ANTONITO — Trojan football is making a recovery from last year’s missing season.
With a relatively new field and strong community support, students in Antonito High School began the new school year with a six-man team and all the players to support its season.
Another San Luis Valley school, Center, won’t have a team. Center plays in Class 1A.
Last Wednesday, Center (1A), Manzanola (six-man) and Longmont Christian (six-man) all announced their intention to drop their programs this season.
“With school starting today, there were a few others who expressed interest in joining the program and we will be able to field a team,” Antonito athletic director Joe Garcia said Monday. “We’re excited to be able to field a team.”
CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bud Ozzello, who administers football, said “Our hope is that these programs can build their numbers back up and return to the field next season.”
Due to the fact that their schools no longer have programs, players will have an opportunity to compete for another school, so long as they go through the waiver process, Ozzello added.
Since each school is dropping their teams prior to the season, no forfeits will be involved.
Their opponents now have open dates in the spots where they were scheduled to play the teams who dropped programs and are free to try and find another game, if possible.
If a team drops a program after the season has started, they forfeit their remaining games.
In an email sent to his team’s opponents as well as the CHSAA office, Center athletic director Kevin Jones wrote that he hopes “to gain a program back for the next cycle,” which starts next season.