The Kennedy High versus El Cerrito High rivalry game on Friday was cut short at half-time due to fights that were occurring off the field for much of the game.
The fighting among non players prompted police to call the game at El Cerrito High at half time, when the Gauchos were leading the Eagles 20-14.
El Cerrito High Principal Edith Jordan-McCormick released a post-game statement:
“Last night, we unfortunately had to stop the football game due to inappropriate behavior of several non-ECHS students. Thanks to the efforts of our staff, and the El Cerrito Police Department, we were able to end the game at half-time and clear the stadium. As we work to promote Friday Night Football, we will be examining our safety protocols around ticket sales, and entry. We appreciate your support and we are sorry for any inconvenience the game stoppage caused any families.”
The principal’s comments have angered some Kennedy High fans who believe non-players from both schools were involved in the fighting.
Community advocate Rodney Alamo Brown, who attended the game, said the football teams did nothing to warrant the “numerous fights that broke out outside of the field and stadium.”
Brown said El Cerrito should have been more prepared for large crowds that come to rivalry games. Particularly this game, where Brown says trash talking was occurring during the summer leading up to the game.
“A comprehensive plan should had been in place weeks if not months prior to the game,” he said. “Community advocates and other local police jurisdictions should have been included in the planning process the weeks and months leading up to the event.”
Brown says parents must also step up and guide their kids away from this behavior.
“Parents need to shoulder responsibility as well,” he said.