The new WPIAL football conferences for the 2014 season were approved by the league's Board of Control this afternoon.
The new conferences will be for the 2014 season only. The league will realign again (probably in just Class AA and AAA) for the 2015 season because Ford City and Kittanning are closing after the 2014-15 school year and merging into one school.
Here are the new conferences for the 2014 season:
By Mike White
The landscape of WPIAL football will look a lot different next season.
The WPIAL realigns its football conferences every two years, and the league released its new conferences earlier today. A total of 26 teams will change either conferences or classifications, starting with the 2014 seasons. Changes in classifications are based on school enrollments.
This alignment is only for one season, though. The league will have to realign next year because Ford City and Kittanning will merge to one high school after the 2013-14 school.
Among the major changes in the realignment are:
*Gateway drops from Class AAAA to AAA and will play in the Greater Allegheny Conference against teams from the eastern and northern suburbs.
*Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic drop from Class AA to A and will play in the Eastern Conference. The WPIAL created an extremely strong conference by also moving Clairton into the Eastern. Monessen will also be in the conference.
*Highlands moves from Class AAA to AA.
*Plum moves from the Southeastern Conference to the Foothills in Class AAAA.
* West Shamokin, which made the WPIAL playoffs last year for the first time in school history, moves up from Class A to AA.
*Summit Academy, which also made the playoffs last year for the first time in school history, stays in Class AA but moves from the Allegheny Conference to the Midwestern.
Here are the new conferences for the next two seasons.
Northern Eight – Butler, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler.
Southeastern – Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Penn Hills, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair, Woodland Hills.
Foothills – Altoona, Connellsville, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe, McKeesport, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Plum.
Big Nine – Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Uniontown, West Mifflin.
Parkway – Ambridge, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Chartiers Valley, Hopewell, Montour, Moon, New Castle, West Allegheny.
Greater Allegheny – Franklin Regional, Gateway, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Hollidaysburg, Indiana, Knoch, Mars, Yough.
Century – Carlynton, East Allegheny, Keystone Oaks, Quaker Valley, Seton-LaSalle, South Allegheny, South Fayette, South Park, Sto-Rox, Steel Valley.
Allegheny – Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Ford City, Freeport, Highlands, Kittanning, Shady Side Academy, Valley, West Shamokin.
Midwestern – Aliquippa, Beaver, Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Freedom, Laurel, Mohawk, New Brighton, Summit Academy.
Interstate – Brownsville, Burgettstown, Charleroi, Derry, McGuffey, Mount Pleasant, Southmoreland, Washington, Waynesburg.
Tri-County South – Avella, Bentworth, Beth-Center, California, Carmichaels, Frazier, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, West Greene.
Eastern – Clairton, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Leechburg, Monessen, Riverview, Serra, Springdale, Wilkinsburg.
Ohio Valley – Avonworth, Bishop Canevin, Brentwood, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
Big Seven – Neshannock, Riverside, Rochester, Shenango, South Side Beaver, Union, Vincentian, Western Beaver.