New Castle, Hampton to drop to AAA next season

HIGH SCHOOLS

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The New Castle boys basketball team will be moving down to Class AAA next year and the Gateway football team also could be moving down to AAA in 2014.

Those are two of the noteworthy items that came out of the PIAA's new enrollment cutoffs that will determine classifications for the next two school years. The PIAA uses enrollments of students currently in grades 9-11 to determine classifications for all sports.

Although the PIAA hasn't released enrollment figures for all schools in the state, every school had to report its enrollment figures to the PIAA in October. On Monday, the PIAA sent member schools a list of enrollment cutoffs that will determine classifications. Schools have until next month to decide whether they want to play "up" in classification. Schools cannot play "down."

Gateway has played in the WPIAL's largest classification since it joined the league in 1958, but its enrollment would place the Gators in Class AAA next season. Gateway coach Donnie Millitzer said the school has not yet decided whether it will play up.

New Castle has won the past two WPIAL Class AAAA basketball championships, but the school's boys enrollment places the team back in Class AAA next year. Coach Ralph Blundo said the Red Hurricanes will definitely not play "up" in AAAA.

The Hampton boys also are one of the strongest teams in Class AAAA basketball this year, but Hampton's enrollment will likewise place the Talbots in AAA next year.

In another major change, perennial boys basketball power Chartiers Valley will be moving back up to Class AAAA next season.

South Fayette officials thought their enrollment might move the school's football team from Class AA to AAA next season, but the Lions are below the cutoff and will remain in Class AA.

Also, the Beaver Falls boys basketball team is in Class AA, but coach Doug Biega is asking the school to play "up" in AAA.

Here are enrollment cutoffs for a few selected sports.

Football -- Class A (1 to 174). Class AA (175-299). Class AAA (300-492). Class AAAA (493 and above).

Boys basketball -- Class A (1-125). Class AA (126-234). Class AAA (235-411). Class AAAA (412 and above).

Girls basketball -- Class A (1-125). Class AA (126-229). Class AAA (230-403). Class AAAA (404 and above).

Boys soccer -- Class A (1-213). Class AA (214-401). Class AAA (402 and above).

Girls soccer -- Class A (1-213). Class AA (214-393). Class AAA (394 and above).

For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.


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