44°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
Tonopah will build new $15.2M elementary near town high school

Tonopah will create a centralized learning campus for pre-k through 12-grade students by constructing a new elementary on 5.5 acres near the town’s high school.

Getting to Know: Antonio Bleasdell

Bleasdell was in fourth grade the first time he touched a basketball — his first experience was dribbling and shooting with a soccer ball at the park near his house.

Roundup will remove 2,000 wild horses near Tonopah

Severe drought has contributed to problems with food and water supplies for the horses, and land management officials say the range can’t support them.

Drilling to begin on Tonopah North project

The project aims to test two silver-gold concepts associated with parts of Tonopah Caldera and the lithium potential within parts of Siebert Formation.

Getting to Know: Hannah Dowers

From a small town in central Oregon to a farm in central Nevada, this three-sport Tonopah athlete is making the best of everything she can.

Goldfield Days returns on Friday

Goldfield Days and the land auction returns to Esmeralda County this year after being canceled due to the pandemic the previous year. The town will celebrate its 20th annual event this year.

Country duo rolls through Tonopah on 2021 tour

The Pasadena Poets recently put on a show at Tonopah’s Clown Motel as part of their 2021 “American Motel Tour.”

Tonopah surpasses its all-time high temperature

Excessive heat warnings were in effect again last week for Nye and Esmeralda counties, along with much of the Southwest.

Semi overturns in Amargosa

Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies are on-scene of an overturned tractor-trailer in Amargosa Valley.

Intelligence report inconclusive on UFOs

A widely anticipated report by U.S. intelligence agencies on unidentified aerial phenomena released to the public on Friday said no definitive conclusions could be reached.