ST. LOUIS – In the first few weeks of high school football in the St. Louis area, at least four schools needed to forfeit, cancel, or postpone games because of fights.
Two weeks ago, Vashon had to forfeit its home game against Cardinal Ritter because of multiple fights.
“Now it seems to be spreading all around,” Cardinal Ritter athletic director Robert Wallace told FOX 2 on Friday. “No matter who you play, you might have an incident because most of the time, it’s outsiders that are coming to the game.”
Wallace said the Sept. 1 cancellation was the first game he’s had cancelled due to fights in his four years at Cardinal Ritter. This Friday, it seemed things were back to normal.
Patrick Jackson, a Cardinal Ritter parent, was tailgating before the game.
“It’s a tradition,” he said. “I’ve always felt safe. I’ve never had an issue, never had a concern.”
Cahokia, Granite City and St. Mary’s South Side Catholic High School are other schools in the St. Louis metro that have forfeited games this year. Pattonville and Alton high schools also had to adjust their security plans after early-season concerns.
“You have to adjust to what’s going on instead of feeling like you’ve got it all together,” Wallace explained.
At Cardinal Ritter, fans are patted down before entering the game and only students from Cardinal Ritter and the opposing team were allowed entry with a school ID. The school also has sheriffs throughout the campus.
“Our parents love it, and the opposing schools love it,” Wallace said.