South Hills Catholic High School Baseball
Catholic League Champions - 1965

South Hills Catholic High School Baseball Team - 1965

1965 Catholic League Champions

Front Row: UNKNOWN, Bob Paparella, Earl Bellisario, Howard Dower, Armand Creo, Steve Sefcik, UNKNOWN.
Standing: Tommy Abraham, Ken Magrini, Jackie Flavin, Manager Jerry Conboy, Mickey White, Joe Laufer, Jackie Daurora, Jack Cambest.

The 1965 South Hills Catholic High School baseball team captured the Catholic League championship on May 25 with a 1-0 victory over North Catholic. The Rebels recaptured the title they had first won in 1963. The team was led by pitchers Dave Welty, Jackie Flavin and Joe Laufer, whose combined ERA for the season was a microscopic 0.84.

The South Catholic team, at least those pictured above, were primarily kids from the Brookline area. In the photo above, twelve of the fourteen players are graduates of the Brookline Little League, a program with a fine reputation for churning out well-discplined, fundamentally sound scholastic prospects. Below is an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and some other bits that cover the 1965 Rebel championship.

South Hills Clinches Catholic 'A' Crown

South Hills Catholic won the Catholic League Class A baseball championship while Beaver Falls and Coraopolis advanced to the quarter-finals of the WPIAL tournament.

A two-hit performance by lefthander Dave Welty led South Hills to the Catholic League clincher in a 1-0 victory over North Catholic yesterday at North Park.

South Hills Catholic, which won the Catholic League title in 1963, took it back again after relinquishing it to Central last season. The Rebels now own back-to-back titles, the basketball and baseball crowns. And Jerry Conboy coaches both.

Welty struck out 13 in bringing his personal record to 4-1 and the Rebel's league record to 10-2 and overall mark to 11-3.

The Rebel run was pushed across in the third when Tom Abraham walked, was sacrificed to second by Bob Bergia and scored when Ron Cortese's grounder was booted and then the ball tossed wild.

* Reprinted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 26, 1964 *

Here's some individual and team statistics from the 1965 season:

Batting: Cunningham (4-2, .500), Creo (5-2, .400), Dower (5-2, .400), Welty (33-12, .363), Daurora (32-11, .343, HR), Schoenstein (22-7, .318), Laufer (38-12, .315), Abraham (24-7, .291), Flavin (24-7, .291, HR), Paparella (4-1, .250), Cortese (38-9, .236), Bergia (45-10, .222), Miller (36-8, .222, HR), Cambest (12-2, .167), Magrini (11-1, .090), Rafalko (3-0, .000), Sefcik (4-0, .000), White (2-0, .000), Dabkowski (1-0, .000), Bellisario (0-0, .000), Moran (5-0, .000), Kohut (1-0, .000), Team Total (349-93, .266).

Pitching: Welty (38 IP, 17 H, 61 K, 8 W, 3 ER, 0.55 ERA, 4-1 Record), Flavin (28 IP, 17 H, 45 K, 5 W, 3 ER, 0.75 ERA, 4-1 Record), Laufer (23 IP, 17 H, 34 K, 11 W, 5 ER, 1.52 ERA, 2-1 Record), Team Total (89 IP, 51 H, 140 K, 24 W, 11 ER, 0.84 ERA, 11-3 Record - includes one forfeit).

The Rebels outscored their opponents 72-19 during the season, broken down as follows:

Taylor-Allderdice, L 3-4; Shadyside Academy, W 13-0; Canevin, W 4-3; Central Catholic, W 4-1; Serra Catholic, W 5-0; Bishop Boyle, W 11-0; Canevin, W 5-2; North Catholic, W 2-1; Serra Catholic, W 3-1; Greensburg Central Catholic, L 2-3; Bishop Boyle, W 17-1; Central Catholic, L 2-3; Greensburg Central Catholic, W forfeit; North Catholic, W 1-0.

One last thing that comes to mind about this title winning team are some of the faces and where they moved on to after this season.

Manager Jerry Conboy, of Bethel Park, coached South Hills Catholic baseball and basketball teams to several championships in the 1960s before moving on to Point Park College where, under his leadership, the Pioneers were a District 18 contender for twenty-odd years. Coach Conboy, after retiring from Point Park, returned to coaching at Seton-LaSalle High School, formerly South Hills Catholic, this time as the girl's basketball coach. His Lady Rebels won the 2000 WPIAL championship and were runners-up in 1999.

Mickey White, after a successful career as a collegiate player and a brief stint as a minor league prospect, became a Major League scout. Mickey worked for the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Devil Rays before taking a position as Director of Scouting for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mickey's efforts led to an immediate improvement in the Pirates Minor League farm system. In 2001, he left the Pirates to work for the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Tom Abraham retired from a 25-year career in the Secret Service, where he guarded such notables as Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II and Kings and Queens too numerous to mention.

Jack Flavin taught at Resurrection Elementary for twenty-seven years through the 1995-1996 school year. His daughter Jennifer, was a standout player for the Seton-LaSalle Lady Rebels, the 2000 WPIAL Champions, coached by none other than Jerry Conboy.

Armand Creo taught at Brookline Regional Catholic. He was described by one student as the "hardest teacher in the school."

Click on image for a larger picture.

* Photo provided by Elva McGibbeny *

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