A successful homecoming for Catholic Central

STEUBENVILLE – Catholic Central celebrated homecoming and its championship tradition last Saturday. By all accounts, the celebration was a huge success.

Central’s 1993 state championship football team and the 1994 baseball squad, which also claimed an Ohio crown, were honored before the 2013 Crusaders battled Oak Glen.

Following the game, the school inducted nine members into the Crusader Hall of Fame. Those joining the hall were Barbara Baker-Muska, Donald Thorn, Mike Kuczykowski, Mike Orlando, Joe Polshaw, Fred Manalac, Kenny Richardson, Kevin Williams and Joe Prest.

The pinnacle of the evening was the premiere of the documentary, “Crusaders Bold: The Making of Steubenville Catholic Central’s 1993 State Championship”. The film includes interviews with Catholic Central players from 1946 to the present. It showcases the 1993 season against the backdrop of city, school and local sports history.

The documentary was created by David Riley, a 1994 CCHS grad and a member of the 1993 team. Riley, a major in the U.S. Air Force, recently was selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel.

“We heard from many people about how impressed they were with the film’s quality. They were surprised by how professional it looks, sounds and feels,” Riley said.

Natalie Campana-Lucas, the chief editor and producer of the film was not surprised.

“The team of people that David brought together was really amazing” said Campana-Lucas, a Big Red graduate who is the multi-media instructor at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

Orlando, who quarterbacked the Crusaders in 1993 and now serves as head football coach at Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas High School, had nothing but praise for the documentary, which is narrated by ESPN’s John Buccigross, also a Central grad.

“I did not think I could be any more proud of where I am from but I was wrong,” Orlando stated. “The intangibles qualities and the core beliefs of Catholic Central are sometimes hard to articulate and explain. I think this project does a great job of describing the indescribable and gives our tradition a voice.”

Melaina Prest, whose father and brother are included in the film, called the documentary an “inspiration.”

“I think Riley did a great job highlighting the strong tradition and ethics that make the Catholic Central football past and present. My family was honored to be part of the event.”

Riley also announced DVDs of the documentary now are available for sale to the public. The documentary is available online for $25 plus shipping at www.crusadersbold.com.

They also can be purchased for $25 at the Target Sports Shot, M&M Hardware and at the high school.

“It was a blast working with David,” Campana-Lucas said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to showcase what we do at Jefferson County Vocational School’s Multimedia program.

“I knew the hard work paid off during the premiere. I was watching the Crusader audience interact with the film. They were laughing, crying and cheering. It was a special time and I knew as the video editor that all expectations were exceeded.”