Depleted Edgemont pulls out of playoff football game

Depleted Edgemont pulls out of playoff football game

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Depleted Edgemont pulls out of playoff football game

Edgemont coach Brian Connolly talks to his players during practice in 2015. The Panthers have withdrawn from their Class B quarterfinal against Pleasantville due to safety concerns.

Edgemont coach Brian Connolly talks to his players during practice in 2015. The Panthers have withdrawn from their Class B quarterfinal against Pleasantville due to safety concerns.

With just 15 healthy players and only a couple others expected to be game-ready this weekend, the Edgemont football team met Monday afternoon and decided to pull out of its Class B quarterfinal against No. 1-seeded Pleasantville.

Edgemont, which is 4-3, had earned the No. 8 seed in the opening round of Section 1’s playoffs, but attrition has depleted the roster and left the team less competitive than it was earlier this season. According to coach Brian Connolly, several second-string players and inexperienced underclassmen are among the healthy bodies.

“The bottom line is, we could’ve had 16 kids,” said Connolly, citing the minimum number of players required for a varsity game. “But we would’ve had kids that should never even be put in that position. I think we should play and go, but the kids who were there felt that it wouldn’t be right to play.”

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Connolly had feared his team wouldn’t be ready for Pleasantville after it lost a physical game 35-15 to Putnam Valley on Friday. Athletic director Anthony De Rosa contacted Section 1 on Saturday at Connolly’s request. He asked that Putnam Valley — the ninth-place team in Class B — be put in the playoffs instead. The request was denied and made official when Section 1 released its playoff matchups Saturday night.

“I knew this was a possibility,” Connolly said. “It doesn’t make anyone look good. I don’t know what we would benefit by going up to play Pleasantville.”

Pleasantville, which is 7-0 after beating No. 2 Westlake 38-35 on Saturday, will advance to the semifinals on Oct. 28 or 29. The Panthers will meet the winner of No. 4 Ardsley and No. 5 Albertus Magnus.

Athletic director John Bauerlein said Pleasantville would not play an opponent other than the one it was assigned to play — Edgemont.

“That’s how it works,” Bauerlein said. “It stinks that we’re not playing, but why would we play a game that shouldn’t be played an risk injury to our kids? If it’s not the eighth seed, we’re not going to play another team.”

Connolly said he doesn’t expect Edgemont to play again this season.

“I told them that I was worried about the safety of my kids,” Connolly said. “If they would allow us to play and we were healthy, we’d like to play in Week 9, but I don’t think (Section 1) will let us play again.”

Twitter: @lohudinsider

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