School holds homecoming festivities despite canceled football game

Posted: Updated:

Homecoming festivities at Warren Hills High School went on as planned Friday night, despite the Homecoming football game being canceled.

School officials canceled Friday’s Homecoming game, along with last Friday’s game, after about eight players contracted mono.

“We thought it was not worth taking the risk that would put anybody in an unsafe situation,” says Superintendent Early Clymer.

The Warren Hills community is particularly sensitive when it comes to sick football players after what happened to high school quarterback Evan Murray in 2015. Murray was hit during a game, suffered a lacerated spleen and died. He was later found to have had mono. Mono can cause the spleen to swell.

But despite the canceled game, school officials were determined to give the students the Homecoming they deserve.

RELATED: Mono outbreak causes cancellation of at least 2 HS football games 
RELATED: Fate of Warren Hills homecoming game in the balance due to mono worries 

The school’s band played out on the field Friday night and the nominees for homecoming court were presented. Eventually, a Homecoming king and queen were crowned.

The students say that they understand why the game had to be canceled.

“Obviously we wanted the game to happen but player safety is the most important thing, being what happened to Evan Murray. He lives in our hearts forever,” says Homecoming Queen Paulina Georgoutsos.

Homecoming King Jake Smith is the football team's quarterback.

“I'm more worried about the safety of our players and that's more important,” he says.

But Smith says that he hopes that the team can play its final game against Hackettstown next week.

“Oh, we will be good next week. We aren’t missing Hackettstown. We’re good,” he says.

Superintendent Clymer says that he will decide in the coming week if the team is well enough to play in that game.

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