Tug-of-war turns tragic at high school homecoming

2:48 PM, Oct 13, 2007   |    comments
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During a pep rally inside the school's gymnasium Friday afternoon, the senior football players took to the court to play a game of tug-of-war with the junior football players.

Witnesses say during the competition, two juniors, who had the rope wrapped around their hands, started to scream.

Sophomore Jenni Kgerstad said it was a chaotic scene inside the school.

"Hearing it was pretty gross. There was like a lot of people screaming and just all blood flying everywhere and just people running out of the room," she said.

Parker Police say the boys suffered severe injuries, partially severing their hands.

"The injuries consisted of partial amputation of the right hand on both players," said Lt. Sam Realmuto of the Parker Police Department.

The boys, Henry Barrett and Mitch Helfer, were rushed to nearby hospitals, where they had to undergo surgery to save their hands.

Both boys were listed in stable condition Saturday afternoon.

Counselors were brought to the school for students who witnessed the accident or were affected by the event.

"We're praying for all you guys," said Kgerstad.

Lutheran High School says it has postponed all homecoming events until further notice.

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