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Danville High School cancels football season due to lack of players

The bleachers at Danville High School will be empty on Friday nights because too many of the school's football players are injured and can't play ball.

DANVILLE, Ark. — As schools across the state get more settled into football season, one high school team had to sit out because they didn't have enough players. 

For the rest of the season, the bleachers will be empty on Friday nights because too many Danville football players are injured and can't play ball.

The athletic director said it wasn't an easy decision to make, but he felt that it was the right one. 

"We knew we were short on numbers going into the season, but we wanted to carry on the tradition of Danville football," said Steve Pfeifer, athletic director at Danville.

Pfeifer said that they started the season with 17 players, but things took a turn during Friday night's game. 

"We got several kids hurt, which put us in a position where we just could not put people out on the football field in a position that they had not practiced and that sort of thing. So for safety reasons, we just felt like it was the right thing to do," he explained.

Pfeifer said that 4 players got hurt that night, and 5 total are injured, which made it nearly impossible to play out the rest of the season. 

"It's not fair to the kids to put them in a situation where they can't have success," he said.

With fewer games, he said that the Athletic Department will lose about $500 dollars in concession stand and gate money. 

"We do have Junior High games here and seventh-grade games here. So we'll still have money coming in but not as much as we would have had the Senior High play," Pfeifer added.

Jaxson Brents, the quarterback, was one of the injured players. He said that even though he and his teammates are disappointed, they understand why they can't continue playing. 

"As much as I feel like the seniors may be wronged. I feel like it's the best decision for our program, especially like we have a bunch of kids and a little school that are gonna play multiple sports, there's no reason to risk their injury for something they may love more," Brents said.

He also said that the news didn't come as a total surprise. 

"We knew it was a potential from the start, but we never thought it actually happened," he said.

Brents looks forward to getting back on the field next year, with a bigger and better team. 

"We're planning on being right back next year, strong as ever, and hopefully we'll continue the tradition of Danville athletics," Pfeifer said.

The Little Johns will expect to have around 30 players on the team next season, as more 9th graders join.

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