Heading into the high school football season, it was apparent that the Lower Cape teams were facing some obstacles to fielding football programs. Attendance numbers are down across the state, but it’s an even bigger issue on the Cape.
Nauset’s varsity team had to cancel Friday’s scheduled game at Mashpee because of a lack of players. However, the Warriors weren’t dealing with a COVID-19 situation – instead, the team had too many players battling injuries.
“We had to make the difficult decision to cancel the game due to very low numbers,” Nauset athletic director John Mattson said Thursday. “We simply do not have enough players to safely field a varsity team this Friday.”
“Everybody’s numbers are down, but the Outer Cape and Lower Cape in particular have been hit extra hard,” Nauset head coach Bruce Strunk said. “Between Cape Tech, Monomoy and us, we’re all having trouble building teams. It’s a statewide problem, but on the Cape, even though numbers are down at other schools, our numbers are usually lower anyway to begin with.”
The Warriors (0-3) are expected to return to play Friday against Sandwich at 6 p.m. Strunk said his players have already forgotten about missing out on last week’s game and are looking forward to taking the field against the Blue Knights, who will provide a tough test.
“They’re in good spirits,” the coach said of his players. “They know the situation and believe it or not, they’re mature enough that they knew we were hurting number-wise during the summer. They’re obviously disappointed that we didn’t play last week but they’re excited for this week. It’s onto the next game.”
Mattson said the team’s numbers will be monitored each week going forward and noted that the team’s health will be at the forefront of any decision making.
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