Ex-Prep teacher dies after being injured at football game

October 11, 2016

For Tony “Taps” Cantafio, being a high school sports statistician was about more than numbers.

“When we had an away game, Taps was sitting in the office, talking with the kids, got with the kids right on the bus and when the game was over he gave all the stats on the way home,” said Nick Donato, who retired as Scranton Preparatory School football coach last year.

Mr. Cantafio, 67, a beloved former math teacher, coach for 31 years and sports statistician at Scranton Prep, died Monday, school Principal Matthew Bernard announced in a email to parents.

Mr. Cantafio was severely injured as a result of a sideline collision Sept. 30 at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium in Blakely during Prep’s football game against Valley View. He was taken from the field by ambulance to a hospital where he remained until his death.

Mr. Donato remembered Mr. Cantafio, scorekeeper and statistician for the basketball team who kept stats for the football team, Monday night.

“He loved being around football,” he said. “He was a great guy ... we loved him, the kids loved him, it’s just a great loss for Scranton Prep.”

On Monday night, there was an outpouring of support on Scranton Prep’s Facebook page for Mr. Cantafio’s family.

“Scranton Prep is deeply saddened by the loss of Tony Cantafio,” Mr. Bernard said.

Mr. Cantafio was a constant figure on the football sidelines, in the baseball dugout and at the basketball scoring table, Mr. Bernard said in a statement.

“He was a loyal companion for the many teachers and coaches who had the pleasure of working with him,” Mr. Bernard wrote. “He was a man whose love for the young people of Prep was second only to his love for his family... He will be deeply missed by the Prep family. Prep is grateful to God for the life of this good man and grateful to his wife Joanne, and sons Tony and Chris who shared him with us for over three decades.”

Students and faculty are encouraged to visit the school’s chapel today to pray or gather in the Bellarmine Theater. Counselors also will be available, Mr. Bernard wrote.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete late

Monday.

Contact the writer:

kbolus@timesshamrock.com, @kbolusTT on Twitter