Gateway Class of 1995
Ryan, at an early age, played both soccer and baseball at the youth level in Monroeville. He had a great group of friends growing up in the neighborhood that he consistently played competitive sports with all day and every day. His first year playing organized T-ball in Monroeville, he made the All-Star team and was so excited that he made a double play in the All-Star game. He immediately fell in love with the sport. In his second year, his Ascot Travel team played undefeated Bonanza in the Championship. Bonanza beat Ascot 11-3 in the regular season. In the Championship, Bonanza went up early against his Ascot team 5-0. Ryan’s coach put him in for the final four innings to pitch. Ascot made a comeback and was winning 7-5 and it came down to the bottom of the last inning. Ryan felt confident after working out endless hours and days with his grandfather, pitching through a tire. Ryan struck out all three batters and dropped to his knees on the mound as all of his teammates came jumping on top of him. Coach Tom Reddington gave him the game ball. After that season, he played on the Monroeville Tournament Teams for years, creating a lot of memorable moments winning team championships in tournaments. The summer before going into 9th grade, he played sparingly on the older Monroeville Tournament team.
Ryan decided to work hard and try out for the Gateway High School teams. It was the first year that Gateway fielded a freshman baseball team, but he was picked to be on the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams by Coach Giles and Guzzo. As a Freshman, Ryan started his first game on the Junior Varsity team in Centerfield. His first at-bat and first pitch that he saw for the JV team, he hit a Home Run over the center field fence. After the game, Varsity Head Coach Regis Giles asked Ryan to dress for the Varsity team for their next game. He played here and there for the Varsity team for a couple of games. Then Gateway played at Penn Hills. It was a tie game and Coach Giles put Ryan into the game in Right Field. In the top of the last inning, he hit the Game Winning single to drive in two RBI’s for Gateway to beat Penn Hills. After the game, Coach Giles huddled the team together and announced that Ryan Hankey will be the starting Right Fielder for the Varsity Team the rest of the season. Ryan took the place of a junior and a senior player, and started every game the rest of the season in Right Field. He received a Varsity Letter for Baseball as a Freshman.
Freshman Varsity Statistics:
Batting Average: .314
Hits: 7 in 22 at-bats
Sophomore Varsity Highlights/Statistics:
Ryan’s Sophomore Year, he was the starting Right Fielder for every Varsity game that season and batted cleanup (4th). He hit the game winning double in the bottom of the last inning to beat Woodland Hills and again versus Fox Chapel that season.
Batting Average: .422
Fielding Average: .980.
Ryan finished his sophomore year with numerous awards:
- Voted by his teammates and coaches, received the Team MVP and Team Offensive Player Awards.
- Times Express Newspaper 1st Team selection.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “All-Section Team.” The All-Section team was made up of ten Seniors and one Sophomore (Ryan Hankey).
Junior year Varsity Highlights/Statistics:
Ryan’s Junior Year, he was named Team Captain. He was the starting Center Fielder for every Varsity game that season and batted cleanup.
Batting Average: .377
Ryan finished his Junior year with numerous awards:
- Voted by his teammates and coaches the Team Defensive Player Award.
- Times Express Newspaper 1st Team selection
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “All-Section Team.”
- Only Outfielder to be named to the Pittsburgh East region baseball All-Stars by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Ryan’s Senior Year, he was Team Captain. Before the season started, he was named as one of the “Top 10 Baseball Players to Watch in the Pittsburgh area” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He started and played Centerfield the first four games that season. The fourth game of the season (Gateway was 3-0 at the time), Gateway beat the defending State Champion, Connellsville. Afterwards, Gateway rose to the 3rd Ranked Team in the WPIAL. And then Ryan got injured. In the first Section game of the season and in his first at-bat against Fox Chapel, Ryan swung and missed a low outside pitch and his knee locked up on him. Coach Giles told him to continue to stay in at bat because the count was 0 balls and 2 strikes. The next pitch, he hit the ball off the left field fence and as he tried to round second base to go to third, his knee buckled. The next day, he went to see the doctor and had an MRI. The MRI showed that he tore his meniscus in his right knee and decided to have surgery. Ryan gingerly came back to play the last 5 games of the season. His first game back he hit a home run against Plum. Gateway didn’t make the playoffs that year, in large part due to the time Ryan missed with his injury.
Ryan grew up playing soccer too. Playing for the Monroeville Soccer Association and the travel soccer program. Ryan owes the fact that he was given the opportunity to play goalkeeper for Coach Russ Maze. Coach Maze was his Monroeville Travel Soccer coach and the Assistant Coach for the Gateway HS Boys Team. Coach Maze taught him to love the game of soccer every day you set foot on the field. Ryan’s High School Soccer career started as a Freshman. It was the first year that Gateway fielded a freshman soccer team, but Ryan was moved up to start as Goalkeeper for the Junior Varsity team and to back up the starting Varsity 11th grade Goalkeeper. That season he started every game for the Junior Varsity team and played over 35 quarters as Goalkeeper for the Varsity team without giving up a goal. The Spotlight moment was the last game of the 1991 season, when Gateway’s Varsity team needed to beat Penn Hills for second place in the division and for a playoff spot. As a Freshman, Ryan started as Goalkeeper for the Varsity and held Penn Hills to a 0-0 tie after regulation and until the second overtime unfortunately Penn Hills found the net.
In Ryan’s Sophomore Year, he was the starting Goalkeeper for every Junior Varsity game and played over 30 quarters for the Varsity Team. He received a Varsity Letter in Soccer after his sophomore year.
In his Junior Year, Ryan started and played Goalkeeper every game for the Varsity team that season. He received a Varsity Letter.
Junior Year Awards:
- 1993 Team Captain
- 1993 Post Gazette All Section Team
- 1993 All WPIAL Player Ryan was named Team Captain his senior year.
He started and played Goalkeeper every game for the Varsity team that season. The fifth game of the season (Gateway was 4-0 at the time), Gateway played the defending PIAA State Champion, the Fox Chapel Foxes, under the lights at Fox Chapel. The Foodland High School Sports Show (Hosted by Paul Steigerwald) was at the game to film highlights. Ryan played the game of his life. He saved over 24 shots on goal and a penalty shot to help Gateway win 2-1 against Fox Chapel. A week later, he found out that he beat out a football player that scored 7 touchdowns to be named “Foodland High School Sports Show – Athlete of the Week.” There was an Assembly in the Gateway High School gym to honor him, with his teammates, with a plaque. That season Gateway rose to the 3rd Ranked Team in the WPIAL at one point.
Senior Year Awards:
- 1994 Team Captain
- Foodland High School Sports Show – Athlete of the Week
- 1994 Post Gazette All-Section Team
- 1994 All-WPIAL Team
- 1994 – Voted by the coaches as “Player of the Section”.
Even though, Ryan’s High School sports career ended with an injury, he had a lot of memorable highlights representing Gateway. Ryan received seven Varsity Letters from his Freshman to his Senior year in Baseball and Soccer.
Today, Ryan lives in Verona, PA with his beautiful wife Farrah and his three children (Sierra, Landon, and Callie). They are his favorite players to watch. And he gets to watch them and coach them every day. Ryan is the Head Coach for the 2001/02 Girls & 2005 Boys – Century United FC (Classic/Cup teams). The girls team rose as high as the #4 ranked team in PA in 2016. Also, Ryan is the Head Coach for the Penn Hills HS Boys Varsity soccer team. He was the President of the Penn Hills Soccer Association, now Director of Player/Coaching Development. He has been coaching at the youth level since 2008. Also, he graduated from West Virginia University in 2000 (Bachelors in Management Information Systems) and played a year for the Division 1 – WVU Men’s Soccer and Baseball Teams until injury forced him to fully focus on his studies.
Ryan has been with TUDI Mechanical Systems, Inc. (rated Top Workplace by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) since 2001 as Director of Human Resources.
Ryan credits the love and support from his parents, Joy and Rodger Cottrell and Frank and Carolyn Hankey, and is especially grateful to his grandparents, Margie and Leonard Julian. They never missed a game and continuously worked and pushed him to be the best ball player he could be throughout his youth and high school years.