Saturday, January 29, 2011
Aliquippa in Sports Illustrated
Even the casual football fan from Western Pennsylvania knows the championship tradition of Aliquippa, the WPIAL's premier football power.
From Mike Ditka to Sean Gilbert to Darrelle Revis and Johnathan Baldwin, Aliquippa boasts a long line of greats and the most football championships and championship game appearances in WPIAL history.
The Quips' home stadium, affectionately dubbed "The Pit" bears the name of former Charleroi resident Carl A. Aschman, and it remains this reporter's favorite place to take in a high school football game.
In the most recent issue to arrive in my mailbox, Sports Illustrated takes an in-depth look at the town, from a historical and sports standpoint. The well-crafted story, done by S.L. Price, features interviews with Ditka, Tony Dorsett (who grew up in Plan 11 but fell inside the Hopewell School District border). Gilbert and others, including current football coach Mike Zmijanac and former head coach Don Yanessa. It's a fascinating read, one that I just completed, and I highly recommend it to football fans from the region.
A lot of the old mill towns throughout Western Pennsylvania can tell similar stories, but none have the number of Hall of Fame names that Aliquippa boasts.