Connecting the Dots with Shawn Young

In this edition of Connecting the Dots, we are really going to start connecting the dots! It has been my mission since taking this position over three and a half years ago to try to bring together the past, present, and the future.  We have shared articles from the 1950's, as well as stories about graduates from last year.  But we also need to start looking to the future of McNicholas High School. 

Over the past year, there have been some very dedicated Rockets coming together to discuss the establishment of a new alumni association. We have looked on the websites of all of the other Catholic schools. We have visited some of the schools that we felt had very successful alumni associations. We even hosted a meeting of alumni managers and alumni association presidents to get their views on what it takes to have a successful alumni association. From this research, we assembled a small group of dedicated alumni to help us grow and move in the right direction.  On July 25, we hosted an alumni summit, and invited a couple of representatives in from every graduating class.  After our small group discussions based, we focused on four things at our alumni summit to help us build our alumni association:
1) We looked at how we could better focus our communication.
2) We looked at ways in which the alumni of this school can support each other.
3) We looked at ways in which the alumni can support the current and future students of McNicholas High School.
4) We looked at how we can set up a structure that can outlast all of us.

Now it is time to invite you to help us in this mission.  If you are interested in getting involved, please know that we will appreciate any help that you can give us in this mission. We will be having social events, service events, religious development, financial planning, and networks to help Rockets who may need a little help. The more people we can get engaged, the more opportunities the alumni association will be able to provide. This is YOUR alumni association; it will only work if we have people willing to step up and get involved.  If this is something that interests you, please do not hesitate to get involved.  We have a lot of great alumni already on board.  To get started you can click on the this link.  At the bottom of the form, you can identify areas in which you.would like to get involved.

Thank for your consideration. Remember if you are getting together with your class for lunches or dinners, have a tradition that your Rocket friends have been doing for a while, or have a classmate that the rest of us should get to know, I would love to come out and put you in the next newsletter. Just give me a call at 513-231-3500 X 5850 or email me by  clicking here.
Update on stadium lights and The Penn

The City of Cincinnati has granted a conditional use approval for lights in Penn Station Stadium. There is a 30-day window that anyone who testified at the July 26 zoning hearing can appeal.
Alumni trip to Keeneland

The McNicholas Alumni Association is hosting the third annual bus trip to Keeneland. The trip will take place on Saturday, October 28, 2017. At the present we have a very limited number of tickets left. The bus will leave McNicholas at 9:00 a.m. and return after the last race.  The cost for this event is only $45 per person and includes the bus ride to and from Lexington, tickets to the races, light appetizers, and beverages for the ride!  You can also purchase a $60 ticket, that includes everything above as well as a seat in the Grandstand! Once there, we will set up a tailgate area as well.  Spots will go very fast for this event. You can either pay with credit card by  clicking here ,or you can simply contact  Shawn Young and mail your check into McNicholas High School.

Boosters annual golf outing

Boosters will once again be hosting the annual golf outing Friday, September 29, at Legendary Run Golf Course.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m.  Dinner, awards, and auction begin at 6 p.m.  Cost of this event is $125. Please contact Susan Rohlfs at 513-231-3500 x 5142 for more information.  C lick here to secure your spot.

An opportunity for alumni service

In the past year, McNicholas alumni have really stepped up to help in our community. We have helped Sam and Denise Roflow. We have volunteered at the National Veteran's Wheelchair Games. Now we have another opportunity to show one another the support of the Rocket community. Mark Wilmers '74  suffers from Parkinson's disease. His wife Juli is looking to the Rockets to see if we can help out by signing up to be a volunteer. She is in need of 70 volunteers for this race and thought that she would reach out to our alumni to volunteer.  It is a really fun event which raises money to benefit James and Joan Gardner Family Center for Parkinson's disease and movement disorders at the U C Gardner Center. T he Parkinson's Race on Sunday, September 10.  If you are able to help out with this event, please click here.  

McNicholas Rocket Band Alumni

The current McNick Rocket Band would like to invite ALL Rocket Band/Color Guard alumni to join them in the stands at the football game on October 14 (1:00 pm game).

If you were part of the concert, jazz, pep band or marching band/color guard for 1, 2, 3 or all 4 years, please join us!  We want as many band/color guard alumni to gather as possible.  Alumni will join the current band to play the National Anthem, McNicholas fight song, and some pep tunes.  If you still play your instrument, great!  But even if you no longer play or even have your instrument, we still want you to join us!

Details to follow for those who are interested.  Please email Robin Harrington at

Alumni soccer great day for a game, and more

On July 15, we had several Rockets come out to play soccer in the blistering heat. The field didn't have any goalies and no one wanted to play goalie, so they moved the lacrosse goals inside the soccer goals to make the goal target smaller.  The score was close the entire game, and the green team ended up winning 10-9. S everal guys come from out of town to play.  The "farthest commute" award goes to Jake Tetrault '10 who flew in from Atlanta. After the game, the alumni association provided food and drinks for the event. According to Wade Johnston '08, "it was a great event"!  The next titanic struggle will take place July 14, 2018, so mark your calendars now.

In keeping with the growing enthusiasm, Rocket soccer coach David Sandmann '04 will be hosting an alumni day for Men's Varsity Soccer. So also take the t ime to mark your calendars for the first ever Alumni Soccer Day, on Saturday, September 2. The game will start at 11:45 a.m. The reception will follow game - around 1:30 p.m. Get together with past players and graduates and watch the current Rockets take on Mariemont High School. Tickets for alumni and family of alumni are only $5.  Former players may get into the game for free, but you must register with  Shawn Young   prior to August 25.  

After the game, stick around for a reception for the alumni in the Cafe and Student Union. Refreshments will be provided. To get a head count for the game and reception, please click here
McNicholas Athletic Hall of Fame

The McNicholas community is asked to nominate former athletes and coaches for a variety of recognitions:.
  • Hall of Fame - induction of former athletes for outstanding achievement in their high school athletic endeavors
  • Good Fellow Award - for outstanding support of McNicholas athletics
  • Honored Teams - to be recognized at the annual sports evenings for team accomplishments
  • Sr. Roberta Baumgartner Women's Sports Award - for outstanding dedication to the development of competitive sports for women
Criteria for Nomination to the McNicholas Hall of Fame
  • The athlete must have graduated from McNicholas at least five years prior.
  • The athlete must have demonstrated the highest standard of sportsmanship during his/her years of athletic participation while at McNicholas.
  • The athlete must have excelled in athletics during his/her years of athletic participation at McNicholas, ie. all-league, all-city, all-state recognition.
  • McNicholas accepts nominations of former coaches and administrators. Nominees must have served McNicholas athletics for a minimum of 10 years and must be inactive for at least 3 years prior to induction.
  • Collegiate or adult athletic participation is not a primary part of the criteria for selection.
It is preferred that nominations come from the community rather than the selection committee members. An individual making a nomination is asked to provide an address and phone number in case additional information supporting the nomination is required. No anonymous nominations will be accepted.  Deadline for nominations is September 1 of the year prior to the event.  Click here to submit a nomination electronically.

Click here to download the Hall of Fame  Nomination Form and submit to:
Rob Heise, Director of Athletics Archbishop McNicholas High School 6536 Beechmont Avenue Cincinnati, OH  45230

Alumni Bowling getting set for year four

The McNicholas Alumni Association will be running a mixed-couples bowling league again this winter.  This mixed-couples league will begin on September 9.  We will be bowling the second Saturday of each month at Cherry Grove Lanes. The arrival time is 8 p.m.,we usually start bowling around 8:30. We bowl 2 games per night.  The cost is $95 per person, or $380 for a team of four. for a total of 8 weeks of bowling. Currently we have 44 people in the league.  Cherry Grove Lanes has allowed us to expand this year up to 56 bowlers, so we are looking for 12 more people. Sign-ups will end September 1 or when all spots are filled.  If you cannot get a foursome, we might able to pair you up! 
If you are interested, please contact Alumni Manager, Shawn Young at 231-3500 ext. 5850 or email.
You do not need to be an expert bowler-I am proof of that! This is about getting out and having some fun this winter.
Ernst '13 Keynote speaker, nominee for national award

Austin Ernst '13 was the keynote student athlete speaker at Ohio Dominican 2017 Black and Gold Fundraiser event this summer in Columbus. He was also nominated for the 2017 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team .  Austin graduated in May with his BA in communication and is in graduate school getting his masters in management.  He will be starting his senior football season in August. 
The student-athletes nominated for this esteemed award embody the true spirit of teamwork and selflessness, donating their limited free time to helping and serving others. From founding a non-profit that helps orphans secure jobs in the workforce to raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research, the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® nominees may wear different jerseys on the field, but they all exemplify a superior commitment to giving back off of it.
Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA, the final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September. 
Once the final team members are announced in September, college football fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain. Throughout the season, fans can also follow along and join in on the conversation by searching and using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels.
Reunions for 2017

Class of 2002 at the 15-year reunion

The reunion season has begun!  The Classes of 1997 and 2002 have already held their reunions. All others are in the planning stages. You can click on the link here to see where your class is in the planning process. 
Alumni Updates

Any news?
Do you have news to share? Let us know what you've been doing since graduation! Update your information by completing our  alumni update form   on the McNicholas webpage or call the Alumni Office at 513.231.3500. ext. 5850.

Kathy Cahalan '67 has earned a B.A., three master's degrees, and a Ph.D. She worked for 35 years in the field of information technology, and retired in 2011. In February 2017, Dr. Cahalan published a book, entitled "Tomorrow Died Yesterday: A Survivor's Guide to the Loss of a Spouse", with coauthor Dr. John Cosco. Both authors hope that the book will help other widows and widowers cope with the loss of their spouses, and will help friends and relatives who wish to understand this kind of loss and provide support.

Joan Rehling Knechtly '67 has been retired for three years, but still volunteers as singer in the choir and director of her parish's handbell choir. She has two children (Mike is deceased since August 2015). She feels blessed with 5 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Since retirement, she has kept extremely busy with family and with traveling about our great USA.

Daniel Breitenbach '67 and his wife Cathy celebrated their 45th anniversary on June 10.

Kateri Tabler Brunell '77  has moved to Fort Worth, TX, in January 2016 after living 38 years in South Florida. She is  really loving it in Cowboy Country!

Chris Wilke '93  was appointed principal of DePaul Cristo Rey High School. DPCR is part of a nationwide network of 32 schools that target talented and capable students from under-served and under-resourced communities. The school seeks to help students develop the corporate, academic, and life skills necessary for college and career success. Chris owes much of his personal commitment to youth development, justice, and equity to the lessons that he learned at Rocket High, particularly, but certainly not limited to, Mr. John Norman's classes.

Kathryn Pongonis '87 is a Political Officer with the U.S. Department of State. She recently began an assignment to Seoul, Korea as the Political-Military Unit Chief via two years of intensive Korean language training. Kate's husband, David Foster, also a diplomat, and their two children, will reside in Seoul until 2021.

Haley Mehring Poggiali '10 was married to Vincent on June 17 of this year.
In Memoriam

This list is generated from local obituaries and information received from the family and friends of our alumni and current students. Please contact the alumni office  if there is incorrect or missing information. 


Rose Ann Peterson Guertin '52; Mother of  the late Rebecca '75, Joseph '77, Paula '80, and John (attended). 

Distinguished Family and Friends

Dino A. De Lorenzo; Father of David '84, Dina '85, and Natalie De Lorenzo Russell '86.

Mary M. Merz; Mother of Michael '66, David '68, Linda Merz Mullen '70, Beth Merz Leibreich '72, and the late Greg '76.

Neil J. Quinn; Father of Kevin '81, Brian '83, and Kelly Quinn Burgess '86.

Quick Links for Alumni