Jody White has never been short on leadership, even after his football career ended.
“There was always that drive to be part of a team. Looking at the Marine Corps, wow, that was a team,” White said. “There are only 180,000 of us in the world. All the drive, and all the dedication (for football), I had to double that to make it into the officer program.”
White, a Freeport graduate, now serves as a Major and company commander in the Marines. He has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But before he became a military man, White was a three-year letterman who helped lead the Yellowjackets to the WPIAL final in 1989, losing to Steel Valley in the final minute. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three years as a starter, leading the A-K Valley during his junior and senior years. And as a senior, he was named Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year as well as an All-WPIAL and All-state first-team linebacker.
For his accomplishments, White will be one of 11 inductees into the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame on May 1.
“As many people as I’ve played in front of in college, there was nothing like running out onto that field down in Freeport,” White said. “Having an opportunity to do that for three years are the memories that have never left me. I still look at those as my fondest playing days.”
His football talents eventually landed him a scholarship to Cincinnati.
There, he was a three-year starter at outside linebacker. As team captain, he was the second-leading tackler during his senior season.
While noted mostly for his football accomplishments, White was a standout in two other sports: basketball and track and field.
A three-year letterman in basketball, he was named to the Valley News Dispatch all-star team.
“I had a great (basketball) coach in Garrie Davies,” White said. “If it weren’t for that man, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He had honest to goodness care for me. He was on me constantly.”
White was a WPIAL qualifier in multiple sprint events, as well as a PIAA qualifier in the 100 meters during his senior year. He was a four-year letterman.
White still remains humble, owing much of his success to the folks that guided him along the way, especially his coaches.
“I don’t feel I could ever repay them,” White said. “I feel that I need to with all of the things I’ve been blessed with.”
White lives in Stafford, Va., with his wife and five children.
Armstrong County Hall of Fame
â¢ When: 5 p.m. May 1
â¢ Where: Laube Hall, Freeport
â¢ Tickets: $20. Available at Banco Insurance Agency in Leechburg or by contacting Denny Wolfe at 724-882-3557.