Collinwood, Shaw football game played with no fans allowed in the stands

Schools had security concerns
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For the second time in two weeks, a Northeast Ohio school puts safety measures in place during a football game.

Last week shots were fired at a crowded Garfield Heights match-up, and this Friday, the Collinwood/Shaw football game was closed to fans, including parents, over fears there could be trouble.

One person after another showed up at the Collinwood Athletic Complex hoping to witness the rivalry on the gridiron between Cleveland’s Collinwood High School and East Cleveland’s Shaw High School. Schools that are just down the street from each other.

But, in this case, both schools issued a joint statement, a short time before the game saying, “Tonight’s football game between Collinwood High School and Shaw High School is closed to spectators, due to heightened tensions principals of both the schools took the step as a precaution.”

Parents, students, and high school football fans, including Walter Melton, Senior were outraged after hearing the news that fans were benched from the game, “Just because of a couple of bad apples, everybody shouldn’t be punished.”

Diamond Walker is a student at Collinwood, “I think it’s a bad decision because everybody wanted to be in the game or see the game today.”

But, the clash on the football field was apparently overshadowed on Thursday by a clash between parents and students from both schools embroiled in a fight outside of Collinwood High School.

Melton, Senior told 19 News, “It was Shaw High School and Collinwood parents and kids that got into it.”

James Boston, III, a Collinwood Alum, says the Athletic Director told him that sadly parents who got involved in a dispute in front of Collinwood, only made the situation worse, “They just told me if kids are up here fighting when parents came up here, they didn’t try to break nothing up, they were fighting with the kids.”

One coach told 19 News the decision to keep spectators out of Friday’s game, had nothing to do with players on the football teams, but several incidents including trespassing that led up to the game.

“I feel anyone that supports these kids should have been allowed,” Melton, Sr. said.

But, many admit there’s a lesson in all of this, that everyone must follow the rules of the playbook if they want to stay in the game.

19 News made several attempts to try and talk with an athletic director or school administrator at the Collinwood/Shaw game, but we were told no one was available.