14-1, State Champions, and improving the academic performance of your student-athletes.
Not bad for a first year on the job.
Thus is the resume of Aliquippa head football coach Mike Warfield, who joined Matt Drzik and Greg Benedetti on the Saturday Sports Slam on December 15 to reflect on the golden season that he and his football players at Aliquippa had. He spoke of the season’s top performers, the outlook for 2019, and the plans for the offseason.
To hear the interview with Mike Warfield, click on the player below!
After a long, arduous season that saw games played from late August to mid-December, it was the Aliquippa Quips that walked into Robert’s Roadside Inn on Wednesday night, with gold around their necks and smiles on their faces.
Though it was a festive night with Robert’s wings, Pizza Joe’s (Beaver) pizza, subs from My Hero Sub Shop in Rochester, and a celebratory cake donated by the Nichol family, there was still time in between bites and plates to reflect on the Quips’ season and their championship victory over Middletown.
Head coach Mike Warfield spoke about how one of the keys to the game was to stop the running game that Middletown had utilized all season:
He also spoke about one of the season’s (and game’s) biggest players, Avante McKenzie, and how his maturity showed through during the playoffs:
McKenzie was one of several high-end receivers for the Quips, who also had the talents of Will Gipson and MJ Devonshire to work with. Derek Moye, the former Steeler and Nittany Lion standout, is now an assistant with Aliquippa and spoke highly of his receivers:
Overall, the night was one of celebration, and one that Aliquippa mayor Dwon Walker says the community needed:
More pictures from last night’s celebration can be found below:
(Beaver County, PA) This past Saturday, the Aliquippa Quips won their third PIAA state high school football championship, under the leadership of head coach Mike Warfield, with a stunning 35-0 victory over Middletown. In all, Beaver County high school football teams have won 9 state championships since state wide competition began in 1988.
Aliquippa’s, and Beaver County’s first state championship in high school football occurred in 1991 when the Quips topped Hanover Area 27-0 led by future N.F.L. star Ty Law and coached by Frank Marocco. The second title by the Quips came in 2003 when another player who would later on star in the pros, Darelle Revis, scored five times to power Aliquippa, coached by MIke Zmijanac that year, past Northern Lehigh by a score of 32-27.
Aliquippa was also the first area high school football team to ever play in a PIAA state state championship game when their nationally ranked team of 1988, led by Sean Gilbert and coached by Don Yanessa, was upset 13-0 by Berwick. That was the inaugural year for state wide playoffs in Pennsylvania for football. Berwick, that day, featured a quarterback who would go on to star at West Virginia, Jake Kelchner.
Middletown is no stranger to playing at Hersheypark Stadium and state championship games, and certainly no stranger to high school football teams from the Beaver County, PA area. Last year, the Blue Raiders of Middletown were defeated 41-24 by a neighboring school from just over the border in Allegheny County, Quaker Valley, who was coached by Jerry Veshio. The year before that, Beaver Falls topped the Blue Raiders in the state championship game in 2016 by a score of 30-13. Beaver Falls was coached by Ryan Matsook and led by star players Donovan Jeter , Malik Shepherd and Derrell Carter.
in 1998, two streaks of sorts began, the first was a string of years that saw Rochester win three titles over the next four years, and the second streak that began that year was the first of four years in a row that Southern Columbia high school would lose to a Beaver County team in the single A division final. Rochester, coached by Dan Matsook, beat southern Columbia 18-0 in 1998, followed by Rochester Ram victories over Southern Columbia by 22-14 in 2000 and 16-0 in 2001. The aforementioned Ryan Matsook, was an assistant under his uncle and head coach, Gene Matsook, at Rochester for the latter two championships. Another team of Rams, that being the South Side Rams, Coached By Glenn McDougal, handed Southern Columbia a loss in the title game of 1999 by a score of 27-21.
The county’s first class triple A high school football state championship happened in 2002 when the Hopewell Vikings, coached by Dave Vestal and led by former Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker, Paul Posluszny, defeated Strath Haven by a score of 21-10.
Beaver County Radio, 1230 WBVP and 1460 WMBA, will hold a special state championship celebration edition of Coaches Corner this Wednesday, December 12, from 7 until 8 P.M. with a live broadcast featuring Aliquippa Quips’ head coach, Mike Warfield, and his players on the sports patio at Robert’s Roadside Inn. Admission is free and it is open to the public. Complimentary PIzza from Pizza Joes In Beaver and wings from Robert’s Roadside Inn will be provided.
In a game heard on WBVP, WMBA and TribLive, BobBarrickman, Tom Hays and Bruce Fry had the call from Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey, PA. It was a game where Aliquippa had a 7-0 lead the whole first half and took that lead to the half. Coming into the second half Aliquippa punted on their first possession and never looked back. They built on their lead in the fourth quarter making it 35-0, where the running clock kicked in. The final score was 35-0 and Aliquippa wins the PIAA 3A State Championship.
This was Aliquippa’s 3rd football State Championship. The first coming in 1991 when the Quips topped Hanover Area 27-0 led by future N.F.L. star Ty Law and coached by Frank Marocco. The second came in 2003 when another player who would later on star in the pros, Darelle Revis, scored five times to power Aliquippa, coached by MIke Zmijanac that year, past Northern Lehigh by a score of 32-27.
Aliquippa was also the first area high school football team to ever play in a PIAA state state championship game when their nationally ranked team of 1988, led by Sean Gilbert and coached by Don Yanessa was upset 13-0 by Berwick. That was the inaugural year for state wide playoffs in Pennsylvania for football.
For the first time since 2015, the Aliquippa Quips will be headed to the State Championships at Hersheypark Stadium. They’ll be playing for the 3A Title after their 41-7 semifinal victory over the Sharon Tigers at Slippery Rock University.
The Quip defense shut down Sharon after an opening-drive touchdown by the Tigers, and MJ Devonshire had four touchdowns for Aliquippa to earn CCBC Player of The Game honors (along with Sharon’s C.J. Parchman).
Aliquippa is now 13-1 and will play District 3 Champion Middletown at noon next Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. Sharon’s season ends at 10-4.