*Just a final reminder that the Wildcats' junior varsity and varsity football teams will hold their final mini camps of the summer starting this Monday afternoon, July 23, and running through Friday, July 27. The jayvees report to Wasmer Field at 3 on Monday and the varsity is slated to go at 4:30.
The start of the official OHSAA two-a-day practices will be Monday, July 30.
Coach Chuck Kyle '69, now in his 30th season as the head football coach of the Wildcats, will send his record 11-time Division I state champs into a practice/drills sessions against Coach Jim McQuaide's highly regarded Solon Comets on the morning of Aug. 7 at Wasmer Field.
As we have been reporting throughout the summer, Saint Ignatius' two scrimmages will be on the road - at talent-rich Twinsburg on Friday, Aug. 10, at 10 a.m., and at storied Canton McKinley on Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m.
The McKinley scrimmage, more commonly referred to as the "Jamboree," will be held in our home away from home - legendary Fawcett Stadium - and will be preceded by split-field scrimmages between the schools' freshmen and jayvee programs.
The McKinley Bulldogs are now under the direction of Todd Filtz, who did an outstanding job with the football program at Maple Heights. Under Coach Filtz, Maple Heights went 15-0 in 2010 and brought home its first state football championship by capturing the Division II crown. Coach Filtz's 2009 Mustangs were the Division II state runners-up.
In one final note before I get in shape for Monday, I wish some of our less-seasoned fans would stop assuming that the Wildcats' season opener against defending Division III state champion Youngstown Cardinal Mooney is a given as far as the win column is concerned.
As someone who has followed high school football in Ohio religiously since the late 1950s, let this old-timer just say that the EIGHT-TIME state champion Cardinals are as physical an opponent as you can find. Mooney combines a hit-you-in-the-mouth approach with size and athleticism. The 'Cats will have to bring their A game in all phases in order to defeat a 2012 Mooney team that is led by Nebraska recruits Courtney Love (running back/linebacker) and Marcus McWilson (running back/defensive back).
I posted it earlier in the summer and still stand by it today that the Wildcats' first three games of the 2012 campaign - versus Mooney in Browns Stadium on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m., versus De La Salle (Warren, Mich.) in Byers Field on Sept. 1 at 3 p.m., and versus Mentor in Byers Field on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. - mark one of the toughest out-of-the-gate stretches in Saint Ignatius' rich football history.
After facing De La Salle's senior quarterback Shane Morris, a Tom Lemming five-star Michigan recruit who is rated as one of the top three pro-style quarterbacks in the nation, the 'Cats have to prepare for the premier quarterback in Ohio in Mentor's Mitch Trubisky. A North Carolina recruit, Mitch can do serious damage with his arm and his legs (3,845 yards and 41 touchdowns through the air in 13 games in 2011 and 611 yards and 12 more TDs rushing). Yes, Mitch has his array of gifted receivers back.
I can't wait! How about you?