Baltimore Catholic League

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The Baltimore Catholic League (BCL), locally known as the Catholic League is a competitive basketball association composed of private Catholic high schools in the Baltimore, Maryland geographic area.

History[edit]

The BCL was founded in 1972, after the Baltimore high school basketball season culminated in the MSA Championship game, Mt. St. Joseph High School defeated Dunbar High School. This game went on to be known as one of the most remarkable and controversial games in Baltimore high school basketball history. The impetus for the creation of the BCL arrived in the off-season. The goal was to make a separate division from the Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA), which was the league for all high school athletics in the Baltimore area, public or private. The BCL created a division that was strictly for Baltimore area Catholic High Schools.

It is alleged that the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) was the model for the BCL. The BCL was originally composed of most of the schools in the list below, with the most recent additions being The John Carroll School in the 2010-11 season, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the 2011-12 season. At different times during the league's history, Archbishop Curley High School has been a member.

The Cardinal Gibbons School has the most BCL championships to date. O. Ray Mullis, head coach at Cardinal Gibbons, has the most all-time wins of any coach in Baltimore City history (621 wins), while simultaneously claiming the most BCL championships (6). Other notable coaches in the league included Mark Amatucci, formerly of Calvert Hall College, who won a national championship in the early 80s, Cokey Robertson, formerly of St. Maria Goretti High School, Pat Clatchey of Mount Saint Joseph, William Wells formerly of St.Frances Academy, Jerry Savage formerly of Loyola Blakefield, and Dan Popera formerly of Archbishop Curley High School.

Scheduling[edit]

The league works in cooperation with the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). Seven of the 8 teams participate in the MIAA A Conference, which results in each team playing each other twice, once home and once away. St. Maria Goretti is the only member of the BCL that does not participate in the MIAA. Additionally, the McDonogh School basketball team is the only MIAA 'A' conference team that does not participate in the BCL.

After the conclusion of the season, the BCL sponsors a league tournament held at Loyola College's Reitz Arena. The event usually occurs after the MIAA Conference Championship with all 8 teams of the league participating. It is a single-elimination tournament with 4 quarterfinal matchups, 2 semi-final games, and a championship game. The Junior Varsity (JV) teams also play in the tournament, but held at the home of the higher seed for each game.

BCL Game of the Week[edit]

Beginning with the 2006-2007 season, RC Sports Productions broadcasts a Baltimore Catholic League Game of the Week on Fox 1370 Sports Radio (formerly V1370) WVIE in Pikesville, Baltimore.

Participating schools[edit]

Notable BCL alumni[edit]

Many former BCL players later played collegiate basketball at NCAA schools, and these former BCL players later joined the NBA:

Towson Catholic Owls

Calvert Hall Cardinals

Spalding Cavaliers

Gibbons Crusaders

Goretti Gaels

Mount Saint Joseph Gaels

St. Frances Panthers

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDonald, Jeff (June 26, 2009). - "NBA DRAFT; SPURS ADD THREE; Spurs see Blair as steal". - San Antonio Express-News.

External links[edit]