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In seeing Darrelle Revis signing with the Jets, it brought back memories of one of the most amazing athletic featsyou will ever see in this area. In three decades of covering high school sports at the Post-Gazette I can't remember anything that shows athletic ability like the three days Revis had in December of 2003.
So let's relive those days:
On Sunday, Dec. 7, 2003, Revis had one of the greatest games in state championship history as Aliquippa defeated Northern Lehigh, 32-27, in the Class AA title game. Revis did the following:
* He played receiver, running back, quarterback, defensive back and returned kicks. He scored all five of Aliquippa's touchdowns to tie a PIAA individual record.
* Rushed for 91 yards.
* Returned a blocked field goal 69 yards for a TD.
* Returned a kickoff 89 yards for a TD.
* Intercepted a pass and had another INT negated because of a penalty.
* Completed a 39-yard pass to set up a touchdown.
* Caught a pass for 6 yards.
* Had five solo tackles.
Impressive enough? Well get this: Only two days later, on Dec. 9, 2003, with only one basketball practice, Revis stepped on the hardwood and scored 35 points to lead the Aliquippa basketball team to an 86-82 overtime victory against Beaver Falls. He scored nine points in overtime.
I consider myself lucky to have covered both of those games in those three days. Do you know how ridiculous Revis' feats were? The football performance was unforgettable in itself. But to step on a basketball court two days later and score 35 points? Against a team like Beaver Falls? Revis has to be one of the greatest athletes in WPIAL history. Years from now, they'll still be talking about those three days in Aliquippa. Yes, in terms of athletic ability, Revis was on Revis Island - by himself those days.
Reeeee - viiiiiiis.
Interesting to read the comments in newspaper stories from those two games. Check them out yourself.
The headline on the football game story includes "Do-it-all Revis."
Now here is the story from the basketball game a few days later. Notice the one comment from Beaver Falls basketball coach Doug Biega.
"I thought he might score 40 on us," said Beaver Falls coach Doug Biega. "The kid is just special. I talk with [Aliquippa football coach and athletic director] Mike Zmijanac all the time. He's been around a long time. He says the kid is the best two-sport athlete ever from around [Beaver County]. I know he's the best I've seen in my lifetime."
If you like reminiscing about great Western Pennsylvania athletes, you might get a kick out of reading those two stories.
The "Fabulous" Revis
How about some more reminiscing? Here is the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 from Revis' senior year. Sometimes it's real interesting to look at these teams. I'd have to say this is a pretty good one, simply from the fact that there are five professional athletes on this team. Besides Revis, there is Neil Walker. Then there is Justin King, who is with the St. Louis Rams. Kiski Area's Scott McKillop is with the 49ers, although he's hurt this season. And Gateway's Mortty Ivy was just signed to the St. Louis Rams practice squad, which in my book makes him a pro athlete. I don't think there are many Fabulous 22s with five pro athletes.
And just for good measure, take a look at the Fabulous Five basketball team from Revis' senior year. The headline was "Big Dogs" but see if you can guess who they are (see below).
They are, from back left, Revis, Ben McCauley of Yough, Adam DiMichele of Sto-Rox, James Hairston of Connellsville and Akida McLain of Penn Hills.
Pretty good team. McCauley had a successful career in the ACC at North Carolina State and is doing well playing overseas. DiMichele played some junior-college baseball, then was starting QB at Temple and was in the Philadelphia Eagles camp for a few weeks last year before being released. He hooked on with a CFL team, but was released from there and is now back in McKees Rocks, and is a volunteer football coach with the Sto-Rox football team.
Hairston had low Division I offers, but ended up playing Division II at California, Pa. McLain had some good moments at Boston College, but eventually transferred to IUP and helped that team reach the Division II national championship game a year ago.