While much of the rage and media attention was drawn to football (along with basketball and baseball) moving to six classifications in Pennsylvania High School Sports, it was finally formally announced that soccer will also be expanding to four classifications beginning in 2016.
The biggest thing that this will likely do for soccer in the WPIAL will be to break up the massive batch of teams that were in Class AA in recent years. Class AA had to have six sections, while Class AAA and A went with five each. Now, things should be divided a bit more evenly.
Here’s the classification reports for both boys and girls.
The largest school in the WPIAL in both boys and girls was “The U” — aka North Allegheny(1071 boys, 950 girls). The smallest in girls was Quigley Catholic (45) and boys was Beaver County Christian Academy (26).
The classifications are broken down by enrollment — and to see where the cut off was here are some highlights:
BOYS– Kiski Area High School (474 boys) was the last WPIAL (District 7) team in the new Class AAAA, while Armstrong (462) and Moon (461) previously in the highest class now are Class AAA schools. South Fayette boys, who won the WPIAL Class AA title in 2015, will be the last team in the new Class AAA, while South Side (Beaver), Waynesburg and Elizabeth Forward will stay in Class AA. There are not many changes between Classes AA and A as there were before. The cut-off remains very similiar, with Washington remaining the smallest Class AA school, while Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) is the largest Class A school in the WPIAL for boys soccer.
GIRLS — With girls, the differences are subtle. Plum’s the smallest Class AAAA school remaining, while Franklin Regional will drop down to Class AAA (where they were previously in the highest classification – AAA. But F-R’s boys will remain in AAAA). Mt. Pleasant and Central Valley will be the smallest Class AAA girls schools, while Yough and Highlands will be the largest Class AA girls soccer teams. East Allegheny and South Allegheny will both remain in Class AA with the smallest enrollments, while Riverside, Shady Side Academy and Vincentian Academy will have the higher enrollments among the Class A girls programs.