A glance at the IU9 football schedule

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

The Elkers will not have a chance to defend their two-straight District 9 Large School Division titles and it is undetermined if they’ll have a shot at a fifth-straight District 9 championship but they will playing football and will face teams they haven’t the past two seasons when they kick off the 2020 campaign Sept. 18 against an opponent not yet determined.

Last Friday the PIAA announced schools could play fall sports upon approval of their district. On Monday the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 (IU9) released a joint statement from the superintendents in Elk, McKean, Cameron, and Potter counties stating schools could begin play the week of Sept. 14.

Ridgway will have the opportunity to play Kane, Coudersport, Smethport, and St. Marys who all qualified for post season play in 2019. Other teams include Bradford, Otto-Eldred, Port Allegany, and Cameron County. Elk County Catholic which advanced to the district’s Class A playoffs while not in the “bubble” may also compete against the teams. Not on the schedule will be Clarion, Karns City, Punxsutawney, Moniteau, and DuBois which was to replace Brockway in the Large Division.

The teams included in the IU9 all played in the former Allegany Mountain League which was disbanded along with the Keystone Shortway Athletic Association to form the District 9 League which included the Large Division and a North and South Small School Division prior to the 2018 season.
A Ridgway vs. Coudersport game could very well highlight the upcoming season. The Elkers won the D9 Class A title in 2016 and 2017 before moving to 2-A where they have won the past two championships. The Falcons have won the past two Class A titles. The game with Kane will also be a highlight. The Wolves defeated the Elkers 25-21 last season in Kane. It was Ridgway’s only regular season loss.

A scheduling meeting of Athletic Directors has been moved to Monday and schedules are expected to be announced following the gathering. Schedules for volleyball, soccer, golf, cross country, and girls tennis will also be announced.

2019 IU9 football team records

Ridgway – 11-2, District 9 2-A champs, lost to Wilmington in PIAA playoffs; Coudersport – 11-1, District 9 1-A champs, lost to Farrell in PIAA playoffs; Kane – 6-5, lost to Clarion in District 9 2-A semi-finals; St. Marys – 6-5, lost to Westinghouse in inter-district playoffs; Smethport – 6-5, lost to Couderport in District 9 1-A final; Otto-Eldred 3-7; Port Allegany 2-6; Bradford 1-8; Cameron County 0-9. Elk County Catholic (non IU9 school) 5-5, lost to Smethport in District 9 1-A semi-final.