Blairsville Football Team Forfeits After Student Suicides

BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – A western Pennsylvania high school will forfeit a football game while students and staff grieve the recent suicides of two students.

The Blairsville High School students, who are not being identified, killed themselves Oct. 5 and 11.

The school has brought in counselors and made clergy available and a community prayer vigil has been scheduled for Friday evening. That’s when Blairsville was to have played Ligonier Valley.

Jeff Soles, the assistant superintendent of the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District says the decision to forfeit the game wasn’t a “top-down” decision, but was made after getting input from the coaches, students and athletic director.

The high school about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh has just 300 students and about 80 seniors.

Soles says, “This is a time for reflection … for everyone to have a chance to grieve.”

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(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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