Midway-Minto football future in doubt
Football's future for the Midway-Minto football co-op is on shaky ground. Dropping the program for the 2018 season is in the discussion stage. Nothing has been finalized as yet. But, Midway High School superintendent Roger Abbe said, "It looks li...
Football's future for the Midway-Minto football co-op is on shaky ground.
Dropping the program for the 2018 season is in the discussion stage. Nothing has been finalized as yet.
But, Midway High School superintendent Roger Abbe said, "It looks like there aren't the numbers to support a 9-man team this fall. That doesn't mean we will dissolve the co-op because we can't field a team next season. We're looking at alternatives right now.''
Midway-Minto, a 9-man program, is coming off a 1-6 season. The Mustangs averaged 25.6 points a game, but struggled on defense (48.1 points-allowed average).
Minto High School athletic director Shane Robinson said the Mustangs finished last season with 15 players on the football roster, five of whom were seniors. The roster included two freshmen, while four eighth-graders could move up to the program.
But there is no solid number of athletes to project. Robinson said that currently the program is looking at nine athletes in grades 9-12 who plan to play next fall.
"There already have been discussions that some of the guys who played last year weren't going to play next season,'' Robinson said. "There were a couple of guys who already said they weren't playing.
"Our sports co-op committee is discussing the situation, looking at the best option to go. We're looking at the numbers, the safety issue playing younger kids.''
Midway-Minto coach Cody Stevenson said he anticipated there would be a 2018 season when he put away the team's equipment at the end of last season.
"We assumed we'd be taking (the equipment) out again next season,'' Stevenson said.
"It's not looking good for next season. Even last season, the numbers were a struggle. I guess there's just not a huge interest, not enough student-athletes interested in playing.''
Low numbers isn't a new problem. Last season, Robinson said, "we started practice with only seven kids and had to do some recruiting to get other kids out.''
Then there was the 2011 season, when injuries whittled away at the roster.
Playing 11-man, Midway-Minto opened that season with 22 players. But, due to a rash of injuries, the Mustangs had only 13 players by their final game. They had two players injured on back-to-back plays in the third quarter and left the field together in an ambulance, leaving the team without a sub to finish the game.
Robinson said there will be a clearer picture of the 2018 season when the schools' school boards hold their monthly meetings in May.
"I'd say the likelihood isn't high that we'll have a team,'' Robinson said. "But we still are having discussions. We have to come up with an answer.''