New Castle News


January 22, 2014

High School Football: Laurel bumped up to Class AA, Wilmington drops

NEW CASTLE — Some major change is in store for Lawrence County football teams.

Based off the approaching new PIAA enrollment cycle, which runs every two academic years and kicks in this fall, the WPIAL released its revamped conference alignment yesterday.

Laurel is the only county team directly affected from the WPIAL moves. Its PIAA enrollment figures bump it up to Class AA. The Spartans re-join the Midwestern Athletic Conference with Mohawk and Ellwood City Lincoln.

Neshannock, Union and Shenango remain in the Class A Big Seven Conference and New Castle stays put in the Class AAA Parkway Conference.

In District 10, Wilmington drops to Class A and joins Region 1.



Laurel is no stranger to the MAC. The Spartans have bounced back and forth between Class A and AA the past few years. They were in the MAC as recently as 2011.

“From what I understand of the numbers, in a couple years, we will be back down, too,” Laurel coach Pat Cuba said. “It is what it is. We’ll approach it just like we did the past season. We play the hand we’re dealt. I don’t have a problem with it. Our kids have played these teams before and they know what they’re up against.”

Laurel will face local squads Mohawk and Ellwood City as well as Aliquippa, Beaver, Beaver Falls, Freedom, New Brighton and Summit Academy, which is new to the conference as well. Those teams pose new challenges for the Spartans.

“We play some good programs. We did in the Big Seven, too. It’s definitely prepared us to play in the MAC,” Cuba said. “The only hard part is we have to go out and start all over again. We have to start from scratch again. It is what it is. We all have to deal with it.”

Laurel, in its first year under Cuba, finished third in the Big Seven at 6-2. The Spartans (7-3 overall) dropped a 34-16 decision to Avonworth in a WPIAL first-round playoff game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Polanco.jpg Harrison’s four hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday. Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ManzielJersey.jpg Manziel scores as NFL’s top-selling jersey

    Second on Cleveland’s depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pedro, Steelers' Training Camp and LeBron

    Pedro Alvarez’s throwing woes have not subsided after the All-Star break and he has become a defensive liability, especially late in games.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day