A clutch of star Pennsylvania football players from a reigning state championship team have found themselves in hot water over a disturbing selfie that they staged featuring animals they allegedly caught and killed for the sake of the photo.
As reported by Pennsylvania ABC affiliate WNEP, four members of the Southern Columbia High 2015 state champion football team — Blake Marks, Austin Knepp, Gabe Delbo, and Nick Becker — were all cited for killing animals. The quartet, along with Danville football player Mark Kitchen, stand accused of killing a snake, raccoon, frogs, opossums and pigeons with baseball bats, then posing for a selfie with the corpses of the dead animals.
The accused’s now former high school coach, Southern Columbia’s Jim Roth, was quick to stand up for his players.
“(These are) Some kids that are good kids, college bound. Never has any trouble with the law, trouble in school, made a bad decision,” Roth told WNEP. “Some of these kids are not even aware of all the laws as far as small animals.”
Regardless of their knowledge of local laws, the murder of animals with baseball bats is a disturbing crime, and one that left the teens’ neighbors concerned about their actions and why they felt it was acceptable to kill small wild animals with baseball bats.
“I just don’t think it’s right. There’s no reason to be going around and beating innocent animals and killing them. I just don’t think it’s right,” Matt Mindler of Catawissa told WNEP. “I understand that to an extent but at the same time, I just don’t think you should be going out and killing living creatures like that.”