The new Canfield Basketball Alumni League completed its first season and has named its first championship team. The new league proved to be a success and pleases its founder, Canfield High School basketball coach Todd Muckleroy.
"I was very surprised," Muckleroy said. "Each of the four teams consistently had at least eight guys show at every game."
He said the idea for the league came from an article he had read in a coaching magazine. It combines present athletes with alumni who combine to form a team, but the concept has a deeper value to it.
Photo special to the Town Crier
'Team Mango,' one of the four teams competing in the new Canfield Alumni League, was named champions of the first Canfield Basketball Alumni League. Team members include Mason Mangapora, Jim Mangapora, John Schiraldi, Marco Delorenzo, Matt Koenig, Rob Mosure, Ray McCune, and Mike Podolsky, pictured with Todd Muckleroy, founder of the league.
"The high school players hear from me all season long," Muckleroy said. "They don't want to hear from me in the summer too."
He said the league combines his high school players with alumni from past teams. That combinations allows his team to learn from seasoned players of the past.
A good example of that is the league's first championship team named Team Mango. The team is made up of freshman Mason Mangapora, sophomores John Schiraldi and Marco Delorenzo, Jim Mangapora (CHS class of 85), Matt Koeing (CHS class of 91), Ray McCune (CHS class of 90), Mike Podolsky (CHS class of 2010) and Rob Mosure, a friend from Youngstown.
Among the four teams, some of the alumni went back to the 1980s.
"That's over 30 years on the courts," Muckleroy said.
The league plays in the month of July on the outdoor courts at the high school. With just four teams playing this year, they would meet once a week with the first game at 6 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m.
As for coaching, it is up to each team to plan and implement a strategy against the opposing team.
"They use their own discretion, even when subbing," Muckleroy said.
Besides giving the high school players a chance to learn new moves and improve their game, they also keep fit over the summer months.
"This league will make our (high school) program even better," the coach said.
He plans to bring it back next July and believes as more alumni hear about it, more teams will form. He is also looking at bringing in referees next year.
"My eventual goal is to grow the league to 12 teams," Muckleroy said.