WATERLOO REGION (October 30, 2018) – District 8 is proud to announce that the senior boys football Most Valuable Player award will be renamed the Father Mike Award after the late Father Michael Cundari, C.R., who tragically lost his life in November 1986 in an automobile accident.
Better known as Father Mike while serving as principal of St. Jerome’s High School, he was a strong supporter of high school sport and football in particular.
“Father Mike was a tremendous supporter of football programs at every school he was part of,” said Dan Hutter who sits on the District 8 Board of Directors. “As a student, teacher, priest, athlete, Principal or coach, Fr Mike lived by the principles of faith, integrity, honesty, commitment and teamwork, and was always first to celebrate the achievements of his staff and students.”
A ceremony to commemorate the naming of the football MVP award will take place at the District 8 football championships. Joining District 8 and Waterloo Catholic District School Board representatives will be some of Father Mike’s living relatives; Laura Campigotto (sister), Rita Cundari (sister) and Mike Campigotto (nephew).
“Our entire family is both grateful and humbled at the creation of this new award that remembers Fr. Mike,” said Mike Campigotto. “We hope that it will inspire athletes to become leaders in sport, to win with humility and to embrace losing with the pride of giving their all.”
This sentiment of ‘Winning with dignity and losing with pride’ is one regularly repeated with the athletic departments of local high schools, even painted on walls outside of gyms, as it was Father Mike’s motto.
Father Mike taught history and religion at St. Jerome’s and was named the school’s principal in 1980.
“Once he assumed the role of principal, his love for his students became very evident,” said Bernie Farwell who was named principal following the passing of father Mike. “He began each school year speaking to every student at grade-level assemblies impressing upon them the wisdom of setting goals and working hard to achieve them. In this way, each person builds upon the strong reputation of the school and has no regrets at graduation.”
As a supporter of high school sport and the coach of the football and hockey teams, Father Mike would meet with all teams to begin each sport season.
“Father Mike did not emphasize winning in his personal philosophy although the results of his guidance with students consistently saw them reach the top of their game. His motto lives on within so many of us who knew him, worked with him and highly admired him,” said Farwell.
The ceremony will take place on Thursday November 8, 2018 during the halftime of the District 8 senior boys’ football Championship at Warrior Field in Waterloo. Resurrection is set to take on St. David’s or St. Mary’s with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 P.M.