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December 2014 at Down House on

Yale Street in the Heights

What was meaningful about your

1964 state football champions

returning to what is now Granger

Stadium for a 50th anniversary



That was one of the most

impressive nights I’ve seen at St.

Thomas. District title at stake ... more

than 4,500 in attendance ... the game

televised both over-the-air (KUBE57)

and through our Eagle Broadcast

Network .... plus the Legacy Sports

Network ... Alumni Weekend ... Bill

Joplin revealed as our $6 Million

Dollar Man ... just an amazing evening.

And that ’64 team really brought that

sense of history. Incredible turnout ...

31 players ... plus (head coach) Burr

Davis and the Coach Joe McDonald’s

widow. Fifty years later ... that’s a long

time.  And those guys have maintained

those St. Thomas relationships

their entire lives. Doctors, lawyers,

bankers, restaurateurs ... wide range of

professions ... very successful men. I

talked with a good number of them ...

their STH years remain vivid.

I’ve always believed that one of our

most important obligations as a

school is to slow our student-athletes

down in this warp speed-flavor of

the month society they’re in and

let them see the tradition and what

they’re a part of. I’m convinced it

adds to the fabric of their athletic

experience. We started this when I

first came on board as athletic director

when we recognized our 1958 state

championship basketball team. Sends

the current guys the message that

all this didn’t start with them ... that

they’re developing those same kinds of

lasting relationships ... with teammates

and the school.

Speaking of champions ... what’s

the verdict from the award-winning

Down House kitchen.


Going with the grilled chicken

sandwich. Roasted red peppers.

Avacado. What puts it over the top

is the smoked paprika aioli.  Side of

sweet pepper soup ...tempura fried


Tasty. Can never go wrong with

smoked paprika aioli.


: Nor with chicken and waffles

... any time of day. Maybe next time.

February 2015 at Gatlin’s BBQ in

the Heights with owner and rising

restaurateur Greg Gatlin ’98.

Greg, what’s still vivid about your

time at St. Thomas.


It’s a big ball of relationships.

The guys I went to school with. The

guys who I didn’t go to school with

but feel as though I know them

because I’ve heard all the stories about

them. My older brother (Tim ’95) went

to school there but I didn’t want to go

because there were no girls. I was like,

‘Do I really have to go?’


Big surprise, Greg. We still get

a lot of that.


Once I got to campus

I really enjoyed it. And looking

back ... wouldn’t change it for the

world. The academic foundation.

The brotherhood. The exposure to

guys from different walks, different

backgrounds. That was the beauty.

If every kid could experience that,

especially men, we would be living in a

different world.

You played on the last STH football

team to win the state football

championship. What do remember

most from 1996?


State final against Dallas Jesuit.

Our home field. They’re on our six-

yard line. Third down. Our scouting

indicated they like to run a quick slant

play near the goal line. I’m in the

secondary. The quarterback eyeballed

the receiver. I jumped the route.  Just

had to catch the ball. Ninety-six yard




Still have a black-and-white

photo framed at the house of me

running to the end zone.

Classic. Tim Fitzpatrick was on

that coaching staff. Your defensive

coordinator. Sixteen years before he

became the Eagles head honcho.

What kind of coach was he back



He was out there ... in your

face.  He’s calmed down quite a bit

since then.

That would make for an interesting

conversation trying to convince

some of the current STH

constituents that Tim Fitzpatrick

has calmed down.

First Monday

With Mike

features St. Thomas athletic

director Mike Netzel on the

first Monday of each month

throughout the academic

year at

... providing

depth, background and

insight into all things Eagle


And lunch.

The following are excerpts

from a wide variety of

conversations taking place

over the previous 12 months

at various culinary locations

throughout the city.

Continued on next page...