Being undersized has never stopped Gaage Marry. A senior at Trinity High School, Marry was a bright spot on the Hillers’ football team as a 5-11 linebacker.
Trinity won just one game last season, but Marry was a steady leader for head coach Ryan Coyle’s team and made national ripples with a statewide contest. He led by example on and off the field with a work ethic that was unmatched, recording more than 40 solo tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. When a few of his fellow classmates decided to transfer to McGuffey following the departure of former head coach and athletic director, Ed Dalton, Marry saw an opportunity at Trinity and seized it.
It paid off last week when the senior officially committed to play football at Alderson Broaddus, a Division II school in Philippi, W.Va. After receiving interest from West Virginia Wesleyan and California University of Pennsylvania, Marry decided on the one that offered a place in his desired profession.
Alderson Broaddus is known for its secondary education program and as an aspiring high school teacher and head football coach, Marry found his next home. When reflecting on his high school career, one moment stands out – an interception he had as a junior against Montour in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs in 2012.
“It’s been crazy how far I’ve come,” Marry said. “I realized I had my chance of playing under the lights when other guys decided to leave. I’ll never forget making the playoffs my junior year and catching that interception against Montour. It has been a great experience to be able to act as a team leader.”
Marry was a member of the Observer-Reporter All-District Football Team this fall, but his name was relatively unknown outside of Washington. That changed when balloting began for the 2013 Mr. Pennsylvania Football Award. Marry went from 80 finalists in the large school division to the final 20, to the top 10 and finally, ended up in the top five of the vote-getters.
He received the largest amount of fan votes in the four-year history of the award.
Coyle, who has coached former Penn Hills and Pitt defensive lineman Aaron Donald, as well as current Shaler alum and current Pitt tight end J.P. Holtz, believes Marry’s work ethic mirrors the talented players he has coached in the past.
“Gaage certainly earned the right to be mentioned in that group,” Coyle said. ”His commitment and dedication was second to none. He’s a kid that was for his team and for his school. He has a tremendous amount of pride in that. The energy he brought to practice and willingness to prepare was second to none. He will be missed at Trinity.”
After finishing in the top five, Marry was invited to the Mr. Pennsylvania Football banquet Feb. 8 in Hershey. Accompanied by three future Division I football players – Cedar Cliff’s Andrew Ford (Virginia Tech), Bishop McDevitt’s Andre Robinson (Penn State) and Cearfield’s Christian Lezzer (Boston College) – Marry was in good company. While Ford received the honor, Marry felt humbled being a finalist.
“Just having my name mentioned with those players was amazing,” Marry said. “They were some of the best in state of Pennsylvania this year. Their highlights spoke for themselves. To represent the small town of Washington was great.”
Two local players choose W&J
Following this season, Washington & Jefferson women’s basketball coach Jina DeRubbo was posed with the task of replacing three seniors, including leading scorer Chelsea Apke. DeRubbo did not have to look far to add players to her roster.
Charleroi’s 5-9 guard Mia Woytovich, an Observer-Reporter All-District first team selection, and Wash High’s 6-2 forward Mya Gordon will join the Presidents for the 2014-15 season.
Woytovich, who finished her career with 1,101 total points and 861 rebounds, led the Cougars to the WPIAL playoffs for two straight years. While Gordon was limited to only a few games this season because of injury, she was an O-R third team all-district selection as a junior after averaging 10.8 points in 24 games.
The second annual Wash High Basketball Alumni Classic will be held May 17 at the Wash High gymnasium. The game will feature former players of Wash High’s boys basketball program.
The 1984 and 1986 state championship teams will be recognized at halftime and scholarships will be handed out to high school seniors in Washington County.