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Fuqua School President Releases Statement Regarding Football Via Facebook

Fuqua School president Ruth Murphy issued a statement through the school's Facebook page on Thursday afternoon regarding the status of the varsity football program. In the statement, she said that the administration would wait until school opens before making a final decision on whether or not it will field a varsity team in 2012.

Classes begin on Wednesday August 15.

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 next 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 did begin 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 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).

Murphy added 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.” Freshmen will likely join the junior varsity program that presently has a healthy turnout, numbers-wise, of over 25 players.

She ended her statement with 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.”