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Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School

Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
the Beat

Make no mistake, LP is Midland's team

| Sports

Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012 10:10 pmMake no mistake, LP is Midland's team Chuck Curti ccurti@timesonline.com Timesonline.com | 0 comments

PITTSBURGH -- Devontae Watson can't forget the looks on the kids' faces. He won't forget their enthusiasm.

Lincoln Park might be a charter school that draws students from all over, but that doesn't mean there's no sense of community. Watson scoffs at the notion that a fan base won't rally around a non-traditional public school.

"I think that's wrong," said Watson sporting his long-awaited WPIAL gold medal. "Midland supports us all the way. If nobody else is supporting us, Midland is always there to support us."

Watson appreciates the sports history in Midland. Well-worn banners grace the walls of Lincoln Park's pristine gymnasium to serve as reminders of the former Midland High School's storied athletic past.

Names like Simmie Hill and Norm Van Lier are still spoken with reverence in the streets around Lincoln Park. The uniform may no longer say "Midland," but the same spirit burns in both the players and the residents.

Before Lincoln Park left to go to the A.J. Palumbo Center Friday, they visited the elementary school in Midland and were greeted by excited cheers from the students. Adults stood on the sidewalks shouting encouragement and well-wishes.

"It means a lot to them because they've had winning championship teams in the past," said Watson. "That's all they know. They know championships.

"So for us to go and be contending every year and now finally come down and win it, they're going to be really excited."

There's one more championship Lincoln Park has in its sights this year. Watson and his teammates won't be satisfied until they get it.

For now, at least, they can revel in the fact that they have returned championship basketball to a town once famous for it.

"They love the school, they love us," said Watson. "And I'm glad to bring them back a championship."