July 10, 2015 |
WHEN DAISY REAVES walked the crowded halls of Simon Gratz High School, the students made way for her. A slightly built woman, Daisy nevertheless exuded a quiet authority that commanded respect even from the toughest kids in a tough school. Daisy was the principal of Simon Gratz in the 1970s and '80s, and she faced daily challenges trying to run an inner-city school with predominantly poor students in a school building that was falling apart. Thievery, vandalism and violence were endemic.
March 17, 2015 |
Students, alumni, and staff of the Wyncote Academy, a private school in Cheltenham for grades six through 12, were mourning the loss of their school after a ferocious fire destroyed it Saturday morning. "The school, in and of itself, is a total loss," principal Kerry Leraris said Sunday. "But Wyncote will continue to exist, as it has for 41 years. " She said classes for the school's 65 students would be canceled until Wednesday, when they will be held in space to be leased through the end of the year at Gratz College in Elkins Park.
January 21, 2015 |
Some legends of Philadelphia's basketball past gathered Monday at Martin Luther King to honor longtime Simon Gratz coach Bill Elerbee. But in the fourth quarter, the focus shifted to an undeniable star of the area's basketball present. Jonathan Lawton scored 10 of his 26 points in the final frame to help Friends' Central rally past Simon Gratz, 50-49, at the MLK Day Showcase. De'Andre Hunter added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Phoenix, who trailed by four with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
January 20, 2015 |
AARON McKIE felt like he had let down Bill Ellerbee, his coach and mentor. The North Philadelphia native was a senior leader at Simon Gratz and the Bulldogs were in Las Vegas for a holiday tournament. Ellerbee, who McKie said "raised" him since he was 5, had warned the team to get ample rest in preparation for upcoming games. "One night we got a chance to hang out a little bit and I overdid it, came in late," McKie recalled. "Not only did I come in late, I had the worst game of my life the next morning.
November 17, 2014 |
THE ELECTRICITY was still fresh in the air. Dances were danced, chants were belted and speeches were delivered at the Charles Martin Memorial Stadium. The Ben Franklin Electrons were just minutes removed from winning the Public League Class AAAA championship. And if the scoreboard wasn't enough, empty Gatorade coolers and the drenched shirt of head coach David Carter supplied more proof. In this crowd, a face not fixed with a smile would have been like a Franklin game without a Rapheal "Macho" Rodriguez touchdown.
November 10, 2014 |
IT'S PROBABLY unfair to call Cameron Brown the only super player on the Simon Gratz offensive line. Then again, the 6-2, 265-pound junior was likely the only one wearing a Superman shirt under his game jersey last night. "The team calls me Super Cam," Brown said after the Bulldogs outlasted Martin Luther King High, 22-14. "Everybody knows my favorite football player is Cam Newton, and earlier in the offseason, my mom was just buying me all these Superman shirts. I always wear them for games.
November 6, 2014 |
HIS HANDS are enormous, palms thick and wide, like Belgian waffles. His cleats are a size 15, perfect for chasing down ballcarriers or pancaking would-be pass rushers. At 6-4 and 304 pounds, Simon Gratz junior Raquan Thomas possesses all of the measurable numbers a two-way lineman needs for success on the football field. However, after surviving five gunshot wounds following a game in October 2013, Thomas is relieved to have narrowly avoided becoming a number on a tragic list.
October 19, 2014 |
WILHELMINA BIRD knew exactly what she was doing when she nicknamed her grandson "Woozy. " In fact, Shawn Jenkins, a 6-1, 225-pound middle linebacker for Simon Gratz, earned the moniker before he even took his first breath. Perhaps the clairvoyant Bird knew her grand little bundle would one day punish opponents on the gridiron. "My grandmom, she knew I was going to be a football star, so when I was born, I came out with the nickname 'Woozy,' " Jenkins said yesterday after the Bulldogs dominated Central, 33-0, at the Marcus Foster Supersite.
September 19, 2014 |
JOHN BARTRAM HIGH had just scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:14 remaining last night against Simon Gratz when a Bartram assistant coach uttered prophetic words as the Braves prepared to kick off to Bulldogs senior Shawn Williams. "He's a home-run hitter," James Ockimey said. "He makes me nervous. " Seconds later, Williams fielded the kick at the 6 and motored to the 50. Just one problem: Yellow flags littered the field. A block in the back negated Williams' wheels - temporarily.
August 5, 2014 |
FORMER Daily News high school sports writer Ted Silary has put together a nifty list of the top pros in basketball, football and baseball to come out of the city leagues. Silary, creator of legendary website, tedsilary.com, considered athletes from the Public, Catholic and Inter-Ac leagues to come up with a list of 15 finalists. He then enlisted the help of 22 friends and colleagues - including Daily News staffers Aaron "Ace" Carter, Ed Barkowitz, Bill Fleischman, Mike Kern, Pat McLoone and Bob "Boop" Vetrone Jr. - to vote for the "Great Eight" and "Still-Special Seven.