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A heartfelt congratulations

By Eddie Dwyer, 11/14/16, 1:30AM EST


Although Mr. Joe Ginley '12, Communications Coordinator for Athletics at Saint Ignatius covered and will be reporting on Sunday night's thrilling 2-1 victory over St. Charles Prep  in the Division I State Soccer Match at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, this old-timer would like to congratulate the 2016 Soccer Cats, who brought home an OHSAA record third consecutive Boys State Soccer Championship, added No. 8 to what was already a record seven Division I State Championships, and extended the program's unbeaten streak to 59 consecutive matches. That streak dates back to the 2014 State Championship season.

The Soccer Cats of nationally acclaimed Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 completed another fall to recall with a 21-0-2 record versus one of the most demanding schedules in the nation. They also finished No. 1 in Ohio by the state's Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association and atop the National Rankings by the highly respected USA Today Super 25 and Top Drawer Soccer SIMA Fab 50 polls.

St. Charles Prep (Bexley, Ohio) closed its outstanding season at 21-1-1. The Cardinals entered Sunday night's showdown as the ninth-ranked team in the nation by USA Today, the 14th-ranked program nationally by Top Drawer Soccer and the second-ranked team in Ohio. St. Charles Prep was making its first appearance in an OHSAA State Championship Soccer Match.

I wish to congratulate Coach McLaughlin, whose qualities as a true leader of young men go beyond the soccer pitch, and his wonderful coaching staff of Mr. Joe Popelka '84, Mr. Jim Brennan '85, Mr. Dan Crew '99, Mr. Mark Blades '06 and Mr. Dr. Darrin Keefe '87.

May I say THANK YOU to each and everyone of the above-mentioned coaches for allowing me the PRIVILEGE to have covered and reported on Saint Ignatius Soccer these past nine years. They are memories I will always cherish.

To the incredible young men who comprised the 2016 State and National Champs, let me also say THANK YOU!

You will never know how much strength I derived from you this season and my only regret is that I couldn't be with you in Columbus on Sunday night.

Congratulations to each and everyone of you and your families, and May God Bless You now and in all of your future endeavors.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer