The Cedar Valley Christian football team has canceled one game this season and may have to forfeit another due to a lack of players.
The Huskies were supposed to open the eight-man season with a home game against Gilbertville Don Bosco on Aug. 16, but they did a head count and realized they'd probably have only the bare minimum of eight players for the contest.
"I don't feel comfortable playing that game with only eight players," Cedar Valley Christian Principal Jeff Pospisil said.
Cedar Valley Christian notified Gilbertville Don Bosco and the Iowa High School Athletic Association of the problem. To help Don Bosco fill its schedule, Pospisil suggested his school step away from a scheduled game against Elkader Central on Oct. 12 and let Don Bosco play Elkader Central on that date instead.
Pospisil said the IHSAA agreed to the swap, but the game against Elkader Central was supposed to be an eight-man district game for Cedar Valley Christian and may result in a forfeit. "I'm not sure how the state is going to work that," he said.
In any case, Pospisil said he's not concerned if the Huskies are charged with a loss against Elkader Central. "We're not too concerned with wins and losses this year," he said.
Pospisil said he overlooked the fact that it was a district game when he made the suggestion to let Don Bosco play Elkader Central.
Cedar Valley Christian's game against Don Bosco was not a district game, so it was merely canceled without being a forfeit, according to Pospisil.
CVC hoped to expand during second season
The Huskies began their eight-man football program last year and played a four-game varsity schedule to get started. They lost all four games 62-8, 66-28, 66-20 and 57-6 with a 15-man roster, according to the 2011 roster posted on the IHSAA website.
Cedar Valley Christian had hoped its program would grow this season and arranged a 10-game slate, but only 12 players fully committed to play and four of them are not available for the scheduled opener against Don Bosco.
"We found out a couple of weeks ago that a few of our players were not going to be in town for practices early in August," said Stephanie Hodge, the athletic director at Cedar Valley Christian. "Since we are new to IHSAA and football, our parents scheduled vacations and camps for their kids during practice weeks. I don't think that will happen again!"
More than 12 players originally said they would join the team this season, but Pospisil said several juniors and seniors changed their minds about playing and did not report when practice began last week. "We've learned a little bit about commitment," he remarked.
The Huskies were allowed to begin practice last week because they had a game scheduled for Week Zero on the IHSAA calendar with the Aug. 16 date against Don Bosco. All the other Metro teams do not play until Week 1 (Aug. 23-24) and begin practice this coming week.
The Huskies had already begun practice when it was decided to cancel the game against Don Bosco, but the IHSAA told them to go ahead and keep practicing last week anyway.
Pospisil hopes a few more players will join the team in coming weeks to boost the 12-man squad. However, he acknowledged the possibility of canceling more games or possibly canceling the entire season if a few players get hurt and the roster dips to only nine or 10 men.
"We would just forfeit the season," he said. "We're not going to put anybody at risk. But we do have 12 who want to play.
"We're right at the borderline," he said.
Cedar Valley Christian football coach Ed Betsworth could not be reached for comment.
The Huskies canceled several baseball games this past summer due to a similar lack of players. They finished their first campaign as a member of the IHSAA with an 0-22 record and were outscored by an average margin of approximately 15-1.
Cedar Valley will play its home football games at LaSalle Middle School.
Revised football schedule
Aug. 24 -- at HLV Victor
Aug. 31 -- Valley of Elgin
Sept. 7 -- at Springville
Sept. 14 -- at Maynard West Central
Sept. 21 -- Lansing Kee
Sept. 28 -- Midland Wyoming
Oct. 5 -- at Central City
Oct. 19 -- Preston
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