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WPIAL 2023 Predictions

by Ian

The 2023 WPIAL Football season kicks off tonight! Week 0 games will start this evening with the full regular season starting next week. We have our full slate of conference previews available, along with a season preview episode of the WPIAL Blitz Show. Conference previews are linked below with each conference prediction.

Be sure to keep tabs on our WPIAL Standings Page throughout the season and follow our WPIAL Twitter account @WPIAL_Blitz.

WPIAL 6A Predictions

Regular Season

Tri-County Five Conference Predicted Champion: North Allegheny


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Central Catholic over North Allegheny

Central Catholic has been to the WPIAL finals in three straight seasons. Both Central and North Allegheny played for the WPIAL title last year and return most of their starters. The difference this year is that Central should have a more dynamic passing game with Ryan Lehmeier taking the helm as head coach. Both Central and NA are incredibly talented and it is easy to see the two teams splitting their head-to-head games. North Allegheny has traditionally been very strong in the regular season, so I’m picking them to claim that title but I think Central gets revenge in the playoffs.

WPIAL 5A Predictions

Regular Season

Allegheny Six Conference Predicted Champion: Upper St. Clair

Big East Conference Predicted Champion: Gateway

Northeast Conference Predicted Champion: Pine-Richland


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Gateway over Woodland Hills

This might have been the hardest classification to predict. Because of the changes last year in the PIAA bracket (the WPIAL Champion enters at the quarterfinals now instead of the semifinals), only 8 teams will make the WPIAL playoffs. This is going to leave some good teams on the outside looking in come November. This is especially unfortunate for a team like Shaler who has one of their best teams ever but plays in a conference with 3 other teams that are capable of winning the WPIAL title (Pine-Richland, Woody High, and Penn Hills). Upper St Clair returns a lot of players from a team that reached the title game last year. Gateway is the presumptive favorites with Brad Birch returning at QB and you can never count out Pine-Richland. I think Woodland Hills might have the best line in 5A and is a bit of an under-the-radar pick to make the championship game, but the Wolverines certainly have the talent to do it. Penn Hills and Peters Twp will also be in the mix after missing the playoffs last year.

WPIAL 4A Predictions

Regular Season

Big Seven Conference Predicted Champion: Thomas Jefferson

Greater Allegheny Conference Predicted Champion: Mars

Parkway Conference Predicted Champion: Aliquippa


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Aliquippa over Thomas Jefferson

Aliquippa has reached the WPIAL Championship Game in an incredible 15 straight seasons. The Quips are the two-time defending WPIAL Champions and have reached the state finals in two straight years. Thomas Jefferson returns starters all over the field from a team that shared a conference title and reached the semifinals last year. The Quips and Jaguars are head and shoulders better than the rest of 4A this season and seem like two trains on one track headed for a collision in the WPIAL Championship Game. With Aliquippa being the two-time defending champions it would be foolish to pick against them, especially since they have a bit of revenge to enact on TJ after the Jaguars won the 2020 title game in overtime.

WPIAL 3A Predictions

Regular Season

Allegheny Six Conference Predicted Champion: Freeport

Interstate Conference Predicted Champion: Belle Vernon

Western Hills Conference Champion: Avonworth


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Belle Vernon over West Mifflin

Belle Vernon returns nearly all of their starters from the team that won the WPIAL and State Championship last season. The WPIAL 3A Champion has gone on to win the state championship in 6 of the last 7 years. Belle Vernon is absolutely loaded with Quinton Martin at running back and is the clear favorites in both the WPIAL and the state. The real question is which team will they face in the WPIAL Championship? Last year’s runner-up Avonworth lost a lot of players to graduation but is still very talented. My sleeper team to make a run is West Mifflin, who return their top two rushers from last season’s team that fell in the quarterfinals.

WPIAL 2A Predictions

Regular Season

Allegheny Conference Predicted Champion: Steel Valley

Century Conference Predicted Champion: Washington

Midwestern Conference Predicted Champion: Beaver Falls


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Steel Valley over Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls has been to the WPIAL title game every year since moving down to 2A. With the amount of talent the Tigers have returning, it would be silly not to pick them to make it back to Acrisure. Steel Valley has been to the Championship Game in 4 of the last 7 years and with the emerging Barksdale brothers in the backfield has a dynamic tandem of playmakers. There are a number of other strong teams in 2A, including Washington, Keystone Oaks, Serra, McGuffey, Imani Christian, and Mohawk. Ultimately, I think the traditional powers assert themselves once again in the postseason.

WPIAL 1A Predictions

Regular Season

Big Seven Conference Predicted Champion: South Side Beaver

Black Hills Conference Predicted Champion: Bishop Canevin

Eastern Conference Champion: Clairton

Tri-County South Conference Champion: Monessen


WPIAL Championship Prediction: Clairton over Bishop Canevin

If I’ve learned one thing in my years of writing about WPIAL football, it’s to never pick against Clairton. 1A might be the deepest and most talented it has been in quite some time. Bishop Canevin is certainly out for revenge after falling in the WPIAL Championship last year. Defending champions Union bring back most of their roster from a team that made a run all the way to the state finals. South Side Beaver and Rochester both made the semifinals last season and return key offensive starters. South Side’s only losses were to Laurel and Canevin (in the playoffs) and they dominated Union when they played, making the Rams a sneaky under-the-radar pick to make a run this year. Ultimately, Canevin and Clairton have the most talent and athleticism in the classification and I think it carries them to a meeting at Acrisure Stadium.

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