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Written by: Greg Ricupero on Monday, September 7th, 2020
District VI PIAA Football Preseason Review “The Road to Mansion Park” Part IV
THE Heritage Conference
By Greg Ricupero
The Heritage Conference last year was a ten team league with 7 teams in Indiana County and one each In Armstrong, Cambria and Westmoreland Counties. Ligonier Valley who has dominated the league for the last few years has moved on to the WPIAL. They are being replaced this year by Bishop Carroll who will play a conference schedule for just 2020. The Huskies will not however be a member of the conference. Next year Cambria Heights will join the conference. They play every one in their own conference and a 10th games against the WestPac team that finishes in the same position as they do. There are eight A and two 2A schools.
1.Bishop Carroll (3-7) The Huskies leave the Mountain League to play in the Heritage Conference this year. The competition level should help them improve over last year. They have only had one winning season in the last nine and low numbers have been a problem.
2.Homer-Center (7-5) HC is usually one of the top dogs and this year should be no different. Senior all-purpose quarterback Ben Schmidt will lead the Wildcat offense. Schmidt took Homer-Center to the state finals as a freshmen.
3.Purchase Line (8-5) The Red Dragons look to build on a successful 2019 campaign as 1000 yard rusher Josh Syster is back to lead the offense. PL averaged 29 points per game last season.
4.Penns Manor (3-8) The Comets haven’t had a winning season since 2015. This could be the year they get back on the positive side of .500.
5.West Shamokin (5-6) The Wolves have won between four and six games for the last seven years and are hoping this will be their year to win a few playoff games. West Shamokin’s offense will be led by junior quarterback Bo Swartz who threw for over a 1000 yards last year.
6.United (1-9) The Lions struggled last year playing parts of the season with 14 players and forfeiting two games. The numbers are up in the low twenties this year but half the team are freshmen. It will be a learning season.
7.Blairsville (4-7) The Bobcats have improved each of the last three years. Senior quarterback Zak Artley who threw for 1500 yards returns to lead the offense.
8.Saltsburg (8-4) The Trojans had their first winning season in over two decades. Quarterback Josh Gibbons will be hard to replace. Saltsburg might be hard pressed to make the playoffs again this year.
9.Northen Cambria (4-7) The Colts have most of their skilled players back including 1200 yard passer Mike Hoover. The season could hinge on how their new offensive line plays. They got a break in the two games that were cancelled, were both against last years playoff teams.
10. Marion Center (7-4) The Stingers should compete for the conference title. Star runner Garet Wells will need replaced but they have a lot coming back.
The Heritage Conference is a great league. The teams are usually evenly matched. All the schools are in small towns with a loyal fan base. The best part of fall is spending a Friday night watching a Heritage Conference game in one of nine locations!
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