Short recollections written by South Bend Soccer contributors

Forming the Catholic School League

All South Bend Community School Corporation High Schools (Adams, Clay, Riley, and Washington High Schools) all started soccer programs with grants from the MSA, Michiana Soccer Association.

When I learned that, I approached Henry Veldman, as MSA President, to see if funds could be provided for the two Catholic High Schools, St. Joe Catholic High School and Marian Catholic High School.

At St. Joe Catholic High School, Marylou Derwent, a Math Teacher, and I convinced School Principal Glen Rousey to accept the money and create a varsity team.

At the Catholic Grade School level, I created (to keep my five active boys busy) the St. Joe Catholic Grade School team and had no one to play except Private School Stanley Clark.

A local parent, Joe Kleiser, at another Catholic Grade School, St. Anthony’s, having two daughters, worked to create a team at St. Anthony’s for St. Joe to play as long as it was coed. That is how the Catholic league became coed.

As more Catholic schools created teams, Joe Kleiser and I decided we needed a Catholic School league to keep things organized. We did it together.

Joe Bellina Jr.