By: Kevin McLane –
A top story for the 2016-2017 WPIAL has already emerged. The PIAA committee has not only rearranged, but has also expanded the WPIAL classifications. Previously Pennsylvania only had four sections. Seton- LaSalle was most recently in the smaller 2A or double A section. However, with the expansion the Rebels have decided to move up to the more competitive 3A. With the amount of schools and level of talent Pennsylvania has, the PIAA has decided to extend the classes to 6A. Pennsylvania has joined the likes of Florida, Virginia, Washington, Texas and others in now having six athletic divisions. Along with the expansions however, comes restructuring. This restructuring has broken up historic rivalries and schedules that have been around for generations.
In fact, our very own Rebel football team is now playing teams that are over an hour and a half away from us. Damon Rosol, the Seton- La Salle athletic director and head football coach of the Rebels, stated that he thought the WPIAL was perfectly fine the way it was. His concern is that l this will water the competition down and give more teams trophies. Rosol expressed additional concern that the smaller sports such as baseball and soccer are the teams will be hit hardest by the travel that comes with the changes.
All WPIAL high school sports are being realigned. Football is perhaps the most distorted one. Waynesburg-Central has to play South Park. Seton has to play teams in New Kensington, and Keystone Oaks has to play Derry Area. Rebel coach Rob Carter, had some very encouraging words for our Rebel community and some strong words about the WPIAL.
“We will welcome new opponents but unfortunately for them they are going to find out what Rebel football is all about,” said Carter. “As Seton- LaSalle, we are used to being a traveling circus, things could be worse and we are excited for new opportunities. No matter what we will remain strong as a team,” continued Carter.
Athletes everywhere in the state of Pennsylvania will be affected by this new alignment. While the conferences and schedules will be very different, Carter is correct in saying they will bring new faces and new challenges. It will certainly be exciting to see how this upcoming athletic season unfolds.
CHECK BELOW FOR LINKS TO THE NEW CLASSIFICATIONS FOR FOOTBALL