Athletics History

 37 State and National Championships for JCA Athletics

Football*: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2018, 2021
Dance/Pom-Pons: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2019
Baseball: 1994, 2009, 2013, 2022, 2023
Volleyball: 2003, 2008, 2009
Cheerleading: 1991, 1992
Basketball**: 1927, 1928, 1934
Golf: 1958
Wrestling: 2022
Bass Fishing: 2022

*IHSA State Playoffs for football did not begin until 1974.

**The National Catholic Interscholastic Basketball Tournament (NCIBT) was held every March from 1924 through 1941 to determine the national basketball championship for Catholic high schools and academies in the United States. 1927 and 1928 National Championships were won by De La Salle High School, which was renamed Joliet Catholic High School by the Carmelites in 1933 when they assumed ownership, in honor of the citizens of Joliet.

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 34 state and national championships – including an IHSA-record 15 football state titles.

JCA is also nationally recognized in baseball and girls volleyball, with both the Angels and Hilltoppers winning four and three state championships respectively. 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 two boys basketball national championships 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 42 times, advancing to the championship game on 19 occasions. 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.

The girls volleyball program has been nationally ranked every year since 2003. The Angels have taken 18 consecutive regional titles. Overall, the Angels have 21 regional titles, 15 sectional titles and 13 state trophies, with three first places, four second place, three third places and three 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 and has been honored twice as the 6th Woman of the Year, and most recently was named a WNBA All-Star.

The boys of summer at JCA actually play in the spring. The Hilltopper baseball program is another nationally recognized program, with nine state trophies featuring five first places, three second places, one third place and one fourth-place finish. The Hillmen have 27 regional or district titles and 14 sectionals. Since 2000 under Jared Voss, the Hilltoppers have won 15 regional titles, eight sectionals and eight state trophies. In the spring of 2022, Rylan Bannon became the ninth former JCA player to reach the major leagues, following Jack Perconte, Bill Gullickson, Mark Grant, Mike Grace, Sean Bergman, Chris Michalak, Kevin Cameron, and Joe Benson. Every player except Benson, Perconte, and Bannon 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 two state trophies, most recently finishing 2nd in the spring of 2021. Since 2000 , JCA has 16 seasons of 20 wins or more and has earned ten regional titles, with eight 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.

In recent years, the JCA Wrestling program has risen to unprecedented heights, capturing an IHSA Class 2A Dual Team State Championship in 2022 and a Runner-Up finish in 2023. The program also boasts numerous individual state champions in recent years. 

In the fall of 2016 the Angels tennis program finished second in the state in Class 1A, while the doubles tandem of seniors Maddie Bauer and McCoy Hutchison captured the IHSA Class 1A Doubles State Championship.

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!”

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