It came as no surprise, but at least it's now official. Imani Christian has dropped its football program.
The small private school in the East Hills section of Pittsburgh sent a letter to the WPIAL this morning, informing the league that it did not have enough players to field a team. Bishop Canevin was supposed to play Imani Christian in the season opener Aug. 31 but Imani informed Bishop Canevin last week that it didn't have a team.
Imani Christian joined the league only last year. Even if it wants to rejoin the WPIAL, Imani will not be given a schedule for at least a few years.
Imani's decision means all teams in the Black Hills Conference will have an open date.
But while Imani dropped football because it lacked enough players, Geibel plans to play this season, despite having only 17 players on its roster, including one kicker.
Geibel forfeited two games last year because it did not have enough players, and the Gators did not have enough players to participate in a three-way scrimmage Saturday with Serra and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. But Geibel athletic director Shawn Holup said this morning that the team plans to participate in Friday's scrimmage against Mapletown and Wilkinsburg, and also plans to honor its schedule.
"We had 16 [position] players on the team and our new coach [Pete Nace] decided to have the first week of camp at school, where the kids slept over at the school," Holup said. "Well, five ended up with the stomach flu and two were on vacation who are now back. That's why we would've had only nine for a scrimmage. We're actually better, numbers wise, than last year."
But trying to make it through a season with 16 or 17 players will be awfully tough.
"We made the decision as a school in January that the requirement would be we have 18 to sign up to play," Holup said. "We did get that. We lost one kid who was planning to play. Our plan was to give the team at least one more shot this year."