Central Catholic Marianist High School

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Central Catholic High School
1403 North St. Mary's Street
San Antonio, Texas, (Bexar County) 78215
United States
Coordinates 29°26′12″N 98°29′7″W / 29.43667°N 98.48528°W / 29.43667; -98.48528Coordinates: 29°26′12″N 98°29′7″W / 29.43667°N 98.48528°W / 29.43667; -98.48528
Type Private, Day, College-prep
Motto Men of faith, men of letters, men of action
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic,
Society of Mary (Marianists)
Patron saint(s) Bl. Fr. William Joseph Chaminade
Established 1852
Sister school Providence High School
Area trustee John J. Stephens
President Paul Garro[1]
Principal Michael Wohlfarth
Chaplain Rev. Donald Cowie, S.M.
Grades 912
Gender Boys
Number of students 601 (2016-2017)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Navy Blue and White         
Fight song "Central Will Shine Tonight"
Athletics conference TAPPS Class 6A
Mascot Button
Nickname Central
Team name Buttons
Rival Antonian College Preparatory
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Newspaper The Pep
Yearbook The Fang
Athletic Director Carlos Enrico

Central Catholic High School, is a Catholic, all-male, non-boarding college preparatory school located in the River North District of Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA, in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio.


The school began as St. Mary's Institute on March 25, 1852 in rented rooms above a blacksmith's shop on Military Plaza.[3] The original faculty consisted of Brother Anthony Edel (Founder, First Superior, and First Principal) from Ohio, three Marianist Brothers from Bordeaux, France (Nicholas Koenig, Jean-Baptiste Laignounse, and Xavier Mauclerc), and Timothy O'Neil, a layman from San Antonio.

The school moved to a new 2-story building at 112 College Street March 1, 1853. In 1891, the school was renamed St. Mary's College, reflecting its expansion to include boarders and primary and middle school grades. In 1923, the school added boarding students from St. Louis College and was renamed St. Mary's Academy.[4] The site is now a hotel entryway, recognized by Texas Historical Marker #3819[5] as the location of Old St. Mary's College, or "The Old Academy."

In 1932, the school relocated to a new 3-story brick building on 2.2 acres (0.89 ha) at 1403 N. St. Mary's Street and was renamed once more to Central Catholic High School. The third floor was not occupied until 1953. Grade school classes were dropped in 1955. A Dr Pepper bottling plant occupied the northeast corner of the site until 1956. On December 6, 1982, the school was incorporated in the State of Texas as Central Catholic Marianist High School. Upon the assumption by Rev. Joseph Tarrillion, SM,[6] of the presidency, the school's name was changed back to Central Catholic High School. The school now occupies over 10 acres (4.0 ha) after purchase of surrounding properties.

Central Catholic is one of the oldest high schools in San Antonio, and it counts many prominent business and political leaders among its alumni. It was the first all-boys school in San Antonio and remains one of the largest all-male schools in Texas. Texas Historical Marker #788[5] on the school's front lawn describes the school's history and denotes it as a Texas landmark.


The Central Catholic mascot is the Buttons which are hard, round protrusions found anterior to the rattles of the rattle snake. The mascot pays tribute to St. Mary's University, of which the high school was originally a part of, whose mascot is the Rattler.


Central competes in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS). For the 2008-2010 alignment, Central is in Division I District 2 for Winter Soccer and 11 Man Football and 6A District 2 in Baseball, Swimming, Track and Field, Golf, Tennis, and Basketball. Central competes in Cross Country in the TAPPS 6A division.[7]

Central has won ten TAPPS state championships: Cross Country (1996, 2007), Football (2001), Golf (2000, 2003),Soccer (2007, 2008, 2009, 2014), and Track (2001).[citation needed]

From 1935-1996(Spring), Central Catholic competed in the Texas Catholic Interscholastic League, winning 25 state championships: Basketball, 15 (1937, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1984, 1991); Baseball, 6 (1954, 1958, 1959, 1976, 1980, 1984); Football, 2 (1970, 1990); Soccer, 1 (1987); Diving (1981); and Track, 1 (1982).[citation needed]

In the 2005-06 school year, Central Catholic was home to District and/or Regional champs in seven sports: Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Track, Swimming, Tennis, and Lacrosse.[citation needed]

Golf The 2009 Varsity Golf team is now working on various different aspects not only on the game itself but about etiquette also. The team practices at not only Pecan Valley and Republic but other various popular courses around San Antonio.[citation needed]

Cross Country In 1996, the Cross Country team won the TAPPS State Title for the first time in Central's history.[citation needed] The captain was a senior named John Talafuse and he led the team by winning the race.[citation needed] The team was made up of students from all grade levels, including two freshmen. The Coach was Roger Soler, a former Olympian from Peru, who also owns 5 running stores in San Antonio and South Texas. During the 2006 season, the school's Cross-Country team took the runner-up award at the TAPPS state meet ahead of all South, East, North and Central Texas teams, but losing to El Paso Cathedral by two points.[citation needed] However; in 2007, Central won the TAPPS State Championship.[citation needed]

Soccer With Head Coach Kelly Altman, named TAPPS coach of the year across all sports in 2009, and Assistant Coach Gilbert Gomez ('84), the school's soccer team won its third consecutive state championship in the 2008-2009 season, defeating Plano John Paul II, 2-1 and finished with a season record of 20-5.[citation needed] Led by captain Chuy Cortez, the two-time Express News player of the year, the team won the 2007-2008 state championship by defeating Houston St. Thomas by a score of 4-0 in the finals, completing a 22-1-1 season.[citation needed] This season included a victory over Austin Lanier in the East Central tourney during the 2007-2008 season, establishing a new state record for consecutive victories at 32.[citation needed] In 2006-2007 the team won the state championship after defeating Austin St. Michaels by a score of 5-1. The championship finished up an undefeated season of 22-0-0. In 2014, the team won its fifth TAPPS State Championship, defeating Addison Trinity Christian Academy, 4-2 in a penalty shootout.[citation needed]

Football In the 2007 Football Season, Head Coach Carlos Enrico, along with assistant coaches L.D. Green, Charles Pena, Michael Gomez, Lou Garza, David Vela, Don Nelson, and Richard Schoanert, led the Buttons to Central's first undefeated regular season in over thirty years and a #4 ranking in the city.[citation needed]After a 10-0 regular season and the District Championship, the Buttons were defeated by the 2008 TAPPS Division I State Champion Houston St. Pius in the State Semifinals, finishing 11-1.[citation needed] Season highlights include victories over 6 public schools and a nailbiting defeat of arch-rival Holy Cross at the Holy Bowl for the first time in 3 years.[citation needed]

In 2008, the Buttons posted an 8-2 regular season record with a #7 ranking in the city and averaged 37.9 points per game.The Buttons ended their season losing in the State playoff semifinals to Dallas Bishop Lynch.[citation needed]

Track and Field The Central Catholic Track and Field Team has won the District Championship for three consecutive seasons (2006, 2007, and 2008) and the title of State Runner-Up for two consecutive seasons (2007 and 2008).[8] In 2007, the squad's 4x100 Meter and 4x800 Meter Relay Teams each set their respective TAPPS state records (42.96 seconds and 1:29.76, respectively).[9] Both teams also set the school records.

Lacrosse Central Catholic also has one of the oldest lacrosse teams in the city of San Antonio, claiming a newly formed division title in 2006. The Lacrosse team claimed the district title in 2009 for the newly-formed San Antonio district by defeating Reagan Lacrosse. The team eventually lost in the state semi-finals to Stony Point. In 2010, The team ended up making it to the district finals, coming up short against Reagan. The 2011 team lost in the district semi-final to TMI.[citation needed]

Swimming Central Catholic recently made 2nd place at regionals this year(2017), beating Antonian.

Central Catholic's swim team is the fastest relay at regionals and state.[citation needed] Central Catholic diver, Robert Notzon, was the men's diving state champion in 1981.[citation needed]

Tennis Central Catholic's tennis team performed well under captain Jacob Carmichael's going to the TAPPS State Championship in Tennis from 2009-2012.[citation needed]

The Holy Bowl[edit]

The annual football game with Holy Cross is known as "The Holy Bowl." Central Catholic leads the series 35-11. First game was played in November 1963 at the old Missions Stadium on a Sunday. Central won that first meeting. The only years that these two teams didn't play were 1974 & 1975 (due to reclassifying the division) and 1994, 1995, 1996, & 1997 due to the intensity of the rivalry.

Central Catholic VS. Holy Cross in "The Holy Bowl" (2013)

"The Holy Bowl" has been held in almost every stadium in the city. Including the Alamodome (2002-2004).

The "Holy Bowl" was usually played as the regular season finale for both schools. Most often throughout the series the winner claimed not only the "The Holy Bowl" trophy but also the district title. In 2012, however, marked the first time in the history of the series that Central Catholic and Holy Cross met in their season opener. The scheduling changed when Holy Cross was moved from TAPPS 2-I to TAPPS 3-II in the realignment by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

Starting in 2014 "The Holy Bowl" will begin its third hiatus due to scheduling conflicts.

After 46 years of competition "The Holy Bowl" was the second oldest rivalry in the city.

Student Life[edit]

Providence Catholic High School

Student Council[edit]

Student Council plays a role in student life as well. STUCO is the group that performs the Pep Rally that are always a huge success at Central Catholic. The Student Council also runs the BNN (Button News Network)

U.S. Army JROTC[edit]

Central Catholic is one of only two private schools in the city with a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) unit (T.M.I.: The Episcopal School of Texas is the other) and also bears the distinction of being the oldest JROTC program in the city (established in 1935). It is also one of the largest Army JROTC programs in the nation. Students were required (until August 2014) to enroll for two years in the corps, third and fourth years being optional. The program is now entirely optional. Currently, the unit bears the title of honor unit, placing in the top 50% of nationwide AJROTC units. Although Central Catholic is a single-gender school, female students from Providence High School, Central Catholic's next door neighbor, may also choose to participate in the program, which was integrated in the 2003-2004 school year. It also has one of only two JROTC units in Texas with its own marching band.

The school is home to the Bordelon Rifles, consisting of two of the top air rifle shooting teams (a precision team and sporter team) in the nation. Shooters on the team consistently place well not only on local levels, but shoot at national and international levels, placing themselves high in rankings for the teams and the shooters themselves. They boast many titles and trophies for their efforts, including the top prize from the American Legion Individual Overall National Championship in 1995, awarded to 1997 graduate Steve Wilson. The teams also have produced a number of holders of the distinguished Excellence in Competition Badge. The teams are named for SSgt. William J. Bordelon, USMC, a Central Catholic graduate who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal is now on display in the atrium of the main building. There is also a highway dedicated in his memorial. There are two signs that display this between I-35 and I-37. It is the first sign to have the insignia of the medal of honor.

The Central Catholic JROTC is also home to the Chaminade Guard (affectionately referred to as "The Machine"), one of the oldest active military exhibition drill teams in the United States. The prestigious drill team was organized in 1938 and named after Bl. Fr. William Joseph Chaminade, the founder of the Society of Mary. The junior varsity drill team, the Loyd Rifles, was organized in 1961 as a Junior Varsity team when the Guard became too large of a unit. The team is named after First Lieutenant U.S. Army, Frank J. Loyd Jr. (class of 1945), another one of Central Catholic's U.S. military heroes.

Button Band[edit]

Part of the Fine Arts Department at Central Catholic, the Button Band performs as a marching band during half-time shows at football games and later in the school year becomes a wind band. In addition, the Button Jazz Band also provides musical support at many community events throughout the year. Besides performing at assemblies, parades and concerts, students also participate in the brass choir and woodwind choir. A variety of music is studied. In the mid-1960s, the Button Band began accepting students from Providence High School (an all-girls school) adjacent to Central Catholic. As of recently, the Button Band has won the US Bands State Marching Competition from 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 in the 1A Band category. The JROTC Band is one of the most unique elements of the Button Band. It is one of two throughout the state of Texas.

School song[edit]

With loyal hearts we e'er stand by
Our alma mater Central High.
For her we'll fight right to the end,
Her honor we'll defend.
We'll always strive for victory.
We'll always win her fame,
And add them to her glorious name.
God bless our Central High!

Notable alumni[edit]

See also Central Catholic Marianist High School alumni


  1. ^ Chris Gill. "Central Catholic - Board of Directors". cchs-satx.org. 
  2. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ "- Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". tshaonline.org. 
  4. ^ "- Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". tshaonline.org. 
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  6. ^ "After a lifetime of service, Rev. Joseph Tarrillion, S.M. '51 retires; named President Emeritus at Central Catholic High School" (PDF). November 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  10. ^ "About Rick Galindo". rickgalindo.com. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2006-09-21. 
  12. ^ "SonnyRadio.com // Welcome--Radio as You Know it is About To Change!". sonnyradio.com. 
  13. ^ "Sonny Melendrez". IMDb. 

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