H.S. Football: Many schedule changes for upcoming WVC season

Feb. 24—The Wyoming Valley Conference football schedule was released last week with several teams having their previous schedules altered greatly.

The shift of Berwick to Division 2 and Pittston Area to Division 1 — plus the departure of two programs — caused minor to major shake-ups.

Here are some points before getting into each teams schedule.

—Williamsport and Holy Redeemer are no longer part of WVC football. Williamsport, a District 4 team which had been a WVC football member since 1994, left to join the Heartland Athletic Conference. Redeemer elected to play an independent schedule. Redeemer was 0-10 last year and outscored 467-50. An independent schedule should result in more competitive games.

—Berwick and Pittston Area switched divisions based on PIAA enrollment. Pittston Area is Class 5A while Berwick dropped from 4A to 3A.

WVC Division 1 will be Crestwood, Dallas, Hazleton Area, Pittston Area, Wilkes-Barre Area and Wyoming Valley West. Division 2 will be Berwick, Hanover Area, Lake-Lehman, Nanticoke Area, Tunkhannock and Wyoming Area.

—The first three weeks of the schedule will feature primarily non-divisional games.

—The schedule was crafted so that no WVC team either starts or finishes the season with three consecutive home or three away games.

—The schedule is made for two years. The teams will switch home-away sites in 2025.

—As so many schools added stadium lights over the past decade or so, Saturday afternoon games have been vanishing. There are only two on the schedule — an away game for Hanover Area in Week 8 and an away game for Hazleton Area in Week 10.


Departing: Abington Heights, Crestwood, Dallas, Danville, Southern Columbia, Valley View, Wilkes-Barre Area, Wyoming Valley West

Arriving: Hanover Area, Lackawanna Trail, Lake-Lehman, Mid Valley, Nanticoke Area, Selinsgrove, Tunkhannock, Wyoming Area

Analysis: The move to WVC Division 2 radically changed Berwick's schedule as the Dawgs lost several rivals. They did add Wyoming Area for the first time since 2017 plus down-river non-conference rival Selinsgrove.

Berwick played its first football game in 1888 yet will be playing Lackawanna Trail and Mid Valley for the first time.


Departing: Berwick, Hanover Area, North Pocono, Williamsport

Arriving: Nanticoke Area, Pittston Area, Tunkhannock, Western Wayne

Analysis: Nothing of real consequence here. Crestwood has played the new opponents in recent years, so the schedule doesn't really deviate much. Overall, the new schedule might be a touch easier based on graduation losses of some new opponents.

Removing rebuilding Hanover Area should help both programs. The Comets won the last two meetings by a combined score of 119-14.


Departing: Berwick, Wallenpaupack, West Scranton, Williamsport

Arriving: Jersey Shore, North Pocono, Pittston Area, Wyoming Area

Analysis: Dallas opens with Jersey Shore, a very strong Class 4A program from District 4. Then comes Wyoming Area for the first time in the regular season since 2017. The schools boarder each other — technically although there's plenty of God's country in between.

Those two additions alone make the schedule look a little more challenging.


Departing: Carbondale Area, Crestwood, Holy Redeemer, Montrose, Pittston Area

Arriving: Berwick, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, Marian Catholic, Old Forge, Riverside

Analysis: Removing Crestwood and Montrose were certainly a good thing. Rebuilding Hanover Area was no match for Crestwood, losing the last two games by a combined 119-14 score. Montrose had to forfeit last year's game because of a lack of players.

Hanover Area has never played Berwick, although the old Hanover High faced the Dawgs several times in the 1940s. Nor have the Hawkeyes played Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, a District 4 Class 4A school with very limited success, before. They haven't played Marian Catholic, a District 11 Class A school just south of Hazleton, since 1993.


Departing: North Pocono, Wallenpaupack

Arriving: Abington Heights, Nazareth

Analysis: Although there are only two changes, Hazleton Area's schedule did get tougher.

Abington Heights is back for the first time since 2017. The two were schedule regulars from 2000-2011. Plus, Abington Heights has recovered nicely after a couple down years.

Nazareth is a strong Class 6A program from District 11 which finished 11-2 and won the district championship in 2023. The Cougars play the Blue Eagles in their opener, marking the first meeting of the teams.


Departing: Lackawanna Trail, Scranton Prep, Pittston Area, Western Wayne

Arriving: Berwick, Northwest, Riverside, Shamokin

Analysis: Gone are three Lackawanna Conference teams which were 6-0 against the Black Knights the past two year plus Pittston Area, which is 16-0 lifetime against them.

Lehman will play District 4 Class 4A Shamokin for the first time, while the other newcomers to the schedule have popped up in recent years. The Black Knights are the only WVC team to play Northwest, a former WVC and District 2 member which bolted to District 4 and a new league a few years ago.


Departing: Holy Redeemer, Lackawanna Trail, Old Forge, Shamokin

Arriving: Berwick, Crestwood, North Pocono, Western Wayne

Analysis: Losing Shamokin is a victory in itself. Shamokin's high school is one of the toughest places on earth to find, even with GPS assistance.

The new additions make the schedule much stronger than the past two years. The Trojans haven't played Berwick since 1988 and North Pocono since 1993. They defeated Crestwood in the District 2 Class 4A playoffs in 2023 and faced Western Wayne last in 2018.


Departing: Hanover Area, Holy Redeemer, Lake-Lehman, Tunkhannock, Valley View, Williamsport

Arriving: Crestwood, Dallas, Mid Valley, North Pocono, Wallenpaupack, Wilkes-Barre Area

Analysis: Switching from WVC Division 2 to WVC Division 1 means a much more difficult schedule for Pittston Area. Valley View was the only team no longer on the schedule to finish with a winning record in 2023. The other five were a combined 14-39 this past season.

The Patriots have never played Mid Valley. The others new to the schedule have been recent opponents.


Departing: Carbondale Area, Honesdale, Pittston Area, Williamsport

Arriving: Berwick, Crestwood, Lackawanna Trail, Montrose

Analysis: The schedule appears harder with the additions of Crestwood and Lackawanna Trail, two programs with recent postseason success, plus Berwick. Montrose had to forfeit a game this past season due to a lack of healthy players.

Adding Trail and Montrose will certainly cut down on some travel time, especially with Williamsport out of the picture. The Tigers were also able to maintain their Route 6 rival Towanda as part of their non-conference schedule.


Departing: Abington Heights, Berwick, Delaware Valley, Scranton, Wallenpaupack

Arriving: Pittston Area, Stroudsburg, Valley View, West Scranton, Whitehall

Analysis: The schedule leans a bit towards being harder with the addition of Valley View as well as Stroudsburg and Whitehall, two solid District 11 programs. Those three open WBA's schedule and it doesn't get any easier with Dallas in Week 4.

The Wolfpack are one of three teams to maintain games with former WVC football member Williamsport. However, WBA doesn't play Scranton for the first time in its six-year existence. Kind of disappointing two big city schools don't play.


Departing: Holy Redeemer, Honesdale, Scranton, Southern Columbia

Arriving: Berwick, Dallas, Lakeland, Western Wayne

Analysis: Berwick and Dallas are back on the regular-season schedule for the first time since 2017. Wyoming Area and Dallas had some classic battles in the past and it's a little disappointing the boarding schools couldn't hook up sooner.

Also disappointing is no game with next-door neighbor Wyoming Valley West. The teams haven't played since 2015 despite some Valley West students living closer to Wyoming Area's high school than their own.

The Warriors and perennial Class 2A state power Southern Columbia also ended their four-year relationship. Western Wayne returns for the first time since 2011.


Departing: Berwick, Scranton Prep

Arriving: Penn Wood, Valley View

Analysis: It's shocking not to see Berwick on the schedule. The teams played every year since 1983 — except for the truncated 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic — and had built a rivalry, albeit one that's lost some luster in recent years. It would have been nice to see neighbor Wyoming Area on the schedule. (See Wyoming Area's analysis). Perhaps in 2026.

As for the newcomers, Valley West played Valley View once way back in 1971. Penn Wood is a District 1 Class 6A team which is 3-29 over its last three seasons.


NOTE: The teams will play the same schedule in 2025 but reverse home-away sites.


Fri., Aug. 23'Lake-Lehman'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Mid Valley'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'at Lackawanna Trail'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Hanover Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'at Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Williamsport'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Selinsgrove'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'Tunkhannock'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Valley View'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'at Tunkhannock'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Western Wayne'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'at Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'at Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'Dallas'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Wilkes-Barre Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'Wyo. Valley West'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'Jersey Shore'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Abington Heights'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Wilkes-Barre Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'at Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'North Pocono'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Wyo. Valley West'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Lake-Lehman '7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'at Marian Catholic'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'Riverside'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Holy Cross'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Old Forge'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'at Berwick'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Tunkhannock'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 64'Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 12'at Col-Montour Vo-Tech'1 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Lake-Lehman'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'Nazareth'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'Williamsport'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'at West Scranton'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Berwick'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Wyo. Valley West'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Wilkes-Barre Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Dallas'7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 26'at Abington Heights'1 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'at Berwick'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'Shamokin'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Northwest'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Riverside'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Holy Redeemer'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'at Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'Tunkhannock'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Hanover Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'Dallas'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'North Pocono'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Carbondale Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'at Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Tunkhannock'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Lake-Lehman'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Berwick'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'Honesdale'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'Hanover Area'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'at Mid Valley'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at North Pocono'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Wyo. Valley West'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Dallas'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Wilkes-Barre Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Wallenpaupack'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'Wyoming Area'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'Lackawanna Trail'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Holy Redeemer'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'Wyoming Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'at Hanover area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Lake-Lehman'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Montrose'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Towanda'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Berwick'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'Whitehall'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Stroudsburg'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'Valley View'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'at Dallas'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'West Scranton'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'at Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'at Wyo. Valley West'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Williamsport'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'at Crestwood'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'Dallas'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'at Western Wayne'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Lakeland'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'at Tunkhannock'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Berwick'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'at Hanover Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'Lake-Lehman'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'Nanticoke Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Pittston Area'7 p.m.


Fri., Aug. 23'at Williamsport'7 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 30'at Scranton'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 6'North Pocono'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 13'Pittston Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 20'at Hazleton Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 27'Penn Wood'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 4'Dallas'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 11'Wilkes-Barre Area'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 18'at Valley View'7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 25'at Crestwood'7 p.m.