High school football team that beat the odds gets major surprise

GMA Team
The Cardinal Hayes High School football team is a "GMA" ray of sunshine!

Cardinal Hayes High School's football team is the definition of a ray of sunshine!

Once called one of the "worst teams," the players overcame the odds to win the New York State Catholic High School State Championship in December 2023, becoming the first New York City team in history to do so.

The young players have had to contend with multiple challenges -- from an outdoor home field that's smaller than regulation size and an outdoor weight room caked in rust to an unsafe game field in a city park.

Despite their hurdles, Cardinal Hayes' head football coach CJ O'Neil told "Good Morning America" the students "battled" and made do with what they had.

Added Cardinal Hayes President Michael Carey: "We're located in the poorest congressional district in the nation. Most of the students come from the surrounding area. One thing we're guaranteed is we're gonna get knocked down. The question is how we respond."

Cardinal Hayes High School

650 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: 718-292-6100
For all media inquiries please contact: media@cardinalhayes.org
The Mission of Cardinal Hayes High School, a community based in Roman Catholic values, is to inspire diverse young men of the New York City metropolitan area to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens. We will accomplish this goal by encouraging students' spiritual and intellectual growth through a rigorous college preparatory program of academics, extra-curricular activities, and personal discipline.