MCPS answers questions about earlier start time to football game between two rival high schools

Many questions are being asked about a two house early start time to a highly anticipated Friday football game between two rival high schools in Montgomery County.

READ MORE: Montgomery County hearing on proposal that would require all employees be COVID-19 vaccinated

Montgomery County Public Schools officials, including principals for Northwest and Quince Orchard High Schools sent a letter to families Wednesday, stating that game time for a varsity football game between the two schools, has been moved from 6:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Friday in "an abundance of caution for everyone’s safety and for the smooth operations of the entire event. The school administration would like families to know that the safety of all of our students is our top consideration."

Fox 5’s Ayesha Khan asked MCPS spokesperson, Christopher Cram about how an earlier start time could be an inconvenience for many parents and families who are working and he said that no matter what, younger kids will have to be accompanied by parent or a guardian— otherwise they will not be allowed to attend the game.  

READ MORE: Montgomery County close to dropping indoor mask mandate

Cram also said that the early start time serves as an advantage for more daylight and potentially fewer attendees.

"Parents work, some parents maybe have young kids in elementary school or kindergarten or work overtime," said Ruben Paulino.

Khan asked Cram if an earlier start time is  supposed to prevent any potential instances of a fight breaking out since this comes at the heels of numerous fights that ensued at last weekend’s football game between Northwest and Seneca Valley High Schools.

Cram said that large events repeatedly create tense situations. Friday’s game is expected to have a big crowd so attendees can expect to see a large police presence as the school system has collaborated with the Montgomery County Police Department.

Meanwhile, the announcement from MCPS about changing the game time has some coaches, and even parents within the community talking and sounding off on social media.

Some posts and comments expressed that there are "better ways to address this and not punish student athletes for the actions of others."

"Kids are kids and a time change doesn’t really matter at all," said Nicole Paulino of Montgomery County.

"I really don’t think that just because they will begin the game at 4:30 that this is going to prevent any problems or anything, I just don’t think that makes a big difference."

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

"The earlier it is the better it is," said Margaret Williams of Montgomery County.

"Because then everybody can see what’s going on because when it’s dark you don’t know what’s going on."

Cram said while the methods that MCPS currently has in place such as an early start time and having younger kids be accompanied by adults, are not quite permanent—those may be applied to other games in the future.