Aliquippa Field House to be Named After Four Notable Alumni
By: Taylor Nichol
UPDATE: Quip Nation says the festivities will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday. It is strongly advised that attendees find seats before then as high attendance is expected for the event.
It was only a few weeks ago that Aliquippa native Ty Law spoke fondly of his hometown in his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement speech. A small Pennsylvania town with a population of less than 10,000 people earned a bright spotlight in a major broadcast. His words echoed loudly on televisions around the country. "I always say if you can make it in ’Quip town, you can make it anywhere," he proudly stated.
Football fans around the world certainly know of four notable Aliquippa alumni: Mike Ditka, Sean Gilbert, Ty Law, and Darrelle Revis. A brief Google search would provide hundreds of impressive statistics and accolades attained by the group. From their high school football years to NFL careers, they have earned their ink in sports history books. Now, members of the Aliquippa community want the world to know just how spectacular these men are off the field, too.
An exciting recognition will be added to their lists on Friday, August 30 at the Aliquippa football home opener. The field house at Carl A. Aschman Memorial Stadium will be named "DGLR Fieldhouse" as part of a special pre-game dedication ceremony. The chosen acronym includes the initials of the honorees' last names. The idea was suggested by Varsity Head Football Coach Mike Warfield, who believes the highly anticipated dedication is a perfect way to show gratitude to the generous alumni.
"These men have provided so much for this district and have given back in so many ways. Since I started this position last year, I knew this needed to happen," Warfield noted.
Brandon LeDonne, Athletic Director of Aliquippa School District, is elated to name the newly renovated, state-of-the-art facility after these gentlemen. He believes this is also an enriching experience for student-athletes in the district. "They will be able to connect with some of the greats that experienced the same things that they are currently facing and continued to even greater successes," said LeDonne.
LeDonne appreciates how unique this experience is for both the school and the city of Aliquippa. "Plenty of communities NEVER have one individual of that caliber; we are very fortunate to have had many," LeDonne noted.
The dedication also signifies the bright future of young athletes, thanks to their contributions. Ditka, Gilbert, Law, and Revis have positively impacted their hometown through donations. But they have also provided priceless gifts: inspiration and motivation.
Mayor of Aliquippa, Dwan B. Walker, says that all four men serve as proper role models for youth in the community. "We are not only proud of their careers. We are proud of the men that they are," he stated.
How does one small area produce such stellar athletes? It's a question that analysts across America have asked for years. But Mayor Walker believes the answer is actually quite simple. "It is about way more than talent: it all comes down to family and hard work," he says.
"Every Aliquippa athlete that succeeded was rooted in an amazing work ethic. They wanted it and they worked hard to get it," he stated. He believes that their example and life principles have influenced the next generation of Aliquippa athletes. "These are young men that will be engineers, husbands, amazing fathers, and possibly even President of the United States someday," he believes.
Many members of the community consider Steelers Rookie Dravon Askew-Henry a great example of what the future holds. "He is a hard, hard worker that is doing things the right way. He went from succeeding at Aliquippa to flourishing at West Virginia University and he is at the pinnacle of where he should be in his career," noted Walker.
With Friday’s festivities just around the corner, the community will be full of hometown pride. Coach Warfield believes that this feeling will not be fleeting; he wants to keep this momentum of gratitude flowing. He aims for this ceremony to be an eternal reminder of the imprint that “DGLR” have left on Aliquippa.
"I really want to emphasize that everything they have done for this town, district, and community will not go unnoticed or unappreciated," Warfield passionately stated.
Kick-off for Friday's game vs. Waynesburg is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carl A. Aschman Memorial Stadium. Click here to see the original post on the Quip Nation Facebook Page.
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