DUNMORE -- Two high school football teams in our area have changed pre-game traditions after receiving notice from a civil rights group that it is unconstitutional for coaches to lead their team in prayer.
Dunmore's pre-game prayer huddle was taken to task last month.
It's the same story for the Danville Ironmen after a photo of a prayer huddle was shared with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The civil rights group has reminded both teams that coaches cannot lead a team in prayer due to separation of church and state. Both teams have since altered the pre-game tradition.
Now, hundreds of people in Dunmore have responded with a public show of their priorities – God, family, Dunmore Bucks.
"It just seemed pretty fitting to do something more to lift community spirit, so I got the idea of making these yard signs. God, family, Dunmore Bucks," said Dunmore resident Paul Nardozzi.
Nardozzi designed the signs and worked with local businesses to make 650 of them. All of them ended up in yards throughout so-called Bucktown.
"They're all over the place," Nardozzi said. "I think the effect was very positive. People didn't understand the law, I didn't understand it at first, reading into it, I do. It's a shame because it's just been a tradition over the past 30 or 40 years with Coach Henzes and the football team, just saying their pregame prayer together."
Nardozzi says reaction to the signs hasn't been all positive, but most people have seen his point. Tradition means a lot in this community when one tradition was forced to change, people needed a pick me up.
Mark Ciprian proudly displays a sign in his back yard even though the Bucks' season has ended. He thinks in our area, where football and religion run deep, Dunmore and Danville won't be the last teams to hear from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"No, not at all, no, there's always somebody that says something about something, so no I'm not surprised," Ciprian said.
Dunmore has something to say, too, and they're making their message clear.