YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Following a violent parking lot shooting last Friday, The York City School District has proposed moving its high school football games to Saturday afternoons.
During a school board work session Monday, the district superintendent outlined several public safety measures that could put both home and visiting fans at ease through the rest of the current football season. Among the recommendations were moving the home games at Small’s Field to daylight hours to assist with security.
“We certainly didn’t want to take away the whole idea of Friday Night Lights for our children. Our children didn’t deserve this incident to happen. They didn’t do anything wrong,” Holmes said, “but unfortunately, we have to face the realities of the society that we live in.”
York Athletic Director Ronald Coursey echoed Holmes sentiment that moving the remaining four home games to Saturday would be a viable way to save the Bearcats’ season. Coursey, meeting with the rest of York County’s athletic directors earlier in the day, said all showed support for the York football program but voiced security concerns on Friday nights.
“They basically articulated to me that as a result of that (moving games to Saturdays), they could guarantee that there wouldn’t be any issues,” Coursey said.
On Friday, York police say two men with uncertain ties to York or the visiting football team from Lancaster became disruptive inside Small’s Field. After security told them to leave, the men continued to argue with others in the parking lot and both men were shot and wounded.
The incident occurred during the fourth quarter of the game and gunshots could be heard inside the stadium. The game was ended early and fans were kept inside the gated facility until security allowed them to leave about 30 minutes later.
At least one board member voiced concern that moving football games to Saturday could be considered an overreaction and wondered if fans would still turn out to support the Bearcats at home. According to Coursey, the attendance for Friday’s game set a new record for York.
“I believe that by making this decision, we’re not running away from anything,” Holmes said. “I think what we’re doing is making sure that we provide the safest environment for children and for our fans.”
The board is expected to vote on the proposed security changes, including the move from Fridays to Saturdays, before York’s next home game against Red Lion in two weeks. If the proposals are adopted, the game would be played on Saturday, Sept. 24. The remaining home games against Spring Grove, Northeastern, and New Oxford would also move from Fridays to Saturdays.