Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Aug. 31, 2016 — A focal point of competition moves up a level

This year, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association will have three field hockey champions. The Class AAA level is reserved for schools with an enrollment of greater than 486 students, the Class A level is for schools with fewer than 293 students, and Class AA is for all of the schools in between.

Well, most of them.

According to a list of schools provided by the PIAA, four schools are playing out of their division this season. Jumping all the way from Class A to Class AAA is Factoryville Lackawanna Trail (Pa.). But the other three are jumping from Class AA to Class AAA, and just happen to be located within eight miles of each other along Route 422 in Pennsylvania.

They are three great neighborhood rivals that form the heart of the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference: Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), Hershey (Pa.), and Palmyra (Pa.).

What I think this has done is make the Class AAA tournament a lot more difficult to win, not only because of their jump, but the resulting redistribution of teams in Class AA and A. Perennial state power Selinsgrove (Pa.) Area now moves down from Class AA to A by one student; the school has just one fewer student than Catawissa Southern Columbia Area (Pa.), the school with the lowest enrollment in Class AA.

Mind you, Class AA is still going to be a difficult classification to win overall, but without the three Keystone schools, it makes AAA all the harder, at least on paper.



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