Gorman: Wash High-Charleroi to battle over Blystone
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When Washington visits Charleroi on Friday, the Interstate Conference game will be intensified because of a player who isn't playing.
There is potential for bad blood, after Charleroi contested the transfer of 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior lineman Zach Blystone this summer to Wash High.
“We wanted to send a message to the district that we're not going to let other schools come in and take our kids,” Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins said.
“With a small school like ours — we're at the low end of Class AA — every player counts. Zach would have been instrumental in what we do.”
The Blystone case is a complicated one, considering that the family actually moved into the Washington school district during a window of opportunity.
Corrina Blystone left a paper trail of emails to Charleroi administrators that were used against her son, with both the WPIAL and PIAA boards finding it proof of athletic intent, even though the family was being displaced by PennDOT construction through two-thirds of its property.
“I'm really disappointed about the way this went,” Corrina Blystone said. “I don't know why Charleroi would fight this, why they would hurt a kid. He loves football. It's his passion. He's appalled that there are adults who would go out of their way to do this to him.”
The Blystones have retained a Washington County-based attorney, Joe Francis, who plans to appeal to the PIAA for a reversal — or at least a new hearing — based on new evidence.
Wash High coach Mike Bosnic called it a shame that Blystone will be standing on the visiting sideline.
“As far as I'm concerned, we're going there to play football,” Bosnic said. “That's my focus. I'm going to do everything in my power and my team is going to do everything to avoid conflict. We're not there for anything else.”
Jenkins wants his Cougars to do the same.
“There's a lot of emotions around everything that's happened,” Jenkins said. “I try to remove that from our locker room. We're taking the attitude this week that it's not about any one individual, it's about the name on the front of our jerseys.
“Obviously, Washington is one of the premier teams in the WPIAL, and Shai McKenzie is one of the top running backs in the nation. We've got our work cut out for us. It's not about a vendetta. We've got to tackle this kid or it's going to be a long night.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High school notebook: Thomas Jefferson, Clairton head into enemy territory
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AA notes: South Fayette’s Saxton sets WPIAL finals record