John Essex cancels remainder of football season


John Essex linemen Arthur Allen works on the blocking sled during preseason practice. The John Essex High School football team will not play its remaining three games because of a lack of players. (Photo by Michael Clements)


 

The John Essex High School football team will not play its remaining three games because of a lack of players.

John Essex, located in Demopolis, was scheduled to play homes against Linden on Friday and McIntosh on Oct. 26 and finish the season with a non-region game at Monroe County on Nov. 2. John Essex, Linden and McIntosh are in Class 1A, Region 1. The top four teams in the region qualify for the AHSAA playoffs.

John Essex Principal Tiffany Davis said she has been in contact with the other school officials to consider having the games canceled instead of losses by forfeit.

"At this point, the games will not be considered losses if the principals come to a mutual agreement," she said. "We do not like the fact that we are having to do this. The players were excited and self-motivated and wanted to complete their season, but there are rules and regulations that have to be followed."

Davis added that Linden Principal Timothy Thurman had agreed to the cancellation.

John Essex fell to 2-5 overall, 1-4 in the region with a 28-0 loss to A.L. Johnson last week. Davis said that because of an injury John Essex had to finish the game with 10 players.

"We didn’t want to put someone out there who has never played," Davis said. "The well-being of our children is what we care about first and foremost."

Bradford Daniels, interim head coach for the John Essex football team, declined to comment. Daniels took over the program after Jerome Antone resigned before the A.L. Johnson game. Antone, who was elected mayor of Georgiana, said he resigned because of a "lack of support." Daniels was the offensive coordinator on Antone’s staff.

Davis said that she hopes to continue the program next year with students who will be entering the ninth grade.

Additional information on this story will appear in Friday’s edition of The Tuscaloosa News

Andrew Carroll can be reached at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.