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Speedy Morris, a legendary basketball coach in Philadelphia and previous PC boys coach, was celebrated by Penn Charter on Dec. 10 with the dedication of an annual invitational tournament in his honor. 

Darryl Ford and Speedy Morris Hold Framed PC with large PC behind them on the wall

At halftime in a Friday night hoops game, before a gathered crowd of students, families and OPC basketball players in the new Graham Athletics & Wellness Center, the PC winter basketball tournament was named the Speedy Morris Invitational. In addition to naming the tournament, two coaches' chairs bearing his name were dedicated for use by coaches on Kenneth M. Caldwell OPC '89 Court. See photos on Flickr

"Many people here...knew of Speedy's talent on the court," said Head of School Darryl J. Ford, referencing the 1,024 wins in Morris' coaching career. Morris coached the PC boys basketball team from 1982 to 1984, including the Inter-Ac Championship 1984 team.

"Speedy cared about his students on the court, he cared about his student-athletes off the court. You may have seen the wins and youth development," Ford said. "What you may not have seen was how he cared about his students outside of the arena, whether helping them with college or helping them with an opportunity or helping them get out of a troubling circumstance. That is Mr. Morris'  legacy ... Speedy you have lived a life that made a difference through your support of your students and athletes on the court and off."

Members of Speedy's two Penn Charter teams were present to honor him, as were members of his family. Two players, Andy Vye OPC '83 and Joe McGarvey OPC '84 also spoke, offering memories and honors to their coach.

"Coach Morris came here in 1982 and changed the culture," said Vye. "We went from playing basketball to working to play basketball. In just two years, we flipped the balance of power and these guys won the Inter-Ac Championship in 1984."

Standing center court with his former players and PC's boys and girls basketball players behind him, Speedy Morris took the microphone. "This was a great place. I loved this place and I'll never forget these guys," he said.

Referring to the Graham facility, he drew a laugh from the crowd when he continued: "It's a great place — an amazing place. We played in a little dungeon. We had a lot of fun and we won a lot of games, but this is fantastic.

"Thanks to everyone that made this possible."

Elderly man, seated, holds framed PC. TIght group of middle aged men stand  behind him.

"Forever this tournament will be the Speedy Morris Invitational and the chairs on which the coaches will sit are in honor of you," said Ford. "Friends, student-athletes, coaches, students in the stands, give a nice big thank you to Speedy. You are part of a rich tradition at Penn Charter. You are part of a rich tradition at Penn Charter that is basketball. You are part of a rich tradition where your coaches and teachers are educating you to live lives that make a difference. 1-2-3; Thank you, Speedy!"

Penn Charter welcomed Central High School and Abington Friends, and Taylor Allderdice of Pittsburgh, Pa. Penn Charter's boys varsity went 2-0 in the tournament (60-53 v. Allderdice, 79-46 v. Central). Playing on Friday before the tournament began, PC's girls varsity defeated Mastery Charter 63-44.

The Speedy Morris Invitational is a basketball tournament with a public purpose. Funds donated at the tournament were given to Community Health and Gardens, inc., a non-profit committed to improving the quality of life for families in West Philadelphia through health, education and nutritional awareness. 

Coaches, family and friends gathered in the Graham Athletics & Wellness Center to celebrate the successes of student-athletes during the fall 2021 season.

More photos.

Receiving Upper School awards recognizing athletic achievement and sportsmanship:

Sport Athlete Award
Girls Tennis Lexi Bari Coach's Award
Girls Tennis Marissa Brucker Coach's Award 
Girls Tennis Maya Check Coach's Award
     
Boys Cross Country Nate Luzi Coach's Award
Boys Cross Country Liam McLafferty Coach's Award
     
Field Hockey Ella Curci Coach's Award
Field Hockey Sydney Delbello Coach's Award 
Field Hockey Amanda Ehrenhalt Coach's Award 
     
Girls Soccer Kelsey Maley Coach's Award
Girls Soccer Gabbi Polite Coach's Award
Girls Soccer Kaila Rahn Coach's Award
     
Girls Cross Country Alli DiLisi Coach's Award
Girls Cross Country Olivia Montini Coach's Award 
     
Girls Water Polo Emily Albert Coach's Award
Girls Water Polo Lindsay Gadsden Coach's Award
Girls Water Polo Merrill Gadsden Coach's Award
Girls Water Polo Ruby Singer Coach's Award
     
Golf  Jake Dittus Coach's Award
     
Boys Water Polo Henry Davis Coach's Award
Boys Water Polo Buddy Lynch Coach's Award
Boys Water Polo Aidan Mehta Coach's Award
     
Boys Soccer Owen Black Coach's Award
Boys Soccer Chet Kempinski Coach's Award
Boys Soccer Jackson Tullo Coach's Award
     
Football Cliff Harling Coach's Award
Football Gerry Rullo Coach's Award
Football Chandler Turner Coach's Award

 

The Inter-Academic League honored the following PC players:

Sport Athlete Team
Girls Tennis Lexi Bari First
Girls Tennis Mariah Mays First
     
Boys Cross Country Wesley Trautwein First
Boys Cross Country T.J. Zwall Second
     
Field Hockey Darcy Felter Second
Field Hockey Grace Turner Second
     
Girls Soccer Maddie Shoup First
Girls Soccer Lauren Anderson Second
Girls Soccer Kayla Bradby Second
Girls Soccer Dani Shipon Second
     
Girls Cross Country Alli DiLisi First
Girls Cross Country Olivia Montini First
Girls Cross Country Elena Coupas Second
Girls Cross Country Julia Dolce Second
Girls Cross Country Alex Jaffe Second
Girls Cross Country Lane Murray Second
     
Girls Water Polo Lindsay Gadsden All-Eastern First
Girls Water Polo Merrill Gadsden All-Eastern First
Girls Water Polo Ruby Singer All-Eastern First
Girls Water Polo Abby Steinbrook All-Eastern Second
     
Golf Holden Hummel Second
     
Boys Water Polo Henry Davis First
Boys Water Polo Aidan Mehta First
Boys Water Polo Cormac Stevens Second
     
Boys Soccer Jimmy Melnick First
Boys Soccer Jason Stearn First
Boys Soccer James Fitzgerald Second
     
Football Isaiah Grimes First
Football Ohifame Ijeboi First
Football Chris Austin Second
Football Davin Barnett Second
Football Cliff Harling Second
Football Seamus McCain Second
Football Gerry Rullo Second
Football Colin Schumm Second

 

 

Open since September, the Graham Athletics & Wellness Center has seen plenty of teams, classes, events so far. But one thing that hadn't happened — until December 1 — was a varsity basketball game.

On Wednesday, the Girls Varsity Basketball squad faced off against Abington Friends School on Caldwell Court. It was the first game in the Graham. Ever! 

The Quakers looked strong the whole game through. They blocked shots, they stole the ball, hit layups and jumpers, and ran away with the game before halftime, all to the delight of fans in the bleachers and lining the rail above the court. 

To top off the history-making game as first-in-the Graham, the 55-22 win was also Coach Joe Maguire's 100th PC win. 

Watch a video marking the occasion.

8 girls varsity basketball players lean toward camera and roar
12 students in college sweatshirts stand arm in arm in a light filled gymnasium

In the first event of its kind in the Graham Center, students, families and friends gathered on Caldwell Court to celebrate the athletes' commitment to play their sport at Division 1 schools — or, in the case of Ivy League schools, likely letters. 

Congratulations to the athletes! #pcproud 

See more photos on Flickr.

Student School Sport
Isabella Salvi Syracuse University Rowing
Jack Stanley Fordham University Squash
Peter Malitas Duke University Lacrosse
Colin Michener Villanova University Lacrosse
Vince Fattore Duke University Baseball
Andrew Healy Duke University Baseball
Ella Curci Winthrop University Lacrosse
Darcy Felter University of North Carolina Lacrosse
Charlotte Hodgson Harvard University Lacrosse
Brenna McCafferty Monmouth University Lacrosse
Madeline Shoup Colorado University Lacrosse
Grace Turner Stanford University Lacrosse

 

Julia Veith OPC '21 won a world championship this weekend rowing for the USA at the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships in Bulgaria. 

Veith rowed stroke seat in the Junior Women’s Coxed Four that won the gold; Italy finished second and Germany third.

Veith (shown here, far left) was recruited to row for Stanford University and begins her studies soon. 

A swimmer, she didn’t start rowing until ninth grade, when she joined the Penn Charter crew team. The PC team rows out of Undine Barge Club on Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row. Veith also rowed for the Whitemarsh Boat Club.

Womens coxswained quad crosses finish line. Stroke and bow seat rowers have arms raised

 

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