We have spent the last several weeks analyzing the participation in our football program at Cedar Ridge High School. We believe football to be an important part of our athletic program and our entire school community. It is our responsibility to consider a variety of things when fielding a varsity team, none more important than safety.
Currently, the Cedar Ridge High School football program has five rising seniors, nine rising juniors, fifteen rising sophomores, and twenty-two freshmen who have committed to play football in the fall. We have had some of our student athletes in recent weeks choose not to play football for a variety of reasons. Our upperclassmen participation is concerning in our efforts to field a varsity football program. We have analyzed our injury data from the past two seasons to evaluate the feasibility of offering a varsity football program. After considering the injury data and the number of student athletes committed to play football in the fall, we have decided to not field a varsity football team for the fall of 2018. While we are disappointed that we need to take this step, we believe that safety is paramount and our most important responsibility.
We will field a junior varsity football team and play a full schedule of games. This will give our freshmen, sophomores, and juniors the opportunity to play against peers of similar size and strength. This will provide us a full year to allow our players to get stronger, experience success, and prepare to restore our varsity football program in the fall of 2019. We are developing a comprehensive plan to address player recruitment and strength and conditioning.
We firmly believe this is the best decision possible to first and foremost ensure the safety of our student athletes and secondly, to build a football program into the future.