The Martin County High School Tigers and the Jupiter High School Warriors clashed on the gridiron Friday night.
However, students at the game said the elephant in the Tigers’ stadium was the former coaches and parents arrested for an alleged recruitment scheme to falsify documents so out-of-county players could play for Martin County High School.
The match up occurred just one day after the eight people were arrested in the case.
“What are you expecting from tonight’s game?” asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked two Jupiter High School football fans.
“I’m expecting Jupiter to win,” Jim Gargasc said.
Martin County School officials only allowed WPTV to be on campus to talk football and nothing else.
Last year the Tigers beat the Warriors 28-0.
“Last year’s win was such a great win for Martin County. How is morale going into tonight?” Lopez asked football announcer Lee Carroll.
“Well, I don’t know enough about it because I’m not on campus, frankly,” Carroll said. “But the morale here is always high, and we have a fantastic coach. He’s going to do a great job of getting those kids up, so I’m not worried about morale or attitude or anything like that.”
The players who were found to be living outside Martin County were withdrawn from the team last year, soon after the allegations were made.
“I would suspect today’s game to be a lot closer, even though we’re the home team and last year we were away, because Jupiter, from all accounts from what I’ve heard, have significantly improved from what they were before,” Carroll said.
Despite the controversy and a lightning delay Friday night, football fans say they hope the players put their focus on the field.
“What do we expect from tonight’s game?” asked Lopez
“A victory, V-I-C-T-O-R-Y,” said Martin County High School Fans Eugene and Faye King.
Despite the controversy off the field, the Tigers were victorious again this year, beating the Warriors 17-7.