It’s not easy to rattle Westinghouse football coach Donta Green.

But when the former PUP Coach of the Year got word from the PIAA that his team had received 21 transfers in the previous two-year cycle and would thus be forced up to Class 3A by the PIAA’s competition formula, Green was caught more than a bit off guard.

After all, nobody keeps tabs on all of his players better than Green, and he knows the Bulldogs only had one player transfer in during the previous two seasons — standout defensive lineman Sincere Shannon, who joined Westinghouse from Imani Christian prior to his junior season in 2022. Because of that, Green knew the Bulldogs would not meet the required minimum of three transfers to be bumped up in classification, even though Westinghouse had earned enough success points to meet the criteria after reaching back-to-back PIAA Class 2A championship games.

The initial ruling from the PIAA meant that the Bulldogs, who own a cumulative record of 52-8 over the past five seasons, would be bumped up from Class 2A to Class 3A — despite dropping into the Class 1A enrollment category for the 2024-25 cycle. Now, after a lengthy back-and-forth process with the PIAA clearing up the discrepancy in transfers, Westinghouse finds itself moving down to Class 1A — unless the school volunteers to remain in Class 2A.

“As of last week, we were told we would be in [Class] 3A,” Green said. “We knew our enrollment was [Class] 1A when the numbers first surfaced about a month or so ago.”

After finding out the Bulldogs had been counted for 21 transfers in the previous cycle, the school submitted a 24-page appeal to the PIAA, detailing each student’s entry to Westinghouse along with comprehensive explanations for each case. According to Green, many of his players tend to play midget-league football in ninth grade rather than riding the bench for the Bulldogs, so those players don’t show up on the team’s roster until their sophomore year. Many of the players listed as transfers by the PIAA were Westinghouse students who simply didn’t play football in ninth grade, and some, like four-year letter winner Raymon Poindexter, didn’t make any sense to Green at all.

Westinghouse’s Mike Richardson dumps water on coach Donta Green near the end of his team’s win against University Prep in the City League championship game, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, at Cupples Stadium. (Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Following the Bulldogs’ thrilling 21-20 defeat against mighty Southern Columbia in a state championship rematch in December, debate raged on about the competition formula and where teams would be placed for the upcoming two-year cycle. Despite winning seven consecutive state titles, Southern Columbia has yet to be affected by the competition formula due to its lack of transfers. Others have questioned why the Tigers refuse to voluntarily bump up in classification the way Aliquippa does, but it appears Southern Columbia is committed to remaining in Class 2A.

For his part, Green doesn’t see any problem with the Tigers playing where their enrollment numbers place them — and if it were up to him, his Bulldogs would remain in Class 2A in search of a third crack at Southern Columbia next season.

“It’s just been where we’ve had our success up to this point,” Green said. “I would be lying if I said I don’t want to play Southern Columbia. But at this point, it’s just a familiar place. I kind of know the route to the state championship. But at the end of the day, we’ll play in whatever classification they put us in.”

Now that the issue with the counting of transfers has been resolved with the PIAA, it will be up to Westinghouse administrators and City League athletic director Karen Arnold to decide whether the Bulldogs play up in Class 2A or drop to Class 1A. For now, though, it looks like the Class 1A state playoff picture just got a major shakeup for the next two years.

“At the end of the day, our standpoint is, we’ve just got to continue to get better,” Green said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Westinghouse had submitted transcripts to the PIAA.

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at