WPIAL posts football schedules, won’t force Clairton-Mapletown matchup

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 6:18 PM

Rather than risk another Mapletown vs. Clairton football forfeit, the WPIAL scheduled an open week for both teams next fall.

This way, each school can find its own non-WPIAL opponent to play Week 1.

“Last year, Mapletown cancelled it, and there was no guarantee that wouldn’t happen again,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said.

The WPIAL posted football schedule grids for the 2019 season online.

Mapletown forfeited its nonconference game against the WPIAL powerhouse this past fall, citing concerns that injuries would doom its already short-handed roster. That decision left Clairton without a Week 1 opponent on only days’ notice.

By making the decision now, the WPIAL gave Clairton time to secure an opponent.

“I’m not happy with (having to find an opponent), but because of Mapletown’s situation, it’s something that we just have to deal with,” Clairton coach Wayne Wade said. “We’re trying to work something out with a few teams right now.”

This is the second year of a two-year PIAA cycle, so the football schedule grids have very few changes from last season — other than home games become road games.

As already announced, the WPIAL removed Albert Gallatin from the Class 5A Big East. The Fayette County school will play a non-WPIAL schedule next season. The remaining Big East members can schedule a nonconference game in the open week.

Laurel Highlands and Armstrong also had open weeks caused by Albert Gallatin’s departure. University Prep of the City League has agreed to play Laurel Highlands in Week 1.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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