Friday night football traditions in jeopardy as violent incidents continue across region

The Upper Darby School District superintendent says someone deployed a Taser during a melee after Friday night's game.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Some school districts in the Philadelphia region are considering drastic measures as violence continues during Friday night high school football games.

The Camden Panthers left Pennsauken High School the winners of Friday night's game, even though it was canceled during halftime.

Athletic director Billy Snyder says it all started with a fight near the concession stand late in the second quarter.

"Then there was a big eruption at the front gate," Snyder says. "So now we have a fight at the front gate, we have a fight back here, and they are teenagers."

This is just one more example of a disturbing trend across our region.

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In addition to the Pennsauken High School incident last week, someone with a handgun was arrested at a game in Jackson, New Jersey.

In Northampton County, officials from Nazareth Area High School evacuated the stands during their game after receiving some kind of online threat.

Snyder says the worst part is that the ones who draw the short straw are the football players.

"The kids on the field did nothing wrong. They haven't done anything wrong, and they were the ones who suffer, and they are the ones who have done everything we've asked," he says.

There is now no shortage of school districts making painful, but necessary changes to the Friday night football tradition.

Upper Darby School District Superintendent Dr. Daniel McGarry says someone deployed a Taser during a melee after Friday night's game against Penncrest. The Friday night games have been now moved to Saturday morning.

"Friday night, the scariest thing is how fast it happens. And instead of a solution to stop it, it becomes a crowd videoing it as if it's like a movie. It's really disheartening," said McGarry.

Meanwhile, school officials from Pennsauken will meet with the local police chief this week to discuss what they are going to do moving forward.

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