OT: WPIAL HS Sports are a mess

Fk_Pitt

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I didn’t realize that there are only 5 6A schools this year, while there are 30 1A schools. I realize this is due to enrollment numbers and the PIAA’s setting of the cutoffs. Does this mean that District’s out east will have multiple teams qualify for the state playoffs, while WPIAL has 1? Used to be that a WPIAL title trumped a state title in these parts, but it’s hardly worth getting excited over a 6A WPIAL title anymore, especially when one of those 5 schools often gets the best players from the 4 other schools anyway


eastern part of the state is just the opposite, with many 6A schools and few 1A schools. But a 5 team classification in WPIAL is comical.

 
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CaptainMurphy

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One problem here is the miniscule school district sizes. Sure, there are lots of districts in rural PA with under a hundred in a graduating class. But we have dozens here in the Pittsburgh Metro. So I suppose it makes it difficult to avoid having 30 1A districts.
 
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I didn’t realize that there are only 5 6A schools this year, while there are 30 1A schools. I realize this is due to enrollment numbers and the PIAA’s setting of the cutoffs. Does this mean that District’s out east will have multiple teams qualify for the state playoffs, while WPIAL has 1? Used to be that a WPIAL title trumped a state title in these parts, but it’s hardly worth getting excited over a 6A WPIAL title anymore, especially when one of those 5 schools often gets the best players from the 4 other schools anyway


eastern part of the state is just the opposite, with many 6A schools and few 1A schools. But a 5 team classification in WPIAL is comical.

WPA is a mess with the municipalities and school districts. We would have combined many years ago but people are too parochial to give in so we have all these municipalities and schools to deal with. Philly got it right years ago when they made Philly the city the same are Philly the county! We have a lot of consolidation in the WPA.
 

Upg bobcat

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Western PA has too many schools (and too many municipalities) and not enough young families, and not enough jobs for young head of households. But that's nothing new, you could have said the same thing a decade ago. People might have thought the natural gas boom was changing that a decade ago, but I'm not sure it had as dramatic of an effect as was hoped for.
 
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Western PA has too many schools (and too many municipalities) and not enough young families, and not enough jobs for young head of households. But that's nothing new, you could have said the same thing a decade ago. People might have thought the natural gas boom was changing that a decade ago, but I'm not sure it had as dramatic of an effect as was hoped for.
There are more school districts and municipalities in Allegheny Co than many states in the country. Until people are tired of paying higher taxes to support this infrastructure and lower facility quality, it will not change.
 

Fk_Pitt

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In District 3 where I grew up, there are only three 1A schools, seven 2A schools, but nineteen 6A and twenty-six 5A.
Yeah that’s the thing. Such an imbalance and western PA is archaic.

the Avonworths should have merged with the North Allegheny’s

the Char Houston’s should have merged with the Canon Macs

the greensburg Salems should have merged with Hempfield

the Bentworths should have merged with Ringgold.

etc. etc

Yough and BVA should have merged.
The list goes on and on

but there has to be a better solution than a 5 team classification. That’s just stupid.
 

PittPharm2002

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Yeah that’s the thing. Such an imbalance and western PA is archaic.

the Avonworths should have merged with the North Allegheny’s

the Char Houston’s should have merged with the Canon Macs

the greensburg Salems should have merged with Hempfield

the Bentworths should have merged with Ringgold.

etc. etc

Yough and BVA should have merged.
The list goes on and on

but there has to be a better solution than a 5 team classification. That’s just stupid.
So why aren’t these suburban areas doing it ?
 
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Would it be so difficult to have the following WPIAL 6A league?

NA
SV
CC
CM
Lebo
McDowell
Erie (didn't realize this was the 7th largest HS in PA)
Altoona
State College
Mifflin County
Williamsport

Basically every 6A team west of State College with District outlier Williamsport. 6A Butler and Allderdice would probably opt to be independent/City League. That's 11 teams. Divide into 2 divisions. The Pgh area schools in 1. The other 6 in the other. Top 3 in each division make playoffs.

District 3 (Harrisburg area) has 17 6A teams somehow. I guess this goes back to SW PA being unique in that every individual town seems to have its own school district.
 

Fk_Pitt

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So why aren’t these suburban areas doing it ?
No idea. Probably political. Consolidation means less teachers jobs I assume. But I’m not interested in the politics of it. Just was interested in a sporting discussion around it.
 

pittchagg

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Yeah that’s the thing. Such an imbalance and western PA is archaic.

the Avonworths should have merged with the North Allegheny’s

the Char Houston’s should have merged with the Canon Macs

the greensburg Salems should have merged with Hempfield

the Bentworths should have merged with Ringgold.

etc. etc

Yough and BVA should have merged.
The list goes on and on

but there has to be a better solution than a 5 team classification. That’s just stupid.
It’s not like they’ve had a bunch of mergers out that way, though. Those areas are just growing, and western PA just isn’t. The areas here that are growing now are the ones that have always been at the highest classification anyway (NA, Canon-Mac, Seneca Valley, etc.)
 

Fk_Pitt

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Would it be so difficult to have the following WPIAL 6A league?

NA
SV
CC
CM
Lebo
McDowell
Erie (didn't realize this was the 7th largest HS in PA)
Altoona
State College
Mifflin County
Williamsport

Basically every 6A team west of State College with District outlier Williamsport. 6A Butler and Allderdice would probably opt to be independent/City League. That's 11 teams. Divide into 2 divisions. The Pgh area schools in 1. The other 6 in the other. Top 3 in each division make playoffs.

District 3 (Harrisburg area) has 17 6A teams somehow. I guess this goes back to SW PA being unique in that every individual town seems to have its own school district.
Yeah that would be difficult but doable I suppose since it’s Friday nights and only a couple long trips per season.

chartering 60 players, 300 band members, cheerleaders, and equipment trucks would be a hefty expense.
 

PittPharm2002

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No idea. Probably political. Consolidation means less teachers jobs I assume. But I’m not interested in the politics of it. Just was interested in a sporting discussion around it.
So you guys have been posting this same thing here for over a decade -
My ask is what are you doing in your school districts to push for consolidation into a neighboring district ?
 

Fk_Pitt

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It’s not like they’ve had a bunch of mergers out that way, though. Those areas are just growing, and western PA just isn’t. The areas here that are growing now are the ones that have always been at the highest classification anyway (NA, Canon-Mac, Seneca Valley, etc.)
CM was 3A not long ago.
 

pittchagg

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Would it be so difficult to have the following WPIAL 6A league?

NA
SV
CC
CM
Lebo
McDowell
Erie (didn't realize this was the 7th largest HS in PA)
Altoona
State College
Mifflin County
Williamsport

Basically every 6A team west of State College with District outlier Williamsport. 6A Butler and Allderdice would probably opt to be independent/City League. That's 11 teams. Divide into 2 divisions. The Pgh area schools in 1. The other 6 in the other. Top 3 in each division make playoffs.

District 3 (Harrisburg area) has 17 6A teams somehow. I guess this goes back to SW PA being unique in that every individual town seems to have its own school district.
State College and Mifflin County are closer to the Harrisburg area that they play now. Altoona’s probably close, but they already tried the WPIAL once and it didn’t work out.
 
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PittPharm2002

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Would it be so difficult to have the following WPIAL 6A league?

NA
SV
CC
CM
Lebo
McDowell
Erie (didn't realize this was the 7th largest HS in PA)
Altoona
State College
Mifflin County
Williamsport

Basically every 6A team west of State College with District outlier Williamsport. 6A Butler and Allderdice would probably opt to be independent/City League. That's 11 teams. Divide into 2 divisions. The Pgh area schools in 1. The other 6 in the other. Top 3 in each division make playoffs.

District 3 (Harrisburg area) has 17 6A teams somehow. I guess this goes back to SW PA being unique in that every individual town seems to have its own school district.
You want teams to travel 2 +hours for football and basketball games ?
Why ?
 
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pittchagg

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CM was 3A not long ago.
I believe you. They’ve been at the highest classification (4A, and then 6A whenever they made the switch) since at least the mid/late 00’s. Part of that is the sheer size of the district boundaries (Seneca Valley is similar there).
 

Sean Miller Fan

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No idea. Probably political. Consolidation means less teachers jobs I assume. But I’m not interested in the politics of it. Just was interested in a sporting discussion around it.
Well, I don't think it means less teacher jobs as I doubt those small schools have class sizes of 10-12. I think it has more to do with the parents wanting more local control over education. You dont even hear any outcry from the smaller districts to merge. You would think parents in Monessen and Clairton for example would be speaking out, trying to get their schools to merge into TJ and Belle Vernon but there is too much local pride. Same with those small Fayette/Washington/Greene County high schools. You probably have 20 high schools for the same population of The combination of Lebo, Bethel, and USC.
 
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Fk_Pitt

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You want teams to travel 2 +hours for football and basketball games ?
Why ?
The classifications/enrollment numbers are not the same between sports. The basketball landscape could be a bit different. This is a football issue.

but I agree, you can’t send the kids those long distances on school nights.
 

steelcurtain55.

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In eastern PA they've split districts not combined them because they've gotten so big.

See

Downingtown - East/West

CB West/CB East/CB South

Council Rock North/Council Rock South

Reading High should have been split 2 decades ago but does anyone in Berks want to merger with them? Same goes with McCaskey and Harrisburg.
 
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Fk_Pitt

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In eastern PA they've split districts not combined them because they've gotten so big.

See

Downingtown - East/West

CB West/CB East/CB South

Council Rock North/Council Rock South

Reading High should have been split 2 decades ago but does anyone in Berks want to merger with them? Same goes with McCaskey and Harrisburg.
I’m waiting for the day Seneca Valley becomes our Central Bucks. Maybe North Allegheny too, but I don’t know how landlocked they are for more growth.
 

pittchagg

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In eastern PA they've split districts not combined them because they've gotten so big.

See

Downingtown - East/West

CB West/CB East/CB South

Council Rock North/Council Rock South

Reading High should have been split 2 decades ago but does anyone in Berks want to merger with them? Same goes with McCaskey and Harrisburg.
Harrisburg High itself isn’t as big as you’d think, since they have a separate science and technology high school. SciTech doesn’t have sports, though, so all of their sports are under the Harrisburg High umbrella. But Harrisburg has about the same enrollment as a bunch of the suburban schools (Hempfield and Penn Manor in Lancaster).

The big ones there are Reading and Mccaskey, as you said, but Reading’s about twice the size of Harrisburg. Cumberland Valley is larger than any school in the WPIAL, and Hempfield and Chambersburg are close.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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You want teams to travel 2 +hours for football and basketball games ?
Why ?
Just football. And no, I want there to be 4 classes.

But if they insist on doing 6, they have to fix the western half of the state.

A Lebo schedule would be:

Home
CC
CM
Erie (crossover game)
USC (non section)
BP (non section)

Away
SV
NA
Williamsport (crossover)
Peters

That is 1 game with a long drive. Play it Saturday at 3:30. Bus leaves at 9AM. Returns at 10PM. The kids will survive, believe me.


Sample Altoona schedule
Home
State College
Williamsport
Erie
CM (crossover game)

Away
Mifflin County
McDowell
SV (crossover game)
some local team like Johnstown or whatever

They would have 1 local road game. A game 45 minutes away in State College, 75 minutes away in Mifflin County, 2 hours and 15 minutes away at SV, and 3 hours 30 minutes away in Erie. They could play the games at SV and McDowell on Saturday mid-afternoons and the kids would so survive. They probably could play the Pgh area game on Friday night still. Bus leaves at 2:30 or 3PM. Returns around 11:30 PM
 

steelcurtain55.

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Same with those small Fayette/Washington/Greene County high schools.

In Fayette - only Brownsville and Frazier are small. The rest are 4A and above. Uniontown might've dropped to 3A.

The only way the Greene County schools merge is if/when the mines shut down. Supposedly, some major green industry is supposed to take foot in Greene County in the next few years. If the schools do consolidate, transportation costs will be astronomical because they already are.
 
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Upg bobcat

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Harrisburg High itself isn’t as big as you’d think, since they have a separate science and technology high school. SciTech doesn’t have sports, though, so all of their sports are under the Harrisburg High umbrella. But Harrisburg has about the same enrollment as a bunch of the suburban schools (Hempfield and Penn Manor in Lancaster).

The big ones there are Reading and Mccaskey, as you said, but Reading’s about twice the size of Harrisburg. Cumberland Valley is larger than any school in the WPIAL, and Hempfield and Chambersburg are close.
What is driving the growth in that Harrisburg/York/Chambersburg area? Where do the people work? Are these commuter suburbs of the Greater DC region?
 

steelcurtain55.

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Just football. And no, I want there to be 4 classes.

But if they insist on doing 6, they have to fix the western half of the state.

A Lebo schedule would be:

Home
CC
CM
Erie (crossover game)
USC (non section)
BP (non section)

Away
SV
NA
Williamsport (crossover)
Peters

That is 1 game with a long drive. Play it Saturday at 3:30. Bus leaves at 9AM. Returns at 10PM. The kids will survive, believe me.


Sample Altoona schedule
Home
State College
Williamsport
Erie
CM (crossover game)

Away
Mifflin County
McDowell
SV (crossover game)
some local team like Johnstown or whatever

They would have 1 local road game. A game 45 minutes away in State College, 75 minutes away in Mifflin County, 2 hours and 15 minutes away at SV, and 3 hours 30 minutes away in Erie. They could play the games at SV and McDowell on Saturday mid-afternoons and the kids would so survive. They probably could play the Pgh area game on Friday night still. Bus leaves at 2:30 or 3PM. Returns around 11:30 PM


JV and Junior High would be awesome.
 

steelcurtain55.

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What is driving the growth in that Harrisburg/York/Chambersburg area? Where do the people work? Are these commuter suburbs of DC?
York is the true commuter county of that region.

Most work in Baltimore or travel to Harrisburg/Lancaster.

Chambersburg is a hub of Harrisburg/Carlisle and many work in the DMV.

Lancaster/Berks have thriving industries where commutes aren't as regular. Philly is still an option for some in Eastern Lancaster and Reading.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Yeah that would be difficult but doable I suppose since it’s Friday nights and only a couple long trips per season.

chartering 60 players, 300 band members, cheerleaders, and equipment trucks would be a hefty expense
We are talking, what maybe an extra $500 i in gas money for bussing a few hours as opposed to 30 minutes. Its not that big of a deal.
 

pittchagg

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Just football. And no, I want there to be 4 classes.

But if they insist on doing 6, they have to fix the western half of the state.

A Lebo schedule would be:

Home
CC
CM
Erie (crossover game)
USC (non section)
BP (non section)

Away
SV
NA
Williamsport (crossover)
Peters

That is 1 game with a long drive. Play it Saturday at 3:30. Bus leaves at 9AM. Returns at 10PM. The kids will survive, believe me.


Sample Altoona schedule
Home
State College
Williamsport
Erie
CM (crossover game)

Away
Mifflin County
McDowell
SV (crossover game)
some local team like Johnstown or whatever

They would have 1 local road game. A game 45 minutes away in State College, 75 minutes away in Mifflin County, 2 hours and 15 minutes away at SV, and 3 hours 30 minutes away in Erie. They could play the games at SV and McDowell on Saturday mid-afternoons and the kids would so survive. They probably could play the Pgh area game on Friday night still. Bus leaves at 2:30 or 3PM. Returns around 11:30 PM
But why would they do that? They already have a better arrangement now. There are ten games in a season. State College’s conference road schedule this year is Altoona, Harrisburg (2 hours), and Chambersburg (2 hours). They have a weird non-conference road game against Downingtown East, but their other two non-cons are homes against Williamsport and Hollidaysburg.

Altoona’s road conference schedule is CD East, Chambersburg, Carlisle, and Cumberland Valley. They’re all about two hours away.
 

pittchagg

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What is driving the growth in that Harrisburg/York/Chambersburg area? Where do the people work? Are these commuter suburbs of the Greater DC region?
There are people I know who live in the Harrisburg area and take the Amtrak to where their job is based in Philadelphia. The train from Harrisburg leaves once an hour, takes 90 minutes. When they upgraded the line from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, it changed a ton about the way people operated. This was before the pandemic and remote work, so I’d imagine it’s even easier now.

I also know people who lived in Harrisburg, changed jobs to a new job in DC, and the pay bump for a job in the DC metro was sufficient that they rented an apartment down there during the week, and came home on the weekend, and still came out ahead money wise. That was also pre-remote work.

Lancaster is essentially a far suburb of Philadelphia now, too.
 

Fk_Pitt

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We are talking, what maybe an extra $500 i in gas money for bussing a few hours as opposed to 30 minutes. Its not that big of a deal.
you don’t want those kids piled onto a school bus for 3 hours and then expect them to play a game. Have you ever played a sport? It’s going to require charters and/or hotels.
 
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pittdan77

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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
Just football. And no, I want there to be 4 classes.

But if they insist on doing 6, they have to fix the western half of the state.

A Lebo schedule would be:

Home
CC
CM
Erie (crossover game)
USC (non section)
BP (non section)

Away
SV
NA
Williamsport (crossover)
Peters

That is 1 game with a long drive. Play it Saturday at 3:30. Bus leaves at 9AM. Returns at 10PM. The kids will survive, believe me.


Sample Altoona schedule
Home
State College
Williamsport
Erie
CM (crossover game)

Away
Mifflin County
McDowell
SV (crossover game)
some local team like Johnstown or whatever

They would have 1 local road game. A game 45 minutes away in State College, 75 minutes away in Mifflin County, 2 hours and 15 minutes away at SV, and 3 hours 30 minutes away in Erie. They could play the games at SV and McDowell on Saturday mid-afternoons and the kids would so survive. They probably could play the Pgh area game on Friday night still. Bus leaves at 2:30 or 3PM. Returns around 11:30 PM

Altoona has tried that scheme and it doesn't work for them. They're happy with what they have, now. You're also forgetting that there is a JV schedule so you're doubling the travel. You really don't appreciate what it takes to get anywhere out here. Getting to Erie from Altoona is a bit of an adventure. Geography and all. Plus conferences like schools to participate in all sports which makes it all multiple times worse.

One thing people don't realize is that even the small rural schools can't get their act together and play schedules that don't require a ton of travel. My daughter's school is playing over an hour away tonight and the don't play two of the boarder schools that are one or two classifications higher because they're in a different conference. Last week they drove past four similarly sized schools that they won't play to go to another school that was over an hour away. It's all pretty dumb.

But the other problem is that the new, six classification, model has left some of the rural districts without much playoff competition. Not unusual to have only two or three schools in the 1A bracket because the WPIAL and a couple of other districts are so loaded up with 1A schools.
 
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recruitsreadtheseboards

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Western PA has too many schools (and too many municipalities) and not enough young families, and not enough jobs for young head of households. But that's nothing new, you could have said the same thing a decade ago. People might have thought the natural gas boom was changing that a decade ago, but I'm not sure it had as dramatic of an effect as was hoped for.
I don't know if people realize this or know this, Allegheny County, who area wise is not nearly the largest county in the state, let alone the country, has more individual municipalities than any other single county in the United States.

And the same applies to school districts/high schools. We go over this every year....but in the 1960's (the height of the boomers, meaning the height of school aged children) and there was a mandate to consolidate schools. 2277 public school districts merged into 669 during the 1960's. This is when school attendance in many areas was at their highest. And by the end of the 1970's, it was down to 505. 40 years later, we are at 500. So.....very few mergers have happened and out east of course, you had some school districts emerge.

There should NOT be an A or AA school district within Allegheny County. There should not be this in the immediate adjacent surrounding counties. Once you go beyond a 20 mile radius, then it really thins out.

But school districts like Riverview, Clairton, Cornell, Sto Rox, Avonworth, Northgate, really shouldn't exist. Jeannette and Leechburg are two that people are examining why.
 
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PittPharm2002

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We are talking, what maybe an extra $500 i in gas money for bussing a few hours as opposed to 30 minutes. Its not that big of a deal.
The time is the problem
Erie to Williamsport is at least 4.5 hours on a bus
Same with Seneca valley ro Harrisburg

i have a better idea
Don’t worry about having a small 6 team division
Let them do home and away round robin .
Problem solved
 

Sean Miller Fan

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In Fayette - only Brownsville and Frazier are small. The rest are 4A and above. Uniontown might've dropped to 3A.

The only way the Greene County schools merge is if/when the mines shut down. Supposedly, some major green industry is supposed to take foot in Greene County in the next few years. If the schools do consolidate, transportation costs will be astronomical because they already are.
LH and AG are 4A. Uniontown is 3A. Connellsville is 5A.

Let Connellsville be as its a large district size wise with still a good enrollment. The combined enrollment of Uniontown, LH, AG, Brownsville, and Frazier is 1093 boys in grades 10-12. That would put "Fayette County High School" slightly ahead of NA for largest in the WPIAL. Uniontown is centrally located. They could buy some dirt cheap land, build a high school, middle school, football stadium, other sports facilities and make it like a college campus. Probably still need 5-6 elementary schools.
 

Upg bobcat

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There are people I know who live in the Harrisburg area and take the Amtrak to where their job is based in Philadelphia. The train from Harrisburg leaves once an hour, takes 90 minutes. When they upgraded the line from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, it changed a ton about the way people operated. This was before the pandemic and remote work, so I’d imagine it’s even easier now.
I know the Pittsburgh metro is smaller so we are not going to get the same funding for infrastructure, but if there can be a high speed Harrisburg to Philly line, why can't we get a high speed Amtrak line from Altoona to Pittsburgh, or if not that then from Latrobe to Pittsburgh?

I get that it is an ultimate chicken or the egg problem, but I do think that if our region can get some projects like that, more people will be attracted to Western PA.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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Would it be so difficult to have the following WPIAL 6A league?

NA
SV
CC
CM
Lebo
McDowell
Erie (didn't realize this was the 7th largest HS in PA)
Altoona
State College
Mifflin County
Williamsport

Basically every 6A team west of State College with District outlier Williamsport. 6A Butler and Allderdice would probably opt to be independent/City League. That's 11 teams. Divide into 2 divisions. The Pgh area schools in 1. The other 6 in the other. Top 3 in each division make playoffs.

District 3 (Harrisburg area) has 17 6A teams somehow. I guess this goes back to SW PA being unique in that every individual town seems to have its own school district.
When I was at Gannon, you had 4 Erie High School's plus Prep and McDowell. Those 4 (East, Tech, Strong Vincent and I forget the other) merged into "Erie", it shouldn't be surprising it is a large high school enrollment wise. Probably also one of the poorer.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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The time is the problem
Erie to Williamsport is at least 4.5 hours on a bus
Same with Seneca valley ro Harrisburg

i have a better idea
Don’t worry about having a small 6 team division
Let them do home and away round robin .
Problem solved
Harrisburg is in District 3 not in my new league. You are worrying over 1 bus trip per year, maybe 2.
 

PittPharm2002

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I know the Pittsburgh metro is smaller so we are not going to get the same funding for infrastructure, but if there can be a high speed Harrisburg to Philly line, why can't we get a high speed Amtrak line from Altoona to Pittsburgh, or if not that then from Latrobe to Pittsburgh?
What would be the demand for that ?!?