Local lawmaker wants to change the way PIAA determines athletic classifications

The Aliquippa football team is the heart of their community. But a lot of people are upset they lost the PIAA appeal, moving them up to class 5A.

Now, a local lawmaker is proposing a new bill to address these kind of issues.

“It’s not fair to the community as a whole and it’s time for the politicians to become involved in it,” said Ken Thornton, Aliquippa resident.

The PIAA denying Aliquippa’s appeal earlier this week to keep its football team in class 4A has caused an uproar.

It’s a decision Aliquippa’s head coach and administration believe will put the health and safety of their players at greater risk and state representative Rob Matzie agrees.

Legislation introduced regarding school athletic classifications after Aliquippa forced to move up

“It’s common sense. The health and safety of the kids should be paramount,” said Rep. Robert Matzie.

In light of this issue, representative Matzie is now taking action. Right now, the PIAA bases classifications on a competitive balance rules which includes a teams’ success, school enrollments and transfers.

The new law Matzie is pushing for would change that.

“They should be using actual enrollment to make a determination,” said Rep. Matzie.

Matzie believes the bill will get a lot of support on both sides of the aisle and if it passes, it would help Aliquippa and other schools across the state. Either way, the Aliquippa football team said they will ready for next season.

“These kids enjoy the game and love the game,” said Thornton.

The Aliquippa head football coach Mike Warfield confirmed to Channel 11 that Aliquippa is taking this issue to court.

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