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WPIAL Streaks Entering 2023

by Ian

The 2022 WPIAL football season is just days away from kicking off. You can check out all of our conference previews here and WPIAL Blitz Season Preview on YouTube. With last year being a realignment year, there were a number of marquee matchups where streaks were broken. The three-time defending WPIAL 3A Champions Central Valley carried a 36-game winning streak into their Week 9 showdown with defending WPIAL 4A Champions Aliquippa who was riding a 21-game winning streak. Aliquippa won that game and the rematch in the WPIAL Championship. On the flip side, Ringgold and Connellsville entered last season with two of the three longest conference losing streaks. Realignment put them in a conference together which saw Connellsville’s streak end when they beat Ringgold in Week 4.  Impressive streaks for Aliquippa and Thomas Jefferson continued as they have both reached the playoffs in 28th straight year. Aliquippa incredibly made the WPIAL title game in 15th consecutive season.

Here’s a look at the current streaks for WPIAL teams entering 2023 – both the good and the bad of wins, losses, playoff streaks, and playoff droughts. Of note, due to the COVID pandemic there were a number of games cancelled in 2020 and 2021. We are only counting games actually played towards these streaks.


We start by looking at the teams that ended the 2022 season on a high note and are carrying winning streaks into 2023. There were only two WPIAL teams that claimed State titles, so this list is rather short.

Overall Wins

1. Pine-Richland – 12
2. Belle Vernon – 11

Two of the four WPIAL teams to play in State Championship games claimed victory. However, neither had a perfect season as both lost non-conference games early in the year. These two are the only teams carrying long winning streaks into the 2023 season. However, if you don’t count the teams that fell in the State playoffs….


1. Aliquippa – 22
2. Steel Valley – 12
3t. Pine-Richland & Belle Vernon – 9
4. North Allegheny – 6
6. Union – 5

While two WPIAL teams captured state titles, Aliquippa was the only one to repeat as WPIAL champions. The Quips last loss to a WPIAL opponent came in non-conference play against Central Valley in 2021 (when the Warriors still played in 3A). Steel Valley ran the table in the 2022 regular season, but lost in the state playoffs to Westinghouse. Pine-Richland and Belle Vernon both lost non-conference games early in the season but turned it on midway through the year. Pine-Richland’s turnaround included wins over 6A contenders North Allegheny and Central Catholic. North Allegheny‘s last WPIAL loss came against Pine-Richland.

Conference Wins (Regular Season Only)

1. Aliquippa – 17
2. Laurel – 15
3t. Sto-Rox – 14
3t. Belle Vernon – 14
5. Beaver Falls – 13
6. Steel Valley -12
7. Bishop Canevin – 11
8. Armstrong – 8
9t. Avonworth – 7
9t. Mapletown – 7

The 2020 season saw South Fayette’s incredible 64-game conference winning streak come to an end in Week 3 against Peters Twp. Last season saw four teams with conference winning streaks longer of 20+ games come to an end. North Catholic saw their 25-game streak end in Week 3 against Highlands. The following week Penn-Trafford‘s 21-game streak ended against Hempfield. Week 5 saw another one fall as Clairton‘s 20-game streak was ended by GCC. Central Valley‘s Week 9 game against Aliquippa pitted two teams with the longest conference winning streaks against each other. Central Valley’s 27-game streak ended and Aliquippa took over the top spot with a 17-game run.  All four of those conference winning streaks dated back to 2018. It is worth noting that two of those teams (North Catholic and Central Valley) had begun their streaks playing in 3A and moved up to 4A last season.  Aliquippa‘s last conference loss came in 2019 against Central Valley before the Quips were forced up to 4A.


On the flip side, there are a number of schools that are carrying lengthy losing streaks into 2022 and have not tasted victory in some time.

Total Losses

Brownsville – 28*
1. Derry – 19
2. Ringgold – 15
3. Carlynton – 14
4. Waynesburg – 13
5t. Fox Chapel – 11
5t. Springdale – 11
5t. New Brighton – 11
8. Seton LaSalle – 10

Uniontown (35 games), Northgate (32 games), and Ambridge (28 games) all saw their losing streaks come to an end in 2021. Last year, Ellwood City ended their 27-game skid with a Week 2 victory over Carlynton.  Brownsville‘s streak is at 28 straight losses, but the Falcons have moved to play an independent schedule last season (and went 0-8) so they are not counted among the longest streaks in the WPIAL.  Interestingly only one team (Derry) that appeared in the Top 10 entering last season is still on the list this year. The other 9 teams all found at least one victory on their schedule. Derry’s losing streak dates back to 2020, the only current streak longer than two seasons.

Conference Losses

1. Ringgold – 36*
2t. Summit Academy – 12
2t. Derry – 12
4. Carlynton – 11
5. Bentworth – 10
6. Waynesburg – 9
7t. Baldwin – 8
7t. Kiski – 8
7t. Fox Chapel – 8
7t. New Castle – 8

Last season saw 7 of the 8 longest losing streaks come to an end. Ellwood City won just 2 games overall but one ended their 27-game overall losing streak and another saw their 26-game conference losing streak snapped. In a Week 4 showdown between two of the three longest skids, Connellsville topped Ringgold to end their 17-game slide. For Ellwood City and Connellsville, those were their first conference victories since 2018. The longest conference losing streak in the WPIAL rests with Ringgold, with two caveats. Ringgold defeated Uniontown in 2020, but Uniontown was classified as an “independent” after deciding not to compete in the WPIAL for the 2020 season, so the Rams streak of conference losses stayed alive. Additionally, Ringgold’s 2019 loss to West Mifflin was retroactively change to a forfeit because West Mifflin used an ineligible player, but the result on the field was a loss, so for our purposes Ringgold’s streak is judged based on on-field results. Summit Academy (who did not play in 2020) has not won a conference game since 2019. It is worth noting that four teams currently playing independent schedules (Uniontown, Albert Gallatin, Brownsville, and Butler) left the WPIAL with long conference losing streaks still in tact. Uniontown lost their last 26 conference games, Butler lost their last 18, Brownsville lost their last 14, and Albert Gallatin lost their last 8 games.


The first section covered streaks relating to single games. Now, we look at the broader picture of season-by-season streaks. There are 10 teams that reached the postseason in every year of the last decade. Only four teams did not make a playoff appearance in the last decade. With the smaller playoff fields in 2020 due to the COVID-shortened season, four teams saw their decade-plus playoff streaks snapped. Bethel Park’s streak ended at 19 years, Franklin Regional at 16 years, Avonworth at 12 years, and West Mifflin at 10 years. It is worth noting that if 2020 had a normal playoff structure, Bethel Park and West Mifflin still would have seen their streaks end.

Championship Game Appearances

1. Aliquippa – 15
2t. Central Valley – 4
2t. Central Catholic – 4
4. Beaver Falls – 3
5t. Belle Vernon, Bishop Canevin – 2
7t. North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Upper St Clair, Avonworth, Steel Valley, Union – 1

Arguably one of the most impressive streaks in WPIAL history is Aliquippa‘s current run of 15 consecutive trips to Heinz Field/Acrisure Stadium. The Quips are a 1A-sized school that played in AA until the 2016 realignment when they opted to play in 3A then were forced up into 4A in 2020. Thomas Jefferson’s streak of 6 straight Championship Game appearances came to an end in 2021 when they lost to Belle Vernon in the semifinals. The last time Aliquippa did not appear in a WPIAL title game was in 2007 when they lost in the semifinals to a Jeannette team led by Terrelle Pryor.

Central Valley was the three-time defending WPIAL 3A Champions and moved up to 4A this year, reaching the Championship but falling to Aliquippa. Central Catholic has reached 4 straight WPIAL finals but fell to Mt. Lebanon and North Allegheny the last two years. Beaver Falls has reached the WPIAL title game in every season since moving down to 2A. After losing in the 4A Championship Game in 2021, Belle Vernon moved down to 3A and won the WPIAL and State titles.

Playoff Qualification Streaks

1t. Aliquippa – 28
1t. Thomas Jefferson – 28
3. McKeesport – 25
4. Upper St Clair – 23
5. Central Catholic – 20
6. North Allegheny – 19
7. Clairton – 17
8. Belle Vernon – 14
9. Washington – 12
10. Pine-Richland – 10

In 2019, Woodland Hills missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995, breaking a 23-year streak. The prior year, 1994, was the last time Aliquippa and Thomas Jefferson missed the postseason. Both of their streaks sit at an impressive 28 straight seasons entering 2023. McKeesport and Upper St Clair are the other two programs who have made the playoffs every year this century with McKeesport’s streak dating to 1998 and Upper St Clair’s to 2000. The only streak to come to an end last year was North Catholic‘s 10-year run of playoff appearances, which ended because of a missed field goal in overtime against Hampton.

Schools with playoff streaks extending beyond the current six-classification structure include: Washington (12 years), Pine-Richland (10 years), and Mt. Lebanon (9 years). Other schools that have reached the playoffs in all seven years of the six-classification alignment include: California, East Allegheny, Gateway, OLSH, and Serra Catholic.

Postseason Appearance Droughts

Brownsville – 21
1. Carlynton – 21
2. Ellwood City – 11
3t. Hopewell – 10
3t. Jefferson-Morgan – 10
5t. Valley – 9
5t. Yough -9

The 2019 season was an historic year as Southmoreland snapped their 40-year playoff drought and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1979. The Scotties made it back to the playoffs last year for the second time in three seasons. The 2021 season was also historic for Leechburg as the Blue Devils snapped a 32-year playoff drought that stretched back to 1988.

The longest drought now belongs to Brownsville who have not made the playoffs since 2000, but the Falcons moved to playing an independent schedule in 2022 and are not eligible for the WPIAL playoffs. For purposes of our records, that puts their 21-year streak on hold since they are not eligible for the playoffs. Therefore, Carlynton tops the list of playoff droughts for teams playing a WPIAL schedule. They have not made the playoffs since 2001, though the Cougars did have a .500 season in 2011.

Nine active WPIAL teams have yet to make a playoff appearance during the six-classification era. Ellwood City‘s last appearance was in 2011 while Hopewell, and Jefferson-Morgan qualified a year later in 2012. South Allegheny was part of that 2012 cohort before making the playoffs this past season. Valley and Yough both qualified in 2013 and Connellsville, Knoch, and Waynesburg the following year in 2014. Bentworth reached the playoffs in 2015 but have not made the postseason in the last six years.  This past season, South Allegheny, Highlands, Ambridge, and Laurel Highlands made the playoffs for the first time in the six-classification era.

Playoff Victory Droughts

Following the 2021 season where Laurel Highlands and Armstrong won their first playoff games in school history, two more teams crossed their names off the list last year. Mapletown ended an 0-8 run by defeating Leechburg in the opening round of the 1A playoffs. Ligonier Valley, which rejoined the WPIAL in 2020 after winning multiple District 6 titles, had never won a WPIAL playoff game until last season. This leaves just three teams that have never won a WPIAL playoff game.

Southmoreland jhas made the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years after snapping a 40-year playoff drought but has lost all of their postseason appearances. Summit Academy, the school for adjudicated youth, is also 0-2 in the playoffs all-time. Deer Lakes is the only other current WPIAL school that has never won a playoff game, only qualifying three times in school history (2010, 2015, and 2022) though it should be noted that East Deer won the 1946 WPIAL title prior to the merger that created Deer Lakes.

There are 23 other schools that have not won a playoff game in over a decade. In addition to snapping their 32-year playoff drought, in 2021 Leechburg won their first playoff game since 1978, ending a 42-year drought which was the third-longest in the WPIAL. Last season, Latrobe ended the second-longest drought (53 years) with their overtime victory over Highlands. That was the Wildcats first playoff win since 1968, ending a 10-game skid. The teams that have gone at least a decade without a playoff victory are listed in the table below:


School Last Playoff Win Years Playoff Record Since Last Victory
Avella 1961 61 0-6
South Allegheny 1986 36 0-2
Kiski Area 1990 32 0-10
Baldwin 1991 31 0-11
Connellsville 1994 28 0-8
Hempfield 1997 25 0-6
Carlynton 1997 25 0-1
Brownsville* 1999 23 0-1
Greensburg Salem 2000 22 0-10
Chartiers-Houston 2000 22 0-13
Waynesburg 2000 22 0-4
Riverview 2001 21 0-5
Canon-McMillan 2004 18 0-6
Ambridge 2004 18 0-3
Bentworth 2005 17 0-1
Burrell 2005 17 0-5
Valley 2005 17 0-5
Jefferson-Morgan 2006 16 0-3
Norwin 2007 15 0-5
Trinity 2007 15 0-5
Chartiers Valley 2007 15 0-5
Western Beaver 2008 14 0-7
Shaler 2009 13 0-3


Which WPIAL streaks will continue this season? Which will be broken?

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