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Bell-Jeff football cancels Saturday game because of lack of players

Football: Guards coach says he plans to have the team ready for its league opener Oct. 12 against St. Monica.

October 03, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

A Bellarmine-Jefferson High football program that has suffered its share of struggles this season hit another speed bump this week.

Already suffering from low numbers, the Guards had several players sustain injuries during a Sept. 28 nonleague game against Campbell Hall. That has left the Bell-Jeff team depleted and forced the cancellation of Saturday's 7 p.m. nonleague contest against Santa Clarita Christian at Canyon Country Canyon High, according to Guards Coach Lance Fauria.

"Our main concern is the safety of our kids," said Fauria, who is in his first year. "We are doing the best that we can, but the number of kids we have who are healthy right now, it's just too dangerous to put that small of a group on the field right now."

Fauria said he realized the game against Santa Clarita Christian would have to be scrapped when less than 11 healthy players showed up for practice Tuesday.

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"That's not enough to practice with, let alone play a game with," said Fauria, who said the decision was made Wednesday. "We had to make the decision at some time. We just don't have enough kids right now.

"We just had some injuries from our last game and some other things that just won't allow us to put a team out there right now."

With less than 11 players, Bell-Jeff is below the requirement that is mandated for the minimum number of players needed to field a team. According to National Federation of State High School Associations Rule Book, under which the CIF Southern Section abides by, Page 11, Rule 1, Article 3 states: "Each team shall begin the game with 11 players, but if it has no substitutes to replace injured or disqualified players, it may continue with fewer."

Despite the cancellation, Santa Clarita Christian was able to find another opponent in quick order. The Cardinals will play Viewpoint at 7 p.m. Saturday at Canyon. Athletic Director Ali Aguilar said the game opened up when Campbell Hall canceled its contest with Viewpoint.

"We had heard some things that Bell-Jeff was canceling some games at the beginning of the season, but we were calling for confirmation and the game was good to go," Aguilar said. "Then we got a call saying they didn't have enough players.

"It's surprising coming from Bell-Jeff. With their school they are very good in multiple sports and it was kind of a surprise they had to cancel."

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