Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Ends Football Pact with Cornell

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Ends Football Pact with Cornell

Article excerpt

Quaker Valley School District has opted out of renewing its agreement with Cornell schools after the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association voted in October to expand football classifications from four to six.

The change would elevate Quaker Valley from Class AA to Class AAAA, which consists of larger schools with larger enrollments.

Since 2012, a cooperative agreement allowed Cornell students to join the Quaker Valley High School football programs. For two years, Cornell band members participated in festivals instead of traveling with the team.

Without the agreement, Cornell is considering restarting its football program.

Aaron Thomas, Cornell superintendent, announced Monday the district would apply to the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League to play in Class A next season. The application deadline is today.

Mike Mastroianni, Quaker Valley director of athletics and student activities, said the four-year relationship with Cornell was "fantastic." He said he thinks Cornell should do whatever it can to have its student athletes participate in football.

"You only get that high school experience once," he said.

Cornell coach Ed Dawson said, "We had 38-40 kids say today, 'can we start, can we start?' We have a nucleus, it's there. It's time to do it."

Cornell school Director Mark Cavicchia called for the meeting on Monday because he was worried about small numbers affecting player safety. Cornell has about 650 students from Coraopolis and Neville Island. About 35 people attended the session.

Mr. Cavicchia, CEO of WhereverTV, also is involved with the Coraopolis-based group behind the RC21X computer program being used to test retired players who are suing the National Football League, claiming it contributed to their brain-related injuries.

He said he is concerned Cornell will have a small roster and that would mean that players - some of them ninth-graders - would have to play offense and defense, which would give them additional playing time and an increased chance of injury. …

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