Trib HSSN May Madness: Montae Nicholson, Gateway vs. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional

Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 9:00 AM

Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Thursday and running through 9 a.m. Friday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this first-round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Friday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the boys. Round 1, Day 15:

Montae Nicholson vs. Spencer Lee is a battle to find out who is the beast of the east as these two neighboring athletes from the eastern suburbs dominated their sport, one on the gridiron and the other on the mat.

Montae Nicholson — Gateway Class of 2014

(Football, track and field, basketball)

• 2013-14 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review male athlete of the year.

• Was selected to play in the 2013 Chesapeake Bowl, the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the 2014 Big 33 Classic.

• 2013 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 all-star.

• Pennsylvania Football Writers two-time Class AAAA first-team defensive back and first-team all-state his senior year as selected by the Associated Press.

• Finished his career with 1,463 receiving yards on 66 receptions and 18 touchdowns on offense, while he totaled 123 tackles and four interceptions as a three-year starter at Gateway.

• As a senior, Nicholson had 41 receptions for a school-record 810 yards and 11 touchdowns as well as four fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns and two kickoff returns for scores.

• In his junior year, Nicholson had 25 receptions for 653 yards and seven touchdowns on offense and had 36 tackles, an interception and three defensive touchdowns in 2012.

• Played a year of basketball at Gateway and had success as a member of the Gators track and field team, where he holds the school record in the 110-meter hurdles, won WPIAL gold in the 110-meter hurdles as a junior and the long jump as a senior and won PIAA championships in the 60-meter indoor race, the 110-meter hurdles and the 1,600-meter relay.

• Nicholson played college football as a safety at Michigan State and played the same position in the NFL for Washington.

Spencer Lee — Franklin Regional Class of 2017


• Four-time WPIAL wrestling champion at 113 pounds as a freshman, 120 pounds as a sophomore and junior and 126 pounds as a senior.

• Three-time PIAA wrestling champion.

• Three-time national cadet and junior world champion at 50 kilograms as a sophomore, junior and senior.

• Was ranked the No. 1 wrestler in the country all four years in three different weight classes.

• Was undefeated in his scholastic career until a late takedown by future college teammate Austin DeSanto cost him in a 6-5 loss in the PIAA finals his senior year.

• Finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 144-1.

• A breakdown of Lee’s four-year record: 49-0 as a freshman, 48-0 as a sophomore, 12-0 as a junior and 35-1 as a senior.

• Helped Franklin Regional win back-to-back WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA team wrestling championships in 2014 and ‘15, his freshman and sophomore seasons.

• Lee wrestles in college at Iowa. This year, he won the Dan Hodge Award as college wrestling’s top athlete and was co-winner of the Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

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