Youngstown, OH (WKBN) – Cardinal Mooney’s football success speaks for itself on the field.
The Cardinals won eight state championships and graduated some of the finest athletes and coaches in the country. Some of those famous faces made their way back to the Valley Monday to give back in the 14th annual Mooney Camp of Champions.
Around 200 kids in grades 3 through 8, attended day one of Mooney’s annual two-day camp Monday at Cardinal Mooney High School.
“[We] get them feeling good about the sport of football and really about athletics in general,” said Youngstown State University head football coach Bo Pelini. “Teach them some life lessons and some different things that hopefully they can carry on into their life.”
“[We make] sure we teach safety and the correct techniques and how to play the game,” said Mooney head coach P.J. Fecko. “And how to do so in a positive way at a high level, with a lot of intensity and competitiveness with great sportsmanship.”
Among the names this year was University of Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops, who spoke to the kids about making the most of their opportunities.
“Growing up right here in the south side of Youngstown and the loyalty that we have to our family and to our friends is paramount,” said Stoops. “I think that’s the big thing and certainly everybody that comes through Cardinal Mooney, we feel a great connection and we feel very blessed that way.”
“It’s obviously a special place that everybody comes back to every single year,” said Fecko. “And everybody invests a lot of time to spend with these young people.”
“There’s a lot of other things that the [kids] could be doing,” said Pelini. “The fact that their parents put them out here and they choose to come here and better themselves and stay active, that is what it is all about.”