Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Books and Ball Mckeesport Standout's Success Isn't Limited to the Field

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Books and Ball Mckeesport Standout's Success Isn't Limited to the Field

Article excerpt

Dartmouth of the Ivy League already has told Carlinos Acie that he has a spot in school and also offered him a position on the football team. The same with Columbia and Brown. The Naval Academy wants him to be a Midshipmen player and Acie will attend a Navy game Saturday. Army wants him, too, and so does The Citadel.

"I have to laugh sometimes," said Acie, "because I never thought this would happen."

Not to a McKeesport High School player. Certainly not to someone in Acie's family.

But this Ivy League recruitment and the offers to play at service academies are real, and as serious as an Acie report card. "I've never had a B," said Acie.

Carlinos Joaquin Acie is a unique story of success not often heard around McKeesport football - or in Acie's family. He is a senior, a running back and defensive back who, at age 17, could very well be a role model in McKeesport. Football didn't use him. He used football and academics to pave a beautiful path to the future.

It's Carlinos' Way.

"I think teachers and everyone rant and rave how proud they are of him," said Matt Miller, McKeesport's football coach.

Acie's story is unique in two ways. McKeesport has a proud football program, which has produced numerous Division I football players over the years. But it's not often that Ivy League coaches and the likes of Army and Navy come to The 'Port hunting for Tigers. Miller said it's been more than a decade since a McKeesport player was good enough athletically and academically to go to an Ivy League school. Then there is Acie's family history. Besides a brother spending two semesters at a college, Acie and his mother said he will be the first in his family to attend college, including aunts and uncles. Due to football and academics, college will be free and Carlinos says he is thinking about being pre-medicine. With a 4.0 grade-point average, he is an Acie student.

"I'm so proud, but I'm really shocked, too," said Acie's mother, Liana Simmons. "I never went through this recruiting process with my other sons. This all happened so suddenly. I thought maybe some schools would come and look at him at the end of his senior year. But they have all come already and came at the same time. It's just nice to see someone get recognized for how hard they're working in the classroom, too."

Simmons is 43, a Clairton High graduate who has raised Carlinos by herself. Carlos Acie, Carlinos' father, died a few months before Carlinos was born. Carlinos has three other brothers (Carlitto, Carlos Jr. and Richard Cleveland) and a sister (Danielle Harding). Carlinos is the youngest sibling and lives with Carlitto and their mother in the Highland Grove neighborhood of McKeesport. Liana Simmons says it's relatively a quiet area of McKeesport, but some not-so-good areas are not that far away. …

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