De Smet Jesuit High School

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De Smet Jesuit High School
233 North New Ballas
Creve Coeur, Missouri, (St. Louis County)
United States
Type Private
Motto Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
For the Greater Glory of God
Men for Others
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1967; 50 years ago (1967)
Founder Most Rev. Joseph Cardinal Ritter
Oversight Society of Jesus
President Corey Quinn
Principal Trevor Bonat
Grades 9-12
Gender Boys
Enrollment 964[1] (2015)
Color(s) Maroon and White         
Athletics conference Metro Catholic Conference
Mascot Sparty
Team name Spartans
Rival St. Louis University HS
Christian Brothers College HS
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Average ACT scores 26
Newspaper The Mirror
Yearbook Spartan Olympiad
Tuition $15,980 (2017-2018)
25% receive assistance
Affiliation ISSL, ISACS, NAIS, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Admissions Director, Tim Sullivan
Athletics Director, Kevin Roberts

De Smet Jesuit High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college preparatory high school located in Creve Coeur, Missouri, in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Since the Jesuit Saint Louis University and the High School had opened in 1818, De Smet was opened to accommodate more Jesuit alumni's children in the St. Louis area.

The school began classes in the fall of 1967. It was named in honor of the prominent Belgian Jesuit Great Plains missionary, Pierre-Jean De Smet.


Honors courses are offered in math, English, foreign language, social studies, fine arts, and science, totaling 130 college credit hours. Honors students at De Smet average a score of 31 on the ACT, and grades for honors courses are weighted when calculating grade-point average. The entire curriculum is college prep, but there is a full-service learning center to assist students needing extra help. All students lease a tablet PC, featuring a pen and multi-touch display as well as speech/audio recognition. Moodle is used to facilitate teacher communication with students and parents.

De Smet facilities include a 353-seat performing arts theater.[2]


De Smet Jesuit fields 53 teams in 19 sports, 4 of them non-cut.[3] DeSmet competes in the large school division in the Missouri State High School Activities Association and has won 52 state championships. Including basketball five times (1973, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1999), soccer five times (1991,1993,1995,1997,2011), golf four times (1983,1985,1986, 2003), hockey 14 times[4], tennis twice (1986, 1987), football once (2005), baseball once (2000), swimming and diving once (2002), cross country once (1983),[5] and water polo once (2010).[6] The school competes in the Metro Catholic Conference along with fellow private schools Chaminade College Preparatory, Christian Brothers High School, St. Louis University High School, and St. John Vianney High School. De Smet has won the MCC All-Sports Trophy 11 times in the 21-year existence of the conference.[7]


Three of De Smet's five state basketball championships came under coach Rich Grawer who went on to coach at University of Missouri and St. Louis University. His 1979 team went undefeated, 32-0.[8] His teams also established the current Missouri state large-school record for winning streaks at 63 games.[9][10]

In 2016, the school hired Blake Ahearn as its head varsity basketball coach. Ahearn, an alumnus of the school, was both a standout player in high school and in college at Missouri State University. He also spent a short time in the NBA, including stints with the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz.


A St. Louis high school football power, the Spartans won the 2005 Missouri Class 6 State Championship. Under former head coach Pat Mahoney, De Smet Jesuit has established itself as a St. Louis and Missouri powerhouse. Recent notable athletes at De Smet include Munir Prince[11], Stephen Kaiser[12], Ray Agnew[13][better source needed], Malcolm Agnew[14], Wes Kemp[15], Robert Steeples[16], Durron Neal[17], KeVonn Mabon[18], and Andrew Bauer[19].

Mahoney stepped down as head football coach in 2015, paving way for former Dallas Cowboy and Minnesota Viking and Class of 2008 alum Robert Steeples to take over the program.


The soccer program captured five state titles, four of which occurred during seven years during the 1990s, winning championships in alternating years: 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1997. This period is known among De Smet students and alumni as "The Decade of Dominance." The fifth came in 2011, led by All American Louie Berra.[20] Longtime head coach Greg Vitello led the program from 1969-2014. He is the third-winningest high school coach in United States history.[21] During his time at De Smet, Vitello won five state championships, 33 district championships, and paved the way for five young men to compete on the US National team.[22] Notable players under Vitello included 1998 Parade Magazine Soccer Player of the Year Bill McKeon; his brother Matt McKeon, the 1991 Gatorade Circle of Champions Soccer Player of the Year and the 1995 National Collegiate Player of the Year; Chris Klein, the 1993 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year; Pat Noonan, the 1997 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year; Mike Ambersley, a 2000 Parade Magazine All American and Missouri Player of the Year; and Will Bruin, a 2008 Parade Magazine All-American, a three-time Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year, the 2007 Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year and the 2007 Post-Dispatch Player of the Year.[23] Vitello stepped down in 2014, which vaulted Class of 1997 Alum Josh Klein to the head coaching position.[24]

Campus ministry[edit]

A student Core Team, composed of juniors and seniors who meet during home room, is vitally involved in invigorating all aspects of the Campus Ministry program. Students are, further, encouraged to write prayers for the opening and closing of the school day and reflections for the Friday Holy Hour, and plan liturgies; they also network with youth groups at other schools[25] and parishes.[26]

Retreat program[edit]

All freshmen make the El Camino retreat in which they come to see life as a journey, with role models, heroes, and acceptance of oneself. It is led by seniors and includes team-building exercises, small-group discussions, and faith sharing.  The Kairos retreat runs three days and is led by seniors who have made it. It emphasizes peer leadership and ministry to build solidarity, based on the experience of God’s love in our lives. Follow-up gatherings are held for those attending the retreat.  The senior retreat lasts two full days and introduces retreatants to various methods of prayer from St. IgnatiusSpiritual Exercises, directed toward a facility at finding God in all things.[27]

Service program[edit]

Freshmen serve the school community at school events.  Sophomores assist at school and are also encouraged to volunteer in their neighborhood and church communities.  Juniors select from more than 120 area service agencies; they go out on Mondays and their experiences are incorporated into class on Tuesdays. Many are drawn to tutoring children or recreating with them, at inner-city grade schools, homeless shelters, and in Head Start programs; they also work with children having learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, or behavioral disorders. The elderly in nursing homes offer a mutually enriching experience for many. Seniors continue on and deepen their experience from junior year.   There have also been service-learning trips to Honduras, Belize, South Dakota, and New Orleans, to learn and grow by working with those in need.[28]

The school uses graduates of Jesuit schools as Alum Service Corps volunteers and 14 of these have become full-time teachers at DeSmet.[29]

Liturgies & spirituality[edit]

Mass is celebrated daily at 7:20 am. Each Friday there is a Holy Hour along with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ten large Eucharistic celebrations are held throughout the year, incorporating Holy Days or special events like Mass of the Holy Spirit, Missioning, Thanksgiving, De Smet’s birthday, family Masses with BBQ or breakfast, Ring Mass, and Graduation.

A Christian Life Community group meets weekly for prayer and reflection, focused on Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and on finding God in one’s daily life.  De Smet in Prayer (DIP) has a breakfast meeting before school once each week to discuss, reflect, and pray together on living out one's faith as brothers in the Lord.[26]

In 2016, three DeSmet students won the North American sector of the St. Francis Xavier Global Instagram Competition whose purpose was "to convey a message of hope, zeal, sustainability, diversity and belonging to a global community."[30]

Clubs & activities[edit]

There is a separate Student Government for each year.

De Smet Sports Network[edit]

Founded in 2013 by senior Samuel Dreyer ('14), DSN started as a series of comedic videos to boost school athletic spirit and transformed into a school-wide media platform to broadcast all things De Smet. DSN was made by students for students and live streams school assemblies, liturgies, and athletic events. Under John Hawkey's wise leadership, DSN has continued to flourish and evolve after the brave founders, Lane and Dreyer, graduated.[31] While schools across St. Louis hire outside talent to talk on air, De Smet prides itself on having students live on air. Giovanni DeGregorio ('14), Jay Brunts ('14), Scott Sinovich ('14), and Chris Champion ('15) headlined the original broadcasts and students have continued to steal the hearts of all listeners ever since.

Notable alumni[edit]



Public Figures/Business[edit]


  1. ^ Profile 2015. Accessed 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ "De Smet Jesuit High School, Fine Arts Theater/Auditorium | M² Architecture Studio". M² Architecture Studio. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  3. ^ "De Smet Jesuit High School - Welcome". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "MSHSAA state championships history" (PDF). Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Past Missouri High School State Championship Results". Retrieved 2017-03-24. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Post-Dispatch, Tom Klein St. Louis. "Thirty years ago, a perfect season A DeSmet team led by Steve Stipanovich (right) went 32-0 during a win streak that reached 63 the next season, a state record for large schools. High school boys basketball". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  9. ^ "Basketball all-time winning streak" (PDF). Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Rich Grawer – St Louis Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2017-03-24. 
  11. ^
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  13. ^ Ray Agnew III
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  25. ^ "Charities Win When Jesuit High Schools Make World Series Wager". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  26. ^ a b "De Smet Jesuit High School - Liturgy and Worship". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  27. ^ "De Smet Jesuit High School - Retreats". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  28. ^ "De Smet Jesuit High School - Service". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  29. ^ "De Smet Jesuit High School - Alum Service Corps". Alum Service Corps. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  30. ^ "The 2016 SFX Instagram Competition Winners Announced! - Educate Magis : Educate Magis". Educate Magis. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Mike Ambersley
  33. ^ Sam Bick
  34. ^ Eric Delabar
  35. ^ Trent Frederic
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  37. ^ Steve Fuchs
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  41. ^ Matt McKeon
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  44. ^ John Diehl (politician)
  45. ^ Bob Poe
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Coordinates: 38°39′40″N 90°26′42″W / 38.6612°N 90.4449°W / 38.6612; -90.4449

External links[edit]