Quip Nation is getting the shaft from the PIAA


The PIAA appeals process put the Quip football team into Class 4A. The first move was to put the team in Class 5A. But, the desire for the school was to play up and be in 3A. The team's true designation should be 1A, I think.

Carla Gilbert  

I don't have a PhD. I'm not a professional athlete. I don't work for a foundation that I can use their name to promote my cause. I'm just a parent, I'm just a grandparent. I'm just a resident. I'm just an Alum of Aliquippa High School. But I'm also a human being.I am tired of the rant that Aliquippa is winning, so what's their beef?

Let me break it down in layman's terms and maybe you'll understand. The numbers don't add up. It's simple math. Oh yeah, maybe the P.I.A.A. is using new math. That's why they don't understand that 30+ dedicated young men playing against 60-80+ young men puts the smaller team at a competitive disadvantage, making them more prone to injury. There have been letters written by individuals smarter than myself to attest to that. So I'm just a grandmother. I'll accept their expert opinion.

When it comes to children living in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community and trying to receive an education solely with the resources that the school district has at it's disposal the children are underserved. The schools appeal to their community for volunteers, grants and foundations to help level the playing field. I'm not a PhD, So I'll let the idea with the degree, give their expert opinion on why the those resources help the students in disadvantaged communities.

But what I do know from personal experience is how hard it is to have children who want to participate in sports that cost time, money and resources above what you have available. I do know how hard it was as a mother to have a son interested in wrestling. When you have the expense to travel all weekend to tournaments. The expense to feed not only that son but also your other children, during that time. Yes, you can bring your brown bag lunch of sandwiches and leftovers. And have your kids watching the more affluent families go out to eat after the tournament. And I have. I made do with what we had.I also have a son that had a dream to become a chef. He realized that dream with hard work and perseverance while also dealing with a written language learning disability that his school district was unable to compensate for by testing him verbally. Why couldn't they do it? I'll leave that up to the experts of the FORMER Aliquippa School Board, and the school psychologist who told me that they couldn't. Because apparently they are more equipped to determine what the school could or couldn't do for him.

I do know how hard it is to have a daughter who wants to compete in EVERYTHING from a young age, before high school, and have to explain that some things will just have to wait. While the competition she faces in high school have been competing since grade school in camps during the off season. While she had to play catch up. I know how hard it is to be the mother of the only African American child riding in equestrian competitions in PA and OH. I know how hard it is to afford the equestrian equipment. And your wonder why she was the only one? The same with swimming, hockey, ice skating, golf. It's not that American Americans aren't interested in these sports. It's simply a matter of access and money. It's it weren't for my village, my daughter wouldn't have been able to participate in the sport that she loved. From the day she climbed on a horse, her instructor said she was born for the saddle. That's my my opinion, I'll leave that to someone who had 4 decades of experience in that field to determine.

Humans are supposed to be the smarter species. They are supposed to have free will to not follow the pack. They are supposed to have compassion and empathy. They are supposed to understand that when a law is unjust then it's time to change that law. It's not a matter of wins and losses. It's a matter of fatigue leading to injury. A tired student/athlete trying to overcome that fatigue can push too hard and cause an injury. Sometimes even a career ending injury. How is that promoting interscholastic excellence in sports? I don't have a dog in the fight. My children have all graduated from high school. So why am I speaking out? Because I'm a member of the community and all the children that go to school in Aliquippa are my children. It takes a village and all these children are my village. Not just the student/athletes, but all the students. Because I have common sense. Because I am human. If the members of the P.I.A.A do not review and change the competitive balance rule that they have instituted then they are not only not human, they are inhumane. That is an area that I have enough expertise in, because I'm a member of the human race!!
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