As Bishop McNamara Catholic High School — known as St. Patrick’s from its inception in 1922 until 1956 — has begun to kick off its yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary this school year, several memories have been unearthed that revolve around its most successful sport through the years — football — and the person who led it for 47 seasons and a handful of state championship rings, Rich Zinanni.

The football field will serve as a focal point for the Fightin’ Irish faithful this fall, but the face of the program will be a fresh one.

Shawn Lade, a 1995 McNamara graduate, was tabbed to replace Zinanni’s replacement, Alan Rood, when Rood, a 1998 McNamara graduate, resigned from his football coaching, physical education and health teaching jobs to teach at St. Anne, head the strength and conditioning department and help revive the Cardinals’ football program in 2023.

Mason Schweizer is an award-winning reporter who has been with the Daily Journal since 2017 and sports editor since 2019. Save for time at the University of Illinois and Wayne State College, Mason is a lifelong area resident.

Recommended for you