ALTON, Ill. – High school football games on both sides of the Missouri River are under tight security after multiple fights inside schools earlier this week. In Alton, there are tight restrictions in place for the Redbirds’ home opener.
Cassie Corzine’s son plays football and it’s his first home game.
“I’m nervous about being at this game right now and for my son,” Corzine said.
Security surrounds the stadium, as additional Alton police officers and Madison County deputies are present. Additional security was put in place after multiple fights at Alton High School on Wednesday.
“It’s a damper on everything, but I do agree with the whole safety thing,” Corzine said. “With everything that went down, it was pretty intense.”
Corzine is allowed inside Friday night’s game, but not everyone is. The school restricted the game to the immediate family of players, band, cheerleaders, and staff members only.
“I wish other people could come watch him, they wanted to be here,” Corzine said.
About a hundred fans could be seen from the stands around kickoff.
Alton Education Association President Bobby Rickman said the association wanted to support their students by wearing school colors and cheering from the home section.
“We have a lot of students. Their first football game is being changed around to something we hoped we wouldn’t have to see again after COVID,” Rickman said.
While family members watched the home opener from the inside, diehard fans found a spot along the fence line and on a home’s roof across from the stadium.
“He just wants to get on the field,” Corzine said.
While the spotlight is on this game for all the wrong reasons, Corzine knows it’s important to keep the stadium safe, because the memories made tonight will last a lifetime.
“This is his first real home opener,” she said.