1950: Maxine Gunsolly Expands Athletics at Summit School
In 1950, Maxine Gunsolly established a chapter of the national Girls Athletic Association at Summit School. The Girls Athletic Association (GAA) was formed in the 1890's across high schools and women's colleges to foster physical activity among girls. As a result of GAA chapters around the country, girls' athletics programs became more robust and formalized: girls were permitted to try sports that had previously been designated only for boys, keep score during competitions, and compete with other schools. Being part of the GAA organization linked the local club with other nearby GAA clubs and brought a standard format to games and competitions that everyone agreed on.
1951: Minnesota Independent School League (MISL) Formed
Minnesota Independent School League (MISL) formed, in part due to the efforts of SPA’s Roy M. Rasmussen. Minneapolis Star sports reporter Jim Byrne noted that the addition of SPA and Blake to the former Minnesota Private School League brought "prestige" to the organization.
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1953: Summit Tennis Champions
Ann Luyten Dieperink '53 and Laura Floan Boone '53 were an impressive tennis duo at Summit School. The two paired up to win the Summit intramural doubles tennis championship an impressive four years in a row. Twenty years before the passage of Title IX, the two regularly traveled to play in other local tournaments.
1953: SPA Baseball Wins MISL Championship With Back-To-Back No-Hitters
Bill Langford '53, a highly talented multi-sport athlete, pitched two no-hitters in a row to propel the St. Paul Academy baseball team to the Minnesota Independent School League Baseball Championship. Langford was noted in the Now and Then as one of the best pitchers to ever come through SPA.
1954: Briggs Gymnasium Opens
Briggs Gymnasium opened and was named for recently retired Headmaster John DeQ. Briggs. Briggs Gymnasium was the first addition to the campus devoted to athletics in fifty years. Its magnificent wood floor and free-standing arched wood columns were complemented by a fifty-foot stage. The lower floor included lockers with a ventilation system, a large athletic cage for equipment, tiled showers and an office for Athletic Director Chip Rasmussen. Pictured here are students with Briggs Gymnasium under construction in the background.
1954: Baseball Claims Championship
SPA wins its second Minnesota Independent School League Baseball Championship title in a row after an incredible successful season.
1955: Boys Tennis Sees Success at SPA
The 1950's brought a series of victories to the tennis program at St. Paul Academy. Over the years, the team would finish no worse than third in the Minnesota Independent School League. During the 1955 season, the team posted a 8-4 record, with Hugh Tierney '55 leading the team and claiming the title at the St. Paul Academy Invitational Tennis Tournament without losing a set. Tierney would conclude his senior year undefeated in match play.
1957: Football Finishes Perfect Season
SPA defeats Blake 34-0, ending the season with a perfect record. The team celebrates by carrying their coach, Roy "Chip" Rasmussen, off the field on their shoulders
1958 - SPA and Blake Co-Champions
SPA and Blake share the Minnesota Independent School League Football Championship with matching 4-0-1 records. Their final football game is also a tie at 7-7!
1959: Boys' Golf Charges Ahead
The 1959 golf season was highly successful for the St. Paul Academy Team. The team, led by Hugh Leach '59, would claim ten victories in a row to lead the Minnesota Independent School League standings.
1959: Boys' Basketball Ends Successful Season
The 1958-59 season was very successful for the St. Paul Academy team. The group would finish second in the Minnesota Independent School League and claim wins over Blake 47-36, defeated Concordia 52-38, and had multiple players regularly scoring double digits.