29! State and National Championships for JCA Athletics
Three letters – JCA – are synonymous with championships and the spirit of sportsmanship. Joliet Catholic Academy, a member of the Illinois High School Association and the East Suburban Catholic Conference, ranks among the finest interscholastic athletic programs in both Illinois and in the entire country with 29 state and national championships – including an IHSA record 13 football state titles.
JCA is also nationally recognized in baseball and girls volleyball, with both the Angels and Hilltoppers winning three state championships. The Hillmen also have won a golf state title. Beyond the state, JCA has been honored with six pom-pon national championships, two competitive cheerleading national championships and one boys basketball national championship and Gatorade National Player of the Year in Kelly Murphy and Annemarie Hickey for volleyball. Ty Isaac is the latest in a long line of football All-Americans.
Football remains the most nationally recognized program at JCA. The Hilltoppers have qualified for the playoffs 35 times, advancing to the championship game on 17 occasions. Since 1999 under Dan Sharp, the Hillmen have won six state titles, earned two runnersup and have made 13 consecutive appearances in the eight-class state playoffs. JCA is the first school to win 100 playoff games. Former Hillmen who have gone on and played in the NFL include Tippy Madarik, Tom Thayer, Mike Alstott, Mike Goolsby, and Coby Fleener.
Under Christine Scheibe, the girls volleyball program has been nationally ranked every year since 2003. The Angels have taken 12 consecutive regional titles and six sectional titles, placing second, third and fourth in the state among three state championships. Overall, the Angels have 16 regional titles, 10 sectional titles and eight state trophies, with three first places, a second place, two third places and two fourth-place finishes.
The boys and girls basketball teams have been successful as well at the regional and sectional level. The Hillmen have earned seven district or regional championships and a sectional title, while the Angels have won six regional and two sectional championships. George Mikan, a 1942 graduate, played and coached in the ABA and NBA and is a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame. Allie Quigley (’04) plays in the WNBA.
The boys of summer at JCA actually play in the spring. The Hilltopper baseball program is another nationally recognized program, with eight state trophies featuring three first places, three second places, one third place and one fourth-place finish. The Hillmen have 22 regional or district titles and 11 sectionals. Since 2000 under Jared Voss, the Hilltoppers have won nine regional titles, five sectionals and five state trophies. In the fall of 2011, Joe Benson became the eighth former JCA player to reach the major leagues, following Jack Perconte, Bill Gullickson, Mark Grant, Mike Grace, Sean Bergman, Chris Michalak and Kevin Cameron. Every player except Benson and Perconte are pitchers.
Likewise, JCA’s girls softball team consistently ranks among the best in the Chicagoland area, with 16 regional or district titles and three sectional championships. The Angels have earned a state trophy, placing fourth. Since 2000 under Dave Douglas, JCA has 15 seasons of 20 wins or more and has earned eight regional titles, with four since 2007.
Over the years, JCA has produced numerous state qualifiers boys and girls cross country, wrestling and in boys and girls track. The boys and girls golf teams have each qualified for the state finals and the boys and girls soccer teams and the boys volleyball team have won regionals.
The Hilltoppers and Angels play their home games in the state-of-the-art Student Activity Center or at the expansive Field of Dreams on campus. Home football games and home girls soccer games are played at Joliet Memorial Stadium, off Jefferson Street between I-55 and I-80.
Founded in 1869, JCA is located in the City of Champions. And from generation to generation, our athletic Hilltoppers and Angels are proud to say, “We Are … JCA!”