Coaches leave pairings meeting happy
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It doesn't always happen, but it seems everybody went home happy from the WPIAL football playoff pairings meeting happy.
Well, at least not angry, anyway.
Coaches Matt Humbert of Ringgold, Aaron Krepps of Belle Vernon Area and Andy Pacak of Monessen said they all got pretty much the teams they expected going in from the WPIAL playoff pairings committee.
In Class A, the WPIAL gave ultimate respect to the rugged Black Hills Conference as it seeded Monessen (9-1) third, Clairton (9-1) fourth and Fort Cherry (9-1) fifth.
“That's the way I look at it,” said Pacak after he glanced over the brackets. “Every year I walk out of here angry, but I this year I think the WPIAL treated my kids fairly.”
The Greyhounds drew 14th seed West Shamokin (6-3), the fourth place team out of the Eastern Conference. The game will be played at Monessen.
All first round games are 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Wolves, snapped a 40-plus game losing streak last season, but Pacak said that doesn't matter.
“They are here now and all I know is I'm going to go home and get ready to play them on Friday night,” Pacak said.
The winner of the Monessen-West Shamokin game will play the winner of the Neshannock (7-2)-Brentwood (6-4) game.
Also in Class A, No. 13 Frazier (7-2) will travel to Clairton to take on the fourth-seeded Bears (8-1) in a rematch of a first round game of a year ago.
The top four seeds in Class A are Sto-Rox, North Catholic, Monessen and Clairton.
Clairton throttled the Commodores, 58-6, in a first round game a year ago.
In Class AAA, Ringgold (7-2) received the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Indiana (4-5) at Joe Montana Stadium.
“I had four teams I figured we could get and they were one of them,” said Humbert. “I'm indifferent about the pairings because you never know who you will get and you just get ready to play whoever they give you.”
The winner of the Ringgold-Indiana game will go up against the winner of No. 1 West Allegheny (9-0) against No. 16 Hollidaysburg (3-6).
“The only thing about the pairings that disappoints me is that Highlands was seeded higher than us and we beat them and then they lost their next game, too,” Humbert said. BVA (4-5), the 14th seed, is going to No. 3 seed Central Valley (8-1) for the second straight year.
Last year, the Leps nearly knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs, losing on a last-second field goal, 17-16.
“We scrimmaged them at the beginning of the season, but we still have to break the film down because teams can change over 10 weeks,” Krepps said. “We knew we would draw a pretty tough team and they were one of the teams I figured we could get.”
Also in AAA, No. 11 Elizabeth Forward (6-3) travels to No. 6 Mars (8-1) with the winner of that game getting the winner of the BVA-Central Valley contest.
The top four seeds in AAA are West Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley at Franklin-Regional.
In Class AA, Yough (5-4) goes to No. 3 Kittanning (9-0) as the Cougars play their first WPIAL playoff game since 2008 when they were belted by Montour, 40-14, in a Class AAA first rounder.
The top four seeds in AA are Aliquippa, South Fayette, Kittanning and Mt. Pleasant.
In Quad A, the top seeds are Upper St. Clair, Central Catholic, McKeesport and Woodland Hills.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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