Longtime school president absent from sideline as he recovers from an illness.

CANTON  The next time the Central Catholic Crusaders take to the gridiron, they'll be playing with a 12th man.

The team has added a commemorative insignia to their helmets to honor the Rev. Robert Kaylor, the popular, longtime president of the school at 4824 Tuscarawas St. W.

Kaylor, who suffered a stroke last March and has been absent at the school since, was a fixture on the sidelines at Central Catholic games, not missing more than two games in more than 40 years.

A native of Massillon, Kaylor began working at Central Catholic as a part-time teacher in 1972, becoming full time in 1975. He served as chairman of the school's theology department and became assistant principal in 1979. He was appointed principal in 1988 and later became president. (Information has changed to fix an error. See correction below. 11:45 p.m. 8/31)

Kaylor also served as an associate pastor at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church.

He is a graduate of Athenaeum of Ohio, which is affiliated with Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati.

Prior to their game on Aug. 25, senior players went to visit Kaylor to present him with his own helmet sporting his initials.

"The visit was good for the heart, for father and the team itself, and was a reminder of the lessons taught at Central, on and off the field, that being the best requires giving a little of yourself and putting your heart on display when someone needs lifted up," the school said in a news release.

CORRECTION:  Rev. Kaylor was Central Catholic's principal from 1988-2011 when he was named president. His school title was incorrect when this story first published on Aug. 30.