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Canevin, Carlynton preparing backup plans

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While the opponent may be unknown, the Bishop Canevin football team will play the first weekend of the season, athletic director Dan Bowman said.

Its original opponent that week, Imani Christian, has until Monday to gather enough players to field a team or it will have to let the other members of the Class A Black Hills conference know of its intention to not play its nine-game schedule.

The Crusaders were scheduled to play the Saints at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Dormont Memorial Stadium.

Bowman said he was working to find a replacement and may be able to schedule another WPIAL opponent.

“We are working on it right now,” Bowman said. “We don't know if it will be home or not, but what matters is if we play a game. We have someone who may be in a similar situation.”

Other schools may have to go a little further to find a replacement opponent. Carlynton was supposed to face Imani at 11 a.m. Sept. 28 in Week 5 but may need to look to Ohio or West Virginia — or get lucky and find a City League squad looking for a game.

“Some of the City League teams are looking for an opponent since they are down to five schools,” Carlynton athletic director Nate Milsom said. “We are looking to also send feelers out to out-of-state schools.

“We will absolutely be playing a game in Week 5.”

Imani Christian, a private school in the East Hills, is entering its second season in the WPIAL. The school gained admission to the league after winning an appeal with the PIAA and remains on WPIAL probation, making it ineligible for the playoffs.

The Saints finished their 2012 season 6-3. Many of the athletes from that team followed former coach Harvey Smith to Renaissance Academy — a non-WPIAL school in Penn Hills — causing the drop in numbers.

Some other schools in the Black Hills Conference — which includes Brentwood, California, Chartiers-Houston, Clairton, Fort Cherry, Monessen and Serra Catholic — have been sent scrambling looking for an opponent, and some may use the week as a time to rest before the playoffs.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at nsmith@tribweb.com or 412-388-5813.

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