ShareThis Page

Jeannette freshman a standout at quarterback, safety

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Gio Vonne Sanders is a freshman quarterback and safety for the Jayhawks.
Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
Gio Vonne Sanders is a freshman quarterback and safety for the Jayhawks.

Gio Vonne Sanders, a freshman quarterback for Jeannette, had an opportunity to start under center in his first season as a varsity Jayhawk.

Sanders has been playing football for around nine years, having gotten his start in the Greensburg Midget Football program. His father, James Sanders, played football in high school and the sport is a family thing now that three out of five of his younger brothers also play football now.

“It's fun,” being the oldest of six boys, Sanders said. “They all play midget football now, except the youngest. They're still too young.”

Sanders came to Jeannette late last year as a middle school student and this is his first year in the Jeannette athletic program.

“I like it,” he said. “I like our coaches for football.”

Sanders works most closely with Coach T.J. Detruf and said, “He's good. He teaches a lot of stuff and shows leadership on the field.”

Head Coach Roy Hall, “works us hard,” said Sanders. “He tries to make us the best, to make us win no matter what.”

This year's team, Sanders said, is very close and worked very hard while reaching for a better outcome to the season last week.

“The goal is to not turn over the ball, take no penalties and just score,” Sanders said before the game against rival Greensburg Central Catholic. “It's going to be an intense game with lots of hard hits. It reminds me of the (NFL rivalry between the) Steelers and Ravens.”

Unfortunately for the local fans the Jeannette game did not have the happy ending that the Steelers found the week before, as GCC earned a big victory against the Jayhawks.

“We have the talent, we just have to show it,” he said.

Sanders plays quarterback and safety, but he prefers working on the offensive side of the ball.

“It makes you feel like you're leading the offense,” he said.

When junior quarterback Julian Batts missed a game with an ankle injury this season, Sanders was called upon to lead the team.

“It was a fun experience.”

He became a quarterback when a midget team he belonged to didn't have one. Now he's been in the role for two years and feels comfortable in the position.

As a safety, Sanders enjoys the opportunity to make big plays, including interceptions.

Off the football field, Sanders is a wrestler and is thinking of adding track to his schedule in the spring. Football is his favorite sport, though, and he said, “I started with it as my only sport. It's being with friends after school and it's just my favorite.”

After high school, Sanders wants to attend college to study either sales and marketing or communications and media. He is hoping to get a scholarship to continue playing football at the next level.

Sanders is the son of James and Terra Sanders and the oldest brother to Imani, James, Noah, Majhi and Dehstin.

“I want to thank my parents for bringing me to practice and bringing me home and inspiring me to keep playing and trying my best,” he said.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.