St. Ignatius hockey

arizonawildcat

Well-known member
Instead of relying on the Eds thread to report all the hockey news in the state, I thought I would start an Ignatius thread considering that the Cats are going for a five peat. The sled dogs are getting properly exercised for the treks through Canada. The semi-pro Cats are in practice mode. A riddle for you. How are semi-pro hockey players different from the Cats? The semi-pro players get paid to play hockey, while the Cats have to pay to play hockey.
 
Love the Cats. Not sure what their end game is. This year they are loaded again at their highest level. Good U15 team too despite their present record. Not sure how good they'll be after Boehm and Langermeier's class graduates.

Big question is who will tend the net this year. I'm assuming it will be Dawson Mohr over Kovatch but we'll see.
 
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TheDude89

Member
I count 5 games against Ohio teams on the Wildcats schedule this year. Good to see them mix in some more in-state regular season competition.
 
Seems like the Cats’ Michigan trip is off to a good start. Any sense of how good U of D, GRCC, and OLSM are relative to other Michigan schools?
 
Supposedly, the Michigan teams they played and beat this week are among the best in that state. Detroit Catholic Central is probably the best Michigan opponent on the schedule this year though and the Cats will see them in Novi down the road. Overall I’m pretty happy with the Prep schedule this year. The best teams in Ohio that would pose a threat to the 5 peat are also already on this year’s schedule. Ed’s, Gilmour, US, Toledo St. Francis, and Toledo St. John’s. However, I think it’s pretty clear from the get go that Ignatius is on a whole other level.
 

Myboyblue

Member
Arizonawildcat do you think Ignatius has turned into a soccer/hockey school? I understand they won baseball but I am talking about the last 5-7 years it seems Ignatius is putting more of there effort into those 2 sports than the others. Back in the 70s and 80s Ignatius was a basketball school then in the 80s till recent they would be a football school. Just curious on your thoughts on where you think the direction of the school. I know they would love to be good in everything but it seems to be those 2 that sticks out.
 

arizonawildcat

Well-known member
I've been yelling about this for the past 3-4 years. Because Ignatius was unbelievably great in the 90's many people, including the alums, have come to expect playoff competition every year. While Ignatius has won a few titles since then, the Cats have won only one in the past decade. While the Ignatius squad typically had over a 100 kids come out for varsity football, this year the number was 75. I don't know if this can be attributed to more moms declaring they don't want their kids to play a concussion prone sport or some other things. Kids that would normally play football are now flocking to the lacrossse and rugby teams. In the meantime Ignatius hired a soccer coach who has turned a moribound sport in to a world beater. Kids all over Cleveland want to attend Ignatius in the hopes of making the Ignatius varsity. State title wins began to accumulate and some soccer authority awarded the Cats national champs five times. As for hockey, the Cats are looking for a five peat this year. You can't tell me that some of those hockey players, with a little more time spent in the weight room, wouldn't make great linebackers. I have been vocal in my opposition to the turn taken by the hockey team in the past two years, witht he Cats playing what I consider a "semi-pro" schedule. To answer your question, I think that Ignatius with 1500 boys, has offered such a variety of sports (any other school in Ohio has a crew team?) that the football team has suffered.
 

mailman112

Well-known member
No question. Football has taken a back seat to both Hockey and soccer. Period! I have posted this many times. Hockey and soccer are both money sports. Doesn't take long to figure out with the Wildcats stress hockey/soccer. I don't agree with Arizona often but he has said this same thing for a half a decade. I could not agree more. Congrats to the cats. They found a great niche and they are VERY good at both sports.
 

mayobear

Member
I've been yelling about this for the past 3-4 years. Because Ignatius was unbelievably great in the 90's many people, including the alums, have come to expect playoff competition every year. While Ignatius has won a few titles since then, the Cats have won only one in the past decade. While the Ignatius squad typically had over a 100 kids come out for varsity football, this year the number was 75. I don't know if this can be attributed to more moms declaring they don't want their kids to play a concussion prone sport or some other things. Kids that would normally play football are now flocking to the lacrossse and rugby teams. In the meantime Ignatius hired a soccer coach who has turned a moribound sport in to a world beater. Kids all over Cleveland want to attend Ignatius in the hopes of making the Ignatius varsity. State title wins began to accumulate and some soccer authority awarded the Cats national champs five times. As for hockey, the Cats are looking for a five peat this year. You can't tell me that some of those hockey players, with a little more time spent in the weight room, wouldn't make great linebackers. I have been vocal in my opposition to the turn taken by the hockey team in the past two years, witht he Cats playing what I consider a "semi-pro" schedule. To answer your question, I think that Ignatius with 1500 boys, has offered such a variety of sports (any other school in Ohio has a crew team?) that the football team has suffered.
Crew other than Ignatius - Shaker, St. Ed, Marietta (? I think). Probably some others. Lots of schools offer sports which were not available when I was in school - archery, fencing, volleyball, etc. There are probably some single school combinations - I believe University School has a Squash program but I don't know of any others who do.
 

bluengold

Well-known member
I've been yelling about this for the past 3-4 years. Because Ignatius was unbelievably great in the 90's many people, including the alums, have come to expect playoff competition every year. While Ignatius has won a few titles since then, the Cats have won only one in the past decade. While the Ignatius squad typically had over a 100 kids come out for varsity football, this year the number was 75. I don't know if this can be attributed to more moms declaring they don't want their kids to play a concussion prone sport or some other things. Kids that would normally play football are now flocking to the lacrossse and rugby teams. In the meantime Ignatius hired a soccer coach who has turned a moribound sport in to a world beater. Kids all over Cleveland want to attend Ignatius in the hopes of making the Ignatius varsity. State title wins began to accumulate and some soccer authority awarded the Cats national champs five times. As for hockey, the Cats are looking for a five peat this year. You can't tell me that some of those hockey players, with a little more time spent in the weight room, wouldn't make great linebackers. I have been vocal in my opposition to the turn taken by the hockey team in the past two years, witht he Cats playing what I consider a "semi-pro" schedule. To answer your question, I think that Ignatius with 1500 boys, has offered such a variety of sports (any other school in Ohio has a crew team?) that the football team has suffered.
Per the Ignatius athletics website, the school currently has 16 varsity sports, with approximately 1,000 of the ~1,500 students participating in those sports. There's a lot more students playing sports than just those in the football program.

The soccer program success isn't some new found achievement. It has been extremely successful since coaches McLaughlin '85, Jim Brennan '85, Joe Popelka '84 started leading the program in the mid-90s. The soccer program just was in the shadows of the football program and its well publicized success from the late 80s to the early 2000s. McLaughlin has achieved >400 wins as the varsity coach and Brennan has achieved >300 wins as the head JV coach over 24 years. The Ignatius soccer program started winning district and regional championships in '95. Finally in 2004-2005 is when the state championship breakthrough came through, much like football did in '88. That 2004-2005 soccer team had not only 3 high school All-Americans, but also 3 NCAA All-Americans. Coaches McLaughlin, Brennan and Popelka emphasize success in the classroom too - 9 of this year's squad earned Academic All-Ohio honors.

Likewise, the hockey program took it up a level starting in 2006-2007 and finally broke through with a state championship in 2010. Since 2014, the hockey program has been on its own championship run. Credit goes to head coach O'Rourke '90 and his assistants Gramc, Holz, Schoenholz and Geither. Together, they've taken the hockey program to a higher level.

The common thread is coaches that emphasize success in the classroom and in competitive athletics.
 

EastsideCat

New member
As a parent of a PW aged player the question is "will he be good enough to play at Ignatius" and he has played consecutive years of AA hockey. It isn't a bad thing that the bar has been set so high in sports other than football. CYO football which has always been the feeder system for football in Catholic High Schools has lost 400 participants in the 7th/8th grade age from where they were in 2015. The environment for kids and High Schools is competitive in all regards sports and academics.
 
The Cats won today against a solid Marquette, WI team, 5-0. Tonight they play New Trier which should be their toughest game to date.

Go Cats!
 
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