Lion Summer Camps
Boys & Girls Lacrosse
Boys & Girls Track & Field
Boys & Girls Cross Country
Volleyball Earns 4A state Championship Title
Football Takes 2nd in State
Sports Physical Form
Gym Facility Photos
New Gym Opens (12.10)
Booster Past Presidents
Jeff Buhr Award for Oustanding Volunteerism
Booster Membership Form
Hall of Fame Members
It was Sunday, October 7, 1945, a bright sunny day in Vancouver, B.C. A group of men gathered in room 903 of the Georgian Hotel discussing Bellarmine's 20-14 win over Vancouver College the day before.They all had sons or friends playing on the team and had volunteered to drive the players to Vancouver in their own cars, because the school could not afford to rent a bus. The conversations centered on the financial difficulties that plagued Bellarmine and the increasing cost of supporting an athletic program.
The uniforms had been worn in many team pictures going back more than five years. Most of the third stringers in each sport wore suits that didn't match. There were no funds to buy new uniforms, or new equipment, for that matter.
So parents Doug Dyckman Sr., Pat Flannigan, Lynn Kelly, Al Oswald and Art Raitano decided to form a "Dads Club" to raise funds for athletics. Each agreed to contribute $25 to get the program started. Later that week, the idea was discussed with Fr. Henry Schulties, S.J., and he encouraged the effort.
The idea quickly gained momentum and support in the community. In early 1946, the concept was formalized. By-laws and component articles were drawn up and the Bellarmine Boosters were born.
Jay Merrick was elected the first president and served for two years. The club was successful from the start. The need was apparent and the focus was singular -- athletics! Dues were held at $2 per year, but each member was expected to contribute in other ways, if possible. Many volunteered their time to the club's fundraising efforts, some served food at the meetings, others supplied the laughter. For years the antics of Max Frolic, Mason Halligan, Art McMahon, Pat Brady, Bill O'Brien, Maurice Galbraith, Frank Hickey, Don St. Thomas and many others made the workload lighter.
Soon the new uniforms began to arrive and Bellarmine teams had a sharp new look. Trips were organized for games away from home and the interest and enthusiasm of the Boosters grew. At this time, the athletic program was confined to football, basketball and baseball. With a student body of slightly over 300, Bellarmine competed with many of the largest high schools in the state. Most of the coaches handled more than one sport, and the Jesuits filled in as assistants.
In 1947, Bellarmine produced its first city championship team in football and sent the basketball team to the state tournament under coach Andy Slatt.
The cost of supporting athletics increased and the Boosters created new and innovative ways to raise funds. They started the Booster Carnivals and Car Raffles, under such entrepreneurs as Francis Browne and Tony Petrarca.There were also other activities such as golf tournaments, fishing derbies, dances and spaghetti dinners.The club grew to 1,200 members, an amazing success story for organizations of this kind.
All monies raised relieved other funds needed for non-athletic programs. The Boosters began to look for bigger projects, with bigger dollars attached to them. The first of these was the Memorial Football Field built in 1948--a lighted turf field with a lighted grandstand and concessions stands. It is still one of the best fields in the city today.
In 1955 when the Student Center was constructed, the club's by-laws prevented any financial contribution, but many loyal Boosters gave of their time and labored to complete the project. Ray Berry and George Barzar spend hundreds of hours on the building.
Around 1955, the Boosters gained a new ally and partner, Fr. Jack Sneeringer, S.J., who joined the Bellarmine community. He and Bill Garrison, Sr., began to promote a much needed gymnasium. In July of 1957, the club pledged $178,711 to provide the needed money for construction. $50,400 was paid from the Booster treasury and a balance of $128,311 was personally guaranteed by the current list of past Booster presidents. Their guarantee made it possible to obtain additional financing to complete the project. This group of past presidents worked for years running bingo games on campus to pay off their large pledges.
The gymnasium was designed by Architect E.L. Mills and built by Concrete Construction Company. Other companies contributing to the construction were Milone, Tucci and Harrison Brothers Construction Companies. The new building made it possible to convert the old gym into a new school auditorium. On December 7, 1958, Archbishop Thomas A. Connelly dedicated the building, while Bob Jacques presided as Booster president. At the same time, new tennis courts were built and that sport became a more obvious part of the Bellarmine sports scene.
The Booster/Sneeringer partnership grasped an opportunity to expand its athletic plant. The freeway was to be cut through the hillside just south of the school property and construction required the removal of thousands of cubic yards of dirt. Fr. Sneeringer saved the contractors great sums of money by allowing them to dump the fill dirt in the Bellarmine gulch. The result was the "Bellarmine Bowl" which featured a new practice football field, a new running track and a baseball field. Many Boosters helped complete the project, notable among whom were Mike Tucci, Tucci & Sons Inc., and Asphalt Paving & Engineering Co. And, for the first time since 1930, the school had a proper track for its teams.
In the 1960's, Bellarmine athletic teams began to make their mark. Championship teams were produced in all sports under coaches such as Ron Urquardt, Ed Fallon and Steve Anstett.The importance of athletics was supported and encouraged over the years by many Jesuit Rectors including Fr. Leo Eckstein, S.J., Fathers Gordon and Frank Toner, S.J., and Fr. Joe Logan. All of them were pleased with the financial support and the enthusiasm the Boosters generated.
In 1974, Bellarmine became a co-educational school. The merger with Aquinas Academy and St. Leo's High School brought a new dimension to the athletic program. Inter-school competition began for girls' teams in basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball. Soccer was introduced for both boys and girls. This was also the era of Brother Jerry Sullivan, S.J., and his highly successful cross-country running program. The need for coaches, equipment, uniforms and added training facilities grew. The Boosters responded with fundraising projects such as bingo games, Reno nights, crab feeds, and other fundraising efforts. Our programs and teams continued to be winners under coaches such as Terry Ennis, Paul Marcello and Ed Fallon.
Other outstanding individuals have responded to the growing needs of Bellarmine and its athletic program. Scott and Sis Names generously provided the funds for the Names Gymnasium, the finest high school facility in the area. Their gift was the largest single contribution ever received at Bellarmine.
Today the Bellarmine Boosters, who, in 1986, offered membership to women, continue the mission began in 1946. The Boosters hold several yearly entertainment, community-building and fundraising events in support of the athletic program. The club offers membership to parents, alumni and friends of the school. Join us!