Imani Christian's stay in WPIAL football? Well, that was fast.
The small, private school in the East Hills section of Pittsburgh apparently has folded its football program after joining the WPIAL only last season.
Although Imani Christian hasn't officially notified the WPIAL that it will not have a team this year, Bishop Canevin coach Darren Schoppe said his school was told by Imani last week that it won't have a team this year because of not enough players. Bishop Canevin was supposed to open the season against Imani Aug. 31.
The WPIAL had asked Imani to inform the league by tomorrow if it was not going to have a team. WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley said the league office hasn't heard anything from Imani. Imani coach Jason Bell was not available for comment.
Imani was 6-3 last year, its only season of WPIAL football. Honestly, Imani's venture into the WPIAL has been a debacle from the start. The school wasn't following WPIAL guidelines and breaking some WPIAL rules at first. It had trouble finding a home field. The school was put on probation for a while. There were loads of eligibility questions about players.
Harvey Smith was the coach and athletic director who spearheaded the school's entrance into the WPIAL for football and basketball. He has since left and tried to start another football program at Renaissance Christian Academy. Former Greensburg Central Catholic coach Muzzy Colosimo is part of that venture and some Imani players reportedly left for RCA. By the way, RCA is not in the WPIAL and I'm not even sure if it has a football team.
Considering everything, you can bet the WPIAL isn't exactly upset if Imani drops out of the league, except that it might cause some scheduling problems.
But Imani might not be the only one to fold its program this year. Geibel's program has been on thin ice the past couple years because of a lack of players. The Gators forfeited two games last year because it did not have enough players.
The small Catholic school in Connellsville intended to have a team this year. It thought it would have enough players and informed the WPIAL that it intended to play a schedule. But the season seems in jeopardy. Geibel did not participate in a scheduled three-way scrimmage Saturday with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Serra.
Geibel coach Pete Nace could not be reached for comment. But Serra coach Tony St. Angelo said he talked with Nace Saturday and Nace said he had only nine players available for the scrimmage.
"He originally thought he would have 15 players on the team, but he said he was down to nine," St. Aneglo said.
Today is the day the WPIAL asked Geibel and Imani to inform the league if they were going to drop football. Stay tuned. But don't look for Imani to be part of WPIAL football - and the Geibel situation still seems up in the air.