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Reports of alcohol at Mooney probed

Published: Fri, December 16, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.

Police asked to look into ‘champagne celebration’ after football title game



By Denise Dick



The Diocese of Youngstown has asked city police to investigate reports of Cardinal Mooney High School students drinking alcohol during a celebration of the state football championship earlier this month.

“We have heard reports and received letters of alcohol being brought into school during the state championship celebration,” said Nicholas Wolsonovich, acting superintendent of diocese schools. “We sought some advice, and as a result of that advice, we conducted an internal investigation.”

That internal probe resulted in the diocese’s notifying police, he said.

“There is certainly reason to think this needs to be investigated by people who know how to investigate,” Wolsonovich said. “On the basis of that, we turned it over to police.”

A meeting is set for today with Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley about the matter.

Foley said he’ll review the findings of the diocese’s internal investigation to determine if it warrants a criminal investigation or is something that’s more suited to being handled administratively by the school. He said he’ll keep the city prosecutor and a juvenile prosecutor from the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office in the loop.

As a Mooney tradition, after a championship, team members and students return to the school after the game, ring the victory bell in the school courtyard, sing songs and cheer.

Because of the probe, an assembly planned for today to mark the championship has been postponed.

A memo sent earlier this week by Mooney Principal John Young to school staff calls the incident a “champagne celebration” that occurred in the locker room Dec. 2.

Also after the state championship, four students were identified in possession of cigars, a violation of school rules.

Wolsonovich said that those students were given one-day suspensions in accordance with school policy, but 41 members of the team have said they will serve the one-day suspension out of solidarity.

The cigars were supplied by a parent, the acting superintendent said.

Part of the alcohol investigation will involve who supplied that to the students. It’s expected to include interviews with students, faculty and staff members, Wolsonovich said. When the police investigation is complete, the diocese will review it, hold those responsible accountable and take appropriate action, he said.

“The important thing is the institution does the right thing, reports it to the authorities and [does] not hide anything,” Wolsonovich said. “We’re working to make sure we respond fairly and appropriately.”


1dck516(25 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

In a case like this I would normally say "Let HE who is without sin cast the first stone" but a parent supplying cigars to underage students/players...the parent is an idiot!

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2squigglyjams(11 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This sort of activity has been going on for years and years, no matter what the celebration in school may be. Sometimes supplied by parents (which of course, is STUPID),or the kids will find a ways and means to get their "hooch" and will continue no matter how much the "community" will be involved and try to "solve the problem".It's been this way for as long as I can remember.

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3tbocce(7 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Ahhh The Rayen School in the 1960s with Ripple and Thunderbird,were times so different then? Three future City mayors as classmates? The area should be so lucky as to be able to keep those 41 WINNERS around. The lessons learned could be invaluable for them and us!

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4republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Nice to see Mooney administration finally enforcing some discipline instead of sweeping it under the rug and covering up the bad acts. Maybe this is the dawn of a new era of personal responsibility there, and not mere posturing of doing good.

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5jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

In a nutshell....football is a game supported by parents who are mentally arrested and boys who will never grow up.

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6kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh puleeeese! The only reason this made news is because it's Mooney. Let's get real. They were smoking cigars because they won a championship. They were spraying champagne because that's what you do after a great win. Some of these kids have scholarships. They're certainly not drunks. Ok. maybe they shouldn't have a cigar in their mouths but give these hard working kids a break. If you listened to the one Mooney player the first thing he said in front of the crowd is "I want to thank God". Does that tell you something? I'm sure most of you did a hell of a lot worse during YOUR high school years. Again, the only reason this made news is because it's Mooney. Great job guys. You deserved the win!

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7oneton(5 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Why is the media making a mountain out of a molehill on this? I am NOT a Mooney fan, Evan though Mooney Championships bring a good light to Youngstown I can not be excited about a team everyone knows is the best team money can buy. Having said that the facts are none of those boys were drunk or out of control. I don’t think any of them were drinking. The cigars were just a silly prop. They did not put anyone in any danger. This was a victory party, let them have some fun. Don’t the media have something better to report? I’m sure the police have better things to do also

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8my2sweetpeas(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I have to ask if everyone would be so sanguine if the "boys" in question were from Ursuline? Or East? Or Harding? Just sayin'. . . .

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9southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Why does this surprise anyone? Wake up people.

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10kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

To all you haters out there - first of all you hate Canfield and Poland people. Then you hate the police. Now you hate Catholic schools. What went wrong in your childhood that you hate everyone?? I live in Canfield because I worked my ass off earning 2 college degrees from a public institution - Y.S.U. So did my husband. No one handed us anything! We struggled and suffered but we did it like many others who had to suck it up. What did YOU do after high school? Bitterness and jealousy is everywhere around this valley. We're supposed to be working together but so many of you just want to spew hatred then complain when nothing changes. I suggest going to church and THANKING GOD (just like those Mooney boys did) for a local championship team. Bring back the steel valley conference. And to you morons who have nothing better to do than voice your venom get a real life. Or better yet get an education!

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

"The Diocese of Youngstown has asked city police to investigate reports of Cardinal Mooney High School students drinking alcohol during a celebration of the state football championship earlier this month."

Their hangovers should be punishment enough . . ..

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12Pool12man(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Mooney Football Team and Family! When your on top there's always going to be jealousy and haters! Your team practices 4-5 hours a night and deserved your championship! No other school in the area works as hard as you Mooney boys do!

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13UNCOMMONSENSE(622 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Your comments make it clear why our society is in the state that it is. Remember there is no cure for stupid.

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14republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Many, many people have remarked that it is a high percentage of Mooney grads that have gone on to become the crooked politicians in this valley, far and away more than any other high school.

It is this feeling of self-righteousness and we-can-do-no wrong attitude that maybe has resulted in so many Mooney grad crooks. Hopefully this new administration will finally cure this and lead to more critical self analysis needed to end this cycle of self-absorption.

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15joseph(59 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This isn't even a big deal. 90% of 18 year olds drink

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16taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I just can't believe anyone would go on here and defend the actions of these parents, students, and and whomever was at this party. Period!

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17kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

To GDOG 4766 - What drugs are YOU taking you moron! Cardinal Mooney ranks FIRST in the area for handing out scholarships. And I'm talking MILLIONS! I don't think they give scholarships out to "uneducated" students. We have had successful pro athletes, coaches (Stoops brothers), Boom Boom Mancini, judges, police captains and prominent businessmen come out of Cardinal Mooney. So what the heck are you talking about??? Sounds like the green eyed monster is showing his head again. And about the Mooney Mafia comment - from the time we entered Mooney we were taught to be a family and STAY that way even years after graduation. Most of us still stayed that way. God was the center of our family and we maintained that pride throughout our lives. We NEVER thought we were better than anyone else, maybe we just worked a little harder. Give these kids a pat on the back. Don't ruin their moment for them. I guarentee you won't see these kids selling drugs or burned out down on Federal St. ten years down the road. They'll continue their successes and go on to make their God (and their community) proud!

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18meagain(85 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

It is what it is. For the Mooney faithful it is your turn to bask in the unflattering limelight. We’ve all been there when kids and/or adults in our communities have made poor choices and the media hops all over it. Stand up and take it like a man. In the end it was wrong and inexcusable no matter how you want to slice it, dice it or explain it away. Take your punishment and all the harsh criticism that goes with it. Those at the top have the farthest to fall and are often the favorite targets. But have no fear some kid from (insert your favorite local community here) will plow through a nativity scene at 3:00 AM next week to take the heat off you, and it will be their turn. It is what it is. Suck it up and deal with it.

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19ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Some clarity: Different people obviously have widely varying degrees of concern over high school students using cigars and alcohol. I, myself, am more tolerant of an old coot in the family introducing a teen to a cigar than I would be of other parents handing them out in a school setting. Comfort levels vary even among people who absolutely know first hand the health dangers of tobacco. Providing alcohol to highschoolers is a whole other issue. The cigar issue might be arguable, no way with the alcohol. But still, the problem here is not that alcohol and cigar use is so unheard of among teenagers, or that there aren't far worse things they could be doing. The problem here is that there are rules on the books prohibiting the use of alcohol and tobacco on campus - and no school would be operating that didn't have those rules, and having those rules means they have to be enforced equally among students. Football players cannot be considered a special category. Of course, they are a very very special category at Mooney, but some people thought that meant the same rules didn't apply. To even maintain some semblance of discipline, anyone with half a brain would have known better than to announce to reporters that the participants would not be punished. How about "no comment" or "the matter will be handled according to school rules"? The reason this issue has gone beyond containment is the malfunction at the top encouraging the worst of the parental idiocy - and "encouraging", as used here, includes aiding and abetting and facilitating. Kids don't need parental and administrative help to celebrate the wrong way - they can do that all by themselves, like anyone else growing up - and whatever that may have involved, it wouldn't have happened on school property. Nope, that took the parents and administration to arrange. One long stupidity story, getting worse every time the same questionable mentality keeps making one inane comment after another, and referring to himself in the third person. When is someone going to realize there is a possible senility issue here at the top? What else could it be, no one could be working in education this long and not know better. Could they?

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20Jambrose(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Was it a bad decision to give high school students alcohol and cigars? Absolutely. Did it show extremely poor judgement on the part of the parents who supplied these items? Unequivicobably, yes. Does this act warrant prosecution by the police? No freaking way. By all accounts these are good parents and upstanding members of our community, who made some bad decisions in the midsts of the euphoria of a state football championship. This should be handled internally, those responsible should be reprimanded by the school and boosters and we should move on. I'm sure the publicity this has garnered and the embarrassment to those involved should be motivation enough that this act of sheer stupidity will not happen again!

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21kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

ConServRep- why don't you and people like you turn the record over already?? Boo Hoo Boo Hoo. We Mooney people are so sick of hearing "Oh you went to MOONEY"! For thirty five years I've been hearing that crap. Grow up why don't you? Move on! Let it go! It's obviously consuming you. Or just maybe you're off your meds. Time to get back on your happy pills darlin'!

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22PerfectBlue(3 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Look, no one can argue that these boys had great season and they brought a State title back to Youngstown, and that should be celebrated, just not in the way it was. It was wrong to have cigars and alcohol on school grounds in the presence of minors. shame on those who supplied it and on those who didn't put a stop to it. But please do not excuse the fact that all involved; coaches, parents and yes the student football players all made a poor decision that night. Sorry, but just because you thanked God for the win does not make it right. Yes kids will drink and smoke, but on school grounds is just wrong. Adults, please do not defend their actions. Just take it as a lesson learned and move on.

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23ConServRep(16 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

What does that even mean: We Mooney people are so sick of hearing "Oh you went to Mooney"??? Why don't the Mooney people do something only they can do? Take the no smoking, no alcohol rules off your own books? Doesn't seem like there would be much objection from the top on down to as low as it goes with folks like yourself. Then when you're asked if the rules are enforced, you can just say "what rules"? Sounds better than saying they don't count for some.

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24checkmark(9 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I heard something about a drug bust at Boardman High last week where 41 kids got arrested. It's funny that it was swept under the rug (not the first time)!
The jealous Catholic haters rear their ugly heads again! This is why this area doesn't have a chance. Something good finally happens and people turn it negative. All of the murders, politicians padding their pockets,and unemployment and this is what the haters focus on! Go Cards! You should be proud of your Championship!!

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25bamabiker(6 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I went to Mooney and I can tell you that place is a party school. If you ran with the right crowd there you could get into some pretty wild parties. A lot of students had parents that had the money to provide the booze, clean up the mess and keep everyone's names out of the papers. And no one wants to see a "nice kid" from Mooney get in trouble. I say make an example out of those players. It's about time those little rich kids got what was coming to them.

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26rocket686(3 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow! A few puffs on a cigar and a couple sips of champagne. If that's the worst that these kids ever do, they will all have led some good and decent lives. Sure, what they did was wrong and they have all served a one day suspension in school. That is enough punishment to fit this “crime”.
Tell all of these “Do-Gooders” to go hug a tree somewhere.

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27taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

checkmark was that the same day the 41 football players from mooney took the day off?

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28kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Bamabiker - obviously you need counseling. I went to Mooney and my dad wasn't rich. At the time he was a welder at the miill and worked overtime to pay for my education. My husband had to pay his own way at age 14. I didn't grow up to be a snotty person. As a matter of fact my late husband would go out on his own time and pull kids out of the ghetto who were dealing drugs or buying them. Is this the actions of a snotty attitude.? Shame on the people who took something small and blew it up to fire up their venom against some kids who were caught up in the moment. If this were Boardman, East or any other school I'd say the same thing. Enough already.

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29northsideart(111 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Who cares? They're going to get liquored-up one way or another. Might as well have parental supervision. All this hiding of it just puts kids in positions where they end up drinking and driving or getting alcohol poisoning or something else that could be avoided if adults were there to supervise. And no, I'm not a Mooney person. I don't even like Mooney.

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30republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

The suspended kids and the kids who voluntarily took the suspensions were really punished and made to reflect on their wrongs -- they went BOWLING!

They just do not get it -- these kids need better parenting and no more enabling of bad behavior.

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31bamabiker(6 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

So kensgirl thinks I need counseling for stating a fact? Here's some more: it's against school policy and the law to provide minors with alcohol and tobacco. I don't care who the students and parents are or which school they attend. Punish them and make an example of them.

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32rememberwhen(9 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This is a football town. Whatever a football player wants to do they do. Dido on the parents. Education @ mooney is very second and God would be way down the line. Wonder why the superind. is letting others do the job cuz lots of powerful people pay for alot of stuff that goes on at mooney and he of course would be stepping on someones toes. Maybe the supplier? Yes, alot of schools have stuff going on, but mooney people think they are above the law. My children attend catholic schools, and we see this all the time, and I am sure the investigation will be a slap on someones hand depending on who it is. To many bad things have happened with Mooney maybe they should not think a state title is all its about.

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33kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

toycannon - you sound like not only a miserable person but a vindictive one as well. You're a "hater" and sounds like you always will be. Instead of toycannon your name should be loosecannon. Nuff said.

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34republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

kensgirl is the prototypical Mooney alum who disavows any wrongdoing and lashes out at anyone who questions the possibilbity of wrongdoing at Mooney. I feel sorry for her.

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35aylesboro(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

You can blame the parents but these kids knew better. Just a sad case of poor judgement by kids that think they are above the law. As far as a punishment goes I think they should pick up every cigarette butt and beer can from mooney to to the courthouse.

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36Dugan(4 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Having cigars on school grounds- not allowed

Drinking underage - Illegal

Drinking on school grounds -.Not allowed

If these are the facts, how can anyone defend these actions? Why hasn't the school taken action? Does anyone really think anything is going to happen to the players, coach's or parents..... Why they did it isn't the issue, they did it and violated school rules and the law!

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37slappysmith(55 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

the majority believe that because they won a state championship all the laws broken mean nothing because they play for Mooney. typical Youngstown mentality.

Everyone in violation of the law should have their day in court just like the rest of us

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38jrkuty(2 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Sad state of affairs.

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39Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Wonder what the OHSAA has to say about this? With all the cheating and recruiting from other schools that Mooney (and Ursuline) has done in the past - it is interesting that this type of illegal activity is getting the most attention

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40Life888(17 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Smoking and drinking alcohol are bad, m'kay?

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41briant(57 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

All the way from Florida, I cannot believe this is the most commented story.....Good, bad, right or wrong, is this ALL that is going on in Youngstown?

Yes, the parents were wrong, IF they supplied the cigars and alcohol...but my guess is the kids got it themselves. Don' fool yourselves, this is not an enviornment like "Little House on the Prarie". We all got this stuff well before we were legal...They got caught! Take the medicine and move on!!

Isn't there more going on in Y-town to report on? Or, is Vindy being selective on what is being posted....


Stan...what are your thouhts???

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