Local youth football team persevere after Penn Park homicide

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Two weeks after a deadly shooting at Penn Park in Madison, police said the community was “extremely upset.” But a southern youth football team perseveres in the face of the violence.

The South Side Raiders football and cheering team have been training at Penn Park for years. Coach Sherman Lightfoot said an incident like the Labor Day shooting was upsetting children and families. But like the sports the park is used for, the shootout brought the community of Penn Park together as a team.

When the Raiders heard about the shooting, they contacted their partners in the Madison Police Department. Isadore Knox Jr., former city councilor and current co-director of the Raiders program, says many of the team’s coaches are former police officers. Knox says the force immediately stepped up patrols and encouraged the community to return to the park.

MPD believes the shooting was no accident.

Lightfoot and Knox both hope the shooting doesn’t take away from the progress the Penn Park neighborhood has made over the years. Since the shooting, Knox says the park has been busier.

“Years ago we had a lot of issues in the park and that’s when our community stepped up their use of the park,” Knox said.

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