Webberville High School has canceled the rest of its football season due to lack of numbers.
The Spartans had already forfeited their Aug. 30 game against Burton Atherton because of injuries sustained in their 52-0 season-opening loss at Burton Bentley, and then forfeited their game last Friday at Genesee a week after a 38-0 loss to Morrice.
“We had a player meeting last Monday and the players are realistic and know their ability,” Webberville athletic director Andrew Smith said. “The bottom line is we just don’t have enough kids playing varsity football.
“In the past, we have canceled JV games and just brought up freshmen and sophomores. But asking 14 and 15-year-olds to compete against 18-year-olds is questionable whether it’s safe, and we want to do what’s best for these kids and the program.”
The Spartans’ roster included just eight seniors, five out whom came out for football for the first time this fall just to help the school field a team. Those are the only players whose season is definitely over.
The six juniors, and 14 sophomores and freshmen who made up the 28-player varsity roster can play junior varsity or freshmen football.
Smith saw the numbers problem coming, and applied to play in an 8-man football league following the 2011 season before being turned down.
“We’re considering that option for next year,” he said.
But the number of freshmen and sophomores playing football and the youth programs in Webberville are fairly strong. So Smith expects to be able to field 11-man teams without much problem after one more season with lower numbers.
Smith would neither confirm nor deny that Bill McCarrick will be back as coach next year, but he denied that any problem with the coach was a factor in the decision to cancel the season.
“Coaches are one-year employees and are evaluated at the end of every season,” he said.