The 2011 City League football schedule is up at:
And with only eight teams in the league this season, the opportunities for non-conference play are exciting to say the least.
Seton La Salle vs Carrick
Allderdice at Central Valley
Brashear at Knoch
Langley at Carlynton
Perry at North Hills
Westinghouse at Bentworth
U-Prep/Obama at Summit Academy.
Oliver at Shady Side Academy
Nothing unusual, pretty much the same week one schedule they had last season. Judging by the results from last season's week 1 matchups, form should pretty much follow. The only two teams who won their week one games last season were surprisingly, Westinghouse and Langley who managed to find squads that were worse than they were.
Langley at Theodore Roosevelt, DC
Westinghouse at Linsly.
Langley will be heading down to the Nation's capital to take on the Rough Riders from Roosevelt High. Roosevelt plays in the DC equivalent of the City League, The DCIAA. The Rough Riders finished 3-7 in the DCIAA.
I have always wondered how Pgh City League teams would fare against squads from other inner city leagues like the DCIAA or the Philly Pub. Langley is not the City's best representative but I'm hoping that they will rep the City League proud. The Big Bad Bulldogs will be heading back down to West-by-Gawd Virginia to play the Linsly Cadets, who put a hurting on the Dawgs and the Allderdice Dragons last season. The Cadets will also be adding the Brashear Bulls to their schedule this season.
Perry at Fort Hill, MD
Langley at Homer Center
Week 3 will be the first of three games between the Sentinels of Fort Hill in Maryland and Pittsburgh City League teams. Fort Hill will host Perry and Carrick in week 8 and will come up to the George to play Allderdice in week 4. From what I was able to glean from the Fort Hill website, the Sentinels, (I like that nickname.) went to the Maryland Class A state semifinals where they lost to perennial power Baltimore Dunbar. One thing you have to remember about the City League is that enrollment classes mean nothing in terms of the quality of football played. While Allderdice is considered AAAA in the PIAA, they would lose to the majority of the AAAA teams they played in the WPIAL or elsewhere in the PIAA. The Dragons would lose to most AAA teams and probably half of AA squads. Just because Fort Hill plays in the smallest class of Maryland football does not mean that they'd be a rollover for a AAA or AAAA team from the City League. Of the three City teams that will play Fort Hill, Perry should give them the best game.
While I don't know what Langley has coming back this season, but they lost to the Homer Center Wildcats by two touchdowns last season. I don't think that anything will change for the Mustangs in this matchup.
Carrick at Howland, OH
Ft Hill, MD at Allderdice
Carrick will once again venture into Warren Ohio to take on the Howland Tigers who gave the Raiders a real nice Warren welcome by crushing the Tribe 48-0. The Tigers ended up going undefeated and were eliminated in the OHSAA regional semifinals. So a daunting task for the Carrick Raiders indeed.
Oliver at Wheeling Central
The Oliver Bears head down to Wheeling to take on the Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Catholic High School. The Knights have been on a number of City League teams schedules over the years. Allderdice, Brashear, Perry, Langley and Oliver have taken the ride into the Panhandle to play Wheeling Central with only Perry and Brashear boasting of wins. But it's a short trip and with few exceptions, the City has competed well against WCC though they haven't many wins to show for it. For the record, Wheeling Central won the Class A state title in West Virginia in 2010.
Mercyhurst Prep vs Oliver
The Bears welcome to the friendly confines of the George, the Mercyhurst Prep Lakers. The Lakers went 12-1 last years losing to the always tough Farrell Steelers in the PIAA District 10 finals.
Perry at Erie East
Westinghouse at Morgantown
The Perry Commodores will take a trip north to District 10 land, where they will be stopping off at East High School to play the Warriors. East finished 2-6 in 2010, and they sound like the Erie Metro League's version of a Westinghouse or an Oliver. Perry, of course won the City Championship last season. While I won't say that Perry should win this one in a walkover, considering that the One Stars don't have Gary McGhee running the offense this season, they should win just the same.
The Bulldogs will make their first trip to Morgantown to face the Mohigans. Last season, Morgantown went 11-2 and lost in the Class AAA state semifinals.
Allderdice at Linsly, WV
Carrick at Fort Hill, MD
The Linsly Cadets will make their second consecutive trip to the George to face the Dragons. In 2010, the Cadets smacked the 'Dice around to the tune of a 49-13 beatdown. The Cadets finished 8-2 on the regular season in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
Brashear at Linsly, WV.
Brashear closes out the non conference schedule for the City League by heading down to face the Cadets.
Brashear is taking one open date in Week 5 and U-Prep/Obama is taking two open dates in Week 6 and week 9, but all the rest are taking a full ten week schedule. The intriguing games on the schedule to me are the three games between Perry, Allderdice and Carrick and Ft.Hill.
Good to see Langley taking a nice trip down to DC. Perry has shown once again that they'll play anyone anywhere opening up against North Hills at Martorelli for the second year running, and the games against Erie East and Ft. Hill should be good.
Carrick is showing that they are gluttons for punishment going back to Howland to face the Tigers who crushed them last season. Brashear has picked up Linsly Academy who'll be facing the 'Dice and the 'House.
It's not unusual to see how many City teams will be playing against out of state squads who made deep runs in their respective state playoffs. I'm thinking that the majority of these matchups were made by the non-city schools approaching the City schools first because they had an extra hole to fill in their schedule and they were looking for a team that wouldn't pose too much of a threat. And with three open dates on their schedules, City League coaches were scrambling to find a game anywhere they could.
Which can only benefit the City League in the long run. Playing against schools like Fort Hill, Morgantown, Howland, and Mercyhurst Prep is the only way that the City League can get better in terms of the quality of the football. Especially if the plan to merge with the WPIAL ever goes through. It's gonna hurt getting beat 49-13 and 48-0, but the City has to take on the best competition available, which because the WPIAL is deep into their conference schedules at the times the games mentioned above will be played, will require them to find opponents out of state.
From another point of view, the fact that the City teams will be the ones doing the traveling in most cases gives those teams a chance to bond as a team on those long bus trips as well as see what a real home field advantage looks like. For the most part, our teams will be playing in front of crowds much larger than what they see at the George on a Friday afternoon or evening. They'll be witnessing the best of the pageantry of high school football. They'll hear bands that consist of hundreds of students instead of the few dozen who may or may not even show up for a home game. They'll get the vibe of playing in a stadium that is a true home field, not one that is shared by seven other schools and has no atmosphere. Ultimately, if and when the City League merges into the WPIAL, this is what they'll see and experience week-in and week out. So it's best to get used to it now.
It would be nice if some of these out of state teams would return the favor and come to the George so we City fans can see what we're missing out on. I don't know how many of the games on this schedule are one-shot deals or whether there's a home and home clause in the contract. But I for one would love to see a Howland, or even a Theodore Roosevelt from DC come up here and show us what they have.
This is probably the most exciting schedule in the City League in a long time. It's weird considering that the Pgh Public Schools are crying poormouth and are using that excuse to delay merging w/the WPIAL, but they can send teams to Maryland and DC. Maybe getting out of town on some trips will let our boys and fans see what a real home field advantage is like. That said, I can't wait for the football season to start. It'll be a hoot and a holler, and the Advocate will back in this seat to put his unique take on things.