WPIAL awards playoff eligibility to Kiski, Gateway football transfers

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Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 8:00 PM


The WPIAL ruled Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake and Gateway’s Shane Thrift fully eligible to play football this fall following separate hearings Thursday at the league office in Green Tree.

Blake transferred from Central Catholic. Thrift transferred from Seton LaSalle.

Both are rising juniors.

The WPIAL had previously ruled them eligible only for the regular season and ineligible for the postseason under a PIAA rule enacted last summer meant to deter transfers. However, both schools successfully argued Thursday that the athletes qualified for a waiver to play in the postseason, WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said.

To receive a waiver, the PIAA transfer rule establishes a limited number of criteria including “a demonstrable change in income or other financial resources that compels withdrawal from a school.”

Blake played running back last season for Central Catholic.

Thrift is a wide receiver and defensive back who lists a college offer from William & Mary. His brother Brenon is a redshirt-senior defensive lineman at West Virginia.

In other hearings, the WPIAL also granted postseason eligibility to Gateway’s Jiahna Bracy, who transferred from East Allegheny. Bracy plays girls basketball.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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