Friday night’s Pioneer Valley League football game between undefeated Placer and Bear River high schools was postponed until tonight because of Friday’s shootings in Sacramento and Auburn, which left two area sheriff deputies dead.
“At first the kids were disappointed and bummed because this is our big rivalry game,” said Placer coach Joey Montoya. “But they quickly put it in perspective – that something bigger than football was going on and that it was the right thing to do out of respect for the officers and their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”
Earlier Friday there was plenty of excitement on Placer’s campus as the Hillmen prepared to host their rivals from Bear River.
That’s when Montoya heard a frightening sound.
“Lunch was about to start and I heard gunfire – and it was very close,” said Montoya, who was at the school’s football field at the time.
Two Placer County sheriffs deputies had been shot – one later died – in a confrontation with a man who already had allegedly killed a Sacramento County deputy before fleeing east toward the foothills. The gunman took refuge in a home near the campus in Auburn and was later captured.
Placer, along with other schools in Auburn, went on lockdown for nearly four hours before groups of students were bused – under police protection – to the nearby Auburn Boys and Girls Club, where they were released to their parents.
The varsity game at Placer will begin at 7:30 p.m., shortly after the junior varsity game concludes.
– Bill Paterson