Jimmy Durkin first found out about the Kennedy-Richmond football team canceling the rest of its season earlier today, so I picked it up from him, and here’s what will be in tomorrow’s paper.
The Kennedy High football team will forfeit the rest of the 2009 season due to a lack of healthy players, Eagles co-athletic director Harry Campbell said Monday.
“It’s just not a good situation with the injuries we have,” Campbell said. “We really decided last week. We felt it wasn’t really a good situation.”
Kennedy played four games this season, scoring a total of 12 points (all against Moreau Catholic) before canceling the rest of the season. The Eagles forfeited last week’s game against St. Patrick-St. Vincent with the hope that they would be able to resume play this week against Piedmont, but the decision was ultimately made to forfeit the final four games of the season.
The Eagles almost didn’t start the season due to low turnout, but ended up getting enough players to sign up to start the season. After co-coaches Delo Hilton and Clarence Johnson resigned in July, former Albany coach Anthony Freeman was tapped to coach the team on Aug. 28.
The late hire gave Freeman just two weeks to run practices before the team opened against Tamalpais-Mill Valley on Sept. 12. Kennedy lost that game 36-0.
Campbell said that his recommendation to the school’s administration before the school year began was that the school field a junior varsity team instead of a varsity squad to build continuity in the program.
“We should’ve gone that route to begin with but there were other powers that be that didn’t want us to do that,” Campbell said.
West Contra Costa Unified School District administrators met with school officials on Aug. 26-27. The following day, Freeman was hired and it was announced that the Eagles would play a varsity season.
WCCUSD director of secondary education Vince Rhea did not return a call for comment Monday afternoon.
Campbell said that the Eagles will continue to field a junior varsity team for the rest of the season, coached by Kennedy grad and ex-Nevada defensive back Mack Carminer. Campbell also said the varsity staff will remain with the program to help Carminer.
Richmond was the last East Bay football team to cancel its season early, forfeiting the final three games of both the 2005 and 06 seasons. Kennedy is the last public school from West Contra Costa County to win a North Coast Section football title, doing so in 1988.