DES MOINES, Iowa — Hoover High School initially said it wouldn't be able to field a football team for the 2022 season, but after an "outpouring of support from the community," the school announced Thursday it will rebuild the program.
Jacob Burke, the high school's director of student activities, said the initial decision to cut the team came because Hoover has lower enrollment than other metro schools, at around 980 students. At the end of last season, the Huskies had 38 kids on the team.
"The reason was simple: participation was down over the past couple of seasons and, as a result, there were concerns that those remaining players who had to do more on the field would face a greater chance of injury," the school said in a press release.
But then they had second thoughts.
"The shock to hear that originally might be a blessing in disguise for us," Burke said.
It resulted in an outpouring of support from alumni, staff and students.
"When you're almost going to lose something, you kind of light a fire," Burke said.
Now, Hoover is looking for a new coach and getting support from the district. The school is working to recruit more players, with a goal of getting 45-50 students out on the field in the fall.
"We currently are interviewing every single male and some female athletes that would be interested in playing football and talking to them about their interest level, and what are some of the roadblocks that have caused them maybe not to participate," Burke said.
He said the district is looking at additional resources to remove those roadblocks, like helping students with transportation for summer training.
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