More Violence at High School Football Games – Now in Pennsauken, NJ
Several fights broke out at Pennsauken High School as Pennsauken hosted Camden High School for Friday night football.
The fights appear to have begun outside Vince McAneney Field but had started to spread inside. Superintendent Ronnie Tarchichi says the decision was made at half-time to halt play "out of an abundance of caution."
In a letter to parents, Tarchichi condemned the bad behavior. "We always have embraced and will continue to promote a family-type atmosphere. We want to see families and children enjoying our competitions and facilities without fear, violence, or the use of paraphernalia of any kind, he said, "These actions will not ever be tolerated on any of our campuses."
Police moved quickly to break up the fights but still urged the athletic staff to cancel the remainder of the game. It is not clear how many arrests were made.
Camden Panthers quarterback, and team captain, Luis Ward, was angry and frustrated with the behavior of those in attendance. Ward told The Courier-Post, "This is what they're here to do. They here to fight. That's just who they (are.) They can't leave it at home.”
The coaches and athletes did not deserve to have their game end in the manner that it did at halftime. The wrongful actions of a few were not only hurtful, but they were dangerous for staff, students, parents, and the community at large. - Superintendent Ronnie Tarchichi
After Friday's fights, Camden officials say they will no longer play night games at home.
This is just the latest instance of violence at a high school football game in New Jersey. Police have been breaking up fights and making arrests for weapons possession with regularity this year.
Also on Friday, Jackson police say they found a .22 caliber handgun and ammunition in a teenager's backpack. That incident did not disrupt the game between Jackson Liberty and Shore Regional high schools.
Earlier this month, shots were fired outside the Cherry Hill football stadium. On Sept. 10, a varsity game between Ewing High School and Lawrence High School was paused while police dealt with a teen who brought a gun to the game.