Catholic school graduates honored by sports writers

CHERRY HILL — Two homegrown athletes from the Diocese of Camden were among those who came back to the area on Monday, Feb. 1, to receive honors from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at their annual dinner held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel here.

Andrew Bailey, a graduate of both St. Rose of Lima elementary school, Haddon Heights (1998) and Paul VI High School, Haddon Township (2002), was honored with the “Native Son” award.

Bailey is currently a relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics major league baseball team. Last year, he was honored by MLB with its American League Rookie of the Year Award, and he represented his team in July’s All-Star game.

“The award is a tremendous honor; this is where my roots are,” said Bailey, 25, who was leaving the next day for Scottsdale, Arizona, where his team begins spring training on Feb. 20.

“It’s been an incredible ride over the past year. I’m looking forward to (the new season). It’s going to be an exciting year.”

Bailey made his debut last year for the Athletics, going 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA and 26 saves, in 68 games.

Kevin McDonnell, a 2008 Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill graduate and sophomore at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, was one of the collegiate student athletes honored, for his success in men’s cross country.

McDonnell helped his team win their first Atlantic 10 Championship since 2000, placing a personal second at the A-10 Championship. In three of the five meets he competed in, he was the team’s top finisher.

“This is unbelievable,” said McDonnell, a Moorestown native.  “I’m really honored to be (here).”

Bailey and McDonnell were in good company; among other honorees were Charlie Manuel and the Philadelphia Phillies (“Team of the Year Award”) and Philadelphia Eagle Brent Celek (“Outstanding Professional Athlete”).

Categories: Catholic School News

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