URBANA (WCIA) — Urbana football won’t field a varsity team this fall. The school district released a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing it will only play a JV schedule in 2022, electing to cancel all its varsity games.
“After evaluating the roster numbers during this week’s practices, the decision was made that there are not enough players to safely support a varsity season,” the statement read. “The high school will turn its focus to a JV only season. This decision was made with safety in mind, while also providing an opportunity for our student athletes to continue to develop their skills.”
Players and families were notified of the decision on Tuesday, with the season scheduled to begin in just 16 days. Only about 30 players were at practice on Wednesday for the third workout of the season. This is the third straight season Urbana has elected to cancel its varsity season. The Tigers did not field a team during the 2021 COVID-19 shortened spring season, then canceled its varsity season last fall after one game, playing a JV only schedule due to low numbers.
This follows a coaching change less than a week before the season started. Edmund Jones resigned after just one season, largely spent coaching the JV Tigers. Former Danville standout Curtis Blanden Sr. was hired on an interim basis, where he will now spend this fall working with the program playing another JV schedule.
The decision from Urbana leaves Centennial (Week 1), Central (Week 5 in a game that is being talked about moving to McKinley Field) and Danville (Week 9) without opponents right now. They can take either find a new team to play or take a forfeit win.