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“Home of Champions”

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The term was first coined in the early 1950′s by the late Abbot Jerome Koval, O.S.B. `35, who was a teacher, coach, and chaplain of the football team, throughout the 1950′s and 1960′s.

Prior to 1945, Benedictine’s only championships were East Senate baseball titles in 1939 and 1940. That all changed when Joe Rufus arrived on the Benedictine campus in September 1945

Rufus led Benedictine to its first football title ever- an East Senate co-championship with Arch Rival Cathedral Latin in 1945.

By the time Rufus stepped down as a coach to become Athletic Director, he won more football games in nine seasons than the school has won in the Previous 16 years.

Rufus’ teams won six Cleveland City Championships (Football:1948, 1950, 1952; Basketball: 1946, 1948; Baseball:1948) and numerous other East Senate Titles.

In 1948, Benedictine also claimed a Cleveland Triple Crown by wearing the football, basketball, and baseball city titles at the same time.

In the 1996-1997 school year, Benedictine achieved another rare Triple Crown-winning state titles in football, basketball and track.

And in 2003, Benedictine became the first (and only) school in Ohio to win a state playoff football title in each of the four decades since the new format was established in 1972. Bengal teams won playoff titles in 1973, 1980, 1981, 1996, 2003, and 2004.

Since 1959, that proud title coined by Abbot Jerome and nurtured by Joe Rufus has been a permanent addition to the sign in the front of the school. It correctly identifies Benedictine High School as the “Home of Champions.

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