Parents want to be able to attend high school football away games

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Virna O’Brien is a Franklin MA football mom.  She has three kids.  Jake (a Franklin High Senior football player), Lynsday (a Franklin High junior cheerleader), and their daughter Ryleigh (5th grade). Virna wants to be able to see Jake play football and Lynsday cheer. 

She and other Franklin parents are able to do that this season, but only at home games.  Currently, the Hockomock League is not allowing visiting fans to attend football games in their league.

So Virna decided to do something about this.  She started a petition called “Help MA Parents Watch Their Kids Play Football This Spring.” 

More than 1,700 people signed the petition in just over three days. So, obviously, Virna is not alone in this quest and in the desire to watch her kids perform.

Virna told Boston 25, “We need to be there.  If something horrible were to happen, we couldn’t forgive ourselves if we weren’t there.”

The spinal cord injury suffered by local Bishop Feehan High School hockey player AJ Quetta this past January is at the forefront of a lot of parents’ minds.  Bishop Feehan played an away game in Springfield against Pope John that night and parents were allowed to be there but AJ’s parents were not at that game that night.

In the fall, Hockomock league Athletic Directors and school administrators got together and agreed on league-wide policies concerning fans during this pandemic.  At that time they decided not to allow visiting fans to attend games in other towns. 

They have decided to start the Fall 2 season with the same policies.  However, they are continuing to talk on a weekly basis and remain hopeful that sometime before the season is over they can revisit that policy and consider allowing visiting fans into games.

**EDITORS NOTE:  On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, a story was aired by Boston 25 with Sports Anchor Butch Stearns where Butch reported that “AJ Quetta’s parents were not at the game the night of his injury, because parents were not allowed in.”  That information is inaccurate. Parents were allowed to attend that game but AJ’s parents were simply not able to attend.  We regret the error.

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