1. Peters Township girls soccer
As Indians head coach Pat Vereb said before his team played one game, "We're replacing roughly 80 percent of the roster with girls who have little or no varsity experience."
The previous group won PIAA and WPIAL Class AAA titles in 2010 with a physical yet skilled style of play. Peters Township in 2011 would rely more on speed and other skill sets in defense of the program's first state championship.
After two games, the Indians were 0-1-1.
Peters Township eventually meshed and earned the top seed in the WPIAL playoffs, where the Indians needed a two-goal rally in the quarterfinals to remain in competition. A loss to Upper St. Clair in the WPIAL championship, did little to affect PT's play in the state tournament.
Only an honorable mention team in the state's Class AAA rankings, Peters Township (20-3-1) rolled through the competition and beat Pennridge, 1-0, for its second consecutive state championship.
2. Peters Township girls tennis
For WPIAL girls tennis coaches as the Class AAA level, the key is navigating the district bracket.
Every time Peters Township has won a WPIAL girls team title, it has followed with a state championship. It happened in 2006, 2009 and once again in 2011.
The top seed in the WPIAL playoffs, Peters Township dominated the pairings like never before. The Indians beat Fox Chapel, Upper St. Clair and old nemesis Shady Side Academy in the finals. Along the way, Peters Township lost one match.
Peters Township played Shady Side Academy once again for the PIAA team title, and a 4-1 victory clinched the Indians' third title in six years. The Indians lost just one match in the state playoffs.
3. Chartiers-Houston softball
In 2010, Chartiers-Houston finally broke the curse. Not only did the Bucs score a run in a state championship game after previously being blanked in all previous appearances, C-H won the Class A title.
The Bucs entered the 2011 season as the prohibitive favorite to win a seventh WPIAL championship and they delivered, making things look easier than they were with an undefeated record, and a 9-3 win over section rival Fort Cherry in the final.
C-H (22-1) reached the state semifinals, where a 24-game win streak was snapped with a 3-2 loss to Clairion.
4. Monessen boys basketball
Losses to Norwin and North Allegheny - a pair of Class AAAA programs - were all that kept Monessen completing the regular season with an undefeated record. The Greyhounds were that good, yet not good enough to receive the top seed in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.
A blowout win over Ellwood City - the 500th coaching victory for Joe Salvino - led to close ones against Jeannette and Wilkinsburg. Monessen found itself playing Greensburg Central Catholic for the championship at Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center. For those who don't know the interesting subplots of that contest, well, you must have been far, far away from Western Pennsylvania.
Monessen (26-3) won by 20 points and reached the PIAA semifinals, where GCC ended the Greyhounds' outstanding season.
5. Washington boys 4x400 relay team
The restoration of Wash High athletics was underway during the spring, and the boys track and field team played the key role.
Washington reached the WPIAL Class AA team championship, where it finished second. There were multiple WPIAL and PIAA medalists, but the shining moment came during the final event of the WPIAL championship meet at Baldwin.
That's when the Washington 1,600 relay team of XXXX entered the WPIAL record books.
Mykhael Kelley, Jordan Thomas, Darius Spinks and anchor leg Dustin Fuller ran a scorching 3:26.41, not only good enough for WPIAL gold but the time broke a 10-year meet record, which was held by ... Washington.