MAN, W.Va. — Despite the threat of a lawsuit, Friday night’s football game at Man High School in Logan County between Man and Westside started with a public prayer. Although, unlike previous years, this prayer originated and was led by fans of both teams in the stands.
The longstanding tradition of a prayer over the public address season prior to games at the school was struck down this week when the Logan County School Board received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The organization, which is already suiting the city of Parkersburg over prayer before it’s council meetings, threatened Logan County with a suit if the practice wasn’t ended. The group claimed a formal complaint had been lodged over the prayer and it violated separation of church and state.
The decision didn’t sit well with a lot of longtime Man High supporters. Fans showed up in t-shirts reading, ‘Pray Hard, Play Hard.” Volunteer workers in the press box had threatened to walk out if the prayer was not allowed. However, after the crowds took over and did the prayer on their own, the press box staff stayed put.