HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— A touching tribute during a high school football game in Luzerne County.
Students, teammates, and community members came together Friday night to honor the life of a student who was tragically murdered last month.
“We ask that you please join us in a moment of silence as we remember Kassadey Matulevich,” asked the announcer.
A moment of silence among a sea of purple both in the stands and on the field. Hundreds proudly wore 17-year-old Kassadey Matulevich’s favorite color during Hazleton Area High School’s first home game of the season against North Pocono.
Kassadey was a rising senior and a member of the District II Champion varsity cheerleading squad.
To keep her spirit alive, the squad wore custom t-shirts, purple bows, pom-poms, and even monogrammed socks with her initials.
“They handled this with so much grace and so much poise. And although it was hard and we definitely shed our tears and had our hugs and our moments, they just really tried to rise above together,” said Tiffany Yarish, the Head Cheerleading coach.
Kassadey’s presence could be felt all throughout the stadium in the form of signs, pictures, and heartfelt tributes.
“I think it’s the best thing we could have done to honor her. She loved cheering, she loved being on the field, on the mat especially. And I think it’s just one big way to celebrate her and all of her accomplishments,” Ateya Dercole, a junior at Hazleton Area High School, said.
“We all miss her so much. She was a great person to have on the team and a great person to have in a stunt group and a great friend,” Kelly Smith, a sophomore at Hazleton Area High School, explained.
Coach Yarish said the squad decided not to fill Kassadey’s position on the field, and this special megaphone will stand in her spot for the entire football season.
“She was an amazing person, an amazing cheerleader, and everything we do will be for her,” Jessica Shovlin, a senior at Hazleton Area, told Eyewitness News.
Last week, 17-year-old Alan Jay Meyers was arrested and charged as an adult for the murder of Matulevich.
He’s jailed without bail at Luzerne County Prison. His next court date is scheduled for October 27.