Admission restricted at Cairo, Meridian Jr. High game - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Admission restricted at Cairo, Meridian Jr. High game

JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) - The Southern Illinois Jr. High School Athletic Association has restriction admission to a junior high basketball game in Jonesboro Thursday night due to confrontational issues between Cairo and Meridian schools.

The two teams will play each other Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Southern Illinois Jr. High School Class M Boys Basketball Regional at Jonesboro Jr. High School, Jonesboro, Ill..

The association issued a statement saying the admission adjustments are to ensure the safety of players and staff of the two schools. 

Only people on a pass gate list supplied by the administration of each school will be allowed in to the game.

There has been a history of tension between the two schools.

Sixteen-year-old Myron Jordan, a high school junior at Cairo, was shot and killed in Mounds just before Thanksgiving. Another student was wounded.

Gabrielle Harris is a member of a committee of members between Alexander and Pulaski counties that's long been in place to work for a better future. He says the focus has shifted to peace after the loss of Myron Jordan.

"At this point, we have to err on the side of caution," Harris said.

Harris also works as a school board member and feels the communities are making progress to come up with strategies, but beyond that everyone agrees peace between all southern Illinois communities is the only answer.

"The community having to deal with it has been very difficult,"

Lashawna Johnson's son Norris is on the junior high Meridian basketball team. She's so excited she had a huge sign made in the form of her son's face to cheer him on. 

"We're supposed to be coming together," said LaShawna Johnson, mother of a Meridian player. "Are we going to do that or are we going to divide in them apart? These kids worked hard to get here."

Johnson says her entire family is upset they can't be there.

"I gotta find somewhere for my daughter to go and my dad he's so upset he's been to every game and this is the district championship game," Johnson said.

The game ended without any violence.

All the other games in the tournament in which Cairo and Meridian do not play each other will not have the restrictions.

A maximum of 15 players dressed per school who are also listed in the official scorebook at the start of the contest will be allowed in to the game. Two managers, two parents and/or guardians of each player or manager, coaches and spouses, school board members and spouses, superintendents, principal, athletic director and spouses, one scorekeeper, and one bus driver from each team will be allowed to attend the game.

No admission fee will be charged for this game.

Once a person leaves the gym, he/she will not be re-admitted to the game under any circumstances.

Those people not on the submitted pass lists will not be allowed on school property.

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