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Ignatius Basketball Association league offers young athletes lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Awards Ceremony, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Avenue: (L-R) IBA Coaches Alan E. DeWerth and Stephen E. Hanigosky were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. For over 50 years, DeWerth and Hanigosky have given generously as coaches, youth advocates and mentors to the youth of the Ignatius community.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Awards Ceremony, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Avenue: (L-R) IBA Coaches Alan E. DeWerth and Stephen E. Hanigosky were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. For over 50 years, DeWerth and Hanigosky have given generously as coaches, youth advocates and mentors to the youth of the Ignatius community.

Ignatius Basketball Association league offers young athletes lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship

At the Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Championship Night on March 15, 2014 at St. Ignatius of Antioch School at West Boulevard and Lorain Avenue eight teams faced off in championship games in the IBA’s four leagues that serve students from the 3rd to the 8th grades. Former IBA Athletic Director Rich Wild says the league, which is open to students from throughout the Greater Cleveland area, had over 260 grade school students from 30-35 parochial, private and public schools participating this year. Wild says the IBA provides a safe environment environment where students can learn teamwork and sportsmanship.

The Knights, coached by Jack Smith and Mark Ruddy won the Antioch League Championship Game by a score of 23-5 over the Tigers coached by Phil Swinderman. Teams in the Antioch League are made up of third grade boys and third and fourth grade girls. Six teams competed in the Antioch League for the right to go to the championship game.

In the Vatican League, which serves fourth and fifth grade boys, the Gregorian Panthers, coached by Mike Hoag and Jim Gerrick, won a close contest over the North American College Bulldogs coached by Ryan Dackiewicz. The final score was 22-19. Six teams competed in the Vatican League for the right to go to the championship game.

The Holy Cross Lady Crusaders, coached by Michelle Dreamer, Steve Hanigosky and Phil Swinderman, won the Girls Varsity League Championship Game over the Villanova Lady Wildcats, coached by Brian Kilbane, Jen Murphy, Kim Murphy and Maggey Urban. The final score was 37 to 29. Four teams with students from fifth to the eighth grade competed in the Girls Varsity League for the right to go to the championship game.

Holy Cross, coached by Mike Sweeney, won the Boys Varsity Championship game over Marquette, coached by Devon Wood, Mike Murphy and Joe Wadowick. The final score was 47-42. Eight teams made up of sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys competed for the right to play in the Boys Varsity Championship Game.

Members of the winning and runner up teams all received trophies from the IBA. In addition the IBA honored All-Stars, and most valuable players in the Vatican and Boys and Girls Varsity Leagues. There was a three way tie for Most Valuable Player in the Vatican City League, the three players named were: Malcolm Ruffin of the Eagles, Jamie Peterson of the Bulldogs and Connor Goodall of the Panthers. Jalecia Benz of Villanova was named Most Valuable Player in the Girls Varsity League and Aymin Bahhur of Holy Cross was named the Most Valuable Player in the Boys Varsity League.

The IBA also honored players for their academic achievement. Over eighty students were listed in the Championship Program Book for achieving Academic First or Second Honors at their respective schools. In congratulating the players for their academic achievement, IBA Athletic Director Patrick McDaniel said, “You have shown that the most important aspect of being a student/athlete is being a student. Keep up the hard work in the classroom and you will go far!”

In addition to honoring the players, the IBA presented awards to several coaches. Coach Alan “Big Al” DeWerth and Coach Stephen E. Hanigosky were both honored with lifetime achievement. Each of the two men, long time parishioners at St. Ignatius Parish, have volunteered as coaches and mentors to the youth of the Saint Ignatius Community for over 50 years.

DeWorth, an Almira Avenue resident, began volunteering as a coach at St. Ignatius parish in the 1960s. He was involved in all the school sports – football, track, basketball, baseball and even volleyball as a player on the Holy Name Society’s men’s team. DeWorth’s three children attended St. Ignatius Elementary School and participated in its sports programs.

Hanigosky, a 1963 graduate of St. Ignatius Elementary School, became involved in the parish sports programs while attending High School at West Tech. Hanigosky, while taking some time out to earn graduate and post graduate degrees on his route to becoming a teacher in the Cleveland schools, continued to be active as a coach and mentor in the league. Hanigosky’s three children all played in the parish sports programs.

Two men were also inducted into the St. Ignatius of Antioch Sports Hall of Fame. Peter “Bob” Lungo was honored posthumously for his service as a coach in the parish’s intermural leagues in the 1960s and 1970s. Lungo’s Niagra teams were powerhouses in the intramural leagues. Raymond Szczepaniak, class of 77, was honored for both his prowess as a player in the IBA league and as a coach. Szczepaniak, who as a “walk-on” at Kent State University earned a basketball scholarship and became a starter on the KSU team.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Boys Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Delshawn Jackson of the Marquette team goes to the line to take a foul shot. The score in the contest was close throughout with Marquette holding a slim lead late in the game when Jackson fouled out. Without his defensive presence, Holy Cross surged ahead to win the championship by a score of 47-42.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Boys Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Delshawn Jackson of the Marquette team goes to the line to take a foul shot. The score in the contest was close throughout with Marquette holding a slim lead late in the game when Jackson fouled out. Without his defensive presence, Holy Cross surged ahead to win the championship by a score of 47-42.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Girls Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Members of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders with their coaches after receiving their championship trophies. Team members are: Alyssa Dolan, Serena Saba, Jenine Saba, Grace Hoch, Maggie Wagner, Jocelyn Helmick, Alaysha Iwayis, Alandia Strong, and Abigail Staniszewski. The coaches are: Michelle Dreamer, Steve Hanigosky and Phil Swinderman.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Girls Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Members of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders with their coaches after receiving their championship trophies. Team members are: Alyssa Dolan, Serena Saba, Jenine Saba, Grace Hoch, Maggie Wagner, Jocelyn Helmick, Alaysha Iwayis, Alandia Strong, and Abigail Staniszewski. The coaches are: Michelle Dreamer, Steve Hanigosky and Phil Swinderman.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Girls Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Jenine Saba of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders drives past Villanova Lady Wildcats defender Oceannay Davis on her way to the basket. The Lady Crusaders won the championship game by a score of 37-29.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Girls Varsity League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Jenine Saba of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders drives past Villanova Lady Wildcats defender Oceannay Davis on her way to the basket. The Lady Crusaders won the championship game by a score of 37-29.

PHOTO BY DEBBIE SADLON Saturday, March 15, 2014, Antioch League Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Championship Game (3rd grade boys and 3rd and 4th grade girls), St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: (L-R) Kate Boland and Mary McEwen celebrate the Knights’ victory in the Antioch League IBA championship game.

PHOTO BY DEBBIE SADLON
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Antioch League Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Championship Game (3rd grade boys and 3rd and 4th grade girls), St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: (L-R) Kate Boland and Mary McEwen celebrate the Knights’ victory in the Antioch League IBA championship game.

PHOTO BY DEBBIE SADLON Saturday, March 15, 2014, Antioch League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game (3rd grade boys and 3rd and 4th grade girls), St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Kate Boland of the Knights plays defense as Asia Reese of the Tigers maneuvers to get open.

PHOTO BY DEBBIE SADLON
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Antioch League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game (3rd grade boys and 3rd and 4th grade girls), St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Kate Boland of the Knights plays defense as Asia Reese of the Tigers maneuvers to get open.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Vatican City League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Adrian Fallon brings the ball down the court for the Gregorian Panthers. The Panthers won the Vatican City League (4th and 5th grade boys) Championship Game by a score of 22-19.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Vatican City League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Adrian Fallon brings the ball down the court for the Gregorian Panthers. The Panthers won the Vatican City League (4th and 5th grade boys) Championship Game by a score of 22-19.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN Saturday, March 15, 2014, Vatican City League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Tim Putka, of the North American College Bulldogs, focuses as he prepares to shoot a foul shot.

PHOTO BY CHUCK HOVEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014, Vatican City League Ignatius Basketball Association Championship Game, St. Ignatius of Antioch School Gym, 10205 Lorain Ave: Tim Putka, of the North American College Bulldogs, focuses as he prepares to shoot a foul shot.

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