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Lack of players forces LHS to forfeit varsity football season
Last year a dwindling school population forced the Lincoln High School Lynx to make the transition to six-man football.
This year, for the first time since 1996, there won’t be a Lincoln Lynx varsity football season. Lincoln Football Coach Shane Brown said the hopes for the varsity season came to an end after last weekend’s game was forfeited due to a lack of players.
The decision was made in hopes of salvaging a junior varsity season this year for the players who have consistently shown up to practice each day.
By forfeiting the entire season early, Lincoln School Superintendent Kathy Heisler said it might allow them to return to varsity next year rather than being held at the JV level for up to two years, which is a potential penalty under Montana High School Association regulations.
“I will be petitioning them in the January meeting to see if they would allow us to stay at the varsity level for the next school year,” Brown said.
He credits the players who have turned out for working hard to try to save the season and that if it were up to them they wouldn’t have made the decision to forfeit, but despite their determination he said they just don’t have the numbers they need for a varsity season.
Brown is working to pull together a JV season and said he hopes to have enough players for next week’s game against Hot springs. Fortunately they had all the players who have said they will play at practice earlier this week, which he said is the first time they’ve had all the players together at one time.
“We had six in pads and were able to conduct practice as normal. The seventh player put in his first practice (Monday) and things are looking up as long as grades do not catch them,” Brown said.
He said the JV season is slowly coming together.
“I have found two games for sure,” he said. “A couple of other teams said they will play us, but they are a bit of a ways away.” He’s waiting to hear from schools a bit closer in hopes of filling their schedule with games nearer to home before committing to the more distant schools.
Heisler said it was disappointing but noted this years team is a young one and that playing at the JV level will give them the experience they need to prepare for the hoped-for varsity season next year.
“We’re not the only one’s going through this this year,” Heisler said. “We’re just making the best of the situation that we can.”
In the meantime, Junior High School football is good to go. They play Saturday in Big Sky against Lone Peak and will face Hot Springs at home next Friday.