Springfield Montco suspends varsity football due to lack of players

Citing a lack of numbers and experience, administrators at Springfield (Montgomery County) have canceled the remainder of its varsity football season.

"The decision was delayed as long as possible in hopes that more students would join the roster," Springfield athletic director Jason Pane said. "At this time, we simply do not have enough players to safely play this year."

Springfield, a member of the eight-team Suburban One League American Conference, bowed to Octorara, 47-20, in its nonleague opener Friday night.

"I sympathize with our players, coaches, and the community as Friday nights in Spartan Stadium have been a staple of my life for the past several years," Pane said. "I am especially apologetic to this year's senior class and to our coaching staff."

Pane said Tuesday that Springfield, a PIAA Class 3A program, had about 32 players on its varsity roster at the start of training camp. That number had dropped to the low 20s for last weekend's opener.

In addition, Payne said the bulk of the team was made up of underclassmen. "We were going to be physically less mature than other varsity football programs," he said.

Pane said Springfield plans to continue with its junior varsity season. "Our plan is to develop our promising young talent in the program and return to varsity level competition," he said.

Springfield's SOL American Conference foes, including Route 309 neighbors Cheltenham and Upper Dublin, can opt to take a forfeit victory over Springfield the weekend they were scheduled to play the Spartans or look for a replacement opponent.

"You never want to see that happen," Cheltenham athletic director John Creighton said. "It's a tough call that no one wants to make. But you have to err on the side of safety."

Fenerty steps down. Jim Fenerty has retired as athletic director at Germantown Academy after 22 years. He said he will remain the varsity boys' basketball coach, upper school advisor and history teacher at the school.

robrien@phillynews.com