The PIAA released its enrollment parameters for the 2020-21 school year and those numbers could have a big impact on several area football teams.
According to reported enrollment figures, which are not yet official, three local football teams will be moving up in classification while three will dropping down. That does not include Albert Gallatin, which likely will drop from Class 5A to 4A, because the Colonials will play as an independent again next season.
The new alignment would do no favors for Uniontown nor Brownsville. The Red Raiders are coming off a third consecutive winless season and would move from Class 3A to 4A. Brownsville, which is trying to turn its program around and won twice this year after a winless 2018 campaign, would jump from Class 2A to 3A.
Southmoreland would be the other to move up. The Scotties reached the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1979 in Class 2A this year, but would be bumped up to 3A next year.
Three teams that would be dropped down one class are Waynesburg Central, from Class 3A to 2A, and Frazier and Carmichaels, both of which would fall from Class 2A to 1A.
The Raiders, one of the smaller 3A schools, have been in the stacked Tri-County West Conference the last two years. Not only have the last three PIAA champions come out of the Tri-County West but the conference also made for long road trips.
Waynesburg coach Chad Coss didn’t hide his feelings on the supposed move.
“We’re elated to be going to Double-A,” Coss said. “It’s great for our program. Obviously everyone knows what a tough conference that his, but the travel didn’t help us much either.
“We don’t know what the new conferences will look like yet, but we’re probably looking at being with teams like Washington, McGuffey, Charleroi ... teams that are a heck of a lot closer to us.”
The Commodores and Mikes would likely fall back into the Tri-County South Conference, where they made their home before being moved up to Class 2A, Carmichaels two years ago and Frazier four years ago.
In boys basketball, Monessen, which came within a game of playing for the PIAA Class 1A title last season, would be moved up to 2A, along with Jefferson-Morgan. Other teams that would move up a class are Ringgold (from 4A to 5A) and Southmoreland (3A to 4A).
Three boys basketball teams would drop one class, including Connellsville from 6A to 5A. Waynesburg (4A to 3A) and Frazier (2A to 1A) would also drop.
In girls basketball, Connellsville (6A to 5A) and Beth-Center (3A to 2A) would drop one class while Ringgold (4A to 5A), California (1A to 2A) and Bentworth (2A to 3A) would move up.