Due to an insufficient number of players, Theodore Roosevelt has cancelled Friday’s season opener against Ballou for the second straight year, according to Stephanie Evans, athletic director of D.C. Public Schools.

Evans said that she does not expect the Rough Riders, who went 1-9 last year, to call off their entire 2012 season. Evans said Roosevelt is “very close” to having enough players to compete in games.

The Rough Riders’ second game has also been cancelled; their opponent, Aquinas Institute (N.Y.), found another team to play on Sept. 8. Roosevelt is now set to begin its season on Sept. 14 against Forestville.

Roosevelt Coach John Sharp, who is in his first season with the Rough Riders, did not immediately return a message left on his cell phone seeking comment.

Ballou Coach Jason Lane said Evans informed him Tuesday that Roosevelt would not be able to play against the Knights in a game that had been scheduled for Friday night.

“It caught us by surprise because I was talking to the coach from Roosevelt last week,” Lane said. Sharp “said he was pretty confident that the game would happen.”

Ballou went 3-4-1 last year, which also began later than expected after Roosevelt cancelled the season opener between the two schools due to a lack of eligible players. The Knights now are scheduled to take the field for the first time this year Aug. 31 at home against Bell Multicultural.

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