Last Friday night, Homestead’s Broncos squared off against hometown rivals South Dade’s Buccaneers. Amidst stormy skies and intermittent light rain, young and old alike decked out in blue and opposing orange, excitedly lined up and fanned into Harris Field, once again taking part in the annual game; part of the Great American Rivalry Series.
By half-time, South Dade led by 23 to 0 over Homestead.
Poised to return, and determined to shake off the first half’s defeat, Homestead High’s Head Coach Philip Simpson and his varsity squad filed back on to the turf, ready to turn the tide in their favor.
With 5.39 minutes left in the 3rd quarter however, the game came to an abrupt end.
Spectators from the South Dade side of the field started to run,
causing the game to stop almost immediately, and others everywhere to flee out into the parking lot.
While onlookers higher in the bleachers strained to see what happened and ask questions, others answered their inquiries explaining that someone in the crowd had pulled a gun, and allegedly may have pointed it at another individual in the crowd.
Although the alleged suspect was quickly apprehended before any shots were fired, and taken into custody by Homestead Police; game officials however cancelled the remainder of the game.
As the Broncos and their band marched back on to their school buses, lit by the lights of numerous Homestead police cars at the exits, Coach Simpson shared his thoughts on the incident.
“It’s unfortunate that these things have to occur,” said Simpson, “We've got a total of 100-120 kids trying to have fun and play a football game, earn scholarships -- and then we have people with selfish acts.”
Despite getting the head coach position 20 days before the school year started, and with a team consisting of nine seniors (out of fifty-three players), Simpson nonetheless remained optimistic for the remainder of the season, in lieu of the night’s events.
“We’re a young team, just trying to improve on what we’re doing,” said Simpson. “While we had a couple of good moments, at the end of the day, we have to continue to put it together; things happen, and it’s all about adversity and moving forward.”
This was following unfortunately, a similar high-school football rivalry match-up in Mobile, Alabama, where various news sources reported that 10 people were shot and injured by a 17-year-old there last Friday night also.