WPIAL Class 1A Boys Soccer
Defending champs: Greensburg Central Catholic
Greensburg Central Catholic won its fourth overall WPIAL title last year, but its first since 2009, after numerous runner-up finishes and coaching changes in the past decade. The Centurians will be looking to replace one of the best players who’s ever played in the program, Nate Ward, who delivered the game winning goal in the WPIAL final to defeat Winchester Thurston.
Winchester Thurston and GCC met four times last season, as the teams battled for Section 2 superiority. Winchester beat GCC in the return match in the PIAA semifinal, as they made their first-ever PIAA Final appearance.
Much like Class 4A, this has been a classification that’s seen different WPIAL champions winners throughout the past decade. Prior to GCC taking the title in 2019, Avonworth, North Catholic, Sewickley Academy, Seton LaSalle and Winchester Thurston each took turns lifting the trophy at Highmark Stadium.
Sewickley Academy has a chance to return to be a legitimate contender again as they’ll be returning a number of experienced players from an 8-8-1 season that could put them back at the top of Section 1, which Riverside won last year.
The two most competitive sections that may once again come down to the final day of the regular season will be both Section 3 and Section 4.
Carlynton finished as co-section champs with Springdale in Section 3 last year, and both teams should be in contention again. They faced each other three times last year, as Springdale took the PIAA play-in match, 2-1. The Cougars may have the edge though, as they return eight starters, including a pair of All-WPIAL players, Demetrius Howe and Ryon Fagon.
In Section 4, Seton-LaSalle held off a fierce challenge from Brentwood, Chartiers-Houston and Bishop Canevin to win the group. Once again, those teams plus Bentworth, who just missed the playoffs, should all be in another dogfight for section supremacy.
Another change on the Class 1A list of teams will see the absence of two schools that closed in the past year: Vincentian and Quigley Catholic.
Another thing that remains up in the air, is what the WPIAL playoff format will look like. The season is scheduled to be completed by October 19. The original playoff format would have seen the Finals being played at Highmark Stadium Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31, but that’s up in the air at the moment.
Here’s a deeper look at the 1A breakdown by section following realignment. (Bold: 2019 Section Champions; ^ moved up in classification, © co-op )
- Beaver County Christian
- Our Lady of Sacred Heart
- Sewickley Academy
- South Side Beaver
- Greensburg Central Catholic
- St. Joseph
- Trinity Christian
- Winchester Thurston
- Aquinas Academy
- Bishop Canevin
- Eden Christian
Here’s our predictions for this year’s section champions in 1A Boys Soccer:
2020 Section Champions Predictions:
Sewickley Academy, Greensburg Central Catholic, Carlynton, Seton-LaSalle
Players to Watch
Carlo Dennis – Greensburg Central Catholic
Chris Mitchell, Springdale
Andrew Haus – Springdale
Jack Staley – Bishop Canevin
T.J. Cherry – Seton-LaSalle