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Parents, students frustrated after Millbrook Central School District cancels football season

The Millbrook Central School District announced earlier this month that their eight-man style football season was canceled. Parents say they the school told them this was because of low participation numbers and safety.

News 12 Staff

Mar 20, 2021, 1:54 PM

Updated 1,189 days ago

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Families in a Dutchess County school district are frustrated after the football season was canceled before they could even take the field.
The Millbrook Central School District announced earlier this month that their eight-man style football season was canceled. Parents say they the school told them this was because of low participation numbers and safety.
However, parents say they were told by another school staff member, who also confirmed with News 12, that the school had the necessary 12 players for a roster.
Of the eight teams that play eight-man football in Section IX Sports, section officials say Millbrook is the only team not playing this season.
With time running out, parents and students say they hope the school will change their decision.
"I would appreciate it if they gave us a chance to at least play and practice and see how that goes," says senior Tyler Madison.
Cindy Madison, Tyler's mother, is asking if the school could at least come up with an alternative way to make sure students can still play this season.
"If not that, then why can't our kids play on another local team? Like Pawling or Pine Plains?" she says.
Millbrook Central School District Superintendent Laura Mitchell told News 12: “I understand that some of you are frustrated and even outraged about the cancellation of our 2020-2021 Varsity 8-Man Football season.  We also understand that your children are disappointed.  We too are disappointed.  This decision was not an easy one to make, but after very careful consideration, we, the administrative team, determined that the limited roster put our student athletes’ safety at risk.  The number of athletes noted in FamilyID as registered is reflective of student interest in the program.  That number is not an accurate representation of students who are eligible to play. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are not at liberty to disclose the details around this inaccuracy.  
Our Board of Education granted us the approval to start “High Risk” sports within our Fall II sports season during the pandemic.  It was not a guarantee that we would be able to fill rosters with eligible athletes and launch every Fall II sport.  
We understand how important athletics is to our students and how hard they have worked in preparation for the season. Like you, we would love to see our football team practicing and competing.  I am very sorry that this decision has caused so much anger and disappointment.  The lack of participation and risk to our athletes’ health and safety made this very difficult decision unavoidable.”


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