NEW CASTLE, Pa. (KDKA) — One local mother is advocating for more relaxed restrictions on fans at sporting events after her son suffered a season-ending injury without her there.
Veronica Shaffer’s son Landon is a junior at Neshannock High School. He and his younger brother play football for the Lancers.
Neshannock opened their season Friday at home against Laurel High. In an email to parents, the school said they would allow two tickets for each senior and one ticket for each underclassman.
Shaffer says in the case of families with more than one underclassman on the team, they were given one ticket.
“I was scared about this the entire time,” she said. “I was uneasy. I had a feeling that something was going to go wrong and unfortunately, it did.”
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Shaffer’s husband watched the first half, with plans for his wife to take his place at halftime. As she watched the first half on a livestream, Shaffer saw a player on the ground and she couldn’t find her son.
She says she called her husband, who told her that Landon was hurt and immediately hung up.
“Now I’m panicked because I never saw him move,” Shaffer said. “I had no clue what was going on. I wasn’t allowed to be there.”
Landon was airlifted to UPMC Children’s Hospital with a broken leg. Shaffer and her husband raced down to Pittsburgh in separate cars.
“He was scared to death,” she said. “No one was there with him. He’s a giant kid, but he’s still a child.”
As schools across Pennsylvania navigate fall sports under the state’s coronavirus guidelines, Shaffer hopes policies change and that every parent has the chance to be there for their child if the worst happens.
“I just really hope that they can fix this and consider, overall, what’s really best for the children and everybody,” she said.
In an email to parents, Neshannock says it will now allow each varsity football player to have two tickets. Junior varsity players will get one ticket each.