Fuqua Football Decision To Be Made Late In The Week

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

FARMVILLE – According to Fuqua School head coach Lewis “Skeeter” Fore, nothing has changed in regards to whether or not the school will field a varsity football team for the 2012 season.

“School starts Wednesday, and we'll see then,” said Fore on Monday night following junior varsity football practice, adding that it could be Friday before a final decision is made. “Right now, we're waiting.”

As reported on www.farmvilleherald.com last Thursday night, Fuqua School president Ruth Murphy released a statement on the school's Facebook page on Thursday afternoon stating that the administration would wait until school opens before making a final decision in regards to the 2012 season.

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In the statement, Murphy said that the school has “taken several steps to field a team” this year, and that “the primary issue is the number of potential players and their readiness to play football.”

She added that the school has picked up some new students, and a few returning students that “…will participate once [their] summer work responsibilities are completed.” Additionally, Murphy stated that if the decision were made to field a team, the schedule would need to be modified.

Any player that begins practice Wednesday, would only have eight days of practice (counting Saturday) to get ready for the scheduled home opener against Brunswick Academy, which was to take place on August 24.

Fuqua's statement made no mention of a minimum number of practices should the administration decide to go forward with the season.

Practice originally began on July 30, which allowed for 20 practice days prior to the first football game (not counting Saturdays).

Virginia High School League policy, which doesn't necessarily govern independent schools, though many do choose to follow its guidelines, states that “a team shall have a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 20 regular daily sessions of training and practice” (Rule 63-3-1).

“That's something we're looking at,” said Fore, who affirmed that it would be impossible to play the schedule as it was originally crafted. “We've got to get in a certain number of practice days, and we've got to take the time to correctly, and safely, prepare should we go forward.”

Fuqua's second game, a home contest against Kenston Forest has also been taken off the schedule, according to the school's athletics website.

The first scheduled game is at Broadwater Academy on Saturday, September 15. Fuqua's first scheduled home game is on September 21 against Hampton Christian.

Murphy added in the statement that if it's determined that there will not be enough students to field a varsity team, the program will begin working toward the 2013 season, with tenth and 11th graders participating in a “structured environment to gain experience and confidence needed for a successful team.”

Varsity freshmen will likely join the junior varsity program that presently has a healthy turnout, numbers-wise, of over 25 players.

This statement, much like the school's previous statement, which was also issued over Facebook, has sparked heated debate among the school's alumni and supporters.

Murphy ended her statement by urging support for the overall athletics program, and with a plea to remain positive, no matter what decision is made, “knowing that if we pull together, we can make Fuqua School and our football program even stronger in the future.”

“I think we'll know by the end of the week, one way or another,” said Fore on Monday night.