Back in 2014, the Wyoming Valley Conference, perhaps the country’s best field hockey conference, changed its league structure, creating four conferences which were believed to be relatively equal in terms of their competitive balance.
But what that did was to take a very important field hockey game off the regular-season schedule: Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.) against Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.).
This one game, since the first meeting in 1974, has been a bellweather game not only for PIAA Division 2, but, for a period of time in the 2000s, it was the defining matchup in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Think of this. These two schools, between 1999 and 2014, appeared in the PIAA finals 13 times, winning 10 championships. Their collective excellence benefitted all of District 2, as their representatives made the final 17 times in the same 15-year period.
Much of that excellence came from the Wyoming Valley Conference’s previous league structure. The best teams, regardless of location or size, played each other in Division I, and just about all of the teams were guaranteed to make the District 2 tournament. In Division II, the teams just short of the Division I standard played each other, with fewer representatives in the postseason. In Division III, for many of the schools with much less experience, only one or two teams qualified for the postseason.
That structure now returns. And with it, a bellweather match on Oct. 19th in Kingston, Pa. as Crestwood travels to Wyoming Seminary to close the regular season.