Freeport School District introduces new safety measure for football games

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- Families and athletes were frightened last week after shots rang out not far from a crowded football field. The Freeport School District is introducing a new security measure to keep its students and fans safe.

"I was getting ready to walk on the field; I didn't know what was going on. I thought it was like the sound effect from up in the booth and then I looked back and everybody was lying down," said Antario Cain, a senior on the Freeport High School football team.

Shots fired near Wyeth Stadium last Friday during a football against Auburn and Freeport caused fans and players to panic.

"I was shocked to see everybody running," said Cain.

Even though Rockford Police say the shooting wasn't on school grounds or related to the game, the Freeport School District is making some changes for its next home football game.

"We are going to close our north entrance to the football field. Normally we have a south entrance open and a north entrance open. It's just out of an overall safety protocol that they decided to do," said Christy Sosnowski, a communications member for the Freeport Pretzels Fan Club.

Some handicapped fans are not happy about the change because they're worried about having an accessible way to the game.

"They can use the teacher parking lot, park there and have better access to get to the football field," said Sosnowski.

The district also requires students 5th through 12th grade to scan their ID at each game. If they have too many disciplinary issues, they are not allowed to attend.

"It really helps students to understand the importance of being in the classroom on time and to be putting their noses down and doing their work and staying out of trouble. Safety is the number one priority for all of our students," said Sosnowski.

"Whatever makes the game safer and makes people feel safe," said Cain.

The next Freeport home game is September 7th. The Freeport Pretzels Fan Club is hosting a food drive at the game to help raise money to keep supporting the Freeport School District's athletes.