Westinghouse’s Dayon Hayes: 2019 ‘Golden Player of the Year’

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — As the new year begins and sounds of “Auld Lang Syne” slowly fades away, we take a look back on 2019 at a player that has earned his spot in high school football’s elite.

Standing at 6′ 3,” 250 pounds, Dayon Hayes has been a dominating force in ways that set him apart from the pack.

Westinghouse Academy defensive end Dayon Hayes celebrates following defensive stop against Our Lady of Sacred Heart on August 24, 2019. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

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The Westinghouse Bulldogs’ standout defensive end has made a name for himself on the gridiron, raising the eyebrows of recruits across the nation. His stature, coupled with the ability to have an explosive break on the ball, has been second to none and his statistics show how dominating he has been throughout his high school career.

80 Tackles | 23 sacks | 14 Tackles for loss | 1 Interception | 2 Forced Fumbles | 2 Fumble Recoveries 

Hayes spoke exclusively to Golden Sky Media saying, “My Westinghouse experience is great and I wouldn’t want to be any other place than here, because the history is so great.”

Westinghouse Academy, which has a rich history of musicians, physicians, politicians, attorneys, scholars, members of the media and of course athletes, is a staple of not only Pittsburgh but has history that can rival institutions around the world.

Westinghouse Academy defensive end Dayon Hayes sacks Our Lady of Sacred Heart quarterback Jaymar Pearson. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

As far as football goes, Hayes told us that he is thrilled to be named among the giants that have donned the halls of the Blue and Gold. “It’s been a long time since there has been something good happening at Westinghouse — like a football championship — and I’m just glad I’m a part of turning Westinghouse’s program around.”

For the past 23 years, Westinghouse has been fighting for the chance to hoist the trophy and stand alone as the kings of the city. For the first time since 1996, they accomplished that goal with the help of Hayes.

Donta Green, head coach of the Westinghouse Bulldogs gives a pre-game speech prior to the City League Championship at George K. Cupples Stadium in Pittsburgh. October 26, 2019. Dayon Hayes is seated on far left. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Bulldogs’ head coach Donta Green speaks on behalf of the entire coaching staff saying of Hayes, “He’s everything a coach wants in a player. He has amazing work ethic and is a  joy to be around!”

A mixture of alumni, friends, family and supporters of Westinghouse Academy (Westinghouse High School) during the 2019 City League Championship. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Flanked by traditional chants by Westinghouse faithful, “There’s a House, up on a Hill, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” his team won the 2019 City League Championship over USO 12-2 at George K. Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh’s Southside. Westinghouse had 36 active players on the roster and won its 36th championship in school history.

Players from Westinghouse Academy hoist the 2019 championship trophy after defeating USO 12-6 at George K. Cupples Stadium on October 29, 2019 in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Green, a man that puts no one player above the team, took to social media after the win, praising his entire team’s performance in addition to their academic achievements, “These young people worked hard both in the classroom and the field to make this day happen! Coach loves you guys and I salute each and every one of you for your sacrifice and dedication.” –Donta Green, via Facebook.

Screenshot of DeWayne Brown taken from a documentary directed by Golden Sky Media’s Brian Cook about the training program he started titled 210ths. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

DeWayne Brown is the founder of 2/10ths Speed and Agility, which is an extreme workout regimen, that trains athletes from youth football to the professional ranks who have interest in gaining physical and mental awareness in their respective sports. He has worked with Hayes in the past in the area of positional drills to increasing footwork.

Brown has seen many athletes grow within his program and when it comes to Hayes, Brown said his technique and ability to excel is one of the best he’s seen. “Dayon is an elite athlete with an elite 1st step that will translate on all levels of football,” Brown said of Hayes. “Once he puts everything together mentality — with all his physical components — he will be one of those special players.”

William Pipkins (#7) pressured by Westinghouse’s Dayon Hayes (#50) during the 2019 City League Championship at George K. Cupples Stadium on October 29, 2019 in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Brown, raving about Hayes’ ability says, if things line up the way they should, “He has all the tools to get to the NFL. He’s very teachable. You give him a directive and he’ll execute it. He’s also a fast learner.”

Hayes officially committed to the University of Pittsburgh and will be sure to find playing time with the Panthers. He will most likely see the field early in his college career. 

COURTESY: PITT LIVEWIRE

Sean McCaskill is founder of Dream Chaser 5 (DC5) which develops middle and high school athletes dreaming about becoming the next 5-star defensive back. McCaskill trains those who aspire to become successful in the secondary but has “…never had the pleasure of working” with Hayes. However, as an ardent scout of talent, he has watched Hayes develop and shared favorable remarks about his character. 

Sean McCaskill during a weekly workout of high school defensive backs at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on January 2, 2020 in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

“So many athletes love the lifestyle, but [Hayes] learned to embrace the process to becoming great,” McCaskill said. “It’s extremely difficult to bet against a player like him, because he’s willing to do those things that everyone is not willing to do. He’s about to be coached by arguably the best D-Line coach in college football, Coach Charlie Partridge at Pitt.”

Hayes was “thrilled and pleasantly surprised” about becoming the 2019 Golden Sky Media “Golden Player of the Year,” saying, “I’m very happy about it! This is something new and I’m glad to be apart of this and happy to be the player of the year.”

Prior to the 2019 Pittsburgh City League Championship Westinghouse Academy defensive end Dayon Hayes gets into character before taking the field. October 26, 2019 at George K. Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh’s southside. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Not making this accolade about himself, he has advice for younger players who are watching him and coming through the ranks themselves, “You can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter where you go to school because everyone told me I couldn’t do what I’m doing now,” Hayes said. “I just got on my grind and accomplished some of my goals and that was getting scholarships to schools and my favorite one [Pitt], too.”

Hayes is an honor-roll student first, a blue-chip player second and now the recipient of the inaugural “Golden Player of the Year” award, granted by Golden Sky Media.


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER  

Associated Press Announces All-Pro Players; 3 Steelers Make the Cut

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Three members of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been named to the Associated Press All-Pro team for 2019.

This honor means you’re the best at your position for that season, and there is one player for each position (22 players) honored each year. This year TJ Watt (edge rusher), Steelers linebacker TJ Watt sacks Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

Cam Heyward (interior lineman)

Cam Heyward defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

and Minkah Fitzpatrick (safety) were selected.

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

 

Steelers Couldn’t Stick the Landing; Fly Home Following Loss to the Jets

(Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (GSM) — Instead of flying first class, the Steelers are on standby waiting for their ticket to the post season after falling to the New York Jets 16-10, Sunday.  It was a game that was a must needed win in order to control their own destiny. Now they wait in the wings hoping to land in the playoffs.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on the sideline during the game against the New York Jets on Dec 22, 2019 at MetLife Stadium. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Head coach Mike Tomlin, not mincing words, said his team just didn’t get it done. “It’s put-up-or-shut-up time, and we didn’t get the job done.” Tomlin said about playing during December football, “We accept responsibility for the fact and the ramifications of it.”

Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) celebrates after recording a sack in the game against the New York Jets on Dec. 22 at MetLife Stadium. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Linebacker TJ Watt had 2 tackles, 1 resulting in a sack said, you win as a team and lose as a team. Nonetheless, everyone is responsible for the outcome of games no matter the position. “Football is the ultimate team game,” Watt said. “This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, we love everybody in the locker room, we believe in everybody in the locker room. It’s just a matter of putting together a complete game”.

 

Devlin “Duck” Hodges during the game against the New York Jets on December 22, 2019 at MetLife Stadium. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

The quarterback carousel continued as Devlin “Duck” Hodges was benched in the first half after throwing 2 interceptions and was replaced by the man he took over for, Mason Rudolph who came in and threw 14-20 129 yards and a touchdown. Rudolph was then injured in the game and “Duck” returned to the game in a losing effort. Hodges says it is unfortunate turn of events.

The 6th seed is still attainable but the Steelers need help to reach the postseason. There is one more game to play for Pittsburgh and it is against AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. In order for the Steelers to make the playoffs however, they MUST beat the Ravens and the Tennessee Titans must lose to the Houston Texans to solidify the final slot in the tournament. There is still a lot to play for as the regular season comes to a close.


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER  
 

Check out his podcast on UrbanMediaToday.com

OG Cooking Show, December 2019 with Ron Alvarado

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — OGCooking Show’s third episode of the season with guest Ron Alvarado of Novus Group who shares some delicious Puerto Rican dishes that will have you salivating!

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CREDITS:

Host/Producer, Olga George 

Guest, Ron Alvarado

Photographer/Editor, Brian Cook

Production company, Golden Sky Media

Special Thanks:
Novus Group
The Commoner
Chris Moore
Hair By Mel
Ya Jagoff Media
Scott Hilty

EDITORIAL: Josh Gordon Needs Treatment Not Criticism

Josh Gordon, all-pro wide receiver. (Courtesy: Seattle Seahawks)

(GSM) — When it comes to embattled NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon, it is another sad chapter in the life of a once mercurial talent.

The life inside the pressure cooker of the NFL is too much for a person who engages in drug use, to overcome. The psychological problems associated with addiction are far too complex, the pressures to perform too great and the lack of real treatment is sorely lacking. Acknowledging the problem is a step, but real treatment geared towards managing the damage done to your brain as a consequence of addiction, is what is needed to save users like Josh. Professional football has far too many triggers, too many risks, too many temptations for any athlete suffering from addiction, including but not limited to opioid use found in many athletes worldwide.

What most people don’t realize, is that drug use changes the function of your brain by burning up synapses that secrete dopamine and enkephalins. The synaptic junction cannot ever achieve the high they once experienced. The brain is telling you to get the drug and will put you through hell if you don’t receive it. You chase a high you cannot achieve no matter how much you take. The user will get high, but the brain tells the individual to get more and more, it is never enough to calm the desire for more drugs.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

“My heart goes out to Josh having to face this again. The fact that he is up against it and all, it poses a great challenge to him. Fortunately he’ll have the great benefit of all of the league’s resources to support him and help him and we’ll wish him the very best in taking care of business. It’s really unfortunate.” – Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll in a press conference 

This week, it was announced that he will be suspended indefinitely by the NFL after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs and substance abuse. For Mr. Gordon’s sake, it is best that he receives the necessary treatment needed to overcome the addiction. Nonetheless, it is best to take a step back from gridiron competition and focus on saving his own life.

Josh Gordon needs treatment, not criticism.