A surprising change this year at Chicago's Whitney Young High School, effective immediately the school’s football program has been canceled.
School officials say they just don’t the players to field a team, this decision comes just days before the homecoming game.
“I don't really blame the administration for canceling it,” said senior football players Maxwell Young. “I just wish we could've played this last game."
School officials decided to pull the plug on the football program - due to lack of players. They started the season with 26 and now they are down to 19 after injuries and problems with academic eligibility.
“It would've been almost next to impossible, the rules of Chicago public schools is that you have to have 22 bodies on your roster, now perhaps we could've got 22 bodies, but 22 persons to really play the game of football we did not have that,” said Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner. “I was not going to put my kids in harm’s way to do that.”
Feelings are mixed when we asked the players if they were still enjoying the season.
The Dolphins forfeited a game two weeks ago, when they didn't have enough players, then lost last week 72-0.
Senior player Zaquon Hood, who's working through a knee injury, knew from the beginning the season might not last.
“I knew it was coming, like on the first day of summer camp I knew it was going to happen because I've been here for four years and every year its less and less players,” said Hood.
The principal says the football program will live on - current team members hoping this well-known basketball school will someday also be known for football.
“There’s not a lot of interest at this school, people don't come to Whitney Young to play football, and we want to change that as a team," said Young.
Homecoming will be held at soccer game this Thursday afternoon, during that game the senior football players will be recognized.