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.’’