At one point and time, there was nothing more American on Friday nights than high school football. Unfortunately, the fall evenings where family, friends, and community members gather to enjoy a game of football while cheering on the young athletes has become increasingly marred by violence or threats of violence.
This past weekend, the first weekend of play for most schools, several shootings, lockdowns, and threats of violence robbed several communities of an evening filled with fun and team spirit.
In Strasburg, Virginia, a scheduled game between Strasburg High School and Skyline High School was canceled out of “abundance of caution” after threats were made on social media that directly threatened the “safety of students and fans”
According to WHSV, Shenandoah County Sheriff Tim Carter said the alleged threat came from a student at Strasburg High School. Carter said he’s been in touch with Shenandoah County’s Commonwealth Attorney. As of early Friday evening, Carter said there is no sufficient evidence to press charges.
In Drexelhill, Pennsylvania, s shooting was reported on social media, and video from the event surfaced that showed students and athletes as well as fans running from the game.
However, the game between Upper Darby and Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast was canceled Friday night after a physical fight and not a shooting. Upper Darby police said on Twitter that reports of a shooting were false.
Very little is known about shots fired at the Friday night game in Garfield Heights, Ohio.
According to Garfield Heights Police, shots were fired in the parking lot at the high school around 9:30 p.m., but nobody was injured in the incident.
Police said there have been no arrests made, and there are currently no suspects at this time.
Garfield Heights Superintendent Rd. Richard Reynolds sent out the following press release:
The Garfield Heights City Schools is dedicated to the highest standards of safety and security to keep our students, staff, and school family safe during school activities and events. After the regulation completion of a home football game tonight, a series of reckless altercations took place outside of the football stadium near the parking lot areas which prompted the immediate attention of Garfield Heights City Schools officials and the Garfield Heights Police Department. The GHCS strongly condemns such behavior, and although we cannot confirm who precisely was involved, our team worked swiftly to disperse the congregated areas of individuals and calmly dismiss them from the premises. Fortunately, to our knowledge, no injuries have been reported. An investigation is currently underway, and we will keep our school family apprised of updates as they become available.
Shots were fired on Saturday after the first football game of the season for Normandy High School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Police say the incident happened around 1:25 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the high school in the 6700 block of St. Charles Rock Road. Authorities responded to shots fired/
A large fight in the parking lot broke out after the game had ended. During the altercation, a man fired shots from a handgun, entered his vehicle, and drove away from the area. Security guards at the school helped identify the shooter, and he was later arrested.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident.
And in the tiny town of Mullin, Texas, the game went on as scheduled, but less than a quarter of a mile from the field, a man with a gun was in a standoff with police. As the last minutes of play wound off the clock, gunshots could be heard, followed by an ambulance blaring by the field. The man committed suicide.