High schools

High school nights 2017

Schools have been in session for less than a month in the 2017-18 academic year, but plans already are underway for next year and beyond.

The annual series of High School Nights opens this week with two sessions for sixth- through eighth-graders, along with their families, to explore 26 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese — nine archdiocesan schools and 17 private schools. The sessions are open to all students, whether in Catholic or public schools.

Why the early start?

“The Celts” land with the Pioneers

Senior, Tyree Galtney transferred to Duchesne High School in St. Charles after their former school, John F. Kennedy High school closed. He chatted with friends before English class began.

The first home football game dispelled any lingering doubt about Duchesne High School's commitment to its newest students — the transfers from John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, which closed in May.

Kennedy Catholic's old mascot, "The Celt," joined the Pioneer mascot at the game vs. St. Charles High, much to the delight of former JFK students and their new cohorts.

‘Angel’ drops $2.5 million gift on St. Mary’s High

A blessing from God and an answer to prayers is what the president of St. Mary's High School is calling an unprecedented gift of $2.5 million.

The gift came from the estate of a man who apparently had no connection to the all-boys archdiocesan high school in south St. Louis. It is the largest single donation in the school's 86-year history.

The donor, Harry B. Sieker, is a former engineer from Walnut Creek, Calif. Raised in Maplewood and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Sieker did not attend St. Mary's High School. He never married and had no children.

Incarnate Word star ties love of tennis to England

Incarnate Word Academy's top tennis player — among the elite high school players in the state — may not have taken up the sport if her family hadn't moved briefly to England.

Maria Brandt's desire early on was to play soccer, but that sport wasn't popular for girls in the English town where she lived while her dad worked there. It was considered by many there "not proper" for girls, she said. She passed tennis courts every day on her way to school, so she tried it.

"I instantly got hooked on it. I loved it," Brandt said. "It was always tennis after that."

Generation Life is not just in January

Riley Kurczynski from Eureka High School and Amy Hohenberger from Cor Jesu Academy prayed at Planned Parenthood with the Holy Infant youth group. Members of the Ballwin youth group were demonstrating a commitment to protecting life that goes beyond the March for Life in January in Washington, D.C.

Brad Pike is certain his presence on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood is causing some raised eyebrows from people inside the fence.

The 16-year-old has gone with his grandfather several times to the sidewalk, offering prayers that those coming for an abortion would seek a different choice. On a recent Saturday morning, he and about two dozen friends from the youth group at Holy Infant in Ballwin made a visit. The teens were there to send a message that they're pro-life beyond the March for Life.

Generation Life, he said, is not just in January.

St. Mary’s football team running on all gears

St. Mary's High School running back Lavel Harris carried the ball 53 yards for a thrid-quarter touchdown against Westminster Academy Aug. 18. Lavell gained 145 yards receiving and rushing in the game, which St. Mary's won 31-22.

If the season opener is any indication, the St. Mary's High School football team will be a force to be reckoned with this year.

The offense is effective in both running and passing the ball. "I try to stay as balanced as possible," St. Mary's coach Corey Bethany said.

The coach moved Lavel Harris from receiver to running back this season to keep that balance. "He had to step up," Bethany said. "He's a dynamic player. Wherever he is on the field, he'll try to make a play. He has the speed to do it from anywhere."

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