Sammamish is forfeiting Friday’s KingCo 3A/2A football game to Juanita due to a lack of healthy players, according to coach Todd Craig and athletic director Pat McCarthy – although there is an outside chance it could be reschedule on a Tuesday later in the season.
Craig, in his first season as head coach, said Sammamish currently has 13 healthy varsity players.
“Nobody wanted to do this, but it’s putting kids’ safety first,” he said.
McCarthy said the final decision was made Thursday.
Juanita coach Shaun Tarantola called it “a sad situation for both teams.”
The Rebels (5-0, 3-0) next play at top-ranked Bellevue on Oct. 10.
Sammamish (2-3, 0-2) suited up 24 players in last week’s 42-6 loss to Bellevue, including a kicker, seven sophomores and a freshman. The Totems do not have a junior varsity, but field a “C team” comprised of about 26 freshmen and sophomores, some of whom swing up to the varsity.
Craig and McCarthy said Sammamish hopes to have enough healthy players for next week’s game against Liberty.
Both schools sent out e-mails to community members.
Here is what Sammamish sent:
“Each year the Sammamish Totems look forward to our varsity football contest with the Juanita Rebels. Regretfully, have had to postpone the game versus Juanita scheduled for tonight, Friday, October 3rd. Our team has incurred some injuries this season that have compromised the depth of our team at this time. We are not able to compete at a safe level for all participants and have determined that postponing the game would be in the best interest of our team. We appreciate the understanding of the Juanita Rebel players, staff, fans and community and wish them continued success.”
And here is what Juanita sent:
“We are so sorry to announce that tonight’s home football game has been cancelled. Citing low numbers and player safety, Sammamish H.S forfeited this evening’s game. We wish Sammamish and their athletes well. We are midway through a great Football season, now with a 5-0 record! We are away at Bellevue H. S. next week and return home on October 17th to host Newport H.S.
“Tonight’s game was to be our Pink Game and Cancer Awareness Night. We will move Pink Night to the Newport game on Friday, October 17th. We look forward to seeing the entire Juanita Community then. Please help us to get the word out about this evening’s game to avoid having disappointed fans show up at JHS tonight.
“Thanks to the entire Rebel family for your support of our school, our kids and our programs.”