PITTSBURGH — In the midst of an undefeated 11-0 season, the Westinghouse football team has their sights set on one current goal – a state championship.
But they also see a much bigger picture.
Channel 11′s Jenna Harner caught up with the team and learned why this Bulldogs program is about much more than just football.
The “it’s a great life” chants echo from the football field down the hill behind Westinghouse Academy.
Coach Dontae Green is pushing his team to be more than just great football players; he’s instilling in them what it means to be great men.
“One of the things we talk about constantly is how people see Westinghouse, how people see people from the communities in which we’re from,” Green said. “So every opportunity we get, we try to explain to our guys how important it is for them to change that narrative. And they’re changing it.”
When Green, or Coach Dontae, as his players call him, became the head coach of his alma mater four years ago, he made sure the demand he put on his team to be good people outweighed the demand of football.
“We make sure we go to class on time, school on time, shirts and bow ties on game days,” said Keyshawn Morsillo, the senior quarterback.
The Bulldogs program, according to Green, is transformative.
“He taught us how to like, how to talk, how to be, how to be a man, and like, how to act appropriate, dress accordingly, your body language,” said Roderick Jeter, a senior linebacker and running back.
It isn’t hard to define the relationship the entire team has with their head coach.
“He’s kind of like an older brother to me,” Jeter said.
“Like a father and a coach,” said Taymir O’Neal, a junior receiver and safety.
“He’s a GOAT,” said Morsillo.
And it isn’t hard to see why they want to be the best version of themselves because of all the ways their coach goes above and beyond for them.
“He showed us that light to show us like, we could do big things. We just got to think a little different, like get out of whatever hood we’re in it. Think about what’s outside of the hood,” Jeter said.
The hard work the Bulldogs are putting in is on full display in the classroom and on the field as they try to become just the second city league school to win a PIAA title.
“Everybody on this team has over a 2.5 GPA,” said O’Neal.
“When you paint the picture, and they see us young men, young Black men doing successful things in the community, and then winning a state [champion]ship, that would top it all off,” said Morsillo.
As they continue to chase championship dreams, the bulldogs could make history tonight with a win over Central Clarion in the 2A bracket.
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