Perry to forfeit final three varsity football games

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Player safety -- directly tied to low participation numbers -- have forced Perry school officials to forfeit the final three varsity football games on the Bluejay schedule. Photo submitted.

The Perry football team will forfeit their final three varsity contests this season due to a variety of factors, the chief of which is low participation numbers, which imperils player safety.

Perry Activities Director Katelyn Whelchel and varsity head coach Bryce Pierce released a joint statement Wednesday morning on the matter. The statement follows:

Perry Community School District Stakeholders,

We would like to start by thanking you for your support of the Bluejay Football Program. We understand the current challenges our players and program face are not easy. Your support of our Bluejays is beyond appreciated.

Over the last six weeks of the season the varsity squad has sustained injuries, especially within the offense, that have impacted the depth of healthy bodies available on Friday nights. Our goal as coaches and administrators is to provide our student athletes with opportunities to compete while maintaining their health and safety. For the remainder of the 2022 season, the Perry High School Football Program will forfeit their remaining varsity matchups while continuing to play their Friday night curtain raisers, pending the agreement of remaining district teams. This decision was made with the best information we have at the time while consulting coaches, the Iowa High School Athletic Association, future opponents, medical professionals and gathering input from concerned parents and students.

This decision does not just affect the football program. It affects the marching band, the cheerleaders, the athletic department budget, and concession stand proceeds that fund other programs.

While this decision brings many emotions, our top priority is maintaining player health and safety. Continuing with the curtain raiser schedule will allow us to provide appropriate playing opportunities for our athletes.

We understand the impact this decision will have on our entire football program. Now, more than ever, this program needs the support of school staff, parents, and community members. We ask that you please keep our football players, coaches, cheerleaders, marching band members, and loyal football fans in mind as they have all been impacted greatly by this situation.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Katelyn Whelchel at katelyn.whelchel@g.perry.k12.ia.us or 515-204-3631.

Thank you for your continued support of Bluejay Football.

Katelyn Whelchel, Perry CSD Activities Director

Bryce Pierce, Perry High School Head Football Coach

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