MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — High school football is back in Ladd Peebles Stadium for the first time since a shooting there in October of 2021. With games at the facility this season the district is upgrading security measures.
Everyone going into the stands must go through a metal detector, only clear bags are allowed inside (no backpacks), tickets for games are only being sold online through “GoFan,” and once you leave the stadium you will NOT be allowed back inside.
WKRG News 5 asked Jimmy Richardson, whose son plays for BC Rain High School, how he feels going into the season with the security measures. “Oh yeah. Feel great. Feel safe,” said Richardson.
“Excited to be able to come out and play in front of our fans and our community in a game closer to our school,” said Rain Junior Quarterback Amari Yelding.
For Yelding, playing at Ladd is a peek into a bright future. “It’s great. It’s former college stadium. So I’m aspiring to play on Saturday,” said Yelding. “So getting to play in the college stadium like the college guys do is a big step and it kind of makes you feel like you’re taking the next step.”
Yelding and his team played against Vigor, one of the two teams that played at Ladd during the most recent shooting at the stadium in 2021.
Before that, in 2019, another shooting took place at the stadium. This time it was during the Williamson LeFlore football game.
“We feel safe. We think Mobile County has done a great job implementing the new measures,” said Yelding.
Mobile County Public Schools said each game at Ladd will have more officers staffed than past years. Each game will be staffed according to the needs of the schools, but officials are not saying exactly how many officers will be at each game for safety reasons.