The WPIAL decided not to accept McDowell for the next two years as a football-only school at its meeting on Monday according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A new District 10 policy states teams that leave D-10 for the regular season must come back for the playoffs. District 7 told McDowell two years ago that if accepted into the WPIAL, the Trojans would have to be in for the regular season and playoffs. Because McDowell can only participate in the WPIAL regular season, it will no longer receive a WPIAL schedule.
McDowell will likely fall into Region 6 next fall or attempt to play an independent schedule. The Class AAA regions in District 10 will go through a shakeup as Corry, Fort LeBoeuf and Grove City are expected to drop to Class AA and General McLane should move up to AAA. McDowell’s region schedule could include rival Cathedral Prep, General McLane, East, Central Tech and Strong Vincent. It is unclear where Warren and Bradford will end up with Region 5 losing two teams.
McDowell has a hearing with the PIAA on Jan. 12 to appeal the new District 10 policy. Although it is too late for the Trojans to get the policy reversed and rejoin the WPIAL this fall, McDowell can still see the benefits from winning the appeal. The Trojans could reapply to participate in D-7 in two years if the policy is reversed.
– Tom Reisenweber