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Rivals North Hills, North Allegheny join to battle cancer

October 24, 2014
By Kevin Gorman
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

One of the fiercest rivalries in the WPIAL is coming together for a common cause that both schools hate.

Even more than each other.

North Allegheny and North Hills will go from nasty nemeses to partners in pink Friday night in the name of crushing cancer.

Both schools will wear custom pink jerseys for their Quad North clash, then auction them off and donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s a great rivalry: We don’t want to touch that rivalry in terms of the competition part of it, but what goes on outside the athletic arena, we need to make sure we do the right thing,” North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozzuto said. “We can take something that is powerful, something that both communities love and build upon that. We love to hate each other, but there’s mutual respect. This is something we can do together that brings two communities together for a common goal. I think it’s something special.”

The idea was precipitated, Bozzuto said, by people crossing the line in the rivalry. That required a return to civility.

For eight years, the schools have combined on a coat drive. Now, students are having Pink Out T-shirt sales as a fundraiser.

“I certainly thought it was a great idea. No. 1, it’s a great cause. No. 2, it’s two great rivals with one common enemy — and that’s cancer,” said North Hills athletic director Kevin Deitrick, a former NA administrator.

“It’s about respecting the two schools. There’s not many of us in our lives, whether you’re from North Allegheny or North Hills, who hasn’t been afflicted by this terrible disease.”

The rivals aren’t just making a show of good sportsmanship, but one that’s good beyond sports.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
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