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From the Past: "Catholic Football Out in Five Years"?

9:09 PM, Oct 20, 2012   |    comments
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An article from the Buffalo Evening News, September 16th, 1965:

    "The Msgr. Martin Catholic High Football League, composed of nine Bishop Burke Division teams and six in the Bishop Smith Division, is destined to end in five years, if not sooner.

    The present long-range plan is to de-emphasize football in Diocesan schools and to phase it out by 1970.

    All Catholic high schools in Western New York are classed as diocesan except Canisius (Jesuit), St. Joseph's Collegiate Institue (Christian Brothers), and St. Francis of Athol Springs (Franciscan Minor Conventual).

    Tha plan to end football was brought to light in a recent letter to the Tonawanda Board of Education.

    The letter, dated September 1, from the Rev. Louis Kane, athletic director at Cardinal O'Hara in the Town of Tonawanda,  requested the board for assistance in obtaining the use of the football field at Tonawanda High School.

    It said in part:    

    'As I mentioned to you in our conversation, the present diocesan directive to de-emphasize football and phase out by 1970 puts us in an awkward position in further developing our own resources in any long range program.'

    The recent death of Dougherty High's John Rittling in scrimmage has nothing to do with the 1970 target date for dropping football.

    De-emphaseis to the point of dissolving the sport at all the diocesan high schools in five years has been in the discussion stage for nearly a year, but it never came into the open until today."

 

NOTE: Future planning by some visionary people helped to rescind this initiative.

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