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St. Francis de Sales High School (Toledo, Ohio)

St. Francis de Sales High School
2323 West Bancroft Street
Toledo, Ohio, (Lucas County), 43607
United States
Type private, all-male, college-preparatory
Motto Suaviter et Fortiter
(Patience and Fortitude)
Established September 14, 1955
President Rev. Geoff Rose, O.S.F.S.
Principal Mr. Eric Smola
Chaplain Rev. John Lehner, O.S.F.S.
Faculty 56
Grades 712
Enrollment 670 (2013)
Color(s) Red & Blue
Athletics conference Three Rivers Athletic Conference
Mascot Knight
Accreditation Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association
Newspaper Lance
Yearbook Accolade
Affiliations O.S.F.S.
Academic Dean Christopher Steingass

St. Francis de Sales High School or SFS is a private, all-male, college-preparatory high school in Toledo, Ohio. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The school was named as one of the top 20 Catholic high schools in the nation for academics by Catholic High School Honor Roll for the second time in 2005 and 2006.[1][2]


  • About the school 1
    • Campus 1.1
    • School body 1.2
    • Admission and tuition 1.3
  • Spirituality 2
  • Academics 3
  • Athletics 4
    • Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships 4.1
    • Other State Championships 4.2
    • The Irish Knight 4.3
    • All-Sports Trophy 4.4
  • Alma Mater 5
  • Notable alumni 6
  • References 7

About the school

St. Francis de Sales High School is a college preparatory school run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, a religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church. The School opened on September 14, 1955 as the greater Toledo area’s second college-preparatory high school,and has of August 2015 a seventh and eighth Grade Academy. The school's athletic teams have won 27 official and unofficial state championships in; football, basketball, tennis, wrestling, swimming and diving, water polo, and hockey, as well as numerous State Runners-Up, Regional Titles, District Titles and City League Titles. The AquaKnight swim team's 42-year district title streak is the 2nd longest winning streak in any high school sport in the nation behind Cedar Rapids Washington boys swim team's 46 consecutive district titles. Named after Saint Francis de Sales, the gentleman saint, the community has been described as a family-like group and has a very active alumni base both in the city of Toledo and throughout the country. The school awards a great deal of aid in order to offer an opportunity to students, regardless of socioeconomic background. The mascot is the Knight.


The campus of St. Francis is located on twenty-five acres. The campus includes an eight-lane swimming pool, an eight-lane track, baseball field, football fields and a soccer field. In 2005, the school introduced a $14 million renovation/addition. In the renovation/addition, St. Francis built a new chapel, arts wing, fitness/weight room and new locker rooms. The school is located in a historic area of Toledo, on Bancroft Street, just one-half mile from the University of Toledo.

In the fall of 2012 The Student Achievement Center was added to the school. The addition included 2,500 square feet of space for tutoring, a computer lab, and private meeting rooms for students.

School body

There are 630+ students. There are 56 faculty members, which results with a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. Six teachers have their Ph.D., and 28 have their master’s degree. St. Francis draws students from all around Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Most of the students attended Catholic grade schools, although 30% come from public schools.

Admission and tuition

Freshmen are accepted on the basis of a placement examination with regard to the recommendation of their grade school. Transfer students are accepted on an individual basis after consideration of their high school transcripts.

Tuition and fees for 2013-2014 is around $11,000. Scholarships awarded include: Academic Scholarships for superior performance on the entrance examination; Merit Scholarships based on academic performance and need; St. Francis Scholarships awarded through parish schools; and Brisson Work Scholarships based on need.

St. Francis de Sales, the gentleman saint and patron of St. Francis de Sales High School


St. Francis offers various levels of retreat programs for its students. All freshmen and sophomores participate in daylong retreats which are carefully structured and planned for their age-level interests and concerns. Juniors and seniors are required to participate in at least one approved retreat experience during the 11th or 12th grade year. In addition, students are required to take eight semesters of Theology, and at least 30 service hours both Junior and Senior year are required for graduation.

In 2005, St. Francis invested in a new chapel facing the front of the school, where throughout the school year, all students are encouraged to participate in mass. These include opening school, Thanksgiving, and holy day liturgies; days of recollection; reconciliation services; etc.


There are eight academic departments: Theology, English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Applied and Fine Arts, and Health & Physical Education. Every student at St. Francis is required to take a core program of 4 years of English, religion, math, and science (including 2 basic lab sciences from biology, chemistry, physics); 2.5 years of physical education and health; 3 years of social studies; 2 years of a foreign language (3 years highly recommended); 1 year of basic art; and 0.5 year of computer science.

In addition to academic requirements, all students are encouraged to participate in service projects. Formal projects, approved by the Christian Service Department, are a requirement for the sophomore, junior, and senior classes.


In athletics, the Knights had been long members of the Toledo City League before joining the Three Rivers Athletic Conference in 2011. The school's colors are red and blue. Their athletic rivals include the neighboring all-boys school St. John's Jesuit and area Co-Ed Central Catholic.

Knight Swimming and Diving, as well as Water Polo, stand out in the athletic venue. Known locally as the "AquaKnights," the swim team has placed second in the state three out of the last five years (2010,2011,2014). The swim team has a particularly strong history; winning 42 straight Northwest Ohio District Championships beginning in 1966 spanning until their defeat by rival St. John's in February 2008, a national record.[3] The AquaKnights have a well-known rivalry with Cincinnati St. Xaiver. The Water Polo team has consistently placed in the top four teams in the state for the last eight years, but hasn't secured a Water Polo title since 2001.

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships

The St. Francis Knights hold more state titles than any other Catholic school in the Diocese of Toledo, and any other high school in the greater Toledo area.

Other State Championships

  • Water Polo - 1973, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 [10]
  • Tennis - 2001, 2002[11]

The Irish Knight

The Irish Knight is awarded to the winner of the Central Catholic High School and St. Francis de Sales High School football game. The winning school receives and hosts the Irish Knight in their school, along with bragging rights.

CCHS currently holds the Irish Knight after winning 49-0 this past fall, which tied the overall series 28-28-1 in Irish Knight games. There has only been one overtime game, which occurred in 2003.[12]

All-Sports Trophy

Since 1974, when the All-Sports Trophy was introduced, the Knights of St. Francis de Sales High School have held or shared the trophy ten times. They held the trophy in 1975, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1994, 2001, and 2005, and they shared with St. John's Jesuit in 2000 and 2002.

Alma Mater

All hail to thee, our alma mater

We pledge to thee our faithful loyalty

In battle fierce

When foes hostile surround thee,

We will be there to guard thy honor

Knights of de Sales

Arise and battle bravely

Victory is ours

St. Francis de Sales

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Catholic High School Honor Roll
  2. ^ Category Leaders - 2006 Catholic High School Honor Roll
  3. ^ Toledo Blade Knights make splash with 42nd straight, The Toledo Blade, Zach Silka, Saturday, February 17, 2007
  4. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Football". Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  5. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Wrestling". Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  6. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Basketball AAA". Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  7. ^ OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  8. ^ "St. Francis wins its first state hockey championship". Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  9. ^ Inside St. Edward hockey's 3-1 loss to Toledo St. Francis de Sales in 2015 OHSAA state championship: Top play, stats, reaction (photos, video),
  10. ^ OHSSCA. "Ohio High School Swim Coaches' Association-Boys Water Polo State Champions". Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  11. ^ OTCA. "Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Web site". Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  12. ^ "The Irish Knight". Archived from the original on 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
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