Teen Falls to His Death During Football Rivalry Ritual
PEN ARGYL, Pa. (AP) _ A teen-ager fell to his death off a cliff where rival high school football fans traditionally compete to paint school colors on a rock, authorities said.
A search party of 160 people found the body of Todd D. Butler early Saturday at the base of the cliff on Blue Mountain, overlooking his old school, Pen Argyl High School.
Authorities said Butler, 18, who had dropped out of Pen Argyl, was with a group of youths on top of the flat rock outcrop Thursday night, the night before the big Slate Belt Cup game with neighboring Bangor.
Firefighters answering reports of a campfire climbed the hillside Thursday night, scattering the youths, authorities said. Butler was reported missing by his family Friday and the search began Friday night.
Bangor businessman David Peck is planning a town meeting Thursday to try and put an end to the bitter rivalry.
″We have to get them to keep it on the football field and not take it out onto the streets,″ said Peck, assistant manager of a supermarket.
Fans in Pen Argyl, an eastern Pennsylvania town about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, try to keep the rock painted green and white. Bangor supporters counter with maroon and white paint.