BROCTON, NY (WKBW) The small town of Brocton near Fredonia is home to Brocton High School, a school of only about 240 students. It is also home to the Brocton Bulldogs. But now, the Friday night lights in Brocton have been turned off.
After a year without varsity high school football, the Brocton community was excited to have their Bulldogs back. Until late last week when the varsity season came to an early end.
"The coach came to me Thursday night and indicated that it was no longer safe to continue the varsity program," Brocton Schools Superintendent John Hertlein said, "we just safely could not continue the season."
Multiple injuries had weakened the team, followed by multiple players who left the team for other reasons.
"It completely stinks. We put in all the hard work to have in end like nothing," senior football captain Ryan Bonnes said. "To me it's kind of like a smack in the face to the community, because they did everything and worked so hard to get the team back, and to have it go right down the tubes, it's a shame."
Multiple varsity football players as well as varsity head coach Terry Presto echoed that reaction. They used words like "disappointed" and "shocking," and called out other players for "quitting" and "having no heart."
But while players expressed their feelings on a cancelled season, Superintendent Hertlein stood by his decision. "The safety of these kids is more important than the ego we might be walking around with."
The Brocton junior varsity football team will continue to play its schedule for this year without a varsity team. As for next year, the superintendent said that they will have to wait and see.