Tradition is about to be broken in a Massachusetts high school football rivalry that dates back to the 1800s
For more than a century, the Everett Crimson Tide and Malden Golden Tornadoes have faced off each year. But this year, Malden High School called off the game, forfeiting due to safety concerns.
"My family, personally, every year they bring my little cousins, my aunts, my uncles they go to the Malden game," said Giovanni Raduazzo, a team captain for Everett's football team. "That's our family tradition ... and to not have it is kind of shocking."
Monday, school officials from Malden called school officials from Everett with a clear message.
"They notified us yesterday that they wouldn't play," said Everett Superintendent Frederick Foresteire. "They were going to forfeit the game and, of course, they're saying it's because of safety reasons."
Everett has won the last two state championships and is undefeated this season. Malden is winless and has lost every game by at least 25 points.
Of the 39 players that remain on Malden's team, most are freshmen.
"We have the level of a 14-15-year-old student playing against a 17-18-year-old kid, and that's really what it came down to," said Malden High School Principal Chris Mastrangelo.
The principal said they would not be reversing their decision.
"We have to let safety be the paramount concern over tradition and rivalry," said Malden Superintendent John Oteri.
Instead of playing under the lights Friday night, Everett's team will be preparing for the playoffs.
"In this business, your number one concern is player safety," said Theluxon Pierre, Everett's head coach. "If that's the way they want to go about it, you just have to respect it."