Quaker Valley awarded Trib HSSN Cup for Class 4A

Thursday, June 28, 2018 | 9:24 PM

Winning the Class 4A Trib HSSN Sports Cup is the icing on the cake for Quaker Valley after a delicious school year that began on a sour note but quickly changed into the taste of sweet success.

Quaker Valley added to its cup run with another successful school year by cruising to the challenge championship by nearly 100 points.

The TribLive High School Sports Network Cup is a yearlong competition to determine the top WPIAL sports program in each classification. It awards points for section/conference wins, district/state playoff wins and district/state championships and runners-up.

Schools can earn 1 point for section/conference wins, 2 points for any postseason victory, 10 points for a WPIAL championship, 5 points for district runner-up, 20 points for a PIAA championship and 15 points for state runner-up.

While Quaker Valley has enjoyed great success in recent years in soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, hockey and baseball, it was the amazing run of a once laughable sport that helped propel the Quakers on a golden run.

From 2010 through 2013, Quaker Valley won a total of nine games in four seasons, including a winless campaign that started off this decade.

Entering this season, Quaker Valley was coming off four straight winning seasons, but only had one postseason journey to feed off of, reaching the Class AA quarterfinals in 2014.

Then, right before camps opened around Pennsylvania, the coach who helped them compete suddenly walked away. John Tortorea cited parental interference for his sudden resignation in mid-August.

Quaker Valley athletic director Mike Mastroianni convinced former football coach and current PA announcer Jerry Veshio to come out of retirement and coach on an interim basis. It so happens that the glass slipper was a perfect fit.

The Quakers defied logic to make the playoffs in the uber-tough Beaver Valley Conference, squeaked by favorite Aliquippa to win a WPIAL championship and then continued the Cinderella story with a triumph over Middletown in the snow in Hershey to shockingly claim a state championship. Both titles were firsts in school history.

“The 2018 Quaker Valley WPIAL and PIAA football championships are why high school sports are still the most pure and enjoyable forms of athletics,” said Mastroianni, who also is the school's successful boys basketball coach. “We are extremely proud of how our QV football team represented our school and community, and they are forever a part of one of the best high school sports stories in many years. “

But the football team's success was just the start of the Quaker Valley success across the athletic board in 2017-18.

Eighteen of the 21 varsity sports at Quaker Valley qualified for the district playoffs. The accomplishments included the first undefeated regular season in boys basketball history as they became one of six Quakers teams to reach the title game in their respective sport, plus the double football gold and a state boys soccer championship.

“The Quaker Valley fall sports teams really kick started our school year, highlighted by our boys soccer and football teams winning two state championships within weeks on the same field in Hershey,” Mastroianni said. “The excitement and energy generated by both state championships was felt in the school and community the entire school year.”

Here are the Top 10 finishers in Class 4A for the Trib HSSN Sports Cup:

1. Quaker Valley — 255 points

2. South Park — 160

3. Beaver — 157

4t. Freeport — 144

4t. Knoch — 144

6. Indiana — 143

7. South Fayette — 142

8. Belle Vernon — 106

9t. Elizabeth Forward — 103

9t. Ringgold — 103

Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].

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