MHS Football Team Travels to Ohio for Athletic and Academic Experience of a Lifetime
Monday, September 24, 2018
Mounties on the huge practice field at Penn State. (All photos in this story courtesy of Andrew Garda/Montclair Local)
Montclair High School’s football team traveled to Massillon, Ohio the weekend of Sept. 15-16, to take on the Massillon Washington High School Tigers. While the game didn’t go their way, losing 49-7, it was an athletic and academic experience of a lifetime for the Mounties.
“Massillon is second to nobody in the country when it comes to football.” said Head Coach John Fiore. “The Tigers are the winningest high school football teams in the country. The town takes their football very seriously. They had a live tiger mascot on the sidelines, full blown fireworks, a giant scoreboard that can show videos…it’s like nothing these kids have seen before.”
Football may have been the main priority but the 67 players also had the opportunity to visit two colleges during their trip, Penn State University and the University of Akron. “Some of these kids have never had the luxury of going on college campuses let alone being out of state,” said Fiore. “This was an opportunity for every kid on the team to tour a college and to see the difference between a huge school and smaller one.”
The team takes a tour of Penn State.
Apparently, despite the draw of the sprawling Big 10 PSU campus and sports facilities including the Nittany Lions’ practice field, the team actually “loved the smaller, more enclosed and encompassed feel of Akron.” As students toured and learned of the athletic and academic programs at both schools, Fiore said, “I was so impressed with them. The kids asked great questions along the way.”
Above and below: The team learns about the University of Akron, Ohio.
The Mounties got one more treat on their journey: a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. “We had the place to ourselves, and the staff was ecstatic about our boys being there and we received many compliments on their behavior,” Fiore said.
Coach Fiore said the trip “was a real team bonding experience. I was proud of them — from the team’s diverse members sharing rooms, to the questions they asked along the way, how well behaved and professional they were, handling the long bus ride. Their sportsmanship was great.”
The team made a stop at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.