Gorman: Now they're clapping for him
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Jonathan Dorogy doesn't like to discuss the clapping, despite his appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, mostly because the Seneca Valley senior doesn't view it as his true talent.
“Kind of like those artists that say they never want to play that song again at their concert because it's the only song that made it on the radio and everyone wants to hear it and they're tired of playing it,” Raiders coach Don Holl said, “he's very reluctant to demonstrate the ability he has to clap so fast.”
Dorogy started speed clapping when he was 9 years old. As a freshman, he could do 14 claps a second. When a friend recorded a video for the school announcements, it became a YouTube hit that drew invites to appear on Leno, Ellen and Nickelodeon.
“I like it, but lately everyone is always like, ‘Clap for me,'” Dorogy said. “I always tell them my triceps are sore. Or I tell them I retired.”
So he has focused on football and flipped the script. Instead of clapping for everyone at Seneca Valley, Dorogy has everyone at Seneca Valley clapping for him.
Raiders fans have plenty of reasons to cheer Dorogy, who represents everything we love about Western Pennsylvania prep sports.
It's not because Dorogy is one of the smallest players on the field but rather because he's the most exciting.
“He's a big sleeper,” Seneca Valley quarterback Jordan Brown said. “People underestimate him because of his size, but he's really fast, and he's got a lot of heart.”
Dorogy is a 5-foot-8 — and that might be stretching it — 170-pound stick of dynamite who can explode on any play. He's not only the Raiders' fastest player but also one of their strongest, a member of the 300-500 Club for bench press and squat.
“I've heard it my whole life, even from my friends: You're too small,” Dorogy said. “That kind of fuels me. I like that role, the underdog.”
What clapping taught Dorogy is that he can accomplish anything. He isn't so much an overachiever as a high achiever who has a 4.12 grade-point average, starts in center field on Seneca Valley's two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA baseball champions and is a state-medalist sprinter in indoor track.
Overshadowed by Brown and Forrest Barnes on the football field, Dorogy does a little bit of everything: taking handoffs on sweeps and reverses, catching passes, covering receivers, making touchdown-saving tackles or serving as a special-teams demon whether covering kicks or returning them.
“In a lot of situations, he would be a go-to guy that would be The Guy on many teams,” Holl said of Dorogy, who had 19 catches for 341 yards and four touchdowns and 23 carries for 206 yards and two scores in the first six games.
“He's a threat to go at any time. He's a very fast, strong, powerful kid, just a playmaker. He's another one on that list that, if we're smart, we try to find ways to get him the ball as much as we can.”
Seneca Valley did just that Friday night at North Hills. On the second possession, Dorogy ran 5 yards for a first down, then caught a 45-yard pass on third-and-15 to move the Raiders across midfield and set up a field goal. He even completed a two-point conversion pass for a 26-19 halftime lead.
Dorogy added a 25-yard catch in the third quarter but lost a fumble that was returned 78 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 31 rushing yards on eight carries and four receptions for 79 yards in the 40-26 victory.
It's no wonder Dorogy's penchant for big plays has made him a favorite of Seneca Valley's student section this season.
“It gets the crowd fired up a little bit,” he said. “Whenever you have a good play, they chant your name.”
Dorogy delivers daggers off the field, too. He brings levity to the locker room with spot-on impersonations of teammates and tempers tension in the huddle by cracking jokes or talking in a high-pitched voice, traits that cannot be underestimated on a contender.
“Everybody loves him,” Brown said. “He's a character. He's a jokester, and he's funny. He's one of those energetic guys who gets the ball and scores and screams, then starts clapping.”
What else would you expect?
Whether getting As or making plays, Dorogy is giving people reason to cheer. Instead of asking him to clap, we should give him a hand.
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7812.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport juvenile hit by school bus on Eden Park Boulevard
- Federal tax-fraud investigation appears to be closing in on North Hills businessman
- Five taken to hospitals after school bus-SUV crash in Washington Township
- Hempfield faculty given active shooter training
- Money troubles force Pict to cancel ‘Tempest’
- Society of the Fifth Division-U.S. Army to gather in Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh pension investment earnings lag behind previous gains
- Asking price for Penguins franchise said to be at a record $750M
- Murrysville’s Brooks honored as Mayor of the Year by state association
- I-80 rock-throwing that injured teacher results in jail terms
- Hacker stuns Dayton family with computer takeover