On Feb. 16, 12 former Cardinal Mooney athletes were inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place following a buffet dinner at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman.
This was Mooney's 22nd Athletic Hall of Fame induction. While the ceremony honored past athletes, the cost of the dinner helped fund a special scholarship program.
"The proceeds go towards the Ron Stoops Scholarship Fund," Hall of Fame chairman Jim Cooney said. "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 were specific requirements for those nominated. Cooney said the Mooney graduates had 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 was a prime example of one who graduated Mooney and then excelled in a sport afterwards. The induction could include a coach who made a significant contribution as well.
Nominations were made by a selection committee, or by Mooney alumni. Cooney said by doing it that 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 were selected, the banquet was planned. Cooney said a production company was hired to handle lighting and the ceremony to make it a first-class event.
Athletes from Boardman who were on this year's list of inductees included Andrew Bushey, John Dorbish and Melissa Williamson Cherne.
Bushey, class of 1998, played three sports at Cardinal Mooney and championships reigned in all of them, but in baseball, his legacy is paramount. He was a four-year letterman, four years as All-SVC of which three of those years First Team, and as a senior was given All-State honors. Those honors attest to his talent while four SVC championships attest to his leadership. He was selected the 1998 Student Athlete of the Year by WKBN.
After graduation, Bushey was recruited by every top baseball school in the country and selected Notre Dame University. While there, he was a four-year starter and a four-year letterman, once again. His Notre Dame teams were ranked in the top 25 all four years. He was the captain as a junior and a senior, earning All-Big East honors each year. As a senior, he was named a Verizon Academic All-American. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, but injuries forced his retirement after two seasons.
Bushey graduated cum laude from Notre Dame and was number one in his class at Case Western Reserve Dental School. Later, he graduated with a Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve Medical School. He also completed the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program and now practices with his father in Boardman. He is married to Mary Kate Bowling and has three children.
Dorbish, class of 1996, had an outstanding career in soccer at Cardinal Mooney, where he was a four-year letterman and served as team captain for three years. He also led the team in goals for three seasons. As a junior Dorbish was second team All Tri-County, and as a senior he was first team All-SVC, first team All Tri-County, and All District/All State nominee. He also was named the most Valuable Player in the North/South Senior All-Star game.
After graduating from Mooney, Dorbish attended LaRoche College in Pittsburgh where he was the team captain for two seasons. He also led the team in scoring his second year.
He presently lives in Boardman and is a sales executive for the Kellogg's Corp. He also performs with the band Spastic Heart, which has toured the U.S. and 25 other countries.
Melissa Williamson Cherne, class of 1996, is a four-year letterman in both softball and volleyball. She was quite accomplished on both the diamond and the court. She was selected Second Team Al-SVC as a sophomore in volleyball. Later she moved up to First Team accolades as a junior and a senior, topping out with a Second Team All-NEO selection. In softball, Cherne was picked First Team All-SVC in both her junior and senior years.
After graduation, Cherne attended Baldwin Wallace, where she played one season on the softball team before injuries and illness ended her college softball career. She transferred to the University of Akron, earning her Bachelor of Arts in speech pathology and audiology and a master's in audiology. She added a doctorate in audiology from Salus University.
She is married to Chris Cherne, and they have three children. For the past five years, Melissa has been coaching her daughters' softball teams. She is also very much involved in bringing public awareness to breast cancer prevention and identification, allowing that competitive drive and winning attitude to flourish.
Besides the Boardman honorees, the induction included Joy Blasko Dunn, class of 1994, soccer; Robert Curd, class of 1998, basketball; Reno Ferri II, class of 1996, football; Brent Hanni, class of 1995, football; Jennifer Hellman Hudak, class of 1998, basketball; Matt Kempe, class of 1998, golf; Gary Komsa, class of 1977, football; Andy Kuboff, class of 1997, football; and Chad McGarry, class of 1992, football.
Also recognized at the banquet were Cardinal Mooney outstanding alumni Robert Gerberry of Canfield and Susan Sandine of Boardman.