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Mass. high school cancels Thanksgiving Day game

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Smallpotatoes, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member


    Reading the comments makes my wonder why some people have a hard time understanding fairly simple things.
    The team had 16 players on its roster. Four were caught drinking and were suspended in accordance with the state association's rules. That left the team with 12 players and the game was cancelled because it was not safe to play a varsity football game with 12 players. If the team had 32 or 48 or 116 players, the game could still be played.
    The team could not call up JV players because there were no JV players to call. The state association requires players caught committing "chemical health" violations to be suspended for 25 percent of the season. Schools can have harsher penalties of their own but they cannot be more lenient. They could not have some sort of alternative punishment or delay the suspensions so the game could procede.
    While it's probably fair to debate whether or not the state association should mandate any sort of punishment for off-field behavior or leave that to the individual schools or coaches, in this situation it wasn't a matter of if it was right or wrong but it was the only option the school had.
    I don't get why some people can't get that.
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Because people like the Clinton superintendent are stupid.

    “I’m extremely disappointed in the Maynard Public School system,” said Ingano. “I realize they’ve had issues fielding a team and some of their students have some serious issues, but that shouldn’t be our problem.”

    Um, fucktard, stop watching Beverly Hills 90210 reruns on the Soap Opera channel and wake up. This isn't about Donna Martin not being able to graduate or that your poor jocks won't be able to show their school spirit by playing a game on Thanksgiving. It's about a school disciplining their kids and dealing with the consequences of that discipline. And it's about safety of the 12 kids that would have been coming to your scrimmage.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It's not safe to play football with less than 22 players available to play anyway.

    Suit up 22 or go home.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Yup, agreed. Or make it a six-man game.
  5. Journo13

    Journo13 Member

    They only had 16 players as a full squad.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Lots of private schools and Class 1A schools in my neck of the woods might disagree with you. We've got quite a few that consider a 25-man roster "good numbers."
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    They're wrong.

    I've been an assistant coach on a varsity football team with less than 22 players. Everybody has to play both ways, of course, and no player wants to truthfully tell the coaching staff when they're hurt, because they know there's nobody to go in behind them. So everybody keeps playing through sprains, strains, stingers, rung bells, etc etc.

    Back in the olden days of one-platoon football you could get away with a 16-man roster because everybody on every team was going both ways, so everybody was getting equally tired, the average HS player was maybe 5-10 and 175 pounds and ran the 40 in maybe 5.5 so the potential for really bone-shattering collisions was limited.

    Now most teams at every level platoon whenever they can, so you're always going up against fresh players, every team even in Hooterville hillbilly leagues have at least a couple of 250-pounders, etc etc. Players limping around on gimpy wheels can get jacked up bigtime.

    When you play with less than 22 players, there's too much pressure on the players to play "no matter what."

    Yeah, 22 is an arbitrary number, but it's an arbitrary number that makes sense. Eleven players, one backup for each.
  8. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I've seen this happen to a school I was covering. Started the season with around 30, but in the end they simply just ran out of players. I think they had 13 fresh bodies and just decided we can't play the last game of the season. It was the other team's senior night and the level of bile directed at the team who couldn't play was vicious.

    The coaches understood though. The principal and superintendent mouthed off in the media. The parents were livid. The team who withdrew was booted from the league a year later. No doubt fueled by irrational hatred.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I once did a story on an eight-man team that practiced with cones because they only had 12 on the roster.

    But, yeah, if you have so many kids screw up that you can't field a team, you forfeit. Other team wins 2-0 (or 7-0 as state association bylaws dictate.) Wouldn't be the first time.

    When I saw the headline, my first thought was "why is a high school scheduling games on Thanksgiving to begin with?"
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Had a situation similar to that here as well, but the coach wanted to keep his top prospects on JV for develpomental purpose. Games would be close in the first half, but slowly go downhill in the second. For all the talk about manning up, all it takes is one bad H2H hit to do permanent damage to someone ... and then who's talking?

    How many schools still play Turkey Day games anyway? Most of the good ones have gone by the wayside due to playoffs. San Jose High and Lincoln still play for the "Big Bone" in the south Bay area, declining to enter the playoffs if eligible to play the traditional instead.
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Han Sen, EVERY high school team in Massachusetts plays a Thanksgiving Day game. We have no playoffs (two games, with all conference champs playing for about 14 different titles, none of which are state championships) to speak of, and this is as traditional here as the Marathon, the Red Sox or lousy weather in March.
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