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SPORTS
February 28, 1994 | by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
The Simon Gratz basketball players not named Lynard Stewart might find themselves in front of a blackboard today. They might be writing 100 times, "Lynard is tough inside. We must get him the ball. " Stewart, a 6-7 senior center, has hands as long as most people's feet and leaping ability that most people can only get with a trampoline. But for long stretches yesterday in a Public League semifinal at the Civic Center, it looked as though the Bulldogs had forgotten those facts.
SPORTS
December 30, 1995 | by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
It's a good thing Bill Ellerbee has scrapped his original coaching plan. If he hadn't, someone else would have to scribble X's and O's tonight in the all-Philadelphia championship game of the Slam Dunk to the Beach National Invitational Tournament. When Ellerbee assumed command of Gratz's program for the 1982-83 season, his thought was to stay around long enough to hit a milestone. "Either 300 wins or 100 losses," he said, smiling. Thankfully, Ellerbee is going nowhere, even though a basketball commemorating the former milestone soon will occupy a prominent spot among his personal treasures.
SPORTS
March 1, 1992 | By Gwen Knapp, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At a big holiday tournament in Florida last December, a high school boys' basketball team from Philadelphia was introduced to the crowd as "the Franklin Learning Center Bulldogs. " There was, you can be sure, some cringing on the FLC bench. The nickname that should have come over the loudspeaker was the Bobcats. The Bulldogs are that other team from Philadelphia, the one that has overshadowed the Bobcats almost all season and beaten them for the Public League title two years straight.
NEWS
February 2, 1988 | By Howard Courtney, Special to The Inquirer
Frankford's Dave Ferrizzi showed this week why he is one of the top wrestlers in the Public League by brutalizing opponents at weights of 126 and 131 and not letting anyone score a point against him. In the Pioneers' 47-15 victory over Gratz on Wednesday, Ferrizzi (131) won a technical decision, 15-0. And in the Pioneers' 63-12 victory over King on Friday, Ferrizzi won another technical in 1:40. For the Pioneers (4-1), the mat was a good place to be last week. Reggie Blount moved up a weight class and won by decision against Gratz and won by a technical fall against King.
SPORTS
January 17, 1993 | By Frank Lawlor, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Since Simon Gratz started this season surfing atop the national polls, facing Dunbar of Baltimore in the Charm City Classic had always been a pivot point on the schedule. Not only was Dunbar the defending national champ, ranked high again, but the Poets had handed the Bulldogs two losses by five points last year. This year, it was much different, as Gratz coasted to a 61-44 win that sent the home fans to the exits after three quarters. Having now beaten Dunbar, Lake Clifton and DeMatha Catholic, Gratz could even lay claim to the Baltimore-area championship before it heads back into the thick of its Public League schedule.
SPORTS
February 25, 1991 | By Kevin L. Carter, Inquirer Staff Writer
From a basketball standpoint, both Public League semifinals were exciting to watch yesterday. While the Southern-Franklin Learning Center matchup was exciting because it went down to the wire, Gratz's 84-40 victory over Central was exciting because it didn't. Gratz, ranked by some polls as high as No. 2 in the nation, killed the Lancers softly in the first half and turned on the juice in the second. The Bulldogs, playing a deliberate, half-court style, were ahead at halftime, 33-19.
SPORTS
March 2, 1991 | By Gwen Knapp, Inquirer Staff Writer
The beauty of last night's Public League championship game, a defensive battle that sometimes looked more like rugby than basketball, was lost on some fans. But if hoops purists expecting thunderous dunks (there were none) and precise execution (there was little) were disappointed with the way Gratz won its second straight league title - in a 47-43 victory over Franklin Learning Center at McGonigle Hall - they missed the point. "When you have two teams playing with that intensity and playing such hard defense, it can get sloppy," said Gratz coach Bill Ellerbee.
SPORTS
February 26, 1996 | By Pete Schnatz, FOR THE INQUIRER
It was a matchup that would have attracted a crowd if played on a blacktop court with netless rims and cracked backboards: Frankford vs. Gratz, area boys' basketball powers loaded with athletes who can run, dribble and soar above most of their peers. They played a Public League semifinal yesterday at the Civic Center, where, amid all that talent, the referees took center stage. Fans streamed into the stands yesterday morning ready for a classic. What they saw, instead, was a bushel-ful of touch fouls and an endless parade to the foul line, with Gratz outlasting Frankford, 66-64.
SPORTS
January 8, 1992 | By Gwen Knapp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gratz guard Contrell Scott insisted he was never nervous yesterday. Not when Olney forced seven turnovers in the last 4 1/2 minutes. Not when the Trojans cut their deficit from 16 points to one with 2 minutes, 18 seconds left. Not even when he stepped to the line with a two-point lead and 51 seconds left for Olney to try to complete its rally and become the first Philadelphia team in almost three years to beat the Bulldogs. "We had all those (tournament) games in Florida and South Carolina, and they were all like playoff games," Scott said.
SPORTS
March 5, 1990 | By Kevin L. Carter, Inquirer Staff Writer
Doctors at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania let Pete Merlino out of bed yesterday morning. It was the first time the Franklin Learning Center coach had been allowed to walk since last Sunday, when he suffered a heart attack at the Civic Center while preparing his team to play in a Public League semifinal last Sunday. "I was almost thinking about walking to McGonigle Hall," Merlino said. If he had, Merlino would have seen his team lose the Public League championship to Gratz, 80-60.
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NEWS
July 10, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
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.
NEWS
March 17, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
January 21, 2015 | By Mark Macyk, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
January 20, 2015 | BY AARON CARTER, Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
November 17, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
NEWS
November 10, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
November 6, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
October 19, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
September 19, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
August 5, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
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.
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