NKY community rallies to send off high-school seniors after football season cut short

Police, firefighters and business leaders faced off against the team in a flag football game that felt like the real thing.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 9:53 PM EDT
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BELLEVUE, Ky. (WXIX) - The city of Bellevue came together Friday night to send off their high-school football team, band members and cheerleaders after the season was abruptly canceled.

The stands were nearly full at Gilligan Stadium Friday night. An announcer spoke on through the sound system. There were hot dogs and hamburgers.

It felt like a regular Friday Night Lights.

“It’s everybody working together, just one big, happy family,” said Bellevue Mayor Charlie Cleves. “That’s the way it’s getting to be in Bellevue—better and better all the time.”

Athletic Director Jim Hicks announced in a statement last Wednesday that the school decided to cancel the remainder of the season “due to the limited number of healthy players available.”

He went on to say the safety of the players is Bellevue High School’s number-one priority.

The news left some on the team slack-jawed, not having a clue it was their last game of the year—and for the seniors, their last game ever in a high-school uniform.

Last Friday, Bellevue Police Department came to their rescue.

Bellevue Police Chief Jon McClain announced a flag football game putting the high-school team against police officers, firefighters and business leaders.

“To have that just abruptly end and not know it’s your last night, I think they were probably heartbroken, so I wanted to think of something to give them a last opportunity,” McClain said.

Bellevue High School senior Jackson Day says it felt like just that.

“It felt like, enjoyment, like we got a last run at it,” Day said.

Admission was free to open the game to the entire community.

There were two 25-minute halves with a running clock and a 10-minute halftime.

The department did not charge for food or beverages but did take donations.

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