Newark crime takes toll on HS football

October 29, 2008 4:39:46 PM PDT
Two New Jersey high school football teams balked at playing games in Newark Monday, citing safety worries after a string of drive-by shootings last Friday. The incidents, believed to be gang-related, left two people dead. Two alleged gang members have since been arrested and are facing charges in the attack.

Cranford High School and Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School were supposed to play games that had been rescheduled from last Friday and Saturday after Newark superintendent Clifford Janey suspended all athletic events while police were hunting for suspects.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood athletic director Robert Harmer told the Star-Ledger that the decision not to come to Newark reflected concerns by parents and administrators.

"The bottom line is the welfare of our kids," Harmer told the newspaper. "They pulled the plug on this on Friday, and right now, 72 hours after all this has taken place, we just felt we should let the smoke settle."

Newark's Central High School made up the game against Cranford at a neutral site Monday.

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