The Caroline junior varsity football team has canceled its second straight game after a rash of injuries and personal issues have decimated the roster.
The Cavaliers canceled a Battlefield District contest at Courtland last week and on Tuesday they dropped a home game against Chancellor that was scheduled for Wednesday.
Caroline athletic director Paul Heizer noted the team began the season with 24 players, but attrition left the Cavaliers with 17 players at the start of their most recently played game against Eastern View. They ended that contest against the Cyclones with 14 players.
Heizer and varsity head coach Doug Allison said it becomes a safety issue with so few players, and that a couple of in-game injuries would’ve caused the game to be halted.
“I told the district from the start that we may not finish the season, so they had a heads up way back when,” Heizer said. “We’ve still got 13 or 14 kids that want to play. Hopefully we’ll get everything resolved, get up to around 18 or 19 kids and get a couple more games in.”
Courtland athletic director Ronnie Lowman said the Cavaliers and Cougars have discussed rescheduling their game to the end of the season if Caroline gets enough players back. If the Cavaliers are unable to reschedule games they’ll have to forfeit.
Caroline varsity head coach Doug Allison said on Tuesday the Cavaliers had “15 or 16” players at practice.
He noted that two players have had appendicitis, including one that required an emergency appendectomy. One had a quadriceps tear and another suffered a broken hip in P.E. class. Allison said another player experienced the death of his mother and “his whole life is upside down.”
“When you’re starting off with less than 30 kids and you get four or five with the typical ankle, knees and hips and then throw in some more profound things it’s amazing how quickly you’re looking at practicing with half that many,” Allison said.
Heizer said for future years, the Cavaliers may consider allowing a handful of eighth-graders to play JV. He and Allison said they don’t want to bring down the freshmen and sophomores who are on varsity because they’re contributing.
With football participation down and the Virginia High School League exploring eight-man football in some areas, Heizer said the problem isn’t unique to Caroline. He recalled 17 JV players showing up for Class 5 J.R. Tucker when the Tigers and Cavaliers played in the season opener.
It remains to be seen what will happen with the remaining four games on Caroline’s schedule.
“Right now it’s just week-to-week,” Allison said.
RB SCOTT DAY-TO-DAY
Chancellor standout running back Krisshaun Scott is “day-to-day” with a sprained ankle, Chargers’ head coach Jeff Drugatz said.
Scott suffered the injury early in the fourth quarter of Chancellor’s 41-28 loss to Spotsylvania last Friday and didn’t return.
The Chargers (2-3, 1-1 Battlefield) host Caroline (1-4, 1-1) Friday.
“He’s spending most of his time with the trainer,” Drugatz said. “We’re hoping to have him back on Friday because he’s definitely a weapon.”
COUGARS STILL PONDERING LAX
Lowman said Courtland is still considering adding boys and girls lacrosse in the spring. The athletic staff is canvassing interest to see if there is enough to support VHSL programs.
Lowman said the response hasn’t been overwhelming despite Courtland adding approximately 300 students after Spotsylvania County redistricting.
“We’re still seeking interest from students and we’ll make a decision as soon as we can,” Lowman said. “[Interest] has not been extensive yet. We’ll leave it open a little longer.”
FLAMES RECRUITING GRAVES
Eastern View standout safety and wide receiver Chance Graves has been offered a preferred walk-on opportunity by Liberty, which competes at the FBS level.
Graves (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) has been a big-play threat for the Cyclones this season, averaging 24.7 yards per reception with five touchdowns.