AztecPadre Posted August 18, 2017 Report Share Posted August 18, 2017 Not sure if someone has already posted this but here it is any ways: Long Beach Poly drops junior varsity football due to low numbers Long Beach Poly coach Antonio Pierce a scrimmage against Servite at Servite High in Anaheim, CA on Friday, August 22, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley/SCNG, file) By Mike Guardabascio, Press-Telegram POSTED: 08/09/17, 8:27 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 WEEK, 1 DAY AGO 2 COMMENTS LONG BEACH >> The nearly unimaginable has happened at Long Beach Poly, where the Jackrabbits will not field a junior varsity team this fall for the first time in the football program’s 110-year history. Head coach Antonio Pierce said his program simply doesn’t have enough players for a JV team, so Poly will field just a frosh/soph squad in addition to the varsity. ADVERTISING “The last three years our number has consistently gone down, and we’ve had enrollment issues,” he said. “Six years ago when my son enrolled they had 130 freshman in that class, and we haven’t had close to that number since.” Pierce said that he had fewer than 40 freshmen come out for this year’s frosh/soph team, a shocking number for a school that was actually once the frequent target of jokes for how large its football program was. From the mid-1990s up until a few years ago, Poly averaged 200 players in its program annually. This year there are 60 players on the varsity team and not enough players below that to safely make up two lower-level programs, according to Pierce. The Jackrabbits will be at least the third out of seven Moore League schools to drop their JV program, with Cabrillo and Compton also claiming they don’t have enough players to justify three teams. According to Pierce, one issue has been area students not being able to enroll at Poly. “We’ve had several families come to us saying they’ve been denied enrollment to the school,” he said. “They live in the Poly district, or even right across the street, but they’re being sent to other schools. A lot of them choose to leave the district instead, which is probably part of why you see numbers going down across Long Beach Unified on the lower levels.” Across the state, an increasing number of teams are struggling to fill their rosters, with total football participation down about 3 percent in California in 2016-17 as opposed to the year before. It’s not surprising to see more teams shifting to one lower-level program, but it’s certainly surprising to see it happen at Poly, a school that’s won 19 CIF Southern Section championships and sent more than 60 players to the NFL, the most of any high school in the nation. This year’s Poly varsity team is ranked No. 10 in the nation by MaxPreps and should be a CIF championship contender, but the future of the program could be in question as the number of players available dwindle. “It’s sad,” said Pierce. “I don’t have another word for it. It’s sad.” 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.