FORSYTH COUNTY, NC -- Youth football is back in action in Forsyth County but with some new rules in place after a scary incident involving gunfire on the field last weekend.
On Saturday, kids and parents returned to the field with a new level of excitement.
“There is a breath of energy on the field as far as folks feeling very secure and back into the excitement of the sport,” said parent Macio Freeman.
The Piedmont Youth Football and Cheer League met with school officials last week to develop a long list of upgraded safety measures at games.
The new changes come as a direct result of a violent incident at Kernersville Elementary School last Saturday.
Police were responding to a disturbance at the field in Kernersville with a large crowd of people.
Then, someone saw a guy with a handgun on his hip.
Officers approached the man and began to pat him down.
Police say the gun went off during a struggle.
Freeman was there with his kids when the incident unfolded.
“The first thing that was going on in my head was ‘Where are the kids? Have any of the kids been injured?’”
Nobody was hurt but the league has since made some major security upgrades.
From now on, six patrol deputies will be stationed on each field for security.
All coaches, spectators and volunteers will be searched with a metal detector wand at the main entrance of the games.
Rodney Cooper, the Football Commissioner with the PYFCL, says the league has implemented a “zero tolerance” policy for weapons, violence, and general misconduct on the fields.
Cooper says if anyone causes a disruption during the game, they will be subject to a fine or be banned from any school site.
“You have to take matters in your own hands sometimes,” said Cooper. “Things happen and you have to work on the fly. In this instance, we took the necessary measures to make sure things were safer than they already were.”
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Parents like Laura Dibble hope the new rules will allow everyone to return their focus back to football.
“I definitely hope that moving forward we can put that instance behind us and keep moving forward and have a positive attitude,” said Dibble. “Our kids just want to play ball. That's why we’re here.”
The PYFCL is wrapping up its fall season.
Next week is the league championship.
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