YATESVILLE — Under rainy skies, the Pittston Area Patriots took on the Hazleton Area Cougars on Pittston Area’s field in Yatesville.
Two teams, two communities coping with tragedy after three recent teen suicides, two in Pittston Area, one in Hazleton area.
“I think it’s an outlet and I think they both understand seeing that they suffered the same thing, and their school districts and I think it’s an outlet that they have to get out and get it off their mind with their peers and try to get some of it off their mind,” said Edward Barrett, a Pittston Area fan.
Many said this game is what each district needed after a difficult week, return to normalcy under the Friday night lights.
Pittston Area students held a unity rally earlier Friday, instead of the usual pep rally.
“They really, really worked really hard to try to get the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors together and be a unity and they even said like go over and say something like, “Hi, I’m, so and so, can I help you. We had one kid already put something on Facebook today that said, ‘I don’t know you but I see you are very sad, and if you ever want to talk to me, just come over,’” said Debbie Rachilla, secretary of the Pittston Area School Board.
“You have to just smile and look at the bright side of things, and you have to get back to your teenaged life and go to football games and see your friends, and just constantly being sad and talking about it does make it worse, does make it harder for some people,” said Rhonda Miller, a Pittston Area sophomore.