The high school soccer season will be officially kicking off with practice sessions beginning Monday, August 16.
With the new season comes some adjusted realigning of sections during the middle year between formal realignments, which typically take place every two years based on school enrollment numbers. The WPIAL had no choice but to make some adjustments from the 2020-2021 realignment, which shifted numerous schools around to different sections and classifications during the Fall 2020 season.
The most notable changes for this season will come in Boys Class 1A, as a few private school closings and an additional co-op has shifted some things around while dropping the total number of teams from 29 to 25. One of the most significant adjustments comes as Greensburg Central Catholic, defending two-time WPIAL Champions, will be separated from its closest section and classification rival during the past few years, Winchester Thurston. WT have been moved out of Section 2 and will now compete in Section 3.
In summary, WPIAL soccer has lost a total of four boys high schools that fielded teams from a year ago, which on the surface is a slight concern for the future of soccer programs in the lower classifications in and around the district.
Class 4A (21 teams)
Defending champion: Seneca Valley
SECTION 1: Butler, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler
SECTION 2: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Brashear, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Twp, Upper St. Clair
SECTION 3: Allderdice, Central Catholic, Connellsville, Hempfield, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford
There are no changes from 2020.
Class 3A (32 teams – up one from 31 teams in 2020)
Defending champion: Mars
SECTION 1: Armstrong, Freeport ^, Hampton, Highlands, Indiana, Kiski Area, Knoch, Mars
SECTION 2: Beaver Area, Blackhawk, Central Valley ^, Chartiers Valley, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, West Allegheny
SECTION 3: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Uniontown, Washington (C)
SECTION 4: Franklin Regional, Gateway, Greensburg Salem, Obama Academy, Penn Hills, Plum, West Mifflin, Woodland Hills
Changes: Greensburg Salem moves from Section 3 to Section 4.; Kiski Area moves from Section 4 to Section 1; Washington added to Section 3
Class 2A (29 teams – down one school – 28 in 2020)
Defending champion: Deer Lakes
SECTION 1: Avonworth ^, East Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward, Keystone Oaks, South Allegheny, South Park, Steel Valley
SECTION 2: Burrell, Deer Lakes, Derry, Leechberg (c), Ligonier Valley, Shady Side Academy, Valley
SECTION 3: Brownsville, Charleroi, McGuffey, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Waynesburg, Yough
SECTION 4: Ambridge, Elwood City, Freedom, Hopewell, Mohawk, North Catholic, Quaker Valley
Changes: New Brighton will not have a team for 2021 season
Class 1A (25 teams – down four schools – 29 in 2020)
Defending champion: Greensburg Central Catholic
SECTION 1: Beaver County Christian, Neshannock, Our Lady of Sacred Heart, Riverside, Sewickley Academy, South Side Beaver
SECTION 2: Geibel Catholic, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Serra, St. Joseph, Trinity Christian
SECTION 3: Aquinas Academy, Bishop Canevin, Carlynton, Eden Christian, Riverview, Springdale, Winchester Thurston
SECTION 4: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Brentwood, California (c), Chartiers-Houston, Seton-LaSalle
Changes: Quigley (school closing), Winchester Thurston moved from Section 2 to Section 3, Vincentian (school closing), Monessen (now co-op with California)