ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Star players on high school football teams are often looked up to as role models.
At Sto-Rox, receiver and running back Zay Davis isn’t just making an impact on the turf on Friday nights. He’s sharing a message resonating with his community and paving the way for those behind him.
“Everybody’s looking up to me, and I don’t want to let them down. So I’m trying to be the superhero,” Davis said.
Under the Friday night lights, Sto-Rox senior Davis is just that for the Vikings, but what he’s doing for his community is catching as much attention as his eye-popping stats.
“I ain’t gonna lie, me growing up, I didn’t really have no powerful dream to look to and I like that,” Davis said. “And then it’s like, once I got to talk to 1 Way Out, it just been real powerful to me.”
So, what is 1 Way Out?
“It’s really like a movement in the community. It’s more than a clothing brand. the message behind is way more powerful,” Davis explained.
Former Viking Taiwan La’Rue, one of Davis’ role models, started the clothing and motivational brand just a few years ago. It didn’t take long for Davis to jump right in.
“He pushed me to start pushing kids younger than me to just chase their dreams,” Davis said.
The message behind it all?
“Just keep chasing your dreams and try to find one way out, and if you don’t find one way that way, find another way,” Davis said.
“You know, that some people think the kids can’t make it out of here,” said Marvin Mills, head football coach at Sto-Rox. “And for a young kid to show his aspirations of having a model and falling behind that model. And now he has the community behind him. You know, that’s huge for a kid like that.”
The shirts, wristbands and hoodies will often sell out at home games. But that’s just the start of the ripple effect the message is having.
“Now he understands, OK, hey, this is a bigger picture than just my brand, a clothing line, a wristband, so he really, really understands that now,” Mills said.
“We all been chasing that one way out like, since freshman year, we just all stuck to him saying progress,” Davis said. “A lot of guys on the team got offers, like, we were saying progress from so we just want to continue to chase it.”
Mills also told 11 News about a conversation he had with Davis.
He told the senior that having this brand leads him in the direction of where he wants to go next in his life and the classes he wants to take.
He said he’s really seeing it ring a bell.
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