St. Francis forfeits Hope Academy game over safety concerns

St. Francis will forfeit Friday’s game against Hope Academy at Altgeld Park.

The move comes after gunshots were heard during last week’s Providence vs. Hope Academy game. Read the full story on that here.

“It’s a very difficult decision, but we have to make decisions that are in the best interests of the safety of our kids,” St. Francis athletic director Dan Hardwick told the Daily Herald. “In the face of all that I hope Hope understands we have an obligation to keep our kids safe.”

“We are disappointed in getting the forfeit,” Hope Academy coach Matt Kelly said. “The kids were excited to play their homecoming game. This decision was something out of our control. We feel like we have a solid plan in place to assure the safety of all the student-athletes and fans that attend our home games. This was an incident that had nothing to do with Hope Academy or anyone in attendance at our game. This was also the first incident in the 13 years we have played at Hope Field. We feel very strongly about the difference we are making in the community and with our students.”

St. Francis football player John Vohasek (johnvohasek) commented on the forfeit on Thursday evening on Twitter:

“As a Saint Francis player, I am speaking on behalf of the team. We all wanted to play, and we all felt safe to play at Altgeld. But due to circumstances, the decision was not in our control. The players will be releasing a larger statement later in the week. Thank you.”

Hope Academy will improve to 5-2 this season. St. Francis will be 1-6 with the forfeit. The Eagles have one regular season home game remaining, Week 9 against McNamara.

“As far as teams in the future I feel very confident that they will see the plan we have in place and feel very good about the safety of everyone in attendance,” Kelly said. ” Sadly, incidents like this are becoming common place all over our country, not just a problem in the city. “

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11 comments

  • ccl1989

    hope should not be in the catholic league

  • Dan hansen

    St. Francis should be embarrassed. I am embassarred to be an alumni of this school. Their major athletic programs are weak and run poorly. The decision makers there need to be replaced

  • BW

    If St. Francis had a playoff berth on the line, the game most likely would be played.

  • RealityCheck

    Racism pure and simple. St. Francis is over 90% white. Shameful behavior on their part.

    • Vern

      Racism? did you not read/hear what occurred last Friday night vs Providence? one of the last places you want to be standing outside on a Friday night is the west side of Chicago. the facts speak for itself, as it has been the most violent part of the city the past 40 years.

      • cb

        When was the last time you were standing outside on the west side of Chicago on a Friday night? You have no idea what it’s like. I live there and stand outside every night and think it’s a great place to be! It’s a lot better and safer than being in Wheaton or wherever that racist school is! You may think it’s dangerous for your little white boy kid, but to us it’s dangerous in your part of the world. When did a black person ever go to Wheaton and get treated right? Never! When was there ever a problem at a Hope game? When was a player or fan ever in danger? White people like you have no idea what you’re talking about. Stay in your little white privilege bubble and stay out of our city! you see the kids wanted to play, but some soft white adults think they’re doing them a favor. You crackers should be ashamed of yourselves!

        • Vern

          I’m the racist? when did I mention race in my original post? Take a look in the mirror, because your comment is ludicrous. maybe they could have had an alternative ie: relocation or moving the game to saturday afternoon. And to answer your question last Friday night there was shots fired near the hope game! Re read your comment because its incredibly offensive and you assume things you dont know.

          • Jennifer Pank

            Did you not listen to the whole clip? Police every 10 yards??? Hello! Safest place to be! And if it’s not safe enough for the suburban kids, why is it ok for the city kids? And if St. Francis is being “responsible” by making this decision, does it mean that Hope is being irresponsible? What a mixed message!

        • ccl1989

          u sound like the one that racist

  • DK

    Mike — how can you write an article, for publishing on a national newspaper website, and start it with an important quote by someone whom you only identify by a last name???

    I guess we can assume that ‘Hardwick’ is a representative of St. Francis HS….but is it the coach? Athletic director? Principal? Seriously, when did Journalism 101 go out the window?

    I don’t mean to come down hard on you — frankly, I’m sick of most things that pass for “journalism” nowadays being poorly-written or poorly edited or both. Who proofreads these things??

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