Freeport life-skills students to join cheerleaders for Friday’s football game |
Valley News Dispatch

Freeport life-skills students to join cheerleaders for Friday’s football game

Emily Balser
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
From left: Caitlin Knox, Megan Rossey and Samantha Stefko practice their cheers Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, at Freeport Area High School.

Fans at Freeport Area High School’s football game Friday might notice a few extra cheerleaders on the sidelines.

Students from the school’s life-skills class have been invited to be cheerleaders for the night.

One of the cheer captains, Megan Rossey, 17, wanted to include them in an activity they otherwise might not have had the chance to participate in.

She’s volunteered with the life-skills class for the past three years and has come to love working with the students.

Three students from the class — Caitlin Knox, Samantha Stefko and Rachel Bricker — have been practicing with Rossey every other day in preparation for the game.

“(They’ve done) it for basketball season since I was a freshman, and Samantha is always talking about how she wants to do it for football,” Rossey said. “Since it’s my senior year, and I’m the cheer captain, I wanted to make that happen for her.”

Samantha’s mom, Shelly Stefko, said her daughter just likes to be involved at school.

“She’s really excited,” Stefko said.

The students will march with the cheerleaders from the entrance to the school down to the football field and cheer until halftime.

The game against North Catholic High School begins at 7 p.m.

“To just watch their faces and how happy they are to be with everybody else, it’s just really good, and I love watching it,” Rossey said.

Life-skills teacher Natalie Pollino said she’s excited for the students to have the experience.

“I think this is really a great opportunity to build on the relationships that they’ve formed in the classroom,” she said. “I think this is a memory that will last a very long time for them.”

Cheer coach Doree Rossey, who also happens to be Megan’s mom, said she is proud of the initiative her daughter has taken.

“She has the patience of an angel, and she just connects with them so well,” Rossey said. “She even went over during the summer because she missed them so much.”

Megan Rossey plans to major in special education when she goes to college next year, but says it will be a bittersweet year.

“I’m just sad I have to leave them,” she said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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