49°F
weather icon Clear

Round Mountain cancels football season

Round Mountain High School has canceled its football season because of a lack of players, Jake Topholm, the school’s athletic director, announced Wednesday.

“I had to make a very difficult decision today, and that decision was to cancel the high school football season for the 2019 season,” Topholm posted on the Round Mountain Football page on Facebook. “The decision was based on the number of players and safety for our kids.”

The Knights opened the season with 11 players on the roster, but four players were injured in the opener against Carlin, forcing a forfeit. Games against Wells and Beatty were canceled, but there was some hope players could return in time for the league opener Oct. 5 at Coleville.

On Aug. 30, the date the Wells game was supposed to be played, a message asking for students interested in playing football was posted on Facebook. Assistant coach Rickey Stewart said they had hoped injured players would be able to play and some new players might be recruited, but at a school that is tiny even by Class 1A standards, that was an unlikely prospect.

Even so, Topholm said that it wasn’t an easy call to make.

“Hardest decision I have had to make in 19 years,” he said. “It was not an easy decision to make. I went back and forth with it for over a week.”

Round Mountain is among the smallest schools to field athletic teams in Nevada. According to the Department of Education, last year the school counted just 66 students in grades 9-12 and 64 in 2017-18, 73 in 2016-17 and 79 in 2015-16. By comparison, Beatty counted 105 and Tonopah totaled 120 last year.

“We need at least 12 and could not get there,” Topholm said. “We tried to play the Carlin game with 11 and did not even make it to halftime.”

Despite the small enrollment, Topholm said Round Mountain has been able to field teams in football, girls volleyball, girls golf, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball without a numbers crisis.

“We have not had this problem before,” he said. “We have always made it through all seasons since I have been in Round Mountain.”

The Knights have had just one forfeit since 2004, and a 5-4 record in 2014 was their last winning season.

And while the disappointment runs deep, especially for the four seniors on the roster, the team’s Facebook page included an upbeat note.

“Sadly the high school season is over, but I do ask that you all support our volleyball, golf and junior high football teams that still have seasons to play. Thank you all for supporting us, and go Knights!”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
BLM seeks public comment on wild horse issue

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Tonopah Field Office announced the availability of a draft environmental assessment to address potential environmental consequences associated with excess wild horses within and outside of the Reveille Herd Management Area near Tonopah.

Muckers, Knights open at WREC Tournament

Senior Colton Alstatt recorded team-highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds Saturday as the Round Mountain High School basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a dominating 57-24 win over host Carlin in the WREC Tournament.

Christmas tree festival set for Tonopah

An annual Christmas tree competition will kick off the holiday season in Tonopah, the Festival of Trees.

Tonopah’s Silver Top gets a makeover

Tonopah’s Silver Top, one of the main historic fixtures in town, recently received a makeover after an engineering report deemed it to be “in danger of collapse” a few years ago.

Rural clinics announce new Nevada program

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Rural Clinics announced a new program for adults in rural Nevada entitled, Immediate Mental Health CARE Team.