'Safety and security concerns' lead to postponements of Saturday's York High boys' basketball games

Clovis Gallon Jr. of York High drives the baseline to the basket against Central York, Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
John A. Pavoncello photo
  • York High has called off its JV and varsity boys' basketball games set for Saturday.
  • The Bearcats were scheduled to play against Chester.
  • The games were called off because of "safety concerns."

Because of "safety and security concerns," Saturday's scheduled varsity and junior varsity boys' basketball games pitting Chester at York High have been postponed.

The announcement of the postponements was posted on the School District of York City website. 

The statement said the two schools will work to possibly reschedule the games in the future. The JV game was set to start at approximately 3 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 4:30 p.m.

The York High girls' junior varsity and varsity teams will play host to Lancaster Mennonite on Saturday as scheduled, but only parents and student-athletes will be permitted access to the games. The girls' JV game is set for noon, followed by the girls' varsity game at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Other than "safety and security concerns," no other reason was given for the postponements of the boys' basketball games in the school statement. 

However, on Wednesday, police in Harrisburg had to use pepper spray to disperse a crowd when a fight broke out following a boys' basketball game between York High and Harrisburg High.

In a Thursday news release, Harrisburg Police said the fight happened within a large group of people after the Wednesday game and officers had to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd so officers could get to the combatants.

Police said the individuals involved fled as officers arrived. The victim refused medical treatment and did not want to file charges, according to the release.

At the same time, a large group of about 100 students was causing a disturbance at a nearby McDonald's, officials said. Police said pepper spray was used there, as well, and the crowd dispersed.

Harrisburg School District requested officers be at the game because of social media activity that indicated there might be a problem there, according to the release.

The game's start time was moved from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well to avoid any problems, authorities said.

Police said there were no problems during the game.

Following is the complete statement from the School District of York City about the Chester postponements: 

Safety concerns prompt changes to Saturday, Jan. 26 basketball schedule

Due to safety and security concerns, the School District of the City of York will be restricting spectator entry to the basketball games scheduled to be played at William Penn Senior High School on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Only the parents and guardians of student-athletes will be permitted access to Saturday’s basketball games. Parents and guardians should be prepared to show photo identification upon arrival. The game schedule follows:
Girls JV vs. Lancaster Mennonite @ noon
Girls Varsity vs. Lancaster Mennonite @ 1:30 p.m.
The boys JV and Varsity games against Chester Upland, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, have been canceled. However, the district is working with Chester Upland to reschedule the games in the near future.
We appreciate the community’s understanding as we take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of our students, staff and guests.