Great Falls will forfeit its 1A Division II first round football state playoff game against McCormick.
The No. 7-seed Red Devils were scheduled to make the hike down to McCormick to play the No. 2 Chiefs, but won’t be able to with just 17 available players. Great Falls (1-9) has battled low numbers all season and suited up just 22 in the regular season finale against Lewisville two weeks ago.
But five players would not be available Friday - for reasons coach Kenneth Schofield wouldn’t divulge - forcing Great Falls to make a decision.
“We just lost some players and we got down to a number that was not playable,” said Schofield on Wednesday morning.
South Carolina High School League chief Jerome Singleton said that Great Falls won’t be fined or punished. Schofield said the school will pay for Friday’s officials.
Great Falls is down to 197 students, with 87 boys, according to Schofield. He told his football players the bad news Tuesday night, and while disappointed, they understood. Great Falls hasn’t forfeited a playoff game due to low numbers in Schofield’s 15 years as the program’s coach, and Singleton couldn’t remember it ever happening.
“We’re planning for the next year,” Schofield said. “That’s the best we can say.”