At Avella, it's big news when a sports team qualifies for the WPIAL playoffs.
The girls basketball team has done so in seven of the past eight years. Last year, the boys basketball team qualified and the Eagles shocked powerhouse Duquesne in the first round before losing to WPIAL finalist California in the quarterfinals.
Neither of those accomplished what Avella's rifle team did Friday. Avella, one of the smallest schools in the district, won the WPIAL team rifle championship a day after Eagles shooter Robbie Gagliani won his second-straight individual title (Note: he was one of seven shooters to tie for first).
The WPIAL title was not only the first for Avella, in its fifth year of fielding a rifle team, but the first for the Eagles in any team sport since the football program won the 1961 championship.
If you are counting, that's a 47 year wait between WPIAL titles.
Here's a link to F. Dale Lolley's story in Saturday's Observer-Reporter: Click here.