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United Steeler receives Mike Vomish Memorial Award

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Bob Gumbita Sr., vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Junior Football League, (left) with Alex Miscovich, a member of the United Steelers team in the league. Miscovich was recently named the recipient of the 2013 Mike Vomish Memorial Award. The annual award, which honors the memory of late United Steeler Michael Vomish, is given to an eighth-grade member of the team who best demonstrates leadership, dedication to team, good citizenship and love of the game. Alex is the son of Gary and Becky Hart Miscovich of Mt. Pleasant Township.

Current or prospective members of the United Steelers team in the Mt. Pleasant Area Junior Football League will always be told of one individual goal worth accomplishing — winning the Mike Vomish Memorial Award.

This year, Alex Miscovich accomplished the feat.

The award, established by former league President Bob Gumbita Sr., is named after the late Vomish, an Army veteran who played for the team as a boy when Gumbita served as its coach.

While on military leave on July 30, 2007, Vomish died in a tragic fall from Beam Rocks in the Laurel Summit State Park portion of Forbes State Forest in Lincoln Township, Somerset County. He was 19.

“It was around football season, he told me he was going to stop down and see the team practice,” Gumbita said. “He went with some friends to that park. It was a tragic accident. I knew what a great kid (Mike) was, and I wanted to honor him by naming this award after him.”

Gumbita said he also retired Vomish's number 32 in his memory.

“I gave his jersey to his mother, Patty Vomish, in a display case,” he said.

The award bearing Vomish's namesake is given annually to a United Steeler who exhibits traits reflective of those possessed by Vomish, such as leadership and teamwork.

“It is an award that they bring me back for every year (to present), and I'm honored to hand it out to the young man who has earned it,” Gumbita said.

Miscovish said he couldn't have been more humbled to be this year's recipient of the award.

“I was very surprised, and honored, to receive the Mike Vomish Memorial Award that keeps the memory alive of a former United Steeler,” he said.

Alex's mother, Becky Hart Miscovich, was very thrilled to learn her son received such recognition, she said.

“From a parent's perspective, I was so touched by the award, because I told Mike's mom (Patty Vomish) that what many people do not know about Alex is that (military) veterans hold a special place in his heart,” she said.

John Poole is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.