St. Clair High to drop varsity football -- for nowby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A high school in south-central Minnesota is dropping varsity football this season over safety concerns related to a lack of upperclassmen on the team.
St. Clair High School, near Mankato, has about 275 students, but only two seniors and six juniors signed up for varsity football this year.
Athletic Director Brad O'Donnell said that raised concerns that fielding a varsity team of mostly freshmen and sophomores would be a safety risk, as those underclassmen go up against bigger and more experienced opponents.
"That was not something the school wanted," O'Donnell said.
Still, he said the experience won't change much because the team will still play junior varsity games.
"We're still practicing; we're still playing football," he said. "It's just we're not going to play a varsity schedule on a Friday night."
O'Donnell said he hopes to bring back varsity football next year, when all players have more experience.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly named the high school as St. Peter High School. The current version is correct.