Mark Keppel High School canceled Friday night's game against Hacienda High School due to a "lack of participation" possibly resulting in safety issues, according to a school website announcement signed by principal John Scanlon.
The publish statement said "Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our Varsity Football home game this week against Hacienda Wilson. In speaking with Coach (john) Tuttle and our Athletic Director, Ms. Semelmacher, we do not feel we can safely participate in the contest due to the low number of student-athletes available. "
With a minimum of 11 players on the field during a game, Keppel was only able to recruit 22 players for this year's varsity football team. The school statement did not indicate whether player injuries caused the shortage of players. The varsity team has not been able to win a football game is several years. By not being able to field a team, Keppel essentially "forfeited" the game which will be recorded as a "loss."
Although recognized for its high academic achievement, Keppel Aztecs have had difficulty fielding competitive sports teams, with a few exceptions, such as basketball, swimming and tennis.
"We regret not being able to play the game, but the health and well-being of our student-athletes is our first priority. We will have a bye week next week and hope to be ready to play in our Almont League opener at Schurr High School on Thursday, October 6th. We are very proud of our football student-athletes who continue to work hard despite the disappointment of the game cancelation," Scanlon said.
"Long-term, MKHS remains committed to building our football program. As such, we will still be playing our Frosh/Soph game vs. Hacienda Wilson on Thursday at 3:15. We are confident that this week’s game cancelation is just a small setback as we look toward the long-term viability and success of the program." (Editor's note: Although not dated, the cancelation notice was published early last week.)