Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Perfect Quips Post Record 15th Wpial Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Perfect Quips Post Record 15th Wpial Title

Article excerpt

The year was 1952, and Aliquippa picked up its first WPIAL football championship by defeating Washington at Pitt Stadium.

That stadium is long gone, but Aliquippa's winning ways aren't.

Sixty years after winning their first title, the Quips beat Washington again last Saturday, this time at Heinz Field.

Aliquippa's WPIAL championship count now stands at an unrivaled 15.

The Quips already owned the WPIAL record prior to this season, but they emphatically added another milestone victory by winning their second consecutive Class AA championship as they hammered Washington, 34-7.

When you think of Aliquippa football, legendary names such as Ditka, Gilbert, Law and Revis come to mind. Now it's guys named Shegog, Henry and Swanson who are carrying on the winning ways of a program that has instilled pride, not only in those directly involved with the success, but thousands and thousands of people who at one time or another have called Aliquippa home.

"It's the Quips tradition," said Mike Zmijanac, who won his fifth WPIAL title as Aliquippa's head coach. "We all grew up there. Ninety percent of the guys who coach with me played for me. And the rest are friends of mine. We talked about that the other day. We all grew up there. It's all part of us. It's all about us. It's not about me. It's not about any individuals. It truly is a community spirit."

Aliquippa knew it needed a lot of spirit to beat a talented Washington team that, just like the Quips, walked onto the Heinz Field grass with an undefeated 12-0 record.

The Quips got just that, putting forth a dominating effort that saw them rush for 505 yards, allow just 114 total yards, all while putting the wraps on Washington's Shai McKenzie, the WPIAL's most decorated running back this season.

"You've got to give respect where respect is due and you've got to give credit where credit is due," Washington quarterback Josh Wise said. "They're a great football team. They play together, they play hard and they expect to win. …

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