Teams to be rivals, sort of

BEAVER SPRINGS – For more than a decade, East Juniata High School and Midd-West – and its predecessors, Middleburg and West Snyder – have shared a football field as a cooperative team.

Tuesday evening they will be rivals on the football field, and the players will be different.

It is a football game in May and the first Powder Puff game between the two schools. Girls in grades nine through 12 will be featured in the contest, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the West Snyder Elementary School field, the home field for the varsity program.

The Powder Puff was the brainchild of Midd-West seniors Kurt Eisle and Morgan Shirk.

Eisle plays on the football team, which is based at East Juniata but has been considered representative of both schools equally for several years. He mentioned the idea to Shirk, who is heading up the Midd-West end of the game, recruiting girls and organizing. Eisle also mentioned the thought to fellow football player and East Juniata junior David Btrantley.

Brantley was in need of a senior project idea. The powder puff game is “perfect,” he said.

“(Powder puff) hasn’t been done in a while in Juniata County,” Brantley said. “As soon as I heard about it I knew it would be the right thing.”

Shirk is anxious to get her 30 girls onto the field. Instead of jerseys they will be clad in their own designed t-shirts, and East Juniata will make its own shirts as well.

The Midd-West students are pumped, she said.

“It’s a big deal because the football team is composed of the two schools, but the two schools are also kind of rivals,” she said.

Brantley has 20 girls committed to the team thus far and said his team is getting excited, too. He expects more ladies to be signed up before the week is over.

There has already been some “talking smack.”

“Oh – right from the start I was told ‘You’re going down!'” Brantley said with a laugh. He said his team can take it. East Juniata seniors Dexter Ehrenzeller and Melvin Smith – both football players – are coaching their school’s female team.

Shirk has “several coaches” working with her team, including head coach Austin Bennett.

Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.