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Monessen running back Gillaspie named all-state — on defense

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Monessen's Clintell Gillaspie breaks tackle from West Shamokin's players in the 2nd quarter on Friday,November 1,2013 in the WPIAL Class A playoff game at Monessen's Memorial Stadium.

During his senior season, Monessen's Clintell Gillaspie was one of the biggest offensive forces in the WPIAL.

The 6-0, 225-pound running back rushed for 1,218 yards on 115 carries (10.6 average) and caught 24 passes for 565 yards (23.5 avg.).

He scored 31 touchdowns and had 18 two-point conversion points for a WPIAL runner-up total of 204 points.

So it was no surprise to Greyhounds coach Andy Pacak that that his senior stud made the Pennsylvania Class A All-State Football Team.

But what is surprising is that he did not make it as a running back, but as a “defensive athlete.”

“I'm not certain how they decide who makes the All-State Team and where, but you would think here is the kid who (finished second) in District 7 in scoring so he belongs on offense,” said Pacak. “Still, it is a great honor.

“Clintell is a very deserving kid. He worked very hard and is extremely talented. Any time you get that kind of recognition from the entire state, it is just one heck of an accolade, something to be proud of.”

Gillaspie is the fourth Greyhound to be named all-state in the past four years, following Chavas Rawlins, Nick Bolias and Justice Rawlins.

“We've had some kids recognized, and I think it is a tribute to our players, our coaches and our school,” Pacak said.

Pacak noted that Gillaspie has not yet picked a college and said, “He is still getting some things together, but we are hopeful of him landing somewhere soon. There is certainly a lot of interest in him, I can tell you that.”

Gillaspie was the only area player to be named all-state this season and was one of six WPIAL players to garner the honor in Class A, joining Sto-Rox quarterback Lenny Williams, North Catholic offensive lineman Ryan Long, North Catholic offensive athlete P.J. Fullmore, North Catholic defensive lineman Jarred Fragapane and Apollo-Ridge defensive back Tre Tipton.

North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl was named Class A Coach of the Year.

This is the fourth year the all-state selection process has been overseen by the sportswriters who cover high school football around the state. Players are nominated in all four PIAA classifications, then a statewide ballot is issued to give all writers the opportunity to cast their votes.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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