Football games at Coatesville, Roxborough high schools canceled due to threats, safety concerns

"I've heard about the other schools, they're scared, nervous to come back to the field," said a Roxborough student.

Saturday, October 8, 2022
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Police said there were threats of violence at Coatesville High School on Friday, and there are ongoing safety concerns at Roxborough High School.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Friday night football was canceled this evening at two area high schools due to safety concerns.

Police said there were threats of violence at Coatesville High School on Friday, and there are ongoing safety concerns at Roxborough High School following a deadly shooting.

Last week, 14-year-old Nicholas Elizalde was shot and killed after a football scrimmage at the school while four other teens were injured.

"I've heard about the other schools, they're scared, nervous to come back to the field," said Roxborough High School student Yaneris Reyes.

Action News is told by a spokesperson at the School District of Philadelphia, that the opposing school, Kipp Dubois Collegiate Academy, called for the cancellation.

They cited safety concerns and proximity to the recent fatal shooting.

"It's scary that kids my age, people who know him, are scared to come back, in fear of their safety that something might happen to them, something might happen to the people they come with," said Reyes.

Reyes was a witness to the deadly shooting at her high school.

She says says the extra precautions are welcome as police continue to search for suspects wanted in the deadly shooting.

"I feel like it would be a good idea, at least for the meantime to go somewhere else to play," said Reyes.

In Coatesville, the football game scheduled for Friday night between the Coatesville Area School District and Downingtown West High School was also canceled.

A letter from interim Superintendent Richard F. Dunlap Jr. said online threats of violence were received that law enforcement believed were credible.

A Coatesville area school district spokesperson tells Action News, the threats were online chatter between students at both schools.

The cancelation came after an earlier decision to play the game with no spectators.

"The Coatesville High School campus (grades 8 - 12) was dismissed early today and the campus will be closed to all activity tonight," Dunlap's letter said.

However, he said homecoming activities for Saturday are still scheduled to run as planned. The superintendent said the district will send out any updates if needed.

"We are very disappointed to have to make this decision, out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff, and community," Dunlap said.