As daylight becomes more fleeting, our sports calendar turns from fall to winter.
Just one fall team – soccer – remains in contention. Two teams – the Football Cats and Cross Country Cats – ended the season on high notes this past weekend. So, we honor two men who were important to their efforts all season long.
The Soccer Cats will be playing in the State Semifinal vs. Medina on Wednesday at Brunswick High School at 7 pm. Tickets are available for the game in the athletic department.
Without further ado, here are the Magis Athletes of the Week, brought to you by the Carfagna Family Magis Athletic Center.
Cross Country – Steve Zucca '20
All season long, Steve Zucca has been the heart and soul of the Wildcats.
The humble yet talented senior has driven the bus throughout the year, almost often leading the Cat Pack.
Zucca played lead dog again on Saturday. In the most important race of the year, the State Meet, Zucca shined. The team captain shined the way for the Wildcats, gearing the men of Ohio City to a ninth-place finish.
In a pack of hundreds of the most talented runners in the state, very few bested Zucca. The leader of the Wildcats' pride finished 11th as an individual. His Herculean effort to clock in at 15:43 secured him All-State honors.
Zucca will be missed by the Cross Country Cats next fall. Though fortunately for the Track Cats, you'll see Zucca compete in the spring.
Football – Vince Fagnilli '20
The 2019 Football Cats were a tightknit bunch, but nothing elicited a cheer quite like the one that rose from the sidelines when Vince Fagnilli tackled a West Toronto Prep wideout on Saturday.
All season long, Fagnilli labored quietly for the Wildcats. For every game, Fagnilli helped to chart plays on the sidelines. Clipboard in hand, Fagnilli missed nothing as he documented every play. A devoted foot soldier, Fagnilli embodies the line of the Prayer for Generosity, "to labor and not to seek reward."
On Saturday, Fagnilli's time to shine arrived.
The 5'8, 145-pound senior entered the game at cornerback in the first quarter. Not long after he entered the game, West Toronto Prep threw his way. After the Golden Warrior made the catch, Fagnilli showed textbook form in firing out to tackle the wideout. The Saint Ignatius sideline roared, cheering loudly for their friend and brother.
Without a doubt, Fagnilli is a glue guy who will be missed next season. And more importantly, Fagnilli is a great young man, a smart student with a bright future.
Soccer – Nolan Bartolone '20
Sometimes, defenders don't get as much credit as they deserve. Nolan Bartolone is one of those young men.
Far from the loudest player on the field, Bartolone is a quiet young man who goes about his business. Bartolone endears himself to his teammates with his hard-working attitude, a lead-by-example kind of guy who is always there for his teammates.
Bartolone has been a stalwart member of the backline all season, but he's stepped up his game in the postseason. Bartolone is a major part of the defense that's allowed just 2 goals in the postseason. The Wildcats have allowed just 9 goals all season, and just two dating back to September.
Bartolone helped to preserve shutouts in the Regional Semifinal and Regional Final last week, wins by identical scores of 5-0. The senior played a role in the offense in the latter contest, too.
Bartolone played a significant role in Everett Shorey's header goal. Playing a bounce off a Theo Kudlo kick, Bartolone headed it back to Shorey, his fellow senior. The team's leading scorer placed the ball perfectly past the keeper, giving Bartolone his first assist of the year.
Bartolone will be vital to the Wildcats' efforts on Wednesday vs. Medina.