Strong Start for the Lions’ Varsity Basketball Team

Four games in six nights presented the Leo Lions with a tough challenge in the opening week of the basketball season, but they came through with three victories as Darius Branch averaged 20 points per game and fellow junior Darias Oliver contributed 17.5 points.

After a day of rest on Monday, the Lions are back at it for three tough games this week: De La Salle at home on Tuesday, Dec. 9; at
Providence on Friday, Dec. 12; and Hales at home on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Here’s a rundown:

LEO 52,  SETON 48, Dec. 2 at Leo

Branch led the way with 19 points and Oliver had 17 as the Lions overcame foul trouble and first-game jitters.  Oliver, saddled with
three early fouls,  played only 14 minutes. He also had 12 rebounds.

LEO 72, ST. FRANCIS de SALES 61, Dec. 5 at de Sales

Branch was Mr. Cool at the foul line, hitting 19 of 21 free throw on his way to a career-high 33 points. Oliver added 15 and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Kewan Smith had nine points and eight assists.


Oliver scored 17 points and brought down the house with an emphatic slam dunk off a drive as the Lions matched the athleticism of their Auburn-Gresham neighbors. Branch’s 17 points included an 8-for-8 showing at the foul line, giving him a two-game free-throw performance of 27-for-29.

VON STEUBEN 59, LEO 58, Dec. 7 at the Hall of Fame Shootout

Fatigue caught up with the Lions in the second half as they were outscored 44-33. They also missed Kewan Smith, who sat out the game after spraining his ankle against Calumet Perspectives. Oliver scored a career-high 23 points and appeared to tie the game on a jumper from the deep corner with two seconds remaining, but his foot was on the three-point line, so the two-point basket left the Lions one point short at the buzzer.

The 2014-2015 Basketball Season Got Underway Dec. 2

A much anticipated basketball season got under way at Leo on December 2 when the Lions face Seton Academy in a Catholic League tripleheader. The freshmen played at 4 p.m., followed by the sophomores at 5:30 and the varsity at 7.

The Lions return four starters from last season’s team that went 15-12 overall and reached the IHSA Class A sectional finals before
losing to Hales. All-Catholic League performers Darius Branch and Darias Oliver are the Lions’ leaders, with fellow juniors Kewan Smith and Chris Winters in prominent roles as well.

It’s a busy opening week for Leo. The Lions visit St. Francis de Sales for another Catholic League game on Dec. 5 (7 p.m.), then play
host to Calumet Perspectives on Dec. 6 (7 p.m.) before traveling to Collins High School on Dec. 7 for a 4 p.m. game against Von Steuben in the Hall of Fame Shootout.

On Friday, Dec. 19, the Lions will face Brother Rice at the Shannon Center on the St. Xavier University campus at 103rd and Central Park. It’s a home game for Leo, but it has been moved to the college facility to accommodate a crowd that figures to be too big for Leo’s gym.

Tickets ($5) are available at both schools. The Jesse White Tumblers will perform at halftime.

2014 Cross Country Wrap Up

The 2014 Cross Country Team finished the season short of its team goals, but accomplished new heights and the future looks bright for the young Leo men.

The team qualified to the IHSA Class 1A Lisle Sectional meet for the fourth consecutive year. Juniors Sirlaurence King, Harvey Moss, Antione Dunning,  sophomores Derrick Golden, Kenton Walker, Deontae McCoy and Damone Seals-Templeton along with freshman Kamaron Williams helped the team advance from the Kankakee Regional meet.

In Regionals, Walker and Golden ran personal bests at 18:41, while McCoy ran 19:45 and Moss dropped thirty seconds off his previous best to run 20:26.

Other contributors during the course of the season included freshmen Samuel Starks, Vidal Cargo and Benjamin Leonardi, lone sophomore Tyler Goodwin and junior Chris Calloway also played a big part in the teams success.

With no seniors on the team, the Lions will hopefully come back stronger, poised and focused for another big season.

Seventh & Eighth Grade Basketball Tournament

All seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams from the South Side and south suburbs are invited to compete in Leo High School’s annual Lions Den tournament for seventh and eighth-grade teams.

The tournament is single elimination and requires a $25 entry fee. Competition begins on Monday, Nov. 17, and all games will be played in the Leo gym at 7901 S. Sangamon, Chicago 60620. Ample parking is available in our two lots.

To register or to receive additional information, please contact Coach Noah Cannon at Leo High School: 773-224-9600, or

We look forward to seeing your team at Leo!

Leo Alum Benjamin Jerome “Iggy” Richards Passed Sept. 19

The Leo High School Community mourns the passing of Benjamin Jerome “Iggy” Richards, who died at his home in Oak Lawn on Sept. 19.

Richards, 93, was one of the great lightweight basketball players in Leo history, serving as co-captain of a team that had a two-season winning streak in 1940-41. Following graduation he enlisted in U.S. Army and saw action in World War II. Richards enjoyed a long career as a building engineer for the Chicago Board of Education. He and his wife, Virginia, who preceded him in death, raised seven children.

Richards was inducted into the Leo Hall of Fame in 2013.

Cardinal Francis George Inducted into Leo Hall of Fame

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Cardinal Francis George was inducted into the Leo High School Hall of Fame during a ceremony in his office at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center on Thursday, May 22.

The Leo Alumni Association voted the Cardinal into the Hall as a member of the Class of 2014, but he was unable to join his fellow inductees at the Alumni Banquet on April 25. So arrangements were made to honor him a month later.

Leo Alumni Association President Dan Stecich ‘75 did the honors, along with Bob Sheehy ‘71, Chairman of the Leo High School Advisory Board. They were joined by Leo President Dan McGrath ‘68, Admissions Director/Head Football Coach Michael Holmes ‘76, Development Director Pat Hickey and Leo juniors Latrell Giles and Isaiah Nichols.

Cardinal George was honored for his strong support of Leo. In 2013 he served as Honorary Chairman of the Lions Express to Opportunity campaign to obtain two new buses to enhance the school’s transportation capabilities. The Cardinal then officiated at a “blessing of the buses” ceremony after the vehicles were purchased.

 “I’m very grateful for this honor,” Cardinal George said. “I have great respect for the Leo Mission, and I’ve been impressed with the young men I’ve met on my visits to Leo. I will continue to pray for the school’s success.”


Registration is Still On Going for Future Leo Men

Registration is still ongoing for the 2014-2015 season. For more information, please contact the admissions director, Michael Holmes @ 773-224-9600 EXT 212.



Junior Dexter Dale collects three trophies at the Chicagoland Chess Conference Awards Ceremony



Junior Dexter Dale collected three trophies at the Chicagoland Chess Conference awards ceremony in February. Dexter was the first-place finisher at the season-opening kickoff tournament, and again at the Hales Invitational. He placed 15th in state competition, the best showing by a Leo competitor since Leo restored its chess program eight years ago.

In addition to being Leo’s No. 1 chess player, Dexter is the top-ranked student in the junior class with a 3.67 GPA and is a two-year starter on the varsity baseball team.

Basketball Story on Leo Sophomore Guards Branch and Smith


Sophomores Kewan Smith and Darius Branch along with Coach Cannon

Credit goes to Justin Breen-Author

Tom McElligot- Photographer

2013-2014 Leo H.S. Boys Cross Country Earned First Ever IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award


The Boys Cross-Country team at Leo Catholic High School achieved a 3.28 cumulative grade point average during the 2013-2014 season to earn its first ever IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award.

Members of the team included seniors Darrell Johnson, Alfred Townsend, Jeremy Clark, Carlin Turner and Chandler Adams. Isaiah Nichols was the lone junior on the team.

Sophomores were Antione Dunning, Sirlaurence King, Terrence Lee, Jr, Antione Dunning, David Frye, Pierre Courtney and Harvey Moss. Freshmen Derrick Golden, Damone Seals-Templeton, Clyde Butler, Justin Jefferson and Deontae McCoy rounded out the underclassmen on the team.