Henderson, Coatesville football teams to show solidarity
Football teams show county solidarity
WEST CHESTER The football rivalry between Henderson and Coatesville High Schools has been fierce for 60 years.
But with Coatesville students still reeling after learning that the former superintendent and athletic director were exchanging racist texts earlier this year, Henderson wanted to "help the students and their community with the healing process," said Henderson athletic director Kenneth McCormick.
So, a few minutes before the 7 p.m. game between the rivals on Friday night, the teams will go onto Henderson's field, shake hands, and stand together while a statement of support is read over the public address system.
"Over the past month, the disturbing and insulting stream of reports our neighbors in Coatesville have had to deal with has been unlike anything we expect to see a school district or community have to endure. On Friday, the good people of West Chester Henderson will stand firmly with our friends in Coatesville," the statement reads in part.
Then the Rev. Paul E Chaya, senior pastor of Windsor Baptist Church, is scheduled to lead the crowd in a moment of unity and self-reflection.
McCormick said he wanted to reach out and help in some way.
"It's very difficult for us at Henderson to see what our Coatesville neighbors have gone through," he said. "One of the things we've been very proud of between the two communities is, we'll battle each other for victory. But in the end it's just great respect we have for one another."
- Kathy Boccella