SHARPSVILLE, Pa. – Sharpsville and West Middlesex have reached a tentative agreement to co-op in football beginning this fall.
The co-op will be hosted by Sharpsville, as West Middlesex has been dealing with low numbers throughout the spring and summer months.
The co-op still must be approved by each school board, the PIAA and District 10.
“Our friends and neighbors residing in the West Middlesex Area School District have found themselves in a precarious situation in which participation has reached critical levels,” Sharpsville athletic director Jared Grandy said in an official statement released early Thursday afternoon. “Additionally, current registration within our own junior high program is not sufficient for competition and early predictions of future varsity participation appear to trend in further decline. As a result, and in full transparency to the greater Blue Devil community, I announce a tentative cooperative agreement in the sport of football beginning in the 2021-2022 season.
“While I understand an announcement of this magnitude can be earth-shattering to many community members, it is undoubtedly the most appropriate decision to assure longevity of our history-rich program.”
The release went on to say that the West Middlesex Area School District Board of Directors will vote to move forward with the agreement. The Sharpsville Area School District will be scheduling a special board meeting to discuss and vote on the co-op as well.
If approved by the respective school districts, the co-op agreement will be presented to District 10 and the PIAA for final approval.
“In closing, I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Coach Paul Piccirilli, his staff and the administration of both Sharpsville and West Middlesex Area School Districts for their tireless effort and flexibility in making this partnership a possibility,” Grandy said in the release.
The full release can be seen here.
Official statement from the district regarding our co-op with WM for football this upcoming fall: pic.twitter.com/B5EZZFXKyp
— SHS Athletics (@SHSCoverage) July 29, 2021
Sharpsville currently competes in Class 2A with a male enrollment of 153, while West Middlesex is Class 1A with a male enrollment of 112 per the PIAA website. The enrollment requirements for Class 2A football are 130-195 male students, with 3A being 196-274, making a bump up to Class 3A likely for Sharpsville should the co-op be approved.
The Blue Devils would also be ineligible for the playoffs this season based on the PIAA’s new co-op rule.