DRACUT, MASS. (WHDH) - There was relief in Dracut Friday night after families received news that this year’s Dracut High School football season has been saved. 

After fears of a canceled season due to a shortage of players, school officials said they reached an agreement to team up with nearby Innovation Academy Charter School in a one-year co-op program where players from both schools will make up a team roster. 

While the season this fall will look different, parents speaking with 7NEWS said they are happy their children will be able to take the field. 

“He’s just so happy,” said Neala Richardson of her son. “He just said ‘Thank you’ to my husband and I.” 

“This is his senior year and you don’t want to miss your senior year,” Richardson said. 

The season had been on the line with just 21 players signed up to play for Dracut High School this year. 

As officials considered their options, players and families expressed their concern, holding a rally Thursday night to save the season. 

“The seniors at Dracut High School did not want to play JV season, they wanted to play at a varsity schedule and so we had to make sure that whatever program we joined with had the ability to provide players that would be able to compete on the varsity level,” said Dracut School Committee member Renee Young.

Under the new co-op plan with Innovation Academy, Dracut will reassess their numbers come next season. 

“The hope is that we would get more players in the long term,” Young said. 

Friday’s co-op announcement was signed by Dracut Athletic Director Paula Chausse and Dracut High School Principal Richard Manley. 

In their announcement, officials said they have submitted an application to the MIAA to form the co-op.

“While final approval is forthcoming, we have no reason to believe there will be any difficulties,” officials said. 

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