Reclassification creates a stir in Franklin-Fulton
People are usually wary about change, and with a big change like the PIAA undertook this year, there's good reason.
Since last year, the governing body of Pennsylvania high school sports has undergone a major renovation. And with a lot of change comes a lot of questions.
This five-part package attempts to answer all of those questions, and more. In addition to taking a look at the reclassification and how it affects power rankings, playoffs and much more, it also examines two sports in the Mid Penn Conference that were realigned in preparation for the fall season.
"We felt this was important even though it's a substantial change," said Melissa Mertz, PIAA Associate Executive Director. "We haven't had this big of a change probably since 1988, which was the year we started to have football championships. But as a staff, we're on board with it. There's more opportunity to have kids involved and make the playoffs."
"There's going to be more opportunities to win districts," McConnellsburg athletic director Dane Pollock said. "I can remember the days when it was like 15 teams, and you felt like you accomplished more. It's just watering down things, playoffs-wise. You're going to get teams into the playoffs that, record-wise, maybe shouldn't be there."
Girls basketball coach Allison Steiger said, "I mean, good grief. We're obviously not in the right division in the Mid Penn to be playing these schools. It's frustrating, too, because if things were laid out like the boys, we would be a division lower. The girls and boys numbers are not the same, and I don't understand the rationale behind that."
Waynesboro coach Kim Saunders said, "There's always going to be cross-county rivalries, so hopefully we'll still be able to keep those alive. We're in a rebuilding year, so playoffs are on our mind, but the furthest thing from it. But for playoff purposes, night in and night out, in this division, you're preparing yourself."
"I think it was kicked around as an idea to get better competition," Mifflin County defensive coordinator Rob Bay said. "In the Commonwealth, you look across the field and there's Division I players every week. We have some players who are good, solid athletes in our county, but maybe not that caliber that we can match up every week."