A Southern California school has ended its football season with three games remaining, citing safety concerns, according to The Daily Breeze.
Peninsula (Palos Verdes) began the season with 27 players and has been hit hard by injuries.
“We no longer believe that we can safely field a varsity team without putting the health of our remaining student-athletes in jeopardy,” Peninsula Principal Mitzi Cress said in a press release. “Site administrators have spent the last several days conferring with our coaching staff, trainers and CIF, and have in turn reached out to our counterparts in the Bay League. To varying degrees, they are also experiencing reduced numbers in their football programs. As a result, they are understanding and supportive of the position we are in.”
Cress said the decision was “part of a much larger national conversation about the sport of football,” she said that the school continues to support the future of the program and coach Mike Christensen, who had expressed concern before the season about the number of players. The school went 3-7 last year and also was hit by injuries.
Peninsula is 2-5 and will not play Redondo, Inglewood and Palos Verdes. All three teams will be credited with forfeit victories.
Meanwhile, a petition has been started on change.org to finish the season. As of Wednesday morning, 877 signatures had been collected.
Part of the petition reads, “We don’t know how far this petition will take us, but we ask that you sign it to show our everlasting support for our amazing, dedicated, passionate, and hardworking football players. We students deserve nothing but to feel at home at Peninsula and at a football game is where we can feel in unison.”