Well, talk about getting a reaction. Writing about Sports Illustrated's naming DeMatha the No. 2 high school for athletics in the entire country, I also noted academically it was nowhere near the top among area schools recently ranked by Post education writer Jay Mathews for Newsweek. The e-mailers correctly pointed out that Mathews's rankings were for public schools -- not private -- and I apologize for that error.

Still. . . .

As a 25-year veteran of teaching at DeMatha Catholic High School, I was affronted and disappointed at your last statement in Sports Week (Sunday, May 29). Our school mission is to serve a diverse population, and thus we are not an elitist organization. Yet ask any of our alumni if we have not provided the best in academics, music and athletics. As John McMahon stated, there is an opportunity for each and every student to succeed in an unusually wide variety of activities at DeMatha.

Mary Yarrish, Hyattsville

Wonderful column about DeMatha High School and the school's continued success in sports down through the years (and this from a Gonzaga grad, 1956!).

I just wish you could have mentioned my brother, Ray Smith, and the many roles he played in DeMatha's sports dominance until his untimely death in December 1999. Ray was a "character" with character and took DeMatha's golf team to the top in the mid-1990s. Ray was named The Post's All-Met Golf Coach of the Year [in 1994] and he also was something of a teaching master in math until his death.

He also was a terrific athlete in his own right, and I believe the last athlete to be named All-Met (by The Post) in the big three sports of that time: football, basketball and baseball. (Ray stood about 5 feet 4 in his shoes.)

He got a four-year baseball scholarship to Georgetown and a tryout with the New York Yankees before playing it safe and settling down in the Bowie area. He really did touch the future because he taught.

Walt Smith

I'm a kid from Silver Spring who went to public school, but if you're a sports fan in this area, how can you not be a DeMatha fan?

Best DeMatha athlete of all time? Could be Brendan McCarthy, DeMatha's first all-American in football and basketball. Had a brief NFL career. He passed away suddenly a few years ago.

Barry Flax, Silver Spring

How many athletes at DeMatha come from outside of Hyattsville? Athletes should go to school in their home district.

Dick Graves, Gaithersburg