Sometimes football seasons end in crushing ways, whether it be a missed field or a fumble at the goal line.
South Whidbey’s football season ended without the team even taking the field.
The Falcons elected not to play in its crossover game against the lowest-ranked opponent from the Northwest Conference, Lynden Christian High School. Athletic Director Paul Lagerstedt cited low numbers on the roster as being a major factor in the decision. A small roster of around a dozen athletes would make substitutions in the game nearly impossible, he said. Player safety was also taken into account.
“It comes down to safety,” Lagerstedt said. “Our kids were much more liable to be injured. They were sore and beat up.”
Head coach Michael Coe said the game is not counted as a forfeit, and that under an agreement between the Cascade and Northwest Conferences, teams do not have to play in the postseason game.
The Falcons finished the season 0-9 overall.
Coe, a second-year coach, said finishing winless was a crushing blow.
“Not having the players, it cripples so much of what you can do in so many ways,” Coe said.
The Falcons won only one game in 2015.
The Falcons’ small roster, which suited up only 14 players on some Friday nights, was one of the biggest hurdles to face this season, he said. It was an obstacle too tall, unfortunately for the Falcons.
It was an abrupt ending to what has otherwise been a tough season for South Whidbey. The Falcons made headlines when they forfeited to league opponent and Class 2A juggernaut Archbishop Murphy on Sept. 23. Four other teams joined the Falcons in their decision and the news later went viral.