Countdown to Kickoff: FitzSimons Drops Varsity Football

FitzSimons Drops Varsity Football Due to Low Numbers

Thomas FitzSimons will not get the chance to better last season's 2-8 gridiron record.

Due to a shortage of players, Public League chairman Robert Coleman and football commissioner Joe Stanley learned Wednesday at a Philadelphia School District meeting, the Rams will not field a varsity squad in 2011.

"I was surprised," Stanley said. "Some people thought it might happen, but I was unaware of it before being approached by their athletic director."

Stanley said FitzSimons, located at 2601 West Cumberland Avenue, only had Public League games scheduled for the upcoming season. "They'll go down as 'no-contests,' per PIAA rules," he said. "Hopefully, instead of a having a bye week, some of those schools can pick up an opponent."

The Rams went 0-6 in Public League Class AA games last year. They had to forfeit their league opener versus Imhotep Charter because of low numbers.

By the way, this will be Stanley's last season as football commissioner. Ken Geiser, George Washington's athletic director, will take over on Dec. 1.

"He has a football background," Stanley said. "He was the head coach at Ben Franklin and is now an assistant at Washington. He's very organized. He'll be great."

Before retiring as William Bodine's athletic director in June, Stanley worked in the school district for 38 years. He was also a health and physical education teacher.

-Rick O'Brien