Sports

Modesto Christian football forfeits its game against Hilmar; plans to play last game

All year, the Modesto Christian High School football team has struggled with low numbers on its varsity roster.

Those numbers forced the Crusaders to forfeit their upcoming game with Hilmar on Friday.

A post on the Hilmar High football Facebook page stated: “There will be no varsity game Friday night. Modesto Christian has canceled the remainder of the season due to only having 12 players.”

However, Modesto Christian coach Brett Butler said the team only forfeited its game against Hilmar. After a bye week, the Crusaders close out the season at Ripon on Nov. 1.

Principal Jonathan Burton confirmed his team has just 12 available players, and “hopes to be healthy” enough to play against Ripon.

Hilmar can still play on Friday, but it’s unlikely due to the short notice, Marques said. The Yellowjackets will be awarded a victory.

The Crusaders aren’t the first Sac-Joaquin Section team to have trouble fielding players in a year in which participation in 11-player high school football is down nationwide.

In July, Turlock Christian announced it was canceling its football season due to a lack of players.

It’s been a tough year for the Crusaders, who are 1-7.

Mike Parsons resigned as head coach of Modesto Christian after 11 years and two stints on the Salida campus on Jan. 9 and was replaced by Ryan Green 13 days later.

Green’s time at MC was short-lived as he stepped down on May 2, two days after star defensive end Xavier Carlton transferred to a school in Utah after his mom, Lorraine, accepted a job offer.

Butler was named coach five days later but the Crusaders had several players transfer, leaving the roster with low numbers.

Modesto Christian won 10 games in 2018 and lost to Ripon Christian in the Div. VI Semifinals and fell to Hilmar in the Div. VI Final the year before.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the school had canceled its season. It only has forfeited its game Friday with Hilmar.

Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.
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