With roughly a month to go before high school football returns to the state of Texas, teams around the state are already working out in weight rooms and preparing for the sweltering heat that comes with two-a-days that are right around the corner.
But one team that won't be preparing for the upcoming varsity season is Eastside Memorial (Texas) High School, after Austin Independent School District superintendent Meria Carstarphen announced that the football team wouldn't be competing at the varsity level in 2011.
As the Austin American-Statesman reported, the decision to cancel the season, which was first proposed by the district's athletic director Tommy Cox, wasn't an easy one. But considering Eastside only had 19 players on the varsity football roster -- and only one senior -- the district figured it made sense to move the school down to the varsity level for the upcoming season.
"It still gives the youngsters a opportunity to participate and chance to be successful," Cox told the Statesman. "It will help them to build for the future."
Eastside has had a rocky history on the gridiron over the last couple of years. The school was outscore 229-41 during the 2007 season and had to forefit four games due to academic issues and injuries that depleted the roster.
After two seasons as a junior varsity team, the school came back last year and went 1-9, but ended up winning a game against St. Andrews that helped them break a 43-game varsity losing streak that dated back to 2003.
But there's more to the story that just the cancellation of the football season. The decision has also had a ripple effect, as teams within the region that had Eastside on their non-conference schedule are now being forced to scramble for another game.
School's within the district were given notice of the possible announcement, but Eastside's non-conference opponents found out with the rest of the state on Thursday afternoon, leaving them at a huge disadvantage.
"It's near impossible to find a game this late, but there are a few situations where we may find a replacement game for them," Cox told the Statesman . "We're hoping we can find a few, but time is of the essence; we've got to get moving on it."