Our 42-acre campus is home to our athletic facilities. Our athletic facilities reflect the spirit of the school. They carry a special ambiance reflecting an athletic tradition that began in the 1890s. Each facility holds a time-honored moment in the history of the school. We invite you to come experience the thrill of a football game on a Friday night, a hotly contested basketball game in the Brother Peter Memorial Gym, or Rock-A-Chaw baseball on a crisp spring evening. Rock-A-Chaw sports are more than a game. They are an experience that brings players, students, families, alumni, and community together.
Brother Philip Memorial Athletic Complex
College Park – Baseball Stadium
While home plate has seen some different locations over the years, the baseball stadium remains in basically its same location since baseball was first played in intramural action on campus as early as 1890. The first interscholastic baseball game was played between SSC and Bay High in 1903, with the Rocks recording a 16-9 victory.
In 1914, following the Rocks’ undefeated season in 1913, Brother Isidore built grandstands that seated 1,000 spectators. All games were played during the day until 1990 when lights were installed. The next major upgrade to the stadium came in 2010 when general contractor and 1960 alum Ronald Artigues, Sr., built a new press box/concession area, bathroom facilities, new outfield fence, scoreboard, indoor batting and pitching area, and redesigned the home and visitor dugouts in 2010 following the program’s first state championship in the sport.
Rock-A-Chaw Stadium – Football & Soccer
This complex was developed prior to 1900 as a physical education and recreational complex for the students. Football did not become an interscholastic sport at SSC until 1916; however, the school did sponsor several intramural teams for the student body. Once the school began to play, inter scholastically, in 1916, the field was originally called the “College Green.” It was the first football field in Hancock County. The Rock-A-Chaws played their games on either Thursday or Saturday to allow Bay High School and other schools to use the field for their games on Fridays. This remained in effect until the mid-to-late 1950s.
The wall that surrounds the athletic complex was built by students and brothers in 1929. The first Homecoming was held at the field on November 23, 1924, and was called Dads’ & Grads’ Day. The Rocks beat Jefferson College of Convent, Louisiana, 12-0 for their first Homecoming win. The first stadium lights to allow night games to be played were installed by benefactor Walter J. Gex, Jr., ’24, in 1935 at the request of Brother Peter Basso.
Like with most sports in the history of SSC, soccer began as an intramural sport on campus before former science teacher Ron Engel organized the first interscholastic soccer team in 1978. The team had to travel outside of Mississippi to play games, as the sport was not a recognized MHSAA sport at the time. The original interscholastic soccer program folded in 1982 mainly due to lack of participation in Mississippi.
However, in 1987, the MHSAA officially sanctioned the sport in Mississippi and SSC restarted its soccer program in the 1987-88 academic year. The soccer team has used the existing football field as their home field when the football season has concluded. The symbiotic relationship continues today.
In 2012, the school performed a major redesign of the home and visitor bleachers and press box area, placing the track completely in front of the bleachers and flipping the home and visitor sidelines. The field itself remains in its same location today. So, the same ground that saw the South’s best all-around athlete Nathan Tycer speed around the end on the first SSC football team, to future Heisman Trophy winner Doc Blanchard, to national record–setting quarterbacks Dylan Favre and Myles Brennan tossing spirals remains in use today.
Track and Field
Track and field has long been a part of the landscape of the athletic program at SSC, dating back to the 1890s with intramural competition. It hit the ground running, literally, in 1916 when all sports began interscholastic play under the tutelage of the first lay coach, Forster Commagere. A cinder track was developed at the Brother Philip Memorial Athletic Complex, and the school used a cinder track until the SSC Sidelines Club raised funds to construct a rubberized asphalt track in 1971. This rubberized asphalt was considered one of the top designs in the Southeast at the time. SSC maintained the track until 1990 when it was recovered with crushed airplane tires. That year SSC hosted the South State championships for Class 4A, which SSC won. The track fell into disrepair following Hurricane Katrina and was used for practice only, until 2013, when, using FEMA funds, the track was resurfaced with a new rubberized material. The Rocks usually host two meets each season on the track. SSC and OLA students use the track for training.
Brother Peter Memorial Gym – Basketball Arena
The Saint Stanislaus College basketball team has seen its home change three times during the existence of the school.
1908: The sport of basketball began, inter scholastically, around 1908. The school had built an open-sided pavilion measuring 125’x50’ for games to be played. In 1913, the school was undefeated and won the Gulf Coast championship for schools located along the Mississippi coast and New Orleans. In 1914, Brother Isidore closed in the pavilion so that the team could play in a climate-controlled environment and get out of the bad weather and cold in winter.
1924: The team used this facility until 1923 when construction began on a two-story facility behind one wing of the main school building on the southeast corner of the property. The facility was completed in 1924, and the team took its rightful place on the second floor where an indoor wooden court had been constructed, leaving one end of the building to be used as an auditorium. It was considered one of the finest facilities along the coast and blended perfectly with the 1903 buildings in front of it constructed after the front of campus was razed by fire on June 1, 1903. This building, affectionately known as the Old Gym, was the home of SSC basketball from 1924 until 1977.
1977: The team moved into the Brother Peter Memorial Gymnasium known as the New Gym. It was named in honor of the school’s former long-time president, vice-president, and athletic director, who brought national fame to the athletic program and the school during his 27-year tenure at the school. The gym was built for $600,000 and has a seating capacity of 1,300. A plaque installed during the dedication in the lobby of the facility describes Brother Peter as “Teacher, Guide, and Friend to Thousands of Boys Whose Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Growth Were His Primary Concern for Forty-Two Years.” The Rocks continue to call the Brother Peter Gymnasium home.
The swimming pool was constructed in 1970 at a cost of $55,000. It was partially funded by the sale of 20 acres of property for $30,000 on the west side of Old Spanish Trail by then-SSC President Brother Pierre. That property was then developed to provide public housing following Hurricane Camille. The pool is used by the students of SSC for physical education, the swim teams of SSC and OLA and Camp Stanislaus. Brother Albert Ledet hosted the first interscholastic state swimming tournament in the pool in 1972. That year SSC won the state diving competition and placed third in the swimming championships. When the pool was constructed, Brother Albert started a 25-year career as the swimming and life-safety instructor for the school and camp.
The tennis courts were built in the very early 1900s, although it is not exactly known what the exact year they were constructed. But, when originally built and through the 1950s the tennis courts were considered the area’s best and second only to those at Tulane University. As with most sports at SSC prior to 1916, the courts were built by the school mainly for intramural use. The first time that SSC competed, inter scholastically, was in 1932 when Brother Cornelius Keohane entered the team in the Gulf Coast regional contest. The courts were originally built where Aurelian Hall, the school dormitory, currently sits. In the 1950s the courts were moved to their present location situated just north of the Brother Peter Gymnasium. In 2001, the tennis courts were completely renovated.
The fitness center was constructed as part of Phase I of a campaign called Building a Future of Character, which started in May 2001. The goal of the campaign was originally set at $10.3 million dollars and included a $1 million endowment to help with tuition assistance, renovate or construct new recreational, academic and chapel facilities. Phase I called for $6.3 million dollars for these uses. The Blaize gym within the fitness center was a result of Phase I made possible by a donation from the Blaize family in honor of Victor and Leone Blaize. It houses the SSC weight room, dressing rooms, two classrooms, an office and a full-use gymnasium giving SSC a campus with three gyms. It is primarily used as a physical education recreational facility, junior high practice gym for basketball and the entire athletic program’s weight training facility. It is also used daily by boarding students for recreational use and is used by Camp Stanislaus during the summer. The facility was opened in 2003, and the roof was redone in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina.