Gateway’s Majocha caps high school career with WPIAL award
By: Ray Fisher
Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9:03 PM
Gateway’s Brendan Majocha has proven to be a class act on and off the field.
A two-sport standout for the Gators, Majocha recently was named a scholar-athlete scholarship recipient by the WPIAL and was honored May 13 at a banquet at the DoubleTree in Green Tree.
“Brendan is the type of player that puts the team first over everything,” said Mark Wardzinski, Gateway’s veteran baseball coach. “His leadership skills on and off the field are second to none. He is one of the first players to pick up his teammates when something doesn’t go as planned.
“Brendan played second base last year and moved to shortstop this year and did not miss a beat. He has been phenomenal defensively and consistent with the bat. The WPIAL couldn’t have picked a better representative.”
Scholar-athletes are nominated by their schools. Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti nominated Majocha.
The WPIAL this year received 65 girls nominations and 60 boys. The award recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Majocha was in elite company at the banquet.
The 10 girls winners were Blackhawk’s Mady Aulbach, Freeport’s Allison DeJidas, Fox Chapel’s Marisa Hardiman, West Greene’s Madison Lampe, Shady Side Academy’s Mary Lau, Hampton’s Anastasia Russ, Butler’s Elizabeth Simms, Beaver County Christian’s Margaret Townsend, South Fayette’s Helina Vanbibber and Ringgold’s Anna Vogt.
Among the boys, scholarship winners were Carmichaels’ Matthew Barrish, Greensburg Salem’s Cameron Binda, Indiana’s Joseph Bujdos, Derry’s Dominic DeLuca, Hopewell’s Connor Forrest, Shady Side Academy’s Nicholas Lauer, Waynsburg’s Daniel Layton, Seneca Valley’s Jake Stebbins and Springdale’s Mike Zolnierczyk and Majocha.
“I was both humbled and honored to represent the Gateway School District and the Monroeville community in winning this award,” Majocha said. “It is a tremendous honor, and I thank the WPIAL greatly. The award truly shows how the school district and the WPIAL committee value students’ efforts on and off the field.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Majocha played shortstop and was a captain for the Gateway baseball team this spring. He ranked among team leaders in runs (16) and RBIs (13). Last season, he had a .413 batting average.
Majocha also was the starting quarterback on the Gators football team that went 12-1 and won a conference championship last fall.
On the season, Majocha ranked among the WPIAL passing leaders, completing 145 of 219 attempts for 2,530 yards and 35 touchdowns (17.2 yards per completion), and tossing just three interceptions. He also rushed for 828 yards and 11 scores on 115 carries (7.2 yards per carry).
He also started on defense at safety.
“I am not at all surprised with Brendan earning this prestigious award. He is the very epitome of a ‘student-athlete,’ ” Gateway football coacg Don Holl said. “He is an elite student and phenomenal multisport athlete. This award was designed for people exactly like Brendan.
“As you might surmise, among Brendan’s many strengths is his intelligence and ability to understand schemes and strategies. He is a high level ‘X and O’ guy. He also possesses great poise and confidence under pressure and is a very skilled athlete. He is a tremendous competitor with elite-level mental and physical toughness.”
Majocha started at strong safety and saw playing time at receiver as a junior while serving as the backup quarterback to Brady Walker. He remained a key starter on defense as a senior while taking over the starting quarterback duties.
“Brendan is a winner, leading the football team to a conference championship and 12-1 record,” Holl said, “and the baseball team, starting at shortstop, to the WPIAL playoffs in his senior year.”
Majocha’s best game of his career came last year in a 63-3 conference win against Franklin Regional.
He connected on 9 of 13 passes for 246 yards and touchdowns of 73, 18 and 26 yards. Plus, he rushed for 110 yards and three scores, all in the first half as the Gators led 56-3 after two quarters.
Majocha was named the Trib HSSN Player of the Week for his performance.
Off the field, Majocha is a National Honor Society member, was named to the “distinguished” honor roll four times and was the FBLA regional champion in the Banking and Financial Systems category.
He has a 4.2 GPA,and will attend Case Western Reserve, where he will major in finance and continue his football career at the safety position.
Majocha was a two-year starter and three-year letterman in both sports at Gateway. The football and baseball teams advanced to the WPIAL playoffs in all three of his varsity seasons.
In football, Gateway won back-to-back conference titles in 2017-18 and finished as the WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up in 2017. The Gators advanced to the WPIAL semifinal round and ended up 12-1 overall in 2018.
Majocha has been lauded as an all-conference and all-state selection at the quarterback position.