“This is uncharted water” Caruthersville High School moving ahead with homecoming game after tragedy

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (KBSI) – During his 23 years in the Caruthersville School District, superintendent Brad Gerling has had to deal with tragedy, but the murder of a 19-year-old male near the high school after last Friday’s football game struck a different chord. 

“Unfortunately, I’ve been in the district through several tragedies, whether they were natural disasters or other events, but this is uncharted water,” he said.

This particular tragedy prompted the school district to ratchet up its security measures for Friday’s homecoming game against Dexter. 

Gerling said these measures won’t be unlike the practices you see at, say, a larger sporting event. 

“There’s going to be a metal detector that you go through. There’s going to be an increased security presence just like you’d see at those larger events,” he said. “We don’t mean that to impede on the enjoyment that everyone has at the event, but just to simply assure the safety and security of everyone involved.” 

In addition to the metal detectors and increased security presence, there will be bag checks and a second entrance that was previously closed due to construction.  Also, loitering will not be allowed outside the stadium. 

Gerling said there were discussions about moving the game to Saturday. 

“Logistically, it didn’t look like that was going to work out,” he said. “In speaking with the Dexter administration, they felt comfortable with additional measures that were put into place, so we’re going to be able to move on with the game Friday night.” 

Gerling said the events of last Friday make us appreciate life a little bit more. 

“It kind of goes to show how life is that fleeting, that you appreciate what you have while you have it and those around you and try to make the best of it,” he said.

The full list of security measures can be found below:

  • Visiting fans only, with a parking pass, will be allowed to park in the Ward Avenue administration lot.
  • Two gates will be utilized. The main north gate on 16th Street as well as a gate inside the entrance at the south of the building facing the tiger statue.
  • Additional school personnel and law enforcement will be on duty inside/outside the premises.
  • Only fans with a conference pass, staff ID, or pre-sold ticket will be allowed to enter. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Caruthersville School District Administration Building Wednesday and Thursday from 8-4 p.m. On Friday, tickets may be purchased from 8-12 p.m. Visitor tickets will be distributed by Dexter school personnel. Visiting ticketholders will pay at the gate, and the cost is $4.
  • Only clear bags/purses, no larger than 12x6x12 will be allowed on the premises. All bags are subject to search.
  • All fans must pass through a metal detector. Face coverings are prohibited.
  • No loitering will be allowed outside the stadium, and 16th Street will be closed at kickoff and will remain closed until the game concludes.

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