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St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland)

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St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland)
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City: Cleveland, Ohio
Country: United States
General Information
Type: Secondary school
Founded: 1886
President: Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J.
Principal: Mr. Peter Corrigan, Jr
Mascot: Wildcats
Address & Contact Information
Address: 1911 W. 30th Street
City: Cleveland
State/Province: Ohio
Postal code: 44113-3401
Country: United States

St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland) is a private Jesuit high school for young men located in the Detroit Province in Cleveland, Ohio. The school is renowned for its high standards of academic excellence, athletic program and its performing arts programs. Each year, nearly 100% of graduates go on to colleges and universities within one year of graduation.[1]


Founded in 1886 by a group of German Jesuits from Buffalo, New York on the invitation of Bishop Richard Gilmour, the school was originally a six-year secondary school based on the German Gymnasium that was to be attended after the completion of six years of grammar school. Separate four-year high school and college programs were formed in 1902, with the college changing its name to John Carroll University in 1923 and moving out of the Cleveland location to neighboring The Main Building, built in 1891 Founded by John Farr, Saint Ignatius High School remains at its original location at 1911 West 30th Street to this day. The campus includes the original structure, now known as the Main Building, which was completed in 1891 and is now a designated Cleveland Historic Landmark.[2] Other buildings are Loyola Hall (originally St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School), Clavius Science Center, Saint Mary of the Assumption Chapel (named after a church that once was located on the current campus), Father Sullivan, S.J. Gymnasium, Carroll Gymnasium, Murphy Field House, Kyle Field, and the O'Donnell Athletic Complex, which houses Wasmer Field and Dale Gabor Track, and the Xavier Center, which is currently used by the band program. In addition, a $10.2 Million state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center will replace the Xavier Center to house all Performing Arts at Ignatius. A new $3.3 million state-of-the-art Cafeteria will replace the current student center, stage, senior lounge, and cooking areas. The food services opened in August 2006, and in August 2007 phase two will complete the project with a renovated student center.[3]


The school shares its motto "Men for Others" (attributed to Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J.) with nearly every other Jesuit school,[4] and challenges its students to be "open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice" in accordance with the expectations set forth by the school's "Graduate at Graduation" ("Grad at Grad") document.[4]

The school is located in the heart of the Ohio City neighborhood on the Near West Side of Cleveland, which it provides support to through community involvement programs like the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership Program and the Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry (a program in which faculty and students build relationships with the homeless through weekly visitation). The high school was the first in the country to institute a for-credit compulsory service called "Sophomore Service".[5] It also houses the St. Joseph of Arimethea Pallbearers Society, which sends upperclassmen to funerals of families who are unable to provide their own pallbearers.[6]

Fine arts program

In 1990, a fine arts program was added to the school's curriculum. This program is growing, and includes an award-winning chorus and a recently-formed a cappella singing group, the "Cat-o'-tonics". The chorus has received awards in competitions, and the "Cat-o'-tonics" were awarded National Runner-up in the 2006 National Championship of High School A Cappella. There are many musical opportunities including Pep Band, Stage Band, Ignatius Brass, Jazz Band, Liturgical Musicians, and others.[7] The marching band has performed the Script Cats Show for 20 consecutive years, and has won many awards and honors at music festivals abroad.

Alma mater

The alma maters of St. Ignatius and another Jesuit high school, St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, are identical except for the last two lines, which refer to the school name and colors.[8][9] The alma mater was composed in 1937 by the St. Ignatius High School band director, Jack Hearns Sr. St. Xavier High School received permission to use the version modified for their school in 1958.[10]

Our famed alma mater graces
Every shrine within our hearts
With her unforgotten faces
And the faith that she imparts
Years in passing cannot sever
Ties of new days from the old
We're Ignatius men forever
As we hail the blue and gold.[8]

St. Ignatius Fight Song

On Ignatius with and your gold and blue
You're the best team that we ever knew
You've got what it takes to win this game
Honor to your name
Fight you Wildcats of Ignatius High
(Opponent's name)'s team can bid this game goodbye
On the old beam now
You blue and gold team now
And fight to victory![8]

Notable alumni

See List of Alumni of Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland, Ohio)

OHSAA Division I State Championships

Saint Ignatius High School's sports teams have won Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I State Championships in:

  • Football - 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001 (National Champions - 1989, 1993, 1995)[11]
  • Cross Country - 1993, 1994[11]
  • Wrestling - 1988[11]
  • Hockey - 2000[11]
  • Basketball – 2001[11]
  • Golf - 2001, 2002[11]
  • Track and Field - 2001[11]
  • Baseball - 2002[11]
  • Soccer - 2004, 2005 (National Championship - 2005,)[11]

Other athletic achievements

  • Crew - Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship - 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 />National Championships - Gold in Men's Junior 4+ 2004, Silver in Men's Lightweight 8+ in 2006[12]
  • St. Ignatius Wildcats named “High School Team of the 90s” by Student Sport Magazine.[13]
  • Appeared in the very first high school football game televised on date=February 2007}}
  • Featured on the Team Cheerios box along with Saint Xavier High School.[14]
  • Saint Ignatius appeared on the USA Today Super 25 rankings list for best high school football programs 8 times through 2002, tying them for second place for the most number of appearances.[15]
  • Ranked #18 in "The Best High School Athletic Programs" in the U.S. by Sports Illustrated.[16]

The Holy War

A strong rivalry exists between St. Edward High School and St. Ignatius High School. The two schools are quite similar in that both are Catholic, college prep, all-boys schools on the west side of the Cleveland area. The schools are separated by only six miles. One of the main reasons for the rivalry is that the schools draw from the same student pool (e.g., boys from west side Catholic grade schools.) Because of this, when the students face-off in direct competition, they commonly are up against former grade school friends.

The schools both produce high quality athletic teams, combining for over 50 state titles in the last 30 years.[17] While the schools compete in virtually all sports annually, the main event is the football match up that draws upward of 13,000 fans.[18] In addition, basketball games between the two schools (commonly twice a year) sell out at the hosting school's gymnasium.

Several match-ups live in the lore of Cleveland high school sports. In 1993, the regular season football match-up was regarded as one of the greatest Cleveland football games, resulting in a 35-34 3OT win for St. Ignatius. While the schools are only six miles apart, in 1998 basketball regional lines were drawn along the Cleveland/Lakewood border and the two teams met in the Division I state championship, with St. Edward prevailing 70-61.[19]

Other extracurricular achievements

  • Ohio High School Speech League State Champions in Policy Debate 2001, 2004, 2006[20]
  • In 2005 the Cleveland chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network awarded its annual Activist Organization award to the student group UMOJA (United Men of Just Actions)[21]


  1. "Academic Excellence." Saint Ignatius High School Webpage. 11 Feb 2007 [1].
  2. "Facilities." Saint Ignatius High School Webpage. 11 Feb 2007 [2].
  3. (The Saint Ignatius Magazine, Issue 1 2006).
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Philosophy." Saint Ignatius High School Webpaghe. 11 Feb 2007 [3].
  5. "Sophomore Service Program Homepage." Saint Ignatius High School Webpage. 11 Feb 2007 [4].
  6. Smith, Robert L.. Student group eases burden at funerals." Plain Dealer Cleveland11 November 2005, late ed.
  7. "Ignatius Band Program Homepage." Saint Ignatius High School Webpage. 11 Feb 2007 [5].
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 St. Ignatius High School. "Alma Mater & Fight Song". Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  9. "Class of 2005 Commencement" (PDF). 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  10. St. Ignatius High School (Fall 2004). "The making of the Saint Ignatius Alma Mater" (PDF). St. Ignatius Magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 [6] Ohio High School Athletic Association All-Time State Tournament Results
  12. [7] Page on Athletic Achievements on Ignatius Website
  13. [8] Football Records Page on Ignatius website
  14. "News For And About Our Schools" (PDF). The JSEA Bulletin (date=November 1999): pp. 11. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  15. "All-Time Super 25, School by School". 2002-08-23. 
  16. [9] Sports Illustrated website "The Best High School Athletic Programs"
  17. "Ohio High School Athletic Association". Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  18. "Ohio: Edmonds Runs Eagles Past St. Ignatius". 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  19. "Boys Basketball D1 State Champs". Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  20. [10] Announcement of Victory on Ignatius website
  21. Gay People’s Chronicle - news update July 8, 2005

External Links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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