High school football game closed to crowds due to threat of violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tensions were so high ahead of Friday night's football game between rivals Raleigh-Egypt and Craigmont high schools, Shelby County Schools closed the game to the public for safety.

The game was moved to a neutral site and closed to the public after recent incidents in both communities. Law enforcement and district security were made aware and families were informed by the school.

"It's very very disturbing that we live in a world where our kids can't be kids," said Metha Mitchell, whose son plays for Raleigh-Egypt. "They can't enjoy the things that they should enjoy."

Mitchell said she heard rumors there could be violence at the game.

"Once I received that call, his father called me and told me that we could not attend the game, I immediately went and got him and I brought him home. Safety is first," she said. "He's been playing football since he was seven. Football is his world. It's everything."

SCS said the decision came down to student and public safety, avoiding any potential disturbances.

The district did not say how often closed games occur, but several sources with knowledge of local high school football games said it’s rare.

Since her son was not in the game, Mitchell was unsure where the two teams played.