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Millionaire Football Program to Join PHAC in 2024

District Wide

November 23, 2022 | Athletics

A Millionaire football player runs the ball.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (NOVEMBER 23, 2022) — More local rivalries, less travel time and schedule flexibility are just a few of the benefits the Williamsport Area School District football program is destined to have starting in its 2024 season.

Last week, the Millionaire football program was accepted into the division one category of the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference (PHAC).  

“Williamsport is in the Heartland Conference for every other sport, except football and boys and girls basketball,” said Athletic Director Sean McCann. “So football was something worth considering. Everyone seemed excited about this opportunity to cut down on our travel a little bit and kind of return to our roots.”

The district will have five league games each year — Central Mountain, Jersey Shore, Selinsgrove, Shamokin and Shikellamy — as well as the flexibility to schedule five additional games.

“If we have the chance to compete in the playoffs against schools our own size, we’re really looking forward to that,” McCann said, “(and) we can still maintain some of our traditional rivalries with Berwick, Wyoming Valley West, Hazleton, Altoona (and) State College.”

“That flexibility is key, and I’m really looking forward to the future of this for our kids,” said Head Coach Mike Pearson. “Our kids know a lot of the local rivals from competing with them and those relationships are positive, too.”

In the 1980s, the district was an independent school in football, during which time it played district four schools.

“Early 90s, though, it was tough to be independent anymore, and we joined the Wyoming Valley Conference for the past 30 years,” McCann said.

McCann added that he believes the decision to join the Heartland Conference is a positive move for the district and the football program as a whole, as the middle school’s eighth-grade team also would play in the league.

“I do think this is great for not only our football program but also our community in being able to kind of have a home base in those rivalries right in the valley that the community can also be a part of,” said Alicia Differ, WAHS’s 11th-grade principal, who also helps to oversee the athletic program. “It’s also a little easier for our fanbase to not only cheer on Williamsport here at home but also on the road.”

“When you’re playing your neighbor in something, those rivalries become pretty intense and pretty positive,” Pearson said. “The future’s in front of us, and it should be an exciting time here at Williamsport.”


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