High schools

Vianney meets expectations with state title


Expectations were high for St. John Vianney's baseball team this year after it came within a whisker of going to the state final last year.

This year's team reached the title game June 1 at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon. Noah Niznik's four-plus innings in relief and an offense determined to bounce back from an early deficit led to an 8-2 win over Hickman and a Class 5 championship.

SLUH takes volleyball title in undefeated season

St. Louis University High School took control of the net during an undefeated season, including this play by Andrew Cross in the title match of the Missouri Boys Volleyball 2018 State Tournament May 24 against Lafayette High School.

Two Catholic schools from the archdiocese made the finals of the Missouri Boys Volleyball State Tournament, with St. Louis University High School completing an undefeated season in Class 4 and St. Mary’s High School falling just short of a state title in Class 3.

SLUH defeated Lafayette 25-22 and 25-16 May 24 at Webster Groves High School to win the title. The win was the Junior Billikens’ third championship in four years. SLUH lost in three sets to Lafayette last year.

Retiring Catholic high school administrators reflect on their role in forming young people for the future


Sister Karl Mary Winkelmann isn't certain exactly where God is calling her after retiring as president of Trinity Catholic High School this year.

But one thing's for sure: "I couldn't sit around all day eating bonbons," she declared.

Likewise, retiring Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School principal Michael Blackshear is looking forward to the next chapter in his life. For now, summer plans include heading south for some fishing.

Youth league quarterback now record-setter in javelin

Sydney Juszczyk, a freshman at Trinity Catholic High School, won two national championships in the javelin last year: at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in Lawrence, Kan., and at the AAU Junior Olympics in Michigan. At a meet earlier this season, she threw the javelin 161 feet, 8 inches, which was the second-longest throw of any female high school athlete in the nation this season.

Sydney Juszczyk struggled when her mom decided it was time for Sydney to end her four-year stint as a quarterback and outside linebacker on her youth football team.

She was in love with the contact sport played almost exclusively by boys, and didn't think it was right that she was told she couldn't play anymore.

Vianney star catches baseballs, Catholic faith


The chapel at St. John Vianney High School was packed with close to 200 people for the Easter Vigil, including a number of the baseball players who came to support their teammate who was baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist for the first time.

Andrew Keck, a catcher on the baseball team who was named to the All Metro Team last season, said around Lent every year he had thought about becoming a Catholic. His mom was raised Catholic, he said, and didn't have him baptized, wanting him to make the decision on his own.

Gymnasium becomes sacred space


For about five minutes on April 24, The Ray DeGreeff Gymnasium at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School sounded like, well, a gymnasium.

Similar to a sporting event, raucous cheering filled the gym as school president Father Kevin Schmittgens welcomed the region's elementary Catholic schools, whose students had taken up residence in the bleachers and floor seating. They whooped, hollered and otherwise celebrated at hearing their school's names.

After recognizing the schools, Father Schmittgens uttered the magic word – prayer.

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