By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association principals have selected a three-division format for the Lackawanna Football Conference for the next two seasons.
The conference will, at least temporarily, be reduced from 20 to 19 teams for the next 2 years with Montrose’s recent decision to withdraw from conference play while trying to rebuild its program through a mix of varsity and junior varsity games. If all goes well with the rebuild, the Meteors will rejoin the LFC in 2024.
Schools were given the option of three possible divisional formats for 2022 and 2023. After online voting, the schools chose a plan that features seven teams in Division 1 and six each in Divisions 2 and 3.
The LFC’s athletic director’s group will now work on specific scheduling with the hope of having approved by both the principals and athletic directors in late January meetings.
Division 1 teams will go up from the past four conference games to six. Divisions 2 and 3 will have one more league game in the past with five.
Under the plan, the new LFC divisions will be aligned as follows:
|Division 1||Division 2||Division 3|
|School||Current Division||School||Current Division||School||Current Division|
|Delaware Valley||1||Honesdale||2||Holy Cross||4|
|North Pocono||1||Lakeland||3||Lackawanna Trail||4|
|Scranton||1||Mid Valley||3||Old Forge||4|
|Scranton Prep||2||West Scranton||2||Riverside||3|
|Valley View||2||Western Wayne||2||Susquehanna||4|
The new format has Scranton Prep, enjoying a recent run of success that includes its current appearance in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state Class 3A quarterfinals, playing above its enrollment level. West Scranton, struggling in recent years, including consecutive winless seasons, is playing with teams below its enrollment level.
Valley View and Scranton Prep, consistently the top teams from Division 2 in the LFC’s existing four-division format, join the current Division 1 teams to form the new top division.
Principals were given three potential divisional breakdowns on which to vote – one that would have kept the current divisions, simply reducing Division 4 to four teams in Montrose’s absence; one that would not have moved West Scranton down and would have been less balanced with the least teams in Division 3; and the one that ultimately was agreed upon.
Three of the seven teams in Division 1 won titles this year. Delaware Valley won LFC Division 1 and District 2 Class 6A. Scranton Prep won LFC Division 2 and District 2 Class 3A. Valley View won District 2 Class 4A and is also in the state quarterfinals.
The new Division 2 will include Lakeland, which won this season’s LFC Division 3 title.
The new Division 3 will keep the old LFC Division 4 rivalry between Old Forge, this season’s division champion and unbeaten state quarterfinalist after winning District 2 Class A, and Lackawanna Trail, this season’s District 2 Class 2A champ.
Across all sports, LIAA athletic directors are in the process of developing schedules or the next two-year sports cycle, the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The first step in that process is agreeing on divisional alignments, which the LIAA did in many sports.
Changes for baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer and girls volleyball have been reported on earlier this week on this website.
The LIAA routinely realigns some sports divisions every two years in conjunction with the new Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association two-year enrollment cycle which determines the classifications in which teams will compete on the state and district levels.
MORE LIAA REALIGNMENT
Two teams each on the move in boys, girls soccer: https://nepasportsnation.com/four-lackawanna-soccer-teams-changing-divisions-next-two-years/.
Two girls volleyball teams trade places: https://nepasportsnation.com/lackawanna-league-promotes-blue-ridge-in-girls-volleyball/.
Baseball changing to three divisions: https://nepasportsnation.com/changes-ahead-in-liaa-baseball/.
Softball making the same three-division move as baseball: https://nepasportsnation.com/lackawanna-league-softball-to-change-format-in-2023/.