SAYREVILLE, N.J. (PIX11) -- "This is not the city. This is a small town where everybody knows everybody," says Sayreville native Larry Bishop.
This is life in the community of Sayreville, where its motto of success has been instilled in its football program for years.
A billboard along Main Street showcases the number of state championships that the school has captured. However, now the program is mired in controversy as well as a criminal investigation surrounding allegations of hazing within its powerhouse football program.
For many, reality is beginning to set in.
"Friday nights are going to be a little lonely in town," says Bishop, who regularly attends Sayreville games.
At haunts like Big Wally's sub shop as well as Mo's Barber Shop there were plenty of locals, but none that wanted to speak about how the entire town has been impacted by the scandal that has captured national headlines.
"This has really hurt a small town like this," said Bishop, commander at the local American Legion.
Bishop, himself a Sayreville graduate, says the division is gripping his town in a way that he has never seen in his 66 years.
"I think it is pretty divided because the allegations are really serious and then you have the other side who are the innocence, the victims naturally, and kids who had nothing to do with it can't play so parents are divided, the town is divided."
For Bishop, it hits closer to home than most. For several years he has been hosting the football team inside of the American Legion at least once-a-week during the season for a pasta dinner. "The team and their parents get together every Thursday here."
In fact the team held a dinner on Thursday night, Bishop telling PIX11 News it will be their last dinner for quite a long time.