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Alley Cats Get Back on Track with Win over Padua

By Noah Virant '20 , 01/07/20, 9:30AM EST


Alex Madeja played a big role on Saturday.

After a few weeks struggling to read the lanes and put up the numbers they wanted, the Alley Cats of Saint Ignatius finally seemed to find some of their stride this weekend against Padua Franciscan High School. 

With the dreaded Finals Week and a relaxing winter break that followed came many challenges for the Wildcats of Saint Ignatius High School. For nearly 4 straight weeks, the varsity team was bowling without 1-3 of the usual starters and had to call up a few promising JV keglers. These openings were filled by Andrew Fornadel ‘21, Larry McGarry ‘21, Gabe Virant ‘22, and Mason Cook ‘22 at different times. 

During this time, the team struggled to find their spot in the lane, resulting in some rather disappointing scores.

But rejuvenated by the new year, the Wildcats hit the lanes ready to bowl. Back at the familiar Buckeye Lanes of North Olmsted, the Varsity team was filled by Team Captains Alex Madeja ‘20 and Noah Virant ‘20, Juniors Dylan Huss and Ryan Wallenhorst, and Sophomores Sean Ward and Mason Cook - who normally bowls JV but was asked to bowl with the Varsity team after some promising scores.

The team captains, not wanting to waste another drive from Leroy and Chardon, definitely came to bowl. Alex and Noah led the way with two-game scores of 391 and 384, respectively. Dylan put up an easy 356 over two games. Meanwhile, Sean came back off a two-week stint of not bowling with the team to roll a respectable 336. To round it out Ryan and Mason combined for a 301 series.

Heading into Bakers, the Wildcats found themselves down less than 20 pins. 

By the end of it all, the men of Saint Ignatius had rolled 204, 204, 171, 156, & up by more than 15 pins.

Some quick highlights from JV and JV+:

  • Sophomore Gabe Virant, after borrowing some equipment from his brother, was able to find his spot in the lanes and blazed an incredible JV score of 177 and 197, which set him up to anchor the JV team through their Baker games.

  • The JV team bowled four of their best bakers of the season that would have gone frame for frame with many Varsity teams (198, 171, 148, 180)

  • JV+ all saw great improvements, especially lead by Robbie Shepherd with a 154 in his second game

Both Varsity and JV teams took home the OHSAA points against Padua. With that, Varsity moves to 4-4, and JV moves to 5-3