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CHARLEROI (KDKA) — Friday night’s football game between rivals Charleroi High School and Monessen High School was canceled due to alleged threats made against Charleroi student athletes.

The Charleroi Cougars and Monessen Greyhounds were scheduled to face off Friday night at Memorial Stadium in Monessen.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz)

Longtime resident Suzanne Surdyn said, “It’s always been a rivalry, even when I was back in school in the Middle Ages.”

But the Charleroi Area School District announced Friday afternoon that the district received information around 11:30 a.m. regarding a threat directed at the school’s student athletes.

Monessen’s school superintendent, Dr. Leanne Spazak, says they met with Charleroi school officials and were never given any evidence of the threats.

“As far as we know, that’s all we were ever given, that there was no proof, no physical proof, no picture of a text or a tweet or a Snapchat or anything, so, you know, the community and the kids were all looking forward to this. I understand safety is the number one concern, but we were really prepared for safety here,” Spazak said.

Spazak says they spoke to students and parents about the apparent threat and no one knew anything about it.

Because the investigation is still ongoing and “due to the serious nature of these threats,” the school district has decided to cancel the game.

KDKA’s Bob Allen Reports:


 

“Everyone was terribly heartbroken,” Monessen football coach Mikey Blainefield said. “I feel like we missed out on a big opportunity here, both districts missed out as a big opportunity, so did our communities. We get a chance to get behind our kids, and putting communities on display, and we missed out.”

The athletic director in Monessen called the game’s cancellation unfortunate for student athletes and fans in both Monessen and Charleroi.

Ralph Iannotti