OT: WPIAL HS Sports are a mess

PittPharm2002

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Harrisburg is in District 3 not in my new league. You are worrying over 1 bus trip per year, maybe 2.
Yes because these are high school and junior high kids -
And sports aren’t that important
Jesus
Taking the bus from Shenango to Center for wpial track playoffs was bad enough
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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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.
Yeah, the DC area is so expensive, that southern part of PA along with the Eastern panhandle of WV. I talked to a guy in Martinsburg (WV) and his family home which they bought like in the 80's for $90K now he could sell for $450K.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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Yes because these are high school and junior high kids -
And sports aren’t that important
Jesus
Taking the bus from Shenango to Center for wpial track playoffs was bad enough
In some of these rural areas, small schools and long bus rides are unavoidable. But Riverview (Oakmont) could easily be part of Plum. Hell Oakmont CC is technically in Plum. Springdale, and Deer Lakes would not require long bus rides. Clairton and TJ or West Mifflin? Cornell is right there with Moon. Sto Rox and Montour. Avonworth with NA. Aliquippa and Hopewell. Hell, I believe you can actually see Wash High from Trinity HS. Etc...etc....etc....
 

pittchagg

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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?

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.
Amtrak has always owned the line from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, which made upgrades easier. The line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh is owned by Norfolk Southern, who is aggressively difficult to work with for passenger rail. The topography for the western portion is also significantly more challenging. The relatively flat line out east means you can run fully electrified trains with overhead lines at 100+ mph.
 
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Upg bobcat

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What would be the demand for that ?!?
Well that's why I edited my post to say it was a chicken or egg conundrum. I think if you build it, it could create demand.

Was there a big demand for Harrisburg area residents to commute into Philly for work prior to the Amtrak line upgrade? Regardless the level of initial demand, I am sure the upgrading of the line to a high speed one helped drive greater demand. If you do it in Western PA, business might be attracted to the region if you can locate certain operations in lower taxed, less developed counties and municipalities yet still have easy access to the amenities Pittsburgh can offer (like an international airport).
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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Amtrak has always owned the line from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, which made upgrades easier. The line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh is owned by Norfolk Southern, who is aggressively difficult to work with for passenger rail. The topography for the western portion is also significantly more challenging. The relatively flat line out east means you can run fully electrified trains with overhead lines at 100+ mph.
Amtrak is headquarted in............................................Philadelphia.
 
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pittchagg

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Yeah, the DC area is so expensive, that southern part of PA along with the Eastern panhandle of WV. I talked to a guy in Martinsburg (WV) and his family home which they bought like in the 80's for $90K now he could sell for $450K.
You can actually take a commuter rail line from Martinsburg to Union Station in DC on weekdays. Takes about two hours. I’m not totally sure if that survived the pandemic, though.
 

PittPharm2002

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In some of these rural areas, small schools and long bus rides are unavoidable. But Riverview (Oakmont) could easily be part of Plum. Hell Oakmont CC is technically in Plum. Springdale, and Deer Lakes would not require long bus rides. Clairton and TJ or West Mifflin? Cornell is right there with Moon. Sto Rox and Montour. Avonworth with NA. Aliquippa and Hopewell. Hell, I believe you can actually see Wash High from Trinity HS. Etc...etc....etc....
I have better idea riverview can join Penn hills- why send them to plum ?
And now you are seeing why consolidation isn’t happening.
same reason folks move to those areas .
They are under the mistaken belief the teachers in those schools are better

it’s also why people go to trinity instead of wash high .
It’s all the same stuff - because conventional wisdom is incredibly difficult for people to realize is wrong
 
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PittPharm2002

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Well that's why I edited my post to say it was a chicken or egg conundrum. I think if you build it, it could create demand.

Was there a big demand for Harrisburg area residents to commute into Philly for work prior to the Amtrak line upgrade? Regardless the level of initial demand, I am sure the upgrading of the line to a high speed one helped drive greater demand. If you do it in Western PA, business might be attracted to the region if you can locate certain operations in lower taxed, less developed counties and municipalities yet still have easy access to the amenities Pittsburgh can offer (like an international airport).
People from a major city commuting and working in the state Capitol isn’t surprising
A high quality line from pittsburgh to Philly would also be terrific which could tie into the line to DC

those ideas make plenty of sense
I’m suggesting there is limited need for pittsburgh to Altoona or the like
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Yes because these are high school and junior high kids -
And sports aren’t that important
Jesus
Taking the bus from Shenango to Center for wpial track playoffs was bad enough
They are high school kids, not junior high kids. The JH kids can play some local team, who cares. 1-2 long trips per year are fine. Nobody will die, I promise. We bussed 3 hours for a game when I was in HS and our team made a whole day of it. Was one of the most memorable times I had in HS.
 

pittdan77

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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
Yough and BVA should have merged.
The list goes on and on
Actually, BVA will likely merge with Monessen, soon. BV and Yough would be a huge district and pretty spread out.

I think you'll see more co-ops if schools don't want to merge. That probably makes a lot of sense. It's becoming a popular option in rural areas. Get to keep your other sports separate. I think it makes sense. They've even gone so far as to alternate where the home games are played. Those arrangements seem to be working.
 
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PittPharm2002

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Post pandemic, we’ve learned how to do business and remain productive without going into the home office. Times have changed.
I don’t disagree but large meeting as still taking place in person .
Particularly in major cities with folks traveling in for them (DC, Boston , etc )
 

pittdan77

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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
People from a major city commuting and working in the state Capitol isn’t surprising
A high quality line from pittsburgh to Philly would also be terrific which could tie into the line to DC

those ideas make plenty of sense
I’m suggesting there is limited need for pittsburgh to Altoona or the like
Not really. Bedford County has become a bedroom community for the DC area, believe it or not. I know several people that travel it daily. I think they're nuts but the pay versus cost of living make it attractive, i guess.
 

PittPharm2002

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They are high school kids, not junior high kids. The JH kids can play some local team, who cares. 1-2 long trips per year are fine. Nobody will die, I promise. We bussed 3 hours for a game when I was in HS and our team made a whole day of it. Was one of the most memorable times I had in HS.
That’s not how sports work, boss
Your idea is stupid for the reason I detailed
 

pittchagg

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Well that's why I edited my post to say it was a chicken or egg conundrum. I think if you build it, it could create demand.

Was there a big demand for Harrisburg area residents to commute into Philly for work prior to the Amtrak line upgrade? Regardless the level of initial demand, I am sure the upgrading of the line to a high speed one helped drive greater demand. If you do it in Western PA, business might be attracted to the region if you can locate certain operations in lower taxed, less developed counties and municipalities yet still have easy access to the amenities Pittsburgh can offer (like an international airport).
The topography in the mountains is always going to be a significant challenge. No question that there need to be significant upgrades, but those have been decades in the making and the cost is…extreme (but IMO still worth doing - think about how much we spend on highways).

What I think would be an easier and also very useful project would be to upgrade the quality and frequency of service between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The topography isn’t as extreme, and would present similar economic opportunities if you could get between two cities of pretty decent size in less than two hours.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Not really. Bedford County has become a bedroom community for the DC area, believe it or not. I know several people that travel it daily. I think they're nuts but the pay versus cost of living make it attractive, i guess.
I work with someone who moved to the Erie area because he only has to work in his office in Pgh occasionally. Work from home changed a lot. I doubt those Bedford people are commuting every day. If you were offered a great job in DC paying significantly more than what you are making now but had to go into the office 2-4 times per month, I think many of us would take it and just get a hotel room.
 
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This is like the 800th time this has came up on here, so I'll post the same things that I always do.

1) Drive down 837 and look on either side of the Clairton Bridge. Little Clairton on one side, little South Allegheny on the other. Both as stand-alone school districts. Come on. And there are so many similar examples.

2) Not Allegheny County, but here's a map of the Westmoreland school districts.

192840-d24a8217-d72c-4711-a67d-c10e89d19023.gif


Like, why do Monessen and Jeannette get to be their own districts? And I get that it's what both sides want, blah blah. Just saying it's silly.
 

Fk_Pitt

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Why? There is some rule that junior high kids have to play the same teams? Change it then. Easy peezy.
The point being that it seems easy, but you are proposing that everyone else change what they’re doing because we have a 6A football problem in WPIAL. I’m sure it can be done though but there will be tons of resistance.
 

Fk_Pitt

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I don’t disagree but large meeting as still taking place in person .
Particularly in major cities with folks traveling in for them (DC, Boston , etc )
I agree. And there’s always a need to go into the home office. All I’m saying is that feasibility studies might not show that mass transit expansion is profitable because the commuter pool is significantly smaller than it was.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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The point being that it seems easy, but you are proposing that everyone else change what they’re doing because we have a 6A football problem in WPIAL. I’m sure it can be done though but there will be tons of resistance.
The entire western half of the state has a 6A problem. There's 10 teams west of State College + Williamsport.

The other solution would be for the WPIAL to do what the Erie and Altoona districts have done and just have their 6A teams "play down" in smaller classifications. If Lebo wins the WPIAL 5A championship, then send the 5A team they beat to the 5A state playoffs
 

Pitt79

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They are high school kids, not junior high kids. The JH kids can play some local team, who cares. 1-2 long trips per year are fine. Nobody will die, I promise. We bussed 3 hours for a game when I was in HS and our team made a whole day of it. Was one of the most memorable times I had in HS.
The high school kids could play some local team, who cares?
 
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Are there not major teaching shortages in PA? So a school like McKeesport is losing population... okay, you're now combined with East Allegheny, Duquesne (currently ceding from West Mifflin), and South Allegheny.

West Mifflin overbuilt their new high school... okay, you're merged with Steel Valley.

Brentwood's taxes are way too high... okay, you're with Baldwin. Keystone Oaks, you guys can go to Lebo or Char Valley.
 
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Pitt79

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Why do they need 6 levels anyways, when I was a kid, back in the 70s, I think it was only A, AA and AAA
 

Fk_Pitt

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This is like the 800th time this has came up on here, so I'll post the same things that I always do.

1) Drive down 837 and look on either side of the Clairton Bridge. Little Clairton on one side, little South Allegheny on the other. Both as stand-alone school districts. Come on. And there are so many similar examples.

2) Not Allegheny County, but here's a map of the Westmoreland school districts.

192840-d24a8217-d72c-4711-a67d-c10e89d19023.gif


Like, why do Monessen and Jeannette get to be their own districts? And I get that it's what both sides want, blah blah. Just saying it's silly.
Jeannette is the perfect example. Should be PennTrafford or Hempfield.
 

Upg bobcat

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People from a major city commuting and working in the state Capitol isn’t surprising
A high quality line from pittsburgh to Philly would also be terrific which could tie into the line to DC

those ideas make plenty of sense
I’m suggesting there is limited need for pittsburgh to Altoona or the like
I think high speed methods of public mass transit from Pittsburgh to Philly and Pittsburgh to DC (and Pittsburgh to Cleveland as another person mentioned) would be ideal. But if those projects aren't happening, I think starting smaller such as Pittsburgh to Altoona or Latrobe would still be beneficial to the region. It is more akin to what the eastern part of the state has shown successfully works, so it should be easier to convince politicians and economic planning commissions and the like that it is feasible.

Someone mentioned the topography, but Latrobe is before the first mountain so you have less of the topography problem if you the make Latrobe-Pittsburgh an accelerated corridor. Admittedly, the train tracks have quite a crazy layout (including Horseshoe Curve) around Altoona, so perhaps upgraded speed to Altoona is too much.
 

prez41

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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.
Connellsville is 4A.
 

wbrpanther

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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.

Where ya been? More big schools in the east and more small schools in the west. Been that way for a long time. The PIAA evens it out as much as possible in the State playoffs by giving certain districts more schools in classifications with higher numbers.
 

Fk_Pitt

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Where ya been? More big schools in the east and more small schools in the west. Been that way for a long time. The PIAA evens it out as much as possible in the State playoffs by giving certain districts more schools in classifications with higher numbers.
What did you say that I didn’t acknowledge in the OP? The only difference now is that we are down to only 5 6A schools in this two year cycle. What’s it going to be in 2024, 3 teams?

Whoever wins that 5 team juggernaut is gonna get a real cool trophy for their trophy case. How exciting.
 

wbrpanther

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What did you say that I didn’t acknowledge in the OP? The only difference now is that we are down to only 5 6A schools in this two year cycle. What’s it going to be in 2024, 3 teams?

Whoever wins that 5 team juggernaut is gonna get a real cool trophy for their trophy case. How exciting.
I was just thinking state level. Pa. is a weird state geographically. Pittsburgh in the west, Philly in the east. Alabama in the middle. You are correct though that as far as the WPIAL goes 6A is a sparse field.
 

pittchagg

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I think high speed methods of public mass transit from Pittsburgh to Philly and Pittsburgh to DC (and Pittsburgh to Cleveland as another person mentioned) would be ideal. But if those projects aren't happening, I think starting smaller such as Pittsburgh to Altoona or Latrobe would still be beneficial to the region. It is more akin to what the eastern part of the state has shown successfully works, so it should be easier to convince politicians and economic planning commissions and the like that it is feasible.

Someone mentioned the topography, but Latrobe is before the first mountain so you have less of the topography problem if you the make Latrobe-Pittsburgh an accelerated corridor. Admittedly, the train tracks have quite a crazy layout (including Horseshoe Curve) around Altoona, so perhaps upgraded speed to Altoona is too much.
The issue, too, is that the eastern part of the state is just more populated (which brings us full circle). Latrobe and Greensburg combined have just north of 20,000 total population, and while both have people living outside of the city limits, it’s not like there are extensive strings of suburbs. The Johnstown MSA and the Altoona MSA each have about 125,000 people. There’s definitely some “build it and they’ll come” involved, but the numbers are just way different than out east.

Meanwhile, the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA and the Lancaster MSA each have 500,000+ people, and are both located along the upgraded Amtrak line. If anything, I think there would be a tremendous amount of value in seriously exploring a Harrisburg-York-Baltimore rapid transit line, since the York MSA also has 450,000 people. They’re already planning on restoring Amtrak service to Reading, and they’ve gotta explore the same for the Lehigh Valley.
 

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I have better idea riverview can join Penn hills- why send them to plum ?
And now you are seeing why consolidation isn’t happening.
same reason folks move to those areas .
They are under the mistaken belief the teachers in those schools are better
Are you doing identity politics again, which of course you never do. I am saying "Plum" because most of the Riverview kids are closer to Plum HS.
 

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Jeannette is the perfect example. Should be PennTrafford or Hempfield.
Absolutely. Hempfield for sure. But it is not always the "white" districts that balk. Schools like Jeannette, Leechburg, Clairton do not want to lose their identity.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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What did you say that I didn’t acknowledge in the OP? The only difference now is that we are down to only 5 6A schools in this two year cycle. What’s it going to be in 2024, 3 teams?

Whoever wins that 5 team juggernaut is gonna get a real cool trophy for their trophy case. How exciting.
Yes, it will be 3. CM was only 6 boys away from 5A and CC only 10 away. Though maybe Norwin moves up (11 away from 6A) or PR (28 away).

I, personally, would think it would be hilarious if Lebo, NA, and SV were the only 6A teams.
 

TheSpecialSauce

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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.
You make a lot of good points, but Avonworth is gaining in size. They were A not all that long ago, but will probably be a solid 4A school in sports in the near future.
 
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