ShareThis Page
Belle Vernon’s Schwerha among 13 transfers ruled eligible by WPIAL who cannot compete in postseason |

Belle Vernon’s Schwerha among 13 transfers ruled eligible by WPIAL who cannot compete in postseason

Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Joseph Schwerha during soccer practice at Greensburg Central Catholic High School, on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.

Soccer standout Joseph “JoJo” Schwerha, who transferred from Greensburg Central Catholic to Belle Vernon, was among more than four dozen transfers approved this week by the WPIAL.

However, since Schwerha transferred after Aug. 6, the senior is ineligible to compete in the WPIAL or PIAA postseason.

The PIAA approved new restrictions this summer that makes all transfers ineligible for the postseason unless the athlete meets one of the hardship waivers established in the rule.

The rule change took affect Aug. 6. The majority of the transfers approved this week switched schools before that deadline.

Schwerha, who aspires to play soccer professionally, said in August that he was considering enrollment in the D.C. United Academy. The Beadling Soccer Club standout was invited to participate in a training session run by the Major League Soccer program last month.

Also approved Monday by the WPIAL but with postseason ineligibility were Freedom’s Kayleen Boring (softball), California’s Malik Ramse (basketball), Woodland Hills’ Devine Clark (football), Connellsville’s Skylar Shallenberger (soccer/swimming/baseball), Nazareth Prep’s Eugene Goodwine (basketball), North Catholic’s Brett Mushnok (football) and Winchester Thurston’s Jake Rabner (golf).

All can request a WPIAL hearing to seek a hardship waiver.

The eight are among the first WPIAL athletes declared ineligible for the postseason under the new rule. The first five declared postseason ineligible last month were Belle Vernon’s Elaina Serrao (volleyball), Bishop Canevin’s Keegan Hitchings (cross country/track), Mars’ John Rice (lacrosse), Pine-Richland’s Annabelle Nielsen (cross country/track) and Quigley Catholic’s Amanda Tracy (softball).

Nielsen already has requested a WPIAL hearing.

The hardship waiver says a district committee “may waive this period of ineligibility upon demonstration by the student that the transfer was necessitated by exceptional and unusual circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student’s family.”

The reasons deemed sufficient are:

A change of residence necessitated by a change in employment.

A school-initiated administrative transfer within a school district.

A court-ordered transfer.

A change of schools caused by a military reassignment of a parent.

A change of schools caused by release from a juvenile facility.

A demonstrable change in income or other financial resources that compels withdrawal from a private school.

The PIAA rule also states that a transfer for “academic, developmental, spiritual and/or social reasons” does not meet the hardship waiver standard. Nor does “a change of residence resulting from a family separation, unless court approved.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.