DRACUT, MASS. (WHDH) - There is football frustration in Dracut as officials with the town’s high school say they have a limited number of players for the upcoming year.
The season is on the line as a result of the shortage, prompting concern from some.
“They had been informed by the school they only had a couple days to get their numbers up or the potential season was going to end,” said Jenn Wakefield, whose son plays quarterback in the Dracut High School football program.
Dracut’s schools superintendent told 7NEWS the team initially had 28 players — a number the district considered sufficient. As of a practice on Thursday, though, there were 21.
“To field a varsity team safely, we must ensure that students are appropriate for the vigorous and demanding level of competition required for varsity play, have rest and relief during play, and sufficient numbers of back-up players should injuries sideline players,” school officials said in a statement. “To do otherwise places students at greater risk.”
Amy Anello told 7NEWS her eighth grade son wants to play football on the college level.
“If there’s no football, you’re going to lose enrollment in the school and there’s nothing like Friday night lights,” Anello said.
“If there’s nothing here, then we will have to look elsewhere because that’s his love,” Anello said of her son. “He loves football.”
Dracut school leaders as of Thursday afternoon were talking to officials in other neighboring school districts about possibly merging teams and had not made an official call about the season.
Parents and younger players later gathered on Thursday evening to rally in support of the football season.
“We also haven’t really been given an opportunity to go and recruit,” Wakefield said. “We need a chance to rally. We need a chance to get the word out to up the numbers to get them interested in the program.”
“We want to save the problem, not only for these kids, but especially for the seniors who could be impacted by scholarships, by college programs,” Wakefield continued.
Officials said they expect an official decision on the season by the end of the day on Friday.
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