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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Competitive spirit"
Posted: August 29th, 2013

•Pinellas County, located between Clearwater and St. Petersburg on the west coast in Florida, has several schools cracking down on cheerleaders’ uniforms. Several schools have banned the cheerleaders from wearing the uniforms in school on each game day for the football team. Football players and cheerleaders wearing uniforms around school on game day is nothing new, in fact it is almost tradition in most schools. With a new dress code coming into place at these schools, administrators are not allowing the uniforms to be worn. Click here for the complete story from the Tampa Bay Times. Personally, I think cheerleaders have every right to wear the uniforms in school along with the football players. If they aren’t acceptable in school, why are they acceptable in front of thousands of fans every Friday night? I also love traditions in high school and I think this one builds school spirit heading into a football game with both the players and cheerleaders in uniform. There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. Readers are welcome to leave comments on what they think. This could turn into a nationwide topic in the upcoming years, especially with the surge of competitive spirit becoming an official sport. The PIAA adopted competitive spirit this past year and held its first set of state championships during the winter season.

•One of the main things I want to do with this blog is give some of the overlooked sports some love. Water polo is a big one as District 10 only has three boys teams (Cathedral Prep, Fairview and McDowell) and three girls teams (Fairview, McDowell and Villa Maria). These athletes train hard each year and if you ever think it’s easy playing water polo, go try to stay afloat for an hour and play a sport at the same time. The McDowell water polo tournament will open the season Saturday and it should provide plenty of exciting action in the pool. Hats off to the athletes and the coaches for keeping the programs strong. District 10 has only three programs on each side but all three are stable and providing athletes another sport to play.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: April 5th, 2013

The offseason brings coach turnover and Fairview is looking to fill four positions. Jamin Bookhamer, the boys soccer coach, has accepted a teaching position in Korea and is leaving at the end of the school year. Dino Montagna, the cross country coach, is also relocating out of state. Ben Corbin, the wrestling coach, and Christine Gretka, the competitive spirit coach, have also resigned.

Fairview is in looking to fill the positions right away. For information on the four vacancies, contact athletic director Jerry Lightner at 814 474-2600, ext. 3218 or by e-mail

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: February 13th, 2013

Area fans can check out the finals of the inaugural PIAA competitive spirit championships on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. The Pennsylvania Cable Network will broadcast the finals from the three championships, including a fourth-place finish by McDowell in the large squad competition. Oil City was eliminated in the first round of the large squad competition. In the medium squad division, Mercyhurst Prep finished 18th and Harbor Creek was 21st, while in the small squad division, Fairview finished 22nd followed by Warren and Wilmington at 33rd and 34th, respectively.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 3rd, 2012

Competitive spirit is a new sport in the PIAA and its first championship will take place Feb. 2. There will be 96 teams from around the state competing and District 10 was given seven spots based on number of member schools. All districts are required to hold their respective championships at least one week before the PIAA competition.

District 10 has not set a site, time or date yet for its championship. The competition will likely be discussed at either the October or December meetings.

Here is a breakdown of teams by district:
District 1 – 12
District 2 – 5
District 3 – 15
District 4 - 6
District 5 – 3
District 6 – 6
District 7 – 17
District 8 – 1
District 9 – 5
District 10 – 7
District 11 – 7
District 12 – 12

–Tom Reisenweber

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