Ligonier Valley votes to return to WPIAL after 50-year absence

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Monday, October 14, 2019 | 10:10 PM


Ligonier Valley’s school board voted Monday night to return to the WPIAL in all sports in 2020-21, according to board president Irvin Tantlinger. It was a unanimous vote.

After the meeting, Tantlinger resigned as president. He spent 17 years on the board.

Ligonier Valley spent 43 years in the WPIAL (1927-69) before leaving for PIAA District 6.

The district sponsors football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls golf, boys and girls basketball, swimming, wrestling, boys and girls track, baseball and softball.

“We took a survey of all the coaches in every sport,” Tantlinger said. “They all agreed the move would be good. Many of our athletes aren’t getting competition in the Heritage Conference. The soccer team, girls golf team and softball team have to look outside the conference and District 6 for games.

“The junior varsity football team played very few games. We feel it will be better for our students even though they will face tougher competition. It’s a good move for our students.”

Tantlinger said the move allows Ligonier Valley students to play for more championships.

Before the move is approved, Ligonier Valley must get approval from District 6 and the Heritage Conference to leave and also get approval from the WPIAL to join.

The Rams football team is 73-10 since merging, having won five Heritage Conference titles, three Appalachian Conference titles, posting a 36-game conference winning streak and playing in three consecutive PIAA District 6 Class 2A championship games, winning two (2016-17).

While in the WPIAL, Ligonier Valley was 139-220-23. The boys basketball team has played in the past two District 6 Class 3A title games, winning in 2018.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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