SS PHILIP & JAMES
CYO GLORY DAYS
By Fr. James Klein
How do you summarize 25 years of glory? 1956–1972, these were the “Wonder Years”
of many victories and a few difficult defeats.
SS. Philip & James was officially established on April 20, 1950. On February 1951, the
grade school was opened under the direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. But
not everyone knows the parish name was also a tribute to two
brothers who dedicated their lives to the priesthood. One was Rev.
Fr. Philip J. O’Brien and the other, Rev. Fr. James H. O’Brien.
There was more to our C.Y.O. sports than championships and
trophies. There was a VIBRANT LIFE in a small church on
Bosworth Road. The highlights are numerous. There was a flame
of a school SPIRIT and a tremendous community of love and
support. Before and after every game our team knelt in prayer in
the Church of SS Philip & James. This SPIRIT was ignited by the
Pastor – Father James H. O’Brien – the founder of C.Y.O.
The sports program began in the middle 1950’s. Although the
parish had a few basketball teams and track teams, the sports
program concentrated on C.Y.O. football and girls softball. The
program expanded to girls and boys basketball in the early 1960’s.
• In 1956, SS Philip & James finished the season at 1-5-1.
• In 1957, SS Philip & James lost to Gesu in the Championship game 19–18. What
• In 1958, the Warriors were Co-Champions with St. Paul Euclid 7–7 tie.
• In 1959, SS Philip & James lost to Our Lady of Peace 6–0.
• The team went HEAVY – WEIGHT in 1960. They won the championship under
Coach Jim Lavelle defeating St. Mel 14–7.
• 1961 was a re-building year under Coach George Holman.
When T. Gallagher returned as the coach in 1962, the Warriors dominated the LIGHT
WEIGHT division on the Westside of Cleveland throughout the 1960’s. T. Gallagher
had two capable assistant coaches in Richard (Hank) Ahern and Bill Jacoby.