High school football means touchdowns, cheerleaders and marching bands. Unfortunately, it also means injuries and suspensions.
The Jefferson J-Hawks, who need every able-bodied man they can get as they try to break a 22-game losing streak, will start the season with 6-foot-10, 365-pound senior Christian Ohrt on the disabled list with continuing problems with his right knee.
Ohrt is facing a third procedure on his swollen knee before he'll be allowed to play this season. He hopes to be ready by the third game of the season if all goes well.
Terry Jenkins, a 6-2, 210-pound lineman for Jefferson, has an arm injury that prevented him from playing in the team's intrasquad scrimmage this past Friday, further depleting a small roster.
The J-Hawks open the season Friday night at Prairie, and the Prairie Hawks have a few problems of their own. Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey confirmed Monday that three of his players have been suspended for violating school rules.
Two of the players will miss the first three games of the season and the third player will miss two games.
"Two of them were incidents this spring, one was from a separate incident this summer," Morrissey said before practice. "This is an unfortunate circumstance that we're going to try and turn into a teaching tool for these guys, about being in the right place at the right time."
The suspended players are not stars of the team, but they were expected to help the Hawks this season.
"It hurts a little bit," Morrissey said. "The three we're going to be missing are guys that we expected to be contributors. Unfortunately that's the way it goes sometimes and hopefully they'll learn from it."
The Kennedy Cougars are battling a few manpower problems of their own. Derek Jacobus, one of the top athletes on the team, has torn the labrum in his left shoulder and will miss the entire season and probably part of the basketball season as well.
Jacobus was battling for the starting job at quarterback, although he got hurt when he landed awkwardly on a pass pattern while working as a receiver. Kennedy Coach Tim Lewis said Monday that Riley Fergus has risen to No. 1 on the depth chart at quarterback.
The Cougars also will be missing a few players for the first four games of the season due to academic problems, according to Lewis.
Kennedy opens the season Friday night against Washington at Kingston Stadium.
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