CLINTON, Mo. — Clinton High School announced it would not participate in varsity football for the 2021 season.
In a post, the district said it made the decision during a meeting Monday night. The district said it did not have enough varsity-level players and was also concerned for the physical safety of the athletes it does have.
The need to restart a football program that lost 31 varsity games in a row also played into the decision, according to a post on Facebook.
“We want our student-athletes and coaches in the sport of football to find success both on and off the field. This decision helps them to develop as young men both in the sport of football and as leaders for our school and community,” Alex Johnson, Clinton Activities Director, said.
The Cardinals plan to play junior varsity-level football this season. The decision to only compete at a JV level is expected to just impact the upcoming season. Supporters of the decision hope coaches will spend the season developing younger players who can compete at a varsity level in 2022.
“In the long-term development of football in Clinton, we felt like this decision needed to be made in the best interest of our student-athletes. Competing at the junior varsity level only for a year gives us time to develop our players both mentally and physically. This will give us the restart needed to be competitive starting with the ‘22 football season,” Kevin LaFavor, Clinton Head Football Coach, said.
Clinton High School said it would notify the Missouri State High School Activities Association of its decision Tuesday.