DENVER, Colo. — Dedication and hard work has presented an opportunity for a Wahama High School graduate to attend the training needs of the Denver Broncos and one of the best known athletes in the world, Peyton Manning.
Just two weeks following his graduation from West Virginia University, Gabe Roush received a call that could possibly enhance his future as a National Football League Professional Athletic Trainer.
From the small community of Letart to Wahama High School and on to West Virginia University, Roush, was offered the opportunity to participate in an Athletic Training Internship for the Broncos during the current 2012 NFL season.
After receiving a call from West Virginia Mountaineer Assistant Football Athletic Trainer/Clinical Instructor, Tony Corley, Roush was faced with the decision that could alter the rest of his life. With only a few days to consider such an incredible proposal Roush jumped at the prospect of moving nearly 1,500 miles from “Almost Heaven” to Denver, Colo. and literally, rubbing elbows with the likes of star quarterback Manning and talented running back, Willis McGahee.
Corley was thoroughly impressed with Roush and his work ethic during his four-year stay at West Virginia University.
“Gabe’s hard work while he was an Athletic Training Student at WVU is what I remember the most,” Corley said. “When you combine the willingness to work and the passion to learn you get a kid like Gabe Roush. Gabe’s hard work never went unnoticed.”
Corley went on to relate how the Denver Bronco opportunity began for a resident of a small community in Mason County: “As I was driving home one evening from a summer WVU football workout, I received a call from Corey Oshikoya. Cory is the Assistant Football Athletic Trainer with the Denver Broncos. Corey and I graduated from WVU in 1997 with the same goals as Gabe Roush. Corey asked if I thought of anyone who might be interested in doing a season-long internship with the Denver Broncos. I immediately thought of Gabe. It just goes to show you that your reputation of work ethic and dedication carries on. Gabe has a lifelong reference from me and I am sure of many others on the WVU Athletic Training Staff.”
Roush’s work history not only impressed Corley but also David B. Kerns, head football athletic trainer at West Virginia University.
Kerns said, “Gabe was/is a very energetic person who put forth great effort not only in tasks assigned to him to carry out but also in the thirst-for-knowledge aspect. There is no doubt in my mind that Gabe has the potential to succeed in the field of athletic training.”
John Spiker, President/CEO of Health Works, rehab and Fitness in Morgantown, said, “Gabe will work harder to help others than he will to help himself. He tries to learn all he can from any situation.”
Roush began his quest as an athletic trainer when he was a junior high student at Wahama. He was a manager as well as a player for the sixth, seventh and eighth grade football teams at the Bend Area School before advancing to the high school level where he excelled on the football field as well as the basketball hardwood. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.
After graduating from Wahama in 2008 Roush went on to West Virginia University majoring in Athletic Training. During his four-year stay in Morgantown, Roush worked with various sports at WVU such as the rowing, wrestling, football, girls’ volleyball and WVU basketball teams.
He traveled with the Mountaineer football team his senior year and was a part of the huge WVU Orange Bowl win in Miami Florida over Clemson. He also received the very first “Golden Scissors Award” given to an athletic training student at WVU who has “exhibited outstanding clinical service in providing care for student athletes. ” He received his diploma from West Virginia University in May 2012.
Gabe has worked with Penske Racing and the Pit Crew Training College, job shadowed with Dr. Kelly Roush in addition to performing athletic training duties at Newark (Ohio) High School.
Roush, the son of Tim and Teri Roush of Letart and brother to Chelsie Roush, currently resides in Englewood Colo. He is engaged to Point Pleasant native Alissa Darst, daughter of current PPHS football coach Dave Darst and his wife Brenda.
Recently, two busloads of Gabe’s family, friends and a few Bengals’ fans from Meigs County, Ohio, made the trek to Cincinnati, Ohio to see the Broncos take on the Bengals. Dad Tim said there were at least 30 people in the stands in Cincinnati with their “Gabe Roush” signs. These fans were making so much noise it caused Manning, who was giving a sideline interview, to stop it to check out the commotion.
“We’re as proud as we can be,” Tim said on behalf of his wife Teri and their entire family.
(Beth Sergent, staff writer with the Point Pleasant Register, contributed to this article.)