BRINKLEY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Fresh cut grass, the scoreboard, the stands. Opening football season is just around the corner for Brinkley High School, but there's one thing missing: the football players.
Brinkley School District Superintendent Dr. Debbie Goodwin said they can't get enough boys to come out to play on the team this year.
“One day they say they'll be here and the next day they say no I'm not coming,” she said. “I've checked into it, I've done some investigating, and I've uncovered no personal problems. We really don't know why they're not coming.”
Dr. Goodwin said it’s a problem they've never had. An empty field means empty stands and a very disappointed high school football coach. Coach Ethan Baker said they started practice last Monday but they’ve had open gym all summer.
“While we were lifting weights in the middle of the summer they were showing up, but when it gets time to start practice most of the ones lifting weights aren't showing up,” he said.
Coach Baker said the Tigers opening game is September 1, but as of now, these Friday night lights may have to wait until next year. He said they've made the playoff's twice in the past three years, so that's why this is even more confusing for him and he hopes they realize what they're missing out on before it's too late.
“You don't get to do this very long, you only have a certain amount of years you get to do this, and you're going to regret your decisions if you don't take advantage of them now,” Baker said.
In one last attempt to save Tiger football, Dr. Goodwin said the school will hold a pep rally Thursday at 7 p.m. at the football field in hopes the players will show.
“Come out Thursday night and let's show our team that we support them and we expect them to come out and play,” she said.
The school however does have a fully stacked junior high football team so if Friday night football doesn't work out, they still have their junior high team.