When you look at the size of Clairton’s roster (30 players), the size of the male enrollment ( 105 per piaa.org) and it’s liable to be even lower if trends are an indicator, the first thing that comes to mind is that it would be foolish for Clairton to opt to play up like Aliquippa, Jeannette, and Greensburg Central Catholic.
The common criticism is that Clairton (owner of a 63 game winning streak and 4 straight PIAA Titles and 5 straight WPIAL championships) has outgrown 1A competition, and it’s unfair that Clairton would face schools like Avella or Serra Catholic, despite Clairton being a smaller school than Serra Catholic and not much larger than Avella.
Clairton playing in 2A actually makes sense when you’re talking about money as well as competition.
There is zero doubt that the Clairton fan base is going to come out and watch the Bears play. What I’m talking about is schools like Keystone Oaks, South Park, Steel Valley, South Allegheny, and Washington are far more liable to bring tons of fans to Clairton than current Blackhills Conference schools.
That’s not a knock on schools like Chartiers Houston, Bishop Canevin, and Fort Cherry either. Three of those mentioned schools are within a 10 mile radius of Clairton as opposed to just Serra Catholic and Brentwood. Then the more distant schools like McGuffey, Quaker Valley, and Washington are larger schools than California, Chartiers Houston, and Fort Cherry.
Because of the competition being bigger schools, they’re more liable to be competitive with Clairton in the long term. This will allow Clairton to develop heated rivalries. Clairton vs Steel Valley just sounds like a rivalry game, just like Clairton vs Washington. Clairton and South Allegheny used to have a “bridge game” where the winner of the game would name the Clairton-Glassport Bridge.
Clairton fans and admin, would you rather see Chartiers Houston, Fort Cherry, Monessen, Bishop Canevin, and Brentwood come into Neil C. Brown Stadium, or would you like to see Washington, Keystone Oaks, Steel Valley, and South Allegheny? I’m sure it’s easily the latter.
Clairton in 2A also sets up a collision course with Aliquippa. Now that game being played at Heinz Field would remain to be seen, but that match up would certainly happen at some point in the playoffs.
My prediction is that Clairton admin will choose to remain in Class A once the enrollment figures are released to the public. No Clairton doesn’t need to play 2A, but it would be fun to see.