The topic of expanding high school football classifications in Pennsylvania will be further discussed Wednesday at the next PIAA Board of Directors meeting in Mechanicsburg.

PIAA Executive Director Robert Lombardi stressed Thursday the board is still in preliminary talks. An initial proposal in January suggested the state expand from four classifications to six. Such talks are not new, as expansion was shot down as recent as 2009. Any proposal needs to pass three readings to go into effect.

"If the board would pass it on Wednesday, that would be the first reading," Lombardi said. "Usually when they pass on first readings, it's because they want to get it out to all of the districts to get the discussion going."

In 2009, a proposal reached the final stage before being voted down. This time around, Lombardi said the PIAA's football steering committee is considering eight proposals, which will be addressed Wednesday. Half of those proposal will include expanding to six classifications.

Closer to York and Adams counties in the YAIAA, coaches' opinions vary based on their school size. An overwhelming voice of concern is coming from Class AA coaches, who worry a team could miss the playoffs that normally would not miss the postseason under the current format.

"In '05, we were 9-1 and there was a 9-1 team that didn't get in," Littlestown coach Mike Lippy said last month.

The head of the YAIAA coaches association, Lippy believes the postseason is an important reward for players after a year-round commitment to the football program.

"I'd have a tough time telling our kids you're 9-1 and our season's over," Biglerville's Alex Ramos added.

Of league coaches asked on the subject, coaches in the largest classification support expansion.

"I think it's a good idea, honestly," South Western's Damian Poalucci said. "A state our size probably does need five. I'm not sure six is needed."

Discussion on the subject began in January with a proposal by District 9 representative Bob Tonkin with hopes to create more parity and shorten the football season. The four PIAA football championship games were played the second weekend of December last year. California and Texas were the only other states to play later, but as Lippy pointed out, such a late date only affected eight high schools.

NFHS passes rule change

The National Federation of State High School Associations passed a revision Monday that expands on a rule change last year, when it prohibited excessive contact against ball-handlers.

That rule will now include post players, which should free them up offensively. Defenders who do not adjust will more easily pick up fouls.

A foul against a ball-handler includes: placing two hands on the offensive player, placing an extended "arm bar" as the rule states — or forearm — and contact the player more than once with the same hand or alternating hands.

PIAA Chief Operating Officer Mark Byers, who oversees basketball, said Pennsylvania would adopt such changes made by the NFHS.

Semifinal another Susquehannock first

Susquehannock (18-2) will become the second York County lacrosse program — for girls or boys — to reach the district semifinals when it plays Hempfield (17-3) at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the girls' tournament.

The Warriors' matchup will precede top-seeded Kennard-Dale's showdown with District 3 power Manheim Township (15-5) in a doubleheader at Hershey High School. K-D (20-0) is the only other area program to get this far in the postseason and will face the six-time champion Blue Streaks for the third straight year.

While the semifinal stage isn't new for the Rams, who lost to Manheim Township last year at this point and in 2013's title game, Susquehannock continues to pull off a season of firsts. Coach Steve Marshner's squad reached the YAIAA postseason for the first time and earned the district's No. 2 seed. It also beat Cumberland Valley for the second time this year with an 11-10 win in the quarterfinals.

A win Tuesday for either team guarantees a spot in the PIAA tournament, let alone Thursday's district championship game at Hersheypark Stadium. A loss would require a win in the third-place game, also slated for Thursday.

Since 2009, only Kennard-Dale in 2013 has represented the YAIAA in the state tournament.

Rams senior midfielder Morgan Day enters Thursday's district semifinal three goals from tying Megan Shortt of North Carolina for the national career record. Shortt scored 459 goals prior to graduating in 2014 from Bishop McGuinness in Kernersville, N.C.

Day passed West Chester Henderson's Katie O'Donnell last month for the Pennsylvania record, according to the NFHS. However, Manheim Township records had 2014 grad Molly Hendrick with two more goals than O'Donnell — thus unofficially postponing Day's record until her next game.

Fittingly, she could reach the national mark against Manheim Township.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

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