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South Philadelphia: Coach Finds Passion for Educating Through Basketball

South Philadelphia: Coach Finds Passion for Educating Through Basketball

Coach Troy Holiday took a circuitous route to rediscover his love for basketball. The New Jersey native was once himself a standout basketball player at Germantown Academy before attending Loyola University Maryland. After graduating, he became a salesman for a biotech company. But when the sales force for the company was released, Holiday was stuck […]

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South Philadelphia: Athletics Crucial to Success of Southern

South Philadelphia: Athletics Crucial to Success of Southern

To find some of Philadelphia’s richest athletic history, one has to look no further than the halls of South Philadelphia High School. Trophy cases and plaques line the corridors, celebrating everyone from Eddie Gottlieb, one of the founding fathers of the NBA in 1946, to Lionel Simmons, a standout star at La Salle University who […]

 

South Philadelphia: Bocce League Preserves Italian Tradition

South Philadelphia: Bocce League Preserves Italian Tradition

Growing up in South Philadelphia, Larry Del Spechio spent a lot of time around bocce courts. He hardly played, though. “When we were young, we couldn’t play because the old guys didn’t want you to,” said Del Spechio, who now lives in South Jersey. “They used to say, ‘Watch it and listen to what we […]

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South Philadelphia: Karate Instructor Builds Confidence Through Discipline

South Philadelphia: Karate Instructor Builds Confidence Through Discipline

Jason Helmer’s passion for martial arts came from an unusual place. “I was in high school working and one of the mailmen in the neighborhood mentioned karate,” Helmer said. “I was a big Steven Seagal fan, believe it or not.” Helmer is now the owner and senior instructor at Amerikick Martial Arts in South Philadelphia, […]

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South Philadelphia: Local Rec Centers Adjust to Election Day Schedule

South Philadelphia: Local Rec Centers Adjust to Election Day Schedule

Election day is huge for Philadelphia. With more than one million registered voters in the city, one of the crucial tasks for the City Commissioners office is finding locations for the polling places. Finding sites for polling places in Philadelphia can often prove difficult because of its urban location. Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, […]

 

South Philadelphia: Indoor Baseball Facility Allows Year-Round Growth

South Philadelphia: Indoor Baseball Facility Allows Year-Round Growth

Joe Messina loves the art of pitching. Involved in baseball in South Philadelphia for the past quarter-century, Messina has been an assistant coach for the Neumann-Goretti High School baseball team for the past 11 years. He has held the title of pitching coach for the last eight. “I’m a pitching guy through and through,” said […]

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South Philadelphia: Rec Leader Guides Former Recreation Center

South Philadelphia: Rec Leader Guides Former Recreation Center

Anthony Spadaccini spent countless hours as a kid at Barry Playground. Whether it was playing basketball, baseball or football, Barry was a second home for Spadaccini. That still holds true today, as Spadaccini, 46, is in his sixth year working as the recreation leader at the playground in his old neighborhood. With a background as […]