Cornell drops football program
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Cornell High School has played its last football game.
Cornell, a small Class A school in the WPIAL, disbanded its football program. Starting next year, Cornell students can play football for Quaker Valley under a PIAA cooperative sponsorship agreement between the two schools.
Cornell's school will remain open. The Raiders have been playing football in the WPIAL since 1971, and they made the WPIAL Class A playoffs the past two seasons.
Thursday night, the PIAA approved the cooperative sponsorship at its Board of Control meetings.
The Board of Control also was supposed to vote on a new rule that would cut football season from 16 to 15 weeks, which would mean the 2012 PIAA championships will be played Dec. 7-8. Title games this season are today and Saturday.
The PIAA, however, decided to push back that vote until today.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that plays its state championship games so late. The others are in warm-weather climates. The PIAA has used a 16-week schedule since 2004.
Under the proposed PIAA rule, the season will be shortened a week, but the PIAA will give districts and schools around the state an option. They can leave things the way they are now and play two preseason scrimmages. Or they can play one scrimmage and start games the following week.
If the new rule is passed, it will not affect the WPIAL playoffs. The WPIAL can still have four rounds of playoffs. All four WPIAL champions, however, will move on to the PIAA semifinals next season rather that the quarterfinals as is now the case.
Also today, the PIAA will approve new school enrollment cutoffs to determine classifications for all sports the next two years.
There will be minimal changes in WPIAL football. One noteworthy change is Valley will drop from Class AAA to AA. The new cutoffs will cause at least two major changes in WPIAL basketball. The Hampton and New Castle boys teams will jump from Class AAA to AAAA.
Both are ranked among the top five in Class AAA this season.
In other news from the PIAA meeting Thursday, the PIAA passed a new soccer overtime rule. The two "sudden- death" periods will shrink from 20 minutes to 15.
First Published December 16, 2011 12:00 am