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Canton McKinley Senior High School is a public high school in Cantonmarker, Stark Countymarker, Ohiomarker, U.S.marker It is one of the largest and oldest high schools in Ohio.


In the fall of 2003, Canton McKinley was awarded a $1.5 million grant from The KnowledgeWorks Foundation funded in part by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and received assistance from the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative. Through studies it was found that smaller schools had higher graduation rates and fostered “community” and accountability within the school. In the fall of 2004, McKinley entered its first year of the program by being divided into 5 "small schools" (housed within the same building) known as A.L.I.V.E., Diversity, Impact, McK II, and S.T.A.R.S., each with its own Principal and counselor. With improved Ohio Graduation Test scores, improving attendance, and overall improved performance of the school as an entity, it is showing that the small schools are beginning to make a small impact, but the opinion of many students is that the small schools have proven to be largely ineffective and are disliked. The small schools also have a yearly competition called the Bulldog Challenge, in which the schools are awarded points for attendance, discipline, etc. The winning small school wins a trip to Cedar Pointmarker.

In the fall of 2006, the small schools were reformatted combining two schools the schools of McK II and S.T.A.R.S. to form McK S.T.A.R.S.

The school also offers many AP classes including US Government and Policy, Psychology, US History, and more.


Canton McKinley High School is one of Ohiomarker's traditional athletic powerhouses, having won 26 OHSAA State Championships (5th best in Ohio).[196318] Canton McKinley competes in the Federal League, one of the oldest athletic conferences in Ohio. Other league members include Canton GlenOak, Massillon Jackson, Massillon Perry, North Canton Hoover, Uniontown Lake, Youngstown Austintown-Fitch, and Youngstown Boardman. However, Canton McKinley's biggest rival by far is the Tigers of Massillon Washington High Schoolmarker, known simply as Massillon. McKinley's nickname is the Bulldogs, sometimes abbreviated "Dawgs" or "Pups".

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships


Canton McKinley's football program is of national renown. Canton McKinley is 7th in the nation in football wins all-time, with 739 as of March 2006. McKinley is also second in Ohio in win total, again behind Massillon.

Prior to the start of the current playoff format in Ohio high school football, McKinley had won seven AP poll titles. Since the playoff format began, McKinley has won three State Titles, in 1981, 1997, and 1998. They have also been State Runner-Up three times, in 1977, 1985, and 2004.

The rivalry

Although heated in all sports, the McKinley-Massillon rivalry takes its most prominent form on the gridiron. McKinley-Massillon is the 13th most played rivalry in the nation, with 119 meetings between the schools. The rivalry is also tied for the nation's 14th oldest, dating back to 1894. Massillon holds the all-time edge in the series, 49-67. The rivalry was profiled in the November 14, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated. The fans of this rivalry talk about the match-up all year. It has inspired an online forum dedicated to this match-up on both Mckinley's fan website and a rival website, aptly named, Also, "The Game" is regularly a topic of conversation at bars, picnics, and even over breakfast at establishments all over Stark County Ohio. 2009 marked the 118th game between the two schools. The game was played at Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadiummarker. Three weeks later, the two teams met for the 119th and latest time when both advanced to the third round of the playoffs at Summa Field at InfoCision Stadiummarker.[196319].

The venue

McKinley plays at Fawcett Stadiummarker, a depression-era edifice that seats over 22,500 fans. Fawcett is also home to the NFL's annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game (The Hallmarker is in Canton, right next to McKinley high school).

Famous Bulldogs

Famous Bulldogs include Percy Snow, Kenny Peterson, Gary Grant, Marion Motley, Wayne Fontes, Ray Ellis, the late Pro Bowl linebacker John Grimsley, Mike Doss, Tyler Everett, and Josh McDaniels (Former New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach, Denver Broncos Head Coach). Famous former coaches include Don Nehlen (West Virginiamarker) and Ben Schwartzwalder (Syracusemarker).

2005 season

McKinley posted a 10-0 record in the 2005 regular season, capping it off with a victory over archrival Massillon, 38-8. They easily handled their first two playoff opponents before falling victim to eventual State Runner-Up Massillon in the rematch, 21-3.

2006 season

The Bulldogs finished with a regular season record of 9-1, their only loss coming to Massillon. The Bulldogs won their first three playoff games before falling to the Mentor Cardinalsmarker in the state Semi-finals[196320]. Their final record was 12-2.


It's hard to outshine McKinley's football program, but their basketball team comes close. McKinley is #5 all-time in the nation in wins, with 1712. They are also #1 in the nation all-time in winning seasons with 96, and #1 all-time in the nation in winning percentage among teams with 1500+ victories, at .771.

McKinley is also #1 in Ohio in wins all-time. They have won State Championships in 1983-84, 2004-05, and 2005-2006. They have been State Runners-Up eight times, and hold Ohio records for most appearances in the Championship game (11), Final Four appearances (23), and Sweet Sixteen appearances (48).

The rivalry

Although less intense than in football, McKinley basketball has little love for their rivals, Massillon. McKinley has a stranglehold on the all-time record, at 122-45.

The venue

McKinley plays their home games in the 5,000 seat Canton Memorial Field House.

Famous Bulldogs

McKinley has had several players move on to the NBA, including Nick Weatherspoon, Phil Hubbard, Gary Grant, Eric Snow, Michael Hawkins, and Keith McLeod. With Nick Weatherspoon playing in the NBA from 1974-1980, Phil Hubbard from 1980-1989, Gary Grant from 1989 to 2001, Eric Snow from 1996 to 2008, Michael Hawkins from 1997 to 2001, and Keith McCleod from 2004 to present, McKinley has had a graduate in the NBA continuously since 1974, which is believed to be a record.

2005-2006 season

McKinley finished its regular season with a record of 18-2. Its only losses were to nationally ranked powers Oak Hill Academy 51-50 and North College Hill High School 69-67. McKinley won the regular season and tournament Federal League crowns, and was also crowned Ohio Division I AP Poll Champion. McKinley cruised through the Division I playoffs and won their 2nd consecutive State Title by defeating the Trotwood-Madison Rams 63-33, tying a Division I record for lowest points allowed in a State Final. McKinley finished the 2005-2006 season ranked 2nd in the nation in the poll [196321], 6th in the nation in the Sports Illustrated poll [196322], and10th in the nation in the USA Today poll. [196323]

2006-2007 season

After losing eight seniors (and their top eight scorers) from the previous year's state champion team, McKinley finished its regular season with a record of 15-5, their worst record since the 2002-2003 season.[196324] They lost to Massillon Perry in the Sectional Final, their earliest tournament exit since the 2000-2001 season.[196325]

Notable alumni


Image:SARAH PALIN 206.JPG|Sarah Palin speaks at McKinley High SchoolImage:Gwil3.jpg|Gretchen Wilson performs at McKinley High School

External links

Notes and references

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