The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

September 24, 2013

Low numbers cause Ferndale to cancel Friday's game

JOHNSTOWN — For the second time in the 2013 high school football season, a WestPAC team has been forced to cancel varsity games due to low numbers.

Ferndale announced Monday that it will not play this Saturday’s scheduled contest at The Hive against Meyersdale.

The Yellow Jackets’ game against Shade last Friday was halted at halftime when numerous injuries including several concussions, brought the Ferndale roster numbers down to just 11 available players.

Ferndale athletic director Steve Clawson met with coach Chip Ryan, athletic trainer Matt Lushko and Principal Dr. Brian McDermott on Monday to discuss the situation.

“We are going to forfeit this Saturday’s game against Meyersdale due to the lack of healthy players,” Clawson said in a phone interview. “We have an off week the next week when we were supposed to play Rockwood, which suspended its program at the beginning of the season. Hopefully by the next week when we are scheduled to play Blacklick Valley, we will have enough healthy players in order to have our homecoming game.”

Red Raiders’ athletic director Craig Gindlesperger said that his school is scrambling to figure out what’s next for them.

“We are disappointed that we are not going to play Saturday’s game and at this point we’re not sure what we could come up with,” Gindlesperger said. “It’s just a shame that teams in the league are not able to honor the contracts that have been signed.”

The Meyersdale AD said that he has put his head together with Red Raiders’ coach Chris Schrock, whom he said is concerned about his 3-1 squad being sluggish when they are set to host Conemaugh Valley in Week 6.

“Coach Schrock doesn’t like a long lull,” Gindlesperger said. “He has a lot on his mind to try to figure out what to do this weekend.”

One option is for the Raiders, who are close to the Pennsylvania border, to find a Maryland school that might have an open date.

Another might deal with Portage, which handed Meyersdale its first loss last Friday. Portage is off this week because the Mustangs were scheduled to play Rockwood and despite an exhaustive state-wide search could not come up with a replacement opponent.

Perhaps the Mustangs and Red Raiders could meet again for Round 2 on Friday night?

“I don’t know if playing back-to-back games with the same team has ever been done before in the regular season,” Gindlesperger said. “Coach Schrock was not real keen on that, but we will discuss it and see if we have any other options that make sense.”

Ferndale officials will take a week-by-week approach. After the Oct. 12 contest against the Vikings, the Yellow Jackets are scheduled to play at Windber on Oct. 18 before hosting Conemaugh Township the next week and finishing the season at Glendale.

 

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