Pacak's South squad wins Football Classic
Many times during their high school football career together at Monessen High School, Clintell Gillaspie and Javon Brown had a knack for making big plays for head coach, Andy Pacak.
One last time Saturday at the Bee Graphix Football Classic at McGuffey High School, the dynamic duo came through for Pacak, coach of the South Squad, in a 35-7 thumping over the North Squad.
When asked about coaching his Monessen players, which also included Kayne Jackson and De-Shawn Homes one last time, Pacak quickly smiled.
“It was a lot of fun to have one last go around with those guys,” he said. “But the whole team, it is full of great guys.
“This was a great experience for everyone.”
Gillaspie was named the Offensive MVP of the South as he finished with 53 yards rushing on four carries and had 45 yards receiving including a 12-yard scoring reception from Xavier Ellis of Uniontown.
“This was a good experience,” said Gillaspie who will head to Lackawanna Junior College. “I just tried to do what I usually do.
“This will help get us ready for college.”
Brown, who is undecided where he will go to school, also received consideration for the South's offensive MVP. He had 42 yards rushing on three carries and caught two passes for 65 yards, including a 57-yard scoring toss from Ellis in the third quarter to increase the South's lead to 21-7.
The North Squad scored on the initial drive of the game when Frazier quarterback Charlie Manack hit Bethel Park's Jake Murphy for a 9-yard scoring strike, but the South Squad scored the last 35 points of the contest unanswered.
Touchdown runs by the South's Douglas Lewis and Brandon Bowman in the third quarter accounted for the final tally.
Manack, who is headed to Geneva College, was named the North Squad's MVP as he completed 7-of-13 passes for 77 yards and the scoring strike to Murphy. He also earned one of the four academic scholarship awards given.
Belle Vernon Area's Jake Sweitzer, who is headed to Georgetown, had one reception for 18 yards, and also earned one of the academic scholarships.
“It felt good to get back on the field,” he said. “This game also showed me that I have more work to do before heading to Georgetown.”
Monessen assistant Mike Blainefield, one of the South Squad assistants, also played at Georgetown.
Charleroi Area's Brandon Bowman, who will play at California University of Pennsylvania, scored on a 3-yard run and added a two-point conversion offensively and received consideration for the defensive MVP for the South Squad.
Bowman's high school teammate Dakota Moorer, who is headed to Thaddeus Stevens, caught one pass for 35 yards.
With the South Squad leading 14-7 at halftime, the annual Tri-County Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductions were held.
Two local coaching giants, Jim Dumm and Tom “Woody” Salisbury, were among the coaches who received the prestigious honor.
“I am honored and so pleased to have family and friends here,” Dumm said of the numerous supporters there to greet him as he came off of the field after the ceremony. “This is a great moment and I am blessed to share it with so many.”
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.