As the realization of Andover High School's decision to cancel the remainder of the 2012 football season continues to set in, not all observers agree it was the right move.
While most of the early response to the news announced two days before their fourth game was largely sympathetic to players, some believe the administrators and team should have held out longer. The fact that it was the school's final varsity football season due to the pending merger to Bloomfield Hills High School in 2013 is undoubtedly a factor.
"What a travesty," wrote Colleen Dunn Wymore on Bloomfield Patch's Facebook Page. "A storied program allowed to disintegrate. What are our Athletic Directors hired to do; crush a floundering team or provide creative solutions to fix it. Seems like they took the usual easy way out, "don't show up". So sorry for the seniors especially."
Though he also empathized with the departing seniors, reader David Rafferty said he felt the administrators missed an important opportunity, and should be punished.
"This was amazingly unbelievable," he commented. "The kids that quit should not be able to participate in any other sport this year since they have already proven they are quitters and did so when things got tough. That is character building. As for the person that told them not to show up should be fired. They should learn that quitting is not a solution before they get out in the real world."
R.J. Guizzetti, Andover's athletic coordinator, said the decision was extremely difficult, but made, ultimately, to help protect the players. Only a dozen showed up for practices after the third blowout loss of the season, and safety became a serious concern, he said.
Former Baron and Bloomfield Hills School Board Trustee Mark Bank won't have any of the criticism, and praised the coaches and students for attempting to keep the school tradition alive.
"You gave these kids an opportunity, and did so for as long as possible," Bank said of Co-Coach Mike Boyd and others at the school board meeting last Thursday.
"The kids gave a tremendous effort, they poured their heart into it and kept it going for as long as they could, and I’m really proud that you’re going to be Andover football alumni as I am," he said.
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