Monday, April 6, 2009

Joliet Catholic Academy

Joliet Catholic Academy

1200 N. Larkin Ave.

Joliet, Illinois, 60435

Coordinates41°32′44″N 88°07′26″W / 41.545555°N 88.12395°W / 41.545555; -88.12395
Typesecondary parochial
DenominationRoman Catholic
OversightDiocese of Joliet
PresidentSr. Faith Szambelanczyk, O.S.F.
PrincipalMr. Jeffrey Budz
Teaching staff53
School Colour(s)     columbia blue


SloganInspiring Growth in Knowledge and Faith
Athletics conferenceEast Suburban Catholic Conference
NicknameHilltoppers (m)

Angels (f)
NewspaperThe Victory View

Joliet Franciscan Sisters

Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet Catholic or JCA) is a coed Catholic High School located in Joliet, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet. One of the oldest Catholic high schools in the Chicago area, Joliet Catholic is perhaps best known for its prowess in football. Since the advent of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state football playoffs in 1974, JCA has won more state football titles than any other team in the state, with 13 as of 2007.

The modern school is itself the result of a merger between the all girls St. Francis Academy and the all male Joliet Catholic High School, which itself was formerly known as DeLaSalle High School for Boys. It is this merger that results in the school's shared affiliation with the Carmelites and the Joliet Franciscan Sisters.


[edit] History

The Joliet Franciscan Sisters opened St. Francis Academy in 1869 as an all girls school. The academy was founded in a small stone building convent by Mother Mary Alfred Moes, who later would help found the Mayo Clinic. In 1923, the school moved to the campus of the University of St. Francis, which had opened in 1920. In 1956, the school moved to the building at 1200 N. Larkin, which is the current site of JCA.

George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago, had the Christian Brothers create a new high school for boys as a part of their renovation of St. Patrick Church in Joliet. The school opened in 1918 as DeLaSalle High School for Boys with only two classrooms in the parish center, but moved to a new building in 1927. In 1933, the Carmelites took possession of the school, at which time, the school became Joliet Catholic High School.

In the summer of 1990, Joliet Catholic High School and St. Francis Academy merged to form the modern Joliet Catholic Academy.[2]

[edit] Academics

In terms of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the school offers Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, Government and Politics, and European History. The school also offers one of the two courses in AP English and AP Calculus.[3]

While there are no AP courses offered in foreign languages, students who take a fourth year of study in Spanish, French, or Latin may opt to take the appropriate AP test.

[edit] Athletics

The mens teams at the school are referred to as the Hilltoppers, the same named used by the former Joliet Catholic High School, while the girls teams retain the name used by St. Francis Academy; the Angels. The school is a member of the East Suburban Catholic Conference.

The school sponsors teams for men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men also compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while women also compete in softball, and cheerleading. The school also has a competitive dance team, which does not compete under the auspices of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

The football and both track & field teams host home games and meets at Joliet Memorial Stadium.

The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective state championship series sponsored by the IHSA:[4]

  • baseball •• 3rd place (2007—08); 2nd place (1989—90, 99—2000, 03—04); State Champions (1993—94)

  • football •• 2nd place (1992—93, 96—97); State Champions (1975—76, 76—77, 77—78, 78—79, 81—82, 87—88, 90—91, 99—2000, 00—01, 01—02, 03—04, 04—05, 07—08)

  • golf (boys) •• 3rd place (1956—57, 59—60); 2nd place (1958—59); State Champions (1957—58)

  • softball •• 4th place (1987—88)

  • volleyball (girls) •• 4th place (1998—99, 2005—06); 3rd place (1986—87, 2006—07); State Champions (2003—04) State champions (2007—08)

In addition, the school also claims the following[5]

Of special note, the football team has won more football titles than any other team in the state. Since the start of the IHSA State Tournament for football in 1974, JCA has qualified for the playoffs 31 times (as of 2007-08 season)[6]

[edit] Notable alumni

[edit] Notable Staff

  • Gordie Gillespie was the football coach from 1959–86, leading the school to five state titles. He has also served as the head baseball coach at the University of St. Francis (1977–95 and 2006–present). He is the all–time leader in baseball coaching victories among American college coaches, recording his 1,800th career win on April 3, 2009. He was named NAIA "Baseball Coach of the Century", and was named by the Chicago Tribune as the Head Football Coach for the "All-Time Illinois High School Football Team".[12][13]

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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