On Monday the WPIAL announced the new realignment for fall sports. The winter and spring sports will be announced over the next few weeks. This is a process the WPIAL goes through every two years. Each school turns in its current number of students in school enrolled in grades 9-11. The schools are then assigned to a class based on enrollment size. Bishop Canevin is in Class A in all of our fall sports. However, other schools have had teams move up or down in class. That is the reason for the realignment. Here’s how the realignment affects each of the fall sports teams.
FOOTBALL — Football is the sport that gets most of the media attention and in Canevin’s case, it is the biggest change. The football team was moved from the Big Seven Conference to the Eastern Conference. This move was a surprise as it was not shown in either of the preliminary options that were up for vote. According to the TribLive website, Canevin and Fort Cherry were switched “for travel purposes”.
While this is a major shift, it is not unprecedented. In fact, in the previous cycle of 2016-17, the BC football team played in the Eastern Conference with the exact same teams that are going to be in the conference for the next 2 seasons. The Crusaders made the playoffs both years they were in the Eastern Conference.
BOYS SOCCER – The boys’ soccer team is the only other Canevin team to switch sections. Seton-LaSalle, Brentwood, and Chartiers-Houston are no longer section rivals. New rivals include Carlynton, Vincentian Academy, and Springdale. It was Springdale who knocked the Crusaders out of the WPIAL playoffs this past fall, with a 2-1 victory in the Class A Quarterfinals.
GIRLS SOCCER – The girls’ soccer team is staying in the same section and has only a couple of changes. Out is this fall’s section champion, Seton-LaSalle, replacing the Rebels is Sewickley Academy. Last year was a down year for the Panthers as they finished 5-10-0, however they have won 9 section titles and 4 WPIAL championships in their history. The Crusader girls have made the playoffs for four straight seasons.
CROSS COUNTRY – This is the only fall sport in which Bishop Canevin’s section remains entirely the same.
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – The girls’ volleyball team remains in the same section, but there are enough changes that the section will definitely have a different feel to it. Fort Cherry is no longer a section rival, as they were moved to Section 2 in Class A. The Rangers have been the 2nd best team in Class A volleyball the last 2 seasons. Only losses to the Crusaders in the last 2 playoffs have kept Fort Cherry from winning a gold medal in either season. Another strong section team, Brentwood, moves up to Class AA as does Burgettstown.
In their place Eden Christian and Vincentian slide over from Section 4. And dropping down from Class AA is OLSH. In OLSH’s last match as a Class A team, Canevin beat the Chargers to win the 2017 WPIAL Championship. Currently, the Volleyball girls have a 46 match section winning streak. The school record is 47 straight section wins. It was Vincentian that broke that streak in October 2015. OLSH also defeated BC in a non-section match in 2018.