Lockport's gentle giant Khari Demos, signs on for Mercyhurst
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
An all-star lineman on the grid iron who started every game over three years, a singer on the side, an excellent student in the classroom, big brother to the most vulnerable and a pretty darn good basketball player and track athlete, Lockport senior Khari Demos will bring a variety of talents with him to Mercyhurst College this fall.
Demos, joined by his mother, Nicole Davis, and step-father Jermaine Davis, signed a National Letter of Intent this week in the LHS Library to attend Mercyhurst on a football and academic scholarship. Among others at the brief ceremony were Lions football head coach Greg Bronson, assistant coach Matt Vermette (line coach) and Lockport athletics director Patrick Burke.
“Khari’s a likable, well-mannered, good natured person,” Bronson said. “He has athletic ability on the football field, but that’s not the only thing he does with his talents. He’s involved with musicals and in service organizations.”
Demos served as one of the team captains on the 2012-13 grid Lions, champions of Section VI AA North. He was named as a First Team AA North all-star at left tackle and an All-Western New York selection as Lockport produced a tie for the highest scoring offense in school history. He was a Second Team AA North pick last year and Honorable Mention his sophomore year.
“Khari sang the National Anthem at sporting events, so you know he’s got a lot to say,” quipped Burke about the out-going, popular 6-3, 245-pound senior behemoth.
Demos said he’s thoroughly enjoyed his high school successes and plans on maintaining that level as a collegiate student athlete and Division II football player at Mercyhurst, located in Erie, Pa. He will study communications and hopes to one day become a sports broadcaster.
“I didn’t want to go too far away from home, but I also wanted to go somewhere I could get scholarship money. It’s definitely a great fit for me,” Demos said. “It’s wonderful to be wanted by a program and I’m blessed with this opportunity being given to me.”
Bronson said among Khari’s many interests is as a big supporter and friend to physically-handicapped classmate Tawfiq Baity, who got a surprise visit recently from pro football star Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots.
“Tawfiq used to come out to our practices and Khari helped look after him,” Bronson said. “He’s a kind-hearted young person.”
In addition to his exploits on the field, Demos is involved in other extra-curricular actiivites, including Interact Club, UNYTS, Senior Class Council, morning announcements, chorus, vocal jazz ensemble and a member of the cast of the school musical “Ragtime.”
Demos said he wanted to be remembered as someone who led by example, worked as hard as he could and did whatever needed to be done to help his team — sports or otherwise.
“I want to be remembered also as someone who ultimately helped bring a division title to Lockport, which is something not many can say and something that will always mean a lot to me,” Demos said.
The Mercyhurst football team is coached by Marty Schaetzle. The Lakers finished 9-2 overall a year ago and were 6-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Division.