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Aliquippa Wins PIAA Appeal, Will Stay in Class-4A For Next Two Seasons



Aliquippa will not be forced to reclassify to PIAA Class-5A over the next two seasons, winning its appeal to the PIAA Board of Directors Wednesday after a lengthy hearing and deliberation process, Trib-Live’s Chris Harlan reported.

With a compelling case presented by Aliquippa district superintendent Dr. Phillip Woods, Aliquippa principal Stacey Alexander, athletic director Brandon LeDonne, head football coach Mike Warfield, athletic trainer Michael McGarvey and NFL Hall of Famer and Aliquippa alum Ty Law, the PIAA relented and made the decision to not reclassify the Quips.

After originally being announced as part of the PIAA reclassification earlier this month, it’s a huge move for Aliquippa to be allowed to stay in the 4A classification.

With the PIAA’s “competitive balance formula” in effect, schools that accrue a certain number of points through postseason success and transfer students are forced to reclassify over the next two-season period.

With four points given for a PIAA championship berth, three points for a semifinals berth, two points for a quarterfinals berth, etc., the Quips were awarded four points this year — and six over the past two seasons. And with eight transfers, the Quips exceeded the limit.

However, the competitive balance formula doesn’t factor into account the circumstances around both Aliquippa’s voluntary decision to play up from its 1A enrollment or the way in which some of Aliquippa’s transfers land in the system due to situations out of their control.

Aliquippa’s argument against reclassification centered around the dangers imposed by such a small team playing against teams with four to five times the enrollment and three to four times the resource allocation.

Harlan shared a graphic that Aliquippa shared during the hearing that highlighted the discrepancies between Aliquippa and the schools in the WPIAL Class-3A, 4A and 5A.

Warfield, who said after the Quips’ PIAA title win over Bishop McDevitt that there wasn’t a single transfer that played in the playoffs, highlighted that the circumstances among the transfer students varied greatly.

With the victory in the appeal, a huge boost to the potential health and safety of Aliquippa student-athletes over the next two years, the Quips will play in Section 1 of WPIAL Class-4A football.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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