Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 Hall of Fame Class Unveiled

It is that time of year again, when we recognize some of our finest individuals for their achievements on and off the field. The group  this year is second to none.  Like the classes before them, this class continues to elevate North Catholic soccer as the Best of the Best.  And now introducing the newest members of North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame:

John Meehan Class of 1953 - All-Scholastic, City Champion, 1st Team All-American for US Naval Academy, Navy Athletic Hall of Fame

Walt Manning Class of 1954 - City Champion Goalkeeper, U-19 State Champs for Lighthouse BC, Temple University Regional All-American, Pro-player Uhrick Truckers, Ukrainian Nationals, Ursinus Men's Soccer Coach, SE PA Soccer Hall of Fame

Ed Lowry Class of 1962 - All-Catholic, 2 time PCL Champion, co-founder of Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center.

Jerry McGovern Class of 1967 - All-Catholic, 2-time PCL Champion.

Bill "Tigger" Kiger Class of 1980 - All-Catholic, 3-time PCL & City Champion (one of only 2 in NC history), Drexel University (1980-84)

Marc Eckert Class of 1988 - 2-time All-Catholic, All-City, All-State, LaSalle University, 1988 MAAC Rookie of the year, 2nd team All-MAAC, 1999 US Open Amateur Soccer Club Champion

John Wright Class of 1996 - 2-time All-Catholic, All-City, PCL MVP 1995, Temple U.

Tim Greer Class of 2002  - 2-time All-Catholic, All-City, PCL MVP 2001, 2-time PCL Champion, Temple University (2002-2005)

Also this year, we will recognize the undefeated and untied team from 1962 (19-0-0).  This was the only team in the 60s to win both a catholic league title and a city championship.

We currently have 4 members of this team in our hall.  They are John Boles, Larry Grebe, Jack Ruggero and Mike Wissman - Congrats to all the members of the 1962 team.

Come celebrate these honored graduates with a Banquet on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at Romano's Catering (Wingohocking near Castor ave) from 2pm - 6pm.  pre-banquet tailgating begins at 11am in the Romano's parking lot.  For tickets to this great event contact Jerry Brindisi on 215-906-8496 - email: or Joe Steffa 215-783-8020 - email:

Sunday, March 1, 2015


<Originally posted 10/10/14>

Newt's/Shissler Rec once again win the bidding rights to host North Soccer's Annual Alumni Game. Kick-off is scheduled for 3 PM. Cost is $50 and gets you the game, collector game shirt, post-game conference and reception at Anthony's Cafe.

For more information, please contact Jerry Brindisi, 215-906-8496/ or Joe Steffa at 215-783-8020/


<Originally posted 7/12/14>


On Saturday, July 26th, North Catholic Alumni and friends of North will gather again to a Day in the Sun to celebrate what is North Catholic. Over 1,000 joined us last year and we expect our numbers to grow. Here are the details:

When: Saturday, July 26th, 2014
Where: Keenan’s Irish Pub, North Wildwood, NJ
Time: 3:00 PM till 7:00 PM
Price: $20 per person in Advance/$25 per person at the Door
Tickets Available: Brynes/Dagwoods/Mercer/JP Tees/Firehouse Tavern (North Wildwood/Mike McBride 215-588-9411, Mike Primavera 215-239-7530/ Jerry Brindisi 215-906-8496
Benefitting: Philadelphia Veteran’s Multi-Service Center/Sacred Heart Cancer /Ed White ’55 Scholarship Fund

As in the years passed, Norphan’s has a bevy of activities planned for your enjoyment. On Friday evening (July 25th) also at Keenan’s it will be a celebrity bartending event. North renown’s (Franny Doc, Larry Conte, The Gilmore Brothers, Billy Hunter, Joe Rabbi, Fr. Howarth OSFS, Kevin McCloskey, Ed Turzanski, to name a few) will be pouring your favorite adult beverages.

Joining us will special guest Joe “Chip Snapper” Conklin on Saturday, with musical guests Mr. Paul Moore (of course) to be joined by the Soul Cruisers.


<Originally posted 6/18/14>
On Father’s Day, the world lost one of the best dads in Patrick “Rick” Steffa. Through his 59 years of life Rick was the rock, the lifeline, the support mechanism and the catalyst for his family, his friends and his neighborhoods. I write this knowing that Rick would not want any tears, even though I have cried, he would not want any sadness, even though I am very sad. He would want us to celebrate his life, his passion and his emotion to challenge life, to make things better for everyone else at the expense of ourselves. This is who Rick is.

Rick, while full of life, always shunned the spotlight. He was the one behind the scenes “fixing” things be it with his hands, his brains, or his wallet. No responsibility or favor was too much. And through it all, he never asked for a thank you, a payback or what’s in it for me. What he did for people was just part of his personality. His spirit and passion were captivating. In every sense of the word, he is a hero.

Rick is survived by his wife Diane and children: Patrick, Olivia, Christopher and Nicole. He is the grandfather of Tyler, Jake, Anthony and Dylan. His mother Pat, brothers Kevin and Joe, and sister Marianne will miss him terribly. His dad George and brother Tommy will be welcoming him into his rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rick was a caring husband, a terrific dad and grandpop, a devoted son and a loving brother, but yet he was a better man. You will be missed Rick while still being an inspiration.

The viewing for Rick is Thursday night at Spencer T. Videon of Drexel Hill on Garrett Road at Shadeland Avenue from 6 to 9 PM. Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for Friday at St. Andrew the Apostle, 3500 School Lane in Drexel Hill, PA starting at 11 AM.

North Soccer Golf Outing 5/3 @ Juniata Golf & Spa

<Originally posted 4/24/14>
North Soccer will hold it annual Golf Extravaganza on Saturday, May 3 at the venerable Juniata Golf Club and Spa. Sponsors and golfers are filling up fast. Cost, as usual, is $90 per golfer. Sponsorships are available. All proceeds raised go to help kids afford Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia both a noble and needed cause.

For information to book your attendance and sponsorship, you can contact:

Mike Primavera 215-239-7539
Jerry Brindisi 215-906-8496
Joe Steffa 215-783-8020
Tom Crossett 215-266-0640

7th Annual Hall of Fame Does Not Disappoint

<Originally posted 4/2/14>
Sunday's driving rains could not dampen the spirits of nearly 300 North Catholic Soccer fans and Hall of Famers as they turned out en masse at Romano's Caterers to honor the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees.

Tailgating began right on schedule, 4 hours before the event, as the Fishtown contingent invaded the parking lot at Romano's in Juniata. With a packed Winnebago and pop up tents, the loyal Towners welcomed the awaiting crowd in anticipation of local hero and North Catholic Hall of Famer, Mike Krecko '92.

Paul Moore, leader of the Paul Moore Band, once again emceed the event opening the festivities with a rousing rendition of our National Anthem. The invocation was delivered by Fr. Jim Dever, OSFS, former teacher at North Catholic, and a Kenzo from Visitation Parish. Fr. Jim spoke briefly on the importance of camaraderie of the North Catholic soccer community on and off the pitch and the place it held in the development of our lives after the North Catholic experience.

The day's main event, the induction ceremony, as in years gone by did not disappoint. Acceptance speeches by the inductees were poignant and spoke of the various roads North Catholic Soccer had taken them. Gene Chyzowych '53 his journey from Ukraine to Nicetown and North Catholic to US National Team Coach and a 50-year high school coaching and teaching career; Jim O'Donnell '72 from Ascension on the importance of his teammates and the role it played in his development; Joe Steffa'76 from Juniata on the essence of working for your fellow Falcons and how it influenced his career and family life; the 1977 Catholic League/City Championship Team, the first to be inducted, with 11 former greats in attendance and hosted by John Regan '78; the third Comey Brother, Tim '88, gratefully acknowledged all those who led the way for him, coaches, family and teammates; Mike Krecko '92 silenced the audience with a tribute to his mom and referenced his dad, Jim, for his coaching efforts on his behalf; Chad Donnelly'00, gave credit to his parents for the sacrifices they made in supporting his choice in attending North, following in his brother Bob's footsteps, and to the neighborhood local heroes who had gone before him; Chris Brunetti, the All-Everything in a 4-year varsity career culminating in 3 Catholic League titles and an All-American nod.

A short ride to Bobby T's Cigar Bar, ancestral watering hole of the North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame, for a few nightcaps sealed the deal for the seventh annual event. Nominations for the 8th NC Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015 are now open.

The 24th annual North Catholic Soccer Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at Juniata Country Club. Flag, hole sponsors and foursomes are still available. It fills up fast; don’t be left out. We are looking forward to seeing all friends of North Catholic soccer on the links!

1977 Team-First Team Inducted Into Hall of Fame

<Originally posted 2/24/14>

The NCSA, working to recognize not just great individual soccer talent but also team success has decided to honor the 1977 team. The roster was small in comparison, 16 players. Today, we roster over 20 players to show you where the game has gone.

Of these 16 players, 5 of these players are in the Hall of Fame as individual players. The record of the squad was 13 wins, 1 loss and 2 ties, culminating in a 1-0 city championship over Lincoln. The team had no less than 9 Division 1 players. The team scored 49 goals and let in a miserly 14. Two member of this squad went on to win 3 PCL and City Championships while 7 of them won 2!


<Originally posted 2/17/14>
With a bang on the drums and rumble of trumpets, NCSA announces its seventh class of Hall of Fame Inductees. Like the six preceding classes before it, this Class continues the mystique of North Catholic soccer as the Best in Breed of any high school program bar none. Without further ado, here is the roll call:

Christopher Brunetti Class of 2003
Gene Chyzowych Class of 1954
Timothy Comey Class of 1988
Chad Donnelly Class of 2000
Michael Krecko Class of 1992
Jim O’Donnell Class of 1972
Joe Steffa Class of 1976

North Soccer is also going to unveil its first “team” induction. With so many great champions to be considered the group has not decided what team it will be as of yet.

Please come and honor this Class on March 30th, at Romano’s Caterers. The ceremonies start at 2 PM. We expect a sold out crowd as usual, for ticket information, please contact:

Joe Steffa 215-783-8020
Jerry Brindisi 215-906-8496

NORPHAN's Philanthropy Continues

<Originally posted 2/1/14>
The week of January 26th was a big week for Norphans as the organization continues its support for kids to continue their Catholic education. The few fund raisers that we operate are for the sole purpose of helping boys and girls continue their educational needs through the Archdiocese system. We created the Ed White Memorial Scholarship Fund for this exact purpose. Additionally, we selectively support other “need” organizations that support societal programs close to our hearts and minds.

Without further ado, Norphans/Ed White Memorial Scholarship Fund is extremely proud to announce its support for the following students:

Calio, Dominque St.Hubert’s
Comas, Joseph Fr. Judge
Comas, Ryan Fr. Judge
Figaniak, Julia St. Hubert’s
Finn, Brian Roman
Giamboy Matthew Roman
Knellinger, Kierstin Arch. Ryan
Mallon, Kyle Fr. Judge
Marshall, Destiny Arch. Ryan
Pons, Stephen Fr. Judge
Seedes, Andrew Fr. Judge
Zin, Anthony Fr. Judge

Working with other community support organizations with fellow Norphan supporters, our organization has contributed funds to:

Police Survivor’s Fund
Vietnam Veteran’s of Phila

We are honored and humbled at the same time to continue the work of North Catholic men and the inspiration of St. Francis DeSales.

Never Forget, Never Forgive
V + J

7th NC Soccer Hall of Fame-Save the Date

<Originally posted 1/15/14>
Attention all NC Falcons & friends of NC Soccer.
The 7th Annual North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been set. Please save the date, Sunday, March 30th at 2 PM. Tickets are $75 and include full buffet dinner, full bar & cocktails, camaraderie & lots of stories old and new. (pre-game tailgating starts at 11AM in parking lot). Come celebrate and honor another deserving class of Falcons Soccer greats.

For tickets & Info Please contact: Joe Steffa 215.783.8020/ or Jerry Brindisi 215.906.8496/; Chris McKenna; Tom Crossett

Falcons Forever.

Please give widest dissemination possible (for the non-Juniata guys that means "spread the word")

Never Forgive, Never Forget!


<Originally posted 1/5/14>
Capitalizing on the branding and recognition of Norphans, several North Alums have decided to centralize North communications via a direct website known as

Not only a website, but essentially a blog to keep us all up to date on all things North. This will not take away from our website, only enhance it. It will give us another avenue to distribute updates. Next on our agenda of course is our Annual Hall of Fame Ceremony. As in year's past, please mark your calendars for the last Sunday in March or March 30th. Same time and place, Romano's Caterers, 2 PM!

Newt's Wins Bidding to Host NCSA Alumni Game

<Originally posted 10/8/13>
In a packed auditorium, Newt's playground, home of the cinders, once again prevailed with the winning bid to host North Soccer's Annual Alumni soccer game. The bidding was ferocious with some contestants pushing the envelope but the aura of playing on cinders albeit buried underneath six inches of glorious grass was too much for the committee to ignore. The game is scheduled for October 26th and kickoff will be at 4 PM. The game day script is being authored by none other that artist extraordinaire, Mr. Jerry Brindisi himself. Donations of $50 will get you that shirt, also the post-game celebration at Dewey Rose in Port Richmond (North guy) that will include bottled adult beverages and food. Please come and enjoy the festivities.


<Originally posted 6/4/13>
On July 27th, the North Catholic community will meet once again to celebrate and commemorate everything that is North Catholic. North Wildwood will be our venue again with Keenan’s being our host. Last year, we had over 700 alums and friends of North celebrate our heritage, our faith and our generosity.
Last year, we provided every boy who was still in Catholic high school, you know the “Norphans,” $150 towards their tuition bill. We were able to do this because of your attendance and generosity. On top of that, North Soccer Alumni committed some of its funds to make sure every boy was accounted for and given his fair share.
This year, we hope to raise funds to continue our quest of helping boys afford a secondary Catholic education in the City, but also we are looking at other charities that North Catholic has impacted. Such organizations as the Hero Scholarship for educational needs of fallen heroes that wore the uniforms of Philadelphia Police and Fire and possibly a contribution to our wounded servicemen and women.
Tickets for the event will be the same as last year, $25 in advance and $30 at the door. This ticket gets you bottled beer (and its cold), food and more importantly the fraternity that is North and the camaraderie that goes hand in hand.
Please contact Jerry Brindisi for ticket information. He can be reached at 215-906-8496 or
Never Forget, Never Forgive


 <Originally posted 2/11/13>
Attention all NC Falcons & friends of NC Soccer.
The 6th Annual North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been set. Please save the date, Sunday, March 24th at 2 PM. Tickets are $75 and include full buffet dinner, full bar & cocktails, camaraderie & lots of stories old and new. (pre-game tailgating starts at 11AM in parking lot). Come celebrate and honor this most deserving class of Falcons Soccer greats:

Mike Wissman '65
E. Michael Flanagan '67
Jim Fallon '68
Dennis "Buff" Drumm '71
Jerry Blaney '75
John Friskey '79
Jim Hooven '80
Mike Schmanek '84
Tony Rod Jr. '98

For tickets & Info Please contact: Joe Steffa 215.783.8020/ or Jerry Brindisi 215.906.8496/; Chris McKenna; Tom Crossett

Falcons Forever.

Please give widest dissemination possible (for the non-Juniata guys that means "spread the word")

Never Forgive, Never Forget!


<Originally posted 12/30/12>
BEN MCLAUGHLIN, arguable one of, if not the greatest Falcon soccer player passed last week. He will be remembered as a great Falcon, a great soccer player, a great man, and most importantly father and husband. A fixture at North Soccer Hall of Fame ceremonies, he will be deeply missed. Please keep his family in your prayers and Ben if you are reading this, keep us in your prayers as well. Below is the obituary.

BERNARD J. 'BEN', on December 27, 2012 at the age of 84. Mr. McLaughlin was a member of U.S.S.F. Hall of Fame, a U.S. National Soccer Team, 1948 Olympian. Loving husband of the late Joan (nee Koser); devoted father of Bernie (Sheila), Joanne Fornadel (Rick), Brian, Andrew (Karen), Nancy Boone (Terry) and Mark (Sandy); dear PopPop of Jeffrey, Katie, Bernie, Andy, Nora, Alycia, Zachary, Molly, Brianna, Joe, Grace and Shane; brother of Alice McLaughlin. Relatives and friends are invited to his Viewing Sunday evening 6 to 9 P.M. BURNS FUNERAL HOME, 9708 Frankford Ave. (So. of Grant Ave.) and also Monday 9 A.M. to 9:45 A.M. at St. Jerome Church, 8100 Colfax St. 19136 followed by his Funeral Mass 10 A.M. Interment Resurrection Cem. In lieu of flowers family prefers donations to Community Care Center of the Northeast, 2417 Welsh Rd., Suite 202, Phila., PA. 19114 in his memory.


<Originally posted on 10/28/12>
As Hurricane Sandy stalls just outside of South Jersey, North Soccer Alumni invaded Newt’s Playground to play its annual alumni game. It was estimated that a few hundred alums and friends “stop in” to either play, kibitz or pick up some new gear. This Alumni session is the prelude to the next order of business for the group which is the selection process for the next class of inductees. There were many out of staters, some coming a far as Virginia to pay their homage to what they love and revere, North Catholic and North Catholic soccer. We say thank you to one and all.

Newt’s if you remember would never remind you of Old Trafford, a better description could be Old Coal Mine. Gone are the infamous cinders with the hint of glass scattered about. Today, the field is a meticulous grass complex that any soccer club would be envious. While small in size it is mammoth in memories for most everyone who has played soccer.

The game was a battle of some newer Falcons versus the older ones. It also included some of the remaining Norphans from Roman, Franklin Towne and Judge. I can’t tell you the score, I am not sure anyone really kept count but it was festive and energetic session. Officiated by the baritone Ron Noel, the game had pace, presence and unlike the current PCL playoffs, offense!

The star of the game, with the goal of the game was none other that Rusty Bono! Sure, several onlookers and opponents would suggest the ball was off the field when played to him, but the sure footed Bono, casually back heeled the ball past a surprised keeper. Part of Russ’s contract to play this year was promise for him to start the game and run around for two or three minutes. Well Russ surprised even himself by playing a full half.

There is not enough space to name all that came to the game but the decades that is spanned were the 60s through today. Bono claims he was the oldest player being 60 but there was a Falcon from the Class of 43, a year or two before Bono.

The after party was held at The Starboard Side, given the crowd Jerry brought in a classic rock band to entertain. There was food and laughs but most of all camaraderie from a Band of Brothers who will Never Forget and Never Forgive.
V + J.

Drumm Leads Franklin Towne to Title Game

<Originally posted on 10/26/12>
Former North Catholic soccer standout Dennis "Buff" Drumm has propelled the Franklin Towne Charter soccer squad into the finals of the Public League Championship next Tuesday courtesy of an Adam Stangler goal midway through the second half last night. Stangler, the former North Catholic prodigy and, yes, a member of THE Stangler soccer gang, looped his effort from a wide right angle that shocked the Masterman back line. Stangler's goal followed a spirited first half which saw the Towne attack and test the Masterman defense.

Drumm, in his third year at the Arsenal school, has created a winning environment culminating in Franklin Towne's historic first ever regular season championship. After a stellar career at North Catholic, nationally-ranked Textile (now Philadelphia University), and Philadelphia Police Department favorites 5 and 1 club, Den coached at North Catholic winning several crowns. He will lead his boys against a talented Northeast High team Tuesday October 30 at Northeast 7 pm. We hope to see everyone there to support Dennis and our Norphans, Adam Stangler, Chris McKendry, and Matt Feinstein.


<Originally posted on 10/17/12>
It is with great sadness that North Catholic Soccer informs you of the passing of Tommy Petroski'08. Tom was a standout centerback for the Falcons and defined the word teammate. Tom played his collegiate career at Gwynedd-Mercy College and continued to hone the skills learned in the Catholic League, as both a student-athlete and team leader.
A viewing for Thomas "Petro" Petroski will be held Friday, October 19 at Nativity BVM Church, Belgrade & Allegheny Ave. from 9-11 AM. Funeral Mass will follow immediately at 11AM. Please keep Tommy and his family in your prayers.


<Originally posted on 2/17/12>
Unlike most other schools in general and the Archdiocese specifically, North continues to breathe life into the neighborhoods by supporting Catholic education, especially of those boys who were unceremonially orphaned by the Archdiocesan decision to close North three years ago. Most people forget that there are still hundreds of boys remaining in Archdiocesan high schools scattered throughout the city.
On Saturday, July 28th, the NFL will host a reunion of sorts of Men of North to help remember North and to also help support these Norphons. The spot of this inaugural event is Keenan’s in North Wildwood. The party will be from 3 PM till 7 PM. No more worries of your car being towed or DUI from driving between the Wildwood communities.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. This cost gets you food, bottle beer and plenty of commemorative North gear for sale.
For your entertainment, NFL and Keenan’s present the Soul Cruisers. The band will begin pumping out music at 7 PM.
All proceeds go to support our boys that remain in Archdiocesan high schools.
Thanks Joe, thanks Vince.
Never Forget, Never Forgive.
Contact Jerry Brindisi for information. 215-906-8496/

NCSA Presents Its 5th Hall of Fame Class

Originally posted on 2/17/12

With much fanfare and tribute, North Catholic Soccer Alumni presents to you its next class of soccer greats to be enshrined in North Soccer’s Hall of Fame. This year class, spans from the 60s through the early 2000s. These men personify the talent, performance and professionalism of North Catholic Soccer. Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to unveil the 2012 North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame Class:

Joe Walls - Class of 1960
George Griffin - Class of 1966
Pat Farrell - Class of 1971
Joe Harvey - Class of 1974
Kevin Fulmer - Class of 1977
Bob Strohm - Class of 1980
Tom McIntyre - Class of 1991
Matt Comey - Class of 1993
Steve Wacker - Class of 2001

Come, celebrate and honor these men of North Catholic at the Induction Ceremony on March 25th, at Romano’s Caterers located at Castor and Wingohocken. 2 PM starts the festivities. $70 gets you a full course meal, open bar, refreshments and a reunion of friends and comrades. Thanks Joe, Thanks Vince.

Never Forget, Never Forgive.