(CBS) – A Chicago high school principal abruptly cancels the rest of the football season.
It’s game over for the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Dolphins, and the news comes just two days before homecoming.
Homecoming is this Thursday, and any other time this the team would be on the field practicing. But there will be no more games this season.
“We did not have enough players,” Principal Joyce Kenner tells CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.
From a team high of more than 50 in a good year to a low of just 19 this year, longtime football coach Tim Franken says the team was plagued by injuries, a handful of academically ineligible players and concerns about the safety of the game.
“I think you have to take a look at the whole concussion story,” he says. “I know talking to the parents, that affects a lot of the parents.”
Principal Kenner adds one more reason: a losing record.
With a hall full trophies, this school is used to winning. In the last 10 years they’ve claimed numerous state championships in boys basketball, girls basketball, chess, academic decathlon, just to name a few. But the football team has never won state or city.
Still, cancelling the season is tough for players.
“We put in a lot of work,” Daniel Williams says. “To have all that taken away from us, that’s really messed up.”
Even though the focus this homecoming will be on soccer, Kenner says this year’s homecoming will include the usual pep rally, and the football players will get special recognition.
Dr. Kenner promises to bring the football program back to Whitney Young next year.