HAZING: Winningest football program in Pa. high school history to cancel rest of season

The (Sunbury) Daily Item (TNS)
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Mount Carmel's football team, the winningest program in Pennsylvania high school history, will cancel the final three games of its season because of an ongoing hazing investigation.

"It is with deep regret and anguish that I must report that the Mount Carmel Area Football team will end its season due to its ongoing hazing investigation," Mount Carmel Athletic Director Greg Sacavage said.

The district announced late last week that it was canceling Saturday's game at Warrior Run due to a Mount Carmel Township Police investigation into a hazing incident that Superintendent Pete Cheddar said occurred off-campus.

On Tuesday, Cheddar released a statement announcing the season is over and the district will continue to work with police regarding the incident.

Cheddar said the district is also offering counselors to speak with students confidentially about hazing or any difficult life experience.

"Our school district will continue to implement and research best practices to educate our entire learning community on the negative impacts of hazing," Cheddar said.

The incident is being investigated by Mount Carmel Township Police Officer Brian Carnuccio. Carnuccio declined to comment on the investigation.

Cheddar said he is saddened by the announcement.

“We feel swift and firm action is warranted given the information provided to local police,” Cheddar said. “Additional team and player consequences may be warranted.”

Mount Carmel is 2-2 this season, including the forfeit loss to Warrior Run. The Red Tornadoes were scheduled to host Central Columbia on Friday, then travel to Danville on Oct. 23 before closing the season with the annual Coal Bucket Game against rival Shamokin on Oct. 30.

Mount Carmel entered the 2020 season with 866 wins all-time, most in Pennsylvania history and sixth-most in national history. The Red Tornadoes have won five PIAA titles (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002) and eight district titles, including seven in District 4. It's most recent district title came in 2011.

Cheddar said the district would not comment any further on the matter.