PHILADELPHIA — A traumatic week for the Pleasantville, New Jersey, group turned tragic on Wednesday when it was revealed that the 10-year-old boy, Micah Tennant, who had been shot within the neck throughout Friday night time’s playoff sport in opposition to Camden had died.
“We discovered about it this morning,” Pleasantville linebacker and operating again Ernest Howard, who wore No. 10 in Tennant’s honor as the sport resumed at Lincoln Monetary Subject on Wednesday afternoon, instructed ESPN. “Our coach instructed us. He gathered us within the auditorium. Simply unhappy, mad, indignant, a number of stuff going by way of our minds. We now have a sport to win on the identical day. It was lots to soak up on today.”
It was with this darkish backdrop that the groups completed their sport on the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium. Following the taking pictures, the Eagles stepped in and supplied their residence facility after they discovered Pleasantville and Camden had been trying to find a impartial web site.
The Eagles gave them the red-carpet therapy. They despatched coach buses to choose the groups up and drive them to the stadium. When the gamers arrived, they walked into the locker rooms to search out personalised nameplates on the locker stalls.
A couple of dozen members of the Eagles, together with Carson Wentz, Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox, greeted the gamers pregame. That was adopted by an NFL-style entrance, full with smoke machines lining the tunnel entrance as gamers ran out to AC/DC’s “For These About to Rock.”
“It actually was an honor for us to host each faculties as we speak,” stated Eagles president Don Smolenski. “Hopefully, this may be one thing they bear in mind in a constructive approach transferring ahead of their lives.”
As Pleasantville coach Chris Sacco added, “These youngsters wanted one thing uplifting to them.”
The groups gathered at midfield earlier than the resumption of the sport in a second of silence for Tennant, with the general public handle announcer saying, “We be part of with Micah’s household to exhibit that acts of violence don’t win.”
Tennant’s mom, Angela Tennant, eulogized him in a Fb submit, utilizing his nickname, “Dew.”
“This child was so totally different Large Character…Large Smile & Large Desires!” she wrote. “By no means in one million years would I feel this may be my life. I am completely satisfied my gmom raised me the way in which she did. It is solely by Gods Grace & Mercy that I am standing tall for my boy! Dew I’ll by no means let anybody neglect you simply as I all the time sweat you I’ll proceed. My Jody I like you without end.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mourned the boy’s loss of life on Wednesday in a Twitter submit.
“No little one deserves to have their promising life lower brief, particularly by indiscriminate and mindless gun violence,” the governor stated. “No guardian deserves to bury their little one. We’ll maintain Dew’s reminiscence shut, and we’ll bear in mind his identify, as we proceed our work to make New Jersey safer for all of our households.”
Wentz mentioned the taking pictures throughout a information convention a number of hours earlier than Wednesday’s sport.
“Very robust state of affairs. It is a tragedy in itself,” Wentz stated, based on WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “It is actually unlucky that occurred in a public setting, the way in which it did at a soccer sport. It is Friday night time lights. It is one thing youngsters simply dream about taking part in in. It is one thing I will cherish for the remainder of my life, taking part in Friday night time lights.
Fees in opposition to the suspected gunman have been upgraded to homicide. He additionally faces two counts of tried homicide and weapons costs. Two others had been injured because of the taking pictures; a 27-year-old man was shot, and a 15-year-old boy was grazed. Six males have been charged, together with the person who was shot.
There was about 17 minutes remaining on Friday when gunshots rang out and the sport was stopped on the stadium in Pleasantville, close to Atlantic Metropolis.
Wednesday’s sport, received by Camden 22-0, was not open to the general public. A piece of the decrease bowl on either side of the stadium was full of choose household and pals. On Camden’s facet, the varsity band performed all through as cheerleaders chanted and the mascot ran alongside the sideline. The Pleasantville facet, in mourning, was rather more subdued.
“It is undoubtedly exhausting to soak up that we took this loss as we speak, but it surely’s a much bigger which means as a result of we got here out right here and nonetheless fought and gave our coronary heart out for Micah on this nice stage that the Eagles supplied us,” Howard stated.