School board allows Wyoming County rivalry to continue, with plans for better security and sportsmanship

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PINEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — The long standing rivalry between Wyoming East and Westside high schools will continue, but it is going to look a lot different in the upcoming seasons.

When does a rivalry cross the line? 128 people packed Pineville middle school to discuss the future of major sporting events between Wyoming East and Westside high school.

In Wyoming County, you’re either a Warrior or Renegade.

Westside high school student, Michael Cline, said, “Other teams are always trash talking and even our side does so there’s no side that’s innocent, its both sides.”

After a recent altercation between parents and coaches at a basketball game and racial threats toward a student, the school board called a special meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2019 to determine the future of major sporting events between Wyoming East and Westside high school.

Deirdre Cline is the superintendent for Wyoming County schools. She led the meeting.

“So our intense rivalry which can be so much fun and so good for kids, doesn’t degrade into a toxic situation,” said Cline.

With an investigation underway, school staff, students, and community members broke into groups to discuss three options: stop the games entirely, play at the Beckley Raleigh County Convention center, or continue the games but with a different approach.

Westside highs school cheerleader, Taylor Delong, said, “I would like to see it be more controlled…a more controlled environment, more open like at the doors and in the bleachers especially for our ball players. I know how it can feel with someone hanging over you so I would like to see a more controlled environment.”

All eight groups voted for option three. People suggested encouraging good sportsmanship with awards, increasing security, monitoring the crowd, regulating ticket sales, and implementing a zero tolerance policy for poor sportsmanship.

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