PERKINS - Mid Peninsula High School announced Monday it will not field a football team this season due to a lack of participation.
Wolverines' head coach Jeremy Herman resigned in July, and athletic director Gary Brayak said the number of players began to drop shortly thereafter. It was decided by the school board it simply had no other choice but to cancel the school's eight-man football program.
"We are down to 10 kids, and that's just not enough," Brayak said. "When they get tired, that's when injuries start piling up. We don't really have much of a choice."
Justin Marietti |?Daily Press
A Mid Peninsula Wolverines helmet sits along the sideline during a break in practice, Aug. 2012, in Perkins. The school announced Monday that they would not have a football team this season.
He mentioned in the past, the school had to co-op with Rapid River. However, it is too late to do that this year, and some of the kids would have to travel roughly 30 miles one way to get to practice.
"It's too bad, but it's the way it is," Brayak added. "That's not to say we won't have it in the future. It will be year to year. I feel bad because the kids really enjoyed it. It's for the kids, and we just don't have the kids to make it go."
Due to the fact that Mid Peninsula is a smaller school, coming up with players to fill the jerseys is naturally going to be an issue. Last year, the Wolverines had to forfeit their final game of the season due to a lack of available players after injuries occurred.
"When you have 10 kids, if you get two or three injuries during the season, you're done," he said. "We don't want to call it off halfway through (the season). Even this was a little late, but what can we do?"
Brayak said that coach Herman had a meeting with the kids in May, and they still had 15 kids who were interested in playing before the school year ended. However, somewhere over the last two months, things changed.
"We had three kids that had injuries last year, and they're not playing this year," he said. "You can't blame the kids or the parents when dealing with things like concussions."
Sam Eggleston was a volunteer assistant coach for the Wolverines over the past two seasons, and he also played football at Mid Peninsula. He said that the announcement was sad to say the least, but it also wasn't unexpected news either.
"We had some high hopes," Eggleston said. "But the turnout was dismal at the meeting last week. I think it's a shame that there's no program for the kids, but I'm also excited to see it come back."