PIAA petition gets more support than Frazier senior Curcio expected

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 6:58 PM


When Emi Curcio typed up a petition to the PIAA last week, urging the state’s governing body for high school sports to postpone, not cancel, the spring sports season, she couldn’t have imagined its outreach.

“Never in a million years,” said Curcio, a senior softball player at defending PIAA Class 2A champion Frazier.

The petition “blew up,” drawing more than 62,400 signatures as of early Tuesday evening.

A returning state champion is championing a movement.

Curcio’s message is for the state to play a spring season later rather than sooner. In other words, suspend play until school resumes and things return to some form of normalcy after the coronavirus run its course.

A shortened season, if need be, is better than no season.

Curcio said she saw college athletes petitioning the NCAA for another year of eligibility after their senior spring seasons were wiped out and drew the idea from there. High school athletes, of course, don’t get an extra year.

Once the petition hit social media, it went from zero to 100 MPH.

She thought it would circulate through her corner of the state and maybe the district. It did, then it kept going.

It’s become “That Frazier girl’s petition.”

“About an hour after I posted it, it had 100 signatures. After that, I expected it to circle around the Pittsburgh area, but never any more than that,” she said. “I was really glad to see that it did make its way around the state. I wanted as many people as possible to see it so that it could reflect how many people really cared about the fact that (the season) could get canceled. I think at this point, a lot of the proper eyes have seen it.”

Curcio forwarded the petition to the WPIAL and PIAA and has plans to send it to the office of Gov. Tom Wolf.

“The WPIAL and the PIAA have said that they are going to go with his direction, so I thought that sending it to him would be the best thing I could do,” she said. “I really hope that people follow the two-week preventative measure so that things can get back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Student-athletes have been fighting cabin fever and are itching to do something sports-related.

Spring practices were conducted from March 2-13 before a state mandate to close schools shut down all school-related activities. The WPIAL doesn’t even want teams to gather off of school property.

Curcio, an outfielder and pitcher for Frazier who plans to play next year at Penn State Behrend, said she has been hitting softballs into a net in her family’s garage.

“When the weather gets warmer, I plan to get outside and throw a ball with my dad.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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