SPRINGFIELD TWP. – Once every four years, St. Xavier High School has the opportunity to host some of the best boys soccer competition in the state.
Cleveland St. Ignatius, St. John’s and Walsh Jesuit will make the trek to North Bend Road Aug. 26-27 as part of the 14th annual Ohio Jesuit Cup.
The tournament annually features some of the best soccer in the state. It also showcases the power of sportsmanship and healthy competition, said St. Xavier head coach Brian Schaeper.
“That’s one of the reasons I love it so much,” said Schaeper, who’s entering his fifth season as head coach. “It’s not only the best soccer, but it represents everything I love about youth sports.
“St. Ignatius is coming in a three-time defending state champion and two-time national champion.”
The Bombers will face St. Ignatius Aug. 26 at 3 p.m. Just last season, St. X lost to St. Ignatius 1-0 in the final of the Jesuit Cup, a game Schaeper called the best he saw all season.
“The kids love it,” said Schaeper. “One of their goals every year is to win this thing. You find out right away — this is Aug. 26 and 27 — right at the very beginning of the season, and you find out real quick what type of team you have.”
Not only are in-season school soccer tournaments rare, one thing that sets this tournament apart is the traveling teams don’t stay in hotels or rent houses. They bunk with the competition.
“We’re competing like heck against each other on the field … trying to do everything we can to win,” Schaeper said. “Then, immediately after, we go have mass, a banquet together and then we have all the other players into our homes overnight.
“We’ll be putting up 160 student athletes from the other schools into our homes. You compete against each other and you…