Sidwell Friends football team forfeits game due to lack of healthy players

By James Wagner
Friday, September 24, 2010; 4:58 PM

Sidwell Friends (0-2) forfeited its Saturday game against Baltimore Lutheran because the Quakers have lost too many players to injuries and fear hurting their younger players.

Following a 61-6 loss to John Paul the Great last week - in which senior running back and kicker Finn Stern suffered a concussion and other players were hurt - school officials decided to forego the next game, according to Sidwell Friends Athletic Director Anne Renninger, who informed the players' parents on Thursday.

The Quakers, who lost 15 seniors from last year's team, started the season with as many as 30 players but have lost nearly 10 to injury, ranging from broken fingers to concussions, Renninger said.

But the major concern for school officials was protecting the younger players. Of the 10 freshmen on the team, eight had been starting on both offense and defense, she added.

"Do you really think it's really safe to start kids both ways at 14 against 18-year olds?" Renninger said. "It's not a reasonable thing. I am doing this a lot because of the injuries and the safety," she added, citing growing national concern over football injuries such as concussions.

Sidwell Friends had already cancelled its junior varsity team before the season because it didn't enough players to field it, Renninger said.

Whether the varsity team finishes their season depends on how soon the players recover from their injuries.

"I'm hoping that some of these kids heal and we'll get our numbers back up," she said. "If we get our numbers back, we'll get our league schedule for sure."

The Quakers host Avalon next week and then start their Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule the following week against defending league-champion Flint Hill.

A message for Baltimore Lutheran's athletic director wasn't immediately returned.

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