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Canfield ends athletic contests against Mooney

Published: Wed, February 6, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

RELATED: Canfield edges Mooney

By Ed Puskas and Greg Gulas



Their teams are both called Cardinals, but that’s apparently where the common ground soon will end for the athletic programs at Canfield and Cardinal Mooney.

Officials from both high schools confirmed Tuesday that Canfield has informed Cardinal Mooney it will no longer schedule games against the private, Catholic school. Canfield reportedly will honor existing contracts for athletic events, including golf and tennis matches, but no further contests between the schools will take place.

The news broke, oddly enough, on Tuesday. Cardinal Mooney hosted Canfield in a boys basketball game Tuesday night. Canfield won, 60-59. Dana Balash, the sports director at WFMJ-Channel 21 — a Vindicator news partner — first reported Canfield’s decision to stop scheduling Cardinal Mooney during the station’s 6 p.m. newscast.

“It’s unfortunate that this issue of us playing or not playing in the future is overshadowing the many exemplary performances and great games between our two schools in the past, as well as tonight,” Canfield athletic director Greg Cooper said.

Officials from both schools spoke about the apparent end of one of the Mahoning Valley’s top public-private athletic rivalries before the teams took the floor Tuesday night.

“I’m a little sad that we’re not going to be playing,” Canfield coach Todd Muckleroy said. “The teams that I have coached have a storied history with Cardinal Mooney. When I arrived at Canfield, I found out real quick that Poland was a big rival, but our kids also enjoy playing Cardinal Mooney. It has been a healthy rivalry.”

Cardinal Mooney coach Brian Danilov agreed.

“I know that it’s not the coaches who don’t want to play,” Danilov said. “I’d like to know the reason why and I wish that someone would come out and give me the straight reason, not some back-door, politically correct answer.

“I know that there are a lot of people in Canfield that would want us to continue playing and I know that our people want to play.”

Canfield Superintendent Alex Geordan has not commented publicly on his district’s decision to stop playing teams from Cardinal Mooney. Geordan did not return a voice message left at his home by a Vindicator reporter on Tuesday night.

Canfield and Cardinal Mooney have competed head-to-head in most sports, with the exception of football, for years.

Cardinal Mooney athletic director Don Bucci and principal John Young both hope those regularly scheduled games won’t come to an end.

“We’ve always had very competitive games in the past and I am hoping that we can get past this,” Bucci said. “Hopefully somebody at Canfield can mandate this so that we can play in the future. We’ve not dominated anything and they’ve not dominated anything. We’re basically in the same division so it makes sense to play.”

Young agreed.

“We’ve played Canfield dating to the 1960s when I went to school,” Young said. “I heard — and they were strictly rumors but have since been confirmed — that we were not playing in basketball next year, but will be playing in some minor sports.

“While we played them twice in basketball a year ago and once this year, I am hoping that we’ll be able to work out scheduling with all of our teams in the future because it is a great rivalry.”


1tthomas101(3 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

that's just stupid as a graduate of Ursuline i'm pretty tired of this bias toward catholic schools look at the story it says neither team has dominated the other and they are both in the same division. If people want to send there kid to a catholic school that should be up to them.

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2Max(92 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago


Why do kids "belong" to their "hometown" school districts? Does Canfield have their own Catholic/private school for parents to send their kids to, if that's the education they choose for their family? I chose to send my children to a Catholic school, and I STILL pay my real estate taxes to my district. Sorry, but nobody owns my kids but ME, and it's MY choice where they go to school. And second point -- why would kids stop going to Mooney just because the local public school won't play them?

Stupid comment, bud.

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3Millerh113(203 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Come on Canfield,be honest, tell us the real reason you dropped Mooney.

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4arosepa(7 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

That comment is a perfect example of why people choose to send their childen to Catholic schools.

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5forthekids(1 comment)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

This is the most ridiculous thing and I honestly can't believe it is adults that are making this decision. In the end, it is the children that are hurt. The best games are between the hometown rivalries and the kids want to play! I attended the game last night and it was so great and the gym was packed...........exactly what this town needs!

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6soldierboy(4 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

This is a shame. Some of my kids best competive games were against Canfield, some wins, some losses. People are right it's not the coaches or kids who want to stop this but some with a hidden agenda. Canfield kids will improve their skills how? By scheduling who?

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7republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Canfield, like Poland, think that it is in their best interest to avoid playing Mooney. Good for them. Too many hassles and discipline problems when playing against Mooney. The administrations at both of the Rt 224 schools think it is best to avoid the problem, be quiet, and let Mooney deal with it themselves.

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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Do they both belong to the same league ?? And if they do ,do they not have to play all in that league?
I do not follow football , but it sounds like Canfield is afraid of something .
Or got caught In the cookie jar??

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9lumper(291 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

this is about cardinal mooney moving out nearer to canfield and a few people with money trying to impede it.

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10DSquared(1617 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Canfield and all other schools are free to schedule whomever they want, for whatever reason. If they do not want to play Mooney or Ursuline because of their recruiting policies, they can do so. Sometimes karma is a b!tch.

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