Changes to local high school football games in response to shootings, threats

There were some cancelations Friday night, and they come on the heels of the deadly shooting after a football scrimmage.

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Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Several area high schools in the region have had to postpone, cancel or make adjustments to safety protocols in light of recent threats and shootings.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Several area high schools in the region have had to postpone, cancel or make adjustments to safety protocols in light of recent threats and shootings at games.

On Friday night, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School's evening game was postponed after authorities received two tips this week about potential threats.

Meanwhile, a threat shut down the Bartram versus Imhotep game, which was set to take place Friday evening at the Germantown Supersite.

The cancellations come on the heels of the deadly ambush shooting in Roxborough on Tuesday following a football scrimmage where five teens were shot.

One victim, fourteen-year-old Nicolas Elizalde, died.

Last Friday, one person was shot in Middletown, Delaware during a football game. The same night, in West Philadelphia, shots were fired outside of a football field following a game.

It's a sad new reality for a high school right of passage.

On Friday afternoon Belmont Charter School's homecoming game against Overbrook High School began in the afternoon instead of the team playing under Friday night lights because of the Roxborough High School shooting.

Athletic Director Brian Quinn and administrators made changes to safety protocols. Besides starting the game earlier, they also provided shuttles for students and Philadelphia police kept a heavy presence outside of the game.

"We don't usually charge for games but we did to limit attendance. Any student that had the color-coded bracelet and a homecoming t-shirt on was able to get on a bus and go to the game for free," said Quinn.

Quinn said especially coming out of the pandemic, which canceled school and sports, sports are crucial more than ever for his student's growth.

"Sports to our community is very important... if we lose sports again it's not going to be a good thing for these kids."

"We were at first a little upset it wasn't a 7 o'clock game but we thought, 'what's the difference?' We could still shine, have fun," said Nakeia Laws, the head cheerleading coach.

Belmont parent Danita Rose says the precautions gave her peace of mind so her son, a senior could play.

"He was two seconds away from getting pulled out if it didn't get pushed back. His coach is good with communicating so I'm ok with it," said Rose.