Trib HSSN Top 20 Stories of 2020: Step up in class can’t slow Aliquippa

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020 | 6:36 PM


The most unique year in our lifetime is coming to an end. With so many mass starts and stops, highs and lows, just about all walks of life were affected by the coronavirus in 2020.

High school sports were no different. The first two and a half months of the year were carefree and business as usual. Then the final nine and a half months were greatly affected by the pandemic, whether scholastic contests were played or not.

Trib HSSN will close out the year with a daily countdown and a look back at the top 20 WPIAL stories from the year 2020.

No. 5 – Moving On Up

Most teams welcome the chance to move up and hopefully conquer bigger foes along the way.

For the storied football program at Aliquippa, moving on up was a bitter pill to swallow.

Two years after the PIAA created a competitive balance system in an effort to offset the growing divide between the haves and have nots in football and basketball. Points were given to schools based on their district and state playoff success along with the number of transfers into that program. After a two-year period, if schools crossed a determined threshold in points, they were bumped up in classification.

Aliquippa was the only WPIAL football program affected by the new point system.

The problem is, Aliquippa already played up in class.

A Class A school based on enrollment, the Quips always played up in Class AA before the expansion to six classifications in 2016. At that point, in an effort to keep their rivalries, they played the last four years two classes up in Class 3A.

The wins kept on coming.

Aliquippa won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2018 and kept their record district football championship appearance streak alive in 2019.

However, now the Quips were told they would have to move up to Class 4A. The school tried to fight it, but the PIAA stood by the move.

While they were not happy with the PIAA decision, the Aliquippa success machine kept on humming along as the Quips finished the regular season undefeated as Parkway Conference champs.

The Quips defeated Hampton and Belle Vernon in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs to reach the title game for a 13th straight year.

There, Aliquippa lost to Thomas Jefferson in a 4A championship game thriller, 35-28 in overtime.

In their first ever in Class 4A, Aliquippa finished the season 9-1.

No. 6 – One and Done

No. 7 — T.J. All the Way…Again

No. 8 – Golden Corral

No. 9 – Perfect Pine

No. 10 – West A Senior Drafted

No. 11 – COVID KOs Champs

No. 12 – Emotional Championship

No. 13 – Outstanding Olivia

No. 14 – The Bucs Aren’t Stopping Here

No. 15 – Free Fall

No. 16 – An Overdue Golden Storm

No. 17 – Lots of Mercy for Central Valley Foes

No. 18 – Swimming Sweep…Again

No. 19 – Fabulous Freshmen

No. 20 – Golden Knights of the Tennis Court

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