History 1925-1939

Glancing through this history provides one with a thumbnail sketch of McBride High School of St. Louis, Missouri. So now, when we next engage in a conversation on paratroopers, we will be armed with the knowledge that America's first paratrooper once walked the halls of McBride. What football fan did not bet on the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl after learning that Oakland's #34, Gus Otto, was a McBride graduate? And, if anyone should have the audacity to question the moral fiber of a McBride youth, one need only to inform that party that in 1929-30, ninety percent of the McBride's student body carried a rosary, while the following year saw 12,700 communions distributed to students in the first semester alone. These facts should put an end to such questioning.

McBride, the best high school in its time, exists now only in the spirit of its Alumni.

The history shown in these pages was prepared for a 1971 booklet as a tribute to McBride High School. The booklet was reprinted in 1985 by the Alumni club. We thank the students and faculty who participated in this project. Coordinator: Tom Carron '70. Writers: Marv Borgmeyer '71; Pat Clear '69: Wayne Heater '71; Bob Herleth '70; Ned Maniscalco '70; Kevin Pallardy '70; John Ward '70. Special acknowledgement is given to Brother Francis Heyer, who in 1950 compiled the history up to that date.


On January 5, 1925, McBride opened its doors to the student body for the first time. The enrollment was 520. McBride, under the direction of Brother Julius Kreshel (Kenrick's director since 1921), continued the same four-year academic and three-year commercial programs that were a part of Kenrick Catholic High School.

Prior to this event, the first activity in the name of McBride was the publication of the inaugural issue of THE COLONNADE, the official publication of the school. This event took place on December 22, 1924.

The basic activities of Kenrick were not altered by the change to the new building. The junior and varsity basketball teams followed their previously arranged schedules; j-v and varsity football was to begin in the following fall.

On January 8, the formal opening of the gym took place. Twelve hundred students, parents, alumni, and friends turned out to see the Kenrick alumni defeat the McBride varsity in basketball, 15 - 13.

In February, two hundred feet of collapseable bleachers were added to the gym. The McBride family also donated a statuary group to ornament the lobby.

McBride's formal dedication took place on Sunday, April 26, officiated by His Excellency, Archbishop John Glennon. Later that year, the widely recognized granite tablet that now adorns the side entrance of McBride was donated by the last graduating class of Kenrick. The first graduation in McBride's history was held at the New Cathedral on June 7. Forty-four four-year and fifteen three-year commercial students numbered the first graduating class.

McBride broke tradition and hired a layman as head coach of athletics. Hired was Carl "Toddy" Kamp, former captain of Washington University's basketball team from 1918 to 1920.

On October 16, almost fourteen hundred students from McBride and Rosati-Kain assembled in the New Cathedral to assist at the memorial Mass for Mr. and Mrs. William Cullen McBride.

Prep League all-star Joe Becker led McBride's first football team to a second place finish, one-half game behind the leader, Western Military. McBride captured its first Prep League championship when the hard court team defeated St. Louis U. High, 23-19, before a crowd of 2300 at St. Louis' gym. McBride met the Junior Bills in baseball and tied them for the conference championship.

Thomas Toolen, a junior, was the second-place winner in a national art contest sponsored by the Federal School of Commercial Designing, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A group that added much to the spirit of the school were the Melody Makers. They were organized near the beginning of the school year and had made forty appearances by April. They were sponsored by the Fathers' Club and were under the leadership of Dave Monohan, Jr., a third-year student.

The handball team of McBride gained the championship of the Prep League. This was handball's first year as a Prep sport and counted 500 points in the race for the Lane (all-sport) Trophy.

The first McBride glee club was organized in September. Its performance at the September Fathers' Club meeting was its first appearance.

The student body was privileged to meet heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Tunney greeted seven hundred students on the afternoon of January 7.

McBride joined the Missouri High School Debating League for the first time and took first place in its district by defeating Ritenour, Jennings and Normandy.

For the first time, McBride tried soccer in an organized way. The big game of the year was a 2-1 victory over C.B.C., which broke their thirteen game winning streak.

Francis Zvanut, a senior, took one of the six first-place prizes in the statewide chemical essay contest with his treatment of "The Relation of Chemistry to National Defense." The other first-place prizes were awarded for the best essays on five other topics.

In the Missouri interscholastic meet in curricular subjects in the early part of May, Tom Toolen took first-place in drawing from still life and draped living model and first-place in painting from still life.

Brother Albert Hollinger replaced Brother Julius Kreshel as principal of McBride. Brother Kreshel served six years as head man of Kenrick and McBride. Brother Hollinger served a mere three months and was transferred to St. Mary's University. He was replaced by Brother Charles Huebert of Xavier High School in Dyersville, Iowa, in early December.

In sports, McBride was scored upon only once, went undefeated, yet lost the football championship because of three heartbreaking ties: 0-0, 0-0, and 6-6.

Henry H. Niemann took first-place in the state and second-place in the nation with his essay on the American Constitution in the National Republic essay contest.

Of the four St. Louis players with the Olympic Soccer Team, two were former McBride performers. Joseph "Turk" Murphy was graduated in 1926 and John Kane in 1925.

In the interscholastic meet at Columbia, Alban Dorge took first place in German essay writing and the school received a silver trophy for the most points in German. In the American Chemical Society contest, John Hennessey took first place in the state with his essay on "The Relation of Chemistry to the Home."

Under Mr. James Cook, the Mick tennis team defeated decisively every Prep League foe, and the baseball team nosed out St. Louis U. High for the Prep League championship.

The big building next door, the faculty residence, was opened in February. The building was furnished to a great extent with personal household goods of the McBride family. The faculty formerly lived on Stoddard Street, but a tornado the previous year destroyed their residence.

The Micks gained yet another championship, this time in hockey. McBride skated its way to the Winter Garden High School Hockey League title under the direction of Brother Wilfred Moran. The Mick skaters knocked off Chaminade and C.B.C. four times each.

At the end of the year, the three-year commercial program was dropped and in its place juniors and seniors were permitted to take commercial
courses as electives.

McBride again won the championship of its district in the Missouri High School Debating League.

Under the expert coaching of "Toddy" Kamp, the McBride basketeers took the Prep League -title and the district championship. The outstanding players were: "Mart" Gorman, "Tooky" Durbin, Frank Ruff, Bob Stephens and Bob Weil.

No McBride play was received with more enthusiasm and none elicited more compliments than the performance of George M. Cohan's BROADWAY JONES under the very able direction of Brother Frank Hess; its four-night stand attracted 5000 patrons. The huge ad program for the play made the entire activity a complete success. Brother Theodore Kauss was the engineer-in-chief behind the record-smashing, one hundred and forty-eight page program.

Due to the average showing in football and to the championship playing in basketball, baseball and tennis, the school was awarded the Lane Trophy for one year. Western had one and St. Louis U. High had two legs on the trophy up to that time.

The McBride Spirit Banner was instituted this year by Brother Vincent Brand, and was awarded to the classes best showing the noble qualities of academic achievement, punctuality and participation in activities.

Soccer: No contests scheduled --the powerhouse soccer team could not muster opponents for a schedule!

Through the perfect records in football, tennis, and baseball, McBride won its second consecutive Lane Trophy.

Before the end of November, McBride had already collected two Prep League championships: the football team came through undefeated; and the tennis team of Kathman, Keaney, Poelker and Kelly far outstripped all opponents.

Record basketball score: McBride 48-0 over Marquette of Alton, December 17!

For the third time the McBride debate team won the championship of its district in the Missouri League.

Another "powerhouse" basketball team captured the Prep championship, second place in the district and the state consolation championship. The district title was lost to Soldan in two overtime periods 13-14. The season's total showed 18 wins in 23 games, with the opposition averaging only 13 points per game.

Paul Ulrich received first place in the state in the division, "Chemistry as an Aid in the Home," in the National Chemistry Essay Contest. This was the fourth year in which a McBride student captured one of the six first-place prizes and the last year in which the contest ran.

For the third consecutive year, the Mick baseball team captured the Prep championship.

Bob Cochran, a senior, captured two golf titles during the summer: The District junior title and the Western junior championship in Chicago.

McBride 6, S.L.U.H. 4! Baseball? No. McBride won its 4th Prep basketball title and in March won the district title by defeating S.L.U.H. 6-4! Under the leadership of Ed Oswald and Frank Keaney, the tennis team brought home the fourth consecutive Prep League championship. Due to the national depression, basketball passes this year and in the previous year were sold on an installment plan.

Due to the excellent showing of the tennis and basketball and the better-than-average showing of the football and track teams, the school captured the Lane Trophy for the third time, thus gaining permanent possession of it.

This year brought a change in the grading system from a monthly basis to six-week terms.

Under the direction of Brother William Braun, a series of student-hobby exhibits was carried on through the course of the year. These exhibits included everything from radio sets to cigar bands.

Despite the fact that the football team rolled up 138 points to the oppositions' 8 during the season, it had to be satisfied with a tie for the championship due to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of C.B.C.

Soccer was revived under Brother Robert Hogan: the season was very successful -- 8-1-2.

The Christmas food drive resulted in a total of 355 basketfuls, breaking all previous records.

Under the coaching of Brother Alvin Goelz, the debating team won the first leg on the Marianist Debating League trophy.

The track team reached new heights by taking second place in a Prep League meet for the first time.

Real interest in singing was revived in late September -- a choir of 200 voices was organized. This choir participated in the Thirty-Eighth National Saengerfest at the Arena.

David Tully, McBride's star football center, died of blood-poisoning on October 13. Dave's desire, expressed before his death, to beat C.B.C., was fulfilled by the team 14-6. The team went on to take the Prep title by defeating S.L.U.H. 7-0 before a crowd of 5000. A month later the City title was lost to Cleveland 7-6 before a crowd of 7000.

Through the efforts of Brother Aloysius Blume, the St. Louis Catholic Press Association was formed at McBride. The purpose of the organization, which included Rock, Nerinx, Incarnate Word, C.B.C., St. Anthony, and Visitation, was to improve the quality of journalism in school papers. Leo Reid was made first president. Eminent journalists spoke at a few of the subsequent meetings.

The McBride cagers defeated S.L.U.H. to take the Prep crown and toppled Beaumont to capture the third district championship.

Harry Zeman was the first Mick four-letter man in track. He held the Prep League records for the 100 and 220 yard dashes.

By virtue of championships in football and basketball and a second in track, the school was awarded the Prep League trophy.

This year marked the coming home of Brother Julius Kreshel and his return to the post of Principal at McBride. Brother Huebert, the man whom he replaced, was transferred to Chaminade.

It was announced that "The Colonnade" of the previous year had received All-Catholic honors in its first year of membership in the National Catholic Press Association.

Among high school opponents, the Mick soccer team was undefeated.

The year also marked the coming and going of tradition. Activity pins were awarded for the first time for participation in extracurriculars. And, the study of Latin, which was somewhat a custom, began to lose its appeal; a trend which has continued until the present.

The Mick eleven took the Prep League championship by defeating S.L.U.H. 25-6.

The student trend of riding to school on bicycles made it necessary for Brother Kathrein to store away in the faculty garage as many as 125 bicycles a day.

The first McBride boxing tournament got under way on February 28. Over 60 boys participated.

George Ehret took first place in the annual oratorical contest sponsored by Western Catholic Union.

The soccer team won the championship of the St. Louis High School League in competition with South Side, S.L.U.H., Central Catholic, Normandy, and Chaminade.

In its first year as a member of the National Scholastic Press Association, "The Colonnade" received First Class honors, missing All-American by only forty points. Three years later the school paper gained the coveted honors and relinquished them only once up to 1949. Washington University Press Assoc. awarded "The Colonnade" second place among twenty-three of the best school papers in the vicinity of St. Louis.

In the midst of the Depression, the National Youth Administration project was introduced at McBride. The students were allowed to work as many as 20 hours in areas such as library, office and laboratory.

The debating squad won the championship of the north section of the City League on January 29. In February, the team clinched the title in the Marianist League and gained a co-championship in the Catholic League.

McBride gained its second consecutive soccer championship in the St. Louis High School League on February 26.

After spending six years in the cellar and six years struggling between second and third place, the McBride track team, under the able direction of Brother Houston, finally emerged victorious, taking the Prep League championship.

The school broke with tradition and, with the permission of the superintendent, had its first senior prom on May 21. The affair was sponsored by the Alumni Association at the Hotel De Soto.

After the close of the school year, the golf team captured the district high school golf championship.

All good things must come to an end, and such was the case with McBride's 12-year hex over S.L.U.H. The Billikens defeated the Micks 6 - 0.

McBride took an active part in the Third Catechetical Congress of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, October 9-13: a study club demonstration and a discussion were conducted by Brother Saunders and Father Bloemker respectively; the school's glee club formed part of a larger glee club under the direction of Brother Mueller; the entire school formed a guard of honor for visiting Church dignitaries at the New Cathedral.

Led by Captain Henry Teiber, the tennis team won its first Prep championship since 1932. Under the captaincy of Jack Geiss, the golf team captured the district golf championship for the second consecutive year.

With the first operetta, The Bell in the Forest, Brother Mueller started a tradition which was to last until 1946. Brother Frank also stimulated interest in singing to the extent of being able to organize a group of 60 carolers.

James Gray, a junior, was notified on May 10 that he had won first place in the state among 750 contestants in the National Air Mail Essay Contest. The prize was an airplane trip to Washington, D.C.

The glee club, under the direction of Brothers Mueller and Discher, participated in the first Choral Festival on May 13 at the St. Louis University gym.

Ed Serwan and Francis Poelder defeated St. Louis U. High 7-5 and 9-7 to take the state doubles championship at Columbia on October 8. The tennis squad also captured the Prep title.

The debate squad clinched the championship of the combined Marianist-Catholic League on April 16. Joseph McCarthy took first place in the fifth annual Marianist oratory contest sponsored by the Western Catholic Union on April 26.

By far the most active student at McBride since the inauguration of the activity pin award was Walter Kramer, who received a three-star pin in both his junior and senior years.

One of the best "C" basketball teams ever was coached by Brother Scherrer. The season record was 18-2. Frannie Haug scored 255 points.