Looking back at the top 15 high school sports stories of the 2018-19 school year
By: Chris Harlan
Saturday, June 29, 2019 | 7:45 PM
The WPIAL receives a wave of paperwork from athletes hurrying to beat an Aug. 6 deadline for a new PIAA rule that makes transfers automatically ineligible for the postseason.
Connellsville defeats Penn Hills, 6-1, in a boys soccer game marred by allegations of racial slurs. The accusations against Connellsville fans and players spark a heated controversy that forces the WPIAL to investigate.
The Sewickley Academy boys golf team breaks an 81-year-old record by winning its sixth consecutive WPIAL team title, bettering Turtle Creek’s five straight in 1934-38.
Nathan Dragisich scores three goals and assists on another as West Allegheny wins its first PIAA boys soccer title with a 4-0 victory in Hershey. The Indians finish 23-2.
Penn Hills senior Daequan Hardy has four touchdowns and three interceptions in a Darrelle Revis-like performance as the Indians win the PIAA Class 5A football title. Aliquippa wins 3A gold a day later under first-year coach Mike Warfield.
Upper St. Clair football coach Jim Render retires after 49 seasons (41 at USC) as the winningest coach in WPIAL history (406 wins, five WPIAL titles, two state titles).
Bob Palko bid farewell to West Allegheny football after 24 seasons, but the coach with the most WPIAL titles (eight) doesn’t stay retired long. Three months later he’s back to work when Mt. Lebanon hires him as coach.
Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell celebrates his seventh WPIAL basketball championship, but this time it’s a girls title. The longtime boys coach switches jobs in the summer and coaches his daughter’s team to WPIAL gold.
USC’s Josh Matheny sets a NFHS record in the 100 breaststroke at the PIAA swimming championships at Bucknell (52.52 seconds).
The Sewickley Academy boys tennis team moves up to Class AAA and sees its string of 15 consecutive WPIAL team championships snapped.
A clerical error almost keeps Waynesburg’s Daniel Layton from defending his WPIAL title in the 110-meter hurdles until the PIAA intervened and overturned a WPIAL decision. Layton later won WPIAL and PIAA titles in the event.
The WPIAL individual track and field championships take place at Slippery Rock, the first time in years they are held someplace other than Baldwin.
Hempfield wins a record-tying fifth consecutive WPIAL softball title by defeating North Allegheny, 15-0, in four innings. The fifth straight victory ties Sto-Rox (2000-04).
State Rep. Aaron Bernstine introduces legislation that would split public and private schools into separate state playoffs. In opposition, the PIAA calls Bernstine’s bill “poorly crafted at best.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .