This is first in a daily series on predicting what teams will make the playoffs in each conference.
Today: WPIAL Class A
1. Beth-Center - This conference struggles big time in the playoffs (0-12 the past three seasons). Maybe Beth-Center can get a win this year. The Bulldogs have lost only one conference game the past three seasons and are an easy pick to finish first again.
3. California - Back in the Tri-County South after a few years in the Black Hills.
Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic moved down from Class AA and the WPIAL put them in the Eastern, making this conference extremely top heavy.
1. Clairton - Another WPIAL title could be in the future for the Bears under Wayne Wade (pictured), who goes from defensive coordinator to head coach. Aaron Matthews, who has some Division I college offers as a junior, has moved from QB to receiver.
2. Greensburg Central Catholic - Tommy Pellis showed some promise last year as a sophomore QB.
3. Jeannette - Julian Batts returns at QB.
1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic - Running back-slotback P.J. Fulmore (pictured) is probably the preseason choice as Class A player of the year. Adam Sharlow returns at QB after a torn ACL forced him to miss the second half of last season when the Trojans won WPIAL and PIAA titles and finished 16-0.
2. Avonworth - The Antelopes' only two losses a year ago were close calls to North Catholic.
3. Fort Cherry - Running back Koltan Kobrys (2,000-yard rusher last year) has graduated, but the Rangers are still a team to watch after moving from the Eastern Conference.
1. Neshannock - Two of the top three teams in this conference a year ago are now in Class AA - Sto-Rox and Laurel. That weakens this conference, but Riverside moved down from Class AA. Neshannock lost a number of key players, but maybe the Lancers have established a winning tradition the past two years. Senior Eli Owens rushed for 1,469 yards last season.
2. Western Beaver - Hunter Roknich was a first-team all-conference running back a year ago.
3. Rochester - They won't be as good as their glory days, but the Rams should rebound from last year.