The trash talking has already begun, so it must be that CYO season is upon us. Here are the 2012-2013 predictions of how the teams stack up against each other.
1. Saint Angela
\”We just go ham, and you can quote me on that,” the small bigman John Tanis said when asked about the Saint Angela squad this year. Over the last five years his team has won the citiy three times, and he is promising another one. The Ignatius guys on the team includes:
- Jacob Roth, who is said to be one of the best shooters in the league, earning him the title of \”streaky shooter”.
- Patrick Carney, the \”Great Motivator”, leads his team with energy and determination.
- Bones Velton, who is also a great shooter.
- And Mike Gibbons, who leads the team on defense very physically. It is said, and I quote, that Gibbons: \”hurts people”. So watch out for this bigman.
Overall, Saint Angela is a solid team, and a force to be reckoned with.
2. Saint Basil The Great
St. Basil The Great in Brecksville is shaping up to be a legit contender for states. After an above average season last year, St. Basil has improved greatly. Senior Jack Politowicz will be the big daddy in the middle and anchor down the defense, along with his brother, senior Pat Politowicz. Pat will play power forward after hitting the weights religiously in the offseason. St. Basil also was able to sign the highly recruited point gaurd, Senior Josh “Juicy J” Johanek, who will create a dominant backcourt. Those three key players, along with a bunch of Brecksville high school bums, will be looking for an undefeated season this year.
3. Saint John Bosco
With five former Ignatius basketball players returning, and two new additions to the team, Saint John Bosco is looking very solid. Last year they had a 6-1 season, and their only loss (which was in the playoffs), was due to a lack of players. Assuming they have a great year this season, don’t expect this team to make that same mistake. Their squad includes:
- Aaron Buynak, who is a dominant presence in the paint.
- Connor Hennessey, who has a very intimidating presence.
- Joe Kavalec, who has an \”icy shot”.
- Pat Shepard, the veteran ball player of the team.
- Tyler \’Fink Daddy’ Finkler, who has smoothe handles and would do anything to help his team win.
- Brian \’Briski’ Kavalec, who is the muscle and heart of the team..
- The two newcomers to the team, Josh Baker and Rocky Zingale, offer swag and offense to the team.
The team is coached by Kevin Kavalec, who inspires his players by wearing a wig and a sweater vest.
4. Saints Joseph and John
Arguably the scrapiest team of CYO, Saints Joseph and John will do anything to win and get the job done. They’re Led by the beast of the team, John Vanderwyst, and you can expect him to score at least 16 points a game. Not only can he drive to the basket like Lebron, but his crossover is reminiscent of Allen Iversons. The squad includes:
- Nate Vollman, known as the Flying Albino, mimics Dirk Nowitzki in all aspects of his game. Nate plays lockdown defense very similar to that of Dwight Howard.
- Craig Cochran, who may be the most hated player in the CYO league, has had a history of getting into at least one fight every game. Not surprisingly, he also averages one technical foul a game.
- And Nolan Ross, the \”Awkward Pigeon”, shows the type of hustle you would see out of Anderson Varejao.
5. Saint Albert The Great
From the outside shooting of Nick Micheli, to the great “to-the-hoop” drives by Kevin Shekar, to the hilarious antics of Matt Kobunski, Saint Albert is always fun to watch. Last year, this team of athletes (w/o Martin or Wiseman) had a historic run and went to the C.Y.O. city championship to fall just short in a tough game versus the Knights of St. Columbkille. This year, the boys of #NoRo are back with a vengeance, adding two tough players to the roster. Rob Wiseman, with his four foot vertical (he can dunk, FYI), and Johnathan Martin, with his black knee-brace, are sure to make a splash on this year’s team. With older opponents this year, it’s tough to say how they will match up, but they are expected to make a good run in the playoffs.
6. Holy Trinity
One of the top senior teams this year, Holy Trinity has a very solid CYO team. Last year the team won an Ohio Nets Tournament but lost in the first round in the playoffs to the illegitimate and infamous Saint Mary’s of Mentor. This year however, they are ready to make a real playoff run. Ignatius players include:
- Mike Schafer (who began dunking last year) is a big threat on offense. Rather than slamming the ball down in the hoop, Mike lightly lets go of the ball at the last minute because he fears the rim rejecting him (Textbook white boy dunk).
- Nick Mast, who is 6’2”, grabs boards like no other. He has a great ability to score under the basket, and his defense is flawless. Nick also has a big impact on how his team plays, and is one of the leading scorers. Oh yeah, and he can dunk.
- Jacob \”Buzz” Anderson, who is not one of the best offensive players, is one of the best defenders. Being only 5’7”, he steals everything, and is one of the quickest defenders around. Buzz will guard the fastest kid on the court.
- Matthew Schafer, who has a dead-on three point shot, is considered the leader of the team.
Along with a couple of other tall kids from Saint Ed’s and Westlake, Holy Trinity may be the sleeper team that you should look out for.
7. Saint Patrick
Led by Marquee Montgomery, Saint Patrick has a good team this year. Marquee is an all around player, who is a great passer and has a nasty three. Other players include:
- Jordan Robinson, who is a big guy but has a very nice mid range.
- Eliot Thorkinson, who also has a nasty three like Marquee.
Saint Patrick also has some standout players not from Ignatius. Two of the players are 6’3”, and one of them can dunk like \”Dewight Howard”, according to Marquee.
8. Saint Raphael
Lead by Michael Zupan, CYO All-Star at the top, and Jack Karnatz, arguably the best shooter in CYO since Larry Byrd, Saint Raphael hopes to do some damage during the season this year. The team includes:
- Matt Otter, who is a threat from the corner of the court.
- Austin Jarosz, known as the \”Albino Wonder”, is great down low.
- Gavin Whitford, who has been hitting the roids every week during the off season, hopes to beat opponents with his brute strength.
The team also has a variety of wild-card, dark horse athletes from Bay Village and St. Ed’s, who contribute a lot to the team.
9. Saint Ann
The Saint Ann squad features four former varsity players (three Benedictine and one U.S.), as well as two former Ignatius players, Jacob Rossi and Peter Mahoney. Peter Mahoney is a dominating presence in the paint, and Jacob Rossi loves to light it up from beyond the arch. Aidan Martin runs the show as the dominating point guard. This team can put up a lot of points, but their defense is somewhat lacking.
10. Saint Francis of Assisi
The Cougars look to run the tables this year as Paul Haddad leads the team. With his \”amazingly awesome” athletic skill, and being \”super good at sports”, Paul is considered one of the better jump shooters and is pretty good at controlling the paint. He basically gets every rebound, and has been called the next Brian Scalabrine. Vincent Bartram, the other Ignatius player on the team, is the biggest threat. In the words of Paul Haddad, Vince is \”Overall the greatest jump shooter to ever live. He has the dribbling and passing skills of Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, and he should have been on Team USA in London. He will be on Team USA in Rio (I can personally guarantee this). Vince is possibly the next Kobe Bryant, but it most likely to be better.”
11. St. Charles, Parma
The Wildcats return in the 2013 CYO season to renew their quest to bring glory to God’s city, the beautiful Parma, Ohio. Team MVP Tyler Tenaglia is a skilled ball-handler and a precise shooter who brings agility and accuracy, as well as unbeatable Champs discounts to the team. Cross-Country standout Jake Maier has the endurance necessary to run up and down the court for all 40 minutes while post player Nick Martin possesses unparalleled height, flow, and bando athleticism. Nate Palella rounds out this impressive group of St. Ignatius athletes and Holy Name hockey players with his great ferocity, determination, and software programming skills. The team goal remains the same: Keep the Politowiczes and St. Basil out of the play-offs. Even if they only win two games again this season, Coach Vito Palella ’78 still cooks the best italian sausage around and they still live in Parma.
OLA is comprised of the all-stars from West Park. The primary Ignatius guys are Mike Chambers, Chris Keane, Aedan Mangan, and Paden Nagle, who is considered one of the best water boys in the country. With multiple players having highschool basketball experience, OLA will look to fight and win games this season.
13. Saint Rita
With a slight lack of talent, Saint Rita looks to play scrappy. Their physical style of play often puts the opposing team in the bonus around the ten minute mark. The team features copious amounts of hustle and heart, essentially the definition of CYO spirit, and they also have an abnormal abundance of wingspan. Saint Rita is overall going to be troubling to most teams.
Ignatius players include: Sean McCann, Nolan Lehto, and Tom McCartney
14. Saint Angela’s 11th Grade Team
St. Angela’s 11th grade team is going to be a hard team to beat. After a promising season last year, and a change in the coaching staff, look for the Bruins to be on the move. They look forward to making up for those years of losing grade school seasons. Players to look out for:
- Sean Lavelle, who has the smoothest stroke on the team.
- Captain Mitch Zawodny, who looks to break his personal record of fouling out within the fifth minute (you don’t wanna mess with this kid).
- Kyle, “Magic Moroney”, enough said.
- And of course Owen Manning. He’ll tear you up on the perimeter and in the paint. You gotta like your chances with this kid on the team. Rumor has it, Manning has tweeted guaranteeing three victories this year.
15. Saints Joseph and John (2nd team)
A .500 team last year, the St. Joseph and John’s 11th-12th grade squad is a dark-horse squad on the south-side this season. The team has made several key additions to revamp their roster, in hopes of a deep playoff run come February. The team relies heavily on the \”7-seconds or less” offense, coupled with a vast array of trash talk, of which is heavily researched to ensure maximum effect. Some of the key additions include Vetri Ravichandran \’14, a lax bro in the spring, known not only as having the purest shot in the game, but also for his flowing locks. Also, a late addition to the team is starting point guard Colin Soeder ’14, a battle tested warrior who drops more dimes than a bank teller with a bad hand (how this helps in basketball, I have no clue). His prior playoff experience will be key in the later parts of the grueling season. However, the cupboard was by no means bare before those two arrived. Vetri and Colin will join forces with players such as Danny “X-Factor” Dreiling ’14, who like all other great CYO players, lives and dies by the three ball; and the menacing Justin Schabel ’14, a bruising big man who will be sure to rebound and put back the few missed three’s the team has throughout the season. Referred to as “The Bad Boys of the South”, you will be seeing this team come February.