Familiar foes Gateway and Kiski Area to renew rivalry
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For several coaches and players, this Friday's Gateway-Kiski Area game has the vibe of a family reunion, but this get-together will feature much more athleticism than the average egg toss.
The trend of familiarity starts with the head coaches.
Dave Heavner, in his first year at Kiski Area, has the Cavaliers riding high after surpassing last year's win total in a 1-8 campaign. Heavner has taught at Gateway for 15 years. He often chats with Gators coach and athletic director Terry Smith and instructs Smith's players in U.S. History 101.
Then there's the welcome-back-Carter connection.
Kiski Area senior quarterback/cornerback Ricky Carter transferred from Gateway after his sophomore year and still keeps in touch with his buddies who are going to school in Monroeville. Carter's playmaking ability is respected by the Gators.
And these teams haven't played since 2007 because they've resided in different conferences the last four years.
So it might seem like a case of old friends running into each other again when No. 2-ranked Gateway (2-0, 2-0) visits upstart Kiski Area (2-0, 2-0) for a Quad East Conference matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Davis Field in Vandergrift.
“The fun factor is a little higher,” Heavner said about the reunion-like atmosphere. “I'm sure the (Gateway) kids will razz me this week. They're all great kids. It's all tongue-in-cheek. But on Friday, we'll approach it like any other game.”
Heavner also has great relationships with Smith and business education teacher John Ruane, who coaches Penn-Trafford — another Quad East Conference member.
“Sometimes, Coach Smith and I talk about football, sometimes we talk about life,” Heavner said.
Smith's brother, Harvey, served as head coach at Kiski Area in 2008, when the Cavaliers finished with a 1-9 mark. Harvey now is coach at Class A Imani Christian Academy, which joined the WPIAL this season.
Terry Smith is impressed with Kiski Area's strong start under Heavner, who also has served as head coach at Burrell and as an assistant at Burrell, Butler, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Highlands and Valley.
“Coach Heavner is a really good coach,” said Smith, who is 6-0 against Kiski Area since taking over at Gateway in 2002. “They're disciplined. They line up correctly. They play hard for him. To be so early into his career (at Kiski Area) and already have established a good foundation is great.”
Carter, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound dual-threat quarterback, has guided Kiski Area to victories over Connellsville (22-14) and Altoona (7-0). Carter has passed for two touchdowns and rushed for one. He knows Gateway will present the toughest challenge so far this year for the Cavaliers.
“I know their whole team like the back of my hand,” Carter said. “We talk on Facebook. I got some text messages about the game. It's going to be fun.”
Smith has plenty of praise for Carter.
“Ricky is a terrific athlete,” Smith said. “He's not a natural quarterback, but he's a great natural athlete and playmaker. He's done a terrific job for Kiski Area, and he did the same thing for us.”
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-224-2696.
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.
- Connellsville Area High School’s marching band to play national anthem at PNC Park
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- 17 years later, late Frazier superintendent’s vision of new school nearly a reality
- New Kensington-Arnold School District officials to discuss anti-bullying proposals
- Engineer advises Springdale Borough that other water plant options cost ‘significantly’ less
- Pirates turn nifty double play in 9th, edge Marlins
- Google rejects European Union antitrust charges over search results
- Plum grad McGough realizes dream, unfazed by demotion to minors
- Apollo fountain to return
- Steelers’ Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension
- Alleged Donora Towers burglar jailed