St. Xavier High School (Louisville)

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Saint Xavier High School
Logo stx.png
Numen Lumen
"Let God be our light."
1609 Poplar Level Road
Louisville, KY 40217
United States
Coordinates 38°13′8.4″N 85°43′31.8″W / 38.219000°N 85.725500°W / 38.219000; -85.725500Coordinates: 38°13′8.4″N 85°43′31.8″W / 38.219000°N 85.725500°W / 38.219000; -85.725500
Type Private, All-male, college preparatory
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Xaverian Brothers
Established 1864
President Perry E. Sangalli
Principal Frank Espinosa
Faculty 142
Enrollment 1,347[1] (2013–14)
Average class size 20 students
Student to teacher ratio 13:1
Campus Urban, 54 acres, 6 buildings
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Athletics 10 KHSAA Sports
4 Club Sports
Athletics conference Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Mascot Tigers

St. Xavier High School is an all-male, college preparatory Xaverian Brothers-sponsored school in Louisville, Kentucky. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville. St. Xavier was founded in 1864 by Br. Paul Van Gerwen, C.F.X.[2] The school currently resides on Poplar Level Road and is known for its excellence in all academics and athletics. St. Xavier has received the Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award three times. St. Xavier is currently renovating the school grounds with Project X, an initiative to raise $28 million for new academic and athletic facilities. In total Project X raised $29.1 million for the school.[3]



St. Xavier has the largest enrollment of boys among Kentucky high schools,[4] and had been the only school in Kentucky to have won a state championship in every Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA)-sanctioned sport open to boys before the KHSAA began sponsoring coeducational championships in archery and bass fishing in the early 21st century.

St. Xavier has the most successful athletic program in Kentucky, having won 176 boys' state championships. In 2005, St. Xavier was ranked #14 in "Sports Illustrated" Best High School Athletic Programs. In the 2009 fall semester, Saint X won all four fall sports. This is an unprecedented feat, taking home championships in soccer, football, cross country and golf.[5]

The annual football game with traditional local rival Trinity High School at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is promoted by the schools as the most-attended annual regular-season high school football game in the country, typically drawing over 35,000 fans.[6] The largest crowd was 38,500 and the 2007 edition of the game had an announced attendance of 37,550.

The swim team, the Tiger Sharks, have won twenty-seven consecutive state swimming championships, their 50th swimming title overall which is a national record. The golf team has won the McDonalds Tournament of Champions national event multiple times and sent numerous golfers on to NCAA Division I colleges such as Kentucky, Louisville, Alabama, Wake Forest, Clemson, Cornell, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Purdue.

The cross country team has won the past 3 State Championships and 4 of the last 5, and was nationally ranked in the top 15 in 2012-13. In 2012, the team which consisted of 6 future NCAA DI athletes, qualified for and competed in Nike Cross Nationals, the only consensus national championship competition in all of American High School athletics. The Tigers placed 14th. The soccer team has won the last three state championships by a combined score of 16-4, earning top 10 rankings in national polls while doing so.

Project X resulted in a new tennis facility, complete with concessions and seating for 300 spectators, a new baseball stadium and a new 6,100 seat football stadium, complete with two private suites, an 8-lane rubberized track, new space for offices and locker rooms. The Tigers opened the new baseball complex on March 26, 2007, with a 10-0 win over Meade County, opened the football stadium on August 24, 2007, with an 18-14 victory over Ballard and opened the 2,000 seat basketball arena with a 73-53 win over South Oldham on January 20, 2009. With the conclusion of Project X, St. Xavier now boasts some of the best high school athletic facilities in the nation.


The theatre troupe is known as the Saint Xavier Players, who sponsor four shows which include the fall straight show, a spring musical, and an intermediate student show in the fall. Young women from nearby Catholic girls' schools also serve in the female roles and in the tech crew. The Players include a chapter of the International Thespian Society.

In the 2005–06 school year, the St. Xavier Players put on A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare in October and Damn Yankees in March. Starting October 2006, the school's players performed The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The players performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (March 2008). Their production of A Guy's Guide to School, Love, Immortality, and everything in between ended in October 2008. This production was written by St. Xavier's creative writing class and the actors.In spring during the 2009 year, the Players performed the school version of Les Misérables.

During the 2009-10 school year, they performed The Hobbit and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. Their shows Oedipus (Fall 2010) and 1776 (Spring 2011) were great hits. They performed Arsenic and Old Lace in the fall of 2011, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in the spring of 2012. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare is being performed this fall and Godspell in the spring. In the fall of 2014, they performed Harvey In 2015, they performed Grease.

eXpress, the improv troupe, performs for grade schools during the winter. This troupe consists of sophomores, juniors, and seniors from St. Xavier, as well as juniors and seniors from nearby Catholic girls' schools. "The Groundlings" is the newest edition to the Theater program at St. Xavier, starting in 2005–06. Unlike eXpress, "The Groundlings" consists only of St. Xavier freshmen. These freshmen take a crash course in improv acting and also perform a small skit in each eXpress performance. The St. Xavier Players also run a summer drama camp called Acting Up, introducing middle schoolers to theater and drama.


St Xavier has a music program led by band directors Mr. Matthew Yarborough and Mr. Rick Mattingly while Mr. Rick Knoop leads the choral group. Within the program are various groups including the Pep Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Pit Orchestra (for the school musical), a choral group, and African drum ensemble. The Pep band no longer marches shows for halftime, but still plays pep music in the stands for home games. Concert and Jazz Bands practice year round and have two concerts a year, Christmas and spring concerts, along with the choral group.

The music program also supplies musicians for live performances during the St. X Players yearly musical. Aside from extracurricular, the music program supplies a variety of musical advancement and improvement classes including instrumental music, concert band, honors symphonic band, music theory, AP music theory, Percussion 1 and 2, and many more. The music program is open to any interested participants from local girls' schools and supplies programs for grade school students interested in learning music.

Religious impact[edit]

In 1949, a teaching Xaverian Brother, Sylvan Mattingly, formed "Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Making Club" in the basement of St. Xavier High School with $25 donated by an old couple for a typewriter. Although Brother Sylvan died in 1951, the organization grew to be Our Lady's Rosary Makers, the largest Rosary making group in the United States with 17,000 active members. The organization has distributed hundreds of millions of free rosaries to Roman Catholic missions worldwide.

Alumni Association[edit]

Brother Isidore Kuppel, C.F.X. founded the Saint Xavier High School Alumni Association in 1884. The first graduate of Saint Xavier, Francis A. Menne, class of 1873, served as the association's first president. Currently, the association has nearly 26,000 members, with graduates residing in 50 states and at least 20 foreign countries.[citation needed]

Michael D. Bush (Class of 1998) is the current Alumni Association President. He has actively served as a board member of the alumni association since July 2009. He coordinates numerous alumni activities, assisted by the alumni association board and its committees.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Michael Dorris, prominent novelist (The Broken Cord, The Yellow Raft in Blue Water, among others) and scholar. The Broken Cord won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction.
  • Rudy Rucker, computer scientist, mathematician, and science fiction author
  • W. Kip Viscusi, economist
Entertainment and media

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2013–2014 Audited School Enrollments (in alphabetic order)" (PDF). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Staff. "Saint Xavier High School Founder". Retrieved January 29, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Project X Facts". 
  4. ^ "2013-2014 Audited School Enrollments" (PDF). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Retrieved January 3, 2014.  The schools are organized from smallest enrollment to largest, without regard to whether a school is single-sex or coeducational.
  5. ^ Frakes, Jason (December 7, 2009). "St. X enjoys a fall sweep: Tigers win all 4 boys' state titles". Courier. 
  6. ^ Patrick, Dick (September 21, 2005). "High school rivals are like family". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Saint Xavier: History & Information". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Chris Burke Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Paul Byrd Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]