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Bullets Left at Stadium Gate Prompt Season Cancellation

Paul Steinbach

Mount Pleasant (Pa.) Area Junior Football League has cancelled the 2015 season — its 50th — following the latest in mounting threats against league officials, coaches and referees, allegedly made by parents. On Tuesday, ammunition shells depicting the names of league officials in permanent marker were found at the gate of Hurst Stadium, a playing field used by the league.

Parents of football players and cheerleaders told Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV a fistfight among parents occurred at a game earlier this season, and another game had to be rescheduled due to an unspecified threat. Shouted comments from the stands included criticism of players’ weights. The league serves children ages six through 14.

“I have no idea where it’s coming from, but it’s got to stop,” parent Stephanie Spallone told reporter Kelly Brennan. “The kids have more sense than the adults here.”

“It’s a feeder league,” added another parent, Robyn Josey. “They will eventually all play for the Mt. Pleasant Vikings together as teammates, as friends, and that’s what is sad about the whole thing.”

A league statement to parents said, "Decisions of this magnitude are not done lightly; rather they are done with the advice of the state police, FBI, school administration and league officials. We hope that as parents you will agree with this decision and try to cooperate with everyone involved to bring forward the person or persons responsible for these actions. The league's future and our children's continued participation in future seasons is what is in jeopardy."

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