Augusta High School cancels 2017 football season
AUGUSTA, Ark. (KATV) —
High school football is kicking off soon but one school has decided to cancel its football season due to a low number of participants.
Augusta, Arkansas is a small town, with a high school of about 150 kids. And come Friday night, a football field that is normally packed, will be empty.
Augusta is a town with a little under 2,200 people.
And when you’re in a small town like Augusta, a thing that brings people together is high school football.
"They don't have a lot to do in a small town,” Debra Davis, a resident of Augusta, said, “and I think that was an enhancement for the community."
But on August 22nd, it was announced that, due to the low number of players participating, the 2017 season for the Red Devils would be cancelled.
"You know, it's a football town,” Antonio Gant, a former player at Augusta, said. “You know, to not have football in this community, it shocks a lot of people for one."
Gant’s son is a sophomore at the school, and was looking forward to this season.
"I raised him as a Red Devil and he's been all year long if they were wondering going to have a team," he said.
But when only eight to 12 kids come out to practice, the school didn't want to harm those few players by overworking them.
"It's not going to be enough to make a football team,” Dillon Runyon, who lives near Augusta, said. “They need something to do around here and keep them out of trouble and keep everybody going good."
"It keeps the children out the streets,” Davis said, “it keeps their mind set, it keeps them motivated, it keeps them encouraged, when they have people that redirects them into positive thinking."
With a strong junior high class coming up, as well several underclassmen wanting to put on pads, Gant thinks with the current coaching staff, Augusta will be back on top sooner rather than later.
"Stay tuned,” said Gant, “because the Red Devils are coming back."
Augusta's principal says he's confident they'll have enough players in time for next year's season.
During the regular season, the school says the players interested in playing football will continue lifting weights and occasionally practicing with the junior high team,