A five-time state champion football program in Maine has opted out of varsity play, due to concerns about injuries.
Officials at Boothbay Regional High School announced this week that the football team will move down to the club level to play younger, smaller schools.
"I think it would be irresponsible for us to knowingly put a team out there that isn't safe for everyone," said Athletic Director Allan Crocker. "With concussion protocols and all that coming to the forefront, it just would have been irresponsible."
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The Boothbay football team has had declining numbers in recent years. According to players on the team, students have left to play other sports, or have been injured.
While disappointed to move down to the club level, quarterback Duncan Drapeau is optimistic about the future.
"With more success and less injury, it will possibly help boost morale," said Drapeau.
According to their coach, there were only 12 "varsity-ready" players on the squad this year.
"If one person goes down, then we have to push someone into a game that's not necessarily ready," said Drapeau.
One of their opponents in the new club league will be Camden Hills high school — a team in the same difficult situation the year before.
The Camden team had to cancel the football season halfway through, due to a small squad with several players out for injuries.