The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

It’s Simply Called “Ed’s-Ignatius”

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And if you’re from NEO you know exactly what I’m talking about – the annual slugfest between the St. Edward Eagles v.  the St. Ignatius Wildcats.  Records don’t matter, because these two teams are playing for honor and bragging rights.  They are the only two major CLE all-boys Catholic High Schools, so a lot is on the line for these kids.

St. Ed’s – my dad’s alma mater – is just a couple blocks from here, and St. Ignatius is a few miles down the road in downtown CLE’s Ohio City neighborhood.  Coincidentally, our house and street (the last street built in this city) was being built in 1955 when my dad was a student at Ed’s.  Neither school has a big enough stadium since both are land-locked, so they alternate the location of their annual gridiron contest based on who’s “home”.  St. Ed’s plays next door to us at Lakewood Stadium, and St. Ignatius plays at Byers Field in Parma – about 10 miles away.

This year’s battle was at Lakewood Stadium, and the main parking lot (as you may have read previously) is right up against our property.  The game is usually played on a Saturday, but this year was on Friday.  The tailgaters usually start early in the afternoon, and the place gets pretty wild.  There were kids and adults filling up the parking lot, people tossing footballs, screaming, blowing impromptu “musical” instruments, street parties, and an endless stream of people.  Both stadiums capacity is well over 10,000 and it’s always a complete sellout – you can’t get tickets even if you wanted to scalp them – this game is that huge (there were some on ebay for $20).

Both teams are usually ranked in or near the top locally, and both teams are no strangers to national ranking.  I think there was a period in the late 90’s that Ignatius was ranked numero uno in the nation for two or three straight years !  This game had playoff implications, and St.Ignatius pulled it out 19-14, probably securing a solid playoff spot and knocking St. Ed’s out.  I love HS football in the Fall – the excited kids, the bands, the screaming fans, the school buses from all over the region, and the pure tradition we all experienced growing up.  Slim and I watched the spectacle from our newly renovated patio, with a fire, some vino, and watched a little more history unfold…

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Written by johntheirishman

Saturday, 27 October, 2007 @ 7:26 at 7:26

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