This week, the district announced JV games would be played at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and varsity games would be played at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays due to recent disruptive incidents within the district and surrounding counties. Varsity games are typically played at 7 or 7:30 p.m.
A district official said the new times will allow their security personnel to have more daylight hours to search bags and monitor fans effectively.
“There have been some recent events, not just in our district but throughout the region, throughout the state, and certainly we are always looking to continuously improve,” said Deputy Superintendent Billie Berry.
Last Friday, three people were arrested at the West Iredell vs. Statesville football game, and the stands were evacuated after the a threat of violence was made on social media. The game was replayed on Monday in a neutral location without spectators.
“These kids, I don’t know what they’re doing but it’s crazy,” said grandparent Harry Ewald.
But not all parents are convinced moving the start times up will solve any problems. Kevin Craft said he believes troublemakers will make trouble no matter the time of day.
“I really don’t think a time has anything to do with it. I think if there’s trouble, they’re going to have it any which way,” said Craft.
With body scanners, bag checks, and now additional daylight hours, the district says they’ll continue to make as many adjustments as needed to keep the community safe.
“I think it’s sad. I’m a former high school principal myself, and I’ve been around high schools he bulk of my career. Friday night lights and athletic events are supposed to be exciting and fun events for a community,” said Berry.