Season canceled: SW Atlanta Christian suspends football

Southwest Atlanta Christian’s winless football team of just 13 undersized players was one of the heart-warming stories of high school football in 2012.

There won’t be an encore in 2013. The private Atlanta school has suspended football, leaving 10 opponents with holes in their schedules just 24 days before SACA’s planned opener at North Cobb Christian.

‘’I’m hurt and saddened along with kind of confused,’’ SACA football coach Adrian Chism told GHSF Daily on Monday. “I’m still waiting on the official letter to explain the reason why. I got a call this weekend stating that the board had voted to suspend the season.’’

Southwest Atlanta Christian was 0-10 last season with a severely underfunded and out-manned squad whose biggest player was 180 pounds. Chism said he expected to have 16 or 17 players this season, though he conceded that only about 11 or 12 had been participating in spring and summer workouts. The team endured last seasons without a dedicated practice field and only one football.

It’s rare that a school will cancel its season this close to the opener, although it did happen in 2008 with Webster County, which has not played a varsity game since.

Chism said he hoped to field a team again in future seasons and regretted that the team’s momentum was interrupted, even if the team mounted more moral victories than actual ones.

‘’We had fans that we drew in across the city and state and even the nation, people who commented on the different blogs, emails or sent letters,’’ Chism said.  ‘’We’re suspended, but not terminated or banished from the school. I’m still the football coach. I’ve spoken with the (athletics director), and we’re going to come up with some plans for where we’re headed.’’

13 comments Add your comment

fan atl

August 5th, 2013
6:37 pm

where is d. howard when you need him


August 5th, 2013
8:23 pm

This is sad. I agree with @fanatl. There is a wealthy alumni of this school who could change these kids lives the way that this school changed his and he is nowhere to be found.

Hubie Green

August 5th, 2013
9:24 pm

To be fair to D Howard, he funded the gym at the school; it was built with his money. I think the GHSA should allow those players to play for another school since their season was cancelled.


August 6th, 2013
7:50 am

I wish we could have known earlier. I’m sure most coaches would have sent some of their extra equipment to them.


August 6th, 2013
8:21 am

At least the didn’t have to forfeit games for cheating.


August 6th, 2013
8:30 am

Sounds like it is time for the neighborhood and all concerned to step up and make a difference. Last season, those kids played with heart and never quit. Imagine playing a full high school schedule and only have enough to field 13 player’s who, in my opinion are already winners. What they did exhibited courage, fortitude and maturity. I hope they can bring football back at some point because with the attitude these kid’s displayed tends to show great promise. Not from the football itself but the experience and the lessons learned through adversity. What ever they are doing at SWAC, they need to bottle it and share it with the world.

Big D

August 6th, 2013
11:53 am

I pray that all you Howard haters would just think about what you are saying! Dwight Howard’s money does not have any thing to do with SACA”s football program. Parents and students decide where they want to attend school, and if the school board decides that the enrollment is not large enough to field a team, then we have to accept their recommendations! Please pray that the seniors get a chance to move into programs that will allow them some type of playing time and that the school will operate according to Gods will.

Right fan

August 6th, 2013
10:34 pm

This is really sad and disgusting.. Did the coach or the AD know that the board was going to suspend the season and were they present at the board meeting? @sportsnut you are right they should bottle it up and spread it to the world. Someone should hire that coach spread his teachings. I really feel heart broken for those kids and their coaches because they fought so hard last season to keep the program and they really change the views and gained the hearts of the world from their season last year. I had became a fan of theirs and I was looking forward to catching one of their games. Is their still a way for them to play this season because I was really looking forward to seeing them. I commend theses kids and their coaches. Let them play this season.

Right fan

August 6th, 2013
10:46 pm

@Big D you must be a board member or were you in the board meeting since you gave a reason as to why their season was canceled because according to the coach in the article he also was waiting on the official word like we all are as to why they canceled the season. Looking at what the coach was saying he would have enough to field a team. Do they not believe in the coach whom lead them on last year to moral victories and really done a great job? I wish I could give those kids a scholarship myself and I would give that coach a million dollars. Let them play!!!!!!!!!


August 7th, 2013
8:15 am

The really disgusting aspects of this are: 1) The football coach had no idea this was coming as is apparent in the following”…I got a call this weekend stating that the board had voted to suspend the season.’’
2) They waited until the first week of August???? Now those kids that were abandoned by the board do not have time to transfer to other schools to continue their careers! It takes more than 3 weeks of practice to get onboard with another teams schemes and most coaches have already pretty much settled lineups, so if any players were talented enough to make a team, they are coming in way behind. Decisions like this should be made in May, not August!

Does anyone else think that football may have been cutting into the Basketball program’s recruiting budget?

Coach Of APS

August 7th, 2013
11:15 am

The Basketball Program Has No Recruiting Budget However they are connected with Coaches Of Great AAU Teams Atlanta Select Atlanta Celtics Wallace Prather Celtics FBC Ga Pistols So Quite Naturally Those coaches along with the parents devolp a plan for their Girl’s to play with&against the best……


August 7th, 2013
4:06 pm

It’s very sad, and dishearthening. At the end, the kids suffer, and no one else. Sounds that private need to really get a President or CEO to go out and raise money for the School and it’s Athletic program. If something is not done quickly to turn this around, you may have the entire school follow in the same way as to the demise of it’s football program.

Right fan

August 8th, 2013
10:47 pm

Has anyone heard anything else about this? Has they at least gave the coach the official letter that he mention that was going to be given as to why the canceled those kids season? Something is not smelling clean about this. Lets break this down. 1. If the coach was unaware of the school canceling the football program, what were their reason for canceling. 2. If they had a real reason for canceling why did they not already have the letter prepared? 3. Why wasn’t the coach a part of the meeting for them considering canceling so he could have a voice? 4. Was the AD present as this meeting? Didn’t they get donations and where are those donations now? Listen to this world this is what I got from an source at their school; they had a teachers meeting at the school on Monday morning and all of the staff was given a reason why they canceled the season and that reason was They had to cancel the football program because the schools insurance company dropped them because of concussions and it was a liability. This reason came from one of their head administrators. How do the administrator know the reason and the coach don’t? Was that administrator part of the board and help make this decision? I will try and get more inside information on this but they need to send some news trucks and ask questions with the administrators and this board, AD and the coach. I would like for them to get this on camera because their is LIES all over this. The coach said in the article that he had players so why couldn’t they play? Don’t let this die until their school board tell the world why they denied those kids a chance to play football and win the world hearts again. Keep this story alive because I know their kids and coaches have to be hurting right now.