‘It keeps our spirits up’: Community rallies behind Gateway coach who lost stepson to gun violence

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — WPIAL football fans may remember Morty Ivy as an imposing two-way player for Gateway in the early 2000′s. After an illustrious career with West Virginia University and sometime in the NFL, he’s back on the high school sidelines.

This year, Ivy and his family saw the support from fellow Gators doesn’t stop after your playing days are done.

It happened after the family suffered a tragedy.

Ivy breaks down his defense after practice the same way he lives his life. Dominance on the football field with family at the heart of it.

“Knowing we have a great community behind us, it keeps our spirits up,” Ivy said.

Ivy wishes that support wasn’t needed, but it is. In January, his stepson, Aceyn Ausbrook, was shot and killed outside a party in Monroeville. He was just 19 years old.

“We ended up getting the news by one of his friends coming to our house telling us that somebody shot up the car,” Ivy said.

Ivy added the world lost a gifted athlete and a very devoted big brother.

“He always made you laugh, and he was always positive. He had a great smile, regardless of what the day was. He wakes up with a smile. He goes to sleep with a smile,” Ivy said.

Across sports and age groups, Gateway is remembering Ausbrook with an ace of spades symbol on t-shirts and jerseys.

There have been fundraisers, and Ausbrook’s midget football team retired his number. Gateway’s football team has even embraced the slogan “Rise Up” this year in memory of Ausbrook.

“A lot of the coaches made sure that everything’s okay, but the team has made sure that they try to do their best every time they’re out here. And that’s one of the biggest things.” Ivy said. “It stinks that we have to go through this, but the community has been behind us.”

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