A Utah high school football coach decided to forfeit his team’s game after his team was decimated by a rash of injuries.
As reported by Utah CBS affiliate KUTV, Will Hawes, the head coach of Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City decided to forfeit his team’s scheduled game against Morgan (Utah) High School because his team was too beset with injuries to compete safely.
In total, some 20 members of Judge Memorial’s 54-man varsity roster were injured leading into the scheduled game. Of those 20 players out, three were linemen who suffered concussions.
“We just had too many experienced players hurt, and it wasn’t a concussion issue — concussions didn’t help it — but that added to our decision,” Hawes told KUTV.
“(The players) weren’t happy about it — they were quite disappointed — but the main thing was they understood. … The game is not more important than the kids’ future, their brains, their injuries, their health, and we’re going to protect our kids at all costs before anything else.”
Judge Memorial was fined for the forfeit because it was announced so late. Still, there was at leas some sense of sympathy expressed by the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) by refusing to cite Judge Memorial with the full fine amount that would have been due.
While the team forfeited rather than line up against Morgan, there has not yet been any announcement about backing off Friday’s scheduled game against South Summit (Kamas, Utah), nor either of the team’s final two regular season games in the subsequent two weeks.