The danger of forfeiting matches has been an ongoing problem for the Washington High School boys soccer program.
Washington athletic director Mike Bosnic is hopeful that situation will be a thing of the past for the Prexies, who recently received approval from the PIAA to form a boys soccer co-op team with Fort Cherry and Burgettstown.
“The numbers have been a struggle the last several seasons,” Bosnic said. “We think this is going to give us a better chance at being competitive.”
The co-op request was first denied by the WPIAL because Washington doesn’t border either the Fort Cherry or Burgettstown school districts. The appeal to the PIAA was granted, allowing the three schools to form one team.
Fort Cherry did not have a boys soccer program. Burgettstown had a co-op with South Side Beaver for several years but it was eliminated after last season.
“It was decided on their end to eliminate it,” Burgettstown athletic director Rob Bennett said. “We had nowhere to go. Our only bordering schools are South Side, Avella and Fort Cherry. Our interest was very high when Mike reached out to us.”
Bennett said Burgettstown had three players participate with South Side Beaver last year but that number had ballooned to double figures in some seasons.
The Burgettstown Area Youth Soccer Association has both an in-house recreational league and a traveling league. The league not only includes kids from Burgettstown but many from Fort Cherry.
“For the last 10 years, we’ve been looking for a neighboring school district (to co-op),” Fort Cherry athletic director Tom Scarpone said. “A lot of schools don’t want to take you on because of moving up in classification. We’ve had a growing interest and had to be creative. It’s all about sustainability. Hopefully, the three of us together will have a good marriage and have that sustainability.”
Washington didn’t request a WPIAL schedule for the next two seasons but has already formed a 12-match non-section schedule and a pair of scrimmages for the fall of 2020, all against teams within the WPIAL.
The Prexies were winless in each of the last two seasons. Their last victory was Sept. 26, 2017, and had not won more than one match in a season since 2013.