Westmoreland high school soccer notebook: Early boys rankings

Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 6:55 PM

A new WPIAL soccer season opens this weekend and a number of Westmoreland teams are perched among the TribLive High School Sports Network’s preseason rankings.

The Franklin Regional boys, the defending WPIAL Class 3A champions, begin the year No. 1 in their classification. The Panthers have looked strong in a pair of scrimmages.

Two other returning WPIAL finalists from the area also are top-five teams. Greensburg Central Catholic also has a lofty spot at No. 1 in Class A, and Norwin is No. 4 in 4A.

Franklin Regional and GCC were PIAA semifinalists.

On the girls side, Greensburg Central Catholic, which has won five WPIAL titles in the last eight years, is the No. 1-ranked team in Class A to open the season.

Norwin, a PIAA champion two years ago, is No. 3 in 4A. Belle Vernon is No. 3, Kiski Area is No. 5 in 3A and Yough is No. 5 in 2A.

Top openers

Peters Township will host arguably the most notable boys tournament Friday and Saturday. In the six-team field are Franklin Regional, Greensburg Central Catholic and Penn-Trafford.

Norwin opens at the Chartiers Valley tournament, and Greensburg Salem plays Saturday afternoon at Hempfield.

On the girls side Saturday, Penn-Trafford hosts Fox Chapel in nonsection play, Franklin Regional hosts Canon-McMillan and Greensburg Central Catholic heads to Seton La Salle.

The Paul Sasko Tournament returns at Belle Vernon and will be played Saturday and Sunday.

It features the Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Latrobe and Monessen girls and the Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Highlands, Monessen, Brashear and Allderdice boys.

All games will be played at James Weir Stadium.

Dates to remember

Here are important dates on the WPIAL calendar:

Friday — The season opens.

Oct. 16 — WPIAL playoff pairings announced.

Oct. 19 — WPIAL playoffs begin.

Oct. 31-Nov. 2 — WPIAL championships at Highmark Stadium

Nov. 5 — PIAA playoffs begin

Nov. 15-16 — PIAA championships, Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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