Defending state champions Archbishop Wood, Farrell to move up in PIAA classification after appeals denied

Posted on January 23, 2020 in Newspaper.

By Edward Sutelan

Two of the 2019 PIAA football state champions are going to be moved up to a higher class for the 2020 season.

Archbishop Wood’s appeal to remain at Class 5A was denied, and the Vikings will be moved up to Class 6A. Farrell’s appeal to stay in Class 1A was also denied, and the Steelers will advance to Class 2A. Archbishop Wood won the 5A title and Farrell won the 1A title in 2019.

The Vikings have been voluntarily playing up to Class 5A despite being a 4A school based on enrollment, though principal Mary Harkins said during the appeal that she believes it is closer to a 3A classification based on enrollment.

Both schools were moved up in classification based on a new rule in the PIAA that says if teams exceed six success points and three transfers to the football team, they will be forced to move up a class in football.

Vikings’ principal Mary Harkins said two of the transfer students should be considered unique cases: one had been at Archbishop Wood as a freshman, left due to family’s reasons, and then returned; the other had to come to the school from another to receive specialized education.

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