This Sunday 12 former Cardinal Mooney athletes will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. following a buffet dinner at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman. Three of the honorees are Poland residents.
This is Mooney's 22nd Athletic Hall of Fame induction. While the ceremony honors past athletes, the cost of the dinner helps fund a special scholarship program.
"The proceeds go towards the Ron Stoops Scholarship Fund, said Hall of Fame chairman Jim Cooney. "The banquet proceeds and addition donations help students in financial need who are seeking a good education based on Christian values."
As for the inductees, there are specific requirements for those nominated. Cooney said the Mooney graduates have to have been out of high school at least 15 years, and had to distinguish themselves in the field of athletics either while at Mooney or in sports after graduation. He said Boom Boom Mancini is a prime example of one who graduated Mooney then excelled in a sport afterwards. The induction can include a coach who made a significant contribution as well.
Nominations are made by a selection committee, or by Mooney alumni. Cooney said by doing it this way, outstanding athletes are less likely to be missed.
"We have 22 sports at Mooney," he said. "It is easy to miss someone. Using alumni nominations help better the chance of not missing anyone who deserves the recognition."
Once the nominees are selected, the banquet is planned. Cooney said a production company is hired to handle lighting and the ceremony to make it a first-class event.
Athletes from Poland who are among the honorees this year are Jennifer Hellman Hudak, Gary Komsa and Andrew Kuboff.
Hudak, Class of 1998, is the most prolific point guard in Cardinal Mooney girls' basketball laurels. Fifteen years after her graduation, she remains the leader in career assists and steals. At the time of her graduation, she held all game, season and career assists, and steals records plus the three-point shot record. Moreover, she was third in career scoring and fifth in season scoring. All-in-all, arguably the most complete player ever to suit up for the Lady Cardinals, Hudak earned four letters and volumes of individual awards. She earned honorable mention All-NEO as a sophomore, Second Team All-NEO as a junior, First Team All-NEO as a senior, Second Team All-SVC as a sophomore, First Team All-SVC as a junior and a senior, honorable mention All-Ohio as a junior and Third Team All-Ohio as a senior.
Hudak graduated summa cum laude from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor or Arts in early childhood education and later acquired a master's degree as a reading specialist. She taught first and second grade before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She is married to Joe Hudak and has two daughters. They reside in Poland.
Komsa, Class of 1977, was a two-year starter in football. He was a first team All-SVC selection as a defensive back his senior year. He had five interceptions that year while usually covering the opponents best receiver. Komsa posted 10 career interceptions, which even today places him among the school's all-time interception leaders. Spectators and fans at the Boardman game in 1976 will never forget his performance: three scores including an 85-yard kick-off return, along with touchdown receptions of 14 yards and 84 yards. He also intercepted two passes in leading Mooney to a 28-19 win. Mooney coach Don Bucci is quoted as saying, "It was one of the finest performances I've seen a high school player show in a long time."
Komsa was also a three-year letterman in track, where he was a member of the record-setting mile relay team, a record that was broken in 1995.
Komsa received a football scholarship to the University of Toledo, but after a burn injury, he transferred to Youngstown State University, where he graduated with honors in accounting. He is currently the chief financial officer for United Steel Service in Brookfield. He and his wife, Mary Beth, have two children, Catie (age 23) and Sarah (age 21) and live in Poland.
Andrew Richard Kuboff, Class of 1997, was a tenacious football player from the moment he stepped onto the practice field, earning a starting spot as a sophomore until his final game as a highly decorated senior. He was intense, focused, team-oriented and talented. He garnered All-SVC First Team honors as a junior and repeated as a senior. His senior season was especially memorable due to his selection to the All-NEO First Team and First Team All-State awards. He typifies the hard working, hard-nosed sort of player that permeates the Cardinal Mooney football DNA.
While at Youngstown State University, Kuboff returned to Cardinal Mooney High School to coach the freshman football team. Since graduation, he works for YSU as a program coordinator in the Metro Credit Educational Outreach Department. He is also an adjunct IT Processor and IT Systems Analyst at PNC Bank. He and his wife, Rebecca, have two children and reside in Poland.
Besides the Poland honorees, the induction will include: Joy Blasko Dunn, Class of 1994, soccer; Andrew Bushey, D.M.D., M.D., Class of 1998, baseball; Robert Curd, Class of 1998, basketball; John Dorbish, Class of 1996, soccer; Reno Ferri II, Class of 1996, football; Brent Hanni, Class of 1995, football; Matt Kempe, Class of 1998, golf; Melissa Williamson Cherne, Class of 1996, softball and volleyball; and Chad McGarry, Class of 1992, football.
Also being recognized at the banquet will be Cardinal Mooney outstanding alumni Robert Gerberry of Canfield and Susan Sandine of Boardman.