Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Family Tradition Still Running

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Family Tradition Still Running

Article excerpt

In his first game as a starting running back for Penn-Trafford, John Gay made quite the impression, running for 260 yards and scoring both of his team's touchdowns in a 17-14 win last Friday.

This running talent is in Gay's genes.

In his family, Gay is a third generation standout running back. He is actually John Gay IV, whose father, John III, was a star running back at Gateway more than three decades ago and went on to play at West Virginia University.

But the good bloodlines run back about six decades. John Gay II was a star running back at Braddock High in the 1950s and played for legendary coach Chuck Klausing. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the 1958 and '59 seasons and played on teams that helped Braddock to a 56-game unbeaten streak.

There was also a John Gay I, "But I don't think he played football," said John IV.

As for John Gay III, he had more than 3,000 yards rushing at Gateway playing for another legendary coach, Pete Antimarino. John III played at Kentucky before transferring to West Virginia and played a key role in one of the biggest wins in WVU's program 32 years ago. In 1984, Gay scored the winning TD when the Mountaineers defeated No. 4-ranked Boston College, a team that featured QB Doug Flutie.

Now comes John IV, a 6-foot, 172-pound junior, wearing the family genes well.

"Playing running back is something I've thought about for a long time because there was always someone in our family running the football," said the youngest Gay. "My dad taught me everything I know in football. But he actually didn't want me to play football. It was my decision. When I was little and I found out what he did and how he played at West Virginia, I wanted to play."

And John IV plans on being another strong branch in the family tree.

"My goal right now is to get over 1,000 yards this season. I believe I can get that," he said. "And the goal is to get to the [WPIAL] championship."

TOP PLAYER AT MOON

Jarrod Simmons is staying home for his final year of high school. And because of it, a top player is coming to WPIAL basketball.

Jarrod Simmons is a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward who was offered a scholarship by Pitt two years ago when Jamie Dixon was coach. That was when Simmons was attending Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. Simmons grew up in the Moon school district and attended Moon schools through eighth grade.

Now he has decided to attend Moon High School for his senior year.

"The No. 1 reason I'm coming back to Moon is first and foremost my family," said Simmons, whose father, Sean, is an associate athletic director at Robert Morris. "Being away from my family for three years was kind of tough."

Simmons said he only decided in the past week that he definitely wanted to attend Moon this year. Moon coach Adam Kaufman said he has never seen Simmons play in person, but has watched highlights of him on youtube. …

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