Citing player safety, Eagle Valley football to forfeit finale and finish season 0-10
GYPSUM — Eagle Valley football will conclude its 2017 season with a forfeit against Glenwood Springs, the school said on Monday, Oct. 30.
Athletic director and assistant principal Tamara Payne made the announcement on the school’s Twitter feed, as well as on the football team’s Facebook page.
“We made the decision after practice on Monday,” Payne said. “It was based on who was able to play at what position and what numbers we had. Safety is our No. 1 concern.”
The Devils were scheduled to host Glenwood Springs at John Ramunno Field on Friday, Nov. 3. The Demons will receive that win, which will go down as a 2-0 victory.
That makes for a strange ending of the year for both squads. Glenwood Springs had to forfeit four wins due to the use of an ineligible player earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Eagle Valley, despite a storied history, finishes 0-10, just two years removed from a playoff appearance in 2015.
Injuries take their toll
Eagle Valley football faced an uphill climb this season after graduation losses last summer. The Devils were already relying on a substantial number of underclassmen before the injuries of a difficult schedule hit.
According to Payne, the Devils suffered nine more injuries during the team’s 44-0 loss at rival Battle Mountain on Friday, Oct. 27.
Payne said that the school wanted the team to finish the season. Athletics are an extension of the classroom, and finishing a task is important, but roster numbers overruled that desire.
“We did not take this lightly,” Payne said. “Athlete safety is just like safety in the classroom. If it’s an unsafe situation, we get the students out of the situation. We know it affects more than just our team. … We just didn’t have the right players in the right positions for a safe situation.”
Payne said that the Devils have a good young group coming up that will help with the team’s numbers.
Payne did not officially say that Eagle Valley would change its nonconference slate, which the last two years has been arduous. That’s because CHSAA has yet to formalize football-conference alignment for the next two-year cycle.
“There could be some changes to the league, and so we can’t schedule nonleague games until we know what the league will be,” Payne said. “We always work to get the best schedule for a team that’s challenging, but a good balance.”
In the meantime, the team will hold its year-end banquet on Friday, Nov. 3, and honor its seniors.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.