TUCSON, Arizona — "It's tough," said Palo Verde senior quarterback Alejandro Montano, referring the the cancellation of the high school football season.
At Palo Verde, the bleachers will be empty, the scoreboard will be dark, and the first down markers will be absent. The decision to cancel this season was made primarily because the Titans would have just two seniors on their roster.
"I think, ultimately, it's the right decision for the safety of the players," said Palo Verde Athletic Director Jason Karn.
The school didn't want their 22 freshmen going up against other team's seniors. Palo Verde is also a Class 3A school that has to play a Class 4A schedule due to geographical reasons.
"I agree with the decision," said Montano. "There are too many young kids out there."
The lack of seniors comes from earlier low enrollment and several seniors taking after-school jobs. Friday nights without football have a wider impact.
"We rely on that revenue," said Karn. And, the marching band uses for the halftime performances to go into competition."
The band is likely to perform on Thursday night junior varsity games when coach Mike Wells will work with the younger players. It is hoped that varsity football will resume in 2022.
"They're going to build up the program again," said Montano.
Teams that were supposed to play Palo Verde are already scheduling other opponents for that date.