As I was sitting back pondering to myself, what would be the best way to align 8 conferences instead of 4 I came to an even better reason.
Its not always about competition per say, or even better proposed match ups. Its driving distance in itself. Hollisdaysburg has to travel at least 2 hours to at least 2 away games a year. Lets do some math for a minute, most games end between 9:30 and 10:30, add the 2 hour drive, plus unpacking at the school- whether its band or football equipment. Kids most likely aren't getting home from the school function until about midnight or later.
I mean come on, isn't better to have games a little bit closer especially when a Ringold got 5 schools within a 20-40 minute drive in Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, South Park, McGuffey and Trinity.
Just from that list a League consisting of Ringold, Trinity, McGuffey, and Chartiers Valley makes sense while Thomas Jefferson, South Park, West Mifflin, and Elizabeth Forward makes sense for another league.
Belle Vernon for instance would be then place with the 3 Uniontown Schools; Uniontown, Laurel Highlands, and Albert Galletin, which is 1-2 40 minute drives a year. That ultimately creates just 1-2 drives that are an hour or more for Hollidaysburg to the Greensburg area against Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, and then Derry.
I just created 4 geographical friendly conferences in 3A in a matter of minutes. It just makes too much sense not to happen and should happen pretty much across the board. Imagine these local Conferences 1: Waynesburg, Washington, Charleroi, and Brownsville 2: Bentworth, Beth Center, Monessen, and California 3: Chartiers Houston, Fort Cherry, Avella, and Brentwood!
Under these smaller leagues, that frees up out of conference games like this; Chartiers Houston vs Canon Mac; Burgettstown vs Avella, Fort Cherry vs South Fayette, Ringold vs Charleroi, Ringold vs Peters Township, Charleroi vs Monessen, Clairton vs TJ, Trinity vs Washington, Washington vs Canon Mac, Trinity vs Peters Township!!! Some of those games has been important rivalries over the years, and why should we let the WPIAL ruin these rivalries by not freeing up the space for them to be played.
So I again ask why are schools traveling up to 2 hours away when there could be neighborhood games. It would be a bigger gate for home games when you're playing a local rival as opposed to a school coming in 1-2 hours away. Its a win/win situation.
The ball is in your court Tim O'Malley, make it happen.