High School Football

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Report: El Paso Eastwood & Plano High School Football Game Back On

August 16, 2019 - 3:41 pm

DALLAS (KRLD) - 24 hours after deciding to cancel a high school football home game against El Paso Eastwood, Plano ISD officials announced they had reinstated the game.

Matt Stepp of Texas Football originally broke the story. 

Originally scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 6 at Kimbrough Stadium in Murphy, the game will now take place on Sept. 5 at The Star in Frisco with the time still to be determined.

Plano ISD has called a press conference this afternoon to discuss the decision. 

The school district originally canceled the game, saying in a statement Thursday that they made the "difficult" decision to call off the game in the interest of safety.

According to the release from the Plano ISD, district administrators consulted with local law enforcement agencies and felt obligated to prioritize the safety of participating players, students, families and communities.  It went on to say they concluded the timing of the game fell too soon after the tragedy in El Paso.

Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said, "Our students and coaches were eager for the opportunity to come together with Eastwood High to promote a message of compassion and healing, but what should be a celebratory event would be encumbered by safety concerns for the participants and fans of both teams.  Our top priority must be the safety of all."

Bonser says the reason the game was canceled originally was due to safety concerns, although she, and others, never specified what those safety concerns were.

"It is on me to make a decision about safety and security. It is not popular, and people will interpret that many different ways. It was never intended as an insult, as a way to make kids or anyone feel bad. We understood the gravity of all of the emotions that would surface when you make a decision about safety that does not make everyone happy," Bonser says.

The man suspected of killing 22 people in an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, Patrick Crusius, is a 2017 graduate of Plano Senior High.  Crusius' ties to Plano were not mentioned in the release.

In a Twitter post, Eastwood High head football coach Julio Lopez said his team was scrambling to find a replacement game for Sept. 6. At the time, he said his team will "travel anywhere in Texas" to play that week.