An Ohio high school is weighing whether or not to play a varsity football game a week after walking off the football field when too many of its players were injured during a game.
As reported by Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO, among other sources, the Richmond Heights football team pulled its players off the field in the middle of the first quarter against Kirtland High last Friday when two of the team’s 17 total players were lost to injury in the first quarter.
That left just 15 players with the need to field all but four at a time. Kirtland, meanwhile, fielded a full 74-player roster, with that depth presenting an intimidating mismatch for Richmond Heights.
According to WOIO, both athletic directors had expressed concern for the safety of the Richmond Heights players before the game, with Kirtland expressing a willingness to play underclassmen relatively early, despite the fact that the contest was the school’s homecoming game.
Unfortunately for all, the game never got that fair after Richmond Heights lost one player to a dental injury and another to a suspected concussion within the first half of the first quarter.
While there was initial concern that the Ohio High School Athletic Association might punish Richmond Heights for ending the game prematurely, the OHSAA opted against that.
Meanwhile, Richmond Heights enters another tough game Friday against 5-0 Wickliffe, and the team’s coach Tim Gorham refused to rule out pulling his players off the field again if need be in an interview with the News Herald.
“When parents are saying to not put their child (in the game), you have no options,” Richmond Heights superintendent Renee Willis told the News-Herald. “As a school district, I’m not telling a parent, ‘I’m putting your child (in the game).’ Because our numbers are so small, when you have four parents say, ‘Don’t put my child in,’ then you don’t have enough players to line up.”