Jones Senior to forfeit final five games of 2019 football season
Jones Senior’s Tyquan Murphy looks for space during a contest against North Duplin on Sept. 24. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
Jones Senior’s 2019 season is officially over.
A message from the Jones Senior Facebook page stated “Trojan fans, we regret that we have to cancel the remainder of our 2019 football season due to injuries and a lack of players. We feel this decision is best for the safety and welfare of our student athletes while also taking into consideration the opposing teams and their schedules.
“We have appreciated your support and look forward to football in the coming years at Jones Senior.”
The Trojans will forfeit the remaining five games on their schedule to finish 0-6 in Coastal Plains Conference play and 0-11 overall. Jones Senior had 22 players on its roster at most and no junior varsity program, but a combination of factors led to the team being down to 15 athletes.
As a result, the team known for “Ironman Football” has been forced to cancel the season.
Jones Senior coach Tyler Hale said it was tough breaking the news to the players.
“Everyone was sad,” Hale said. “Some of the seniors broke down because they knew they wouldn’t have the chance to play and that the last game (against Pinetown Northside) would be their last. A few underclassmen shed tears because they had put in the work all year. The team didn’t take well to the news, but they understood why it had to be done.”
Trojans athletic director and defensive coordinator Greg Hampton said Ironman football will return in 2020.
“We’ll just go back to work,” Hampton said. “Coach (Tyler) Hale will get them back together. They were building as a team, and now we have to put our heads together to get this program up to par and our middle school program up to par. That’s our goal.”
Hale said the process starts Monday.
“We’re going to act like the season never ended,” Hale said. “We’re going to get out there and practice because the last thing the kids need to do is nothing — if that happens, we definitely won’t have a football team next year. Nobody wanted it to be like this, and it is tough on everyone.”