UPDATE: Malden High School Principal Chris Mastrangelo released a statement to the Boston Herald Monday evening, citing injuries and safety concerns. “Currently more than half of our 39 available players are freshmen. The roster size in a game that requires physical contact could not be ignored and shaped my decision,” he said.
A football game between two longtime rivals will not be played due to competitive imbalance.
Instead, Malden (Mass.) will forfeit its game to Everett (Mass.), according to the Boston Herald.
Malden, who has yet to win this season and has scored a combined 26 points over its last six games, is concerned about player safety against Everett, who is 6-0 and has scored at least 30 points in five of its games.
The two teams have played for more than 120 years, the Everett superintendent told the Boston Herald.
“We would never go out there and hurt any one. We played Medford last week and no one got hurt,” Forestiere said to the Herald. “There is so much tradition in this rivalry, the schools have played more than 120 years. You know, there was a time when Malden beat us 10, 12 straight years, we never once thought about forfeiting.
But since its win in 1991, Malden has only defeated its rival once, according to ESPN.
Everett has won 12 MIAA Super Bowl since 1997, including the last two, and is currently ranked No. 4 in USA TODAY Super 25 East Region Rankings.
Forestiere told the Herald he would reach out to Malden officials.