TEMPLE, Okla. (TNN) - While football season kicks off this Friday night for many high schools in our area, the stadium lights are going to stay dark on Friday night’s in Temple this football season. Brad Spurlock, the principal for Temple Public Schools, said the district had to cancel all of its games this season because they didn’t have enough players.
"We're not dropping our football game in any way,” Spurlock said. “It's just a safety issue for our kids. We just didn't want eight kids having to play every down all season long because then that tends to put people in positions where they might become injured."
They only had nine players for their eight-man team and one of them wasn't going to be eligible for the first three weeks. Spurlock said at one point they thought they were going to have 12 to 14 players, so they held off on making the decision as long as they could in hopes of having more students sign up.
“Right now, in our school, we’re really low number of boys in our high school,” Spurlock said. “We have about a 2-1 ratio of girls to boys. There’s just not that many boys out there. We have 20 in our high school right now. 19 or 20 and so we just couldn’t get that number up.”
Last year, they made it halfway through the season before injuries caught up with the small team and they had to call it quits. Barry Giles, the head coach of the football team, said they have four 9th graders. Those students are now playing for the junior high.
“We played those four Thursday night and our home opener here at the junior high game,” Giles said. “We were able to win that game. We’re very proud of that effort of those kids. Not only those freshmen but those other underclassmen too.”
He said they could have transferred to other schools to play ball, but none of them left. Those players are now planning to help the junior high students.
"We're going to try to make some changes and modifications to our practice schedule for our junior high,” Giles said. “So, those high school kids that want to participate, still stay active in the game of football, have that opportunity. They can still be associated with the program but just, unfortunately, they won't be able to do anything on Friday nights."
Spurlock said they plan on having a high school football team next year.