Field hockey division gets tougher on WA, PA

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
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One of the toughest divisions of high school field hockey in the entire nation appears to have become even more difficult after last week’s realignment of the Wyoming Valley Conference.

Wyoming Area and Pittston Area remain in Division 1, which is adding Holy Redeemer and dropping Tunkhannock and Lackawanna Trail for the next two seasons.

The field hockey realignment was completed during the Jan. 11 meeting of WVC athletic directors.

The athletic directors meet each Thursday throughout the school year. Those weekly meetings are currently dominated with realignment and scheduling discussions for the next two-year cycle after enrollments were determined for all Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association schools for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years.

Golf, where Wyoming Area needs to move from one of the two existing Class 3A Divisions because it has dropped into Class 2A, was discussed at the latest meeting Thursday. It, however, was not finalized with more work needed to be done on divisional alignment and the scheduling that it impacts.

Football schedules, including at least one existing tentative proposal, are expected to be discussed in the upcoming meeting. Wyoming Area’s schedule will be significantly altered because it is crossing over from large school to small school with a switch from Class 4A to 3A.

Division 1 field hockey already includes Wyoming Seminary and Wyoming Valley West, both of which were nationally ranked during the 2017 season which ended with them losing one-goal games in state finals.

In the 15-team division that existed in 2017, Wyoming Area managed a winning record and seventh-place finish under first-year coach Erin McGinley. Pittston Area finished 14th.

The 14-team division going forward will make up half of its membership from schools that have sent teams to state championship games. Crestwood, Wyoming Seminary, Lake-Lehman, Wyoming Valley West and Delaware Valley have all won state titles. Coughlin and Dallas have played in state championship games.

Holy Redeemer joins the division after going 12-0 in Division 2 in each of the past two seasons and reaching the state Class A semifinals in 2016.

Tunkhannock was the only team to finish behind Pittston Area in the 2017 standings. The two teams dropping down to Division 2 finished among the bottom third of Division 1.

https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_Field-hockey-sticks.jpg

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.