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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

2022 CYO basketball wrap-up


The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball is an ongoing tradition in Erie. For those who are uninformed, this organization is a recreational basketball league that allows high schoolers to play for the diocesan parish they belong to. For example, someone may have gone to St. Jude for middle school or may attend church there which makes them eligible to play for that team.

This year the league consisted of six teams: St. Jude, Blessed Sacrament, St. Luke, St. George, Our Lady of Peace, and St. James. The league officially picked back up for the first time in two years on Jan. 20, 2022.

“Playing for the OLP Crusaders again has been fun,” projected star player Ryan Hudson said. “I went there for middle school, so I felt like I was sticking to my roots.”

After the first few games, it was clear of who the star teams and star players were. There were a lot of action-filled games, such as St. James versus St. Luke in which over 140 points were scored and ended with St. James winning by one point. Another big game was St. George versus OLP where a buzzer beater was hit by Jake Slater, Class of ‘22 for the Lancers to take the win. Last but not least was the viral dunk by Vincent Kloecker, assisted by Jake Pollock, both Class of ’22. Jake lifted Vincent up in the air for a Blessed Sacrament dunk on the OLP Crusaders.

Another feature is Jake Slater again, who went from being a player at the beginning of the season to ending it as a coach. Slater had ended his basketball journey after a loss to Blessed Sacrament in the regular season, but he didn’t bail on the Lancers. Instead he led the team to two wins in his first games, including a win over St. Jude in the semifinals. The Lancers were previously 0-2 against St. Jude in the regular season.

“I wanted to stop playing basketball,” coach Jake Slater said. “But I didn’t want to give it up completely. The team is full of my friends, so the least I could do was try and lead them.”

After those highlight games, it all came down to the top two to play in the championship game on Thursday, March 3. The final two teams were the St. George Lancers and Blessed Sacrament Bulldogs. The game was practically decided before the game started as the Bulldogs won by 10+ in the last two games against them. But a few highlights from the game were Kloecker trying the dunk with Pollock again twice and eventually getting ejected for technical fouls. St. George player Max Sedelmyer hit 5+ three-pointers and had the first 12 points for the Lancers. However, the game ended as expected with Blessed Sacrament winning by 15 points. Some other players of the game were Tyson Simon (BSS), Jack Rouch (SGS) and Mason Orlando (BSS). 

As the season concluded, awards were given out to players in the league. The Most Valuable Player award went to Vincent Kloecker (BSS). Freshman of the year went to Lohan Mastrian (JUD). Defensive Player of the Year went to Tyson Simon (BSS). Lastly, were the first and second teams which included lots of these players. However, some standouts to be mentioned are Michael Mucha (OLP), Michael Jenks (JUD), Colin Fiorelli (SGS), and Ridgeway Case (JUD).

“I’m honored to receive MVP, and I had a lot of fun playing this season,” senior Vincent Kloecker said. “I was a little distraught I couldn’t play as much towards the end of the season because of diving, but I’m glad I can say I won two championships in one week.” Vincent also dives for the Cathedral Prep swim team and single-handedly won the District-10 diving competition only a few days before the final game. 

CYO basketball was filled with fun, competition, and upsets just like any basketball league. But this concludes the 2021-2022 season, and hopefully many players will be back next year to continue striving for more CYO basketball.

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