Hanover High School students have their homecoming T-shirts for Friday night's big game.
"So, this game really isn't just about the school or the football team; it's about the entire community," said Noah Kahan, a junior.
It's a game the school has already lost even though the football team hasn't stepped foot on the field.
"Any other game it would have been OK, but the homecoming game-- it's so big," said Brendan Forauer, a junior.
But they won't be on the field this Friday night. School administrators already forfeited the game after learning of an incident involving most of the varsity football team.
"We weren't able to field a team because of the number of players involved," said Frank Bass, the superintendent of schools.
They say it happened back in late August. Seniors allegedly had freshman perform skits. The school said some were of a sexual nature that objectified women.
"Our code of conduct makes it very clear that this kind of behavior would force the students to lose a game," Bass said.
Students say it's a football team tradition.
"Everyone at Hanover knows about the Hanover skits-- the freshman skits," said Dan DeRoy, a junior. "Like, we have a friend that his dad did it. It's been happening for like 20 years or something outrageous."
Despite this, students say they understand the decision.
"I think it was a good call on their part," said Sophie Kelly, a student.
As to what specifically happened Aug. 24, school administrators won't say. The school sent a letter home to parents explaining what happened and calling the incident "egregiously inappropriate." But what you won't find in the letter anywhere is the word hazing.
Reporter Steve Bottari: What was the differentiation between what occurred and hazing as you see it?
Frank Bass: I really don't want to get into that. I think I would just simply say that the behaviors were very inappropriate... We did investigate and we came to the conclusion that hazing did not occur.
Still, even with just the possibility of hazing, state law requires the school to notify police.
The school says no laws were broken and no further punishment will be doled out.
"Make sure all the students know-- incoming and outgoing-- that our school doesn't stand for bullying and our school doesn't stand for the mistreatment of others," said Kelsey Aaron, a junior.
Come Friday night the stands will stay just as they are-- empty, a lesson the school says goes far beyond just a loss on the field.
School administrators stressed that homecoming itself is not canceled for Hanover High School-- just the football game. Students say, to them, that is homecoming.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:00:26 GMT
U.S. Marshals have caught a Vermont woman who escaped from furlough. Authorities say Kylee Dubuque, 29, of Essex, had been on the run since late March. Essex police nearly caught her last week, but sheMore >>
U.S. Marshals have caught a Vermont woman who escaped from furlough.More >>