By Kyle Garmes
The Beverly Review

With his father being the school’s football coach, Joe Ziemba grew up on the campus of Morgan Park Military Academy, now known as Morgan Park Academy (MPA).

As a child in the 1950s, Joe was on the practice field, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the team.

As an adult, Ziemba has become a respected sportswriter and author, and his latest book focuses on those days at the academy.

Ziemba published “Cadets, Cannons and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy” this year, and he visited the Ridge Historical Society (RHS) on Dec. 7 to celebrate its launch and raise funds to support the RHS.


At over 400 pages, the book features scores from every game, as well as recaps of memorable games.

Ziemba doesn’t remember everything from his days with the team, but writing the book made him even more impressed with its accomplishments.

“I heard rumors about how good the academy was at the turn of the [20th] century,” Ziemba said, “but upon research, I found out they were not only one of the best around Chicago, but also the Midwest and the country.”