TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - It's the start of a new season for the Bedford Mules. Friday, fans packed the parking lots at the University of Toledo for the season opener.
"This is Bedford! This is what we do," Brandi Hincher, a Bedford parent said during the tailgate.
She says Friday nights are and always will be about food, family and football.
But for the team and its supporters, the last few weeks have been trying. Allegations of inappropriate behavior at a football camp have cast a dark cloud over the program and sent rumors swirling throughout the community.
"A lot of it is not true," Susan Braun, a Bedford parent told 13abc. "People take it to a different level, so now we are here to support these boys and have a great football game."
"It's been handled, it's been dealt with and quite frankly, it's nobody's business," Hincher said.
The incident also kept the head coach off the sidelines for Friday's game. But ask any football parent and they'll tell you, they stand behind the team's leader.
"He's a mentor for our boys. He's what created the word family for the Bedford township group," Braun said.
"We support the coaches, we definitely support our boys," Hincher said.
These supporters have no plans to fall apart. In fact, they've found themselves becoming closer and stronger. They say this mistake doesn't define the team or its players and they're ready to move forward.
"They're minors. They're young men that need support from everybody, not judgment," Braun said.
No charges have been filed, but punishments have been handed down to the students involved by the school district.
Head coach Jeff Wood is expected to be on the sidelines next week.