Players and parents from the Oxbridge Academy football team left a meeting Monday night with the school optimistic that the season would be saved after the school canceled it last week. But the school insists the season is still canceled because there aren’t enough players to field a team safely.
Going into the closed door meeting, Vanessa Cantave wasn’t optimistic her son Daymon would play his junior year at Oxbridge.
“I prepped him. I said, if they say no we got to leave with our chin up. That’s what I expected,” she said.
About 70 Oxbridge players and parents were inside the school’s cafeteria for about an hour and fifteen minutes, talking with school officials trying to understand why and just maybe, salvage the team.
“The uproar from the people in the room was amazing. I was shocked. I thought wow, this is really important,” Vanessa said.
Between graduating seniors and others transferring, the roster was down to about 25 players, too few to safely field a team, the school said.
Nick Jackson was hoping his son, who will be a freshman, could help fill the roster.
“The school realized the attention and how many people were passionate about not just having a great academic education but also to have the balanced education involving sports with America’s sport being football,” he said about the meeting.
And then there’s seniors like Daniel Hutchinson. He has interest from Ivy League school’s to play, he says.
He was told he could play at a different school in the fall, and re-enroll in the spring to graduate from Oxbridge.
“It’s definitely a sign of relief in a sense but it still kind of gives me anxiety a little bit because you know these colleges are going to see me leaving a school and coming back in and might not see my senior film because I played at a different school,” he said.
Beth is Daniel’s mom.
“We have a little bit of hope.The fat lady’s not singing yet so we’re just going to have hope,” Beth said.
The school released a statement Monday night at around 9:00 p.m. insisting the season is not happening but also that they are reviewing suggestions from the meeting.
We asked the school to clarify their statement. They declined.
The full statement:
“Approximately 70 students and parents attended tonight’s meeting to further address the reasoning behind our decision not to offer a varsity football program for the 2018-2019 season.
Although there has been an outpouring of support from the community to continue the program, the fact still remains that at this time we do not have enough players to play safely next year.
Our decision has not changed. However, a number of new suggestions were made this evening, which we are reviewing.”