On a last second field goal last season, Oxbridge Academy, a private school in West Palm Beach, lost the state championship. Little did they know then, it was their last game as a program.
“I was devastated. I spent three years there putting in a lot of work. My heart felt like it was shattered,” said Daniel Hutchinson, 17. “I thought we were going to be back in the same position but winning this time.”
Next season was going to be Hutchinson’s all important senior year. He wears number 19 and plays receiver and safety. With a 3.5 GPA, he has interest from the Ivy League.
“Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Ithaca, Northwestern,” he said, listing off the colleges showing interest. “Senior year is my last year. I have to show them hey I’m the guy that you guys want. I have to make it count.”
Athletic Director Patrick Hollern said in a statement the program doesn’t have enough players to safely sustain a football team.
“I don’t really agree with that. I mean we had 25 guys left. Yeah we needed some guys there but I think we would have been able to fill the spots with certain kids coming in,” Hutchinson said.
Hollern said they were fully committed to the team over its six years in existence.
It quickly became a top program in the state under Doug Socha who was let go in 2015.
“To say they’re committed, I’m not sure about that. I think if you look at...how do you let this happen if you’re fully committed?” Socha said in an interview.
Hutchinson checks the online petition almost by the minute, hoping for 1,000 signatures. Hoping for a last second chance to save the program.
“They’re my brothers. I don’t want anything to happen to them. I want them all to be successful one day. I want them to be great. I hope everything works out for the best.”
Monday at 6 p.m., parents and players are coming to the school's cafeteria for a meeting to discuss the future program.