PHILADELPHIA – A traumatic week for Pleacinville, the New Jersey community turned tragic on Wednesday when they learned that a 10-year-old boy was shot in the neck during Friday night's play-off match against Camden, Mich. Tennant.
"We found out about it this morning," the Pleasinville player leader said, and recalled Ernest Howard, who wore Tennant's No. 10 as the game on Wednesday afternoon, continued at the Lincoln Financial Field on Wednesday, told ESPN. "Our coach told us. He brought us into the auditorium. Just sad, crazy, angry, a lot of things that think in our minds. We have a game to win on the same day. It was a lot to take on this day."
It was with this dark backdrop that the teams finished their game at the Philadelphia Eagles Stadium. After the shooting, the eagles came in and offered their home when they learned that Pleasinville and Camden were searching for a neutral site.
The eagles gave them a red carpet treatment. They sent coaches to buses to gather the teams and drive them to the stadium. When the players arrived, they went into the dressing rooms to find personal names on the locker stalls.
About a dozen eagle members, including Carson Wencz, Malcolm Jenkins, Zack Erz and Fletcher Cox have welcomed the replayed players. This was followed by NFL-style entry, full of smoke machines, that made their way into the tunnel as they made their way to the AF / DC's "For Those Who Should Rock".
"It was really an honor for us today to host both schools," said Eagles President Don Smolensky. "I hope this can be something they remember positively as they progressed in their lives."
"These kids needed something disturbing," added Pleasinville coach Chris Sako.
The teams gathered in midfield before the start of the game in a moment of silence for Tennant, with a public address announcer saying: "We are joining Miha's family to prove that the violence has not won."
Tennant's mother, Angela Tennant, eulogized him on a Facebook post, using the nickname "Dew".
"This kid was such a different big person … big smile and big dreams!" she wrote. "Never in a million years would I have thought this would be my life. I am happy that my gmom raised me as it did. Only from Gods Grace & Mercy is I standing tall for my boy! I will never let anyone forget you just as I always encourage you and keep going. My car i love you forever. "
Jersey Governor Phil Murphy mourns the boy's death Wednesday in a Twitter post.
"No child deserves to shorten their promising lives, especially with indiscriminate and senseless gun violence," the governor said. “No parent deserves to bury his child. We will keep Dove's memory close and we will remember his name as we continue to work to make New Jersey safer for all our families. & # 39; & # 39;
Wenz discussed the shooting during a press conference hours before Wednesday's match.
"Very difficult situation. It's a tragedy in itself, "Wenz said, quoting VPVI-TV in Philadelphia. "It's really unfortunate what happened in the public setting, the way it happened at a football match. It's bright on Friday night. It's something that kids just dream of playing inside. It's something I will cherish until the end. of life, playing on Friday night lights.
Charges against a suspected gunman have been upgraded to murder. He also faces two counts of attempted murder and weapons charges. Two others were injured as a result of the shooting; A 27-year-old man was shot and a 15-year-old boy was grazed. Six men are charged, including the man shot dead.
There were about 17 minutes left on Friday when shots were fired and the game was stopped at the Pleatsinville Stadium, near Atlantic City.
Wednesday's match, which beat Camden 22-0, was not open to the public. The lower bowl portion of each side of the stadium was filled with selected family and friends. On Camden's side, the school band was playing around as fans chanted and the mascot was running down the sidelines. Unfortunately, Pleasinville's side was much more useful.
"It is definitely difficult to take into account that we used this loss today, but it is more meaningful because we came out here and still fought and gave our heart to Micah in this great scene that the eagles offered us," Howard said.