Taking their best shot


The Neumann Pirates are the team the rest of the Catholic League is growing to hate. The squad won the last two championship crowns, and has the talent to do it again this season.


City teams in better state

From the rifle championships of the early 1900s to 17 boys’ basketball crowns, South Philadelphia High has collected cases full of Public League athletic titles.

If everything goes according to plan, future Southern teams — and Public League squads across the city — could have the chance to compete for more prestigious honors.


Welcome back, Butler

Exploring Rasual, The fourth in an occasional series following South Philly native Rasual Butler through his NBA career.

The Miami Heat’s Rasual Butler was eagerly anticipating his debut at the First Union Center.


Bowled over

Southern’s football players walk into the locker room with their heads down after taking a 24-minute beating from St. John Neumann High. They were on their way to a 68-0 defeat, but at halftime, the 42-0 score was reason enough to feel dejected.

What was there to be positive about? They had no first downs, as most of their plays went for a loss or no gain. At that point, the Rams could’ve just taken off their uniforms and handed the win to Neumann.


Fresh for a fight

Thanksgiving week is different than any other week at St. John Neumann High.

The school hosts pep rallies, pie-eating contests and the annual student-teacher football game. The sophomores give everyone a good laugh by dressing up as cheerleaders.


Showing up

When St. John Neumann High teachers take roll, they automatically check off Jack Hatty’s name. The senior hasn’t missed a day of school in his life. Not at Sacred Heart of Jesus or Neumann.

“My parents urged me to go every day,” said the 17-year-old athlete. “They do everything for me, and I had to pay them back somehow.


A time to heal

The locker-room doors are closed to the public. As the sky darkens, Bok football players and coaches remain inside, trying to deal with the frustration of a playoff defeat. Coach Tom DeFelice paces the room, offering words of encouragement.

This was, after all, a year with plenty of positives.


Brothers armed for battle

Even after two seasons of having brothers Allen and Kenny Major on his football team, Bok coach Tom DeFelice still gets the pair mixed up.


Good will, good player

Ike Egbukwu exits the South Philadelphia High locker room with apple juice and a small plastic bag of pretzels. He passes the bag around to his fellow athletes.


Speedy recovery

Jimmy Porreca didn’t enjoy spending last season as a spectator at Neumann football games. But after tearing his left ACL in the Pirates’ opening game, that was about all he could do for the team.