Citing a lack of healthy varsity-level players, North Stokes High (Danbury, N.C.) has decided to forfeit the remainder of its varsity football games for the season, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
The team was 0-6 to start the season and had been outscored by an average of 33.5 points per game. The forfeits will give the program a record of 0-11 for the third time in the last four years.
North Stokes will continue with its JV program.
North Stokes is far from the only program nationally that is feeling the numbers crunch and being forced to forfeit or end the season early.
Athletic director Michael Richardson said the school had been shuffling players between varsity and JV in order to play the games, but said that option became less realistic and safe as the season continued.
“We have to put the safety of the kids first,” Richardson told the newspaper. “And moving JV kids up to just keep the varsity program alive is putting those kids at risk and it’s not something we were comfortable doing for the rest of the season.”
“This week we were going to play a Mount Airy team, who is arguably one of the top teams in the state, with only 11 kids. And that’s not something we were ready to do, and it’s not something that the kids were necessarily looking forward to either.”
Richardson said he believes disbanding varsity football is only a temporary measure and the team intends to resume varsity next fall.