St. Thomas is proud to be named the private school state champion for the 2022-23 National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Awards. This acclaimed honor is in partnership with the first nationwide recognition honoring individual teams with a cumulative 3.0 or above grade point average.

The current St. Thomas team GPA as it applies is 3.48. The metric is calculated from a total of 71 student-athletes including 27 seniors, 33 juniors, nine sophomores, and two freshmen.

The elite distinction is celebrated by the Texas High School Coaches Association.

Athletic director Mike Netzel says “our entire focus across 12 varsity sports is development. The key to student-athletes being successful is seizing what is needed to get the most desirable outcome. What is required from them to reach their goals academically, athletically, and personally? That’s the intent of St. Thomas.  That’s what we do.”

Previously, St. Thomas was among only 53 private and University Interscholastic League public schools in Texas named as NFF finalists. More than 1,500 schools competed during the 2022 season. Champions were named for classifications in each state. St. Thomas is now a nominee for the NFF Hatchell Cup, which will salute the nation’s top high school team for excellence in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.

The tribute from the NFF and THSCA continues and confirms the growth of Eagle Athletics since Netzel assumed the leadership role in 2006. St. Thomas captured the 2021 TAPPS All-Sports Trophy, receiving the prestigious merit for the ninth time in the previous 11 years that the honor was awarded. The journey toward 19 state champions has been spread across seven sports, including seven crowns since 2014 with 15 other teams reaching at least the state semifinals. More than 150 relentless Eagles have extended their careers to the collegiate level.

“These kinds of measurables speak to the St. Thomas mission,” says Netzel. “The dedication that drives our student-athletes to excel on the field also serves them in embracing the demands of being a complete St. Thomas scholar. Their academic and athletic pursuits provide complementary learning opportunities.”

Netzel credits head coach Rich McGuire and defensive coordinator Ray Davis for a genuine desire to nurture the total student-athlete. In McGuire’s sixth campaign, the high-octane Eagles posted a 10-2 record in 2022 for their winningest season since 2015. Eagle Football advanced to its second TAPPS state semifinal in four years and its fourth since 2014.

“Rich and Ray are partnering with exceptional leaders on the sidelines and behind the scenes who have a passion, a vision, and a charisma to inspire elite achievement in those around them,” Netzel says.

A further breakdown of the high-arching success of Eagle Football includes:

Seven scholar-athletes have earned recognition from National Merit Scholarship Program.

Sixteen have earned membership in the St. Thomas Chapter of the National Honor Society, achieved through a selection process based upon exemplary scholarship, enthusiastic service, steadfast leadership, and Basilian character, qualities associated with NHS since its founding in 1921.

Thirty-eight are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses with 18 taking two or more.

Forty were named to the St. Thomas Honor Roll with 22 carrying a grade point average above 4.0 and 18 above 3.5.

Eight have earned TAPPS Academic All-State.

Thirty-three student-athletes have gained the Eagle Scholar Award (equivalent to Academic All-District) for a 3.5 or higher GPA and exemplifying the St. Thomas credo of Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge.



Eagle Football entered the 2022 Division I postseason no. 2 in the Houston Chronicle private school rankings after seven consecutive weeks as the unanimous no. 1. St. Thomas closed no. 5 in the final Dave Campbell’s Texas Football state poll. Eight Eagles were named to the Chronicle All-Greater Houston private team.

Eagle Football was also lauded in January by the Houston Touchdown Club as a finalist for the 4A/Private Sportsmanship Award in conjunction with the Houston Chapter of the Texas Association of Sports Officials.

Eagle Athletics is designed for students to make the most of their St. Thomas experience, explore the multitude of resources across campus, take ownership over their academic and social decisions, and develop their identity on campus beyond the realm of athletics.

The lessons learned throughout generations pursuing 105 state titles for Eagle Athletics are consistently a blend of ageless savvy and aesthetics. Be honest. Communicate. Be trustworthy. Work hard. Set high expectations. The culture breeds confidence and cohesion, exuberance with grace.

#ChampionsForLife and #4500Brotherhood are much more than hashtags making their way onto social media campaigns, coffee mugs, and T-shirts. It’s an ethos more relationship-driven than results-driven. It’s challenging Eagle scholar-athletes to develop and embrace the finest version of themselves and become the most loving fathers and husbands, the most compassionate citizens, the most selfless leaders, and the most devout spiritual models, all representing the best that St. Thomas may offer.

Circles of influence. Equipped with tools for life.

Champions for life.

Eagle Fight Never Dies!