Preps Talk

Faith in Football: DePaul Academy rules the 1910s

Faith in Football: DePaul Academy rules the 1910s

When eight members of Catholic high schools around the Chicagoland area got together in 1912, they had no idea that the football conference they put together would be going strong more than 100 years later.

The Chicago Catholic League has been the state's top football conference for more than a century.

That dominance was first started by DePaul Academy, a boys only school that won the first five league championships from 1913 to 1917.

Valentine Rock Grunderman led the way in those early years as the lead tailback for the Demons. The 11 touchdown runs he scored in 1916 is still an IHSA record, and he did it in the team's 156-0 win over St. Charles North.

The team played games in the decade at Weeghman Park (now Wrigley Field), Comiskey Park and even Fenway Park.

Check out their run to greatness in the video above, and check back all year long as we document the history of the conference with Faith in Football, History of the Chicago Catholic League, presented by Wintrust.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

School: Simeon

2016-17 record: 30-4, 8-2 Public League Red-South

Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A Title Game

Players to watch: Senior Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State) is one of the area's premier two-way players. Senior forward Messiah Jones (Drake) is an elite leaper and rebounder. Talented junior guard KeJuan Clements is also back. The Wolverines also added some intriguing transfers in Xavier Pinson (St. Pat's) and Northwest Indiana native Zion Young. Both Pinson and Young have Division I interest and add even more perimeter firepower. 

Why they're in the power rankings: On paper, you could argue that Simeon is the most talented team in the state this season. The Wolverines have proven veterans who have won city titles and Division I transfers at multiple positions. But how will all of the pieces fit together? This is a fascinating group with a high ceiling.

Did you know? Making it back to Peoria last season, Simeon has now made 13 state finals appearances.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

2016-17 record: 23-5, 8-2 Public League Red-West

Postseason results: Won Class 2A State Championship.

Players to watch: Seniors Dannie Smith and Raekwon Drake are both major All-Area threats after strong junior seasons. Another senior, Ty Mosley, might actually be the best long-term college prospect of the group as he's pledged to Milwaukee for next season. Sharpshooter Brian Hernandez is another seasoned veteran who has a knack for making big plays.

Why they're in the power rankings: The Spartans return most of last season's Class 2A title team and they also added some key transfers in former Marian Catholic point guard Chase Adams and former Clark wing Demarius Splunge. While the Spartans should be the heavy favorites to repeat in Class 2A, they haven't made as much noise in the Public League Playoffs, which is why they're still behind some of the other schools in the preseason Power Rankings.

Did you know? Orr was absolutely dominant during its Class 2A title run last March as the Spartans won by an average of 21 points. Only one team, Uplift, even played Orr to within single digits and that was still a nine-point margin of victory.