- Northeast Catholic High School
The Northeast Catholic High School For Boys
North CatholicTenui Nec Dimittam(I have taken hold, and I will not let go)
Address 1842 Torresdale Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19124
Coordinates Coordinates: Information Type Private, All-Male Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales
Established 1926 Closed 2010 President Fr. Vince Smith Principal Fr. Nicholas Waseline Asst. Principal John Cramotlo
Faculty 45 Grades 9-12 Enrollment 551 (2009) Campus Urban Color(s) Cardinal Red and White Athletics conference Philadelphia Catholic League Team name Falcons Accreditation(s) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Newspaper 'The Good News' Yearbook 'The Falcon' Alumni 40,000 Website www.northcatholic.com
Northeast Catholic High School opened in 1926 as Northeast Catholic High School for Boys, and is located at 1842 Torresdale Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is under the administration of the high school system of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its sports teams participate in the Philadelphia Catholic League. During the course of its history, at one point it had the largest student body of any Catholic boys school in the world, and today it is known for having the largest number of all-male alumni of any high school in the world.
Northeast Catholic follows the Salesian tradition, which means that "North's" priests follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis de Sales in their day to day actions and mission statement.
It was announced on October 8, 2009 that North Catholic would be closing in June 2010.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Student life
- 4 Athletics
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Alumni Association
- 8 Notable alumni
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Northeast Catholic High School for Boys was opened in September 1926 as the fourth Diocesan High School in Philadelphia. The site for the school was purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for $150,000. The new students were welcomed at the first assembly, held in the gym, by the Rev. Joseph Butler, OSFS, the Principal and Superior. On September 28, the first classes were held.
The Falcon was chosen as a symbol of the school for three reasons: It is "a bird of prey that never lets go of what it has captured; it is completely faithful to its trainer; and it is the fastest of God's creatures". The students also chose Cardinal Red and White as the school colors: Cardinal Red in appreciation of Dennis Cardinal Dougherty's sponsorship of the school, and White for purity and fidelity. In 1928, the school newspaper, The Good News, was born followed by the founding of The Falcon, the North Catholic Yearbook in 1929.
October 5, 1928, marked the first of the traditional neighborhood rivalry game between "North & Frankford". Frankford won the game 20-7. In 1930 the game against Frankford would be played on Thanksgiving morning and continue on uninterupted for 80 years until the final game in 2009 with North prevailing 26-22 on a last second TD.
June 12, 1929, marked the first commencement of the school. Bishop Gerald O'Hara presented the diplomas to the 98 "Class of 1929" graduates.
The 1929 Basketball team would win the school it's first Catholic League Championship. The Falcons also won in 1932 & 1935. The 1929 soccer team (class of '30) won the City Title in soccer (soccer was not a PCL sport at this time).
By the fall of 1935, North's enrollment had climbed to 2,300 students. The school was originally built to accommodate 1,500. To solve the problem of needed space, a freshman annex was opened at the Visitation Parish School in Kensington.
From 1934 to 1937 North's Football team, Coached by Ken Symindinger and featuring players like future NFL stars Frank Reagan & Bucko Kilroy, won 4 straight League Championships.
World War II
Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Government sought men for the armed forces who had some knowledge of engineering and technical skills. A night school was established at North, and instructors from nearby colleges and universities conducted the classes. These courses continued until the end of World War Two.
The school year of 1942 opened with an enrollment of 3,159 students. On November 23, 1942, an Open House attracted over 5,000 people to visit the displays marking the achievements of North Catholic. By this time, over 1,200 alumni were serving in the armed forces.
While many high schools were forced to cancel their Spring Sports programs due to the large number of students working part-time in the War industries, North was able to field championship teams in baseball, track and crew.
On September 4, 1945, 1,186 freshmen reported to North, and the total enrollment was 3,503. Since North was the only Catholic High School in the Northeast at this time, students travelled from neighborhoods like North Philadelphia, Germantown, Mount Airy, Logan, Olney and Wayne Junction as well as more traditional nearby areas such as Frankford, Mayfair, Tacony Fishtown, Port Richmond, Bridesburg & Kensington. This was due to the Schools access to Frankford Station including buses and "El" to many parts of town and beyond. Some students even took the rail lines and buses and came to North from the Far Northeast and suburban areas such as Bristol, Jenkintown, Willow Grove and Bensalem, PA.
Post World War II
1946 found North filled beyond capacity. Enrollment was up to 4,050, and additional freshman annexes were opened at St Anne, St Bartholomew, St Adalbert, St Helena and other grade schools.
The Alumni Association undertook the task of designing and constructing a shrine to honor those alumni who gave their lives in World War II. On June 5, 1949, the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was dedicated as a memorial to the 183 North Catholic alumni who paid the supreme sacrifice.
By 1948, the student population had grown to over 4,300 students. Due to the overcrowding at North the Archdiocese took some students from traditional feeder parishes like Visitation BVM in Kensington and sent them across town on the "El" to attend West Catholic during the early 1950s. These students sometimes referred to themselves as "The lost boys of North" since their male family members before and after them usually attended North. This was ended once Father Judge and Cardinal Dougherty were built in the mid 1950s.
September 1953 saw Northeast Catholic recognized as the world's largest Catholic high school for boys. The population of 4,726 students from 98 parishes was served by 109 Oblates, 9 nuns, and 14 laymen.
The school year beginning September 1954, marked the first decrease in enrollment in a decade because of the newly opened Father Judge High School.
September 1955 was remarkable in that for the first time in 16 years, freshmen attended classes in the Main Building. On June 8, 1956, 1,103 seniors graduated - the largest class ever.
The North Catholic Football Team under Head Coach Jack Gillepie won League titles in '49 '50 '52 & '56 and City Titles in 3 of those 4 years. The basketball team returned to its glory days of the 1930s by winning back to back PCL championships in 1956 & 1957. They also won the 1956 City Title.
The 1958 academic year showed an enrollment below 3,000 for the first time in 20 years. In September 1960, Rev. Edward Conlin replaced Fr. Tocik as Rector of Northeast Catholic. In September 1962, Rev. Edward Corcoran, Class of 1932 replaced Fr. Conlin as Rector; the first time an alumnus headed the school.
The fall of 1963 marked the seventh consecutive Catholic League title for the soccer team, and they repeated in 1964. They also won City Titles in 1959 & 1962.
North Catholic's Drama Department became well-known in the city for producing top-notch shows. The department's "golden years" between 1967 and 1973, produced some of the best shows in the school's history. For many of those years, the school did a comedy in the fall, a drama in the winter and a musical in the spring. The school's impressive band, featured in its own concerts, was among the highlights of the spring musical.
The 1967 Basketball team led by Hank Siemiontkowski took the PCL and City Championships But it was the 1968 basketball season that brought national recognition to Northeast Catholic. On the day of the 1st round of the Catholic League playoffs, Jack Friel, Hon. 1970, coach and disciplinarian, was forced to suspend the entire varsity team due to a violation of team rules. The junior varsity took the floor at the Palestra and defeated Bishop McDevitt High. The story made national news.
The 1971 school year was marked by the Model U.N. Debating team, coached by Rev. John J.Hurley, OSFS, winning a first-place award at the Harvard University Model UN with an all junior lineup. For the third consecutive year, in 1973, North captured first-place awards at the Harvard Model UN Championship. The team then went on to take the National Championships in Washington, DC, in 1974, 75 & 76.
North Catholic Baseball won the PCL & City Titles in the Spring of 1977. In the fall of 1977 the school year opened with 2,384 students. 1978 marked the 50th Anniversary of the North-Frankford rivalry. A large crowd of 20,000 was present at Vet Stadium to see North win 21-14.
The Soccer team won the PCL title in 1974 and both the Catholic League & City Titles in 1970, 1975, 1977, 1978 & 1979. The City Title was discontinued in 1980. When it was reinstated by PIAA in 2008 North again took the PCL & City titles. The 1981 & 1986 Falcons won 2 more PCL Baseball crowns.
In 1989, under the guidance of Rev. John Hurley OSFS, The Model U.N. Debating team began another rise towards national recognition taking 2nd place in the North American Invitational Model U.N. (NAIMUN), then the largest Model U.N. event in the world. This was followed by a first places wins at NAIMUM in 1990 and 1991.
In May 2007, Northeast Catholic High School, in cooperation with Father Judge High School, won the UNA-USA World Championships which were held in the United Nations in New York City.
In more recent years North Catholic has added a brand new computer lab and Information Technology Academy. Students can achieve certification in various Microsoft applications. In addition to computer courses there is also a computer workshop where students learn how to actually repair computers and see the inner workings of the hard drive and monitor. North has a 3 to one student to computer ratio which is the highest in the city. I.T. certification and computer literacy courses are included in the students tuition at no extra cost. Adults may also take computer courses in the evening at a greatly reduced cost.
NC also has a Cartoonist Society and Journalism course to help prepare students for a variety of careers as they enter the new millennium. North's 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio is also the best in the Archdiocese and that means your son gets the attention he needs, when he needs it. North Catholic teachers are among the longest tenured in the Archdiocese.
The language department offers Latin, Spanish, German & French. In 2009 the school will also offer Chinese and Italian. The Language Department also offers a Greek language course in the summer for students who excel in Latin and other languages. In June 2008, eight students traveled to the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico with the Spanish Club.
North Catholic is proud to have several recent graduates accepted into the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School for Business. NC sends many graduates to Penn State University as well as all of the Big 5 Universities and Drexel University. North has a particularly strong connection with St Joseph's, LaSalle & Temple Universities.
Many North Catholic Graduates are members of the Philadelphia Police & Fire Departments as well as strongly represented in the area Labor Unions. This shows the strength and diversity of the young men who attend the school.
On October 8, 2009, Cardinal Justin Rigali announced at a press conference that the school would be closing, effective the end of the 2009-2010 school year, along with Cardinal Dougherty High School. Enrollment had dropped 29% in the last decade and was forecast to decline by an additional 24 percent in the next three years, leading to the decision to close. There are several opinions that the Cardinal chose these two schools due to their surrounding neighborhoods.
All students must complete four years of English and theology, three years of mathematics, science and social studies, one year of physical education/health and a half year in word processing and service. Electives are available in foreign languages (French, German, Latin and Spanish), television production, computer science, business/accounting, journalism, art and music.
Online AP Classes
The new AP ON-Line program began in September 2007.
Over forty students have chosen AP courses offered in conjunction with College Board and Keystone Virtual.
In addition to the AP classes offered in school (Literature, Language, and Calculus), the following AP courses will be offered on-line: European History, US History, US Government, and Psychology.
- Chess Club
- Community Service
- Diversity Team
- Drum Line
- Ministry Team
- Mock Trial
- Model UN
- National Honor Society
- Peer Meditation
- Polish Club
- Prom Planning
- Student Government
North Catholic participated in the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) as well as the PIAA in the following sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, crew, cross country, football, indoor track, golf, lacrosse, outdoor track, soccer, and wrestling. They also skated an Ice Hockey Club Team & a Rugby Club Team. Even though the school was closed, the hockey team played for one final season with both a varsity and a junior varsity teams . Among those coaching the team were Timothy McCrane, class of 82, Art Myers, class of 80 and Michael Gorey, class of 78. Michael also played for Norths first hockey team in 77-78 and had a part in starting that first team. There was also an archery club team in 77-78.
- North played Frankford High School every year in the "Turkey Bowl" on Thanksgiving Day at 9:45 AM, making it the earliest high-school football game in the country on Thanksgiving.
- From 1926 until its closing in 2010, North Catholic won more Philadelphia Catholic League Championships, in soccer (22), bowling (16), wrestling (13) and baseball (11), than any other Philadelphia Catholic High school. They also had 8 titles each in football, basketball and swimming.
- Frank Thomas Nordell of Northeast Catholic HS won the National Interscholastic Cross Country Championship on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, 1929. He ran the 2.7 mile Branch Brook Park Course in Newark, NJ, in 13:43, winning by 13 seconds. This was the fourth National Championship Meet, hosted by Newark Prep, and drew 20 teams from Maine to Virginia. Curtis HS of Staten Island (then part of Brooklyn) won the team championship. North did not enter a team, Frank ran as an individual. His photo appeared on the front page of the Newark Star Eagle and NY Times Sports Pages in his N C singlet on 11/29/1929.
- In 1956 North won the PCL championship in soccer, football, basketball & baseball. They also won the City Title in 3 out of the 4 sports, losing only in soccer.
- The North Catholic soccer team did not lose a single PCL contest in 116 straight games stretching from 1956 to 1968. Their most recent PCL Titles were in 2001, 2002 & 2008. In March 2008, the soccer program inducted 12 of its greatest players to the newly established "NC Soccer Hall of Fame."
- From 1991 until its closing in 2010, the NC wrestling team won 13 PCL team titles.
- The bowling team won three consecutive PCL titles in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
- In the 2007 - 2008 year NC teams qualified for the playoffs in Football, Soccer, Bowling, Basketball & Wrestling.
- In 2008, the basketball team, wrestling team & soccer team were all PCL champions in their sport.
The "NC Soccer Hall of Fame" can be found by visiting the website dedicated to their sport: www.northcatholicsoccer.com
LIST OF NORTH CATHOLIC FALCONS PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
- Football - 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956
- Soccer - 1929, 1933, 1944, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008 (Soccer Champs before 1957 were part of a city league format not PCL)
- Basketball - 1929, 1932, 1935, 1956, 1957, 1967, 1987, 2008
- Wrestling - 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
- Baseball - 1934, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1995
- Track - 1935, 1945, 1946, 1966
- Cross Country - 1944, 1945
- Bowling - 1939, 1940, 1941, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007
- Swimming - 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1953
- Crew - 1944, 1945
Direction of Intention
My God, I give you this [class/assembly/action/competition/game/race].
Please give me the grace to conduct myself during it,
in a manner most pleasing to you.
God be blessed! Saint Francis de Sales… Pray for us.
Alma Mater Lyrics
See our banner wave proudly before us,
Colors gleaming in hues ever glorious!
Flag of honor, o'er foe victorious,
Lead thou on til the triumph we gain...
(CHORUS) Onward, Onward! Behold where dawns the glory!
Hail, alma mater, our North Catholic High!
Sing with joyful heart and voice the story!
Hail, alma mater, our North Catholic High!
May the sunshine of youth never leave thee!
Nor the shadow of age ever grieve thee!
Falcon symbol, we now salute thee!
Sons who love and revere thy fair name...
(CHORUS) Onward, Onward! Behold where dawns the glory!
Hail, alma mater, our North Catholic High!
Sing with joyful heart and voice the story!
Hail, alma mater, our North Catholic High!
Rectors/Principals of Northeast Catholic High
- Rev. Joseph Butler, OSFS, 1926
- Rev. John Tocik, OSFS, 1949
- Rev. Edward Conlin, OSFS, 1960
- Rev. Edward Corcoran, OSFS, class of '32, 1962
- Rev. William Guerin, OSFS, class of '47, 1969
- Rev. Joseph Toner, OSFS, class of '45, 1974
- Rev. James Dalton, OSFS, 1983
- Rev. Nicholas Waseline, OSFS, 1995
- As North Catholic is an all-boys' school, they have a sister school, Little Flower High School, an all-girls' school.
- North's class of "1956" had 1,103 graduates; making it the largest all boys Catholic High School graduating Class ever in the world.
- The North Catholic Model United Nations team travels to Washington D.C and New York City every year to debate with students from around the country and even the world.
- Every year Northeast Catholic hosts the DeSales Oblate Schools Model UN Conference, or better known as OMUN. It is currently in its 41st year and is still run by Father John Hurley OSFS.
- In 1968 the varsity basketball team was suspended by coach/disciplinarian Jack Friel for cutting out on an assembly. Instead the JV team took the court for a PCL playoff game and defeated the McDevitt squad after being booed by fans at the Palestra. In the Semis NC varsity went back on the floor only to lose on a last second shot by O'Hara.
- Prior to the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics, teacher Luke Hogan carried the Olympic torch in the state of Delaware. He also is credited with starting the Lacrosse program at both Father Judge High School (One of North's top sports rivals) and his alma mater North Catholic in 1999 where he is the coach of the team.
- For the last graduation commencement service in 2010, Rev. Nicholas Waseline, OSFS was given an honorable diploma; members of the class of 1960 were honored for their 50th anniversary of graduating from the school.
With Northeast Catholic High School graduating over 40,000 men while open, its Alumni Association is one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind in the country. The Association is dedicated to continuing a strong connection among alumni. The Association sponsors numerous annual social events to encourage membership participation including a Communion Breakfast, The Summertime "Falcons Fun in the Sun", A Golf Outing and Trips to Broadway and local Sporting events.
We are happy to report that we have found our new home. It is located at 2700 Rhawn Street (SEC Rhawn and Fairfield Sts. - one block east of Roosevelt Blvd.) All our office equipment and some of the School's memorabilia came with us. We are still trying to sort everything out but if you are in the neighborhood, stop by. The Shrine of Our Lady Fatima and the plaques honoring our 268 members who died during World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam, came along with us from the School. The shrine and plaques have been reconstructed at this new site. Some the Catholic League Championship trophies and shields given to us when school closed are on display at our new home. Our Hall of Fame plaques which honors our Outstanding Alumni, Outstanding Achievement Award recipients, Honorary members, and past Presidents and Chaplains is also available to view. Some sports and other school memorabilia that was presented to us is on display as well. Feel free to stop in and say hello. Give us a call at 215-543--1051 to make sure someone is "home". Office Hours: Monday-Thursday: 7PM - 11PM; Friday: 2PM - 7PM; Saturday: 10AM - 5PM - Daytime hours by appointment. website: http://necathalumni.org
- Ed Blaney '69 - All-American Soccer player at St Joseph's U. and inductee in St Joe's Sports Hall of Fame.
- Jerry Buckley '50 - National Cartoonists Society award winner
- Don D'Ambra '90 - player-coach and leading scorer in Philadelphia Kixx soccer history
- John Doman '62 - Television & Film actor. Famous for his role as Deputy Police Commissioner William Rawls in HBO's "The Wire" from 2002 through 2008.
- Jim Gilmore '81 - Ohio State All-Conference Lineman and former Philadelphia Eagle & Miami Dolphin
- Tom Gilmore '82 - All-Ivy defensive Lineman and team MVP at U of Penn. Currently Head Football Coach at Holy Cross University and Coach of the year candidate
- William Henfy '67 - Mayor of North Wildwood, NJ
- Jim Hueber '68 - Offensive Line Coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
- Bil Keane '40 - creator of The Family Circus comic
- Jack Kelly '58 - current Philadelphia City Councilman serving since the 1980s
- Bob (Hird) Kelly '81 - KYW-TV local traffic reporter and TV personality
- Thomas W. Kelly '50 - Lieutenant General in U.S. Army, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Gulf War, recipient of Purple Heart and five Bronze Stars
- Frank "Bucko" Kilroy '39 - All-Pro lineman for Philadelphia Eagles during Championships of 1948 & 1949.
- Joe Maneely '44 - comic book artist for Marvel Comics
- Bernard "Benny" McLaughlin '46 - member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Tom "Mac" McLaughlin '46 - Reader's Digest gag cartoonist
- Bobby McNeil '56 - former Pro Basketball player and Big Five All-Star guard at Saint Joseph's University
- Patrick Morris '95 - professional soccer player, currently a member of the Philadelphia Kixx
- Timothy O'Neill '00 - professional soccer player, most recently a member of the now-defunct Virginia Beach Mariners
- Mike O'Brien '72 - current Pennsylvania State Representative for the 175th District
- Dennis Patrick '35 - stage name of noted actor of screen and TV, real last name was Harrison
- Frank Reagan '37 - New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles football player of the 1940s and 1950s
- Hank Siemiontkowski '68 - NCAA Basketball All-Tournament Team for Villanova University in 1971
- John J Taylor '73 - current Pennsylvania State Representative serving since the 1980s
- Joe Verdeur '44 - U.S. Olympic gold medalist 1948 in swimming
- Jack Whitaker '43 - Emmy award winning American sportscaster, inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame
- James Williams '68 - Philadelphia Labor Union leader 
- Gerry Kosinski '72 - former Pennsylvania State Representative (1983–1992), current, Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court
- John R. Padova '52 - Senior Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of PA
- Francis P. Cosgrove '49 - Retired Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court
- Albert W. Sheppard, Jr. '55 - Senior Judge, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court
- Eugene E. J. Maier '64 - Senior Judge, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
- Joseph J. O'Neill '68 - Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court
- Joseph L. Zazyczny '53 - Former Philadelphia City Councilman, Former PA Secretary of Administration
- Angel Cruz '85 - current Pennsylvania State Representative, 180th District, since 2000
- Jerry Tarde '74 - Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Golf Digest Publications
- Walt Manning, PhD '54 - All-American, Temple U-All-Pro, Uhrik Truckers-head coach, Ursinus College '72-'93
John (Jack)Devine 69 Labor Leader Thomas J. White, U.S. Diplomat, current Deputy Ambassador, U.S. Mission to the European Union
- ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". http://www.css-msa.org/search.php/. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- ^ "Gen. Thomas Kelly, 67, Dies; Pentagon Voice in Gulf War". New York Times. June 8, 2000. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE5DC133FF93BA35755C0A9669C8B63. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- ^ "JAMES A. WILLIAMS - General President". IUPAT About US. IUPAT. http://www.iupat.org/about/bios/williams.html.
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