The weekend of Sept. 29-30, seminarians from Borromeo and Saint Mary seminaries went to the Pontifical College Josephinum Soccer Invitational Tournament and left victorious. The tournament was hosted by Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio and included seven teams (six seminaries and one Baptist Bible College).
The joint Borromeo-Saint Mary’s team was undefeated, winning three games and ending one game in a draw. They averaged 4.25 goals a game and allowed an average of 1.5 goals a game. They beat Appalachia Bible College 2-0 in the championship game the afternoon of Sept. 30.
Those that represented the Cleveland seminaries on the soccer field were Cameron Popik (captain), Ryan Arto, Mike Bedell, Arthur Bodenschatz, John Desmarteau, Jeremy Gaugler, Sam Hadjis, John Hawkins, Connor Hetzel, John Houghtling, Xavier Macfarlane, James Parisi, Tim Raddell, Frederick Schuleuter, Chris Stein, Truong Joseph Ho , Giles Webinge, and Jim Winings. The team was coached by Andrew Karpinski and accompanied by Father Patrick Anderson as the team chaplain.
Honorable mentions include Cameron Popik (six goals), Chris Stein (five goals), Truong Joseph Ho (four goals), and the duo of Frederick Schuleter and Arthur Bodenshatz for their lockdown defense.
“We always look forward to this tournament, simply for the opportunity to enjoy a sport we love playing,” Popik said. “Soccer brings the varying members of our seminary community together; our soccer team consisted of the Borromeo Collegians, Saint Mary’s Theologians, Capuchin Franciscans, Diocese of Youngstown seminarians as well as one of our new brothers from Vietnam, Joseph Truong Viet Ho. The soccer team was especially grateful to have Borromeo senior Andrew Karpinski and Father Pat Anderson, director of human formation, at the tournament to guide, coach and bring the team together,” Popik added.
He said Pablo Lopez, in formation for the Capuchins, used his photography talents to capture images of the weekend and Borromeo junior Charlie Bulger, an acclaimed Cleveland piper, shared his musical talent on the bagpipes to inspire the team throughout the tournament.
“Our soccer team has definitely come a long way,” said. ”When we started going to the Josephinum soccer tournament, we would generally lose all of our matches and struggled to play as a team. The last couple years we have slowly made progress and it finally came together this year. This year, we played as a cohesive team, defended brilliantly and were resilient even in the difficult times when exhaustion set in. I was most impressed with the fact that there were no ‘egos’ that got in the way; everyone was willing to do his bit and play as a team.”
The team was very excited and full of energy for bringing the trophy home with them. The Cleveland seminaries participate in many soccer and basketball tournaments but have not won a championship in decades. Team members celebrated the victory upon their arrival home the evening of Sept. 30 with a team Mass followed by a party with their brother seminarians and priest faculty.