The Perry High School football program has forfeited the remainder of its varsity season with three games left on the schedule.
A news release from Perry activities director Katelyn Whelchlel and Perry football coach Bryce Pierce said the decision was made with player safety in mind. The move came after school officials consulted with district coaches, the Iowa High School Athletic Association, future opponents and medical professionals. School officials also gathered input from concerned parents and students.
"Over the last six weeks of the season the varsity squad has sustained injuries, especially within the offense, that have impacted the depth of healthy bodies available on Friday nights," the release said. "Our goal as coaches and administrators is to provide our student athletes with opportunities to compete while maintaining their health and safety."
While the varsity season was forfeited, the Bluejays will continue to play the 4:45 p.m. lower-level game on Friday nights. Whelchel said the plan is to play a 9th-grade/10th-grade game against Norwalk on Friday. The district is reaching out to other teams to see what they can set up for the remainder of the season.
"While this decision brings many emotions, our top priority is maintaining player health and safety," the news release said. "Continuing with the curtain raiser schedule will allow us to provide appropriate playing opportunities for our athletes."
The district's news release added that the decision to forfeit the varsity football season also impacts the marching band, cheerleaders, concession stand proceeds and the athletic department budget.
"We understand the impact this decision will have on our entire football program. Now, more than ever, this program needs the support of school staff, parents and community members," the release said. "We ask that you please keep our football players, coaches, cheerleaders, marching band members and loyal football fans in mind as they have all been impacted greatly by this situation."
This article originally appeared on Perry Chief: Perry High School football forfeits remainder of varsity season