Anniston’s Homecoming football game tonight against White Plains has been canceled after a shooting earlier this week.
Bulldogs coach Rico Jackson told AL.com on Friday afternoon that White Plains opted to forfeit the game. The Homecoming parade and pep rally originally scheduled for Thursday night already had been canceled after a shooting incident involving several students earlier in the week.
“Due to safety concerns, White Plains decided to forfeit the game,” Jackson said in a prepared statement. “We had all the parameters with police officers and security in place to play the game, but they still decided they wanted to forfeit the game.”
Jackson said there would still be Homecoming festivities at 6 p.m., but no football game.
Anniston Police Chief Nick Bowles told AL.com earlier this week a group of girls from the high school were at South Highland Community Center on Tuesday night when multiple fights broke out.
As the fights subsided, someone brandished a gun and started firing at a vehicle parked in the roadway. At least two other people brandished firearms at an intersection near the community center and returned fire at the first person who fired shots.
A girl who was a passenger in the vehicle at the intersection was hit in the back by gunfire, the chief said. The girl suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated and released from a local hospital, Bowles said.
Anniston will improve to 3-2 overall, 2-1 in Class 4A, Region 4 play with the forfeit. The Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to Piedmont for a non-region game next Thursday.
White Plains will be 0-4, 0-2 after the forfeit. The Wildcats will host Hokes Bluff next week.
Anniston High released the following on its Facebook page Friday afternoon.
Greetings Bulldog Family,
The White Plains Wildcats have forfeited tonight’s Homecoming game. We will be credited with the win.
In spite of the current situation, we will continue to celebrate our Homecoming tonight at Lott Mosby Stadium. Come out at 6:00 p.m. to support our Anniston High School band, cheerleaders, football team, and our 2023 Homecoming Court. Live entertainment featuring Aretta Woodruff and the Review band will start at 6:00 pm. Admission $5.00
Again, Let’s celebrate the students of Anniston High School in-spite of the current circumstances.