District forfeits football game for fear of violence in Long Branch, NJ
A continued threat of violence led Neptune High School to forfeit its game with Long Branch on Saturday morning.
The game originally scheduled for Friday night at Long Branch High School was moved to Saturday morning to be played without spectators after four shooting incidents in Long Branch and West Long Branch.
No arrests have been made as of Monday morning, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Chris Swendeman.
"Recent events in the Long Branch community have led to concerns for our student-athlete family members. Based on these concerns, a number of students are not available to play and we will not be able to safely field a football team to compete in this Saturday’s contest," the Neptune High School Athletic Department said online. "Please understand, these decisions are not made lightly and are always with our students’ best interest in mind."
Long Branch gets the win and improves to an overall 3-3 record on the season. Neptune's remains winless at 0-6.
Long Branch has also implemented a curfew for Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 29 through Monday, Oct. 31 between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. for those 17 and under.
Next up: Road Game in Berkeley Township
Long Branch's next game is Friday night at Central Regional High School against the Golden Eagles in the Bayville section of Berkeley.
Central Regional Superintendent Tommy Parlapanides said he is meeting with Berkeley Police Chief Kevin Santucci about the game. He expects there will be an increased police presence.
"We're definitely not going to cancel. We'll let the kids play but we could possibly move it to Saturday afternoon. We'll look at everything," Parlapanides told New Jersey 101.5. "We're going to look at every option and do what's best and safest for the kids."
Parlapanides said Central Regional High School has two armed security officers in the high school and a Berkeley police officer in the middle school.