Pennsylvania News: WPIAL announces realignment for next two years

wpial high school football

The job of realignment is never an easy one. Monday, the powerful Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Conference, known as the WPIAL, announced its realignment for the 2020 and 2021 high school football seasons.

The bi-annual alignment is based on enrollment figures. Class 6A is for schools with more than 582 boys. Here are the rest of the classifications — 5A is 399-582 boys, 4A is 275-398 boys, 3A is 196-274 boys, 2A is 130-196 boys and 1A is 130 boys and below.

There are a couple of interesting moves. Let start at the top where Pine-Richland is moving down from Class 6A to 5A. The Rams have played in three of the four WPIAL 6A championship games since the state moved from four to six classifications in 2016.

There will only be eight teams in Class 6A, because Butler decided to drop-out of the league. Moving into 6A this year will be Baldwin, which has played the last two years at 5A.

Over the last month, there’s been lots of talk about Aliquippa being a 4A school over the next two seasons. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association bumped the Quips from 3A to 4A on its competitive formula that was introduced in 2018 to address a program’s success and takes into consideration the number of transfers a program has taken.

Aliquippa’s enrollment qualifies the Quips to be a 1A school, but the school chose to “play-up” two classifications over the last two years.

2020-21 WPIAL football alignment

Class 6A (8 teams)

Section 1

Baldwin

Canon-McMillan

Central Catholic

Hempfield

Mt. Lebanon

North Allegheny

Norwin

Seneca Valley

Class 5A (18 teams)

Section 1

Bethel Park

Moon

Peters Township

South Fayette

Upper St. Clair

West Allegheny

Section 2

Connellsville

Franklin Regional

Gateway

Latrobe

Penn-Trafford

Woodland Hills

Section 3

Fox Chapel

Kiski Area

North Hills

Penn Hills

Pine-Richland

Shaler

Class 4A (22 teams)

Section 1

Aliquippa

Beaver

Blackhawk

Chartiers Valley

Montour

New Castle

Section 2

Armstrong

Greensburg Salem

Hampton

Highlands

Indiana

Knoch

Mars

Plum

Section 3

Belle Vernon

Laurel Highlands

McKeesport

Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson

Trinity

Uniontown

West Mifflin

Class 3A (20 teams)

Section 1

Ambridge

Avonworth

Central Valley

Hopewell

Keystone Oaks

Quaker Valley

Section 2

Burrell

Deer Lakes

Derry

East Allegheny

Freeport

North Catholic

Valley

Section 3

Brownsville

Elizabeth Forward

Mt. Pleasant

South Allegheny

Southmoreland

South Park

Yough

Class 2A (27 teams)

Section 1

Apollo-Ridge

Ligonier Valley

Serra Catholic

Shady Side Academy

Steel Valley

Summit Academy

Section 2

Beaver Falls

Ellwood City

Freedom

Laurel

Mohawk

Neshannock

New Brighton

Riverside

Section 3

Beth-Center

Chartiers-Houston

Charleroi

Frazier

McGuffey

Washington

Waynesburg

Section 4

Brentwood

Carlynton

Seton LaSalle

South Side

Sto-Rox

Western Beaver

Class A (24 teams)

Section 1

Bishop Canevin

Clairton

Greensburg Central Catholic

Imani Christian

Jeannette

Leechburg

Riverview

Springdale

Section 2

Avella

Bentworth

California

Carmichaels

Jefferson-Morgan

Mapletown

Monessen

West Greene

Section 3

Burgettstown

Cornell

Fort Cherry

Northgate

OLSH

Rochester

Shenango

Union

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.