EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Four years after making it all the way to the Ralph for regionals, Eden High School’s varsity football program will be forced to sit the season out.
The district’s athletic director, Marisa Fallacaro, Tweeted out the bad news Tuesday, saying, I’m deeply saddened to annouce that Eden’s 2015 varsity football season is cancelled due to low numbers.
“It’s very frustrating watching that. Originally, when we were first growing up we weren’t that good, and then we got to the pinnacle and we were hoping it would stay there,” said Bobby Slisz, a 2010 graduate.
“We’ve been watching it slowly decline and now we’re at the point where there’s just no players, and that’s just unacceptable were not happy about it. We have to do something to get us back on track.”
Slisz played both ways in the 2010 season – wide receiver and cornerback. He and some friends — other players from the school’s last post-season team — gathered for hoops in the heat Tuesday.
The team’s quarterback said he feels for the students who will be missing out on more than just playing a game.
“You make some really great friends doing it,” said Kevin Armbrust, who played quarterback for the 2010 team. “Football is unique sport. It’s kind of like a brotherhood, and you can miss out on that brotherhood to get all the football team. And then there’s like homecoming at school. What happens at homecoming? “
That’s a question that has yet to be answered.
Numbers have been an issue for years at Eden, a rural program where injuries or transfers don’t just cost a game — they could cost a season.
Head coach Chuck Tilley said tonight football tip-toed the endline for years. And that a merger with North Collins last year came too little too late.
“Injuries are huge in a program like this,” Tilley said. “Every kid is like gold.”
Tilley said the Raiders’ junior varsity – also a small squad – isn’t ready to play at the varsity level. And he said forcing the team up could put future seasons in jeopardy.
If all goes as planned this year, the next varsity kickoff at Eden High School will take place in 2016.