On Wednesday, August 3, members of the Sayre School District school board decided, out of safety concerns raised by its coach and by parents, to pull its varsity football program this upcoming school year and look for other schools that might allow its senior students to join their team.

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When informed that their children would be unable to finish their final year of football playing for Sayre, parents proposed a cooperative program with neighboring Athens Area School District, and an emergency school board meeting was held on Thursday night.

After a heated debate between the school board, parents, and community members, a motion was agreed upon that Sayre would approach Athens to request a cooperative program.

Pennsylvania’s high school football program starts in only a few days, on Monday, August 8, and the Athens school board still must meet to discuss the proposed co-op. Additionally, the PIAA must approve the request should Athens agree to a co-op with Sayre, and PIAA rules require both junior varsity and varsity teams must be part of a co-op, even though Sayre has enough players to field a junior varsity game.

On Thursday, August 4, Section IV announced another Southern Tier high school would be pulling its football program this school year. According to Section IV Athletics, Elmira Notre Dame High School will not field an 8-Man football team for the 2022-2023 school year.

A low number of interested players is the reason that the Crusaders will not play football and although efforts were made to merge Elmira Notre Dame players with players from Edison High School and Elmira High School, the efforts were futile.

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