Football Team Prepares for Game After Tragic Crash

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    The football game between Sharon High School and Girard High School goes days after the deaths of two Sharon football players. (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2013)

    A western Pennsylvania high football team prepared to take to the field Monday night after mourning the loss of two players in a weekend car crash.

    Sharon High School player Corey Swartz, 18, was driving with three teammates Friday night when he crossed the median on a highway in Sharon and hit a truck head-on. Swartz, 17-year-old passenger Evan Gill, and the driver of the pickup, 50-year-old John Zdelar Jr. of Brookfield, Ohio, were killed.
    Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil at Sharon's stadium Sunday night.
    "They just touched all of our hearts. They could make you laugh no matter what," a friend of the players, Samantha Lait, told WTAE-TV.
    District officials have said speed may have played a role in the crash. Sharon police said investigators do not suspect that alcohol, drugs or texting were a factor.
    "I'm going to take this as a lesson learned and I'm going to start being a better, safer driver," teammate Austin Alfreno said Sunday night.
    Fans planned a "whiteout" in the stands of Monday night's playoff game in Erie against Girard High School. That game had been scheduled for Saturday but was postponed. Grief counselors were on hand.
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