A few years back on “On Demand” I remember watching the 1993 WPIAL Championship between Duquesne and West Greene. Granted it was a 55-0 blowout win for Duquesne but during that time schools from the TCS routinely made it to the Semis. From 86-96 there was 8 Teams that made it WPIAL Semis and 2 of them made it to the WPIAL Finals; 1993 West Greene and 1995 Monessen(Farrell 30-14 Winner in the Final at 3 Rivers).
Since 2005 the TCS(Tri County South) has gone 9-24 in the playoffs with only 2 WPIAL Semi Final Appearances; 2006 Jefferson Morgan, and 2007 Monessen.
Lets compare 2 programs that switched between the Blackhills Conference and TCS in California & Avella. Last Season Avella went 0-9 and averaged 6.2- 42.6 per game while California went 7-3 and averaged 26.0- 13.3 per game. Over the past 4 years Avella has gone 3-33(.75-8.25) while California has gone 21-18(5.25-4.5).
This season Avella(TCS) is 4-0 and averaging 39-15.5 points per game while California(Blackhills) is 0-4 averaging 10-42 points per game.
Now did Avella improve this much while California dropped off considerably, or is the Tri County South just that bad. I think its a combination of both. I mean opening up with Monessen, Fort Cherry, Clairton, and Bishop Canevin is no easy task for any school. I could easily see Avella 0-4 with California’s schedule and California 4-0 with Avella’s schedule. But some credit has to be given to Avella for its turn around. I could see them giving FC a hell of a ball game, and beating Carlynton and Serra Catholic. But hey, they’re looking playoff bound at this point. And tons of credit must be given to Avella’s coaching staff and the individual players.
All in all the question must be ask, why is this conference so bad? Is it lack of players at skill positions? Are teams not deep at the lines. I just don’t know. The Conference’s 3rd and 4th place teams routinely get whooped by 40+ in the first round of the playoffs on a yearly basis.
When I look around the landscape, I see teams like Springdale, Southern Columbia, Riverside, Dunmore, and Sharpsville all put together very good Class A teams on a yearly basis. They all have similar types of athletes that a typical Jefferson Morgan or a Carmichaels team puts out on a yearly basis. So what are those aforementioned schools doing differently than Tri County South schools?
As a person that thinks everything runs in cycles, yes I believe that the TCS will become a player in WPIAL football again. It’ll take a lot of work, and coaching to accomplish. Unsure when it will happen, but it will.