A TOUCHDOWN IN WEST NEW YORK!
by MATTHEW AMATO
columnist
Jun 05, 2011 | 2055 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Former National Football League player and World Champion San Francisco 49’ers Super Bowl XVI team player Johnny L. Davis has scored a niche for himself in the West New York Board of Education.

Growing-up in the deep south wasn’t easy for Mr. Davis during the civil disturbances, but his mother always pushed him to go to school, and learn to play the piano in church before he learned to play the sport of football, and he did. Thus, growing-up in Montgomery, Alabama, he graduated Loveless Junior High School and Lanier High School where he learned to play the tuba, and also became a communicant of Rice Temple Pentecostal Church, and learned to play the piano and sang in the choir.

Graduating from high school in 1971, and learning the sport of football, he learned the football positions that he loved most to play, and they were running back, fullback, tight end, and line backer. From achieving Most Valuable Player status in junior high school and then achieving All State and All American in high school, the young Johnny Davis became a football asset, especially after also becoming 3rd Leader in school running history, averaging 5.6 yards in rushing per carry. Opportunity then came knocking when the famous national football coach Paul Bear Bryant came to his residence and offered him a scholarship to the University of Alabama, and the rest afterward is professional football history!

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers in Florida for three years, he was then traded to the San Francisco 49’ers in 1981, and in 1982 he was a member of the winning team that won Super Bowl XVI (Number 16), and played as a fullback at that glorious time in his career! Afterward he played for the Cleveland Browns from 1982 to 1987 and retired from football.

He lived in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1982 to 2001, where he met his lovely wife Cheryl, and then both moved to Edgewater, Bergen County. Mr. Davis tells us that he created “football camps” in both Edgewater and West New York from 2004 to 2008, and is currently a teacher’s aide in the W.N.Y. Board of Education, and is planning to create Summer Football Camps and Life Skills Football Camps. He has also performed motivational speaking programs at Cliffside Park High School and Secaucus High School. Mr. Davis also performs on the piano during his motivational programs to show that he can be a role model by teaching students that they can go into sports, play music, and get into education, by vocation and avocation, and that there is no limit to their learning in life!

Mr. Davis tells us that his beloved mother Josephine and father Edward are both deceased, and his brothers Melvin, Thomas, Ocie, Levi, Sidney, and Edward, Jr.; and his sisters Gloria, Bernice, Mary, and Zuella, all live out of state.

West New York Board of Education President Cosmo Cirillo, tells us that Mr. Davis has made great strides in being a role model to students, and is a great asset to the school system, and his superior is Athletic Director and former Mayor Silverio “Sal” Vega.

Johnny Davis has a motto about education, and that is to “keep working with children to show them how they can do different things, to be successful in life.” To Goal Line Johnny Davis – All The Best!

Secaucus Councilwoman Susan Pirro has announced the engagement of her lovely daughter Christie, to Matthew Mattia of Mercer County, and that they are planning an autumn 2012 wedding. Congratulations to Christie and Matthew!

Readers, did you know that John O. Brennan, the Assistant to President Barack H. Obama for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and who was on national television as a participant in the “situation room” during the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011, is a native of North Bergen. Yes, Hudson County and Mr. Brennan made the spotlight that day and that week in international history!

The grand opening of the William V. Musto Cultural Center at the Union City Public Library is set for June 11 at 4 p.m. The current mayor and Board of Commissioners are hosting the event regarding the legendary and now deceased former mayor and state senator of Union City. His wife and former elected Commissioner Rhyta Musto and family will be most proud of this event. In an up-coming column this columnist will relate his fond memories of Bill Musto. In the meantime, best wishes to the entire Musto Family!

Been hearing good things about Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff. It seems no matter whom I ask, they say that they are very happy with their mayors and the way the towns are being run. Remarkably, the praises are similar, regarding the serious attitudes these two mayors take regarding the betterment of their municipalities. Just thought I’d let you mayors know what I hear ”On The Streets Where We Live!”

Another Island!In regards to two other past columns regarding the Islands of Hudson County, well there is another one, and the last of them. Circa 1976, when the Port Liberte housing development was completed, together with two man-made canals which flow into the Hudson River, these two canals encircle a man-made island which the development named “Half-Moon Isle” and can be found on a well-printed Hagstrom Map. The isle is located in the southeastern section of Greenville in Jersey City, going south before the City of Bayonne.

Speaking of Bayonne: the latest community “rumor” is that Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith is going to take a seat on The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and this columnist has heard from good high sources, that the rumor is untrue. No, it seems that Mayor Smith loves Bayonne too much to leave, and as Hudson County Democratic Party chairman, he is already gearing up for primary and general elections especially because of redistricting. P.S., I am told that Mayor Smith is also a Pizza Pie Guy! Pepperoni anyone; now that’s Italian!

And so it goes … until next time …see you around town …MATT



Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items along with your photographs to Matthew Amato, columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030.

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