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Bell-Jeff football cancels remainder of season

Football: Program that suffered from injuries, low numbers scraps remaining three games after playing just three contests this season.

October 17, 2013|By Jeff Tully
(File Photo )

A rocky and trying season has come to a conclusion for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High football program.

After being plagued by low numbers and injuries that severely depleted the Guards in all of their games, Bell-Jeff's final three opponents were informed Oct. 16 that the team will be forfeiting its final three contests.

In the midst of a bye last week, the Guards were due to return to action Oct. 25 against defending Santa Fe League champion Salesian. However, that game on the road, along with another league game at St. Anthony (Nov. 1) and a league contest on the road against rival St. Genevieve (Nov. 8) have been scrapped.

First-year Bell-Jeff Coach Lance Fauria confirmed the cancellations in a press release Saturday.

"The parents, faculty and administration of Bellarmine-Jefferson High School are extremely proud of the efforts of the young men on our football team this year," the release read. "These gentlemen reflect the virtue of fortitude.

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"It is the decision of the school administration and coaching staff that Bell-Jeff will end its season.  This decision was made in the interest of the well being of our student athletes.  We will work with this core of players to prepare for next year.  The schools left on our schedule have been contacted."

The news ends a tumultuous season for the Guards, who will finish the year at 0-7 with four forfeit losses and three on the field.

"We were contacted by the Bell-Jeff athletic director on Monday and they contacted all the other athletic directors in the league informing them of the cancellations," St. Genevieve Athletic Director Marlon Archey said. "I think that was something they had to do because of safety concerns. They just didn't have enough players.

"We commend Bell-Jeff for doing that and we understand why they had to come to that decision."

Bell-Jeff Principal Michael Stumph referred any questions about the cancellations to Fauria, who is also the athletic director. Fauria said Oct. 19 he would rather not comment on the situation at that time, but would be willing to gave a statement at a later date.

"It's disappointing that they have to end their season like that, with the cancellations," Salesian Coach Roddy Hiatt said. "But we had heard rumblings about their program having problems since July and we have tried to get them to confirm the game. But with that few players you can't really go out there and be competitive in games."

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