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Ursuline’s recipe for success brings honor to Valley again

Published: Tue, December 7, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Ursuline High School football team carried out familiar strategies from its playbook for success over the weekend in trouncing Coldwater High for its third consecutive Division V state championship: talent, teamwork, tenacity and tradition. At Canton’s Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, the Fighting Irish annihilated Coldwater High 51-21 with superlative play to cap a superlative 15-0 season. Their championship season brings honor to themselves, to their school and to their community.

We congratulate Ursuline’s players, coaches and staff for proving once again that they rank touchdowns ahead of the other 120 schools in Division V, and many would argue their talent outdistances that in the almighty Division I as well.


The scrappy Youngstown diocesan high school’s achievement comes as no surprise. Once again, the luck of the Irish had nothing to do with its triumph this year or in its two most recent state championships in 2008 and 2009. Savvy analysts saw it coming from the start of this perfect season.

The key ingredient? Tried and true talent.

Ursuline’s Akise Teague, for example, proved that he truly deserved the title of Ohio Mr. Football, Ohio’s highest honor for high school football players. In Saturday’s title game, Teague had 13 carries for 192 yards and four touchdowns. Way to go, Akise!

But Ursuline’s dominance Saturday and throughout the 2010 season was certainly not a product of any one-man wonder. Solid teamwork and camaraderie of the players produced a defensive and offensive powerhouse unmatched in Ohio.

Tenacious team

Tenacity, once again, also powered the team’s championship path. The Irish never let themselves settle into an attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness over their coveted standing atop the heap of Division V high schools. They continually learned from their mistakes and worked to do better. As head coach Dan Reardon put it after Saturday’s victory, “The thing I’m most proud of with these guys . . . is how far they’ve come over the past four years.”

Also driving the team, of course, was the North Side high school’s tradition of excellence in the classroom and supremacy on the football field. In academics, the century-old high school traditionally boasts National Merit Finalists and Commended Scholars and has an unusually high number of students — 98 percent — pursuing higher education. In athletics, one need only review its back-to-back-to-back state football titles and its appearance in many state tournaments over its rich history.

This year’s crop of Ursuline players truly did their school, its staff, its alumni and the entire Youngstown area proud.

Hail to the Ursuline High School Irish, home of the 2010 Ohio state football champions.


1Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations Irish

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Ursiline's receipe for success: RECRUIT RECRUIT RECRUIT! Since five of the six division OHSAA champions were private schools again this season, there is no honor in their state championships. What ever happened to the honoring the commandment "Though Shall Not Steal"?

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3ysu4ever(8 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Not only recruiting, but have they ever found a baptist chaplain yet? Wouldn't it be something if Ursuline, or even Mooney, could win one of those state championships with all Catholic players!

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4csky(10 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

It not the athletes fault that the playoff system is seriously flawed. They can only play the teams they are scheduled against. There are a number of sensible proposals to remedy this situation. Among the best is to make parochial, private and open enrollment schools play one or two divisions above their enrollment. To place Ursuline in a division with largely fixed enrollment small rural districts is a disservice not only to those districts but to Ursuline itself.

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5anothermike(227 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Years back, everyone wanted "playoffs" to determine who the State Champs should be. Now you have districts, divisions, etc. and still hear from the sour grapes crowd. Maybe, just maybe, Ursuline coaches and players (whether recruited or not) are just a little more focused on the job at hand. They do not have 13 or 14 players on the field at one time on offense or defense. Other schools are not prevented from recuriting through open enrollment, and you can bet many of them do the same thing. The kids recruited to Ursuline (or anywhere else) that graduated 2 or 3 years ago, were not on the field in Canton last week.

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6HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

More focused says anothermike. Nothing could be funnier or further than the truth.

Was Delphos St John (D-VI) more focused than Shadyside to the tune of 77-6?

The OHSAA is a corrupt and immoral institution being run by a leader who has parochial connections and board members who also have similar connections. They don't mind allowing the humiliation and brutal beatings that parochial schools regularly dish out to small rural school systems.

5 of the 6 state titles being won by the parochials should be an eye opener for the OHSAA but as usual, they'll keep the blinders on.

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7HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

If honor is recruiting the D-I talent from an area with a population of 200,000 or more and having alumni pay the tuition, and then beating senseless smallish kids from tiny rural areas, then I'll stay of the dishonorable side of that equation.

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8walter_sobchak(2724 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

No slam against the Irish. They beat everyone on their schedule and deserve their title. However, it is not a level playing field for the public schools, especially at the lower levels. The talent level at the lower divisions is much thinner and some of these schools only get sufficient talent every ten years or so. These schools finally get to the playoff and have to compete against a Catholic school that draws its players from a population school many times larger. Look at South Range, a good program that gets destoyed by Ursuline. The OHSAA has to remedy this unfair situation and get the eyes off of the almighty dollar. Good Luck on that, though!

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9ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I have no respect for these institutions who open their doors to anyone who could carry a football and pay their tuition with the help of alumni "donations". The hallways are filled with children of the rich who could afford the ridiculous tuition $6,000-$7000 a year or the "recruited" player who has an alumni guardian "helping" out. There are too few average middle class families who want to give their children a Catholic education enrolled.

This article is joke. A bad one at that.

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10countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Where to begin...

First off, Congratulations to Ursuline! No State Championship in any aspect of academics or athletics is handed to you. You worked hard, and deserved it!

For all the naysayers (which seems to be just about everybody), I will address each one.

UnionForever => So 'Thou shall not steal' is being violated in your view? So under that basis, the government in each district 'owns' the minds and bodies of all students from age 5 until graduation? The state owns the person as a piece of property, and the person has no right to say where his or her education should take place? I am confused, as that sounds very anti-American.... you know, land of the free?

YSU4ever => should only public schools allow atheists (separation of church and state) in their schools? Both Ursuline and Mooney are Christian Catholic Schools. Do you have the same recruiting argument for students at Youngstown Christian School?

csky => Your ideas make sense! As long as a proposal includes all private AND open enrollment schools, the multiplier effect would make sense. Plenty of schools in the area have open enrollment...yet receive no disdain (Lowellville, Austintown, Poland)


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11countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

AnotherMike => Common Sense! I like your points.

HaydenThomas => Wow, you are angry! Immoral and corrupt are labels for a lot of people in this world, but not a group of people that run high school athletics...,.Did you watch the DSJ game? Did you see how underclassmen played most of the second half? Should have DSJ drop INTs? Not recover fumbles? Did you see how DSJ lost the year before? Any team that lost the same way the year before would be so motivated for the entire year, that they would beat somebbody by 70 points!


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12countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

walter_sobchak => I will not comment on South Range (since I do not want to single out any specific small school). But let me tell you about what I saw growing up...Every 'star' athlete was praised from age 5 up to high school. Never sat out, always at the top of the lineup. But here is the thing, their dad's always coached. They got to high school, and didnt work hard at all, and you know what? Were horrible student-athletes. I had to work hard all 12 years, and I am grateful I was told I was "not good enough" multiple times in my life.


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13countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

DimeBag => Pretty intrusive request. Freedom of Religion is a wonderful aspect of the world. Also, to call out someone's academics is absurd. Would you do that for a public school student? I think religion and grades are personal.

ANTIYoungstown=> That is ok you do not respect the institutions. They have no ill-feelings towards you though. The doors are welcome for anyone to apply. Do alumni donate? Yes. Is $6k to $7k absurd tuition? It depends on the value you place on an education. That is not your right to question someone's choice. You are allowed to not like the article, but an article that shows Ytown in a positive manner is ok in my book!

I encourage discussion, and value your opinion! I have no problem backing my views, and listening to yours. Take care.


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14Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I heard this BS for years But have never seen or heard any proof of recruiting . And if you have any other then sour grapes Please show us . Not hear say but proof , not that you know somebody who heard something BUT PROOF.

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15countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Dimebag => I understand where you are coming from...but I don't think you can say a non-Catholic shouldn't have the privilege to attend. THe Bishop of Youngstown was not Catholic, yet his parents sent him to Catholic School.

I know there are many parents who would want to send, but cant afford. The cost is more of a reflection of inflation and rising expenditures for upkeep at the school, rather than the school out pricing itself... I also know parents who can't 'afford' it, dont make the sacrifices. (i.e. their kids have cell phones, they eat out all the time, nice cars, jewelry...)

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16ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I do not question anyone`s choice about going to Mooney or Ursline. If you have the money so be it. Let me guess, players like Derrel Koulianis were striving for a good catholic education? Righhhtt...Don`t try to make me believe that the poor inner city family who`s son happens to be a good football player is scrimping and saving their pennies to send him to these schools with no help from someone.

All the while the average family who sons may not be athletically blessed or has a daughter must pay the full tuition.

Let`s face it, the football programs at both schools keep the rest of the athletic programs afloat. Football is the money maker. Hence the reason for recruitment. No one will pay to come see the chess club or the golfers play!

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17UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

countrybotmark - Cheating is stealing and recruiting is cheating. You know that these innercity kids who can play football can't afford the cost of Ursiline without some alumni benefactor paying their full ride and more. That is cheating and breaking the commandment "Though Shall Not Steal". It is not fair to the small schools who compete in their division.

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18valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

The people bad mouthing Ursuline and Mooney, cough UnionLover cough, are jealous of the schools superiority in the classroom, on the playing field, and on the fine arts stage.

Go Ursuline!

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19valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

BTW UnionLover, if Ursuline and Mooney recruit so much, where are all the violations from the OHSAA?

Facts are facts... There is NO proof from the OHSAA that they recruit.

Keeping sipping the anti-Catholic school Kool-Aide haters.

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20countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

UnionForever => So your basis is that what someone can not afford, others cannot provide, unless its' the government?

Let's look at public school education. How many households pay the 'actual' cost of education (roughly ~$8k) through property taxes? Not many. But how do the public schools make up the money? Ding ding ding, by 'donation' aka forced property taxes from others in the district. So if the Government pays for your education, that is ok. But if a fellow citizen pays for it, well that is just wrong!

Also, please list any 'inncer-city' students that were recruited. When you say 'inner city', i know what demographic you are referring to. I know something about every class from Mooney since 1997, and can refute any arguments of recruiting...

Just one quesiton, if these 'inner city' kids go to private school, but dont play sports, are you just as mad?

Have a good day!

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21ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, let`s look at public school education. Those taxes are paid by those who live in the school district where anyone could attend that school. Not just a select few or only those who can carry a football.

If the fellow citizen is going to pay for it, then it IS unfair, unless he`s paying for everyone who wants to go. And we know that`s not happening.

"Just one quesiton, if these 'inner city' kids go to private school, but dont play sports, are you just as mad?"

Although the question was not asked of me I`d like to voice an opinion. At the grade school level where sports aren`t an issue, any child who attends a Youngstown city school and then wants to transfer to a parochial school is vouchered. So essentially they would go for free while the struggling middle class family has to pay the full tuition. How fair is that?
As far as at the high school level it would still bother me. Mooney and Ursline are supposed to be Catholic institutions. Unless you were Catholic, why would you want to go there? If it`s for a better education then pay the bill like everyone else. And if you happen to be a non-Catholic, then you should be paying an even higher bill.

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22HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the fact is they recruit and they are allowed to do so. The problem is they tend to recruit athletes, mostly football players and not academics. The parochials also like to perpetuate the lie that they provide a better education. That is simply untrue and there are studies that settle that argument. Religiously run schools routinely score below good suburban public schools. They only out score urban public schools.

The OHSAA needs to address this unfair system. Move the parochials up at least 2 divisions or factor in the populations of the recruiting area in determining division. In the second case, Ursuline and Mooney would both be D-I.

It makes no sense to permit those 2 schools to cherry pick the D-I talent out of Youngstown and then play teams like South Range in the playoffs.

It is supremely immoral. Shouldn't Catholic schools at least be on the right side morally?

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23ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Haha, I knew as soon as I saw there were over 20 comments on this that it would get going about "recruiting". The comments were good for a Friday afternoon laugh.

Just play in Division 6...you will be fine unless Warren JFK is good that year.

And it's only HS football. Who cares. Maybe 1 of them total will play on Sundays

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24countryboymark(25 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

ANTIYOUNGSTOWN => I am glad you are less angry with this post! I feel I can understand your viewpoint better now...

Agreed, public education system is socialized where every student must be educated and be funded by the property taxes in that school district.

It amazes me that you are stating that 'it is UNFAIR' for someone to choose to donate his or her money to a private education, yet, it is FAIR for people to be forced to pay property taxes. Are you familiar with the Ohio State Supreme Court ruling on this issue? The court ruled that the way Ohio funds its public schools is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Is the voucher program skewed? Yes, only in the sense that I believe everyone should have a choice in education. A voucher should be given to every family to choose where to be educated.

I understand your viewpoint on being non-Catholic at a Catholic school, but all Catholic schools are open for everyone to apply. I graduated with people of Muslim, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, and Jewish faiths. None of them felt like outcasts. Did all of their beliefs match up? No, but I will sell helping your fellow man, the backbone of most religions, is implored and encouraged.

If you are non-Catholic (which means you do not belong to a parish), in fact, you do pay a higher tuition.

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25ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

As for taxes, they`re aren`t going away. And if they are unconstitutional, why do any of us pay them?

To some degree I am a little angry. I know plenty of Catholic, middle class families who want to send their children to parochial schools but can`t financially. No one is offering to help pay for their children.

There are situations like Derrel Koulianos that make me wonder. Here we have an African American male, adopted by non Catholic parents. Obviously it wasn`t to get a religous based education. If education was so important why was he sent to Campbell his first 3 yrs of high school then sent to Mooney his last year? My thought is it was his talent for football.

You have to admit, it makes you go mmmm?

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