Alle-Kiski high school notebook: Playoffs set heading into Week 9
The Alle-Kiski football playoff picture is set, which means there are no local playoff implications in Week 9.
Area qualifiers are: Kiski Area (4-4) in Class AAAA; Highlands (6-2) in Class AAA; Kittanning (8-0) and Valley (5-3) in Class AA; and Apollo-Ridge (6-2) in Class A.
There is, however, still some conference positioning to be settled in the final week of the regular season.
The two most notable scenarios:
• High-flying Kittanning travels to Shady Side Academy (8-0) on Friday to play for the Allegheny Conference title.
• Highlands can gain at least a share of the Greater Allegheny Conference title with a win at Knoch.
With Springdale missing the football playoffs for the first time since 2001, the Alle-Kiski area record for consecutive postseason appearances is up for grabs.
Springdale had qualified 11 straight seasons. The next closest active streak belonged to Freeport (five), but the Yellowjackets were eliminated.
That means Apollo-Ridge, Highlands, Kiski Area and Valley are in the running with back-to-back appearances. Those teams still would need to be clinching uninterrupted playoff spots through 2022 to equal Springdale's streak.
The WPIAL will announce first-round pairings for the girls volleyball playoffs Monday. Matches could start as early as Tuesday.
Local qualifiers are Plum in Class AAA, Freeport, Knoch and Kittanning in Class AA, and Leechburg and Springdale in Class A.
Freeport and Knoch could stay awhile in the postseason. The teams split the Section 4-AA title (11-1 records) and split their season series. Both should get respectable seeds in the bracket.
It didn't take long for Dan Slain to latch on with another program after he wasn't retained as girls basketball coach at St. Joseph.
Slain, who guided the Spartans to four straight playoff appearances, was hired as an assistant at Riverview on Keith Stitt's coaching staff.
Slain will replace Sean Knapp, who left after last season. The Raiders' staff will consist of Stitt, Slain and former Ford City star Kelly Morda, with help from former Riverview standout Mary Andrejko.
“(Teammate) Lauren Kelly said to me today, ‘If you think you are running hard, run harder.' That was motivation for me to give it all I had.” — Fox Chapel soccer player Taylor Cohen after Saturday's first-round playoff win over Mt. Lebanon.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.