I make no bones about it, Clairton's 84-0 romp of Avella is an unfortunate event. I just have to say that this game should never be played. But the solutions of Clairton not playing Avella are conflicting.
One solution I've heard was to move Avella and Bentworth to the Tri County and Monessen and Beth Center to the Blackhills Conference. My problem with that is you eliminate 2 teams from making the playoffs in the Blackhills and is adding 2 schools to the playoffs that shouldn't be there. It does make the Blackhills a tougher league top to bottom and makes the Tri County weaker top to bottom. But what it does do is create more competition.
Another solution out there is Clairton moving up to 2A. The last enrollment cycle I was more gung ho about the move. But the fact of the matter is the Bears has been dressing 24-28 kids every Friday night. Take an injury on the line, and the season may be over in 2A. You have to have more size and depth to compete on a weekly basis in 2A than in 1A. Some say, look at Aliquippa, and Jeannette but look at their roster sizes. They're fielding 2A rosters with 1A enrollment. Big difference.
One thing is, Clairton has an influx of kids in the Sophomore and Freshman class's and even the 8th grade class coming up. Just those 3 class's alone have about 300 kids, which is roughly 150 boys-give or take. No reason why just a 1/3 of them isn't coming out for football. That alone would give the 2012 roster 50 kids and we're not talking about the Senior Class. If the turnout is better, I'd be more keen w/ the move.
Time for a radical idea, how bout the PIAA splitting Class A into half(I'll call it Class A and B for argument sake). There are about 144 schools in Class A which would equal to roughly 72 schools per class if A was split. Now Clairton would still fall into Class B, but a move to Class A would make much more sense. Clairton would still be a favorite to win Class A, but it would be a stiffer slate week in and week out.
I agree that something should be done about complete mismatch's at the Class A level. But pushing schools to 2A isn't the answer here. Riverside totally competed w/ Clairton, as well as Farrell the past few years minus last year. Should they have to play 2A as well. They would most likely pound the weakest of the weak as bad as Clairton did. Steel High and Southern Columbia won a string of 1A Titles in the 00's, should they have been forced to play up as well.
Personally, I think splitting the Class is the best idea. What are your thoughts on this issue?