The Clairton Bears going undefeated again to win the WPIAL and PIAA Class A titles was one of the top stories of the past year in high school sports.
By Mike White Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
IT BEARS REPEATING
The Clairton Bears football team just keeps winning. The Bears have another perfect season, stretch their winning streak to 63 games, longest in the state, current longest in the country and tied for 13th-longest in the history of U.S. high school football. Clairton also wins its fifth consecutive WPIAL title and fourth consecutive PIAA crown.
PERFECT -- AGAIN
There hasn't been a basketball program in the WPIAL like the New Castle boys for more than 100 years. New Castle makes history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back titles with perfect records. And the WPIAL started crowning champions in 1909.
SCHOOL OF CHAMPIONS
North Allegheny has a sports year never before seen in the WPIAL. The Tigers win an unbelievable eight district titles in baseball, boys track and field, boys volleyball, football, boys cross-country, boys swimming, girls swimming and hockey (PIHL).
2 LEGENDS SAY GOODBYE
Within two weeks, two of the longest-tenured -- and most successful -- football coaches in the WPIAL decide to retire. North Hills' Jack McCurry and Bishop Canevin's Bob Jacoby had 75 seasons of head coaching experience and 519 wins between them. McCurry (281-108-9 in 35 years) was the third-winningest coach in WPIAL history, while Jacoby (238-170-7 in 40 years) was 11th.
NO. 1 IN THE COUNTRY
The Peters Township girls soccer team becomes only the second to win three consecutive PIAA Class AAA titles, but the Indians' strong reputation stretches across the country. Peters Township is also named the No. 1 team in the country by MaxPreps.
BIG MACS, BIG SUCCESS
The Canon-McMillan Big Macs have a memorable wrestling season as they become the first team to win four consecutive WPIAL Class AAA titles since the WPIAL started team playoffs in 1979. On top of that, three Canon-McMillan wrestlers win individual PIAA titles -- Cody Wiercioch, Solomon Chishko and Connor Schram.
EAGLES' PERFECT FLIGHT
The South Park Eagles baseball team took the perfect path through the WPIAL. The Eagles defeated Hopewell, 4-3, in nine innings to become only the fifth team since 1979 to win a WPIAL title with a perfect record.
STOPPING THE STREAK
The Seton-LaSalle girls basketball team takes a 66-game WPIAL winning streak into the Class AA championship game, but Bishop Canevin upsets the Rebels to win its first WPIAL title. Bishop Canevin duplicates the feat, knocking off Seton-LaSalle in the PIAA playoffs on the way to the PIAA title.
Only a sophomore, Shaler's Brianna Schwartz proves to be one of the top distance runners in WPIAL history when she wins the WPIAL Class AAA 1,600-meter run in 4 minutes, 47.07 seconds. It was the No. 1 time in any WPIAL meet, beating the mark of 4:51.06, set by Baldwin's Carole Zajac in 1990.
SMITH MAKES SPLASH
Oakland Catholic senior Leah Smith was considered one of the best swimmers in the WPIAL in decades, and she proves it with a memorable performance at the PIAA championships. Smith wins the 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes, 36.41 seconds, the second-fastest mark ever by a female high school swimmer in the U.S.