PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Blountstown football team will play its Class 1R State Semifinal game at Hawthorne High School but with extensive security measures put in place.
On Monday, Hawthorne High School released a statement saying the FHSAA might move the location of the Final Four following “security concerns” on their campus.
The FHSAA ruled in favor of Hawthorne keeping the game at its high school and not moving to Citizens Field in Gainesville, with the following requirements:
In addition to the rules above, Blountstown High School released a statement describing other security measures that will be put in place.
- Eight Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, one Supervisor and K-9 Unit will provide security at game.
- Blountstown will bring four of its own deputies.
- Additional security staff provided by FHSAA will be stationed at the gate(s) to screen fans with mobile metal detectors (wands); only clear bags will be permitted.
- School administrators from other schools will supplement HMHS administrative team to provide additional supervision/presence.
- The parking lot will be monitored and fans will not be permitted to loiter in the lot.
- Fencing will be installed near the sidewalk to keep all spectators back from the end zone.
- The number of people on the sidelines will be limited- essential personnel.
- Ramps leading to concession areas will be kept clear.
- At the end of the game, players will remain on their side of the field, and will not be permitted in the middle of the field or opponent’s side.
- After the game, Blountstown’s team will be escorted to their buses when deputies determine it is appropriate to do so. Their buses will be parked in the secure, supervised transportation depot that is immediately adjacent to the visiting side of the stadium.
- Deputies (4) will line up as a barrier between the two teams and sides at the end of the game.
Security measures are being put in place following an on-field altercation between Hawthorne and Pahokee players and fans at the conclusion of their region final game Friday.
Coincidently, there was an on-field altercation between two players on Blountstown and Sneads following their region final game Friday.
The FHSAA’s investigation and the ruling did not indicate that incident was a reason for its original proposal to move the location of the game.
Blountstown and Hawthorne are set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff from Hawthorne High School on Friday, December 2.