By Mike White | Sunday, Aug. 30, 4:00 p.m.
Aliquippa won its 600th game and 13th WPIAL championship last football season. This week, the Quips are celebrating both feats.
Aliquippa is having three days of festivities and special events to celebrate their glorious past. On Thursday, a private cocktail for former team MVPs, coaches of championship teams and other select guests will be at Shadow Lakes Country Club.
Above, some coaches and players from Aliquippa's glorious past. They are, clockwise from top, Don Yannessa, Frank Marocco, Pudgy Abercrombie, Ty Law, Darrelle Revis, Sean Gilbert and Mike Zmijanac. The sign is from a road sign in Aliquippa.
On Friday, a golf outing will be at Shadow Lakes. Cost is $70. On Friday night, the Quips will practice under the lights and any former player is invited to attend. Refreshment stands and other vending booths will be open. "We're not trying to make any money on this. We want all the vendors to sell everything at cost. We're just trying to celebrate us," said Mike Zmijanac, Aliquippa's football coach and athletic director.
On Saturday night, Aliquippa plays Ambridge in the season opener for both teams. Any player on Aliquippa's 13 championship teams in attendance will be introduced before the game.
Perry celebrates 20th anniversary of championship team
The only City League team to win a state football championship was the 1989 Perry Commodores. Perry had some talented players that year, but practically no one gave the Commodores a chance of beating Berwick in the Class AAA title game. Berwick beat Aliquippa for the championship the previous year and just about everyone thought Berwick would handle Perry. But Perry pulled off one of the biggest upsets in beating Berwick.
A 20th anniversary celebration of that Perry team will be Oct 15-16. On Oct. 15 (Thursday), there will be a tailgate party for the team before the Perry-Westinghouse game at Cupples Stadium. The 1989 team will also be honored at halftime. On Oct. 16 (Friday), a banquet for the 1989 team will be at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Cost is $50 a ticket. For information, call Rahmon Hart at 412-443-5838 or 412-396-1117, or Mark Ward at 412-323-3400.
Hart is helping run the events. He was a Perry player in 1989 and the Post-Gazette City League Player of the Year. It's always interesting to see what players do years after their playing days. Hart is the Director of Milticultural Affairs at Duquesne University.