Baltimore Catholic League kicks off landmark campaign Wednesday

by Derek Toney

With the MIAA set to begin a winter athletic season, the Baltimore Catholic basketball league announced plans for its 50th campaign.

With the truncated MIAA winter schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seven BCL members – Archbishop Spalding, Calvert Hall College, John Carroll School, Loyola Blakefield, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount St. Joseph, St. Frances Academy – will play each other once, in addition to St. Maria Goretti.

Goretti is the eighth BCL member and not part of the MIAA. The BCL had played a double round-robin schedule since its inception.

The MIAA A/BCL season begins Wednesday March 17 with three-time defending BCL champ St. Frances at Spalding, and John Carroll School hosting Mount St. Joseph.

Games will be played each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through March 17. The 50th BCL Tournament will begin March 22 with the top four seeds hosting a quarterfinal match. The semifinals will be March 24, and final March 26 at a site to be determined.

No spectators will be allowed to attend BCL games during the regular season, but the policy is subject to change.

Founded in the spring of 1971 after the Catholic schools left the Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) after a riot at the conclusion of the Mount St. Joseph/Dunbar MSA A semifinal game, the BCL has had a major role in the long and rich history of Baltimore basketball. Calvert Hall, Loyola and Mount St. Joseph are the remaining original members.

“While the 50th Baltimore Catholic League season will be different due to the pandemic, what won’t change is the tradition of great competition between our schools at each game,” said BCL Commissioner Jack Degele in a statement. “The school presidents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and staff at every school have put in place safety protocols to provide a return to athletic play for their students. The Baltimore Catholic League is proud to be a part of that effort, and we look forward to celebrating our 50th season of competition.”