The Conference Countdown continues…with the Greater Catholic League
coming in at No. 2. The names alone – Moeller, St. Xavier, Elder, Alter – earn respect, not to mention the trophy cases full of football gold. There’s no denying the GCL’s place in Ohio history.
2. GREATER CATHOLIC LEAGUE
THE GUTS: Cincinnati Moeller. Perhaps no ONE team in history has done more for its league than Moeller has. The Crusaders WERE Ohio high school football from 1975-1985, when they won seven big school state titles in 11 years. The run even earned a high school coach – Gerry Faust – the head job at Notre Dame. Faust is a Chaminade grad.
HISTORY: The league started playing football in 1931. The founding members were Elder, Purcell-Marian, Roger Bacon and Xavier University High (St. X).
TURNING POINT: 2002. That’s the year the GCL won two titles in the same season for the first – and only – time. In D-I, Elder won its first state title with a 21-19 win over Warren Harding, while in D-II, Chaminade-Julinne, led by then-sophomore Javon Ringer who set a title-game record with 251 yards rushing, won the D-II title with a 41-26 decision over Macedonia Nordonia. Ringer, an All-American at Michigan State, is now with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (15): Moeller (1975-77, 1979-80, 1982, 1985), Purcell-Marian (1986), Hamilton Badin (1990), Dayton Chaminade-Julienne (2002), Elder (2002-03), St. Xavier (2005, 2007), Kettering Alter (2008)
CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Every one of these schools is an annual destination for D-I college recruiters. This season alone, three GCL players rank among the state’s Top 9 prospects according to Ohio High Magazine including St. Xavier OL Matt James (offers from Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Penn State), Moeller QB Andrew Hendrix (Notre Dame commit) and Elder TE Alex Welch (Notre Dame commit). Other GCL seniors have already committed to Michigan State, Cincinnati (three), Indiana (two), Wake Forest and Ball State.
LAST WORD: Roger “The Dodger” Staubach played in this league. Yes, THAT Roger Staubach (of Dallas Cowboy fame). He’s a graduate of Purcell-Marian. And a Heisman Trophy winner. And a Super Bowl winner.
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