MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been a rough start to the football season by no fault of the players themselves but instead a recent bout of gun violence that has spooked opposing teams from playing at Muskegon Heights High School’s home field.
The first home game was cancelled at the last minute because of safety concerns. A second scheduled home game was moved to the opposing team’s turf after they too raised concerns about the recent bout of violence in the heights.
Saturday afternoon, Gabriel Richard Catholic High School came to Muskegon Heights for the high school’s homecoming game. With the help of heightened security, for the first time this season the Tigers got a shot at home field advantage.
“Our team is excited. Our fans are excited. The alumni are here supporting. It’s wonderful day,” said Muskegon Heights superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross.
It’s a special day for any high school — the homecoming game. But it’s through an unfortunately timed string of violence that the students had to learn how important home really is.
“To get a change to play in front of your family and friends it means a lot for impressionable young 15, 16, 17 year olds,” head coach Tommie Elliott said.
In the end Muskegon Heights lost the game 44-0, but the fans say there was something more at play than football.
“This is really going to show everyone that we are not as bad as the press we get. We can come together. We can do this without problems,” Elliott said.
It’s unclear if Muskegon Heights’ next home game will played at home. Officials tell 24 Hour News 8 they are awaiting a discussion with Bay City John Glenn.