Charles City High School cancels fall sports season
In what seems to be a growing trend around the country, Charles City High School announced the cancellation of the fall sports season for 2018.
In a press release issued by superintendent of schools David Gaston, Charles City will not be fielding a football nor volleyball team for the upcoming season.
“Due to a lack of student participation, we will not be fielding teams for this season,” he said in a press release. “Over the coming week, our school board and personnel will be working with the community to assess underlying reasons why these two particular athletic teams are experiencing a lack of student support.”
Two other schools, Park View High School in Loudoun County and Manassas Park High School have cited low numbers in canceling their football season.
Canceling a football season isn’t a new trend, as nearly four percent decrease in high school programs across the nation have been cited in studies. Factors include scientific and medical research about concussions and CTE, a condition that degenerates the brain. Despite safety equipment becoming more reliable and rule changes to make the sport safer, student-athletes and parents continue to withdraw from the competitive sport.
The Virginia High School League also have rules in place, specifically for football. While they recommend 25 players for the team, a minimum of 18 is required. However, that number has been waived in past situations if a team what identified one that can compete. Those rulings are based on a case-by-case scenario. Students are also required to meet academic standards set by the Virginia High School League which requires them to pass five classes. Charles City’s school system requires students to maintain a grade-point average of 2.0 to participate in student-athletic activities but does provide a one-time waiver for students if they do not meet that requirement. Many surrounding schools have also adopted the 2.0 grade-point average rule, putting an emphasis on classroom education.
There are many additional factors that particularly affect Charles City’s program. Along with a lack of interest, the enrollment of the school system continues to dwindle. Up until this week, the community has lacked a recreational football program. Charles City Parks and Recreation recently announced that a flag football team for ages 5-7 will be joining a league based out of Fort Lee.
Gaston also commented that a community forum will be held in the future and that only the upcoming fall sports season is cancelled.