Injuries force South Portland to forfeit football playoff game

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland High School football team will forfeit Friday’s Class A South quarterfinal playoff game at Bonny Eagle High School due to player safety concerns, Athletic Administrator Todd Livingston announced Thursday morning.

A forfeit was rumored earlier in the week, but South Portland committed on Tuesday to playing.

Thursday brought a different decision.

“As we moved through the week, we have determined that our team personnel and football depth chart has changed due to players not being able to dress, which has significantly impacted our determination that our student-athletes can safely participate,” Livingston said in a prepared statement.

The Red Riots, who went 1-7 this fall and earned the sixth and final playoff spot in Class A South, have had to cope with declining participation in recent years.

Livingston on Thursday morning said the forfeit was entirely due to injuries endured throughout the season, which would have forced coaching staff to put players in positions they hadn’t played before.

“We did our due diligence … and officially informed the team last night that we wouldn’t be playing,” he said.

Here is the full text of Livingston’s prepared statement:

“The South Portland football coaching staff, medical staff and administration met early this week to review team personnel, the football depth chart and to determine if we would be able to ensure the safety of our student-athletes competing in a quarterfinal football game on Friday, October 26th, at Bonny Eagle. On Tuesday, October 23rd it was determined that we could safely participate and honor our commitment to the Southwestern Maine Activities Association football playoffs.

“As we moved through the week, we have determined that our team personnel and football depth chart has changed due to players not being able to dress, which has significantly impacted our determination that our student-athletes can safely participate in a quarterfinal Friday evening.

“At this point the South Portland football coaching staff, medical staff and administration have determined that the football team will not be participating in the SMAA quarterfinal football playoff game on Friday, October 26th.”

Joceyln Van Saun can be reached at jvansaun@theforecaster.net or 780-9094. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun. Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter @foresports.

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