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Farrell School Board Votes 8-1 to Join WPIAL



Farrell High School

The Farrell School Board voted 8-1 to join District 7 from District 10 Monday night, setting up a potential powerhouse to join the WPIAL.

Farrell has six WPIAL football titles in its history, with a 3A title in 1951, 2A title in 1976 and four 1A titles in 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996. The basketball team is level with Aliquippa for most WPIAL titles with 13 and girls’ volleyball has a WPIAL record 20 titles.

Farrell left the WPIAL back in 2006 and has played in District 10 since then. District 10 consists of schools in the northeast part of Pennsylvania, with the prominent Erie schools in McDowell and Cathedral Prep and more rural schools like Meadville and Reynolds in Greenville, Pa.

The school district attempted to leave for the WPIAL in 2015, but District 10 prohibited them and the PIAA also rejected the move.

Farrell athletic director and football head coach Anthony Pegues, in an interview with the Tribune-Review’s Chris Harlan, spoke about the improved chances to join the WPIAL. He said that the WPIAL wants them and that they have the legal counsel to try and push it forward if District 10 prohibits them again, but it is still up to the school board how they progress further.

The 2024-25 academic calendar year serves as the timeline for when Farrell wants to join the WPIAL. Another important factor that Pegues said in the interview include dealing with racial incidents from. other schools, including an instance this fall where they asked District 10 to deal with racism at a girls’ volleyball match. 75% of Farrell’s student body is Black and 83.9% is minority enrollment, compared to the school districts in the area with a much higher White percentage in their student bodies.

Farrell is about 69 miles north west on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border in Mercer County, more northern than any other WPIAL school.The length of travel is also something that, while playing a role in Farrell leaving the WPIAL in 2006, still is an issue in District 10, with teams about an hour to 90-minute drives away.

Schools in Lawrence, Beaver and Armstrong counties are about the same distance or shorter for Farrell. The WPIAL also provides much tougher competition for the school district, which has 10 football titles since joining in 2006. The potential for better matchups also allows for colleges to recruit the athletes at high school, which benefits the school district greatly.

Farrell will need both District 10 and the PIAA to approve their move, if it is to go through.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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