Avonworth student named “All American”

Avonworth High School senior John Gould recently was named an “All American” by a local corporation that recognizes students who excel in athletics, academics and community service. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

Esmark Industrial Group of Sewickley has named Avonworth senior John Gould an Esmark All-American, based on John's academic and athletic achievement, as well as his community service

Esmark's High School "All-American" recognition program, aimed at recognizing outstanding athletic, academic, and community service achievements among all high school student-athletes across the U.S. in 16 major varsity sports programs spanning five geographic regions.

Formed in 2009 to identify and acquire companies engaged in the manufacturing of precision machining and fabrication equipment, Esmark established the recognition program as part of its altruistic efforts that also have included Haitian relief since 2010

The recognition program was founded by Esmark CEO James P. Bouchard to reward the accomplishments of high school student athletes. He tapped former NFL player Michael Tomczak, as the program's president.

"Our mission is to recognize and reward exceptional high school boys and girls who have distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the communities where they live," Bouchard said in a prepared statement. "While there are other similar programs in the U.S. for some individual sports programs like football and basketball, we believe there's a place for a recognition program that spans 16 major high school varsity sports programs and the 7.7 million high school student-athletes who participate in those sports."

Gould has played football for four years and basketball for three years while also maintaining a 3.5-plus academic average. He also has logged volunteer service hours at ACORD Park, where he helps with clean-up and maintenance.

He was nominated for the honor by Dr. Mike Karafa of Sewickley, who spoke of John as "…a very polite young man who shows a high level of maturity and strong family relationships. He is a hard worker, not just in sports, but in everything he does."

The son of Ed and Jennifer Gould of Ben Avon Heights, John plans to attend either the University of Delaware or the University of Miami, OH, ,majoring in secondary education with a concentration in physics.

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