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Gateway’s Davis looks to build on impressive freshman season |

Gateway’s Davis looks to build on impressive freshman season

Michael Love
| Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:00 p.m
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Gateway's Derrick Davis catches a pass during the second quarter of the PIAA Class 5A state championship game against Archbishop Wood Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, at Hersheypark Stadium.

The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team.

The players will be recognized at 2 p.m. July 24 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

Derrick Davis Jr. burst onto the varsity scene in a big way last fall as he helped lead Gateway to its first WPIAL football championship in 31 years and a PIAA runner-up finish in Class 5A.

“We just tried to stay humble all season and played our game,” said Davis, who amassed 439 yards and eight touchdowns rushing and 480 yards and two scores receiving during his first season with the Gators.

Defensively, Davis added 97 tackles (46 solo), 5 12 sacks and two interceptions, including the key pick to seal the 21-16 victory over Penn-Trafford in the WPIAL title game at Heinz Field.

“I knew I had to play well for my team and to also have (college) coaches see what kind of player I can be,” said Davis, who was able to quickly adjust to the speed of the game at the varsity level.

Davis said Gateway has the talent returning to make another run at not only the WPIAL title, but also a state championship.

“We want to take one day at a time and get better for this season,” Davis said.

With almost a dozen Division I offers in his portfolio so far, Davis earned all-star honors in a versatile role at outside linebacker, cornerback and safety and as a receiver at a recent underclassman showcase in Atlanta. He was the only Pittsburgh-area athlete and one of just two from Pennsylvania to take part in the seven-on-seven event against talent from all over the eastern side of the country.

“I was able to make a couple of big interceptions,” Davis said. “I was playing with kids my age and younger, and they were amazing. I played well and was able to open more eyes. It was nice to put on a show and represent the area and the state.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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