NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A local high school football program will continue its season after players left the team amid a struggling season.
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Assistant Executive Director Richard McWhirter told NewsChannel 5 that only eight football players at Glencliff High School showed up to practice, which is not enough to play a game. The future of the football program was in jeopardy as of Tuesday night, but the following morning, the principal told McWhirter that there were enough players to continue the season and avoid forfeiting the rest of the games.
"The rule book says you got to have 11 players to start the game. You can finish with less than 11, but you have to have 11 to start the game," McWhirter said.
The Colts are 0-6 in the season so far, being outscored 379-34. The latest trend is a far cry from when Gail Wilson's husband, former coach Jim Wilson, led the team for 18 years. She attended her first Colts game last week after her husband died in 2015.
"He was 0-24 when he first started, so we went through the rough years just like they're going through now," Gail said. "But, he went from 0-24 all the way up to being able to go to the state championship game."
The stadium was named after Jim Wilson, who spent 37 years coaching football, with an overall record 148-127-0 and a winning percentage of 53.8. His son is the principal of Glencliff High School.
"I understand it's not fun to get beat but you got kids out there that really want to play football," Gail explained. "My husband would try to keep things going."
The TSSAA said it will work with the team as the roster will be reviewed weekly. The games might have to be sped up, and run the clock.
"We want to make sure everyone on the field can protect themselves and be able to play the game without being injured," McWhirter said.
He added football and basketball playoffs are linked together, so if a school doesn't finish its football season, it can be removed from the basketball playoffs.
Now that the season will continue, a game is still scheduled against Hillwood High School on Friday.