CAMDEN - Following the shooting at the playoff football game Friday night between Camden High School and Pleasantville High School, the teams will finish the final 17 minutes of the contest on Wednesday Nov. 20 at a neutral site that will be closed to the public.
Larry White, executive director of New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said that using a neutral, closed site will enable student-athletes to conclude their game without outside distraction.
“Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the Friday evening shooting in Pleasantville," White said. "We are extremely appreciative of law enforcement officers, school administrators and educators, and members of both communities for their support during and in the aftermath of this incident.
White said the decision to complete the approximately 17 minutes remaining in this game was made by both schools. It was based not on any desire for an athletic championship, but to provide closure and send a powerful message that acts of violence and those who perpetrate them will not win.
"The outcome of this game will be decided where it should be – on the playing field." White said. “I’m humbled by the courage of our student-athletes; no matter what the scoreboard says, they all are winners. Echoing comments made by Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, ‘Our community will not be held hostage'.”
Six people have been charged in connection with the Friday night shooting, Three people were shot after a gunman opened fire at the game, in what authorities described as an act of "petty vengeance." Two of them, including a 10-year-old child, remain in critical condition.
"This incident had nothing to do with the students of Pleasantville High School or Camden High School," Tyner said in a press release. "The venue simply presented an opportunity for criminals to pursue their own form of petty vengeance against one another."