UNDEFEATED CHAMPIONS—Front row, from left:  4-Thomas Perry, 1-Jassir Jordan, 13-Chucky Humphries, Asst. Coach Dwight Hines, Head Coach Nick Lackovich, Asst. Coach Bill Cashaw, 23-Kaezon Pugh, 0-Sheldon Jeter, 11-Jumar Mike. Back row from left:  24-Bobby Cashaw, 15-Nico Bible, 3-Will Gipson, 5-Robert Crute, 32-Ahmad Gilbert, 44-Javod Fields, 12-Solvauhn Moreland,and 10-Deoveon Crute.  (Photos by Michael Lackovich)

UNDEFEATED CHAMPIONS—Front row, from left:  4-Thomas Perry, 1-Jassir Jordan, 13-Chucky Humphries, Asst. Coach Dwight Hines, Head Coach Nick Lackovich, Asst. Coach Bill Cashaw, 23-Kaezon Pugh, 0-Sheldon Jeter, 11-Jumar Mike. Back row from left:  24-Bobby Cashaw, 15-Nico Bible, 3-Will Gipson, 5-Robert Crute, 32-Ahmad Gilbert, 44-Javod Fields, 12-Solvauhn Moreland,and 10-Deoveon Crute.  (Photos by Michael Lackovich)

Culture—Civic pride from athletic success has created an insular culture of winning in Aliquippa, Pa. Winning against all odds and winning because of it’s ‘us against the world’ attitude.

Politics, demographics and economics have reshaped the landscape of high school sports, especially in western Pennsylvania. Economic downturns beginning in the 1970s, has created a need for boroughs to align with neighboring jurisdictions to combine school districts to survive. Aliquippa, for reasons probably better suited for another story, has been left behind to survive on its own, and they have. They are surrounded by larger, more prosperous school districts and have responded by a strengthened resolve that overflows into athletics.

Excessively high competitive spirit and environment—Aliquippa athletes don’t play to just play. They play to win and they know no other way. It is inherently and subconsciously instilled, and in its wake leaves young athletes who are confident and are so accustomed to winning, that any loss is deemed as an aberration that has no chance at all at lasting. None. The winning culture propels athletes to perform at levels that sometimes exceed their talent level.

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