Nicknamed “Superman” by his friends because of his athletic physique, Sal Aquia exhibited some of the superhero’s traits on the wrestling mat. The two-time team captain broke Curley’s win (93), takedown, and pin records while twice being named the squad’s most outstanding wrestler. He captured an MIAA Championship in 1996. In 1997, Aquia was not only a Maryland State Champion but also won the prestigious National Prep Championship title in the 160 lb. weight class. His accomplishments earned him a spot on the Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro 1st Team.
Sal went on to wrestle at the NCAA Division I level in college at the University of Maryland. He finished his collegiate career with a 70-39 record. In addition to placing in numerous tournaments, the Terp placed third at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Aquia passed away in 2005.
Giuliano Celenza was a four-year letterman in soccer for the Friars. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals and shares the single season record with 29 goals. His teams won two conference championships and in 1993 he helped lead the squad to the first undefeated soccer season in school history. The three-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection and high school All-American was named Curley’s Athlete of the Year in 1997.
Celenza was a JUCO All-American at Essex Community College and is also the Knight’s all-time leading scorer. He transferred to UMBC where he was a two-time Northeast Conference Player of the Year and in 1999 led the Retrievers to their first ever NCAA soccer tournament appearance. In 2000, the forward was named a College Soccer News All-American.
The former Highlandtown resident went on to play 11 professional indoor soccer seasons for the Baltimore Blast. He won five championships with the team, was a two-time All-Leagueselection, and two-time All-Star (MVP of 2004 game). Celenza ranks 4th on the Blast’s all-time scoring list and is one of just four players in franchise history to record 400 points.
Tim Doyle was a key member of a group of athletes that brought prominence to the Curley football and lacrosse programs. A three-year letterman in football and four-year in lacrosse, Doyle was a force to be reckoned with on the athletic fields. He was an All-MSA selection in both sports his junior and senior seasons and also a team captain. The 1968 football season saw the fullback rush for 11 touchdowns, 843 yards, and average 5.5 yards per rush as the Friars finished 6-2-1. He was a standout in the classroom as well and was a nominee for Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In the spring, Doyle helped the lacrosse team to a 6-1 record and share of the MSA B Conference title while recording 27 goals and 23 assists. After Curley he went on to play football at Clemson University before finishing up at Johns Hopkins.
One opposing baseball coach referred to Tim Norris as “the best high school pitcher I’ve ever seen.” The three-year letterman compiled a 23-6 record, including a no-hitter, four one-hitters, and a 1.11 earned run average in his junior and senior years. Norris was a three-time All-Metro selection and in 1977 was named the Maryland Player of the Year.
The team’s ace finished off a stellar high school career by pitching Curley to the MSA A Conference championship in a 4-1 win over Poly. His senior season stats included a 9-2 record with 126 strikouts in 84 innings with a 1.00 ERA. Norris was no slouch at the plate as he hit .402 as a junior and .366 as a senior.
The right hander was drafted by his hometown team in the 4th round of the 1978 baseball draft and went on to play five seasons in the Orioles organization. Norris was also a two-year member of the varsity football team.
The name “Dan Popera” is synonymous with Curley Basketball. Coach Popera served as the head varsity basketball coach for 25 years and is the winningest coach in program history with 274 wins. He led the team to a conference championship in 1996 and was named the Baltimore Sun’s “Metro Coach of the Year” in 1978. Known for his colorful sport coats and hardworking teams, Popera was a 3-time recipient of the Sportsmanship Award presented by the Central Maryland Basketball Officials.
Hailed as a true teacher of the game, Popera spent 37 years on the staff at the prestigious Morgan Wooten Basketball Camp. In addition, he was the longtime director of the Friar Basketball Camp. Popera dedicated his life to Catholic education and the development of young men over his 38 years as a member of Curley’s faculty and is especially revered for his teaching of accounting and business classes.
Baseball was definitely in Frank Sansosti’s blood with having a father who was a Major League Baseball scout. Sansosti was a standout for the Friars on the mound and with the bat. He was a member of Curley’s MSA A Conference championship team in 1970 and as a senior in 1971 finished second in the league with a .500 batting average. A nifty 5-1 record as a pitcher that same year earned the Friar a spot on the All-MSA and All-Metro baseball teams.
After completing his senior season, Sansosti was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 1971 baseball draft. He would bypass the draft to play college baseball and was named a 2nd Team All-American in 1974 playing for Towson State College. Sansosti eventually signed with the St. Louis Cardinal organization and was a member of the Florida State League champions in 1975.
In 1982, Sansosti served as the President of the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association and in 2006 was inducted into their Hall of Fame.