This week, after the home game against Walkersville on Friday, September 6th, several altercations broke out. Word began to spread about who was involved, why it happened, and how the school was going to respond. The students were told that this week’s game against TJ was going to be moved to Saturday at 3pm, rather than the traditional Friday night game. Immediately, everyone assumed that the schedule change had something to do with the fights, and they were right. There was a surge of frustration amongst the school over the change. Some people weren’t able to attend a Saturday game for various reasons, or they just didn’t want to go to the game if it wasn’t the traditional Friday Night Lights experience.
Mr. Berry released a Find out First message on Wednesday, September 11th, explaining that the change in schedule would not be permanent, and that the move was only intended for the game this week against TJ. However, TJ forfeited the game due to a lack of varsity players, so there won’t be any game at all this week. In an interview with Mr. Berry, he stated that the reason the game was moved in the first place was because students, most of whom do not attend Tuscarora, had been fighting that night. He believed that there may be less fighting in a daytime setting where there was more visibility and control over the situation.
So the question is, why was this game against TJ changed and not the games with the other schools? Mr. Berry says quite frankly that it’s because “their students and our students don’t always mix well,” and he was worried that the fights would be a problem again this week. For Mr. Berry and everyone else involved in the decision, there were no other good options to solve the problem effectively. When asked about these other options, Mr. Berry said, “we have other options that I really don’t want to exercise, like only allowing fans that go to the school into the game or even wanding people.” His goal was to maintain the safety of the students without taking these drastic measures. He wanted the games to remain fun and lighthearted.
Mr. Berry agrees with the student frustration over the moving of the game, and he says “there’s a whole fun aspect to a Friday evening game, I don’t like having to move the game to Saturday.” The idea was originally suggested by the Frederick Country Sheriff’s Office, because with the Frederick Fair starting this week, they were able to supply more officers to us during the day on Saturday than on Friday evening. The message principal Berry wants to communicate is that even if for some reason the game has to be moved to Saturday, he wants us to come out anyway and have a good time, but he’ll “work very hard not to take that step.”