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HGP's rowing program has one student-athlete rowing in college (La Salle University freshman Zach Geiser, right) and a second one, HGP senior Grayson Bautz (left, in red shirt), poised to be a collegiate coxswain at Holy Cross in 2018-19.

HGP rowing is already making serious waves

When J.D. Bridges took the job as Holy Ghost Prep’s first-ever rowing coach three years ago, he knew there would be challenges as he built the program from scratch.

“As someone who had coached in this area for a long time, I knew that the boys’ Catholic schools were often great rowing schools, so to find an all-boys private Catholic school without a team was kind of like finding the diamond in the rough,” says Bridges. “I knew there would be challenges, of course—the biggest one is educating the parents and the school community as a whole about rowing. It’s so different from other sports and very few people know anything about it—from the kids to the parents to the administration. It’s expensive, it’s off-campus; it’s just hard to explain sometimes all the different moving parts.”

Led by Bridges, a proven winner in the sport, Holy Ghost Prep is no longer a diamond in the rough. In fact, it’s starting to sparkle with one student-athlete already recruited and rowing in college (La Salle University freshman Zach Geiser) and a second one, HGP senior Grayson Bautz, poised to be a collegiate coxswain at Holy Cross in 2018-19.

“All that success, of course, comes down in the end to the boys. I hoped and, to be honest, expected that they would work hard and love the sport, because I’ve been fortunate enough to introduce rowing to a lot of kids in a lot of different situations over the years, but the HGP kids are just awesome,” says Bridges. “The sense of brotherhood they have; the way they support each other; their work ethic; it’s all just been beyond my expectations from the first day.”

Producing two Division I rowers already—as well as the program’s overall slow, but steady growth from a pair of eight-man boats competing in 2015-16 to two eights and two fours competing this past fall—has been impressive.

Says Holy Ghost Prep athletic director Jim Stewart: “The rowing program has exceeded expectations for three reasons: 1) A very hard-working group of student-athletes who have bought into the philosophy of the program by Coach J.D. Bridges; 2) the parents of our rowers have shown extraordinary support during the early stages of program development; and 3) The expertise of Coach Bridges and his vision have truly shined.

“J.D. is the mastermind behind the operation. His love for the sport, knowledge, professionalism and leadership are a huge reason why HGP rowing has been so successful. We look forward to many more successes in the future!”

Geiser and Bautz are the program’s two biggest early success stories. Geiser, a former baseball player who turned to rowing in 2015, has through-the-roof potential according to his La Salle University coaches, while Bautz, a team captain and a coxswain, will continue his still-young rowing career in college, serving as a tactician in the water at Holy Cross starting next fall.

“We liked Zach because of his height and length … long arms and long legs have the potential to move boats fast,” says La Salle University head rowing coach Tom Madden. “Rowing is one of those sports that most athletes start much later than other mainstream sports, so Zach starting later isn’t all that uncommon. What is great about it from a coaching standpoint is that he has a solid foundation of how to row and moving a boat while still being relatively new to the sport and hungry to continue pushing to be better every year. If Zach continues to focus on improving fitness and technique, he could be a first boat guy for us, for sure.”

During the recently completed fall season, Geiser competed in both second freshman 8 boats and second varsity 8 races and has really left an indelible impression on the Explorers coaches.

“On the water, he is one of the most efficient rowers we have in our program,” says La Salle University assistant rowing coach Marqus Brown. “On the erg, he is learning how to utilize all his length and his been doing tremendously better since the start of the season. I have often said when he gets stronger he’s going to be on a national team boat. I believe he has some of the greatest potential I’ve ever seen.

“He has been in our second freshmen boat, but has been one of those guys that will make our top freshmen boat much faster when he's a little stronger. I am excited to see how he will progress during the winter season. I believe he will be in a gold medal-winning boat at Dad Vails this spring.”

Like Geiser, Bautz came to rowing in 2015 and quickly established himself as one of the program’s leaders—both in and out of the water.

“He was a coxswain right away; he’s not a big guy but he’s smart and assertive. In his first year, as a sophomore coxswain, he was responsible for leading boats full of juniors and seniors and he never blinked. He’s been a leader on the team from day one because he was a coxswain, and now, as captain, he’s a crucial part of helping the team run, on and off the water,” says Bridges. “He has the absolute most important quality any rowing coach looks for in a coxswain: he can make any boat faster. He spots technical flaws in his rowers, knows how to correct them, knows how to motivate his crews, and knows how to think tactically while racing. Grayson’s going to be a great college coxswain.”

Success begets success, so the fact that the HGP program has already produced two collegian rowers in just a few short years has increased student interest in the sport—ensuring that there will be more Division I recruits on the horizon and that the program will continue to grow and thrive.

“Some of our most fit and successful rowers right now are our freshmen and sophomores,” says Bridges. “And a big reason why is that those guys embraced the culture we’ve been working to build right away and are putting in the work; they’re all about rowing from the first day they get to Ghost. They’re buying into what guys like Zach (Geiser) and Grayson (Bautz) have exemplified; but this bigger group of young guys is what will drive the program to really serious success in the next few years. I’m excited to see where it leads.”

 

 

Holy Ghost Prep set a record on Giving Tuesday, raising $24,640 from 78 donors on Nov. 28. This year's Giving Tuesday campaign surpassed last year's amount by almost $10,000.

Holy Ghost Prep sets Giving Tuesday record

For a third consecutive year, Holy Ghost Prep set a record on Giving Tuesday, raising $24,640 from 78 donors on Nov. 28.

This year’s Giving Tuesday campaign surpassed last year’s amount by almost $10,000.

In just its sixth year of existence, Giving Tuesday, a daylong giving campaign on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has grown into a global movement of fundraising for non-profit organizations.

In Holy Ghost Prep’s case, each Giving Tuesday donor had the ability to direct their gift to support a particular need on the HGP’s faculty-staff wish list. This year’s Giving Tuesday generosity allowed HGP to fully fund the following wish-list needs:

  • Four new easels and stools for the art room
  • Over $2,200 toward scholarship grants
  • A new Physiology package for the Physics lab
  • A GoPro Video Camera for athletic practices and games
  • A full scholarship for one student’s Mission Trip
  • $675 for new athletic practice equipment
  • The portable digital voice recorder for the classroom
  • $600 toward the STEM camera kit for filming and photography
  • $10,535 toward our Holy Ghost Prep Annual Fund

“Our goal was to reinforce that gifts of every size really do help support today’s students,” says Alexis Gettings, director of annual giving and alumni engagement. “This year’s Giving Tuesday success was possible thanks to the generous nature of our alumni, who are always willing to lend their support to Holy Ghost Prep.”

  

In his ongoing series of area high school hoops previews, Steve Sherman, a writer for Pa. Prep Live, recently wrote a preview of the 2017-18 Holy Ghost Prep hoops team.

Pa. Prep Live previews HGP's 2017-18 hoops team 

In his ongoing series of area high school hoops previews, Steve Sherman, a writer for Pa. Prep Live, recently wrote a preview of the 2017-18 Holy Ghost Prep hoops team. Click here to read the article. 

 

 

 

Ghost Stories is an online newsletter for alumni, parents, and students of Holy Ghost Prep.
Holy Ghost Prep's annual senior portfolio trip to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) took place on November 16.

HGP students enjoy annual senior portfolio trip to NYC museums

Holy Ghost Prep’s annual senior portfolio trip to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) took place on November 16.

The first stop on the New York museum tour to MoMA took Holy Ghost students up close to some the art world’s most iconic works, including van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Picasso’s “”Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” The seniors all agreed that the Monet “Waterlilies” was breathtaking. The museum educator engaged the students by inviting comments and questions. As they sat near certain works, the HGP students did thumbnail sketches to help them better understand the artist’s intentions.

The tour at the MMA is different. This museum, founded in 1870 “to rival the great museums of Europe,” is a 17-acre, encyclopedic museum. The enormous collection encompasses everything from pre-historic art to contemporary pieces. The docents led the HGP students through discussions as they saw a wide range of works from all countries and time periods.

The seniors were given some free time to tour at each museum. The group this year went to Bill’s Burgers on 51st Street for a fun and delicious lunch.

“It was great experience to see such important art works. The tours also provided inspiration for our own pieces,” said Graham Gibbs ’18

Art teacher Karen Smallen and her husband David accompanied the students. HGP senior portfolio students have been going on the New York City museum trip with Mrs. Smallen for over two decades.

 

On Nov. 21, Holy Ghost Prep athletic director Jim Stewart and HGP student-athletes Matt Doucette (pictured), Tim Wolfe, and Pat Cannon, joined radio host Bill Avington for the taping of the High School Sports Show. The episode will air on Nov. 26.

Three more HGP students appear on area high school sports radio show

On Nov. 21, Holy Ghost Prep athletic director Jim Stewart and HGP student-athletes Tim Wolfe (ice hockey, lacrosse), Pat Cannon (ice hockey), and Matt Doucette (swimming, lacrosse) joined radio host Bill Avington for the taping of the High School Sports Show at the Green Parrot in Newtown, Pa. The topic for that show was the prevention of head injuries and the  importance of baseline testing. 

Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Tuesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the High School Sports Show, now on News Talk 990 AM, is a program that is dedicated to discussing all aspects of high school sports. The episode recorded at the Green Parrot will air from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, November 26.

FYI: After the shows air, they are archived and can be accessed and listened to by clicking here

 
 

 
 

HGP student Anthony Baum, who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, is profiled in the current issue of the Northeast Times.

HGP senior Anthony Baum is profiled in the Northeast Times

HGP senior Anthony Baum, who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, is profiled in the current issue of the Northeast Times. Click here to read the article. 

 

 

 

Holy Ghost Prep lacrosse captains George Rusnak and Matt Rueter signed national letters of intent on November 10 to play Division I lacrosse at Siena College and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), respectively.

Rusnak and Rueter see their Division I dreams come true

With family members, coaches, school administrators, and even some classmates watching, Holy Ghost Prep lacrosse captains George Rusnak and Matt Rueter signed national letters of intent on November 10 to play Division I lacrosse at Siena College and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), respectively.

For the duo, it only seemed right to share their signing day moment with some of the people they care about most.

“Signing to play Division I lacrosse at Siena is a dream come true for me,” says Rusnak. “That dream wouldn’t have become a reality without many of the people in this room, from my parents who drove me to countless practices and games when I was younger, to Matt (Rueter) who has been a great teammate here at Ghost and also with the Bandits travel program, to coach (Ryan) Tessler who has brought out the best in me as a player.”

Says Rueter: “A moment like this, signing with a Division I school, happens because of surrounding yourself with others who push you just as much as you push them every day. I’m so grateful to my family, my coaches, and George who are here to share this with me. I owe a lot to Coach Tessler who has been so crucial in helping me improve as a faceoff guy. He’s always eager to get me and Ghost alum Andrew Rose together during the offseason to get some extra reps in. Coach Tessler and the rest of the coaching staff truly love what they do and their passion is contagious.”

Rusnak and Rueter both played vital roles in HGP’s bounce-back 2017 season last spring. After managing just one win in 2016, the Firebirds fashioned an 11-8 mark against a tough independent schedule and were the number 8 seed in the 2017 District 1 playoffs. Rusnak notched 30 goals and 23 assists and picked up 58 groundballs last season, while Rueter set school records for percentage of faceoffs won (73%) and groundballs (185).

“Siena and NJIT are getting great young men. These two will represent the HGP community very well,” says Holy Ghost Prep lacrosse coach Ryan Tessler. “They are two great leaders that never gave up during a one-win season and then helped change the culture back to the winning ways of HGP lacrosse with an 11-win season last year.

“They are positive and demanding leaders that will do all the behind-the-scenes work that makes a team come together.”  

The duo isn’t resting on its laurels, either. They are two of the unquestioned leaders on Tessler’s team—getting up while it’s still dark out to lead the squad in its early-morning workouts.

“This offseason, they have led workouts two times a week at 6:20 a.m.,” says Tessler. “This is another addition to the offseason regimen that we hope becomes tradition. Building a legacy and leaving the program stronger than how they found it is very important to George and Matt. We are blessed as a coaching staff to have these guys as our leaders.”

The two Division I signees firmly believe that the early-morning winter workouts will pay dividends come spring.

“Our goal is to win a district title,” says Rusnak. “And that won’t be easy as we play in a pretty loaded district. But the team is working extremely hard, and I think we’ll have a special season in 2018.”

After that, it will be off to college for Rusnak and Rueter, who will both major in business and who both signed with colleges within a reasonable driving distance from Holy Ghost, which will allow their parents to see them play often in college.   

“It’s great that I’ll only be three-and-a-half hours away at Siena, so family and friends can definitely come see me play in college,” says Rusnak.

“Playing at NJIT will have lots of benefits,” says Rueter. “My family will be able to easily come up and see me play college lacrosse, and I’ll be just a short train ride away from New York City, which will provide plenty of possible avenues for me as a business major in college.”

  

 

 

HGP student Owen Sienko '18, a self-proclaimed history buff, recently experienced the "Terracotta Warriors" exhibit at the Franklin Institute and wrote about his experience in a published Reality newspaper column.

Owen Sienko '18 writes published article about Terracotta Warriors exhibit 

HGP student Owen Sienko '18, a self-proclaimed history buff, recently experienced the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Franklin Institute and was amazed by what he saw. Sienko wrote about his experience in a recent Reality column that appears this week in a group of local newspapers. 

Click here to read his article. 

 

 

Holy Ghost Prep's Class of 2019 received their high school rings during a special Mass on Nov. 5. (photo by Catalano Studio)

HGP celebrates its annual Junior Ring Mass

Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2019 received their high school rings during a special Mass in the Chapel of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit on Nov. 5.

Rev. Christopher McDermott, C.S.SP. presided over the beautiful liturgy—blessing the rings before they were presented to the members of the junior class by Holy Ghost Prep president Gregory J. Geruson ’79 in the presence of family, friends, and members of the HGP community. This day, when the junior class receives these timeless symbols of their time at Holy Ghost Prep, is one of the most cherished traditions at HGP.

After the Mass, the juniors and their families attended a reception in the Dining Hall, hosted by the Class of 2020 parents and the Mothers’ Guild.

To access a full gallery of Ring Mass photo by Catalano Studio photos, click here

 

 

Ghost Stories is an online newsletter for alumni, parents, and students of Holy Ghost Prep.
The Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) announced its all-league teams for the fall sports season, and Holy Ghost Prep was well represented on those lists.

Holy Ghost Prep is well represented on fall season’s All-BAL teams

The Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) announced its all-league teams for the fall season, and Holy Ghost Prep was well represented on the league’s annual best of the best player lists for each sport.

For a second straight year, HGP’s Connor Fife was selected the league MVP in soccer. In addition, two HGP coaches, Ken Lawson (soccer) and Mike Meistering (cross country), were named 2017 BAL Coach of the Year in their respective sports. 

The following HGP student-athletes earned All-BAL honors this fall: 


Golf

First Team: Liam Hart '19, Dan Kovacevich '19, DJ Pinciotti '18

Second Team: Chris Aileo '18, Jack Bishop '18

Honorable Mention: Owen Heffernan '19


Cross Country

First Team: Tony Carbino '19, Antonio Camacho '21, Elliott Puckett '21

Second Team: Nick Polidoro '19, John Horgan '21, Killian Brennan '20, Paul Watkins '20

2017 BAL Coach of the Year: Mike Meistering

 

Soccer

First Team: Connor Fife '18, Alex Finney '18, Nkosi Graham '19, Sasha Rubinstein '18

Second Team: Brendan Eagen '18, Cole Martillotti '18, Ethan Ruppersberger '19, Tyler Weimert '20

2017 BAL Most Valuable Player: Connor Fife

2017 BAL Coach of the Year: Ken Lawson 

 

 

On Nov. 3, Lorraine Marchand, the director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management program at Columbia University, kicked off HGP's lecture series on healthcare and science.

HGP launches lecture series on healthcare and science

On November 3, Holy Ghost Preparatory School launched its inaugural lecture series on the topics of healthcare and science. Bringing together leaders, educators, and researchers, HGP plans to highlight development, innovation, and change within the healthcare industry.

Lorraine Marchand, the director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management program at Columbia University, kicked off the first session for 35 students with an interactive presentation. Marchand has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private healthcare sectors.  

In addition to teaching and advising positions at the Mailman School of Public Health, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, Rutgers University School of Business, and Princeton University, she has held executive roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Covance, and Cognizant Technology Solutions, where she developed strategies and solutions to help bring safer and more effective biopharmaceuticals to market.  In 2014, she was awarded the Hannah Penn Business Woman Leadership Award by the Governor of Pennsylvania.

  

Holy Ghost Prep has hired Dr. Aaron Pollock as the school's new director of counseling. Dr. Pollock will start at Holy Ghost Prep on Nov. 20.

HGP hires Aaron Pollock as new director of counseling

Holy Ghost Prep has hired Dr. Aaron Pollock as the school’s new director of counseling.

Dr. Pollock, currently a therapeutic counseling therapist in private practice and with the Inspira Health Network in Glassboro, N.J., will start at Holy Ghost Prep on Nov. 20.   

Pollock’s diverse experience in educational and mental health settings—including five years as a counselor at an all-boys school environment at St. Joseph’s Prep—made him rise to the top of stellar pool of candidates. 

A licensed professional counselor, Pollock has a Psy.D and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master's degree in counseling and clinical health psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Albright College. 

 

Liam Hart '19 became the second HGP golfer in the past three years to capture the state title, joining Steve Cerbara in 2015.

Liam Hart ’19 wins PIAA Class 3A golf title

To the victor go the donuts, at least in Liam Hart’s world.

A day after making some history by shooting a final round 71 at the Heritage Hills Resort on Oct. 24 in York, Pa. to win the PAA Class 3A state golf title, Hart, a junior at Holy Ghost, was greeted in his history class with three dozen Krispy Kreme congratulatory donuts, courtesy of Holy Ghost’s director of admissions Ryan Abramson ’94.

“He made some history, so I thought I’d honor him in his history class,” says Abramson.

Hart had to overcome a tough Heritage Hills course, a stellar field of golfers, and weather delays aplenty to win the state title with a 36-hole total of one-over par 143.  He becomes the second HGP golfer in the past three years to capture the state title, joining Steve Cerbara in 2015.

“Winning states and having the gold medal around my neck is just a huge feeling of satisfaction,” says Hart. “After all this time, everything I have worked for has finally paid off. It’s the biggest win of my golfing career, and I’m still letting it sink in.”

Hart started the final round in fourth place, but birdied the sixth, seventh, and ninth holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard. His steady play on the back nine—which included pars on the final three holes—won him the state title.

“I could not be more excited for Liam! He is genuinely one of the nicest young men I have ever coached,” says Holy Ghost Prep coach Mark Walder ’02. “I have never heard anyone from teammates to opposing coaches and players say anything but glowing things about Liam. He has always represented Holy Ghost Prep well on and off the golf course. 

“Liam is unflappable. He had many instances where other players would have lost focus and their rounds would have deteriorated. The rounds at Heritage Hills are six hours long, and there are many times during the round where players have to wait 10-15 minutes before hitting their next shot.  During these periods of wait there is a lot of time to let bad thought creep in and dwell on what you did wrong. 

“Liam's ability to stay in a good frame of mind and maintain his focus on his plan is the reason why he won. That sounds easy, but anyone who has played competitive golf knows how difficult that truly is.”

 

 

  

Thanks to the generosity of the golfers and the tournament sponsors, the 2017 Holy Ghost Golf Classic raised over $33,000 for Holy Ghost Prep athletics.

2017 HGP Golf Classic is a success

Eighty alumni and friends of Holy Ghost Prep participated in the second annual HGP Golf Classic on October 23 at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale.

Thanks to the generosity of the golfers and the tournament sponsors, the 2017 Holy Ghost Golf Classic raised over $33,000 for Holy Ghost Prep athletics.

The Holy Ghost Prep Golf Classic attracted some celebrity golfers this year. Chris Crawford ’11 (who played in the U.S. Open earlier this year), former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles (a member of the 1980 World Series champions), and former Philadelphia Flyer Bill Clement (who won two Stanley Cup rings in the mid-1970s with the “Broad Street Bullies”) all played in the event.

If that weren’t enough star power, Nolan Jones ’16, who just completed a successful second year of professional baseball with the single-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers, served as the guest speaker at the post-golf outing dinner.  Jones compiled a .317 batting average with four HRs and 33 RBIs this season and seems destined to keep ascending through the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system.

On the course, the foursome of Eric Holt ’03, Michael Holt’91, Vince Pintimalli ’96, and Joe Pintimalli ’88 won the tournament, carding by one stroke with a team net score of 285. The second-place foursome—with a combined score of 286—was Larry Scheetz ’98, Ryan Becker ’98, James Foraker ’97, and Mike Cavanaugh ’01.

Eric Holt ’03 also shot the low round (for a second straight year) with a 69, while Phil Holt ’06 and Mike Steinberg, won the closest to the pin awards on the fourth hole and 17th hole, respectively. The aforementioned Nolan Jones ’16 (third hole) and current parent Dan Pinciotti (10th hole) captured the longest drive awards.

The HGP Golf Classic saw a significant increase in its level of sponsorships this year with over companies sponsored the event. Holt Logistic Corporation and McDonald Building Co. served as the lead sponsors, while Chapman Auto Group sponsored the “hole-in-one” contest at the ninth hole at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale.

To see a full list of this year’s sponsors, click here

The event was successful, thanks to the tireless efforts of the 2017 Golf Classic committee. The committee was made up of eight alumni (Thomas Holt Jr.’81, Anthony Naccarato ’84, Michael Harte ’81, Eric Holt ’03, Lou Petroni, Jr.’99, Frank Seravalli ’06, John Venne ’86, Mark Walder ’02); four alumni parents (Paula Bosley-Cerbara, Karen Crawford, Chuck Miller, and Dennis Murray); and one current parent (George Rusnak).

To see more Catalano Studio photos from the golf outing, click here.

 

 

 

 

  

On Oct. 25, four members of HGP's junior class—Jimmy Hindley, Tony Carbino, Ryan Spangler, and Alex Kobilnyk—traveled to the Valley Forge Military Academy for the Leadership and Ethics Conference.

HGP students attend Leadership and Ethics Conference

On October 25, Holy Ghost Prep teacher Pat Hoelzle ’01 and four members of HGP’s junior class—Jimmy Hindley, Tony Carbino, Ryan Spangler, and Alex Kobilnyk—traveled to the Valley Forge Military Academy for the Leadership and Ethics Conference.

At the conference, the students were challenged to ask themselves “How can we be leaders in our school communities?” Additionally, the four HGP students gained valuable insight about how to develop ethical and empathetic leadership skills by participating in small group breakout sessions and listening to the experiences of three keynote speakers: Col. John C. Church, USMCR (Retired), Lt. Col. Eric Stetson (Retired), and Jonathan Childs, a 2002 graduate from West Point.

 

On Oct. 24, Holy Ghost Prep student-athletes Chris Aileo, Ryan Callahan, Sean O'Hara, and Jack Rittenmeyer joined radio host Rich Henkels for the taping of the High School Sports Show. The episode will air on Oct. 29.

Four more HGP students appear on area high school sports radio show

On Oct. 24, Holy Ghost Prep student-athletes Chris Aileo (golf), Ryan Callahan (bowling), Sean O'Hara (soccer), and Jack Rittenmeyer (basketball) joined radio host Rich Henkels for the taping of the High School Sports Show at the Green Parrot in Newtown, Pa. The topic for that show was the importance of student-athletes taking the time to perform community service. 

Part of a series of programming that tapes weekly on Tuesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the High School Sports Show, now on News Talk 990 AM, is a program that is dedicated to discussing all aspects of high school sports. The episode recorded at the Green Parrot will air from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29.

This marks the second straight High School Sports Show featuring HGP student-athletes. On the show that just aired on Oct. 22, Holy Ghost Prep baseball players Mark Seibert, Brett Sternberg, and Ryan Staropoli, along with HGP baseball coach Vince Rossomando, were among the guests. 

FYI: After the shows air, they are archived and can be accessed and listened to by clicking here

Holy Ghost Prep's next appearance on the High School Sports Show will be taped on Nov. 21 at the Green Parrot in Newtown, Pa.. The topic for that show will prevention of head injuries and the importance of baseline testing. 

 
 

 
 

Holy Ghost Prep senior Ryan Callahan was recently recognized for his academic, athletic, and community service achievements as the 2017 school winner in the annual Wendy's High School Heisman contest.

Senior Ryan Callahan is HGP’s 2017 High School Heisman winner

Holy Ghost Prep senior Ryan Callahan was recently recognized for his academic, athletic, and community service achievements as the 2017 school winner in the annual Wendy’s High School Heisman contest.  

“Ryan is known by his teachers and friends for his commitment to excellence. We are excited and honored that a program like Wendy’s High School Heisman is also recognizing his hard work,” said Holy Ghost Prep principal Jeff Danilak.

Callahan is near the top of Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018, maintaining good grades while being involved with numerous extracurricular activities. One of the captains of Holy Ghost’s 2017 BAL bowling champions (14-3 record last season), Callahan is also a YMCA camp counselor during the summertime and works part-time as a busboy at a local restaurant during the school year. In addition, Callahan volunteers for the Miracle League, an organization which removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime.

Tom Eckerle, a social studies teacher at Holy Ghost who also serves as head coach of the HGP bowling team, is proud that Callahan, one of his team captains, was recognized with the award.

“I couldn't be happier that Captain Callahan has been declared a school winner of the High School Heisman Award,” says Eckerle. “Captain Callahan has been a leader in our school and on our bowling team since he came here. He is as good as it gets when it comes to bowlers, students, and humans. Captain Callahan is California-cool, with care and concern for his teammates, friends, and others.”

As Holy Ghost Prep’s school winner, Callahan will receive a School Winner certificate and a Wendy’s High School Heisman patch. Callahan moved onto the statewide competition of Wendy’s High School contest, but he was not chosen as one of state finalists. Following the state finalists’ announcement, the names of the two state winners, one male and one female, will be revealed before the field is narrowed down to 10 national finalists.        

These 10 national finalists, five males and five females, and their families will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Ceremony and the announcement of the two national winners.

The Wendy’s High School Heisman Scholarship was created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Twenty-two years later, Wendy’s has honored more than 600,000 high school seniors who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.

Wendy’s High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.   

 

Holy Ghost Prep junior Liam Hart made a 30-foot putt on his final hole at the 2017 PIAA Eastern Regional championships to earn a trip to states.

HGP junior Liam Hart sinks 30-foot putt to earn trip to states

As Holy Ghost Prep junior Liam Hart stood over a 30-foot putt on his final hole at the 2017 PIAA Eastern Regional championships at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood, Pa. on October 16, he wasn’t nervous.

The reason? Hart was still out on the course and, due to the tournament’s shotgun format, he didn’t know what the tournament’s exact cut line would be. If he holed the putt, Hart would finish with a 79, right at the projected cut line that HGP coach Mark Walder had established before the day’s play began.

“I felt that I needed this putt to at least have a chance to make the cut,” says Hart. “I honestly was not that nervous standing over it for the reason that I really did not know what was going on. If I had known at the time that I had to make that putt to go to states, I would have been incredibly nervous. Since I was unaware, I was as calm as ever.”

Fresh off a three-putt at the previous hole, Hart lined up the putt and struck it well.

“I thought that the putt had a chance to go in right when it came off the putter face,” says Hart. “All day I was struggling with my putter and something just didn't feel quite right with my stroke. However, that final putt just felt different when I hit it. It just felt perfect right off the face and it started exactly on the line I wanted it to with the perfect speed and it dropped right in the center.”

When all was said and done, his magical 30-foot putt on the final hole punched Hart’s ticket to the October 23rd PIAA Class 3A state tournament at Heritage Hills in York, Pa.

“Turns out that if he had missed that putt he and another player from our district, who shot 6 under par last week, would have been in a two-man playoff for the last spot (at states),” said Walder, who attended regionals along with Hart’s parents.

How did Hart celebrate his unforgettable putt?  “We probably would have celebrated by going out to dinner, but I had quite a bit of homework to catch up on from the day that I had missed,” says Hart. “Instead, we just got burritos from Chipotle, which I thought was a great way to celebrate.”

Hart has literally been training for pressure-packed moments like the 30-foot putt for most of his life. His father John, avid golfer, bought him his first golf clubs at the age of 4, and young Liam immediately started hitting shots in his parents’ backyard.

“John had hoped it would become an activity they could enjoy together,” says Maria Hart, Liam’s mother. “He also knew if he could take Liam golfing with him, I would have no objections to letting him play every weekend!

“We soon observed that Liam had a natural ability and love for the game.”

The Harts are members of the Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland, which has allowed Hart the opportunity to constantly feed his love of the game. His obvious passion for the sport, combined with a tireless work ethic, has allowed Hart to blossom into a state qualifier as a junior.

“Liam has a great work ethic. You don’t develop the skills he has without putting in the time and effort,” says Walder. “The thing that will determine how good he can be is whether he can continue to put in the work without getting complacent. Consistent practice and preparation is what separates the best players from the pack in golf.  Nothing about Liam’s personality points towards complacency, he’s a competitor who wants to win.”

Hart has aspirations to continue the recent run of HGP golfers who have played collegiately, joining the likes of Jon Gunerman ’10, Chris Crawford ’12, Steve Cerbara ’16, and Jack La Rosa ’17.

“It’s no accident, in my opinion, that Holy Ghost produces so many good golfers,” says Hart. “In our matches and our practices, all of the golfers in our HGP van are always pushing each other to be the best we can be.”

Walder has also played a vital role in Hart’s development.

“The most significant role that Coach Walder has played in my development is helping me with my mental game,” says Hart. “Before I came to Ghost, my ability to control my temper when something went wrong on the course was poor.  Now, after spending more than two years with Coach Walder, I would say it's one of the stronger parts of my game. 

“A good example of this was at regionals, where I sank the putt to advance to states. I was six-over par after eight holes, and I could have easily became frustrated and given up.  However, thanks to the guidance I have received from Coach Walder, I remained calm and patient and played my last 10 holes extremely well.”

Walder believes that Hart has the ability to be HGP’s next collegiate golfer.

“He has the skills to be a college golfer, it’s a matter of whether he wants it or not,” says Walder. “You have to have serious game to qualify for regionals in our district and then to qualify for states. 

“The biggest difference between Liam and the guys who are competing in college is distance, which is something that can be developed.”

 

 

Acclaimed financial writer Jim McTague '67 became the latest HGP alum to serve as Holy Ghost Prep's Executive in Residence.

Jim McTague ’67 serves as HGP’s latest Executive in Residence

Acclaimed financial writer Jim McTague ’67 became the latest HGP alum to serve as Holy Ghost Prep’s Executive in Residence.   

McTague spent his career as a journalist, covering the finance industry and politics and served as a contributing editor to Barron’s and several other publications. He is a credentialed Congressional correspondent and currently is writing a novel, a work of fiction that takes place on Capitol Hill.

McTague spent the entire day at Holy Ghost on October 18, lecturing in several classes and meeting with HGP administrators, faculty, and staff. While in Pat Hoelzle’s creative writing class, McTague discussed his own writing process (he currently spends between two and five hours hours per day on his writing) and told tales ranging from covering mobster trials with the Asbury Park Press to writing about the economy during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

McTague also offered practical tips to help the current crop of HGP students become more precise wordsmiths.

“Creative writing has to be wedded to technique,” McTague told the students. “You can’t be a good writer without the basics—spelling, grammar, and the ability to structure a story—but a passion for accuracy and the truth is what separates great writers from good writers.”

Holy Ghost Prep’s Executive in Residence program, now in its third year, is modeled from similar experiences found at many top business schools at major universities where senior executives who are alums are integrated into the life of the school.

Prior to McTague, HGP’s two previous Executive in Residence visitors were Ray Glemser ’79, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glemser Technologies and Robert Barber ’75, executive director and senior legal counsel in AT&T’s Washington, D.C. office.

“We were thrilled to have Jim back on campus to serve as our latest Executive in Residence.  Jim was able to bring a truly unique perspective to our students in three completely different classes—AP economics, creative writing, and AP government,” says Holy Ghost Prep president Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “Our Executives in Residence program is just another avenue for Holy Ghost Prep alums to give back to this school. They provide invaluable insight to our students, and we are grateful for their generous contributions.”


 

 

 
 

Ghost Stories is an online newsletter for alumni, parents, and students of Holy Ghost Prep.
Holy Ghost Prep held its annual Career Day which provided the Class of 2018 with the opportunity to learn about different career paths from distinguished HGP alumni.

Holy Ghost Prep holds annual Career Day for its senior class

On October 11, Holy Ghost Prep held its annual Career Day for its senior class which provided the Class of 2018 with the opportunity to learn about different careers from a distinguished group of nine HGP alumni.

“Holy Ghost has produced thousands of impressive graduates,” says Holy Ghost President Gregory J. Geruson ’79. “It’s quite powerful for our current students to see people who were once in their shoes at Holy Ghost and who have gone on to experience great success since leaving here.

“We are truly thankful to these alumni for taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the Class of 2018—and to Holy Ghost.”

After a brief introductory talk by lawyer Joe Pargola ’96 about the collective power of the HGP alumni association, groups of seniors spent 10-15 minutes meeting with each HGP alumni speaker, leaving with a deep reservoir of career advice by morning’s end.

The nine alumni speakers at the Oct. 11 Career Day were:

  • Brett Antosh ’09, online content coordinator, Pep Boys
  • Brian Begley ’91, partner and portfolio manager, Philadelphia Investment Partners
  • Joseph Burns ’03, chief technology officer, TeePublic
  • Michael Cavanaugh ’01, securities vice president and director of production, Apogee Insurance Group
  • Tim Flocco ’95, power trader, NRG Energy
  • Michael Klucsik ’11, designer, JKRP Architects
  • Alex Kuhn ’11, artist, Alex Kuhn Art
  • Matt Mullin ’05, sports reporter/web producer, PhillyVoice.com 
  • Andrew Romano ’99, financial advisor, Strategies for Wealth

During their presentations, each Holy Ghost Prep alumnus talked about his experiences in his chosen field and how his time at Holy Ghost uniquely prepared him to succeed.

 

 

Holy Ghost Prep senior Anthony Baum has earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

Anthony Baum ’18 achieves highest possible ACT score

Holy Ghost Prep senior Anthony Baum has earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.  

How rare is the feat that Baum achieved? On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score of 36. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2016, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

“Anthony is a highly motivated young man who has excelled as a student at HGP,” says AnnMarie Dougherty, the director of college guidance at HGP. “Anthony is a quietly confident young man with many gifts and talents. Through academics, extracurricular activities, athletics, and the arts, Anthony has contributed his best effort and continues to be open to expanding his talents even further.”

One of the top students in Holy Ghost Prep’s Class of 2018, the soft-spoken Baum currently takes five AP courses and is involved in numerous extracurricular activities. For instance, he was among a group of HGP students who traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the annual Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) competition, a national competition for high school students designed to help them discover their potential for engineering.

In addition, he is an artist, an Eagle Scout, and was one of the top bowlers on HGP’s league title-winning team last winter. Baum is not only a member of the National Honor Society, but also the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and is a National Merit semifinalist. 

“In my humble opinion, Anthony is a genius who flies under the radar,” says Dougherty.

Baum’s perfect ACT score adds credence to Dougherty’s statement. The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take the optional ACT writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter to Baum recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

 

 

 

 
Holy Ghost Prep president Gregory J. Geruson '79 and current HGP parent Melissa Behr are quoted in a Philadelphia Magazine feature on finding the right private school for your children. (Illustration by Angela Rio)

HGP featured in Philadelphia Magazine private school story

Click here to read Philadelphia Magazine's feature that provides tips on finding the right private school for your children. Holy Ghost Prep president Gregory J. Geruson '79 and current HGP parent Melissa Behr are quoted in the piece. 
 

Holy Ghost Preparatory School
2429 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA 19020
P 215.639.2102   F 215.639.4225

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