xtracurriculars at Saint Stanislaus began in the first year of the school in 1854 with the League of the Sacred Heart followed by the inception of the band in 1855. As the school progressed and grew, other student activities began to hit the scene, and athletics was no exception.
In the 1890s, baseball began to take shape on campus as an intramural sport among the students. Gymnastics and football were also played, but baseball was king. Early catalogs at Saint Stanislaus wrote, “The Brothers in charge of the College, persuaded that physical training forms an integral part of a comprehensive education, view with pleasure any reasonable sports which tend to develop the strength and vigor of the students. The College Campus is an extensive and turfy tract, well fitted for hardy sports, and it is dotted by shady oaks, under whose spreading branches are placed the gymnastics apparatus.”
The various intramural teams in football, basketball and baseball played games amongst themselves on campus through intramural competition. Saint Stanislaus introduced itself to interscholastic competition in 1903. And, as they say, the rest is history.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with more knowledge about the Rock-A-Chaw tradition than Joe Gex. As an athlete at Saint Stanislaus, Joe excelled as a member of the football and track teams. As a student, he achieved the highest honor – winning the Character Cup at senior graduation. In college, he worked for several years in the Ole Miss Athletic Department where he gained immense knowledge and experience in sports information, ticketing, marketing and public relations. From that experience was born a voracious appetite for sports knowledge.
Since he graduated from Ole Miss, he has held several positions at Saint Stanislaus such as prefect, teacher and coach – earning Coach of the Year honors in Mississippi in swimming in 1996.
During his time at Saint Stanislaus, he began a journalism career that has endured to the present. He began writing for the Sea Coast Echo in 1992 and has had the opportunity to cover and interview thousands of athletes, coaches and sporting events. Some of them going on to earn All-American status and winning national championships or even heroic icons such as Archie Manning, Eli Manning, Larry Holmes, Deuce McAllister and Brett Favre among others. During his 22 year career as a writer, he has received many state press association awards such as Best Feature Sports Story, Best Game Story and Best Sports News Story. He has also served as a voting member for the Conerly Trophy which is presented to the best collegiate football player in Mississippi and the Bailey Howell and Peggie Gillom Awards which are given to the best male and female collegiate basketball players in Mississippi. He has also been published in the USA Today, the Times-Picayune, the Sun Herald, the Rock Review and Mississippi Sports Quarterly.
While he still works as a weekend prefect in the Saint Stanislaus dormitory, he has embarked on a 15-year career as a banker with Hancock Bank while raising three boys with his wife, Robin.