Penn Hills senior Turner guides flag football team to title
A coach always wants to lead his or her team to a championship. Penn Hills senior Jayvin Turner guided the Broncos to a 6-9-year-old division championship in the Penn Hills Flag Football League this past season.
Turner, who has aspirations to join the coaching ranks after college, led the Broncos to a 26-12 win over the Chargers in the title game Nov. 12.
“It feels good to be champs. You get flashbacks of all the work the kids put in throughout the summer. For all of it to pay off, there was a remarkable moment. It was an unforgettable moment at that,” Turner said.
This season, the Broncos and Chargers were quite familiar with each other since both teams scrimmaged every Tuesday. Turner was uneasy about facing the Chargers in the championship game but was happy to come away with the win.
“We both knew each other really well. To end up playing them in the championship game was a little bit uncomfortable knowing that they know us as much as we know them,” Turner said.
Turner, who is the only teenage head coach in the league, brought home the Coach of the Year award. Penn Hills senior Cameron Wiley was Turner's defensive coordinator.
“It means a lot to be the only teenager to win any of those awards and only teenager to make the playoffs,” Turner said. “It makes me feel like I'm different from everybody else. I didn't want to be like everyone else. I was told growing up to be myself.”
After bringing home the title, the Broncos (5-1) had four individuals selected for postseason awards. Quarterback Devin Harris was selected as quarterback of the year, while running back Zion Hauser was named offensive player of the year.
Rio Stotts was selected the wide receiver of the year and most valuable player. Wide receiver/safety Logan Bollinger was named defensive back of the year.
Turner plans to retire from coaching in the Penn Hills Flag Football League, but he made sure to provide his players some important advice as they move up to the 10-13 division.
“Stay focused on what you do. Always remember our motto, ‘it takes hours of hard work.' I told them to keep perfecting their craft,” Turner said.
“They have a great future, and if they want they can play Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons.”
Aside from coaching flag football, Turner has made sure to gain some experience with contact football.
This past season, Turner was shadowing Baldwin assistant coach Dayonne Nunley in the press box. Nunley, who is Turner's cousin, graduated from Gateway in 2010 and went onto play football at Miami (Ohio).
Turner couldn't be more thankful to Baldwin head coach Loran Cooley, who allowed him to chart defensive play calls and be another pair of eyes for the staff.
Even with the experience gained in contact football, Turner suggests flag football as a good starting point for any teenager interested in coaching.
“It has matured me a lot,” he said. “I put it out there to any teenager out there. If anyone loves football and working with kids, they need to go out and do what I did.”
Andrew John is a freelance writer.