Park View High School will not be fielding a varsity football team this season, the school announced Thursday. The decision was made after 18 players came out for the team this season, many of whom did not have playing experience.

“Given the competitive nature of Park View’s schedule, we didn’t want the players exposed to a heightened risk of injury,” Loudoun County Public Schools information officer Wayde Byard said.

The program will play a revised schedule at the junior varsity level. Seniors and returning juniors within the program have the option to transfer to Dominion High School as a student and play for that program. The Virginia High School League transfer restrictions will be waived for such cases, according to Byard.

Byard said that, in the 18 years he has worked for Loudoun County Public Schools, this is the first time a varsity football team has canceled its season.

The school, which opened in 1976, went 0-10 at the varsity level last season. The Patriots have won four combined games in the past four seasons. They compete in the Dulles District with robust programs such as Woodgrove and Riverside. Park View Coach Josh Wild declined to comment for this story.

Last year, Centennial, out of Howard County, canceled its varsity season for similar reasons, citing a “lack of sufficient players and concern for public safety.” The program is back this fall with 25 players on the varsity roster and a first-year head coach in former Marriotts Ridge assistant Billy Martin.

Participation in high school football has fallen nationwide by 5 percent in the last 10 years, according to a report by Reuters Health. Many experts attribute the trend to a growing concern about the potential for brain injuries.

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