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Sunday, August 29, 2021 | 8:56 pm

Christopher Horner | Grandstand review

Seneca Valley’s Beaux Lizewski (17) celebrates his first goal with Caiden Oros (25) and Connor Scmidt during the WPIAL class 4A championship game against Peters Twp. on Saturday, November 7th, 2020, in North Allegheny.

WPIAL football preview for boys

Class 4A

Defending champion: The defensively strong Seneca Valley won 14 games in a row to wrap up the 2020 season on their way to WPIAL and PIAA titles. The Raiders must replace the stellar Zack LaValle and Mason Baldwin, but bring back Junior Beaux Lizewski, another all-WPIAL selection. George Williams was the state coach of the year.

Competitors: Peters Township could be the favorites to win, behind State Player of the Year Andrew Masucci, a senior striker who scored 19 goals and eight assists for WPIAL runners-up Indians. … Semi-finalist Norwin is ready for another run behind Seniors Caleb Yuricha and Riley Zimmerman. … Senior Landon Mohney drives Butler, while Junior Ashton Schutzman runs Fox Chapel.

Don’t sleep on: Canon-McMillan has to replace Joey Fonagy, but the Big Macs were mostly a young team in 2020.

Class 3A

Defending champion: Mars, who won WPIAL and PIAA championships and finished 21-0, only lost eight seniors, but one of them was Trib HSSN Player of the Year Dane Beller. The Fightin Planets did not allow a goal until their 11th game in 2020. They dethroned the two-time defending champion Franklin Regional.

Competitors: West Allegheny is full of talent. The Indians have made it to the WPIAL finals in three of the last four years, but haven’t yet reached their first WPIAL title since 2013. However, three years ago they won a PIAA title. Seniors Keegan Amos and Johnny Dragisich are a dangerous combination of goalscorers. … Anthony DiFalco is returning for his senior season at Franklin Regional. Last season he scored 35 goals and has helped the Panthers to two WPIAL titles and one second place over the course of his career. Junior Colton Hudson also gives the Panthers extra punch. … Plum lurks in Section 4. Keep an eye on Aldair Flowers. … Moon returns to Senior Severin Dengel and Junior Ryan Kopay.

Don’t go back to sleep: Hampton finished 8th last season, bringing rivals Mars to two extra times in the quarterfinals.

Class 2A

Defending champion: Deer Lakes made their way to the title behind National Player of the Year Michael Sullivan and Devin Murray, but the Lancers have to reload.

Competitors: Shady Side Academy, which finished one victory better than Deer Lakes in Section 2, looks like a winner again. The newly named Bulldogs bring back Seniors Sam Farner and Joe Anania as key threats. … Nine seniors are gone at Elizabeth Forward, but state coach of the year Doug Finke still has talent in the line-up. … Quaker Valley had to withdraw from the WPIAL playoffs due to Covid concerns, but the Quakers have Blaise Burns and Rowan Kriebel back and could fight for the title.

Don’t sleep on: Charleroi. The Cougars boast one of the state’s top scorers in Senior Eben McIntyre.

Class a

Defending champion: Greensburg Central Catholic is ready to repeat itself behind new coach Rob Fabean. The Centurions, the state’s runner-up, got most of their firepower back in Junior Carlo Denis and Senior Mason Fabean. Goalkeeper Max House is also returning for his senior season.

Competitors: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart has returned most of their starting grid after winning Section 1. … Seton LaSalle was a section master with a young cast. … Winchester Thurston will try to reload after falling in the WPIAL final. The bears are no longer in the same section as rival GCC.

Don’t go back to sleep: Springdale, a postseason contender, has Chris Mitchell back after a semifinal run.

Leaderboards

Class 4A

1. Peters Parish (13-2-1)

2. Seneca Valley (17-1-1)

3. Norwin (11-1-2)

4. Butler (11-6-1)

5. Fox Chapel (11-4)

Class 3A

1. West Allegheny (15-2)

2. Franklin-Regional (13-2)

3. Mars (21-0)

4th moon (12-4)

5. plum (13-2)

Class 2A

1. Academy of the Dark Side (14-3)

2. Quaker Valley (11-1-1)

3. Deer lakes (17-2)

4. Elizabeth Striker (12-3-2)

5. Charleroi (14-2)

Class a

1. Grünsburg KK (17-2)

2. Seton LaSalle (12-3)

3. OLSH (11-1-1)

4. Winchester Thurston (14-2)

5. Springdale (12-2)

Player to watch

Mark Accamondo, Sr., Brentwood

Keegan Amos, Sr., West Allegheny

Joe Anania, Sr., Shady Side Academy

John Bence, So., Aquinas Academy

Bob Bootay, Sr., Seton LaSalle

Blaise Burns, Sr., Quaker Valley

Nick Cherry, Sun., Seton LaSalle

Carlo Denis, Jr., Greensburg Central Catholic

Anthony DiFalco, Sr., Franklin Regional

Johnny Dragisich, Sr., West Allegheny

Mason Fabean, Sr., Greensburg Central Catholic

Sam Farner, Sr., Shady Side Academy

Will Gruca, Jr., Ambridge

Alex Hauskrecht, Sr., Winchester Thurston

Colton Hudson, Jr., Franklin Regional

Luke Kolankowski, Sr., plum

Rowan Kriebel, Sr., Quaker Valley

Andrew Massucci, Sr., Peters Township

McIntyre, Sr., Charleroi

Owen McDermott, Jr., Leechburg

Chris Mitchell, Jr., Springdale

Landon Mohney, Sr., butler

Daniel Sassak, Sr., Belle Vernon

Nathan Schlessinger, Sr., Penn-Trafford

Ashton Schutzman, Sr., Fox Chapel

Landon Urcho, Jr., Bentworth

Jared Waggett, Sr., Chartiers Houston

Gabe Viszlay, Sr., Hampton

Caleb Yuricha, Sr., Norwin

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or on Twitter.

Tags: Butler, Canon-McMillan, Charleroi, Deer Lakes, Elizabeth Forward, Franklin Regional, Greensburg CC, Hampton, Mars, Moon, Norwin, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Peters Township, Quaker Valley, Seneca Valley, Seton La Salle, Shady Side Academy, Springdale, West Allegheny, Winchester Thurston