Preps Talk

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.