Penn High School football practices set to resume Tuesday

Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 6:42 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Penn High School football practices will resume on Tuesday, after practices were suspended for a review of team policies.

As people in the community were preparing to protest the suspension Sunday evening, an email from the Penn Football Moms Club Athletics announced that practice was back on.

16 News Now obtained the email that parents received informing them that “in alignment with Penn High School leadership, football practice will resume on Tuesday, August 11.”

Parents were told to “be on the lookout for an email later tonight with times and details regarding practice on Tuesday and moving forward.”

“When I heard that news today, I literally had goosebumps on my arms. Spoke to one of the moms who happens to have some of the boys at her house right now making posters for tonight, and she texted us and said the screams that went up from her living room were insane,” Penn parent Marci Messer said.

“If someone has the opportunity to be on the football field, then that’s their home and they have all these brothers, like what we have here behind us. It’s just great to know that you have that,” said Senior football player Kyle Riffel.

“So happy to hear that knowing that they’re going to get to be out there,” Messer said. “This is so important for a lot of kids who this is kind of their outlet when they’ve got things going on at home. This is a safe zone for them and I honestly feel like they’re safer here than anywhere else.”

The suspension of practices came after a player tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

According to the superintendent’s office, there was a delay in notifying him and the school board.

Practices were suspended to review the guidelines for team sports.

“The boys left the field crying, very upset. Our seniors were having a very hard time with it,” Messer said.

Riffel says him and his teammates have been doing their part in staying safe.

“We’ve been taking all of the necessary precautions. I mean, it was only inevitable until someone got it, but until then, everyone was taking the safety very seriously,” Riffel said.

For Penn9Harris-Madison Dr. Superintendent Jerry Thacker, keeping everyone safe is at the forefront of decision making.

He was at the celebration Sunday evening to show his Penn pride.

“The board and administration are totally supportive of the football program, and we encourage people to come out, if they can because we have limited seating, enjoy a game,” Thacker said.

Copyright 2020 WNDU. All rights reserved.

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