Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • From Ravenswood to wood-working, Gandee has future plans

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  • RAVENSWOOD – Ravenswood High's Dillon Gandee will take the field on Friday night for the last time as he and three fellow Jackson County gridders will participate in the annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis West Virginia-Ohio Football Classic at Marietta's Don Drumm Stadium.
    Jackson County produced four players. Ravenswood linebacker Brad Titus, Gandee and fellow lineman Ryan Whytsell have been chosen for the West Virginia team that will be coached by Doddridge County's Bobby Burnside. Ripley wide receiver/defensive back Quaseem Fields will represent the blue and white of Ripley High.
    The burly athlete was named to the All-LKC Second Team squad after his senior year for his rugged play from his tackle position. For Gandee, this will be his last opportunity to lace up the spikes and slip the shoulder pads on. The moment will be bittersweet for the recent high school graduate.
    "It has finally dawned on me that this will be my last game. I haven't played since the Hatchet Game (versus Ripley) in November."
    Jackson Newspapers' "Co-Offensive Devils of the Year," running backs Devon Crews and Rhys Jelich are sure to miss the path clearing ability of their gridiron battery mate this fall.
    While others may be sharpening their pencils to enter the collegiate ranks as students, Gandee is sharpening his saw and tightening his tool belt as he prepares to pursue a career as a carpenter via Parkersburg's Carpentry Union Local 899.
    "I have always had an interest in carpentry and I want to learn all I can about it and be the best I can be at my trade," said Gandee.
    He has remained in shape by working for a local dairy farm where the physical nature of the job has him feeling pretty good about taking the field on Friday.
    "I am going to miss my friends and I will miss playing for Coach (Mick) Price as well. I am really excited to play."
    While Gandee will miss the physicality of the game, he will return to "The Pit" this fall to watch his younger brother Dalton light it up for the Runnin' Red Devils on the basketball court next season.
    "It is going to be weird this summer because I have played this game for 11 years. It has been a great experience being a Red Devil."
    There is no doubt that the feeling is mutual.
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