The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

A Friday Night Tradition, No More

Administrators changed the starting time and number of Friday night hockey games this year due to drinking at previous games, complaints from parents and the availability of the Thornton ice rink.

Athletic Director Don Readance noted some of the factors administrators took into account. “We did have the issue with drinking,” he said. Readance added that there had also been multiple complaints from parents, who claimed that late games affected the ability of younger children to attend, and affected the timing of other Thornton Park programs.

The change in hockey game times from 9 p.m. disrupted Thornton’s Friday Night Skate program. New Friday game times such as 7 p.m. prevent Friday Night Skates, so few Friday home games were scheduled this season. Readance said that the change brought some positive feedback from parents. However, “there were some kids who grumbled,” he said.

Last year’s Dec. 2 hockey home opener, which resulted in alcohol breath testing and arrests,  was a factor in the administration’s decision. Last year, police surprised students by pulling some of them out of the stands and administering breath tests. Seven students — five minors and two legal adults — were arrested when the results of the breath tests showed they were intoxicated.

Following these events, Principal Michael Griffith changed the times of the remaining hockey games from 9 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. This year the change has remained; all of the Friday night games begin before 9.  

For many years it has been a Shaker student and even parent tradition to attend the late hockey games. Social studies teacher and former Shaker student Charles Longo remembered attending the Friday night games as a student. “I was there when it all began back in the ’70s, and it was a huge deal, not just for the students but also the parents. It was a wild and crazy time period,” he stated in an email interview. 

Math teacher Joel Rathbone also remembered the games as a big event. “The Shaker vs US game was always huge in the ’90’s,” he stated in an email message. “I can’t say the entire season had as much hype, but that game sure did.”

However, Longo thinks the change in time will benefit Shaker students. “I’m OK with the earlier times because it provides certain students with less time to get in trouble before the games,” he said.

When asked if the hockey games would ever be restored to their late starting time, Readance said, “For the time being, the 9 o’clock games will not be on the schedule.”


A version of this article appeared in print on 13 December 2012, on page 4 of The Shakerite

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