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Online threats force postponement of Phoenixville-Pope John Paul II football game

Phoenixville postponed its high school football game against Pope John Paul II Friday night due to online threats of violence.

The game that will decide the Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division winner will now be played at 10 a.m. Saturday with limited spectators.

“Due to an unsubstantiated threat of violence made on social media, the football game scheduled for tonight between Phoenixville Area High School and Pope John Paul II has been POSTPONED until Saturday October 22,” Phoenixville Superintendent Alan Fegley wrote in an email released at 2 p.m.

“The Phoenixville Area School District has been working with local law enforcement officials, and came to the joint conclusion we needed to act with an abundance of caution in taking this drastic action. We take any threat – whether substantiated or not – very seriously and will continue to work with the police to identify those involved.”

Only player parents will be allowed to attend the rescheduled contest, which will be played without bands and cheerleaders.

The game was going to be one of the most anticipated in recent history for the Phoenixville football program with the Phantoms (4-0 PAC, 6-2 overall) welcoming Pope John Paul II (4-0 PAC, 8-0 overall) to play for a spot in the PAC championship game.

The postponement follows a recent string of similar occurrences of threats surrounding high school football games. Coatesville has twice been postponed in recent weeks. The 7-0 Red Raiders’ matchup with Downingtown West was ultimately cancelled while their game with Bishop Shanahan was moved to a later date.

 

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