BEDFORD, KY (WAVE) - Trimble County High School will not have a football team this season.
Superintendent Steve Miracle decided to cancel the season when only nine players were showing up for practice over the summer. An emergency meeting was held Friday night to try and save the season despite the lack of players.
After Friday's meeting, the hope was enough kids would show up for a Monday morning practice. Though 20 students showed up, it wasn't enough to keep the team alive.
To the dismay of both players and parents who showed up at that emergency meeting and for a practice, Trimble County High won't have a football team.
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"We have decided that we will stick with the original decision to not have our football program this year," Miracle said.
With that, there will be no more practices or games for the Trimble County Raiders.
"I mean it's hard on everybody," Will Kunselman, a senior who plays tight end, said. "We've always struggled for guys with our enrollment dropping, but it's just been a roller coaster of emotions the past few days."
District and school officials tried to save the season, but couldn't. With only 20 players showing up Monday morning, and only about seven of them with varsity experience, safety became a big factor.
"With the low numbers, it just takes a few injuries and then we are in the spot where we are having to call teams and cancel games out," Miracle said. He added he doesn't believe that's fair to other programs or their players.
"It will hurt the community," Russell Crawford, a parent of one of the players, said. "Everybody likes to come out on Friday night. Even with a small squad like this you still get a pretty decent set of fans out on the stands."
Coach Mike Isley is trying to figure out how to help his players going forward.
"It's going to be heartbreaking," he said. "Even some of them said they're going to transfer no matter what, because they can't risk their senior year or junior year because they have aspirations to go to college and play."
Two to three players have said they will transfer.
Kunselman seemed defeated.
"I just sat and cried to be honest," he said. "I know that doesn't sound very manly, but I just sat and cried. It weighs a lot."
The coach is also the school's athletic director.
Miracle said there were a couple of years in the 1980s and 90s without football. He hopes this is just a one year issue and the sport will be back next year.
There are 360 students enrolled at Trimble County High School.
The paperwork has already been turned in to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association to cancel the season.
The Raiders' first game was scheduled to be Aug. 17 at Eminence.