Interested in seeing the top teams and players and some terrific matchups? Here are some games to check out around the WPIAL and City League this season:
Aug. 30: UPPER ST. CLAIR AT WOODLAND HILLS
The first night of the season brings us a 1-2 showdown when Upper St. Clair, the Post-Gazette's No. 2 team in WPIAL Class AAAA, plays at No. 1 Woodland Hills. And what better place to watch a game than the hallowed Wolvarena? The last time Upper St. Clair put on game uniforms, it lost to Woodland Hills in the WPIAL semifinals.
Sept. 5: PERRY VS. BRASHEAR
With only six teams now in the City League, this might be the only traditional rivalry left. The two are usually among the best in the City and this is a Thursday night game at "The Cup" -- Cupples Stadium -- on the South Side. Grab a bite to eat on East Carson and then head to the game.
Sept. 20: MONESSEN AT CLAIRTON
A year ago, Monessen thought it had a decent shot at breaking Clairton's long winning streak. It didn't happen. This year, Monessen again feels it has a team that could make some noise. But Clairton hasn't lost a home game since the regular-season finale to Apollo-Ridge in 2005.
Sept. 26: WASHINGTON AT JEANNETTE
It's a chance to see Shai McKenzie, Washington's super running back who has scholarship offers from colleges across the country. And if you can't go, Root Sports television is carrying the game. So bring Root's Kinger (Rob King) and Wolf (Craig Wolfley) into your living room.
Sept. 27: CENTRAL VALLEY AT WEST ALLEGHENY
It's a battle for superiority in Imperial. West Allegheny is the defending WPIAL Class AAA champion. Central Valley is a team good enough to challenge West Allegheny for the Parkway Conference title.
Oct. 11: NORTH ALLEGHENY AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC
This is one of three "home" games Central Catholic is playing at Highmark Stadium in Station Square. The stadium has a terrific view of the city. One of these teams might have a clear view of the Northern Eight Conference championship after this one.
Oct. 11: BETHEL PARK AT UPPER ST. CLAIR
Bethel Park ruined Upper St. Clair's perfect regular season in 2012 by beating the Panthers in the eighth week. Don't think Upper St. Clair will forget that. Both of these teams figure to be fighting for the top of the Southeastern Conference.
Oct. 18: ALIQUIPPA AT BEAVER FALLS
It's not often you see a Class AA game with at least six seniors who will play at Division I colleges. But that is the talent level of this year's rivalry game. Geneva College's Reeves Field will be the site of this showdown.
Oct. 24: McKEESPORT AT GATEWAY
It's the final regular-season game for both teams and Root Sports will televise this Class AAAA showdown on a Thursday night. McKeesport has coach George Smith returning this year after three years away from the game, and he brings back the flexbone offense. Will Smith have the Tigers in contention for the Foothills Conference championship?
Oct. 25: THOMAS JEFFERSON AT WEST MIFFLIN
These two have finished 1-2 in the Big Nine Conference the past two years -- and this showdown could very well decide the title again. It's a chance to see Thomas Jefferson linebacker Chase Winovich, a Michigan recruit, and also West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler, one of the WPIAL's fastest running backs.
Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org