For the teams that lost in the WPIAL Class AAAA baseball and softball championships, the wait for a rematch was short.
Try a week.
Because of the way the PIAA sets up brackets in Class AAAA, the teams that met in the WPIAL championship games last week are playing each other again Thursday in the PIAA quarterfinals. North Allegheny beat Seneca Valley for the WPIAL baseball title and the two teams play again at 3 p.m. Thursday at Shaler's Matulevic Field.
Canon-McMillan beat North Allegheny for the WPIAL softball title and the two play again at 2 p.m. Thursday at Fairhaven Park in Kennedy Township.
If familiarity breeds contempt, then shouldn't these teams be sick of each other? This is actually the fourth meeting between Seneca Valley and North Allegheny. They played twice in the regular season.
"I feel the WPIAL is pretty strong in baseball and it would be nice if we wouldn't have to play WPIAL teams again until maybe the semifinals. But it is what it is," North Allegheny coach Andy Maddix said.
The PIAA used to have a western and eastern bracket for its playoffs, with an equal number of teams in each bracket. A team from the west would play a team from the east in the championship game. But in the largest classification, there are more teams in the eastern side of the state. The PIAA didn't feel the west should have equal representation as the east. Thus, the PIAA created brackets with more representation from the east.
For example, in Class AAAA baseball, the bracket has 11 eastern teams and only five western teams. Some eastern teams play through the western side of the bracket. It's the same in other sports as well.
"It's hard to say I don't know what the easy answer is," Maddix said. "Back before the reorganization, there was a chance that if you made it to the semifinals, there was a good chance to play a WPIAL team. But not now.
"Travel is one of the big problems. The WPIAL is all in the bottom half of the bracket, so the PIAA doesn't have to send you to Philadelphia for a [first-round or quarterfinal] game."
This is the fourth time in five years that the WPIAL Class AAAA baseball champion has had to play the runner-up in the quarterfinals. Two of the previous times, North Allegheny was involved. In 2010, Pine-Richland beat North Allegheny in the WPIAL championship and then again in the PIAA quarterfinals.
In 2009, North Allegheny beat Pine-Richland in the WPIAL title game, and then again in the PIAA quarterfinals.
This is third time in five years that the WPIAL Class AAAA softball champion has had to play the runner-up a week later in the PIAA quarterfinals.
"I don't think anyone has an advantage," Maddix said. "This is the fourth time this year we played Seneca Valley and it has been close each time. I think it comes down to whoever plays better that day.
"Baseball is a sport where anything can happen in one game. I'd love to see in the future that maybe you have a three-game series in the WPIAL finals to see who goes to the [PIAA] playoffs."
Palermo retires at Sto-Rox
Sto-Rox's Bill Palermo, the winningest coach in WPIAL softball, has retired.
Palermo handed in his letter of resignation Monday. He has been Sto-Rox's coach for 35 seasons and finished with a record of 588-137. He won 10 WPIAL titles and finished second four times. He also won one PIAA title and finished second three times.
"You know when it's time and it's time," said Palermo, 65. "I have grandkids and want to go see some of their games. I have a child who lives in Colorado. I'm competing in triathlons and I really like that so I have a lot I want to do.
"There is a new school administration and if I were younger, I'd stick around and put up with it. But I'm ready to go and feel good about it."
Palermo is a 1966 graduate of Stowe High School, which merged with McKees Rocks to form Sto-Rox.
"The type of kid we had, the type of community, the type of parents were a perfect fit for me," Palermo said. "Could I have been successful somewhere else? Probably not."
Torn ACL for Peters' Latsko
Peters Township's Veronica Latsko is considered one of the best girls soccer players in the WPIAL the past couple decades. She is the two-time Post-Gazette player of the year, an All-American and good enough to earn a scholarship from the University of Virginia before her junior year.
But Latsko will not be able to play her final season at Peters Township because of an injury. Latsko tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee in the State Cup Championship game and will have surgery on the knee this week.
"It's hard because she just loves to play and she obviously doesn't want to miss her senior year," Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said. "She's got bigger things in the future, but it's sad for her."
Vereb also coaches Latsko on the Century United Cup team.
"She's got 14 months to rehab before she goes to Virginia," Vereb said. "The craziest thing is for years, she's had people hanging on her, trying to throw her to the ground during games and this was a non-contact injury. ... The ball was being kicked, and in an attempt to head it, she slowed down running and hyperextended her leg backward."
Latsko had 107 goals in three seasons and helped Peters Township to three consecutive PIAA championships.
Westinghouse wants WPIAL
Westinghouse High School has petitioned the City League to allow it to join the WPIAL for football only.
The District 8 (City League) athletic committee must vote on the request later this month and then the WPIAL would vote whether to allow Westinghouse to join the league for the 2014-15 seasons. Westinghouse would be in Class A or AA.
If Westinghouse were to leave City League football, it would leave the league with only five teams.
Some City League teams played in the WPIAL this school year in a few sports, but not football or basketball. In recent years, the City League has discussed joining the WPIAL in all sports, but City League athletic director Mike Gavlik said, "there hasn't been any discussion recently about a full merger."