Never-ending Story of the Garfield Gators in 2020
Story by Bob Jones, B.A.S.E., Gators Football Coach
Garfield – In a year of chaos and uncertainty, and with no Garfield Gators youth football, the Gator family has been able to stay engaged by following the exploits of a few of our brothers on high school and college football fields across the country.
Listed to the right are 47 Gators who are currently playing football for their respective high schools, universities, and colleges. Some of our post-secondary Gators are playing, and some are not due to seasons being cancelled or pushed back to 2021.
As the culture surrounding youth football in the city of Pittsburgh changes, the one thing that will always stay intact is the culture of the Garfield Gators. We will continue to expect success, both on and off the field. We will continue to preach Gator pride, and respect for others. We will continue to seek excellence in the classroom, and push ourselves to be productive leaders in anything and everything we do.
Not only are Gators serving as captains of their respective teams, but now we also see some of our alumni Gators coaching high school teams. Our expectation of excellence goes beyond the football field; our alumni are currently serving as CEOs, organizational leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate sales managers, firefighters, police officers, and local political figures. We are adamant about maintaining a strong presence, and high profile, throughout the Pittsburgh region, so we do our best to help our athletes become potential high school and college standouts.
Most, if not all, of our coaches played high school football; many of us played college football as well. As coaches, we always tell each Gator that it takes hard work, discipline, and focus to be find success as a student athlete at the next level. We believe that the game of football can prepare our Gators for life, so we also teach and preach what it takes to be successful in their lives away from the football field.
So, what does it mean to be a Gator? It means that you are a member of a unique group of men and women that, for the past 26 years, has made a serious impact in the lives of many local families. It also means you are a member of a team, a group, a family. All members of our Gator family know that no one is more important than the team.
One of our weekly sayings to hype all the kids up is “everyone will and must play this week.” We play those who work hard, and have the skills to be on the field. It is impossible to win as many games and championships as we have by running a team in any other way.
We have averaged three teams in league championship games for 25 of the last 26 years. From the big team down to the “Baby Twerps,” every coach emphasizes how important it is for their players to work hard, and pay close attention, in order to get out on the field during game day.
We play to win, and we want every Gator to embrace that same attitude in their journeys beyond football. Our student athletes know that, no matter where life takes them, one thing is for certain: “Once a Gator, always a Gator.”
ABOVE: Nikhai Hill-Green, who now plays for the Wolverines at the University of Michigan, will always be a Garfield Gator at heart.
High School Gators [Name – High School]
*TyJuane Abram – Westinghouse
*Nehemiah Azeem – Our Lady of Sacred Heart
*Camden Branch – Our Lady of Sacred Heart
Daniel Cain Jr. – Obama-Sci Tech-Milliones
*Mark Fancher – Cornell
*Malik Harvey – Westinghouse
*Michael Harvey – Westinghouse
*Paul Helvy – Obama-Sci Tech-Milliones
*Michael James – Woodland Hills
Terrell James – Allderdice
*Noah Johnston – Allderdice
*Solomon Johnston – Allderdice
*Keylan Kenney – Westinghouse
*Darren Keys – Woodland Hills
*Jairon King – Westinghouse
Kaden Latham – Westinghouse
*Maxwell Martin – Scioto (Dublin, OH)
Brandon Massey – Allderdice
*Keyshawn Morsillo – Westinghouse
*Allen Parker – Penn Hills
Aki Parker – Penn Hills
*Khi’Lee Patterson – Fox Chapel
Ramon Poindexter – Westinghouse
Leonard Sherrod – Gateway
*Daron smith – Our Lady of Sacred Heart
*Donte Taylor – Westinghouse
*Da’MonnTaylor – Woodland Hills
*Claude Vangelus – Penn Hills
*Deontae Williams – Woodland Hills
James Williams – Pittsburgh Central Catholic
Musa Bangura – Westinghouse
Samir Grayson – Westinghouse
[* denotes current starters at their position(s)]
College Gators [Name – Secondary School]
Rashod Allen – Lackawanna College
Chance Battle – McDougle Technical Institute
Samuel Fairley – Slippery Rock University
Paris Ford – University of Pittsburgh
George Freeman – Washington & Jefferson College
Konota Gaskins – Bowling Green
Ray Harvey – Edinboro University
Nikhai Hill-Green – University of Michigan
Kevonte Simpson – Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Jamaine Stevens – California University of PA
Erick Taylor – West Liberty University
Brendan Walls – Edinboro University
Dorial Walls – Toledo University
Kameron Williams – California Univ. of PA
Maurice Satterwhite – Univ. of Mount Union