November 22, 2017

Annual Thanksgiving football game between N.J. high schools canceled after threats

Schools Security
11132017_youth_football_field_iStock pencilfinger/iStock.com

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A more than century-old Turkey Day tradition in New Jersey, which had been postponed earlier amid security concerns, will not be rescheduled this season.

The annual Thanksgiving football game between Asbury Park and Neptune high schools originally was supposed to be rescheduled for a mutually agreed-upon, later date after officials were warned of a threat of violence.

"On behalf of the Asbury Park and Neptune Township school districts, be assured that the safety of our students, staff and communities remains paramount," a message on the Asbury Park School District website read.


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But on Wednesday, Neptune Superintendent Dr. Tami Crader said in a message to the school communities that she had informed Asbury Park officials the game would have to be canceled.

"At this point, given the timing of any possible rescheduling and its impact on our ability to properly prepare or evaluate a plan for increased security, I have advised our staff and Asbury Park that we cannot reschedule,” Crader wrote.

Asbury Park police informed the schools of the security concern on Tuesday. The exact nature of the threats is unknown, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The annual Thanksgiving game between the two Monmouth County schools has been held every year with a few interruptions since 1908, according to the newspaper.