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Getting fired up

| Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009

In a show of support for their local high school football teams, Mt. Pleasant and Southmoreland are hosting community bonfires this week.

Mt. Pleasant's event will be held starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the school grounds. Southmoreland's is set for 8 p.m. tonight at the Russ Grimm Stadium's practice field.

Southmoreland's event is sponsored by the Southmoreland Parents Association.

Members of the Southmoreland marching band, cheerleaders and midget football players will honor the high school team during tonight's "Night of Believing."

Southmoreland will be pitted against the Uniontown Red Raiders on Friday.

The Mt. Pleasant Vikings are enjoying an undefeated season. This Friday they take on the Jeannette Jayhawks.

"This season has been enjoyable," Mt. Pleasant head football coach Robert "Bo" Ruffner said. "We have reached some of the goals that we set and we still have some more to reach."

Ruffner, who is serving his second year as head varsity coach, has turned the Vikings around, coming off a 4-6 season.

"We are very very happy where we are right now and that we have the support of the district and the community," Ruffner said. "We want everyone to feel that they are a part of the program."

In addition to the winning varsity football team, the fall sports program as a whole has demonstrated a great showing.

"The fall sports season has been amazing," Mt. Pleasant Junior/Senior High School Principal Ken Williams said. "All of our teams have posted impressive records and it is obvious that the students are talented and motivated to represent our school in a first-class way."

The bonfire to celebrate the upcoming senior night has been a tradition for decades at the district and was traditionally held before the final home game, which also hosts senior night.

"Jeannette has a good football program and a good group of guys," Ruffner said.

"Spirit is a way to build a sense of community and to unify a student body," Williams said. "It is the common thread that all students share regardless of background, and showing school spirit is a great way to be involved."

Williams hopes to see community support Thursday.

"Anyone can attend," Williams said. "It is a celebration for everyone to enjoy."

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