ICCL baseball season champ crowned
By Matt Sobieralski
SOUTH BEND/MISHAWAKA — The ICCL regular season came to a close this past week with games that were played across South Bend at Kennedy, Boland, and Chet Waggoner Little League parks respectively. A tight finish was in store as the top four teams were only separated by a single game going into the final games of the season. St. Matthew/St. Jude, Mishawaka Catholic, Corpus Christi, and Christ the King were vying for the top spot. The weather did not cooperate making it difficult for some teams to play but due to great grounds crews and the help of many volunteers, teams were able to get onto the fields to play their final games of the season.
In action at Chet Waggoner Little League, the upstart Cougars from Corpus Christi used a brilliant pitching performance by Ayden Clark to keep pace with St. Matthew/St. Jude at the top of the division. Clark threw a complete game 2-hitter while a team effort with the bats led to an 8-0 victory over the Holy Family Trojans.
Meanwhile at Boland Park, the Holy Cross Crusaders played a big game and got clutch hitting to upset the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic. The pitching of Frank Pennino and Matt Eck kept the Saints hitters guessing, while the Crusaders used the fantastic hitting of Malcolm Anderson and Quinn Coleman to push past the Saints. Anderson and Coleman each had two hits for the Crusaders in the 7-5 win.
In a make-up game on a cold Friday night at Chet Waggoner, Matt Jacobs at Corpus Christi kept the ball rolling with a close 3-2 win over Holy Cross. Jacobs pitched a great game as he went the distance for the Cougars, only allowing two runs.
In the final week of the season, Christ the King looked to make a late push for the top spot. They started the week by defeating Holy Family at Boland Park with a score of 6-3. They carried their momentum into their final game of the regular season against the Corpus Christi Cougars. The Cougars jumped out to a sixth inning lead of 10-5 and the Christ the King Kings looked like they would lose the game. However, the Kings would put on their rally caps for the bottom of the sixth where they scored six runs to complete an improbable comeback win over the Cougars, 11-10.
The ICCL regular season is complete and the champions came from St. Matthew/St. Jude who finished the regular season with a 5-1 record. Mishawaka Catholic finished right behind them with a 4-2-1 record, while Corpus Christi finished 5-3-1 and Christ the King 4-3-1. These teams will be competing in the ICCL tournament and all have a shot at the tournament crown.
Tournament games will be played at Kennedy Park and Chet Waggoner Little League. The first game of the tournament sees the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic taking on the Kings of Christ the King, who will look to keep their momentum they gained from the final week. The second game will see Corpus Christi take on the Crusaders from Holy Cross. St. Matthew/St. Jude and Holy Family received first round byes for the tournament. They will take on winners from the first round later in the week.
The CYO soccer ‘buzz’ at St. Joseph School
By Ron Busch
FORT WAYNE — There’s a “buzz” in the halls of St. Joseph Catholic School this May. It’s not just the “buzz” of bees attending to the spring flowers. The “buzz” is talk about the boys fifth and sixth-grade soccer team. The team has 6 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie for their regular season. This is their first season in CYO play and the tie occurred in their very first game, against the St. Charles fifth-grade team. On Friday, May 13, St. Joseph continued their winning ways in the end of season CYO tournament with a 2-1 victory over St. Jude. Ernesto Juarez and Diego Velasquez scored goals in that game for the young Panther squad.
Head coach Giovanny Suarez spoke about the team’s success. He is very enthused about just a few important things regarding his team’s successful season. The team has an important pre-game prayer before each game. They don’t pray to win, but rather pray in thanks that each team member has their own personal “gift.” Each member of the team contributes in their own way. Success is each team member using that individual “gift” towards a common goal in the team’s play. The coach insists that the team remains humble in victory. Suarez stresses that “God allows us to use our gifts and do well. Winning is only by the grace of God.” Coach Suarez wants this theme to be what each team member takes away with them at the end of this season, win or lose. Success is measured in a team’s prayerful attitude using their God-given gifts, not a won-loss record.
The teamwork theme is shared within the coaching staff as well. Assistants include Nick Solyom, a former grade school player from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Solyom volunteers at St. Joseph, mentioning that he holds the school “close to my heart.” Jim Hensel assists as well, especially sharing his organizational “gifts” in helping to coordinate the team effort.
The team now has its sights set on the next tournament game, and perhaps a run at the CYO championship for their age group. Maybe the “buzz” at St. Joseph School will include a tournament victory this week, but success will only be measured by each team member making use of an individual “gift” they have been given for the good of the team — on the field, in the classroom, or in their future lives. That’s what this soccer season is all about.
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