Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

One of Top Rivalries Lost to New Format

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

One of Top Rivalries Lost to New Format

Article excerpt

The Vincentian-Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic rivalry has been one of the best in the state over the past decade.

But under the PIAA's new realignment, the two powers will part ways this upcoming season.

The landscape of high school sports in Pennsylvania changed considerably last October when the PIAA voted to increase the number of classifications. Girls basketball had been broken into four classes since the 1983-84 season, but that number has expanded to six.

There are pros and cons to the change, according to the coaches interviewed for this story. Some foresee a more competitive balance and are excited about a change of scenery, while others expressed concerns over travel and the breaking up of established rivalries.

Under the old format, the four classes included (Class AAAA) 30, (AAA) 36, (AA) 36 and (A) 28 teams. In the six-class system, the team totals will be (6A) 18, (5A) 26, (4A) 22, (3A) 21, (2A) 24 and (1A) 17. Wilkinsburg closed and West Shamokin moved to District 6.

One of the biggest changes has former Class A giants Vincentian and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic moving into different classes. Vincentian will play in 2A and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in 4A. Since Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dropped from Class AAA to Class A for the 2006-07 season, the two competed in the same section and combined to win nine WPIAL championships and three PIAA titles. Last season, Vincentian won the WPIAL title and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic the PIAA title.

"It's really different because we've been in the same class and section for a long time," Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. "It's the first time in a long time we won't have a rivalry. Going into the season, you knew you were going to play two rivalry games. Not seeing them on the schedule is something that we're going to have to get used to. We're used to playing them three or four times a year. But we're excited about this new challenge."

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was actually supposed to move to 2A, but decided to "play up" in 4A. It's the biggest jump or drop of any team. The Trojanettes should still be one of the top teams in 4A as they return Dayton recruit Sam Breen and a few other key players. …

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