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Highland Springs, Hermitage update safety protocols at games | #schoolsaftey


In wake of increased safety concerns at high school football games throughout Central Virginia in recent weeks, Highland Springs and Hermitage high schools have updated their safety protocols at athletic events. 


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Springers director of athletics Harry Lee Daniel on Wednesday shared a message on the X platform formerly known as Twitter from Highland Springs principal Kenneth White.

The Henrico Citizen on Wednesday night reported that Panthers principal Michael A. Jackson announced similar protocols in a letter to the Hermitage community. 

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Both schools will not allow anyone under the age of 18 to attend games without an accompanying adult for the remainder of the season, among other adjustments to existing protocols.

At Highland Springs, adults accompanying minors must present ID at the gates of Victor W. Kreiter Stadium, and remain with the minor throughout the game. White’s letter also said loitering near the stadium will be strictly prohibited, and concessions will close at the end of the third quarter.


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Jackson said the decision stems from “an increase in fights and disruptions by fans at recent sporting events.”

The changes began with Thursday’s night’s Hermitage home game against Varina at Chester E. Fritz Stadium. Highland Springs plays at Maury (Norfolk) on Friday in a rematch of last year’s Class 5 state championship game. The Springers then have four consecutive home games, beginning with Norcom (Portsmouth) on September 15. 







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Hermitage cheerleader Machiah Clark cheers on August 25, 2023, at Hermitage High School in Henrico. MARGO WAGNER/TIMES-DISPATCH




“The expectation is that all students will behave in a manner that upholds the standards we hold ourselves and one another to every day at Hermitage High School,” Jackson wrote.

“Students who violate the Code of Student Conduct will face disciplinary action. Working together, we can help ensure that athletic events and all after-school activities are safe and enjoyable experiences for our students, families, and guests.”


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White’s letter to the Springers community cited “an increase in disruptions by fans at recent sporting events across the state.”

During last Friday’s Highland Springs game against visiting Manchester, a number of fans on at least two occasions ran for the stadium’s exits. The reason for the rushes was unclear, and nobody appeared to be injured.

But the disruptions made for tense moments inside the stadium, as the announcer told attendees to remain in their seats and said no reentry would be allowed. 

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