Monday, November 8, 2010

Which program is better – Peters Township or South Fayette?

A combination of growing population, good facilities, strong youth programs, established head coaches and even better student-athletes have helped turn Peters Township and South Fayette into the area's top two sports programs and two of the better ones in the WPIAL.

Here's a quick look at some of the athletic highlights for the respective schools from the past calendar year. Not sure which one is better.

Peters Township
Baseball - Peters Township made another appearance in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs, where the Indians lost in the semifinals.
Boys basketball - The defending WPIAL Class AAAA champs surprised some by being one of the better teams again during the 2009-10 season. Led by Craig Wolcott, the Indians knocked off highly seeded Butler in the first round.
Boys golf - One of the WPIAL's better programs, Peters Township won its third WPIAL Division I title this fall and finished second at the state tournament with only one senior.
Boys soccer - Peters Township won its seventh WPIAL championship Saturday, beating Pittsburgh Central Catholic in overtime on Jesse Scheirer's goal.
Field hockey - PT won its first WPIAL championship in 2009 and qualified for the playoffs this year.
Football - The Indians qualified for the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs for the first time and made the team's first postseason appearance since 2003. PT lost to North Allegheny in the first round.
Girls basketball - Led by first-year coach Kyra Kaylor, Peters Township reached the WPIAL semifinals and won a preliminary round game in the state tournament.
Girls lacrosse – The three-time defending WPIAL champs were upended in the quarterfinals last spring.
Girls soccer - Peters Township won its first WPIAL championship with a 3-0 win over Norwin Saturday.
Girls tennis – The defending state champs were upset in the WPIAL semifinals this fall.
Girls volleyball – Peters Township tied for the second championship and qualifed for the WPIAL playoffs.
Softball - The Indians were upset by Latrobe in the first round after having one of its best regular seasons.
Wrestling – Not known as a wrestlin powerhouse, Peters Township made the WPIAL Class AAA team playoffs.

South Fayette
Baseball - One year after appearing in the PIAA final, South Fayette was the top seed in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. The Lions lost a shocker to Riverview in the first round.
Boys basketball - Defeated Strawberry Mansion for the PIAA Class AA championship, the first state team title in school history. The Lions move to Class AAA and return three starters including Division I prospect Mike Lamberti and top-notch point guard Pat Zedreck.
Boys golf - South Fayette won its section and advanced to the WPIAL Division II team playoffs.
Boys soccer - South Fayette upset Southmoreland in the first round of thew playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals to Belle Vernon.
Cross country - Nicole Hilton won the WPIAL Class AA title and the boys finished second in the team race. Hilton finished fifth at Satturday's PIAA championships.
Football - Seeded third in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, South Fayette is 10-0 for the second consecutive year following a 35-0 win over Ellwood City in the first round. The Lions are 20-1 the past two seasons.
Girls basketball - Very quietly, South Fayette has turned into one of the better teams in the WPIAL Class AA. The Lions reached the PIAA quarterfinals last year.
Girls soccer - South Fayette exited the playoffs in the first round.
Girls volleyball – A perennial playoff team, the Lions were knocked out in the first round this fall.
Softball – The Lions lost to powerhouse Sto-Rox in the first round of the postseason.
Track - An emerging program, South Fayette produced a pair of WPIAL champions in Nikki Hilton and Nolan Spicer.


R. Keith Taylor said...

Bottom line is these are affluent areas. They are both Upper St. Clair lites.

mike_kovak said...

I don't think it is fair to call either school USC Lite.

For one, these schools are winning more hardware than USC. For another, it takes more things than money to be good.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison. Both are doing very well but Peters is playing different competition in most sports at the AAAA level. While South Fayette is definitely a strong athletic program it is hard to match what Peters is doing in the WPIAL's highest classification when it is not even one of the larger schools.

Anonymous said...

Mike - Peters plays golf in Division I (AAAA / AAA) while South Fayette plays in Division II (AA / A). Good job researching and comparing though in all other areas. Interesting.

mike_kovak said...

My bad on the typo.

mike_kovak said...


Let's say, for arguments sake, that South Fayette wins the WPIAL Class AA football championship. As reigning state basketball champs, do you think that evens the field?

Anonymous said...

That's another interesting point. By most accounts the competition level disparities are great. In football I think the numbers and size of Peters would put them ahead (plus they are a AAAA playoff team in a tough conference). In basketball, as we see in the NCAA each year, anything can happen so who knows. In most sports though, over the course of the season, PT is playing much tougher competition. The comparison maybe shouldn't be who is better but which athletic program is dominating their respective level of play more. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Where does it say that Quad-A is tougher than AA? For YEARS, the AA basketball and football classes have been recognized as the toughest in the area, and that recognition has been fairly widespread.

Here's my bottom line on this particular comparson:

South Fayette wins head-to-head in football against Peters Township.
South Fayette wins head-to-head in basketball against Peters Township.
South Fayette wins 4-5 times out of 10 baseball games against Peters Township.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can say Peters plays a better level of competition than SF does. Schools are broken into class A thru AAAA for competive reason. It's unfair to compare the two on that basis. Both are successful within their classification.

Anonymous said...

As far as the overall athletic program, even if it is conceded that SF defeats PT in football, basketball and baseball (which isn't a sure bet by any means considering PT's recent successes), they would still be over matched in many of the other sports. Soccer is PT hands down, Field hockey, Girls hoops, Girls LAX, Girls tennis, softball and without a doubt golf are all most likely PT wins. Wrestling is a toss up as is girls volleyball. Does anyone have a run down of championships won by both schools in all of these sports in the past 10 years? What sports have they gone head-to-head in?

Anonymous said...

In several sports there is no comparison between the strength of opponents.....South Fayette boys cross country was second in the WPIAL and went to states while PT was 14th and had no one qualify. Since they both ran on the same day on the same course it is easy to make a head to head comparison. Result:
South fayette 17:08 PT 17:18 PT 17:47 PT 17:50 SF 17:50 PT 17:57 PT 18:03 SF 18:09
Peters township puts 5 guys in front of South Fayette's third man.
AAA/AAAA competition is much, much tougher.

mike_kovak said...

Peters Township's competition may be tougher, but let's remember they also have more students. PT should be playing tougher competition. That's what happens in Class AAAA.

That said, Class AA in football and boys basketball is far deeper in terms of quality teams than Class AAAA and has been for years, which makes SF's success in the WPIAL's two money sports extremely impressive.

Like Rich Bonnaure said minutes after the Lions won the state basketball title, "What is there 45, 50 teams in Class AA? You don't come out of the WPIAL in Class AA without being a quality team."

In my opinion, South Fayette's classification should not be a punishment in this conversation.

By that argument, there should be no tougher team to play in the WPIAL than Butler in any given sport.

Right now, I'd give the edge in overall athletic department to Peters Township. If South Fayette wins a WPIAL football championship, I'll revisit the decision.