The McGann-Mercy football team’s final game of the regular season tonight at Southampton was abruptly canceled this morning, according to Mercy athletic director John Lonardo and head coach Jeff Doroski.
It was Southampton’s decision to forfeit the game, which will go down as Mercy’s first win of the season.
Lonardo said he received a call last night from Southampton’s athletic director about the possibility of a forfeit. This morning, Mr. Lonardo said he received a call confirming that the game will not be played.
“As far as I know there are no plans to play game at a future date,” he said.
Southampton High School Principal Brian Zahn told The Southampton Press that “there was an incident reported to us that we are investigating and following up on. Because of the nature of our investigation we felt it best that we just forfeit that game.”
The news came as a shock to the Monarchs, who prepared all week to face the 1-6 Mariners and were excited over the prospects of ending the season with a win.
“I feel bad for all the kids involved,” Doroski said. “The seniors miss out on an opportunity to play their last high school football game.”
Word began to spread among the players this morning via text messages and phone calls, Doroski said. The team plans to meet at 3 p.m. today for a final meeting and to collect equipment. Doroski said they might take the players out for a night of bowling and pizza.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on over there.”
After a thrilling run to the Division IV semifinals last year in the playoffs, the Monarchs couldn’t catch a break this year as a difficult schedule and injuries paved the way to an 0-7 start. As practice began this week, Doroski told the players that nothing else matters from this point as they prepared to try to win their final game.
“For the seniors that would be something they remember,” Doroski said.
Instead, they’ll be packing their bags.