Plan for varsity football team on hold at Huntington St. Joseph

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Huntington St. Joseph Central Catholic High School had planned to field a varsity football team this fall.

Instead, the Irish will have to wait at least one more year.

St. Joseph Athletic Director Todd Maynard, who also serves as boys basketball head coach, released a statement over the weekend to announce a hold on fielding the varsity football team until at least 2025.

In the statement, Maynard indicated the decision had not been made lightly, but it was necessary to enhance the chances of longterm success and sustainability for the football program.

Maynard said problems attracting an adequate number of players for the upcoming season had forced the decision.

The Fighting Irish will field a middle school team for a second consecutive season, which Maynard believes will provide future varsity players with experience and development.

St. Joseph had recently announced the hiring of a new head coach for the varsity program in former Hurricane High School head coach Dustin Hatfield. The school had also announced plans to play home games at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

A tentative schedule for the Class A Irish featured a home opener August 30 against Hannan along with games against other in-state opponents, such as Tolsia, Greenbrier West, Sherman, River View, Man and Wirt County. Other games were scheduled with three schools in nearby Lawrence County, Ohio — Coal Grove, Rock Hill and Symmes Valley.

“Our goal is to come back stronger and more prepared,” Maynard said, “with a solid foundation that will support the growth and development of our student-athletes.”





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