Three games into the season with three games to go, the rest of the junior varsity (JV) football team’s season was canceled. The players were informed of the decision on Oct. 4, the Monday after the varsity football team lost their homecoming game against Kalamazoo College.
Although no reason was given initially, in an interview Greg Polnasek, men’s athletic director and varsity football special team’s coordinator, explained the thought process behind the decision.
“After that injury to our only freshman quarterback, then it was in our best interest to not play anymore JV games because we didn’t have a quarterback to do that,” Polnasek said.”So we suspended the rest of the season for the JV team.”
Shane Garrett, Macomb first-year and JV quarterback, broke his humerus during the Alma game on Sept 27. He was tackled and fell on an awkward angle and his bone split in two. It would take six to eight weeks to heal,Garrett said.
The immediate reactions of the team were mixed.
“About half were sad that they didn’t get to play and the other half were ecstatic to have a day off,” said Phil Brimer, Troy first-year and offensive guard.
Players at both levels are allowed to play a total of 10 games per season. All JV players were eligible to play in the remaining six games left in the varsity season after the JV season was cancelled.
Despite the canceled season, practices are still held every day for JV players. Part of their role is to scrimmage against the varsity team, or to be a ‘scout team’. The scout team is a group of players whose job is to try to be like a future opposing team that the varsity team would play, said Zack Highers, Monroe first-year and tight end.
Practices have continued normally for the team. Polnasek said like in any Division III team, Albion College practices all together, at the same time, at the same location, with the same coaches.
“We haven’t changed any of those routines; it’s just we have chosen not to have any JV games on Monday afternoons,” Polnasek said.
As for the rest of the season, Polnasek acknowledges the chance that JV players may move up to varsity.
“There have been several young men who were doing real well in the JV games,” Polnasek said. “Football is a game of injuries too, so you’ll have players that get injured throughout the season and you have to have the younger guys fill in.”