PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – Poca High School shut down the boys soccer program after discovering there were not enough players on the roster. The news came after the season already began devastating both parents and athletes.
The Putnam County School’s Athletic Policy and Procedures Manual requires soccer programs have a minimum of 15 athletes on a team. The team was short one player, leaving them at 14.
“That is not my problem, that is not my kids’ problem. They have sacrificed getting new shoes for soccer cleats and shin guards. They deserve to play,” says Whitney Williams, the parent of a soccer player.
The controversy began when a concerned citizen called the district stating the team only had about nine athletes active in a game. He was worried about athletes’ safety.
“They weren’t even able to sub players in and out, take breaks, get a breath, or water breaks. But, the athletes chose to do that. That’s admirable, but we don’t want to put these athletes in an unsafe situation”. says Putnam County Schools Superintendent John Hudson.
According to Hudson, the problem should have been addressed by the school level before the season began. He calls it a “very unfortunate situation” and states that the school must follow county policy and he doesn’t have authority to wave it the other direction. However, Hudson is hopeful the program will be up and running again by next year.