Breaking down changes to the 2022-23 WPIAL wrestling alignment

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Monday, July 18, 2022 | 12:29 PM


The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL wrestling season:

2021-22 WPIAL championships

Class 3A: Waynesburg Central

Class 2A: Quaker Valley

Notable changes

• WPIAL Class 3A will be significantly smaller for this two-year cycle, dropping from 45 teams to 35. Penn Hills, Woodland Hills and New Castle opted out of having a section schedule. In addition, seven teams dropped down to Class 2A — Albert Gallatin, Beaver, Belle Vernon, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Highlands and Indiana.

• Class 2A will include 43 teams, up from 37 during the last alignment cycle.

Chartiers-Houston dropped out of Class 2A and will not wrestle a WPIAL schedule.

• Also of note, the WPIAL did away with subsections for this cycle. There will be 12 sections, six in each class.

The past alignment had only seven sections, with each section divided into two subsections. The WPIAL had to make changes because a large number of schools switched classification in the newest PIAA enrollment numbers.

• For the individual tournament, the WPIAL will combine Sections 1 and 2, Sections 3 and 4, and Sections 5 and 6 to create three sectional qualifiers, named Northern, Southern and Eastern. The top six wrestlers from each sectional will advance to the WPIAL individual tournament.

The top three teams from each section will advance to the WPIAL Team Tournament.

Eliminating the subsection tournaments will create an extra week at the end of the regular season for teams to complete matches.

PIAA status quo

• After months of debate, the PIAA Board of Directors decided to keep the number of individual qualifiers per region the same as the previous two-year cycle.

The PIAA originally planned to take an individual qualifier away from the WPIAL in Class 3A because seven teams from the district dropped to Class 2A. The new proposal would have given the Class 2A Southwest Regional a seventh qualifier.

The PIAA wrestling steering committee came up with a formula that would reward regions by success in the PIAA tournament.

The PIAA Board of Directors approved that proposal, keeping the WPIAL at four qualifiers in Class 3A and reducing the Southwest Region to six qualifiers in Class 2A.

Staying in 3A

• Defending champion Waynesburg Central again decided to compete up in the higher class for this two-year cycle.

The Raiders again will be in Class 3A.

Past champions

• Waynesburg Central has won the past three WPIAL Class 3A titles, following three straight titles by Kiski Area. Canon-McMillan and Waynesburg each have won 21 titles in their history, most in the WPIAL.

• Burrell’s 15-year reign atop WPIAL Class 2A came to an end last year, as Quaker Valley captured its first championship. The Bucs have won 17 titles in program history.

Key dates

Nov. 18: First practice date

Nov. 25: First scrimmage date

Dec. 2: First play date

Dec. 7: First section date

Feb. 4: WPIAL team championships

Feb. 9-11: PIAA team championships

March 9-11: PIAA individual championships

2022-23, 2023-24 alignment

Class 3A

Section 1: Armstrong*, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, Kiski Area, Plum, Shaler

Section 2: Butler, Mars, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley

Section 3: Franklin Regional, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin*

Section 4: Connellsville*, Gateway, Hempfield*, Latrobe, McKeesport

Section 5: Chartiers Valley, Moon*, South Fayette*, Trinity, Waynesburg Central*, West Allegheny

Section 6: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair

Class 2A

Section 1: Bentworth*, Beth-Center*, Burgettstown, Fort Cherry*, Jefferson-Morgan*, McGuffey, Washington, West Greene

Section 2: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant*, Southmoreland, Yough

Section 3: Avonworth*, Carlynton*, Keystone Oaks, Montour, Quaker Valley, South Allegheny, South Park

Section 4: Ambridge, Beaver*, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Freedom*, Hopewell*, South Side

Section 5: Ellwood City*, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch, Laurel*, North Catholic, Summit Academy

Section 6: Burrell, Derry, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Ligonier Valley, Riverview*, Valley

*Cooperative sponsorship

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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