Fay-West schools team up with rivals for ‘Spirit Week’ event

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 6:45 PM

Five schools in the Fay-West slice of Western Pennsylvania are teaming up for a virtual “Spirit Week,” a show of solidarity during the coronavirus shutdown.

Next week, Connellsville, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough will take part in the virtual event with each asked to post photos of school members wearing other schools’ colors.

The idea originated at Southmoreland Elementary School, where organizers challenged neighboring schools to participate.

“If someone from Yough happens to have a Southmoreland or Mt. Pleasant shirt, wear it and post a photo,” said Brian Pritts, a fifth-grade teacher at Southmoreland and the high school’s former girls basketball coach. “If not, just wear something red and blue. We’re supporting our fellow schools. We need each other.”

Alex Novickoff, the Southmoreland Director of Special Education, said the concept is meant to help bridge the gap between schools that have felt somewhat disassociated due to school closures and the cancellation of sports seasons.

He said this is a way to “stay engaged.”

“It reminds us that we’re all dealing with the same thing,” Novickoff said. “And to a degree, we miss each other. Not just within our community, but we miss playing our rivals. We miss all of these things that are ‘normal.’

“Sooner or later, this will be over, but staying connected is what we need right now.”

Mt. Pleasant athletic director Chris Brunson used to be an assistant softball coach at Southmoreland. He still has some Scotties gear.

“I still have my WPIAL championship picture on the wall,” Brunson said. “I’ll be wearing a Southmoreland shirt. This is a nice idea.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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