By Kevin Wadlow Senior Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Coral Shores High School's Homecoming will be coming two weeks late.
All weekend activities - the Friday parade of floats and the Hurricane football game - were canceled at midday Thursday.
Doral Academy, the opponent for Friday's game in Tavernier, called an early end to its football season and forfeited the game.
”I've never heard of this happening in football,“ said Coral Shores Athletic Director Rich Russell, who played for the Hurricanes three decades ago. ”This is a first.“
Doral, a second-year charter school in western Miami-Dade County, reportedly saw its season-opening roster of 45 players shrink to 14 after last week's 63-0 loss to Archbishop Carroll.
Some of Doral's Firebirds may have been injured. Others were likely frustrated with the team's football futility.
Marathon High School's Dolphins ran back the season-opening kickoff for a touchdown against Doral on the way to a 70-0 win.
The pummeling never relented for the Firebirds, who were outscored 299-0 through six games - and had three of the toughest teams on the schedule still to come.
A receptionist at Doral said Thursday no one was available to discuss the situation. A call had not been returned as of press time.
”Doral Academy has disbanded their football program [Thursday] and forfeited [Friday] night's football game,“ Coral Shores Principal Ron Martin said in a statement.
The Coral Shores Student Government Association voted to move all Homecoming activities to the next available home game - Nov. 4 against local archrival Marathon, Martin said.
”We understand [Doral's] situation, we really do. It's just a horrible set of circumstances,“ Russell said. ”We'll just do what we can do.“
Hurricane officials tried unsuccessfully to find a last-minute opponent for Friday's game.
Coral Shores has an open date scheduled this coming weekend, and staff was contacting other teams to see if they want to arrange a game.
”We were ready to play,“ said Coral Shores head coach Jeff Meyers. ”What can you do when you don't have enough players? It's unfortunate. We're still trying to pick up a game for our bye week.“
The Florida High School Athletic Association, the state-sanctioning agency for prep sports, takes a dim view of teams backing out of scheduled games.
If Doral has forfeited the remainder of its season, said FHSAA Director of Communications Jack Watford in an e-mail, ”it would be a violation of the school's commitment“ to participate in the state football program.
Doral could be barred from the state district system until 2009, Watford said.
”Also, canceling a program in a sport does not relieve a school of its contractual obligations with other schools,“ Watford said. ”The school may be required to provide financial compensation to the other school.“
Coral Shores officials had not made a decision on whether to pursue a claim for lost gate and concessions revenue from the home game.