WPIAL releases football schedules, revives Mt. Lebanon-Upper St. Clair rivalry
By: Chris Harlan
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 11:35 PM
Six-class expansion broke up many WPIAL football rivalries, but Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair will revive theirs this season.
The WPIAL on Tuesday released football schedules for the next two seasons, a nine-game slate for all teams that included at least one nonconference game for each school. The nine Class 6A teams needed one out-of-conference matchup apiece to fill their schedules, so the WPIAL paired each with a Class 5A school.
As a result, the South Hills rivals will meet in Week 6, this year at Mt. Lebanon and next season at Upper St. Clair. The two shared a conference for decades under the four-class format, but now Mt. Lebanon plays in Class 6A and USC's in 5A.
“We actually tried to get them for our Week Zero game this year and they said no,” Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk said. “I was disappointed that they didn't want to play us, especially since it's a traditional South Hills rivalry. I'm excited that the WPIAL paired us up.”
The other 6A vs. 5A matchups pair Pine-Richland and Moon, North Allegheny and West Allegheny, Butler and Baldwin, Canon-McMillan and Peters Township, Central Catholic and Bethel Park, Hempfield and Plum, Norwin and Chartiers Valley, Seneca Valley and Woodland Hills.
Most teams will start their seasons Aug. 24 with a nonconferene Week Zero matchup that the WPIAL lets each school schedule itself.
The official regular-season schedule starts Aug. 31, and Week 1 includes a rematch of last season's WPIAL Class 5A championship: Penn-Trafford visits Gateway's Antimarino Stadium. Gateway won the WPIAL title last year at Heinz Field.
Among other early-season matchups, conference rivals Thomas Jefferson and Belle Vernon meet in Week 2, and Montour will visit Aliquippa's Aschman Stadium this fall for a nonconference matchup in Week 3.
Central Catholic visits Pine-Richland in Week 5.
Sticking with tradition, the WPIAL scheduled a few rivalry games for Week 9. Among them, Clairton visits Jeannette in the regular-season finale. McKeesport and Gateway also meet in the final week of the season.
The WPIAL schedules are available here .
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.