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TJ’s Dobranski humbled by ‘positive athlete’ honor |

TJ’s Dobranski humbled by ‘positive athlete’ honor

randy jarosz | for the tribune-review
Thomas Jefferson netter Jake Dobranski was a C Harper positive athlete award recipient this year.

Jake Dobranski was an honored, and humbled, guest at the C Harper Positive Athlete Awards ceremony held last month at the Sen. John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

Former Steelers wideout Hines Ward recognized 28 area students for their athletic/academic achievements.

Dobranski was a 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter on the Thomas Jefferson boys’ volleyball team this spring.

“I am extremely humbled by the award,” Dobranski said. “In the light of the achievements of my fellow winners, I am honored to be recognized with them. Hines Ward, along with the Pederson family, have created a wonderful award to celebrate student-athletes who may not dominate on the court or in the field, but positively impact those around them.

“This is most definitely one of the greatest awards I’ve ever been given. My fellow winners are incredible and inspiring people, and I am humbled to be considered their equal.”

Dobranski was nominated for the award by his head coach, Frank Staffen.

“Jake was on the team for four years, and started varsity for three,” Staffen said. “Jake always encouraged the other players. A lot of time, he’d take blame for a bad play or the team’s poor performance to take pressure off the other players.

“Jake leads by example, and was very dependable when we needed a big play. He was a leader off the court with his high academics and other activities. He will be deeply missed, and hard to replace.”

Dobranski plans to attend Grove City College as a business economics major.

“I also plan to try out for the men’s volleyball club,” he said.

The TJ boys’ volleyball team captured the Section 3-AA championship this season with an 8-2 record.

It was the third section title in boys’ volleyball in school history, with the other two being claimed in 2006 and 2014.

Dobranski was a first-team all-section selection at outside hitter. He also was listed as a defensive specialist for TJ.

“I’d like to thank Hines Ward, the Pederson family and all of Pittsburgh Positive Athlete sponsors,” Dobranski said, “and to my coach for supporting me and the rest of the TJ volleyball team.”

Ray Fisher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or

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