rd seed Schuette, 6-2, 6-1. Note: The Wildcats' Schuette and Hsia will face each other for third place on Friday.   

Here are Thursday's Results of the Doubles Semifinal matches.

Michelich and Craven of Westlake defeated Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano of Saint Ignatius, 6-1, 6-0; Jha and Rya of St. Edward defeated Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna of Saint Ignatius, 6-4, 6-3.

Note: The Wildcats' doubles teams will face each other for third place on Friday.

Here is a breakdown on the Regional Playoff Schedule for Wildcats Volleyball
5/14/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Casey Marcelo's Wildcats will begin North Regional play versus Medina on May 19 at 8 PM on the court at Massillon Jackson High School.

If successful, the Cats will advance to a May 23rd Regional Final versus the winner of the May 20th matchup between Stow and Massillon Jackson. The May 23rd Regional Final is slated for high noon at Massillon Jackson. 

Saint Ignatius Volleyball closes its regular season on a positive note and is now gearing up for the postseason playoffs.
5/14/2015
Presented by Coach Casey Marcelo and posted by Eddie Dwyer
 
From Coach Marcelo: Cats Volleyball ends its regular season with a win at home against Medina.
 
It was a Great way to end the regular season for our Seniors Bryce Boron, Nick Daly and Jack Eckman.
 
We will see Medina again next Tuesday at Jackson for the first round of playoffs.
Congrats go out to the Saint Ignatius Wildcats Lacrosse Program, which improved to 13-2 by defeating St. Edward, 16-4, on Wasmer Field Wednesday night. It was the Lax Cats' 10th consecutive victory.
5/14/2015
Nate Griffin, Erich Schuette, Josh Hsia and the Wildcats' Doubles Teams take care of business during the first day of the annual OHSAA Division I Sectional Tennis Tournament at Oberlin College.
5/13/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Senor Nate Griffin, the No. 1 seed at Oberlin College's Donald Hunsinger Tennis Facility, the defending Division I state singles champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, defeated JP Langhenry of St. Edward, 6-0, 6-0, and Stephen Bickford of North Ridgeville, 6-0, 6-0, in route to advancing to the quarterfinals.

Third-seeded Erich Schuette kept pace with Nate by defeating Joe Scott of North Ridgeville, 6-0, 6-0, and Jack Thorme of Avon, 6-0, 6-0, and the third of the Wildcats' gifted singles players, Josh Hsia, defeated all three of his opponents on Wednesday.

Josh prevailed over Austin Rivers of Avon Lake, 6-1, 6-2, Matt Bringman of Strongsville, 6-2, 6-1, and Frank Figueiredo of Lakewood, 6-0, 6-0.

In Wednesday's doubles action, the Cats' third-seeded team of Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna defeated the teams from Avon (6-1, 6-0), Westlake (6-4, 6-1) and North Olmsted (7-5, 6-3).

Saint Ignatius' fourth-seeded tandem of Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano defeated the teams from North Ridgeville (6-1, 6-0), St. Edward (6-3, 6-2) and Avon Lake (2-6, 6-2, 6-3).

Action resumes on Thursday at 2 PM.    

     

M.J. Nara pitches the Wildcats' Varsity Baseball Team into the District Semifinals, as the senior right-hander throws a two-hit shutout and strikes out 13 in Wednesday's 7-0, Sectional-Final victory over the Rhodes Rams.
5/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

From Classic Park in Lake County - M.J., one of Head Coach Brad Ganor's two captains, went seven complete innings in improving his record to 6-1.

The crafty and gifted Walsh University recruit fired 85 pitches, 59 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius, the No. 1 seed at the Strongsville District, will face the fourth-seeded Bears from North Royalton in a District Semifinal matchup on May 19 at Strongsville High School. The first pitch will be 2 PM.

North Royalton, the defending Strongsville District Champion and a 2014 Division I state runner-up, advanced to the matchup with the Cats by eliminating Parma, 9-7, in Wednesday's Sectional Finals. The Bears defeated Saint Ignatius in last year's District Championship Game at Strongsville.

The Wildcats, who improved to 21-5 with their Sectional Final victory over Rhodes and extended their winning streak to nine games, will close out their regular season on Saturday with a noon game versus the Brunswick Blue Devils at Baldwin Wallace University.

Along with Nara's dominant pitching, Coach Ganor's Cats came up with 14 hits against the Rams' talented southpaw Juan Perez. Perez, who entered the game with a record of 7-0, threw 130 pitches, 80 for strikes, struck out seven, walked three and yielded four earned runs in going the distance. Rhodes, now 15-7 on the year, committed four errors and Saint Ignatius played errorless baseball.

The game started with yet another web gem from the Wildcats' standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a play that saw the St. Bonaventure recruit run down a shot to deep right-center field off the bat of Rams promising catcher Mike Gonzalez and make an exceptional one-handed grab in stride. "I couldn't believe he got to that ball," Gonzalez said after the game.

Among those supplying the fuel for the Cats' offense were senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, smooth-swinging sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, Fuller, senior designated hitter Dylan Welch, senior right fielder Dylan Smolen, senior infielder James Zajaczkowski and junior third baseman Kevin Mingus.

Jacobs drew some rave reviews from his teammates when he drove a pitch to deep center field for a triple leading off the Cats' two-run bottom of the fourth. It was a majestic shot that came close to introducing itself to the 400-foot mark on the outfield fence.

Panstares had three authoritative hits, Welch provided two RBI singles, Smolen brought Jacobs home in the bottom of the fourth with a single and also laid down two nice sacrifice bunts, Fuller drove in a run with an infield hit and later in the game Sam showed excellent bat control by taking the pitch to right field for a base hit, and Zajaczkowski and Mingus highlighted a two-run sixth by lining Mr. Rawlings into left-center and left field, respectively, for doubles.

Zajaczkowski never gets cheated at the plate and Mingus' two-bagger was a liner down the left-field line that drew smiles from the coaching staff.

Rhodes' two hits came off the bats of left fielder Christian Castro and Perez. Although you might be fooled by Saint Ignatius' hit total and the seven runs (again, four of which were earned), Perez can pitch my friends.

FROM COACH GANOR: "I told their coaches during the game that there are some local colleges that would like that kid," said Coach Ganor in reference to the Rams' Perez. "He was vey good. You look at the score, but they didn't make some plays behind him and he pitched a heck of a game.

"But our job is to take care of business and M.J. was fantastic. He was really sharp today. We made them pay for their mistakes with some hits on top of the mistakes. All around, a great game by the guys. I am very proud of them."    

                     

Wildcats Volleyball defeats host Jackson in three sets on Tuesday night. Coach Casey Marcelo's team now prepares for tonight's Senior Night versus Medina at 7 in Sullivan Gym and the upcoming North Region playoffs.
5/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations from the corner go out to three Wildcats for being named to the All-North Region Team.

Second Team - Brian Messina and Jack Eckman, and Honorable Mention - Rich Holzheimer.

Saint Ignatius is seeded 2nd in the North Region and will be playing 9th seed Medina on May 20th at Jackson.
 

 
 
 
 
All in the family. The Grosel, Panstares and Mingus families share a special Tuesday evening in Classic Park, as freshman left-hander Tom Grosel makes a memorable Varsity debut in the Wildcats' 12-2 victory over Kingsway Christian School.
5/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

From Classic Park in Lake County - After a dominant month with the Freshmen Cats and pitching a complete-game shutout on the Junior Varsity level, Tom Grosel was called up to pitch Tuesday evening's Varsity game versus the Eagles of Kingsway Christian.

While Tommy's impressive performance included six complete innings, 0 earned runs, three hits, three strikeouts, 1 walk and 51 strikes in 78 pitches, it was who he shared it with, both on and off the baseball-rich diamond in Classic Park, that made it an evening that dreams are made of.

Supporting Tommy both offensively and defensively was his older brother, standout junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, and catching his Varsity debut was one of the top performers behind the plate that Northeast Ohio has to offer - his first cousin and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares.

Adding to the memorable family affair was Saint Ignatius' mainstay at the hot corner, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who is a first cousin to Panstares. 

"I was a little nervous at first, but with my brother and cousins on the field it really helped me out," said Tom Grosel after Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats improved to 20-5 and stretched their winning streak to eight games. "I was just looking to throw strikes and let my defense help me. My fastball was working well, the curveball was working and I threw a circle change a few times."

And how did his big brother and cousins evaluate the young southpaw's first outing with the "big boys?"

"He did very well," said Dennis Grosel, who is also Saint Ignatius' starting Varsity Football quarterback. "He impressed me along with Coach Ganor and the entire team. He just did a great job. I' couldn't be prouder of him."

The soft-spoken and humble Mingus, who lets his bat and glove do the talking, summed up what helped make what was once a backyard dream of four kids become a reality.

"it was easy to play behind him, he threw strikes, got outs and was impressive," Mingus said. 

Panstares, a three-year mainstay behind the dish, couldn't say enough about his first cousin's maturity and composure.

"He threw one JV game prior to this game, came right up with the big boys and took care of business," Panstares said. "He came out committed, knew he had to throw strikes and that is exactly what he did. It was an awesome experience. I think we can all agree that this was something we dreamed of, and never really thought it would happen.

"People think about playing in the pros and stuff, but we thought about playing in the Blue and Gold (of Saint Ignatius) together, all of us," Panstares continued.

Despite losing to the Cats, 12-2, in a game that was called in the bottom of the sixth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule, Kingsway Christian School, which is located in Orrville, Ohio in Wayne County, seemed to relish the experience of playing in Classic Park. The Eagles now stand 16-8.

Saint Ignatius, which tomorrow (Wednesday) evening will begin the most important stretch of its season when it returns to Classic Park to face the Rhodes Rams in a 5 PM Division I Sectional Final, scored its 12 runs on 11 hits. Wildcats No. 1 starter, senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara (5-1), will take the mound on Wednesday.

Rhodes, the pride of Old Brooklyn, advanced with an 18-0 sectional-semifinal victory over Cleveland John F. Kennedy  on Tuesday.

CATS JUMP ON THE EAGLES EARLY: With two outs and the base empty in the bottom of the first inning, Saint Ignatius scored four runs. The key blows were an RBI single by senior designated hitter Dylan Welch and a blast to deep left field by Panstares that the left fielder couldn't handle.

Dennis Grosel's authoritative shot into center field that he turned into a hustle double scored gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller, who led off the bottom of the second with a walk and advanced to second base on a pitch in the dirt. The Cats pushed their lead to 7-0 entering the top of third on a sacrifice fly RBI by Welch and a run-scoring base hit to left-center by Panstares.

A walk to multi-skilled senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a single to center field by junior outfielder Dan Volpe, an RBI single to left field by junior infielder Joe Evans, a single from Dennis Grosel and a bases-loaded single by Mingus made it a 9-0 game in the bottom of the third. Evans also turned in a couple of nice plays in the middle infield.

Dennis Grosel's one-out RBI double, a base hit by junior infielder George Asadorian and an error showed the way to two more runs in the Cats' half of the fifth inning, which was a solid answer to the two runs Kingsway Christian scored in the top of the fifth. The Eagles' key hits in their two-run fifth were provided by catcher Zach Chupp and shortstop Jesse Barrios.  

Saint Ignatius then called it a night in the bottom of the sixth on an error and an RBI double to left-center field off the bat of senior infielder James Zajaczkowski, who has swung the aluminum with clutch results all spring.

FROM COACH GANOR: "They have a couple of kids that can swing it," said Coach Ganor of Kingsway Christian. "They were enjoying the experience and I appreciate them wanting to take the ride up (from Wayne County) to play us. I thought Tommy did a great job. They aren't many freshmen who play varsity baseball. He did exactly what I thought he was capable of. It was fun to get everybody a chance to see some pitches."

ALMOST IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD: The Grosels reside in Willoughby, just a few minutes away from Classic Park. 

And speaking of the Grosels, Dennis isn't the only successful football player in the family. Tommy Grosel was a mainstay at linebacker this past fall for Coach Rodney Gallaway's undefeated Freshmen Team.               

The Freshmen Baseball Cats overwhelm the Patriots of Valley Forge, 21-4.
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Cats scored six runs in the top of the second inning and 11 runs in the third inning in what was a five complete innings, mercy run-rule victory on Monday in Parma Heights.

The oh so promising Freshmen Cats now stand 21-2 and have extended their winning streak to 12 games.

Saint Ignatius had 15 hits and committed just one error and Valley Forge came up with eight hits, but was charged with 11 errors.    

Monday's Saint Ignatius versus Canton Central Catholic Varsity Baseball Game falls to Mother Nature with the Crusaders leading, 4-1, in the top of the fourth inning.
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio  - Lightning and heavy rain forced the umpires to stop the game with a Canton Central Catholic runner on first base and one out in the top of the fourth inning.

Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff said the game will not be resumed or made up, and that under the rules the Cats' record remains 19-5 and Canton Central Catholic still stands at 18-6.

In the first game of the two-game series with the Crusaders, which was played on Friday night in Canton, the Wildcats prevailed, 6-3.

While Monday's sun was still shining on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, Canton Central Catholic took a 2-0 lead on a one-out, two-run double by senior left fielder Patrick Murphy in the top of the first inning.

The Wildcats cut the deficit to 2-1 behind an authoritative RBI single to left-center field by junior third baseman Kevin Mingus in the bottom of the first.

Canton Central Catholic built its 4-1 lead with single runs in the second and third innings.

A walk and back-to-back base hits by senior catcher Nic Millin and junior center fielder JC Colangelo accounted for the Crusaders' third run, and a single and a stolen base by Murphy, a single by junior picher Dan Platek and a one-out RBI single by junior third baseman Clay Davies made it a 4-1 game that Mother Nature decided to settle.

There were a total of 10 hits before the rain came pouring down, six by Canton Central Catholic.

Up next for the Varsity Baseball Cats is Tuesday's game at Classic Park versus Kingsway Christian School. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM and on the mound for Saint Ignatius will be Freshman Tom Grosel, the brother of Wildcats' standout junior first baseman/catcher and starting Varsity Football quarterback Dennis Grosel. Tom Grosel recently pitched a complete game shutout against St. Vincent-St. Mary after being called up to the Junior Varsity.

The Eagles of Kingsway Christian reside in Orrville, Ohio, are a member of the Ohio Christian Athletic Conference and proudly wear the colors of Navy and Green.  

      

  

  

WILDCAT CREW CLAIMS VARSITY EIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
5/11/2015

Rowers earn 2nd Midwest V8 gold in program history; 3 boats off to nationals

PRESENTED BY WILDCATS OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER ON THE CORNER.

FROM COACH WALTERS: Coxswain Liam Jenkins ’16 gripped the plastic handles that steer the rudder of his boat between his forefingers and thumbs. As his body surged forward with each stroke taken by the Saint Ignatius Varsity Eight, he hollered out calls to counter each move made by reigning Midwest champion Pittsburgh Central Catholic

The Wildcats took a one-seat advantage. Then another. As the gold shell in lane four approached the 500-meters-remaining mark, fans on shore began to roar. With its white blades whipping into the water at a furious 38 stroke rate, that gold boat appeared to be in the lead, followed so closely by Central, New Trier and Loyola Academy. Jenkins countered one more move from Central before calling the eight young meen in front of him up for their final sprint. They charged—into the red buoys of the last 250 meters of the race. Central chased them, taking a seat or two back. Cheers for the six boats competing in the biggest race of the day mixed into a tumultuous, chaotic noise.

As suddenly as the boats had come into view, they crossed the finish line. And for just the first time in 10 years, and second time in Saint Ignatius Crew’s 25-year history, the Wildcats were first across.

The victory sent the team into a frenzy of celebration that concluded a very challenging but successful weekend of racing at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association Championships.To add to its hardware count, the team earned silver medals in the Varsity Four, Junior Eight and 3rd Varsity Eight, plus a bronze in the Lightweight Eight. These finishes qualify the Varsity Eight, Junior Eight and Lightweight Eight to race at the National Championships in New Jersey in two weeks.

Several other boats qualified for the Midwest finals for Saint Ignatius, including the 2nd Varsity Eight, Lightweight Four, Freshmen Eight and an additional entry in the 3rd Varsity Eight.

For Head Coach Pat Connor '94, the V8 victory comes in his fourth year at the helm of the program. Yet when handing out medals at the end of the day, he shook off any credit and congratulations that had been sent his way, preferrring instead to highlight the hard work put in by the athletes on his team.

While the journey is not yet over, with one more weekend of racing left, the boys earned their time in the spotlight, where only a gold medal can eclipse the brightness of the sun.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball picks up a game for Tuesday
5/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Along with today's (Monday) 5 PM game versus Canton Central Catholic at Baldwin Wallace University, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats have added a 5 PM game for Tuesday versus Kingsway Christian School at Classic Park.

The Eagles of Kingsway Christian reside in Orrville, Ohio, are a member of the Ohio Christian Athletic Conference and proudly wear the colors of Navy and Green.

Just another reminder that Saint Ignatius begins OHSAA Tournament Play with a Division I Sectional Final on Wednesday versus the winner of Tuesday's Sectional Semifinal between the Rhodes Rams and the Fighting Eagles of John F. Kennedy. Wednesday's first pitch from Classic Park will be 5 PM.  

Wildcats Tennis moves up one notch in the weekly OTCA State Poll
5/11/2015
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Here is the fourth of the season's five weekly Division I polls, as compiled by The Ohio Tennis Coaches Association.
 
NOTE: Saint Ignatius is coming off a sweep of its three matches in Cincinnati this past weekend, victories over Indian Hill, St. Xavier and Upper Arlington. For a look at the Wildcats' matchups in this week's OHSAA Oberlin College Division I Sectional Tournament, see the corner's post from Sunday. 
 
First place votes are in parenthesis 
 
1. Cincinnati Sycamore (13)  130
2. Upper Arlington  115
3. Massillon Jackson  104
4. Toledo St. John Jesuit 92
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier  64
6. New Albany  61
7. Saint Ignatius  53
8. Mason  52
9. Centerville 24
10.  Columbus St. Charles 9
Here is the breakdown on Saint Ignatius Tennis for this coming week's Oberlin College OHSAA Division I Sectional Play.
5/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Senior Nate Griffin, the defending Division I state singles champion and the only state tennis champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, is the No. 1 seed at the Oberlin College Tennis Facility. Nate's first match will send him against the winner of the match between Joe Moore of Valley Forge and JP Langhenry of St. Edward.

The Oberlin College Sectional Tournament begins at 9 AM on Wednesday and resumes on Thursday and Friday, with the finals slated for Saturday.

Cats singles player Erich Schuette, the third seed, will face the winner of the Daniel March (Elyria) vs. Joe Scott (North Ridgeville) match, and Saint Ignatius' Josh Hsia is matched against Austin Rice of Avon Lake.

In doubles play, the Wildcats' third-seeded duo of Mitchell Pallaki and John Mhanna will take on Steven Brown and Yuto Iwaizumi of Avon.

The Cats' other doubles tandem, fourth-seeded Kevin Callanan and Andy Sicilliano, will face North Ridgeville's Nick Miller and Brandon Vocaire.

The Oberlin College Sectional Tournament is once again in the capable hands of Tournament Manager Ed Wolff    

Up next for the Varsity Baseball Wildcats
5/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (19-5, seven game winning streak)), currently playing their best baseball of the season, are scheduled to play the second game of their two-game series with Canton Central Catholic (18-6) on Monday at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch is slated for 5 PM.

Gritty and gifted junior right-hander Nick Freund (4-1) will take the mound on Monday. For a look at Saint Ignatius' 6-3 victory at Canton Central Catholic on Friday evening, see the corner's post from Friday night.

On Wednesday, the Baseball Cats, seeded No. 1 for the Strongsville Sectional/District, will begin OHSAA postseason play in a Division I sectional final versus the winner of Tuesday' sectional semifinal between the Rhodes Rams and the Fighting Eagles of John F. Kennedy. Wednesday's first pitch from Classic Park is 5 PM.

For all of the highlights from Saint Ignatius Baseball, on all levels, see the corner's posts from Saturday night.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! 

 

   

Here is a corner's view on the talent-rich and baseball savvy beyond their years Saint Ignatius Freshmen and Junior Varsity Teams.
5/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Berea, Ohio - No, it never gets old for this seasoned corner.

Saturday morning at Baldwin Wallace University, I had the privilege and pleasure to watch the Saint Ignatius Freshmen and Junior Varsity Baseball Teams take on the ninth grade and JV Ramblers from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep.

For those who might not be familiar, let me introduce you to the Wildcats' baseball future.

After defeating Cathedral Prep's Freshmen and Jayvees by identical 10-0 final scores, the Freshmen and JV Cats are both riding 11-game winning streaks. The Freshmen Cats improved to 20-2 and the JV Cats now stand 21-3.

The Freshmen team from Cathedral Prep and the Ramblers' Junior Varsity went back to the Keystone State with records of 7-2 and 10-2, respectively.

One of the things that left a lasting impression on this old-timer was the sound defense played by the Saint Ignatius Freshmen, something you don't expect from young men who were in the eighth grade at this time last year.

Oh, there was more than enough offense from the young Cats, who sealed the run-rule victory over Cathedral Prep's Freshmen by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth. But it was the defense and the knowledge of the game put forth by Saint Ignatius' ninth graders that kept me shaking my head and smiling.

Right out of the gate, third baseman Sam Snyder, who is usually at second base, made a back-handed stop of a sharp grounder and fired to first base for the first out of the game. The final out of the top of the first inning was courtesy of shortstop Jack Eyink, who with a runner on third came up with a back-to-home plate catch in short center field.

The hot corner, the middle of the Cats' infield and gifted catcher Drew Asadorian were solid defensively all morning.

As for the offensive attack provided by Saint Ignatius' Freshmen, it started with a two-run bottom of the first that featured an RBI triple to deep left-center field by Justin Sands, an impressive rip that scored Mark Bobinski, who had led off  with a base hit and a stolen base. Sands scored the game's second run off  a ground ball to the right side by Asadorian.

After a two-run bottom of the fourth that was fueled by a base hit by Jonathon Barnes, a stolen base by Barnes, a throwing error and two, two-out run-scoring hits provided by Snyder (a double) and Matt Eindholm (a single), Saint Ignatius' Freshmen sealed the 10-0 mercy rule deal with six runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Among the Cats' big swings in their half of the fifth were a double to left-center field by Asadorian, an RBI double down the left-field line by first baseman Luke Wiskes, a two-run single by Snyder, a sacrifice fly RBI off the bat of Eindholm, and a that's ball game run-scoring single by Bobinski. Oh by the way, Wiskes also flashed some leather with a nice 3 unassisted effort in the top of the fifth.

Saint Ignatius got another solid outing from right-hander Matt Hunt, who yielded three hits, struck out two, walked two and picked off a runner.

FROM HEAD FRESHMEN COACH BRIAN BECKER: "I have to give credit to Kirby, because he handles all of the defensive stuff up the middle and at the corners," said Coach Becker of his son, Assistant Coach and former Wildcats baseball standout Kirby Becker. "The kids are well prepared and they really executed today.

"Justin Sands is a pretty special player," Coach Becker continued. "He runs, he hits and he plays the field. When we score early, we relax and seem to add on. Justin got us started today. And as Matt Hunt has done all season, he's a strike-throwing machine. Our team ERA is really good."

Just a note from the corner, Justin Sands is also pretty special on the gridiron as a safety.

JUNIOR VARSITY CATS ARE IN THAT SPECIAL CATEGORY: The JV Cats rode the pitching of Erik Demchuk, Braydon Nelson and the Man for All Seasons - Ben Delhees, a five-run second inning and four-run third to their impressive run-rule triumph.

Nelson ended the top of the fourth with two strikeouts and Delhees, a southpaw, took the air out of the Ramblers by closing the show with a 1-2-3 top of the fifth that included two strikeouts.

Saint Ignatius scored its 10 runs on seven hits and played errorless baseball, and Cathedral Prep's Jayvees managed just two hits and committed three errors.

Among those Cats fueling the offense in the bottom of the second were Delhees, Matt Wiegandt, Mark Geraci and Jack Siefert. Siefert abused a first-pitch fastball for an authoritative double to deep left-center field.

Ryan Cook and Danny Adler had key swings in the bottom of the third and Saint Ignatius took full advantage of two wild pitches, an errant pick off attempt and a hit batsman in taking total command.

Yes, the future is very bright for Wildcats baseball.   

Moments to cherish. The Saint Ignatius Baseball Program put together a three-game, run-rule sweep over the successful teams from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep on Saturday, a performance that was highlighted by the Varsity Cats' 14-4 triumph on Senior Day.
5/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Berea, Ohio - After the Wildcats' gifted and oh so promising Freshmen and Junior Varsity programs put together run-rule victories over Cathedral Prep's Freshmen and Jayvees by identical final scores of 10-0, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Team, led by the leadership, talent and character of a great Senior Class, completed the sweep over one of the strongest, if not the strongest team, Erie (Pa.) has to offer this spring.

The memorable day included a special tribute to the seniors and their parents, as senior Joe Mertens of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network did a first-class job with the introductions from the third-base broadcasting box at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. Joe and his talented partner, sophomore Brendan DeVenney, broadcasted all three games on what was a humid, but sunshine and blue-skies day in Berea.

Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Wildcats, who improved their record to 19-5 and extended their winning streak to seven games, pounded out 15 hits in handing the Ramblers only their second setback in 18 games this season.

The Varsity Cats also got a tough-minded start from senior right-hander Luke Diggs, who went four innings, yielded six hits and four unearned runs, struck out five and did not issue a walk. Luke, who improved his record to 4-2, threw 58 pitches, 42 of which were strikes.

Senior left-hander Brendan Adler and senior right-hander Jacob Bangert were solid out of the bullpen, as Adler bounced back and recorded the final out of the top of the fifth with a bases-loaded strikeout.

Bangert came on in the sixth and, after yielding a leadoff double to Cathedral Prep's Owen Means, set the Ramblers down on a fly out to senior Kurt Mantes in left field, a fly out to senior Sam Fuller in center field and a strikeout.

Saint Ignatius then settled the issue by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth and completing the 14-4, ten-run mercy rule victory.

The four-run bottom of the sixth came courtesy of a leadoff line-drive single to center field by senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski, who turned in another standout day at the plate, an error, a wild pitch, an RBI single into right field by Mantes, an infield hit by multi-skilled junior George Asadorian, a single to right field by senior right fielder Dylan Smolen that loaded the bases, an RBI single to center field off the sure swing of senior second baseman Mullen Socha, and two-out runs that saw savvy senior third baseman Dylan Welch get hit by a pitch with the bases full and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares draw the decisive bases-loaded walk.

Coach Ganor's team had plenty of offensive production on Saturday, including three singles and an RBI by Socha, a two RBI day from Welch, a two-hit, three RBI effort by Mantes that saw Kurt lace a triple to deep center field in the bottom of the second for the game's first run, two RBI from Panstares and two doubles and an RBI single courtesy of Fuller.

STARTING FAST: The Varsity Cats jumped out to a 6-0 lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the second inning and adding four runs in the bottom of the third. Along with Kurt Mantes' above-mentioned RBI triple, Saint Ignatius got a run-scoring single from senior pitcher/captain M.J. Nara in the bottom of the second. Saint Ignatius' No. 1 starter, M.J. was employed as the designated hitter on Saturday.

The Cats' four-run third was highlighted by a leadoff walk drawn by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia, one of Sam Fuller's two doubles, an RBI sacrifice fly by Dylan Welch, a sacrifice bunt by Alex Panstares that scored Fuller, who had advanced to third on Welch' sacrifice fly, a walk to James Zajaczkowski, a double steal, an RBI sacrifice fly by Mantes and a fly ball off the bat of Nara that the center fielder appeared to lose in the sun.

RAMBLERS MAKE SOME OFFENSIVE NOISE: Cathedral Prep got back in the game with a four-run top of the fourth that featured a leadoff single by Justin Perez, a two-out, run-scoring single by Owen Means and a two-out, two-run single by Carter Cross. Only a diving catch in left-center field by the ever-present Sam Fuller prevented the Ramblers from doing further damage.

FOUR WAS THE OPERATIVE NUMBER ON SATURDAY, AS THE CATS ANSWERED THE RAMBLERS' FOUR-RUN TOP OF THE FOURTH WITH FOUR RUNS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH. SAINT IGNATIUS HAD THREE FOUR-RUN INNINGS ON THE DAY - THE THIRD, FOURTH AND DECISIVE SIXTH.

PRAISE FOR A SOMETIMES OVERLOOKED ROLE: Wildcats' veteran Assistant Coach John Whelan pointed out late in the game on Saturday that junior Dan Volpe is doing a crafty job on the base paths as the courtesy runner.

FROM COACH GANOR: "Every year you get nostalgic about the senior class, but with this class, I keep comparing them to 2002 (the Cats' state championship season). There is just a great cohesiveness amongst them. With these guys, there is a 100 percent buy in. I truly think they have set the tone for years to come. No matter how the season ends, and I hope it ends on June 6th, they will still go down in history as one of the best classes that I have ever been associated with."                                            

SAINT IGNATIUS TRACK AND FIELD DOES A LOT OF EVERYTHING IN BRINGING HOME FIRST PLACE AT THE TRADITION-RICH EUCLID RELAYS ON FRIDAY.
5/8/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius totaled 103 points in edging second-place Solon (101 points). Rounding out the top five in storied Sparky DiBiasio Stadium were GlenOak (83.50 points), Mentor (81 points) and Glenville (63 points).

Here are the highlights turned in by Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted team.

3200 Meter Run: C.J. Ambrosio was third in 9:42.10 and Tom Sullivan was fifth in 9:44.20.

800 Sprint Medley: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and Mike Huber was third in 1:35.70.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in 11.01. Jaylond Butler of Cleveland Heights was first in 10.93. Note: Phil Zuccaro scored a point in Section 2 of the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 11.40.

4x200 Meter Relay: The team of Anthony Pelligrino, Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Rai Walters and C.J. Moore finished seventh in 1:33.53.

4x100 Meter Relay: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris finished third in 43.59.

4x800 Meter Relay: The team of Mike Huber, Pat Nolan, Colin Kruchan and Luke Wagner finished FIRST in 8:02.54.

Distance Medley: The team of James Rogers, Jack Ruddy, Sean Sovacool and Tom Sullivan finished FIRST in 10:40.42.

Discus Throw Relay: Cory Griffith (150-04) and Mik Bodnar (132-07) were 1-2 in Flight 1.

400 Meter Dash: Kyle Hall scored two points with a time of 53.73.

High Jump Relay: Kyle Aerni was third with an effort of 6-04 and Rai Walters was in a three-way tie for ninth at 5-08.

Shot Put Relay: In Flight 2, Cory Griffith tied for second with a toss of 42-10 and Mike Bodnar was fourth at 42-00.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner brought home first place in a time of 4:16.50 and Tim Trentel was fifth in 4:33.90.

Long Jump Relay: Rai Walters was FIRST with an effort of 22-00.75.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki was second (12-06) and Mac Nagel was in a four-way tie for 5th at 11-00.

 

Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien get the job done on the mound as Saint Ignatius Baseball defeats the highly regarded program from Canton Central Catholic, 6-3, at CCC. The victory is the 240th in Brad Ganor's career as the Wildcats' Head Varsity Coach.
5/8/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Varsity Cats will take a record of 18-5 and a six-game winning streak into Saturday's 3 PM matchup with the Ramblers from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep at Baldwin Wallace University. For a look at the 16-1 Ramblers, see the corner's post from Thursday on the weekend in Wildcats' sports.

With Friday evening's victory over Canton Central Catholic, Saint Ignatius' savvy sophomore left-hander Connor Adams improves to 4-0 and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of Coach's Ganor's bullpen, picks up his ninth save.

****The Junior Varsity Wildcats, on the strength of a 3-1 victory at Canton Central Catholic on Friday, won their 10th consecutive game and improved to 20-3 overall and the Freshmen Cats continued their winning ways with a 10-0 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday. The Freshmen Cats outhit the Fighting Irish, 13-1.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE IMPRESSIVE VICTORY BY THE VARSITY CATS OVER THE NOW 18-6 CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC CRUSADERS. THE TIE FOR CCC WAS A SUSPENDED GAME THAT WAS CALLED DUE TO DARKNESS.

The Bats: Senior second baseman Mullen Socha delivers an RBI triple and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel provides a run-coring double as the Cats take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

In the third inning, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus doubles home Grosel, who drew a walk, and senior Dylan Welch made it 4-0 game with an RBI single.

Canton Central Catholic scored a run in the bottom of third and cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded and a run-scoring single up the middle.

The night belonged to the Blue and Gold, however, as in the top of the seventh Grosel scored on an error and senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares followed with a sacrifice fly.

A Case for the Defense: Senior center fielder Sam Fuller and senior shortstop Jake Kucia were flashing the leather in Stark County on Friday evening, as Kucia came up with a web gem that saw him make a diving catch with two on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

"We played great defense tonight," said Kucia, who credited his teammate Fuller for what was another highlight-reel evening for Sam while roaming the outfield.

"I just got a great read on the ball," Kucia continued in reference to his diving stop in the bottom of the sixth. "I knew we needed someone to make a play and I wanted to be the one to make that big play consistently. Connor (Adams) did a great job keeping us in the game, being tough and getting out of situations. And Nick  Freund (junior right-hander) did well getting two key outs, Brendan Adler (senior left-hander) shut it down and let the defense make a play, and finally Murphy (O'Brien) was great again per usual. He is a gamer and comes up clutch when we need it."

****NOTE: THE CORNER WISHES TO THANK SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING SENIOR STUDENT MANAGER KYLE KOSTURA FOR PROVIDING THE VITAL INFORMATION FOR THIS REPORT. I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND WILL SAY IT AGAIN, KYLE  IS IRREPLACEABLE. 

 

 

WILDCAT NAVY READY FOR MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS
5/8/2015

PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC, NEW TRIER BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING CREW CATS

Presented by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09 and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH WALTERS: After months of training that began in August, the journey of thousands of strokes has brought Saint Ignatius Crew to the Midwest Championships, the full team’s final race for the 2014-2015 campaign.

Rowers will compete on Lake Dillon in Zanesville, Ohio this Saturday and Sunday for the right to race at the National Championship.

In the varsity eight category, Saint Ignatius has its biggest test in Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Although the two crews have split races this year, Central last edged out the Wildcats by 5 seconds. New Trier and Loyola Academy should also be in the mix for the medals, and the boys in the gold boats will need to have their best race in order to claim the team’s second-ever title.

The Saint Ignatius second varsity boat will double as the junior eight this weekend and just might be the favorite in both events. This crew has pushed the first varsity all spring and is coming off a 20-second victory at the Laddie Cup regatta.

In the third varsity eight event, Central Catholic, Loyola and Saint Ignatius will all field two boats, with St. Edward, St. John’s Jesuit and Upper Arlington each entering one shell to round out the nine entries. The Crew Cats have refined their catches and finishes since finalizing their lineups and both boats are capable of medalling.

New Trier will pose the biggest threat to the Saint Ignatius lightweight eight, which races in a final-only event on Sunday. The Wildcats have already defeated two of the three remaining crews, Rockford and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, but will need to overcome the perennial powerhouse in New Trier if they want to claim the lightweight trophy.

On the varsity side, Wildcat rowers will also compete in the varsity, second varsity and lightweight fours, as well as a few sculling events.

In freshmen and novice racing, Saint Ignatius will be challenged from crews across the region. The freshmen eight event will be filled with crews vying for medals, but the Wildcats should be among the contenders. Additionally, Saint Ignatius is putting out two novice eights and a few fours, all of which have their eyes on the medal stand. They will need to perform at their best this weekend in order to find themselves there on Sunday.

Stay tuned for results from the Midwest Championships. Let’s go Cats!

Make it 18 out of 20 for the Cats' Freshmen Baseball Team
5/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's young hitters scored three runs in the second inning and took command with a five-run fourth in defeating Archbishop Hoban, 9-1, at Hoban on Thursday evening.

Saint Ignatius (18-2), which tacked on a run in the sixth, solved the Knights' pitching to the tune of 13 hits. The Cats overcame three errors.

Archbishop Hoban, which avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the sixth, turned in a line score of 1-5-1.  

Wildcats Volleyball comes up with a strong effort, but is defeated by St. Edward for the third time this season.
5/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After winning the third set, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats nearly evened things up in the fourth set before the host Eagles rallied and extended their winning streak to six matches. The scores were 25-18, 25-18, 18-25 and 26-24.

St. Edward now stands 10-5 on the season and Saint Ignatius continues to leave it all on the court despite an under .500 record this spring.

 

 
 
The Euclid Relays and another challenging slate in baseball highlight a big weekend in Wildcats spring sports
5/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats, who are enjoying another exceptional outdoor season, will look to defend their title at what is one of the tradition-rich meets in the Greater Cleveland area - Friday's Euclid Relays at the Panthers' storied Sparky DiBiasio Stadium. The competition is scheduled to begin at 4 PM.

Last season, the Wildcats totaled 92 points in bringing home the first-place trophy at Euclid. The Mentor Cardinals were second with 87.50 points and the Glenville Tarblooders finished third with 78 points.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding  sprinter James Norris, now a junior, ran the best time in the 100 meter dash at Euclid last year, edging Darrien Hickman of Glenville, 11.20 to 11.22. James is coming off a 10.84 first-place effort during last weekend's Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington High School (see the corner's post from Sunday). The Wildcats will also be looking for junior distance and relay runner Luke Wagner to continue his excellent spring (excellent might be an understatement) and the continued success of their deep relay teams.

In baseball, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Wildcats will take a 17-5 record and a five-game winning streak into Friday evening's matchup with the Crusaders from Canton Central Catholic. The first pitch from Canton is slated for 5 PM. Year in and year out, the Crusaders play some of the best baseball the Northern part of the state has to offer in any division.

On Saturday, the Saint Ignatius Baseball Program will present its annual Senior/Family and Alumni Day tripleheader at the baseball rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University. And the opponent will be one of the best from the Keystone State - the Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep Ramblers.

Saturday's action will begin with a 10 AM Freshmen matchup between the Ramblers and the Cats, followed by a 12:30 game matching the Junior Varsity programs from the respective schools. The highly anticipated Varsity encounter is scheduled for 3 PM.

Cathedral Prep is having another solid spring under Head Coach Dave Hess. The Ramblers are currently 16-1, with their only setback coming on Wednesday, 2-1, to Erie McDowell.

Coach Hess, now his seventh season at his alma mater, has a career mark of 121-30 that includes this year's 16-1 start. A former shortstop/pitcher for some of Cathedral Prep's strongest teams from 1978 through '81, Coach Hess went on to pitch for Clemson before an injury shortened his playing career.

Last year, Coach Hess guided the Ramblers to a 21-4 record and an appearance in the PIAA Semifinals. It was the Varsity program's best season in 20 years in terms of total victories. Cathedral Prep baseball owns 16 District 10 championships, 14 Metro titles and four Regional championships, including back-to-back efforts in 2013-14.

Cathedral Prep's Junior Varsity sported a 10-1 record through Wednesday. The Freshmen and Junior Varsity Wildcats were 17-2 and 18-3, respectively, through Wednesday's action.

Here is a look at the rest of this weekend's spring sports slate, as per the Saint Ignatius website schedules.

Volleyball:  After tonight's match at St. Edward, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats are scheduled to travel to Mount Vernon on Friday for a 7:30 PM match.

Lacrosse: The red-hot Lax Cats of Coach Patrick McManamon, who now carry a record of 11-2 after this week's 16-5 victory at University School, are scheduled to face Kiski Prep on Saturday at 2 PM on the campus of John Carroll University.

Tennis: Coach Jon Barker's Cats will continue to prepare for the upcoming OHSAA Sectional Tournament with a trip to Cincinnati this weekend. Saint Ignatius is scheduled to play Indian Hill on Friday at 4:30 PM and St. Xavier (9 AM) and Upper Arlington (noon) on Saturday.

NOTE: For an update on the Crew Cats, who are making May a month to remember, please see the report posted by the corner on Sunday. The outstanding report was courtesy of Saint Ignatius' Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09.    

M.J. Nara fires five innings of no-hit baseball, Murphy O'Brien picks up his eighth save and the Cats' bats erupt for eight runs in the top of the seventh during Wednesday evening's 9-0 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary
5/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Akron, Ohio - In a game that was played on a picture-perfect spring evening at Old Forge Field, Saint Ignatius senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara and St. Vincent-St. Mary's promising sophomore southpaw Brandon Bischof were locked in a pitchers' duel through six innings.

The Wildcats, who improved to 17-5 and won their fifth consecutive game, rode a one-out, RBI single into short right-center field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

It stayed that way until the top of the seventh, when the Cats took command by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs.

After Saint Ignatius stretched its lead to 3-0 on a two-run triple by Fuller, St. Vincent-St. Mary's outstanding young head coach Anthony Boarman went to his bullpen and replaced Bischof with senior reliever Brian Horning. Bischof experienced his first loss of the season in four decisions.

Things didn't get any better for the Fighting Irish (12-12), as Saint Ignatius senior pinch hitter/infielder James Zajaczkowski lined the first pitch he saw from Horning into right field for a run-scoring single.

The Cats' seventh-inning hit parade also featured a one-out, bases-loaded RBI single by standout senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, a run-scoring infield hit by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia, a bases-loaded walk by sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, who led off the inning with a base hit, and a two-run single to right-center field by junior first baseman/pinch hitter George Asadorian.

Nara, who went five complete innings without yielding a hit, improved his record to 5-1. M.J., who also serves as one of Head Coach Brad Ganor's captains, struck out six, walked four and threw 83 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Helping keep M.J.'s no-no effort intact was gifted senior second baseman Mullen Socha, who made a leaping catch of a line drive to end the bottom of the fifth.  

Junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, who entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Saint Ignatius clinging to a 1-0 lead, picked up his eighth save on the season. Murphy pitched 1 and 1/3 innings, yielded one hit, struck out three and threw 15 strikes in the 21 pitches he delivered.

The line scores on the game read 9-11-3 for the Wildcats and 0-2-1 for the Fighting Irish.

From Coach Ganor: "An eight-run seventh, we'll take that every time. But when you don't give up any runs, one's enough. I say it every year, but Anthony (Coach Boarman) does a terrific job with his program. The score is not indicative of how close of a game that was. It was a hard-fought battle until the end."

Coach Ganor said he will send his talented sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (3-0) to the mound on Friday evening, when the Cats board the bus again and travel to tradition-rich Canton Central Catholic to face the Crusaders in a 5 PM first pitch.

From M. J. Nara: "My curveball," said M.J. of the pitch that was really clicking for him on the Old Forge mound. "This team reminds me of our 2013 team (a Division I state runner-up to Archbishop Moeller). We had our ups and downs at the beginning (during 2013), but then right before the playoffs we went on a roll. Games were flying by."

Saint Ignatius is the No. 1 seed for the Strongsville Division I sectional/district and will begin OHSAA postseason play on May 13 in a sectional final versus the winner of the sectional semifinal between Rhodes and John F. Kennedy. The May13th sectional final is slated for 5 PM in Classic Park.  

           

     

         

    

The Wildcats' Freshmen Baseball Team now stands 17-2 after a dominant victory over North Ridgeville on Tuesday
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Freshmen Cats scored five times in the bottom of the first inning and added a five-run fourth to the mix in coasting to an 11-1 victory.

Coach Brian Becker's team had nine hits and committed one error. North Ridgeville's line read 1-7-2.  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball is postponed
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Today's game versus Eastlake North at Classic Park was called off because of the threat of rain.

Up next for the Baseball Cats is Wednesday's 5 PM game versus St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron.

Wildcats Tennis remains eighth in the weekly OTCA state poll
5/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Ed Wolff, Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Treasurer

1. Cincinnati Sycamore (15 first-place votes) 150
2. Upper Arlington 132
3. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 114
4. Massillon Jackson 109
5. (tie) St. Xavier 78
    New Albany 78
7. Mason  59
8. Saint Ignatius 48
9. Centerville 16
10. Columbus St. Charles 15
Saint Ignatius Baseball moves up two spots in this week's OHSBCA State Poll
5/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, which is 16-5 and riding a four-game winning streak, went from 19th to the 17th spot this week in the coaches' poll. Here are the current Division I rankings by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.

1. Archbishop Moeller, 2. Walsh Jesuit, 3. Perrysburg, 4. Wadsworth, 5. Lakota West, 6. Butler, 7. Mason, 8. Olentangy Liberty, 9. Willoughby South and 10. Westerville Central.

NOTE: The teams in bold face were defeated by Saint Ignatius this spring. Walsh Jesuit, which was defeated by the Wildcats, 4-1, on Saturday, moved up one spot this week. ****Despite what you might have read or seen tweeted elsewhere, Walsh Jesuit was ranked third in last week's poll and entered its game versus Saint Ignatius on Saturday evening with that ranking. The new poll was released today (Monday).

The second ten this week are: 11. Hudson, 12. Watkins Memorial, 13. St. Francis De Sales, 14. Massillon Jackson, 15. Elder, 16. Anthony Wayne, 17. SAINT IGNATIUS, 18. La Salle, 19. Avon and 20. Olentangy.

Other teams receiving votes were: St. John's Jesuit, St. Edward, Grove City, Brecksville-Broadview Hts., Lebanon, Harrison, Gahanna Lincoln, Troy and Milford.


    

Wildcats Varsity Baseball Seeded No. 1 for the Division I Strongsville Sectional/District
5/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Fairview Park - Coach Brad Ganor's Cats, coming off an impressive 4-1 victory over Walsh Jesuit in Saturday night's championship game of The Pipe Yard Classic, drew a bye in the first round and will take their No. 1 seed into a May 13th Sectional Final at Classic Park. Saint Ignatius will face the winner of the Sectional Semifinal between Rhodes and John F. Kennedy.

Host Strongsville garnered the second seed, Berea-Midpark was seeded third and defending Strongsville District Champion North Royalton is the fourth seed.

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE VICTORY OVER WALSH JESUIT, WHICH ENTERED SATURDAY NIGHT'S GAME VERSUS SAINT IGNATIUS AS THE THIRD-RANKED TEAM IN THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION'S DIVISION I STATE POLL.

THE INFORMATION IS COURTESY OF COACH GANOR.

Sophomore left-hander Connor Adams started and went five innings. Wildcats No. 1 starter, senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara, worked the sixth and seventh innings and picked up the victory. M.J., a Walsh University recruit, also had a key RBI as the Cats tied the score in the bottom of the fifth and scored three runs in what was the decisive sixth.

Two of Saint Ignatius' gifted young players, sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs and sophomore catcher Jeff Chonko, turned in solid performances. The sweet-swinging Jacobs had two hits and Chonko, in what was his first Varsity game after being called up from the Junior Varsity, did an excellent job behind the plate, both defensively and working with the pitchers.

Up next for the Cats is Tuesday's game versus Eastlake North in Classic Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.  Saint Ignatius will enter Tuesday's matchup with the Rangers carrying a record of 16-5 and a four-game winning streak.  

 

 

Crew Cats clean up at Laddie Cup Regatta
5/3/2015

Visit by Fr. Frank Canfield, sweep of Varsity Eight highlight the day.

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

Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J. was all smiles on Saturday as he watched the gold racing shell that bears his name tear down the 1,500-meter course in Orchard Lakes, Mich.

“The Canfield is running smooth today,” he exclaimed as he watched the Saint Ignatius Junior Eight cruise to a 20-second victory at the Laddie Cup Regatta. Fr. Frank’s presence at the Wildcats’ final tune-up before the Midwest Scholastic Rowing championships was icing on the cake for a day that included a sweep of the varsity eight events and medals in the varsity four, freshman eight, novice eight, junior four and lightweight four.

Conditions were ideal for racing, with sunshine and temperatures that reached the mid-70s, although winds picked up slightly as the day progressed.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 challenged the Varsity Eight, in the final race of the day, to race against the clock, holding nothing back. The crew blitzed down the course in 4:23, good enough for the day’s fastest time and an 11-second victory over St. John’s Jesuit from Toledo.

The Lightweight Eight, racing for the first time all spring, made a statement with its 6-second victory over host Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Likewise, Saint Ignatius’ depth was on display for the second week in a row when the Wildcats’ 4th Varsity Eight, racing in the Second Varsity Eight category, took home a gold medal by a 10-second margin.

Also taking gold was the Varsity Four, comprised of rowers from the Varsity Eight. The crew had to battle a little pressure early on, but crossed the line about 5 seconds ahead of St. Mary’s.These victories, combined with silver medals in the freshman eight, novice eight and lightweight four, plus a bronze in the junior four, garnered the Wildcats 215 points and the boys team points trophy. But the biggest ray of sunshine was Fr. Canfield, who spent seven years at Saint IgnatiusHigh School between 2006 and 2013 and currently resides at the Columbiere Center for retired Jesuits, about 20 minutes away from the racecourse.

Throughout the day Fr. Canfield was constantly surrounded by students and parents eager to catch up with their friend and mentor. Next Saturday and Sunday the Wildcat Navy will compete at the Midwest Championship in Zanesville and faces stiff competition from the likes of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, New Trier and Loyola Academy. The results of the regatta will determine which boats qualify for the national championship, so the team is ready to lay it all out on the line.

With support like Fr. Canfield on their side, the Wildcats are ready to face the Midwest's best.

James Norris, Luke Wagner and the Cats' relay teams show the way again as Saint Ignatius finishes second at the annual Gary Smith Track Invitational.
5/3/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats totaled 130 points in finishing one point behind Watkins Memorial, which took first place for the second consecutive year. Big Walnut was third with 91 points and Gahanna Lincoln finished fourth with 88 points.

Here are the Cats' many highlights from what is always a highly competitive meet at Thomas Worthington High School.

100 Meter Dash - James Norris takes first place in 10.84. Evan Caniff of Watkins Memorial was second in 10.95.

4x800 Meter Relay - Saint Ignatius' Team of Colin Kruchan, Pat Nolan, Tom Sullivan and Mike Huber took first place in 8:04.50. Hilliard Darby was second in 8:11.73.

110 Meter Hurdles: - The Wildcats' C.J. Moore was sixth in 15.76.

4x200 Meter Relay - The team of Quinn Lawless, Jack Cook, Anthony Pelligrino and Mike Lehto placed fifth in 1:32.64.

1600 Meter Run - Luke Wagner takes first place in 4:13.64. Jim Rogers was eighth in 4:41.57.

4x100 Meter Relay - Saint Ignatius' team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris took first place in 42.74.

3200 Meter Run - C.J. Ambrosio was second in 9:41.43. Lucas Bons of Dublin Coffman was first in 9:37.40.

300 Meter Hurdles - Jack Ruddy was eighth in 41.70.

200 Meter Dash - James Norris takes first place in 22.04. Phil Zuccaro was sixth in 23.14.

800 Meter Run - Luke Wagner takes first place in 1:56.49. Mathew Ridinger of Gahanna Lincoln was second in 1:56.72.

Long Jump - *Rai Walters (21-11.25) and Mike Lehto (21-07.50) place 1-2.

Triple Jump - Rai Walters places sixth with an effort of 36-06.50.

4x400 Meter Relay - The team of Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Anthony Pelligrino, Mike Huber and Pat Nolan finished sixth in 3:33.12.

Pole Vault - Sam Rapnicki places fifth in 13-00.00.

Discus - Cory Griffith placed second with a throw of 147-05 and Mike Bodnar was fourth with an effort of 143-00.

Shot Put - Cory Griffith was fourth (45-08.50) and Mike Bodnar was fifth (45-01.00).

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball improves to 16-5 and extends its winning streak to four after a 4-1 triumph over Walsh Jesuit in the championship game of The Pipe Yard Classic on Saturday night.
5/3/2015

Head Coach Brad Ganor's Cats knocked off a Walsh Jesuit team that entered this week's play ranked third in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I State Poll.

Saint Ignatius, which should move up a few notches in this coming week's poll, was ranked 19th this past week.

Up Next for the Wildcats is Tuesday's game versus Eastlake North at Classic Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.

We will provide you with some details from the Walsh Jesuit game on Sunday.    

Here are the All-Midwest Awards presented to the Lax Cats this weekend.
5/2/2015

From Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and posted by Eddie Dwyer

1st team All-Midwest
Attack, Junior Crew Cintron
Defense, Junior Alex Maruna

2nd team All-Midwest
Midfield, Senior Ethan Whitney

Honorable Mention: Defense, Seniors Patrick Mulach and Jack Mazanec, and Attack, Junior Alex Hornung.

And congratulations to the Saint Ignatius Lacrosse team for defeating "The Men from Moeller," 11-6, in today's MSLCA tournament action. The Lax Cats now stand 10-2.
5/2/2015
Congrats to former Michgan great and Wolverines Captain/LB Jake Ryan '10 for being selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. It was a privilege to cover and report on Jake's career at Saint Ignatius - Eddie Dwyer
5/2/2015
Wildcats Varsity Baseball rides the strong right arm of Luke Diggs and two-hit nights from Sam Fuller, Ryan Jacobs, Dylan Welch, Kevin Mingus and Dylan Smolen to a 9-1 victory over Mentor in the second game of The Pipe Yard Classic on Friday night.
5/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit May 2015

Lorain County - Senior right-hander Luke Diggs went the distance in improving his record to 3-2 and Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats now stand 15-5 after pounding out 14 hits against the Mentor Cardinals, who slipped to 9-7.

Saint Ignatius will send gifted sophomore left-hander Connor Adams (3-0) to the mound on Saturday evening when the Cats face the highly touted Warriors from Walsh Jesuit in The Pipe Yard Classic final. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 PM.

Walsh Jesuit, which is ranked third in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Division I state poll, advanced to the all Jesuit School matchup with Saint Ignatius by squeezing by Amherst Steele, 4-3, in Friday's first game at The Pipe Yard.

As for Diggs, it was evident he was ready to go during his pregame bullpen and that strength came to fruition in the bottom of the first inning when Luke sent Mentor down in order, including two strikeouts.

Diggs was in command, as his complete-game performance included four strikeouts, one walk, one run and five hits. Luke threw 77 pitches, 49 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius' bats were ringing from the get-go.

The Cats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, tacked on another run in the second inning and broke things open with a four-run top of the fourth. Included among Saint Ignatius' 14 hits, which came off three Cardinals pitchers, were two-hit nights by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, sophomore left fielder Ryan Jacobs, senior designated hitter Dylan Welch, junior third baseman Kevin Mingus and senior right fielder Dylan Smolen.

SETTING THE TABLE: Saint Ignatius did just that in the top of the first inning as Sam Fuller, one of the state's complete players, led off with a line drive single to left field. Fuller then stole second base and came around to score when junior first baseman Dennis Grosel hit a sharp grounder that the shortstop couldn't deal with. Grosel then advanced to second on the throw home.

After the Cats' Kevin Mingus hit an authoritative single to right-center field, Coach Ganor's team had runners on first and third with one out. Mentor would grab some momentum by picking off the runner at third, but, in what was a great at-bat by Saint Ignatius' Dylan Welch, Mr. Momentum immediately returned to the Wildcats' dugout.

Welch, a relentless worker in the batting cage, smoked a 3-2 pitch to left field for a single and Mingus, who had advanced to second during the rundown at third base, came home to score the game's second run.

ADDING ON AND BUSTING IT OPEN: With one out and the bases empty in the top of the second, Ryan Jacobs, one of Saint Ignatius' standout young hitters, doubled to the gap in right-center. Veteran Dylan Smolen then beat out a grounder to deep shortstop for a hit, putting Wildcat base runners on first and third.

After Smolen stole second base, Fuller made his presence felt again by driving the ball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly RBI and a 3-0 Saint Ignatius lead.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Cats put themselves in the driver's seat with a four-run fourth that featured a single by Jacobs, a bunt for a base hit by Smolen, another run-scoring single by Fuller, an opposite-field RBI single to left field by Grosel and a decisive two-out, two run single by Welch.

An opposite way RBI single to right field by senior second baseman Mullen Socha made it an 8-0 game in the top of the fifth and, after a line-drive single to center field by senior shortstop Jake Kucia was played into a double, the Wildcats' faithful were purring to the tune of a 9-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.

Mentor's only run, which came in the bottom of the sixth, was fueled by base hits from second baseman Tyler Thompson and center fielder Nathan Birtley.

FROM COACH GANOR: "Luke (Diggs) was outstanding. He pitched really well on Sunday (at St. Xavier), even though he took a tough loss. I was with him out in the bullpen before the game and I thought he was going to have a great game. He just looked sharp, he looked focused and I'm just proud of the way he came out, threw strikes and allowed us to extend the lead by putting up zeroes.

"Offensively, I would say the difference in tonight's game was Dylan Welch coming up with that big hit (with two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the fourth)," Coach Ganor continued. "We've spent a lot of time discussing how to come up with that hit, and Dylan went out and executed it."

FROM LUKE DIGGS: "The fastball was working tonight and it just feels good pitching in front of guys who have your back. The confidence level is great when you have people playing like that. We mixed in a few curveballs, but when you have the fastball working to the point where you're getting ground balls and pop ups, there's no reason to go away from it. I couldn't wait to get back on the mound tonight."

  

 

  

  

Saint Ignatius' Track and Field Team, which is having an outstanding spring, will head to Franklin County on Saturday for the annual Gary Smith Track Invitational at Thomas Worthington High School.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The competition will get underway at high noon in what is a tradition-rich May event.

At last year's Gary Smith Invitational, Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats finished second with 124.50 points. Watkins Memorial took home first place with 144 points.

Luke Wagner and James Norris, now juniors, continued to make their marks at the 2014 Gary Smith Invite, with Luke winning both the 1600 meter run (4:27.67) and the 800 meter run (1:57.60). Luke battled a stiff wind during the 1600.

The gifted and amiable Norris took first place in both the 100 meter dash (11.29) and the 200 meter dash (22.15).

Wildcats Tennis gears up for two matches in Columbus on Saturday after a 3-2 setback to University School on Wednesday at Magnificat.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' schedule in the State Capital will send the Tennis Cats against Cincinnati Country Day at 11 AM, followed by a match versus the Cardinals from Columbus St. Charles at 3 PM.    

The Freshmen Baseball Cats break open a tight game by scoring three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, and go on to defeat Walsh Jesuit, 7-1, on Thursday evening.
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Cats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and the Walsh Warriors tied the score in the top of the fourth.

Saint Ignatius' late charge resulted in a line score of seven runs on seven hits. The Cats committed just one error. Walsh Jesuit's line read 1-5-3.  

Cats Volleyball gets back on the winning track
4/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Bouncing back from three losses to state-ranked teams at Centerville's Elite 8 (see the corner's post from Monday), Saint Ignatius Volleyball defeated host Brecksville-Broadview Heights in three straight sets on Wednesday night.

The scores were 25-10, 25-16, 25-19.

The next match for Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats is Friday night at 7 versus Brunswick in Sullivan Gymnasium. 

And one more time, congratulations to the Wildcats' Freshmen Baseball Team, which continued its winning ways by blanking Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 7-0, this evening.
4/29/2015
And congrats to the Wildcats' Varsity Lacrosse Team, which traveled to Solon tonight and came away with a 14-3 victory over a highly regarded Comets team. The Lax Cats now stand 8-2 on the season.
4/29/2015
Congratulations from the corner go out to freshman diver Alex Claus and sophomore Dimitri Simcox (200 MR, 100 Free and 200 FR) for earning Honorable Mention on the 2014-15 All-Star Swimming and Diving Team by cleveland.com
4/29/2015
The pitching of Nick Freund, a towering two-run home run by first baseman Dennis Grosel, solid play in the field and a three-run third inning lead the Varsity Baseball Cats to a 6-1 victory over Olmsted Falls on Tuesday evening.
4/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April/May 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Cats now stand 14-5 on the season after they were solid in all facets of the game in a sun-drenched, yes sun-drenched Bohlken Park.

Right-hander Nick Freund, who upped his record to 4-1, was tough-minded and talented on Tuesday evening as the amiable junior went six innings, yielded three hits and one run, struck out five, walked a batter and had a hit batsman. Nick threw 81 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Savvy senior southpaw Brendan Adler pitched a scoreless seventh. I say savvy, because Brendan, after picking up the victory in Friday night's 4-1 triumph over North Royalton at Progressive Field, took the baseball, wrote on it and then flipped it up into the stands to a young lady. On the baseball it read, "Will you go with me to my prom?" The answer was yes, my friends.

Freund, whose gutsy performance included plenty of offensive and defensive support, was staked to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, when junior first baseman Dennis Grosel turned on an inside fastball and sent Mr. Rawlings soaring over the right-field fence. The ball landed on the hill behind the scoreboard. Dennis' blast followed a one-out base hit and stolen base by red-hot senior second baseman Mullen Socha.

Saint Ignatius, which is scheduled to face Mentor on Friday evening at 6 bells in The Pipe Yard (Lorain County), started to pull away from Olmsted Falls courtesy of a three-run bottom of the third. Coach Dan Largent's Bulldogs from  the Southwest Conference are now a deceiving 9-9, with their mark against Ohio teams at 8-6. The Falls is 5-3 in SWC play.

The Cats' bottom of the third was fueled by a leadoff base hit from senior outfielder Dylan Smolen, a stolen base by Smolen and an RBI double to left field by gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit. Saint Ignatius combined a fielder's choice, a stolen base by senior Kurt Mantes and an error into its fourth run, and Grosel went the opposite way to left field for a sacrifice fly that brought home the third run of the inning and a 5-0 lead.

A bunt for a base hit by Fuller and another base hit by Socha opened the door for the Cats' sixth and final run in the bottom of the fifth.

Olmsted Falls avoided a shutout by turning back-to-back base hits by junior right fielder Aidan Kelley and senior left fielder Ryan Hanna, a one-out walk and a wild pitch into a run in the top of the sixth. Freund went out in style, however, as with runners on second and third with one out, Nick reached back and retired the Bulldogs with two strikeouts. Three of Freund's five Ks came in the top of the sixth.

The line scores showed Saint Ignatius at 6-7-1 and Olmsted Falls at 1-4-1.

A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE: The Wildcats flashed their leather on Tuesday evening, as Dennis Grosel came up with two scoops at first base that would have brought a smile to the face of the late Vic Power, Dylan Smolen made a nice play for an out on a fly ball that the early evening wind in Bohlken Park was trying to circle away from him and senior shortstop Jake Kucia turned in a Derek Jeter-like catch on a sinking liner. With two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the seventh, Jake fielded a ground ball and alertly went the short way for a force at third that ended the game.

FROM HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "Nick (Freund) did a great job. His pitch count was perfect and he threw strikes. He had a couple of situations with some guys on and he battled. When you throw zeros up and then score runs on top of it, it kind of takes away their (the opponent) will."

FROM VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH MARK TERLEP: "In talking with Luke Diggs (senior right-handed pitcher) the other day, he gave me the comment that he really loves pitching in front of these guys. Our defense has been really playing solid behind our pitchers. We like our pitchers to pitch to contact and guys are making plays behind them. I talked today about confidence as the word of the day, and when pitchers can go out with confidence, knowing that the guys behind them will make the plays, they get the job done."

FROM NICK FREUND: "The fastball outside was really working well today," said Nick. "Then I would come with the curveball. I threw a few changeups, but mostly it was the fastball. 

"Up the middle and third base, great plays, Dennis Grosel with two great scoops at first and in the outfield Sam Fuller was roaming in center field as always, and Ryan Jacobs in left and Dylan Smolen in right made plays," continued Nick, in reference to the defense behind him. "I've been throwing to contact all season and letting my defense make the plays."

FROM DENNIS GROSEL, WHO IS ALSO THE WILDCATS' STARTING VARSITY FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK: "It felt good," said Dennis of his two-run blast that set the table for a successful evening. "With a guy on second and one out, I just thought about barreling it up, getting it through and making something happen. I was trying to get him (Mullen Socha) over and in. It was a fastball inside and I turned on it pretty good.

"The pitching is going well and we have their backs," Dennis continued while talking about the Cats' defense. "They throw strikes and we'll make the plays. It's been working out well for us so far."

THE FRESHMEN CATS CONTINUE THEIR WINNING WAYS: Coach Brian Becker's talented ninth graders came away with an 8-0 victory at Olmsted Falls on Tuesday.

The young Cats delivered 11 hits and limited the Bulldogs' freshmen to two hits. Saint Ignatius played errorless baseball and the Bulldogs made two miscues.                    

                  

           

     

Deep Saint Ignatius Rowing team ready to take on the Midwest
4/27/2015

Wildcat Navy has strong showing at Wesley Davids Regatta

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

FROM COACH WALTERS: The Wildcat Navy, led by a strong performance from several varsity boats, earned two silver medals and two bronze medals on Sunday at the Wesley Davids Memorial Regatta.

In the First Varsity Eight event, Saint Ignatius’ 1st boat traded strokes with Detroit Boat Club early on. Although the crew slowly fell back, it never lost contact with Detroit, but missed gold by 3 seconds. The Wildccat 2nd boat worked its way past top crews from Canisius High School and Three Rivers Rowing Association in the same final, creating an open water gap en route to a bronze medal finish.

In the Second Varsity Eight, the Saint Ignatius 4th boat put on an inspiring race, pushing through the Saint Ignatius 3rd boat and Canisius High School’s 2nd boat to claim third behind Upper Canada’s and Detroit’s 2nd boats.That multiple Ignatius crews were racing up a category and still contending for medals indicates that the team’s speed runs deep.

The Varsity Four, which comprised the stern four rowers from the 1st boat, earned the Wildcats’ last medal of the day, placing 3rd - just 22 seconds ahead of Upper Canada

Saint Ignatius also sent four freshmen crews into the finals. Two freshmen eights finished fourth and sixth, and two freshmen fours placed fifth and sixth in their final.

For the boys in the gold boats, these finishes suggest that the team is in a strong position heading into the final month of the season, which includes both regional and national championships.

After a day off on Monday, the Wildcats begin the last two weeks of training for the full squad, culminating in the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship on May 9-10.

From top to bottom, Saint Ignatius Crew is ready to test its speed against some of the Midwest’s top teams.

Here is this week's Division I State Poll by the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association.
4/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Ed Wolff, OTCA Treasurer
 
First-Place Votes in parenthesis, followed by total points.
 
Division I
1. Cincinnati Sycamore (13) 130
2. Upper Arlington 110
3. Massillon Jackson  87
4. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 84
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier 71
6. New Albany  68
7. Mason 45
8. Saint Ignatius 26
9. Pickerington North 19
10. tie: Columbus St. Charles 8, Centerville 8
Here is this week's Division I State Poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.
4/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer. Voting took place on Thursday through Sunday.

1. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller

2. Lakota West

3. Walsh Jesuit

4. Perrysburg

5. Butler

6. Westerville Central

7. Wadsworth

8. Mason

9. Willoughby South

10. Avon

11. Olentangy Liberty

12. Kettering Fairmont

13. Watkins Memorial

14. Olentangy

15. Hudson

16. St. Francis DeSales

17. Gahanna Lincoln

18. Cincinnati Elder

19. Saint Ignatius

20. Massillon Jackson

Others receiving votes: St. Edward, Colerain, Anthony Wayne, Cincinnati La Salle, Troy and Mentor.

How the Volleyball Cats fared at the Elite 8 in Centerville.
4/27/2015

FROM COACH CASEY MARCELO AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Cats Volleyball drops 3 matches at the Elite 8 on Saturday.

Cincinnati Elder (#1) 3-0
Centerville (#5) 3-0
St. Edward (#7) 3-0
 
Elder defeated Saint Ignatius, 25-17, 25-14, 25-22
Centerville defeated  Saint Ignatius, 26-24, 25-23, 25-13
St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 26-24, 25-23, 25-13
 
Note from the corner: The state rankings of the teams the Wildcats faced are in parenthesis. Cincinnati St. Xavier won the Elite 8 Championship by taking an upset  "thriller" over Greater Catholic League rival Elder.
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MATCH AT MASSILLON JACKSON, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 11, WILL NOW BE PLAYED ON MAY 12.
 
 
Saint Ignatius rides that seven-run fourth to a 9-2 victory at St. Xavier and a split in Sunday's doubleheader versus the Bombers.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

That seven-run fourth (see the corner's recaps below) and another strong pitching performance by savvy sophomore left-hander Connor Adams enabled the Cats to bounce back from their 4-3, eight-inning loss in Sunday's first game (again see the posts below).

Adams, who was coming off six innings of no-hit baseball against a solid Willoughby South team, went 4 2/3 innings on Sunday and yielded just two hits before turning the baseball over to senor right-hander Jacob Bangert. Connor, who also had a solid day at the plate, now stands 3-0 on the season.

"Our hitting started to spark in the second game when we were able to string hits together in timely spots," said Adams. "We also came back strong in the second game in putting up 9 runs and it was a great way to answer back. I just went out there and had the same approach like every game, trying to pound the strike zone. "

Junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the key arm out of Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, worked the seventh in a non-save situation.

In improving to 13-5, Saint Ignatius scored its nine runs on 11 hits. The Cats left 11 on base and committed two errors.

St. Xavier, which is three games under the .500 mark, had five total hits, made two errors and stranded six base runners.

"All the guys knew that we needed to bounce back after that first game, and as a team we stepped up to the challenge," said Saint Ignatius' outstanding senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares. "Our goal is to be peaking going into the playoffs and there's no doubt in my mind we will be."

Up Next for the Cats is Tuesday's scheduled game versus the Bulldogs from Olmsted Falls. The first pitch in Bohlken Park is slated for 5 PM.

This corner would like to express his thanks to Saint Ignatius' irreplaceable senior Student Manager Kyle Kostura, who ran down quotes for this report, and to St. Xavier High School for the courtesy of the Bombers' Mobile Link on Sunday. God be willing, we will see the Bombers and their faithful in Week 9 of the 2015 football season. It should be another dandy.    

 

  

Wildcats take total command of Sunday's second game at St. Xavier by sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs in the top of the fourth inning.
4/26/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

A hit batsman, a single by Kevin Mingus and a two-run double by Dennis Grosel started the seven-run barrage. Dylan Welch followed with an RBI single and a wild pitch on a swinging third strike helped open the door for a two-run double by senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a bases-loaded wild pitch and an RBI sacrifice fly by Sam Fuller.

Cats take a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the second inning of their second game at St. Xavier today.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Senior Dylan Smolen delivered an RB single that scored sophomore left-hander Connor Adams, who had singled and moved to second on a fielder's choice.

Standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller then delivered a run-scoring double and after walks to juniors Kevin Mingus and Dennis Grosel, the Cats left the bases loaded.  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball is defeated by Cincinnati St. Xavier, 4-3, in eight innings in what was the first game of a doubleheader today at St. Xavier.
4/26/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Wildcats and the Bombers will play their second game shortly.

In the first game, Saint Ignatius, which now stands 12-5 on the season, took the early lead as senior shortstop Jake Kucia brought home the game's first two runs in the second inning.

St. Xavier, a member of Cincinnati's talent-rich Greater Catholic League South, scored three times in the bottom of the third in taking a 3-2 lead.

A walk to Wildcats junior first baseman/catcher Dennis Grosel  knotted the score at 3 in the top of the sixth and, after a scoreless seventh, the Bombers prevailed in the extra frame behind an RBI double by Spencer Helwig.

The line score showed Saint Ignatius with nine hits, an error and 14 left on base. St. Xavier's line was 4-7-2, with eight runners stranded.

Noah Stockman picked up the victory and now stands 2-1 on the season.    

 

Saint Ignatius Freshmen Baseball lets a 5-0 lead slip away, but comes back to defeat Brunswick, 6-5, in eight innings on Saturday.
4/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Cats led, 5-0, after four innings before the Blue Devils rallied with three runs in the fifth and two more in the top of the seventh.

After a scoreless top of the eighth, the young Cats improved to 12-2 by scoring the game winner in the bottom half of the frame.

The line scores were 5-9-2 for Brunswick and 6-8-3 for Saint Ignatius.  

Wildcats Relay Teams stand out again, as Saint Ignatius Track and Field finishes second at Saturday's Comet Relays
4/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the highlights for Coach Chuck Kyle's gifted track and field team at what was the 60th Annual Comet Relays in Amherst, Ohio, a meet that always features exceptional talent.

Berea-Midpark was first with 97 points, Saint Ignatius placed second with 91 points and Medina and Toledo St. John's Jesuit were third and fourth, respectively, with 55 and 52 points.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in a time of 11.22. First place went to Caleb Samol of Berea-Midpark in 11.09.

1600 Meter Run: Luke Wagner took first place in 4:22.37.

3200 Meter Run: C.J. Ambrosio was fifth in 9:44.80.

4x100 Meter Relay: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris ran to first place in a time of 43.50. Medina was second in a time of 43.92.

4x400 Meter Relay: The team of Alex Janis, Mike Huber, Anthony Pelligrino and James Norris ran to first place in a time of 3:28.15. Sandusky was second in a time of 3:29.07.

4x800 Meter Relay: The team of Mike Huber, Tim Trentel, Pat Nolan and Colin Kruchan finished in seventh place with a time of 8:17.93.

4x1600 Meter Relay: The team of Pat Nolan, Sean Sovacool, Tom Sullivan and Luke Wagner ran to first place in a time of 17:51.83. Mentor was second in a time of 18:32.32.

800 Sprint Medley: The team of Quinn Lawless, Jack Cook, Phil Zuccaro and Alex Janis placed 6th in a time of 1:38.79.

Distance Medley: The team of James Rogers, Joshua Crayton-Prioleau, Sean Sovacool and Tom Sullivan ran to a first place time of 10:46.37. St. John's Jesuit was second in a time of 10:48.11.

4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdle: The team of Jack Ruddy, Matt Walcutt, Alex Ringfield and C.J. Moore finished second in a time of 1:05.40. Berea-Midpark was first in 1:00.50.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki was 11th at 12-00.00 and Matt Oriti was 16th at 11-00.00.

Long Jump Relay: Mike Lehto was third at 20-05.00, Rai Walters was seventh (19-08.00) and Jack Ruddy was 22nd (18-10.50).

Shot Put Relay: Cory Griffith was 9th at 46-06.00, Malique Burton was 26th at 41-09.50 and Mike Bodnar was 36th at 40-06.75.

Discus Relay: Cory Griffith was eighth at 144-04 and Mike Bodnar placed 11th at 137-00.

 

 

 

 

A night to cherish. Saint Ignatius' Varsity Baseball Team enjoys a 4-1 victory over North Royalton in Progressive Field.
4/25/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

The Wildcats seemed to savor every moment of their opportunity to perform in one of Major League Baseball's finest facilities, as they improved to 12-4 on the season behind what was the essence of a team victory over the North Royalton Bears.

Cleveland, Ohio - You could see the enjoyment in their eyes and carve their contagious spirit with a knife.

No matter how this promising spring comes to an end, the 2015 Saint Ignatius Wildcats Varsity Baseball Program will be remembered as a ball club that truly appreciated the game and considered it an honor to be "a teammate."

Friday night, at the annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic, Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff used seven different pitchers and cleared  their bench as every young man wearing those sharp gold jerseys had his moment under the bright lights of Carnegie and Ontario.

"I say we play every game here," said Ganor, shortly after his Cats defeated the 2014 Division I State Runner-Up Bears. "I said before the game that they needed to enjoy the experience, and I think they did. And the outcome was in our favor, which is great, but that's icing on the cake. The outcome was irrelevant in my mind. It was a once in lifetime experience for a lot of them."

Senior right-hander Luke Diggs opened what was a "Magnificent Seven" performance by the Saint Ignatius pitching staff by calmly snagging a pop up near the mound with one out and a runner on second in the top of the first inning. Bears shortstop Alex Sir Lewis had singled to center field with one out and advanced to second on a pitch in the dirt.

After a strong second inning by senior left-hander Brendan Adler that featured two strikeouts, Saint Ignatius got its offense on track with a three-run bottom of the second that featured a lead-off single by Dylan Welch and an RBI hustle double to right field by James Zajaczkowski.

Those three runs gave Adler, a young man who had ACL surgery less than a year ago, his first victory on the varsity level.

North Royalton, which defeated the Wildcats, 5-2, in last year' District Championship Game at Strongsville, got on the scoreboard with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the third. The Bears combined back-to-back singles by center fielder Garrett Strom and left fielder Reese Albright with an error in scoring their only run.

Saint Ignatius, which is scheduled to face Cincinnati St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday at noon on the Bombers' field, closed out the scoring in the bottom of the fourth on a sharp single through the left side by Zajaczkowski, a single to left field by senior catcher/captain Alex Pantares, a fielder' choice and  a two-out run-scoring single by senior pitcher/outfielder Dylan Smolen.

Completing the Cats' seven for seven innings pitching rotation were Jacob Bangert in the third inning, Richard McGraw in the fourth, Nick Freund in the fifth, Smolen in the sixth and the ace of Coach Ganor's bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, in the top of the seventh. O'Brien struck out two of the four batters he faced and Smolen's scoreless sixth featured a slick and smooth 5-4-3 double play that was started by Joe Evans at third base.

In what was one of the more impressive swings that didn't go for a hit on Friday night came off the bat of Wildcats junior first baseman/designated hitter George Asadorian, who drove a pitch to the 370-foot mark in left field.

The line scores on the game were 1-6-1 for North Royalton and 4-9-1 for Saint Ignatius.

"I'm proud of them, they had fun," Coach Ganor said. "I mean getting to hit under the dugout before the game, they truly felt like big leaguers for a night."       

  

 

 

   

          

PLEASE NOTE CHANGES FOR THIS WEEKEND'S VARSITY BASEBALL SCHEDULE.
4/24/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tonight's game versus North Royalton in Progressive Field is still a go. The first pitch in what is part of the Cleveland Indians' Charities annual High School Hardball Classic will be 8 PM.

Now stay with us as far as where Saturday's and Sunday's schedules stand. 

The annual Ohio Jesuit Cup Tournament, which was scheduled to get underway on Saturday at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School, has been officially canceled.

However, Saint Ignatius now plans to play St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday at St. Xavier. The first game is slated for noon, with the second game at approximately 2 PM or 2:30 PM.

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "We will plan to play St. Xavier in a doubleheader on Sunday. If too much rain comes and we have to push back, we will only play one game on Sunday."

Please note postponement on April 28 Varsity Volleyball
4/23/2015

The Cats' volleyball match versus Hudson in Sullivan Gymnasium, scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, has been postponed because of a work scheduling conflict involving the Explorers' head coach.  

The Freshmen Baseball Cats roll to a mercy-rule victory over Euclid on Wednesday.
4/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's young Cats now stand 11-2 on the season after defeating the Panthers, 15-0. The game was called after 4 1/2 innings.

Today's line score read 15-9-0 for Saint Ignatius and 0--5-12 for Euclid. 

A big weekend awaits the Varsity Baseball Cats
4/22/2015


By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Auburn Township, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor’s Varsity Baseball Wildcats, coming off an impressive 7-0 victory over Willoughby South on Tuesday that improved their record to 11-4, will face 2014 Division I state runner-up North Royalton on Friday at 8 PM in Progressive Field.

Friday’s game is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic.

The Bears from North Royalton were bad news for the Cats last spring as they defeated Saint Ignatius, 5-2, in the Strongsville Division I District Championship Game.

After Friday night’s game it is on to Cincinnati St. Xavier bright and early Saturday morning for the annual Ohio Jesuit Cup Tournament.

Saint Ignatius will take on perennial power Walsh Jesuit at 4 PM Saturday and on Sunday the Baseball Cats will play either the Bombers from St. Xavier or the Titans from Toledo St. John’s Jesuit. Sunday’s first pitch is listed as 11 AM on the Cats’ schedule. Please check the Saint Ignatius and St. Xavier websites throughout the weekend for any delays or rescheduling of games.

At last season’s Jesuit Cup, which was played on the spacious campus of Walsh Jesuit, the Baseball Cats split their two games, losing to St. John’s Jesuit, 8-4, but going home with a smile after a 6-5, 10-inning victory over St. Xavier.

One of the major story lines to the thrilling victory over St. Xavier last year was the performance of Jacob Bangert, who is currently a key senior arm out of Coach Ganor’s bullpen.

In what was his first victory on the varsity level, Bangert pitched four shutout innings against St. Xavier. Jacob yielded
three hits and threw 59 pitches, 33 of which were strikes.

"For a kid that was on the junior varsity earlier in the season, he has shown a lot of moxie the last few weeks," Coach Ganor said of Bangert that Sunday afternoon of last spring. "He's deserving of the innings he is getting, that's for sure."

As for last year’s Saturday matchup with St. John’s Jesuit, the Cats spotted the Titans six runs and couldn't quite recover.

Here is a glance at Walsh Jesuit, St. Xavier and St. John’s Jesuit.

WALSH JESUIT: Under the direction of veteran Coach Chris Kaczmar, a 1988 graduate of Walsh Jesuit, the Warriors are ranked second to Archbishop Moeller in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Division I state poll.

Walsh Jesuit earned that ranking by getting out of the gate fast and winning nine of its first 10 games. If you are one who enjoys comparing scores, which in high school baseball can be a risky venture, the Warriors’ loss in that 10-game stretch was to defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson, 2-1, at Walsh Jesuit. Saint Ignatius defeated Jackson, 3-2, at Jackson on March 31. The Cats are ranked 17th in the OHSBCA Division I state poll.

As usual, Coach Kaczmar has an array of college recruits, including senior right-hander Ryan Feltner (The Ohio State
University) and senior southpaw Ty Shoaff (University of Missouri). Coach Kaczmar, a 2015 inductee into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, has comfortably surpassed the 400 career-victory mark and has a winning
percentage of .843.

The Warriors carry a resume that includes two state runner-up finishes and four state championships. They are a member of the North Coast League.

SAINT XAVIER: After being swept by Bloom-Carroll, 2-1 and 11-5, over the weekend, the Bombers bounced back with a 6-3 victory over Bishop Fenwick and stand 5-8 on the season after today's 4-0 loss to Ohio's top-ranked Archbishop Moeller (14-1). St. Xavier is now 0-4 in Cincinnati's Greater Catholic League South.

Among the Bombers to watch are Nathan Winning, who entered this week batting .400, Noah Mehrle (.351), Eric Jaun (.317), John Klare, a pitcher who is hitting .375, and Walsh University recruit Spencer Helwig.

ST. JOHN’S JESUIT: Like most teams in Ohio, the Titans have battled Mother Nature and their opponents. St. John’s Jesuit got off to a 4-1 start that included an 8-5 victory over Clay in Three Rivers Athletic Conference play.

Among the players most teams remember when they play the Titans are shortstop Dylan Dohanos, the versatile Ian Waddell and outfielder/pitcher T.J. Lake, who was 3-0 through the first month of the season.   



    



    



Connor Adams fires six innings of no-hit baseball, junior Murphy O'Brien combines on the no-no by retirng all three of the batters he faced in the seventh and Jake Kucia, George Asadorian and Mullen Socha help fuel the offense in a 7-0 victory over South.
4/21/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Captains Park in Lake County - Connor Adams, a gifted sophomore left-hander, improved to 2-0 on the season by relying mostly on his fastball Tuesday evening. He yielded two walks, struck out five and hit a batter, and 46 of his 79 pitches were strikes. Remember the name my friends.

Murphy O'Brien, a savvy junior right-hander, continued his dominance out of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen as he took over for Adams in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second and no outs. Adams was on a pitch count.

O'Brien calmly settled the issue and kept the no-hitter intact off a ground ball to the left side that gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia fielded and alertly threw to third base to force the lead runner, and two strikeouts.    

Kucia contributed big time with his bat and his glove, as Saint Ignatius improved to 11-4 and handed the Willoughby South Rebels just their third loss in 15 games. The South Rebels entered the game as the ninth-ranked Division I team in the state by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association. The OHSBCA poll ranked the Wildcats 17th in Division I this week. 

Along with his force-out toss to third in the seventh inning, Kucia helped keep the no-hitter alive by making a diving catch of a sinking liner in the top of the fifth and, in a quick heads-up reaction, firing the ball to junior Dennis Grosel at first base to double off the runner, who had reached on an error.

Multitalented junior designated hitter/ first baseman George Asadorian and Kucia staked Saint Ignatius to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with ringing RBI singles.

Coach Ganor's Cats took command with a five-run sixth inning that featured the third consecutive walk drawn by the keen batting eye of junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, Mingus' second stolen base on the evening, a picture-perfect bunt down the third-base line by sophomore outfielder Ryan Jacobs that went for a base hit, Asadorian reaching on a hit by pitch, an authoritative RBI single through the left side by steady senior second baseman Mullen Socha, another run-scoring base hit by Kucia, and a stolen base by Kucia that resulted in Jake coming around to score from second off a line-drive single to right-center field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller.

Saint Ignatius' take-charge sixth also saw the Cats score off a passed ball and a wild pitch.

The Cats' line score read 7-6-3 and it was 0-0-0 for the Rebels.

Up next for the Cats is Friday's 8 PM matchup with 2014 Division I state runner-up North Royalton at Progressive Field. The game is part of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic. Holy Name had to cancel its scheduled game for Thursday versus Saint Ignatius.

FROM COACH GANOR: "I was hoping for 80 pitches and he was just light of that going into the seventh inning," said Coach Ganor of Adams, a young man with a tough competitive nature. "He did a great job. I love his fire and passion in wanting to stay in the game. Even when I came out (to the mound) in the seventh (following two base on balls) he wasn't happy about it. But he's young and has a bright future so we don't want to jeopardize any of that, obviously.

"Going into today, that's what we needed," Coach Ganor continued in reference to his team's seven-run shutout of a top-10, state-ranked team. "We needed to have that game where we're not on the edge of our seats for the final out. I'm proud of the guys. It was a great job today."

FROM CONNOR ADAMS: "It was pretty much my fastball," Connor said of his impressive outing on Tuesday. "It was the only pitch I threw, except for their No. 4 batter (first baseman Dan Danford), I threw curves to him. I just go out and every hitter, I don't really look at the name. I just go at him. As soon as I get behind in the count, I get it over the plate and let my fielders make plays. I have faith in them."

FRESHMAN CATS NOW STAND 10-2: Coach Brian Becker's promising ninth graders rode a nine-run third inning on Tuesday to an 11-3 victory over Willoughby South. The Cats' line score read 11-7-4 and the Rebels' line was 3-5-1.     

 

             

Wildcats Tennis is ranked eighth in the first 2015 Division I state poll by the OTCA.
4/21/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here is the first of five weekly polls conducted by members of the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association. First place votes are in parenthesis.

Division I

1. Cincinnati Sycamore (11) 110
2. Upper Arlington 74
3. Toledo St. John Jesuit 72
4. Massillon Jackson 66
5. Cincinnati St. Xavier  64
6. New Albany  50
7. Mason 44
8. Saint Ignatius 24
9. Pickerington North 15
10. Columbus St. Charles 11

 
Wildcats Baseball ranked 17th in the first Division I state poll of the season by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association
4/20/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Perennial power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, the alma mater of Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin, just to name a couple, is ranked No. 1. The "Men of Moeller" received 21 first-place votes from coaches throughout the state.

Walsh Jesuit is ranked second, Lakota West is third, followed by Westerville Central and Mason in the fourth and fifth spots.

The Lakewood Rangers have cracked the top 10 at the sixth spot and rounding out that 10 are Troy at 7th, Olentangy Liberty at 8th and Willoughby South and Toledo St. Francis DeSales at ninth and 10th, respectively.

Completing the top 20 listing in Division I are in this order: Perrysburg; Watkins Memorial; a tie between Gahanna Lincoln and defending big-school champ Massillon Jackson; Cincinnati Elder; Anthony Wayne; Saint Ignatius;  a tie between St. Edward and Kettering Fairmont, and Hudson.

Other teams receiving votes included: Butler, Westerville South, Springboro, Wadsworth, Olentangy, Mount Vernon, Harrison, Berea-Midpark, New Philadelphia, Strongsville, Mentor, Glen Este, Cincinnati Colerain and Nordonia.

Note that this first poll does not include games from this past Friday through Sunday. The voting for this week's poll closed on Thursday evening, April 16th.

****Weather permitting, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats (10-4), coming off a gutsy 4-3 victory over Strongsville, will face the state's ninth-ranked Rebels from Willoughby South on Tuesday at 5 PM in Classic Park. In its most recent "Top of the Crop" area poll, the News-Herald had the South Rebels (11-2) ranked No. 1.

SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY: In what was one of the more entertaining games of the 2014 season at Classic Park, Saint Ignatius, trailing, 5-2, entering the bottom of the seventh, scored a run off a walk to second baseman Quillan Austria, a line-drive single by designated hitter Nick Fabian and some shaky play by Willoughby South's middle infield.

First baseman Joe Khoury then delivered a game-tying, two-run double deep into the gap in left-center field and with two outs and runners on second and third, shortstop Jake Kucia drove a 2-1 fastball up the gut for the game-winning hit.

With the victory, the Cats, who trailed, 3-0, after four innings and 5-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, improved to 6-1 on the young 2014 season. 

    

 

 



 

 

The Wildcat Navy is making tremendous strides
4/20/2015


THE WILDCAT NAVY IS EDGED OUT BY MIDWEST POWER PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC

COURTESY OF SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING ASSISTANT COACH CONNOR WALTERS '09

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach Walters

Saint Ignatius rowers proved they are within striking distance of the Midwest's top scholastic team when they raced against Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday. Although the Wildcats topped the Vikings in just one of five varsity races, the top four boats were between 1-5 seconds out of first place.

The lone victory came in the 5th varsity eight event, which Saint Ignatius won by 14 seconds.

The Wildcats' freshmen/novice crews were also defeated by the Vikings in their first races of the season.

Head Coach Pat Connor '94 told his rowers to not hang their heads after the dual, but instead to focus on the improvements the team can make in the three weeks leading up the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association
championship.

On Sunday, six Saint Ignatius coxswains spent the day in workshops and clinics with two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Whipple.

Coxswain of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Champion U.S. Women's 8s, Whipple worked closely with the young men to improve their steering, calls and motivational tactics.

The team now looks to its first major regatta of the season, the Wesley Davids Memorial Championship Regatta in Columbus (formerly the Ohio Governors Cup), on Sunday.

On May 2, the Wildcats will race in Michigan at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep. Dillon Lake in Zanesville will host the Midwest Championship on May 9-10.



Volleyball Cats look to bounce back after a tough stretch against some of the state's best
4/20/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Head Coach Casey Marcelo

Cats Volleyball dropped three matches against highly ranked teams, St. Edward (#8) 3-0,  Walsh Jesuit (#1 D2) 3-1
and Cincinnati St. Xavier (#3) 2-0.
 
Here are the scores from those matches: St. Edward 32-30, 25-17, 25-16; Walsh Jesuit 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-15
and St. Xavier 25-18, 25-18.
 
From the corner: The Cats will now gear up for Saturday's 10 AM Elite Eight Tournament at Centerville High School.
Saint Ignatius' outstanding offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg commits to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame
4/19/2015


By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Auburn Township, Ohio – Putting an emphasis on what he described as the great academic opportunities that await him under the Golden Dome, Saint Ignatius’ standout junior offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg has given a verbal commitment to further his education and football career at the University of Notre Dame.

Liam, who will be entering his senior season this summer as one of the Captains for the 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Football Wildcats, chose Head Coach Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish after seriously considering defending National Champion Ohio State. Liam made an official visit to The Ohio State University this weekend.

The University of Michigan and Penn State were also among Liam’s considerations.

Liam, who as just a sophomore became a fixture at offensive tackle for Wildcats legendary Head Coach Chuck Kyle, said Notre Dame recruited him as an offensive tackle. At 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, Liam earned Associated Press All-Ohio and All-Northeast Lakes District Division I recognition this past fall and he has already been invited to participate in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Most recruiting sites have Liam rated as a high four-star recruit.

At Notre Dame, Liam will once again be teaming up with former Saint Ignatius offensive lineman Jim Byrne ’14, who was a two-time All-Ohio tackle under the tutelage of Saint Ignatius’ outstanding Offensive Line Coach Adam Rini ’99.

Liam said one of the factors in his decision was the recruiting process put forth by Notre Dame Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand, who was not overbearing when it came to the communication process.

“Coach Hiestand respected my space,” Liam said.

Putting everything in perspective, Liam said he can’t thank his parents, Gregg and Heather, enough for giving him the opportunity to attend Saint Ignatius High School.

“It’s because of the education I have received at Saint Ignatius and having the opportunity to play for a great coach in Mr. Kyle that I am able to attend such an outstanding university as Notre Dame,” said Liam, who plans to pursue the business field as part of his college studies.

This old-timer, who has the privilege to cover and report on Liam’s football career at Saint Ignatius, would like to express my congratulations to Liam, his family, Coach Kyle, Coach Rini and the entire Saint Ignatius Football Program.

Luke Wagner helps show the way as the Wildcats' Track and Field Team finishes second at the GlenOak Second Sole Eagle Elite on Saturday.
4/18/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Host GlenOak totaled 115.50 points in taking first place, with the Wildcats right behind the Golden Eagles with a second-place performance of 112 points. Medina was third with 108 points.

HERE ARE SOME OF SAINT IGNATIUS' MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS, WHICH INCLUDED ANOTHER BIG DAY FROM STANDOUT JUNIOR LUKE WAGNER.

BOYS 1600 METER RUN: First Place, Luke Wagner, 4:17.38. This was huge for Luke as he edged out one of his stern competitors, Kyle Mau of Hudson. Mau finished in 4:20.75.

BOYS 800 METER RUN: First Place, Luke Wagner, 1:58.86. Mike Huber was third in 2:02.91 and Pat Nolan was fourth in 2:03.95. 

LONG JUMP: First Place, Rai Walters, 21-05.50.

200 METER RUN: First Place, Phil Zuccaro, 22.74 (We told you about Phil during an undefeated freshmen football season this past fall).

4x400 METER RELAY: First Place, 3:28.61. The team of Alex Janis, Anthony Pelligrino, Mike Huber and James Norris.

400 METER DASH: Second Place, Alex Janis, 52.85.

3200 METER RUN: Second Place, Tom Sullivan, 9:43.78.

POLE VAULT: Third Place, Sam Rapnicki, 12-00.00.

300 METER HURDLES: Fifth Place, Jack Ruddy, 42.45.

DISCUS: Fifth Place, Cory Griffith, 134-10.

SHOT PUT: Fourth Place, Cory Griffith, 47-05.

  

The resiliency of starter Nick Freund, strong efforts in relief by M.J. Nara and Murphy O'Brien, and a game-ending double play turned by Mullen Socha that could go down as one of the most significant plays of the 2015 season.
4/18/2015

SAINT IGNATIUS VARSITY BASEBALL, WRAPPING UP A STRETCH OF GAMES THAT HAD SEEN IT STRUGGLE A BIT OFFENSIVELY, DUG DEEP WHEN IT MATTERED THE MOST AND TURNED AWAY A SOLID STRONGSVILLE TEAM, 4-3, ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY. THE VICTORY CAME IN WHAT WAS JUST THE SECOND HOME GAME OF THE SEASON FOR THE CATS. 

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Berea, Ohio - With the bases loaded with Mustangs and no outs in the top of the seventh inning, Wildcats junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, the ace of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, recorded the first out via a strikeout.

Strongsville's faithful cheered as the next batter sent a sharp grounder up the middle against a drawn-in infield that appeared to be targeted for center field.

However, instead of a base hit that would have tied the score and possibly brought home the go-ahead run as well, the baseball gods smiled in the direction of Saint Ignatius senior middle infielder Mullen Socha, who fielded the ball behind second base, stepped on the bag and fired to first to complete a game-ending double play. Web Gem City my friends.

Okay, it was just game 14 and, not being affiliated with a league, the main focus of a Wildcats baseball season is always the Ohio High School Athletic Association state playoffs, which begin next month.

That said, for anyone close to Coach Ganor's program Saturday's heart-pounder was just what a tough-minded and talented group of Wildcats needed.

After starting their season at 7-0, the Cats hit an offensive lull that saw them lose four of their next six games.

Coming off Friday's tough loss to West Side rival St. Edward, Saint Ignatius needed to get the adrenalin flowing again and recapture the resiliency it displayed throughout the first three weeks of the season.

Standing 10-4 heading into Tuesday's game versus Willoughby South at Classic Park, all of the Wildcats' goals are still in front of them as they look to finish the regular season strong and gear up for their time of year, which is always mid May.

NICK FREUND EARNS A BIG-HEARTED VICTORY: After yielding two runs in the top of the first inning, Saint Ignatius junior right-hander Nick Freund, displaying the work ethic that has earned him a spot in Coach Ganor's rotation, shutout the Mustangs over the next three innings. Nick earned the victory after going four-plus innings. He yielded three hits, struck out three and had three walks. Thirty eight of Nick's 60 pitches were strikes.

MR. VERSATILITY: Saint Ignatius junior Dennis Grosel, who can handle first base, third base and go behind the plate when senior captain Alex Panstares needs a breather, put on the catching gear and came up with two impressive plays on Saturday. Dennis accounted for the second out in the top of the fourth by throwing a seed down to second base to retire a would-be base stealer and in the top of the fifth, with runners on first and second and two outs, he ended the threat by picking off the runner at first base. Wildcats senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski did a nice job of blocking the runner off the bag and making the catch.

Maybe the versatility Grosel possesses is a family thing. Panstares, Dennis' first cousin and one of the premier catchers in the state, played left field yesterday and made two key grabs on the run. Grosel, for those not aware, is the Wildcats' starting Varsity Football quarterback.

THE CAPTAIN VOLUNTEERS HIS SERVICES: Coach Ganor shared with the corner that before Saturday's game, M.J. Nara, a senior captain and the Wildcats' No. 1 starter, told his coach that if he needed him he could go at least one inning in relief.

A right-hander bound for Walsh University, M.J. came on in relief of Nick Freund in the top of the fifth and threw a shutout inning that included two strikeouts.

A "NOT AGAIN" FROM THE MUSTANGS' FAITHFUL: Strongsville's loss on Saturday marked the second time this season that the Mustangs had the early lead on the Wildcats. The teams met on April 2nd at Strongsville and the Mustangs led, 4-0, after four innings before the Cats rallied to a 6-4 victory.

THE OFFENSE: Saint Ignatius' promising sophomore outfielder Ryan Jacobs cut the Cats' deficit to 2-1 with an RBI double down the left-field line in the bottom of the second inning. The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead with a two-run bottom of the fourth that featured a game-tying RBI single to right field by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, and a run-scoring single by Mullen Socha that saw Mullen go the opposite way to right field. Alex Panstares' RBI double to deep left field in the bottom of the fifth made it a 4-2 game. Saint Ignatius' line score was 4-7-2.

After Zach Kahn's run-scoring double cut the Mustangs' deficit to 4-3 in the top of the sixth, Strongsville loaded the bases in the top of the seventh on two singles and an error. Kahn also turned in a solid game in center field. Strongsville's line score was 3-6-2. 

FROM COACH GANOR: "Nick was fantastic battling back," said Coach Ganor of Nick Freund. "When you're not playing well and you feel like the week has been a month, you start asking yourself if you're ever going to win another game. And then you do this and you feel like you can't lose a game. That's the story of high school baseball I guess, the ups and downs of it. But I'm very proud of them and their resiliency today."

MUSTANGS WIN THE MATCHUPS BETWEEN THE FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES: The day wasn't a total loss for Strongsville, as the Mustangs' freshmen handed the Wildcats' freshmen just their second loss in 11 games this spring, 10-7. The Mustangs' jayvees came up with a 3-2 victory over Saint Ignatius' junior varsity. It was the JV Cats' first setback in nine games.       

          

Behind 10 strikeouts by Tom Grosel, Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Baseball Wildcats defeat St. Edward, 6-0, on Friday evening.
4/18/2015

In improving to 9-1, the Freshmen Cats outhit the ninth grade Eagles, 7-2

- Eddie Dwyer 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball yields seven runs in the third inning and is defeated by St. Edward, 9-1, at The Pipe Yard in Lorain County on Friday evening
4/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Lorain, Ohio - In the words of Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Matt Blazer '94, Saint Ignatius was out scrapped by the Eagles in almost every phase of the game on Friday evening, as another chapter of the storied West Side rivalry took place under ideal blue sky and sunshine conditions in what is an atmosphere-rich baseball facility off Meister Road.

Saint Edward, which improved to 8-2 and has now won eight of its last nine games, rode a leadoff single by junior third baseman Jake Budyka, a sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Shayne Erny, two hit batsmen and a bases-loaded walk into a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

The Wildcats (9-4), who have lost four of their last six outings, were able to stay in the game early, as the Eagles left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings.

It was a short-lived stay, however, as Coach Joe Kasl's ball club scored seven times in what was a decisive bottom of the third inning.

St. Edward's seven-run outburst started with a line drive single to right-center field by promising sophomore Kevin Finzer, who was the designated hitter on Friday evening. Veteran senior left fielder Darien Knowles then laid down a bunt along the third-baseline and, after some indecisive fielding by the Cats, the Eagles had runners on first and third with no outs.

Three consecutive walks followed by a sacrifice fly to right-center field by baseball savvy junior shortstop Joe Weisenseel made it a 4-0 game. Keeping the pressure on with an aggressive approach on the base paths and coming up with clutch RBI base hits by senior center fielder Kyle Hegedus and junior first baseman Kevin Ruffing, St. Edward took an 8-0 lead into the fourth inning.

That was more than enough support for Eagles junior right-hander Jaret Edwards, who went 5 2/3 innings, yielded two hits, one run, walked three and struck out four in improving his record to 3-1. Edwards threw 97 pitches, 60 of which were strikes.

Saint Ignatius, which will face the Strongsville Mustangs for the second time this season when the teams meet in a 3 PM first pitch at Baldwin Wallace University tomorrow (Saturday), scored its run in the top of the fourth inning.

Wildcats senior outfielder Kurt Mantes led off the fourth with a double to right field. Senior designated hitter/infielder Dylan Welch reached on an error and a ground out to the right side of the infield off the bat of junior right fielder Mike Rogers enabled the Cats to avoid a shutout.

Saint Edward senior reliever Garrett Zorb closed out the game for Coach Kasl by pitching the final inning and a third. Zorb ended the top of the sixth with a strikeout and, after yielding a one-out single to Saint Ignatius senior second baseman Mullen Socha in the top of the seventh, coaxed a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Wildcats' line score read 1-3-1 and the Eagles, who scored their ninth run in the bottom of the fifth off a walk to Weisenseel, a passed ball, a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly by Hegedus, had seven hits and committed two errors.

"I don't know, I feel like this has been a week from hell offensively," said Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor, whose team has stranded several runners over its last six games. "We are out of sorts. If I knew what it was it would be fixed. But I don't know what it is. It's been a week that feels like three months.

"But we have to have a short memory," Coach Ganor continued. "We have another strong opponent tomorrow in Strongsville. We have to come ready to go."

The Wildcats and the Strongsville Mustangs met on April 2 at Strongsville, a game that saw the Cats rally from a 4-0 deficit after four innings and go on to defeat the Mustangs, 6-4.

"I'm kind of praying that this is that lull in the season that every team has," said Coach Ganor. "But these guys are going to snap out of it. They approach the game the right away and they play the game the right way. I couldn't be more proud to be the Saint Ignatius baseball coach and that wouldn't change if we lost every game from here on out. But we'll figure it out. That's the coaching staff's job, to figure it out and make us better, and it's their job (the players) to execute it."       

   

        

  

Just a reminder on this evening's Varsity Baseball Game versus West Side rival St. Edward
4/17/2015

The 9-3 Wildcats will travel to The Pipe Yard in Lorain County this evening for a 5 PM first pitch versus the host Eagles, who are 7-2 after their 3-0 victory over Eastlake North on Thursday. Senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0) is scheduled to take the mound for Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats.

Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network will bring you tonight's game live and this seasoned corner will be on hand for game coverage.

- Eddie Dwyer   

Here is the latest news from the Ohio High School Athletic Association
4/17/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From the OHSAA Board of Directors' Meeting

The board approved a contract extension with the Branin Natatorium in Canton to host the OHSAA state swimming tournament through 2025. With 2,500 seats, Branin is the largest natatorium in Ohio and has hosted the state tournament for the last 33 years.

The board was provided with the final slate of 10 referendum items (nine high school and one 7th-8th grade) that will go to the membership for voting in May. The annual referendum voting period is May 1-15. A majority vote by the membership (one vote per school) is the only method for making changes to the OHSAA constitution and bylaws. A separate release will be sent April 17 and the referendum items will be posted on the OHSAA’s Member School Resources page at: http://www.ohsaa.org/members/default.htm

Since the board’s January meeting, 33 member schools were penalized for committing infractions of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations. The list of infractions and penalties is always included in the complete meeting minutes, but media members may request the list in advance from Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Information Services, at tstried@ohsaa.org.

The attendance and financial reports from the 2014 regional and state fall tournaments except football were presented to the board. The football reports will be presented at the Board’s June meeting. The state cross country championships drew 10,239 fans and resulted in a profit of $25,695, but when combined with the regionals, which have not been able to sell tickets, the overall tournament resulted in a loss of $44,621. The field hockey district and state tournaments (both run by the OHSAA state office) resulted in a profit of $3,405. The golf state tournaments drew 3,988 fans and resulted in a loss of $10,061. The girls tennis state tournament had 1,321 fans and resulted in a loss of $4,146. The soccer state championships at Crew Stadium drew 11,125 fans (second-highest in OHSAA history) and, when combined with the regional tournaments and the state semifinals, resulted in an overall profit of $142,191. The volleyball state tournament drew 12,105 fans and, when combined with the regional tournaments, resulted in overall profit of $65,135.

The board was presented with the most recent independent audit report by Schneider Downs, which covered the fiscal year ending July 31, 2014.  The report, which received the highest possible rating, will be posted on the OHSAA website at: http://www.ohsaa.org/general/about/default.asp

The board approved a recommendation from the OHSAA District Athletic Board Review Committee to rescind a district-to-state representation regulation in the sport of golf that had required the number of teams included in each district tournament to be such that at least two state qualifiers came from each district tournament. The regulation was put into place in 1988, was reaffirmed by the Board in 1997 and meant that in some divisions districts would be combined in order to assure that representation resulted in at least two state qualifiers.

 

Cats Freshmen Baseball stands 8-1 after a 3-0 loss to St. Vincent-St. Mary on Thursday.
4/16/2015

The young Cats managed two hits and the Fighting Irish totaled nine hits.

St. Vincent-St. Mary scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and added two runs in the second inning.

Varsity Volleyball drops a tough match to Archbishop Hoban and will now gear up for Friday's matchup with the Eagles from St. Edward.
4/16/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Volleyball Cats were defeated by the Hoban Knights in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night, 3-1.

Scores: 24-26, 25-21, 20-25, 13-25

Jack Eckman had 8 kills and 4 aces, and Brian Messina sent home 4 aces.

Up next for Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats will be Friday's encounter with St. Edward at 6:30 PM in Sullivan Gym.
And congrats go out again to Coach Brian Becker's Freshmen Baseball Cats, who improved to 8-0 with a 14-6 victory over Avon on Wednesday evening.
4/15/2015

The young Wildcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead after two innings. They outhit Avon, 8-4, in a game that saw nine errors committed, including five by the Eagles.

- Eddie D.  

Lax Cats come up with an impressive 15-2 victory over North Canton Hoover on Wednesday night.
4/15/2015

In what was a key early season matchup, Coach Patrick McManamon's Wildcats made themselves at home in the Vikings' Memorial Stadium.

It was sweet revenge for the Lax Cats, as Hoover ended Saint Ignatius' 2014 season by coming away with a 7-6, sudden-victory overtime triumph at Wasmer Field. That victory sent the Vikings on to the Elite Eight.

Hoover entered Wednesday night's faceoff ranked third in Ohio.

Up Next for the 4-2 Lax Cats is Saturday's 3 PM encounter with the Titans from St. John's Jesuit in Toledo.

- Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer  

M.J. Nara, Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien pitch the Varsity Baseball Wildcats to a 2-0 victory over Boardman at the baseball-rich facility on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University.
4/15/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Berea, Ohio - M. J. Nara improved to 2-1 on the season after the senior right-hander/captain worked the first four innings on Wednesday evening, yielding just one hit and racking up eight strikeouts. A Walsh University recruit, M.J. threw 59 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

Savvy southpaw Connor Adams pitched the fifth and sixth innings, and also gave up just one hit. Connor, a sophomore, had three strikeouts and recorded 23 strikes in the 31 pitches he fired to junior catcher Dennis Grosel.

Completing the two-hit shutout over the Spartans was the ace of Head Coach Brad Ganor's bullpen, junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien. Murphy threw a 1-2-3 top of the seventh off two groundouts and a strikeout, as the Baseball Cats won for the ninth time in 12 games this season.

Saint Ignatius, which was playing its first home game of the spring, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and added the second run in the bottom of the third.

Junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who has been swinging an authoritative bat, led off the bottom of the first with a double to deep right-center field. Gifted senior center field Sam Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, drew a walk and Grosel followed with an infield hit that loaded the bases with no outs.

After the Wildcats scored on a fielder's choice, Boardman right-hander Sam Varga (1-1) did a nice job of damage control in the first inning, as he pitched out of what could have been a big inning for the Cats by coaxing a groundout and a double play.

Saint Ignatius made it a 2-0 game in the third behind a leadoff walk to senior second baseman Mullen Socha, a textbook sacrifice bunt by Mingus and a ringing RBI single to right field by Fuller.

The official line scores on the game were 0-2-0 for Boardman and 2-5-1 for the Wildcats. Boardman's coaching staff said the Spartans are now 6-5.

Up next for Coach Ganor's Cats is Friday evening's annual matchup with West Side rival St. Edward. The first pitch from The Pipe Yard in Lorain County will be 5 PM and senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0) will be on the mound for Saint Ignatius.

Coach Joe Kasl's St. Edward Eagles are 6-2 heading into Thursday's game at Eastlake North. The Eagles had their six-game winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss at Midview in Grafton on Tuesday. Midview's Middies scored in the bottom of the first inning on three walks and a sacrifice fly.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares teams with two of his first cousins on the 2015 Wildcats Varsity Baseball Team - Kevin Mingus and Dennis Grosel.

COACH GANOR ON WHAT WAS ANOTHER BOUNCE-BACK VICTORY BY HIS RESILIENT WILDCATS: "The pitching was very good," said the veteran skipper. "M.J., Connor and Murphy, fantastic. They are our top three and they did everything we expected them to do. Offensively, I know that we are going to be fine. It was the lack of aggressiveness, though, that frustrated me today.

"We faced a great pitcher (Vanderbilt recruit Chris Machamer) yesterday," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Tuesday's 5-0 loss at Massillon. "We were facing more of a typical type of a high school pitcher today and I don't think we had great approaches at the plate. I thought we took better approaches yesterday against a guy with exceptional talent. Today we weren't as aggressive. That will come and we'll talk it out and get better at it. But it was frustrating to watch, especially the three backwards Ks in one inning. We just can not have that."

Boardman's Varga recorded his three backwards Ks in retiring the Cats in order in the bottom of the sixth.                    

 

    

Congrats from the corner go out to Coach Brian Becker's 7-0 Freshmen Baseball Cats, who made the most of their three hits and went on to defeat Massillon's Freshmen, 2-1, on Tuesday evening.
4/15/2015
No excuses offered. Head Coach Brad Ganor and his staff tip their caps to Massillon's Chris Machamer after the gifted right-hander pitched the Tigers to a 5-0 victory over the Varsity Baseball Cats on the Tigers' Carl "Ducky" Schroeder Field Tuesday.
4/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Massillon, Ohio - With Machamer, a Vanderbilt recruit, limiting the Wildcats two hits and striking out 11, the Tigers improved to 7-3. Just a junior, Machamer threw 101 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. He walked two and hit a batter.

Massillon did all of its damage in the bottom of the first inning, scoring five runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batsmen.

Machamer, who improved to 2-0 on the young season, yielded an infield hit off the bat of senior second baseman Mullen Socha in the top of third inning that saw the Tigers' third baseman and shortstop collide as they were both charging the ball.

Saint Ignatius' only other hit came in the top of seventh inning, an authoritative single to right field by promising junior Kevin Mingus.

The Tigers made two exceptional defensive plays in support of Machamer, an over-the-shoulder diving catch in deep center field by senior John Henry Bronczek off a ball hit by Mingus in the top of the second inning and a sliding one-handed grab of a line drive by junior left fielder Brock Wenger that shot off the bat of Wildcats junior George Asadorian leading off the top of the sixth.

After the first-inning outburst by Massillon, the Baseball Cats, now 8-3, got shutout pitching from a bullpen that consisted of senior lefty Brendan Adler, senior right-hander Jacob Bangert and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien.

Adler came on in relief of junior right-hander Nick Freund and put out the fire by ending the bottom of the first with two strikeouts. Adler worked through the fourth inning before Bangert and O'Brien each pitched 1-2-3 innings in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, respectively.

HIGHLY TOUTED: Machamer, who is also a very capable infielder and outfielder, has been rated by Prep Baseball Report as the No. 1 prospect in Ohio. Before deciding on 2014 National Champion Vanderbilt, Machamer also was considering Stanford, South Carolina, LSU, Kentucky, Michigan and Virginia. 

Prior to Socha's two-out infield hit in the top of the third inning, Machamer retired the first eight Wildcats he faced, five of them on strikeouts. With Saint Ignatius runners on second and third and two outs, he ended the top of the third with a K and went on to strike out the side in the top of the fourth.

TIGERS ROAR EARLY: Massillon's five-run first inning was highlighted by a line drive single to left field by senior shortstop Andrew David, an RBI single to center field by sophomore designated hitter Bryce Hymes and a two-run single to left-center field by junior second baseman Ronnie Meyer. The line score from Tuesday evening was 0-2-0 for the Wildcats and 5-5-0 for the Tigers.

UP NEXT for the Cats is Wednesday's 5 PM matchup with the Boardman Spartans at Baldwin Wallace University, which will be Saint Ignatius' first home game of the season. The 1-2 punch of senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara and savvy sophomore southpaw Connor Adams will see time on the mound versus Boardman, although both young men will be on a pitch count as Coach Ganor looks to have his rotation set heading into the annual Ohio Jesuit Cup at Cincinnati St. Xavier on April 25 and 26.

FROM COACH GANOR ON TUESDAY'S GAME AT MASSILLON: "This was a game where you just tip your cap," Coach Ganor said. "He (Machamer) pitched a great game and beat us. The first inning aside, I thought we played great, I really do. We stayed aggressive and got great defense and great pitching, we just got beat by a better pitcher. We'll get better and move forward, that's all you can do.

"I love seeing pitchers like that," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Machamer. "Because we're going to see that in the playoffs and it's just making our guys better. Our guys are good enough to learn and adjust to different types of pitchers, and when you face arms like that they become better hitters because of it. We've lost three of our last four 11 games into the season. It's not like we lost three of our last four in the second week of May. If it was, I would be very concerned going into the playoffs.

"There is so much baseball ahead of us and you don't see anybody that's negative about anything right now, which is great," said Coach Ganor. "It's a testament to these kids and their ability to persevere. It's great when you're winning, but the challenge of a great team is what you're going to do when you are not winning. I'll take my chances with a team that has been tested by great competition and that's what we saw today, a very good team with a great pitcher."  

  

  

             

Head Coach Chuck Kyle watches his Track and Field Wildcats bring home first place at the 27th annual Medina Relays on Saturday
4/11/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Cats raced to numerous first-place finishes and were in the thick of things in nearly all of the events, as they brought home first place with 94 points.

Solon's Comets took second place with 81 points, Berea-Midpark was third with 70.50 points and host Medina placed fourth with 70 points.

Here is a look at Saint Ignatius' highlights throughout the day.

First Place in the 4x1600 Meter Relay, 18:30.23: The team of C.J. Ambrosio, Jim Rogers, Sean Sovacool and Luke Wagner.

First Place in the 4x800 Meter Relay, 8:03.30: The team of Mike Huber, Luke Wagner, Pat Nolan and Colin Kruchan. Note: Berea-Midpark was second in 8:21.68.

First Place in the 4x100 Meter Relay, 43:19: The team of Phil Zuccaro, Jack Cook, Quinn Lawless and James Norris. Note: St. Edward was second in 43.73.

High Jump Relay: Kyle Aerni, First Place, 5-10.00. Rai Walters was seventh (5:06.00) and Mike Lehto was 10th (5:03.00).

Long Jump Relay: Rai Walters, First Place, 20-11.75. Mike Lehto was fourth (20-02.00) and Jack Ruddy was 10th (18:04.00).

Second Place in the 4x400 Meter Relay, 3:34.03. The team of Alex Janis, James Norris, Mike Huber and Colin Kruchan. Note: Austintown Fitch was first in 3:29.93.

100 Meter Dash: James Norris was second in 10.99. Note: Joe Harrington of Austintown Fitch was first in 10.88 and Shaun Crawford of St. Edward was third in 11.17.

3200 Meter Run: Tom Sullivan was third in 9:58.74.

110 Meter Hurdles: C.J. Moore was fourth in 16:37. 

4x110 Meter Shuttle Hurdles: The team of C.J. Moore, Alex Ringfield, Matt Walcutt and Jack Ruddy placed second in 1:04.60. Note: Berea-Midpark was first in 58:45.

Pole Vault Relay: Sam Rapnicki finished among the top five with an effort of 13.00.00 and the Cats' Distance Medley Team placed fifth.

Shot Put Relay: Malique Burton and Cory Griffith, 10th and 11th, respectively.

Discus Throw Relay: Cory Griffith 8th and Mike Bodnar 12th.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball experiences a 3-2, eight-inning loss at Lakewood on Saturday afternoon. Coach Mike Ribar's Rangers improve to 6-0 and Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats lose for just the second time in 10 games.
4/11/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Lakewood, Ohio -  Saint Ignatius, which was coming off an impressive victory in the Super Prep Series Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky (see the corner's post from Friday), took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out RBI single up the middle by talented and gritty junior right fielder Mike Rogers. It was a fitting moment for Mike, as the Lakewood resident came up with his first varsity hit and first varsity run batted in. Mike attended Lakewood Catholic Academy elementary school before enrolling at Saint Ignatius.  

Lakewood, a club that like the Wildcats seems to have a solid chemistry, took advantage of three Saint Ignatius errors and base hit by catcher Joe Young in grabbing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

It stayed that way until the top of the sixth, when the Cats, with one out and the bases empty, got an outstanding at-bat from senior first baseman/pinch hitter James Zajaczkowski. James, displaying a keen eye at the plate, fouled off numerous pitches before drawing a walk.

With two outs, gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller sent a sharp ground ball through the right side of the Rangers' infield and the score was knotted at 2.

After Fuller stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball, Lakewood's talented and versatile first baseman/relief pitcher Max Lavisky saw to it that Fuller would stay right there, as Max recorded a strikeout.

Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning by Wildcats senior left-hander Dylan Smolen, Lavisky sent Saint Ignatius down in order in the top of the eighth.

The 2015 Rangers, who, in the words of Head Coach Mike Ribar, just love the game, came up with a signature victory when they scored the winning run in bottom of the eighth after there were two outs and nobody on base.

Lavisky, a player that impressed this corner, had the purple and gold faithful cheering loud and clear in First Federal Lakewood Stadium after he drove a pitch to deep right-centerfield for a double. In his previous at-bat, which resulted in a single to right field, Lavisky drew the praise of Saint Ignatius' veteran assistant coach John Whelan for Max's ability to keep his hands back. 

After a Saint Ignatius error, Lakewood third baseman/relief pitcher Ben Bulchik drew a walk and the bases were now loaded in the bottom of the eighth.

Lavisky, standing on third base and listening to every word from Coach Ribar, scored the winning run off a wild pitch and the Rangers and their fans enjoyed the moment under the sunny blue sky and brisk, but comfortable temperatures that hovered over one of Ohio's tradition-rich athletic settings.

ROGERS FOR THE DEFENSE: Although it was not a good day defensively for Saint Ignatius, Mike Rogers came up with a few leather winners that added to his special hometown performance (see the lead paragraph to this story).

In the bottom of the fourth, Mike charged a ball in right field that had single written all over it and threw out the Ranger at first base.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth and Lakewood runners on first and second with just one out, Mike hauled in a fly ball in right field and fired to junior Dennis Grosel at first base to double off the runner.

Note: A tip of the cap also has to go out to Lakewood center fielder Andrew Lesko, who made an exceptional diving catch in the top of the second inning that prevented a couple of runs from scoring.

FROM WIDCATS HEAD COACH BRAD GANOR: "That's a mentality that we know as coaches, but they have to learn," Coach Ganor said of opponents always giving their best shot against the Wildcats and his young players realizing that they have to bring the same mentality. "They're new to this, a lot of them, and they have to learn how to feel the rise every single game.

"It was a baseball game in which we made a couple of mistakes and they made us pay for them," Coach Ganor continued. "We didn't make a couple of plays and we lost. It was one of those days. Our season has been great so far. We've shown a lot of fight, and we showed a lot of fight today. They made a couple more plays than we did and they won the game, 3-2. They're (Lakewood) a good, solid baseball team. They had us on the ropes and they took advantage of it."

UP NEXT FOR THE VARSITY CATS: A trip to Massillon on Tuesday to face the Baseball Tigers. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.

JV CATS IMPROVE TO 5-0: Leading the offensive barrage in a 16-7 victory over Lakewood's Jayvees were Jack Siefert (3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBI); Griffin Hunt (2-for-3, 2 RBI); Jeff Chonko (3-for-3, a double and 4 RBI) and Danny Adler with a double and a run batted in.        

                 

   

Behind the clutch hitting of Dylan Welch and Sam Fuller and a defensive gem in right field by Mike Rogers, the Varsity Baseball Wildcats defeat Illinois' defending Class 3A state champion Lemont High School, 2-1, on Friday afternoon.
4/10/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 8-1 heading into Saturday's 2 PM first pitch versus the Lakewood Rangers at First Federal Lakewood Stadium, also benefitted from the strong pitching of sophomore southpaw Connor Adams, who started and went five innings, and shutdown efforts out of the bullpen by juniors Nick Freund and Murphy O'Brien.

Friday's victory over Lemont was the second of the Cats' two games at the Super Prep Series Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Saint Ignatius was defeated by Lockport (Illinois), 7-3, on Friday morning at Ballard High School.

Here is a corner's view on the impressive bounce-back victory over Lemont, which took place at Sky View Park and resulted in the 230th career victory for Wildcats Head Coach Brad Ganor. Brad took over the Saint Ignatius baseball program in 2005.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - With his team trailing, 1-0, with two outs and the bases empty the bottom of the fourth inning, Wildcats savvy senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski drew a walk. Gifted senior second baseman Mullen Socha followed with a line-drive base hit to right field and senior designated hitter Dylan Welch drove a 1-2 pitch into right-center field that scored junior infielder Joe Evans with the tying run. Evans was running for Zajaczkowski.

Saint Ignatius, which turned in an outstanding defensive performance, flashed its leather in the top of the sixth inning while keeping it a 1-1 game.

Zajaczkowski made a Vic Power-like scoop at first base for the first out of the sixth inning and junior right fielder Mike Rogers charged the ball off a single by Lemont's Austin Tittle and fired a perfect throw to junior third baseman Dennis Grosel, who applied the tag on an Indians base runner who was attempting to advance from first to third on Tittle's hit.

Rogers was seeing his first action after being hit in the eye off an errant pick-off attempt at second base by Dublin Jerome in the season opener at Jerome. Mike was wearing a protective mask on Friday.

After Rogers' defensive gem helped junior Nick Freund to a scoreless sixth inning of relief, Socha, facing Indians reliever Ryan Sublette in the bottom of the sixth, beat out a grounder to the right side that seemed to handcuff Lemont's first and second basemen.

Welch then advanced Socha to second base with a picture-perfect sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Socha advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit to right field off the bat of multi-skilled senior center fielder Sam Fuller that the Indians' right fielder couldn't come up with despite a diving attempt.

A St. Bonaventure baseball recruit, Fuller's game-winning hit came off a 3-2 pitch.

Murphy O'Brien, who has been lights out as the Cats' closer, pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh and the sting of Friday morning's loss was gone.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Cats scored their two runs off Lemont on five hits and the Indians finished with six hits. Both teams played errorless baseball.

Connor Adams' impressive five innings saw him yielded one run, strike out three and walk one. He made 73 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

During Saint Ignatius' 7-3 loss to Lockport, the Wildcats left the bases loaded four times. The Lockport game was called after five innings because of the tournament's time-restriction rule of one hour and 50 minutes.

GOLDEN GLOVE: Senior shortstop Jake Kucia was working his magic again in both of Friday games. From his sliding back-handed stop and throw in the morning to his two putouts in Murphy O'Brien's 1-2-3 seventh inning against Lemont, Jake was money.

FROM COACH GANOR: "That was a good bounce back win. I don't know if I directly challenged them (after the Lockport loss), but I challenged them to rise to the occasion before the Lemont game. We found a way to get the job done when we had the opportunities.

"I'm proud of that," Coach Ganor said in reference to his 230th career victory at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. "If you would have told me 20 years ago that I would have 230 wins as Saint Ignatius' baseball coach, I probably would have told you that you were crazy. I can't think of a better place to have 230 victories, that's for sure.

"The true blessing of 230 wins are the 2015 players and all of the players that came before them," Coach Ganor continued. "That's the mark of a good coach, to have great players, and I have been truly blessed with great players.  

"We'll enjoy this for about 12 hours and be ready to go again tomorrow at Lakewood."              

 

 

            

Wildcats Baseball jumps out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but strands too many runners the rest of the way and is defeated by Lockport (IL), 7-3, on Friday morning.
4/10/2015

Louisville, Kentucky

The Cats, who lost for the first time in eight games this season, will close out their trip to the Super Prep Series high school tournament by facing the Lemont (IL) Indians this afternoon at Sky View Park. 

The Varsity Baseball Cats will wrap up their trip to Louisville, Kentucky with two games on Friday.
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - After two days of rainouts in Louisville, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats will look to salvage two games from the Super Prep Series Baseball Tournament by facing two of Illinois' best on Friday.

At 10 AM at Ballard Park the 7-0 Cats will face Lockport Township High School and at 12:30 PM in Sky View Park, Saint Ignatius will match its baseball skills with those of Illinois' defending Class 3A state champs, the Indians from Lemont High School.

Lockport has won 29 conference championships overall, including five in a row from 2010 through 2014, and 16 regional titles. Among the Porters' mainstays are Cole Bellair, a senior right-handed pitcher who is bound for the University of Illinois; Tyler Hair, a senior shortstop headed for Northern State University; Austin Moralis, a senior southpaw who plans to continue his baseball career at Heartland Community College; Jordan Johnston, a right-handed pitcher who has committed to Marshall University and junior infielder Anthony Cocco.

Along with their 2014 state title, the Lemont Indians have compiled a record of 56-12 over the past two seasons combined.

*A must for any baseball fan: After Mother Nature threw her second consecutive shutout on Thursday, the Baseball Cats, Coach Ganor, veteran Assistant Coach Mark Terlep, family and friends of the Baseball Cats, Saint Ignatius' gifted Student Broadcaster Brendan DeVenney '17 and this old slugging catcher visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. What a wonderful and fascinating experience it was.   

Mother Nature 2, Cats Baseball 0
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - For the second consecutive day, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Baseball Team had its game in the Super Prep Series Tournament wiped out by a persistent rain. The Cats were scheduled to play Hurricane High School, West Virginia's defending Class AAA state champion,  but Mother Nature had another curve up her sleeve.

CATS ADD A GAME FOR FRIDAY: Saint Ignatius will now play two games on Friday before heading back home. At 10 AM the Wildcats will face Lockport (Illinois) as part of the Super Prep Series Tournament and at 12:30 PM they will take on an opponent to be announced.

Louisville, Kentucky - CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' STANDOUT SENIOR GUARD ANDRE' WOLFORD, WHO RECEIVED HONORABLE MENTION ON CLEVELAND.COM'S 2014-15 ALL-STAR BASKETBALL TEAM.
4/9/2015
Baseball Cats hopeful of beginning play in the Super Prep Series Tournament
4/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Louisville, Kentucky - After Mother Nature wiped out Saint Ignatius' opening game on Wednesday night (see the post below from Wednesday), the 7-0 Wildcats are scheduled to face West Virginia's defending Class AAA state champion, Hurricane High School, today at 3 PM on the diamond at Ballard High School.

Coach Brian Sutphin's Hurricane Redskins feature the skills of Trey Dawson, a pitcher/shortstop who is bound for LSU, and J.T. Rogoszewski, a pitcher/designated hitter who will be furthering his education and baseball career at North Carolina.

CATS ADD A GAME FOR FRIDAY: Saint Ignatius will now play two games on Friday before heading back home. At 10 AM the Wildcats will face Lockport (Illinois) as part of the Super Prep Series Tournament and at 12:30 PM they will take on an opponent to be announced.

*We will have a report on today's matchup with Hurricane coming up later on the corner.    

Saint Ignatius' opening game in the Super Prep Series Baseball Tournament is canceled because of the heavy rain, winds and lightning that hit the Louisville, Kentucky area on Wednesday night.
4/8/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Louisville, Kentucky - The Varsity Baseball Cats were scheduled to face Brother Rice out of Chicago at 8 PM tonight (Wednesday), but the weather took its toll on what is an impressive field at Eastern High School.

If Mother Nature doesn't throw us another curve on Thursday, the 7-0 Wildcats will face Hurricane High School, a state champion out of West Virginia, at 3 PM on the diamond at Ballard High School in Louisville.

Note date change on Volleyball matches versus Archbishop Hoban
4/8/2015

The matches versus the Hoban Knights, originally scheduled for April 22 in Sullivan Gymnasium, been moved up to April 15th in Sullivan Gym. The Junior Varsity match is scheduled for 5:30 PM, followed by the Varsity match at 7 PM.

Please note site change for Saturday's Varsity Baseball game.
4/8/2015

Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats will be traveling to Lakewood Stadium on Saturday for a 2PM matchup with the Rangers. The game was originally scheduled for Baldwin Wallace University. 

An 11AM Junior Varsity game will precede the Varsity encounter. 

CONGRATS FROM THE CORNER GO OUT TO SENIOR CAPTAIN ETHAN WHITNEY FOR EARNING A SPOT ON THE CLEVELAND.COM ALL-STAR HOCKEY TEAM FOR THE 2014-15 SEASON, AND TO FELLOW SENIOR CAPTAINS MATTY GEITHER AND JACK MAZANEC FOR GARNERING HONORABLE MENTION.
4/7/2015
Junior Varsity Baseball Cats improve to 4-0
4/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Ashland, Ohio - It was nice to get a look at the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Baseball Program on Monday, which played Ashland's Jayvees prior to the Varsity matchup.

Under the direction of Matt Rosinski '08 (Head Coach), Joe Dorocak '08 (Assistant Coach) and Steve Nelson (Assistant Coach), the JV Cats improved to 4-0 on the young season by defeating the JV Arrows, 9-1.

This old-timer was impressed by the work of sophomore southpaw Sean Mather, whose first outing on the mound included three complete innings, no hits, seven strikeouts and three walks. Mather struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning.

Also catching the corner's baseball-rich Irish eye was sophomore first baseman Christion Ramos, who produced an RBI single in the Cats' four-run first inning and also came up with a smooth over-the-shoulder catch along the first baseline that took away a possible extra-base hit.

Other Saint Ignatius highlights included a leadoff double down the left-field line by sophomore catcher Jeff Chonko that helped fuel a two-run sixth inning, a Brooks Robinson-like stop of a sharp grounder at third base by sophomore Seth Warren and a diving catch in center field by sophomore Evan Steigerwald.

Yes, the future is always bright in Ohio City.      

    

Jake Kucia, Sam Fuller, Alex Panstares and Dennis Grosel help fuel a 14-hit evening and senior right-hander Luke Diggs strikes out six and does not issue a walk, as the undefeated Baseball Wildcats run-rule host Ashland, 12-0, on Monday.
4/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

THE 7-0 CATS WILL NOW GEAR UP FOR THE SUPER PREP SERIES TOURNAMENT IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING. THEIR FIRST GAME IS WEDNESDAY AT 8 PM VERSUS THE CRUSADERS FROM CHICAGO BROTHER RICE AT BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FIELD. BROTHER RICE STOOD 8-1 THROUGH MONDAY'S PLAY.

SENIOR CAPTAIN AND NO. 1 STARTER, RIGHT-HANDER M.J. NARA, IS EXPECTED TO TAKE THE MOUND ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

Ashland, Ohio - It was the Wildcats' offense, not rainy days and Mondays, that had the Ashland Arrows' faithful feeling a bit down.

Saint Ignatius came out swinging and sprayed authoritative hits all over Ashland's Bud Plank Field, making Monday's gray skies and occasional drizzle that much more of a gloomy setting for the home team.

A leadoff single by senior center fielder Sam Fuller, a one-out RBI double by junior first baseman Dennis Grosel to deep right-center field, and a run-scoring single by senior shortstop Jake Kucia off an 0-2 pitch led the way to what was a three-run top of the first inning by Coach Brad Ganor's Cats.

And the hits just kept on coming.

After an RBI by senior designated hitter/first baseman James Zajaczkowski off a fielder's choice made it a 3-0 game, Saint Ignatius rode a two-out bunt for a base hit by Fuller, a stolen base by Fuller and two errors by the Arrows to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Cats began to take total command in the top of the fourth.

Ashland (0-3) continued to play a little shaky in the field, as with one out and nobody on in the top of the fourth a two-base throwing error brought the gifted Fuller to the plate. Sam, a St. Bonaventure recruit, ripped a curveball into right field for a run-scoring double and a 5-0 lead.

With two outs and Fuller on second, Ashland elected to intentionally walk Grosel, who was 2-for-2 at that point. It was like pick your poison, however, as multi-skilled senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares delivered an RBI single up the middle. Grosel hustled to third on Panstares' base hit and Panstares alertly advanced to second on the throw to third.

Upped stepped the gritty Kucia who not only swung a hot bat, but also played another outstanding game at the 6 position.

Kucia, the nephew of former Saint Ignatius three-sport standout (football, baseball and basketball) Scott Mutryn '94, sent Mr. Rawlings to Rip City by lacing a two-out, two-run single to left field that pushed the Wildcats' lead to 8-0.

That was more than enough support for Cats senior right-hander Luke Diggs (2-0), who went five complete innings, yielded three hits, struck out six and did not issue any free passes. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Coach Ganor's club secured the run-rule victory with a four-run top of the fifth that was highlighted by back-to-back scorching singles by senior outfielder/pitcher Dylan Smolen and senor second baseman Mullen Socha, a two-run double by Fuller, a base hit by junior infielder Joe Evans, an RBI sacrifice fly by junior first baseman George Asadorian and a run-scoring single by Panstares. Fuller was 4-for-4 with three RBI.

"There is no one star, that's what I love about our team," said Kucia, who was 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. "We're so closely knit. If a guy doesn't get a job done, everybody's there to pick him up and the next guy will get the job done. It's a team thing, a team sport. It's a new guy every day and I love coming out here every day and seeing who that new guy is going to be.

"I love playing behind Luke (Diggs), he's one of my best friends," Kucia continued. "When he's confident, there is no hitting him. He's a gamer. He's special."

HOW WILDCATS VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH MARK TERLEP SAW MONDAY'S IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

"I like how we came out aggressively, came out swinging the bats," Coach Terlep said, referring to the Cats' three days off (Good Friday through Easter Sunday). "They came out and jumped on them. That was really nice to see. Like Jake said, when Luke (Diggs) has faith in himself he comes out and does what he did today. He's capable of that. He has that in him."    

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

        

       

A Trick or Treat football note and some Diamond Dust on the talented and resilient 6-0 Varsity Baseball Cats
4/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - As we projected in the winter, when Saint Ignatius' 2015 Varsity Football Schedule was being completed, the annual rivalry game with the St. Edward Eagles in Week 10, Saturday Oct. 31st, will be played during the afternoon. It is the Eagles' home game and St. Edward's athletic website shows it as a 2 PM kickoff.

In 2009, the last time the Wildcats versus the Eagles rivalry fell on Halloween, the City of Lakewood asked that it be moved to the afternoon so as not to cause any traffic or safety problems for the Trick or Treaters. The teams obliged and the game was still a sellout. 

You know what this corner is going to say next, but it's true. The Eagles and the Wildcats could play at 8 AM in the Madhouse on Madison and Lakewood Stadium, now First Federal Lakewood Stadium, would still be packed. I still have trouble calling my old home away from home First Federal Lakewood Stadium. But I'm adjusting.

The watering holes and restaurants along Madison Avenue loved the business that came their way in the Halloween afternoon of 2009 and, if Saint Ignatius and defending Division I state champion St. Edward put together the seasons they are projected to have in 2015, the registers and credit card/debit card swipes will be flowing before and after the game this coming season.

Just a little side note. In their last six regular-season meetings, Saint Ignatius and St. Edward have split, 3-3. However, the interesting side to that is the Wildcats won three times in First Federal Lakewood Stadium (2009, '11 and '13), St. Edward's home field, and the Eagles came out victorious three times on Byers Field in Parma's Robert M. Boulton Stadium (2010, '12 and '14), the home turf of Saint Ignatius.

DIAMOND DUST: Ok, it's early.

That said, this old-timer is in full agreement with Wildcats Baseball senior veterans Alex Panstares (catcher/captain), M.J. Nara (No. 1 pitcher/captain), Sam Fuller (center fielder) and Jake Kucia (shortstop), along with junior first baseman and two-year vet Dennis Grosel, when it comes to the impact the new juniors and sophomores have had on Saint Ignatius' 6-0 start this spring.

Among those underclassmen who have already left their mark with some savvy play are junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien, who has been nearly flawless out of Head Coach Brand Ganor's bullpen; sophomore southpaw starter Connor Adams, who threw a gem on Opening Day at Dublin Jerome; junior right-hander Nick Freund, who has displayed composure and a slick fielding glove on the mound; junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, who has been abusing Mr. Rawlings; versatile junior infielder Joe Evans, a young man with endless hustle and a high baseball IQ, and junior outfielder Daniel Volpe and junior first baseman George Asadorian, who have obvious God-given skills.

During Thursday's impressive comeback at Strongsville (see the corner's story below), another new face left an impression on yours truly and Wildcats veteran Hitting Coach Matt Blazer - sophomore outfielder/pitcher Ryan Jacobs. This corner really likes the way Ryan steps into the batter's box and swings with the confidence of a four-year veteran.

NO ONE BETTER: Senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares, who left a lasting impression on the corner when he stepped up as just a sophomore on the Wildcats' 2013 Division I state runner-up team, is off to a marvelous start this season. Alex is not only handling a relatively young staff pitching with great leadership and baseball knowledge, but his defense has been flat out tremendous. His snap tosses to first base have already frozen more than a few base runners through six games and he has sent runners attempting to steal back to their respective dugouts a bit deflated.

After the Wildcats rallied from a 4-0 deficit at Strongsville by tying the score with a four-run top of the fifth, Alex set the tempo for the decisive two-run sixth by throwing out a runner at second base to end the bottom of the fifth.

Yes, he is the Cats' Man Behind The Mask, or The Dish, if you will.

READY TO GO SOON:  The news on Saint Ignatius' junior outfielder Michael Rogers just keeps getting better. Mike, who was hit in the face by the baseball and suffered a fracture to his right eye off an errant pick-off attempt at second base by Dublin Jerome last Sunday, shared with the corner on Thursday that he expects to be back playing as soon as the special protective mask that the doctors recommended arrives.

THE ARROWS ARE UP NEXT, FOLLOWED BY A TRIP TO LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Coach Ganor's Cats will board the bus from Saint Ignatius at noon on Monday and head for Ashland to face the Arrows, and then it is off to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament, April 8th through the 10th.

Senior right-hander Luke Diggs will take the mound versus Ashland, which is the alma mater of Indians veteran play-by-play cable television broadcaster Matt Underwood.

Have a great Easter Weekend!                    

 

        

     

No Panic! Down 4-0 after four innings, the Varsity Baseball Wildcats tied the score with a four-run top of the fifth and, behind a two-run sixth that featured the go-ahead RBI base hit by James Zajaczkowski, went on to a 6-4 victory at Strongsville
4/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Strongsville, Ohio - Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, who got another outstanding all-around performance from senior center fielder Sam Fuller and more solid pitching, improved to 6-0. All six of those victories have come on the road, as Saint Ignatius does not play its first home game until April 11th versus Lakewood at Baldwin Wallace University.

The Wildcats will travel to Ashland on Monday and then head to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament, April 8th through the 10th.

Here is a corner's view on what was another big-hearted victory by the gifted and selfless 2015 Wildcats.

After a late afternoon/early evening of baseball that saw him make two diving, run-saving and momentum-shifting catches, and come up with a clutch hit in Saint Ignatius' impressive comeback at Strongsville on Thursday, standout senior center fielder Sam Fuller talked about everything but his own impressive efforts. But then that seems to be his nature.

"All of the young guys are filling out their roles, they know what they need to do and they get it done," said Fuller, a St. Bonaventure baseball recruit. "Joe Evans (junior infielder) lays down a huge bunt and gets the guy into scoring position, Zaj (senior first-year player James Zajaczkowski) gets up there and with two strikes doesn't try to do too much with it, just hits the ball right back up the middle and we score the go-ahead run there. That was huge.

"Like you said, the team chemistry," Fuller continued. "The seniors have taken the juniors under our wings. We hang out and do stuff together. It's really a great group of guys."

And great is no exaggeration when describing the hitting, fielding, throwing and base-running skills that Fuller brings to the diamond every day.

"He saves runs," said Saint Ignatius' veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor of one aspect of Fuller's many skills.

This corner was able to coax some comments from Sam regarding his two big catches at Strongsville, including his all-out extension, one-handed grab in left-center field in the bottom of the fifth that came with a runner on base, one out and the score knotted at 4. Saint Ignatius, trailing 4-0, tied the score with a four-run top of the fifth.

"It comes a lot from the positioning by the coaches and watching the ball for myself," Fuller said. "It's all about positioning and just going out there and executing it."

Strongsville, which has had some memorable encounters with the Wildcats in Varsity baseball, executed almost flawlessly en route to its four-run lead.

With one out and nobody on in the bottom of the third, the Mustangs road a walk to second baseman Sami Mehead, an RBI double to the gap in right-center field by first baseman Caleb Thomas and a throwing error to a 2-0 lead.

After Fuller took away a base hit with a diving catch in center field for the first out in the bottom of the fourth, Strongsville made it a 4-0 game behind a double by catcher Jake Boker, a walk to third baseman Charles Lewis, an error and a two-out, two-run bases-loaded double by Mehead.

"It doesn't appear that there is ever any panic," Coach Ganor said of his 2015 Cats. "Coach Blazer (Cats veteran hitting coach Matt Blazer) said it perfectly, you can't teach that stuff. And they have it. That's a testament to these senior leaders, guys who have been on the team since their sophomore year and have been around the big-game experience. They have taught everyone else how to react to situations."

Saint Ignatius' reaction was what one expects from a program that is traditionally among the state's best every spring.

With senior second baseman Mullen Socha fueling the Cats' four-run top of the fifth with a one-out base hit and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Ryan Jacobs (RBI single), Fuller (RBI double) and junior third baseman Kevin Mingus (a game-tying, two-run double) providing the clutch hits, there was almost a hush hovering over the Strongsville dugout.

After Wildcats' No. 1 starter M.J. Nara got some work in by pitching a scoreless bottom of the fifth that was highlighted by Fuller's big-time catch in left-center, gritty senior shortstop and Strongsville resident Jake Kucia led off the top of the sixth with a walk. Evans followed with his picture-perfect sacrifice bunt and Zajaczkowski sent a 1-2 pitch into center field for a base hit and a 5-4 Saint Ignatius lead.

Senior pitcher/outfielder Dylan Smolen, pinch running for Zajaczkowski, stole second base and came around to score Saint Ignatius' sixth run, the final tally of the game, off a sharp ground ball to the left side from the bat of Jacobs.

Then it was time for the Wildcats' bullpen to take over and, as they have done throughout the first week of the young season, senior right-hander Jacob Bangert and junior right-hander Murphy O'Brien turned the Mustangs away in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

Zajaczkowski's big hit in the top of the sixth was not his first special moment in Saint Ignatius' six games in five days stretch (see the corner's other baseball posts). Not bad for a young man who was cut as a freshman, sophomore and junior, and served most of this school year as The President of the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.

"We'll take it,' said Coach Ganor of his team's 6-0 start. "We got all of the games in, which is a surprise, and we're ready to go again next week." 

To all of the Saint Ignatius family, have a wonderful Easter Sunday and we will see you in Ashland and Louisville, Kentucky next week.   

         

            

 

  

           

  

     

Larry Arthur is honored by the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association
4/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Ohio City - This corner couldn't have been happier to learn that the GCBCA was dedicating Wednesday night's All-Star Games in Sullivan Gymnasium to Larry Arthur.

An outstanding coach at Holy Name High School, where he excelled as a basketball player, Saint Ignatius and John Carroll University, Larry celebrated Wednesday night's honor with his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann. He emphasized in the GCBCA Game Program bio that he and Mary Ann enjoy time spent with their daughter Erin, son Michael and daughter-in-law Kelly.

During my 37 years at The Plain Dealer, this old-timer had a period of time as relatively young reporter that coincided with Coach Arthur's head coaching career at Saint Ignatius. Larry had a tremendous impact on my career.

How great it was to have the opportunity to cover and report on Larry as a coach one more time, as two years ago he and his great friend John Cooney guided the fortunes of the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball Team. It was a team that included the young skills of Andre' Wolford, Dylan Nieto and Dre'Mont Jones, among others.

Larry, my deepest congratulations and Thank You for the kindness and respect you always treated me with during our careers.   

 

 

Saint Ignatius seniors Andre' Wolford and Jaylin McDonald were among the stars that came out in Sullivan Gym on Wednesday night. Cats senior basketball mainstay Dylan Nieto is bound for Baldwin Wallace University.
4/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2015

Ohio City - Okay, the level of intensity wasn't going to remind you of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar going up against Robert "The Chief" Parish in those glory days known as the Lakers versus the Celtics.

And quite frankly, defense was an afterthought.

But then Wednesday's 31st annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games in Sullivan Gymnasium were, at times, entertaining.

Let's face it, and this comes from someone who has covered this event several times, it is a venue for many of the area's seniors to have fun and attempt to showcase skills they couldn't display in the team structure of the regular season.

Three of Saint Ignatius' gifted seniors, Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto were selected to play in the GCBCA's tripleheader. Dylan had to sit out because of an injury that is coming along just fine, but Jalylin and Andre' had some nice moments to take home with them.

McDonald, who received the Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award during Tuesday night's annual Winter Sports Banquet, competed in the "Boys Red Game" for the West Team. A senior Captain this past season and a three-year letter winner during his varsity career at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School, Jaylin used his athletic 6-foot-6 frame to score off some nice fluid moves around the rim, including a smooth one-hander along the baseline, alter shots and grab both defensive and offensive rebounds.

In the second game of the night, the "Boys White Game," Wolford also was a member of the West Team.

Less than two minutes into the game, Andre' showed why he finished his high school basketball career as one of the most prolific long-range shooters in Wildcats basketball history.

Displaying the form that created so much excitement in Sullivan Gymnasium the past two seasons, Andre' fired home a 3-pointer that brought back memories of that night during his junior year when he put his name in the Wildcats' record books with a single-game mark of eight 3-pointers versus Cleveland Heights.

Andre', a two-year letter winner, an All-Northeast Lakes District selection, a Captain this winter, Saint Ignatius' Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and the Cats' co-Most Valuable Player with multi-skilled junior guard Deven Stover, also scored in transition and off a nice move along the baseline courtesy of an assist from Berea-Midpark's standout 6-11 post Nolan Gerrity.

NIETO BOUND FOR BALDWIN WALLACE: Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius' senior forward Dylan Nieto, who shared with the corner on Wednesday night that he is going to further his education and basketball career at Baldwin Wallace University.

The recipient of the Wildcats' Most Improved Player Award during Tuesday night's banquet, Dylan, in this corner's humble opinion, was one of the area's unsung players. A two-year letter winner, Dylan also considered Ohio Wesleyan and Capital before deciding to play for Baldwin Wallace's Duane Sheldon, a coach this old-timer has the highest respect for.



 

 

     

 

 

   

Wildcats Varsity Baseball wears down Berea-Midpark with talent and depth, 12-2, at the Titans' home field on Wednesday evening.
4/1/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Head Coach Brad Ganor's Baseball Cats will take a record of 5-0 into Thursday's scheduled game at Strongsville High School versus the Mustangs. The first pitch is slated for 4:30 PM and both the corner and the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will be on hand for game coverage. Joltin' Joe Mertens will have the lead call for the SIBN.

The game info from Berea-Midpark, scoring and key moments, was provided by the Wildcats' outstanding Senior Team Manager Kyle Kostura and posted by yours truly. Kyle's information allowed the corner to take in Wednesday evening's 31st annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games, which were played in Sullivan Gymnasium and dedicated to Saint Ignatius' veteran teacher and former Head Basketball Coach Larry Arthur.

Here is the Kostura/Dwyer production.

Berea, Ohio – The Titans from Berea-Midpark treated their faithful to an early 2-0 lead.

At that point, Saint Ignatius made sure the Titans remembered the April Fools’ Day they played the Wildcats, as Coach Ganor’s team responded with 12 unanswered runs.

Saint Ignatius’ standout senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares described his team’s big-time response as being a combination of solid pitching from juniors Nick Freund and Rich McGraw, clutch hits, sound at bats, and unselfish baseball that led to big innings. Freund was making his first Varsity start and McGraw made his first Varsity appearance.

Among the Wildcats’ defensive gems were a slick double play turned in by the gifted senior combo of shortstop Jake Kucia and second baseman Mullen Socha, and a highlight-reel diving stop at first base by senior James Zajaczkowski.

Versatile junior Joe Evans also provided a solid day at the hot corner.

The depth Coach Ganor’s team possesses was probably best exemplified on Wednesday by multi-skilled junior Dennis Grosel, who is normally the starting first baseman.

Grosel gave Panstares a little rest by going behind the plate and coming up with a performance that saw him throw out a runner at second base and go 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk.

As we have mentioned before in our baseball game reports, Grosel is also one of the top starting quarterbacks in area high school football.

From the Captains

Alex Panstares: "It's good to have games where some younger guys get opportunities and step up. Today we had some of those guys really deliver for us and that's big. I've been really happy with our execution and energy level all week, but we have to come ready to go again tomorrow and finish the week strong."

Senior Captain/No. 1 starting pitcher M.J. Nara: "Great team energy. It shows what this team is capable of, coming back from 2-0 to winning 12-2, and what kind of group of guys we have."

Another of Coach Ganor’s versatile men for others, senior outfielder/pitcher/infielder Kurt Mantes will be on the mound at Strongsville.

The old corner, not the hot one that Joe Evans fielded so well, can't wait to get back on the diamond.

   

A look at the 2015 Saint Ignatius Crew Spring Season, courtesy of Head Coach Pat Connor '94 and Assistant Coach Connor Walters '09
4/1/2015

Presented by Coach Connor and Coach Walters and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

WILDCAT NAVY READY TO FACE THE NATION

Now that the Cuyahoga River has thawed, the Wildcat Navy’s golden fleet is covering a lot of water. Having completed an extended winter  training, Head Coach Pat Connor sees no reason why his rowers can’t compete with the nation’s best crews. The team’s first varsity boat 2k average is the fastest during Coach Connor’s tenure and compares with that of national championship-caliber crews.

The Wildcats are fortunate to have one strongest Senior Classes this year, who are pushing the team’s performance to new levels, as well as setting an excellent example for the large class of Freshmen.  The Wildcats are also fortunate to have all of their coaches return from last year, and to pick up Veteran Coach Russ Eckles and recent graduate Connor Walters, an Alum of both Saint Ignatius Crew and Marietta Rowing and a member of the Communications Department at Saint Ignatius High School.

Camp Bob Cooper in South Carolina will host all 85 rowers and 8 coaches for a spring training trip, during which the team expects to see significant speed gains. Seniors Matt Barni, Michael DeGrandis, Will Fistek and Brian Kungl are the captains and represent the highly committed senior class pursuing its first team Midwest Championship, as well as medals at SRAA Nationals.

The Wildcat’s schedule kicks off with a Race against two of the best teams in the Midwest: Pittsburgh Central Catholic and New Trier out of Chicago.

Central Catholic has won the top varsity race for the last 5 years and has medaled nationally for the last two years, including a National Championship 2 years ago. New Trier typically finishes in the top 3 in the Varsity Race at Midwest.

The Wildcats are looking to schedule a competition against last year’s National Champion, Gonzaga College High School out of Washington DC and against National Runner-Up Saint Joseph’s Prep out of Philadelphia after this year’s Jesuit Cup Regatta in New York City was cancelled due to weather. The Wildcats would have faced the top schools in the country (all of which are Jesuit Schools), including Gonzaga, Saint Joseph’s Prep, Fordham Prep and several others.



 



 



 



Here are Saint Ignatius' Special Award Winners from Tuesday night's annual Winter Sports Banquet in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.
4/1/2015

VARSITY BASKETBALL

Third-Year Award Winners: Junior Deven Stover and Senior Jaylin McDonald

Fourth-Year Award Winner: Senior Student Manager Michael Berry

ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-NORTHEAST LAKES DISTRICT SELECTIONS: Senior Andre' Wolford for Third Team and Deven Stover for Special Mention.

Silver Certificate Awards from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association: Juniors Jimmy and Ryan Berger; junior Michael Hollis; junior Kyle Kalish; junior Tim Kiefer; junior Nolan Meehan; junior Tyler Musbach; junior Joe Palmer and junior Deven Stover.

Gold Certificates from the OHSBCA: Seniors Michael Berry, Joe Isabella, Dylan Nieto and Mikal Outcalt.

Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game Selections: Jaylin McDonald, Dylan Nieto and Andre' Wolford.

Captains Awards: Jaylin McDonald, Mikal Outcalt, Kyle Kalish and Andre' Wolford.

Saint Ignatius High School Team Awards for 2014-15

Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Award: Jaylin McDonald

Most Valuable Substitute: Jimmy Berger

Most Improved Player: Dylan Nieto

Most Valuable Defensive Player: Kyle Kalish

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Andre' Wolford

Most Valuable Players: Andre' Wolford and Deven Stover

The Prestigious Coaches' Cup: Joe Isabella

Jim Skerl '74 A.M.D.G. Awards: Michael Berry and Mikal Outcalt

Steve Ehretsman Courage & Perseverance Awards: Senior Dre'Mont Jones, Tyler Musbach and junior Ian Burry

BOWLING

Most Valuable: Junior Ralph Deadwyler - High Average 203

Most Improved : Sophomore Nick Frank and Senior Josh Jaroz. Plus 18 pins average from last year.

Coaches' Award: Senior Antonio DiFranco

Captain Award: Junior Gianni Schaefer

Athletic/Academic Awards: Senior Garret Forst and Junior Austin Venczel

HOCKEY

Four-Year Lettermen: Jack Wiegandt '15

Offensive MVPs: Matty Geither '15, Ethan Whitney '15 and Aidan Spellacy '16

Defensive MVPs: Dylan McKeon '16, Wes Deacon '16 and Brian Russell '16

Most Improved: Jared Stepka '16 and Kevin Yarcusko '15

Father Styles Coaches' Cup: Jack Wiegandt and Jack Mazanec '15

Captains Plaques: Jack Wiegandt, Jack Mazanec, Matty Geither, Ethan Whitney, Kevin Yarcusko, Brady Wells '15 and Aidan Spellacy

Video and Stats: Seniors Luke Liberatore and Patrick Millican

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Third-Year Award: Junior Rayon Artis

New Varsity School Record: 1m Diving - 11 Dive -- 521.15, Freshman Alex Claus

All-American Consideration Performances: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay and sophomore Dimitri Simcox in the 50 Free

Special Awards High Point: Senior Chris Ubert (255.0), Rayon Artis (244.50), Sophomore Marcus Hong (271, high point for the team overall) and Alex Claus (103)

Captains Award: Chris Ubert and Junior Chas Zwissler

Most Valuable Swimmers: Chris Ubert and Marcus Hong

Most Valuable Diver: Alex Claus

John B. Lewis Award: Junior Kurt Gregorek

Most Improved Swimmers: Freshman Anthony Fragassi and Junior Patrick Corrigan

Newcomer of the Year: Alex Claus

Coaches' Cup: Sophomore Joey Libertin

All-Ohio Diver: Alex Claus (1m, 7th place)

All-Ohio Swimmer: Rayon Artis  (50 Free, 7th place)

WRESTLING

Coaches' Cup: Ryan Bush

Most Valuable Wrestler: Joe Conway (Finished in Fifth Place in the OHSAA Division I State Tournament at 195 pounds)

Wildcat Award: Besar Vajusi and Anthony Delsanter

Most Improved Wrestler: Tyson Long

Marilyn A. Sullivan Award: Joe Conway

State Qualifiers/Placers: Joe Conway

Captains: Ryan Bush and Joe Conway

Four-Year Lettermen: Ryan Bush and Besar Vajusi

Three-Year Lettermen: Joe Conway, Anthony Ferritto, Nate Keirn, Gavin Rivera, Hunter Toth and Tito Vazquez 

 

        

 

 

The Varsity Baseball Wildcats excute their offense with some "small ball," play a solid defensive game and get another superb effort from their bullpen in Tuesday evening's 3-2 victory over defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson.
3/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit April 2015

Massillon, Ohio- As he stood along the first-base dugout in Massillon Jackson's atmosphere-rich baseball facility, Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor smiled and said: "Today was a collective effort."

And that is what it usually takes to bring home a victory when you are playing on the home diamond of the defending big-school state champions.

In improving to 4-0, the Baseball Cats executed unselfishly at the plate, made some outstanding plays defensively and continued to get a great effort from their bullpen.

Seniors Jacob Bangert and Brendan Adler, along with junior stopper Murphy O'Brien, slammed the door on what is always a potent Jackson offense. Bangert, who relieved starter Dylan Smolen in the bottom of the third inning, now stands 2-0 on the season.

"Those were two really good pitchers," Coach Ganor said of Jackson's Sam Miller and Zach Meese. Miller started for the Polar Bears, but had to be removed from the game after being hit by a line drive near his shoulder and rib area in the top of the third inning.

On came Meese, a senior southpaw, who went the rest of the way while keeping his team in the game.

"We've faced good pitching now for three days in a row," said Coach Ganor, referring to Sunday's doubleheader at Dublin Jerome and Monday's game at Archbishop Hoban. "The small ball and the willingness to bunt in the three hole or four hole. The unselfishness is what we had hoped for and it's showing through right now."

After both teams took their traditional pregame infield drill under a sky that looked more suitable for late November, the skies cleared to a bright blue and the sun came out. And so did the Saint Ignatius offense.

Junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, a young man we introduced you to after his big offensive evening at Archbishop Hoban on Monday night, led off the top of the first inning at Jackson by lining an 0-1 pitch into right-center field.

Senior shortstop Jake Kucia then drew a walk off an excellent at-bat and the Cats went on to take a 2-0 lead off some heads-up small ball and hustle on the base paths that forced run-producing fielder's choices.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the third inning, when the Polar Bears, playing their first game of the new season, knotted the score at 2 on an RBI single through the left side by junior outfielder Nate Cobb and a sacrifice fly senior outfielder Jake Kempt.

After Jackson drew their fourth walk of the third inning, Bangert came on with runners on first and third and two outs.

Bangert, who emerged out of the bullpen last season, calmly retired the next batter on a 6-4 force. The Polar Bears might have done some more damage in the third inning if it wasn't for another great snap throw by senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares that picked a runner off first base. Junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, the Wildcats' starting Varsity Football quarterback, completed the pickoff with a smooth and sure sweeping tag.  

Saint Ignatius wasted little time in responding to Jackson's two-run third, as Smolen, who moved to right field after being relieved by Bangert, sent a leadoff line drive into center field for a base hit in the top of the fourth inning. That is why pitchers must have short memories my friends.

The unselfishness that Coach Ganor referred to then came to the fore as the powerful hitting Mingus laid down a bunt that Jackson's third baseman couldn't handle. Kucia followed with a sacrifice bunt that many major leaguers have difficulty executing.

With two outs, Panstares delivered what turned out to be the game-winning hit off an RBI single to right field.

From there, one of the game's and season's great story lines took place as Adler, a left-hander, came out of Coach Ganor's bullpen and threw three shutout innings. It was less than a year ago that Brendan's 2014 season ended on a torn ACL.

In the bottom of the seventh, it was O'Brien time.

After striking out five of the six batters he faced in his two previous perfect seventh-inning closer's role appearances, O'Brien came out of the bullpen to finish Tuesday's impressive victory. And he didn't disappoint.

Although it wasn't as perfect as his previous outings, O'Brien started with a strikeout. He then yielded a base hit to junior infielder Jon Conkle and the tying run stood on second base with one out after pinch runner Zach Mottice came up with a steal.

The big-hearted O'Brien said no more, however, as he sealed the victory with another strikeout and a fly out to right field.

Saint Ignatius will look to make it a 5-0 start to the 2015 season when they travel to Berea-Midpark on Wednesday at 4:30 PM. Junior right-hander Nick Freund is scheduled to make his first Varsity career start.

"Between Jacob (Bangert), Brendan (Adler) and Murphy (O'Brien) that's good, solid stacked pitching," Coach Ganor said. "And Alex (Panstares) had a heck of a game behind the plate. It's early to say put it in Murphy's hands and the game's over, but so far when he has had his opportunities he's done it."

FRESHMEN COMPLETE A JACKSON SWEEP: The Freshmen Cats also made the trip to Massillon Jackson on Tuesday and went home with a 9-3 victory. On Monday, the Junior Varsity Wildcats defeated the Polar Bears, 6-1.

IN OUR PRAYERS: Our prayers and sympathy go out to Saint Ignatius' tireless Senior Team Manager Kyle Kostura, whose Great Uncle, Dan Leonard, passed away on Tuesday. Dan, from the Archbishop Hoban Class of 1960, was inducted into Hoban's Hall of Fame as an outstanding football quarterback.    

 

Stars will come out in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night
3/31/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

As we reported earlier this month on the corner, storied Sullivan Gym will be the site of this year's annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association's Boys All-Star Games.

Featuring many of the area's senior mainstays, the tripleheader will be held tomorrow night (Wednesday), with the tipoffs at 6 PM, 7:15 and 8:30. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Saint Ignatius' standout seniors Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto have been selected to participate in this year's big-school game by the area's coaches.

The first report of the spring season on the "Crew Cats," courtesy of Head Coach Pat Connor '94
3/31/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH CONNOR: The Wildcat Rowing Team raced in the Rustbelt Invitational Regatta this past weekend at Lake Dillon against Pittsburgh Central Catholic, New Trier (Chicago) and Saint Edward. This is considered one of the toughest races of the season as Central Catholic has won the 1st Varsity 8 Race in the Midwest for the last 5 years, and New Trier typically finishes in the top 3 every year. Central Catholic took 3rd Nationally in the V8 Last year, and won Nationals in the V8 two years ago. Most of their rowers returned this year.

Conditions were abysmal with an air temperature of 18 degrees, and a wind of 10-20 MPH creating very choppy conditions. Due to that, only the 1st Varsity 8 Race was able to be held.

The Wildcats surpassed Central Catholic to win that race by a significant margin, with New Trier finishing 3rd and St. Edward coming in 4th. Complete results can be found here:  http://www.row2k.com/results/resultspage.cfm?UID=601519&cat=1#.VRqwf_nF98E.

All 85 members of the Wildcat Crew will be heading to South Carolina over Easter Week for a Training Trip, and look to have a complete re-match against Central Catholic and possibly defending National Champions Gonzaga College High School, and Saint Joseph’s Prep upon their return.

 Patrick Connor ‘94

Computer Science

Head Coach, Saint Ignatius Crew

Wildcats Kevin Woidke to attend The Ohio State University as a preferred walk-on
3/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Fairview Park, Ohio

Senior Kevin Woidke, who at 6-foot-6 and 288 pounds was one of the anchors on the offensive line for Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Football team this past fall, will be attending The Ohio State University in the summer, where he will join his brother Ian, a former Football Wildcat who is a sophomore studying International Business and Economics.

Kevin's dad Jim, a Saint Ignatius graduate, said the exciting news about Kevin is that he received a preferred walk-on invitation from The National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes.

"He is really pumped about the opportunity and is looking forward to getting there this summer," said Jim Woidke. "While he had some scholarship offers from other schools, his heart was with OSU. So, should be an interesting summer and fall!"

More than 40 years ago, Jim Woidke was the standout tailback for this corner's undefeated and un-scored upon Saint Ignatius of Antioch Football Cougars. Jim would go on to play Varsity Basketball for the Wildcats of Saint Ignatius.

Congratulations to Kevin and the Woidke family and may God Bless You, now and in the future.

Go Buckeyes!  

  

 

Saint Ignatius overcomes a four-error third inning behind the clutch hitting of Kevin Mingus, Dennis Grosel, Jake Kucia and Kurt Mantes and goes on to defeat Archbishop Hoban, 7-3, in Akron on Monday evening.
3/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Akron, Ohio - It wasn't pretty, but Coach Brand Ganor's Wildcats were able to improve 3-0 behind their offense and some resilient pitching that held up despite six errors.

Although the Cats were not at the top of their game defensively, they actually did pull off some solid defensive plays, including an on-the-money throw from center field by senior Sam Fuller that took down a runner at the plate, a seed from left field by senior Kurt Mantes that nearly threw out another runner at the plate in what was a debatable call, and a rare 2-3-4 out in the bottom of the sixth inning that wiped out an Archbishop Hoban threat.

Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit, ignited Saint Ignatius' offense with a leadoff triple in the top of the first inning and scored on a two-out, line-drive single to left-center field by junior first baseman Dennis Grosel.

Wildcats junior third baseman Kevin Mingus, a name to remember my friends, delivered a two-out, bases-loaded double that made it a 4-0 game in the top of the second inning. It was an authoritative shot to right center field and the first of Kevin's two impressive doubles on the evening.

Archbishop Hoban, which was playing its first game of the 2015 season, came back to cut the deficit to 4-3 by scoring two runs in the bottom of the second and a run in the bottom of the third. One of the keys to the game, however, was the Knights' inability to do more damage in the third inning.

Saint Ignatius, thanks in a large part to Fuller's highlight-reel throw from center field to home plate that was referred to in the second paragraph, survived a third inning that saw it commit four errors.    

The Wildcats' two-out hitting came to the fore again in the top of the fifth, as Coach Ganor's team would push its lead to 6-3 on an RBI single by gritty senior shortstop Jake Kucia and a run-scoring double to deep right field by Mantes.

Grosel, who is also a standout quarterback for Saint Ignatius' varsity football team, closed out the scoring with an RBI single down the left-field line in the top of the seventh that was argued as being a foul ball by Archbishop Hoban.

Wildcats talented and tough-mined junior relief pitcher Murphy O'Brien then sealed the deal with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh that included two strikeouts. In his first outing of the season on Sunday, O'Brien wrapped up a 3-2 victory at Dublin Jerome by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Saint Ignatius' bullpen also turned in a strong fifth inning at Archbishop Hoban by junior Nick Freund, as Nick displayed his ability to field his position.

HOW THE SKIPPER SEES IT:  "You live and learn, three games in and as good as we felt yesterday (Sunday), that's baseball," said Coach Ganor in referring to his team's errors on Monday. "But, we found a way to win and we did it offensively. Our defense wasn't as sharp today, but we had a good offensive day. And we made some big pitches in big situations. That's the key to team victories.

"Sunday (the doubleheader sweep over Dublin Jerome), I thought our pitching and defense carried our offense," Coach Ganor continued. "Today, we needed a little more offense and they found it. As long as they learn the difference between wins and quality wins then I'm okay with that. I thought Kevin (Mingus) had a great game today, quality at-bats. And Sam (Fuller) had a great day until he went down (with cramps). All in all, a win is a win and I'll take it."

Diamond Dust: The key 2-3-4 play we referred to in the lead in paragraphs of this report saw Wildcats senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares make a picture-perfect snap throw to Grosel at first base with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Panstares' throw caught the runner off first base and Grosel teamed with crafty senior second baseman Mullen Socha on the putout, as Mullen made the tag in the run down for the third out.

Saint Ignatius senior reliever Jacob Bangert had coaxed the second out in the bottom of the sixth on a pop fly that was hauled in by Grosel in foul territory.

Can You Diggs It: Senior starting right-hander Luke Diggs made his 2015 debut a successful one on Monday evening. In his four complete innings, Luke, as per the Wildcats' stats, yielded two earned runs, had three strikeouts and walked a batter.

JAYVEES IMPRESS: The corner tips its cap to the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Baseball Team, which opened its season on Monday with a 6-1 victory over the highly regarded program from Massillon Jackson.

UP NEXT, THE DEFENDING STATE CHAMPS: Speaking of the Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson, the 2014 Division I State Champions are scheduled to host the Varsity Baseball Wildcats tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5 PM. If Mother Nature gives her okay, senior southpaw Dylan Smolen will take the mound for the Cats.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST: It was great to see Wildcats junior outfielder Michael Rogers back in the dugout with his teammates on Monday evening. During Sunday's doubleheader sweep at Dublin Jerome, Mike was hit in the face by the baseball off an errant pick-off attempt by Jerome while Mike was on second base. Mike suffered an injury to his right eye that included a fracture and he said on Monday that he "could" miss four to six weeks. The corner's prayers are with Mike and his family for a safe and speedy recovery.                 

  

M.J. Nara, Connor Adams and Murphy O'Brien were lights out on the mound, Jake Kucia and Mullen Socha flashed the leather and the hits were timely as Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Cats swept Dublin Jerome, 3-2 and 6-1, at Jerome.
3/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Dublin, Ohio - Pitching, defense and timely hitting.

They have always been and always will be the recipe for success when it comes to America's Pastime.

Sunday afternoon, the Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Wildcats opened their 2015 Baseball Season by doing plenty of the above and now stand 2-0 after returning from Dublin, Ohio with a doubleheader sweep of the Celtics from Jerome High School by scores of 3-2 and 6-1. 

Playing under a sky at Dublin Jerome that offered occasional, but brief appearances by the sun and battling stiff winds and temperatures that were brisk baby, the Cats played with savvy, pitched with confidence and unveiled a senior shortstop-second base duo of Jake Kucia and Mullen Socha that could go down as one of the best in Saint Ignatius' baseball history.

"Yeah, I thought it was very good, very good," said Saint Ignatius' veteran Head Coach Brad Ganor, referring to a Wildcats pitching staff that allowed just three total hits in the two games combined. "And the defense was outstanding. We've only been on a field twice and I think today was indicative of the work they put in during the offseason, to be able to produce like that right out of the gate."

After a single and two stolen bases by Saint Ignatius' gifted senior center fielder Sam Fuller led to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one, Cats senior right-hander/captain M.J. Nara shook off some control issues in the bottom of the first.

Nara, a big-game tested pitcher since his sophomore year, settled in and blanked the Celtics through four hitless innings. With the cold weather, Coach Ganor worked his No. 1 starter just those four innings and M.J.'s opening-day effort saw him throw 69 pitches, 42 of which were strikes, and finish with five strikeouts and three walks. Nara revealed to the corner that he threw almost exclusively a four-seam fastball, mixing in just one curveball and one changeup.

Saint Ignatius , which is scheduled to travel to Archbisop Hoban on Monday for 5 PM encounter with the Knights, combined performances out of the bullpen by senior Jacob Bangert and junior Murphy O'Brien that can be best described as gutsy and overpowering.

After Jerome took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats tied the score with a run in the top of the sixth, an inning that was fueled by a consecutive base hits by senior catcher/captain Alex Panstares and junior first baseman Dennis Grosel, and a sacrifice bunt by Kucia.

Bangert then kept his team in the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth.

With Kucia a vacuum at shortstop and his up-the-middle mate Socha displaying smooth footwork and glove work on a field that had obviously taken some of winter's best shots, Saint Ignatius scored the go-ahead run off a two-out, RBI sharp grounder to the left side by Panstares in the top of the seventh. Only a diving catch in left field by Jerome's Andrew Adolph prevented further damage.  

Enter O'Brien.

Needing just 12 pitches, 11 of which were strikes, O'Brien struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh and the Cats celebrated victory No. 1 in what appears to be a season of great promise. O'Brien said he threw 11 fastballs and just one curveball, which came off the final pitch of the game.

Another game one highlight was the plate awareness of senior outfielder Dylan Welch, who reached base three times. Saint Ignatius faced the Celtics' ace in game one, University of Cincinnati recruit Clayton Colvin. 

The top storyline of game two was the pitching of sophomore left-hander Connor Adams.

Adams, as good-natured as he is talented, pitched with the confidence of a four-year starter in limiting the Celtics to one hit before senior southpaw Brendan Adler, taking the mound less than a year after knee surgery, closed it out in the seventh inning.

Displaying a fluid and at times overpowering delivery, Adams struck out six, walked two and hit a batter. He seemed to have the Celtics guessing in the bottom of the fifth, when he struck out the side. The Wildcats staked the young man with unlimited potential to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Saint Ignatius came up with a number of timely hits in game two, including the first hit and run batted in of his Wildcat baseball career by senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski, which made it a 4-0 game in the top of the fifth. Kucia's hustle double set up an RBI for junior first baseman George Asodorian in the top of the sixth and junior infielder Joe Evans delivered an RBI single in the top of the seventh that scored Fuller, who reached on an authoritative double to left field. Fuller is a St. Bonaventure recruit.

Jerome's run in the second game was courtesy of an RBI single by Will Zeigler in the bottom of the sixth.

"It was a great two wins for the team today," said Zajaczkowski, the President of the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network, who came out of the announcing booth and won a spot with this year's Baseball Cats.

"I am just happy that I was able to contribute when called upon," continued the young man who is always the epitome of class. "Obviously it was a great feeling."

And before heading home, Zajaczkowski added: "I don't think there is any doubt about that," when asked if his first hit and RBI as a Wildcat will be something he will always cherish.

This corner can say with confidence that James won't be the only one recalling that special moment.       

  

Just another reminder on tomorrow's Varsity Baseball Doubleheader.
3/28/2015

Weather permitting, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats will travel to Dublin, Ohio on Sunday to face the Jerome High School Celtics in a season-opening doubleheader. The first pitch from Dublin Jerome will be 1 PM. Dublin is the home of the finest college football coach in these United States, Mr. Urban Meyer of The Ohio State University National Champion Buckeyes.

The corner will join Coach Ganor and the 2015 Baseball Cats for game coverage and The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will take advantage of the press box, as it will bring you the games live. Joltin' Joe Mertens is expected to be on the lead call.

THE CORNER TIPS ITS CAP TO VILLA ANGELA-ST. JOSEPH HEAD BASKETBALL COACH BABE KWASNIAK FOR ADDING YET ANOTHER CHAPTER TO THE STORIED CHAMPIONSHIP TRADITION AT VIKING VILLAGE, AND TO ERIC FLANNERY (ST. EDWARD), SONNY JOHNSON (GARFIELD HEIGHTS) AND JEREMY HOLMES (CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC) FOR PUTTING TOGETHER EXCEPTIONAL SEASONS.

This old-timer has had the privilege of covering and reporting on all four of those above mentioned young men as players and coaches.

- Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer

   

Congratulations from the corner to Coach Dan Arbeznik's Varsity A Rugby Cats for sending the "Men from Moeller" home with a sound 57-5 defeat.
3/28/2015

The defending state champion Rugby Cats will now ride the emotion of Saturday's impressive effort against Archbishop Moeller at Wasmer Field on to the green fields of Ireland, as they gear up for their Easter Break trip to the Emerald Isle.

- Eddie O'Dwyer

Wildcats Lacrosse opens its 2015 season with an impressive 16-7 victory over Upper St. Clair (Pa.) on Wasmer Field Friday night.
3/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The brisk temperatures that hovered over the Cleveland area on Friday night certainly didn't slow down a Saint Ignatius offense that was described by veteran Wildcats Broadcaster Michael Berry '15 as "savvy."

Helping show the way for Coach Pat McManamon's Attack Group were Crew Cintron, Jared Stepka and Alex Hornung, who each had multiple goals.

The gifted Cintron helped fuel the offensive flow with two early goals and his third goal with just over 6 minutes remaining pushed the Lax Cats' lead to 12-6.

Coach McManamon's team will take its 1-0 record on the road Saturday evening, as the Lax Cats will be at Thomas Worthington to face the Cardinals at 5 PM.  

Saturday's annual Brunswick Elite Track and Field Meet, where the Wildcats were scheduled to compete, has been canceled because of the weather.
3/27/2015
Where The Cats Play, unless Mother Nature says otherwise.
3/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

It all starts tonight with the 2015 season opener for Coach Patrick McManamon's Varsity Lacrosse Team. The Lax Cats are scheduled to face Upper St. Clair (near Pittsburgh) at 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. On the Upper St. Clair website it is listed as 6 PM, so arriving early to Wasmer Field might be a good choice.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Lax Cats are slated to travel to Thomas Worthington for a 5 PM faceoff.

In volleyball, Coach Casey Marcelo's Cats will look to open their season at Beavercreek High School on Saturday. On the Saint Ignatius volleyball website page, the opponent is listed as Beavercreek High School and the match is listed at 10 AM. However, it appears on the Beavercreek website page as a 1 PM match with the Wildcats. We suggest that you double check with Coach Marcelo and his staff. And, if you are traveling to Beavercreek High School, it is located at 2660 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, Ohio (Greene County).

And while we're on the subject of our friends from Greene County, congratulations to the Beavercreek Boys Bowling Team, which recently brought home its first state championship. Yes, it is Beavercreek, not Beaver Creek as you might have seen posted elsewhere. Ah yes, I remember well the powerhouse Beavercreek girls basketball teams from my many years at The Plain Dealer.

Back to this weekend, Coach Jon Barker's Tennis Cats are scheduled to open their 2015 season tomorrow (Saturday), when they travel to The Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Maumee, Ohio near Toledo to face the Titans from
St. John's Jesuit. It is slated as a 3 PM match. The Shadow Valley Tennis Club is located at 1661 S Holland Sylvania Rd. The telephone number for the facility is 419-865-1141.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's defending State Champion Rugby Cats will protect their home turf on Wasmer Field tomorrow (Saturday), when they take on the Crusaders from Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller at 3:30 PM. The Cats are gearing up for next month's trip to Ireland (see the corner's Rugby preview from last week).

And last, but certainly not least, Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats, as we posted earlier this week, are now hoping to open their new season on Sunday with a doubleheader at Dublin Jerome. The first game with the Celtics is down for 1 PM, followed by the second game at 3 PM. The first pitch for Sunday's second game is an approximate time.

Unless Mother Nature throws us a wicked curve, the corner will be making the trip to Dublin Jerome on Sunday with Coach Ganor and the 2015 Cats.

FOR A LOOK AT THE ABOVE MENTIONED SPRING SPORTS TEAMS, ALONG WITH TRACK AND FIELD, SEE THE CORNER'S PREVIEWS THAT WERE POSTED THIS WEEK AND THE PRIOR WEEK.

STAY WARM AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.   



 

THANK YOU
3/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

On a personal note, I would like to thank those loyal readers of the corner for the prayers and sympathy they expressed to the Colbert, White, Stamper and Dwyer families these past few days, as my brother-in-law, the late Mr. George "Butch" Colbert, was celebrated today at a wonderful and moving Mass in front of an amazing turnout at St. Christopher Church in Rocky River.

Butch passed away on Friday after a long illness.

Grieve not...

Nor speak of me with tears...

But laugh and talk of me...

As though I were beside you...

I loved you so...

'twas Heaven here with you...

- George "Butch" Colbert, a loving father to Mary White and Coreen Stamper, a loving grandfather to Paddy White and Sean and Shannon Stamper, and a loving and devoted husband of 55 years to Mary Anne Colbert, nee Dwyer.     

 

Senior Kyle Kostura, one of the finest Student Managers this corner has come across in 44-plus years of covering area high school sports, shared with us his college decision.
3/25/2015

FROM KYLE KOSTURA '15

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Mr. Dwyer,

I am happy to let you know that I will be attending Green Mountain College in Vermont to further my education. I am in a special sect of the college called The Killington School of Resort Management. So I'm continuing to manage something, except it will involve a ski resort instead of football or baseball players. 

I will live and work at the Eastern United States' biggest ski resort., Killington Ski Resort. The sports management that I have done here at Saint Ignatius truly inspired me to continue onto something in management. It will be a great experience.

Also! I will only be a short hour and a half drive from Alex Panstares (Wildcats standout senior catcher /captain) at Williams College. So I'll be able to see him every so often.

I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful conversations throughout the past three years. I will miss them for sure this fall. Also, thank you for the incredible stories you have included me in over the years. It truly means a lot to see my name in such stories and recaps. I can't wait for baseball this weekend!

Wildcats Varsity Baseball Opener at Dublin Jerome has been moved to Sunday.
3/25/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In what Head Coach Brad Ganor described as a weather-related move, the Baseball Cats will now travel to Dublin on Sunday for a 1 PM doubleheader with the Celtics. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Saturday in Dublin.

Sunday's trip will start with an 8:30 AM Mass at St. Pat's on Bridge Avenue.  

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Track and Field Preview. A strong contingent of juniors are expected to lead the way this spring.
3/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

Ohio City - After a challenging preseason courtesy of Mother Nature, Coach Chuck Kyle's "hearty" young men are preparing for Saturday's Brunswick Elite Meet.

The competition in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium, which has become a traditional start to the Wildcats' outdoor season, is scheduled to get underway at 10 AM. Last year, the Brunswick Elite Meet and other meets throughout the state were cut short because of snow and sleet. We can only hope that the early forecast of cold and partly sunny holds up.

"We really had a difficult time practicing what we would want to do," said Coach Kyle of the Wildcats' recently completed indoor season. "Because usually in February you get some melting, and we didn't get any. So we didn't get on the track at all (in Wasmer Field) until March 16th. And at that point the indoor season was over.

"But our kids are rather hearty in what they do," continued the man who took over his alma mater's track and field program in the spring of 1974. "We went outside, found roads that were shoveled somewhat, ran up hills and did what we could.

"With that in mind, that portion of the season (indoor) is really about conditioning and strength," Coach Kyle said. "And we did a pretty good job with that."

So good that the Wildcats' 4x800 relay team won the 3200 event at the annual Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches' Boys Indoor State Meet in Akron earlier this month. The team, comprised of juniors Colin Kruchan, Luke Wagner, Mike Huber and Tom Sullivan, ran a 7:56.58.

"That was encouraging, it was a very good time for that meet," said Coach Kyle, who is a member of the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches' Hall of Fame. "We also had a couple of sprint groups who made it to the (indoor) state meet. So that was good for where we were at that point, because we can't train like some of the other schools."

Outdoors, in the words of Coach Kyle, is where the Cats hope to be catching up. A very young team last year, Saint Ignatius is looking to reap some of the benefits this spring.

"We're still kind of young," Coach Kyle said. "Instead of sophomores, there are a lot of juniors."

The 2015 Wildcats are expected to do very well on the track and in certain field events they will be fine. Coach Kyle's distance and sprint athletes are solid and experienced, and there are some young hurdlers with promise.

"With the field events, there is a little inexperience there, but we'll be okay," said Coach Kyle.

AMONG THE NAMES TO WATCH: Junior Luke Wagner, a two-time state qualifier who finished fifth in Ohio last year in the 1600 against a Division I field that Coach Kyle described as highly competitive.

"From the 800 on up, Luke is very good," Coach Kyle said of the young man who also excels for Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's highly successful Cross Country Program. "So we'll see how it plays out. Does he put an emphasis on the 1600, the 3200 or the 800? We'll see as we go."

Junior Tom Sullivan: "Tommy really does focus on the 3200 once we get outdoors," said Coach Kyle. "He did a great job last year."

Junior Colin Kruchan: Colin finished second to Luke Wagner in the 800 during last year's District Meet. He is referred to by Coach Kyle as a "reliable veteran," despite being only a junior.

Junior Mike Huber: Last year was Mike's first year with the track team and he truly came to the fore during this year's indoor season.

"He focused on the 400, but in the indoor season Mike ran the 800 and the 400, and really made great progress as a member of the indoor state championship relay team." - Coach Kyle.

Junior Tim Trentel: An 800 and mile competitor, Tim is right there ready to contribute on any of the relay teams. He lends significantly to what should be a major strength for the Cats this spring - depth.

Junior James Rogers: "This is James' first year in track. In the past years he competed in swimming and just felt he needed the rest. We are looking forward to him, because he has looked great in workouts. He ran in a few indoor meets just to get the feel of it." - Coach Kyle. Note: Like Wagner, Sullivan and Trentel, Rogers also competes for Coach Gallagher's cross country team.

Junior James Norris: James, who is also a gifted tailback/kick returner in football, holds the Wildcats' all-time mark in the 100 meters with a 10.66, a feat he accomplished as a freshman. "Last year he was on his way to break that, but he had a little tweak in his hamstring at the district and we didn't want to risk it," said Coach Kyle. Note: James is a major factor in the 100 right up to the 400. Unlimited potential.

Also counted on to contribute significantly this spring are junior Quinn Lawless, a starting defensive back in football who is doing very well in the 100 and 200, junior Nick Cristescu, a Saint Ignatius of Antioch grad who is a steady relay performer, and junior Jack Cook, a standout defensive back/wideout/punt returner in football who is looking to improve his speed. A solid baseball player in the springs of 2013 and '14, Jack, said Coach Kyle, is doing very well. Cook was a member of one of the relay teams that qualified for this month's state indoor meet.

Note: A couple of freshmen are looking solid in the sprints - Phil Zuccaro, who was a game-breaker (19 TDs) for Coach Rodney Gallaway's undefeated freshmen football team this past fall, and Josh Crayton-Prioleau, who was also among the gifted freshmen football players. As an eighth-grader at St. Bernadette, Zuccaro won the 200 meters during Saint Ignatius' annual Wasmer Games.  

Seniors who will add to the depth and talent of the relays, distances and the sprints include Sean Sovacool, a captain in cross country who excels in long distance, and Alex Janis, who is solid in the 400.

Field Events: Senior Rai Walters will show the way in the long jump and high jump, senior Sam Rapnicki will be the Cats' main man in the pole vault and senior Cory Griffith, an All-Ohio kicker/punter in football, is back as a three-year mainstay in the discus and shot put.

Hurdlers: Look for juniors C.J. Moore and Jack Ruddy to emerge. Coach Kyle said Ruddy is the nephew of former Wildcats football great Mark Ruddy '90, who helped the Cats to their first two state championships in the falls of 1988 and '89, and their first national title in football in '89.

Coach Kyle's overall outlook: "Overall, we'll be a nice team," Coach Kyle said. "We have depth. I think every meet we compete in we will be one of the teams to possibly win the meet. We'll be right up there at every meet. If we get some points in the field events early in the meet, once we get to the track we'll be pretty strong. Last year I couldn't always say that, because we had so many sophomores."

Coach Kyle said he looks at some of the usual suspects - Berea-Midpark, Solon, St. Edward and Brunswick - to be among the area's best.  

*IN CLOSING THIS REPORT WE HAVE TO MENTION THAT THE WILDCATS WILL NOT BE AT THEIR HOME AWAY FROM HOME WHEN IT COMES TO THIS YEAR'S DISTRICT MEET.

SAINT IGNATIUS, WHICH HAS HAD A TWO-PLUS DECADE DOMINANCE AS A TEAM AT THE LAKEWOOD DISTRICT, WILL BE COMPETING AT THE BRUNSWICK DISTRICT THIS SPRING. COACH KYLE SAID HE BELIEVES THE CHANGE WAS MADE BECAUSE OF RENOVATIONS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN LAKEWOOD STADIUM.

HOWEVER, MOST OF THE SAME TEAMS FROM THE LAKEWOOD DISTRICT WILL BE JOINING SAINT IGNATIUS AT BRUNSWICK, INCLUDING DEFENDING GIRLS DISTRICT CHAMPION SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY, AND THE WILDCATS ARE CERTAINLY NO STRANGERS TO BRUNSWICK AUTO MART STADIUM.                        

 

     

           

 

     

 

  

 

     

   

        

Time Change on Friday's Lacrosse game.
3/24/2015

Friday's season opener between the Lax Cats and Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh is now scheduled for 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. Through last week, the time of the game was listed as 7:30 PM on the Saint Ignatius Lacrosse website page.

Once again, it is now being tweeted out as a 6:30 PM start. All of the Best to Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and the 2015 Lax Cats.

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Preview. A solid group of seniors will serve as the foundation, on and off the diamond.
3/23/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March/April 2015

The corner takes a look at the Baseball Cats, who are coming off a season that saw them finish 19-8 after a 5-2 loss to North Royalton in the Strongsville Division I District Championship game. North Royalton went on to a state runner-up finish after losing to Massillon Jackson, 5-1, in the big-school championship game. The 2014 Cats finished in a three-way tie for the 20th spot in last year's final state poll by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.  

Ohio City - Sitting in the office of Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor, senior captains Alex Panstares and M.J. Nara almost echoed each other's thoughts while discussing the 2015 Wildcats.

And chemistry was the operative thought.

"We have a good group of seniors coming back," said Panstares, who will be entering his third consecutive spring as a mainstay behind the plate for Coach Ganor. "I think the seniors will all do a nice job of taking the underclassmen and putting together this team that is already pretty tight. It's a great group of guys, on and off the field. Everyone really gets along well."

Nara, who emerged on the scene with seven saves during the Wildcats' Division I state-runner up season of 2013, is now the No. 1 starter. It's a role M. J. relishes.

"Our team chemistry is great, everyone is just clicking together this year," said Nara, a Walsh University recruit.  "Watching practices, our defense has improved a lot, especially in the infield. So that's going to be huge."

Along with the honor of being at the top of the rotation for one of the state's highly recognized big-school programs, Nara emphasized that his other major role is being there for the Cats' younger arms. And there are plenty of those this spring.

"Talking with them about pitches and calming their nerves," Nara said.

With their big-game experience, Panstares and Nara are quick to point out that although the Wildcats have looked sharp in practice and appear to have a solid bond, they haven't accomplished anything yet as far as the 2015 season is concerned.

"We have to go out and execute it," Panstares said. "One of the things we've spent a lot of time on in practice is bunt defense. It's all of the little things. There are some teams that can come out and just mash and overpower you. We're going to have to be a scrappy team that battles and executes."

As Nara sees it, the 2015 Wildcats also have to  play "the mental side of baseball."

"We can't be too high or too low, we have to stay at an even keel," Nara said. "And you can't turn it on and off when it comes to energy."

As one of the standout catchers in all of Northeastern Ohio, if not the entire state, Panstares has worked with some solid top of the rotation pitchers since 2013. And he doesn't hesitate in saying that Nara is right there with all of them.

"The nice thing about this year is that we have guys who potentially could be playoff starters," said Panstares of the promising underclassmen. "The key is going to be the depth we have in the bullpen, guys you can put out there and trust. I think we have those guys."

Among those trustworthy veterans are senior right hander Jacob Bangert, who turned in several strong outings out of the bullpen last year, senior right hander Luke Diggs, who can start or come on in relief, and versatile senior southpaws Dylan Smolen and Brendan Adler. Adler is coming back from a 2014 knee injury and Smolen is also a capable outfielder. 

"So far through live sessions and bullpens, I'm excited about some these younger guys," Panstares continued. "Sophomore (lefty) Connor Adams, juniors Nick Freund and Murphy O'Brien and others have really impressed."

As Nara was quick to interject, the key to Saint Ignatius' 2015 pitching staff will be "living low."

"We don't have guys that can bring it in the low to mid 90s, so we have to stay low and hit our spots," Nara said.

As for the Wildcats' other position players, an area that Panstares says has exceptional depth, you can start with senior center fielder Sam Fuller; senior outfielder Kurt Mantes, who has moved from the infield; veteran junior first baseman/third baseman Dennis Grosel, who is also the Cats' standout varsity football quarterback; baseball savvy senior middle infielders Jake Kucia (shortstop) and Mullen Socha (second base), and junior first baseman George Asadorian.

Fuller, a St. Bonaventure recruit with exceptional defensive and base running skills, put together some of the finest at-bats last season that this corner has seen in nearly 45 years of covering and reporting on area high school baseball. And Saint Ignatius' veteran hitting coach Matt Blazer will concur with that statement.   

Vying for starting roles and providing that depth Panstares referred to will be junior second baseman/shortstop Joe Evans, senior third baseman/first baseman Dylan Welch, junior outfielders Dan Volpe and Michael Rogers, junior third baseman/second baseman Kevin Mingus and senior first baseman James Zajaczkowski.

In what is a great example of perseverance, Zajaczkowski, the President of the Saint Ignatius Broadcasting Network, has come out of the broadcasting booth to earn a spot on Coach Ganor's talented and competitive roster.

And when it comes to the 2015 roster, let us not forget Senior Team Manager extraordinaire Kyle Kostura, who keeps all of us in line, and Senior Lead Broadcaster for Wildcats Baseball Joe Mertens. Just like last spring and through the early fall, I will count on Joe's expertise on my beloved Indians.  

Coach Ganor, who also serves as the Director of Saint Ignatius' Robert M. Walton '41 Center for Learning, is entering his 11th season as the Wildcats' skipper and his 17th spring overall in the program.

The man who has guided the Baseball Cats to four state final fours, including a school record three consecutive trips in 2007, '08 and '09, and two state runner-up finishes in '08 and 2013, says that when it comes to his team's strengths this spring chemistry is definitely No. 1.

"We're always talented and there have been years with varying levels of talent, but usually we have a highly talented team compared to most," said Coach Ganor, a former baseball standout at St. Edward High School and Cleveland State University who has compiled 222 career victories at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Coach Ganor was the Pitching Coach for Saint Ignatius' 2002 State Championship Team under Coach Brian Morgan, a team that featured, among others, a gifted sophomore outfielder/pitcher named Brian Hoyer.

"This year is a lot like those teams that made it to the final four, where the chemistry is so similar,' Coach Ganor continued. "And probably a little bit better (in terms of the chemistry). I go back to 2002 when I said that team had the best chemistry of any team I have coached. They were great friends and highly talented, and I would compare this team to that chemistry of 2002.

"Talent will win out most of the time," said Coach Ganor. "But when you're in a tight game, that chemistry and that willingness to sacrifice yourself for the team comes into play. And that's how you win a district final, a regional final or a state final. The thing you can't ever coach is the team chemistry and I can guarantee you that this team will be ready for the playoffs by mid May."

NOTE: MOTHER NATURE PERMITTING, THE BASEBALL CATS WILL OPEN THEIR SEASON ON SATURDAY AT DUBLIN JEROME. IT IS A SCHEDULED DOUBLEHEADER AT 11 AM AND 1:30 PM, BUT AS COACH GANOR EMPHASIZED, HE WILL BE HAPPY IF THEY GET ONE GAME IN.

After Saturday, the Wildcats are slated to travel to Archbishop Hoban on March 30th, to defending Division I state champion Massillon Jackson on March 31st and to Strongsville on April 2. All three of those road games are scheduled for 5 PM.

During the Easter Break (April 8-10), the Cats will travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the Super Prep Series Tournament and they will play their first home game on April 11th versus the Lakewood Rangers at Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch from Berea will be 3 PM.           

    

 

         

    

 

 

     

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Tennis Preview. Senior Nate Griffin, coming off his All-Ohio and record-setting season of 2014, will again show the way for Coach Jon Barker
3/22/2015

Presented by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach and Math Teacher Jon Barker '87 and Posted by Eddie Dwyer. Copyright March 2015

From the corner: Nate Griffin, who last month signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to further his education and tennis career at the University of Notre Dame, will look to pick up where he left off last spring when he became the first State Singles Champion in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history.

Last year marked the 95th Annual Boys State Tennis Tournament. Yes, quite a stretch of time before Nate made his special mark in the Wildcats' Record Books.

Coach Barker's Tennis Cats are scheduled to open their 2015 season this coming Saturday (March 28), when they travel to The Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Maumee, Ohio near Toledo to face the Titans from St. John's Jesuit. It is slated as a 3 PM match. The Shadow Valley Tennis Club is located at 1661 S Holland Sylvania Rd. The telephone number for the facility is 419-865-1141.

HERE IS COACH BARKER'S OUTLOOK ON WHAT SHOULD BE ANOTHER SPECIAL SPRING AROUND THE NET.

From Coach Barker: Indeed, Nate Griffin is back. Each year, he returns to the team even stronger than the previous year, so we're excited to see how his game has developed over the past year.

Nate will be the first to tell you, however, that the road will not be an easy one. There are a lot of tough, young players in Ohio, and since he won the state singles title last year, he is no longer flying below the radar -- everyone knows who he is and would like to take a shot at playing him.

Fortunately, our regular season schedule is filled with some of the toughest competition from across the state, so Nate will have nothing but challenging matches before the tournament.

Nate has been so much fun over the past three years.  Obviously, we've loved watching how his hard work and unrelenting pursuit of excellence have paid off.  He has such a good mind on the court and, although his friendly nature and good sportsmanship might fool you, he is a relentless competitor.  I've also been lucky to work with Nate in math class in each of the past two years.  In the classroom, Nate is equally impressive -- he has one of the best math minds I've encountered at Saint Ignatius, and he truly loves pushing himself and exploring new math concepts.

Erich Schuette and Josh Hsia have also been working hard and are welcome returnees to the singles lineup. 

Josh is a tireless worker and plays with a quiet intensity, while Erich's outgoing, fun personality and big physical game keep the team lively and everyone laughing and on his toes.

The departure of a number of last year's seniors makes room for some of our younger players to step into varsity doubles roles. Returning varsity players junior Mitchell Pallaki and sophomore Andy Siciliano didn't see much varsity action last year, so they are eager to prove themselves as they move into regular playing spots. Then we have a bunch of other young players who are sure to see some playing time over the course of the season as we sort out the final playing positions.

Our schedule is rough and we'll be traveling quite a bit to play some of the best teams in the state. Now, we just need the temperatures to jump about 20 degrees. The guys are looking forward to the challenge.

Note from the corner: The doubles team departures from last season included the graduation of the state-qualifying tandem of Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye.

Here is Coach Barker's tennis savvy staff: Dr. Jerry McKeever '66, Assistant Coach - Varsity, Jim Cogan '62, Assistant Coach - Varsity and Cindy Reagan, Head Junior Varsity Coach.

Just FYI, the 96th Annual Boys State Tennis Tournament is scheduled for May 29th and 30th at The Ohio State University's Outdoor Varsity Tennis Courts.

Play begins both days at 9 a.m., with Division II singles players, followed by Division I singles players, followed by doubles teams. The Rain Facility: The Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.

THAT'S A -30-, OR IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE PLAIN DEALER STARK COUNTY SPORTS COLUMNIST AND CANTON AREA RADIO LEGEND HYMIE WILLIAMS: "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time."  

     
     
   
     

     


 
Former Saint Ignatius great David Habat '10 is defeated by Drake Houdashelt, 3-1, in Sudden Victory Overtime during Saturday night's NCAA 149-pound National Championship Match at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
3/21/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

In what was an exceptional match of strength, strategy and counter moves, Houdashelt, from the University Missouri, countered a straight on move for two points and won the national title in his home state. Houdashelt, who is from O'Fallon Mo., was the No. 1 seed at 149 pounds.

Habat, the third seed from Edinboro University, became the first wrestler to score off Houdashelt during the national tournament when he tied the match in the second period.

Both Habat and Houdashelt finished their outstanding college careers with 134 victories.

Congratulations to David, whose efforts helped restore Coach Tim Flynn's Edinboro program to national prominence.

And congrats to Wildcats Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan, who had two of his former wrestlers competing for National Titles this weekend (Habat and George DiCamillo '12 from Virigina), and to The Ohio State University Buckeyes, who captured their first NCAA National Team Championship in wrestling this weekend. 

Congratulations go out to former Saint Ignatius state champion and All-Ohio wrestler David Habat (Edinboro), who will wrestle for a National Championship at 149 pounds in Saturday's finals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.
3/20/2015
George DiCamillo comes up one victory shy of earning All-American honors.
3/20/2015

From UVA wrestling: Schopp puts DiCamillo on back & pins him in 2:33. Crazy end to great year for DiCamillo, who finishes 28-9 & 1 win shy of A-A.

Coming next week. The corner previews Saint Ignatius' 2015 Varsity Baseball, Tennis and Track and Field Teams.
3/20/2015
The 2015 Saint Ignatius Rugby Preview. The defending state champs are bound for the Emerald Isle this spring.
3/20/2015

Presented by the Wildcats' outstanding Head Coach Dan Arbeznik '00 and posted by a once fine Irish lad, who is now an elder statesman with the appreciation that true greatness knows gentleness.

FROM COACH ARBEZNIK

We return 4 starters from last year's championship squad. Captain Michael Mathews is back at fly half while Andrew Baldado is back at full-back. Captain Patrick Berry returns at prop and will be joined by Captain Brendan Carney. Luke Robison is also returning as a starter from last year's squad.

This team plays with an edge about them that I haven't seen in the 11 years I've been coaching. They feel like they've been in the shadows of the great classes that have come before them and are ready to make a mark of their own.  It is without question that this was our most difficult schedule.  We were to start the year off playing against two-time defending National Champion Cathedral and last year's 5th place finisher Notre Dame LaSalette. Unfortunately Mother Nature wiped those two fixtures from the schedule.  We played  #2 Penn last weekend at Saint Ignatius and learned some hard lessons.  We went down early, but outscored them in the second half in a losing effort of 28 to 17. The kids showed great composure and an attitude that is indifferent to the ebbs and flows of fortune.

We were to travel to Pennslyvania this weekend for a clash with Xavier (ranked #4 in the country) but again, Mother Nature struck first and covered the fields before we could get to them. Again, all matches canceled. 

With all of our early matches wiped out, we'll be looking forward to our inaugural trip to Ireland. We leave on April 2nd and return April 12th.  We'll be playing 3 Jesuit schools: Saint Ignatius of Galway, Clongowes Wood of Kildare (where James Joyce went to high school), and Belvedere of Dublin. Belvedere advanced to the National Championship recently by beating Clongowes, 27 to 26. I've seen tape. These kids can play.

This (the 2015 Rugby Cats) is a great group who epitomize what it is to have grit. If we can stay healthy, I'm sure we can hang with anyone in the country. The fun part about this year is that we get to see how we hang with people throughout the world too.

- Dan

Note from the corner: James Joyce was a great Irish writer, novelist and poet. He was born in 1882 and died in 1941. He was one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century.

Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles.

 
    

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Lacrosse Preview
3/20/2015

Presented by Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH MCMANAMON

The 2015 season should be a very good one. We have 25 players returning from last year’s team. Although we lost some great leaders off of last year’s team we are replacing them with seasoned and experienced players.

Pat Mulach will be finishing his great career at Saint Ignatius this season. He has been a 4 year member of our varsity team and has been a starter since the day he stepped on campus.

We underwent some changes on the coaching staff this year due to job transfers, but I feel we are a stronger and a much more disciplined team with the addition of Mike Cillo to our varsity staff. Mike will be our defensive coordinator this season. Coach Cillo has been on the JV staff at Saint Ignatius for over 5 years, so he is not new to our program.  His no-nonsense approach meshes well with our whole staff. Mike has decades of playing and coaching experience, having been a former player at North Carolina State and a native of New Hampshire.

As always our defense will be one of the strong suits again.  We have sophomore Carter Blossey stepping back into the cage this season from the start and we are very pleased with his development from last year to this year. Carter took over the goalie position last year a little more than half way through as a freshman and really excelled. We expect big things from him in his sophomore campaign.

Luckily for Carter he has one of the best defenses in the state with the trio of Pat Mulach, Alex Maruna and Jack Mazanec. Jack is making the switch from long stick middie to close defense and he has been a one man wrecking crew at practice.

Both Alex Maruna and Pat Mulach are considered to be among the top defensemen in the state, having been recognized last year by the area coaches for the 1st team awards.

We also have great depth and experience at defense with Chris Rini, Kevin Gross (returning from a torn ACL), Connor Sullivan and John Dzurec, who were part of last year’s team. They are joined by newcomers to the Varsity in Stephen Zupan and sophomore Sean Keller.

On the offensive side of the ball we are really pleased with how our attack group is starting to shape up.  Alex Hornung and Crew Cintron will be returning for their second year on the varsity and we are really excited to see them perform as the starters for the whole season. Alex has already committed to Canisus for lacrosse and Crew is weighing several options as well. Cole Southworth will be returning as well this year and Cole has really improved this season. We expect to see him stuff the stat sheet on certain nights.  The above will be joined this season by newcomer Sam Humphrey, sophomore Riley Kinzel and junior Jack Hallagan.

We also have the extremely versatile and talented Ethan Whitney, who will be splitting time between attack and midfield. Ethan has progressed so much in the last few weeks at the attack position, and we can only imagine where he will end up once this season ends.

At the midfield we have a very talented and seasoned group who are led by Ethan, of course, and then also the Avdey Brothers. Sophomore Brent Chernosky has looked very impressive so far in practice and he has worked his way into the first line for now.

Last year we struggled at the face off X, but Charlie Zimmerman has really dedicated himself to the FOGO position this year and it has showed. Plus the addition of freshman Anthony Ameo and sophomore Grayson Gerard have put the pressure on Charlie to continue working and improving each day in practice. 

As always we have a very tough schedule this year and we are looking forward to a very successful 2015 season.

And that demanding schedule will get underway next Friday (March 27), when the Lax Cats host Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh at 6:30 PM on Wasmer Field. Coach McManamon said Upper St. Clair has a Saint Ignatius alum, Michael Downey, on its staff.   

This and that in Wildcats Sports, including the All-Star Basketball news, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Mom and Dad take part in baseball practice and Michael Berry is BC bound.
3/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

From the Scottrade Center in St. Louis - Former Wildcats wrestling greats David Habat (Edinboro) and George DiCamillo (Virginia) were in action today at the annual NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

In the 149-pound competition, David advanced to the semifinals and garnered All-American honors in the process by going 10 up in third period en route to a 10-0 quarterfinal victory. George (133 pounds) will be wrestling back tonight after being defeated in a major decision by two-time All-American Cody Brewer of Oklahoma, 14-4.

STARS WILL COME OUT IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM: Wildcats Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 shared with the corner that his home floor in Sullivan Gym will be the site of this year's annual Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association's Boys All-Star Games.

Featuring many of the area's senior mainstays, the tripleheader will be held on April 1st with the tipoffs at 6 PM, 7:15 and 8:30. Tickets will be available at the gates the night of the games.

Saint Ignatius' standout seniors Jaylin McDonald, Andre' Wolford and Dylan Nieto have been selected to participate in this year's big-school game by the area's coaches.

WILDCATS PARENTS PUT THEIR SANDLOT SKILLS ON DISPLAY:  Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor came up with a very unique and special way for the parents of the Wildcats' players to see once and for all what their sons go through every day/night in practice. A little harmony and bonding, if you will.

Friday's practice session in Sullivan Gymnasium included participation by the parents in every drill their sons perform on a regular basis. The word is that some of the parents are going to ask for a varsity letter at this year's Spring Sports Banquet.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, CONGRATULATIONS FROM THIS CORNER GO OUT TO SAINT IGNATIUS' OUTSTANDING SENIOR BAKSETBALL MANAGER AND LACROSSE BROADCASTING GURU MICHAEL BERRY, WHO HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY BOSTON COLLEGE. AS THIS OLD-TIMER EMPHASIZED IN THE LAST VARSITY BASKETBALL GAME STORY FOR THE 2014-15 SEASON, YOU WON'T COME ACROSS A FINER YOUNG MAN.   

     

Just FYI on the Wildcats' website lacrosse schedule, courtesy of Head Coach Patrick McManamon
3/20/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

From Coach McManamon '96: This Saturday is a scrimmage against Cranbrook at 10 am.  Cranbrook won the D2 state championship in Michigan last year. They are a very high quality club coached by the former WRA coach and player Mat Wilson.

The first regular season game is next Friday (March 27 at 7:30 PM) at Saint Ignatius against Upper St. Clair from Pittsburgh, who has a Saint Ignatius alum, Michael Downey, on staff.  

The 2015 Saint Ignatius Varsity Volleyball Preview
3/18/2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Presented by Wildcats outstanding Head Coach Casey Marcelo and Posted by Eddie Dwyer. Copyright Credit for March 2015.

Here is Coach Marcelo's outlook on his 2015 Wildcats

FROM COACH MARCELO

Key returning players

Nick Daly, Senior Outside Hitter - Second year letterman and taking lead attack role. His
experience last year from starting/bench player has given him the challenge to take the lead role for the 2015 season.

Danny Michals, Sophomore Outside Hitter - Second year letterman whose responsibility will be hitting and passing. He was also a starting/bench player last year. With his experience in varsity and his club season as a lead attacker, he will flow well with our new offensive system.

Jack Eckman and Bryce Boron, Seniors - Second year lettermen. Have made great strides in their blocking and attacking from last season and they will be a major part of our front row defense.

Jacob Hoshaw, Junior, Returning Libero - Second year letterman. Takes the role of lead defensive player and has proven himself as one of the top libero in the North region.

More from Coach Marcelo: “We are trying something new this season with the 6-2 offense (6 hitters - 2 setters). In the past the offense was a 5-1. This year with 2 setters will allow 3 attackers in the front row at every rotation. Last year's returning setter, Rich Holzheimer, a sophomore, and last year's defensive specialist, Brian Messina, a junior, will be taking the setting roles.

“We are basically a young team with a very strong defense and look to extend our eight consecutive years of regional champion," Coach Marcelo continued. "The majority of the varsity players have played off season and that will help with our competitiveness. The boys really enjoy working with each other, which shows on the court as high energy and excellent communication. The team is not as tall as other teams in the region, but our new offense will allow a very dynamic attack and will challenge the other teams.”

Coaching Staff

Varsity

Head Coach Casey Marcelo, Assistant Greg Doherty

Junior Varsity

Head Coach Anne Kent, Assistant Kevin Eichenbaum

Coach Kent’s Junior Varsity finished among the state’s best last spring.

Note: Coach Marcelo and his staff will announce the 2015 Captains next week. The season opener, which is listed on the Saint Ignatius volleyball website page as at Beavercreek High School on March 28 at 10 AM, appears on the Beavercreek website page as 1 PM on the 28th. We suggest that you double check with Coach Marcelo and
his staff. And, if you are traveling to Beavercreek High School on the 28th, it is located at 2660 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, Ohio (Greene County).

All of the best from this corner to Coach Marcelo, Coach Doherty, Coach Kent, Coach Eichenbaum and the 2015 Volleyball Wildcats.   



 



    



 



Coming up this evening on the corner. The 2015 Varsity Volleyball Preview. The corner will be previewing the Wildcats' Spring Sports Teams through next week.
3/18/2015
The Alley Cats' Ralph Deadwyler finishes the 2014-15 season among the GCIBL's best.
3/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ralph, a junior mainstay for Coach John Kastanis' Varsity Bowling Team, placed sixth among the final top 10 averages in the Greater Cleveland Interscholastic Bowling League with a 203.34.

In the GCIBL's "Costanzo Points," Ralph finished 10th with 125.

As far as the final team numbers in the GCIBL's various categories, the Alley Cats turned in the third-highest Baker Game (244), the third-highest Baker Series (447), the third-best OHSAA Series (3,564) and finished third in the Team Series for Scratch (3,162).

In the final standings, the Alley Cats were third in Scratch (65-19), tied for second in OHSAA (10-2) and tied for ninth in Handicap (40-44).

PLEASE NOTE: The GCIBL's postseason Singles Tournament & Awards Presentations are scheduled for 9 AM on Saturday at Cloverleaf Lanes.

The corner expresses its congratulations to Ralph Deadwyler and all of the Alley Cats, and a Thank You to Coach Kastanis for providing his weekly reports throughout the winter.   

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball is turned away by top-seeded Lorain, 70-62, in Saturday night's Division I District Championship Game at Midview High School.
3/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2015

Grafton, Ohio - Trailing by just two points with four minutes and 14 seconds remaining, the Wildcats were outscored, 16-10, down the stretch on Saturday night.

Hurt by the Titans' ability to get numerous second shots and turning the ball over more than 20 times, Saint Ignatius, the district's third seed, closed another solid winter at 16-9. It was a season that was highlighted by one of the most demanding schedules in Northeast Ohio, if not the entire state.

Lorain, under the direction of veteran coach John Rositano, displayed the athleticism, quickness, ability to get the rim and clutch perimeter shooting that one associates with a team that was seeded No. 1 at the blended Grafton Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights Districts and was ranked second in Ohio in the season's final big-school poll by the Associated Press.

The now 25-0 Titans advance to Wednesday's Regional Semifinal versus the second-seeded St. Edward Eagles (20-5), winners of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights District. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles are the defending Division I state champions. The Lorain-St. Edward matchup will take place at 7 PM in the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

Saint Ignatius was led by a 20-point night from gifted All-District senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford, an effort that saw Andre' send home three 3-pointers and make all three of his free-throw opportunities.

Wildcats senior forward Dylan Nieto was outstanding off the bench, as he scored 11 huge points, went to the rim with authority and hustled from baseline-to-baseline, as did tireless senior post/captain Mikal Outcalt. Cats All-District junior guard Deven Stover contributed nine points.

Lorain was the recipient of a smooth 20-point effort from 6-foot-2 junior guard Daviere Andrews. The young man who proudly wears the numeral 0 on his jersey, hit four big-time 3-pointers, including three in the first half, made three strong drives to the rim and was 2-for-2 from the line.

Supporting Andrews was his brother Devon, a 6-5 All-District senior guard/forward who finished with 14 points, senior Eddie Williamson, an ice-in-his-veins point guard who made five clutch free throws among his seven points, and the young man who time after time provided second and third shots for the Titans - 6-5 All-District sophomore post/forward Nazihar Bohannon. Bohannon finished with 19 points, 18 of those coming from around-the-rim follows and put backs.

Saint Ignatius made 19 two-point baskets, had four 3-pointers and was 12-of-18 from the foul line. Lorain hit 20 two-pointers, five 3-pointers and was 15-of-25 from the foul line. The Titans led 17-16 after the first quarter, 32-28 at halftime and 45-43 entering the final eight minutes.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW ON WHAT TOOK PLACE IN MIDVIEW'S SOLD-OUT EDWARD T. KUBUSKI MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87.

Saint Ignatius, which was playing without starting senior post Dre'Mont Jones (knee injury), its main force down low, moved to a 22-19 lead off an offensive rebound and an athletic lay in by senior forward Dylan Nieto and a steal and an assist by junior point guard Jimmy Berger that led to a layup in transition by senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford.

Lorain responded with a 3-pointer by junior guard Daviere Andrews and took a 24-22 lead on a breakaway layup by junior post/forward Nazihar Bohannon off a steal and an assist from senior guard/forward Devon Andrews.

After a Bohannon free throw increased the Titans' lead to 25-22, Nieto made a strong baseline drive that he converted into a three-point play and the score was knotted at 25 with three minutes and 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

A play that hurt Saint Ignatius time and again Saturday night - an offensive rebound and a put back by Bohannon - had Lorain back in front by two points and Coach John Rositano's team led, 29-25, after senior forward Rashod Berry followed a missed shot.

Saint Ignatius made it a two-point game off a tear drop down the lane by Wolford, but Daviere Andrews offset that with another 3-pointer.

Trailing, 32-27, the Wildcats cut the deficit to four points on a free throw by senior forward/captain Jaylin McDonald and the Titans took that 32-28 lead into their locker room at halftime.

Lorain held seven- and eight-point advantages early in the third quarter, but Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, on the strength of a 3-pointer by junior point guard/captain Kyle Kalish and a two-handed slam dunk down the lane by McDonald, closed to 40-35 with 5:01 left in the quarter.

In what was an entertaining final five minutes of the third quarter, another put back by the ever-present Bohannon was answered by a three-point play from Wolford.

After Bohannon scored in transition, Saint Ignatius, trailing by six points, put together a 5-0 run that featured two free throws by Jimmy Berger off a one-and-one and two free throws by Wolford that cut the Cats' deficit to 44-43 with 1:06 to go in the third quarter.

A free throw by Titans senior point guard Eddie Williamson gave his team a two-point lead entering the final eight minutes.

Daviere Andrews would start the fourth quarter by hitting a nothing-but-net 3-pointer, but Saint Ignatius trimmed that five-point deficit to one point on a driving one-hander down the lane by Kalish and a breakaway layup by senior post/captain Mikal Outcalt off an assist from Kalish.

Lorain kept its composure and led by five points again after Devon Andrews converted a steal into a slam dunk.

The Wildcats answered with three points from junior guard Deven Stover, a sequence that saw Deven hit a free throw, miss the second one and hustle after his missed free throw and convert that effort into a layup with 4:14 remaining to be played.

From that point, Lorain would make sure that everyone remembered the night the Titans advanced to the "Sweet 16," as Coach Rositano's team moved to an eight-point lead on a three-point play by Williamson off his athletic drive down the lane with 2:16 left.

Nieto, who played with passion from the moment he took the court, made it a six-point game off an authoritative move to the rim with 1:45 remaining. But Bohannon, who was a force in the paint all night, put back yet another shot.

After two more points by Bohannon in the final minute, this time off an assist from Devon Andrews, Wolford, one of the finest long-distance shooters in Saint Ignatius' basketball history, delivered what was his final 3-pointer in the Wildcats' Blue and Gold.

Devon Andrews would then bury two free throws and Nieto scored the final two points of the game off another all-out effort. Dylan injured his Achilles on the game's last play.

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE: "It seemed like we were right there and then they would make a play. Give Lorain credit, they are an extremely well coached team. Obviously they have a lot of athletes. There were times when I thought we had them pinned back against the wall, and they would make a five or seven point run.

"I'm so proud of these kids in this room," Coach O'Toole continued. "They battled until the final buzzer and made Saint Ignatius very proud. What can you say? We came into the District title game and lost to an undefeated team. They (the Titans) have a great shot. They're a very good team. We knew they could shoot it, but they're so good at getting to the rim that you want them to take jump shots. And again, give them credit. They made their jump shots. They're a very disciplined team.

"It was a great run. I'm very, very proud of our kids," said Coach O'Toole, who recognized every one of his seniors after the game, telling each one of them individually how much they meant to the program these past four years. Coach O'Toole also paid a special tribute to one of the finest young men you will ever have the privilege to meet, Wildcats Senior Manager Michael Berry.

And on that note, this old-timer would like to express his thanks to Coach O'Toole, his entire staff, Michael Berry and all of the Basketball Wildcats for the privilege of being associated with you. To the seniors, Thank You for all of your kindness and respect, and May God Bless You, now and in the future.      

 

JOE CONWAY COMES UP WITH A TAKEDOWN IN THE FINAL SECONDS AND FINISHES IN FIFTH PLACE AT 195 POUNDS IN THE 78TH ANNUAL INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING STATE TOURNAMENT.
3/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Joe showed Saturday's crowd in the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University the mental toughness and resiliency that have been the trademarks of his athletic career at Saint Ignatius.

With the dramatic takedown, Joe defeated A.J. Jones of Thomas Worthington, 2-1, and took home fifth place in Ohio at 195 pounds. The gritty senior ends his outstanding season with a record of 30-11, as he went 3-2 in the Division I competition at the 78th Annual OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament.

It was a big day for the Conway family, as Joe's brother, Jack, a 145-pound junior from St. Edward, finished third in the state.

The corner wishes to express its congratulations to Joe, his family, Wildcats Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan and his outstanding staff, and the entire Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program, aka Coach Sullivan's "Men of the Mats."

The young and oh so promising wrestlers in Coach Sullivan's program certainly have a great model to follow in Joe Conway.

From Eddie Dwyer: Joe Conway was decisioned by Gary Traub of Cincinnati Sycamore, 9-4, in this morning's consolation semifinals and will now be wrestling for fifth place in the 195-pound class.
3/14/2015
Senior Joe Conway was defeated by Oregon Clay 195-pound standout Matt Stencel (pin 5:35) in Friday night's Division I semifinals of the 78th annual OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament in the Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University.
3/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Joe will be wrestling back on Saturday morning to determine his final position in the 195-pound standings. Joe is 2-1 heading into Saturday morning and his overall season record is 29-10.

Congrats from the corner go out to senior guard Andre' Wolford and junior guard/forward Deven Stover, who earned third-team and special mention honors, respectively, on the 2014-15 Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District Basketball Team.
3/13/2015
A look at the Lorain Titans, Saint Ignatius' opponent in Saturday night's District Championship Basketball Game at Grafton Midview.
3/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - After his team defeated a very solid, talented and well-coached program from Brunswick, 59-56, in triple overtime at Wednesday night's District Semifinal in Midview High School's Edward T. Kubuski Memorial Gymnasium, John Rositano, the basketball savvy Head Coach of Lorain High School, told the media it was the type of game his top-seeded and 24-0 Titans needed.

Wednesday's down to the wire encounter with Coach Joe Mackey's Blue Devils marked the first time in almost two months that the Titans were on the verge of losing a game.

On January 23rd, Lorain rallied in the final minute to defeat a highly regarded Bedford team.

Prior to Wednesday  night's "escape" against Brunswick, Lorain, the state's second-ranked Division I team, had won nine consecutive games by an average of more than 30 points.

Wednesday night it was the Titans remembering the night they played the 19-6, fifth-seeded Blue Devils, as Lorain trailed by nine points in the second quarter, by eight points early in the third quarter and by three points in the third overtime before closing out the game with six unanswered points.

Defense has been one of Lorain's strengths all winter and that commitment to the "other end of the floor" came to the fore and helped the Titans advance to Saturday's 7 PM District Final versus third-seeded Saint Ignatius (16-8) in what will be a packed house at Midview, or "The Shipyard," as some of the Midview Middies refer to their athletic facilities and cheering section. 

In the third overtime against Brunswick, Lorain's underrated 6-foot-5 senior forward Rashod Berry came up with a huge block that led to two free throws by Titans' standout 6-5 senior forward/guard Devon Andrews. Those free throws by Andrews gave the Titans the lead with 30 seconds left and Berry's steal with nine seconds remaining had the overflow fan support from Lorain ready to dance in the streets of Grafton.

Despite a 6-for-15 night from the foul line, Andrews, the straw that stirs the Titans' offense, finished with 26 points. As his six steals and eight rebounds from Wednesday night will attest to, Devon also plays a major role in what Lorain does defensively.

When talking about Coach Rositano's Titans, it would be remiss not to mention the talent and promise of 6-5 sophomore forward Nazihar Bohannon, who pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds on Wednesday night, and the endless energy of senior point guard Eddie Williamson. Bohannon and Williamson are two major cogs in Lorain's "our defense leads to our offense" philosophy.

WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE ON THE TITANS: "They're awfully athletic and disciplined," Coach O'Toole said. "They have great players. We have to be patient and let the game come to us. What stuck out the other night when I saw them (the Titans) was how hard they work defensively and how hard they pressure the ball. They're undefeated for a reason. It's going to be a great game." 

NOTE FROM THE CORNER: In their last two meetings with the Lorain Titans, the Wildcats dominated, 72-38, at Lorain on January 12, 2013 and last season in Sullivan Gymnasium, Feb. 1, 2014, Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled guard/forward Deven Stover scored a game-high 22 points in keying a 63-45 victory.

JUST FYI: The winner of the Saint Ignatius versus Lorain District Final will face the winner of Saturday night's District Final at Brecksville-Broadview Heights between second-seeded St. Edward and fourth-seeded Berea-Midpark in Wednesday's (March 18th) 7 PM Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND, ALONG WITH THE BASKETBALL CATS ON SATURDAY, ROOT ON BIG-HEARTED SENIOR JOE CONWAY IN TONIGHT'S 195-POUND DIVISION I SEMIFINALS OF THE 78th ANNUAL OHSAA INDIVIDUAL STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT AT THE JEROME SCHOTTENSTEIN CENTER ON THE CAMPUS OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (See the corner's posts on Joe from this morning).         

FROM EDDIE DWYER: JOE WILL FACE MATT STENCEL FROM OREGON CLAY IN THE DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS, WHICH ARE SCHEDULED TO GET UNDERWAY AT 6:30 PM. JOE CONWAY, A TRUE STUDY IN COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE!
3/13/2015
FROM EDDIE DWYER: JOE CONWAY DECISIONS AARON NAPLES OF BRUNSWICK, 7-0, LATE FRIDAY MORNING AND ADVANCES TO THE 195-POUND DIVISION I SEMIFINALS!
3/13/2015
THE CORNER AGAIN SALUTES SENIOR JOE CONWAY, AS JOE DEFEATED CINCINNATI ELDER'S GAGE BROCK, 4-3, AND ADVANCED TO FRIDAY'S 11:20 AM DIVISION I QUARTERFINALS OF THE 78TH ANNUAL OHSAA INDIVIDUAL STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT IN COLUMBUS.
3/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Joe (28-9) is now slated to wrestle Brunswick's Aaron Naples (39-5) in Friday's 195-pound quarterfinals. Joe's brother, Jack, a 145-pound junior from St. Edward, bounced back from a first-round setback and won his first consolation round match.

 

  

An 18-0 second quarter run that included 14 points by junior guard Deven Stover lifts Saint Ignatius to a 74-54 victory over Strongsville in Thursday night's District Semifinal basketball game at Midview High School.
3/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2015

Grafton, Ohio - The third-seeded Wildcats, who improved to 16-8, will face the top-seeded and unbeaten Titans from Lorain High School in Saturday's 7 PM District Championship Game at Midview. The corner will take a look at Lorain on Friday.

Tickets for students, parents and alumni only will go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 7:30 AM in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts.

Deven Stover, whose 14-point flurry was part of his game-high 19 points in 25 minutes, fueled another team effort by Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, who also got double-digit nights from senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford (13 points) and sophomore post Matt Davet (10 points).

Senior forwards/captains Mikal Outcalt and Jaylin McDonald, and senior forward Dylan Nieto also were among those providing key moments, as Coach O'Toole's Cats finished with nine players in the scoring column.

Strongsville, the 18th seed, trailed by 26 points after three quarters. The Mustangs, who closed their season at 7-18, played hard until the final buzzer, however, as they outscored Saint Ignatius, 20-14, over the final eight minutes. Eight players hit the scoring column for Coach Darren Collins' team.

HERE IS A CORNER'S VIEW OF THURSDAY NIGHT'S ACTION FROM MIDVIEW'S EDWARD T. KUBUSKI MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, THE HOME OF "THE SHIPYARD."

A year ago at this time, Saint Ignatius' gifted two guard/ forward Deven Stover walked off the basketball court at Midview High School wearing that warm victory smile.

Deven had just buried a 3-pointer that pushed the Wildcats past a talented Berea-Midpark team in the 2014 Grafton Midview Division I District Championship Game.

Thursday night, Deven and his Saint Ignatius teammates returned to Midview High School and again, the young Mr. Stover helped key a run that gave him, his teammates and the Wildcats' faithful plenty to smile about.

After Strongsville cut the deficit to 18-15 on a 3-pointer by forward Jacob Yezbak off an assist from wing Jimmy Pesarchik with 6 minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the first half, Saint Ignatius, with Stover leading the way, ran off 18 unanswered points and was in command the rest of the way.

Stover, one of the top juniors in Northeast Ohio, got the impressive run started with a 3-pointer and followed that with two free throws and a strong baseline move that pushed the Cats' lead to 10 points. Strongsville Head Coach Darren Collins was on his feet yelling for a timeout with 5:12 left in the second quarter.

Following a turnover by the Mustangs, Stover continued to attack with another strong move to the rim and two more free throws.

After junior point guard/captain Kyle Kalish converted a steal into a layup and sophomore post Matt Davet hustled after a loose ball and turned that second effort into a layup, Saint Ignatius was holding an 18-point lead.

Stover put the finishing touches on the 18-0 barrage by burying another trey and Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats were in charge, 36-15, with 2:47 to go in the first half. Stover, who finished with a game-high 19 points in 25 minutes, accounted for 14 of those decisive 18 points.

Strongsville would show some life in the final stages of the first half, but Saint Ignatius had the answers in the form of three free throws and a follow by senior forward/captain Jaylin McDonald.

The third quarter saw Wildcats senior forward/captain Mikal Outcalt, a Strongsville resident, flash the athleticism that earned him All-Ohio and All-American honors as a goal keeper for Saint Ignatius' state champion soccer team this past fall, and smooth and savvy senior guard/captain Andre' Wolford lend his expertise as one of the area's top long-distance shooters.

Wolford's 3-pointer, a crowd-pleasing spin move along the baseline by Outcalt and another basket by Stover, this time off a dish from Kalish, had Strongsville's faithful a little discouraged.

After a power move underneath by Davet and an authoritative baseline drive by underrated senior forward Dylan Nieto, Wolford went thunder city with a one-handed slam off a breakaway layup and the Wildcats' Student Body showed their appreciation for the soaring effort by Andre'.

Following a layup by McDonald off an on-the-money, no-look pass from junior guard Jimmy Berger and a put back by Wolford, Saint Ignatius led, 60-34, entering the final eight minutes.

It was Katy Bar the Door after McDonald slammed home two more points off a perfect alley-oop pass from Stover with the fourth quarter not a minute old and it was nice to see part of the future, sophomore forward Quinton Farren and sophomore wing/forward Austen Yarian, help close the show with a driving layup and a three-point play, respectively.

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "The game started to come to me, so I showed what I could do," Deven said of the 18-0 run, while also giving credit to Strongsville for its ability to hit 3-pointers in the early going. The Mustangs finished 7-of-17 on their treys and the Wildcats hit on 5 of their nine 3-point attempts.

"They have been doing well all year and they're the No. 1 seed," Deven continued in reference to Saturday's opponent - the undefeated Titans from Lorain. "But like Coach O'Toole said, if we play our game together, like we did tonight, and play like men for others, we can win this game."

Just FYI, Lorain earned the top seed in what was a blended seeding of the Midview and Brecksville-Broadview Heights Districts. St. Edward is the second seed, the Wildcats are third and Berea-Midpark is fourth.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "We'll enjoy this for an hour and a half and get ready for Lorain on Saturday," Coach O'Toole said, emphasizing to the media covering Thursday night's game that Saint Ignatius, with its demanding schedule, has seen teams like Lorain throughout the season. Can you say St. Edward, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Cleveland Central Catholic, East Tech, Detroit Jesuit, Bedford and Walsh Jesuit, just to name a few.

"You know what's nice, everyone contributed (tonight)," Coach O'Toole continued. "We'll go as deep as we need to go (with the roster) and if we need to shrink it, we can. We can play big and we can play small. I'm very excited about this win tonight. Strongsville has shooters and obviously they're well coached. That's the beauty of what I was hoping, that we would weather any early storms, go on a run and play with the lead. We got to the line 20 times, including 17 in the first half. I thought that was a key."

The Cats were 15-of-20 from the charity stripe and the Mustangs hit on 9 of their 18 free-throw attempts. Saint Ignatius outrebounded Strongsville, 37-28, with Matt Davet and Jaylin McDonald each pulling down six rebounds. Coach O'Toole's team had the advantage off the defensive glass, 28-16.         

    

  

 

     

 

                     

            

Basketball update: No. 1 seed Lorain will await the winner of Thursday night's District Semifnal between Saint Ignatius and Strongsville.
3/11/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Lorain remained undefeated by eliminating fifth-seeded Brunswick, 59-56, in triple overtime in a Division I District Semifinal matchup on Wednesday night at Midview High School in Grafton.

With the victory, Lorain advances to Saturday's 7 PM District Championship Game at Midview, where it will play the winner of Thursday night's semifinal between third-seeded Saint Ignatius and 18th-seeded Strongsville.

The Wildcats and the Mustangs will tip off at 7 PM on Thursday night at Midview. For a look at the Saint Ignatius-Strongsville matchup, see the corner's preview from Tuesday night.   

 

The Saint Ignatius versus Strongsville District Basketball Semifinal Preview
3/10/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2015

Ohio City - The Strongsville Mustangs Basketball Program played a schedule this winter that included home and home games with area powers Shaker Heights, Garfield Heights, Brunswick and Mentor, a date with another of the area's best in Berea-Midpark, and other matchups that included strong-tradition teams such as Medina, Brush, Cuyahoga Falls, Olmsted Falls, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Holy Name.

To describe the Mustangs' schedule as demanding might be an understatement.

And when some injuries are thrown in along the way, it is easy to understand why Strongsville is sitting 10 games under .500 entering Thursday night's Division I District Semifinal matchup with a team that knows all about playing a who's who schedule - the 15-8 Wildcats from Saint Ignatius.

The Mustangs, who not long ago were consistently among the area's best (ah, the days of current Iowa standout Aaron White), and Saint Ignatius, which expects that out of its program year in and year out, will tipoff at 7 PM in Midview High School in Grafton.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats enter Thursday night's semifinal as the third seed, while Strongsville received the 18th seed.

The Mustangs, under the direction of Coach Darren Collins, advanced to District play by winning two sectional games on the road against higher seeded teams - a 54-50 victory over 10th-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights and a 65-52 triumph over eighth-seeded North Olmsted.

Saint Ignatius dominated its first sectional opponent, the Lakers from Max S. Hayes, but was challenged right down to the final minute before turning away a sharp-shooting team from Avon, 60-56, in Saturday night's sectional final at Sullivan Gymnasium. Avon, which dropped in 11 3-pointers versus the Wildcats, was seeded 12th.

"This is a team that has battled some injuries all year and they're finally healthy," said Coach O'Toole of Strongsville. "They're playing very good basketball and they have a lot of weapons. They defend very hard, they have some nice size in the middle and they're very skilled on the perimeter.

"Strongsville can create offense off the bounce," Coach O'Toole continued. "They are able to drive and kick, drive and score and drive and dump. They're also pretty deep. They have plenty of guys off the bench. All of the guys they play are capable scorers and quick athletic kids that play hard."

Coach O'Toole emphasized, and will get no argument here, that Strongsville plays in one of the best conferences in Ohio - the Northeast Ohio Conference.

"Obviously they're seasoned from playing in that conference and I'm excited, because I think we're seasoned. We had a great schedule ourselves. We've had two great days of practice and we'll finalize things tomorrow (Wednesday)."

After Wednesday's practice, Coach O'Toole, his assistant coaches and players will head to Midview High School to watch the other semifinal between No. 1 seed Lorain, which is undefeated, and the always strong and always well-coached Brunswick Blue Devils. The winner of the Lorain-Brunswick game will face the winner of the Saint Ignatius versus Strongsville game in Saturday night's 7 PM District Championship Game at Midview.

Saint Ignatius enters District play without its man in the middle - senior Dre'Mont Jones. Dre', an All-Ohio and All-American defensive end who has earned a football scholarship from National Champion Ohio State, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of the Avon game. Our prayers and well wishes are with Dre' and his family.

Accepting the challenge for Coach O'Toole in Dre's absence will be 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet, 6-7 junior post Sharief Irish, who is a great nephew of Cathedral Latin School and Bowling Green State University basketball legend Colin Irish, and 6-4 senior post/forward Mikal Outcalt, who brings the same athleticism and hustle to the basketball court that he exuded as an All-American goal keeper for Coach Mike McLaughlin's State Champion Soccer Wildcats. Mikal is a University of Pittsburgh soccer recruit.

As always, Wildcats gifted 6-6 senior forward Jaylin McDonald will make his presence felt both inside and out on the perimeter. Jaylin had an exceptional game during a victory over Lakewood in last year's District Semifinals at Midview, a night that saw him score 14 points, grab six rebounds, dish out an assist, block a shot and make a steal in 12 minutes. Jaylin rolled a perfect seven from the field en route to his 14 points.

As for the names to watch wearing the green and white of Strongsville, they start with 6-2 guard Tanner Castora, who averages right around 18 points per game. Castora is described by Saint Ignatius' veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as an excellent ball handler with great vision and timing on his passes, an exceptional attacker and an excellent offensive rebounder. In a regular season game to note, Castora scored 22 points in the Mustangs' 65-53 victory over Avon in Strongsville.  

Supporting Castora is 6-2 forward Drew Robertson, who averages 10 points an outing and has hit 30 3-pointers. Coach Porath says Mr. Robertson is a very aggressive offensive player that you have to keep in front of you.

Two other Mustangs that can rise to the occasion are 6-7 post Tyler Jamison and 5-7 guard Sean Aske.

Jamison is adept at the pick and roll, looks for feeds off drives and is a solid offensive rebounder. Aske likes to penetrate and dish the ball, but is also a finisher and a high energy defender.

HOMETOWN REUNION: Mikal Outcalt will have some extra incentive on Thursday night, as the Strongsville resident will be going against some Mustangs that he teamed with and played against on the grade-school levels.

See you in "The Shipyard" at Midview High School, which is located in the Lorain County Village of Grafton. Grafton sits along the East Branch of the Black River.       

        

    

           

 

   

     

Answer for one of our faithful readers on the Conway Connection.
3/10/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Ohio City - Jimbo from South Bend, Indiana e-mailed the corner today and asked if Saint Ignatius' 195-pound state qualifier Joe Conway is any relation to St. Edward's 145-pound state qualifier Jack Conway.

Yes my friend from the home of the Fighting Irish, Joe and Jack are brothers.

The wrestling Conways are among 73 Division I wrestlers from the seven-county area who will be competing in this week's 78th annual OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. The tournament runs Thursday through Saturday, with the Division I Preliminaries scheduled for 5:40 PM on Thursday. That time is approximate.

Joe, a senior, and Jack, a junior, are also among 133 wrestlers from Northeast Ohio attempting to bring home an individual championship. Overall, there are 672 grapplers competing for this year's state honors.

The Conways both finished third at their respective state-qualifying districts last weekend, Joe at Mentor High School and Jack at Cleveland State University.

In their opening matches, Joe (27-9) will face Gage Brock (38-8) from Cincinnati Elder and Jack (29-15) will take on Nick Steed (35-8) from Massillon Perry.

Joe is the Wildcats' lone state qualifier and Jack is among eight Eagles who have qualified for the big show at the Schottenstein Center.

The Conway family has a lot to be proud of, and here's hoping even more smiles will come its way later this week. GOOD LUCK TO JOE AND JACK.

Just fyi in closing, Jimbo, who follows Ohio High School Athletics almost as much as he does the goings on under the Golden Dome, also carries the last name of Conway. He says he is no relation to Joe and Jack, at least as far as he knows, but will be pulling for them this week. It's his way, he said, of bringing Saint Ignatius and St. Edward together on a common ground. Thanks Jimbo, we need all of that we can get right now.           

Joe Conway's first opponent at state will be Gage Brock from Cincinnati Elder. The Varsity Basketball Wildcats are gearing up for the Strongsville Mustangs.
3/9/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Wildcats 195-pound senior Joe Conway will take a record of 27-9 into his opening match at this week's 78th Annual OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Joe faces Elder senior Gage Brock, whose season record is 38-8.

Joe qualified for state by finishing third at the Mentor District this past weekend and Brock earned his trip to Columbus by taking second place at the Kettering Fairmont District.

Thursday's Division I Wrestling Preliminaries are scheduled for 5:40 PM and the Division I Consolation Round 1 is slated for 8:40 PM on Thursday. Please note that times are approximate.

Just a reminder that Coach Sean O'Toole's third-seeded Varsity Basketball Wildcats will take a record of 15-8 into Thursday's Division I District Semifinal matchup with the 18th-seeded Mustangs from Strongsville. The tipoff at Midview High School in Grafton will be 7 PM.

If successful on Thursday night, the Wildcats will return to Midview High School for Saturday's 7 PM District Championship Game versus the winner of Wednesday night's semifinal between No. 1 seed Lorain and fifth-seeded Brunswick.

The corner will take a look at the Strongsville Mustangs early this week.     

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we posted on the corner earlier this evening, a huge congratulations goes out to Wildcats senior Joe Conway, who finished third at the Mentor District Wrestling Tournament on Saturday night and will represent Saint Ignatius at state next week.
3/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Joe completed a solid weekend at one of the state's tradition-rich districts, as he wrapped up third place at 195 pounds by defeating his opponent from talent-rich Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 6-4.

Joe will now represent Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats in next week's OHSAA 78th Annual State Wrestling Individual Tournament, March 12th, 13th and 14th, at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Again, congrats to Joe, Coach Sullivan, his staff and the entire Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program.   

 

Wildcats Varsity Basketball turns back Avon, 60-56, in Saturday night's Division I Sectional Final at Sullivan Gymnasium, but loses standout senior post Dre'Mont Jones to a season-ending knee injury.
3/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Ohio City - Dre'Mont, whose play at defensive end has earned him a football scholarship to National Champion Ohio State, injured the knee while falling to the floor with 5 minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Dre' was helped from the floor and, after being treated by Saint Ignatius' outstanding medical staff, the early projection is that he suffered an ACL injury.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Dre' and his family.

As for Saturday night's game versus the 12th-seeded Eagles from Avon, the third-seeded Wildcats trailed by one point with 1 minute and 31 seconds remaining to be played before pulling the game out on five free throws.

The Wildcats, who will take a record of 15-8 into Thursday's 7 PM District Semifinal matchup with the Strongsville Mustangs at Midview High School in Grafton, withstood a game-high 21 points from Avon's talented senior post/forward Will Ybarra.

Saint Ignatius was led by a 15-point night from junior guard Deven Stover, 11 points from senior guard Andre' Wolford and 10 points by sophomore post Matt Davet, who did an admirable job after Dre'Mont went down with his knee injury.

Avon finished the night with 11 3-pointers, including four by senior guard Michael Smigel, who supported Ybarra with 15 points. Avon was 5-for-6 from the foul line.

Saint Ignatius, which hit five 3-pointers, was 17-of-28 from the foul line. Stover hit 9 of his 14 attempts from the charity stripe, including two huge free throws down the stretch.

Here are the highlights from the final home game of the 2014-15 season, followed by comments from Wildcats Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87.

After the Eagles' gifted 6-foot-7 senior post Will Ybarra gave his team a 14-13 lead by burying two free throws with 1 minute and 9 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Saint Ignatius responded with two free throws by senior forward Jaylin McDonald, a steal by junior guard Jimmy Berger and a 3-pointer by junior guard Kyle Kalish off an assist from Jimmy Berger. That sequence enabled the Wildcats to take an 18-14 lead entering the second quarter.

A 3-pointer by Cats promising 6-foot-6 sophomore post Matt Davet pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to five points, but Avon came calling again and knotted the score on one of Ybarra's three 3-pointers with 2:50 to go in the first half. Ybarra scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first 16 minutes.

The Wildcats moved to another five-point advantage on a 3-pointer by senior forward Dylan Nieto and two free throws by junior guard Deven Stover, but another trey from Ybarra's smooth shooting rotation cut the Cats' lead to 30-28 by halftime.

Saint Ignatius appeared to be gaining some distance between itself and the Eagles after transition layups by McDonald and senior guard Andre' Wolford, and a 3-pointer by Wolford that was followed by his authoritative drive to the rim increased that two-point halftime lead to 39-31.

Avon wasn't about to panic, however, as the Eagles of Coach Kevin Sapara quickly made it a three-point game on consecutive 3-pointers by senior guard Michael Smigel.

The Wildcats moved to a six-point advantage on a free throw by Davet and a two-handed slam dunk along the baseline by McDonald off an assist from Jimmy Berger, but the Eagles again made it a three-point game courtesy of a long-distance trey by junior forward Jeffrey Laraway.

Saint Ignatius' defensive pressure then came to the fore as the Cats rode breakaway layups by Jimmy Berger and Kalish to a 47-40 lead entering the final eight minutes and Stover's impressive driving one-hander along the baseline pushed that advantage to 49-40 early in the fourth quarter.

While the final 5 minutes and 18 seconds were not always pretty, they sure were entertaining.

After a steal and a layup by Nieto had the Wildcats in front by nine points, the Eagles put together a 10-0 run that featured a soft one-hander at the rim by Ybarra, another 3-pointer by Smigel, a three-point play by Laraway and a layup by Ybarra off an inbounds play with 2:11 remaining to be played.

With the Avon faithful being heard from, loud and clear, Stover calmly sent home two free throws and endless-hustling senior forward/post Mikal Outcalt turned a steal into a free throw and a 55-53 Saint Ignatius lead with 1:49 to go.

Eagles junior guard/forward Mario Ferguson put his team in front, 56-55, by dialing long distance, but the Cats advanced to district play on clutch free throws by Stover, Kalish and Wolford.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "I want to give Avon all of the credit in the world, they shot extremely well and they wouldn't fold. They hit 11 threes. By no means did we not think they could shoot it, but they also have athletic kids that can get to the rim. Obviously a very well coached team with a great game plan.

"I thought there were a couple of times when maybe we were going to shut the door," Coach O'Toole continued. "We would build a lead and they would come back hitting threes. But it's tournament time and I'm just very happy to be coming to practice on Monday. We have a great group of kids and we have a strong challenge coming from Strongsville on Thursday night, which has been hurt by injuries all year. They (the Mustangs) are now finally healthy and they're playing extremely well. It's just going to be fun to have three more days of practice, see what happens Thursday and move on from there."

COACH O'TOOLE ON THE LOSS OF DRE'MONT JONES: "A huge loss for this team in so may ways. He's our enforcer, he's our muscle and he's more than muscle. He's a great athlete with great quickness. And when he plays with energy he makes this team go. There were times this year when there were several Division I athletes on the floor and I thought Dre'Mont was the best player on the floor. That is certainly something the team is going to miss dearly. But it's a great opportunity for Matt Davet, Sharief Irish (6-7 junior post) and Mikal Outcalt to step up for their teammate and pick up the slack. We're still going to need Dre'Mont's leadership and encouragement."  

                

 

   

 

 

   

CONGRATS TO SENIOR JOE CONWAY, WHO QUALIFIED FOR NEXT WEEKEND'S STATE TOURNAMENT AND WILL WRESTLE FOR THIRD PLACE AT 195 POUNDS IN TONIGHT'S FINAL ROUND OF THE MENTOR DISTRICT.
3/7/2015
The Ice Cats' outstanding season comes to an end with a 3-2 loss to longtime rival St. Edward in Saturday's District Championship, State Qualifying Game in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
3/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, the Brooklyn District's top seed and the No. 1-ranked program in Ohio, took a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec with three minutes and 55 seconds gone in the first period. Assisting on Mazanec's goal were junior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy and senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney.

St. Edward, the second seed at Brooklyn and the fourth-ranked team in the state, knotted the score on an unassisted goal by senior forward Will Armbruster with 9:06 left in the opening period. It stayed that way entering the second period after the Ice Cats killed off a power-play opportunity for the Eagles.

Sixteen seconds after a quick-reaction glove save by St. Edward junior goalie Warren Hill, the Eagles took a 2-1 lead off a rebound lamplighter by junior forward Jordan Hoy. Freshman forward Colin Price and senior forward Collin Mitchell assisted.

Seven seconds into the third and final period, the Ice Cats, who closed their season at 32-4-3 and saw their 20-game winning streak snapped, were hit with a penalty. Two of Saint Ignatius' 32 victories this winter came versus St. Edward, 3-0 and 5-2.

With 43 seconds remaining on the Eagles' power play, senior forward Colin McGreal provided a hustle goal off an assist from Armbruster and a two-goal advantage.

In what was an unfortunate incident between two schools that have established one of the most storied all-sports rivalries in the nation, a fight broke out among the players with 2:42 left in the third period.

A good chunk of players from both teams were penalized, but Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 said only one player was actually ejected and that was one of the Ice Cats.

After all of the penalties were assessed, Saint Ignatius, down a man, cut the deficit to 3-2 on a goal by junior defenseman Brian Russell off assists from Spellacy and junior forward Jared Stepka with 1:51 remaining.

The Ice Cats, last year's co-State Champion with Sylvania Northview, pulled standout junior goalie Dylan McKeon after Russell's goal, but the Eagles of Coach Troy Gray were able to turn Saint Ignatius away down the stretch.

St. Edward (25-8-5) will be seeking its 12th state ice hockey championship at next week's 38th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament in Columbus' Nationwide Arena. The semifinals are Thursday and the championship game is slated for Saturday.

The final stats scoring sheet from Brooklyn showed Hill with 38 saves and McKeon with 24 stops.

"I was actually pretty happy with how we played for the most part," said Coach O'Rourke. "Obviously at the end there we lost our composure, which you don't like to see, but anytime we lose I put it on myself. I didn't have us prepared enough to score enough goals to win this game, but like I said, we did a lot of things well. Lady Luck just wasn't on our side today.

"They (St. Edward) had a good effort and blocked a lot of shots," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Their goalie (Hill) played well. Once we started taking penalties in the third period I think they got a power-play goal. But we never stopped. We scored one at the end there and kept going. I'm super proud of these guys, I love them dearly. It's just sad that we couldn't do one more week together. I guess that ultimately falls on me, so I'll have to go back to the drawing board, do some soul searching and see what I can do better next year. But that's cold comfort for the seniors right now."          

    

We will have more on the Mentor District after our coverage of the Ice Cats versus St. Edward in the OHSAA Brooklyn District Championship and state qualifying hockey game.
3/7/2015
Tyson Long and Tommy Gallagher win their matches this morning and keep their hopes alive at 120 pounds and 138 pounds, respectively, in the Mentor District Wrestling Tournament. Tyson wins by a major decision over his opponent from Massillon Jackson.
3/7/2015
Wildcats standout Jake Kucia to further his education and baseball career at Case Western Reserve University.
3/6/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Fairview Park, Ohio - Jake, a standout senior middle infielder and a clutch hitter for Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Wildcats, is staying close to home, which I now will please his family.

Jake, who also did a standout job as a part-time starter at quarterback for Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Football Wildcats, comes from a strong athletic lineage at Saint Ignatius. His uncle, Scott Mutryn '94, was an All-Ohio and All-American Quarterback under Coach Kyle and Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo. Scott also excelled in baseball and basketball during his time at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

Like his uncle, Jake competes with a tireless hustle and passion, qualities that will help show the way for Coach Ganor's promising young players this spring.

Congratulations to Jake, his family, Coach Ganor and the baseball programs at Saint Ignatius and Case Western Reserve University from this old-timer, who has had the privilege to cover and report on Jake's accomplishments as well as those of his uncle.

       

Cal Miller, Tristan Brady and Joe Conway are defeated in the second round and will look to wrestle back into state qualifying position.
3/6/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tristan lost a tough match to Anthony Mancini of Boardman, 17-15, and Joe was defeated by Brady Durieux of Massillon Perry, 5-3.

Saturday's Second Session at Mentor begins at 9 AM with the first consolation round, Semifinals will get underway at 12:30 PM and the Finals are scheduled for 7 PM.

Gavin Rivera and Ryan Bush will be wrestling back after second-round losses on Friday night.
3/6/2015
Joe Conway at 195 pounds,Tristan Brady at 160, Cal Miller at 152, Gavin Rivera at 126 and Ryan Bush at 132 win their first matches during Friday's opening round of the tradition-rich Mentor District. Two rounds are scheduled for tonight.
3/6/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Wrestling back after first-round losses are Michael Drobnick at 170, Anthony Delsanter at 106, Tyson Long at 120, Besar Vajusi at 182 and Tommy Gallagher at 138.

NOTE: As we have been reporting on the corner since last Saturday and throughout the week, TEN Men of the Mats are competing in this weekend's state qualifying Mentor District. Not what some of the tweeters are telling you.

The top four in each weight class after Saturday's competition will be competing in next week's OHSAA 78th Annual State Wrestling Individual Tournament, March 12th, 13th and 14th, at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.  

A look at the Avon Eagles, who will travel to Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night for a Division I Sectional Final matchup with Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats.
3/5/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Ohio City - After escaping with a 53-52 overtime victory versus 17th-seeded Amherst Steele in Wednesday night's sectional semifinals of the blended Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights District, the 12th-seeded Avon Eagles will face a team that has played a who's who area and statewide schedule - the third-seeded Varsity Basketball Wildcats.

And the Cats' demanding regular season slate also included a Christmas Break trip to Michigan power Detroit Jesuit.

Avon, which defeated Amherst Steele on an off-balance 3-pointer by its gifted 6-foot-2 guard/forward D'amante Thornton, will come calling to Ohio City on Saturday for a 7 PM Sectional Final tipoff. If you can't make it out to the game, Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network will bring you the action live from storied Sullivan Gymnasium with SIBN President James Zajaczkowski '15 on the lead call.

Amherst Steele will probably look back at Wednesday night's loss to the Eagles and shake its head. The Comets missed the front end of three key 1-and-1 free-throw situations, including one in the final 34 seconds of regulation and the other two coming in the final 43 seconds of overtime. Amherst Steele took a five-point lead in overtime before Avon scored the game's final six points via the trey.

Yes, the tournament trail can be short and sudden. Heartbreak Highway my friends.

HERE IS A LOOK AT THE AVON EAGLES, WITH COMMENTS FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87. THE CATS WILL ENTER SATURDAY NIGHT'S GAME AT 14-8 AND THE EAGLES' RECORD HAS APPEARED THREE DIFFERENT WAYS IN VARIOUS REPORTS THIS WEEK - 12-7, 12-9 AND 13-9. WHATEVER THE RECORD IS, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT AVON IS A SOUND BASKETBALL TEAM WITH SOME QUALITY VICTORIES THIS WINTER.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "The first thing that stands out is their athleticism," Coach O'Toole said of Avon. "They have great strength and great athletes. Their guards are big and strong, and they have posts that can step out and score. They play extremely hard and extremely physical.

"Obviously they have some great wins on the season," Coach O'Toole continued in his references to the Eagles. "They defeated Lakewood, Bay, who we have a lot of respect for, and they clawed their way back against Amherst. Good teams win tough games. That (Avon's victory over Amherst Steele) was a tough game and they were able to come back and find the way to victory.

"We just have to come out and play with an urgency and play with a pace under control, do what we do," said Coach O'Toole. "My mindset for this tournament is that we played an incredible regular season schedule. We played great coaches, we played great talent, we played great man-to-man defensive teams, great zone teams and great pressure teams. So I truly feel our kids are prepared. Anytime the ball goes up, anything can happen. But for the styles we've seen, we got a good variety. We're excited to be in Sullivan Gymnasium and excited to be playing a very good Avon basketball team."

HERE ARE SOME OF THE EAGLES' TOP PRODUCERS, COURTESY OF THE WILDCATS' VETERAN ASSISTANT COACH JERRY PORATH AND THE CORNER. AVON AVERAGES SIX 3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME AND DROPPED IN SEVEN TREYS VERSUS AMHERST.

Six-foot-7 post Will Ybarra: Long and athletic, Will is flirting with 15 points a game. He runs the court well, has excellent range and a quick release. Ybarra pulled down 17 rebounds during Wednesday night's thriller versus Amherst Steele. 

Six-foot-2 guard/forward D'amante Thornton: An excellent athlete with quickness and the ability to push the ball, attack and spin, Thornton has averaged 15 points over the Eagles' past five games and has totaled eight 3-pointers over the past three games. Prior to that he was averaging more than 11 points per game. He has quick hands on defense.

Six-foot-3 guard/forward Zack Torbert: A solid all-around player, Zack averages more than 9 points per game.

Six-foot-1 guard/wing Delshawn Orr: Averages nearly 9 points a game and is very good in the open court.

Five-foot-10 guard Michael Smigel: The Eagles' primary ball handler, Michael has good range, shoots off the catch and is averaging more than 5 points per game.

Six-foot-2 guard/forward Jeffrey Laraway: Averages more than 6 points per game. He likes to attack and is a solid rebounder.

Six-foot guard Nick Toth: Southpaw Nick hit three 3-pointers versus Amherst on Wednesday night.

Six-foot-4 forward Mario Ferguson: Scored nine points, including a 3-pointer, on Wednesday night.

BY THE NUMBERS IN OHIO CITY: According to the Wildcats' stats, Saint Ignatius' gifted senior guard Andre' Wolford enters Saturday night's game with 285 points in 22 games, including 57 3-pointers.

Multi-skilled junior guard/forward Deven Stover has scored 222 points in 18 games.

Currently with more than 100 points on the season are senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto (133), junior point guard Kyle Kalish (131) and senior post Dre'Mont Jones and sophomore post Matt Davet, who have each scored 104 points. 

Senior forward Jaylin McDonald has scored 84 points in 21 games and contributing 78 and 73 points, respectively, in their reserve roles are junior point guard Jimmy Berger and junior forward Tim Kiefer.        

 

 

         

 

 

     

     

Another reminder on Coach Sullivan's Men of the Mats as they gear up for this weekend's Mentor District.
3/5/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - As we did on the corner throughout Saturday afternoon and evening, and again on Monday, let's salute Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka the Saint Ignatius Varsity Wrestling program.

Coach Sullivan and his staff will lead 10 exceptional young men into this weekend's tradition-rich Mentor District Tournament, or "The Mentor Meat Grinder," if you will.

The Wildcats' terrific 10 are senior Joe Conway, the 195 pound sectional champion at Brecksville-Broadview Heights; Ryan Bush, the 132 pound champ at Brecksville; Michael Drobnick, who was second at Brecksville at 170 pounds; Tristan Brady (160), Cal Miller (152), Gavin Rivera (126), Tyson Long (120) and Anthony Delsanter (106), who each placed third at Brecksville in qualifying for the Mentor District, and Besar Vajusi (182) and Tommy Gallagher (138), whose fourth-place efforts at Brecksville have them heading to Mentor this weekend.

Here is the schedule and fan information on the Mentor District, courtesy of Mentor High School, the other half of the finest Catholic High School versus Public High School football rivalry in the nation.

First Session: Friday at 5 PM (first two rounds). Saturday's Second Session begins at 9 AM with the first consolation round, Semifinals will get underway at 12:30 PM and the Finals are scheduled for 7 PM. The pairings are posted on www.mentorhigh.com/dwrestling.

Tickets will be available at the gate, $6 for adults and $4 for students. There is no presale. You can park in the Mentor High School Lots. There is no parking fee, but Fire Lane regulations will be strictly enforced. 

Our Prayers and Sympathy
3/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

I would like to express my prayers and sympathy for the family of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Basketball Coach Kirk Culler, as Kirk's father, Doug, passed away on Wednesday.

This corner also wishes to express its prayers and sympathy for the family of colleague Dale Meggas, as Dale, a former member of The Plain Dealer Sports Department and a longtime sports reporter for the Sun News, passed away on Tuesday.

May Doug and Dale Rest in Peace.  

 

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats display exceptional depth and exude class in their 75-26 Sectional Semifinal victory over Max S. Hayes in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night. Avon comes calling Saturday night.
3/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Ohio City - Coach O'Toole's Cats, who improved to 14-8 and advanced to Saturday's 7 PM Division I Sectional Final matchup with the Avon Eagles in Sullivan Gym, exuded skill, depth and character as they took care of business without embarrassing their neighbors from Max S. Hayes.

Led by 13 points from junior post Sharief Irish and 12 points by junior forward Tyler Musbach, Saint Ignatius finished with 13 players in the scoring column. Coach O'Toole utilized his entire roster early and often.

The Wildcats, the third seed at the blended Midview/Brecksville-Broadview Heights District, totaled 50 points off their 2-point shots, 15 points on five 3-pointers and were 10-of-13 from the foul line.

Saint Ignatius, a Division I Regional Semifinalist last season, wasted little time in displaying its talents as a coast-to-coast layup by junior point guard Kyle Kalish and a 3-pointer by gifted senior guard Andre' Wolford extended the Cats' lead to 10-0 with 5 minutes and 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

After a basket by senior forward Mikal Outcalt off an on-the-money assist from junior guard Deven Stover, a tip in by Stover and a driving one-hander by Kalish, it was a 16-0 game with 4:39 left in the opening quarter.

The Lakers from Max S. Hayes, who closed their season at 2-16, got on the scoreboard courtesy of a put back by sophomore forward Brandon Holt with just over four minutes remaining in the first eight minutes.

Saint Ignatius then regained total control in a commanding, yet classy manner.

Two free throws by versatile senior guard/forward Dylan Nieto, a 3-pointer by junior guard Michael Hollis off a perfect dish from junior point guard Jimmy Berger, a basket by sophomore post Matt Davet off another assist from Jimmy Berger, a driving one-hander by Nieto, a 3-pointer by Ryan Berger, Jimmy's twin brother, and put back by Musbach, the Cats were purring to a 30-2 lead.

A nice move down the lane by the Lakers' senior forward Maliek Young closed the deficit to 26 points, but Saint Ignatius held a 34-4 lead entering the second quarter after Irish powered up two points down low and junior guard Nate Ellifritt turned a steal into a breakaway layup.

Young led the Lakers with 11 points.

With Coach O'Toole mixing combinations from his entire bench, the Wildcats steadily moved to a 55-13 lead by halftime. Some of the second quarter highlights were a three-point play by Irish, a jumper from the top of the key by Musbach, another strong move to the rim by Nieto, a layup by Nieto off an assist from Hollis, two 3-pointers by endless-hustling senior guard Joe Isabella and two free throws and a second-effort put back by Musbach.

The Lakers had a couple of bright moments in the second quarter, including an offensive rebound by Young that he turned into a three-point play and two nothing-but-net free throws by Holt.

Max S. Hayes tireless senior point guard Jullini Ervin scored the first points of the third quarter with a one-handed scoop shot, but the Cats moved to a 61-15 lead on an impressive drive to the hoop by Irish, a baseline jumper by Hollis and an offensive rebound and put back by Davet.

FROM COACH O'TOOLE: "That everyone got to play," said Coach O'Toole of what pleased him most about Wednesday night's effort. "We go all year, play a brutal schedule and everyone works their butt off. They got a chance to play, contribute and score in a real game. Anytime that can happen, I'm very happy.

"Our schedule is so tough, there are times you wish you could play more guys and we can't," Coach O'Toole continued. "It's a selfless team. I was very pleased with how hard those guys who got the opportunity tonight played. They played the way we want them to play. No one went out and embarrassed anyone. I truly thought Max Hayes played hard. They have a good, young team."

Now the focus is on Avon, Saturday's 7 PM Sectional Final opponent at Sullivan Gymnasium. The 12th-seeded Eagles from Avon advanced to a matchup with Saint Ignatius by defeating 17th-seeded Amherst Steele, 53-52, in overtime on Wednesday night.        

         

    

St. Edward will face Saint Ignatius in Saturday's 1 PM District Championship Game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
3/4/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The second-seeded Eagles earned the right to face the top-seeded Ice Cats by dominating third-seeded Rocky River, 11-1, on Wednesday night in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Saint Ignatius (32-3-3), ranked No. 1 in Ohio and riding a 20-game winning streak, and St. Edward (24-8-5), which finished fourth in the state poll, will be playing for a trip to the OHSAA's 38th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament when they meet for the third time this season on Saturday at 1 PM in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center's Brooklyn Ice Arena.

The Ice Cats won both of their Great Lakes Hockey League matchups with the Eagles this winter, 3-0 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and 5-2 in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

For a look at the Ice Cats' 7-2 District Semifinal victory over fourth-seeded Padua Franciscan on Tuesday night, see the corner's game story below.

We'll see you at "The Big Barn on Memphis" Saturday afternoon for another chapter in the storied Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward rivalry.

Ethan Whitney's huge answer late in the first period and four goals in the first four minutes and 55 seconds of the second period lead the Ice Cats to a 7-2 victory over Padua Franciscan in Tuesday night's District Semifinal at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
3/3/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Brooklyn, Ohio - The fourth-seeded Padua Franciscan Bruins took the ice in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center on Tuesday night with a huge amount of that underdog adrenalin.

With their standout sophomore goalie Lynsey Wallace answering every early challenge, the Bruins took a 1-0 lead off a power play goal by talented senior right wing Jimmy Szpak with 2 minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the first period.

However, it was a short-lived celebration for Padua, as just 29 seconds later Saint Ignatius' ever-present senior forward/captain Ethan Whitney sent home a rebound and the scored was knotted at 1.

Making the adjustments one expects from the tournament's top seed and the No. 1-ranked program in the state, the Ice Cats then erupted for four second-period goals that put them in command, 5-1, with 10 minutes and five seconds still left to be played in the second period.

Saint Ignatius, which is now one victory away from its second consecutive state Final Four or "Frozen Four" appearance, its third since 2010 and its seventh overall, improved to 32-3-3 and extended its winning streak to 20 games after adding two insurance goals in the third period.

The Ice Cats, who have brought home state championships in 2000, 2010 and 2014, will face the winner of Wednesday night's District Semifinal between the second-seeded St. Edward Eagles and the third-seeded Pirates from Rocky River in Saturday's 1 PM OHSAA District Championship Game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

St. Edward and Rocky River will face off at 7 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

HERE ARE COMMENTS FROM ETHAN WHITNEY ON HIS HUGE TYING GOAL, PADUA'S GOALIE LYNSEY WALLACE  AND WHAT LIES AHEAD.

"We knew they were going to come out fast, they always do," Ethan said of Padua, which closed its season at 13-16-4. "They're a good team. When they scored, we didn't get down on ourselves. I'm so confident in the guys on our team. We knew that if we got down one or two goals, we were going to come back and win the game.

"But yeah, it was definitely important to quickly respond," Ethan continued. "You can't let them have too much momentum, because that's what teams in our league (the talent-rich Great Lakes Hockey League) do, thrive on momentum."

Saint Ignatius was the GLHL's regular season champion at 10-0 and also won its second consecutive GLHL postseason tournament Cleveland Cup. Padua finished in a tie for fifth place with Holy Name in GLHL regular season play.   

"I think I skated wide and came around the net," said Whitney while describing his goal that brought Mr. Momentum back to neutral ice. "I made a pass, Kisel (junior forward Zack Kisel) was screening and I just kind of came in there. I didn't think I made it at first, I thought the goalie saved it. But then Jack Wiegandt (senior forward and captain) was hugging me.

"When we get momentum, it's so fun to play with the guys on our team," Whitney said. "That's our main objective, to get shots on net. Our philosophy is that they will eventually go in. We just kept peppering the goalie and she's (Lynsey Wallace) a great goalie. She was hanging with us. Her technique is really good."

And now it is on to Saturday, where Whitney and his fellow Ice Cats will face either Rocky River, a program that eliminated Saint Ignatius from postseason play in 2013 and battled the Cats to a two-overtime game last season before Saint Ignatius prevailed in what was a District Semifinal, or St. Edward, which is 0-2 versus the Ice Cats this season.

"Rocky River always shows up in the playoffs," said Whitney. "We know that from sophomore year and last year they gave us a scare, too. St. Eds is a great team and they're confident, but so is River. No matter who we play, we'll be ready for it."

TUESDAY NIGHT'S SECOND PERIOD FLURRY AND CLOSING ACT: If you blinked, you might have missed part of what was one of the most impressive spurts in Saint Ignatius' rich ice hockey history.

With the score tied at 1 entering the second period, gifted All-GLHL senior forward/captain Matty Geither put the Ice Cats ahead to stay by smoothly and authoritatively sending home a lamplighter. Matty's goal, which saw him salute the Saint Ignatius faithful, came with the second period just 35 seconds old.

Senior forward/captain Jack Mazanec then went top shelf with a whistling shot and 43 seconds later Kisel scored off a power play. Jack Wiegandt followed with the first of his two goals of the night off an assist from Kisel with 10:05 remaining to be played in the second period. The Cats were so hot, the ice was smoking blue and gold.

Saint Ignatius would leave no doubt with third period goals from junior forward Jared Stepka (unassisted) and Jack Wiegandt. Jack's second goal came off an assist from multi-skilled junior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy. The Bruins' Szpak closed out the scoring by completing his two-goal night with 1:36 left.    

BOTH GOALIES CAN HOLD THEIR HEADS HIGH: Wildcats goalie Wes Deacon, one of three superb juniors between the pipes for Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and Saint Ignatius Goalies Coach Paul Chase '96 (the other two are Dylan McKeon and Mark Mastroianni ), finished with 30 saves and Padua's Lynsey Wallace, who has a bright future, to say the least, turned away 42 shots. Lynsey also turned in a 47-save performance this season in a 0-0 tie versus St. Edward in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "She's a good goalie and they're a good team," said Coach O'Rourke of Lynsey Wallace and the Bruins. "Coach Coyle (GLHL Coach of the Year Greg Coyle) has nice program going. We thought they would come out like that. That's what our league does, it prepares each other for this time of year. They (the Bruins) are very, very good. They have a lot of good seniors who had very nice careers and they weren't going to go home easily.

"They did a couple of things we didn't expect and had to adjust to," Coach O'Rourke continued. "We were a little slower adjusting to it than I would have liked, but we did it in between periods and came out very strong for the second period. Obviously we seized command of the game right there.

"This time of the year is so much fun, nerve racking, but fun," Coach O'Rourke said. "We were prepared for them, we didn't look past them at all. We very much respect their coaching staff and their personnel, their players. Their hockey history is great and it's good to see Padua back on the rise. But we're a team on a mission and our mission right now is three more practices and one more game. We'll see who we play on Saturday (either St. Edward or Rocky River), they're both great teams. The bottom line is that we're there and we'll play anybody, we're so happy to be there.

"She is very technically sound," said Coach O'Rourke of Lynsey Wallace. "Her angles are good and she's tough to beat. In the first period we didn't beat her much. I would imagine she would play women's college hockey some day. She's that good. So the future is bright for them.

"I'm super happy with our effort," Coach O'Rourke said in closing. "We stayed positive and it was good to get that goal right after they scored. You know how we like to wear teams down. This is what we shoot for when we ask of them (the Ice Cats) what we want. We don't back down. I'm just so happy that we at least have a couple of more days with these kids. I love them and they deserve it. They work extremely hard."       

     

         

   

        

     

 

 

BASKETBALL JOINS HOCKEY AND WRESTLING ON THIS WEEK'S TOURNAMENT TRAIL.
3/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Pat O'Rourke's defending state champion Ice Cats will take a 31-3-3 record, a 19-game winning streak, the top ranking in Ohio and the No 1 seed into tomorrow night's (Tuesday) District Semifinal matchup with the fourth-seeded Padua Franciscan Bruins. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 7 PM.

If the Cats are successful against a Bruins team they defeated 7-1 and 8-1 during the regular season, they will return to the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Saturday at 1 PM for the District Championship Game versus the winner of Wednesday night's District Semifinal between second-seeded St. Edward and third-seeded Rocky River.

Another trip to the State Final Four, or "Frozen Four," at Nationwide Arena in Columbus will be on the line Saturday.

This year's 38th annual OHSAA State Ice Hockey Tournament will be played on March 12th and 14th. The semifinals on March 12th are scheduled for 1 PM and 4 PM, and the puck will drop at 2 PM for the state championship showdown on March 14th.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats, who ended their regular season at 13-8, will begin defense of their Midview District Championship when they host the neighboring Max S. Hayes Lakers in a sectional semifinal on Wednesday night at 7 in Sullivan Gymnasium.

If Coach O'Toole's Cats defeat the Lakers, as they are expected to do, they will return to Sullivan Gym on Saturday night for a sectional-final matchup with the winner of the Avon Lake versus Amherst Steele sectional semifinal. Saturday's game is slated for 7 PM.

And, one more time as we did throughout Saturday afternoon and evening on the corner, let's salute Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka the Saint Ignatius Varsity Wrestling program.

Coach Sullivan and his staff will lead 10 exceptional young men into this weekend's tradition-rich Mentor District Tournament, or "The Mentor Meat Grinder," if you will.

The Wildcats' terrific 10 are senior Joe Conway, the 195 pound sectional champion at Brecksville-Broadview Heights; Ryan Bush, the 132 pound champ at Brecksville; Michael Drobnick, who was second at Brecksville at 170 pounds; Tristan Brady (160), Cal Miller (152), Gavin Rivera (126), Tyson Long (120) and Anthony Delsanter (106), who each placed third at Brecksville in qualifying for the Mentor District, and Besar Vajusi (182) and Tommy Gallagher (138), whose fourth-place efforts at Brecksville have them heading to Mentor this weekend.

Here is the schedule and fan information on the Mentor District, courtesy of Mentor High School, the other half of the finest Catholic High School versus Public High School football rivalry in the nation.

First Session: Friday at 5 PM (first two rounds). Saturday's Second Session begins at 9 AM with the first consolation round, Semifinals will get underway at 12:30 PM and the Finals are scheduled for 7 PM. The pairings are posted on www.mentorhigh.com/dwrestling.

Tickets will be available at the gate, $6 for adults and $4 for students. There is no presale. You can park in the Mentor High School Lots. There is no parking fee, but Fire Lane regulations will be strictly enforced.      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saint Ignatius is turned back by St. Edward, 2-0, in Sunday's Junior Varsity State Championship Hockey Game in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.
3/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Lakewood Heights Boulevard - In what Saint Ignatius' highly successful Head Coach Drew Vilinsky '97 described as a physical, high-skilled game, the Eagles' Junior Varsity ended up with a 6-0 mark against the Wildcats this winter. Five of those six matchups were very similar to Sunday's game, which saw St. Edward score its second goal, an empty netter power-play effort by Joey White, with 1 minute and 19 seconds remaining to be played.

The Eagles, who took a 1-0 lead on an all-out hustle unassisted goal by Matt Duffy with the second period not four minutes old, were defeated by Saint Ignatius in a shootout at last year's JV state title game in Serpentini Arena.

Sunday's matchup was officially announced as "The Ohio High School State Championship Game."

Coach Vilinsky's Wildcats, who closed another solid season at 23-8-5, got 22 saves from sophomore goalie Kyle Mead and the Eagles' Andrew Stewart turned away 29 shots, although it seemed like Stewart had more saves than what were listed on the official game scoring sheet.

Before Duffy's goal, Mead had two exceptional saves in a span of 15 seconds.

St. Edward did not yield a goal in its five state tournament games and Coach Ryan Thome's Eagles killed off the three power-play opportunities that Saint Ignatius earned on Sunday. Sunday marked the 11th time in the past 13 seasons that St. Edward has won the junior varsity state championship.

FROM COACH VILINSKY: "Both teams played immensely well. It was a good pace, both teams crashed the net and both goalies played well. We had our opportunities, our chances. St. Eds did a nice job of packing in and counter attacking from there. But I'm proud of the way that we fought.

"We were earning power plays we didn't convert, but the boys were playing within the system and doing what was asked of them. That's what you look for," said the man who completed his sixth season as his alma mater's Head JV Coach and his seventh year in the program overall. "They're (St. Edward) the best JV team in the state, but we're not very far off.  I like what we have, I like what it means for the future in guys that were willing to buy in, guys that were willing to listen and guys that were willing to fight for each other.  

"We're an excellent group of guys, a tight family," Coach Vilinsky continued. "It bodes well for our program, what our boys were able to do. We're trying to get them to jell together and we're trying to develop a culture. But that St. Eds JV team is stupendous. They beat us six times out of six games this season, you have to give them credit. They did a wonderful job."

FROM WILDCATS SOPHOMORE CENTER, CAPTAIN AND ADEPT PENALTY KILLER DANNY CORRIGAN: "We played very hard this season," said the young man who was selected as captain by his coaches and his teammates. "Even if you were sitting (out of the game), you were doing something. Sure, we want to beat St. Eds every time, but we still played them 100 percent every time. Their goalie (Stewart) played great and we didn't get the lucky bounces. It happens that way some days.

"Everyone here will go on to better things," Corrigan continued while glancing at the Wildcats' locker room in Serpentini Arena. "We're all really tight and that creates great chemistry on the ice."

NOTE: Just a reminder that Coach Pat O'Rourke's defending state champion Varsity Ice Cats will take a 31-3-3 record, a 19-game winning streak, the No. 1 ranking in Ohio and the district's top seed into Tuesday night's District Semifinal matchup with the Padua Franciscan Bruins in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop at 7 PM.

We'll see you at "The Big Barn on Memphis."

   

 

     

 

 

 

      

Wildcats Junior Varsity Hockey defeats University School, 6-2, in this morning's semifinals of the annual State Tournament in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst and will return to the Winterhurst ice this afternoon for the 3 PM title game versus St. Edward
3/1/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit March 2015

Lakewood Heights Boulevard - Saint Ignatius' outstanding Junior Varsity Hockey Coach Drew Vilinsky '97 said he was pleased with his team's "overall effort" during Sunday morning's 6-2 triumph over University School in a state semifinal matchup at Winterhurst.

"We did a couple of different things, and at times kids can be selfish and that throws them off," said Coach Vilinsky, who will guide his Ice Cats (23-7-5) against St. Edward in today's (Sunday) 3 PM state championship game on the ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst. "But with this group of kids, they were willing to buy in to what we asked them to do."

What the JV Ice Cats did was trust "the system" that Coach Vilinsky and his staff have created and strike early in defeating a University School team that had gone 3-0 in pool play entering Sunday morning's faceoff with Saint Ignatius.

With sophomore forward Tommy Rumsey sending home the first of his two goals, an authoritative shot with just under 10 minutes remaining in the opening period, the Cats' system seemed to be in place.

After Saint Ignatius killed off a power play opportunity for University School, the Preppers' defense was hanging tough until sophomore forward Cullen Frebes scored the first of his two lamplighters with nearly 13 minutes gone in the second period.

The final two minutes of the second period saw the Cats move to a 3-0 lead on a goal by sophomore forward John von Keyserling, only to see the Preppers get on the board off a power play with 2.6 seconds on the clock.

Whatever Coach Vilinsky's message was after the second period it certainly rang true, as the JV Ice Cats came out for the third period and wasted little time in inviting Mr. Momentum back to the Saint Ignatius bench.

Just one minute and five seconds into the third period, sophomore forward Ethan Flowers made it a 4-1 game and 36 seconds later Rumsey found the back of the net again for a four-goal lead.

University School, much like its traditionally strong varsity program, stayed in the game and cut the deficit to 5-2 with 7 minutes and 48 seconds remaining to be played.

The morning belonged to the Blue and Gold, however, as after an athletic save by Cats sophomore goalie Kyle Mead, Frebes completed his two-goal effort nine minutes and 58 seconds into the final period.

Saint Ignatius outshot the Preppers, 40-13.

Now it is on to another state title game encounter with St. Edward, as the Cats brought home last year's JV state championship by defeating the Eagles in a shootout at Winterhurst.

St. Edward, which advanced by defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier, 7-0, in Sunday morning's other semifinal, is 5-0 against the JV Cats this winter, with every game except one (a 5-1 loss) being highly competitive. Again, that's 3 PM this afternoon right back at the tradition-rich facility on Lakewood Heights Boulevard.

"Trusting in that system," Coach Vilinsky said. "And that means not just trusting us as the coaches, but trusting each other as well. Top to bottom (this morning), all 20 guys who were skating did a real nice job of doing what we were asking them to do, which means they had to trust the coaches and their brothers. I'm immensely happy with that."    

 

   

 

   

 

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

GENTLEMEN, TAKE A BOW!

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HERE ARE OHIO'S  TOP 10 DIVERS FOR 2015

 

1 Cameron Thatcher Powell Olentangy Liberty 252.75 428.80 630.90

 

2 David Waszak North Canton Hoover 193.00 334.15 524.60

 

3 Noah Hickey Centerville 227.70 352.50 523.40

 

4 Jecorlin Frazier Toledo St. Francis DeSales 216.65 344.10 501.70

 

5 Isaac Karn Piqua 212.80 343.00 498.30

 

6 Alex Kowal Powell Olentangy Liberty 215.85 343.90 487.75

 

7 Alex Claus  Saint Ignatius 209.65 333.00 472.35

 

8 Curtis Roden North Canton Hoover 222.05 348.30 464.10

 

9 Caleb Aho Findlay 224.00 334.35 461.05

 

10 Ryan Hunter Vandalia Butler 220.15 335.60 449.90

 

 

 

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

From the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February/March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

  

  

  

  

 

     

 

 

      

  

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

200 Medley Relay: Saint Ignatius placed 12th.

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

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

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

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

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

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

400 yard Freestyle Relay: Saint Ignatius finished 13th.

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

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

                    

 

              
              

            

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

                  

 

  

 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                     

 

 



 



 



 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Friday, February 27

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

 

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

FROM ERNST LANES IN CHARDON, OHIO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Friday, February 27

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

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

          

    

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

From Bowling Green State University

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

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

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

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

 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the Wildcats would have none of that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

    

 

 

    

     

               

 

     

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

BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Saint Ignatius 96 (6)

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

4. St. Edward 60

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 53

6. Olentangy Orange 40

7. Findlay 37

8. Bowling Green 29

9. Dublin Jerome 28

10. Columbus St. Charles 13

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

 

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

Saint Ignatius High School vs. Olmsted Falls High School.

There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

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

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

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

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

Our star bowlers.

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

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

Junior Gianni Schaefer = 206 game = 570 Series.

Junior Austin Venczel = 211 game = 573 Series.

Senior Antonio DiFranco = 201 game = 558 Series.

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

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

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

Ernst Lanes

10561 Grant St

Chardon, OH  44024

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


 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

       

        

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

DIVISION I SECTIONAL

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

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

 

 

 

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

 

 

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

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 



 



  



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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 
 
 

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

1. Toledo St. Francis DeSales 86 (5)

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

3. University School 71

4. St. Edward 58

5. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 48

6. Bowling Green 34                

7. Findlay 28

8. Olentangy Orange 24

9-Tie. Dublin Jerome 23

9-Tie. Columbus St. Charles 23

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

 

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

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

By Eddie Dwyer

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

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

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

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

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