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Saint Ignatius' Tennis 'Cats continue to hold the hot racket.
4/20/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations continue to pour out to Coach Jon Barker's Tennis 'Cats, who made themselves at home at Tri-City Park on Saturday and walked away with the championship of the annual Rocky River Invitational.

The Wildcats totaled 30 points and Beachwood and Westerville South placed second and third, respectively, with 19 and 18 points.

Showing the way for the 'Cats were standout singles players Nate Griffin, Eric Schuette and Josh Hsia, and the veteran doubles teams of Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye and Karl Fehn and Jack Napoli.

 

 

 

Clutch situational hitting by Bennett Kinzel, Ryan Cooper, Mullen Socha, Shane Skuhrovec and Kurt Mantes, and a big-time effort out of the bullpen by David Bodziony help Saint Ignatius' varsity baseball team to a 6-2 victory over a solid Kirtland club.
4/19/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio - As he was preparing his team for this coming week's trip to Maryland, Saint Ignatius head baseball coach Brad Ganor emphasized how important it is to "keep some fluidity" to the Wildcats' lineup.

A team rich in terms of its flexibility and talent, Saint Ignatius turned to a lineup on Saturday that truly showcased just how deep Coach Ganor's club is.

"Those guys, even though they're not everyday players, are one of the Saint Ignatius varsity baseball team this year," said Coach Ganor after his Wildcats won for the ninth time in 10 outings this spring by turning back a very capable Kirtland team, 6-2. "That's very important. They produced, just like we expected them to produce."

On what was another sunshine-laden afternoon on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, the Kirtland Hornets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out RBI double by senior first baseman Erik Guhde.

Kirtland, which is now 6-3, opened the fourth inning with a walk to its talented senior shortstop Anthony Veneri. Veneri, however, was thrown out while attempting to steal second base on a strong throw by Wildcats senior catcher Pat Gulick. Pat also provided two hits on the day.

Two more walks opened the door for Guhde's clutch hit.

The Hornets' early momentum quickly disappeared as Saint Ignatius responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.    

Saint Ignatius' take-charge fourth inning featured a base hit by junior infielder/outfielder Mullen Socha, the first of two RBI on the day by senior first baseman Bennett Kinzel, who delivered the tying run off a single through the left side, a sacrifice fly RBI to deep center field by senior outfielder/infielder Ryan Cooper, who put the 'Cats ahead to stay, two stolen bases by Kinzel that were sandwiched around a walk to senior right fielder/relief ace Nick Longo, a take-one-for-the-team by senior designated hitter Kyle Daugenti, and an RBI single by senior pitcher/left fielder Shane Skuhrovec.

Kirtland would close to 4-2 with one out in the top of the fifth, but Saint Ignatius senior infielder/relief pitcher David Bodziony put an end to what could have been a big inning for the Hornets by recording consecutive strikeouts with the bases loaded.

"He's got a lot of moxie about him," Coach Ganor said of Bodziony. "He's got a carefree attitude, which is great. It serves him well."

Riding the momentum of Bodziony's Ks, the 'Cats then added some insurance by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The two in the fifth were the result of a two-out, bases-empty rally that was fueled by a single from junior infielder Kurt Mantes, an error off a dropped fly ball and a line-drive RBI base hit by Kinzel. Along with his timely hitting, Kinzel was solid around the bag at first base.

Junior reliever Jacob Bangert pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth for the 'Cats and Longo slammed the door in the top of the seventh with a runner on third.

Mantes made a running over-the-shoulder catch of a pop fly in short left field for the second out of the seventh and Longo ended the game by striking out the next batter.

"They did a nice job," said Coach Ganor of those Wildcats who were given a chance to make their mark on Saturday. "I'm proud of them and I'm proud that when we look down the bench now, we see guys that we feel confident to put in the game. They just proved why they're on the team and why we made the right choices on the final roster."

Saint Ignatius had eight hits (all singles) and played errorless baseball. Kirtland finished with four knocks and committed two errors.

Skuhrovec is now 1-0 on the season as Shane started and went 4 1/3 innings. He threw 76 pitches, yielding two runs, two hits, striking out five and walking five.

Note: Among the Wildcats' eight hits was a single to right center by sophomore outfielder Jack Cook in the bottom of the sixth, which marked Jack's first hit on the varsity level. Jack was called up from the junior varsity team this week.

Not again: Just when Saint Ignatius thought it had seen enough injuries during the fall sports season, the injury bug has raised its ugly head again.

Wildcats gifted junior outfielder Sam Fuller will be sidelined for about four weeks with a broken thumb and promising junior left-handed pitcher Brendan Adler suffered what has been determined to be a torn ACL. Brendan suffered the knee injury while sliding into home plate during Thursday's victory over St. Edward.

MARYLAND BOUND: Up next for Wildcats baseball is the Easter Break trip to Maryland, where Saint Ignatius will face three outstanding programs -  versus the Calvert Hall Cardinals on Monday at 7 PM, versus Riverdale Baptist on Tuesday at 1:30 PM and versus Archbishop Curley on Wednesday at 4:30 PM.

The Calvert Hall Cardinals took a 12-3 record into this weekend's action after a big 9-3 victory over highly ranked Archbishop Spalding on Thursday. Calvert Hall has made 12 consecutive playoff appearances and has won 11 conference championships, including seven of the last nine MIAA titles.

Archbishop Curley owns a 12-1 victory over Calvert Hall this season and features one of Maryland's top players in junior third baseman Marty Costes, a .470-plus hitter. Riverdale Baptist, which defends its home (Terrill Field) with pride and passion, was 14-2 heading into Saturday and was 21st in its state rankings.

As part of the trip, the Wildcats will be attending a Washington Nationals game.

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter Sunday and, as the great, late Plain Dealer Stark County Sports Columnist and Canton radio legend Hymie Williams would always sign off with, "Good Bye Until The Next Time, Which Will Be The Best Time."       

   

   

Wildcats bat around in what was a decisive four-run bottom of the fifth and go on to defeat St. Edward, 6-2, at Baldwin Wallace University on Thursday afternoon.
4/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Berea, Ohio - On what was a picture-perfect Thursday afternoon on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, Saint Ignatius' varsity baseball team wasn't totally flawless in its execution.

The gritty and gifted Wildcats were, however, good enough to draw a smile of approval from their veteran manager Brad Ganor.

"Two-out hitting, just like yesterday, and sticking to the game plan," said Coach Ganor after Saint Ignatius rode a four-run bottom of the fifth inning to a 6-2 victory over West Side rival St. Edward.

With Thursday's victory, the Wildcats improved to 8-1 and completed a sweep of their two-game series versus the Eagles. Saint Ignatius, behind a dominant performance by senior southpaw Nick Margevicius, defeated St. Edward, 5-1, on Wednesday evening at Baldwin Wallace (see the corner's story from Wednesday night).

As for Thursday's encounter on the sun-drenched home of the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets, St. Edward took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Eagles combined a leadoff single up the middle from hard-nosed and baseball savvy third baseman Joe Weisenseel and a two-out wild pitch into their short-lived advantage.

Saint Ignatius answered with two runs in the bottom of the first and it stayed that way entering the bottom of the fifth, when the Wildcats took command.

Senior right fielder Nick Longo, a Miami of Ohio recruit, got Saint Ignatius' offense fueled by leading off the bottom of the first with a double deep into the gap in right-center field off a 3-1 pitch.

Longo advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run when senior pitcher/center fielder Nick Fabian beat out a sharp grounder for an RBI base hit. Fabian is bound for West Virginia on a baseball scholarship.

After Fabian stole second base and senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec drew a walk, Fabian and Skuhrovec pulled off a double steal with one out. Junior catcher Alex Panstares, who plays with a tough, but calm demeanor, then put the 'Cats in front, 2-1, with a sacrifice fly.

With Fabian and St. Edward starter Jaret Edwards settling in and putting zeroes on the scoreboard, the game was up for grabs through 4 1/2 innings.

In the top of the fifth, Fabian retired the first two batters he faced. But then Weisenseel was hit by a pitch. After Weisenseel stole second base, Fabian went to a 2-0 count on the next batter and the Saint Ignatius coaching staff made the call to the bullpen and brought on junior right-hander Luke Diggs. Fabian had thrown 84 pitches before he moved from the mound to center field.

A tension-filled top of the fifth continued as Eagles shortstop Will DeVito walked and center fielder Kyle Hegedus followed with a single to right field that loaded the bases.

Diggs showed his mental toughness, however, as he ended the threat by striking out St. Edward's clean-up hitter.

"I thought Nick Fabian did a good job settling in there," said Coach Ganor after his multi-skilled, two-year varsity veteran worked 4 and 2/3 innings, yielded two hits, struck out seven and walked one. "And Luke (Diggs) got out of some tough situations."   

Clinging to its 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth, Saint Ignatius started its decisive charge with consecutive one-out singles by Skuhrovec and senior first baseman Joe Khoury.

Ice-in-his-veins Panstares then delivered a two-out RBI double to deep left field and junior shortstop Jake Kucia followed with a run-scoring single. Senior middle infielder Quillan Austria came up with the third big two-out hit - an RBI double - and Longo made it a 6-1 game by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

Before the dust settled in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats had batted around against the Eagles' bullpen.

St. Edward, which is now 4-4 on the young season, loaded the bases in the top of the sixth on one-out base hits by Jake Jones and Shayne Erny, and a walk to catcher Mason DeAnna. Diggs and Saint Ignatius junior reliever Jacob Bangert were equal to the task, however, as they turned back another challenge with consecutive strikeouts.

The Eagles made it a 6-2 final by scoring off two hit batsmen and a throwing error in the top of the seventh.

St. Edward finished with five hits and played errorless baseball and the Wildcats had nine hits and committed two errors.

"I think we're playing with confidence and that is what is most important," said Coach Ganor. "If we can stay consistent and keep playing with confidence, we're a tough team to beat."

*Up next for Saint Ignatius is Saturday morning's game versus the Kirtland Hornets at Baldwin Wallace University. Shane Skuhrovec will take the mound for the 11 AM first pitch.

 

  

Nick Margevicius throws five dominant innings and Nick Longo, Shane Skuhrovec, Alex Panstares and Nick Fabian fuel a clutch offense in Wednesday evening's 5-1 victory over St. Edward at Baldwin Wallace University.
4/16/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Berea, Ohio - Nick Margevicius, the ace of Coach Brad Ganor's staff, shut out the Eagles in his five innings of work. The savvy senior southpaw yielded just one hit and rode a live fastball to 12 strikeouts en route to improving to 3-0 on the season.

Along with helping set the table for the Wildcats' offense, senior right fielder/pitcher Nick Longo, a Miami of Ohio recruit, pitched a perfect seventh inning that included two Ks.

Junior catcher Alex Panstares came up with a two-out, run-scoring single that made it a 2-0 game in the bottom of the third inning. Senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec and senior center fielder Nick Fabian each produced two RBI and had clutch two-out hits in the Wildcats' three-run fourth inning.

Fabian, a West Virginia recruit, sent a two-run double to deep left field in the bottom of the fourth and Skuhrovec followed with a run-scoring single to center field. Skuhrovec brought home the Wildcats' first run of the third inning with an infield hit that followed a leadoff single by Longo, a passed ball and a fielder's choice.     

The 7-1 Wildcats and the 4-3 Eagles will return to Baldwin Wallace University tomorrow (Thursday) for the second of their two-game series. Nick Fabian will take the mound for the 2 PM first pitch.

*Here is a look at another chapter in what is one of the more storied rivalries in the history of Greater Cleveland's high school athletic competition.

If you are even vaguely familiar with the Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward rivalry you have probably heard or read a long-standing description of its intensity that states if a student from Saint Ignatius and a student from St. Edward were competing in a friendly game of chess or checkers at Public Square, at least 500 graduates from each school would show up to see how it turned out.

As someone who has been privileged to cover and report on the Wildcats-Eagles athletic encounters for what is now four-plus decades, let me assure you there is more truth than humor to the above statement.

That is why it was so refreshing to hear the words Saint Ignatius' standout senior left-hander Nick Margevicius spoke to this old-timer following his dominant one-hit, 12-strikeout performance in the Wildcats' 5-1 triumph over St. Edward on Wednesday evening.

"I'm not really for taking different approaches to different teams," said Margevicius, who blanked the Eagles through five complete innings on the sun-drenched and baseball-rich diamond at Baldwin Wallace University. With temperatures in the low 40s, Saint Ignatius' 10-year baseball manager Brad Ganor decided 74 pitches was enough for his ace.

"It doesn't really bother me who the opponent is," Margevicius continued after he improved to 3-0 this young season and 12-1 over his last 13 starts. "Whoever it is, it doesn't really matter. But it's nice to beat St. Edward."

Margevicius' "nice to beat St. Edward" comment came as cool and calm as his presence on the mound Wednesday evening.

After yielding an opposite way, 1-2 count single to the game's first batter - Eagles third baseman Joe Weisenseel - Margevicius went on to strike out the side in the first inning. A Ryder University recruit, Margevicius pitched a 1-2-3 second inning that included two more strikeouts and he set the Eagles down in order again in the third inning - on three Ks!

With Saint Ignatius leading, 2-0, in the top of the fourth, an error and a wild pitch put a St. Edward runner at second base with no outs.

Just when the Eagles had hopes of scoring off Margevicius, Saint Ignatius senior second baseman David Bodziony, one of Margevicius' closest friends, went a long way to haul in a foul fly ball along the first-base line for the first out of the inning. Margevicius then ended the top of the fourth with some more power pitching, efforts that saw him sandwich two more strikeouts around his only walk.

In the top of the fifth, with Saint Ignatius in its 'Cat seat at 5-0, Margevicius said good evening with another in-order inning that went strikeout, strikeout and 5-3. The smooth throw from sophomore third baseman Dennis Grosel to slick fielding senior first baseman Joe Khoury closed out a five-inning gem that Margevicius, whose demeanor it is not to dwell or brag on it, will file away for some other time to enjoy.

"Fastballs, fastballs all day," Margevicius said of his dominant pitch on Wednesday. "I didn't throw a curve ball the entire five innings. Maybe 10 or 11 change ups and the rest were fastballs. The last two outings I feel like I have been throwing pretty hard, the fastball is coming alive. It's something different for me. I never struck out 12 guys before in my life."

After the Eagles got to the Wildcats' bullpen for a run in the top of the sixth and Saint Ignatius went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, the 'Cats' version of "The Sandman," Miami of Ohio recruit Nick Longo, sent the Blue and Gold faithful home smiling by pitching a perfect top of the seventh.

"I thought he (St. Edward starter Jon Laird) pitched a pretty good game," said Coach Ganor after Laird went 3 and 2/3 innings and yielded five runs on six hits. "He's good, he's probably one of the better pitchers in the area. But again, we have game plans and we stuck to the game plan.

"We're not going to beat a team like that by 10 runs," Coach Ganor continued. "That was exactly the kind of game I thought it would be, relatively close and hard fought. We executed very well and Nick (Margevicius) did a fantastic job. We came out with a lot of energy."    

 

  

         

   

 

    

 

 

 

Wildcats Volleyball wins its fifth consecutive match by defeating Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
4/15/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Talk about a turnaround!

After a stretch from March 29 through April 5 that saw Saint Ignatius' varsity volleyball team lose five consecutive matches and slip to 2-6, Coach Casey Marcelo's Wildcats have road their mental toughness and rejuvenated talent to five straight wins.

On the strength of Tuesday night's straight-set victory over the Vikings from Villa Angela-St. Joseph in Sullivan Gymnasium, the 'Cats now stand 7-6 and are playing their best volleyball of the season.

Helping show the way on a winter-like Tuesday in Ohio City was freshman Danny Michals, who came up with an impressive 10 kills.

Coach Marcelo's team was coming off an outstanding Bronze Award performance at this past weekend's talent-rich Spring Buckeye Classic in Urbana.

Saint Ignatius will look to make it six consecutive victories and avenge an earlier loss when it travels to Walsh Jesuit tomorrow night (Wednesday) for a 7 PM varsity match. The Warriors defeated the Wildcats in straight sets on March 21 at Sullivan Gym.  

 
Saint Ignatius baseball snowed out today, but picks up a game for Wednesday versus St. Edward.
4/15/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Saint Ignatius varsity baseball game scheduled at Massillon Jackson today has been shutout by another wicked curve from Mother Nature.

However, Coach Brad Ganor said the Wildcats have picked up a game for Wednesday versus West Side rival St. Edward. The 'Cats and the Eagles will be play at Baldwin Wallace University and the first pitch is slated for 4:45 PM.

 

It was another impressive day on the courts for the Tennis 'Cats.
4/15/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

You can add Hudson to Saint Ignatius' impressive list of victories this young tennis season, as Coach Jon Barker's team turned away the Explorers, 5-0, on Monday.

The Wildcats also own wins against Kenston, Solon and Walsh Jesuit, and were second (by 1.5 points) to Toledo St. John's Jesuit at the St. Edward Invitational.

Senior Nate Griffin and junior Eric Schuette, one of the top 1-2 singles punches in the state, posted victories on Monday that saw Nate go 6-1, 6-2 and Eric take it to shutout city, 6-0, 6-0.

Promising freshman Josh Hsia matched Schuette's score and it was another solid day for the Wildcats' doubles teams.

Veterans Yaw Boayke and Christian Zuber went 6-1, 6-1 and Karl Fehn and Jack Napoli prevailed, 6-1, 6-0.

Up next for the 'Cats is the Rocky River Tournament on Saturday at Tri-City Park. The tennis web page has it listed as an 8 AM start.  

The first OHSBCA state poll for 2014 is cancelled due to the wrath of Mother Nature.
4/14/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

For those loyal Saint Ignatius fans who e-mailed the corner today and inquired about how the state poll voting is done when it comes to baseball, here is a complete breakdown courtesy of the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association. The state baseball poll is a Coaches Poll, not a media production. Please note that the first poll of this crazy weather spring was cancelled due to the limited number of games teams have been able to play. 

OHSBCA Poll Voting Guidelines

Eligible Poll Voters have two voting responsibilities:

State Coaches Poll:  Member Teams are rated in each of the four divisions five times each spring. Poll champions are recognized at the state clinic. There are 32 voting coaches in each division.

All-Ohio Coaches Poll Team: The poll coaches in each division select an All-Ohio Team. All players, of member schools, are eligible (not just seniors). Each division selects a Player of the Year (POY) and a Coach-of-the-Year (COY). They are recognized by the wire services and are awarded a plaque at the annual convention.

Poll Voting begins 4/17/2014 and runs Thursday through Saturday until 5/17/2014 for Team Rankings.   Poll Team All-Ohio voting runs 5/22-25/2014.

1. Coaches must be a member of the OHSBCA in order to vote, have their team ranked, or nominate for All-Ohio.

2. Any head coach who is interested in voting must complete an application and return it to the Poll Director or his district representative (on-line application from  May through September).

3. The number of coaches voting in a district will vary, determined by the number of coaches in their respective district. (Determined by member coaches per District/Division).

4. Coaches selected to vote will be notified by their Dist. Reps and their names / emails will be put on the website.

5. The Poll will be conducted for 5 consecutive weeks. Ballots will be e-mailed to eligible poll voters and recorded between Thursday and Saturday of the indicated weeks, beginning the 3rd week of the season. Results will be online the following Monday.

*Poll Voting Schedule for 2014 :
Week 1:  Cancelled due to weather
Week 2:  April 24
Week 3:  May 1
Week 4:  May 8
Week 5:  May 15

'Cats baseball rained out
4/14/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Monday evening's varsity baseball game between Saint Ignatius and the Massillon Tigers at Baldwin Wallace University has been rained out. There is no makeup date as of now and we will keep you posted on the remainder of the week, as Mother Nature has been spotted warming up in the bullpen. Or was she just chilling? 

Joe Khoury and Jake Kucia deliver the big blows as Saint Ignatius rallies with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and defeats Willoughby South, 6-5, in a Saturday afternoon thriller at Classic Park.
4/12/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Classic Park, Lake County - Trailing, 5-2, entering the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats scored a run off a walk to senior second baseman Quillan Austria, a line-drive single by senior designated hitter Nick Fabian and some shaky play by the Rebels' middle infield.

Senior 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, junior shortstop Jake Kucia drove a 2-1 fastball up the gut for the game-winning hit.

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 season.

After Willoughby South starter Russell Lamovec pitched an impressive six innings that saw him yielded two runs on five hits, walk three and strikeout eight, Saint Ignatius got to the Rebels' bullpen. Lamovec threw 109 pitches, 65 of which were strikes.

Up next for Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats is Monday's game versus the Massillon Tigers at Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM.

****Congratulations also go out to Saint Ignatius' junior varsity baseball team, which improved to 5-0 by defeating Willoughby South's jayvees, 7-1, in a game that preceded the varsity match up.

****Here is a look at the dramatic victory by Coach Ganor's club, and a report on the very promising Junior Varsity Baseball Wildcats follows the varsity game story.

As he stood in the on-deck circle in the bottom of the seventh inning, Saint Ignatius' talented and tough-minded junior shortstop Jake Kucia said he was thinking about it the whole time. "It" being a strikeout that occurred in his previous at-bat.

"It was great," said Kucia of being presented with a chance to redeem himself. "The whole time I was in the on-deck circle I was saying to myself, 'I'm not going to K again, I'm going to get it done.' And I went out there, and I got it done."

Taking a 2-1 fastball right back up the middle with two outs and two on the bottom of the seventh inning, Kucia delivered the winning run in what was one of the more thrilling regular-season victories the 'Cats have produced under 10-year head coach Brad Ganor.

"I thought we were all a little frustrated because we gave up three runs in the first inning," said Kucia of a Wildcats' offense that struggled through the first four innings. "We weren't going to get all three runs back at one time, we had to chip away at it."

Providing the first major chip in what was a sturdy armor worn by Willoughby South's starting pitcher Russell Lamovec was Wildcats junior center fielder Sam Fuller.

After the South Rebels, sparked by a leadoff single by center fielder Josh MacMullan and a two-run triple to deep center field by designated hitter Dan Danford, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Saint Ignatius finally got on the board with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on a towering solo home run by Fuller that cleared the fence in left field.

Willoughby South (2-3) would answer with two runs in the top of the sixth and Saint Ignatius trailed, 5-2, after it combined base hits by senior left fielder/pitcher Shane Skuhrovec, senior first baseman Joe Khoury and senior right fielder Nick Longo, and a bases-loaded walk to junior catcher Alex Panstares, into a run in the bottom of the sixth. Longo's hit came off a perfectly executed bunt that he beat out for a hit.

Lamovec finished his impressive afternoon by ending the sixth with consecutive strikeouts and South was threatening again in the top of the seventh after Danford led off with a double.

However, with two outs in the top of the seventh, Fuller charged a single to center field and made a big-time throw to home plate, where Panstares made the catch and tag on Rebels' pinch runner Brent Harwood.

Fuller's throw highlighted a solid defensive day by Saint Ignatius. Khoury was again Vic-Power like at first base with his footwork and picks off throws in the dirt and Kucia saved a run in the top of the fourth with a diving stop of a sharp grounder up the middle.

As exciting and note worthy as the first 6 1/2 innings were, it all came down the four-run bottom of the seventh that was set up by a one-walk to senior second baseman Quillan Austria, a blistering single by multi-position senior and West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian and a couple of miscues by the Rebels off a ground ball to the right side - a bad flip and a throwing error that helped lead to the Wildcats' third run.

Khoury then stepped to the plate and sent Mr. Rawlings to gap city via a soaring two-run, game-tying double to left center. Joe's gap blast set the stage for Kucia, who like Khoury, mistreated a fastball offered by the Rebels' bullpen.

"The last inning, it's take until we get a strike," said Khoury. "You see that first strike and you think, oh yeah, I could have bombed that one. Luckily I got another one and drove in those two runs. After that, Kucia took over.

"Normally you just forget about a strikeout and never apologize for it," Khoury continued. "But Kucia came in the dugout and said he was sorry for that K (in Jake's previous at-bat). I knew he was going to get it done, he wasn't going to go down twice. He's a gamer, that's all you have to say about Jake Kucia."

Being a "gamer" runs in Jake's family, as he is the nephew of one of the ultimate clutch players in Saint Ignatius' rich athletic history, three-sport standout (football, baseball and basketball) Scott Mutryn from the Class of 1994.

"We were off-balance early on," said Coach Ganor. "We have a game plan, we don't just show up and through out a lineup card. We talk about execution and game plans, and we stuck to the game plan and stuck to what our focus is. Eventually it comes together and we produce.

"Obviously, Jake's hit was huge," Coach Ganor continued. "But just as huge was guys getting on base ahead of him. Having the confidence when you're at bat, knowing that you have already produced in this situation, that is what wins in the postseason. That is all we care about, getting ready for baseball in May and June. This was just another step in that direction." 

JUNIOR VARSITY BASEBALL: After his team defeated Willoughby South, 7-1, in Classic Park on Saturday and improved to 5-0, Saint Ignatius head junior varsity coach Tim Clark talked about those things that have impressed him and his staff.

"The nice things about this group of guys is that there is a lot of parity and talent,' Coach Clark said. "So as a result of that we are giving a lot of guys opportunities to play."

Coach Clark pointed out that certain guys are rising to the occasion, players that weren't really expected to do so this early in the season.

While it can at times be challenging for a coaching staff to have exceptional depth, to pick those nine or ten young men to play every day, Coach Clark said it is nice to see different guys coming through for the team every day.

Coming off Friday's 14-2 victory at Lakewood, the JV Wildcats answered Willoughby South's run in the top of the first inning with three runs in the bottom half of the first. Gifted first baseman George Asadorian tied the score with an RBI single and after a base hit by infielder/outfielder Will Cziszar loaded the bases, second baseman Brian Harrigal delivered a two-out, two-run single.

The Wildcats added a run in the bottom of the third and stretched their lead to 6-1 with a two-run fourth inning that featured an RBI single to right-center field by outfielder Jack Cook.

Saint Ignatius, which totaled eight hits on the afternoon, closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth on a base hit by infielder/pitcher Nick Freund, a wild pitch and an RBI double by infielder Kevin Mingus.

Wildcats fans were also treated to some solid pitching by southpaw Michael Rogers, Murphy O'Brien, a young man who can deliver some heat, and the versatile Joe Evans. Those arms combined for eight strikeouts and helped limit the JV Rebels to two hits.

Saint Ignatius also flashed some leather, as turning in quick-reaction leaping catches that took away base hits were Harrigal and Mingus.

"We've had three or four guys who so far have had a pretty solid season for us, Asadorian, Cziszar and I would probably put Jack Cook in there from an offensive prospective," said Coach Clark. "But the rest of the guys are finding ways to get on base, finding ways to score runs and contribute defensively. That's been the pleasant part of this.

"Pitching, I think, has been the strength of this unit," Coach Clark continued. "In this particular class, we have a lot of guys who throw strikes. As a result of that, it puts our defense in a pretty good spot. It's been a joy coaching these guys so far and as far as the challenges for us moving forward, it's finding more offensive punch. We seem to rely too much on our big two or three guys and we have to fill some holes around those guys."

Former Wildcat great Matt Kata '96 addresses Saint Ignatius' 2014 Baseball 'Cats.
4/12/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Former Major League baseball player Matt Kata, who excelled in baseball at Saint Ignatius and also was a basketball mainstay for the Wildcats before furthering his education and athletic career at Vanderbilt University, spoke to Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball 'Cats as they were preparing to take the field for Friday evening's baseball game versus Avon Lake at Progressive Field.

Matt, who is now part of the Indians' organization as a Manager of Youth Baseball Development, emphasized to the 2014 Wildcats what a special impact Saint Ignatius has had on his life, both athletically and professionally.

"Attitude, concentration and effort" were the words Matt put an emphasis on when talking about the qualities student athletes and athletes on all levels have to possess.

A young man this corner had the true privilege and pleasure of covering and reporting on during my career at The Plain Dealer, Matt played in the Major Leagues for Arizona, Pittsburgh, Houston, Texas and Philadelphia.

When perennial All-Star Randy Johnson pitched the 17th perfect game in MLB history as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 18, 2004, becoming the oldest player to accomplishment that feat at the ripe age of 40, one of the first things Johnson referred to that night while addressing the media was the solid defense Matt played at second base, efforts that helped keep the perfect game intact.

"I had ground balls hit to me in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings," Matt recalled. "You talk about pressure."

Matt said he is truly looking forward to settling back in the Cleveland area and being a part of the Indians.  

 

 

 

 

Wildcats fall behind Avon Lake, 7-0, after two innings before rallying, but can't quite overcome the early deficit and lose to the Shoremen, 7-5, in Progressive Field on Friday evening.
4/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Avon Lake rode four RBI by its outstanding senior catcher Brad Hamilton to the early 7-0 lead in what was the featured game of the annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic.

Sparked by the hitting of senior right fielder and Miami of Ohio recruit Nick Longo, junior shortstop Jake Kucia and junior outfielder Sam Fuller, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats score a run in the top of the fourth and put up a four-run sixth inning.

Standout senior southpaw Nick Margevicius keeps the 'Cats' hopes alive by coming on in relief in the bottom of the sixth and throwing a 1-2-3, 15-pitch inning that featured three strikeouts.

Saint Ignatius is retired in order in the top of the seventh, however, as the Wildcats experience their first setback in six games this season.

Here is the corner’s take on a game that matched two of Northeast Ohio’s best.

From Progressive Field – Yes, it would have been nice to walk out of what is one of the finest Major League Baseball venues in the nation with a victory on Friday night.

That said, Saint Ignatius’ 7-5 setback to Avon Lake in the annual Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic is nothing for Wildcats fans to be overly concerned about.

First of all, it was the ‘Cats’ first loss in six games this spring and there will probably be another one before the regular season comes to an end.

It is only in the OHSAA’s sectional, district, regional and state tournaments that a ball club has no other choice than to put the emphasis on perfection. At that point of the year, a loss marks the end of another season.

A second thought to consider is that Avon Lake is a solid and experienced team. Anyone who witnessed last year’s Division 1 Regional Semifinal between the Wildcats and the Shoremen, won by Saint Ignatius, 3-2, knows exactly what we are talking about.

So, put the focus on the heart the Wildcats displayed in battling back and making a game of it on Friday night, and place the loss in the future reference file just in case the Wildcats and the Shoremen meet again this spring in what would truly be a “big” game.

“I take a lot out of that, guys fighting and not giving up till the end,” said Saint Ignatius head coach Brad Ganor, who watched his team fall behind Coach Kevin Marlow’s Shoremen, 7-0, after two innings.

Avon Lake grabbed the early momentum, to say the least, as the Shoremen delighted their faithful to the tune of a five run bottom of the first.

A leadoff single by senior outfielder Jace Russell and two walks loaded the bases, and then Avon Lake’s gifted senior catcher Brad Hamilton delivered a two-run single through the left side of the infield.

A sacrifice fly off the bat of Shoremen junior infielder Payton Perry made it a 3-0 game and a hit batsman and a throwing error allowed two more runs to score.

The Shoremen, who improved to 4-1, added two runs in the top of the second on a one-out, two-run double to the gap in left-center field by Hamilton.

A player who left a lasting impression on this corner last season, Brad Hamilton is the son of the Indians’ outstanding radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton and the brother of Indians prospect Nick Hamilton, a former Avon Lake and Kent State University mainstay. Brad will be furthering his education and baseball career at Kent State.

After Saint Ignatius was unable to produce anything from two-out singles in the top of the third by senior center fielder and West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian and hot-hitting senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec, the ‘Cats got on the board in the fourth inning.

Senior right fielder Nick Longo, who is bound for Miami of Ohio on a baseball scholarship, led off the fourth by ripping a double down the right-field line. After a sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Pat Gulick, Longo scored off a passed ball.

With Coach Ganor’s bullpen keeping the Shoremen stranded through Avon Lake’s final four innings of at-bats, Saint Ignatius had its fan base roaring in the late stages of Friday night’s game.

The excitement was generated by a four-run top of the sixth that was fueled after Longo and junior catcher Alex Panstares worked the count for consecutive walks. A throwing error off a double steal led to the Wildcats’ second run and a walk to junior infielder Mullen Socha, followed by an authoritative RBI double down the left-field line by junior shortstop Jake Kucia, cut the deficit to 7-3. Jake is the nephew of former Saint Ignatius football and baseball star Scott Mutryn ’94.

After Socha and Kucia pulled off a double steal, junior outfielder Sam Fuller, a multi-skilled player who is a true student of the game, laced a two-run double to the gap in right center and Coach Ganor’s team trailed, 7-5. Saint Ignatius outhit Avon Lake, 8-5.

“I think Jake Kucia had a nice day, Nick Longo had a nice day and a couple of our guys off the bench did a good job,” Coach Ganor said.

“When it comes down to it, this (loss) is a grain of sand in the season," Coach Ganor continued. "It’s all
about the experience of getting underneath the stands, getting in the (Indians) batting cages and feeling like you’re a big leaguer for a day. The kids are amazed to be down here (at Progressive Field) and that’s what is important.”

The Wildcats, who went down in order in the top of seventh, will now focus on Saturday’s match up with the Willoughby South Rebels at Classic Park. Junior Luke Diggs will take the mound for the 2 PM first pitch.

Saturday’s varsity game will be preceded by an 11 AM junior varsity game between the Wildcats and the Rebels. Can wait to get a look at the JV 'Cats.

Wildcats volleyball ended a tough five-match losing streak by defeating Medina, 3-1, on the Battling Bees' home court Thursday night. Congratulations to Coach Casey Marcelo and his resilient 'Cats.
4/11/2014
Nick Fabian throws five solid innings in his first outing of the season and Saint Ignatius' situational hitting comes to the fore as the Wildcats improve to 5-0 by defeating Nordonia, 8-1, on Thursday evening.
4/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Classic Park, Lake County - Nick Fabian, the Wildcats' standout senior center fielder/right-handed pitcher, yielded three hits and a run over five innings, struck out eight and walked one. Nick threw 83 pitches,
49 of which were strikes.

Fabian, junior third baseman Kurt Mantes, senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec, junior shortstop Jake Kucia, senior first baseman Joe Khoury, junior outfielder Sam Fuller, senior infielders Ryan Cooper and Quillan Austria and junior infielder Mullen Socha helped fuel an offense that produced 13 hits.

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats will take their 5-0 record into Friday evening's 5:30 match up with the Avon Lake Shoremen at Progressive Field.

Senior Bennett Kinzel, the pride of St. Bernadette, will take the mound in Progressive Field for what will be his first varsity start.

Here is a look at Thursday's 8-1 victory over the Nordonia Knights, who now stand 2-3.

After he watched his Wildcats continue to produce runs in key situations and get solid pitching, this time from West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian, Saint Ignatius head baseball coach Brad Ganor smiled and said, "Thirteen hits and eight runs. I'll take that every day."

While there are certainly things the Wildcats need to improve on, the talent, depth and clutch play Saint Ignatius has displayed in its five victories in five games this young season have left a positive impression, to
say the least.

Coach Ganor's 2014 Wildcats not only know how to play the game, they seem to enjoy every minute when they are between the lines.

That was evident again on Thursday evening when the 'Cats came up with an 8-1 victory over the Nordonia Knights in baseball-rich Classic Park, the home of Cleveland Indians' Class A affiliate, the Lake County Captains.

"Nick did a nice job," said Coach Ganor after Fabian worked five strong innings that included eight strikeouts. "He gave up that one run and then settled in. He kept them off balance, threw strikes and pitched to the park a little bit.

"Sometimes you have to pitch to your surroundings," Coach Ganor continued. "You have a big ballpark, let them put the ball in play and typically we'll catch it. We're fast enough to get to them."

After Fabian threw a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning that included two strikeouts, Nordonia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.

The second inning started with a scary moment, as the Knights' catcher and clean-up hitter Kevin Chonko was hit by a pitch that came off his helmet with force and sent him to the ground. After being attended to
immediately, Chonko walked off the field with some assistance.

Nordonia's Tyler Majoros, who entered the game to run for Chonko, stole second base and came home on a two-out RBI double by first baseman Dominic Cinalli.

Saint Ignatius, as it has been doing repeatedly while totaling 44 runs through five games, responded in a manner that featured Coach Ganor's coveted "situational hitting."

En route to scoring two runs in the bottom of the second, the Wildcats sandwiched two stolen bases by senior first baseman Joe Khoury around a walk to senior catcher Pat Gulick. Gulick then came up with a steal and junior third baseman Kurt Mantes tied the score with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Mantes drew praise from Saint Ignatius' coaching staff for the solid at-bats he turned in on Thursday.

The Wildcats' second and go ahead to stay run in the bottom of the second came courtesy of an RBI double by junior shortstop Jake Kucia.

Following another two Ks inning by Fabian in the top of the fourth, Saint Ignatius got a lead-off sharp single up the middle by hot-hitting senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec to start the bottom of the fourth. Shane would come around to score on a fielder's choice that featured another solid situational at-bat by Mantes.

Junior Sam Fuller, who is part of a Wildcats outfield that ranks among the best in the state, led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple to deep center field. Sam appeared to make a scoring slide at home off a ground ball to the left side, but was called out off the 5-to-2 throw.

Undaunted, Saint Ignatius took control on two-out RBI base hits by Fabian and Khoury, and held a 5-1 lead entering the top of the sixth. Khoury's clutch hit came after the Knights intentionally walked Skuhrovec.

Coach Ganor's team then put the finishing touches on another victory with a strong sixth inning of relief by junior Jacob Bangert and a three-run bottom of the sixth that was highlighted by a run-scoring single from senior infielder Ryan Cooper and RBI base hits by senior infielder Quillan Austria and junior infielder Mullen Socha.

Senior right fielder/pitcher Nick Longo, a Miami of Ohio recruit, closed the show with another solid relief effort in the seventh.

“Situational hitting, that’s all we talk about,” said Coach Ganor. “Every day at practice, we take situational BP. We’ve been doing it forever. It’s nice to see these guys buying into it and executing it.”  

Tennis 'Cats continue to impress. The Lax Cats turn back WRA, 6-5.
4/10/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Jon Barker's Wildcats Varsity Tennis Team continued its winning ways on Wednesday evening by defeating Walsh Jesuit, 4-1, on the Warriors' home courts.

Junior Eric Schuette won his singles match by a score of 6-0, 6-3 and promising freshman Josh Hsia rebounded from a 2-6 first-set setback and went on to a 7-6 (2), 6-3 triumph.

The Wildcats swept the double matches, with Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye winning, 6-0, 6-4, and Jack Napoli and Karl Fehn following suit, 6-4, 6-1.

Coach Barker's talented and tenacious 'Cats are back on the road today (Thursday) for a match at Copley.

LACROSSE: Coach Patrick McManamon's gifted and gritty team turned away Western Reserve Academy, 6-5, on Wasmer Field Wednesday night. The Lax Cats will now take a record of 5-1 into Saturday's 4 PM encounter with the Solon Comets at Wasmer Field.  

Saint Ignatius rides clutch hits by Nick Fabian, Shane Skuhrovec, Nick Longo, Joe Khoury and Alex Panstares, and the arms of starter MJ Nara and Longo in relief to a hard-earned 6-3 victory over the Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary. The Wildcats are 4-0.
4/9/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Classic Park, Lake County - MJ Nara, the Wildcats' gritty and gifted junior right-hander, went 4 and 2/3 innings in improving to 2-0 on the young season. His line included three hits, two runs, nine strikeouts and a walk.

Senior center fielder/pitcher and West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian drove in two huge runs as Coach Brad Ganor's undefeated 'Cats turned away Coach Anthony Boarman's talented and upset-minded Irish.

Miami of Ohio recruit Nick Longo not only contributed at the plate for Saint Ignatius, but took the mound in the top of the seventh and fired a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts en route to earning the save.

Fabian will make his first start of the season on Thursday, when the Wildcats return to Classic Park to face the Nordonia Knights. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:30 PM.

"It was a very two-sided game," Fabian said of the victory over the Irish. "Every time we scored they scored, it seemed like a routine there for a little bit. We battled and we knew what we needed to do, because this was our first big challenge of the year. This was really a huge win today and I'm very proud of the guys. It showed a lot of character to come back and get some insurance runs.

"I like our bats right now, a lot, and we're definitely pretty aggressive on the bases," Fabian continued. "We need to improve on our decisions sometimes, me included, in not making dumb mistakes on the base paths."  

*Here is a further look at Wednesday evening's victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary from atmosphere-rich Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains.

After his Wildcats improved to 4-0, Brad Ganor, Saint Ignatius High School's highly successful head baseball coach, made clear his impressions of the team that was packing up and leaving the visitors' dugout on Wednesday evening.

"They're always good, they're always solid and well coached," said Coach Ganor of the Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary, who were turned away by the Wildcats, 6-3, in Lake County. "I think Anthony (SVSM head coach Anthony Boarman) does a phenomenal job in getting them ready.

"In the pregame, I could tell this wasn't going to be a walk in the park for us," Coach Ganor continued.

Solid coaching runs in the Boarman family, as Anthony Boarman is the son of one of Ohio's premier football coaches, St. Vincent-St. Mary's multiple state champion head coach Dan Boarman.

Coming in as the underdog to a Saint Ignatius team that finished as the Division I state runner-up last season, and might have more overall depth and talent this spring, the Irish left everything they had on the well-manicured Classic Park diamond.

Coach Ganor, who has now guided his team to 26 victories in the program's last 28 games, watched the 'Cats take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Saint Ignatius' multi talented senior center fielder Nick Fabian led off the bottom of the first by drawing a walk. Fabian would go on to steal second and third, and came home with the game's first run on a two-out hustle double by senior first baseman and Mount Union recruit Joe Khoury. The Wildcats stole five bases on Wednesday and now have 13 in their past two games combined.

St. Vincent-St. Mary, which entered Wednesday's game with a record of 1-1, tied the score in the top of the second. Irish junior shortstop Ian Dillard led off with an infield hit and stole second base. With one out, Dillard would steal third and he scored the tying run on a two-out RBI single up the middle off the bat of senior right fielder Vinny Carson.

"MJ (Wildcats starting pitcher MJ Nara) did a nice job of settling in there after giving up that one in the second and we did a great job responding to that one run," said Coach Ganor. "Those games when teams show up at the park and feel like they're the underdog, the more hope you give them the longer they can stay in the game."

Saint Ignatius, which again pleased Coach Ganor and his staff with its impressive two-strike and two-out hitting, regained the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI single by Fabian.

The Wildcats, who have now won the first two of what is a five games in five days week, increased their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third. Providing the big blows were Khoury with a one-out double, senior right fielder/relief pitcher Nick Longo with a scorching line-drive, run-scoring double to right off a 2-2 pitch and an RBI double to deep left field by junior catcher Alex Panstares.

St. Vincent-St. Mary wasn't going to make the healthy trip back to Akron without something to build off of.

After Nara started the top of the fifth with consecutive strikeouts, the next two Irish batters were hit by a pitch. Nara had reached his pitch count, so Coach Ganor turned to his bullpen and SVSM manufactured a run on a wild pitch, a walk and another hit batsman.

Now trailing by two runs, the Irish made it a 4-3 game by combining a walk, a wild pitch, a stolen base and a throwing error into a run in the top of the sixth.

Displaying the resiliency that goes hand in hand with being one of the top teams in Ohio, Saint Ignatius put out the fire in the top of sixth when senior second baseman David Bodziony made a nice catch and tag off an attempted stolen base, regained control by scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth and slammed the door in the top of the seventh behind Longo's strong and savvy save.

The Wildcats' sixth-inning, take-command offense saw junior infielder Kurt Mantes lead off with a walk and promptly steal second base. Multi-skilled junior outfielder Sam Fuller, a student of the game, then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Fabian followed with another authoritative hit that landed in right-center field for his second RBI.

After impervious to pressure senior shortstop Quillan Austria turned a Baltimore Chop into a base hit, rock-steady senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec delivered the game's final run off an RBI single.

"We had to pitch a little bit today," said Coach Ganor, whose team totaled 30 runs in its first three games combined this season. "We got out of a couple of jams and Nick (Longo) did exactly what we needed him to do in the seventh, throw strikes and go 1-2-3. I'm glad they challenged us, it was actually closer than 6-3. That was a good test." 

COACH GANOR ADDS A GAME TO THE WILDCATS' SCHEDULE: With Mother Nature wiping out several games during the first week of the baseball season, schools throughout the area and the state having been searching for opponents.

Coach Ganor shared with the corner on Wednesday that he has added a game for Easter Saturday morning versus the Kirtland Hornets at Baldwin Wallace University. The first pitch will be 11 AM.

TWIN BILL ON SATURDAY: Just a reminder that the match up with Willoughby South on Saturday in Classic Park is a junior varsity and varsity doubleheader. The JV Baseball 'Cats will face the Rebels' jayvees at 11 AM, followed by the varsity game at 2 PM. 

Tennis 'Cats stay sharp and defeat the Solon Comets.
4/9/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coming off a solid second-place effort at the demanding St. Edward Invitational and an opening night triumph over a very capable Kenston team, Coach Jon Barker's Wildcats defeated the Solon Comets, 4-1, on the courts at Magnificat Tuesday evening.

Among the top performances for Saint Ignatius were singles victories by two of the most gifted players in the area, Nate Griffin and Eric Schuette. Nate won his match, 6-0, 6-2, and Eric was victorious, 6-1, 6-2.

Up next for the Tennis 'Cats are away matches at Walsh Jesuit and Copley.

 

 

Wildcats baseball has an impressive start, a bit of a lull in the middle innings and then finishes strong en route to a 14-6 victory over Akron Firestone at Kent State University on Tuesday evening.
4/8/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT April 2014

On the strength of an eight-run second inning, Coach Brad Ganor's Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Team took a 10-0 lead into the top of the third inning.

The Firestone Falcons, scoring five times in the top of the sixth, closed to 10-6 before the Wildcats settled the issue with four runs in the bottom half of the sixth.

Saint Ignatius, which now stands 3-0, got another solid pitching performance from senior southpaw Nick Margevicius, three runs batted in from senior first baseman Joe Khoury and two RBI from both senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec and junior outfielder Sam Fuller. Senior catcher Pat Gulick, Fuller and juniors Jake Kucia and Dylan Welch provided the big hits in the sixth.

In improving to 2-0 this spring and 11-1 over his last 12 decisions, Margevicius pitched three shutout innings. He struck out six and walked one. Of the 45 pitches Nick threw, 33 of them were strikes. He fired a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the third.

Junior right-hander MJ Nara will take the mound on Wednesday as the Wildcats continue their five games in five days stretch with a 4:30 game versus the Fighting Irish from St. Vincent-St. Mary at Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains.

*Here is a complete look at Tuesday's game from the impressive baseball facility at Kent State University.

Kent, Ohio - The sky was completely blue and the sun made itself at home on the baseball-rich facility known as Kent State University's Schoonover Stadium.

And it didn't take long before Coach Brad Ganor's Saint Ignatius Wildcats were more than comfortable on Schoonover Stadium's Olga A. Mural Field.

The 'Cats were purring after their bats road loud and true to a 10-0 lead over Akron Firestone with the game just two innings old. That was more than enough to allow Saint Ignatius' gifted senior left-hander Nick Margevicius to power his way to his second victory in as many starts on this young season. Nick caged the Falcons through three shutout innings of work.

As for the Wildcats' offense, it struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning and then silenced the Firestone faithful by scoring eight times in the second inning.

Senior shortstop Quillan Austria got things started in the bottom of the first by beating out a chopper to the left side for a base hit. Austria stole second base, alertly went to third on a pitch in the dirt and scored when senior center fielder Nick Fabian beat out a sharp ground ball to the left side.

Fabian stole second base, senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec singled to right field and Saint Ignatius tallied its second run of the game on a two-out sacrifice fly by junior catcher Alex Panstares.

The second inning was an example of what Coach Ganor's 2014 Wildcats are capable of.

Featuring a solid nucleus from last season's Division I state runner-up team, Saint Ignatius put on a display of timely hitting in the count and heads-up base running en route to the eight runs and a 10-0 lead.

After junior infielder Mullen Socha led off the bottom of the second with a walk and sophomore infielder Dennis Grosel was hit by a pitch, the 'Cats' made it a 3-0 game on a balk and a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly by athletically gifted junior outfielder Sam Fuller accounted for Saint Ignatius' fourth run and the other big second inning blows were a two-run single by Skuhrovec and a three-run, bases-loaded double down the left-field line by senior first baseman Joe Khoury.

At that point, Coach Ganor and his veteran assistant coaches Mark Terlep and Josh Bieneman started to utilize their younger or less battled-tested players. And while some of the new faces performed well and others played like its was their first extensive varsity experience, you can be sure all of them will be given another opportunity by Coach Ganor and his staff. That is how they do things at the Jesuit Preparatory School in Ohio City and why they are so successful in the long run.

Just when it appeared that Ohio's 10-run mercy rule might come into play, the now 0-4 Falcons from Firestone put their pride and heart on display in Schoonover Stadium.

A walk, a one-out single by Damien Goostree and two Saint Ignatius errors accounted for Firestone's first run in the top of the fourth. Sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth and taking advantage of five walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch, the Falcons cut their deficit to 10-6. The big Firestone hit in its five-run sixth was a bases-loaded, two-run double by Corbin White.

However, like all championship-caliber teams do, Saint Ignatius, following a get-your-heads-back-in-the-game pep talk by Coach Terlep, responded with authority.

Regaining total control with a four-run bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats got Coach Terlep's wake-up call and performed like a champion. As Coach Ganor emphasized, once his lineup is solidified you will see the 'Cats begin to put teams away much sooner.  

A lead-off double in the bottom half of the sixth by senior catcher Pat Gulick, a moving the runner over effort from senior infielder/pitcher Bennett Kinzel and a two-out double by junior Dylan Welch that was followed by RBI singles by Fuller and junior Jake Kucia had Saint Ignatius' faithful smiling as bright as the sky that greeted the teams for the 5:10 first pitch.

After all, the game was played at the home of the Golden Flashes.

****NOTE OF THANKS: Coach Ganor and the entire Saint Ignatius baseball family want to send out a huge Thank You to one of the Wildcats' greatest fans, Axel Hoyer, who donated the classy and baseball-sharp new blue jerseys that the 'Cats unveiled on Tuesday.

What some of Saint Ignatius' fans and several Cleveland Browns fans might not be aware of is that Brian Hoyer, the Browns' starting quarterback and one of Axel's sons, was an outstanding baseball player at Saint Ignatius, possessing skills on the diamond that had the attention of Major League Baseball scouts.   

*An updated glance at what the Wildcats' Tennis and Track and Field Teams are up to and we update Dre'Mont Jones' recruiting trail.
4/8/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After a strong third-place effort at the Hilliard Davidson Wildcat Premier, Coach Chuck Kyle's Track and Field Wildcats will be competing in the tradition-rich Medina Relays on Saturday. The 'Cats' track and field page has the starting time as 9 AM.

Saint Ignatius will tune up for the Medina Relays with a 4 PM meet on Thursday in Wasmer Field. Mentor, Benedictine, John Marshall, Trinity and Lincoln-West are expected to be among the many competitors.

As we posted on the corner Friday night, Coach Jon Barker's tennis team opened its 2014 season with a 4-1 victory over the very solid Kenston Bombers. The Wildcats then finished in second place at the annual St. Edward Invitational on Saturday. The 'Cats were one point behind Toledo St. John's Jesuit.

Coach Barker's team faces consecutive road matches this week at Walsh Jesuit (Wednesday) and at Copley (Thursday).

****Saint Ignatius' gifted junior defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, one of the most coveted high school football players in Ohio, shared with the corner on Monday night that he plans to visit the University of Notre Dame within the next couple of weeks.

The Fighting Irish are among a list of scholarship offers to Dre'Mont that include Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Cincinnati. Dre'Mont has made visits to The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan.  

 

 

   

Wildcats veteran Head Athletic Trainer Hank Gaughan reports that former Wildcat football standout and former University of Michigan Co-Captain Frank Gusich '68 has passed away.
4/8/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Our prayers and sympathy go out to the family and friends of Frank Gusich, who helped lead the Wildcats to a 21-0 victory over Collinwood in the 1967 Charity Game.

An outstanding two-way back, Frank was selected as the Charity Game MVP for his gritty two-way performance against the Railroaders, which included 132 yards rushing on 30 carries and a touchdown off a pass play. Saint Ignatius finished 9-1 after its triumph over Collinwood, with its only setback coming in Week 2 to the Parma Redmen, 16-14.

Frank's death almost comes on the heels of the passing of another standout running back from the late 1960s, former Cathedral Latin School football and track mainstay Lester Mitchell. Lester was a member of this old-timer's Class of 1968 at Cathedral Latin.

 

 

A night to cherish! We take a look at Saint Ignatius' 2013-14 Winter Sports Awards.
4/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Cleveland, Ohio -  After Saint Ignatius' outstanding Athletics Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 addressed the athletes who comprised the Wildcats' Winter Sports Teams, along with their coaches, parents and other family members, he made one request to everyone in attendance at Monday night's Winter Sports Awards Ceremony - to give Coach Pat O'Rourke's 2014 State Champion Ice Hockey Team a well-deserved round of applause.

What followed was a thundering, standing ovation that echoed through The Breen Theatre.

In what was a nice touch to a special evening, Coach O'Rourke '90 took The Breen Theatre Stage and announced each player individually as they "officially" received their OHSAA medals from the well-documented and nationally recognized state championship game in March versus Sylvania Northview that the OHSAA declared a 1-1 tie after three periods and seven overtimes.

After that tough act to follow and a video that highlighted the 2013-14 Saint Ignatius Winter Sports season, each of the five winter teams broke off into different locations on campus to present their awards.

Here are those awards and the outstanding "Men for Others" who received them.

ICE HOCKEY

Offensive MVPs: Matty Geither, '15, Ethan Whitney '15 and Aidan Spellacy '16.

Defensive MVPs: Dylan McKeon (goalie) '16, Kevin Spellacy '14 and Harry Smith '14.

Most Improved: Danny Brogan '14 and Ethan Whitney.

The prestigious Father Styles Coaches' Cups: Brian Fitzgerald '14, Beck Schultz '14 and Riley Ellis '14.

The Captains' Plaques: Harry Smith, Kevin Spellacy, Beck Schultz and Jack Wiegandt '15.

Plus-Minus MVPs: Matty Geither and Aidan Spellacy.

AMDG MVPs: Matty Geither and Kevin Yarcusko '15

A rare four-year letterman: Beck Schultz.

A  special thanks to the Video and Stats Men: Luke Liberatore '15 and Patrick Millican '15.

*NOTE: Coach O'Rourke's Captains for next season will be returning Captain Jack Wiegandt, Matty Geither, Ethan Whitney, Jack Mazanec '15 and Aidan Spellacy.

BASKETBALL

MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICAN GAME NOMINEE: Senior post Jake Strippy.

Coach Sean O'Toole's 20-7 Division I District Champions had five players receive All-Northeast Lakes Region recognition - Eric Black '14 on third team and Isiah Barbra '14, David Black '14, Danny Bova '14 and Deven Stover '16 received Honorable Mention.

OHIO HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION GOLD AND SILVER CERTIFICATES (Presented to a junior or senior who maintains a 3.2 accumulative GPA and exhibits the highest form of citizenship and sportsmanship throughout his high school career): Silver Certificates went to juniors Joe Isabella, Dylan Nieto and Mikal Outcalt and Gold Certificates were presented to seniors David and Eric Black, Danny Bova, Ryan Napoli and Ogo Okolo.

Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Stars: Case Western Reserve University bound Eric and David Black and Marietta recruit Isiah Barbra.

Saint Ignatius' Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award: David Black.

Most Valuable Substitutes: Juniors Jaylin McDonald and Andre' Wolford.

Most Improved Player: Isiah Barbra.

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Sophomore Deven Stover.

Most Valuable Players: Eric Black and Danny Bova.

The prestigious Coaches' Cups: Ryan Napoli and Jake Strippy.

AMDG Award: Senior Jimmy Abraham.

The Steve Ehretsman Courage and Perseverance Award: Ogo Okolo. A solid pick, Ogo represents the strength and class that will always exude from former Wildcat great Steve Ehretsman, who this corner had the privilege of covering and reporting on during my career at The Plain Dealer.

The Captains Awards: Danny Bova, Isiah Barbra and Eric and David Black. *Danny was a rare two-year captain for Coach O'Toole.

A three-year Student Manager Award: Junior Michael Berry.

2013-14 Milestone Awards: Andre' Wolford, who set a new single-game school record with 8 3-pointers and Danny Bova, whose 178 assists this past season are a new all-time Wildcats mark.

HIGHLIGHTS: Along with their District Championship, the Wildcats totaled 41 victories over the past two seasons combined. This winter, they shot 49.7 percent on 2-pointers and 36.8 percent on 3-point attempts.

WRESTLING:

Most Valuable Wrestler: Senior Anthony McLaughlin.

The prestigious Coaches' Cup went to Kyle Vilsack.

The Wildcat Award: Hunter Toth.

Most Improved Wrestler: Ryan Bush.

The Marilyn A. Sullivan Award for Academic Consistency (named in Honor of Coach Mark Sullivan's mother): Anthony McLaughlin.

State Qualifier: Air Force recruit Anthony McLaughlin at 182 pounds.

A four-year letterman: Anthony McLaughlin.

The Captains Awards: Ryan Bush, Anthony McLaughlin and Kyle Vilsack.

SWIMMING AND DIVING

High Point Awards: Senior Nathan Chrsitian with a team-best 382, junior Chris Ubert with a 100.50, sophomore Rayon Artis with a 249.50 and freshman Marcus Hong with a 215.

The Captains Awards: Seniors Abdo Dergham and Peter Simcox.

Most Valuable Swimmer: Nathan Christian.

The prestigious John B. Lewis Award: Senior Keve Pigniczky.

Most Improved: Freshman Michael Finnan, sophomore Patrick Corrigan and freshman Joey Libertin.

Newcomer of the Year: Freshman Dmitri Simcox.

The Prestigious Coaches' Cup: Chris Ubert.

ALL-OHIO SWIMMERS (Award from State): Nathan Christian (second place in the 50 free and the 100 free) and Peter Simcox (fifth place in the 100 fly).

Also recognized are the 200 Medley Relay Team of Peter Simcox, Keve Pigniczky, Marcus Hong and Rayon Artis, the third-place 200 Free Relay Team of Dmitri Simcox, Peter Simcox, Nathan Christian and Rayon Artis and the third-place 400 Free Relay Team of Nathan Christian, Dmitri Simcox, Rayon Artis and Peter Simcox.

New Varsity Records: 200 Free Relay (Dmitri Simcox, Peter Simcox, Nathan Christian and Rayon Artis) with a time of 1:23.74 and the 50 Free by Nathan Christian in a time of 20.65.

Automatic All-American Performances: 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay, Nathan Christian in 50 and 100 Free, and Peter Simcox in the 100 Fly.

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, HERE ARE THE AWARD WINNERS FROM THE DISTRICT QUALIFYING SAINT IGNATIUS BOWLING TEAM OF COACH JOHN KASTANIS.

Four-year awards went to Sean O'Brien, Anthony Giancola and the injured Billy Farr, three-year awards were garnered by Phil Criswell, Garret Forst, Cedric Crawford and Antonio DiFranco, two-year awards were earned by Gianni Schaefer, Austin Venczel and Ralph Deadwyler, and first-year awards were tucked away safely by Alley Cats Josh Jarosz, Devin Venczel, Nick Frank and Joseph Johnson.

Team MVP: Ralph Deadwyler.

Most Improved: Cedric Crawford.

The prestigious Coaches' Cups: Antonio DiFranco and Sean O'Brien.  

Friday's game versus the Brad Hamilton-led Avon Lake Shoremen in Progressive Field highlights a five games in five days stretch for the Baseball 'Cats.
4/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright April 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio – After sweeping their season-opening series at Archbishop Hoban on Tuesday and Wednesday, Coach Brad Ganor’s Varsity Baseball Wildcats had games versus Aurora and Stow canceled this past week due to the weather and the various field conditions.

The Aurora game was scheduled for Kent State University and that is exactly where the Wildcats hope to get back on the field as they are scheduled to face Akron Firestone on Tuesday at Kent State. The first pitch is listed for 5 PM.

Saint Ignatius got some solid workman-like starting pitching from senior southpaw and Captain Nick Margevicius and junior right-hander MJ Nara in defeating the Hoban Knights, 7-2 and 9-5. The ‘Cats also benefited from the big inning that their offense provided in each game.

In what Coach Ganor and his staff are hoping will be the first full week of the young 2014 season, Saint Ignatius is
also slated to face St. Vincent-St. Mary on Wednesday at 4:30 in Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains. The Wildcats will return to Classic Park on Thursday for a 4:30 match up with the Knights from Nordonia, on Friday it’s the highlight of the week as Saint Ignatius faces Avon Lake in Progressive Field at 5:30, and the week’s final game on Saturday has the ‘Cats returning to the friendly confines of Classic Park for a 2 PM test that the Rebels from Willoughby South are sure to provide.

Friday’s game versus Avon Lake at the home of the Cleveland Indians is an intriguing one, as it matches two classy
programs that each return a solid nucleus from their encounter in last year’s Division I Regional Semifinals.

That evening, with temperatures approaching 90 degrees in a sun-drenched Nobby’s Ballpark at Case Western Reserve University, Coach Ganor’s Wildcats and Coach Kevin Marlow’s Shoremen, teams whose gritty and baseball savvy approaches almost mirror one another, tested each other's will for three hours before Saint Ignatius prevailed, 3-2. The ‘Cats would go on to finish as the big-school state runner-up to Archbishop Moeller.

Saint Ignatius and Avon Lake are no strangers to the impressive building that resides at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, as on April 26 of last season the Wildcats rode a five-run first inning to a 9-1 victory over the Shoremen in the
annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic at Progressive Field.

This corner said it and wrote it last year, and will repeat it again. Avon Lake’s outstanding senior catcher Brad Hamilton left a lasting impression on this old-timer in both of last season’s games versus Saint Ignatius with his hitting, the way he handles himself behind the plate and the class he exudes.

Brad is the younger brother of former Avon Lake and Kent State University College World Series mainstay, and current Indians prospect, Nick Hamilton.

In case you didn’t know, Nick and Brad are the proud sons of the Indians’ Tom Hamilton, who is one of the greatest radio broadcasters in the history of Major League Baseball. Brad Hamilton, who will be furthering his education and baseball career at Kent State, is coming off a junior season in which he hit a team-best .450, including six home runs. He garnered All-Ohio recognition in 2013 and was a first-team All-Lorain County and All-Southwestern Conference pick.

Friday’s game, in this corner’s humble opinion, will feature two of the premier catchers the Buckeye State has to offer in Brad Hamilton and the Wildcats’ gifted young man behind the mask, junior Alex Panstares. Alex cracked Saint Ignatius’ starting lineup as a sophomore.

Avon Lake and Saint Ignatius fans might recall some of the crucial blocks off pitches in the dirt that Panstares made during the late stages of last year’s tension-packed Regional Semifinal. 

NOTE: The Patrick McGuire ’14-led Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you live coverage on four of the five scheduled varsity baseball games this week –  versus St. Vincent-St. Mary,
Nordonia, Avon Lake and Willoughby South.

If Mother Nature allows, the corner will be on hand for all five games.

Have a great week and weekend!

The Lax Cats bounce back with an eight-goal triumph over The University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
4/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations from the corner go out to Coach Patrick McManamon '96 and his Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse Team, which rebounded from Saturday's tough loss to Brother Rice (see the post below) by defeating the Cubs from Detroit Jesuit, 17-9, on Sunday.

The Lax Cats now stand 4-1 after splitting their games in Michigan. They will face Western Reserve Academy on Wednesday at Wasmer Field. The varsity action is scheduled for 7 PM.

 

Today's Saint Ignatius at Stow baseball game has been called off.
4/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats and the Bulldogs were slated for a 2 PM game today, but the field conditions at Stow were determined to be unplayable by the Bulldogs' staff.

Up next for Coach Brad Ganor's 'Cats is a Tuesday game versus Akron Firestone at Kent State University. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 PM on Tuesday.

Monday's scheduled game at Amherst Steele was canceled because the Comets have to make up a league game. 

We will keep you posted on any further changes this week.

Saint Ignatius Rugby dominates Westerville, Wildcats Varsity Lacrosse is defeated by Brother Rice and 'Cats volleyball has a tough day at the Saint Ignatius Invitational.
4/5/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Too talented, too physical and too deep.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's Varsity A Rugby Team was in total control on Wasmer Field Saturday evening.

The Rugby 'Cats, sparked by some tough all-around play by Patrick Berry and Vincent Hahn, and a solid team effort, dominated the Worms from Westerville, 33-0.

With the hard-nosed, teammates-first Hahn making his presence felt for almost the entire evening and the powerful Berry attacking and running around and through the opposition, Saint Ignatius rebounded from last weekend's 6-5 loss at Archbishop Moeller and improved to 3-2 on the young season.

Up next for Coach Arbeznik's Varsity A is the Jesuit Cup in Alexandria, Virginia on April 12-13.

Brother Rice, the pride of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, not only can play state-championship caliber football, but also knows its way around a lacrosse field. The Warriors handed the visiting Lax Cats their first loss in four outings this spring, 16-3, late Saturday afternoon.

In compiling a 4-0 start, Brother Rice has outscored its opponents, 54-14. 

Saint Ignatius will look to rebound on Sunday at 11 AM, when it closes out its trip to Michigan with a matchup against The University of Detroit Jesuit High School. Detroit Jesuit was defeated by Brother Rice, 16-1, on April 1.

VOLLEYBALL: The Wildcats were defeated by Hilliard Davidson, three sets to one, and were handed a straight sets defeat by Beavercreek in Saturday's annual Saint Ignatius Invitational. The 'Cats now stand 2-6 after also experiencing setbacks to St. Edward and Archbishop Hoban this week.     

 

          

Wildcats Tennis opens its season with a victory over Kenston. See the post after the tennis recap on the schedule changes in Saint Ignatius baseball.
4/5/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Jon Barker’s 2014 Tennis Cats entered the season with high expectations and on Friday evening they began their quest for area and state prominence by defeating Kenston, 4-1.

In singles play, Wildcats gifted junior Eric Schuette, who is a transfer from Indiana, won his match, 6-1, 6-0, and promising freshman Josh Hsia displayed the exceptional work ethic Coach Barker referred to by turning away his opponent, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

The Wildcats swept the doubles matches, as the veteran duo of seniors Yaw Boakye and Christian Zuber brought home a 6-2, 6-3 triumph, and junior Karl Fehn and senior Jack Napoli prevailed, 6-3, 6-4. Jack was the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Coaches’ Cup from Coach Barker and his staff.

Up next for the Wildcats is Saturday’s annual St. Edward Tournament at the Paramount Tennis Club. Matches are scheduled to begin at 8 AM.

Coach Barker’s team will face the Solon Comets on April 8 at Magnificat in a 4 PM match up.     



 

Saint Ignatius baseball schedule updates for the weekend.
4/4/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

This weekend's varsity game at Stow, originally scheduled for Saturday at 2 PM, has been moved to Sunday. The first pitch will remain at 2 PM.

Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brad Ganor said the Wildcats' junior varsity and freshman baseball teams will attempt to play at Stow on Saturday at noon and 3 PM.

Wildcats baseball rained out.
4/3/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Thursday's varsity baseball game between Saint Ignatius and Aurora, scheduled for 6 PM at Kent State University, has been rained out. There has been no makeup date determined.

The Wildcats' next scheduled game is Saturday at Stow with a 2 PM varsity first pitch. We will keep you posted if there are any changes.  

Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball completes a sweep of the two-day series at Archbishop Hoban by breaking the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Wildcats Varsity Lacrosse turns back Hudson, 6-5, on Wasmer Field and now stands 3-0.
4/2/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT April 2014

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, leading by one run, scored five times in the top of the sixth en route to their 9-5 victory over the Knights on Wednesday evening.

Back-to-back base hits by Mullen Socha and Kurt Mantes helped fuel the five-run sixth and the big blows came off some clutch two-out thunder - a two-run double to deep left-center field by senior shortstop Quillan Austria and a line-drive RBI single by senior center fielder Nick Fabian.

Saint Ignatius, which opened its 2014 season with a 7-2 triumph at Archbishop Hoban on Tuesday, is scheduled to face the Aurora Greenmen on Thursday at 6 PM in the friendly confines of Kent State University. Aurora and Saint Ignatius each advanced to the Division I state final four in 2013, with the Wildcats finishing as the big-school state runner-up.

****A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS GOES OUT TO COACH PATRICK MCMANAMON AND HIS WILDCATS VARSITY LACROSSE TEAM FOR RALLYING PAST HUDSON ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND REMAINING UNBEATEN ON THE YOUNG 2014 SEASON.

DOWN, 4-2, WITH 9:40 REMAINING IN THE THIRD QUARTER,  COACH MCMANAMON'S 'CATS RESPOND WITH GOALS FROM ETHAN WHITNEY, MATT AVDEY AND ALEX HORNUNG AND TAKE A 5-4 LEAD INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER. HORNUNG'S SECOND GOAL OF THE GAME, WHICH CAME WITH ABOUT THREE MINUTES REMAINING, TURNS OUT TO BE THE DIFFERENCE MAKER. A STEAL BY WHITNEY HELPED SET UP HORNUNG'S SECOND GOAL AND JACK MAZANEC'S PICK UP OF A GROUND BALL WITH 24 TICKS LEFT IS HUGE. 

THE LAX CATS, WHO ALSO DEFEATED HUDSON, 11-10, IN LAST YEAR'S STATE QUALIFYING GAME ON THE EXPLORERS' HOME FIELD, WILL BE AT BROTHER RICE ON SATURDAY AT 3 PM AND WILL TRAVEL TO THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL ON SUNDAY AT 11 AM.

Here is a look at Saint Ignatius' 9-5 triumph at Archbishop Hoban on Wednesday evening.

Akron, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' 10-year skipper Brad Ganor gave Archbishop Hoban its just due for staying with the Wildcats through five innings at the Knights' home field on Wednesday evening.

The man who has guided the Baseball Cats to four Division I state final four appearances, including state runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2013, was also quick to credit his team for the way it responded and several of the Wildcats for accepting their roles at this early stage of the 2014 season.

"Mullen Socha and Kurt Mantis getting those hits in that inning, that's their role right now," said Coach Ganor after Socha and Mantis came on in pinch-hitting roles with one out and nobody on in the top of the sixth inning and delivered consecutive base hits. "It doesn't mean that's going to be the role all year, but right now their role is to come in off the bench and get something started."

I swear I could hear a few of the Wildcats' faithful chanting "Let's get it started, let's get it started" after Mantis followed Socha's hit with an authoritative single.

What the young, but oh so promising juniors started was a decisive five-run sixth that saw two of Coach Ganor's savvy veterans - senior shortstop Quillan Austria and senior center fielder Nick Fabian - take the excitement Socha and Mantis created to another level.

With two outs, Austria, first-pitch swinging, drove the ball to deep left-center field for a two-run double and Fabian, a West Virginia recruit, followed with a scorching RBI single to left.

Now leading 7-3 after entering the top of the sixth clinging to a one-run advantage, Saint Ignatius tacked on two more runs in the sixth courtesy of a single from multi-skilled senior left fielder/pitcher Shane Skuhrovec and wild pitches by the Knights' bullpen.

The Wildcats' bullpen also had some shaky moments as Archbishop Hoban took advantage of five walks in scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth and cutting the deficit to 9-5. For the game, Saint Ignatius issued 11 base on balls.

Ah, but then Coach Ganor called on another of his big-game tested players - senior left fielder and Miami of Ohio recruit Nick Longo.

Like Skuhrovec and Fabian, Longo has the ability to come in from the outfield, take the ball from his coach and shut the door.

Longo did just that in the bottom of the seventh as he tarnished the Knights' armor to the tune of a 1-2-3 inning.

The versatile Skuhrovec ended the game with a smooth one-handed, over-the-shoulder catch in left-center field that drew a roar from the Wildcats' dugout.

"Offensively, I thought we were much better today than we were yesterday," said Coach Ganor in referring to Tuesday's first game of the two-game series at Archbishop Hoban, a 7-2 Saint Ignatius victory. "And I think we're just going to keep getting better as the season goes on and the guys get locked in."

Coach Ganor also emphasized that his pitching staff has to become more efficient in terms of the walks issued on Wednesday evening. The veteran manager then shared his impressions of junior MJ Nara, who made his first varsity start on Wednesday after being a bulldog in relief during 2013.

"I thought he was good early on," Coach Ganor said. "He tried to do a little too much in that third and fourth inning. But early on he looked solid and did what we expected. For a kid that had seven varsity saves as a sophomore, we don't look at him as a first-year varsity starter. We expect him to be our No. 2 (starter) and he's more than capable of it."

MJ threw 3 and 2/3 innings before being relieved by Skuhrovec. He yielded three runs (one earned) over those 3 and 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked four. Of his 78 total pitches, 48 were strikes.

Saint Ignatius collected nine hits and committed just one error and the Knights had four total knocks and three errors. The key hits for Archbishop Hoban were two-out RBI double down the left-field line by senior designated hitter Brennen Bell, which cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the third, and a two-run single by sophomore shortstop/pitcher Jacob Bonner in the bottom of the fourth that sliced the 'Cats' lead to one run. Sophomore center fielder and leadoff hitter Tyler Canova had a 3-for-4 effort for the Knights.

Fabian is scheduled to get the starting assignment from Coach Ganor in Thursday's game against Aurora at Kent State. Again, it is a 6 PM first pitch providing the weather cooperates.        

 

    

   

 

 

       

    

 

Wildcats volleyball had some nice efforts in Tuesday night's loss to the Eagles from St. Edward.
4/2/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Although they were defeated in straight sets by St. Edward in Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night, the Wildcats' varsity volleyball team did get a 22-assist night from Pat Getty and 12 digs by Christian Saponaro.

Just a reminder that Coach Casey Marcelo's 'Cats will face Archbishop Hoban on Thursday night at 7 in Sullivan Gym.  

A strong opening day by senior lefty Nick Margevicius and an offense fueled by three hits from senior shortstop Quillen Austria and three RBIs by senior center fielder Nick Fabian help lead Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats to a 7-2 victory at Archbishop Hoban.
4/1/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, COPYRIGHT April 2014

Saint Ignatius out hit the Knights from Archbishop Hoban, 9-3, as Nick Margevicius struck out six and walked two in 4 and 2/3 innings of work. Nick was coming off a 2013 season that saw him go 9-1, help Saint Ignatius to a Division I state runner-up finish and garner Special Mention on The Plain Dealer's seven-county All-Star Team.

Coach Ganor's 'Cats broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning that featured an RBI single by standout junior catcher Alex Panstares, an RBI sacrifice fly by senior second baseman David Bodziony, an RBI single by senior shortstop Quillan Austria and a two-out, two-run single by senior center fielder and West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian.

NOTE: In volleyball action from Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night, Saint Ignatius was defeated by St. Edward in straight sets, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-22.

Now back to the baseball game, which was played on a sun-drenched field adjacent to the scenic campus of Archbishop Hoban.   

AKRON, OHIO - When asked what pleased him and what things didn't sit well after his team opened its 2014 season with a 7-2 victory at Archbishop Hoban on Tuesday evening, Saint Ignatius Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor quickly replied, "Well, Nick Margevicius pleased me.

"Being on a pitch count and getting that deep into the game (4 and 2/3 innings) was a good thing," Coach Ganor continued in reference to Nick yielding three hits, walking two and striking out six in the 78 pitches he threw. "Offensively, I think we looked like it was the first game. We're athletic enough to overcome that, which we did, but it was certainly evident that we hadn't played much baseball yet."

With a persistent winter carrying over to the early spring, Saint Ignatius, along with several other programs throughout Ohio, had its scheduled opening weekend shutout by rain, sleet and snow.

So it was great to get off the bus at Archbishop Hoban and be greeted by sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s.

Like Coach Ganor pointed out, there were some first-game miscues and even a few jitters accompanying a Wildcats program that won 27 games last season and finished as Ohio's Division I runner-up to two-time defending state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller. And Hoban experienced some of those same mental and physical mistakes as each team committed three errors.

However, when you have a strong and savvy senior southpaw in Margevicius and big-game tested players such as senior center fielder Nick Fabian, senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec, senior right fielder Nick Longo, junior catcher Alex Panstares, senior first baseman Joe Khoury, senior shortstop Quillan Austria, senior outfielder/designated hitter Kyle Daugenti and senior second baseman David Bodziony, the growth that accompanies a new spring is a much smoother process.

"There were a couple of situational things early in the game where we missed a sign and didn't do things that we had worked hard on," said Coach Ganor. "So that has to be cleaned up, that is unacceptable. But all in all, I thought it was a good effort. Taking it one step at a time and seeing the big picture, I think we're doing a good job of that right now. It's too early to get hyped up about a win and too early to get hyped up about a loss."

In what was a pitchers' dual early on between Margevicius and Archbishop Hoban's crafty sophomore left-hander Drew Kline, Saint Ignatius clung to a 1-0 lead through three innings. The Wildcats' first run came off a one-out walk by promising sophomore third baseman Dennis Grosel, a two-out stolen base by Grosel, a walk to Austria, an errant pick-off attempt at second base and an error off a ground ball to the right side.

The 'Cats made it 2-0 in the top of the fourth as Panstares led off by lining a single into left field. With one out, Bodziony slapped a single into short right field. Bodziony's hit was followed by a double steal and after Daugenti was hit by a pitch with two outs, Fabian drew a bases-loaded walk.

Following an outstanding diving catch by Skuhrovec in the bottom of the fourth, Coach Ganor and his veteran staff of T.J. Donovan '94, Matt Blazer '94, Mark Terlep and Josh Bieneman watched their Wildcats get to the Knights' bullpen and take command in the top of the fifth.

Skuhrovec's defensive gem came after Archbishop Hoban's rock-solid senior catcher Jordan Burns led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to deep left-center field.

The damage in the top of the fifth, which we described in the lead-in to tonight's story, was started when Longo, a Miami of Ohio recruit, lead off with a walk and went from first to third on a single by Khoury. A Mount Union recruit, Khoury is one of the most underrated players in Northeast Ohio.

Two other key elements in Saint Ignatius pushing its lead to 7-0 in the fifth were Grosel drawing his second base on balls and a two-out wild pitch that helped set the stage for Fabian's two-out RBI single.

Margevicius then pitched into the fifth before being relieved by junior right-hander Luke Diggs, who pitched 1 and 1/3 innings of hitless baseball, including a five-pitch bottom of the sixth that saw Luke start a 1-6-3 double play that ended with one of Khoury's smooth picks at first base.

The Knights avoided a shutout by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh. The game ended on a heads-up defensive play by Saint Ignatius' junior middle infielder Jake Kucia, who backed up a grounder to the left side that got by the third baseman and fired a throw home to senior catcher Pat Gulick, who applied a text-book tag.

"It felt great to just get back out there," said Margevicius, who gave himself a B+ for his opening day performance. "Great weather, a great day to play baseball. My fastball was working today and that is something I'm focusing on, establishing it as the season goes on. I get a little off-speed happy at times. So the fastball was good and the change-up worked too.

"I made some mistakes and missed my spots with a few pitches," continued the Ryder University recruit. "But all in all, I thought it was a pretty good day."

Weather permitting, Saint Ignatius will return to Archbishop Hoban on Wednesday at 4:30 PM for the second of what is a two-game series. Junior MJ Nara, who was a mainstay out of the bullpen last spring, will get the starting assignment.     

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

      

  

  

     

 

    

Saint Ignatius-Hudson Lacrosse game to be televised on tape delay by Time Warner.
4/1/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Wednesday's 7 PM varsity lacrosse match up on Wasmer Field between the Lax Cats and the Explorers from Hudson will air via tape delay on Thursday night at 7 over Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Time Warner will replay it on Friday at 9 PM.

Saint Ignatius and Hudson met in the qualifying game for the state semifinals last season, with the Wildcats prevailing in Hudson's Memorial Stadium, 11-10. Mike Vitale's four goals and an outstanding hustle play by goalie C J Haag '13 with the 'Cats down a man in the final 32 seconds helped show the way.

 

"Where The 'Cats Play" for the Week of March 31 through April 6.
3/31/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

If, as the weather experts are predicting, Mother Nature took her last big shot this past Saturday then maybe, just maybe, we can get the 2014 spring sports season into full stride.

That said, this early spring barrage of bad weather that we experienced doesn't even come close to some of the nasty Aprils this old-timer encountered while covering and reporting on high school sports for The Plain Dealer.

So here we go, as all seven of Saint Ignatius' spring sports teams are ready, willing and able to create a full week of memories. Full is the operative word.

BASEBALL: After having to turn the bus around and head back to West 30th and Lorain Avenue following the cancellation of its season-opening games in Chillicothe this past Saturday, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats are prepared to open their spring at Akron Archbishop Hoban High School with 4:30 PM games against the Knights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday evening, Saint Ignatius, the 2013 Division I state runner-up, will travel to Kent State University for a 6 PM first pitch versus the Aurora Greenmen. Aurora was a Division I state semifinalist last spring.

The Baseball Cats are scheduled to be at the impressive confines of Stow High School on Saturday for a 2 PM encounter with the Bulldogs.

TRACK AND FIELD: After Coach Chuck Kyle's team battled the less than desirable conditions at this past weekend's Brunswick Elite meet to a fifth-place finish (see the corner's post from Sunday), the 'Cats are slated to compete against Benedictine, Lincoln-West and John Marshall on Thursday at Wasmer Field. The competition is scheduled to get under way at 4 PM.

LACROSSE: Neither snow, nor rain, oh well you know the rest, could slow down Coach Patrick McManamon's Lax Cats as they defied Saturday afternoon's mini blizzard on Wasmer Field and went on to defeat the Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit, 13-7.

A 2013 state semifinalist, the Lax Cats will take a 2-0 record into Wednesday's 7 PM match up with the always capable Hudson Explorers on Wasmer Field and will be on the road over the weekend to face Brother Rice (Saturday 3 PM) and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (Sunday at 11 AM).

TENNIS: Coach Jon Barker's team enters a season of high expectations when it faces Sycamore on Thursday at 4 PM on the courts at Magnificat High School. The 'Cats are scheduled to travel to Kenston on Friday for a 4 PM match and will be competing in the St. Edward Invitational on Saturday at the Paramount Tennis Courts. Saturday's matches are scheduled to get underway at 8 AM.

RUGBY: As per their schedule listed on the athletics pages, the Varsity A Rugby 'Cats are preparing for Saturday's 6 PM match up with Westerville on Wasmer Field. Saturday's A game will be preceded by a Varsity B encounter between the Wildcats and Westerville.

VOLLEYBALL: Coach Casey Marcelo's 'Cats will play host to West Side rival St. Edward on Tuesday night at 7 in Sullivan Gymnasium, will return to Sullivan Gym on Thursday for a match with the Hoban Knights at 7 PM and will present their 2014 Saint Ignatius Invitational Tournament on Saturday at 9 AM in Sullivan Gym and the Murphy Field House.

CREW: The young, but talented and boat savvy Crew 'Cats will be competing in Saturday's Cleveland Mini-Sprints (500 M) from the CRF Boathouse at 10 AM.       

    

     

 

Saint Ignatius looks to open its 2014 baseball season versus Akron Hoban on Tuesday.
3/31/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tuesday's first of two scheduled games with Aurora has been canceled. However, Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats will be traveling to Akron on Tuesday afternoon to face the Archbishop Hoban Knights in what will be the season opener. The first pitch is slated for 4:30 PM.

  

Here is a look at how the Wildcats fared in the Brunswick Elite track meet.
3/30/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Chuck Kyle's varsity track and field team opened its 2014 outdoor season like most of the teams throughout the state - accompanied by Saturday's rain, sleet, snow and wind gusts.

As we posted on Saturday, sophomore standout distance runner Luke Wagner captured first place in the 1600 meter run with a time 4:33.48. Sean Sovacool was 4th in a time of 4:43.17.

Among the Wildcats' other strong performances was a second-place effort in the 100 meter dash by gifted sophomore sprinter James Norris. James ran an 11.12 and Brandon Bolden of Solon was first in a time of 11.05.

Saint Ignatius' 4x800 team of Colin Kruchon, Pat Nolan, Jeff Foerg and Jon Nemes placed fourth at 8:33.41, the 4x200 team of Lawrence Birchler, Nick Cristescu, Tyler Delhees and David Shibley also finished in fourth place with a time of 1:37.48 and coming up with a third-place effort of 45.82 was the 4x100 team of Nick Cristescu, Tyler Delhees, Quinn Lawless and James Norris.

Senior Ryan Napoli placed fifth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.38, Chris Melton-Burke was fifth in the 110 meter hurdles at 15.84, Rai Walters was third in the long jump at 20-02 and Quinn Lawless was sixth with a jump of 18-11, Brian Drelishak (11-06) and Mike Dollinar (10-00) placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the pole vault, and Corey Griffith placed seventh in the shot put with a throw of 44-10.

It all added up to 62 points and a fifth-place finish for Saint Ignatius in the 12 events that took place. Medina (111.333) and Berea-Midpark (107.5) were 1-2.   

Wildcats baseball swept by Mother Nature, Lax Cats improve to 2-0 and Luke Wagner is among the standouts at the shortened Brunswick Elite Invitational.
3/29/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Just arrived home from Southern Ohio, where Saint Ignatius' varsity baseball season-opening doubleheader versus defending Division I state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and Columbus Bishop Watterson was canceled because of heavy rain, strong wind gusts, sleet and snow flurries. Take your pick.

The games were part of the annual "We Can Play" First Pitch Classic in Chillicothe and will not be made up.

Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats, Ohio's big-school state runners-up in 2013, will attempt to get their 2014 season underway on Tuesday with a 4:30 PM game at Aurora. The Greenmen were a Division I state semifinalist last season.

The rest of this coming week's schedule has the 'Cats traveling to Akron Hoban on Wednesday for a 4:30 first pitch, playing Aurora for the second time in three days, as Thursday's match up with the Greenmen will be a 6 PM encounter at Kent State University, and traveling to Stow on Saturday for a 2 PM game versus the Bulldogs.

LACROSSE: Congratulations go out to Coach Patrick McManamon's Varsity Lacrosse Wildcats, who battled both St. John's Jesuit and the adverse weather that hit the Cleveland area on Saturday and came away a 13-7 victory over the Titans on Wasmer Field.

Saint Ignatius, which features a strong nucleus from last year's state-semifinalist team, now stands 2-0 on the young season.

In what is always a memorable match up, the Lax Cats will host the lacrosse-rich Hudson Explorers on Wednesday at 7 PM in Ohio City.

Track and Field: The weather also played havoc with track and field events throughout the state, but the corner would like to pass along congratulations to Wildcats sophomore standout Luke Wagner for bringing home first place in the 1600 meter run at Saturday's annual Brunswick Elite Invitational. The Brunswick meet was shortened after the conditions grew from bad to worse.  

     

 

Former Wildcat great Derek Dietrich on Opening Day roster for the Marlins.
3/27/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations from this corner go out to Derek Dietrich '07, who has earned a spot as a middle infielder on the Miami Marlins' Opening Day roster.

Derek was a perennial All-Star selection for Coach Brad Ganor's Wildcats as a shortstop/pitcher and went on to an outstanding career as a shortstop for Georgia Tech.

One of the most enjoyable stories this old-timer had the privilege of writing during my 37 years at The Plain Dealer was the "Locker Room" cover feature on Derek and his lifelong friend growing up in Parma, former Padua Franciscan High School and University of Akron baseball standout Jake Plata.

Again, congratulations to Derek, his family and Coach Ganor's program.  

Coach Casey Marcelo's Volleyball Wildcats chalk up the first of what are expected to be many victories this spring with a solid performance at Brunswick.
3/27/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER, WITH HIGHLIGHTS COURTESY OF COACH MARCELO.

The Wildcats stand 1-1 on the season after defeating host Brunswick in straight sets on Wednesday night, 25-18, 25-15 and 27-25. Brunswick is now 2-1.

Pat Getty had a 26 assists night, Luke Poston and Jake Grandstaff each came up with 11 kills, and the defense was keyed by 24 digs from Christian Saponaro.

Coach Marcelo's team is on the road Saturday, competing in a Tri-Match with Mt. Vernon and St. Charles.

 
 
With senior standout Jake Maruna scoring three goals in the first half, Saint Ignatius Lacrosse strikes early and often en route to a 10-3 opening night victory over Massillon Jackson.
3/26/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Holy Cross recruit Jake Maruna, one of the premier two-end players in the state, if not the entire Midwest, helped show the way for the young, but tough and talented 2014 Lax Cats on a brisk and dry Wednesday night at Wasmer Field.

Along with Jake's three-goal performance, Head Coach Pat McManamon '96 and his staff watched seven other Wildcats score. The defense was solid versus Jackson's set and junior Coleman Hagan stood tall in what was his first varsity start in the cage.

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius Head Lacrosse Coach Patrick McManamon ’96 said senior Jake Maruna was
being Jake Maruna on Wednesday night.

You know, dominant and savvy at both ends of the field.

With Maruna wasting no time in displaying the two-end skills that earned him a spot among the Notables from around the country in the Nike Blue Chip Rising Senior Camp Report, which is part of Geoff Shannon's highly respected Recruiting Report on INSIDE LACROSSE.COM, Saint Ignatius opened its 2014 season on Wasmer Field with an impressive 10-3 victory over what is an always solid program from Massillon Jackson.

Maruna and Coach McManamon were on the same page after the Wildcats (1-0) dominated most of the action in the Ohio City match up.

The Lax Cats, state semifinalists in 2013, led by five goals at halftime and had the Polar Bears (1-1) on ice after a slashing Riley Ellis, a mainstay on Saint Ignatius’ OHSAA state champion hockey team this past winter, sent home the
‘Cats’ 10th and final goal off an assist from Maruna with 3 minutes and 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Patience and movement on offense and a defense that frustrated Jackson, especially off the set, were the points that Coach McMananon and Maruna stressed after the team’s post-game huddle.

Maruna, who has signed a national letter of intent to further his education and lacrosse career at Holy Cross, said he was very pleased with the offensive patience the Lax Cats displayed, especially when you consider how underclassmen-laden the team is.

Finishing the game off smoother was the only major critical point that Coach McManamon brought up on opening night.

Coming out strong and playing like the program that finished ninth in the final Under Armour Midwest Regional INSIDE LACROSSE.COM Rankings in 2013, the only Northeast Ohio area team to garner a top-10 spot, Saint Ignatius jumped on Jackson for three goals with less than nine minutes gone in the first quarter.

The crafty and energetic Matt Avdey scored the first goal of the ‘Cats’ 2014 season off a clever move down the middle with 8 minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. Saint Ignatius’ outstanding senior attacker and Siena
College recruit Mike Vitale assisted on Avdey’s crowd pleaser. Like Maruna, Vitale not only has a nose for the goal, but is also an excellent feeder.

Vitale continued to put his passing skills on display, as he found Maruna for the first of Jake’s three first-half scores less than a minute after he hooked up with Avdey.

It was then “Rip City” time courtesy of Maruna, as Jake took an assist from mid fielder Luke Bill and fired a shot so authoritative that it appeared the Jackson goalie flinched as it was soaring past him and into the net.

Attacker Cole Southworth staked the Lax Cats to a 4-0 lead off a nice cut-and-take shot that was assisted by fellow attacker Alex Hornung. After Jackson cut the deficit to 4-1, Hornung assisted on Maruna’s third goal of the first 24 minutes and another Vitale assist, this time to mid fielder Cam Gerard, had Saint Ignatius in command once again.

Jackson would make it a 6-2 game with 3:26 to go in the first half, only to watch Vitale respond with his familiar spin move 20 seconds later. Mike’s unassisted wrap around stretched the Wildcats’ lead to five goals by halftime, a two-quarter performance that saw junior goalie Coleman Hagan stand tough and tall in what was his first varsity start.

Hagan, who was previously an attacker, has big shoes to fill, as graduated goalie CJ Haag was a huge part of the Lax Cats’ impressive postseason run last year.

Goals by Hornung and mid fielder Jared Stepka, which were courtesy of assists from Maruna and Gerard, had the ‘Cats purring to the tune of a 9-2 lead late in the third quarter.

After the Ellis-from-Maruna combination made it a near perfect 10 evening, Jackson closed out the scoring with 2:18 left. Saint Ignatius out shot the Polar Bears, 26-18.

Coach McManamon was able to employ his young talent throughout the game. Among those promising players is one who does not play like a sophomore – starting defender Alex Maruna. Like his older brother, Alex is expected to have an exceptional two-sport career (lacrosse and football) at Cleveland’s Jesuit Preparatory School.

*The Wildcats’ Junior Varsity Gold opened its season on Wednesday night with an 8-7 triumph over Jackson’s jayvees. Saint Ignatius’ assistant coaches said the winning goal, which came with 4.2 seconds remaining, was scored by Sam
Humphrey.

*Saint Ignatius Lacrosse will play host to its brothers from Toledo St. John's Jesuit on Saturday at Wasmer Field. The Junior Varsity Blue team will face the Titans at 11 AM, the Junior Varsity Gold will be action at 1 PM and at 3 PM, Coach McManamon's team will attempt to make sure the 2014 Varsity Titans remember the afternoon they played the Lax Cats.

Have a great weekend!

We take a look at the baseball programs from Archbishop Moeller and Bishop Watterson, along with what the rest of the 'Cats' spring sports teams are up to. It's "Where the 'Cats Play."
3/24/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio – Yes, we’re at the mercy of a winter that is on overtime.

Despite the annoying persistency of Mother Nature, this corner is going maintain its hope springs eternal attitude and give you a look at what Saint Ignatius’ varsity sports teams are up to this week and the weekend.

The first “Where the ‘Cats Play” of the spring of 2014 will include a breakdown on the Wildcats’ first two baseball opponents of the season – two-time defending Division I state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and the always capable Eagles from Columbus Bishop Watterson.

Coach Brad Ganor’s Baseball Wildcats are scheduled to face the nationally ranked Crusaders from Moeller and the 2013 District Finalists from Watterson during Saturday’s “We Can Play” First Pitch Classic at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe. The Moeller game is slated for 3:30 PM and the first pitch for the nightcap with Watterson is scheduled for 6:30. Have the blankets ready for the 6:30 game.

*For a look at Coach Ganor’s 2014 Wildcats, see the corner’s preview that was posted last week.

We will wrap up this report with our Moeller and Watterson outlooks, but first here is what is on tap for Saint Ignatius’ other men of the brisk Ohio springs.

LACROSSE: Coach Patrick McManamon’s Lax Cats, state semifinalists in 2013, will open their season on Wednesday night versus Massillon Jackson at Wasmer Field. The action is scheduled to begin at 7:30. Coach McManamon’s team will return to Wasmer Field on Saturday for a 3 PM encounter with those Titans from Toledo St. John’s Jesuit. *For a look at the 2014 Lax Cats, see the corner’s spring previews that were posted last week.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage on Wednesday night and the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you the action live from Ohio City.

VOLLEYBALL: Head Coach Casey Marcelo and Assistant Coach Leona Oani will be looking for their Wildcats to bounce back from an opening-night loss to Walsh Jesuit when they travel to Brunswick on Wednesday for a 7 PM match. The Wildcats will be on the road Saturday, as they face Mount Vernon and St. Charles in a Tri-Match beginning at 10 AM.

TRACK AND FIELD: Coach Chuck Kyle will send his young, but extremely gifted team into what has become a traditional opener for the outdoor season – the annual Brunswick Elite Invitational on Saturday at 11 AM. *For a look at Coach Kyle’s defending Lakewood District Champions and 2013 Amherst Regional runners-up, see the corner’s preview that was posted last week.

RUGBY: Coach Dan Arbeznik’s men will look to take down the program from Archbishop Moeller as the Varsity A and Varsity B teams travel to the Queen City on Saturday. The Varsity B match up is scheduled for 2:15 PM, followed by the Varsity A match at 3:30. *For a look at Coach Arbeznik’s breakdown on the 2014 Rugby ‘Cats, see the corner’s post from last week.

CREW: Coach Pat Connor’s rowers are scheduled to compete in the Rustbelt Classic on Saturday at 9 AM at Lake Milton, Ohio.

TENNIS: Coach Jon Barker’s deep and talented Wildcats will open their season on April 3 versus Sycamore in a 4 PM match at Magnificat, will travel to Kenston on April 4 for a 4 PM match and are scheduled to compete
in the annual St. Edward Tournament on April 5 at the Paramount Tennis Club, where play begins at 8 AM. *For Coach Barker’s outlook on his 2014 Wildcats, see the corner’s post below from Monday afternoon.

*As promised, here is a look at Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and Columbus Bishop Watterson, Saint
Ignatius’ opponents in Saturday’s “We Can Play” First Pitch Classic at Chillicothe, Ohio’s V.A. Memorial Stadium.

ARCHBISHOP MOELLER: A program that has produced Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. needs no introduction.

For that matter, any true Saint Ignatius baseball fan should be more than familiar with the baseball that is played by the “Men from Moeller.”

The Wildcats and the Crusaders have split four state-semifinal encounters (2000, ’04, ’08 and ’09) and last season Archbishop Moeller defeated Saint Ignatius, 7-1, in the Division I state championship game in Columbus’ Huntington Park. With that victory Moeller became the first Ohio school since Canton GlenOak (1995 and '96) to win consecutive big-school state baseball championships. Moeller’s seven state baseball championships rank second in Ohio to the 12 brought home by Cincinnati Elder.

As we approach the 2014 season, the Crusaders from the Queen City are again being projected as the team to beat. After all, Coach Tim Held’s club returns nearly 80 percent of the innings pitched from its 32-2 state championship team of last spring and will feature two of the top players in the state in senior shortstop Riley Mahan and senior outfielder/pitcher Zach Logue. Mahan and Logue are Kentucky recruits.

Mahan, who has the potential to be a possible Major League Baseball Draft pick, batted .406 last year with 41 runs scored. Those runs scored rank second in Moeller baseball history.

Logue finished 8-1 on the mound last season and was the Crusaders’ leading hitter with a .455 average.
Among Logue’s eight triumphs in 2013 was his two-hit, unearned-run performance while going the distance against Saint Ignatius in the state championship game.

Coach Held’s pitching staff will also be anchored by senior Gus Ragland, who is better known for his outstanding play on the gridiron as a quarterback. With Ragland showing the way, Moeller won its second consecutive Division I state football championship this past fall by defeating Mentor, 55-52. The Crusaders now have nine state football titles. Saint Ignatius and Moeller will be renewing their football rivalry this coming fall, as the 11-time state champion Wildcats will face Moeller in Week 8 at Dublin Coffman High School.

Ragland was 7-0 with a 0.60 ERA in 2013 and he and Logue were the starters for all seven of Moeller’s OHSAA postseason tournament games last spring. Coach Held watched his team outscore those seven opponents, 82-8.

Coach Held has plenty of quality depth, including 6-foot-6 senior pitcher Nick Voss, a Cincinnati recruit who went 5-1 last season, senior pitcher/first baseman TJ Storer (2-0 in 2013), junior infielder and Kent State recruit Josh Holllander, and junior outfielder Jordan Ramey, who has committed to Cincinnati.

Archbishop Moeller enters its 2014 season ranked 10th in the MaxPreps Preseason National Baseball Rankings. The Crusaders have a rich history of success on the diamond, including 28 seasons with 20 or more victories. Mike Cameron compiled a record of 767-304-1 in his 39 springs as Archbishop Moeller’s skipper, including four state tiles and five regional championships. Coach Held took over as the head man in 2008 and has guided the Crusaders to five regional titles and three state championships.

Note: Archbishop Moeller will also face St. Edward in the “We Can Play” First Pitch Classic. The first pitch for that game is scheduled for 12:30 PM on Saturday. On their athletic web site pages, the Crusaders are counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the St. Edward game, which is their season opener.

Columbus Bishop Watterson: In last year’s “We Can Play” First Pitch Classic, Saint Ignatius defeated Bishop Watterson, 6-3.

The Wildcats turned to some small ball in tying the score in the top of the second inning.

It was a four-run fourth, some strong recovery work by then junior southpaw starter Nick Margevicius and solid performances out of the bullpen by Shane Skuhrovec and Nick Longo that eventually told the tale against Watterson and keyed the ‘Cats’ first of what were 27 victories in the state runner-up season of 2013.

The four-run fourth featured an RBI double down the left-field line by then junior first baseman Joe Khoury and a two-run single up the middle by senior second baseman and Illinois recruit Dan Rowbottom, who went 3-for-3.

Bishop Watterson, which has won 19 games in each of the past two seasons, was a state baseball champion in 1988, 1991 and 1997. The Eagles also reached the state final four in 1973, 1995 and 2001 and have 13 district championships on their resume.

Eagles head coach Scott Manahan, who is a member of the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, has compiled more than 500 career victories.

Bishop Watterson was defeated by Plain City Jonathan Alder, 4-3, in last year’s Lancaster 2 District Championship Game.

*The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Club will bring you the games live from Chillicothe on Saturday and the Archbishop Moeller versus Saint Ignatius game will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Expectations are high! The 2014 Saint Ignatius Varsity Tennis Preview.
3/24/2014

PRESENTED BY HEAD COACH JON BARKER AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER.

COACHING STAFF: JON BARKER IS IN HIS FOURTH SEASON AS THE HEAD COACH OF THE WILDCATS' TENNIS PROGRAM AND IS ASSISTED BY CINDY REAGAN, DR. JERRY MCKEEVER AND ROBERT BARKER.

Here is Coach Jon Barker's outlook on the spring of 2014.

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS:

Junior Nathan Griffin: The Wildcats' "Singles Ninja" in 2013, Nate is a two-time state qualifier who has made consecutive state-quarterfinal appearances. 

Senior Yaw Boakye: A mainstay at first doubles and a district qualifier.

Senior Christian Zuber: Will compete at 2nd/3rd singles and is a district qualifier.

Junior Karl Fehn and Senior Jack Napoli will be competing at doubles. Jack was the 2013 recipient of the Coaches' Cup.

REMAINDER OF ROSTER: Junior Eric Schuette, who is a transfer from Indiana, and freshman Josh Hsia.

A LOOK AT EACH PLAYER, COURTESY OF COACH BARKER AND HIS STAFF.

 

Nathan Griffin: Hard worker who has made great strides in the off-season.

 

Eric Schuette: New addition to the team; enthusiastic and adds depth and a great competitive spirit.

 

Christian Zuber: Seasoned, talented tournament player.

 

Yaw Boakye: Athletic and skilled, Yaw is the ultimate team player – happy to play any role and
enjoys the game.

 

Karl Fehn: Doubles specialist who seems intent on making this his best season yet and this our
best team ever.

 

Josh Hsia: Talented freshman addition and a great work ethic.

 

Jack Napoli: Selfless, hard-working senior breaking into a regular varsity spot for the first time.

 

STRENGTHS OF THE 2014 'CATS: Many returning players; good depth.

 

FROM HEAD COACH JON BARKER: "We’re excited to see how far we can advance in the team tournament this year. Our returning and new players make this a talented squad with excellent depth in both singles and doubles.

 

"We have a tough schedule filled with talented opponents," Coach Barker continued. We're hoping that a challenging schedule will prepare our guys for the sectional and district tournaments, and will sharpen
the team so that we’re playing our best tennis when the team tournament matches heat up. We have a road trip to Cincinnati in May to face some of the best teams in the state (Upper Arlington, St. Xavier and Country Day)."

 

NOTE: For a complete look at the Wildcats' schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on tennis.



 


 



 



 



 

Coming Monday evening. A look at two-time defending Division I state baseball champion Archbishop Moeller, the Wildcats' opponent in Saturday's 3:30 PM season opener at the "We Can Play" Tournament in Chillicothe.
3/23/2014

The corner will also take at look at Columbus Bishop Watterson, Saint Ignatius' opponent in Saturday's 6:30 nightcap at the "We Can Play" First Pitch Classic and will let you know what the Wildcats' other spring sports teams are up to this week in the weekly "Where The 'Cats Play."

For the first batch of the corner's spring sports previews, see the baseball, track and field, rugby and lacrosse reports that were posted last week.

 - Eddie Dwyer 

Saint Ignatius' 2014 Track and Field Preview.
3/21/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

You see them running up and down Lorain Avenue and Wasmer Field in less than ideal weather conditions.

Of course when Mother Nature becomes completely unbearable, they will work out in the hallways at school and any other space they can find.

While the thought of Saint Ignatius’ outdoor track and field season might spark visions of warm spring afternoons under
sunny blue skies, the skills of the young men who traditionally come to the fore in late May’s district and regional competition are honed when temperatures are flirting with zero and the skies are predominately gray.

The 2014 version of Coach Chuck Kyle’s varsity track and field team has taken Old Man Winter’s best shots and is eager to get the regular season under way, a spring that should lead to another strong performance at the Lakewood District and the Amherst Regional, where the Wildcats finished first and second, respectively, in 2013.

While a Northeast Ohio spring is sure to bring about a few regular season meets that are accompanied by crisp and damp conditions, Coach Kyle’s ‘Cats are currently pointing to the opening of the outdoor season at the annual Brunswick Elite Invitational on March 29.

Coach Kyle ‘69, who was recently inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches’ Hall of Fame Class for 2014, enters what is a 41-year career as the head man of his alma mater’s track and field program.

A coach who is better known around the area’s and state’s high school sports scene for his record-setting accomplishments with the football Wildcats, including an OHSAA-best 11 Division I state championships and three national titles, Coach Kyle enters this spring season with 25 Division I track and field district championships, including a
two-decade reign at Lakewood, eight regional championships, a regional runner-up, the 2001 big-school state championship and a state runner-up in 2005.

This week, Coach Kyle sat down with yours truly and talked about the prospects of his defending district champion and regional runner-up Wildcats.

Here is Coach Kyle’s outlook.

“In the high jump, we have Mike Zupan back and he made 6-2 last year,” said Coach Kyle of a young man who is the President of the Senior Class, a member of Saint Ignatius’ Board of Regents and a man for others in several other school activities. Coach Kyle emphasized that Mike, who scored at last year’s demanding Amherst Regional, will be supported by some younger competitors who could contribute this spring.

“Rai Walters made it to the regional long jump last year,” Coach Kyle said. “He’s a junior and last year as a sophomore he went 20 feet-6. “So hopefully he can get to 21 feet. After Rai there is depth among some younger kids that we will have to develop for relays.”

Coach Kyle said senior Zach Keirn is a cross country runner who pole vaults, a different combination of sports, to say
the least. Zach went 13 feet last year and, as Coach Kyle pointed out, has a chance to get into the mix at the regional level.

“There is a need for that second and third pole vaulter,” said Coach Kyle. “So that is where we will have to develop some young guys and see how they do.”

As the subject turned to the sprint area, the first name Coach Kyle brought up came as no surprise – gifted sophomore
James Norris, who is among the area’s and state’s best.

James, who is also a mainstay as a football tailback, set the school record in the 100 meters last year (10.66) or, as
Coach Kyle put it, “amazingly as a freshman.”

“James’ indoor times have been faster than last year,” Coach Kyle said. “He dropped about a tenth of a second in the 60 meter dash. James is a guy who has contributed not just in the 100, but in the 200 he was in the regional and he was a member of the 4x100 relay team that made it down state. He was a busy guy by the end of the season for sure, so we have to be a little careful. You don’t start doing all of that too early, you kind of build towards that.

“James is getting stronger and I think he is getting a little more consistent with his start,” Coach Kyle continued.
“When he has a good start, he’s very good.”

Also providing talent and experience in the sprint and relays will be senior Enzo Cannata, who was one of the “Italian
Stallions” for varsity football Running Backs Coach Terry Fergus ’72.

Enzo was a key member of the 4x100 state qualifying relay team of 2013 and he gives Saint Ignatius what Coach Kyle
described as “two solid sprinters” while complementing Norris.

The Wildcats’ hurdlers will be led by two gifted seniors in Matt McVey and Chris Melton-Burke. Coach Kyle sees Matt and Chris as having the ability to get up to the 14.8 and 14.9 levels, “and maybe even better.” Matt, a standout safety in football who will be furthering his education and football career on scholarship at Gannon University, was selected
as “The Most Improved Athlete” on Saint Ignatius’ 2013 Track and Field Team.

“Matt made it to the regional finals last year and I think as coaches we appreciate that here is a guy who has a
scholarship to Gannon University, but he still wants to do track,” said Coach Kyle. “So that’s great. For the younger hurdlers it’s great that they have two seniors to help them. You look at some of these meets and they have the shuttle
hurdle relays. Well, I think we can be very good in that.”

When you talk about Saint Ignatius’ distance athletes, you start with sophomore Luke Wagner, who qualified for the
OHSAA’s 106th State Track and Field Championships last spring in the 1600 meter run. Luke and James Norris were selected by the Wildcats’ coaches as “The Most Valuable Ninth Graders” on last year’s track and field team.

“Luke went 4:19 last year at the regional,” said Coach Kyle of Wagner’s outstanding second-place finish at the talent-laden Amherst Regional. “That’s really an amazing time for a freshman. Luke is also on our 4x800 relay team, which had a solid time at this year’s Indoor State Meet, 8:09.88. That’s very good right now, so early in the season and lacking
in training because of the weather.”

Wagner, who was also the 800 and 1600 champion at the 2013 Lakewood District, will be experimenting with the 3200 meter run as Coach Kyle and his veteran staff take a look at what is Luke’s best chance of getting down to the state meet for the second consecutive year.

Along with Wagner, Coach Kyle can also call on another very promising sophomore in Tim Trentel, who qualified for the
regional last year, also in the 1600. Coach Kyle emphasized that Tim is looking stronger this year and will also do some work in the 3200.

Coach Kyle has a third sophomore in Tom Sullivan, who is also solid in the distances.

“In the 800, we have Jon Nemes,” said Coach Kyle. “Last year was Jon’s first year of track and he did a wonderful job. He’s going to help us in the 800, the 4x800 and 4x400, and here and there he may run the mile. Jon is a senior who has speed and is very hard working, so we’re looking forward to that. He has had a very good indoor season.”

Junior Sean Sovacool is also coming off a sound indoor season. Coach Kyle said Sean is really dedicated this year and is also much stronger. Sean was a member of the 4x800 meter indoor team and had some very strong personal bests during the indoor season.

“It looks like he’s making a big step,” said Coach Kyle of Sovacool.

In describing his 2014 Wildcats, Coach Kyle said: “We’re young, but we’re good. I think we will be a solid team. We’re
still working on filling out relays, who is that fourth guy going to be and things like that. Certainly there are some individuals, if they do it right, that will be in the thick of things at the regional.”

Last, but certainly not least, junior Corey Griffith will be the No. 1 thrower for veteran coaches Tom Flandera ’63 and
Ryan Franzinger ’02. Last year, Corey was the No. 2 thrower behind Wildcats football and track and field standout Kevin Kavalec (now playing football at Boston College). At last year’s state meet, Kevin placed second in the shot put
and seventh in the discus. Corey is also an outstanding punter for Saint Ignatius’ varsity football team.

“Track, in my opinion, is really the best combination with football and certainly with other sports,” said Coach Kyle.
“You’re constantly working on conditioning and speed.”

Along with the outdoor season opener at Brunswick, Coach Kyle’s Wildcats will have their traditional stops at the
Medina Relays on April 12, the Amherst Comet Relays on April 26 and the Euclid Relays on May 9. The schedule also includes a couple of trips to Southern Ohio, where Saint Ignatius can get a feel for the competition statewide. For a look
at the complete schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on track and field.

The 2014 Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Preview.
3/20/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

A SPECIAL BLEND OF “TRUST” AND TALENT

Coach Brad Ganor’s 2014 Varsity Baseball Wildcats, who will feature a blend of big-game tested veterans and inexperienced at the top level, but extremely talented underclassmen, are looking to improve upon a 2013 season that saw them win 22 of their last 24 games, including 13 in a row, finish as the Division I state runner-up to current two-time defending big-school state champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and compile a final record of 27-7.

Helping show the way will be one of the premier outfields in the state – senior left fielder Shane Skuhrovec, senior center fielder and West Virginia recruit Nick Fabian and senior right fielder and Miami of Ohio recruit Nick Longo – a predominately young, but deep pitching staff headed by senior southpaw and Rider University recruit Nick Margevicius, who went 9-1 last spring, junior right-hander MJ Nara and junior catcher Alex Panstares, who as sophomores emerged big time during the Wildcats’ run to the state championship game, and an infield anchored by senior first baseman and Mount Union recruit Joe Khoury, senior shortstop Quillan Austria and senior second
baseman David Bodziony.

Senior outfielder/designated hitter Kyle Daugenti, senior infielder/designated hitter/relief pitcher Bennett Kinzel, senior
catcher/designated hitter Patrick Gulick, junior outfielder and savvy base runner Sam Fuller, senior infielder Ryan Cooper, junior left-handed pitchers Brendan Adler and Dylan Smolen and promising junior right-hander Luke Diggs
are among the chairmen of Coach Ganor’s quality depth department.

Also, keep an eye on the hot corner where sophomore Dennis Grosel is making a significant impression in what has been a battle for the starting nod. Dennis, formerly a catcher in Coach Ganor’s program, is expected to be a main competitor for the role as the starting varsity quarterback this fall.

Saint Ignatius will be facing one of the most challenging schedules in what will be Coach Ganor’s 10th season as the Wildcats’ skipper. The ‘Cats open their “spring” with a doubleheader on March 29 at the “We Can Play” tournament in Chillicothe, Ohio. Saint Ignatius will face another highly touted Archbishop Moeller team at 3:30 PM in Chillicothe’s atmosphere-rich V.A. Memorial Stadium and the nightcap will match the Wildcats and the Eagles from Columbus Bishop Watterson at 6:30.

The Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network is expected to be on hand to bring you the games live from Chillicothe. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will televise the Wildcats-Moeller match up and this old-timer will chart the action in Irish shorthand from one of the dugouts in V.A. Memorial Stadium. It’s March, so I vote for the sun-drenched dugout, which I believe resided along the first-base line last year. Of course, that is if an early spring sun makes an encore appearance in Chillicothe.

In what was a key turning point in 2013, Saint Ignatius took a 0-2 record into the “We Can Play” tournament and left Chillicothe with impressive victories over Bishop Watterson and a highly regarded Grove City program.

The 2014 slate will include a trip to Maryland over the Easter Break, as the Wildcats will face three of the better teams the Old Line State has to offer – Calvert Hall on April 21 at 7 PM, Riverdale Baptist on April 22 at 4:30 PM and Archbishop Curley on April 23 at 4:30 PM.

Upon returning from Maryland, Saint Ignatius will gear up for the annual Ohio Jesuit Tournament at Walsh Jesuit on April 26 and 27. The traditional encounter with rival St. Edward will take place on May 2 at All Pro Freight Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 5 PM.

LET’S PLAY THREE: In what is a great touch that Coach Ganor brought to the Wildcats’ yearly schedules, the games versus Stow (at Stow on April 5), Lakewood (at First Federal Lakewood Stadium on May 10) and Ashland (at Baldwin Wallace University on May 17) are all triple headers - varsity, junior varsity and freshmen. For a look at Saint Ignatius’ spring slate, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on baseball.

Now that you have a taste of where some of the regular season challenges will come from, the corner would like to share with you the comments from Coach Ganor and some of his leaders, as they took time out to talk Wildcats baseball with a former West Denison League catcher. Ah, those memorable walks home from games at Navy Park to West 103rd and the Dairy Dell that stood on the corner across the street from the old A&P grocery store and Saint Ignatius of Antioch. The days before the construction of I-90 took its toll on those great neighborhood streets.

FROM JOE KHOURY, who brings a more than capable bat to the plate and a glove at first base that would make “Donnie Baseball” smile: “Outfield,” said Joe, when asked what was one of the obvious strengths of the 2014 Wildcats. “We’re going to have one of the best outfields in the state. At middle infield, hopefully we will be able to step up there. Obviously we have big shoes to fill (with the graduation of mainstays Tyler Finkler at shortstop and Dan Rowbottom at second base). Alex Panstares, our catcher, is going to be hopefully a stud again. As for our hitting, we’ve worked with Coach (Josh) Bieneman on smart hitting and timely hitting, knowing your counts and what pitches to look for. We have to improve on that.”

FROM NICK MARGEVICIUS, a Special Mention Plain Dealer All-Star in 2013: “Pitching wise, I think we’re inexperienced. Some of the younger guys are really going to have to step up and give us a lot of innings.” Nick emphasized that he is going to go about his preparation with the same approach he employed during his 9-1 spring of 2013. “We talk about stuff (with the younger players), such as what it’s like in games and the playoffs,” Nick continued. “How to approach the playoffs and how it’s different.”

Nick pointed out how great it is to have three veteran outfielders (Skuhrovec, Fabian and Longo), who are also more than capable to answer the call on the mound – as starters or in relief. Thus, the depth we referred to in the lead in to this preview. Nick and Coach Ganor also emphasized that Nara, an ice-in-his-veins bulldog out of the bullpen last spring, is projected to be a starter this season.

FROM DAVID BODZIONY, one of Coach Ganor’s undisputed leaders:  “I’m really excited about the infield,” David said. “We’re going to be quick and athletic. Dennis (Grosel) is the young player who has really impressed me. I didn’t get to see much of him during his first year here as a freshman. But I think him getting that opportunity to play on the varsity football team (because of injuries) really helped his mental approach and will allow him to step up and help us this year. I’m looking forward to seeing how this infield plays behind these pitchers.”

NICK FABIAN: A player who can run, catch, hit and throw (a big-time arm) with the best outfielders Ohio has to offer. Nick is moving from left field to center field, where he will be replacing the gritty, leave it all on the field Conor Hennessey ’13. Conor became the Wildcats’ single-season leader in stolen bases with 30 in 2013.

“I have great expectations for this season,” said Nick, who received the Golden Glove Award during this past summer's nationally acclaimed and tradition-rich CABA High School World Series in Euclid. Nick was also a gifted receiver for Coach Chuck Kyle’s varsity football team.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the young guys come through,” Fabian continued. “I think from first-hand experience that they are more of a timid group. I think we were, too, coming up to the varsity as juniors last year. That’s both good and bad. They know their place, but at the same time they’re eager to improve and get on with the season. It’s up to the older guys to get them in tune to what varsity baseball is all about. I also think it is good that we brought up those sophomores last year. They can kind of spread their information to the guys in their class as to how to get more comfortable with the environment.”

Fabian emphasized that he is confident the 2014 Wildcats will be a good hitting team, pointing out that Coach Bieneman shared with him that a recent practice was one of the best Hitting Coach Bieneman has seen in five years. That said, Nick pointed out that although it is early, the Wildcats have to continue to work on details such base running and run downs, those little things that always seem to come to the fore in big games.

As far as a defining approach or a motto that the 2014 Wildcats will carry, Fabian said the players are emphasizing a
“better trust” with one another. And that, said Nick, comes from both the interaction in the game and outside the game. It is, he added, a way of becoming better teammates and assists in the way the players react to the coaches and the coaches react to the players.

FROM COACH GANOR: “I think there is a lot of experience returning, as far as the starting pitchers go,” said Coach Ganor, who enters his 10th season at Cleveland’s Jesuit Preparatory School with 203 career victories. Saint Ignatius has made four state final four appearances under Coach Ganor, including a school-best three in a row in 2007, '08 and '09. Coach Ganor's 2008 team was also a state runner-up. Brad, who took over as the Wildcats' head coach in 2005, was an assistant on Coach Brian Morgan's 2002 Division I state championship team, 2000 state runner-up team and
2004 state-semifinalist club. Coach Ganor is the Director of Saint Ignatius' Walton Center for Learning.

“There are seven pitchers who all have varsity experience,” Coach Ganor continued. “And Luke Diggs is expected to come in and do what Nick (Margevicius) did last year. We didn’t know we were going to get 9-1 out of Nick last year and if we get 9-1 out of Luke this year, I’ll take it. I’ll take 6-1. We have 15 varsity players returning from last year’s team, with all of them having game experience.

“Even though we have to fill up the middle (shortstop and second base), Quillan Austria and David Bodziony were on the varsity last year and they have game experience,” Coach Ganor said. “I feel very comfortable starting the season that way. Of course the outfield is solid and then you have a junior catcher (Alex Panstares) back that started every big
game as a sophomore and is kind of the leader of the defense behind the plate. And I don’t look at Dennis Grosel as a sophomore. He’s big-game tested in another sport and just doesn’t carry himself as a sophomore.

“The sky’s the limit,” added Coach Ganor. “There is no guarantee that Moeller is going to be playing on the last day of
the season and there is no guarantee that we’re going to be playing on the last day of the season. But I’ll take my team and take my chances, because we’re pretty excited about it. If we play to our potential, we’re going to be very good. The moniker of the season, sort of speak, is to trust yourself, trust your teammates and trust your coaches. And we trust them because they’re good enough to be here.”

A NOTE OF INTEREST OR TRIVIA ON COACH GANOR: Last spring, Coach Ganor became the last baseball coach from the seven-county area to be selected as The Coach of the Year by “The Plain Dealer High School Staff.” Shortly after Coach Ganor’s selection and the selection of the other 2013 spring sports Coaches of the Year, the high school coverage was changed to the Cleveland.Com/Northeast Ohio Media Group designation.



   



 



 



The 2014 Saint Ignatius Rugby Outlook.
3/18/2014

PRESENTED BY HEAD COACH DAN ARBEZNIK ’00 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

(Copyright)

FROM THE CORNER: Taking a look back at what was an outstanding first season as a varsity sport, Wildcats Rugby advanced to a state-semifinal match up with St. Edward last year.

With penalties, especially ill-timed ones, becoming a major deterrent down the stretch, the Wildcats experienced
a tough 22-13 loss to the Eagles.

Coach Dan Arbeznik's program had a memorable summer, as the Wildcats' Rugby 7's team entered the state tournament as the No.1 overall seed and went on to defeat Westerville in the championship match. Rugby 7's is the format that will be played in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

En route to bringing home the state cup, the Wildcats took down Brunswick in the semifinals. The state championship was the culmination of four weeks of competition.

In addition to the state cup, Saint Ignatius standout Michael Mathews garnered Player of the Year honors.

Entering 2014, Coach Arbeznik’s Wildcats earned a 10th-place spot in the national pre-season rankings by the highly respected RUGBYMag.com. Saint Ignatius was among four Jesuit Schools to garner a Top-10 ranking.

HERE IS COACH ARBEZNIK’S 2014 OUTLOOK: We return a wealth of talent and experience from last year. Our captains, Aedan Mangan '14 and Nick Decore '14, will pace our backline and forwards, respectively.

As always, we have a challenging schedule. Our schedule has us slated against nationally ranked teams such as Penn, Cathedral, Notre Dame LaSalette (correct), Gonzaga, St. Edward and Westerville.

The strength of our team has to be experience. Seven of our eight forwards are seniors as is our scrum-half (Dominic Neville), inside center (Aedan Mangan), outside center (Brian Callahan), and wing (Ricky Benninger).

We're currently sitting at 2-1 on the season. We defeated Notre Dame LaSalette, 13-0, and McQuaid Jesuit, 58 to 0, but fell to Cathedral, 10-3.

Every weekend is a top-level team. We'll face defending state finalist Archbishop Moeller on March 29th (3:30 PM in Cincinnati) and on the following weekend host 14-time state champion
Westerville. The next weekend we travel to Alexandria, Virginia, where we'll likely face last year's national runner-up, Gonzaga.

In order for us to bring home a State championship or a Midwest championship, we'll have to focus on our discipline out on the pitch. We have a habit of being overly aggressive and incurring too many penalties to put ourselves in holes.  If our guys support each other at the breakdowns and stay committed to their fitness we'll be fine.

Note: The Varsity B Rugby Wildcats, who are off to a 3-0 start, will also be at Moeller on March 29 for a 2:15 PM match.

*LATER THIS WEEK THE CORNER WILL PREVIEW COACH BRAD GANOR'S VARSITY BASEBALL TEAM AND COACH CHUCK KYLE'S 2014 SPRING VERSION OF WILDCATS TRACK AND FIELD.   



 



The 2014 Saint Ignatius Varsity Lacrosse Preview.
3/17/2014

PRESENTED BY WILDCATS HEAD COACH PATRICK MCMANAMON '96 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER. (Copyright)

The Lax Cats finished 17-2 in 2013 and advanced to the state semifinals for the third time in the program's history and the first time since 1995. The 'Cats were defeated by Dublin Jerome, 6-3, in the state semifinal match up at The College of Wooster. Saint Ignatius was ranked ninth in the Under Armour Midwest Regional Inside Lacrosse.com rankings, the only team from Northeast Ohio to garner a Top-10 spot.

Among Coach McManamon's leaders will be senior mainstays Jake Maruna (a Holy Cross recruit) and Mike Vitale (a Sienna College recruit).  

FROM COACH MCMANAMON: We will be a very young team. We have 11 underclassmen (12 counting an injured Steve Avdey), nine sophomores and three freshmen. Of those sophomores, three saw considerable action last year on varsity, Alex Maruna, Matt Avdey and Steve Avdey.

We rejoined the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse League, which was the first thing I addressed once I took over the program and "petitioned" each year for it until they expanded. When we left, St. Xavier filled our spot in less than one day. It was important for our lacrosse alumni and the overall long term growth of our program. The league consists of the best programs from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana. There are 18 teams total in the league - teams such as Upper Arlington, Dublin Jerome, Brother Rice, Culver, St. Xavier, etc. We now have the hardest schedule in Northeast and Northwest Ohio by a long shot.

Personally, I will be graduating my first freshman-through-senior class and I could not be more proud of our group of seniors.

Our big guns on offense are seniors Jake Maruna (earned nationwide recognition on Geoff Shannon's highly respected Recruiting Report) and Mike Vitale. I expect a big year from first year varsity player Cole Southworth, a junior attack. Cole really worked hard to get in shape and has just been a beast on the crease at attack. He wont have many assists, but he will have a lot of goals I suspect.

We have switched senior Luke Bill to midfield from attack and he has really excelled. Junior Ethan Whitney (a standout on the Wildcats' state champion ice hockey team) seems to be a very formidable player and his aggressive style has him right at the top of the depth chart at the midfield. 

Defensively our leaders are Alex Maruna (he should be following his brother to a Division I college program), junior Pat Mulach and senior Jon Bodnar. Pat has been a three-year varsity player and this year was named captain.

Our captains are Jake Maruna (two year), Mike Vitale, Jon Bodnar and Pat Mulach.

We will be young in the cage, as there is no clear cut starter just yet. 

We have eight varsity hockey players on the team and also freshman Aaron Casile, who got called up to varsity hockey at the end of the year. Almost all of the hockey players showed up two days after the state championship game. They were ready to compete and get after it. Casile will be a name you will be writing about in May and for many years to come.

POINT OF EMPHASIS FROM COACH MCMANAMON: We need to come together as a team and develop our chemistry. With so many guys coming over from the hockey team it is great and so beneficial in the long run, but it also brings about a new dynamic to the early part of the season. Those two cultures need to be adjusted. The other 21 guys who were not on the hockey team have been slugging it out for two weeks and all off season together, so we need to meld those two cultures together and get them going in the right direction.   

Overall, my scheduling and team selection has been all towards getting beyond the final four game. With our tougher schedule, now instead of only playing a team like Jerome once in a season we play that same game seven times before we get to the final four. It will make us battle tested and really give the young talented players a lot of confidence heading into the postseason.

 It will be a very fun year with lots of highs and possibly a few lows, but we will be consistent and look to improve every practice and every game. Our mantra at practice has been to get better today than you were yesterday.

Note: The Lax Cats open their regular season on March 26 versus Massillon Jackson at Wasmer Field. The action begins at 7:30 PM. For a look at the complete 2014 schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on lacrosse.

*COMING UP LATER THIS WEEK WILL BE THE CORNER'S PRESEASON PREVIEWS ON BASEBALL AND TRACK AND FIELD. 

The Wildcats' spring sports previews begin this coming week with a look at baseball and track and field. We have some pigskin notes to chew on.
3/15/2014

Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - The corner will begin its annual spring sports previews this coming week with a look at Coach Brad Ganor's Varsity Baseball Team and Coach Chuck Kyle's Varsity Track and Field Team.

Coach Ganor's Wildcats, as per the athletics' baseball page schedule, open their season on March 29 with a doubleheader in Chillicothe, Ohio. The 'Cats will face defending Division I State Champion Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller at 3:30 PM in Chillicothe's V.A. Memorial Stadium and the nightcap will send Saint Ignatius against Columbus Bishop Watterson at 6:30.

Moeller, which defeated the Wildcats, 7-1, in last year's state championship game, is expected to bring another talent-laden nucleus to the field this spring.

Coach Kyle's track and field team brought home another Lakewood District Championship last spring and finished second in the always demanding Amherst Steele Regional. The Wildcats open their season on March 29 at the annual Brunswick Elite Invitational.

After we preview baseball and track and field, we plan to bring you outlooks on lacrosse, tennis, crew, rugby and volleyball.

Coach Pat McManamon's varsity lacrosse team is coming off an outstanding 17-2 season, on that saw the Lax Cats advance to the state semifinals at The College of Wooster, where they lost a tough 6-3 battle to Dublin Jerome.

Saint Ignatius Lacrosse finished ninth in last season's final Under Armour Midwest Regional INSIDE LACROSSE.COM Rankings, the only Northeast Ohio area team to garner a Top-10 spot.

The Lax Cats are scheduled to open their season on March 26 versus Massillon Jackson at Wasmer Field. The action begins at 7:30.

FOOTBALL: Congratulations go out to Saint Ignatius' gifted junior defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, who recently received a scholarship offer from Big Ten Champion and Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State. The Spartans' offer came shortly after Ohio State offered Dre'Mont.

Wildcats sophomore lineman Liam Eichenberg told the corner that he truly enjoyed his recent visit to the University of Michigan. The Wolverines have offered Liam, who is expected to be the anchor of the Wildcats' offensive line this coming season. Liam, who was offered by Ohio State last summer before he played a down of varsity football, was selected to the Student Sports Sophomore All-American Team.

Have a great weekend and a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day.

  

  

Saint Ignatius' strong late-season charge comes to an end, as St. Edward starts fast and turns away the Wildcats, 70-59, in Thursday night's Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron.
3/13/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Akron, Ohio - St. Edward jumped out to an 11-1 lead with 4 minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter, increased a 10-point advantage after the first eight minutes to 18 points by halftime and led by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter.

Saint Ignatius, which finished 20-7 after winning 10 of its last 13 games, including seven in a row, twice trailed by as many as 19 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter and by 16 points with 2:10 and 1:19 left before making it an 11-point final. The Wildcats were appearing in their second Sweet 16 under Coach Sean O'Toole, who completed his sixth season as the head basketball coach at his alma mater. 

St. Edward improves to 23-2 and advances to Saturday's 7 PM Division I Regional Championship Game versus Mansfield Senior (19-7) in the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

Leading Saint Ignatius' scoring column was gifted sophomore guard Deven Stover with 15 points. Senior post Eric Black tossed in 12 points and senior forward Isiah Barbra and senior point guard Danny Bova each had eight-point nights.

The Eagles got a game-high 16 points from senior guard Malcolm Walters, a huge 14-point effort on 7-of-10 shooting by senior forward Will Meyer, 13 points from junior forward Kipper Nichols and nine 9 points, four steals and game-highs of 10 rebounds and seven assists from relentless senior forward Marsalis Hamilton.

*Here is a look at another chapter in the storied rivalry between the 'Cats and the Eagles.

James A. Rhodes Arena - Saint Ignatius' veteran Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87 had nothing but praise for both teams after his Wildcats were defeated by St. Edward, 70-59, in Thursday night's Division I Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron.

As is always the case, Coach O'Toole offered no excuses while pointing to the keys that triggered the Eagles' 23rd victory in 25 games this winter.

"You can't dig a hole like we dug, you can't dig a hole like we did against a team that good," said Coach O'Toole, who emphasized how important it was to get out to a fast start while previewing the game with the corner earlier this week.

"That being said, it is what it is and now we have to try to dig our way out of it," Coach O'Toole said of a 10-point deficit after the first quarter that St. Edward pushed to 18 by halftime. "Our kids never quit until the final buzzer. They made every attempt to get back in that game. And we expect that out of them."

Coach O'Toole, in looking back on the season, said he thought his Wildcats made great strides during a 27-game slate that saw them start the winter strong, have a little lull in the middle and then peak down the stretch.

"But in the end, we lost to a better team tonight," Coach O'Toole continued. "Obviously, you can't let a team that good jump on you that early. I'm very proud of our kids and very proud of our senior class. There is eight (seniors) of them on the team and they have an incredible camaraderie. They're Ignatius men for life and we're family for life.

"I want to credit St. Ed's," said Coach O'Toole. "They're extremely well coached and extremely talented. We never could get over that double-digit hump. That's a very, very good basketball team. There is a reason they have only one loss in the state of Ohio. They're deep, they share it well, they attack well and they mix it up defensively."

Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles put all of the above on display en route to increasing their 18-point halftime lead to 22 points early in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by senior guard/forward Tony Vuyancih, his second trey of the night, and one of many driving one-handers by Walters did the early second-half damage.

Saint Ignatius responded with a basket by senior forward David Black, Eric's twin brother, a lay up by Barbra off a David Black assist and two free throws by Eric Black in cutting the deficit to 16 points with 4:20 to go in the third quarter.

It was at that point, however, that St. Edward's Meyer became the Eagles' Will The Thrill.

Scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half, Meyer hustled after his own missed 3-pointer and drove the left baseline for two points. Meyer then converted an one-the-money assist from Hamilton into another lay up and St. Edward was riding a 20-point lead.

Stover, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer vaulted Saint Ignatius to a District Championship Game victory over Berea-Midpark and into its third Regional Semifinal match up with the Eagles since 2002, cut the deficit to 17 points on a three-point play with 1:56 to go in the third quarter.

But here came the moving-without-the-ball Meyer again and Hamilton found him with another dime that resulted in a driving one-hander down the lane.

Sparked by Bova's three-point play at the end of the third quarter, Saint Ignatius answered another basket by Meyer with an 8-0 run that featured two free throws by junior forward Andre' Wolford and 3-pointers by Barbra and Stover.

Now holding an 11-point lead with 6:01 remaining in the fourth quarter, St. Edward increased that margin to 15 points on two free throws by Walters and steal and a slam dunk by Hamilton.

The Wildcats sandwiched an 18-footer by Barbra and a 3-pointer by Stover around three free throws by Nichols and answered another Hamilton-to-Meyer basket with a 3-pointer by senior guard Ryan Napoli that made it a 12-point game.

It was the Eagles' night, however, as a crowd of 2,830 watched Coach Flannery's team regain control on a lay up by Meyer off an assist from Vuyancih and a lay up by Nichols off Hamilton's seventh dish.

Saint Ignatius shot 45.2 percent from the field and was 16-for-26 at the free-throw line. St. Edward shot 54.3 percent from the field and was 16-of-27 at the charity stripe. The Wildcats out rebounded the Eagles, 29-28.

"These four years I feel like I've grown as a person more than any other time in my life," said Eric Black, who joined his brother David, Bova and Barbra as Coach O'Toole's captains. "I matured, we, as a team, matured. We've all become so much closer that we bonded as a family. Eighteen guys have become brothers, and in the end, nothing can take that away. We're going to take away a far greater good than what this game depicted."                      

Toledo Bowsher-Mansfield Senior Regional Semifinal rescheduled.
3/12/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Toledo Blade is reporting that the Division I boys Regional Semifinal basketball game between Toledo Bowsher and Mansfield Senior, scheduled for tonight at the Savage Arena in Toledo, has been called off due to the weather.

School officials said the game will be played Thursday at 7 PM at Lima Senior High School.

The winner of the Bowsher-Mansfield Senior game will face the winner of Thursday night's Saint Ignatius-St. Edward Regional Semifinal in the University of Akron Regional Championship Game on Saturday at 7 PM. Saint Ignatius and St. Edward will tip off Thursday at 7 PM in the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

For a preview on the third meeting this season between the Wildcats and the Eagles, and a look at Bowsher and Mansfield Senior, see the corner's story below that was posted on Tuesday morning.   

Mike Ruffing '12 off to another solid start for Washington & Jefferson.
3/11/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Former Saint Ignatius Baseball Captain and standout middle infielder Mike Ruffing earned Athlete of the Week honors at Washington & Jefferson College after he helped the 21st-ranked Presidents take the season series from Bethany over the weekend by collecting five hits in 11 at-bats. Mike also scored four runs and had two runs batted in. 

Mike had two hits in each game of Saturday's doubleheader as the Presidents' leadoff hitter and did not make an error in eight chances from his shortstop position.

One of nearly 60 players under the guidance of Wildcats head coach Brad Ganor to have the opportunity to play at the college level, Mike batted .293 last season with an .882 fielding percentage. In 29 games, including 27 starts, he scored 14 runs, had 17 RBI and was 4-for-6 in stolen-base attempts. Mike hit safely in eight of his last nine games in 2013 and led the Presidents with 10 sacrifice bunts.

Congratulations to Mike and his family and thanks for the memories you gave this old-timer when you were wearing the Blue and Gold of Saint Ignatius.     

PREVIEWING THURSDAY NIGHT'S REGIONAL SEMIFINAL BETWEEN SAINT IGNATIUS AND ST. EDWARD, AND TAKING A LOOK AT TOLEDO BOWSHER AND MANSFIELD SENIOR.
3/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

THE WILDCATS (20-6) AND THE EAGLES (22-2) will meet for the third time this season when they tip off in a Division I Regional Semifinal on Thursday at 7 PM in the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena.

Thursday's winner will advance to Saturday's 7 PM Regional Championship Game at the University of Akron versus the winner of Wednesday night's Regional Semifinal in Toldeo between Toledo Bowsher (24-2) and Mansfield Senior (18-7). Bowsher and Mansfield Senior will tip off at 7 on Wednesday night in the University of Toledo's Savage Arena.

Thursday's game versus the Eagles will be broadcast live by Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network with seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White on the lead call. Yes, Patrick still has a voice left after three periods and seven overtimes of hockey on Saturday. Pat helped keep more than 30,000 listeners across the world glued to their computers as the Ice Cats and Sylvania Northview made history and captured national attention with their 1-1 tie and "Co-State Championship."

Here is a look at another chapter in the storied rivalry between Saint Ignatius and St. Edward, along with a report on Toledo Bowsher and Mansfield Senior.

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' big-game tested seniors Eric and David Black need no introduction to the history of the Wildcats' rivalry with St. Edward.

Counting their encounters with the Eagles on the freshmen level, Eric and David will be competing in basketball against St. Edward for the ninth time when Saint Ignatius faces Coach Eric Flannery's team in Thursday night's Division I Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron.

The Wildcats and the Eagles played their traditional home-and-home series during the regular season and St. Edward prevailed both times, 61-34 on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court and 73-70 in overtime at history-rich Sullivan Gymnasium.   

As both David Black and his twin brother Eric emphasized, there are few secrets between the respective teams.

"We're all pretty confident," said the 6-foot-6 David Black, who joins his 6-6 brother, senior forward Isiah Barbra and senior point guard Danny Bova as Coach Sean O'Toole's four captains. "We've played them two times already and I think both teams know each other very, very well. I think it is just a matter of execution and knocking down shots, because both teams are going to be very prepared, physically and mentally."    

As far as Eric Black is concerned, being prepared mentally will be a huge factor.

"You have to put in your time with the films, studying what they do and what we do," said Eric. "We have to do our jobs, believe in each other and stay together as a unit."

In the first game this winter versus St. Edward, Coach Flannery's Eagles put on an outstanding display of defense in limiting the Wildcats to 34 points. However, the second meeting at Sullivan Gym was one Saint Ignatius let slip away. The 'Cats went on a 13-0 run and led, 53-45, with 6 minutes and 3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Missed free throws opened the door for St. Edward, however, and, behind some clutch play down the stretch by senior forward Marsalis Hamilton, the Eagles pulled it out in overtime.

Thursday night's game at the University of Akron will mark the third time since 2002 that Saint Ignatius and St. Edward will be meeting in the Regional Semifinals or the "Sweet 16."

On March 13, 2002, St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 72-58, in the first game of a regional-semifinal doubleheader at the then Gund Arena. In the second game that night, a young man named LeBron James helped lead St. Vincent-St. Mary past Warrensville Heights, 78-49, in a Division II semifinal. 

It was St. Patrick's Day evening of 2010 when the Wildcats and the Eagles squared off in a Regional Semifinal at Cleveland State University and St. Edward came away with a 53-49 overtime victory.

Of course the advocates of separate Public and Private/Catholic School postseason tournaments will never forget March of 1998, when St. Edward defeated St. Ignatius, 70-61, in the Division I state championship game in Columbus. Two Catholic Schools about six miles apart playing for the big-school gold trophy raised more than a few eyebrows along press row.

That is, as they say, history and the focus in now on Thursday night when the Rubber City welcomes what is one of the premier high school rivalries in the nation.

Saint Ignatius finished the regular season as the sixth-ranked team in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll and St. Edward was ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area. The Eagles also finished third in the Associated Press Division I state poll and are ranked 21st nationally in the highly respected USA Today Super 25.

"Obviously, we know the personnel well," said Coach O'Toole '87 of the 2013-14 Eagles. "I'm very excited for our kids to be in a regional, to get a chance to redeem yourself against a team we lost to twice during the year. We did not play well in the first one and the second one we played well enough to win, but still with plenty of room for improvement.

"One thing I'm excited about is that we're definitely peaking at the right time and playing pretty well," Coach O'Toole continued. "But, St. Ed's presents a huge challenge because of their great depth and incredible athletes who are skilled players. They play extremely hard and extremely physical. And they're extremely well coached."

St. Edward advanced to Thursday night's third meeting this season with the 'Cats by defeating Brunswick, 74-62, in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights District Championship Game. The Eagles trailed, 32-29, at halftime before putting together a 15-0 run in the third quarter. Offensively, St. Edward was led by three of its gifted mainstays, 6-7 junior forward Kipper Nichols, the 6-4 Hamilton and 6-6 junior forward/post Mike Ryan.

One of the premier players in the state, Nichols tossed in a game-high 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out six assists and made three steals. Hamilton scored 19 points and Ryan finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Defensively, St. Edward got some crucial turnovers off its full-court pressure and zone traps. The Eagles shot 62 percent from the field in the second half.

"In order to get where we want to go, you have to beat the best teams," said Coach O'Toole. "And St. Ed's is without question one of the best teams in the state. Berea-Midpark (in the Midview District Championship Game) was a great win for us. They were playing as well as anyone in Cleveland.

"It happens to be our rival, it happens to be down in Akron, but it's a step on this journey that we've dedicated ourselves to," Coach O'Toole continued. "This is step five (of the postseason) and we're going to prepare like any other game. We made great strides in the second game (versus St. Edward) and now it's 32 more minutes to see how we measure. They're quick, smart and very strong at the rim from a variety of people, so we have to try to limit their easy buckets, make them work for what they get and try to force them to take contested shots."

As has been the case for most of the season, Eric Black leads the Wildcats with an average of 14.3 points per game. Eric is pulling down six rebounds a game and David Black is at 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Deven Stover, who hit the game winning 3-point shot at the buzzer in the 67-64 victory over Berea-Midpark, is averaging 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and two assists. Deven's game-winning trey was part of his team-leading 25 points. Junior forward Andre' Wolford and Stover lead the 'Cats in 3-point shots made with 36 and 25, respectively, Barbra is scoring 7.2 points per game and Bova is averaging 6.8 assists and has made 47 steals.

While all of the focus is on St. Edward, we thought we would give you look at the two other teams who will be trying to advance to Saturday night's Elite Eight game at the University of Akron.

TOLEDO BOWSHER: En route to a school-best 24-2 record these Rebels with a cause won their first Toledo City League Championship and this past weekend stunned a highly regarded St. John's Jesuit team, 63-48, and captured their first District Basketball Championship in the process. Bowsher held the St. John's Titans scoreless in the second quarter.

MANSFIELD SENIOR: The Tygers, yes the Ty Tigers, brought home their first District Basketball Championship since 2006 by laying down some nasty defense on Perrysburg to the tune of a 43-29 victory. Mansfield Senior improved to 18-7 and Perrysburg, which went 0-for-12 on its 3-point attempts, closed its season at 21-4. DeJorr Gibson came off the Tygers' bench to score a game-high 17 points and post/forward Naradian James was a defensive stalwart. Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce was seeking his 445th career victory.

See you at the University of Akron, which, and I speak from first-hand experience, is one of the finest Regional venues in the nation.  

 

      

 

     

   


Eric and David Black commit to Case Western Reserve University.
3/10/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - As identical twins, Eric and David Black are inseparable on and off the basketball court.

For at least the next four years, that bond on the court and on campus will continue as Eric and David shared with the corner on Monday night that they will be furthering their education and basketball careers at Case Western Reserve University.

In what was a long and carefully researched process, David and Eric decided on CWRU and Coach Sean McDonnell's Spartans after also seriously considering John Carroll University, Oberlin and Wooster.

"For me, it was just the feeling of the school," said David Black. "It's a great school, the basketball team is great and so are their coaches. They did a good job of recruiting and everything. So it was just a great fit for us personally."

Like his brother, Eric pointed first to the tremendous educational opportunities that Case Western Reserve offers.

"It was definitely the academic side of everything," said Eric Black. "It's a great, great, great academic school, probably among the top 25 in the country. It's a good basketball program that plays in the best conference for Division III (University Athletic Association). They travel to St. Louis, Atlanta, New York, Chicago. It's a great level of competition, too."

With Eric's and David's decision, a family tradition will continue at Case Western Reserve. Their father, Matt, and mother, Kiera, were Undergraduate and Graduate Students, respectively, at Case. Matt Black is a Program Manager for the Aerospace Group at Parker Hannifin.

While their family and their education will always be 1-2 with David and Eric Black, a love for sports and basketball in particular recently earned them All-Northeast Lakes District honors from the Associated Press. Their play and leadership as two of Coach Sean O'Toole's captains have helped the Wildcats to a 20-6 record, a Division I District Championship and an appearance in Thursday night's Regional Semifinal at the University of Akron versus West Side rival St. Edward.

"Eric and David put a lot of work into studying their options for college," said Coach O'Toole. "In the end, they were most comfortable over at Case.

"I am glad they are going to be playing together," Coach O'Toole continued. "I like their relationship and the way they push each other. Obviously you're not going to beat that four years of academics at Case and the conference they (the Spartans) play in will allow Eric and David to see America a little bit.

"They seem very comfortable with their decision," Coach O'Toole said. "They did their due diligence and looked at other opportunities. In the end, it was the best fit for them and that is all you can ask for. With that education, basketball is just the icing."    

 

 

       

 

 

  

Danny Bova is now the Wildcats' all-time leader for assists in a season.
3/10/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Congratulations from the corner go out to Saint Ignatius senior Captain and point guard Danny Bova, who will enter Thursday night's OHSAA Regional Semifinal Game against St. Edward as the Wildcats' new single-season leader in assists with 176.

Danny has surpassed the mark of 171 set by Tony DeCesare in 1999-2000.

JUST A REMINDER THAT THURSDAY NIGHT'S GAME FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON WILL TIP OFF AT 7 PM.

THE CORNER WILL BE PREVIEWING WHAT WILL BE THE THIRD MATCH UP THIS SEASON BETWEEN THE WILDCATS AND THE EAGLES. ST. EDWARD WON BOTH OF THE TWO REGULAR SEASON MEETINGS, 61-34 IN THE EAGLES' NEST AND 73-70 IN OVERTIME AT SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM.  

 

After battling through three periods and seven overtimes, Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview are declared Co-Champions of the 37th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament. Deven Stover's buzzer-beating 3-pointer sends the Basketball 'Cats to the Sweet 16.
3/8/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, March 2014

Columbus, Ohio - In what will go down as one of the most dramatic and test-of-time discussed Championship Games in the history of Ohio High School Ice Hockey, Saint Ignatius and Northview battled for three periods and seven overtimes on Saturday afternoon and evening before Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., announced to the crowd in Nationwide Arena that the game would end in the 1-1 tie and both schools would be designated as OHSAA State Champions for the 2013-2014 season.

Here is the official release from the OHSAA: "After the seventh overtime, the head coaches, school athletic administrators and OHSAA administrators had a lengthy discussion. Many players on both teams were
seriously fatigued and neither coach or school administrator objected to ending the game before the eighth overtime began.

By national rule, there is no shootout procedure in high school hockey.

While the decision is being questioned by fans, the OHSAA commends the coaches and
school athletic administrators in reaching this decision together without conflict.

This is an opportunity to show that wins and losses, even in a state championship game, are not more important than player safety. Had a player been seriously injured in the eighth overtime due to fatigue, the decision to allow the game
to continue would have been seriously questioned more than the decision to end it."

From the Corner: Saint Ignatius (30-4-6) and Northview (17-13-2) had already set the state record for the longest Championship Game before the game was called and were about to tie Ohio's all-time record, regular season or postseason, of eight overtimes (2007 Solon versus Aurora).

The Ice Cats came out of their locker room and onto the ice for what they thought would be an eighth overtime.  Northview did not come out of its locker room.

Northview, which was defeated by Saint Ignatius, 4-1, in the March 2010 State Championship Game and lost two and tied one in three regular-season meetings with the Ice Cats this winter, got a State Championship Game record of 77 saves from its big-hearted and gifted senior goalie David Marsh. Marsh totaled 41 saves in the seven overtimes.

Saint Ignatius, which spent most of the seven overtime periods at Northview's end of the ice, only to be turned away by Marsh, tied the score 7 minutes and 15 seconds into the third period on a goal by senior forward Danny Brogan off an assist from senior forward and captain Beck Schultz.

Northview took a 1-0 lead 6 minutes and 42 seconds into the first period on a lamp lighter by senior wing Jacob Koback off helpers from senior wing Cody Estrel and junior center Josh Koback.

Saint Ignatius head coach Pat O'Rourke '90, who was treated to 31 saves from his sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon, made it clear in the post-game interviews that he had no objections to the OHSAA's decision.

Saturday's Co-Title is Coach O'Rourke's second State Championship. A Scott Pick-coached Saint Ignatius team also brought home a state crown in 2000. The Ice Cats were making their sixth state final four appearance this weekend.

Northview won the state championship in 2012 and was a state runner-up in 2013, 2010, 2006, 1990 and 1982.

Here is more on the "epic" battle on the ice between the Wildcats from Saint Ignatius and the Cats from Northview.

As he met with the media following Saturday's seven-overtime, will-tester against Northview in the OHSAA State Championship Game at Nationwide Arena, Saint Ignatius Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke described what just took place as "Crazy, insane."

"We were involved in a six-overtime game a couple of years ago against St. Eds," said Coach O'Rourke. "It was a District Final and we lost that one. So I kind of knew some things about lack of gas and stuff I wish I didn't.

"Both teams played great," Coach O'Rourke continued. "I think we had the better play a little bit, we outshot them (78-32). But their goaltender (David Marsh) was outstanding. We probably wouldn't be sitting here as co-champions if we had a  better shooting percentage today. It's something we'll never forget and kind of a weird ending, but I understand the rationale (in ending the game) totally and trust Dr. Ross completely that it was a basic issue of player safety at some point."

Coach O'Rourke added that he was told the 101 minutes (three 15-minute periods and seven 8-minute overtimes) that Saint Ignatius and Northview went at it were just four minutes off the national mark of 105.

"We kicked around the idea of going another overtime or two, but ultimately we were looking out for the students," Coach O'Rourke said. "Like I said, if we made shots earlier it wouldn't have been a problem."

When the question came up about the game moving to a shootout format, Coach O'Rourke answered politely, yet emphatically. "I would rather play 1,000 overtimes than see it come down to a shootout," he said.  

Under the national rules that the OHSAA abides by, the game could not have gone to a shootout.

It's a team sport," Coach O'Rourke said. "I know my boys would have kept playing. I know their boys would have kept playing too, but, at some point, the adults have to step in."

St. Ignatius' Danny Brogan and Dylan McKeon emphasized that despite the disappointment they felt the moment the decision to end the game was announced by Dr. Ross, they realize it was the right decision.

As the good-natured Brogan said, the Ice Cats set out to be state champions this winter and they accomplished that goal.

"Obviously, it was a great game to be part of," Brogan said. "Right now, I think it stinks (ending in a tie), but in the long run it was probably what was best for all of us."

Coach O'Rourke supported an aspect of the game that this corner felt was overlooked because of the play of Marsh, and that was the outstanding job McKeon turned in again.

"It can't be lost in all of this," the veteran coach said with a wide smile.

BASKETBALL

*Coach Sean O'Toole's fourth-seeded Varsity Basketball Wildcats (20-6) rode a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer by smooth sophomore guard Deven Stover to a 67-64 victory over third-seeded Berea-Midpark (21-4) in Saturday's Division I District Championship Game at Midview.

Deven tossed in 25 points, including a 4-for-5 effort on 3-pointers, in leading Coach O'Toole's team to Thursday's Regional Semifinal match up with West Side rival St. Edward (22-2) at the University of Akron. The tip off from James A. Rhodes Arena will be 7 PM.

Thursday's game will mark the third meeting this season between the Wildcats and the Eagles. St. Edward won on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court, 61-34, on Jan. 18 and Coach Eric Flannery's team rallied to a 73-70 overtime victory at Sullivan Gymnasium on Feb. 8.

Saint Ignatius started strong against the Titans from Berea-Midpark, a team that defeated the Wildcats, 70-61, on Jan. 24 in front of a packed house on Bagley Road.

The Wildcats moved to an early 22-2 lead and led, 23-7, after the first eight minutes.

Coach Duke Barther's Titans came storming back and won both the second and third quarters, 20-12 and 18-12. Berea-Midpark's outstanding senior guard Alex Brown finished with a game-high 29 points.

It was a see-saw battle in the fourth quarter, before Stover stepped up big with his game winner. Deven was 6-for-9 from the field, including his four 3-pointers, 9-of-12 from the free-throw line, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists.

Saint Ignatius also benefitted from 10 points and 4-for-5 shooting from the field by senior forward and captain Isiah Barbra, 17 points and 7 rebounds from 6-7 senior post and captain Eric Black, 9 rebounds from senior forward and captain David Black, Eric's twin brother, and nine points, seven assists and 4-of -6 shooting from the field by senior point guard and captain Danny Bova.

The 'Cats hit on 22 of their 39 shots from the field, an effort that included 6 hits on 10 3-point attempts, and they were 17-of-28 from the charity stripe.

*Note: The corner will be previewing Thursday's Regional-Semifinal match up with St. Edward this coming week.

 

Saint Ignatius withstands an early flurry by Lake Catholic and goes on to dominate the Cougars, 7-0, in the semifinals of the 37th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament.
3/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Columbus, Ohio - Junior forward and Assistant Captain Jack Wiegandt scored the first of his two goals on the evening 5 minutes and 40 seconds into the first period and Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats overwhelmed Lake Catholic the rest of the way.

Joining Jack with two-goal performances were senior captain and forward Beck Schultz and ever-present junior forward Ethan Whitney. Gifted junior forward Matty Geither accounted for the 'Cats' other lamp lighter as Saint Ignatius out shot the Cougars, 43-16.

Making themselves at home in Nationwide Arena, the Ice Cats improved to 30-4-5 and advanced to Saturday's State Championship Game against a very familiar foe,  the 17-13-1 Wildcats from Sylvania Northview. The puck will drop at 2 PM in Nationwide Arena.

Saint Ignatius and Northview have met three times this season with the Ice Cats winning, 3-2 and 5-0, and the teams playing to a 1-1 tie. Northview advanced to the title game by eliminating Columbus St. Charles, 3-1, in Friday's other semifinal.  

Turning the clock back a bit further, Northview and Saint Ignatius met in the March 2010 State Championship Game and Coach O'Rourke's 'Cats brought home the OHSAA Gold Trophy with a 4-1 triumph. It marked the second State Championship in ice hockey for Cleveland's tradition-rich Jesuit Preparatory School, as a Coach Scott Pick-led Saint Ignatius team also captured the state title in 2000 by defeating Padua, 4-1, in the championship game.    

Lake Catholic, making its first appearance in the State Ice Hockey final four, closed its outstanding season at 27-9-3. The Cougars tied Saint Ignatius, 4-4, in a Great Lakes Hockey League regular season game on Dec. 11 in the Mentor Civic Arena.

*Here is a look at Saint Ignatius' impressive, to say the least, State Semifinal victory.

Displaying class and character, Lake Catholic's hockey savvy young coach Ryan Okicki took the time in the post-game interview room on Friday evening to praise Saint Ignatius Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and the Wildcats.

"Saint Ignatius is a great, hard-working team," said Coach Okicki, who guided the 2013-14 Cougars to their first taste of a state final four. "They come at you hard, as they always have. They just kind of keep going, going, going. They body you and they're physical. They controlled the tempo of the game today."

After dodging some momentum that Lake Catholic created with shots on goal in the early going, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats put on an awesome display of how the great game of hockey is supposed to be played.

A team, as talented and tough-as-nails junior forward Ethan Whitney emphasized, that played all season for this weekend, took the best the Cougars had to offer and responded in a manner one associates with Ohio's top-ranked team.

First it was unsung, but oh so valuable junior assistant captain Jack Wiegandt sending home an assist from versatile senior captain Harry Smith.

Then with 10 minutes and 1 second gone in the first period, senior captain and forward Beck Schultz smoothly slapped home a rebound off a helper from senior defenseman Riley Ellis.

In what was probably the back breaker for Lake Catholic, Whitney skated nearly the length of the ice for a short-handed unassisted goal and a 3-0 Saint Ignatius lead with just over a minute remaining in the first period.

"We always talk about what we need to do and it was tough," said Coach Okicki of Whitney's effort. "Obviously, you give up a short-handed goal late in the period and are down 3-0, that's a tough break for you."

With Wildcats sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon doing what he has done all winter, standing tall in front of the net, Mr. Ever Present, aka Ethan Whitney, struck again with just three minutes and five seconds gone in the second period. As Saint Ignatius' student body section in Nationwide Arena started becoming as dominant as the team it was rooting for, the scoreboard read 4-0 after Whitney tallied his second lamp lighter off assists from sophomore center/forward Aidan Spellacy and gifted junior forward Matty Geither.

"Those first couple of minutes weren't so hot," said Coach O'Rourke, who also guided his team to the inaugural Cleveland Cup as the 2014 Playoff Champion of the Great Lakes Hockey League. "We started going to work and stated taking the body, which is kind of our calling card. And then we kind of rolled."

Saint Ignatius' players, coaching staff and faithful  are hoping there is plenty of rock and roll left in those sticks and skates when the Championship Game puck drops at 2 bells on Saturday.

The Ice Cats, making their sixth appearance in the state semifinals, drove home their aggressive point with three more net-finders - the second of two by Wiegandt off helpers from sophomore forward Jared Stepka and Geither, a tally by Geither off a clever stick and skate move that was assisted by senior defenseman Logan Sellers and the captains' choice, Schultz racking up his second goal off an assist by strong and resilient senior captain Kevin Spellacy. Kevin and Aidan are continuing a Spellacy hockey legacy at Saint Ignatius that was fueled by their dad, Kevin, and older brother, Paddy.

Schultz's second goal was also of the short-handed variety.

As is his nature, Wiegandt credit everyone else for his two-bagger and he and Whitney had nothing but praise for Lake Catholic's All-GLHL goalie Charlie Denner, who is one of area's top keepers.

In closing, Coach O'Rourke emphasized that you can almost wipe out his team's two victories over Northview earlier this season, saying that the team from Sylvania is much stronger and healthier than the early season version.

We'll find out soon. So you at the home of the Blue Jackets.        

 

   

      

     

 

 

 

   

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats ride an outstanding defensive effort and the scoring of Eric Black, Jaylin McDonald and Deven Stover to a 61-39 victory over Lakewood in Thursday's Division I District Semifinal at Midview.
3/6/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Grafton, Ohio - The fourth-seeded Wildcats settled the issue by outscoring the eighth-seeded Rangers, 24-9, over the final eight minutes. Senior post and captain Eric Black came up with a 15-point and eight-rebound night, and junior forward Jaylin McDonald and sophomore guard Deven Stover each scored 14 clutch points. McDonald was 7-for-7 from the field in giving Saint Ignatius a huge lift off the bench.

Coach Sean O'Toole's defense held two of Lakewood's top offensive players scoreless, as Coach Phil Argento's Rangers got a 15-point effort from talented senior guard Shawn McDonald in closing their outstanding season at 21-4.   

With the victory, Saint Ignatius improves to 19-6 and advances to Saturday's 4 PM District Championship Game at Midview versus third-seeded Berea-Midpark (21-3). The Titans from Berea-Midpark defeated the Wildcats, 70-61, in a Jan. 24 regular season match up that attracted a standing-room-only crowd to Bagley Road in Berea.

*Tickets for Saturday's game will go on sale at 8:30 AM on Friday in the Athletic Department at Saint Ignatius. The adult tickets are $6 and student tickets are $4.

*Here is a breakdown on Thursday night's game.

As he was unlacing his basketball shoes, Saint Ignatius' talented and soft-spoken junior forward Jaylin McDonald stood up, looked this veteran reporter right in the eye and summed up the Wildcats' impressive effort against Lakewood in Thursday night's District Semifinal at Midview.

"We just tied them down defensively, locked up their players and got their best player in foul trouble," McDonald said moments after he helped lead the 'Cats to a 61-39 victory over Lakewood and an appearance in Saturday's District Championship game versus Berea-Midpark.

"We knew we had to be strong at the rim," the 6-foot-6 McDonald continued about a night that saw him come off Coach Sean O'Toole's bench in the first half and combine with 6-7 senior post Eric Black and 6-4 sophomore guard Deven Stover in fueling Saint Ignatius' offense. "We just decided to go inside and every time I went in I just tried to finish on balance like Coach says all the time."

McDonald, who is also a wide receiver for Saint Ignatius' varsity football team, finished to the tune of 14 points, six rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal in 12 minutes. Jaylin rolled a perfect seven from the field en route to his 14 points.

Despite some outstanding play by Eric Black, including a three-point play off a slam dunk that pushed the Wildcats' lead to 12-3 with 7 minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the first half, Lakewood hung with Saint Ignatius for three quarters.

After McDonald and senior forward and captain Isiah Barbra scored inside and 6-7 senior post Jake Strippy made a savvy move down the lane and laid in two points off an on-the-money assist from McDonald, the Wildcats took a 26-15 advantage into their locker room at halftime.

A nothing-but-net 15-footer by Stover would increase Saint Ignatius' lead to 28-15 early in the third quarter. Lakewood cut the deficit to eight points on a 3-pointer by senior guard Jacob Schmidt and a reverse lay up along the baseline by 6-3 sophomore post Logan Swift.

Stover buried a 3-pointer that put the 'Cats in front by 11 points and an Eric Black dunk in transition kept it an 11-point game until the Rangers' McDonald, tough-as-they-come 5-11 senior guard Shawn McDonald, converted a three-point play.

Another strong move down low by Eric Black had Saint Ignatius riding a 10-point lead with 3 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The packed house in "The Shipyard" at Midview was rocking after Lakewood's 6-1 junior guard Nick Porter scored off a give-and-go and the Rangers converted a turnover into a basket by Swift off a Porter assist.

After a free throw by Shawn McDonald had Lakewood trailing by just five points, 35-30, with 59.3 seconds left in the third quarter, Jaylin McDonald scored off a perfect alley-oop pass from senior point guard and captain Danny Bova, and Saint Ignatius took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.

"At halftime Coach said, 'Just calm down Deven, it will come,'" said Stover of a first half that saw him score just three points. "In the second half, that's when we decided that we had to turn it up and start scoring. They had cut it down to five points and that's when everybody started taking over."

And take the game over they did, as Coach O'Toole watched his Wildcats outscore the Rangers by 15 points in the decisive fourth quarter and earn the rematch with Berea-Midpark, a team that defeated Saint Ignatius by nine points during the regular season.

Lakewood, which was coming off an impressive sectional-final victory over second-seeded North Royalton, was taken completely out of its game over the final eight minutes by the 'Cats' active and aggressive defense.

With 6-6 senior forward and captain David Black, Eric's twin brother, scoring four quick points off assists from Bova and Eric Black, Stover sending home two free throws and Eric Black taking an assist from his brother and going strong the rim, Saint Ignatius led, 45-30, with the fourth quarter not two minutes old. Eric Black's 15 points matched the Rangers' Shawn McDonald for game honors.

Saint Ignatius, which was defeated by Shaker Heights in last year's District Championship Game at Solon, settled the issue on a basket by Jaylin McDonald off a Stover assist, two more free throws by Stover, a lay up by Stover, and a smooth one-hander in the lane by Jaylin McDonald from a Stover dime.

Stover scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. In 23 minutes, Deven was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line, grabbed five rebounds, blocked a shot and had two assists. Bova, who entered the game averaging 6.7 assists, dished out seven more winners on Thursday night and also had seven points and five rebounds.

Along with Shawn McDonald's 15 points, Lakewood got 10 points from Porter and seven points each from Swift and Schmidt. One of the most successful 3-point shooting teams in the state this winter, the Rangers were 2-of-16 from beyond the arc and overall they hit on just 15 of 53 shots.

After leaving some points on the floor in the first half, Saint Ignatius finished 23-of-44 from the field, including 2-of-8 from 3-point land. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle, 40-30.

"Lakewood is a team that scores in bunches," said Coach O'Toole. "They are as skilled as any team we played. We had a major advantage at the rim. Our biggest problem is that sometimes we think we have to get it there (down low or in the post) with the first two passes. When we're patient and we run the floor, our depth is another major advantage. When we go to the bench, we're every bit as big and every bit as long.

"They have it all," Coach O'Toole continued in reference to Berea-Midpark and Saturday's District Championship Game. "They have a great point guard (senior Alex Brown), they have the athletes and the big man (6-10 junior Nolan Gerrity) is playing great in the middle. I think Gerrity is one of the most improved players I've seen and they have the shooter in Schuller (senior guard Michael Schuller). I'm glad we've played them one time and have a taste of them, and I'm excited to play them a second time."     

 

 

 

     

       

 

 

 

 

   

     

 

An update from the Midview Division I District Basketball Tournament.
3/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Sean O'Toole's fourth-seeded Saint Ignatius Wildcats (18-6) will enter tonight's Division I District Semifinal Basketball Game against the eighth-seeded Lakewood Rangers (21-3) at Midview High School knowing who is waiting if the Wildcats take care of business tonight. Tonight's game will tip off at 7 PM and seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will bring you the action live over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.  

Coach Duke Barther's third-seeded Berea-Midpark Titans (21-3) rode a tough zone defense and 23 points from All-District guard Alex Brown to a 72-48 victory over fifth-seeded Olmsted Falls in Wednesday night's District Semifinal at Midview. The Titans, who outscored Olmsted Falls, 23-4, in the fourth quarter, advanced to Saturday's District Championship Game at Midview versus the Saint Ignatius-Lakewood winner.

The Olmsted Falls Bulldogs closed out a solid season at 16-8.

Just to refresh your memory, Berea-Midpark defeated Saint Ignatius, 70-61, on Jan. 24. That game was played on the Titans' floor in front of a packed house on Bagley Road.

 

 

    

Previewing The 37th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament. Saint Ignatius' "Brotherhood" takes a look at the past as the Ice Cats prepare for Lake Catholic.
3/5/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio – Saint Ignatius (29-4-5) and Lake Catholic (27-8-3), who played to a 4-4 tie in a regular season Great Lakes Hockey League matchup on Dec. 11 in the Mentor Civic Arena, face off on Friday in the semifinals of the OHSAA’s 37th Annual State Ice Hockey Tournament. The puck will drop at 4 PM at Nationwide Arena in Columbus and the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network, headed by senior Pat McGuire, will bring you the action live from the State Capital.

In that Dec. 11 game, the Wildcats rode goals by Matty Geither, Ethan Whitney, Kevin Yarcusko and Jack Mazanec to a 4-1 lead in the second period. Lake Catholic stormed back, however, and tied the score on a goal by Alex Piazza. Piazza finished with a hat trick. The Cougars’ rally included a short-handed goal.

While Lake Catholic made the most out of four of its 22 shots that December night, Cougars standout goalie Charlie Denner turned away 48 of Saint Ignatius’ 52 shots.

In what was one of the most emotional and impressive victories in the rich history of Wildcats Athletics, Coach Pat O’Rourke’s Ice Cats advanced to the state semifinals by defeating Holy Name, 4-2, in the Brooklyn District Championship Game (see the corner’s story from Saturday evening).

Saint Ignatius, the top-ranked team in this season’s final Ice Hockey Coaches Association State Poll, brought home state championships in 2000 and 2010 and is making its sixth appearance at the state tournament. The Wildcats made three consecutive trips to the final four in 1995, ’96 and ’97.

Under the direction of Coach Ryan Okicki, Lake Catholic has earned its first state final four in ice hockey.

Ohio’s fourth-ranked program, the Cougars advanced to Friday’s rematch with the Ice Cats by defeating a very gifted University School team, 5-4, in three overtimes at the Kent District Championship Game. Piazza scored the game winner 1 minute and 58 seconds into the third OT. University School was ranked third in the coaches’ state
poll.

Coach Okicki’s team had to stage another impressive comeback, as Lake Catholic trailed University
School, 3-1, in the third period. Goals by Zach Gaszo and Luke Turk enabled the Cougars to tie the score and Lake Catholic took a 4-3 lead on a goal by Jake Denner, Charlie’s brother, with 1:51 remaining in the third period. University
School forced the first overtime on a goal by Kyle Keane.

In what was the inaugural All-Great Lakes Hockey League Team, Saint Ignatius’ gifted junior forward Matty
Geither was selected to the first team and Wildcats standout senior captain and defenseman Kevin Spellacy earned second-team honors.

Lake Catholic placed four players on the second team – Piazza, Turk and Charlie and Jake Denner.

“We had the better play early and they had the better play late,” said Coach O’Rourke of the early December encounter with Lake Catholic. “So it was a pretty even game. It is two evenly matched teams, so I’m expecting a titanic showdown on Friday.

“It probably starts with them in net,” Coach O’Rourke continued. “They have one of the best in the area in Charlie Denner. They are very talented with some high end forwards who can put the puck in the net. They have a guy in Piazza who had a hat trick against us. They have depth at forward and a couple of good defensemen, too.

“It is talent spread around, not just one guy,” Coach O’Rourke said of the Cougars. “And they are tough, as there are usually pretty hard-nosed kids from out that way (Lake County, Mentor). We’ve seen the good Mentor and Lake Catholic teams in various sports the past few years. Lake Catholic has had extended success in hockey for at least a decade. We had some good battles with them in the Baron Cup. It’s been pretty much like University School, where we have always played like a one-goal or two-goal game against them (Lake Catholic).”

As for Friday’s 1 PM state semifinal game between Columbus St. Charles (33-3-1) and Sylvania Northview (16-13-1), the Cardinals from St. Charles earned their first final-four berth in hockey by defeating Olentangy Orange, 3-1, in the Columbus District Championship Game.

Clayton Klosz, Daniel Schirtzinger and Ryan Cleary provided the lamp lighters for Coach Rob Sangster’s Cardinals, with Cleary sealing the deal with 26.3 seconds remaining to be played. It was quite an emotional moment for Cleary and Co., as St. Charles had never advanced past the district semifinal level in the past.

Ranked sixth in the coaches’ state poll, the Cardinals got 19 saves from goalie Alex Ward and outshot Olentangy Orange, 28-20.

If Saint Ignatius were to face Northview in Saturday’s 2 PM State Championship Game at Nationwide
Arena, it would be a battle of programs who are quite familiar with one another.

****In capturing Saint Ignatius’ second State Ice Hockey Championship, Coach O’Rourke’s Ice Cats defeated Sylvania Northview, 4-1, in the March 2010 OHSAA State Championship Game at Nationwide Arena.

This season, Saint Ignatius went 2-0-1 against Northview in games played in the Padua and Meadville (Pa.) Tournaments. The scores were 3-2, 5-0 and 1-1. That said, this is now a completely healthy Northview team, as the state’s second-ranked Titans from Toledo St. John’s Jesuit discovered last weekend.

Trailing, 2-0, in the early going, Northview made sure the Titans remembered the Saturday night
they played Sylvania’s Northview Cats, as Northview rallied to a 4-2 victory.

The Northview Cats claimed their third consecutive district championship and their fifth in the past nine years. Northview, which was not ranked among the state’s top 10 teams this winter, was the 2012 state champion and the state runner-up last year.

Northview junior Zach Galecki tied the score against St. John’s 1 minute and 53 seconds into the third period, senior Jacob Koback delivered the decisive goals with 6:39 and 6:00 remaining to be played, and senior goalie David Marsh had 23 saves, including 10 in the second period.

Coach O’Rourke emphasized how much he loves the chemistry his 2013-14 Wildcats display, with the seniors always reaching out to the younger players.

With a “Brotherhood” being the Ice Cats’ motto this season, we thought we would share with you the fact that there were five players on Coach O’Rourke’s 2010 state championship team whose younger brothers are key members of the 2013-14 ‘Cats.

From the 2010 team were Paddy Spellacy, brother of current mainstays Aidan (a sophomore) and Kevin Spellacy, Liam Geither, brother of high scoring junior forward Matty Geither, Will Smith, brother of Wildcats versatile senior captain Harry Smith and Michael Wells and Ray Gajkowski, whose brothers, junior Brady Wells and senior Nick
Gajkowski, are unsung and play where they’re asked forwards for Coach O’Rourke.

Paddy Spellacy, as just a sophomore forward and already one of the premier players in Ohio, scored what was his school-best 43rd goal of the season in helping Saint Ignatius turn back Sylvania Northview in the title game.

In closing this preview on the 37th annual state finals, here are some comments and memories from the current Ice Cats on the day their older brothers brought home the gold trophy.

Harry Smith: “I just remember them running on the ice and hugging each other after they won. I could just tell that it was a special moment, a huge deal for the school. They played with such poise out there. The guys were confident, just like it was any other game. But it wasn’t.”

Aidan Spellacy: “I remember sitting around the boards with all of the guys. Jack O’Rourke (Coach O’Rourke’s
young son) was there. We were all really little, but I remember how cool it looked, with them (the 2009-10 players) getting all emotional. It looked like a fun experience. Seeing Chris Knoth smiling with a missing tooth, it was
priceless.”

Matty Geither: “I was sitting with my family, my mom and my aunt. I remember the clock winding down
and everybody just jumping out (of the bench box). I just said, ‘I want to be there some day!’”

Brady Wells: “What I remember is the celebration after they won, once the clock hit zero and seeing all of the guys in the Blue and Gold celebrating. There is nothing like it, and I want to be part of it. I also remember Colton Riemenschneider scoring. He wasn’t a big scorer, but he played pretty big in that game. As a grinder, it’s important to see that and learn from that.”

Nick Gajkowski: “I was in the eighth grade and remember seeing the student section and all of the guys, and how close they were. I wanted to be part of the school and the team. And, after seeing how much fun it was, I wanted to win a state championship too.”   



    



   



        



A rivalry renewed. Saint Ignatius and Lakewood to meet in Thursday's District Basketball Semifinal at Midview High School.
3/3/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Although their paths haven't crossed in awhile, the basketball programs at Saint Ignatius and Lakewood had some memorable encounters in the past.

Yes, the Wildcats lead the all-time series, 28-6. However, there was more than one nail-biter or heart pounding night among those 28 victories.

Three of the more recent meetings between Saint Ignatius and Lakewood saw the Rangers come away with a hard-fought victory at the storied gym on Bunts Road in the winter of 2003. That game was originally scheduled to be played at night, but was moved to the afternoon so fans could get home in time to watch the Coach Jim Tressel-led Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Miami Hurricanes for the National Championship, snapping Miami's 34-game football winning streak.

In  2007-08, Coach Brian Becker, in what was his last season as head coach of the Wildcats, guided Saint Ignatius to an impressive victory over Lakewood in legendary Sullivan Gymnasium. It was Coach Becker's final game in Sullivan Gym.

Coach Sean O'Toole, who succeeded Coach Becker, led his Wildcats to a 52-41 triumph over the Rangers in late December of 2008. That game was played at Lakewood. The Rangers, sparked by the play of forward Dan Shannon and point guard Brian Evans, cut a 15-point deficit to six points late in the third quarter. Saint Ignatius kept its composure, however, and regained control behind some strong work inside by Dan Fox and Vito Sosic.

Thursday at 7 PM in Midvew High School, a rivalry West Side gym rats would always circle on the calendar will be renewed when Coach O'Toole's fourth-seeded Wildcats (18-6) and Coach Phil Argento's eighth-seeded Rangers (21-3) meet in a Division I District Semifinal.

*Thursday night's game will be broadcast live by the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network, with seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White on the lead call.

"Versatile, they score in a ton of ways," said Coach O'Toole of a Lakewood team that stunned second-seeded North Royalton, 65-41, in a Sectional Final at North Royalton on Saturday evening. "They score in transition, do extremely well in attacking the basket and obviously, they're a great 3-point shooting team."

And great is not an exaggeration or an over-used word when describing the Rangers' long-range perimeter game.

Entering Thursday night's tipoff, Lakewood has totaled nearly 200 3-pointers this season. Accounting for the majority of those treys are guards Wes Gerhardt, Mike Angers and Shawn McDonald.

Gerhardt and Angers have had single-game efforts of 11 and 10 3-pointers, respectively, which are the top two marks from beyond the circle in Rangers basketball history. Gerhardt is coming off a 28-point performance against North Royalton, during which he accounted for eight of Lakewood's nine 3-pointers.

The Rangers also placed themselves in the OHSAA record books by totaling 19 3-pointers in a game this winter. The top four single-game, 3-point performances heading into this season were 25 by St. Henry, 21 by both Mentor and Beverly Fort Frye and 20 by Mentor.

A team that never got caught watching the paint dry, the 2010-11 Mentor Cardinals hold the all-time, OHSAA single-season record for 3-pointers by a team with 307.

Gerhardt, McDonald and Angers each have deep range and they can create off the dribble. The Wildcats' coaching staff considers the 5-foot-11 McDonald to be Lakewood's best player. Saint Ignatius' veteran assistant coach Jerry Porath says McDonald, who is averaging right around 19 points a game, is an excellent offensive player who can hurt you in a variety of ways. Along with his scoring, McDonald is an attacker who makes key assists off the dribble.

McDonald and Gerhardt earned All-Northeast Lakes District recognition by the Associated Press, as did five of the Wildcats (see the post that follows this preview).

Coach Argento knows a thing or two about putting the ball in the basket. Phil was one of the greatest players to ever come out of Greater Cleveland. He averaged 30 points a game in both his junior and senior seasons for the old West High Cowboys of the early and mid-1960s, and went on to play for the legendary Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. Phil tossed in a remarkable 66 points against the old South High Flyers, a single-game mark that still stands among the top 23 all-time in Ohio. AND THERE WAS NO 3-POINT SHOT WHEN PHIL WAS LEADING THE WEST HIGH COWBOYS.

The 3-point shot would become a fixture in the Argento family, however, as Phil's son, Phil Jr., holds the state's fourth and seventh all-time marks for 3-pointers in a season. While leading the Lutheran West Longhorns, Phil Jr. made 110 3-pointers in the 1997-98 season and 105 treys in the season of 1996-97.

Gerhardt, McDonald and Angers are complemented by Tyshawn Goolsby, a 6-2 forward who is a capable defender and a quick leaper to the glass, Logan Swift, the Rangers' tallest player at 6-3 and a high-energy guy in both the defending and rebounding departments, and Jacob Schmidt, who possesses solid workman-like, team-player qualities.

"Defensively, they give you a variety of looks," Coach O'Toole said of a Lakewood team that captured the West Shore Conference Championship, an accomplishment that is being described as the Rangers' first league or conference basketball title in 40 years. "They are very aggressive on the ball, they double well and rotate and scramble well. That's a well-coached team. They've won 21 games for a reason, they're well coached."

Coach O'Toole grew up in Lakewood and his brother, Brion (correct), was a standout football player for the Rangers. As someone who has competed against the Rangers as both a player for Saint Ignatius under Coach Larry Arthur in the mid-to late '80s and a coach at both Euclid and Saint Ignatius, Sean has tremendous respect for what he described as the "toughness" that Lakewood has always brought to the court.

Saint Ignatius' senior post Eric Black will take the Midview court as the Wildcats' leading scorer at 14.2 points per game. Eric and his twin brother, David, are each pulling down a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game and senior point guard Danny Bova is dishing out 6.7 assists per game.

Sophomore guard Deven Stover is tossing in 8.9 points per game and has 20 3-pointers. The Wildcats have made 127 3-pointers this winter, including a team-leading 36 treys by junior forward Andre' Wolford.      

    

 

            

   

  

  

 

 

Eric and David Black, Danny Bova, Isiah Barbra and Deven Stover garner All-Northeast Lakes District recognition.
3/3/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Cleveland, Ohio - Congratulations from the corner go out to senior captains Eric and David Black, Danny Bova and Isiah Barbra, and promising sophomore Deven Stover for being recognized on the 2013-14 Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District Basketball Team.

Eric Black, a 6-foot-7 post and the Wildcats' leading scorer at 14.2 points per game, garnered third-team honors. Eric's twin brother, David, along with Bova, Barbra and Stover, received Special Mention.

Bova leads the 'Cats with an average of 6.7 assists per game. 

Coming up this week on the corner.
3/2/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The corner will preview the OHSAA State Semifinal Hockey Game between Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats and the Lake Catholic Cougars. The 'Cats and the Cougars face off at 4 PM on Friday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

Standing on the corner will also be a preview of Thursday night's OHSAA Division I District Basketball Semifinal between Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats and the Rangers from Lakewood High School. The tip off from Midview High School will be 7 PM. Ah, the memories that flow from the Saint Ignatius versus Lakewood encounters of years past.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage of Thursday's District Basketball Game and Friday's State Semifinal Hockey Game.

Have a great week! 

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats defeated North Ridgeville, 64-39, in a Division I Sectional Final at storied Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.
3/1/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach O'Toole's fourth-seeded Wildcats improved to 18-6 with the 25-point victory over North Ridgeville and advanced to Thursday night's District Semifinal versus the eighth-seeded Lakewood Rangers at Midview High School. The tip off will be 7 PM.

Coach Phil Argento's Lakewood Rangers advanced by "upsetting" second-seeded North Royalton, 65-41, on Saturday evening.

As for the Wildcats, they finished with 10 players in their scoring column.

Senior post and captain Eric Black led the way with 13 points, sophomore guard Deven Stover tossed in 12 and senior captains and guards Isiah Barbra and Danny Bova had 11 and nine points, respectively.

Coach O'Toole's team moved to a 32-16 lead by halftime and left no doubt by outscoring North Ridgeville, 21-12, over the final eight minutes.

In Lakewood's victory at North Royalton, the 21-3 Rangers hit nine 3-pointers out of their up-tempo offense, or run and gun as the old-timers would say. Junior guard Wes Gerhardt showed the way with 28 points, including eight 3-pointers.

NOTE: The corner's story on the big victory by the Wildcats' Varsity Ice Hockey Team was posted earlier this evening and follows this basketball recap.  

  

THE ICE CATS ARE STATE BOUND!
3/1/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright March 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - Overcoming adversity, top-seeded Saint Ignatius came out with an aggressive and passionate attack, moved to a 3-0 lead after two periods and went on to defeat second-seeded Holy Name, 4-2, in Saturday's Brooklyn District Championship Game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

The Wildcats, who improved to 29-4-5, will face Kent District champ Lake Catholic (27-8-3) in a state-semifinal match up on Friday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The puck will drop at 4 PM. Lake Catholic advanced to the final four by defeating University School, 5-4, in three overtimes at the Kent District final on Friday night.

Saint Ignatius and Lake Catholic played to a 4-4 tie in a Great Lakes Hockey League regular-season match up at the Mentor Civic Arena in early December.

The Wildcats, who have advanced to the state finals for the first time since their state-championship season of 2009-2010, will be seeking the program's third OHSAA gold trophy, or cup if you will. The Ice Cats were also state champions in the winter of 2000.

Junior forward/defenseman Brady Wells, senior forward and captain Beck Schultz and ever-present junior forward Ethan Whitney delivered Saint Ignatius' first three goals, and freshman forward/defenseman Matt Wiegandt sent home an empty-netter with 1 minute and 25 seconds remaining.

The Wildcats' student-body support was tremendous, to say the least, so much so that head coach Pat O'Rourke '90 said he is going to try to secure a district medal for the students.

Holy Name, making its second consecutive appearance in the Brooklyn District Championship Game, got goals from Tyler Albitz and captain Jamie Bucell in closing its season at 18-11-5.

Here is a look at, when all things are considered, one of the most impressive victories in the rich history of Saint Ignatius athletics.

*Saint Ignatius' Beck Schultz said Saturday's 4-2 victory over Holy Name in the Brooklyn District Championship Game "means everything to me."

"I have never been to this point before," said the senior forward and captain. "We're going to Columbus. I was in the District finals when St. Eds knocked us out two years ago. It feels amazing being a captain and on a team going to Columbus for the final four. I'm excited and I know the boys are. We're going to work our butts off to keep it going."

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats, who have taken their work ethic to the state's top ranking by the Coaches Association, displayed their depth, versatility and mental and physical toughness from the opening drop of the puck until the final seconds.

Playing without four key players, three of whom were suspended for the game because of school policy and another, junior forward Jack Mazanec, who was injured, Coach O'Rourke's 'Cats made the adjustments and played with a physical, attacking approach that, quite frankly, Holy Name could not deal with for the first two periods.

"It was upsetting to know," said Schultz of the news that he and his teammates would be facing the state's seventh-ranked Green Wave of Holy Name short handed. Holy Name defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-2, in a Great Lakes Hockey League regular season game.

"We kept up the hard work and came into this game with a positive attitude," Schultz continued. "As coach said, we had no pressure on us whatsoever, because everyone thought we were going to be the ones to lose tonight because we didn't have those three players. They were wrong, they were wrong!"

After being eliminated in district play the past three seasons, Saint Ignatius relished the so-called underdog role that the suspension of three key players placed on them.

Playing tough, but clean and smart hockey, the Wildcats established the upper hand when hard-nosed junior defenseman Brady Wells slapped home a glove side rebound with 8 minutes and 57 seconds remaining in the first period. Junior forward and assistant captain Jack Wiegandt, Matt's brother, provided the assist.

With Holy Name's outstanding goalie CJ Balodis putting forth another tremendous effort, it remained a 1-0 game until late in the second period.

In the final 3:54  of the second period, the Ice Cats struck twice.

First it was Schultz scoring off a flurry of traffic in front of the Green Wave goal and with just 34.4 seconds remaining in the second period the fast and furious combo of junior forwards Matty Geither and Ethan Whitney made it a 3-0 game, as Whitney sent home a breakaway off a Geither assist. Junior forward Kevin Yarcusko and senior forward Danny Brogan assisted on the Schultz goal.

With Saint Ignatius killing off power-play opportunities for Holy Name and sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon standing tall for the 'Cats, it stayed a 3-0 game until Holy Name's gifted forward Tyler Albitz scored with 6:30 left.

Saint Ignatius wrapped up the victory on a crowd pleasing empty-net goal by Matt Wiegandt, and the Green Wave closed out the scoring with a lamp lighter by forward and captain Jamie Bucell.

Balodis finished with 37 saves and McKeon turned away 30 shots.

"We fought together, that was the key," Schultz said. "We wanted our brothers (the suspended players) back to skate with us once again. We knew this wasn't going to be our last game, so we pulled together, got riled up and pulled out a win."

McKeon, who along with fellow sophomore Wes Deacon has given Coach O'Rourke a young, but savvy 1-2 punch in front of the net, said Saint Ignatius took the ice in Brooklyn with an underdog mentality.

"We were not going to be fancy with anything, just hit them hard and get the puck in the zone deep," McKeon said. "Just work from there and not try to dangle through the zone. That was pretty much our game plan."

McKeon couldn't say enough about the defensive support he received and how the Wildcats' defense did a great job of being aware of where Holy Name's top three scorers were on the ice, forcing them wide and making them take bad-angle shots.

After the fans emptied out of a Brooklyn Ice Arena that was packed 45 minutes before the drop of the puck, the man who pulled the Wildcats together in a time of challenge or adversity, spoke with the genuine class and straight forwardness he always displays, in victory or defeat.

"We had a real bunker mentality after we got some bad news this week," said Coach O'Rourke, moments after he picked up his 260th career victory as his alma mater's head hockey coach. "You have two choices, one you can cry about it and pull up the tent and the other choice is go out there, work and do something about it.

"I'm just so proud of them," Coach O'Rourke continued. "I almost feel better about this than the state championship (in March of 2010), because nobody thought we could win this game except for those people in the locker room."    

    

   

       

 

    

A reminder on Saturday's postseason twin bill in Wildcats Athletics.
2/28/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Brooklyn, Ohio - It is all quiet right now at the neighboring John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Come tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, the Coyne Rec's Brooklyn Ice Arena, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis," will be rocking and parking spaces will be tough to come by as top-seeded Saint Ignatius and second-seeded Holy Name meet in the Brooklyn District Championship Game.

The puck will drop at 3 PM in what is expected to be a sold-out Brooklyn Ice Arena. Arriving at least an hour early would not be out of the question, as a trip to next weekend's State's Finals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus is on the line.

Holy Name is appearing in the Brooklyn District title game for the second consecutive season, as last year the Green Wave was eliminated by Rocky River in the elite-eight match up.

Saint Ignatius reached the District Semifinals at Brooklyn last season, where the 'Cats were also defeated by Rocky River.

Holy Name, ranked seventh in this year's final state poll by the Coaches Association, defeated the state's top-ranked Wildcats, 3-2, in a Great Lakes Hockey League regular-season match up on Jan. 11. That game was played on the home ice of the Green Wave, Parma's Michael A. Ries Ice Rink.  

In  handing the Ice Cats their first league setback of the season, Holy Name scored on a goal by Tim Higginbotham with 0.08 seconds left in the third period. Saint Ignatius had tied the score at 2 with 54 seconds remaining on a goal by junior forward Ethan Whitney. Higginbotham's game winner was his second lamp lighter on the night.

Saint Ignatius sophomore Wes Deacon had 13 saves in net and Holy Name keeper CJ Balodis had 28 saves.

That was well over a month ago, however, and only the storied echoes that still linger behind the walls in "The Big Barn on Memphis" have a true insight as to what will take place on Saturday.

In varsity basketball action on Saturday evening, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, seeded fourth at the Grafton Midview District, will face the 22nd-seeded North Ridgeville Rangers in a Division I sectional final at legendary Sullivan Gymnasium. The tip off from West 30th and Lorain Avenue will be 7 PM.

If successful against North Ridgeville, the area's sixth-ranked Wildcats will advance to a District Semifinal at Midview High School on Thursday night at 7. Thursday's opponent would be the winner of Saturday's 4 PM sectional-final match up at North Royalton between the second-seeded Bears and the eighth-seeded Lakewood Rangers.

As always, Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network will bring you live action on both hockey and basketball.

See you on Memphis Avenue in the afternoon and at Sullivan Gym at night.

       

Anthony McLaughlin's wrestling career at Saint Ignatius comes to an end.
2/28/2014

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

It was a tough second day for Anthony McLaughlin during the 77th Annual Individual State Wrestling Championships at The Ohio State University.

Anthony was eliminated from the Division I, 182-pound tournament by default. The default took place after Anthony's opponent in Friday's Consolation Round 2, Traevon Dickerson from Mansfield, was injured from a takedown or slam to the mat.

The Wildcats' senior captain, Anthony was rated among the premier wrestlers in Ohio all winter and came away with championships at the North Royalton Sectional and the Mentor District. He set a Saint Ignatius record for Dual Meet victories in a season, as he went 15-0 in those matches.

Anthony repeated as a champion at the always challenging Solon Comet Classic this season and he also brought home a championship at the demanding Catholic Invitational Tournament.

As we reported on the corner Thursday night, Anthony defeated Drew Fenton of West Chester Lakota West in an Ultimate Tiebreaker during Thursday's Championship Preliminaries and, as we reported early this afternoon, Anthony was defeated by Rocco Caywood of Perrysburg, 5-3, in the Championship Quarterfinals. The loss to Caywood put Anthony in the consolation round, where he met Dickerson.

Congratulations from the corner go out to Anthony for an outstanding varsity career at Saint Ignatius and we wish him nothing but the best when he continues his education and wrestling pursuits at the Air Force Academy.   

   

Anthony McLaughlin is defeated by Rocco Caywood of Perrysburg, 5-3, in Friday's Championship Quarterfinals.
2/28/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Anthony will now drop into today's 182-pound consolation rounds.

Caywood, who placed third at the Cleveland State University District, moved to an early 2-0 lead and led, 3-1, entering the third period. He will take a record of 41-4 into Friday night's Championship Semifinals.

McLaughlin, who placed sixth in the state last season at 170 pounds, is now 42-5. Anthony was the 182-pound champion at last week's Mentor District.  

Anthony McLaughlin "escapes" with a UTB victory over West Chester Lakota West's Drew Fenton.
2/27/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Needing an escape in the down position within 30 seconds, Saint Ignatius' 182-pound senior standout Anthony McLaughlin came up with the escape for a 3-2, Ultimate Tiebreaker Victory (UTB) over sophomore Drew Fenton of West Chester Lakota West in Thursday evening's Division I Championship Preliminaries of the 77th Individual State Wrestling Championships at The Ohio State University.

McLaughlin, the Mentor District Champion, will take a record of 42-4 record into Friday's Championship Quarterfinals. Fenton, who placed fourth at the Kettering Fairmont District, slips into the consolation-round competition at 36-11.

Friday's Championship Quarterfinals, which are scheduled to begin at 11:20 AM, will see McLaughlin face senior Rocco Caywood of Perrysburg.

Caywood, who won by a major decision over junior Nate Hall from Lewis City, Olentangy during Thursday night's other Championship Preliminary matches, placed third at the Cleveland State University District and now carries a record of 40-4. Hall (41-6), who also has to attempt to wrestle back in the consolation round, placed second at the Hilliard Darby District.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anthony McLaughlin holds a 1-0 lead over Drew Fenton of West Chester Lakota West in the second period. We will update you.
2/27/2014
You can add Parma to the Wildcats' 2015 and 2016 Varsity Football schedules. Note: We will have an update on Anthony McLaughlin from tonight's 77th State Wrestling Championships.
2/27/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - Just a few weeks after securing Normandy and Valley Forge to Saint Ignatius' 2015 and 2016 varsity football schedules, Wildcats Athletics Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 told the corner this afternoon that he has also locked up Parma for 2015 and '16.

Parma has agreed to play the Wildcats in Week 6 of 2015 and 2016. The 2015 agreement gives Saint Ignatius nine games for that season.

The Wildcats have just one open date for the upcoming 2014 season and that is Week 4.

Saint Ignatius and Parma have a gridiron history that shows the Wildcats leading the all-time series, 11-8-1. The 'Cats and the Redmen started playing in 1959, a game won by Parma, 14-6, and their last previous meeting took place in 1979, a 31-0 triumph by the Wildcats. Saint Ignatius and Parma did not play in 1976, thus the 20-game history.

 

An Alley Cats wrap up from Coach Fleming.
2/27/2014
Here is a final wrap up on the outstanding turnaround season by the Saint Ignatius Wildcats Bowling Team.
 
From Assistant Coach Al Fleming and Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Coach Fleming's Comments: Our Team Games from the District Tournament were - 837,907,892 for a total of 2636. At the end of the team event, we were in 11th place, only 70 pins out of the final spot to qualify for States.
 
The Baker Games went as followed, 159, 183, 177, 168, 258, 152 for a total of 1097. Our 258 was the highest game in the Districts for Division I.
 
Our team did well, although we did miss going to States by 20 pins. These young men did extremely well and we, as the coaches, are very proud of these young men.
 
The team consisted of (in no particular order): Gianni Schaeffer, Phil Criswell, Garrett Forst, Sean O'Brien, Ralph Deadwyler, Antonio DiFranco, Austin Venczel and Anthony Giancola.
 
Closing remarks: "Both Coach John (Head Coach John Kastanis) and I are very proud of this group, to get as far as they did," said Coach Fleming. "I see great things in the future for this team as we grow and move forward. We will miss our departing seniors (Phil, Sean and Anthony), for they helped in all ways with the team. I am looking forward to next season and all the good things that will come of it."
 
Wildcats Varsity Basketball advances with a 58-26 sectional-semifinal victory over John Marshall on Wednesday night. The Wildcats will now face North Ridgeville in a Division I sectional final on Saturday at 7 PM.
2/26/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February, 2014

Please note that Saturday's sectional final basketball game versus North Ridgeville in Sullivan Gymnasium has been moved to 7 PM. The time change will allow Saint Ignatius' faithful to support both the Varsity Hockey Team in its 3 PM District Championship Game on Saturday at the Brooklyn Ice Arena and the Varsity Basketball Team on Saturday night.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, the top seed at Brooklyn, will face second-seeded Holy Name on Saturday with a trip to the state finals on the line. The Green Wave, which advanced to the District Championship match up with the Wildcats by defeating third-seeded St. Edward, 1-0, on Wednesday night, handed Saint Ignatius one of its four regular-season setbacks.

As for Wednesday night's sectional-semifinal in storied Sullivan Gym, all 14 players scored for Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats. The fourth seed for the Midview-Brecksville blended sectional/district, the now 17-6 Wildcats moved to a 38-9 lead over John Marshall by halftime.

Junior forward Dylan Nieto and 6-foot-7 senior post Jake Strippy led the long Saint Ignatius scoring column with 9 and 8 points, respectively.

Senior guard Cody Gooch tossed in eight points for the Lawyers from John Marshall.

*Here is a look at the Wildcats' 58-26 victory.

Cleveland, Ohio - It is the postseason, that time of year when you either come out and take care of business or spend the next month wondering what if.

After Coach Sean O'Toole's Saint Ignatius Wildcats eliminated John Marshall by 32 points in a Division I sectional semifinal in Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night, Coach O'Toole was definitely pleased with the first step taken by his 2013-14 Wildcats on the OHSAA Tournament Trail.

However, the first remarks Coach O'Toole made after his team improved to 17-6 heading into Saturday night's sectional-final match up with 22nd-seeded North Ridgeville, were directed to the Lawyers from John Marshall.

"First of all, I want to credit John Marshall and those kids," Coach O'Toole said. "The Senate was a great league this year. For them to compete in that league and then they came over here and I tell you what, they played from tip off to buzzer. They're to be commended and I wish those kids nothing but the best."

In overruling the Lawyers, the Wildcats came out strong and moved to an 11-0 lead after senior point guard and captain Danny Bova turned a text-book steal into a lay up and senior forward and captain Isiah Barbra scored in transition off an on-the-money assist from Bova.

John Marshall scored its first points on a basket by sophomore Lontonio Alexander with 4 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

Saint Ignatius kept the pressure on and, behind a 3-pointer by senior guard Ryan Napoli, a basket by 6-7 senior post Jake Strippy off a Napoli assist, a block by Strippy that he followed with a tip-in at the other end, and a deep 3-pointer by junior guard Joe Isabella, led, 22-2, after the first eight minutes.

It was more of the same early in the second quarter as Coach O'Toole's multiple rotations off his bench continued to produce solid results.

Following seven consecutive points by junior forward Dylan Nieto - a 3-pointer, a strong move to the rim and a basket off an assist from sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish - a steal and a lay up by junior post Mikal Outcalt and a lay up by powerful junior post Dre'Mont Jones, the 'Cats led, 33-2.

John Marshall, which played with heart and enthusiasm, and refused to look at the scoreboard, put together a 7-2 run that featured a 3-pointer by senior guard Cody Gooch and a second-effort put back by sophomore forward Tevin Jackson.

Saint Ignatius, ranked sixth in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, rode two free throws by gifted sophomore guard Deven Stover and a 3-pointer off glass by Kalish to 38-9 lead by halftime.

"Happy with our guys, everybody scored," Coach O'Toole '87 said after his Wildcats secured their coach's 104th victory in sixth seasons as the head basketball coach at his alma mater. "We had two great days of practice, we're going to have two more great days of practice, we're going to play Saturday and we'll see where everything goes. But I'm very happy with the direction our team is going right now. There is a good vibe and a good bounce."

In moving to 11 games above .500, Saint Ignatius, despite the score, still had plenty of bounce in its step over the final eight minutes.

Leading, 42-16, entering the fourth quarter, the Wildcats treated their faithful to some nice finishing touches that included a tip-in by Jones, a lay up by Strippy, another Strippy basket courtesy of a smooth assist from senior guard Jimmy Abraham, a lay up by Isabella, a nice move along the baseline and a driving one-hander by Abraham, and two more points from Nieto off an assist from Isabella.

North Ridgeville advanced to face the Wildcats in Saturday night's sectional final at Sullivan Gym by defeating 15th-seeded Amherst Steele, 63-62, on Wednesday night.    

 

      

       

     

 

 

 

 

In a match up of two big-hearted and gifted teams, Saint Ignatius, behind Harry Smith's goal in the second overtime, turns back Rocky River, 4-3, in Tuesday night's District Semifinal in Brooklyn.
2/25/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Senior Harry Smith, a Captain in every sense of the word, said he will never forget his game winner, a beautifully executed play and shot that came with 5 minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the second overtime and allowed Saint Ignatius to advance to Saturday's District Championship game at 3 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Saturday's winner advances to the State Tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus the weekend of March 7-8.  

"I have the game puck, I'm going to remember this forever," said Smith, who will help lead the top-seeded 28-4-5 Ice Cats against the winner of Wednesday night's other District Semifinal at Brooklyn between the second-seeded Green Wave of Holy Name and the third-seeded Eagles from St. Edward.

No matter what the outcome is between Holy Name and St. Edward, Saturday's District Championship Game will match two teams from the premier league in Northeast Ohio, if not the entire state - the Great Lakes Hockey League. Six of the eight GLHL teams finished among the Top 10 in the coaches' state poll.

Coach Chris Cogan's Rocky River Pirates, who advanced to the state final four last season after upsetting Saint Ignatius in the District Semifinals, completed another outstanding winter at 29-6-1. Rocky River was the fourth seed at Brooklyn.

Trailing, 3-0, after two periods, the Pirates came storming back behind third-period, power-play goals by Mike Ittu, Jack Mallett and Cam Heider.

Rocky River goalie Ryan Kostelnik made 46 saves and Saint Ignatius sophomore keeper Dylan McKeon turned away 36 shots.

*HERE IS A LOOK AT THE ROCKY RIVER-SAINT IGNATIUS THRILLER, A MATCH UP THAT AFTER TWO YEARS OF MEMORABLE DISTRICT SEMIFINAL ENCOUNTERS HAS TAKEN ITS PLACE AMONG THE AREA'S KEY RIVALRIES - AT LEAST ON THE WEST SIDE.

Brooklyn, Ohio - Entering his junior season of 2012-13, Saint Ignatius' Harry Smith was asked by the Wildcats' coaching staff to move from his very effective forward spot to defense, where Coach Pat O'Rourke's team needed some help.

While Harry accepted the change with open arms, the skills and shot he displayed at forward still lingered in Coach O'Rourke's mind. So this season, Harry, a senior Captain, has been called on to contribute just about anywhere he is needed.

And that return to more offense paid a huge dividend on Tuesday night in the tradition-rich Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Smith, hustling nearly the length of the ice, scored off a nice move and on-the-money shot in leading the Wildcats to a dramatic 4-3, double-overtime victory over the gutsy Pirates from Rocky River in the Brooklyn District Semifinals.

Saint Ignatius, the top-ranked team in this season's final coaches state poll, appeared to be in command after moving to a 3-0 lead after two periods.

Senior forward Danny Brogan, senior Captain and forward Beck Schultz and high scoring junior forward Matty Geither accounted for the game's first three goals, with Geither's lamp lighter coming with just 4.5 seconds remaining in the second period.

Sophomore forward Cam Gerard and senior defenseman and Captain Kevin Spellacy assisted on Brogan's goal, Schultz scored off a penalty shot with 8 minutes and 14 seconds left in the second period and Geither's quick-hitter came off  assists from the Spellacy brothers, Kevin and sophomore forward Aidan.

"There is just something special about this team," said Smith moments after Rocky River stormed back to tie the score on three power-play goals, only to be turned away by Smith's game winner in the second overtime off an assist from senior defenseman Logan Sellers. "When things start going south, we all have a great chemistry to stay together. We weren't going to lose that game, that wasn't going to be my last game at Saint Ignatius. And that's what we believed the whole time.

"We have a special bond on this team," Smith continued. "They (the Pirates) scored three great power play goals, I do take my hat off to them for coming back."

While most of the fans among the large and spirited crowd in the Brooklyn Ice Arena will remember Rocky River's third-period goals by Mike Ittu, Jack Mallett and Cam Heider, Coach Chris Cogan's Pirates also forced the first 8-minute overtime by killing off a 5-3 advantage for the Wildcats.

However, after both teams missed opportunities in the first overtime, Smith sent Saint Ignatius' strong and creative student-body support into jubilation when he scored the on-to-the-elite-eight goal less than three minutes into the second overtime.

"I got the puck in the neutral zone," Smith said. "I saw it was a two-on-two, Beck (Schultz) went hard to the net, their defenseman stepped out on me, I went across the middle and had an open shot. I put it over his (Kostelnik) shoulder. I don't remember much after that."

The Wildcats' hockey faithful are sure to remember the night that Harry, the willing defender, stepped up big again at the offensive end.

"It's going to be another great game, no matter who it is," said Smith of Saturday's District Final. "We have to get back to practice tomorrow and the rest of this week, and get better. This can't be the pinnacle of our season. There's three more to go."

Saint Ignatius was 3-0 against St. Edward this season and lost its only meeting with Holy Name.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE '90: "We spent all day working on it," said Coach O'Rourke of Rocky River's three power-play goals. "Obviously, it's back to the drawing board on that one. But, you know what? We have three new days to learn.

"That's all you can do, survive and advance," Coach O'Rourke continued. "We got our self back to the District Final, where we always want to be. We'll get back to work and back to our identity, which is a little more hitting than we did tonight. It seemed like it was so tightly called, that we were afraid (to be more aggressive).

"It was a super game, either way, one nobody deserves to lose," Coach O'Rourke said. "They're (the Pirates) great, they never gave up. I thought that they had the momentum late in the game. In the first overtime, we were running around like chickens with their heads cut off and almost lost our composure. We needed the break (the 15 minutes that came between the first and second overtimes) to get in here and try to settle things down. We told them to calm down and do the things that got us here.

"It takes a lot of guts to do what we did," the veteran coach of the 'Cats continued. "A Brotherhood, that's our slogan this year and we all stuck together, stayed positive and stayed hopeful. It's kind of a saying that you have to win one of these games on the way to the State Tournament. We had three seniors score for us tonight and that's what you need at playoff time, your captains, your leaders, your top players to produce."      

 

                        

    

 

   
 
   

 

 

Wildcats basketball remains sixth in area poll.
2/25/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Brooklyn, Ohio - Coach Sean O'Toole's 'Cats finished right where they were last week, as they will take their sixth-place ranking in the final cleveland.com poll into Wednesday night's sectional-semifinal match up with the John Marshall Lawyers. The tip off is slated for 7 PM in Sullivan Gym.

 

 

Anthony McLaughlin to face Drew Fenton of West Chester Lakota West and another reminder on Varsity Ice Hockey and Basketball.
2/24/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Anthony McLaughlin, Saint Ignatius' outstanding 182-pound senior captain and Air Force Academy recruit, will begin the final chapter of his brilliant high school career when he faces West Chester Lakota West sophomore Drew Fenton in the 77th Annual OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Championships.

Matches begin on Thursday evening at Value City Arena in The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. The Division I Preliminaries are scheduled for 5:40 PM on Thursday, followed by the Division I Consolation Round 1 at 8:40.

Anthony, who placed sixth in Ohio last season at 170 pounds, brings an impressive record of 41-4 (OHSAA records) into his final trip to state. That mark includes a Saint Ignatius regular-season record of 15-0 in Dual Meet Matches. Fenton is 36-10.

Just a reminder that Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Ice Cats will put their top seed on the line tomorrow night (Tuesday) when they face the fourth-seeded Rocky River Pirates in a Division I District Semifinal match up. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 7 PM.

The state's top-ranked Ice Cats, who are coming off an 11-0, sectional-final victory over Lakewood, will be out to avenge the upset they experienced last season, when Rocky River defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-1, in the District Semifinals at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Coach Sean O'Toole's 2013-14 Varsity Basketball Wildcats will take their first step on the OHSAA Tournament Trail on Wednesday night, when they face the John Marshall Lawyers in a Division I Sectional-Semifinal game. The tip off in Sullivan Gymnasium will be 7 PM.

Please note that because there are some key games to be played this evening, cleveland.com's Top 25 area basketball poll won't be released until Tuesday. The Basketball 'Cats were ranked sixth in last week's poll.

****Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network, led by the golden tones of senior Pat McGuire, will be bringing you live action on the hockey and basketball games.

See you at "The Big Barn on Memphis" on Tuesday night and at storied Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

Have a great week and, in the words of a man who covered many tournament trails, the late, great Plain Dealer Stark County Columnist and Canton radio legend Hymie Williams, "Goodbye until the next time, which will be the best time."    

 

 

  

Alley Cats finish eighth at the Division I District Tournament in Summit County.
2/23/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach John Kastanis' Varsity Bowlers placed eighth at the Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio on Sunday. ACCORDING TO THE OHSAA'S SUMMIT COUNTY SITE, the top six teams from Sunday qualified for the OHSAA Division I State Tournament in Columbus, which will be held on the Wayne Webb Lanes the weekend of March 7.

Congratulations to Coach Kastanis and his 2013-14 Alley Cats, who showed exceptional character and resiliency near the end of December and put together a run that earned them a spot in the always demanding District Tournament.   

 

Wildcats Hockey brings home the Junior Varsity State Championship with a 2-1 shootout victory over St. Edward on Sunday at Winterhurst.
2/23/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Lakewood Heights Boulevard - Seth Whitney provided the game-winner in the shootout and goalie Mark Mastroianni had ice in his veins down the stretch. After falling behind in the first 15 minutes, the JV 'Cats controlled both the second and third periods en route to forcing a 5-minute overtime.

After a scoreless OT, the shootout took place and Whitney and Mastroianni brought the faithful to their feet as Whitney beat St. Edward's outstanding goalie Kevin O'Donnell with a clever move and Mastroianni followed with two big-time saves, including the game-sealer.

Saint Ignatius Head Junior Varsity Coach Drew Vilinsky, who does a remarkable job developing Saint Ignatius' future Varsity Standouts and future Men for Others, watched his young Wildcats cap another winter of growth and memories with a championship victory over their staunch rival on the Eagles' home ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

The top seed in semifinal play, Saint Ignatius advanced to the Ohio JV Championship Game by defeating Columbus St. Charles, 11-1, on Sunday morning. Coach Vilinsky's Wildcats also posted round-robin victories over Toledo St. John's Jesuit (10-2), Columbus St. Charles (2-0) and Sylvania Northview (3-1).

St. Edward advanced to the title game by defeating University School, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon.

Here is the post-game reaction from what was another chapter in the storied Saint Ignatius-St. Edward rivalry.

From Wildcats goalie Mark Mastroianni, who sandwiched three brilliant saves around Seth Whitney's goal: "It was a team effort to get that win. Obviously, we worked hard and it paid off. I was making them make the first move (in the shootout) to try to protect my net. We've been working for it (the state championship) for over seven months as a team. It's the ultimate payoff."

After he joined his teammates in celebration on Sunday evening, Seth Whitney talked about his shootout goal that, along with the clutch goal tending by  Mastroianni, put the 2013-14 Ohio Junior Varsity Championship Trophy (Cup) in the possession of Coach Vilinsky's Wildcats.

 
"Their goalie is actually my neighbor," said Whitney of St. Edward's talented keeper Kevin O'Donnell. "He was phenomenal. Everyone was asking me, 'What should we do, where should we shoot?' I don't know, he's such a solid goaltender.
 
"He knew my move and I knew he knew it," Whitney continued. "So I faked it (the move) and I just shot it. It wasn't fun for me right at the time, but it's incredible. Now it's so much fun that I can't even comprehend it."
 
Whitney, the younger brother of Wildcats varsity hockey standout Ethan Whitney, said O'Donnell lives a street down from him and that he and Kevin attended Brecksville Middle School together.
 
"But then he told me he was going to St. Eds, and the rivalry began," Whitney added with a wide smile.
 
"This was everything to us," Whitney said of Sunday's victory over the Eagles, who had won two of their previous three meetings with the 'Cats' jayvees this season. "From day one in summer workouts we said we have one goal and that is to win state. And that's what we did. I couldn't be more proud of the team. We practiced as a team, we played as a team and in the end we got to hold that Cup as a team."
 
As emotional as his players were, Coach Vilinsky, while speaking very eloquently, couldn't hide the tears that accompanied his words.
 
"Hockey is another way for them to learn what the school teaches," Coach Vilinsky said. "And to that end, we were trying to teach them what it is first to be great and then after being great, what it is to be a man. Once they understood what it was to be a man, what it is, in effect, is to be a child of God.
 
"The whole season was a Theology lesson, where at the end of it they learned how to love," Coach Vilinsky continued. "I had Mike McLaughlin, Jim Brennan and Tom Healey talk to them at different points of the year to build toward that. To that end, we had 24 boys open to what we were doing, open to working, open to listening. And you saw the fruits of it here (Sunday at Winterhurst) during the second and third periods.
 
"By the end of the year, they were thanking each other with their effort, with their work."
 
*Just a reminder that Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Ice Cats, the top seed at the Brooklyn District, will take on the fourth-seeded Pirates from Rocky River in Tuesday night's OHSAA Division I District Semifinal at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop in the "Big Barn on Memphis" at 7 PM.      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
             
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wildcats Junior Varsity Basketball Team completes a special season.
2/23/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

A huge congratulations goes out from the corner to Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 for the outstanding job they did in guiding the fortunes of the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Basketball Program.

In what was a special display of talent, court savvy and unselfishness, the JV 'Cats compiled a 20-1 record.

From early December through their 61-26 victory at Benedictine in Saturday night's season finale, even the most novice fan could see there was something special about these young 'Cats.

In racking up their 20th victory in the Bengals' Trueman Fieldhouse, the JV 'Cats established their skills early and often.

Sophomore guard Ryan Berger, as he did on more than one occasion this winter, scored off the opening tip and Coach Salata's Wildcats were ready to roar.

Among those helping the JV 'Cats to a 22-2 lead in the first quarter were Ryan Berger, sophomore guard Jake Gawlik, 6-foot-4 freshman post Matt Davet, 6-6 sophomore post Sharief Irish, the ever-present sophomore forward Ian Burry, sophomore guard Jim Berger, Ryan's twin brother, and a young man who caught fire from the perimeter down the stretch of the season, sophomore guard Joe Evans.

After Evans sent home two shots from the outside, Saint Ignatius led, 30-6, entering the second quarter.

In what were two first-half plays that defined what the 2013-14 Wildcats JV Team was all about, Gawlik fired a near length-of-the-court pass to Jim Berger, who, displaying both court awareness and unselfishness, dished off to Irish for a crowd-pleasing, two-handed slam. The other play saw sophomore guard Joe Palmer block a shot and pass to Davet, who then assisted on another slam by Irish. The late, great coach Red Holzman would have loved the ball movement.

Following a breakaway lay up by sophomore guard/forward Mike Huber, the 'Cats led, 44-12, by halftime.

Katie was trying to "Bar The Door" at that point, but Coach Salata's young men pushed it open on a turnaround jumper by Huber, a strong follow by sophomore guard Nate Ellifritt, a basket by Palmer off an assist from sophomore forward Jack Ryan and a smooth drive to the rim by Ellifritt.

Gentlemen, Thank You for the great memories you gave this old-timer the past few months. God be willing, I will look forward to reporting on your varsity careers.

  

 

 

 

  

Wildcats Varsity Basketball turns back Benedictine, 54-51, the JV 'Cats roll to a 20-1 season, Anthony McLaughlin is state bound with the 182-pound title at the Mentor District and Saint Ignatius swimming finishes fifth at the State Meet.
2/22/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Pat O'Rourke's varsity ice hockey team advanced to Tuesday's District match up with Rocky River by defeating Lakewood, 11-0, on Saturday (see the corner's story from Saturday afternoon).

WRESTLING: Wildcats senior standout and captain Anthony McLaughlin will be competing in next weekend's Individual State Tournament in Columbus after bringing home the 182-pound championship at the always demanding Mentor District on Saturday night. Saint Ignatius finished 17th overall with 38.5 points. Massillon Perry took first place with 265.0 points.

SWIMMING: Cincinnati St. Xavier continued its dominance at the annual OHSAA State Swimming Meet as the Bombers totaled 255 points en route to the championship of the 87th Boys State Meet at the C. T. Branin Natatorium in Canton on Saturday evening. St. Xavier has now won 35 state swimming titles.

Toledo St. Francis was second with 238 points, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller was third with 179 and Solon (136) and Saint Ignatius (122) were fourth and fifth, respectively. When you consider some of the standouts Saint Ignatius graduated from last year's third-place finish at state, including All-American Derek Hren, a fifth place by Coach Jeff Ridler's team is very impressive.

Wildcats senior Nathan Christian wrapped up an outstanding high school career by finishing second in both the 50 free (20.65) and 100 free (45.14). Nathan also swam on Wildcats’ 200 freestyle relay team, which produced a third-place, school-record finish of 1:23.74, and he was a member of the Wildcats' 400 freestyle relay team, which finished third.

The Varsity Basketball Wildcats (16-6) had their hands full at Benedictine's Trueman Fieldhouse on Saturday night, as Coach Sean O'Toole's 'Cats closed their regular season with a 54-51 victory over the Bengals.

Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats wrapped an outstanding 20-1 season by dominating the JV team from Benedictine, 61-26.

*Here is the Varsity Basketball game story and the Junior Varsity Basketball recap will be coming up.

The Trueman Fieldhouse - The teams in the same Division II sectional/district with the Benedictine Bengals should take notice.

Yes, the underclassmen-laden Bengals have a record that is comfortably below .500. When you take a glance at the teams Benedictine has played, however, you realize that record can be very deceiving.

As Saint Ignatius' veteran head coach Sean O'Toole '87 emphasized, the Bengals are going to be a tough out in Division II.

"We were very fortunate to win that game," Coach O'Toole said after his Wildcats walked off Benedictine's home court on Saturday night with a 54-51 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams. "Benedictine played a great game, they had a great game plan. They are a well-coached team that is way better than what their record is. He (Bengals Head Coach Albert Wilson) has them playing the right way with what he has."

That said, Coach O'Toole was quick to point out that his concerns remain with his team and the lack of execution that has hampered the Wildcats at times this season, including Saturday night.

In improving to 16-6, Saint Ignatius, ranked sixth in this past week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, found itself trailing the Bengals by as many as 10 points in the first quarter. After a three-point play by junior post Dre'Mont Jones and a 3-pointer by senior point guard Danny Bova, the Wildcats railed, 17-13, early in the second quarter.

It remained a four-point game until Bengals gifted freshman forward Marlon Moore scored off a strong move to the rim that increased Benedictine's lead to 21-15.

After Wildcats senior post Eric Black took an assist from senior forward Isiah Barbra and slammed home two points and junior forward Andre' Wolford buried a 3-pointer, the Bengals clung to a one-point advantage.

Benedictine settled down and responded with an athletic move down the lane by sophomore forward Justin Layne that resulted in a three-point play and 24-20 Bengals lead with 1 minute and five seconds remaining in the first half.

Following two free throws by Moore of a one-and-one situation, Coach Wilson's team led, 26-20, at halftime. Layne and Moore combined for 19 first-half points and finished with 15 and 20 points, respectively.

In the second half, Coach O'Toole's Wildcats began to attack inside-out.

After senior forward David Black, Eric's twin brother, took an in bounds pass from Bova along the baseline and converted it into a three-point play, Saint Ignatius led, 29-28.

In what was a back-and-forth battle for the rights to Mr. Momentum, the Bengals took a two-point lead on a deep three-pointer by Moore in the final seconds of the third quarter only to watch the Wildcats knot the score at 34 on a buzzer-beating lay up by Eric Black off an assist from David Black.

"Again, we have to correct things that have been going on for awhile," Coach O'Toole said. "It's way more than just the offensive end. Collectively, we just have to be more consistent."

Like the previous three quarters, the final eight minutes saw both teams flash the good and the bad that exists in their game.

Saint Ignatius, which begins its Division I postseason sectional play by hosting John Marshall at 7 on Wednesday night, moved to a 38-34 lead on a steal and a lay up by Bova and two free throws by Eric Black with 7:23 to go in the fourth quarter.

Benedictine cut the deficit to one point on a three-point play by Lane, but the Wildcats went back to Eric Black down low and led, 43-39.

After two free throws by Moore made it a 43-41 game, Eric Black split two free throws and senior guard Ryan Napoli pushed the 'Cats' lead to five points by converting a Bova assist into a lay up.

The final 3 minutes and 42 seconds were a roller coaster of emotions for the spirited crowd in the Trueman Fieldhouse.

With Saint Ignatius holding a 46-43 lead, the Bengals' Moore made it a one-point deficit by hustling after his missed 3-pointer and, in one motion, laying the ball in the basket.

The Wildcats appeared to be in a solid position after sophomore guard Deven Stover hit a 3-pointer, the Bengals turned the ball over and Stover sank three free throws after being fouled while attempting another 3-pointer. Those six points increased what was a one-point lead to 52-45 with 1:58 left.

Coach Wilson's Bengals were not about to go quietly into the night, however, as Benedictine sandwiched six clutch free throws around two Saint Ignatius turnovers and trailed, 52-51, with 30.4 ticks remaining on the clock.

Following a Bova free throw that gave the Wildcats a 53-51 lead with 17.8 seconds left, the Bengals brought the ball past mid court and called a timeout with 11.6 seconds to go.

After Benedictine missed two shots from close range, Eric Black accounted for the game's final point on a free throw with 0.9 seconds remaining.

Eric Black tied Moore for game honors with 20 points and Stover and Napoli had 9 and 7 points, respectively.

Saint Ignatius was 18-for-50 from the field and 14-of-23 from the foul line. The Wildcats had 37 rebounds and committed 15 turnovers.

Benedictine was 15-for-44 from the field, 17-of-24 from the charity stripe, pulled down 30 rebounds and turned the ball over 14 times.  

        

 

                   

Update on the Wildcats Wrestlers at the Mentor District.
2/22/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

As of 4 PM Saturday, Wildcats 106-pound freshman Quade Rasmussen had lost his semifinal and consolation semifinal matches.

Saint Ignatius senior captain and 182-pound standout Anthony McLaughlin defeated Mike Mausar of Willoughby South in a major decision, 12-2, in the 182-pound semifinals.

The Wildcats stood in 17th place with 34.5 points.

*Tonight's championship finals at Mentor get underway at 7 and we will have a report on the corner after our coverage of Saint Ignatius' varsity and junior varsity basketball games at Benedictine.

*We will also have a report on this evening's State Swimming Finals in Canton, as Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats make their bid for another impressive finish (see Friday afternoon's post on the corner).     

 

Saint Ignatius scores early and often en route to an 11-0 victory over Lakewood in Saturday's OHSAA Sectional Finals of the Brooklyn District.
2/22/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - Under the state rules, a running clock went into play at the start of the second period with the Ice Cats leading, 7-0, and the game was called late in the second period after Saint Ignatius scored its 11th goal.

The Ice Cats, the top seed at Brooklyn, will take a record of 27-4-5 into Tuesday's District Semifinal match up with the fourth-seeded Rocky River Pirates. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 7 p.m. Saint Ignatius will be looking to avenge last year's 3-1 loss to the Pirates in the Brooklyn District Semifinals.

Lakewood, which got 47 saves from goalie Hunter Nugent, slipped to 12-13 on the season.

Here is a breakdown on the game, along with comments from Saint Ignatius Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90.

The Ice Cats, who finished No. 1 in the coaches state poll and brought home the inaugural Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Championship, played like a No. 1 champion from the get go in Saturday's high noon match up with the Rangers.

Employing its deep lines, Saint Ignatius rolled a seven in the first 15 minutes that included two goals from both sophomore forward Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Kevin Yarcusko, and goals by junior defenseman and forward Brady Wells, junior forward and Assistant Captain Jack Wiegandt and senior forward Brian Fitzgerald. Yarcusko's two goals came in succession and were separated by a span of just over a minute. 

The four goals that ended the game in the second period were courtesy of junior forward Matty Geither, who accounted for two of the four, senior forward Danny Brogan and senior forward and Captain Beck Schultz. Saint Ignatius had 58 shots on goal in less than two periods.

Providing assists on the day were Geither, Schultz (4), senior defenseman and Captain Kevin Spellacy (2), Aidan's older brother, Brogan (2), junior forward Jack Mazanec, sophomore forward Brian Russell, Wells, senior defenseman Nick Gajkowski, junior forward Ethan Whitney (2), Aidan Spellacy (2) and Yarcusko (2).

Although it is the postseason and you have to come out and take care of business, the Ice Cats and the Rangers handled themselves with class throughout a game that was called with 46 seconds remaining in the second period.

"We know their coach (Lakewood's Josh Dress), he's a great guy," said Coach O'Rourke. "He (Coach Dress) used to work at the rink and his mom used to work here (the Brooklyn Ice Arena). So we tried to keep it classy. He's (Coach Dress) a super guy and he's done a good job with that team. We know a lot of their kids.

"You had to win the game, but you want to try to do it the right way, like we do things at our school," Coach O'Rourke continued. "For those guys on the fourth line who got to start today, it's nice. They're good players and just a hair behind a couple of our guys right now. But that could change. Our whole motto is competition. That's the whole point we're trying to build with this program, we don't rely on one guy."

And now it's on to Rocky River, which ended the 'Cats' postseason aspirations in 2013. The Pirates went on to advance to the state final four.

"We know what happened last year, you have to have revenge on your mind," Coach O'Rourke said. "We've watched River play a couple of times here in recent weeks and they're good. They were good last year. They have a rink and a youth program, so they have all of the things you need to contend for a state title. They've been there (the final four) more recently than we have.

"They can put the puck in the net," Coach O'Rourke continued in his reference to the Pirates. "So now it's time to really step up our play and see how far we can go. Yeah, two weeks from today is the state final."

If this old-timer can insert a final comment, it is that a huge factor in Rocky River's upset of the Ice Cats last year was the tremendous student body support the Pirates received in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. You could actually see Nicholson, Sperli and Co. playing off of it. There is no need to say more, other than Tuesday night at 7 in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis." 

    

 

 

     

 

        

  

 

   

In what was a physical basketball game, Saint Ignatius defeats Youngstown East, 63-37, on Senior Night. The JV 'Cats improve to 19-1 and Saint Ignatius' swimmers have a solid day during OHSAA State Prelims (see the corner's post from Friday afternoon).
2/21/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Senior captain and post Eric Black leads 12 Wildcats in the scoring column with 19 points, as Saint Ignatius' Varsity Basketball Team improves to 15-6 heading into Saturday night's regular-season finale at Benedictine. The junior varsity tip off at Benedictine will be 6 PM, followed by the varsity game at 7:30.

The Junior Varsity Wildcats will look to finish their season at 20-1 on Saturday night at Benedictine after wearing down Youngstown East's JV team, 61-30, on Friday night.

*Nathan Christian and Peter Simcox help show the way for Coach Jeff Ridler's swimmers as the Wildcats put together an impressive day of prelims at the annual State Meet in Canton (see the corner's post from Friday afternoon).

*During the opening night of the tradition-rich Mentor District Wrestling Tournament, Coach Mark Sullivan's Wildcats stood in 18th place with 16 points. Freshman Quade Rasmussen at 106 pounds and senior standout Anthony McLaughlin at 182 both won their opening and quarterfinal matches, Quade by two decisions and Anthony by a pin and a decision.

*Coach Sullivan will be counting on some strong wrestle-back efforts, as Saint Ignatius' four other district qualifiers were defeated in the opening round. Matches resume at Mentor on Saturday at 9 AM and Saturday night's finals are scheduled for 7:30.

*Here are the Varsity game story and Junior Varsity recap from Friday night's sweep over Youngstown East in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 firmly believes that the best way to prepare for the OHSAA postseason is to face a variety of styles during the regular season.

Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium, Saint Ignatius probably played the most physical team they have met all winter - the Panthers from Youngstown East.

Although East couldn't match the Wildcats' all-around basketball skills, as the final score of 63-37 in favor of Saint Ignatius indicates, Coach Dennis Simmons' Panthers made sure their presence was felt.

"I think in the tournament you're going to see everything and tonight we saw a very tough, physical team," Coach O'Toole said after his Wildcats, ranked sixth in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, improved to 15-6. "Yeah, it get's you ready man. That's a tough, tough team that played extremely physical and we had to try to match it.

"Obviously, I want my team to play as physical as possible within the rules," Coach O'Toole continued. 'I thought we did a great job of that. Being Senior Night, we accomplished what we wanted in that everyone got to play."

After all of the senior players and their parents and the Student Broadcasting Network's 1-2 senior punch of Pat McGuire and Paddy White and their parents were introduced to the Sullivan Gym audience, the Wildcats took the floor for what was their next-to-last regular season game. The 'Cats close their 22-game regular season at Benedictine on Saturday night.

Senior guard Ogo Okolo, a young man who fought injuries and underwent surgery last year so he could be on the floor with his teammates this season, got a starting assignment on Friday night and went out and scored his team's first three points.

On the strength of a 3-pointer by junior forward/wing Andre' Wolford, a basket by senior forward David Black off an on-the-money assist from senior point guard Danny Bova and two baskets by senior post Eric Black, David's twin brother, off dimes from Wolford and Bova, Saint Ignatius took a 17-12 lead into the second quarter.

In game that was not for the faint of heart, the Wildcats, on the strength of a second-effort offensive rebound and lay in by senior forward Isiah Barbra, a strong two points from junior post Dre'Mont Jones and an authoritative drive to the rim by Barbra led, 23-15, with four minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the first half.

Keeping its poise under the physical aspect of the game, Saint Ignatius started to take command late in the second quarter.

Eric Black, who tossed in a game-high 19 points, scored down low along the baseline and then slammed home a two-handed crowd pleaser. After a hustle basket by Bova and a put back by Jones, the Wildcats led, 32-15, at halftime.

"I'm very proud of this group of seniors," said Coach O'Toole. "They stick together and have great camaraderie. They understand what we want. Guys like Ogo and Jimmy (senior guard Jimmy Abraham), they make us better on a daily basis. I can't say enough about those guys."

Saint Ignatius, which begins its postseason on Wednesday versus John Marshall at 7 PM in Sullivan Gym, went toe-to-toe with the 6-13 Panthers in the third quarter en route to settling the issue.

Two quick baskets by Eric Black and a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Deven Stover had the Wildcats in front, 39-17, with 5:51 left in the third quarter. East, behind the play of its strong and talented senior forward Terrell McClain, would close to 40-23. However, after two free throws by Jones and another 3-pointer by Stover the 'Cats were purring again.

Following a determined drive down the lane by Eric Black that resulted in a three-point play, Saint Ignatius took a 24-point lead into the final eight minutes. Coach O'Toole's team added some icing to the victory cake in the form of a Bova lay up off an assist from Barbra, two free throws by junior post Mikal Outcalt, an athletic tip-in by senior post Jake Strippy, a lay up by sophomore forward Tim Kiefer off an assist from junior guard Joe Isabella and a slam dunk in transition by Outcalt.

"They've struggled a little bit, but they have personnel," said Coach O'Toole, who turned his attention to the Benedictine Bengals. "They have a lot of young, good players. It is going to be a tough match up for us. We have to enjoy this and go get ready for them coming with our (pre-game) walk through tomorrow."

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME: Saint Ignatius 61, Youngstown East 30.

Coach Chris Salata's team started fast and then steadily pulled away from the Panthers in winning for the 19th time in 20 games this season.

A basket by sophomore guard Jim Berger followed by eight consecutive points, including two 3-pointers, by sophomore guard Ryan Berger, Jim's twin brother, put the Wildcats in front, 10-2. Saint Ignatius increased that to 14-2 on a lay up by Jim Berger off a steal and an assist by his brother and a put back by nose-for-the-ball sophomore forward Ian Burry.

The JV 'Cats led by 11 points entering the second quarter after freshman post Matt Davet tipped in a missed shot and followed up the next time down the floor with a turnaround jumper.

A smooth jumper from sophomore guard Joe Evans, a baseline jumper by 6-foot-6 sophomore post Sharief Irish, a Davet put back and a 3-pointer by Evans helped put Saint Ignatius in control with a 33-14 lead by halftime.

The Panthers would make a small run in the third quarter that was turned away by some strong work down low by sophomore forward/post Tim Kiefer, sophomore forward Jack Ryan and Burry.

Leading by 16 points entering the fourth quarter, Coach Salata's team showed once again why it is one of the top junior varsity programs in Ohio. Over the next seven minutes, the JV 'Cats outscored the Panthers, 18-3.

Saint Ignatius' unselfish and relentless attack down the stretch featured two picture-perfect assists by sophomore guard Joe Palmer that were sandwiched around Joe's breakaway layup.

Balance was again the story of the Junior Varsity Scorebook, as Ryan Berger led the way with 12 points, followed by eight-point efforts from Davet, Irish and Kiefer.  

   

       

Nathan Christian, Peter Simcox and the 400-yard and 200-yard freestyle relay teams show the way for the Wildcats in Friday's Prelims of the OHSAA State Meet.
2/21/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The 'Cats' 400-yard freestyle relay team of Nathan Christian, Dmitri Simcox, Rayon Artis and Peter Simcox grabbed first place, Nathan Christian and Peter Simcox put forth second-place efforts in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly, respectively, and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Dmitri Simcox, Peter Simcox, Nathan Christian and Rayon Artis also placed second with a school-record time.

Saint Ignatius' 400-yard freestyle relay team placed first in a time of 3:08.29 and Toledo St. Francis was second in 3:08.52.

Nathan's time in the 100-yard freestyle was 45.67. Grant House of St. Xavier was first in a time of 45.61.

Peter's time in the 100-yard butterfly was 49.50. Mason Miller of Westerville North was first at 49.08.

The Wildcats' 200-yard freestyle relay team posted a school-record time of 1:24.21. The previous Saint Ignatius mark was 1:24.89 set in the 1999-2000 season. Toledo St. Francis placed first at Friday's prelims at 1:23.89.

Nathan Christian finished seventh in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 21.12 and Saint Ignatius' 200-yard medley relay team was 14th in a time of 1:37.59. Winning the 50-yard freestyle prelim was Ryan Charbonneau of Brecksville-Broadview Heights. His time was 20.82.

The 87th Boys State Swimming Meet is being held at the Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.

Just a reminder that Saturday's finals are scheduled to begin at 4 PM.    

A reminder on the big weekend that lies ahead in Wildcats athletics
2/20/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, February 2014

While Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Team and Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Basketball Program are wrapping up their regular seasons this weekend, three of the four other winter Varsity Programs at Saint Ignatius will be looking to advance to the next level in OHSAA state competition.

As for Coach Jeff Ridler's Swimmers, the goal will be another strong performance at the highest state level.

Here is a breakdown on where and when the winter's fabulous five will be competing this weekend.

State Swimming: After an impressive third-place finish at last year's demanding State Meet, Coach Jeff Ridler's team is looking to again make its mark in Canton Ohio's C.T. Branin Natatorium. The Division I Prelims begin at 9 AM on Friday and the Finals are scheduled for 4 PM on Saturday.

This year marks the 87th Boys State Meet.

Leading the Wildcats into Stark County are senior standouts Nathan Christian (50 free, seed time 21.07, and 100 free, seed time 46.00) and Peter Simcox (100 yard butterfly, seed time 50.80). Nathan is the school record holder in the 50 free and Peter is the Wildcats' record holder in the 200 medley relay.

Joining Nathan and Peter in Canton are sophomore Rayon Artis (50 free, seed time 21.65), the 12-seeded 200-yard medley relay team (1:37.39), the third-seeded 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:25.27) and the ninth-seeded 400-yard freestyle relay team (3:11.78).

Basketball: The Wildcats (14-6), coming off a 93-47 victory over Lincoln-West (see the corner’s story from Wednesday evening), will play host to Youngstown East on Friday in what is the basketball program's annual “Senior Night.” The JV tip is 6 PM and the Varsity game is on tap for 7:30.

On Saturday night, the 'Cats close their regular season with a trip to Benedictine High School. Saturday will be another
6 PM JV game, with the varsity match up to follow. Coach O'Toole's Varsity Wildcats begin play in the OHSAA Midview Division I Sectional/District by hosting the John Marshall Lawyers on Feb. 26 at 7 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium.

As always, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you live coverage on this weekend’s basketball
games. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will have the lead call for the varsity action.

District Wrestling: Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats qualified six wrestlers out of the North Royalton Sectional to this weekend's tradition-rich Mentor District, also known as "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Leading the Wildcats' super six are 182-pound senior captain and Air Force Academy recruit Anthony McLaughlin, and 106-pound freshman mainstay Quade Rasmussen. Anthony and Quade brought home championships from North Royalton.

Complementing Anthony and Quade in the quest for spots at next weekend's Individual State Tournament in Columbus will be sophomore Hunter Toth at 113 pounds, junior Gavin Rivera at 120, freshman Cal Miller at 138 and sophomore Kyle Vilsack at 152.

The Mentor High School District gets underway at 5 PM on Friday and resumes Saturday morning at 9, with semi-pairings starting at 12:30 PM. Saturday’s finals will begin at 7 PM.

Sectional Final Hockey: Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (26-4-5), the top seed at the OHSAA Brooklyn District, will face the Lakewood Rangers on Saturday at high noon in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Due to the first-round forfeit over Elyria Catholic (a shortage of players), Saturday will mark Saint Ignatius’ first game since its impressive 4-2 victory over University School in the February 9th Championship Game of the GLHL's Cleveland Cup.

District Bowling, AKA ALLEY CAT FEVER!: We again congratulate Head Coach John Kastanis, Assistant Coach Al Fleming and the tough-minded and talented Alley Cats on their outstanding efforts during last weekend's OHSAA Sectional Play (SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON).

Now it is on to the Division I Northeast District competition, with qualifying spots for the State Tournament on the line. The Alley Cats will be competing in the District at the AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio on Sunday at noon.

*Here is the itinerary for Sunday at the Riviera Lanes.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students K-12.

10:00 – teams admitted

10:30 – public admitted

11:15 – coaches meeting

11:30 – announcements

11:45 – practice

12:00 – competition starts

All of the Best to the Wildcats' winter sports teams throughout the weekend.



 



Everyone plays as Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats take care of business at The Q with a 93-47 victory over Lincoln-West. Saint Ignatius drains 11 3-pointers, including four by Andre' Wolford and three from both Ryan Napoli and Joe Isabella.
2/19/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Saint Ignatius improved to 14-6 heading into Friday's Senior Night match up with Youngstown East at Sullivan Gymnasium. Friday's junior varsity tip off is slated for 6 PM, with the varsity encounter to follow at 7:30.

Lincoln-West, which now stands 6-14, got an outstanding performance from senior forward Mark Stalla, who scored a game-high 23 points.

Coach Chris Salata's gifted junior varsity basketball team won for the 18th time in 19 games this season, as Saint Ignatius' skill and depth wore down the JV team from Lincoln-West, 71-27.

****Here is the varsity game story, followed by a junior varsity recap.

Quicken Loans Arena - Happy Birthday Mrs. Napoli!

Debbie Napoli, the mother of Saint Ignatius senior guard Ryan Napoli, was treated to another leave it all-on-the-floor performance by Ryan on Wednesday afternoon, as Napoli and all of his teammates played a part in Saint Ignatius' 93-47 victory over the Wolverines from Lincoln-West.

Wednesday's game was the traditional late season match up that Coach Sean O'Toole '87, with the cooperation of the Cavaliers, has put together for his Wildcats and a team from the Cleveland Public Schools' Senate Athletic League.

Lincoln-West's junior varsity and varsity teams, along with the varsity and JV programs from their neighbors at Saint Ignatius, had the opportunity to display their skills in a first-class NBA Arena that houses their hometown heroes. Seeing the smiles and expressions on the faces of the Lincoln-West junior varsity players as they took the floor at the Q was priceless, a moment that takes its place among the special ones in this old-timer's 44 years of covering area high school sports.

"First of all, Lincoln-West has three outstanding players," said Coach O'Toole of Wolverines senior forward Mark Stalla, senior guard Brian Martin and junior guard Jonathan Santiago. "They were hanging in there in the first and second quarter. Stalla made plays offensively and scored as well as anyone out there.

"The beauty is everyone played, everyone shared the ball," Coach O'Toole continued. "They got to play on an NBA floor, something they'll remember the rest of their lives."

Ryan Napoli, junior forward/guard Andre' Wolford and junior guard Joe Isabella took home their own special memories as they combined for 10 of Saint Ignatius' 11 3-pointers on the afternoon. The 11th trey was courtesy of junior forward Dylan Nieto.

Wolford finished with a team-best 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and now has 34 of the 107 treys Saint Ignatius has made this season.

Napoli, who brings instant energy the moment he comes off the bench, scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Isabella also tossed in 11 points and sent three treys through the nets without disturbing the rim.

Among the 15 Wildcats who hit the scoring column was senior post and captain Eric Black, who finished with 12 points off some strong work down low.

Junior post Dre'Mont Jones, who is a major college football recruit, senior post Jake Strippy, junior forward Jaylin McDonald, senior guards Ogo Okolo and Jimmy Abraham, junior post Mikal Outcalt and senior forward and captain David Black, Eric's twin brother, also made their presence felt. And then there were the on-the-money assists that senior captains Danny Bova and Isiah Barbra delivered.    

"Yeah, I got eleven for her," said Napoli of his mom's birthday. "Today was about getting everybody to play. It didn't matter who was out there. The last five picked up the starting five and it was cool to see everybody play so well. It's just an awesome experience playing here, with the bright lights and the loud buzzer."

Like Coach O'Toole, Napoli was impressed by the play of Stalla and the heart the Wolverines displayed.

It was almost fitting that Napoli would recognize an opponent who also extends everything he has from baseline to baseline. Stalla, whose nine first-half points helped keep Lincoln-West in striking distance until late in the second quarter, scored 14 of his game-high 23 points during stretch when a lesser player might have called it an afternoon. And those 14 second-half points came against some talented athletes.

"I'm just excited that all of the guys contributed and played their roles," said Coach O'Toole, who then gave this corner some comments on Friday night's opponent - the Panthers from Youngstown East.

"I'm shocked that they're not winning," said Coach O'Toole of East's under-.500 record. The Panthers were 18-7 last season. "I saw them this summer and they had talent. They play a very tough schedule and when I saw them in the summer their guards were good, they were athletic, they played hard and they had some size. So I'm expecting a battle.

"It's Seniors Night, so we want to make sure we send these seniors out on a great note, that's No. 1," Coach O'Toole said. "It's their last regular season game at home."

The reason Coach O'Toole emphasized regular season when talking about his seniors is that under the new OHSAA postseason format, the Wildcats will host John Marshall in a first-round sectional/district match up in Sullivan Gym on Feb. 26 at 7 PM. If the 'Cats overrule the Lawyers from John Marshall, they will also host a second-round game on March 1 at 4 PM.

JUNIOR VARSITY: Saint Ignatius 71, Lincoln-West 27.

The jayvee team from Lincoln-West counter punched with the JV 'Cats for awhile, but soon discovered that Coach Chris Salata's team can throw talent, depth and versatility at you in waves.

The 18-1 JV 'Cats started to land haymakers that included two 3-pointers from tough and talented sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish, a power move to the basket by sophomore post Tim Kiefer off an assist from sophomore guard Ryan Berger and a driving one-hander down the lane by Kalish.

After sophomore guard Joe Evans delivered a 3-pointer, sophomore forward Mike Huber scored in transition and Kiefer sent home two more points off an assist from sophomore guard Jim Berger, Ryan's twin brother. Ryan Berger then scored in transition off another Kalish assist and the 'Cats led, 21-5, early in the second quarter.

The Wolverines had plenty of fight left, however, as the young men from 3202 West 30th Street cut the deficit to 21-10.

It was at that point, however, that the above mentioned talent, depth and versatility that resides at the corner of West 30th and Lorain Avenue came to the fore.

First it was a Kiefer follow and seconds later 6-foot-6 sophomore post Sharief Irish provided an athletic tip-in. After five free throws by Ryan Berger, a coast-to-coast layup by 6-4 freshmen post Matt Davet, a hustle offensive rebound and two points from sophomore guard Jake Gawlik, and a three-point play by Davet off an assist from Evans, Saint Ignatius was in command at 37-12 with 2 minutes and 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

The JV 'Cats' long scoring column showed sophomore guard Nate Ellifritt and Ryan Berger each scoring nine points and sophomore forward Jack Ryan, Kiefer and Kalish contributing eight-point efforts.

With Coach Salata going to his bench early and often, Saint Ignatius had 24 two-point baskets, five 3-pointers and was 8-of-12 from the charity stripe.  

 

A look at the hoops teams from Lincoln-West and Youngstown East.
2/18/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Sean O’Toole’s Saint Ignatius Wildcats, currently 13-6 and ranked sixth in the cleveland.com Top 25 area basketball poll, will face their neighbors from Lincoln-West tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday) in Quicken Loans Arena. The junior varsity tip off is 1:45 PM, followed by the varsity tip at 3:15

On Friday night, the Panthers from Youngstown East will pay a visit to Sullivan Gymnasium. The Wildcats’ annual “Senior Night” will include the usual 6 bells junior varsity game, with the varsity encounter to follow.

*Here is a look at Lincoln-West and Youngstown East, and we will get Coach O’Toole’s comments on Saturday’s
final regular season opponent, the Benedictine Bengals, after Friday night’s game.

LINCOLN-WEST

It has been an up-and-down season for the Wolverines from Lincoln-West.

There was the emotionally gratifying 57-56 victory over Collinwood, when Josue Reyes hit the
game-winning, 12-foot bank shot with 2.1 seconds remaining.

With Wolverine standouts Mark Stalla and Jonathan Santiago each scoring 20 points, Lincoln-West defeated
Cleveland John F. Kennedy, 59-53, on Jan. 21, and Santiago and Stalla combined for 57 points, including 32 by Santiago, in a 91-75 victory over Whitney Young.

Despite 28 points from Santiago, Lincoln-West was defeated by Cuyahoga Heights, 68-59, in overtime. The
Wolverines recently traveled to Maple Heights and were turned back by the Mustangs, 75-61. Stalla tossed in 21 points that night.

Lincoln-West has definitely experienced some setbacks this winter that it would just as soon forget. Berea-Midpark,
East Tech and Glenville each touched up the Wolverines’ defense for 90 or more points, including 104 by the Senate Athletic League Champion Scarabs of East Tech.

The Wolverines finished with four players in double figures versus Glenville, including 21 points by Santiago,
but the Tarblooders had too much offensive firepower en route to their 91 points.

YOUNGSTOWN EAST

Yes, the East Panthers did graduate some significant offensive production from a team that went 18-7 last season. That said, even the most faithful East followers have to consider this winter a disappointment thus far.

After a recent dominant victory over the Knights from Northeast Ohio College Prep, the Panthers stood 5-11.

Leading an offense the produced 90 points against Northeast Prep was 6-foot-5 senior forward Terrell McClain. McClain had 29 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Daryl Anderson, the Panthers' 6-6 junior forward, complemented McClain by tossing in 15 points and pulling down seven rebounds, and Oasim Muhammad and Rashawn Boykin scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Size and quickness are definitely the Panthers' calling cards.  

 

 

 



 



 



 



Wildcats Swimmers at State, District Wrestling and Bowling, OHSAA Playoff Hockey and the JV and Varsity Basketball 'Cats at The Q highlight another smorgasbord of Saint Ignatius sports.
2/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, February 2014

While Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Team and Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Basketball Program are wrapping up their regular seasons this week, three of the four other Varsity Programs at Saint Ignatius will be looking to advance to the next level in OHSAA state competition.

As for Coach Jeff Ridler's Swimmers, the goal will be another strong performance at the highest state level.

Here is a breakdown on where and when the winter's fab five will be competing this week and weekend.

Basketball: It will start on Wednesday afternoon in Quicken Loans Arena, as the Wildcats take on the junior varsity and varsity programs from neighboring Lincoln-West. The JV tipoff scheduled for 1:45 PM, with the varsity to follow at approximately 3:15. Saint Ignatius (13-6) enters the game as the sixth-ranked team in cleveland.com's seven-county Top 25 area poll.

Following Wednesday's games, the Wildcats will play host to Youngstown East on Friday in what is the basketball program's annual Senior Night. The JV tip is 6 PM and the Varsity game is on tap for 7:30.

On Saturday night, the Basketball 'Cats close their regular season with a trip to Benedictine. It will be another 6 bells JV game, with the varsity match up to follow. Just a reminder that Coach O'Toole's Varsity Wildcats begin play in the OHSAA Midview Division I Sectional/District by hosting the John Marshall Lawyers on Feb. 26 at 7 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium.

As always, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you live coverage on all of this week's basketball games. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will have the lead call for the varsity action.

State Swimming: After an impressive third-place finish at last year's demanding State Meet, Coach Jeff Ridler's team is looking to again make its mark in Canton Ohio's C.T. Branin Natatorium. The Division I Prelims begin at 9 AM on Friday and the Finals are scheduled for 4 PM on Saturday.

This year marks the 87th Boys State Meet.

Leading the Wildcats into Stark County are senior standouts Nathan Christian (50 free, seed time 21.07, and 100 free, seed time 46.00) and Peter Simcox  (100 yard butterfly, seed time 50.80). Nathan is the school record holder in the 50 free and Peter is the Wildcats' record holder in the 200 medley relay.

Joining Nathan and Peter in Canton are sophomore Rayon Artis (50 free, seed time 21.65), the 12-seeded 200-yard medley relay team (1:37.39), the third-seeded 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:25.27) and the ninth-seeded 400-yard freestyle relay team (3:11.78).

District Wrestling: Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats qualified six wrestlers out of the North Royalton Sectional to this weekend's tradition-rich Mentor District, also known as "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Leading the Wildcats' super six are 182-pound senior captain and Air Force Academy recruit Anthony McLaughlin, and 106-pound freshman mainstay Quade Rasmussen. Anthony and Quade brought home championships from North Royalton.

Complementing Anthony and Quade in the quest for spots at next weekend's Individual State Tournament in Columbus will be sophomore Hunter Toth at 113 pounds, junior Gavin Rivera at 120, freshman Cal Miller at 138 and sophomore Kyle Vilsack at 152.

The Mentor District begins at 5 PM on Friday and resumes at 9 AM on Saturday.

Sectional Final Hockey: Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (26-4-5), the top seed at the OHSAA Brooklyn District, will face the Lakewood Rangers on Saturday at high noon in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Despite what you might have read elsewhere, Saint Ignatius did not "defeat" Elyria Catholic in the sectional semifinals at Brooklyn. The game was ruled a forfeit a week ago because EC said it did not have enough players. Thus the Ice Cats moved on to face the Rangers on Saturday. Coach O'Rourke's team hasn't played a game since its impressive 4-2 victory over University School in the February 9th Championship Game of the GLHL's Cleveland Cup.

District Bowling: We again congratulate Head Coach John Kastanis, Assistant Coach Al Fleming and the tough-minded and talented Alley Cats on their outstanding efforts during last weekend's OHSAA Sectional Play (SEE THE CORNER'S POST FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON).

Now it is on to the Division I Northeast District competition, with qualifying spots for the State Tournament on the line.

The Alley Cats will be competing in the District at the AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio on Sunday at noon.

All of the Best to the Wildcats' winter sports teams throughout the week and weekend.

 

 

     

      

  

The Sweeneys' Freshmen were Golden as they rode a big fourth quarter past the Freshmen Blue, 61-51, in Monday's "Sullivan Showdown."
2/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

In what was the annual late season match up between classmates and friends, the Wildcats' Freshmen Gold Team remained unbeaten by rallying past the 'Cats' Freshmen Blue Team, 61-51, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Presidents' Day afternoon.

The Blue Team, under the direction of head coach Corey Russell, led, 17-11, after the first quarter, 34-28 at halftime and 45-39 entering the fourth quarter.

Under the guidance of former Saint Ignatius basketball standouts Michael Sweeney '78 and his sons, Conor '08 and Patrick '08, the Gold Team laid down some relentless defense in the fourth quarter and found its offensive flow en route to outscoring the Blue Team, 22-6.

The Gold Team now stands 18-0 heading into its season finale at Brunswick and the Blue Team is 14-4 as it prepares for a game at Lorain.

This old-timer was privileged to spend his Presidents' Day covering and reporting on so many promising young student/athletes, a few of whom the corner also reported on during what was a memorable Freshmen Football season.

HERE IS THE CORNER'S STORY ON "THE SULLIVAN SHOWDOWN."

Ohio City - Moments after his game-high 18 points helped the Freshmen Gold rally past the Freshmen Blue, 61-51, in the annual "Sullivan Showdown" on Monday afternoon, gifted guard Connor Adams pointed to what he saw as the fuel in the Gold's ride to what is now an 18-0 record.

"The defense was definitely a key to that," said Adams of a fourth quarter that saw the Gold outscore the Blue, 22-6, and hold the Blue 'Cats scoreless in the quarter until the final 2 minutes and 51 seconds. "Also, our offense got a lot smoother. We looked for the open man instead of forcing up shots. In the end, it just kind of went our way."

After being outplayed for most of the first three quarters, the Gold, in the words of multi-skilled forward James Leyden, turned up the tempo of the game.

"Our pace was faster (in the fourth quarter), we were running the floor a lot better and getting easy buckets," said Leyden, who as a standout linebacker on the Freshmen Football Team has an appreciation for defense and how it can get you back in the game.

Although the Blue Team didn't have a player in double figures, they finished with 12 'Cats in the scoring column. Post/forward Quinton Farren led the way with 7 points and guards Tom Aris, Alex Ringfield and Dillon Pietrangelo each scored six points.

Hustling for every loose ball and every offensive rebound, the Blue twice had leads of 11 points in the second quarter with the second double-digit advantage coming off a smooth one-hander down the lane by Aris.

Trailing, 45-39, entering the fourth quarter, the Gold Team did everything Adams and Leyden spoke of and more.

Adams, the pride of Gesu, started what was a 16-0 run for the Gold with a smooth jumper. After an exceptional-effort steal and a layup by another Gesu product, guard Ben Delhees, and two free throws by Leyden, the score was knotted at 45 with 6:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.

With 6:03 left, guard Connor Meehan put the Gold in front, 47-45, by burying a pair of free throws and, after oh so promising 6-foot-6 post/forward Austen Yarian scored in transition off a Leyden assist, it was Katy Bar The Door.

Following a timeout by the Blue, Gold guard/forward Sean Coyne came up with a clever spin move for two points, Leyden almost made the basketball disappear with an authoritative two-handed block along the baseline and Coyne followed with five more points by hitting a 3-ball and splitting a pair of free throws.

The Blue scored its first points of the quarter on a layup by Pietrangelo with 2:51 to go, but the Gold responded with a 3-pointer from Adams and sealed the deal with a three-point play by Adams off an assist from Yarian with 1:15 left.

Adams' 18 points were supported by 10 points from Leyden and Yarian, Coyne and guard Tommy Patacca each scored six points. Ten Gold 'Cats hit the scoring column.

"Nothing was going our way and we had a lot of foul trouble," said Leyden of the first three quarters. "We just had to fight through it."

Adams concurred with his teammate, as he pointed to the Blue's strong work off the offensive glass as being a major factor in the early going.

Both Adams and Leyden looked upon Monday's victory as Freshmen "Bragging Rights," but were also quick to refer to the friendships that exist between two teams who practice together every day.

As Gold Head Coach Mike Sweeney emphasized, although it was a very competitive game, it was all about "Family" in the end.   

  

 

 

         

 

   

       

 

 

              

  

Wildcats Varsity Basketball climbs two spots in the area poll.
2/17/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats (13-6) moved from eighth to sixth place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county poll. Shaker Heights, on the strength of its victory over St. Edward, is the area's new No.1 team.

The Wildcats will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon when they take on Lincoln-West in Quicken Loans Arena.

 

"Sullivan Showdown" reminder!
2/17/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Just a reminder that the annual "Sullivan Showdown" matching Saint Ignatius' Gold and Blue Freshmen Basketball Teams will take place today (Presidents Day) in Sullivan Gymnasium. The tip off is scheduled for 1:45 PM.

The Gold Team enters the game with a 17-0 record and the Blue 'Cats currently stand 14-3.

Come on down to Ohio City and see who will own the Freshmen bragging rights. The corner has its pad and pen ready.  

The Alley Cats are District Bound!
2/16/2014

Presented by Saint Ignatius Bowling Coaches John Kastanis and Al Fleming and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

We are happy to report that Saint Ignatius will be bowling next week in The Districts for a chance to go to States!

The young men of Sant Ignatius bowled extremely well during Saturday’s sectional competition at Ernst Lanes in Chardon. They started off with bowling the 3-game team event. The starting team was: Gianni Schafer (601, #8 overall individual), Phil Criswell (620, #5 overall individual), Garret Forst (591, #10 overall individual), Sean O'Brian (591, #11 overall individual), and Ralph Deadwyler (633, #2 overall individual).

In the first game, the team shot a total score of 1053 that put them plus 73 and in first place. The second game, they shot 1103 and that put them plus 185 and still in first place, with a commanding lead.

The last game, they shot 880 (a little off, but ok) and that gave them a total of 3036 pin fall and a commanding lead of +234 to end the team event in first place.

The next 6 games were in the Baker format. The young men started off well, as in the first game we finished with a 185. The next two games were a bit of a struggle (155,159). However, the next two were good (182,170). In the last game, we feel that the team made a statement. They finished with a 225!!! That was the highest Baker game of the day for our set. We don't want to forget that Antonio DiFranco and Austin Venczel helped in the Baker games.

The Wildcats finished with a total pin count of 4112 and was the highest of all teams! The next highest score was from Brush High School with a 3895.

Coach John and I are so proud of these young men. They bowled so well. We hope that they keep it up and bring home a state title.

 

Thank You, Coach Al Fleming

 
A gifted and well-schooled Villa Angela-St. Joseph team wears down the Varsity Basketball Wildcats, 69-54. Saint Ignatius will be sending a strong contingent to next weekend's District Wrestling and State Swimming Tournaments.
2/15/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - On a night when Villa Angela-St. Joseph honored its 1993-94 Boys Division II State Championship Team, the current Vikings displayed their championship potential as they steadily pulled away from Saint Ignatius, 69-54, in a sold-out Viking Village on Saturday night.

VASJ head coach Babe Kwasniak, who was a mainstay on that outstanding 1993-94 team, watched his Vikings increase a seven-point lead after three quarters to 59-43 with 2 minutes and 19 seconds remaining.

Led by its 1-2 punch of 6-foot-10 junior post/forward Carlton Bragg (21 points) and 6-2 junior guard Brian Parker (19 points), VASJ improved to 14-6 and substantiated its fourth-place ranking in this past week's Division III state poll. Coach Kwasniak's Vikings were Ohio's Division IV state champions last season.

Saint Ignatius, which had difficulty with VASJ's long and active zone defense and the Vikings' balanced attack on offense, slipped to 13-6.

The Wildcats' junior varsity team continues to impress, as Coach Chris Salata's 'Cats came away from Viking Village with a 63-51 triumph in a game that wasn't as close as the final score might indicate. The JV 'Cats now stand 17-1.

Here is the full varsity story and a JV recap. Reports on the impressive efforts turned in last night by Saint Ignatius' wrestling and swimming teams follow the basketball stories.

Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 already had a high opinion of the Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings before his Wildcats played the Vikings on Saturday night in the storied gym that sits on Lake Shore Boulevard.

Following that 32-minute encounter, Coach O'Toole is now even a bigger fan of Coach Babe Kwasniak's 2013-14 Vikings.

"A lot of talent, a lot of talent, a lot of talent," repeated Coach O'Toole after VASJ defeated his Wildcats, 69-54, in the area's headliner. "And well coached."

Coach O'Toole, who has experienced the Wildcats-Vikings spirited basketball rivalry as both a player and a coach, then ran off a check list that every Division III team in Ohio should make note before the upcoming OHSAA postseason tournament.

"As a team, you want to be able to attack the rim, check, you want to be able to shoot the basketball, check, you want to be able to rebound the ball, check," Coach O'Toole said. There were more checks that complimented VASJ in just about every phase of the great game of basketball, but we think you get the point. The Vikings are the real deal, my friends.

"They're going to be a tough out (in the tournament)," Coach O'Toole continued. "That all being said, I can't worry about them. We have to worry about us."

The Wildcats, who open their OHSAA Division I tournament play on Feb. 26 versus John Marshall in Sullivan Gymnasium, close out their regular season with three games this coming week. Saint Ignatius faces Lincoln-West at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday afternoon, takes on Youngstown East in Friday's "Senior Night" at the Sullivan Gym and travels to Benedictine on Saturday night.

No, none of the above-mentioned teams have the all-around talent VASJ possesses, but hopefully they will provide the challenge the Wildcats need to refine the aspects of their game that were taken away by the Vikings.

"The length on their zone hurt us," Coach O'Toole said of the defense the Vikings threw at the 'Cats from the get-go. "We have to play within our skill set and play within our strengths. If you don't do that, those are turnovers. We have great kids, smart kids and unselfish kids and this (game) will help us. Number one, we'll look at our game plan going in, number two our attacks against that zone and number three, do we have a package capable of coming back when we're down. We weren't able to get over the hump (against VASJ)."

Led by their gifted 1-2 punch of 6-10 junior post/forward Carlton Bragg and 6-2 junior guard Brian Parker, the Vikings stretched a three-point lead after the first quarter to 33-24 by halftime. Bragg and Parker combined for 19 points through the first 16 minutes and Wildcats 6-7 senior post Eric Black scored all nine of his points in the first half.

A second-effort basket and two free throws by Eric Black enabled the 'Cats to close to 25-20 in the second quarter, but VASJ responded with a 6-0 run that featured two free throws by Bragg and a deep 3-pointer by junior guard Simon Texidor. Texidor complemented the 40 points that Bragg and Parker combined for by scoring 13 points, including three treys.

Trailing by 13 points early in the third quarter, Saint Ignatius responded with two free throws from senior forward David Black, Eric's twin brother, and a heads up tip-in by 6-7 senior post Jake Strippy. After 6-6 junior forward Jaylin McDonald buried a 3-pointer, the Wildcats trailed, 39-33, with 1 minute and 37 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Coach Kwasniak, who has also faced the Wildcats as a both a player and a coach, watched his Vikings play like champions in the fourth quarter.

Leading, 43-36, after the first 24 minutes, VASJ pushed its advantage to 12 points with 5:04 to go and withstood some strong work down low by Saint Ignatius junior post Dre'Mont Jones, who scored all eight of his points in the second half.

The Vikings sealed the deal on another 3-pointer by Texidor that would have been good from the parking lot, a strong move to the rim by 6-8 junior post/forward Derek Pardon, two free throws Pardon and a couple of crowd-pleasing slam dunks by Pardon and Bragg. Pardon finished with 10 points.

"We need to find, when we're down, an urgency defensively," said Coach O'Toole. "We have guys that aren't showing urgency, and that's a problem."

Along with Eric Black's nine points, the Wildcats got 11 points from David Black and 10 points from promising sophomore guard Deven Stover, the son of former Vikings basketball standout Reggie Stover.

As for Saint Ignatius' junior varsity, the Wildcats rode a second, third and fourth-effort basket by tough and talented sophomore post Tim Kiefer, a put back by nose-for-the-ball sophomore forward Ian Burry, a Kiefer layup off a picture-perfect assist from sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish and a strong move inside by sophomore post Sharief Irish to a 24-18 lead with 3 minutes and 28 seconds remaining in the first half.

VASJ, trailing by four points at halftime, went on a 6-0 run and took a 34-32 lead early in the third  quarter.

But then came the turning point in the form of a 22-1 run by Saint Ignatius that started with Kiefer's 3-pointer and ended with Kiefer's strong move in the lane. Part of the telling run also featured a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Ryan Berger, a put back by Irish, back-to-back 3-pointers from Kalish and a strong driving one-hander by sophomore guard Jim Berger, Ryan's twin brother.

VASJ would make another mini run of 6-0, but Saint Ignatius responded again in the from of an Irish basket off a Ryan Berger assist, a block and a steal by Ryan Berger, a smooth reverse layup along the baseline by Jim Berger that came off his brother's assist, another 3-pointer by Kiefer and an authoritative 2-handed slam along baseline by Irish.

Kalish led the Wildcats with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Kiefer and Irish scored 14 and 10 points, respectively.

WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats finished sixth in the Division I North Royalton Sectional Tournament with 151.5 points. The top four wrestlers in each of the weight classes advanced to next weekend's always demanding Mentor District Tournament, aka "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Here is a breakdown on the final results at North Royalton, which saw Saint Ignatius freshman Quade Rasmussen at 106 pounds and senior captain Anthony McLaughlin at 182 turn in first-place performances. Quade and Anthony are among six Wildcats who qualified for the Mentor District.

106 Results
1st Place - Quade Rasmussen of St. Ignatius
2nd Place - Jordin James of Bedford
3rd Place - Aaron Cintron of Normandy
4th Place - Cameron Hobbs of Garfield Hts.
5th Place - Justin Primous of Maple Hts.
6th Place - Aneal Lochan of Rhodes
1st Place Match
Quade Rasmussen (St. Ignatius) over Jordin James (Bedford) ( Major Decision, 13-4).
3rd Place Match
Aaron Cintron (Normandy) over Cameron Hobbs (Garfield Hts.) (Fall 1:22).
5th Place Match
Justin Primous (Maple Hts.) over Aneal Lochan (Rhodes) (Dec 5-0).

113 Results
1st Place - Andre Herron of North Royalton
2nd Place - Hamza Abouabdalla of Normandy
3rd Place - Hunter Toth of St. Ignatius
4th Place - David Russell of Bedford
5th Place - Josh Nelly of Garfield Hts.
6th Place - Jason Miller of Valley Forge
1st Place Match
Andre Herron (North Royalton) over Hamza Abouabdalla (Normandy) (Dec 4-0).
3rd Place Match
Hunter Toth (St. Ignatius) over David Russell (Bedford) Dec 5-2).
5th Place Match
Josh Nelly (Garfield Hts.) over Jason Miller (Valley Forge) (Fall 2:22).

120 Results
1st Place - Andre Stowers of Maple Hts.
2nd Place - Juan Goins of Rhodes
3rd Place - Nate Louis of Garfield Hts.
4th Place - Gavin Rivera of St. Ignatius
5th Place - Anthony Ramos of Parma
6th Place - Jake Bily of Normandy
1st Place Match
Andre Stowers (Maple Hts.) over Juan Goins (Rhodes) (MD 17-5).
3rd Place Match
Nate Louis (Garfield Hts.) over Gavin Rivera (St. Ignatius) (Injury 3:00).
5th Place Match
Anthony Ramos (Parma) over Jake Bily (Normandy) (Dec 3-1).

126 Results
Guaranteed Places
1st Place - Tyler Workman of Parma
2nd Place - Alec Benedetti of North Royalton
3rd Place - Micah Shorts of Shaker Hts.
4th Place - Brandon Francik of Maple Hts.
5th Place - Austin Haroch of Normandy
6th Place - Jimmy Adams of Garfield Hts.
1st Place Match
Tyler Workman (Parma) over Alec Benedetti (North Royalton) (Fall 6:56).
3rd Place Match
Micah Shorts (Shaker Hts.) over Brandon Francik (Maple Hts.) (Dec 5-2).
5th Place Match
Austin Haroch (Normandy) over Jimmy Adams (Garfield Hts.) (Dec 7-4).

132 Results
 1st Place - John Williams Jr. of Bedford
2nd Place - Chayse Csongedi of Parma
3rd Place - Mike Ryan of Normandy
4th Place - Jakee Frazier of Shaker Hts.
5th Place - Jon Bonacci of North Royalton
6th Place - Floyd Samidan of Garfield Hts.
1st Place Match
John Williams Jr. (Bedford) over Chayse Csongedi (Parma) (Fall 1:43).
3rd Place Match
Mike Ryan (Normandy) over Jakee Frazier (Shaker Hts.) (Dec 5-3).
5th Place Match
Jon Bonacci (North Royalton) over Floyd Samidan (Garfield Hts.) (Dec 5-1).

138 Results
1st Place - Juwan Moss of Maple Hts.
2nd Place - Alex Colon of Rhodes
3rd Place - Kyle Workman of Parma
4th Place - Cal Miller of St. Ignatius
5th Place - Dane Morgan of North Royalton
6th Place - Christian Frierson of Garfield Hts.
1st Place Match
Juwan Moss (Maple Hts.) over Alex Colon (Rhodes) (Fall 5:32).
3rd Place Match
Kyle Workman (Parma) over Cal Miller (St. Ignatius) (Dec 4-3).
5th Place Match
Dane Morgan (North Royalton) over Christian Frierson (Garfield Hts.) (Dec 6-0).

145 Results
1st Place - Dejon Moss of Maple Hts.
2nd Place - Jerry Veras of Rhodes
3rd Place - David Docherty of Parma
4th Place - Kevin Anderson of Bedford
5th Place - Jake Sawyer of North Royalton
6th Place - Ramone Pelham of Garfield Hts.
1st Place Match
Dejon Moss (Maple Hts.) over Jerry Veras (Rhodes) (MD 15-7).
3rd Place Match
David Docherty (Parma) over Kevin Anderson (Bedford) (Dec 6-2).
5th Place Match
Jake Sawyer (North Royalton) over Ramone Pelham (Garfield Hts.) (TB-1 2-1).

152 Results
1st Place - Jairod James of Bedford
2nd Place - Kyle Vilsack of St. Ignatius
3rd Place - Xavier Wasco of North Royalton
4th Place - Shamiko Samidan of Garfield Hts.
5th Place - Edgar Tejeda of Rhodes
6th Place - Zach Coad of Parma
1st Place Match
Jairod James (Bedford) over Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius) (Fall 5:07).
3rd Place Match
Xavier Wasco (North Royalton) over Shamiko Samidan (Garfield Hts.) (Dec 9-7).
5th Place Match
Edgar Tejeda (Rhodes) over Zach Coad (Parma) (Fall 1:58).

160 Results
1st Place - David Celinski of Garfield Hts.
2nd Place - Cameron Mayell of North Royalton
3rd Place - Amier Cobb-Bradley of Shaker Hts.
4th Place - Lewis Glass of Maple Hts.
5th Place - Brandon Mabin of Parma
6th Place - Besar Vajusi of St. Ignatius
1st Place Match
David Celinski (Garfield Hts.) over Cameron Mayell (North Royalton) (Dec 11-4).
3rd Place Match
Amier Cobb-Bradley (Shaker Hts.) over Lewis Glass (Maple Hts.) (Fall 5:00).
5th Place Match
Brandon Mabin (Parma) over Besar Vajusi (St. Ignatius) (Fall 2:09).

170 Results
1st Place - Craig Sloan of Garfield Hts.
2nd Place - Gabe Mercado of Rhodes
3rd Place - Dontrel Person of Shaker Hts.
4th Place - Alec Chapman of North Royalton
5th Place - Jesse Karban of Parma
6th Place - Trevon Atkinson of Maple Hts.
1st Place Match
Craig Sloan (Garfield Hts.) over Gabe Mercado (Rhodes) (Dec 7-4).
3rd Place Match
Dontrel Person (Shaker Hts.) over Alec Chapman (North Royalton) (Dec 3-2).
5th Place Match
Jesse Karban (Parma) over Trevon Atkinson (Maple Hts.) (Fall 3:43).

182 Results
1st Place - Anthony McLaughlin of St. Ignatius
2nd Place - Mike Lewis of Parma
3rd Place - Eric Powers of Normandy
4th Place - Josh Johnson of Shaker Hts.
5th Place - Arys Kenner of Maple Hts.
6th Place - Mike Skizenta of Bedford
1st Place Match
Anthony McLaughlin (St. Ignatius) over Mike Lewis (Parma) (Dec 7-3).
3rd Place Match
Eric Powers (Normandy) over Josh Johnson (Shaker Hts.) (SV-1 3-1).
5th Place Match
Arys Kenner (Maple Hts.) over Mike Skizenta (Bedford) (Dec 3-1).

195 Results
1st Place - Monterol Johnson of Maple Hts.
2nd Place - Matt Driver of Parma
3rd Place - Elliott Simpson of Garfield Hts.
4th Place - Dwayne Adams of Bedford
5th Place - Jimmy Andrews of St. Ignatius
6th Place - Jaron Gaskins of Shaker Hts.
1st Place Match
Monterol Johnson (Maple Hts.) over Matt Driver (Parma) (Dec 5-0).
3rd Place Match
Elliott Simpson (Garfield Hts.) over Dwayne Adams (Bedford) (MD 13-2).
5th Place Match
Jimmy Andrews (St. Ignatius) over Jaron Gaskins (Shaker Hts.) (Inj. 3:52).

220 Results
1st Place - Marquise Copeland of Bedford
2nd Place - Garrett Snyder of North Royalton
3rd Place - Larenz Robertson of Maple Hts.
4th Place - Demiero Jenkins of Cle. Heights
5th Place - Dylan Halaska of Parma
6th Place - Mike Penn of St. Ignatius
1st Place Match
Marquise Copeland (Bedford) over Garrett Snyder (North Royalton) (Dec 3-2).
3rd Place Match
Larenz Robertson (Maple Hts.) over Demiero Jenkins (Cle. Heights) (Fall 4:28).
5th Place Match
Dylan Halaska (Parma) over Mike Penn (St. Ignatius) (Fall 1:31).

285 Results
1st Place - Aaron Crosby of Valley Forge
2nd Place - Rashaun Searles-Fowler of Shaker Hts.
3rd Place - Antonio Weatherspoon of Maple Hts.
4th Place - Luke Senko of North Royalton
5th Place - Austin Nelson of Garfield Hts.
6th Place - Jared Jolley of Normandy
1st Place Match
Aaron Crosby (Valley Forge) over Rashaun Searles-Fowler (Shaker Hts.) (TB-1 4-1).
3rd Place Match
Antonio Weatherspoon (Maple Hts.) over Luke Senko (North Royalton) (Fall 4:10).
5th Place Match
Austin Nelson (Garfield Hts.) over Jared Jolley (Normandy) (Fall 0:59).

SWIMMING: Coach Jeff Ridler's swimmers finished fourth during Saturday's Division I District competition, but will still send an impressive contingent into next weekend's State Meet in Canton's Brannin Natatorium.

Toledo St. Francis de Sales placed first on Saturday with 468 points. It was the Knights' 48th district championship. Strongsville (315.5), St. Edward (239) and Saint Ignatius (222.5) completed the top four.

Wildcats standout Nathan Christian will make another state appearance after swimming to second place in both the 50-yard freestyle (21.07) and 100-yard freestyle (46.0). Nathan also was part of Saint Ignatius' 200 freestyle relay team, which qualified for the state meet with a time of 1:25.27. He also swam on the Wildcats' 400 freestyle team (3:11.78), which finished third.

Saint Ignatius' Peter Simcox is state bound again after finishing second in the 100 butterfly (50.80). Peter was also a member of the 200 freestyle relay team and the 400 freestyle team.

 





  

  

 

Saturday update on Wildcats wrestlers at the North Royalton Sectional. Quade Rasmussen, Kyle Vilsack and Anthony McLaughlin win their semifinal matches.
2/15/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Here is an update on how Saint Ignatius is faring at the Division I North Royalton Sectional. The Wildcats are currently in sixth place with 136.5 points. Tonight's final round is scheduled to get underway at 6 PM. We will have a complete report on Coach Mark Sullivan's Wildcats tonight on the corner, following our coverage of the Saint Ignatius at Villa Angela-St. Joseph basketball game.

2014 North Royalton Division I Sectional Results for Saint Ignatius
106 - Semifinal - Quade Rasmussen (Saint Ignatius) won by fall over Aaron Cintron (Normandy) (Fall 2:52).

113 - Cons. Semifinal - Hunter Toth (Saint Ignatius) won by decision over Josh Nelly (Garfield Hts.) (Dec 6-5).

120 - Cons. Semifinal  - Gavin Rivera (Saint Ignatius) won by decision over Jake Bily (Normandy) (Dec 6-1).

126 - Cons. Round 3 - Austin Haroch (Normandy) won by decision over Ryan Bush (Saint Ignatius) (Dec 6-4).

132 - Cons. Round 3 - Floyd Samidan (Garfield Hts.) won by major decision over Anthony Ferritto (Saint  Ignatius) (MD 18-5).

138 - Cons. Semifinal - Cal Miller (Saint Ignatius) won by fall over Christian Frierson (Garfield Hts.) (Fall 4:32).

145 - Cons. Round 3 - Jake Sawyer (North Royalton) won by fall over Antonino Casola (Saint Ignatius) (Fall 2:44).

152 - Semifinal - Kyle Vilsack (Saint Ignatius) won by decision over Edgar Tejeda (Rhodes) (Dec 5-3).

160 - Cons. Round 3 - Besar Vajusi (Saint Ignatius) won by decision over Quintin Jenkins (Bedford) (Dec 5-2).

182 - Semifinal - Anthony McLaughlin (Saint Ignatius) won by major decision over Eric Power (Normandy) (MD 15-5).

195 - Cons. Round 3 - Jimmy Andrews (Saint Ignatius) won by fall over Jonathan Fiscus (Rhodes) (Fall 0.41).

220 - Cons. Round 3 - Mike Penn (Saint Ignatius) won by fall over Emmanuel Lewis (Shaker Hts.) (Fall 1:43). 

285 - Cons. Round 2 - Brad Hadden (Parma) won by forfeit over Tito Vazquez (Saint Ignatius).



 

Wildcat Wrestlers are in eighth place after the first night of the North Royalton Sectional. Anthony McLaughlin, Kyle Vilsack, Cal Miller and Quade Rasmussen advance to the semifinals.
2/14/2014

 Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the team standings heading into Saturday's second session at North Royalton High School, which begins at 11 AM. Saturday's finals are scheduled for 6 PM.

1. Maple Heights 70.5 points; 2. Parma 68.2; 3. Bedford 63.3; 4. Garfield Heights, 57.5; 5. Shaker Heights, 54.5; 6. Rhodes 48; 7. North Royalton, 47.0; 8. Saint Ignatius, 43.5; 9. Normandy, 41.0 10. (tie) Cleveland Heights, 13 and Valley Forge, 13. 12. Lincoln-West 0.0.

Here is how the Wildcats fared on Friday night.

2014 North Royalton Division I Sectional Results for Saint Ignatius
106 - Quade Rasmussen (21-9) placed 6th and scored 9.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Quade Rasmussen received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Quade Rasmussen won by fall over Cameron Hobbs (Garfield Hts.) (Fall 1:58).

113 - Hunter Toth (13-6) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Hunter Toth received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Hamza Abouabdalla (Normandy) won by decision over Hunter Toth (Dec 5-2).
Cons. Round 2 - Hunter Toth received a bye.

120 - Gavin Rivera (15-16) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Juan Goins (Rhodes) won by decision over Gavin Rivera (Dec 5-3).

126 - Ryan Bush (21-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Ryan Bush received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Micah Shorts (Shaker Hts.) won by major decision over Ryan Bush (MD 13-4).

132 - Anthony Ferritto (21-14) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Jon Bonacci (North Royalton) won by decision over Anthony Ferritto (Dec 4-1).
Cons. Round 1 - Anthony Ferritto received bye.

138 - Cal Miller (21-12) placed 6th and scored 7.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Cal Miller received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Cal Miller won by decision over Dane Morgan (North Royalton). (Dec 9-6).

145 - Antonino Casola (5-11) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Antonino Casola received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Dejon Moss (Maple Hts.) won by fall over Antonino Casola. (Fall 4:26).

152 - Kyle Vilsack (22-7) placed 6th and scored 9.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Kyle Vilsack received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Kyle Vilsack won by fall over Kelly Howard (Cle. Heights). (Fall 2:35).

160 - Besar Vajusi (21-10) place is unknown and scored 3.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Besar Vajusi won by tech fall over Steve Lakota (Normandy). TF-1.5 4:29 (16-1). 
Quarterfinal - Lewis Glass (Maple Hts.) won in overtime over Besar Vajusi. (OT 6-4).

182 - Anthony McLaughlin (35-4) placed 6th and scored 11.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Anthony McLaughlin won by fall over Dion Steele (Garfield Hts.). (Fall 1:18).
Quarterfinal - Anthony McLaughlin won by fall over Arys Kenner (Maple Hts.). (Fall 0:39).

195 - Jimmy Andrews (9-5) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Jimmy Andrews received a bye. 
Quarterfinal - Dwayne Adams (Bedford) won by fall over Jimmy Andrews. (Fall 1:28).
Cons. Round 2 - Jimmy Andrews received a bye.

220 - Mike Penn (14-13) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Mike Penn won by fall over Johnny Casto (Rhodes). (Fall 2:15).
Quarterfinal - Garrett Snyder (North Royalton) won by fall over Mike Penn. (Fall 3:21).
Cons. Round 2 - Mike Penn received a bye.

285 - Tito Vazquez (14-6) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Tito Vazquez received a bye.
Quarterfinal - Luke Senko (North Royalton) won by fall over Tito Vazquez. (Fall 3:02).

Here are the semifinal pairings.

106: Cintron (Normandy) vs. Rasmussen (Saint Ignatius); Lochan (R) Jor. James (CH).

113: Russell (B) vs. Abouabdalla (N); Herron (NR) vs. Nelly (GH).

120: Stowers (MH) vs. Bily (N); Louis (GH) vs Goins (R).

126: Benedetti (NR) vs. Francik (MH); Shorts (SH) vs. T. Workman (P).

132: Williams (B) vs. Frazier (SH); Ryan (N) vs. Csongedi (P).

138: K. Workman (P) vs. Colon (R); Miller (Saint Ignatius) vs. J. Moss (SH).

145: D. Moss (MH) vs. Anderson (B); Veras (R) vs. Docherty (P).

152: Jairod James (B) vs Samidan (GH); Tejeda (R) vs. Vilsack (Saint Ignatius).

160: Celinski (GH) vs. Glass (MH); Cobb-Bradley (SH) vs. Mayell (NR).

170: Sloan (GH) vs. Person (SH); Karban (P) vs. Mercado (R).

182: McLaughlin (Saint Ignatius) vs. Power (N); Joshson (SH) vs. Lewis (P).

195: Johnson (M) vs Simpson (GH); Adams (B) vs. Driver (P).

220: Snyder (NR) vs. Jenkins (CH); Robertson (MH) vs. Copeland (B).

285: Weatherspoon (MH) vs. Crosby (VF); Searles-Fowler (SH) vs. Jolley (N).

 

 

Wildcats football to face Normandy and Valley Forge in 2015 and 2016.
2/14/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius Athletics Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 told the corner on Thursday night that he has an agreement with Normandy and Valley Forge for Weeks 1 and 3 of the 2015 and 2016 varsity football seasons.

The Wildcats would play Normandy in Week 1 and Valley Forge in Week 3 of 2015 and the same schedule would apply for 2016.

Saint Ignatius' match up with Normandy in 2015 will mark the first meeting between the Wildcats and the Invaders on the varsity football level.

The Wildcats have won six of their previous seven varsity football encounters with Valley Forge. However, this old-timer will always recall the 1988 match up with the Patriots, which occurred during Saint Ignatius' first state championship season. The 'Cats came away with a hard-earned, to say the least, 14-13 victory on that Oct. 8 night.

As for the upcoming 2014 season, Saint Ignatius has just one open date to fill and that is Week 4.

   

Andre' Wolford buries a school-record 8 3-pointers as Saint Ignatius wears down Cleveland Heights, 87-62, on Thursday night. Sean O'Toole '87 picks up his 100th victory as the head basketball coach at his alma mater.
2/13/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Cleveland, Ohio, Sullivan Gymnasium - Andre' Wolford's 8 treys broke the previous Wildcats mark of 7 3-pointers in a game held by Sonny Benton and Pete Koch, who were mainstays on Saint Ignatius' 2000-01 Division I State Championship Team.

Andre' finished with a team-high 26 points, including four 3-pointers in each half, as Coach Sean O'Toole's 'Cats improved to 13-5 heading into Saturday night's area headliner at Villa Angela-St. Joseph. VASJ captured Ohio's Division IV state championship last season and is currently ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division III state poll.

Saint Ignatius also got solid performances from senior forwards and captains David Black and Isiah Barbra, who scored 19 and 11 points, respectively. Twelve 'Cats hit the scoring column for Coach O'Toole '87, who picked up his 100th victory in what is his sixth season as the head basketball coach at his alma mater. 

The Wildcats, ranked eighth in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, withstood a 34-point effort from Cleveland Heights' outstanding senior guard Marcus Bagley. Bagley was coming off a Tigers record 47-point night at Shaw on Tuesday. Coach Andy Suttell's Tigers, who also got 17 points from senior forward Jeremy Holmes, are now 11-7 on the season and are ranked 19th by cleveland.com.

Here is a look at what was Saint Ignatius' annual Coaches Versus Cancer night.

Following the traditional post-game prayer on Thursday night, Coach O'Toole addressed his team.

Pulling up a chair, Coach O'Toole grabbed a basketball and pointed it in the direction of Wildcats gifted junior forward Andre' Wolford.

Coach O'Toole made it clear that he has never been one to pass out individual post-game awards. On West 30th and Lorain Avenue, it is always about "the team."

Thursday night was an exception, however, and the veteran coach knew it.

"Andre', this game ball is for you," Coach O'Toole said "It was an outstanding performance and you deserve it."

Outstanding and, as pointed out in the first sentence of this report, record setting.

The 6-foot-1 Wolford, shooting with confidence and in rhythm, scored a team-high and varsity career-high 26 points, including a Wildcats single-game record 8 3-pointers, in leading Saint Ignatius to an 87-62 victory over a Cleveland Heights team that has the talent to make some noise in the postseason tournament.

Wolford's marvelous night offset another remarkable display of athleticism by Cleveland Heights' standout senior guard Marcus Bagley, who finished with a game-high 34 points and has now totaled 81 points in his last two games combined.

"My teammates did a good job of finding me and getting me open on screens and stuff," said the soft-spoken Wolford, whose only basket that wasn't a 3-pointer came off a smooth drive to the rim. "And I awarded them by hitting shots. Usually, if I make two in a row, I stay hot and I'm on a roll. I missed a couple, but I was able to still keep shooting with confidence."

The first 16 minutes were definitely a tale of two shooters.

Bagley scored 21 points in the first half and Wolford combined with Saint Ignatius senior forward David Black for 25 points, including 14 points and four 3-pointers from Wolford.

After a David Black lay in off an assist from senior forward Isiah Barbra, a basket by sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish and a free throw from senior post Eric Black, David's twin brother, the Wildcats clung to a 37-34 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was a telling eight minutes, however, as Wolford stole the show in a blur.

Hitting his fifth, sixth and seventh 3-pointers with less than two minutes gone in the second half, Wolford led a commanding run that saw the Wildcats purring to the tune of a 17-point lead with 5 minutes and 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The take-charge surge by Coach O'Toole's team also included a basket by Eric Black off an assist from senior point guard Danny Bova, a layup in transition by Barbra off another Bova dime and a steal by Bova that Danny converted into a layup.

Following Wolford's record-setting 3-pointer, which came off such a classic catch and shoot rhythm that it would have brought a smile to the faces of Sonny Benton and Pete Koch, Saint Ignatius led by 20 points with 3:52 left in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by gritty senior guard Ryan Napoli and two free throws by David Black enabled the 'Cats to carry that 20-point lead into the fourth quarter and they never looked back. En route to his 19 points, David Black had an 8-for-8 night from the foul line.

Coach O'Toole was treated to some solid contributions from his rotations, including a momentum-keeper 3-pointer in the first half by junior guard Joe Isabella, some solid work defensively and at the foul line from junior forward Jaylin McDonald and senior post Jake Strippy, a couple of impressive power moves down low by junior post Dre'Mont Jones, a determined basket by senior guard Ogo Okolo and an unselfish assist from senior point guard Jimmy Abraham on a basket by junior post Mikal Outcalt. Jimmy's dish drew some post-game praise from Saint Ignatius' veteran assistant coach Kirk Culler.

As is always his nature, Coach O'Toole pointed to the skill, strength and athleticism of Bagley and how Marcus made so many tough shots.

"We were trying to limit his touches, but when we came out on him, he's such a great athlete that he went back door on us," Coach O'Toole said.

Now the focus is on Saturday and what is expected to be a sold-out Viking Village. The action on Lake Shore Boulevard begins with a junior varsity match up at 6 PM and the much-anticipated varsity game will follow at approximately 7:30.

Coach O'Toole describes Coach Babe Kwasniak's Vikings as team with several high level players and a very, very well coached team.

"But we're going to enjoy this one tonight, sleep well and get ready for St. Joes tomorrow (on Friday)," Coach O'Toole said.

****Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats improved to 16-1 by defeating the junior varsity program from Cleveland Heights, 52-36.

Helping show the way were sophomore post Tim Kiefer (12 points), sophomore forward Ian Burry (10 points) and sophomore twin guards Jim Berger (9 points) and Ryan Berger (8 points).

Cleveland Heights' jayvees hung tough in the early going as they trailed by seven points after a late first-half, 7-0 run.

Saint Ignatius' depth and versatility began to take its toll, however, as Coach Salata's 'Cats led by 12 points after the third quarter and, following a second-effort three-point play by freshman post Matt Davet and one of Jim Berger's three 3-pointers, held a 20-point lead with 6:09 remaining to be played.

 

 

  

  

  

       

  

 

 

 

        

     

Elyria Catholic forfeits Monday's game versus the Ice Cats at the Brooklyn District. Saint Ignatius to face Lakewood on Feb. 22.
2/12/2014
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Elyria Catholic has forfeited its OHSAA Brooklyn District hockey game versus Saint Ignatius due to a lack of players. The game was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17 in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
 
Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, the No. 1 seed at Brooklyn, are now scheduled to play their first OHSAA postseason game on Feb. 22 versus the Lakewood Rangers at high noon in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
 
The top four seeds at Brooklyn are Saint Ignatius, Holy Name, St. Edward and Rocky River.  
Wrestling, swimming and bowling begin their postseason tournaments and the Varsity Basketball Wildcats continue their three games in five days stretch.
2/12/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Brooklyn, Ohio - Coach Mark Sullivan's Varsity Wrestling Wildcats, coming off a record-setting dual meet performance against Lake Catholic in Sullivan Gym (see the corner's story from last weekend), begin their OHSAA postseason on Friday night.

Led by their outstanding 182-pound senior and captain Anthony McLaughlin, now the school's all-time record holder for dual meet victories in a season, Saint Ignatius' men of the mats will be competing in the annual North Royalton Division I Sectional Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

The North Royalton Sectional feeds into next weekend's (Feb. 21-22) history rich Mentor District, aka "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Here is a breakdown on the North Royalton Sectional

LOCATION: North Royalton High School
14713 Ridge Road
North Royalton, OH  44133

DATES: Friday, February 14th & Saturday, February 15th, 2014

TEAMS: Saint Ignatius, Bedford, Cleveland Heights, Garfield Heights, Lincoln-West, Maple Heights, Normandy, North Royalton, Parma, Rhodes, Shaker Heights and Valley Forge.

SESSIONS: First Session- Friday, February 14th,  6:00 pm.
(Prelims, Quarterfinals, and 1st Round Consolation – since there are only 12 teams, there will be no matches in the 1st round of consolation).
Second Session- Saturday, February 15th, 11:00 am.
(2nd round Consolation, Consolations Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Consolation Semifinals).
Finals- Saturday, February 15th, 6:00 pm.

*Coach John Kastanis' Bowling Team, aka The Alley Cats, will be taking part in this weekend's OHSAA Sectional Tournament at Ernst Lanes in Chardon, Ohio (10561 Grant Street). Coach Kastanis reported that the sectional is Saturday at 2 pm, but the OHSAA bowling website shows it as being on Sunday at 1 pm. PLEASE CALL 440-286-6671 TO CLARIFY THAT. 

All of the best to John and his keglers, who are coming off an impressive performance in the GCIBL Postseason Tournament.

*As we reported in the corner's preview earlier this week, Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats will host Coach Andy Suttell's Cleveland Heights Tigers tomorrow night (Thursday). The junior varsity tip off in Sullivan Gym is 6 pm, with the varsity to follow at 7:30. Thursday's games will be part of Saint Ignatius' annual Coaches Versus Cancer night. Cleveland Heights' standout guard Marcus Bagley is coming off a 47-point performance in the Tigers' 98-93 victory over Shaw.  

Coach O'Toole's 'Cats (12-5) are coming off a 63-55 victory over Glenville, which took place on Tuesday night in Sullivan Gym. Following Thursday night's encounter with Coach Suttell's Tigers, the Wildcats will complete their three games in five days stretch with a trip to Villa Angela-St. Joseph on Saturday night (6 pm JV, varsity to follow). Coach Babe Kwasniak's Vikings are ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division III state poll and third in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll. Saint Ignatius is ranked eighth by cleveland.com. 

*Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats Swimmers will be in District competition on Saturday at Cleveland State University. Although the Wildcats placed third behind Strongsville and St. Edward at the Lakewood Sectional, they did get outstanding performances from Nathan Christian (50 free and 100 free), Peter Simcox (100 yard butterfly) and the 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.

Good Luck to the 'Cats' Swimmers as they look to send a solid contingent to the state meet in Canton.

See you at Sullivan Gym tomorrow night!  

     

 

Some clutch play by senior guard Ryan Napoli and a combined 31 points from Eric and David Black help the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Team hold off the Glenville Tarblooders, 63-55, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
2/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, ranked eighth in the cleveland.com seven-county Top 25 poll, improved to 12-5 and the 17th-ranked Tarblooders are now 12-4. The Wildcats had another tough night at the foul line, as they were 11-of-25 from the charity stripe. Glenville was 11-of-15 from the line.

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats, who out-rebounded the Tarblooders, 43-40, will now have one day to prepare for Thursday night's game versus Cleveland Heights in Sullivan Gym. Thursday's game, which is Saint Ignatius' annual Coaches Versus Cancer night, will begin with a junior varsity match up at 6 PM, followed by the varsity encounter at 7:30.

Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity 'Cats, behind three impressive runs in the first half, defeated Glenville's Jayvees, 66-51. The JV 'Cats are now 15-1 on the season. A JV recap follows the varsity game story.

Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 was quick to point to the efforts that came off the Wildcats' bench during Tuesday night's 63-55 victory over the Glenville Tarblooders in Sullivan Gymnasium.

"The big thing tonight is that we got great minutes from Ryan Napoli," said Coach O'Toole of his backup senior guard, an athlete who takes advantage of every opportunity by leaving everything he has on the court. "Ryan does exactly what we're expecting everybody to do, in that he gave us solid minutes on both sides of the floor."

With Wildcats talented sophomore guard Deven Stover under the weather and out of the lineup, Napoli stepped up big with nine points, including two smooth 3-pointers, and three cultch free throws down the stretch. Napoli, as always, was also hustling from baseline to baseline.

Coach O'Toole also credited 6-foot-7 senior post Jake Strippy and 6-4 junior post/forward Dre' Mont Jones for their minutes off the bench, but then, and justly so, referred to the inconsistencies that raised their ugly heads again on Tuesday night.

"We're inconsistent, and inconsistent doesn't win games," Coach O'Toole said. "We don't execute when we need to. It's not like we had a lot of days to practice after our last game (versus St. Edward on Feb. 8) to try to correct things, but this is stuff that should not be this way at this point of the season. It's extremely frustrating.

"We can't just turn it on and turn it off," Coach O'Toole continued. "And right now it's inconsistent. Glenville is a good team and we knew they were going to make a run. They're very athletic and Michael (Tarblooders veteran head coach Michael Holt) does a great job with those guys. But inconsistent is not a good word to be using this time of year."

Those inconsistencies of going 11-for-25 from the foul line, including missed free throws that kept Glenville in striking range down the stretch, not protecting the ball and being unable to finish strong, began to creep in after Saint Ignatius moved to a 48-31 lead with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter. The Wildcats led by 10 points after the first quarter and, behind Napoli's two 3-pointers, eight points each from Eric and David Black and a defense fueled by senior forward Isiah Barbra, were in front by 15 points at halftime.  

A strong move along the baseline by Jones, a lay in by senior post Eric Black off an assist from senior point guard Danny Bova and a put back by senior forward David Black, Eric's twin brother, helped Saint Ignatius to that large late third-quarter advantage. Eric and David finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

However, just when it was time to put the frosting on the victory cake, the Wildcats' faithful got that all too familiar sour late-game taste in their mouths.

After Glenville senior guard Chris Coker buried a 3-pointer, junior guard Rakeem Overton converted a layup and Glenville's man for all positions, standout senior Jimond Ivey slammed home two points off a follow, the Tarblooders trailed by 12 points entering the final eight minutes. Ivey, who had just three points at halftime, tied Eric Black for game honors with 16 points.

Saint Ignatius, which is seeded fourth for the blended Brecksville-Midview Division I sectional/district, appeared to be taking total control again in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Following strong moves to the rim by David Black and Barbra, the 'Cats led, 55-40, with 5:03 left.

The Tarblooders weren't about to go quietly into the night, however, as junior forward Jon Walker converted a steal into a layup and Ivey twisted his way down the lane for a three-point play.

After junior guard Roy Hatchett buried a deep 3-pointer, Coach Holt's team trailed by just seven points with 2:27 to go. Hatchett finished with 10 points, including two 3-pointers, with all 10 of those points coming in the second half.

Saint Ignatius would miss two free throws with 2:04 on the clock, but Glenville turned the ball right back over to the Wildcats and Eric Black gave his team some breathing room by scoring off an authoritative drive along the baseline.

The Wildcats missed six free throws, including two 0-for-2 efforts, over the final 56.3 seconds, but Glenville turnovers and three big free throws by Napoli allowed victory No. 12 to come through the Sullivan Gym doors.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME: Saint Ignatius 66, Glenville 51

The JV 'Cats put together first-half runs of 10-0, 14-0 and 17-0 en route to winning for the 15th time in 16 games this winter.

Saint Ignatius led, 48-24, at halftime and 60-35 entering the final seven minutes (JV quarters are 7 minutes). Coach Chris Salata utilized his rotations throughout the game and went completely to his reserves in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish and sophomore forward Tim Kiefer led the Wildcats with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Kyle, who is also a backup point guard for the varsity, scored all of his 15 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers. Freshman Jerome Wright led the Tarblooders with 14 points.

Also tuning in a solid all-around performance for Saint Ignatius was the ever-hustling sophomore guard Jake Gawlik, who had eight points, including two run-fueling 3-pointers. 

An encore request fulfilled for the Wildcats' faithful hoops fans.
2/10/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

From Brooklyn, Ohio, the home ice of the GLHL Cleveland Cup Champion Saint Ignatius Wildcats.

Although we did take a look at tomorrow night’s varsity basketball game versus Glenville as part of our report on Sunday night’s outstanding performance by the Ice Cats, some of our faithful readers from around the country said they needed a hoops injection tonight.

As a certified area gym rat since the late 1950s, when the great East Tech Scarabs brought home back-to-back state championships (1958 and ’59), this corner couldn’t resist the encore request.

So here we go - a glance at Saint Ignatius’ three games in five days, a little postseason tease and a quick line on this week’s big-school state basketball poll.

As always, Saint Ignatius' Student Broadcasting Network will bring you Wildcats basketball live this week. The lead call will be brought to you by senior Pat McGuire, who has the same energy "Dollar Bill" Bradley displayed while working himself free for those baseline jumpers that helped make Coach Red Holzman's New York Knicks of the early 1970s NBA champions. Yes, "Dollar Bill" became Senator Bradley.

TUESDAY NIGHT VERSUS THE GLENVILLE TARBLOODERS (5:30 junior varsity with the varsity to follow)

It is no secret as to who puts the whack and thud in Coach Michael Holt’s Tarblood this winter – the multi-skilled 6-foot-5 Jimond Ivey, who has averaged more than 20 points throughout the season.

Jimond, who just recently received a scholarship offer from the Akron Zips, is very athletic, very long, can fly coast to coast and attack off the dribble. And oh yeah, he has plenty of range from the outside.

The area's 17th-ranked Tarblooders (12-3) are coming off a 66-57 loss to East Tech, which went undefeated in Senate Athletic League play (Ah, does that bring back memories). Ivey scored a game-high 23 points in that setback and he also tossed in 30 points in a 97-90 loss at East Tech earlier in the season. Coach Holt's team earned the fifth seed for the OHSAA Division I “blended” Euclid-Solon sectional/district tournament.

Keep an eye on Tarblooders guard Roy Hatchett, who can bury the 3-ball off the catch or the bounce. Hatchett, who has a passion for the deep trey, has supported Ivey in the double-figure scoring department.

In what was a late regular-season match up in Sullivan Gym last year, Saint Ignatius turned back Glenville, 73-62. During that game, current Wildcats 6-7 senior post and Captain Eric Black pulled down 10 rebounds and current senior point guard and Captain Danny Bova had five rebounds and four assists.

“Speed, athleticism and again defensively I imagine we will see a gamut of full-court to three-quarter court, to half-court zone,” Coach Sean O’Toole said of the variety of looks the Tarblooders will throw at you. “Zones, mans and traps. Offensively, they go quick to the glass and will put their attack in the offensive rebounding. Jimond Ivey is a special talent.

“Obviously, we love playing Glenville and the relationship we have with Michael and his team,” continued Coach O’Toole. “I can’t remember not playing them.”

Glenville has also lost to Olmsted Falls, 70-57, a program that garnered the fifth seed for the OHSAA Division I blended Brecksville-Midview sectional/district. Saint Ignatius (11-5) is the fourth seed and will be competing in the Midview half of the blend.

The 'Cats open sectional play on Feb. 26 versus the John Marshall Lawyers at 7 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium. If Saint Ignatius is able to overrule the Lawyers, it will face the winner of the Amherst versus North Ridgeville game in a 4 PM sectional final on March 1 in Sullivan Gym.

If a sectional championship is secured, Coach O’Toole’s team will head to Midview the following week for district play.

As for the rest of this week, the Wildcats, ranked eighth in the seven-county area, will have just one day of practice after the Glenville game to prepare for a match up with Coach Andy Suttell’s Cleveland Heights Tigers on Thursday night in Sullivan Gym. Ranked 19th in the seven-county area, Cleveland Heights entered this week with a record of 10-6.

Because Saint Ignatius has no classes on Friday (Faculty In-Service Day), Thursday night’s junior varsity and varsity games are scheduled for the regular 6 PM and 7:30 times.

Last year, Saint Ignatius traveled to Cedar and Lee for a Valentine’s Day encounter with Coach Suttell and his Tigers and came away with a hard-earned 58-54 victory.

*Please note that Thursday’s game versus Cleveland Heights will be Saint Ignatius’ annual Coaches Versus Cancer Night.

After Cleveland Heights, Coach O’Toole and his staff are faced with the same one day preparation scenario as on Saturday night the Wildcats travel to Villa Angela-St. Joseph to face Coach Babe Kwasniak’s deep and talented
Vikings. The action will begin with a 6 PM junior varsity game, followed by the varsity encounter.

Simply put, Viking Village will be rocking on Saturday night to the tune of a storied rivalry, one Coach O’Toole ’87 has also experienced as a former standout power forward for the Wildcats under Coach Larry Arthur.

Coach Kwasniak, who garnered All-Ohio honors while excelling as a point guard for the Vikings, can also recite the history of what is one of the great rivalries ever to take place in area high school basketball.

Ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division III state poll and third in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, Coach Kwasniak’s Vikings entered this week with a record of 12-6. Last season, the Wildcats defeated the Vikings, 70-55, in Sullivan Gym.

In closing, we thought we would let you know that only three area teams are ranked in this week’s Associated Press Division I state basketball poll – St. Edward (No. 1), Berea-Midpark (8th) and Shaker Heights (11th).

Have a great and safe week!     



  



ICE CATS FINISH NO. 1 IN THE FINAL STATE POLL FOR 2013-14.
2/10/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats, coming off their impressive 4-2 victory over University School in the Great Lakes Hockey League's inaugural Cleveland Cup Championship Game, finished No.1 in the season's final state poll by the Coaches Association. The 'Cats held the top spot throughout the winter.

Saint Ignatius, as we reported on the corner last week, will now gear up for the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Brooklyn District as the No. 1 seed. The Ice Cats begin their OHSAA postseason play on Feb. 17 versus Elyria Catholic. The puck will drop at 6 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis."

Here is the final state poll, with the total points and first-place votes. Six Great Lakes Hockey League teams are ranked among the top ten and another GLHL team, Gilmour Academy, received state votes. It was truly a banner debut for the GLHL.

1. Saint Ignatius 97 (8)

2. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 87 (2)

3. University School 82

4. Lake Catholic 64

5. Walsh Jesuit 47

6. Columbus St. Charles 39

7. Holy Name 38

8. St. Edward 26

9. Bowling Green 14

10. A tie - Olentangy Orange 13 and Toledo St. Francis 13

Others receiving votes: Sylvania Northview, Rocky River, Dublin Jerome and Gilmour Academy.



Wildcats are now eighth in the area basketball poll.
2/10/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With Saint Ignatius coming off a three-point, overtime setback to nationally ranked St. Edward, the cleveland.com pollsters decided to drop the Wildcats one spot in this week's Top 25 seven-county poll. Cleveland.com describes Saint Ignatius' "trending" as "falling." St. Edward entered the game at Sullivan Gymnasium as the top-ranked team in the area and the state.

*Just a reminder that the corner posted a look at the area's 17th-ranked Glenville Tarblooders (12-3), who pay a visit to Sullivan Gym on Tuesday night for a 7PM varsity tipoff. The action gets under way with a 5:30 junior varsity game.  The preview on Glenville accompanies the corner's story below on the Wildcats' outstanding hockey victory over University School in the GLHL Cleveland Cup championship game.   

Matty Geither's two third period goals and 34 saves by Dylan McKeon help the Ice Cats defeat the Preppers, 4-2, and bring home the GLHL's Cleveland Cup. Saint Ignatius basketball is seeded fourth at the blended Brecksville-Midview sectional/district.
2/9/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Coach Pat O'Rourke Wildcats capture the Great Lakes Hockey League's inaugural Cleveland Cup by turning away University School in Sunday night's championship game of the GLHL's first postseason tournament.

As always, it was a spirited, hard-fought and classy match up between the Ice Cats and the Preppers, who entered the game ranked first and third, respectively, in the Ohio High School Hockey Coaches Association state poll. The final poll of the season will be released on Monday night. University School and Saint Ignatius were seeded first and third, respectively, for the GLHL's Cleveland Cup tournament.

Along with the outstanding performances turned in by Matty Geither and sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon, the Ice Cats got goals from Jack Mazanec and Captain Beck Schultz, and assists from Assistant Captain Jack Wiegandt, Ethan Whitney, Aidan Spellacy (two helpers) and Logan Sellers.

Coach O'Rourke's team improved to 25-4-5 and will now gear up for the annual OHSAA Brooklyn District. The district's top seed, the Ice Cats begin OHSAA tournament play on Feb. 17 versus Elyria Catholic. The puck will drop in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at 6 PM.

University School, which will be competing in the OHSAA Kent State District, is now 24-5-6 on the season. The Preppers earned a tie and a 2-1 overtime victory versus Saint Ignatius in the GLHL's regular season play.

HERE IS THE GAME STORY FROM THE OBM ARENA. THE BASKETBALL REPORT FOLLOWS THE HOCKEY STORY.

STRONGSVILLE, OHIO - Before Saint Ignatius and University School faced off in the first Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament Championship Game, also known as the battle for the inaugural Cleveland Cup, the lights were dimmed in the OBM Arena and the players were introduced under a multi-color, strobe-light setting that glowed on the ice and drew a roar of approval from the large and hockey savvy crowd at IceLand USA.

A few minutes later, the puck was dropped and two of the finest high school programs in Ohio, if not the entire nation, went on to play some lights-out hockey.

As they have done in so many of their previous encounters, the Wildcats and the Preppers tested each other's mettle for nearly every second of the three periods, before Saint Ignatius rode two goals by junior wing Matty Geither in the final 10 minutes and 30 seconds to a 4-2 victory.

After the coaches and players from each team were honored at center ice, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats carried away the impressive Cleveland Cup, which will stay in their possession until next year's GLHL Postseason Tournament.

As for Geither, it was all about his team after he took an on-the money assist from ever-present junior forward Ethan Whitney and sent home a lamplighter that gave Saint Ignatius a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the third period.

Four minutes and nine seconds later, Geither had his Godmother, Sue Klein, glowing brighter than the pre-game ceremony, as he took helpers from sophomore center Aidan Spellacy and senior defenseman Logan Sellers and authoritatively beat the goalie stick side for a short-handed goal. Matty was honored by the GLHL for his play throughout the season. 

"The first goal, Ethan (Whitney) picked it up and walked it wide, which was great work by him," Geither said. "He dished it off and I give all of the credit for the goal to him. On my second one, I went draw back, (Logan) Sellers flicked it up and Aidan (Spellacy) went through the guy and got the puck. He took it wide and threw it back over to me. And again, all of the work to Aidan. I had the easy part."

Nothing comes easy when the Wildcats and the Preppers get together, as just a week ago University School defeated Saint Ignatius, 2-1, in overtime in a key seeding-deciding, GLHL regular season finale at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

On Sunday night, Coach Bill Beard's team had the answers to the Ice Cats' first two goals.

Saint Ignatius junior forward Jack Mazanec staked his team to a 1-0 lead by scoring off an assist from Assistant Captain/junior forward Jack Wiegandt with 4:26 left in the first period. Mazanec's goal came off a faceoff.

With just 29 seconds remaining in the first period, University School tied things up on a blur off the stick of junior forward Evan Krueger. Sophomore forward Ryan Gorbett and senior defenseman/Captain Clarke Jones were credited with the assists on what was a power-play goal.

It stayed that way until Wildcats senior forward/Captain Beck Schultz scored off Aidan Spellacy's first assist of the night with less than three minutes gone in the second period. Aidan teams with his brother, senior defenseman/Captain Kevin Spellacy.

One of the most underrated players in the area, Schultz was back in the lineup after missing Thursday night's semifinal victory over Gilmour Academy while attending the funeral of his grandfather on his mom's (Mary Pat) side of the family.

Saint Ignatius took a 2-1 lead into the third period and in a matter of just 13 seconds, it was a tie game again. With 14:47 remaining in final 15 minutes, Gorbett scored in traffic off an assist from Preppers senior forward/Assistant Captain Kyle Keane.

Another major factor in University School's ability to match Saint Ignatius through the early stages of the third period was its ability to kill off power-play opportunities for the Wildcats. Saint Ignatius was 0-for-4 with man advantages.

The night and the Cleveland Cup belonged to the Ice Cats, however, as Geither and his teammates played like champions down the stretch.

"It's always fun to play them, it's always a close game," Geither said of the rivalry with the Preppers. "They're a very good team and it's always a classy game. This (the Cleveland Cup) is a great achievement for our program."

Geither would go on to say that he agrees totally with Coach O'Rourke '90, who last week described his program and Coach Beard's program as "mirror images of each other."

With the Cleveland Cup sitting proudly in his team's possession, Coach O'Rourke's echoed his great respect for University School.

"It was a great game, they're awesome, the best around," Coach O'Rourke said of the Preppers. "We got a little bit lucky in that they outshot us (36-24) and we haven't been outshot much all year.

"Our greatest asset is team speed," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Ethan (Whitney) was able to break the puck down the ice wide and put the puck right on Matty's (Geither) tape. And Matty knows what to do with it. I tell you, Matty Geither, Evan Krueger (University School), Clarke Jones (University School), Ethan Whitney, Aidan Spellacy, those are some of the best around who were on display tonight. We could play them 100 times and it would probably be 40-40-20. We would play them every week if we could, because they bring out the best in us."

If the Ice Cats and the Preppers do meet again this season, it would be in the state final four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

And Coach Beard and Coach O'Rourke echoed the same sentiment on their way out of IceLand USA in saying that possible encounter is what they are really working for.

In varsity basketball news, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats (11-5) were seeded fourth during Sunday's draw for the OHSAA "blended" Brecksville-Midview Division I sectional/district. The top three seeds were St. Edward, North Royalton and Berea-Midpark, and the fifth seed was Olmsted Falls.

Saint Ignatius, which is competing in the Midview portion of the sectional/district, opens sectional play on Feb. 26 versus John Marshall at 7 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium. If successful, the Wildcats will face the winner of the North Ridgeville vs. Amherst game on March 1 at 4 PM.

HERE IS A LOOK AT TUESDAY'S VARSITY BASKETBALL MATCH UP WITH THE GLENVILLE TARBLOODERS IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM. THE ACTION GETS UNDERWAY WITH A 5:30 PM JUNIOR VARSITY GAME, FOLLOWED BY THE VARSITY TIP AT 7.

Glenville: It is no secret as to who puts the whack and thud in Coach Michael Holt’s Tarblood this winter – the multi-skilled 6-foot-5 Jimond Ivey, who has averaged more than 20 points throughout the season. Jimond is very athletic, very long, can fly coast to coast and attack off the dribble. And oh yeah, he has plenty of range from the outside.

The area's 17th-ranked Tarblooders (12-3) are coming off a 66-57 loss to East Tech, which went undefeated in Senate Athletic League Play. Ivey scored a game-high 23 points in that setback and he also tossed in 30 points in a 97-90 loss at East Tech earlier in the season. Coach Holt's team earned the fifth seed for the blended Division I Euclid-Solon sectional/district.

Speaking of range, keep an eye on Tarblooders guard Roy Hatchett, who can bury the 3-ball off the catch or the bounce. Hatchett has supported Ivey in the double-figure scoring department.

Glenville has also lost to Olmsted Falls, 70-57, a program that garnered the fifth seed for the OHSAA Division I blended Brecksville-Midview sectional/district tournament. Saint Ignatius (11-5) is the fourth seed and will be competing in the Midview half of the blend. The 'Cats open sectional play on Feb. 26 versus the John Marshall Lawyers at 7 PM in Sullivan Gym.

In a late regular-season match up in Sullivan Gym last year, Saint Ignatius turned back Glenville, 73-62. During that game, current Wildcats 6-7 senior post and Captain Eric Black pulled down 10 rebounds and current senior point guard and Captain Danny Bova had five rebounds and four assists.

“Speed, athleticism and again defensively I imagine we will see a gamut of full-court to three-quarter court, to half-court zone,” Coach O’Toole said of the variety of looks the Tarblooders will throw at you. “Zones, mans and traps. Offensively, they go quick to the glass and will put their attack in the offensive rebounding. Obviously, we love playing Glenville and the relationship we have with Michael and his team. I can’t remember not playing them.”

 

 

 

    

Strongsville, St. Edward and Saint Ignatius go 1-2-3 in sectional swimming.
2/9/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

As expected, Strongsville's boys rode their depth to the OHSAA sectional swimming championship in Lakewood on Saturday.

The Mustangs totaled 435 points, St. Edward was second with 379 and Saint Ignatius placed third with 327.

Wildcats standout Nathan Christian won both the 50 freestyle (21.72) and the 100 freestyle (47.92).

 

The state's top-ranked St. Edward Eagles escape with a 73-70 overtime victory over Saint Ignatius in the area's basketball headliner at Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night. The Wildcats' varsity hockey team rallies past Walsh Jesuit, 3-2.
2/8/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Missed free throws came back to haunt the Varsity Basketball Wildcats as they slip to 11-5 on the season. Coach Sean O'Toole's 'Cats trailed by 11 points at halftime and by 13 points early in the third quarter, and came storming back to take a 53-45 lead with 6 minutes and 3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

St. Edward, ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press big-school state poll and the cleveland.com seven-county area poll, rode a game-high 26 points by senior forward Marsalis Hamilton to its 16th victory in 17 games this winter. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles are also ranked among the premier teams in the nation by USA Today.

The Junior Varsity Wildcats (14-1) suffered their first loss of the season, as St. Edward's junior varsity team walked out of Sullivan Gymnasium with a 59-45 victory and avenged a loss to the JV 'Cats that took place at St. Edward on Jan. 18. The Eagles' jayvees have just two setbacks this winter, with the other loss coming to Toledo St. John's Jesuit.

St. Edward led, 12-3, after the first quarter, 25-14 at halftime and 41-26 after three quarters. Eagles freshman guard Tommy Schmock led all scorers with 17 points and sophomore post Tim Kiefer scored a dozen for the Wildcats.

HERE IS THE VARSITY GAME STORY, WHICH IS FOLLOWED BY THE HOCKEY RECAP

CLEVELAND, OHIO - As is always the case, Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 offered no excuses after his Wildcats suffered a tough, 73-70, overtime loss to state and nationally acclaimed St. Edward in a sold-out Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.

Emphasizing that there are "no moral victories," Coach O'Toole described what was another chapter in the storied West Side rivalry as "A game we have to win."

"I'm very, very proud of our kids," Coach O'Toole continued. "I'm not putting this on our kids. This is 100 percent on my and my staff's shoulders. We were up eight and we have to be able to put this game away. Give St. Eds credit, they do a great job of tuning it over. They are extremely physical and will get it to the rim as good as anyone. We could not finish this game and I'm disappointed, especially for the seniors."

For the many area gym rats who made Sullivan Gym their home on Saturday night, they got quite a surprise after the first 16 minutes.

Following a first half that saw the Eagles jump out to a 10-0 lead and take an 11-point advantage to their locker room, there were many among the standing-room audience who were whispering, "Yeah, this is probably going to be just like the last time."

The "last time" was the first game of the annual home-and-home series on Jan. 18, a night that St. Edward steadily wore down Saint Ignatius and went on to a 61-34 victory on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court.

So why wasn't the rematch some sort of moral victory? Simply put, it was a game Saint Ignatius should have won.

It came down to what you hear time and again in the game of basketball - free throws and the ability to make them when it counts the most. 

The Wildcats, who were ranked seventh in the area poll this past week, found themselves trailing, 37-24, after Eagles senior guard/forward Tony Vuyancih buried a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.

Keeping its composure, Saint Ignatius, sparked by the play of senior forward Isiah Barbra, senior post Eric Black and his twin brother, senior forward David Black, senior point guard Danny Bova and junior wing Andre' Wolford, began to take St. Edward completely out of its rhythm at both ends of the court.

Following that early third-quarter trey by Vuyancih, the Wildcats would go on to outscore the Eagles, 21-8. After five consecutive points by Wolford - a strong move to the basket and a nothing-but-net 3-pointer - the game was knotted at 45 heading into the fourth quarter.

Counting Wolford's five in a row to end the third quarter, Saint Ignatius would make it a 13-0 run by scoring the first eight points of the fourth quarter. Following a Barbra lay in off an assist from Bova, a jumper from the top of the key by Bova and a power move down low by Eric Black that was followed by his smooth turnaround jumper, the 'Cats led, 53-45, with 6 minutes and 3 seconds reaming in the fourth quarter.

Saint Ignatius twice held leads of six points down the stretch of the fourth quarter, at 4:09 and 3:13, but St. Edward held together in a fashion one would expect from Ohio's top-ranked team.

Getting some clutch second-effort play from its talented 6-foot-4 senior forward Marsalis Hamilton and taking advantage of five key missed free throws by the Wildcats, including two 0-for 2 efforts, the Eagles rode two Hamilton free throws into the four-minute overtime.

In OT, the key plays were a 3-pointer by St. Edward's gifted 6-7 junior post Kipper Nichols, a tough basket down low by Hamilton and a three-point play by the Eagles' 6-6 junior post Mike Ryan. After a Nichols free throw, the scoreboard read 73-70 in favor of St. Edward with 4.8 seconds remaining and David Black just misfired on a 3-point attempt that would have forced a second OT.

Hamilton led all scorers with 26 points, Nichols tossed  in 19 points and Eric Black (17 points), Barbra (15 points) and Wolford (12 points) led the Saint Ignatius scoring column.

The Wildcats shot 51 percent on 2-pointers, but were only 2-of-12 on 3-point shots. They out-rebounded the Eagles, 39-34.

"Our goal, our hope is to play this team a third time," said Coach O'Toole. "But our sectional/district (the seeding and draw takes place on Sunday) is a beast and we'll have to work our butts off for that to happen.  We would love another opportunity to play them. I know this, we have gotten better, obviously, when you look at the first time we played them."

As Coach O'Toole emphasized, the Wildcats have no time to sit around and feel sorry for themselves. They play three excellent teams within five days this coming week - home to Glenville on Tuesday night, home to Cleveland Heights on Thursday night and at Villa Angela-St. Joseph on Saturday night.

HOCKEY RECAP

Coach Pat O'Rourke's varsity hockey team advanced to Sunday's Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament championship game by defeating Walsh Jesuit, 3-2, during Saturday night's Cleveland Cup Semifinals in IceLand USA's OBM Arena.

Sunday's battle for the Cleveland Cup, which will match the state's top-ranked Wildcats (24-4-5) against Ohio's third-ranked University School (24-4-6), will take place at 5 PM in the OBM Arena. Ah yes, the Preppers and the Ice Cats. As history tell us, it doesn't get any better when it comes to high school hockey in Northeast Ohio. 

Saint Ignatius 3, Walsh Jesuit 2. Senior defenseman and captain Kevin Spellacy broke a 2-2 tie by scoring with a minute remaining in the third period. Junior wing Matty Geither and senior captain and defenseman Harry Smith provided the Ice Cats' other goals.

Smith scored the game's first goal and assisted on Spellacy's game winning shot, and Geither knotted the score in the second period off an assist from sophomore center Aidan Spellacy, Kevin's brother. Geither's goal came off a 5-on-3 advantage for the Wildcats.

Wildcats sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon had 26 saves.

Saint Ignatius is the tournament's second seed, University School is the No. 1 seed and Walsh Jesuit (16-13-4) was seeded second. 

 

 

   

A night to cherish! Wildcats standout senior wrestler Anthony McLaughlin sets a new school mark for dual meet victories in a season and Saint Ignatius ties the all-time Wildcats team record for dual meet wins in a season by defeating Lake Catholic.
2/7/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Anthony McLaughlin's final match in Saint Ignatius' Sullivan Gymnasium was one he and his family will always keep in a special place in their hearts, as the Captain of the young Wildcats, wrestling up, defeated the Cougars' Jonathon Brace by a major decision of 14-4. With the victory, Anthony set a new Saint Ignatius record for dual meet victories in a season at 15-0. The previous mark was 14-0 by Ray Rowe '03 in the 2001-02 season.

In defeating Lake Catholic, 42-26, at Friday night's regular-season finale, Coach Mark Sullivan's program tied the Wildcats' team record for dual meet victories in a season with 14. The 2013-14 'Cats join Saint Ignatius' team of 2002-03 in accomplishing that feat.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - After he put his name among the all-time best in the Saint Ignatius record books on Friday night, Wildcats outstanding senior wrestler Anthony McLaughlin displayed the same humility that accompanied him to Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School as a wide-eyed freshman.

"I never really thought about it until somebody brought it up to me," said McLaughlin, shortly after he helped lead his team to a record-setting 42-26 dual meet victory over Lake Catholic in Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night. "Even then, I just wanted to come out here and get the win."

The "it" McLaughlin referred to was the record he established during what was his last match in the storied Sullivan Gym.

Ranked among the best of the best in Ohio as a 182-pounder with impressive skills, savvy and a maturity beyond his years, McLaughlin wrestled up at 195 pounds on Friday night and set a new Wildcats single season record by finishing 15-0 in dual meets this winter. Anthony set the new dual meet standard by defeating Lake Catholic's Jonathan Brace in a major decision, 14-4.

As much as McLaughlin and his family will cherish the individual mark he set, Anthony, as is his nature, seemed just as pleased when learning that he played a role in leading his team to a record night as well.

The victory over the Cougars, which came on the annual Senior Night and Alumni Night, gave Coach Mark Sullivan's program 14 dual meet victories this winter and placed the 2013-14 Wildcats in a tie for the all-time Saint Ignatius single-season dual meet mark previously set by the 2002-03 'Cats.

"I love it," said McLaughlin of his role as Coach Sullivan's Captain, a role he takes to heart as the lone senior on the team. "Helping these athletes grow, not just as students, but as human beings. I take a lot of pride in that."

As he prepares for next weekend's OHSAA sectional tournament at North Royalton High School, McLaughlin will do so knowing he has a major part of his future carved out for him. On Wednesday afternoon in The Breen Center For The Performing Arts, Anthony signed a national letter of intent with the Air Force Academy.

"Everything there is very professional," said McLaughlin of the things that impressed him most about the Air Force. "Everyone has the goal of becoming an officer. That is very important to me. The wrestling staff, all of the wrestlers there and the entire wrestling community are very vocal."

In improving his all-time record at Saint Ignatius to 91-36, McLaughlin was very authoritative himself on Friday night. However, despite the major decision performance against Brace, Anthony emphasized that he wasn't totally on top of his game.

"Overall, on my feet I think I did very well," McLaughlin said. "But on top, when it comes to getting pins and helping my team when it counts the most, I have to have a better finish."

Supporting their leader against Lake Catholic by turning in impressive performances on Friday night were junior 120-pounder Gavin Rivera, who came up with a technical fall victory over the Cougars' Josh Suponcic, 17-2, freshman Cal Miller, who won by a  5-2 decision over Joey Frate in a spirited 145-pound match and junior Besar Vajusi, who pinned Chase Struna in 2:34 during a 170-pound encounter. Like McLaughlin, both Miller and Vajusi were wrestling up.  

Vajusi's brother, Isen, who is having success as a freshman wrestler for the John Carroll University Blue Streaks, was there to hug and congratulate Besar as he was coming off the mat. Besar said his pin was fueled by the emotion he gathered from the crowd. The match attracted a healthy collection of wrestling savvy fans from both schools.

"It's very exciting for the wrestlers at Saint Ignatius, with all of the great tradition we have here at this school," said Coach Sullivan, who has done a marvelous job of restoring prominence to the program. "I'm really happy for the guys, with all of the hard work they have put in. It's (tying the team dual meet record) a testament to what they have done and how far they've come.

"We were riddled with injuries early in the season and lost five very good wrestlers," Coach Sullivan continued. "Instead of putting their heads down and saying oh boy, the season's a wash, they all worked hard and got to where they are today, a very competitive and impressive team."

Coach Sullivan then turned his thoughts to his Captain.

"Yesterday was Anthony's last regular season practice at Saint Ignatius and we explained to the kids that Anthony emulates what we would like from all of our wrestlers," said Coach Sullivan. "We emphasized to the kids to just watch him and try to follow in his foot steps."

Maybe Saint Ignatius President Rev. William J. Murphy, S.J., said it best when introducing McLaughlin before the Opening Prayer and National Anthem. "Anthony, thank you for these last four years."

Here is the scoring summary from Friday night's dual meet.

Saint Ignatius 42, Lake Catholic 26

106: Rasmussen (SI) by ff.; 113: Toth (SI) by ff.; 120: Rivera (SI) tf. Suponcic 17-2; 126: Bush (SI) by ff.; 132: Tutolo (LC) tf. Ferritto 16-0; 138: Boley (LC) p. Minerd 2:52; 145: Miller (SI) d. Frate 5-2; 152: Szep (LC) d. Vilsack 5-4; 160: Ludwig (LC) by ff.; 170: Vajusi (SI) p. C. Struna 2:34; 182: K. Struna (LC) d. Keirn 4-2; 195: McLaughlin (SI) md. Brace 14-4; 220: Vazquez (SI) by ff.; 285: Desantis (LC) d. Penn 6-5. 

SAINT IGNATIUS TURNS BACK GILMOUR ACADEMY, 3-2, DURING THURSDAY NIGHT'S GREAT LAKES HOCKEY LEAGUE TOURNAMENT.
2/6/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

The third-seeded Ice Cats (23-4-5), who are in pursuit of the inaugural Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup, will face the second-seeded Walsh Jesuit Warriors (16-12-4) in Saturday night's semifinals. The puck will drop at 7 PM in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA. The GLHL seeding was based on play within the league, not overall records.

Strongsville, Ohio - With 5 minutes and 5 seconds remaining in Thursday night's Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament quarterfinal game between Saint Ignatius and Gilmour Academy, the fire alarm in IceLand USA's OBM Arena went off.

Fortunately, within seconds of everyone being asked to leave the arena it was determined to be a false alarm.

After the Ice Cats turned back the Lancers, 3-2, there was still cause for alarm among the Saint Ignatius coaching staff, which was less than happy with the performance turned in by the state's top-ranked team down the stretch.

"The last three minutes, it felt like we lost the game to me," said Wildcats head coach Pat O'Rourke '90 after he watched his team yielded two goals to Gilmour Academy's senior center Ryan Hall in the final 3:08, the second one coming with 5 seconds remaining. Both of Hall's lamplighters came off assists from senior forward Ryan Curtin.

"We had a pretty good effort all night, but the thing that bothers me was that we had a 3-0 lead and instead of thinking about keeping that zero up there and winning that game, we were thinking about number 4 (a fourth goal)," Coach O'Rourke continued. "That's troublesome to me because that's not smart hockey, that's not winning out. You have to close the game out first. If you happen to get the fourth goal fine, but you have to think defense first."

Saint Ignatius, which will enter the annual OHSAA postseason tournament on Feb. 17 as the top seed at the Brooklyn District (see the corner's post below), took a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior wing Matty Geither with two minutes remaining in the opening period. Matty's top-shelf score came off an assist from junior forward Kevin Yarcusko. The Ice Cats out shot the Lancers, 14-4, over the first 15 minutes.

The score could have been 2-0, but a goal by savvy sophomore center Aidan Spellacy with 8 minutes and 43 seconds left in the opening period was wiped out by an interference call.

Sixth-seeded Gilmour Academy (14-19-0), which was called for icing the puck nine times through the first two periods, picked up its game and kept the score at 1-0 entering the final 15 minutes. Lancers 6-foot-4, 218-pound senior goalie Ray Matthew put up 26 of his game total of 34 saves through the first two periods. Wildcats sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon finished with 21 stops.

In what was a clean game that saw only one penalty called, a tripping violation on Saint Ignatius with 14 minutes and 32 seconds left in the third period, the Ice Cats appeared to be heading for shutout city.

Coach O'Rourke's Wildcats made it 2-0 on an authoritative shot by junior forward Jack Mazanec with 9:16 remaining to be played. Jack's goal came off assists from senior defenseman and captain Kevin Spellacy and sophomore forward Jared Stepka.

Less than two minutes later, Geither struck again, courtesy of assists from Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Ethan Whitney.

It stayed that way until the final 3:08, when the Lancers found new life, even it was too little, too late. Gilmour is now winless in its last 10 meetings with Saint Ignatius.

"I guess maybe it's good, because we can learn something from this game," said Coach O'Rourke. "But what I thought was a really good effort was wasted late in the game. So right now, I feel like it was definitely diminished.

"But, in this league everybody is good so you advance and move on," Coach O'Rourke continued. "We're happy to be in the semifinals against Walsh. It was just a bitter taste at the end there."   

    

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

     

   

ICE CATS EARN THE TOP SEED FOR THE OHSAA BROOKLYN DISTRICT.
2/6/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

BROOKLYN, OHIO - Congratulations go out to Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and the Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey Team for garnering the No. 1 seed for the annual Ohio High School Athletic Association's Brooklyn District Tournament.

The Ice Cats will begin OHSAA tournament play on Feb. 17 versus Elyria Catholic at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. The puck will drop at 6 PM.

Earning the second seed at Brooklyn was the Green Wave of Holy Name. The third seed went to St. Edward and grabbing the fourth seed was defending Brooklyn District champion Rocky River.

****Just a reminder that the Ice Cats begin play in the Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament this evening (Thursday) versus Gilmour Academy at IceLand USA in Strongsville. The puck will drop at 5 PM.   

We preview Game 2 of the home-and-home varsity basketball series between the 'Cats and the Eagles and take a look at what the rest of Saint Ignatius' winter sports teams are up to.
2/6/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - It was nearly three weeks ago that Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats made the short trip to St. Edward and, after failing to convert on opportunities in the early going, were defeated by the talent-rich and aggressive Eagles, 61-34, on Coach Jim Connors Court.

St. Edward senior forward Marsalis Hamilton tossed in a game-high 18 points and senior point guard Malcolm Walters scored 15 points, nine in the second half. Walters' one-handed slam off a mid-air follow brought most of the Eagles' portion of the sold-out crowd to its feet.

On Saturday night in what is expected to be a sold-out Sullivan Gymnasium, Coach O'Toole's 'Cats will look to make the adjustments in the second game of the annual home-and-home series.

Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles enter the 7:30 varsity tip at 15-1 and ranked No. 1 in both the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area poll and the Associated Press Division I state poll. Riding an 11-game winning streak, St. Edward is also keeping company with the best of the best in USA Today's highly respected Super 25 national rankings.

In their most recent victory, the Eagles defeated Toledo St. John's Jesuit, 66-59, in Toledo and snapped the Titans' 15-game winning streak. Versatile 6-foot-6 junior forward Kipper Nichols scored a career-high 31 points that night. Nichols was coming off a 28-point performance in an 83-57 victory over Gilmour Academy, which is one of Northeast Ohio's stronger Division III teams.  

"They (the Eagles) present a lot of problems," said Coach O'Toole, whose 11-4 Wildcats are ranked seventh in the area by cleveland.com. "They play extremely hard, extremely physical. They're very good in transition and they're very tough on the offensive glass. They have great depth, they'll mix things up with different looks, they're well coached and they'll just keep coming at you."

Coach O'Toole pointed to the first four minutes of the Jan. 18 game at St. Edward, a stretch, he said, that really dictates.

"You want to make sure you take advantage of every opportunity," Coach O'Toole said. "The formula is not difficult. You have to take high-percentage shots on balance, you have to get back defensively, make them play five-on-five and limit the second shots. Easier said than done, but we can absolutely do that. We thought we had a great opportunity at the beginning of that game. We were down 12 at the half, but we thought we left many points on the floor."

Coach O'Toole and his staff enter Saturday night's game "happy" with the results of last weekend - quality wins over talented teams from Lorain and Bedford.

"Obviously playing at home and with a full week of practice we're excited about this opportunity," Coach O'Toole said. "We know they're ranked high in the nation, we know they're ranked No. 1 in Ohio, so the challenge is that it's a great measure. Where are we, have we improved since the first time we played them?  We're definitely not as bad as we performed the first time.

"The goal, obviously, is that we hope this isn't the last time we play them (this season)," Coach O'Toole continued. "We hope we see them a third time somewhere down the road."

Hopefully that time down the road will be deep into the OHSAA postseason tournament. The Division I sectional/district draw for the Wildcats and the Eagles takes place on Sunday, less than 24 hours after their encounter in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats will take a 14-0 record into their second match up with St. Edward's jayvees at 6 PM on Saturday in Sullivan Gym. The JV 'Cats defeated the Eagles, 62-46, on Jan. 18 at St. Edward.

HOCKEY: Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (22-4-5) will face off with Gilmour Academy for the second time in less than a week when the Lancers take on the 'Cats in the Great Lakes Hockey League's Postseason Tournament on Thursday evening at IceLand USA in Strongsville. The puck is scheduled to drop at 5 bells and the corner will be on hand for game coverage. Saint Ignatius defeated Gilmour Academy, 5-1, last Friday night at the Gilmour Ice Arena and the Ice Cats also prevailed over the Lancers, 1-0, at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in early December.  

WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats will close out their regular season on Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium when they wrestle the always tough Lake Catholic Cougars at 7:30. It will be the annual Senior Night and Alumni Night for the Wildcats, as standout senior captain and Air  Force Academy recruit Anthony McLaughlin attempts to set the program's single-season record for Dual Meet victories. The corner will be on hand to see Anthony go for number 15. He is currently 14-0 in Dual Meet matches this winter.

SWIMMING: It's down to the real nitty-gritty for Coach Jeff Ridler's Wildcats, as they will be competing for an OHSAA Sectional Championship at Lakewood High School this weekend. The strong challenges are expected to come from Strongsville and St. Edward.

BOWLING: Coach John Kastanis' Alley Cats, coming off an impressive performance in the GCIBL Postseason Tournament, are tuning up for the OHSAA Sectional Tournament, which will be held at the Ernst Lanes in Chardon on Feb. 15. The pins begin flying at 2 PM.

Have a safe and great weekend!  

 

 

 

               

       

Nick Fabian to continue that Blue and Gold line to West Virginia.
2/5/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Feb. 2014

Ohio City – After he signed a National Letter of Intent to West Virginia University on Wednesday afternoon in The Breen Center For The Performing Arts, Saint Ignatius senior baseball standout Nick Fabian said he looked upon the day as
“meaning almost everything.”

Fabian, whose multiple skills on the diamond helped Coach Brad Ganor’s baseball program to a Division I state runner-up finish last season, joined baseball teammates Nick Margevicius (Rider University) and Nick Longo (Miami University in Ohio), and 13 other Wildcats senior student/athletes in Saint Ignatius’ annual National Signing Day Ceremony.

Along with Saint Ignatius President Rev. William J. Murphy, S.J., and Wildcats Athletics Director Rory Fitzpatrick ’88,
family, friends, classmates and coaches beamed with pride as Saint Ignatius’ successful 16 made official what will be another major step in their lives.

“You grow up as a kid hoping to go to Saint Ignatius,” said Fabian, who was also a standout wide receiver on the Wildcats’ 2013 varsity football team. “You work hard for that and you get it done. Throughout Saint Ignatius your next goal is to play in college. That was a big deal for me and today is the culmination of all of that.

“There is no better time to spend than to be with all of your brothers up here on the stage, this is awesome,” Fabian said.

At West Virginia, Fabian will be getting acquainted with one of the finest all-around athletes ever to wear the Blue and
Gold of Saint Ignatius, Mountaineers Director of Athletics Oliver Luck ’78. A standout quarterback at West Virginia who played in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers, Oliver is the father of the Indianapolis Colts’ brilliant young signal-caller Andrew Luck.

“I’m excited about that, too,” said Fabian, in reference to becoming a member of a major university athletics program that is headed up by a Wildcat legend.

Possessing those coveted tools of running, fielding, throwing and hitting for average and power, Fabian said he was
recruited by the Mountaineers as an outfielder. His throwing arm is among the best this old-timer has ever seen on the high-school level. Nick smiled while adding that his pitching career will come to an end in high school.

“I have so much fun playing summer ball every year and that is really the big point where you find out whether you can play at the next level or not,” said Fabian. “I discussed it with Coach Ganor, just kept working hard and here I am today.”

This past summer, Nick added to his high school resume by receiving the Golden Glove Award during the nationally acclaimed and tradition-rich CABA High School World Series in Euclid.

Fabian, who is among nearly 60 players under the guidance of Coach Ganor who have been given the opportunity to play baseball at the next level, said that during most of his junior season of 2013 he had no idea that he was going to attend West Virginia.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t even know about the baseball program until they contacted me,” Fabian said. “From what I heard, they had a rough patch up until last year when they recruited a bunch of new guys. They started a whole new program and got a full new coaching staff. Once I heard about the new coaching staff (headed by Randy Mazey), I went down to the campus and saw the great plans for the facilities, including a new field (Monongalia County Ballpark). That really
sold me. The coaches are awesome, they’re very personable.

“I’m looking forward to staying Blue and Gold my whole life.”

*Here is a list of all of Saint Ignatius’ student/athletes who made their commitments official on Wednesday.

Crew: Michael Dobscha, Syracuse University

Crew: Dominic Santora, Syracuse University

Football: Kyle Berger, The Ohio State University

Football: Jimmy Byrne, University of Notre Dame

Football: Matt McVey, Gannon University

Football: Mike Siragusa, Yale

Football: Dameon Willis Jr., Indiana University

Baseball: Nick Fabian, West Virginia University

Baseball: Nick Margevicius, Rider University

Baseball: Nick Longo, Miami University (Ohio)

Golf: P.J. Malik, University of Dayton

Lacrosse: Mike Vitale, Sienna College

Lacrosse: Jake Maruna, Holy Cross

Swimming: Peter Simcox, Miami University (Ohio)

Soccer: Alec Nagucki, Cleveland State University

Wrestling: Anthony McLaughlin, Air Force Academy



 

A reminder on National Signing Day and be sure to check out the corner's story on the 2014 varsity football schedule that follows this post.
2/4/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Just a reminder that 16 Saint Ignatius student/athletes are scheduled to sign their national letters of intent to major colleges and universities from around the nation during Wednesday's National Signing Day Ceremony at 3:10 PM in The Breen Center For The Performing Arts.

*PLEASE NOTE: In the event of a snow day, Saint Ignatius High School will hold its National Signing Day Ceremony on Thursday, February 6 at 3:10 PM.

Led by the recent commitment to the Air Force Academy by varsity wrestling 182-pound standout and captain Anthony McLaughlin, here is the list of the 16 'Cats who are expected to be on The Breen Center stage.

Crew: Michael Dobscha, Syracuse University

Crew: Dominic Santora, Syracuse University

Football: Kyle Berger, The Ohio State University

Football: Jimmy Byrne, University of Notre Dame

Football: Matt McVey, Gannon University

Football: Mike Siragusa, Yale

Football: Dameon Willis Jr., Indiana University

Baseball: Nick Fabian, West Virginia University

Baseball: Nick Margevicius, Rider University

Baseball: Nick Longo, Miami University (Ohio)

Golf: P.J. Malik, University of Dayton

Lacrosse: Mike Vitale, Sienna College

Lacrosse: Jake Maruna, Holy Cross

Swimming: Peter Simcox, Miami University (Ohio)

Soccer: Alec Nagucki, Cleveland State University

Wrestling: Anthony McLaughlin, Air Force Academy

FOR ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ON SAINT IGNATIUS' NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Contact Angela LoBue at (216) 651-0222 ext. 211, Cell: (216) 965-9640 or alobue@ignatius.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildcats Varsity Football has secured a ninth game for 2014, as the 'Cats have reached an agreement with Pinehurst School (Canada Prep Football Academy) for Week 6.
2/4/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius Athletics Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick '88 confirmed today that he has reached an agreement with the Pinehurst School (Canada Prep Football Academy) for Week 6 of the 2014 varsity football schedule. The game will be played on Parma's Byers Field in Robert M. Boulton Stadium and will kick off at 7 PM. 

The agreement with Pinehurst comes on the heels of last Friday's announcement on the corner concerning the confirmation of a Week 3 game at Byers Field versus St. Joseph's Preparatory, the Jesuit School of Philadelphia. Saint Ignatius now has just one open date to fill and that is Week 4.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats defeated Pinehurst, 35-14, in Week 10 of the 2013 season at Byers Field.

With the addition of the Pinehurst School (Canada Prep Football Academy), this is how the Wildcats' 2014 schedule currently stands: Week 1 Indianapolis Lawrence Central (away game); Week 2 Mentor (home); Week 3 St. Joe's Prep (home); Week 4 (Open); Week 5 New Jersey Paramus Catholic (away): Week 6 Pinehurst (home); Week 7 Erie McDowell (home): Week 8 Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (at Dublin Coffman High School); Week 9 Cincinnati St. Xavier (away) and Week 10 St. Edward (home).

Again, all of the credit in the world goes out to Rory Fitzpatrick for his endless work in filling these open dates every year.

Please note time change for the Wildcats' GLHL Postseason Tournament game on Thursday versus Gilmour Academy.
2/3/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament seeding was re-arranged today, making University School the top seed and Walsh Jesuit the second seed. The Ice Cats remain the third seed and will now play Gilmour Academy at 5 PM on Thursday in the first round at IceLand USA in Strongsville.

Please gentlemen, no more changes.

NOTE: The Ice Cats went 2-0 against the Lancers from Gilmour Academy during the regular season, a 1-0 victory at the Brooklyn Ice Arena back in early December and a 5-1 victory this past Friday night in the Gilmour Ice Arena. 



Ice Cats remain No. 1 in the coaches' state poll.
2/3/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coming off Sunday's hard-fought, 2-1 overtime loss to University School, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Hockey Team remained in the top spot in the weekly Ohio High School Hockey Coaches Association State Poll. Here are the rankings, with the total points and first-place votes received.

Once again, the Great Lakes Hockey League dominates the state rankings. All area teams are bold faced. 

1. Saint Ignatius 86 (7)

2. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 77

3. University School 73 (2)

4. Holy Name 50

5. Lake Catholic 47

6. Walsh Jesuit 46

7. Columbus St. Charles 30

8. Sylvania Northview 22

9. St. Edward 20

10. Olentangy Orange 19

Others receiving votes: Toledo St. Francis, Rocky River, Gilmour Academy, Bowling Green, Dublin Jerome, Olentangy Liberty and Upper Arlington.


Saint Ignatius basketball is not ranked in this week's Associated Press state poll.
2/3/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here is how a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted in this week's big-school state basketball poll. The first-place votes follow the name of the school and the total points received follow the team's record. Twelve or more points received is the cutoff.

DIVISION I

1. St. Edward (15) 15-1 202

2. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (3) 15-1 176

3. Zanesville (3) 16-0 171

4. Massillon Jackson 13-2 100

5. Berea-Midpark 14-1 97

6. Trotwood-Madison 13-2 85

7. Perrysburg 15-1 81

8. Uniontown Lake 15-1 57

9. Columbus Northland 16-3 55

10. Pickerington Central 14-3 36

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11. Toledo Bowsher 20, 12. Shaker Heights 15, 13. Canton Timken 14.

 

Wildcats basketball remains in the seventh spot in the cleveland.com area poll.
2/3/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats remain in the seventh spot in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area basketball poll.

The Wildcats (11-4), coming off victories over Lorain and Bedford this past weekend, will host the top-ranked St. Edward Eagles (15-1) on Saturday night in the second game of the annual home-and-home series.

As always, the corner will preview the Wildcats-Eagles match up later this week.

University School defeats Saint Ignatius, 2-1, in overtime in a key Great Lakes Hockey League regular-season finale. Preppers senior defenseman and captain Clarke Jones fires home the game-winner 37 seconds into the overtime period.
2/2/2014

NOTE: Please see the update on Deven Stover, which follows the hockey story. The weekly bowling report from Alley Cats head coach John Kastanis is posted right after the update from the Stover family. The Alley Cats turn in a championship performance against St. Edward in the GCIBL Postseason Tournament.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - After University School and Saint Ignatius tested each other's will for slightly more than three periods on Sunday in the storied Brooklyn Ice Arena, Wildcats head coach Pat O'Rourke '90 and Preppers head coach Bill Beard shared the same sentiment - how great it is to be part of one of the finest high school sports rivalries in all of Ohio, if not the entire nation.

"That's what you want in high school sports, a healthy rivalry," said Coach O'Rourke after his Ice Cats were defeated by the Preppers, 2-1, in overtime in a key Great Lakes Hockey League regular season finale. "They're just a solid, solid program. Both teams respect each other and the coaching staffs have a lot of respect for each other."

In what was another will-testing game between two of the classiest and strongest programs in the state, University School skated off the ice with a controlled satisfaction, knowing that they could see Saint Ignatius for a third time this season during this coming week's Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament at Iceland USA in Strongsville, or better yet, for a fourth time in the OHSAA state final four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. University School and Saint Ignatius played to a 3-3 tie (as determined by GLHL, OHSAA and National Federation rules) in the inaugural Great Lakes Hockey League game at Quicken Loans Arena back in November.

The Preppers, ranked third in this past week's coaches state poll, sent their faithful home happy on Sunday after senior defenseman and captain Clarke Jones fired an authoritative shot from the left wing past the Ice Cats' defense with just 37 seconds gone in the overtime period. Jones' game winner came off assists from junior forward Evan Krueger and sophomore forward Ben Heller.

University School, which will either be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the Great Lakes Hockey League Postseason Tournament, improved to 22-4-6 overall and wrapped up its regular season league play at 7-1-2.

Saint Ignatius, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the state, now stands 22-4-5 overall. The Ice Cats completed their GLHL regular season at 6-2-2. A victory on Sunday would have given the 'Cats the top seed for the GLHL tournament.

The Ice Cats, said Coach O'Rourke, will now wait on the outcome of Monday's Lake Catholic at Walsh Jesuit game (7:30 PM in the Kent State Ice Arena) to see whether they garner the second or third seed for the GLHL tournament. University School's 1 or 2 seeding also depends on the outcome of the Lake Catholic-Walsh Jesuit game.

As for Super Bowl Sunday in "The Big Barn on Memphis," aka the Brooklyn Ice Arena, Saint Ignatius came out as the aggressor in the first period and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior forward Kevin Yarcusko with 1:27 remaining in the period. Sophomore forward Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Matty Geither provided the assists. Both teams killed off penalties in the first period and the Ice Cats outshot the Preppers, 14-8, through the first 15 minutes.

University School, which was coming off a late Saturday night victory over Holy Name in Parma, took its game to a higher level in the second period and tied the score at 6:24 on a goal by senior forward and assistant captain Kyle Keane. The assist was courtesy of Jones.

Prior to Keane's tying goal, the Ice Cats and the Preppers were playing timely second-period defense, including some sound stick work by the 'Cats' senior defenseman and captain Harry Smith. Each team was hit with a 2-minute penalty in the second period, including a rare delay of game call on University School's gritty sophomore keeper Alec Silver.

With Silver and his sophomore counterpart, Saint Ignatius goalie Wes Deacon, handling everything that was thrown at them in the third period, the teams headed for the 8-minute sudden victory overtime. Under the GLHL's regular season rules, the game is declared a tie if neither team scores in the eight minutes.

Jones wasn't in the mood for a tie, however, as he maneuvered around two defenders and got a good look at his game-winning destination.

"It didn't feel like 11 AM during the game, I can tell you that," said Coach Beard of the game's scheduled faceoff. "It was a great environment. Two very good teams went at it real hard, we were just able to get that last chance. Watching it, both teams were missing opportunities. Overall, I am very pleased to come in here anytime and get a win.

"I think in the first period, we were still feeling a little bit of last night," Coach Beard continued in reference to Saturday night's victory over a sound Holy Name team on the Green Wave's home ice. "I really like the way we played in the second and third periods. We competed really hard, and that was good to see."

Coach O'Rourke emphasized that he and his team are looking at the seeding for the GLHL tournament as however it shakes out. 'We'll play whoever," he said.

"We sort of look at them (the Preppers) as mirror images of us in a lot of ways," said Coach O'Rourke. "It's usually a fast paced, hard hitting, clean game. I couldn't pick a better team to play against. It felt like an even game to me, both teams had their chances with scrambles in front. Jones is a captain and a good player. He just walked around two of our guys and got himself in a good spot. At that point, it's a turkey shoot."

DEVEN STOVER UPDATE

We would like to thank all of those great Saint Ignatius fans who have expressed their concern over the health of Saint Ignatius' standout sophomore varsity basketball player Deven Stover.

Here is an update from the Stover family. Again, the power of prayer and the tremendous work of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Athletic Trainer Hank Gaughan, ATC.

FROM THE STOVER FAMILY: Good morning all, Thank you for all the prayers, concern and support for Deven. He is home and doing well.
 
Due to the extreme heat in the (Bedford) gym last night and not enough fluids, it became very difficult for Deven to catch his breath, despite using his inhaler. He became overheated and lightheaded, which caused him to faint. He never loss consciousness and due to the quick actions of a few people at the scene, he came around very quickly. After receiving a breathing treatment and IV fluids in the ambulance, he was much better by the time he arrived to the Emergency Room. Once in the ER, he received more IV fluids, lab work and a chest X-ray, which all came back normal.
 
Deven will follow up with his physician on Monday for further evaluation and testing.
 
Thank you to all those involved with saving Deven's life, as we are ever so grateful. Words cannot express our sincere gratitude.
 
Sincerely,
Reggie and Lynn Stover
 
THE ALLEY CATS DEFEAT THE KEGLERS FROM ST. EDWARD IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
 
PRESENTED AND COMPILED BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER
 
FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results in the 2013-2014 Conference Tournament. We were matched with St. Edward High School during this event.
 
There are three different categories, plus Baker Games.
 
1) Scratch = Wildcats Win, 5-2 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 3040 (1073; 966; 1001), Our Best this Season, vs. St. Edward's High School = 2953 (943; 1020; 990).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats win in this category, 5- 2 (7 point total).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games.
 
Wildcats Total Pin Fall= 3440, Our Best of the Season. St. Edward's Total Pin Fall = 3291.     

4) Baker Games: (Wildcats) = 175;225 = Series total 400 vs. (the Eagles) = 150;188 = 338. 

Our star bowlers for this event: Senior Sean O'Brien = 245; 185; 233 = 663 series (Awesome); Junior Garret Forst = 214; 222; 212 = 648 Series (Awesome); Sophomore Ralph Deadwyler =  258; 207; 169 = 634 series(Awesome) and Junior Cedric Crawford = 210; 177; 220 = 607 Series (Awesome).
 
On the JV side of things, showing much improvement as well were: Junior Antonio DiFranco = 210; 212; 213 = 635 (Outstanding, Consistent); Sophomore Austin Venczel = 194; 211; 211 = 616 (Outstanding, Consistent); Freshman Devin Venczel = 207 game (Awesome) and Sophomore Gianni Schaefer = 200 game (Awesome).
 
FROM COACH KASTANIS: "Coach Al and I want to Congratulate the Wildcats Bowling Team, as they were the Champions for the GCIBL Conference Tournament. We are very proud of these fine young men as they worked very hard on the lanes and off, being challanged during mid-term exams. This Team, I believe, is learning a lot, as to be patient, to have confidence, not to give up and to believe in themselves. As we approach the Sectional Tournament they know at this time that they could be a top competitor and advance to the District level. We will work very hard to continue on this road of success.

"I also want to note that the team of five packed up after the GCIBL Conference Tournament and went to Port Clinton to bowl in the Redskin Tournament," Coach Kastanis continued. "We missed by 32 pins from advancing to the final rounds. I give these young men praises for their efforts, bowling many games that day, to travel in between events and to have such an outcome as they did.  They are very determined in having more success. Junior Garret Forst (541) and Sophomore Ralph Deadwyler (540) had the 4th and 5th best individual scores at the Redskin Tournament. And again, I do want to congratulate the team in clinching the Handicap Divison for the JV Division.
 
"We will, for the first time,  head east for the Sectional Tournament, which will be held at Ernst Lanes in Chardon, Ohio on Saturday, 2-15-14, at 2:00 PM. Please, send the message out and come cheer our team to Victory and on to the District. Please contact us with any questions. Thank you, John Kastanis, Saint Ignatius Bowling Team, 440-342-2348, and Assistant Al Flemming, 440-343-5179.
Saint Ignatius varsity basketball rallies to a 62-57 victory at Bedford on Saturday night. Senior forward/post David Black scores a varsity career-high 22 points, including the Wildcats' first 10 points of the game.
2/1/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright February, 2014

Trailing by five points at halftime, Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats took a 43-41 lead into the fourth quarter. With the score knotted at 49 with 4 minutes and 20 seconds remaining, Saint Ignatius responded with a 9-0 run and then withstood a furious Bearcats rally.

The Wildcats, ranked seventh in the area and 13th in the Associated Press Division I state poll, will take an 11-4 record into next Saturday night's home game versus St. Edward. The Eagles are the top-ranked team in both the cleveland.com area poll and the AP big-school state poll.

Bedford, which was coming off a 78-76 "upset' over the area's 19th-ranked Cleveland Heights Tigers at Heights on Friday night, slips to 8-7 on the season.

Saint Ignatius' Freshmen Gold Team improved to 13-0 with a 62-37 victory over Bedford's freshmen and the Wildcats' junior varsity team now stands 14-0 after wearing down the Bearcats' jayvees, 71-47. We will have a junior varsity and freshmen recap following the varsity story.

Bedford, Ohio - Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 said he thought his team showed a great deal of resiliency on Saturday night.

Playing on the home court of the Bedford Bearcats, who were riding the emotion of a big win at Cleveland Heights on Friday night, Coach O'Toole's Wildcats got several key contributions when it mattered most and turned back a gifted Bedford team, 62-57, in front of large and enthusiastic crowd on Northfield Road.

The Bearcats, whose deceiving 8-7 record includes some quality victories, came out firing from the 3-point arc and, after trailing by one point after the first quarter, held a 33-28 lead at halftime. Bedford's long-range barrage of six first-half 3-pointers offset a great start by Saint Ignatius' senior forward/post and captain David Black, who accounted for the Wildcats' first 10 points and finished with a game-high and varsity career-best 22 points.

"They hit six of 12 threes in the first half, that's more than half of their points (in the first half)," Coach O'Toole said. "We knew coming to Bedford they were going to shoot it well here, that's a great 3-point shooting team and a great offensive rebounding team.

"I really thought we got great minutes from David Black. He kept us in the game," Coach O'Toole continued. "We were getting it (the ball) where we wanted it, so I'm pleased with that. We just have to relax and make sure we're getting to the line or finishing it. And we're going to do that. I know we're going to do that. Our guards did an incredible job of sharing it and we did play some inside-out very well."

The Wildcats, who defeated a talented Lorain team by 18 points at Sullivan gymnasium on Friday night, came out strong in the third quarter and scored the first points of the second half on a layup by senior post and captain Eric Black off an assist from his twin brother David. Behind a smooth turnaround jumper high off the glass by senior forward and captain Isiah Barbra and a layup by David Black, the 'Cats knotted the score at 34.

After David Black took a charge, Barbra drew a roar from the Wildcats' faithful when he buried a 3-pointer and was fouled. Isiah completed the four-point play and Saint Ignatius led, 38-34, with 3 minutes and 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Bedford had plenty of fire left, however, as the Bearcats, sparked by the long-range shooting of sophomore guard Armond Perry, closed to 43-41 entering the final eight minutes.

With junior forward Jaylin McDonald giving the Wildcats a huge lift off the bench with his clutch 3-pointer and put back, Saint Ignatius and Bedford counter punched their way to a 49-49 tie with 4:20 remaining to be played.

At that point, Coach O'Toole's team put together its most impressive stretch of the night - a 9-0 run that featured a David Black follow, a jumper off the dribble by senior point guard and captain Danny Bova, a breakaway layup by senior post Jake Strippy and an authoritative three-point play by Barbra.

The Bearcats wouldn't go quietly, not on their home court.

Coach Pete Priola's team picked up its full-court pressure, forced turnovers and cut a 58-49 Saint Ignatius lead to 60-57 after heady junior point guard Mike Smith made two free throws with 51.8 seconds left.

The Wildcats were resilient one more time, as David Black went to the floor in pursuit of a loose ball, an effort that enabled Saint Ignatius to call a key timeout.  Barbra then sealed the hard-fought victory on a layup as the final 14 seconds were ticking off the clock.

"When you hit the first shot, you feel the confidence," said David Black of his big offensive night. "Finding the open guy and knocking down the shots, that's what gets us going. They're (Bedford) a good momentum team and we showed great poise in weathering the storm."

Coach O'Toole had nothing but praise for the efforts he got off his bench for the second straight night, as he complimented the play of McDonald, Strippy and senior guard Ryan Napoli, among others.

Along with David Black's 22-point night, Saint Ignatius got 11-point performances from Eric Black and Barbra, and 10 points from McDonald. The Wildcats hit four 3-pointers and were 12-of-19 from the free-throw line.

Bedford was led by Smith and Perry with 15 and 10 points, respectively. The Bearcats finished with seven 3-pointers, including three by Smith, and they were 10-of-23 from the charity stripe.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME: Saint Ignatius 71, Bedford 47

With the scored tied at 14-14 with 1:39 remaining in the first quarter, Coach Chris Salata's jayvees stormed to a 39-25 lead by halftime.

The now 14-0 JV 'Cats rode some outstanding play by sophomore posts Tim Kiefer and Sharief Irish, freshman post Matt Davet, sophomore guards Ryan Berger and Jim Berger, and sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish in pushing their advantage to 59-36 entering the final eight minutes.

Among the third-quarter highlights were a steal by Jim Berger, Ryan's twin brother, that led to a nothing-but-net jumper by Kalish, a 3-pointer by Ryan Berger that came off Jim Berger's hustle rebound and on-the-money bounce-pass assist along the baseline, a follow by Davet, a put back by Kiefer and a smooth running one-hander by Kalish.

Davet and Ryan Berger led the Wildcats with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Kiefer tossed in 9 points and Kalish, who also plays a key role on the varsity team, finished with eight points.

Coach Salata's team made 24 two-point shots, three 3-pointers and was 14-of-20 from the free-throw line.

FRESHMEN GOLD 62, BEDFORD FRESHMEN 37

Head Coach Michael Sweeney '78 and his assistant coaches and sons, Conor '08 and Patrick '08, did a fabulous job of employing their rotations on Saturday evening, as 14 players hit the scoring column for the now 13-0 Freshmen Gold.

Leading the way was Mr. Inside and Outside Austen Yarian with 16 points, Michael Spear with 10 points and Colin Nieberding with 9 points.

A solid effort on defense and a 22-point night by Deven Stover lead the Basketball Wildcats past Lorain, 63-45, the Ice Cats defeat Gilmour, 5-1, and the Week 3 varsity football game with St. Joseph's Prep is set for 2014.
1/31/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January/February 2014

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats set the tempo with a tough man-to-man help defense and Deven Stover scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half as Saint Ignatius frustrated a talented Lorain team by containing the Titans' main offensive weapon, Devon Andrews. Stover led 11 Wildcats in the scoring column.

*Saint Ignatius will take a record of 10-4 into Saturday night's game at Bedford. Lorain is now 8-8 on the season. Note that Bedford pulled off an "upset" on Friday night by defeating Cleveland Heights, 78-76, at Cleveland Heights. 

*Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats improved to 13-0 with a 71-60 victory over Lorain's jayvees. It marked only the second setback in 15 games this season for the JV Titans.

*Here is the varsity basketball game story. The junior varsity recap follows the varsity game story and the hockey and football stories are right below the basketball story.

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius' Deven Stover scored a game-high 22 points in Friday night's 63-45 victory over an athletic Lorain team in Sullivan Gymnasium. Friday's effort gave Stover 46 points in his last two games combined.

It was only when it was brought up by this corner did the gifted, but unassuming Stover refer to the Wildcats' offense on Friday night and the major role he played in fueling it.

Instead, the soft-spoken and basketball-savvy sophomore guard pointed to Saint Ignatius' defense and the headaches it gave the Lorain Titans from the get-go. And like his play on Friday night, Stover was right on the money in that evaluation.

"We started with a straight man (defense), because they can attack off the dribble, especially Devon Andrews," said Stover, referring to the Titans and their 6-foot-5 junior guard and Kent State recruit. "So we decided to go man-to-man. Isiah (Wildcats senior forward and captain Isiah Barbra) took Devon and we would all help. He (Andrews) was averaging 24 points and we held him to 13 tonight, just because we all helped."

And "we" was the operative word, as, in the words of Saint Ignatius' veteran assistant coach Kirk Culler, the Wildcats let it be known on Friday night that they are going to be a tough team to score on the rest of the way.

With the 6-4 Stover scoring 18 of Saint Ignatius' first 36 points and head coach Sean O'Toole '87 employing a keep-them-fresh rotation, the Wildcats pushed a 31-19 lead at halftime to 46-26 late in the third quarter.

Lorain made things interesting for a brief time in the second quarter when it went on an 8-1 run. However, Stover's second 3-pointer in the first half, a steal and a layup by Barbra, and a strong second-effort tip in by 6-7 senior post Jake Strippy discouraged any comeback hopes the Titans had.

Continuing to hustle at the defensive end, Coach O'Toole's team moved to the 20-point, late third-quarter lead thanks in a large part to a workman-like move down low by 6-7 senior post Eric Black, Stover's third 3-pointer, a smooth put back by Barbra, an Eric Black basket off an on-the-money dime from senior point guard and captain Danny Bova, and authoritative drives to the rim by Barbra and 6-6 senior forward and captain David Black, Eric's twin brother.

"I think I've gotten more confident," said Stover, who admitted that early in the season he was a bit "skeptical" about his offense, especially being a sophomore starter. "But I think after that game against Canton Timken it really showed me what I could do and it got my game going."

Stover scored a team-high 24 points against Timken in what was a tough 62-60 loss during Sunday's final round of the Dunk-4-Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University. It has been a good week for the Stover family so far, as Deven's sister, Alexis, tossed in 24 points, including four 3-pointers, in leading the highly ranked Lady Comets of Solon to a big win at Walsh Jesuit.

Saint Ignatius, which entered Friday night's game ranked seventh in the cleveland.com area poll and 13th in the Associated Press Division I state poll, led, 48-30, entering the final eight minutes.

With Coach O'Toole continuing to rotate his five, the 'Cats maintained their total control in the fourth quarter on a layup by Eric Black off a baseline entry, a clever reverse layup along the baseline by Bova, another Eric Black basket off a Bova assist, two free throws by forever-hustling senior guard Ryan Napoli, a basket by athletic junior post Mikal Outcalt off a Napoli assist, and a determined basket by the epitome of a dedicated teammate, senior guard Ogo Okolo.

Along with Stover's output, Eric Black finished with 12 points and Andrews led the Titans with his 13 points, 10 of those coming in the first half.

"We had to start the game with an urgency," said Coach O'Toole after his Wildcats snapped a three-game losing streak. "We got a nice lead and we're able to maintain it, which was huge for us.

"A lot of kids contributed," Coach O'Toole continued. "One of our issues was that we were really playing extended minutes with some guys. We got some great, solid minutes from the guys off the bench. I thought Kyle Kalish (sophomore) and Joe Isabella (junior) did a great job backing up the one. They were able to spell Danny (Bova). We didn't miss a beat when they (the second and third rotations) went out there, and that is how we have to be. We have to consistently be able to do that and go that deep."

Coach O'Toole, who picked up his 97th victory in what his sixth season at his alma mater, emphasized that that his Wildcats had to stop Andrews collectively.

"He (Andrews) does an awesome job getting to the rim and an incredible job of getting fouled," Coach O'Toole said. "I thought we helped extremely well and limited his touches as much as we could. To hold a team like that to 45 points, I am very, very pleased."

JUNIOR VARSITY RECAP

Saint Ignatius 71, Lorain 60

Saint Ignatius, on the strength of a 3-pointer by sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish, led, 13-12, after the first quarter.

The JV 'Cats began to get into an offensive flow in the second quarter, as freshman post Matt Davet made a strong move along the baseline and scored off an assist from sophomore guard Jim Berger. Ryan Berger, Jim's twin brother, took advantage of a nice pass from Kalish to make it a 17-12 game and a jumper by sophomore guard/forward Jake Gawlik and 3-pointers by sophomore forward Mike Hollis and Gawlik had the 'Cats in front, 25-16.

Some more strong work down low by Davet, who moves without the ball, and a soft driving one-hander by Ryan Berger staked Saint Ignatius to a 29-19 lead at halftime.

Another 3-pointer by Kalish pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 13 points early in the third quarter and Coach Chris Salata's 13-0 Wildcats rode some relentless work down low by sophomore post Tim Kiefer and the 3-point line, including rain-makers by Hollis and Gawlik, to a 50-30 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Lorain Titans, who now sport a solid 13-2 JV record, outscored Saint Ignatius, 30-21, over the final seven minutes. Saint Ignatius was able to turn the Titans away, however, after Davet scored off a Hollis assist, Kiefer buried two free throws and Gawlik sent home another trey.

Kiefer and Gawlik led the Wildcats with 14 and 11 points, respectively, and the Titans' Isiah Butler tied Kiefer for game honors with 14 points. Saint Ignatius made 16 two-point shots, 9 three-pointers and was 12-of-19 from the foul line.

*ICE CATS SHOOT, SKATE AND DEFEND THEIR WAY PAST THE LANCERS.

In what was a key Great Lakes Hockey League game at the Gilmour Ice Arena on Friday night, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats defeated the Lancers from Gilmour Academy, 5-1.

Sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon had 20 saves and the Ice Cats' offense was fueled by sophomore center Aidan Spellacy, junior wing Matty Geither and senior forward Danny Brogan. Aidan and Matty each had two goals on the night.

Saint Ignatius, the top-ranked team in the coaches' state poll, will take a 22-3-5 record into Sunday's Great Lakes Hockey League headliner against the state's third-ranked University School Preppers. The puck will drop at 11 AM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage Sunday (heck, I would pass on the Super Bowl for an Ice Cats versus Preppers hockey game) and the highly anticipated match up will also be broadcast live over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.

*SAINT IGNATIUS LOCKS UP AN EIGHTH GAME FOR THE 2014 VARSITY FOOTBALL SEASON, AS THE DISCUSSIONS WITH ST. JOSEPH'S PREP THAT WE REPORTED ON MONDAY'S CORNER BECOME A REALITY.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will face St. Joseph's Preparatory, the Jesuit School of Philadelphia, on a Saturday in Week 3 at Parma's Byers Field. The time of the game is to be announced.

The agreement with the Hawks gives Saint Ignatius eight games for 2014, the number you must have in order to be eligible to qualify for the OHSAA postseason playoffs.

Wildcats Athletics Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick '88 said he has secured a two-year contract with St. Joe's Prep. The Wildcats will travel to play the Hawks in 2015, but a date and time for the 2015 encounter have not been set.

St. Joe's Prep is coming off a banner 2013 season that saw it capture its first PIAA Class AAAA state championship by defeating perennial Pennsylvania power Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 35-10, in the title game at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Prep Hawks scored 28 unanswered points in the second half.

Saint Ignatius and St. Joe's Prep have met twice previously, with the Wildcats coming out victorious in 2004, 26-6, on a warm afternoon at Byers Field and the Hawks from Prep prevailing in 2005, 28-14. The 2005 meeting was played at
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Stadium, which is West of Philadelphia.

As we reported on Jan. 17, Saint Ignatius reached an agreement with Erie (Pa.) McDowell for a seventh game, which will take place in Week 7 at Byers Field.

With the addition of St. Joe's Prep, this is how the Wildcats' 2014 schedule currently stands: Week 1 Indianapolis Lawrence Central (away game); Week 2 Mentor (home); Week 3 St. Joe's Prep (home); Week 4 (Open); Week 5 New Jersey Paramus Catholic (away): Week 6 (open); Week 7 Erie McDowell (home): Week 8 Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (at Dublin Coffman High School); Week 9 Cincinnati St. Xavier (away) and Week 10 St. Edward (home).

Saturday's varsity hockey game in Michigan versus University Liggett School has been canceled because of a forecast that calls for heavy sleet and snow.
1/31/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

As we reported in our weekly preview on the corner, Coach Pat O'Rourke's varsity Wildcats will face off with the Gilmour Academy Lancers tonight at 6:40 in a key Great Lakes Hockey League match up in the Gilmour Ice Arena and will take on University School on Sunday at 11 AM in another major GLHL encounter at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Saint Ignatius and University School are ranked first and third, respectively, in the coaches' state poll.  

Saint Ignatius-Glenville basketball to be made up on Feb. 11. The annual Coaches Versus Cancer Night will be Feb. 13 versus Cleveland Heights.
1/31/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The Saint Ignatius versus Glenville junior varsity and varsity basketball games, which were postponed on Jan. 25 because of adverse weather conditions, will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Sullivan Gymnasium. The junior varsity game will begin at 5:30 PM and the varsity tipoff will follow at 7.

Please note that the Coaches Versus Cancer Night will now be part of the Wildcats' junior varsity and varsity basketball games versus Cleveland Heights on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Sullivan Gymnasium. With no school the following day, the Cleveland Heights games will be a regular 6 PM junior varsity and 7:30 varsity tipoff.

Wildcats Varsity Basketball looks to get back on the winning track. The Ice Cats gear up for three games in three days, capped off by Sunday's match up with University School.
1/30/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio – While Saint Ignatius’ bowling and swimming/diving teams are focusing on next month’s Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason competition, the wrestling, ice hockey and basketball programs still have some unfinished regular season business to attend to.

Make that plenty of business still at hand for Coach Sean O’Toole’s Varsity Basketball Wildcats, who currently stand 9-4 against their demanding 22-game, regular-season slate.

As for the bowling team, or the “Alley Cats,” as this old-timer respectfully refers to the Wildcats’ keglers, Coach John Kastanis’ young men closed their regular season with impressive performances against the Longhorns of Lutheran
West and the Green Wave of Holy Name. And, as we reported on the corner Sunday night, the junior varsity ‘Cats
were also sending the pins flying in record style.

In case you missed Sunday’s weekly “Kastanis Report,” here is Coach Kastanis’ wrap up as the Alley Cats begin fine-tuning their game for the annual OHSAA Sectional Tournament.

From Coach Kastanis: "I want to congratulate the team in clinching the Handicap Division for the junior varsity. I also want to announce that the JV did hand Olmsted Falls’ junior varsity its first loss, as they disrupted the Bulldogs' undefeated track. I am Very proud of our team in how it is coming together and working hard just
in time for the state tournament.

"We will continue on this track of success,” Coach Kastanis continued. “I feel that the team did have success (in the regular season), even though the scores were up and down each week due to lane conditions. I think this will better prepare us for the upcoming state tournaments. We will, for the first time, head East for the sectional tournament, which will be held at Ernst Lanes in Chardon on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2:00 PM. Please come and cheer our team to victory and on to the District.”

For Coach Jeff Ridler’s swimming and diving team, the time is approaching for what Coach Ridler and his Wildcats have worked for so tirelessly all season – the OHSAA postseason competition.

The Wildcats are slated to compete in the Division I sectional at Lakewood High School. According to the schedule on the Saint Ignatius swimming and diving page, the dates are Feb. 7 and 8. The OHSAA lists the dates as Feb. 3-8.

Led by big-meet tested veterans Nathan Christian and Peter Simcox, Saint Ignatius is looking to build off of what was an impressive third-place finish at last year’s state meet in Canton.

Coach Mark Sullivan’s wrestling team, which is coming off solid victories over Mentor and Walsh Jesuit in a Double Dual at Sullivan Gymnasium last weekend, will close its regular season with a match against Lake Catholic on Feb. 7 in
Sullivan Gym. The action will begin at 7:30 PM. It will be the wrestling program’s annual Alumni Night and the match will feature two of the outstanding wrestlers in the state – Saint Ignatius’ 182-pounder Anthony McLaughlin and Lake Catholic’s 126-pounder Anthony Tutolo.

Coach Sullivan’s men of the mats will then turn their full attention to the North Royalton Division I Sectional, which is scheduled for Feb. 14-15. From there, it is on to the Mentor District, aka “The Mentor Meat Grinder,” on Feb. 21-22.

So, fulfilling your appetite for Saint Ignatius athletics this weekend will be Coach O’Toole’s Varsity
Basketball Wildcats and Coach Pat O’Rourke’s Ice Cats, the top-ranked ice hockey team in Ohio.

Coach O’Rourke’s ‘Cats will take a record of 21-3-5 into what will be a three games in three days weekend. It starts on Friday in the Gilmour Ice Arena at 6:40 PM, as the Lancers from Gilmour Academy host Saint Ignatius in a key Great Lakes Hockey League game. The Ice Cats entered this week as part of a plenty-of-company-at-the-top in the Great Lakes Hockey League. Walsh Jesuit, University School Lake Catholic and Holy Name are part of that select company.
Holy Name handed the ‘Cats their only league setback.

The GLHL postseason tournament is scheduled to start on Feb. 6 at IceLand USA in Strongsville. Ah, what memories that should make.

On Dec. 3 at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, Saint Ignatius defeated Gilmour Academy, 1-0. Ever-present junior wing Ethan Whitney scored 17 seconds into the game and the Ice Cats’ penalty-killing defense, supported by a staunch effort in goal by sophomore Dylan McKeon, took it from there. Whitney scored off assists from the Spellacy brothers, senior defenseman and captain Kevin Spellacy and hockey savvy sophomore center Aidan Spellacy. Gilmour’s 6-foot-4, 218-pound keeper Matthew Ray had 32 saves.

Saturday, the Ice Cats are scheduled to be in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan to face the Knights from University Liggett School, a nationally recognized, experiential learning-based private school. The puck is scheduled to drop in
the Francis J. McCann Ice Arena at noon according to the Saint Ignatius athletics webpage hockey site, although the Knights have it on their school pages as a 12:30 PM face off. Be on the safe side and arrive before noon.

The Knights, who brought home a state championship in 2012, currently stand 14-2-1 and are ranked third in Division 3 by the M: Hockey Hub.com ratings. Last season, the Knights finished 16-11-1 after being eliminated in the Division 3
quarterfinals.

Although Mother Nature turned away their highly anticipated match up on Tuesday evening, Saint Ignatius and the state’s third-ranked University School Preppers, two of the classiest and strongest programs Ohio has to offer, will continue their tremendous rivalry on Sunday at 11 AM in the storied Brooklyn Ice Arena. The corner will be on hand for this Great Lakes Hockey League headliner, as will the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.

In their last two meetings, the Ice Cats and the Preppers put together instant classics.

During last year’s Baron Cup I semifinals at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, Saint Ignatius and University School tested each other’s will for more than three hours before destiny’s child, Wildcats forward Danny Brogan, scored off an assist from
forward Beck Schultz and the Ice Cats prevailed, 4-3, in five overtimes. Veteran tournament officials at the Brooklyn Ice Arena that night said it was the longest Baron Cup 1 game in the 42-year history of the tournament. Saint Ignatius returned to the Brooklyn Ice Arena less than 24 hours later and defeated Shaker Heights for the Baron Cup 1 championship.

So what did the Preppers and the Ice Cats do for an encore in their first meeting this season? Well, all they did was play into a shootout in the inaugural game for the Great Lakes Hockey League on Nov. 22 at Quicken Loans Arena. University School won the shootout, but under National Federation, OHSAA and GLHL rules, the game was declared a 3-3 tie.

Coach O’Toole’s Varsity Basketball Wildcats, currently ranked seventh in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll and 13th in the Associated Press Division I state poll, will be taking on two teams who have steadily improved throughout the winter – the Titans from Lorain High School and the Bearcats from Bedford High School. Bedford is coming off an impressive 66-56 Northfield Road Rivalry victory over Warrensville Heights last weekend. Coach Brian Swift’s Warrensville Heights Tigers are ranked 16th in this week’s cleveland.com poll.

The Lorain Titans come to Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night and the Wildcats travel to Bedford on Saturday night. Action begins both nights with a 6 PM junior varsity game, followed by the varsity tip at 7:30. Saint Ignatius’ junior varsity will put its 12-0 record on the line.

Coach O’Toole describes Coach John Rositano’s Titans as very quick and athletic, but at the same time very disciplined in what they do. Leading an impressive lineup for Coach Rositano is 6-5 junior guard Devon Andrews, a Kent State University recruit. Andrews is in that same mold as a player the Wildcats just faced on Sunday – Canton Timken’s outstanding sophomore guard/forward Lepear Toles.

Andrews is complimented by strong, wide-body junior forward Rashod Berry, two young, but talented inside-outside  players – freshman Nazihar Bohannon and 6-6 sophomore Daviere Andrews – and a deep-range shooter
in senior Demon Hisle. And there are others Coach Rositano can turn to, including relentless defender Eddie Williamson.

Coach Rositano is a veteran of Lorain County basketball as he coached at the old Lorain and Admiral King high schools, compiling a record of 129-69, winning two Erie Shore Conference championships and garnering Erie Shore Conference Coach of the Year honors three times. John, who was a member of the Admiral King team that lost to Akron Central-Hower, 52-48, in the 1980 Class AAA state championship game, most recently was the coach of Amherst Steele’s girls varsity program. At Amherst, he was 147-75 with three Southwestern Conference titles
and a regional-final appearance in 2005.

“(Devon) Andrews is one of the better juniors in the entire area,” said Coach O’Toole. “Their guards share it, shoot it and defend well. Johnny Rositano has them playing good team basketball. They play very good team defense, very similar to a team which just played in Canton Timken.”

Bedford is definitely riding a positive wave after the victory over Warrensville Heights. This old-timer had the privilege of covering the Bearcats -Tigers rivalry during my many years at The Plain Dealer and I can tell you first hand that both schools cherish those winter bragging rights.

The Bearcats, who travel to cleveland.com’s 19th-ranked Cleveland Heights on Friday night, are also led by another of what seems to be an abundance of gifted underclassmen this season – 6-1 sophomore guard Armond Perry. Bedford has other talented pieces, among them Shamar Jeffrey, Mike Smith, AJ Durden, Miles Meredith, Myron Prewitt and LaMont Rhodes.

“It’s a team that is obviously coming off a great win against one of the better teams in the area,” said Coach O’Toole of Bedford. “They play quality competition. Defensively, we expect to see zones mixed in with man-to-man. Again, it’s a
team that can beat you in a variety of ways – off the bounce, off the catch and shoot, off transition and second shots. We’re going to have to be very consistent.

“One at a time,” Coach O’Toole continued. “We have to get this one on Friday (versus Lorain) and get us back on the right path here.”

Last season, the Wildcats traveled to Lorain and came away with a 72-38 victory. David Black, now a 6-6 senior forward and captain, helped lead the way with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds. Current senior point guard and captain Danny Bova dished out six assists.     

Ice Cats remain No. 1 in the coaches' state poll.
1/28/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Note that the Great Lakes Hockey League game between Saint Ignatius and University School, which was postponed because of the weather and will be made up Sunday at 11 AM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, matches the No. 1 (the Wildcats) and No. 3 teams in the state.

Here is this week's Ohio Ice Hockey Coaches Association state poll. The first-place votes are in parenthesis. *Six teams from the Great Lakes Hockey League are ranked in the top 10 and a seventh GLHL team, Gilmour Academy, also received state votes.

1. Saint Ignatius 93 (6)

2. Toledo St. John's Jesuit 90 (2)

3. University School 73 (1)

4. Lake Catholic 67

5. Holy Name 61 (1)

6. Walsh Jesuit 41

7. Columbus St. Charles 39

8. Olentangy Orange 19

9. St. Edward 17

10. Toledo St. Francis 15

Others receiving votes: Gilmour Academy, Sylvania Northview, Rocky River, Olentangy Liberty and Findlay.




 




Saint Ignatius-University School hockey has been rescheduled for Sunday at 11 AM.
1/28/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Tuesday evening's highly anticipated Great Lakes Hockey League game between the Ice Cats and the Preppers, which was officially postponed on Monday night because of the weather (see the corner's post from Monday night, not today as it shows on the hockey page), will now be played on Sunday in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck will drop at 11 AM.

*The corner will provide game coverage on Sunday and the game is also expected to be broadcast by the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.

*In the words of University School head coach Bill Beard, a great deal of thanks goes out to Wildcats head coach Pat O'Rourke '90 for all of the time and effort he put in securing the ice time at Brooklyn and making Sunday's game possible.

  

For Brendan Gulick, the road to success has been a path well taken.
1/28/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio – In the spring of 2009, this old-timer had the privilege of doing a story on The Corner that featured Saint Ignatius senior baseball player Brendan Gulick. It was part of a package that took a glance at the personal side of some of Coach Brad Ganor’s Wildcats as they were preparing for a Division I state-semifinal match up with perennial
power Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller.

While interviewing Brendan, the obvious came to the fore rapidly – his love for his family, his friends, Wildcats baseball and his high school.

No, I wasn’t a bit surprised by Brendan’s strong passion for Saint Ignatius and the foundation of character and class he built while attending Cleveland’s Jesuit Preparatory School. I had seen his “Men for Others” qualities during those times when Brendan was kind enough to invite me to be a guest on his varsity broadcasts over the Saint Ignatius Student
Broadcasting Network. Brendan was the pioneer of the SIBN and the young man who truly fueled the Wildcats’ award-winning work.

Before Saint Ignatius' varsity basketball game at Berea-Midpark High School last Friday night, I had the privilege once again to visit with Brendan and talk about what is now his young adult life. And again, while enjoying his trademark calm enthusiasm, it came as no surprise to me that he was continuing to climb the ladder of success.

Following his graduation from Saint Ignatius, Brendan stayed with the Jesuit tradition by attending John Carroll University. He served as a play-by-play announcer and color analyst for John Carroll athletics on SportsTime Ohio and did broadcasts on Blue Streaks football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, baseball and softball through 88.7 FM WJCU and on the internet. He complemented those duties by authoring game notes, game stories and feature stories for jcusports.com and conducted player and coach interviews that aired during broadcasts through 88.7 FM WJCU.

Brendan was selected last year as one of the top 10 college sports broadcasters in the nation by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA), as judged by a panel of many of the top sportscasters in America. He was selected as one of 20 STAA All-Americans in both 2012 and 2013 and was the highest-rated college broadcaster in Ohio both years.

A 2013 graduate of John Carroll with a B.S.B.A. in Marketing, Brendan was working full time at Texoma Broadcasting in Durant, Oklahoma, while serving as the play by play broadcaster of Southeastern Oklahoma State University Athletics when another special opportunity arrived – the chance to come home, well at least back to Ohio.

During Friday’s basketball game, Brendan shared with me that he will be joining the now legendary Dayton Dragons as a Media Relations and Broadcasting assistant for the 2014 minor league baseball season. Brendan will work alongside Dragons Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Tom Nichols on game broadcasts over the Dragons’ flagship radio station, WONE 980 AM. Games can also be heard via the internet at daytondragons.com and wone.com. Nichols will be entering his 27th year in professional baseball.

Tell you more about the Dayton Dragons? It would be an honor.

A Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Dragons set a Class A attendance record of 581,853 during their first season in 2000. The Dayton faithful broke that turnstile mark in 2003, when 590,382 fans came to see the fire from those Dragon bats. In 2004, the Dragons attracted a paid attendance of 593,663.

The Dragons average more than 8,370 fans per game and have been the top Class A team in attendance every year of their existence. On July 9, 2011, the Dragons officially set a new record of 815 consecutive sellouts, a streak that stood as the longest in all professional sports in these United States until it was increased to 913 by the Dragons in 2012 and 983 by the Dragons in 2013. Every game in the Dragons’ 14-year history has been a sell-out.

The Dragons’ home park is Fifth Third Field and among those who proudly wore the Dayton uniform are current Cincinnati Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto and All-Star right fielder Jay Bruce, former Reds and Indians outfielder and current Colorado Rockie Drew Stubbs, and one of this year's highly regarded prospects, base-stealing sensation Billy Hamilton, aka “Billy Bases.”

Yes, Brendan has a lot to work with in Dayton and a lot of faithful fans who are sure to enjoy his work. The dedication and knowledge are endless.

After all, this is a young man who grew up hearing about and watching a team that between June 12, 1995 and April 4, 2001 sold out 455 consecutive games, drawing an attendance of 19,324,248 fans to Jacobs Field, now Progressive Field.

A foundation that grew sturdy on the campus off West 30th and Lorain Avenue will only grow stronger for Brendan Gulick.   

*Tuesday's highly anticipated Great Lakes Hockey League Game between the Ice Cats and the University School Preppers has been postponed. A makeup date has not been determined.
1/27/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The game, which year in and year out matches two of the premier ice hockey programs in Ohio, if not the nation, was scheduled for the Brooklyn Ice Arena on Tuesday evening. It was postponed because of the adverse weather that is expected to hit the Greater Cleveland area.

Several schools are already closed for Tuesday, including Saint Ignatius High School.  

Wildcats football in discussion with Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep for a game this coming season.
1/27/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Ohio City - Coach Chuck Kyle's varsity football Wildcats have the makings for an eighth game for the 2014 season which, it if comes to fruition, would leave Saint Ignatius with two open dates to fill.

Wildcats Athletic Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick '88 said Saint Ignatius and St. Joseph's Preparatory, the Jesuit School of Philadelphia, are discussing a date for the game, which would be a home game for the 'Cats.

St. Joe's Prep is coming off a banner 2013 season that saw it capture its first PIAA Class AAAA state championship by defeating perennial Pennsylvania power Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 35-10, in the title game at Hersheypark Stadium. The Prep Hawks scored 28 unanswered points in the second half.

Saint Ignatius and St. Joe's Prep have met twice previously, with the Wildcats coming out victorious in 2004, 26-6, on a warm afternoon at Parma's Byers Field and the Hawks from Prep prevailing in 2005, 28-14. The 2005 meeting was played at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Stadium, which is West of Philadelphia.

As we reported on Jan. 17, Saint Ignatius reached an agreement with Erie (Pa.) McDowell for a seventh game, which will take place in Week 7 at Byers Field.

Under the Ohio High School Athletic Association rules, a member school must secure at least eight varsity football games in order to be eligible for the OHSAA postseason playoffs. That is why an agreement with St. Joe's Prep is vital.

St. Joe's Prep would, and we emphasize would until it becomes a reality, join Indianapolis Lawrence Central (away game), Mentor (home), New Jersey Paramus Catholic (away), Erie McDowell (home), Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (at Dublin Coffman High School), Cincinnati St. Xavier (away) and St. Edward (home) on the Wildcats' 2014 schedule. 

As for filling the final two open dates, Saint Ignatius has been in discussion, and we emphasize discussion, with Pinehurst School Canada Prep Football Academy and Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep. Pinehurst, based in Ontario, Canada, was defeated by the Wildcats, 35-14, in Week 10 of 2013 at Byers Field.             

Saint Ignatius' Varsity Basketball Team is ranked seventh in the area poll this week and 13th in the Division I state poll.
1/27/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The 9-4 Wildcats hold down the seventh spot in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll and are 13th in the Associated Press big-school state poll.

Coach Sean O'Toole's 'Cats will host Lorain on Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium and will travel to Bedford to face the Bearcats on Saturday night.

Here is how a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted in this week's AP Division I state poll. The first-place votes are in parenthesis.

1. St. Edward (12) 13-1 203

2. Trotwood-Madison (3) 13-1 181

3. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (3) 14-1 166

4. Zanesville (2) 13-0 160

5. Uniontown Lake (2) 14-0 130

6. Massillon Jackson 12-2 74

tie-7. Berea-Midpark 12-1 55

tie-7. Columbus Northland 13-3 55

9. Perrysburg 13-1 38

10. Toledo Bowsher 11-1 28

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11. Pickerington Central with 26 points, 12. Canton Timken with 16 points and 13. Saint Ignatius with 13 points.

 

 

   

The Alley Cats send the pins flying against the Green Wave of Holy Name. It's the weekly Kastanis Report.
1/26/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER AND PRESENTED BY SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD BOWLING COACH JOHN KASTANIS.

The Wildcats tune up for the postseason tournament with an impressive performance against Holy Name in the eleventh and final week of the 2013-2014 regular season. There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch = Wildcats Win, 7 - 0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2670 (904; 899; 867) vs. Holy Name High School  = 2297 (837; 719; 741).

2) Handicap = Wildcats win in this category, 5 - 2  (7 point total).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win, 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two Baker Games. Wildcats Total Pin Fall = 3036, Holy Name High School Total Pin Fall = 2607.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 195;171= Series Total 366 vs. (Holy Name High School) = 122;188 = Series Total 310. 

Our star bowlers for the eleventh week: Sophomore Ralph Deadwyler = 227 = 600 series (Awesome) and Senior Sean O'Brien = 236 game = 583 series (Awesome).

On the JV side of things, showing much improvement as well: Sophomore Austin Venczel = 200; 197; 247 games, Series = 644 (Awesome) and Freshman Devin Venczel = 208 game (Awesome).

From Coach Kastanis: "I want to congratulate the team in clinching the Handicap Divison for the junior varsity. I also want to announce that the JV did hand Olmsted Falls' junior varsity its first loss as they disrupted the Bulldogs' undefeated track. I am Very proud of this team in how they are coming together and working hard just in time for the upcoming state tournaments.

"We will continue on this track of success. I feel that the team did have success, even though the scores were up and down each week due to lane conditions. I think this will better prepare us for the upcoming state tournaments. We will for the first time head east for the sectional tournament, which will be held at Ernst Lanes in Chardon on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2:00 PM. Please come and cheer our team to victory and on to the District."


Canton Timken, trailing by 13 points entering the final eight minutes, storms back to defeat Saint Ignatius, 62-60, in Sunday's Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University.
1/26/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Timken, which improved to 11-1, scored the winning basket on a lay in along the right baseline by senior forward Randee Reed off a picture-perfect assist from the Trojans' multi-dimensional sophomore forward Lepear Toles as the final five seconds were ticking off the clock. Saint Ignatius' full-court desperation shot misfired and the Wildcats walked off the Walsh University court at 9-4 after suffering their third consecutive defeat and their second setback in three days. The 'Cats were coming off a 70-61 loss at Berea-Midpark on Friday night.

NORTH CANTON, OHIO -  All even the most novice basketball fan needs to do in order to get a handle on Sunday's game between Canton Timken and Saint Ignatius is take a glance at the third and fourth quarters.

After both teams left some points on the Walsh University floor during what was a spirited first half that ended with the score knotted at 30, Saint Ignatius, behind the play of its gifted sophomore guard Deven Stover, came out strong in the third quarter and outscored Timken, 21-8.

Eight consecutive points by Stover, including back-to-back 3-pointers, and a three-point play by junior post Mikal Outcalt were part of the surge that saw the Wildcats take a 13-point lead into the final eight minutes.

Enter the fourth quarter.

Timken, with its outstanding sophomore forward Lepear Toles showing the way, took advantage of numerous turnovers by Saint Ignatius, started to beat the Wildcats in transition and attacked the rim with passion. The end result was that the decisive quarter went to the Trojans, 24-9, as the well as the victory, 62-60, in the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout.

An on-the-money dime from Toles to senior forward Randee Reed as the final five seconds were ticking off the clock saw Reed convert the assist into the game-winning basket. 

As for the matchup's headliners or MVPs, it was a no-brainer. A tale of two sophomores, if you will.

The 6-foot-4 Toles, who has caught the attention of several major college programs, finished with a game-high 27 points, including 19 in the second half. Stover, who stands 6-4, scored a varsity career-high 24 points, with 17 of those also coming over the final 16 minutes.

Stover hit on 6 of his 12 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. Toles connected on 10 of 18 shots, which included four treys, and was 3-for-5 from the charity stripe. It all added up to Toles and Stover being selected as the game's Most Valuable Players.

It was Toles who sparked a run that saw Timken score 12 unanswered points and cut its deficit to 51-50 on two Toles free throws with 4 minutes and 43 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Stover would score the Wildcats' first points of the fourth quarter on two free throws, but Toles responded with a basket, Reed hit one of two free throws to tie the score and the Trojans took a 55-53 lead on a basket by promising freshman guard Darryl Straughter off another crowd-pleasing assist from Toles.

On the strength of two free throws by Stover and a free throw by senior forward and captain David Black, Saint Ignatius held a 60-57 advantage with 35.6 seconds remaining to be played.

Toles wouldn't be denied off another strong and savvy move to the basket, however, as his three-point play tied the score again with 21.5 seconds left.

Following a timeout with 16.3 seconds remaining, the Wildcats committed their 25th turnover and the stage was set for the Toles-to-Reed game-winning connection.

After shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the first half, Saint Ignatius shot 33.3 percent in the second half. The 'Cats were 15-of-21 from the foul line and Timken hit on 6 of its 10 free throws. All 10 of the Trojans' free-throw attempts came in the second half. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle, 35-24.

Saint Ignatius made 5 of its 13 3-point shots and Timken was 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. Toles was supported by an 11-point performance from Reed and 10 points from sophomore guard Terrel Lipkins. Lipkins buried three 3-pointers.

"It's executing when we need to execute," said Wildcats head coach Sean O'Toole '87. "We build a lead and now we have to value the ball and make high-percentage shots, and that did not occur. And then stops at the other end - too many direct drives, too many second shots and traditional three-point plays. It all adds up."

While complimenting Toles' efforts, Coach O'Toole also singled out how his team seems to be unable to contain the opponent's standout player, something the Wildcats have been successful at in the past. Toles' 27 points came on the heels of a 27-point, 11-rebound and six-assist night by Berea-Midpark's talented senior point guard Alex Brown.

Saint Ignatius will return to the Sullivan Gymnasium floor on Monday in preparation for Friday night's home game versus Lorain and Saturday night's trip to Bedford.           

Saint Ignatius versus Glenville junior varsity and varsity basketball postponed!
1/25/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Because of the heavy snow that hit the area, Saturday night's junior varsity and varsity basketball games versus the Glenville Tarblooders at Sullivan Gymnasium have been postponed.

A makeup date will be announced within the next few days and we will be sure to post it on the corner.

As of now, Sunday's varsity basketball game versus Canton Timken in the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Showcase is still on. The tipoff is scheduled for 3 PM at Walsh University in North Canton.   

 

 

 

 

Wildcats wrestlers put together some solid performances in a Double Dual at Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night.
1/25/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Mark Sullivan's team defeated Mentor, 40-31, and outwrestled Walsh Jesuit, 48-31.

Saint  Ignatius 40, Mentor 31
106: Rasmussen (SI) m.d. Brunkala 13-3; 113: Victor (M) m.d. Long 15-4; 120: Rivera (SI) d. Dorsey 4-0; 126: Molder (M) p. Bush 1:29; 132: Barich (M) d. Ferritto 8-5; 138: Miller (SI) p. Bobak 4:32; 145: Tomoletz (M) by ff.; 152: Henry (M) by ff.; 160: Vilsack (SI) p. Smith :40; 170: Vajusi (SI) d. Gordon 5-1; 182: McLaughlin (SI) p. Kunka 2:41; 195: Wank (M) p. Andrews 1:32; 220: Penn (SI) p. Ross 1:25; 285: Gibbons (SI) by ff.
 
Saint Ignatius 48, Walsh Jesuit 31
106: Rasmussen (SI) p. Beatty 2:25; 113: Kahwaji (WJ) d. Long 6-4; 120: Mackall (WJ) p. Rivera 2:11; 126: Haught (WJ) p. Bush 1:10; 132: Ferritto (SI) p. Odell 2:27; 138: Whitely (WJ) m.d. Miller 14-1; 145: Kostandaras (WJ) by ff.; 152: Brady (SI) p. Johnson 1:11;160: Vilsack (SI) p. Kelly 3:11; 170: Vajusi (SI) by ff.; 182: McLaughlin (SI) by ff; 195: Theiss (WJ) p. Andrews 2:27; 220: Penn (SI) p. Cavanaugh :45; 285: Gibbons (SI) by ff.
 
COACH JEFF RIDLER'S SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM WENT 1-1 ON FRIDAY NIGHT AT CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY.
 
Erie Cathedral Prep 111, Saint Ignatius 72

Erie Cathedral Prep 153, Normandy 31

Saint Ignatius 133, Normandy 40

The Ice Cats treat their Senior Night audience to a 5-1 GLHL victory over St. Edward.
1/24/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats rode 23 saves by sophomore goal keeper Wes Deacon and fired home five goals off their 37 shots en route to a 5-1 triumph over longtime rival St. Edward in Friday night's Great Lakes Hockey League game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Gifted junior wing Matty Geither and young, but savvy sophomore center Aidan Spellacy opened the scoring, as they each struck for a goal in the first period.

St. Edward, which is now 0-3 against the Ice Cats this season, answered on a power play goal by junior forward Collin Mitchell late in the first period.

After killing off a 5-minute major penalty midway through the second period, Saint Ignatius scored two more goals late in the second period. Doing the honors were Geither, who can smell a lamplighter from the parking lot, and talented and selfless senior defenseman and captain Harry Smith. Harry scored off a power play with 1.1 seconds left in the period.

Senior forward and captain Beck Schultz closed out the scoring with a goal early in the third period and Coach O'Rourke's team now stands 21-3-5 on the season, including a 5-1-2 mark in the GLHL.

Sophomore keeper Warren Hill had 32 saves for the Eagles.

*Just a reminder that the Ice Cats have another huge GLHL game coming up on Tuesday, when they play host to Coach Bill Beard's Preppers from University School. The puck will drop at 5 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis." The corner will be on hand for game coverage.

Saint Ignatius and University School were ranked first and third, respectively, in this week's coaches state poll. St. Edward was ranked eighth.  

The Varsity Basketball Wildcats will remember the night they played the Titans and their gifted point guard Alex Brown. Berea-Midpark withstands a spirited rally by the 'Cats and turns back Saint Ignatius, 70-61.
1/24/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Berea, Ohio - Standing just outside of the visitors' locker room in Berea-Midpark High School's Bob Purdy Gymnasium on Friday night, Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 spoke of how proud he was of the gutsy efforts off the bench by Wildcats senior guard Ryan Napoli and junior post Mikal Outcalt.

With his team trailing by double digits throughout a large portion of the second half, Coach O'Toole called on Napoli and Outcalt to bring some energy to the floor, the same hustle they display throughout the week while pushing the starters.

Helping key Saint Ignatius' all-out pressure defense, Outcalt came up with a diving steal and an on-the-floor assist that resulted in a layup by Napoli. Napoli followed with an ice-in-his-veins 3-pointer and then the 6-foot-4 Outcalt, one of the premier soccer goalies in the state, went high in the air for a follow and the Wildcats trailed by just four points with 3 minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

There would be no dramatic ending for Coach O'Toole's 'Cats, however, as Coach Duke Barther's Titans had the answers down the stretch and turned back Saint Ignatius, 70-61, in what was a match up of the No. 6 (Berea-Midpark) and No. 8 teams in the Associated Press Division I state poll.

The Titans, who now stand 12-1 on the season, rebounded from their Tuesday night setback at underrated Olmsted Falls by getting an outstanding lead-role performance by gifted and basketball savvy point guard Alex Brown.

Playing in front of a packed house on East Bagley Road and getting tremendous support from its classy, clever and vocal student body, Berea-Midpark called on Brown and the 6-0 senior who plays much bigger responded with a game-high 27 points, pulled down a game-best 11 rebounds and dished out six assists.

The Titans made sure now 9-3 Saint Ignatius would remember what was the Wildcats' first encounter with the merged high schools (Berea and Midpark) by burying clutch free throws throughout the final 3:23, and for that matter, for most of the game.

Brown, senior forward Devon Posey and senior guard Michael Schuller showed the way as Berea-Midpark was 24-of-32 from the foul line, including a 17-for-20 performance from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. Along with Brown's complete game, Posey also hurt the Wildcats with his ability to pull up and hit jumpers and also attack the rim.

Posey finished with 17 points and Schuller, a hard-nosed and sneaky effective 5-9 guard, tossed in 13, including six clutch free throws over the final 1:02. Junior guard Deven Stover and senior post Eric Black led the Wildcats with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Saint Ignatius was 7-of-13 from the foul line.

The Wildcats got off to a quick start against the Titans' 1-2-2 zone and as, Coach O'Toole pointed out, got excellent shots in rhythm. Saint Ignatius scored 23 points in the first eight minutes, including five 3-pointers.

However, as good as the Wildcats were offensively in the first quarter, they struggled to find the answers in the second and third quarters.

The Titans made some adjustments and Saint Ignatius "went stale" in the words of Coach O'Toole, scoring just five points in the second quarter and nine in the third quarter. Berea-Midpark outscored the Wildcats, 31-14, over the middle quarters and took a 12-point lead into the final eight minutes.

"I'll say it again, we're just not built to come from behind as well as we have been in other years," said Coach O'Toole. "Give them credit. Man, they hit their free throws. I'm proud of the way we came back in the fourth quarter, but we still have our demons - unforced turnovers, off-balance shots and rushed shots. We still have to correct those demons and until we do we're a beatable team."

As he did throughout the week, Coach O'Toole emphasized again how balanced and well coached the Titans are.

"They are not a one-trick pony, they have all the pieces," Coach O'Toole said. "We have to figure out how we're going stop great guards and he (Brown) is absolutely a great guard. Posey hurt us every bit as much. They all play their roles. That's a very, very good basketball team."

*Coach Chris Salata's junior varsity Wildcats improved to 12-0 with a 60-31 victory over the Titans' jayvees.

The JV 'Cats laid down some nasty "D" and led, 13-0, after the first quarter.

Saint Ignatius hit 19 2-point shots, five 3-pointers and was 7-of-13 from the foul line. Berea-Midpark made 10 shots from the field, all 2-pointers, and was 11-of-18 from the charity stripe.

Sophomore post Sharief Irish (11 points) set the table for the night by scoring the game's first two points on an authoritative one-handed slam off a follow.

The varsity and jayvee Wildcats will be back in action tonight in Sullivan Gym as they host the Glenville Tarblooders. The JV tip is 6 PM, followed by the varsity game at 7:30. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will have the call on the varsity game.

As part of tonight's game Saint Ignatius will present its annual Coaches Versus Cancer night and will pay tribute to the area's Safety Forces.        

      

 

  

 

   

"Where The 'Cats Play." The corner takes a look at this weekend's varsity ice hockey, wrestling, swimming and bowling competition.
1/23/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Cleveland, Ohio -  Along with a full plate of basketball (see the corner's preview story below), another challenging winter weekend also awaits Saint Ignatius' other varsity sports teams.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, ranked No. 1 in the coaches' state poll, will take a record of 20-3-5 into Friday's Great Lakes Hockey League match up with eighth-ranked St. Edward. The puck will drop at 8 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Time Warner Cable Sports Channel will be televising the game from Brooklyn on a tape-delay basis with Tom Linder on the play-by-play and Patrick Pierson, the man for all seasons, providing the color commentary. The game will be shown at 11 AM on Monday Jan. 27.  

It will be the third match up of the season between the Ice Cats and the Eagles, as the corner provided game coverage on the first GLHL meeting this winter between the longtime rivals, a game Saint Ignatius won, 3-0, on St. Edward's home ice at Winterhurst. Thanks to the cooperation of Coach O'Rourke '90, the corner was also able to provide recaps on all of last weekend's games at the 18th annual Meadville (Pa.) Hockey Invitational in the DeArment Ice Arena. Saint Ignatius came away with its fifth consecutive Meadville championship and eighth overall by defeating none other than St. Edward, 6-5, in overtime on a power play goal by savvy sophomore center Aidan Spellacy. The Eagles led, 5-4, entering the third period.

Another big GLHL game awaits the Ice Cats on Tuesday evening, as Coach Bill Beard's Preppers from University School, Ohio's third-ranked team, will play a visit to the Brooklyn Ice Arena for a 5 PM faceoff. The corner is already excited about covering Tuesday's match up, as this old-timer had the privilege of reporting on the inaugural game of the newly formed GLHL during opening weekend in Quicken Loans Arena. It matched the Preppers and the Wildcats and University School prevailed in a dramatic shootout. However, under the National Federation, OHSAA and GLHL rules, the game was determined to be a tie.

In wrestling, Coach Mark Sullivan's men of the mats will host a double dual in Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night at 7, with Mentor, Walsh Jesuit and Bedford paying a visit to Ohio City.

The corner again wishes to express its congratulations to standout senior and captain Anthony McLaughlin, who, as we reported over the weekend, came away with the 182-pound championship at the annual Catholic Invitational in Cleveland State University. Anthony defeated Dakota Sizemore of Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in the championship match. Sizemore was Ohio's 160-pound champion last season.

Coach Sullivan told the corner on Wednesday that Anthony was visiting the Air Force Academy and that it appears the Falcons have a spot for Anthony.

Okay Wildcats swimmers, what are you going to do for an encore?

In what was one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of Saint Ignatius' swimming and diving program, the Wildcats, down by 2 points, defeated host Hawken School, 87-83, on Tuesday evening as standout Nathan Christian rallied from a full body-length behind and out-touched the Hawken anchor by 0.15 seconds in the 400 free relay.

The cardiac 'Cats will be back at it this weekend as they swim against Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep and Normandy on Friday evening at Cleveland State University (6 PM warm up and 7 PM start) and compete in the Hathaway Brown Invitational on Saturday (11 AM warm up and noon start).

Coach John Kastanis' Alley Cats, coming off an impressive all-around performance against Lutheran West last weekend, are scheduled to bowl against Holy Name on Saturday at Buckeye Lanes. The Alley Cats (6-3 on the season), who appear to have sharpened their game, will be gearing up for the postseason conference and league competition and of course the annual OHSAA tournament.

Have a great and safe weekend.

      

           

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats gear up for three games in three days.
1/23/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Berea-Midpark, Glenville and Canton Timken make up a demanding weekend slate in varsity basketball that includes a special Coaches Versus Cancer and Safety Forces recognition night on Saturday in Sullivan Gymnasium versus Glenville.

Here is a preview on what to look for this weekend.

Sullivan Gymnasium – While some of their faithful continue to look back at last weekend’s tough loss to top-ranked St. Edward on the Eagles’ Coach Jim Connors Court, the Saint Ignatius Wildcats have moved on.

Learning from the loss to their longtime rival is part of the maturing process and Head Coach Sean O’Toole ’87 and his dedicated staff will make sure those steps are taken.

However, when you play a schedule as demanding as the Wildcats face week in and week out, there is little time to dwell on a previous setback.

Standing 9-2 and ranked eighth in the Associated Press Division I state basketball poll and fourth in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, Coach O’Toole's ‘Cats are gearing up for this weekend’s three games in three days challenge.

It all starts on Friday night when the Wildcats travel to Berea-Midpark to face Coach Duke Barther’s Titans. The 11-1 Titans are ranked sixth in the AP Division I state poll and sixth in the cleveland.com area poll. Action will get under way with a 6 PM junior varsity game, followed by the much-anticipated varsity encounter at 7:30.

If you don’t have a ticket (the game is a sellout), you can catch the action over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will do Joe Tait and the late Chick Hearn proud with their lead call on the varsity game.

In case you didn’t realize it, Berea and Midpark High Schools merged this school year and the school resides in what was the Berea High building at 165 E. Bagley Road.

Yes, they are now known as the Titans, but oh my will this old-timer always remember the nights I was privileged to cover the Braves and the Meteors.

Following a trip down memory lane, aka Bagley Road, we’ll follow the Wildcats home for Saturday night’s headliner in Sullivan Gymnasium versus Coach Michael Holt’s gifted Tarblooders from Glenville High School. Through Wednesday, the Tarblooders carried a 9-2 record and they held a 12th-place ranking this week in the area’s Top 25 poll.

Saturday’s game, which is another 6 PM JV start and 7:30 varsity tip, is a special Coaches Versus Cancer night and also an evening when the Saint Ignatius community recognizes Cleveland’s Safety Forces.

The weekend of hoops will wrap up on Sunday afternoon when the Wildcats travel to Walsh University in North Canton to face the Timken Trojans as part of the annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Showcase. In what is a varsity-only match up, the tipoff is scheduled for 3 PM. The Trojans, who also proudly wear the colors of blue and gold, have run off eight consecutive victories after losing to Dublin Coffman, 61-55, in The Clark Kellogg Tip-Off Classic.

Here is a look at each of the Wildcats’ opponents.

Berea-Midpark: Running the show for Coach Barther is senior point guard Alex Brown, a former mainstay for Berea. A young man who can attack the basket and also has solid perimeter skills, Brown is averaging 18.6 points per game. He tossed in 24 points in Tuesday night’s 68-60 loss at Olmsted Falls. By the way, keep an eye on the Falls Bulldogs.

Brown is supported by 6-11 junior post Nolan Gerrity (13.6 points per game), a young man who can shoot it with either hand. Gerrity loves to look for the block shot while playing defense and, as Wildcats outstanding assistant coach Jerry Porath emphasized, you have to keep him off the block, which is his comfort zone.

Among the Titans’ key complementary parts are 6-2 senior forward Devin Posey (9.6 points per game), an athletic player who can score in transition, 5-9 senior guard Michael Schuller (9.5 points per game), who has 24 3-pointers and seems to have a knack for drawing fouls, 6-2 senior forward Doktavious Coker and long and athletic 6-6 sophomore wing Brett Swinnerton.

Last season, the Midpark Meteors, under the direction of Coach Barther, were defeated by Saint Ignatius, 69-43, in Sullivan Gymnasium.

“Berea-Midpark has great balance,” said Coach O’Toole. “When you scout a team, you look for great point-guard leadership and they have it, great shooters and they have it, a skilled big and they have it, depth and they have it, and a well-coached team, which they certainly are.

“Duke (Coach Barther) does a great job,” Coach O’Toole continued. “They can play as fast as anyone in the city and they can play as slow as anyone in the city. Defensively, they can play full-court man, they can play a half-court zone and they like to trap. There is a lot that they do well. And for a school that just came together, the kids on that team play like they have played together their entire lives. So that’s a credit to their staff.”

Glenville: It is no secret who puts the whack and thud in Coach Holt’s Tarblood this winter – the multi-skilled 6-foot-5 Jimond Ivey, who is averaging nearly 25 points per game. Jimond is very athletic, very long, can fly coast to coast and attack off the dribble. And oh yeah, he has plenty of range from the outside.

Speaking of range, keep an eye on Tarblooders guard Roy Hatchett, who can bury the 3-ball off the catch or the bounce. Hatchett is averaging 14 points a game.

Glenville’s two setbacks were to those Olmsted Falls Bulldogs we referred to above, 70-57 at Glenville, and to a program that in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s set the bar for area high school basketball, the East Tech Scarabs. Despite 30 points by Ivey, the Scarabs prevailed, 97-90, at East Tech.

In a late regular-season match up in Sullivan Gym last year, Saint Ignatius turned back Glenville, 73-62. During that game, current Wildcats 6-7 senior post and Captain Eric Black pulled down 10 rebounds and current senior point guard and Captain Danny Bova had five rebounds and four assists.

“Speed, athleticism and again defensively I imagine we will see a gamut of full-court to three-quarter court, to half-court zone,” Coach O’Toole said of the variety of looks the Tarblooders will throw at you. “Zones, mans and traps. Offensively, they go quick to the glass and will put their attack in the offensive rebounding. Obviously, we love playing Glenville and the relationship we have with Michael and his team. I can’t remember not playing them.”

Canton Timken: Coach O’Toole’s Wildcats will have to make sure that youth is not served on Sunday.

The Trojans of Coach Rick Hairston feature two of the top underclassmen in Northeast Ohio in sophomore post LePear Toles and freshman guard Darryl Straughter.

In a 75-52 victory over defending PAC-7 champion Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in the storied Memorial Field House on Tuesday night, Straughter scored 24 points, including a 6-for-8 performance from beyond the 3-point arc, and Toles overcame early foul trouble to finish with 23 points. Straughter accounted for 16 of Timken’s 33 first-half points.

It was a sweet victory for the Trojans, as last winter CVCA snapped Timken’s five-year PAC-7 reign.

Another well-deserved honor for the man who symbolizes Saint Ignatius' motto of "Men for Others," the Jesuit Preparatory School's outstanding coach and teacher, Mr. Chuck "Chico" Kyle.
1/22/2014

Coach Kyle is selected to the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches' Hall of Fame Class for 2014.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Cleveland, Ohio - Chuck Kyle's accomplishments as the head football coach at his high school alma mater Saint Ignatius have been well documented - an Ohio-record 11 Division I state championships, including a state best five in a row (1991-95), three national titles (1989, 93 and 95), a state runner-up in 1996, 25 OHSAA playoff appearances and 309 career victories in 31 seasons as the man who directs one of the strongest and classiest programs in the nation.

However, even some of the Wildcats' most avid fans don't realize that come this spring, the man they call "Chico" will be entering his 41st season as the head track and field coach at Saint Ignatius.

Coach Kyle '69 always recalls that day when, as a young teacher and an assistant coach at Saint Ignatius, he was approached by the Wildcats' legendary coach and athletic director, the late John J. Wirtz, and given the job as the head track and field coach at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. There was no way Chuck was going to turn down the job, as Coach Wirtz was Coach Kyle's football coach when Chuck was garnering All-City honors as a tailback for the Wildcats in the late 1960s.

The rest is history, as they say, a rich history that has produced 25 Division I track and field district championships, including a current string of 20 consecutive district titles, eight regional championships, a regional runner-up, the 2001 big-school state championship and a state runner-up in 2005.

As he has done in football, Coach Kyle has helped hone the skills of some of the area's finest track and field athletes, including three-event standout Anthony Gonzalez from the 2001 state championship team, who went on to a brilliant football career at The Ohio State University and was a first-round draft selection by the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The remarkable 2001 team also produced the Wildcats' outstanding state champion thrower Ryan Franzinger, who is currently an excellent assistant football and track coach under Coach Kyle, and the record-setting state champion in the 800 meters, Marc Sylvester, who still holds Ohio's top mark in that event (1:48.93).

And of course there was pole vaulter Tim Mack, who went on to win the Gold Medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

From the summer months, when football practice begins, through early June of the new year, when another school calendar closes and yet another track and field season comes to an end, Coach Kyle brings an endless passion and a tireless work ethic to the athletic fields and the classroom.

One of the most celebrated head football coaches in the nation, Coach Kyle has now been recognized by his spring peers as a member of the Ohio Association of Track and Cross County Coaches' Hall of Fame Class for 2014.

As emphasized by the OATCCC, the forever young Coach Kyle becomes the first to be inducted into Ohio's prestigious Halls of Fame for his achievements in both football and track and field.

CONGRATULATIONS to Chuck, his wife, Pat, their children and grandchildren, the entire Kyle family, Saint Ignatius and the Wildcats' outstanding athletic programs headed by Athletic Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick '88  and Associate Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach Sean O'Toole '87.   

       

   

   

Wildcats swimmers edge Hawken School with a dramatic victory in the last event of the evening.
1/21/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With his team down 2 points on Tuesday evening, Saint Ignatius standout Nathan Christian out-touches the Hawks' anchor by 0.15 seconds in the 400 freestyle relay and sends home the Wildcats' faithful with something to talk about for the rest of the week. The final scoring was 87-83.

The meet was held at Hawken School.

  

Wildcats Rugby earns a 10th-place preseason national ranking.
1/21/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

Saint Ignatius head rugby coach Dan Arbeznik ’00 told the corner on Tuesday that his 2014 Wildcats garnered a 10th-place spot in the national pre-season rankings, which were released today. Four of the top 10 teams in country are Jesuit high schools.

The rankings are compiled by the highly respected RUGBYMag.com.

“Pinned on the calendar will be the Jesuit Cup in Alexandria, Virginia on April 12/13, where
we'll face Gonzaga and/or Xavier (NYC),” said Coach Arbeznik.

Congratulations to Coach Arbeznik and the entire Wildcats Rugby program.



Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball is now eighth in the state poll and fourth in the area poll.
1/20/2014

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

The Saint Ignatius varsity basketball team stands eighth in the latest Associated Press Division I state poll and is ranked fourth in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll.

Here is how a panel of broadcasters and sportswriters voted for the top 10 teams in this week's big school state poll. The first-place votes are in parenthesis. Note that Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats will travel to sixth-ranked Berea-Midpark on Friday night.

DIVISION I

1. St. Edward (12) 9-1 212

2. Trotwood-Madison (5) 12-0 190

3. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (2) 13-1 163

4. Zanesville (3) 12-0 159

5. Uniontown Lake (1) 12-0 120

6. Berea-Midpark 11-0 88

7. Columbus Northland 11-2 74

8. Saint Ignatius 9-2 60

9. Massillon Jackson 11-2 45

10. Cincinnati La Salle 11-2 23

Wildcats Freshmen Basketball comes away with a sweep over St. Edward's Freshmen.
1/20/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - The corner would like to express its congratulations to Saint Ignatius' outstanding freshmen basketball teams for the talent and desire they displayed during a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day doubleheader sweep over St. Edward in Sullivan Gymnasium.

A tip of the corner's cap also goes out to the dedicated and basketball savvy freshmen coaches - former Wildcat basketball standouts Michael Sweeney '78 and his sons, Conor '08 and Patrick '08, who guide the fortunes of the Gold Team, and to Corey Russell and Kris Kolwicz '01, who coach up the Blue Team. It was a pleasure to introduce myself to Coach Russell, who has a very rich background in athletics.  

The Gold Team defeated St. Edward Green, 68-53, and The Blue Team turned the Eagles' Gold away, 59-53.

I apologize to the freshmen coaches, players and scorekeepers for occupying some of their valuable time on Monday, as I did not realize that the games were being covered by Brendan DeVenney. Brendan's story appears on the Basketball Page on the Athletics Website, where the corner's stories used to also be posted.

If you will allow me, I was very impressed with both freshmen teams, as the Gold remains undefeated at 12-0 and the Blue still has just one setback on the season at 10-1.

Among the many Gold Team members who left a lasting impression on this old-timer were Malique Burton (a game-high 18 points), Austen Yarian (13 points), Michael Spear (11 points), Sean Coyne (8 points) and Connor Adams (6 points).

Some of the Blue Team's key performers were Quinton Farren (12 points), Ryan Cook (11 points), Colin Goodfellow (11 points), John Wild (7 points) and Tommy Aris (5 points).

In closing, I would also like to send out a huge "way to go" to the Class of 2017 and the strong contingent that was on hand in Sullivan Gymnasium on Monday giving its Gold and Blue classmates tremendous support.

All of the Best the rest of the season gentlemen. God Bless, Eddie Dwyer.      

 

 

 

 

An update on the 2013-14 Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving Team.
1/20/2014

HERE IS A NICE UPDATE ON SAINT IGNATIUS’ 2013-14 SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM FROM A VERY LOYAL SUPPORTER, WITH AN INTRODUCTION FROM THE CORNER.

Although the corner was busy covering junior varsity and varsity basketball at a packed St. Edward High School on Saturday night and doing recaps on varsity hockey, wrestling and bowling from Friday night through most of Sunday night, we did post on Saturday night a final score on the swim meet between Saint Ignatius and St. Edward, won by the Eagles, 99-84. The meet was held at Cleveland State University.

A final score was all that was made available to the corner and this old-timer is not going to resort to plagiarism.

Coach Jeff Ridler’s Wildcats won all but two events during Saturday night’s meet. St. Edward’s depth (grabbing a significant amount of the second, third, etc., spots) and diving strength led to the Eagles’ victory.

It is also worth noting that Dmitri Simcox won the 100 free, not his brother, Peter. Apparently Peter was credited with the victory by another news source.

From Stefanie Christian: Jeff Ridler has coached several elite swimmers at Saint Ignatius over the past few years. Although his squad has been small, they have been mighty, and they have proven their might during championship season. The "Four Horsemen" that made up our record-breaking relays last year and were State Champions in both the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay were incredibly exciting to watch and something that doesn't come along every year to a school that has such a small swimming program.  Although two of those four young men graduated last year, two of them remain: Peter Simcox and Nathan Christian. The team has a very strong sophomore in Rayon Artis and a powerful freshman class led by Dmitri Simcox and Marcus Hong. There is depth in the freshman class (Severyn Kushmeliuk, Evan Steigerwald, and John Hessler), a new junior (Chris Ubert) who has the potential to develop into a quality distance swimmer, and a couple of dark horses (Jack Hutchinson and Jimmy Rogers) who had beautiful swims Saturday night.

Thank you again,

Stefanie Christian

Saint Ignatius hockey brings home its fifth consecutive Meadville championship by defeating St. Edward in overtime, 6-5. Wildcats wrestlers place sixth at the Catholic Invitational as Anthony McLaughlin is the 182-pound champion.
1/19/2014

*AND WE ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THE ALLEY CATS AS THEY WERE KNOCKING THEM DOWN AGAINST LUTHERAN WEST THIS WEEKEND (SEE AFTER THE HOCKEY AND WRESTLING RECAPS).

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER (COPYRIGHT)

Hockey savvy sophomore center Aidan Spellacy provided the game winner 7 minutes into overtime on a power play as the Ice Cats rallied past the Eagles, 6-5, in Sunday's championship finals of the 18th annual Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational at the DeArment Ice Arena. Coach Pat O'Rourke's varsity program has now won five consecutive Meadville titles and eight overall.

The assists on Spellacy's sealer went to gifted junior wing Matty Geither and ever-present junior forward Ethan Whitney. Saint Ignatius, which improved to 20-3-5, tied the score with 1:55 left in regulation on a power play goal by talented and hard-nosed senior defenseman Nick Gajkowski.

Coach O'Rourke's 'Cats were up 4-2 in the second period, before St. Edward came storming back with three straight goals. It was 5-4 heading into the third period and stayed that way until Gajkowski's clutch lamplighter.

Sophomore goalkeeper Dylan McKeon had 26 saves in the win. Providng the Ice Cats' other goals were Whitney, who slapped home two, junior forward and assistant captain Jack Wiegandt and the selfless, but oh so gifted senior captain and defenseman Harry Smith.

Coach O'Rourke described what was another chapter in the storied St. Edward-Saint Ignatius rivalry as "an excellent game and effort by both teams."

The Ice Cats also defeated the Eagles in last year's championship game in Meadville, 4-2, as they rallied from a 2-0 second period deficit. Earlier this month, Saint Ignatius turned away St. Edward, 3-0, in a Great Lakes Hockey League match up at Winterhurst. The rivals will go at it again on Friday night in a GLHL game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, aka "The Big Barn on Memphis." The puck is scheduled to drop at 8 PM.

VARSITY WRESTLING - Coach Mark Sullivan's team finished sixth overall after Sunday's final matches at the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament in Cleveland State University.

Wildcats standout senior captain Anthony McLaughlin won the 182-pound championship, freshman Quade Rasmussen was third at 106, freshman Tristan Brady took fourth place at 145 and junior Michael Penn finished sixth at 220.

The top six teams were: 1. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller with 239.5 points, 2. Toledo Central Catholic with 209.0, 3. Padua with 145.5, 4. St. Xavier with 144.5, 5. Lake Catholic with 141.5 and 6. Saint Ignatius with 141.

BOWLING

From Saint Ignatius head bowling coach John Kastanis.

Here are the bowling results vs. Lutheran West High School in the tenth week of the 2013-2014 bowling season. There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch = Wildcats Win 7-0 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2854 (831; 922; 1101) vs. Lutheran West High School = 2034 (665; 632; 737).                         

2) Handicap = Wildcats win in this category 5-2  (7 point total).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats Win 1-0 (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus the total of two Baker Games.                           
Wildcats Total Pin Fall = 3231, Lutheran West High School Total Pin fall = 2277.     

4) Baker Games: (Wildcats) = 187;190 = Series total 377 vs. Lutheran West High School = 114;129 = 243. 

Our star bowlers for the tenth week: Junior Garret Forst =  204; 254 = 625 series (Awesome), Senior Sean O'Brien = 203; 245 games, Series = 612 (Awesome), Sophomore Gianni Schaefer = 209 game (Awesome) and Sophomore Ralph Deadwyler = 225 game (Awesome).

On the JV side of things, showing much improvement as well were: Freshman Nick Frank = 205; 219 games, Series = 424 (Awesome) and Junior Josh Jarosz = 203 game (Awesome).

FROM COACH KASTANIS: "I see much more improvement as a team, as we are working very hard on overcoming issues during a game. I believe we are learning much more as we conquer these issues at the time of happening. I must say between the Bearcat Tournament and this match the team has averaged 200 plus in the Baker game matches This shows that they are working as a team should. I am very proud of this team in how they are coming together and working hard just in time for the upcoming state tournaments.  We will continue on this track of success.

"One other note, in the third game of this match, 1101, our Wildcats, as a team, placed third-high game series, replacing St. Ed's as the third high game."

    

Ice Cats defeat Upper St. Clair and will face St. Edward in the championship game of the Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational. The puck will drop at 3 PM in the DeArment Ice Arena.
1/19/2014

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER  (Copyright)

Coach Pat O'Rourke's team scored four times in the third period and defeated a very good Upper St. Clair team, 6-2, in Sunday morning's semifinals of the 18th edition of the Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational.

Gifted junior wing Matty Geither led the offense with two goals on the morning and senior defenseman Riley Ellis, junior forward  Jack Mazanec, senior defenseman Nick Gajkowski and junior defenseman Brady Wells provided the other lamplighters.

Sophomore keeper Wes Deacon had 15 saves.

The Ice Cats will take a record of 19-3-5 into Sunday 's 3 PM championship game against Great Lakes Hockey League rival St. Edward. It will be a rematch of last year's title game in Meadville, which saw Saint Ignatius rally from a 2-0 second period deficit and defeat the Eagles, 4-2. The Ice Cats and the Eagles faced off in a GLHL game on Jan. 4 at Winterhurst and Saint Ignatius came away with a 3-0 victory.

Coach O'Rourke's 'Cats are seeking their fifth consecutive Meadville championship and their eighth overall.

 

 

St. Edward's defense plays a major role in Saint Ignatius' offensive woes, as the Eagles go on to defeat the Wildcats, 61-34, in front of a packed-to-the-rafters crowd at St. Edward on Saturday night.
1/18/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

The Eagles (9-1), ranked No. 1 in the seven county area poll and No. 1 in the Associated Press Division I state poll, limited the Wildcats (9-2) to seven points in both the second and third quarters. Saint Ignatius entered the game as the third-ranked team in both the seven-county area and the AP big-school state poll.

St. Edward was 14-of-18 from the free-throw line and the Wildcats were 13-of-22 from the charity stripe. Forward Marsalis Hamilton led all scorers with 18 points, including 12 in the first half, and was supported by a 15-point night from guard Malcolm Walters and 11 points from forward Kipper Nichols.

Saint Ignatius senior post Eric Black and senior forward/guard Isiah Barbra totaled nine and eight points, respectively.

****The Junior Varsity Wildcats improved to 11-0 by wearing down St. Edward's previously undefeated JV team, 62-46.

HERE IS THE CORNER'S GAME STORY FROM ST. EDWARD'S COACH JIM CONNORS COURT, ALONG WITH A RECAP ON WHAT WAS ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE BY THE WILDCATS' JUNIOR VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM. A LOOK AT HOW THE ICE CATS FARED IN MEADVILLE AND A LOOK AT THE WRESTLING TEAM IN THE CIT FOLLOW THE BASKETBALL STORIES. 

LAKEWOOD, OHIO - During his preparation for Saturday night's game at St. Edward, Saint Ignatius senior point guard and captain Danny Bova was asked by this corner what it is about the top-ranked Eagles that he is most impressed with.

"I respect their intensity," Danny said. "They play hard. They're going to come at you and they're going to be physical."

Truer words were never spoken as Saturday night on St. Edward's Coach Jim Connors Court, the Eagles were certainly all of the above when it came to the defensive effort they exhibited from the opening tip until the final buzzer.

Limiting the Wildcats to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, creating pressure that resulted in 22 Saint Ignatius turnovers and rushing and frustrating the 'Cats into a 21 percent shooting night from the field, the state's and the area's No. 1 ranked team controlled the first game of the annual home-and-home series, 61-34.

The longtime West Side rivals will meet again on Feb. 8 in Saint Ignatius' Sullivan Gymnasium and could see each other a third time in the postseason.

That said, Saint Ignatius' veteran head coach Sean O'Toole '87 realizes there is work to be done before Feb. 8 and definitely before the annual postseason tournament.

And the work begins this week as the Wildcats will play three games in three days next weekend - at currently unbeaten Berea-Midpark on Friday night, home to Glenville on Saturday night and versus Canton Timken on Sunday afternoon at 3 in the Dunk 4 Diabetes tournament at Walsh University in Canton.

"Obviously, it's a team that you can't play from behind on and number two, we left points on the floor in the first half,"  Coach O'Toole said. "We got the ball where we wanted it (in the post). But give St. Eds the credit, they're long and they're tough. They made it difficult for us in there.

"Quite frankly, defensively I am not as worried,' Coach O'Toole continued. "I thought we did a decent job on an excellent team. That is definitely the best team we've played. Now we've got to figure out what is our identity offensively. Twenty-two turnovers and 21 percent shooting is not our identity, we're a 50 percent or higher shooting team. But that team makes it difficult for you to score, especially the way we want to score."

Coach O'Toole emphasized that he admires the way St. Edward played on Saturday night and that he, his staff and his players are going to work hard to get to that point.

The Eagles, who were ranked 18th in the nation by USA Today this past week, rode 12 first-half points by multi-skilled senior forward Marsalis Hamilton to a 28-16 lead after the first 16 minutes. Hamilton finished with a game-high 18 points. The final points of the first half were scored on a basket by St. Edward's savvy senior guard Tony Vuyancih, who in one motion grabbed a loose ball and hit a buzzer-beating floating one-hander from the right baseline.

Behind the aggressive play of Hamilton and senior point guard Malcolm Walters, the Eagles flew to a 40-23 lead with 2 minutes and 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter. St. Edward took a 42-23 lead into the final eight minutes after Walters scored off a picture-perfect assist from Hamilton.

After Walters' third 3-pointer of the night and his crowd-pleasing one-handed slam off a follow, Coach Eric Flannery's team led, 55-31, and Coach O'Toole began to clear his bench with 3:06 remaining to be played.

"We're not built to come from behind," Coach O'Toole said. "We're going to have to figure out how to do it, but we're just not built that way yet."

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME, SAINT IGNATIUS 62, ST. EDWARD 46

Coach Chris Salata's JV 'Cats stand 11-0 after coming on strong in the second quarter and wearing down the Eagles with an inside and outside attack.

A 3-pointer by sophomore guard Ryan Berger knotted the score at 15 with 5 minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Ryan's trey was the start of a 17-0 run that also featured five consecutive points from sophomore post Tim Kiefer, a Ryan Berger layup off a steal and an assist by sophomore forward Ian Burry, a 3-pointer by sophomore guard/forward Michael Hollis, a strong move along the baseline by Burry and a basket by Ryan Berger off an assist from his twin brother, Jim.

Behind the authoritative work off the glass by sophomore post Sharief Irish, some more on-the-money assists from Jim Berger, the long-range scoring of Ryan Berger and Kyle Kalish, a strong driving one-hander by Kalish, a steal by sophomore forward/guard Jake Gawlik and a heads-up hustle put back by Hollis, Saint Ignatius led, 52-32, entering the fourth quarter.

The 'Cats added some frosting to the victory cake when Hollis buried another 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Berger led the Wildcats with 15 points, Kiefer and Kalish each tossed in 10 points and Irish and Hollis both had eight-point efforts.

THE ICE CATS SECURE THE NO. 1 SEED IN THEIR BACKET FOR SUNDAY'S SEMIFINALS OF THE 18TH ANNUAL BULLDOG HOCKEY INVITATIONAL IN MEADVILLE (Pa.).

On the strength of its previous two victories (see the corner's earlier posts) and its 1-1 tie with Sylvania Northview on Saturday night, Saint Ignatius' varsity hockey team, now 18-3-5 on the season, will face Upper St. Clair in a 10 AM semifinal match up in the DeArment Ice Arena.

St. Edward, which secured the No. 1 seed in its bracket, will play Northview at 8 AM. The finals are scheduled for 3 PM.

WILDCATS WRESTLERS ARE IN THIRD PLACE AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF THE CIT AT CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY.

Saint Ignatius trails Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and Toledo Central Catholic after the first day of the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament.

Highlighting Sunday's semifinals will be four matches featuring area wrestlers.

Padua's Tony DeCesare takes on the Wildcats' Quade Rasmussen in a 106-pound semifinal, Elyria Catholic's Stan Bleich and Padua's Paul Petras meet in a 113-pound semifinal, Padua's Kyle Kaminski faces Saint Ignatius' Tristan Brady at 145 pounds, and Jake Hartman of Padua will wrestle the young man who puts the roar in Wildcats' wrestling -senior captain Anthony McLaughlin - in a 182-pound semifinal.

Matches are scheduled to resume at 9 AM on Sunday. Here is the scoring for the top five teams entering Sunday's action. 1. Archbishop Moeller 122.5; 2. Toledo Central Catholic 98.5; 3. Saint Ignatius 94; 4. Lake Catholic 81.5; 5. Columbus Bishop Hartley 81.

In swimming and diving, the Wildcats were defeated by St. Edward, 99-84, on Saturday evening at Cleveland State University.



      

Saint Ignatius hockey turns back Bethel Park, 2-1, and secures a spot in Sunday's semifinals of the Meadville tournament.
1/18/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Junior forward and assistant captain Jack Wiegandt and gifted junior forward Matty Geither provided the goals as Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats defeated Bethel Park, 2-1, during Saturday afternoon's action at the 18th annual Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational.

Saint Ignatius (18-3-4), which is seeking its fifth consecutive Meadville championship and its eighth overall, also benefited from 13 saves by sophomore goal keeper Wes Deacon. With the win over Bethel Park, the Ice Cats are guaranteed a spot in Sunday's semifinals.

First things first, however, as Saint Ignatius has a challenging game coming up tonight against Sylvania Northview. The puck will drop in the DeArment Ice Arena at 8 PM.

Ice Cats open their play in the Meadville tournament in style.
1/18/2014

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius (17-3-4) defeated Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep, 6-0, in Friday's opening round of the 18th edition of the Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational in the DeArment Ice Arena.

Senior forward and captain Beck Schultz led the way with a hat trick and Connor Koehnke, Ethan Whitney and Aidan Spellacy provided the other lamp lighters. Koehnke's goal was the freshman's first on the varsity level.

Sophomore keeper Dylan McKeon had 11 saves in the shutout.

The Ice Cats return to the DeArment ice on Saturday for 1 PM faceoff with Bethel Park and a 8 PM game versus Sylvania Northview.

Wildcats football secures a Week 7 game for 2014.
1/17/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius Athletics Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick '88 told the corner on Friday that he has secured a Week 7 game against Erie (Pa.) McDowell for 2014. It is a two-year contract that will have the Wildcats hosting McDowell in 2014 at Byers Field and traveling to Erie in 2015.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats now have three openings for 2014 - Weeks 3, 4 and 6. Rory is burning the midnight oil trying to fill those dates. Under the OHSAA football playoff system, you must have at least eight regular season games in order to be part of the postseason computer qualifying system.

This is how Saint Ignatius' schedule stands after the McDowell commitment. Week 1 - At Indianapolis Lawrence Central; Week 2 - Versus Mentor at Byers Field; Weeks 3 and 4 - Open; Week 5 - At New Jersey Paramus Catholic; Week 6 - Open; Week 7 - Versus Erie McDowell at Byers Field; Week 8 - Versus two-time defending Division I state champion Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman High School; Week 9 - At St. Xavier; Week10 - Versus St. Edward at Byers Field.

 

NOTE CHANGE ON SAINT IGNATIUS-CLEVELAND HEIGHTS BASKETBALL GAMES.
1/15/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 has announced that the junior varsity and varsity games versus Cleveland Heights in Sullivan Gymnasium, which were originally scheduled for Friday, February 14th, have been moved to Thursday, February 13th. The game times will remain at 6 PM (junior varsity) and 7:30 PM (varsity).

I love that Thursday venue. In what is always one of the season's great matchups, the Wildcats and the Tigers will have the area's center stage that night.  

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will be seeking another championship in the Keystone State. It's the-weekend-is-approaching edition of "Where The 'Cats Play."
1/15/2014

By Eddie Dwyer

Brooklyn, Ohio – Along with Saturday night’s varsity and junior varsity basketball headliners at St. Edward (see the corner’s preview story below), Saint Ignatius’ other winter sports teams are also in full gear for
this weekend.

Coach Pat O’Rourke’s Ice Cats, who remain in the top spot in the coaches’ state poll, will be competing in the 18th annual Meadville (Pa.) Bulldog Hockey Invitational on Friday night through Sunday in the
DeArment Ice Arena.

The Ice Cats, who stand 16-3-4 after last weekend’s 3-2 loss to the state’s sixth-ranked Green Wave of Holy Name, will face Erie Cathedral Prep on Friday at 5:45 PM and will return to the DeArment Ice Arena on Saturday for a 1 PM match up with Bethel Park and an 8 PM game versus Sylvania Northview.  The semi-final round and championship game will be played on Sunday.

Saint Ignatius will be seeking its fifth consecutive Meadville championship and its eighth overall. The Ice Cats walked out of the DeArment Arena last season with the championship trophy after defeating St. Edward, 4-2, in the title game. Coach O’Rourke’s team rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit.

*As per the Saint Ignatius bowling website page schedule, Coach John Kastanis' varsity bowling team is slated to match pins against Lutheran West on Saturday at Cloverleaf Lanes. The Alley Cats are coming off a solid 11th-place finish in last weekend’s demanding Bearcat High School Classic in Cincinnati.

The results from the Alley Cats' matches with Benedictine and St. Edward over the Christmas break became available to the corner this evening and are posted at the end of this story. 

*On Saturday evening at Cleveland State University, Coach Jeff Ridler’s varsity swimming and diving team will match strides against the St. Edward Eagles. The warm up is at 5 PM, with the start scheduled for 6 bells.

*Coach Mark Sullivan’s underclassmen laden, but oh so promising varsity wrestling team, will be competing in the always challenging Catholic Invitational Tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Cleveland State University. The matches begin both days at 9 AM. The Wildcats' men of the mats produced some nice results during last weekend’s tri match with Brunswick and Padua Franciscan.

*And last, but certainly not least, there is more basketball on tap for Monday.

In what will be a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day doubleheader in Sullivan Gymnasium, the Wildcats’ Gold and Blue freshmen basketball teams will face St. Edward’s freshmen teams. The Gold team is scheduled to play at 11 AM, followed by the Blue team’s match up with the Eagles at 12:15.

Here are the bowling results versus St. Edward and Benedictine.

FROM COACH KASTANIS: Here are the bowling results vs. St. Edward High School in the seventh week of the 2013-2014 bowling season. There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch = Wildcats lose, 2 - 5 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2834 (918; 1007; 909) vs. St. Edward High School = 2949 (891; 1051; 1007).

2) Handicap = Wildcats lose in this category, 2 – 5 (7 point total).

3) OHSAA = Wildcats lose, 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 = 3197, St. Edward High School Total Pin Fall = 3307.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 184, 179 = Series Total 363 vs. St. Edward High School = 193, 165 = Series Total 358.

Our star bowlers for the fifth week: Sophomore Ralph Deadwyler = 217; 247; 222 = 686 series (Awesome). Ralph also has the highest average in the league at 210 (Awesome). Senior Sean O'Brien = 626 series (Awesome).

On the JV side of things, showing much improvement as well are: Junior Antonio DiFranco = 623 series (Awesome), Freshman Nick Frank = 200 Game (Awesome) and Freshman Devin Venczel = 201 Game (Awesome).

Our JV team is leading the Handicap Division and will possibly lock up this position by next week’s match with Padua.

Here are the bowling results vs. Benedictine High School in the sixth week of the 2013-2014 bowling season. There are three different categories, plus Baker Games:

1) Scratch = Wildcats lose, 0-7 (7 point total). Wildcats total pin fall for this category = 2619 (818; 911; 890) vs. Benedictine High School = 3086 (964; 1130; 992).

2) Handicap = Wildcats lose in this category, 2 – 5 (7 point total).

3) OHSAA = Benedictine High School wins, 1-0  (1 point total). This win is based on the grand total of pin fall of scratch pins, plus total of two baker games. 
Wildcats Total Pin Fall= 2917, Benedictine High School Total Pin Fall = 3423.

4) Baker Games (Wildcats) = 151;147 = Series Total 298 vs. (Benedictine High School) = 148;189 = 337. 

Our star bowlers for the sixth week: Junior Garret Forst = 582 series (Awesome). Sophomore Gianni Schaefer = 563 series (Awesome).

“We at this point need to focus more and prepare to be ready for the upcoming state tournaments. This loss (to Benedictine) will lock us out for a top seed.”
– Coach Kastanis.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend - Eddie D.



        



 



The Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward varsity basketball preview.
1/15/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Saint Ignatius (9-1) and St. Edward (8-1) will be meeting for the 87th time in basketball when they tip off Saturday night on the Eagles’ Coach Jim Connors Court. The 7:30 varsity game will be preceded by a 6 PM junior varsity encounter between the undefeated JV programs from Saint Ignatius and St. Edward.

If you don’t have a ticket, you can catch a live broadcast of the games over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will have the lead call on the varsity tilt.

Coach Sean O’Toole’s Wildcats enter Saturday night’s game ranked third in both the cleveland.com seven-county area poll and the Associated Press Division I state poll, and Coach Eric Flannery’s Eagles are the top-ranked team in the seven-county area, are ranked No. 1 in the AP Division I state poll and carry an 18th-place ranking in USA Today’s Super 25 national poll.

After winning both games of the home-and-home matchups last season, Saint Ignatius leads the all-time series, 50-36. Last year’s efforts marked the first time since 2004-05 that the Wildcats swept the Eagles.

HERE IS A LOOK AT WHAT WILL BE ANOTHER CHAPTER FROM ONE OF THE MOST STORIED HIGH SCHOOL RIVALRIES IN THE NATION.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - Saint Ignatius’ senior point guard and captain Danny Bova is no stranger to the legendary Saint Ignatius-St. Edward athletic rivalry.

In fact, Danny freely admits that as a young kid he was “actually bleeding green and gold,” the Eagles’ colors.

“My brother went to St. Eds, my dad went to St. Eds, my uncles went to St. Eds, both sides of the family,” Danny said. “So I was actually rooting for the wrong team. But, you come around.”

Danny Bova still has one strong tie to the Eagles in that his best friend is St. Edward football standout and basketball mainstay, senior guard Pat Riley. Pat was an All-Ohio defensive back in football this past fall. This corner had the privilege of reporting on Pat’s uncle, Cleveland Police Officer Mr. Tim Riley, when Tim and the rest of St. Edward’s defensive linemen were creating havoc on the football field in the mid-1980s.

“To a minimum,” Danny said when asked if he and Pat Riley have talked about Saturday’s game. “We don’t talk much basketball. We leave it to our friendship. My father told me I’m done talking to him for the week.”

A savvy and big-hearted floor general, Danny Bova said what makes the Wildcats-Eagles basketball encounters so special is that there is more intensity and more energy exuded than in any other game.

“It’s just a great event,” Danny said. “I respect their (the Eagles) intensity, I mean they play hard. They’re going to come at you, they’re going to be physical and we’re going to match that. We have to play intelligent
and we have to stay composed.

“It’s going to be a very intense game,” Danny continued. “It will be the biggest crowd we’ve seen this season.”

Coach O’Toole ’87, who has experienced the rivalry with St. Edward as both a coach and a talented and tough power forward for former Wildcats Head Coach Larry Arthur, pointed out that the 2013-14 Eagles returned a lot of talented and big-game tested players from last winter.

“Size, athleticism, depth and obviously experience,” said Coach O’Toole of this current St. Edward team. “They traveled to California (over the holidays) and played some of the top teams in the country. As talented a team as we will play, without question.

“They have great size across the board,” Coach O’Toole continued. “It’s a game, obviously, in which we have to limit their easy baskets. They make great runs and get their easy baskets in multiple ways, through transition, offensive rebounding, second shots and turnovers. And that kind of fuels their fire. They are a very physical defensive team, so we’re going to have to match that physicality and at the same time play intelligently.

“It’s everything that we have been saying from the last few games,” said Coach O’Toole. “We have to be consistent with our decision making, we have to take high percentage shots and limit any chance they get for easy baskets. They’re the top team in the state and ranked in the nation, and deservingly so.”

For Saint Ignatius’ loyal followers from around the country, St. Edward’s main producers this season include 6-foot-7 junior forward Kipper Nichols (15.3 points per game), 6-4 senior forward Marsalis Hamilton (16.1), 6-4 senior guard Tony Vuyancih (12.0), 6-2 senior guard Malcom Walters (7.4), 6-9 sophomore post DJ Funderburk (6.0) and 6-6 junior forward Mike Ryan (5.6).

Six-foot-two junior guard Darien Knowles, 6-3 senior forward Willl Meyer, the 5-11 Riley and 5-11 senior guard Phil Parente are among the key contributors off the Eagles’ deep bench.

In last season’s games versus St. Edward, Saint Ignatius won, 58-56, in Sullivan Gymnasium and posted a 71-67 victory on the Eagles’ Coach Jim Connors Court. Wildcats 6-7 post Eric Black, now a senior captain, put together two-game totals of 29 points and 22 rebounds in those games, including 19 points and 11 rebounds in the game at St. Edward.

THE RESPECTIVE FRESHMEN TEAMS TAKE CENTER STAGE ON MONDAY: In what will be a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day doubleheader in Sullivan Gymnasium, the Wildcats’ Gold and Blue freshmen basketball teams will face St. Edward’s freshmen teams. The Gold team is scheduled to play at 11 AM, followed by the Blue team’s match up with the Eagles at 12:15.

Cory Griffith getting his kicks and opening some eyes.
1/14/2014
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
On January 2 and 3, Saint Ignatius' gifted punter Cory Griffith was invited to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he participated in the Underclassmen Challenge, an event produce by Kohl's Professional Kicking as part of the Under Armour All-American Football Game.
 
The event attracts the top 50 underclassmen kickers in the United States and Cory had a great showing at the camp. Cory is currently ranked 18th in the nation from the Class of 2015. Cory's dad, Todd, said that number has been fluctuating between 7 and 18 over the past couple of weeks.
 
Congratulations to Cory and the entire Saint Ignatius football program.
 
A note of thanks to the Wildcats' basketball and football programs
1/13/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

I can't thank the players, coaches and student managers of Saint Ignatius' varsity football and basketball teams enough for the kindness they expressed to this old-timer over the past few weeks.

After the Saint Ignatius versus Mentor regional playoff game, in which all of us on the sidelines were battling some tough weather conditions (the coldest I've experienced in what are now 44 years of coverage), the Wildcats players and football team managers were so concerned about how bad I was shivering, that they got together and recently presented me with a thick and warm winter blue jacket trimmed with gold lining pockets, the new gold and blue Wildcat logo and my designation with the program. That makes two outstanding coats this corner has ready for Mother Nature, as my beautiful daughter Suzanne Patton, my caring and thoughtful son-in-law Brian Thomas Patton and my eldest grandchild, the remarkable Caitlin Patton, presented me with a one-of-a-kind fall jacket for my birthday. Bring on the snow, the ice and those late November Byers Field wind gusts.

Speaking of birthdays, this old Capricorn just celebrated another one on Sunday. After Monday's varsity basketball practice in Sullivan Gymnasium, Wildcats head coach Sean O'Toole told me to come down to the coaches' office, that we were going to talk about this weekend's big game at St. Edward.

Well, sitting on the table was a huge Birthday Cake from Coach O'Toole, his assistants and the young men I have the privilege to report on in the winter - the 2013-14 Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Team.

Coach O'Toole, veteran assistant coaches Kirk Culler and Brian Carey, and the Wildcats players treated me to a rendition of "Happy Birthday" that would have brought a smile to the face of the renowned and celebrated composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim.

Gentlemen, I am blessed to be part of you. THANK YOU doesn't even begin to say enough!                 

Saint Ignatius basketball stays at No. 3 in this week's state and area polls. Peter Simcox and Nathan Christian lead the 'Cats in the area's top swimming times.
1/13/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Sullivan Gymnasium - Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats continue to hold down the third spot in the Associated Press Division I state poll and the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll.

The 9-1 Wildcats, coming off a dramatic 62-60 victory over the underrated Warriors from Walsh Jesuit, are gearing up for Saturday night's headliner against the nationally recognized St. Edward Eagles (8-1) in the Eagles' Nest. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles are ranked No. 1 in both the state and area polls. The varsity tipoff from St. Edward will be 7:30 and will be preceded by a 6 PM junior varsity game. Saint Ignatius' and St. Edward's jayvee teams are undefeated.

We will provide an in-depth preview on the Wildcats-Eagles varsity match up later this week.

Here is how a statewide panel of broadcasters and sportswriters voted this week for the top 10 Division I teams. The first place votes are in parenthesis.

1. St. Edward (11)    8-1    200

2. Trotwood-Madison (5)    8-0    178

3. Saint Ignatius (1)    9-1    165

4. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (3)    9-1    157

5. Zanesville (2)    9-0    147

6. Uniontown Lake (1)    10-0    114

7. Berea-Midpark    9-0    58

8. Cincinnati La Salle    10-1    35

9. Columbus Northland    9-2    34

10. Massillon Jackson   8-2   26

Here is how Coach Jeff Ridler's swimming and diving team stands in this week's listing of the area's best times by cleveland.com.

200 YARD MEDLEY RELAY

Saint Ignatius 1:38.97 (area’s sixth best time)

200 YARD FREESTYLE

Nathan Christian, Saint Ignatius 1:48.43 (eighth best time)

50 YARD FREESTYLE

1. Trevor Lake, Bay 21.41

2. Nathan Christian, Saint Ignatius
21.51

9. Peter Simcox, Saint Ignatius 22.09

100 YARD BUTTERFLY

*Peter Simcox, Saint Ignatius 51.44 (area’s best time)

100 YARD FREESTYLE

1. Ross Palazzo, Hudson 46.58

2. Nathan Christian, Saint Ignatius 46.96; Trevor Lake, Bay, 46.96

500 YARD FREESTYLE

Nathan Christian, Saint Ignatius 4:50.55 (area’s seventh best)

200 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY

1. Saint Ignatius 1:27.29

2. Strongsville 1:27.41

3. Hudson 1:27.55

100 YARD BACKSTROKE

Peter Simcox, Saint Ignatius 55.07  (ninth best time)

400 YARD FREE STYLE RELAY

1. Strongsville 3:11.70

2. Hudson 3:13.43

3. Saint Ignatius 3:14.08



 



    

Coach John Kastanis' Alley Cats place 11th at the Bearcat Classic.
1/13/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Presented by Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach John Kastanis.

“Hello Everyone. Here are the results from Friday night’s Bearcat High School Classic Tournament. I am very proud of this Wildcat Bowling Team on how it overcame adversity and put together a very successful outcome to finish in 11th place in this very competitive tournament. I want to thank everyone’s understanding and hard efforts to make this a success.” - Coach Kastanis. 

HERE ARE THE RESULTS FROM CINCINNATI

1 Simon Kenton
3179

2 Oak Hills
3159

3 Urbana
3134

4 Princeton
3002

5 LaSalle
2942

6 Cooper
2939

7 Maysville
2928

8 Fairfield
2912

9 St. Xavier, 2899

10 Covington
Catholic, 2864

11 Saint Ignatius 2841

12 Middletown
2838

13 Elder #2
2837

14
Zanesville, 2781

15 Colerain
2745

16 Mason
2720

17 Groveport
Madison, 2677

18 Elder #1
2675

19 Archbishop Moeller
2664

20 Mechanicsburg
2655

21 Deer
Park, 2627

22 New Lexington
2620

23 Taylor
2608

24 Sycamore
2563

25 Piqua
Blue, 2527

26 Hamilton
2485

27 St. Charles
2453

28
Clinton‐Massie 2447

29 Reading
2440

30 Walnut
Hills 2435

31 Seven
Hills 2350

32 Piqua
Red 2252

All-Tournament Team

Kyle Sclrader 532 Urbana

Cody Hail 503 Simon Kenton

Patrick Sullivan 494 Elder #1

Alex Riedehger 485 Covington Catholic

Matt Nichols 481 LaSalle



 

A TRUE TEST OF WILLS AND BASKETBALL SKILLS. SAINT IGNATIUS, BEHIND A LAYUP BY SENIOR POST ERIC BLACK OFF AN ASSIST FROM HIS TWIN BROTHER, SENIOR FORWARD DAVID BLACK, TURNS BACK A VERY SOLID AND BIG-HEARTED WALSH JESUIT TEAM, 62-60, IN SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM.
1/11/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Eric Black, who finished with a game-high 28 points, converted a high-low assist from his twin brother David as the final seconds were ticking off the clock and the Wildcats, now 9-1 on the season, turned back the underrated 8-3 Walsh Jesuit Warriors, snapping the Warriors' six-game winning streak on Saturday night in Sullivan Gym.

Saint Ignatius led, 40-26, with four minutes remaining in the third quarter before Walsh Jesuit came storming back behind sophomore guard/forward Mitch Peterson, senior guard Max Siwik and junior forward Dom Mittiga.

In what was a match up of undefeated teams, Saint Ignatius' junior varsity improved to 10-0 by defeating Walsh Jesuit's jayvees, 53-47. The Warriors' JV team is now 10-1.

Here is the corner's look at Saturday night's thriller on West 30th and Lorain Avenue.

Cleveland, Ohio or Ohio City, if you will - With 12.5 seconds remaining in Saturday night's varsity basketball headliner at Sullivan Gymnasium, there was no doubt in the mind of Saint Ignatius senior forward and captain David Black as to which play the Wildcats were going to run.

"We knew right away we were going to that play," David Black said of his high-low pass to his twin brother, senior post and captain Eric Black, an on-the-money assist that led to Eric's power layup and a hard earned 62-60 victory over a tough and talented Walsh Jesuit team.

Eric Black's game winner came with 0.65 seconds on the clock and there would be no desperation, length-of-the-court toss by the Warriors after they stepped over the line trying inbound the ball.

"That's the play we practice all the time," David Black continued. "With me and Eric being twins, it's kind of easy. I pass to him all of the time. I feel like all of my assists are to him anyways. That's just something Coach (Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87) did a great job of drawing up and Eric did a great job of finishing it."

Eric Black, who finished with a game-high 28 points, including 16 in the second half, described the intensity of Saturday night's game as being "great."

"Everyone was battling and everyone was physical down low,"  said Eric, who had nothing but praise for the effort Walsh Jesuit brought to the storied Sullivan court. "Rebounding was key in this game and I thought we got the key rebounds when we needed to."

After a first half that saw Saint Ignatius clinging to a two-point lead, the Wildcats came out and played the first four minutes of the third quarter like a team that was ranked third in this past week's Associated Press Division I state poll.

Sparked by two free throws and a strong baseline move by Eric Black, a 3-pointer and a free throw by senior point guard and captain Danny Bova, two free throws and a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Deven Stover, and an authoritative and quick-off-the-dribble drive to the rim by senior wing and captain Isiah Barbra that resulted in a three-point play, Saint Ignatius held a 40-26 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Following a timeout, Coach John Norris' Warriors showed the large and enthusiastic crowd in Sullivan Gym why they entered Saturday night's yearly encounter with the Wildcats carrying a six-game winning streak and having won eight of their previous 10 games.

With 6-foot-4 senior guard Max Siwik and 6-4 sophomore guard Mitch Peterson, a young man with endless potential, showing the way, Walsh Jesuit went on an 11-0 run and it was game on. Folks, remember the name Mitch Peterson.

The Wildcats, on the strength of a fee throw by Eric Black and a 3-pointer by David Black, got some breathing room at 44-37 as they entered a fourth quarter that brought back Sullivan Gymnasium memories so thick that this old-timer had to wipe them away from what are as of Sunday 64-year-old eyes.

After David Black's strong move to the basket, Walsh Jesuit still trailed by seven points. But then young Mr. Peterson unleashed his exceptional shooting range and uncanny balance while driving to the rim.

A pair of quick release 3-pointers by Peterson, sandwiched around his smooth leaning one hander in the lane, were the fuel that enabled the Warriors to outscore the Wildcats, 12-6, and trail by just one point, 52-51.

Following a free throw by Barbra and yet another answer down low by Eric Black, Saint Ignatius led, 55-51, with 2:35 remaining to be played. The large number of enthusiastic young fans from St. Raphael, the home parish of the Blacks, were dancing to the beat of the Saint Ignatius Pep Band and gym rats from both Cuyahoga County and Summit County were salivating.

It was punch-counter punch over the final two minutes, as Peterson's third 3-pointer of the second half again made it a one-point game. Peterson led his team with 22 points, including 15 over the final 16 minutes.  

Not to be outdone by a gifted sophomore, the versatile Eric Black stepped outside and sent home a trey that made the score 58-54 in favor of the Wildcats with 1:57 to go.

With their fans helping them stay in the game, the Warriors responded with baskets by Siwik and versatile junior forward Dom Mittiga and we were all knotted up again at 58. At least for a few seconds.

Barbra, who never stops moving without the ball, beat the defense down court and Bova found him with a precious dime that resulted in a layup and 60-58 Saint Ignatius lead.

Following a timeout by Coach Norris and his staff, Walsh got the ball in the hands of Siwik and the senior leader looked like a vintage Bob Pettit with his reverse layup along the Lorain Avenue baseline, an effort that tied the score once again. Siwik finished with 17 points, 12 of those coming in the second half.

In the final 16 seconds, Walsh Jesuit came up short on a 3-pointer that would have given them a three-point lead and Saint Ignatius calmly ran the twin-spin play that Coach O'Toole and his staff called for.

"Danny Bova, a terrific point guard, looks up the floor and our bigs (frontcourt players) and our guards were running the floor," said Barbra, a leader on and off the court. "If we run and get wide, Danny's going to get it to us. He did a great job of taking care of the ball and our bigs finished well around the rim."

Typical Isiah, always crediting and encouraging everyone else. But then I guess that is a characteristic that helps define a captain.

"Our first measure of a game is getting a win," said Coach O'Toole. "What's good is that we were able to survive. They (the Warriors) played really well down the stretch. They executed well and we did not execute as well. But, in the end we were able to get it (the ball) where we wanted.

"I keep going back to our consistency," Coach O'Toole continued. "We go up 14 in the third quarter and within two or three minutes the game is tied. There's different paces you play with. When you are winning you have to be a little more selective with your shots, make the defense work a little more and try to get an easier shot. With the schedule we have coming up, we have to be more consistent. We're not finishing at the end of quarters. I'm happy for our kids that we won and I am happy where we are after 10 games (9-1), but we are nowhere near where we need to be."

Saint Ignatius was 12-of-20 from the free-throw line and had six 3-pointers. Walsh Jesuit was 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, including a 6-for-6 performance by Siwik, and hit five treys. Along with his floor generalship, Bova totaled 10 points, including two 3-pointers.  

The Wildcats will now focus on five days of all-out-effort practices, as they prepare to face their longtime rival St. Edward on Saturday night in the Eagles Nest. St. Edward is ranked No. 1 in the big-school state poll and No. 1 in the seven-county area poll.

As for the Junior Varsity Wildcats, Coach Chris Salata's team remained unbeaten thanks in part to a strong game down low by sophomore post Sharief Irish (15 points) and some crisp passing and nine points from sophomore guard Ryan Berger.

The JV 'Cats made 13 2-point shots, had three 3-pointers and were 18-of-25 from the free-throw line. 

HOCKEY

*In varsity hockey action late Saturday night, the Ice Cats suffered their first loss in Great Lakes Hockey League play as the Green Wave of Holy Name scored with 0.08 seconds left in the third period and defeated Saint Ignatius, 3-2. The game, which matched the No. 1 (Saint Ignatius) and No. 7 teams in the coaches' state poll, was played on Holy Name's home ice in Parma's Michael A. Ries Ice Rink.

Saint Ignatius (16-3-4) tied the score at 2 with 54 seconds remaining in the game, before Tim Higginbotham provided the game-winner for the Green Wave. It was Higginbotham's second lamp lighter on the night.

Junior forward Kevin Yarcusko scored the Ice Cats' first goal in the first period and junior forward Ethan Whitney provided the tying goal for Coach Pat O'Rourke '90. Saint Ignatius sophomore Wes Deacon had 13 saves in net and Holy Name keeper CJ Balodis had 28 saves.

WRESTLING

Coach Mark Sullivan's Wildcats went 1-1 in Saturday's tri match at Padua, losing to Brunswick, 42-28, and defeating the host Bruins, 34-31.

Here are the 'Cats' highlights versus Brunswick.

At 126 pounds, Bush (SI) pinned Thomas (B) 3:27. At 138, Miller (SI) major decision over Camacho (B), 10-0. At 145, Brady (SI) won by decision, 6-1. At 152, Vilsask (SI) pinned Floyd (B) :51. At 182, McLaughlin (SI) pinned Fontana (B) 1:03. At 195, Keim (SI) won by decision over Slyman (B), 10-5.

Here are the 'Cats' highlights versus Padua.

At 120 pounds, Rivera (SI) pinned Hrusovsky (P) 1:33. At 126, Bush (SI) won by forfeit. At 138, Miller (SI) won by major decision over Nichols (P), 12-3. At 152, Vilsak (SI) defeated Fasnacht (P), 3-1 in overtime. At 182, McLaughlin (SI) defeated Hartman (P), 3-1. At 195, Andrews (SI) pinned Gilmore (P) 4:45. At 220, Vazquez (SI) pinned Reinholz (P) 1:22.

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball turns back a game University School team, 55-41, in the Tony DeCarlo Center on the campus of John Carroll University.
1/10/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats increased a five-point lead at halftime to 12 points entering the fourth quarter, and stretched that to a 15-point advantage with 6 minutes and 57 seconds remaining en route to improving to 8-1 on Friday night.

Coach O'Toole '87, who is currently in his sixth season as the head basketball coach at his alma mater, will enter Saturday night's home game versus Walsh Jesuit with a record of 95-31 at Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School. Walsh Jesuit will come into Sullivan Gymnasium with a record of 8-2 and riding a six-game winning streak after dominating Benedictine.

University School, which drew Coach O'Toole's praise for the toughness and the endless hustle Coach Terry Lipford's Preppers displayed all night, is now 5-2 on the season.

Senior post Eric Black led Saint Ignatius in the scoring column with 16 points, while junior wing Andre' Wilford and sophomore guard Deven Stover contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively. The 'Cats also got some nice efforts off the bench from junior post Mikal Outcalt and junior forward Jaylin McDonald.

University School, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, was the recipient of a 13-point performance from junior forward Kyle Scadlock and nine points from the grit and hustle of senior post James Johnston.

Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats improved to 9-0 by defeating the jayvee team from University School, 70-26. A JV recap will follow the varsity story.

HERE IS THE CORNER'S VARSITY GAME STORY

University Heights, Ohio - Before commenting on anything else, Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole wanted to speak about University School after his Wildcats defeated the Preppers, 55-41, at John Carroll University on Friday night.

"First of all, I want to congratulate University School," Coach O'Toole said. "They played harder than us, they got the loose balls and they played smarter. I give them credit. The definitely were a major reason why we struggled."

The Wildcats, ranked third in this week's Associated Press Division I state poll, improved to 8-1. However, Coach O'Toole emphasized more than once that his team struggled its way to the 14-point victory over a Preppers team that is now 5-2.

"We struggled from the line (11 for 22 from the charity stripe), we struggled with decision making and in execution is where we struggled," said Coach O'Toole. "These are good teams, you can not be inconsistent with your execution, can not be inconsistent with your effort and you can not be inconsistent in the non-negotiable intangibles. What we need to win every time we play are the loose balls, the hustle and the enthusiasm.

"There's nights the ball won't fit and we'll live with that," Coach O'Toole continued. "But they have to be good shots, they have to be high-percentage shots. I just don't think we got that tonight."

Saint Ignatius, which is also ranked third in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, rode a 3-pointer by senior point guard Danny Bova and two treys by junior wing Andre' Wolford to a 13-9 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter.

A strong move to the basket by senior guard/forward Isiah Barbra, two free throws by Barbra off a rebound and an assist by senior post Eric Black, and a pull-up, buzzer-beating 3-pointer by sophomore guard Deven Stover saw the Wildcats take a 20-9 advantage into the second quarter.

After University School closed to 20-13 on a free throw by senior post James Johnston and a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Regan Mohler, Wolford answered with his third 3-pointer and sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish offset a layup by Johnston by burying a shot from beyond the arc.

The Preppers of Coach Terry Lipford wouldn't be discouraged, however, as they responded with five straight points by junior forward Kyle Scadlock - a 3-pointer and a second-effort layup - and trailed, 26-20.

Saint Ignatius' promising junior forward Jaylin McDonald took it down the lane and to the rim in giving his team an eight-point advantage, but University School junior guard Chris Cercelle sent home a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner and the Wildcats clung to a 28-23 lead at halftime.

The third quarter action got started with a basket down low by Eric Black. However, University School, which averaged more than 80 points in its previous four games (all victories), cut its deficit to three points on a two free throws by Scadlock and a follow by Johnston.

Responding like a highly ranked team, the Wildcats got some breathing room on a 3-pointer by David Black, Eric's twin brother, two free throws by David Black off a steal and an assist by Barbra, and a 3-pointer by Eric Black.

A three-point play by Stover, a three-point play by Eric Black off his offensive rebound and a two-handed slam in transition by Eric Black staked Saint Ignatius to a 12-point lead entering the final eight minutes. Eric Black scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half.

The 'Cats' decisive fourth-quarter points came off another Eric Black basket down low and a driving one-hander by Bova, who battled foul trouble all night.

Saint Ignatius finished with eight 3-pointers and the Preppers hit four shots from beyond the arc. University School was 7-of-14 from the foul line and went through a tough scoreless streak for part of the third quarter, a stretch that saw the team from Hunting Valley hurt itself with turnovers and missed free throws.

"We won the game and obviously that was the goal walking in," said Coach O'Toole. "But I don't like how we played tonight. Their (University School) guards played well and their bigs out-banged us. We have assets, like depth, but we have to play smarter than we're playing. We tried defensively to create some turnovers and it was not five guys in unison. And the schedule is way too hard to not have all five guys on the same page."

Following Saturday night's home game against a well-schooled Walsh Jesuit program, the Wildcats travel to St. Edward on Jan. 18 for a match up with the No. 1-ranked team in the state and the seven-county area.

WILDCATS JAYVEES TURN IN ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE.

There were contributors galore, as the now 9-0 Saint Ignatius junior varsity team quickly took command of the JV team from University School and went on to a 70-26 victory.

A 3-pointer from sophomore guard Ryan Berger, two three pointers by sophomore guard Kyle Kalish (who splits time between the JV and varsity) and some strong play from sophomore forward Ian Burry, sophomore guard/forward Jake Gawlik and freshman post Matt Davet helped lead the JV 'Cats to a 23-4 advantage after the first seven minutes.

A Burry layup off an assist from sophomore guard/forward Mike Hollis and another Davet basket, this time courtesy of a picture-perfect assist from sophomore guard Nolan Meehan, were among the many highlights in the second quarter.

After a strong second-effort by Davet resulted in his three-point play and a 36-6 Saint Ignatius lead, University School closed out the first half on a 7-2 run.

It was Katy Bar The Door in the third quarter, however, as Burry struck again down low, sophomore guard Joe Evans buried a 3-pointer, Burry scored off a smooth reverse layup along the baseline and Evans again dialed from long distance.

Coach Chris Salata's depth left no doubt, as the 'Cats moved to a 58-21 lead entering the fourth quarter. Among the finishing touches were two free throws by sophomore guard Joe Palmer, a layup by Palmer off a sweet dish from sophomore guard Nate Ellifritt and 3-pointers from Ellifritt and Palmer.

Palmer and Ryan Berger led the Wildcats with 12-point efforts, Burry and Kalish each scored 10 points and Ellifritt finished with 8 points. University School freshman Brandon Scadlock had a game-high 13 points.

*Please excuse this proud grandpa for sending out congratulations to my granddaughter, Caitlin Patton, who has qualified for the Power of the Pen Ohio Interscholastic Writing League area regionals, which will held in March at St. Joseph Academy. Caitlin is in the seventh grade at Our Lady of Angels in West Park.   

THE WEEKLY VARSITY BASKETBALL PREVIEW, "WHERE THE 'CATS PLAY" AND SOME PIGSKIN NOTES TO CHEW ON.
1/9/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Cleveland, Ohio – After a roller coaster weekend that saw Coach Sean O’Toole’s Varsity Basketball Wildcats suffer a one sided loss to a talent rich Detroit Jesuit team, but then bounce back to defeat previously undefeated Cleveland Central Catholic, Coach O’Toole is preparing his team for back-to-back games versus University School and Walsh Jesuit.

The Wildcats (7-1), ranked third in the Associated Press Division I state poll, will face the University School Preppers on Friday night in the DeCarlo Varsity Center at John Carroll University .

On Saturday night, Saint Ignatius will host the Warriors from Walsh Jesuit in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Both games are scheduled for 7:30 and will be preceded by junior varsity match ups at 6 PM. Coach Chris Salata’s jayvee Wildcats stand 8-0 on the season.

With seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White on the lead call, the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network will bring you the action live from both John Carroll University and Sullivan Gym.

Here is a look at University School and Walsh Jesuit.

University School: Coach O’Toole’s ‘Cats defeated the Preppers, 68-45, last season at John Carroll University. Post/forward Eric Black tossed in 10 points and grabbed five rebounds and point guard Danny Bova had five assists and six rebounds in helping key that victory. Eric and Danny join forward Isiah Barbra and forward David Black, Eric’s twin brother, as the Wildcats’ senior captains this winter.

As for the 2013-14 Preppers, Coach O’Toole sees Coach Terry Lipford’s team as having capable scorers with “a very good point guard in DeAndre Austin.”

In helping University School to a 5-1 record, Austin is averaging 20.5 points per game. Saint Ignatius’ veteran assistant coach Jerry Porath describes Austin as not only having the ability to penetrate the defense and draw fouls, but also the range to hurt you from the perimeter. Austin has dropped in 12 3-pointers through six games.

Coach O’Toole emphasized that the Preppers, who have averaged 82 points in last their four games (all victories), utilize at least nine players most every night.

“Defensively, they’ll give you some different zone pressures and half-court traps,” Coach O’Toole said. “They are obviously well coached, with some strength inside and some wings that can score. It’s a team that shoots it well. We’re pumped to be playing up at John Carroll.”

Along with Austin’s impressive contributions, University School has some solid complementary parts in 6-6 post Kyle Scadlock (16.8 points per game), 6-3 wing Chris Cercelle (10.6 points per game and 12 3-balls), 6-0 guard Regan Mohler (7 points per game), 6-5 post Sam Garson (4.6 points per game) and 6-4 post James Johnston (4.4 points per game). Scadlock has averaged 22 points over his last four games.

The Preppers’ only loss through six games came on Dec. 7 at Walsh Jesuit, 68-37.

Walsh Jesuit: “I have a lot of respect for Coach (John) Norris and what he brings to his program,” said Coach O’Toole. “Expect the unexpected when you play them. They will give you many different looks and I know that they will have us well scouted.”

The Warriors started their season with two victories, lost at Holy Name and at Archbishop Hoban and have since won five in a row. They are scheduled to face the Benedictine Bengals in a North Coast League game on Friday night at Walsh Jesuit.

Showing the way for Coach Norris are 6-4 sophomore guard Mitch Peterson, 6-3 junior forward Dom Mittiga, 6-0 senior guard Gaven Cona and 6-4 senior guard Max Siwik.

Peterson is averaging 14.1 points per game and has totaled 16 3-pointers. Mittiga, who is a tireless worker when it comes to battling for position, is averaging 10.1 points. Siwik, a lefty, is scoring at a rate of 9.3 points per game and has 12 3-pointers, and Cona is averaging 6.1 points per game and has also hit 12 shots from beyond the arc.

With Eric Black contributing 10 points and Bova dishing out five assists, Saint Ignatius defeated the Warriors, 64-46, at Walsh Jesuit last season.

BY THE NUMBERS: Entering this weekend’s action, Eric Black continues to lead the Wildcats in scoring with an average of 15.9 points per game.

Barbra, junior wing Andre’ Wolford and sophomore guard Deven Stover are each averaging 9.5 points. David Black is showing the way in the rebounding department with 7.4 per game and Bova is passing out the dimes at a rate of seven per game.

“WHERE THE ‘CATS PLAY”: Along with basketball, this weekend will include competition in all four of Saint Ignatius’ other winter varsity sports.

Coach Jeff Ridler’s swimming and diving team will match strides with University School on Friday at Hathaway Brown. The warm-ups begin at 4 PM, with the competition scheduled to get underway at 5.

On Saturday morning, Coach Ridler's Wildcats, who placed third in the state last season, will gear up for the Northeast Classic in Akron (7 AM warm-ups, 9 AM competition).

Coach John Kastanis’ bowling team will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to St. Edward, as the Alley Cats are slated to face the Padua Bruins on Saturday at Buckeye Lanes.

The Wildcats’ varsity wrestling team, under the direction of veteran head coach Mark Sullivan, will travel to Padua Franciscan High School on Saturday to grapple with the Bruins and the Brunswick Blue Devils in a high noon tri match.

On Saturday night, Coach Pat O’Rourke’s 16-2-4 Ice Cats, ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ state poll, will take on the seventh-ranked Green Wave of Holy Name at the Michael A. Ries Rink in lovely Parma, Ohio. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30. The Ries Rink is located at 5000 Forestwood Drive.

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY: To talk Saint Ignatius football, as the corner would like to send out its congratulations to junior wideout David Shibley and junior defensive back Lawrence Birchler for being selected as two of Coach Chuck Kyle’s captains for the 2014 season.

Two other captains will be chosen during the summer practices.

As for the loyal readers who inquired over the holidays, Saint Ignatius still has four open dates to fill on its 2014 football schedule.

Wildcats tireless Athletic Administrator Rory Fitzpatrick, who amazes us every year by finding opponents, said the teams currently on the schedule are: at Indianapolis Lawrence Central; versus Mentor at Byers Field; at (New Jersey) Paramus Catholic; versus two-time defending Division I state champ Archbishop Moeller at Dublin Coffman High School; at St. Xavier and versus St. Edward at Byers Field. Rory emphasized that he has calls out around the state and beyond.

Have a safe and prosperous weekend!

Saint Ignatius basketball garners a third-place state ranking and Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats remain No.1 in the coaches' state poll.
1/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Saint Ignatius varsity basketball team earned the third spot in the initial Associated Press big-school state rankings for 2014. On the strength of Saturday night's 3-0 victory over St. Edward at Winterhurst (see the corner's story from Saturday night), the Ice Cats (16-2-4) continued to hold down the top spot in the weekly voting by the state's hockey coaches.

Here is how a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted for the top 10 basketball teams in Division I, with the first-place votes in parenthesis.

1, St. Edward (5) 7-1, 103
2,Trotwood Madison (4) 8-0, 96
3, Saint Ignatius (2) 7-1, 95
4, Cin. Moeller (2) 8-1, 84
5, Zanesville (1) 8-0, 74
6, Dublin Coffman 8-0, 64
7, Uniontown Lake (1) 9-0, 58
8, Berea-Midpark (3) 8-0, 53
9, Tol. Cent. Cath. (1) 8-1, 48
10, Perrysburg 9-0, 44
Varsity Basketball Wildcats move up a notch to third place in the latest area poll.
1/6/2014

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

On the strength of Sunday's 59-52  victory over previously undefeated Cleveland Central Catholic (see the corner's story below), Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats moved from fourth to third place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area basketball poll. The poll was released today.

Just a reminder that Coach O'Toole's 'Cats will face University School on Friday night at John Carroll University and will return home on Saturday night for a match up with the Warriors from Walsh Jesuit. A 6 PM junior varsity game will precede the 7:30 varsity tipoff both nights.   

The Varsity Basketball Wildcats rally from a 10-point, third-quarter deficit and go on to hand Cleveland Central Catholic its first loss of the season, 59-52, in Sunday's annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University.
1/5/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

A 21-6 run and seven unanswered points to close out the game tell the tale as Coach Sean O'Toole's Wildcats improve to 7-1. Senior post Eric Black scores a game-high 19 points en route to garnering his team's MVP honors and junior wing Andre' Wolford comes off the bench to score 15 clutch and crucial points.

Saint Ignatius, which displayed its character and resiliency after Friday night's one-sided loss to Michigan power Detroit Jesuit, will now gear up for this Friday night's game against University School at John Carroll University and Saturday night's home game versus Walsh Jesuit.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LIST OF THE MAJOR AWARDS FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON'S VARSITY FOOTBALL BANQUET FOLLOW THE VARSITY BASKETBALL STORY.  

Berea, Ohio - Come late February and March, Coach Sean O'Toole's varsity basketball team just might look back at Sunday afternoon's game against previously undefeated Cleveland Central Catholic as the turning point of the entire season.

Saint Ignatius, outplayed by a talent-rich Detroit Jesuit team at Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night, found itself trailing Central Catholic by 10 points late in the third quarter at the annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic in Baldwin Wallace University's Ursprung Gymnasium.

At that point, some of the area's gym rats were questioning "just how good" the Wildcats are.

Well, Saint Ignatius had all of the answers to that question and many more as Coach O'Toole's team raised its level of play on both ends of the floor and went on to defeat the Ironmen, 59-52.

Trailing, 41-31, the Wildcats clawed their way back with a 21-6 run and found all of the answers down the stretch after Central Catholic knotted the score at 52 on a 3-pointer by 6-foot-5 junior guard/forward Antwon Lillard and a layup by 6-7 sophomore forward Tervell Beck off a steal and an assist by sophomore point guard Brandon Peters.

Keeping its composure, Saint Ignatius responded with a slam dunk by 6-7 senior post Eric Black in transition, two free throws by junior wing Andre' Wolford and a clutch rebound and assist by senior point guard Danny Bova that resulted in two big free throws by junior forward Jaylin McDonald with 35.8 seconds remaining.

In a game that matched the area's third (Central Catholic) and fourth-ranked teams, the Ironmen of Coach Jonathan Harris experienced their first loss in 10 games this season. The Wildcats' defense held Central Catholic to a 33 percent shooting performance, while Saint Ignatius shot 54 percent from the field.

Beck, who led the Ironmen with 14 points before fouling out with 1 minute and 28 seconds remaining, took home his team's MVP Trophy and as did Eric Black for the now 7-1 Wildcats. Eric led all scorers with 19 points.

"A lot of it is just recognizing the personnel," said Coach O'Toole of his team's impressive defense effort in the second half. "They (the Ironmen) have two bonafide scorers, a great point guard, shooters and a very good big (post or center). So you just have to recognize who you are guarding, who we're helping off and who we are trying to limit touches. It's a constant chess match when you're trying to defend a team like that. 

"We needed it (the victory) bad, we needed it bad," Coach O'Toole continued.

The Wildcats gave their coach just what he and everyone associated with the program needed by putting together the impressive 21-6 run that was capped by Wolford's third 3-pointer of the second half, a smooth nothing-but-net trey that gave Saint Ignatius a 52-47 lead with 4 minutes and 4 seconds left to be played. Andre' finished with 15 huge points off the bench.

"This was important, because in that (Detroit Jesuit) game we lost a little bit of confidence," said the gifted and soft-spoken Wolford. "I had to come out and play with confidence. They were open shots and I had to knock them down. Like I said, this was a huge confidence booster to win this game like we did. Now, we just have to go right back at it on Friday."

Saint Ignatius' 21-6 run started with a layup by Eric Black off a high-low assist from his twin brother David, a 6-6 senior forward, and an impressive second- and third-effort offensive rebound and put back by versatile sophomore guard Deven Stover. Deven finished with 10 points.

The other highlights in the run were a three-point play by Eric Black, a 3-pointer by David Black, another high-low 2-point combo by the Blacks and another trey by Wolford that never disturbed the rim.

HERE ARE THE VARSITY FOOTBALL MAJOR AWARDS THAT WERE PRESENTED DURING THE ANNUAL BANQUET ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN THE BREEN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS. THE 'CATS FINISHED THEIR INJURY-RIDDLED 2013 SEASON AT 8-5, ADVANCING TO THE OHSAA DIVISION I REGIONAL-FINAL PLAYOFFS. IT WAS THE PROGRAM'S 25TH BIG-SCHOOL PLAYOFF APPEARANCE SINCE 1988, A RUN THAT HAS PRODUCED A RECORD 11 DIVISION I STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS.

THE LIST OF THE AWARD WINNERS IS COURTESY OF SAINT IGNATIUS ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATOR RORY FITZPATRICK '88 AND ATHLETIC OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT MS. JENNIFER FIGHT.

Most Valuable Player: Senior defensive back/linebacker Dameon Willis Jr.

Most Valuable Offensive Lineman: Senior tackle Jim Byrne

Most Valuable Offensive Back: Senior fullback Stan Elad

Most Valuable Wide Receiver: Senior Mike Siragusa

Most Valuable Scout Player (versus the offense): Senior linebacker Jacob Rossi

Most Valuable Defensive Lineman: Junior end/tackle Dre'Mont Jones

Most Valuable Linebacker: Senior middle backer John Gibbons

Most Valuable Defensive Secondary Player: Senior cornerback Scott Arthrell

Most Valuable Scout Player (versus the defense): Senior wide receiver/tight end Bennett Kinzel

Most Valuable Special Teams Player: Senior tailback/kick and punt returner Kyle Daugenti

Most Improved Player: Senior safety Evan O'Malley

Bigger, Stronger, Faster Award: Senior offensive guard Tom Stuhldreher

And the prestigious Coaches' Cup goes to senior wide receiver Jack Hyland

*Congratulations from this old-timer go out to these outstanding young men and to them, their families and Saint Ignatius' tireless coaching staff and administration, THANK YOU for the privilege of covering and reporting on the 2013 FOOTBALL WILDCATS. May God Bless the seniors in all of their future endeavors.

- Eddie Dwyer     

The Ice Cats control the physical aspect and every other phase of the game and go on to defeat St. Edward on its home ice, 3-0, in Saturday night's Great Lakes Hockey League headliner.
1/4/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats grab the momentum on junior wing Matty Geither's second-period goal, take command on senior defenseman and Captain Harry Smith's third-period lamp lighter, and add the finishing touches on an empty-netter by junior forward Kevin Yarcusko with 34 seconds remaining.

Sophomore goalie Dylan McKeon is again lights out, promising sophomore center Aidan Spellacy, the ever-present junior forward Ethan Whitney and the selfless, but oh so versatile and talented Smith provide the assists. Senior defenseman and Captain Kevin Spellacy, Aidan's brother, helps show the way in the toughness department.

The Ice Cats, who comfortably controlled the shots on goal, improve to 16-2-4 overall and stay atop the GLHL at 4-0-2.

LAKEWOOD HEIGHTS BOULEVARD - As part of the music that roars through Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst after every stoppage of play, it would have only been fitting if "Tuff Enuff" by The Fabulous Thunderbirds was among the final selections on Saturday night.

In what Saint Ignatius head hockey coach Pat O'Rourke '90 referred to as one of the few times, if not the first, that the Wildcats came into St. Edward's home arena and won the physical battle, the more than tough enough Ice Cats skated off the Serpentini Ice with a 3-0 triumph in a Great Lakes Hockey League match up.

"That's the transformation we've made as a program over the last year and it's not going to stop now," said Coach O'Rourke. "I can't guarantee that we're going to win every game, but we're going to play hard every game. We're going to take it to the other team and whatever happens, happens. That's why we've spent so much time in the weight room, really over the last five years. But it's just starting to pay off now. They have the confidence they can stand up to anybody."

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 16-2-4, stood tall and tough from the get-go as it peppered St. Edward with shots on goal throughout a scoreless first period. Speaking of being tough enough, Eagles sophomore goalie Warren Hill was certainly that, especially throughout the first 15 minutes. According to the official scoring sheet, Hill finished with 33 saves off 36 shots on goal. This corner thought he had at least 40 saves.

However, just 17 seconds into the second period the Ice Cats, who are probably too young to recall The Fabulous Thunderbirds, brought a roar from their outstanding student-body support as gifted junior right wing Matty Geither scored off an assist from Aidan Spellacy. A Spellacy-to-Geither goal, sound familiar?

After St. Edward (11-11) killed off a Wildcats power-play opportunity, Saint Ignatius got a sequence of impressive saves from sophomore keeper Dylan McKeon. Dylan had 27 saves on the night.

Following a spirited skirmish that took place near the Saint Ignatius goal with 6 minutes and 9 seconds remaining in the second period, the Ice Cats were hit with a 2-minute penalty. With McKeon and Coach O'Rourke's line of defense refusing to give in, Saint Ignatius killed off the Eagles' man advantage and the score remained 1-0 entering the third and final period.

"It will be much sweeter in February and March (in the OHSAA state tournament)," said senior Captain and defenseman Harry Smith, who last season willingly moved from a forward position, where he would have scored more frequently, to help solidify the defense. "Coach told us he wanted to set the tone right off the bat tonight, to be physical with them. I think it showed up at the end of the game. I think we dominated them. This team is getting a lot better. We played great."

Like many of his teammates, Smith was solid at both ends of the ice. Harry delivered the take-charge goal when he scored off an assist from junior forward Ethan Whitney with 8:09 left in the third period.

"I got the puck at the point," said Smith, who added that he had a line to an open net. "Things are starting to fall for me. I guess it's my turn."

Less than two minutes after Smith staked his team to a 2-0 lead, St. Edward was again on the power play. But again, McKeon and Co. were equal to the challenge and the Ice Cats left no doubt when junior forward Kevin Yarcusko took an assist from Smith and scored off a near length-of-the-ice empty netter with 34 seconds remaining.

"That's a good team over there," said Coach O'Rourke, pointing to the St. Edward locker room. "We'll probably play them four or five more times this year when you count the tournaments. And we'll see them at our place (the Brooklyn Ice Arena) on Jan. 24 (for the second GLHL regular season match up). It's round one and it really doesn't settle anything. But you like to see how you stack up against them. They are the 11-time state champions. Everybody in Ohio measures themselves against St. Eds."

No, the Ice Cats didn't walk ten miles on their hands and knees, but it is definitely Coach O'Rourke and the Saint Ignatius faithful that they aim to please.

ONE OF THE ALL-TIME BEST: Taking in Saturday night's game at Winterhurst was one of the greatest players in the history of area ice hockey and one of the all-time best in Wildcats athletics history, Miles McQuinn from the Class of 2013.

Miles, who has a deep interest in pursuing a career as a broadcast journalist, is currently broadcasting varsity hockey games for The Ohio State University, where he is furthering his education. Miles is playing Club Hockey for the Buckeyes and is joined on the same line by former Rocky River standout Eric Sperli. Sperli, whom Miles describes as not only an outstanding hockey player, but a classy young man, needs no introduction to Saint Ignatius hockey fans. Eric's momentum-changing goal, a blast from up top, helped Rocky River upset the Ice Cats in last season's OHSAA District Tournament at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The Pirates went on to advance to the state final four.              

   

 

 

       

         

     

As advertised! The University of Detroit Jesuit High School, with its gifted sophomore point guard Cassius Winston directing a complete and relentess attack, wears down Saint Ignatius, 82-52, on Friday night in Sullivan Gymnasium.
1/3/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Under the direction of Coach Pat Donnelly, a Rocky River native, the Cubs shot a sizzling 57 percent in the first half and never looked back after moving to a 53-29 lead through the first 16 minutes.

Playing with endless hustle and executing its game plan at both ends of the floor, Detroit Jesuit returns to the Motor City with a 4-1 record.

Saint Ignatius, which was hurt on the offensive glass and in transition, and lost the battle for the 50-50 loose balls, experienced its first setback in seven games this young season. The Wildcats have to put the stunning loss behind them in a hurry, as they face a very talented team from Cleveland Central Catholic in Sunday's annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin-Wallace University's Ursprung Gymnasium. Sunday's tipoff, which features the area's third (Central Catholic) and fourth-ranked teams, is 12:45 PM. The Ironmen from Central Catholic are 9-0 after surviving in overtime by two points at Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday night.

*Coach Chris Salata's Junior Varsity Wildcats improved to 8-0 by defeating the jayvee team from Detroit Jesuit, 68-47. A JV recap will follow the varsity game story.

Cleveland, Ohio - Never one to offer excuses and always quick to credit the opponent, Saint Ignatius' veteran head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 summed up Friday night's 82-52 loss to Detroit Jesuit very directly and accurately.

"Everything, really," Coach O'Toole said in discussing the areas in which the Cubs outplayed his team. "Transition, second shots, offensive rebounds, everything. We started with some high percentage shots, which we thought we could do. But in the end, we just didn't have an answer.

"They're well coached, they do a lot of things well and their balance is incredible," Coach O'Toole continued. "Obviously Winston is the catalyst and as the catalyst he did it all, whether it was scoring, distributing, making big steals or getting them to play at the pace they did."

Coach O'Toole was referring to Detroit Jesuit's outstanding and highly recruited sophomore point guard Cassius Winston, who played in front of the basketball-savvy eyes of The Ohio State University Men's Assistant Basketball Coach Greg Paulus. Greg watched the action from along the baseline at the scoreboard end of Sullivan Gymnasium.

Coach Paulus knows a thing or two about leaders and exceptional athletes, as he played point guard at Duke University and after graduating from Duke used his NCAA eligibility to play quarterback for the Syracuse University football team.

The 6-foot-1 Winston, described by Coach O'Toole as being as good a point guard as he has ever coached against, led four Cubs in double figures with a game-high 18 points. Cassius was smooth and quick on his feet, creative with both the dribble drive and the stop and pop, and could go after an offensive rebound as well as anyone on the Sullivan Gym floor. And he complements all of that with one-the-money dimes and some nasty quick-hands defense.

"And they have complementary parts, it's not a one-man show by any means," said Coach O'Toole. "They shot it extremely well (52 percent for the entire game) and they hurt us with pressure. You name it, it was just one of those games. The only positive I can find right now is that we have to play Sunday. So we have to watch it (on film), learn from it and forget about it."

With 6-7 senior post Eric Black scoring Saint Ignatius' first eight points and 6-3 senior forward Isiah Barbra scoring off an assist from senior point guard Danny Bova, the Wildcats and the Cubs played to an 11-11 tie for the first four minutes of the game.

After Detroit Jesuit moved to a 20-15 lead, 'Cats' junior forward Andre' Wolford buried a 3-pointer. The Cubs responded with a nothing-but-net 3-pointer from deep in the left corner by 6-0 senior guard Julian Morgan and led, 23-18, entering the second quarter, or the telling point, if you will.

Displaying the exceptional offensive balance Coach O'Toole referred to, creating turnovers faster than the snow accumulated this week, going to the offensive glass with passion and recovering what seemed to be every crucial loose ball, Detroit Jesuit outscored Saint Ignatius, 30-11 over the next eight minutes.

Coach Patrick Donnelly's Cubs, who improved to 4-1, put on a display of athleticism that silenced the home crowd as they closed out the final 2 minutes and 19 seconds of the first half on a 9-0 run.  

Although the Wildcats (6-1) were only outscored, 29-23, in the second half, they trailed, 80-46, with 3:29 remaining to be played.

Along with Winston's 18 points, Detroit Jesuit got a 17-point effort from 5-9 senior guard Spencer Sanders, 12 points from highly regarded 6-4 senior guard/forward Noah King and 10 points from multi-skilled sophomore guard Billy Thomas. Morgan and 6-3 senior forward Nick Mutebi added nine and eight points, respectively.

Saint Ignatius got 11-point performances from Eric Black and sophomore guard Deven Stover, and 10 points from Wolford.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME: Saint Ignatius 68, Detroit Jesuit 47.

Sophomore post Sharief Irish set the tempo for the Saint Ignatius jayvees with an authoritative one-handed slam down the lane in the first quarter.

A three-point play by sophomore guard Ryan Berger and a 3-pointer by sophomore point guard Kyle Kalish also added to a quarter that saw the Wildcats take a 19-9 lead.

Coach Chris Salata's 8-0 'Cats began to take control in the second quarter, as Ryan Berger, who teams with his twin brother, Jim, buried a 3-pointer and Irish scored off a nice move down low. Freshman post Matt Davet, who plays with a savvy beyond his years, turned a steal into a layup and Mike Hollis, the pride of St. Chris, sent the first of his three 3-pointers through the twine.

Leading, 35-25, at halftime, Saint Ignatius had the Cubs' jayvees on their heels after sophomore forward/post Tim Kiefer scored off a smooth driving one-hander off glass and Jim Berger sent home a trey.

After Hollis dropped in another shot from beyond the arc that never disturbed the rim and Kalish followed with his second 3-pointer off a steal by Davet and an assist from Hollis, the Wildcats led, 46-29, with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Hollis' third 3-pointer made it a 50-34 game early in the fourth quarter, but Detroit Jesuit went on a 7-0 run that forced Coach Salata and his staff to call a timeout with five minutes left.

Saint Ignatius regrouped and regained control on a layup by Jim Berger off an assist from Irish, two free throws from Hollis, a layup by Davet off a dish from Ryan Berger, a strong box out and rebound by Kiefer, who then fired a picture-perfect assist to sophomore forward Ian Burry, and a driving one-hander down the lane by Kiefer.

Hollis and Irish led the 'Cats with 14 and 11 points, respectively, and Ryan Berger tossed in 10 points.  

Another big weekend in varsity basketball and a Great Lakes Hockey League match up between the Wildcats and the St. Edward Eagles highlight the first 2014 edition of "Where The 'Cats Play."
1/1/2014

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright January 2014

Brooklyn, Ohio - Happy New Year!

Coach Sean O'Toole '87 and his Varsity Basketball Wildcats certainly rang in 2014 with style as they came away with an  impressive 10-point victory over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in The LeBron James Arena (see the corner's New Year's Eve game story).

However, as Coach O'Toole will be the first to tell you, and as we reported at the end of the SVSM game story, there is little time for celebration.

On Friday evening, one of the Detroit area's best of the best - the Cubs from Detroit Jesuit - pay a visit to Sullivan Gymnasium. The junior varsity tip off is at 4:30, followed by the varsity game at six. Seniors Pat McGuire and Paddy White will have the lead call over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcasting Network.  

Coached by Rocky River native Patrick Donnelly, Detroit Jesuit is 3-1, with its only setback coming in overtime to Toledo St. John's Jesuit.

Among Coach Donnelly's mainstays are highly regarded 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward Noah King, 6-0 sophomore guard Billy Thomas, 6-3 senior forward Nick Mutebi and multi-talented 6-1 sophomore guard Cassius Winston, who is capable of a double-double every time he steps on the court.

The Cubs have displayed a balanced offense through their first four games. Winston is averaging 15 points a game, King is at 14.8 per game and Thomas, who has 12 3-pointers, checks in at 14.3. Among Detroit Jesuit's other mainstays are 5-9 senior guard Spencer Sanders (7 points per game) and 6-2 junior guard Gary Collins.

Coach Donnelly was the DetroitNews.com All-Detroit Area Coach of the Year in 2012-13 and Winston garnered All-Detroit Area honors.

The 'Cats, leading by 14 points with four minutes remaining, held off the Cubs, 78-75, in the Motor City last season.

On Sunday, Coach O'Toole's 'Cats, currently 6-0 and ranked fourth in the seven-county area by cleveland.com, will face the third-ranked Cleveland Central Catholic Ironmen in the annual Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Baldwin Wallace University's Ursprung Gymnasium. Under the direction of veteran coach Jonathan Harris, the Ironmen stand 8-0.

****Please note that Sunday's game is a 12:45 PM tipoff.

Coach Harris, who this old-timer had the privilege to cover and report on when Jonathan was guiding the fortunes of the Rhodes Rams, has a solid blend of talent and experience at Central Catholic.

In their recent 60-40 victory over Leavittsburg LaBrae during the Play 4 Cancer Shootout at Massillon Jackson, the Ironmen finished with three players in double figures. Six-foot-5 junior Antwon Lillard tossed in 18 points, including four 3-pointers, 6-7, 210-pound sophomore Tervell Beck had 14 points and senior guard Brandon Peters finished with 10 points. Coach Harris' pressure defense took its toll on LaBrae.

Central Catholic also came away from The LeBron James Arena victorious this season, as the Ironmen edged St. Vincent-St. Mary, 53-52. Beck showed the way with 25 points, including 18 in the second half, as Central Catholic overcame a six-point halftime deficit. Junior Montel McRae, another Ironman capable of double digits on any night, provided the game-winner.

Entering this weekend's action, Wildcats 6-7 senior post Eric Black is averaging a team-best 16.2 points per game and his twin brother, David, a 6-6 senior, is pulling down a team-high 8.7 rebounds. Senior forward Isiah Barbra is shooting 81 percent from the foul line and averaging 12.3 points, and the floor general, senior Danny Bova, is dishing out 7.3 assists a game. Eric, David, Isiah and Danny are Coach O'Toole's captains. Eric Black is coming off an outstanding 24-point performance against St. Vincent-St. Mary.

In ice hockey, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats (15-2-4) will face Coach Troy Gray's St. Edward Eagles (10-10) in a key Great Lakes Hockey League match up on Saturday night in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst. The puck will drop on Lakewood Heights Boulevard at 7 PM.

Coach Mark Sullivan's varsity wrestlers will return to the mats on Jan. 11, when they travel to Padua to face the Bruins and the Brunswick Blue Devils at high noon. The varsity swimming and diving team, under the direction of Coach Jeff Ridler, will match strides with University School on Jan. 10 at Hathaway Brown. A warm-up session is scheduled for 4 PM, with the competition to follow at 5.  

There have been no reports on Saint Ignatius bowling over the holidays, but look for Coach John Kastanis' outstanding wrap ups on the Alley Cats to resume this weekend. Please check out the Saint Ignatius web site for any scheduling updates.

Here's wishing a happy and blessed New Year to all of the Wildcats' faithful.            

 

      

 

The floor generalship of point guard Danny Bova, a game-high 24 points from post Eric Black, the endless hustle of forward Isiah Barbra and strong performances off the bench from Jaylin McDonald and Jake Strippy help lead the Wildcats past SVSM.
12/31/2013

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Dec. 2013-Jan. 2014

Coach Sean O'Toole's Varsity Basketball Wildcats controlled the second half and consistently beat St. Vincent-St. Mary in transition over the final eight minutes en route to a 74-64 victory in The LeBron James Arena late Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats shot better than 50 percent from the field and held the Fighting Irish to a shooting percentage of well under 40 percent, as Coach O'Toole's deep and gifted team improved to 6-0.

****The Junior Varsity Wildcats improve to 7-0 with an impressive 68-50 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary's jayvees (see the recap after the varsity story).

Akron, Ohio - Saint Ignatius head basketball coach Sean O'Toole '87 won't hesitate to tell you that his team has a solid nucleus of 12 to 13 players.

While the Wildcats' impressive depth has already come to the fore more than once this young season, there is one player, when the 'big games" arrive, that Coach O'Toole can't take off the floor.

And that was never more evident than in Tuesday's New Year's Eve matinee headliner against highly regarded St. Vincent-St. Mary in the basketball-rich LeBron James Arena.

Saint Ignatius, with senior point guard Danny Bova breaking down SVSM's defensive pressure and directing a relentless fourth-quarter transition offense, took the fight out of the Irish, 74-64, in what was a match up of the area's fourth (Saint Ignatius) and seventh-ranked teams.

Bova, who selfless approach and high basketball IQ came to the fore time and again, settled the Wildcats down after they fell behind by six points late in the first half. Danny, said Coach O'Toole, orchestrated everything from that point on and got the Wildcats into their sets.

After versatile 6-6 junior forward Jaylin McDonald scored off a text-book follow and tireless senior forward Isiah Barbra buried two free throws, Saint Ignatius trailed, 31-29, with 1 minute and 16 seconds remaining in the first half.

St. Vincent-St. Mary's 5-10 junior guard Johnnie Robinson responded with a 3-pointer, but after three free throws by Barbra and a basket by 6-foot-7 senior post Eric Black off an assist from his twin brother David, a 6-6 senior forward, SVSM clung to a one-point lead at halftime.

Eric Black, who scored a game-high 24 points, including 11 in the decisive fourth quarter, gave his team a 37-36 lead by burying a 3-pointer early in the third quarter. Saint Ignatius moved to a five-point advantage at the midway point of the third quarter, only to watch the Fighting Irish close to 45-44 on two free throws by multi-talented 6-5 senior forward Jalen Hudson with 2:47 left in the quarter.

Hudson led the now 3-6 Irish with 17 points.

McDonald, a good-natured, yet unassuming young man who lets his play do the talking, slowed SVSM's momentum by hitting a big-time 3-pointer and Bova turned an offensive rebound by David Black into a strong drive and a 50-44 Saint Ignatius lead.

Coach Dru Joyce's Fighting Irish, who were the Division II state runner-up last season, cut the Wildcats' lead in half on a three-point play by 6-5 junior forward Jibri Blount. The 'Cats had the answer again, however, as gifted 6-4 sophomore guard Deven Stover scored off a strong one-handed drive and Coach O'Toole's team took a five-point lead into the final eight minutes.

"I can count on and trust my guys that they'll be down the floor," said Bova, who, in Coach O'Toole's words, "was throwing darts" to his teammates in transition while beating SVSM's pressure in the fourth quarter. "I got the easy part. I just give it to them and they make the good plays. Coach tells us to catch it and read 90 and that's what I did. I didn't force the dribble."

Danny, who entered Tuesday's game averaging 6.2 assists, dished out eight one-the-money point producers with everyone of them seeming to take a toll on the Irish.

With Eric Black continuing to play with strength and passion, Saint Ignatius took command in the final six minutes and 36 seconds of a game that attracted a true basketball-savvy crowd to The LeBron James Arena. A strong move down low by Eric, followed by his two transition layups, pushed the Wildcats' lead to 61-53 with 4:49 remaining to be played.

McDonald then combined with Bova for yet another transition basket and after an authoritative block by David Black, a layup by 6-7 senior post Jake Strippy off a Bova dime and an offensive rebound by Strippy that he converted into a put back, the Irish were reeling at 71-54 with 2:41 left on the clock.

"Eric is so smart, he plays so hard," said Coach O'Toole when Eric Black's final points were mentioned. "He's very skilled. We're trying to simplify him. He's able to go right, he's able to get left, but he' so strong that when he catches it and he's balanced, he's either going to lay it in or he's going to get fouled. Multiple guys defensively have to be aware of him. He stepped out and hit a big three (3-pointer) and hit his free throws, an incredible game."

The Wildcats have little time to savor Tuesday's victory as on Friday evening they host a very talented Detroit Jesuit team in Sullivan Gymnasium. The junior varsity tip off is at 4:30, followed by the varsity game at six.

Coached by Rocky River native Patrick Donnelly, the Cubs of Detroit Jesuit are 3-1, with their only setback coming in overtime to Toledo St. John's Jesuit. Among Coach Donnelly's mainstays are highly regarded senior Noah King, sophomore Billy Thomas, senior Nick Mutebi and sophomore Cassius Winston, who is capable of a double-double every time he steps on the court.

The 'Cats edged the Cubs, 78-75, in Detroit last season.

JV Recap: Saint Ignatius 68, St. Vincent-St. Mary 50 - Coming off a tough one-point victory at Toledo St. John's Jesuit on Monday, Coach Chris Salata's team showed no signs of tired legs. The now 7-0 JV 'Cats ran, shot and defended their way to a 32-16 lead by halftime.

Helping key the offensive charge were sophomore post Sharief Irish, freshman post Matt Davet, sophomore guards Kyle Kalish, Jake Gawlik and Ryan Berger, and sophomore forward Ian Burry.

Irish scored nine of his 16 points in the third quarter in helping his team take command. Gawlik scored 14 points, including a 5-for-6 effort from the free-throw line, Kalish tossed in 11 points in less than two quarters, and Ryan Berger and Burry finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

Coach Salata's team hit 24 two-point shots, had three 3-pointers and was 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Varsity Basketball Wildcats to face talent-rich St. Vincent-St. Mary, JV and Freshman 'Cats have a memorable Monday in Toledo, the Ice 'Cats remain No. 1 and Anthony McLaughlin finishes fifth at the Brecksville Holiday Tournament.
12/30/2013

Coach Sean O’Toole’s 5-0 Wildcats, ranked fourth in this week’s cleveland.com Top 25 area poll, travel to The LeBron James Arena on Tuesday to face the seventh-ranked 3-5 Irish, a ranking for SVSM that is deceiving, to say the least. A 1 PM junior varsity tipoff will precede the varsity encounter, which is scheduled for 3 bells.

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright December 2013

Sullivan Gymnasium – The Saint Ignatius Wildcats know three things are certain heading into Tuesday afternoon’s match up with St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron.

Number one, having scrimmaged the Fighting Irish in the preseason the Wildcats are familiar with the new LeBron James Arena. “A setting fitting for a King,” say the Rubber City’s veteran gym rats.

Number two, Saint Ignatius needs no introduction to the wealth of talent Coach Dru Joyce’s Irish possess. The ‘Cats got a taste of the challenges SVSM presents in the above mentioned scrimmage.

And number three, either the Wildcats or the Irish will toast the New Year with a victory.

Ah yes, Saint Ignatius versus St. Vincent-St. Mary in a New Year’s Eve matinee state-wide headliner. Now that’s closing out 2013 in style.

“They are one of the most talented teams in the entire state,” Coach O’Toole ’87 said of the Irish, who have overcome injuries en route to re-establishing themselves as one of the best of the best for 2013-14.

Coach Joyce’s team opened the eyes of those few doubters by defeating a deep and strong Shaker Heights team, 74-59. The Shaker Raiders are ranked fifth in the seven-county area.

Although gifted 6-foot-7 sophomore guard/wing VJ King is questionable for Tuesday’s game against the ‘Cats because of an injury, SVSM displayed its exceptional depth and versatility in handing Shaker Heights its second loss on the young season.

The Irish were 12-of-19 on 3-pointers against the Raiders, with five different players hitting at least one trey. Jalen Hudson, a multi-skilled 6-5 senior forward, had four 3-pointers among his 21 points and 6-2 junior guard Josh Williams and 5-10 junior guard Johnnie Robinson each hit three shots from beyond the arc. Robinson is a tough spot-up shooter and Williams complements his scoring as an excellent rebounding guard.

Coach Joyce also got double-digit scoring efforts from 6-5 sophomore forward Henry Baddley (15 points) and 6-5, 215-pound junior forward Jibri Blount (10 points) versus Shaker Heights.

Hudson and Williams are averaging 19 and 15 points, respectively. Williams has 20 treys and Saint Ignatius’ highly respected veteran assistant coach Jerry Porath describes Hudson as an excellent player who makes highlight plays.

“Everyone in their lineup can grab it and go,” said Coach O’Toole of a SVSM team that he rates among the best, if not the best, offensive rebounding teams in the area. “They are extremely well coached. Dru (Coach Joyce) does a great job of mixing it up defensively.

“This is a March-type of game,” Coach O’Toole continued. “You need games like this in order to measure yourself, to see where you are and where you have to improve.”

En route to a Division II state runner-up finish in 2012-13, the Irish defeated the Wildcats in the regular season, 76-73.

A TRIFECTA IN THE GLASS CITY: Saint Ignatius’ Junior Varsity and Freshman Blue and Freshman Gold basketball teams came away with victories at Toledo St. John’s Jesuit on Monday, as Coach Chris Salata’s JV ‘Cats improved to 6-0.

The junior varsity Wildcats edged the Titans’ jayvees, 48-47. Six-five sophomore post Sharief Irish scored 13 points, 6-4 sophomore Tim Kiefer and sophomore guard Mike Hollis each had 10 points, and sophomore Jake Gawlik contributed 8 points.

Quinton Farren’s 13 points and a 10-point effort from Colin Goodfellow helped show the way in the Freshman Blue Team’s 41-31 triumph and the Freshman Gold withstood 10 3-pointers by the Titans en route to a 58-49 victory. The Gold 'Cats stand 7-0 on the season and the Blue Team is 5-1.

****The Gold’s Michael Spear tossed in a game-high 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and James Leyden added 11 points.

****ICE CATS REMAIN NO. 1: Coach Pat O’Rourke’s Varsity Ice Hockey Wildcats continued to hold down the top ranking in this week&