Not a Co-Op, But Still Co-Operating

WARREN, Pa. – The spirit of co-operation is flowing in Warren County, though it’s not all through an official co-op.

(Photo courtesy Melissa Streich Bullock. The 2020-2021 Sheffield Wolverines Cheerleaders)

After Sheffield’s football season was canceled, the Warren County School District was able to act quickly enough to create a co-op between the Sheffield and Warren football teams to give the Wolverine players an opportunity to compete. The district offered that same opportunity to the Sheffield cheerleaders, but due to other obligations the Wolverines couldn’t accept.

That doesn’t mean they won’t be there to support the new team.

“We will be providing the Warren Dragons football team and cheerleaders with cookies and Gatorade at Friday’s game,” Sheffield cheer coach Melissa Streich Bullock said. “It’s something we’ve always done at Sheffield and we are excited to extend that family feeling and team spirit into Warren.”

Nine of Sheffield’s 13 varsity cheerleaders also play volleyball for the Wolverines, and most felt trying to balance the two sports while traveling to Warren to compete and practice in one wasn’t tenable.

“The Sheffield Cheerleaders, unfortunately, were not able to join the co op with Warren cheer only because my girls are dual sport athletes,” Streich Bullock said. “Where I am able to work well with the volleyball coach and their schedule, we just didn’t see how it would be possible for the girls to do both in Sheffield and at Warren.”

While they won’t be on the sideline in an official capacity, WCSD Superintendent Amy Stewart said during the district’s Sept. 28 committee meeting that the squad had been granted permission to attend as spectators*.

“They’re not planning to co-op,” Stewart said. “But they were saying, ‘We’re the Sheffield cheerleaders and we’d like to support our kids, and all the kids out there playing.'”

“With the spectator numbers changing Amy Stewart and the athletic administration team have worked hard to make sure my girls can attend the games as spectators,” Streich Bullock said.

Still, with Friday’s game against Oil City being senior night, it seemed appropriate that the Wolverine cheerleaders be there to recognize their senior players. At least, Warren cheer coach Melissa Feaster thought so.

“I knew it was senior night and a Sheffield senior was co-oping with Warren Football,” Feaster said. “I felt that it was important that the Sheffield cheer team was able to show their support to him. Furthermore, I would hope any other team would show the same courtesy to Warren Cheer if our season was cut short.”

For the pregame festivities, the Sheffield cheerleaders will be joining the Warren cheerleaders as they form a “tunnel” for seniors to enter the field as they are recognized.

“(Feaster) has graciously invited us to join the tunnel for senior recognition,” Streich Bullock said. “So you’ll see the Wolverine cheerleaders sporting our Wolverine football jerseys on the field and in the stands. We are beyond excited for the opportunity to support the Warren Football team and Warren cheerleaders this season.”

(*Editor’s note: The bulk of this story was written prior to a Thursday court ruling that allowed Gov. Tom Wolf to reinstate gathering limits. Spectator decisions may need to be modified or reversed based on future guidance from the Wolf Administration.)