Farrell field goal

Farrell’s Brian Hilton Jr. kicks the game-winning field goal in overtime against Bishop Guilfoyle in the PIAA Class 1A championship game at Hersheypark Stadium on Dec. 5, 2019. The 22-yard field goal, out of the Christian Hartley hold, lifted the Steelers to a 10-7 win and a second straight PIAA crown. The 2020 season in Pennsylvania kicks off tonight with protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four area games are tonight and four are on Saturday.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 scholastic football season – while perhaps shorter in length and different by design – should prove no less exciting or interesting.

Recently, PIAA struck a compromise with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation that there be no sports until Jan. 1, 2021. PIAA “paused” for a pair of weeks, pushing back the season’s start to tonight. Subsequently, District 10 redesigned its regions, essentially establishing 6-game regular-season schedules in a home-and-home format.

Tentatively, the annual District 10 postseason tournament will begin the weekend of Oct. 23-24 and continue the weekend of Oct. 30-31. PIAA playoffs would take place – again, tentatively – the weekends of Nov. 6-7 and 13-14. PIAA-member schools also have the option of scheduling additional regular-season games during the aforementioned 4-week period.

Two-time PIAA Class 1A champion Farrell High has been bumped up to Class 2A this season, and will wage war with Wilmington in Region 2. Both teams are ranked in statewide preseason polls.

Farrell, 5-time D-10 1A titlist; Wilmington, winner of 4 consecutive crowns in 2A, and Sharon, which 3-peated in Class 3A a year ago, will lead the locals into this weekend’s openers.

Tonight at Hornet Stadium in Hermitage, Hickory hosts Grove City – which has advanced to 4 straight district championship games in two separate enrollment classifications – and Sharon travels to Slippery Rock in Region 3 affairs. Also, West Middlesex welcomes Reynolds in Region 1. Both of those clubs advanced to last season’s D-10 tourney semifinals.

Saturday, Farrell faces Sharpsville in a Region 2 tilt under the pines at James M. McCracken Field, while Wilmington welcomes Greenville to Greyhounds Stadium in Region 2. In Region 1, Kennedy Catholic – which has revived its varsity program for its first season since 2013 – will journey to the county seat to take on Mercer. Also, in Region 4, Lakeview entertains Cambridge Springs.

All games kick off at 7 p.m.

In Ohio High School Athletic Association action – which commenced its campaign 2 weeks ago – Brookfield (2-0) hosts Garrettsville-Garfield (2-0) beginning at 7 p.m. at George Nicholas Field.

This morning, read about your favorite football teams in The Herald’s annual preseason edition (also published in Wednesday’s edition of Allied News). The project is the collaboration of Rob Malsom (page design and editing); Tanner Mondok, photographer for both The Herald and New Castle News (assisted by Herald Business Editor Michael Roknick); Cheryl Cwynar (creative services); Herald and New Castle News Advertising Director Rick Work; Herald Sports Correspondent Corey J. Corbin (stories and photos), and Herald Assistant Sports Editor Ed Farrell.

This season, to contact The Herald’s sports department with game results telephone 724-981-6100 (toll-free 800-981-1692) at extensions 249 or 250; e-mail lsaternow@sharonherald.com or efarrell@sharonherald.com, or fax 724-981-5116.

On Saturdays, you can text or call in results to 724-866-6690, since The Herald no longer publishes on Sundays.

Notes: The Hickory-Grove City and Wilmington-Greenville games will be broadcast on SportsRadio967 (WLLF FM), while the Sharon-Slippery Rock and Farrell-Sharpsville games will be broadcast on NewTalk790 (WPIC AM). Pre- and post-game shows will be simulcast on both networks at 6 and and (approximately) 9:30 p.m. Games also are streamed live. ... The District 10 website (piaadistrict10.org) has a list of live streaming links and media broadcasts for fall sports.

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