ROBBINSVILLE — Fans going to this weekend's high school championship games should bring their school spirit but leave the other spirits at home.

As part of a message focusing on "fan support and appropriate behavior," NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko said because the group's events are alcohol and drug free, tailgating is strictly prohibited to allow for an "enjoyable experience" for all fans.

"Be a fan, not a fanatic," Timko wrote.

Timko said that even though the games are taking place at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands and college facilities, because high school athletes are playing they become extensions of the classroom.

"And you don’t allow alcohol, drugs or tailgating at school," he said. "All of our member schools are in agreement that we will not tolerate a few individuals enjoying themselves at the expense of everyone else."

Hours after the announcement, however, the organization clarified that fans could still enjoy pre-game food — just keep the booze at home.

Kevin Williams of the Shore Sports Network, and a veteran high school football broadcaster, understands the concern over alcohol but not a complete ban on tailgating.

"I see nothing wrong with students and adults gathering before a game as a group," Williams said. "As a matter of fact, it’s not unusual to see students tailgate during the regular season, especially before big rivalry games. I would guess there have been isolated incidents in the past that have led to the NJSIAA announcement, but to me, it's unfortunate."

NJSIAA spokesman Mike Cherenson said that "certainly people can have some food in the parking lot, but given this is educational-based athletics, NJSIAA is trying to discourage large tailgating events, especially those that include alcohol."

The schedule of championship football games:


Friday, Dec. 2

  • 5:00 p.m. North II Group 2: Lenape Valley vs. Madison
  • 8:00 p.m. Non-Public Group 4: St. Peter’s Prep vs. Paramus Catholic

Saturday, Dec. 3

  • 10:00 a.m. North II Group 3: Parsippany Hills vs. Morris Hills
  • 1:05 p.m. North II Group 5: Westfield vs. Bridgewater
  • 4:05 p.m. Non-Public Group 3: DePaul vs. St. Joseph Regional
  • 7:05 p.m. North I Group 3: No. Valley Old Tappan vs. River Dell

Sunday, Dec. 4

  • 10:00 a.m. North I Group 1 New Milford vs. Hasbrouck Heights
  • 1:05 p.m. North I Group 5 Passaic Tech vs. Ridgewood
  • 4:05 p.m. North I Group 2 Westwood vs. Mahwah
  • 7:05 p.m. North I Group 4 (to be announced)


Saturday, Dec. 3

  • 10:00 a.m. Central Group 5: Piscataway vs. Manalapan
  • 1:00 p.m. North II Group 4: Sayreville vs. Middletown North
  • 4:00 p.m. Central Group 4: Allentown vs. Brick Township
  • 7:00 p.m. Central Group 3: Rumson vs. South Plainfield


Saturday, Dec. 3

    • 11:00 a.m. South Group 3: Delsea vs. Wall Township
    • 2:30 p.m. South Group 1: Salem vs. Paulsboro
    • 6:00 p.m. South Group 5: Millville vs. Toms River NorthSunday

Sunday, Dec. 4

  • 11:00 a.m. South Group 2: Cedar Creek vs. West Deptford
  • 2:30 p.m. South Group 4: Timber Creek vs. Lenape


Saturday, Dec. 3

  • 10:00 a.m. North II Group 1: Shabazz vs. Weequahic
  • 1:00 p.m. Non-Public Group 2: Holy Spirit vs. Mater Dei
  • 4:00 p.m. Central Group 1: Asbury Park vs. Keyport
  • 7:00 p.m. Central Group 2: Bernards vs. Manasquan

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