Small town football team forfeits playoff game due to low participation

The Lyle-Pacelli Athletics only had 12 players in their last game.
Publish date:

A small town high school football team is forfeiting its first round playoff game next week after participation levels dropped to a dangerous low. 

Lyle Public School made the announcement on Thursday, commending the grit and determination the players and coaching staff showed in a hard-fought loss in their regular season finale – a game in which they had only 12 players.

"Last night, the Lyle-Pacelli fans experienced the true intent of high school sports – a demonstration of grit, loyalty to brotherhood, strong character, and true love for the game of football. 12 young men faced high adversity against one of the top teams in the state and played the best game of the year. The Lyle Pacelli community expresses our deepest appreciation to our coaching staff, players and managers. Despite this, due to the low participation numbers and in the interest of player safety, the coaching staff, in consultation with administration, has decided to forfeit our playoff game against Spring Grove on Tuesday."

The small school located one mile north of the Iowa border in Freeborn County hung with Houston High School on Wednesday night, taking a 22-20 lead into the half before ultimately losing 40-22 to one of the top-ranked teams in Minnesota's 9-man football class. 

Just 12 players meant they only had three substitutes at any given time. The safety concerns that come with that were the driving factor in the decision to forfeit the playoff game, which was scheduled for Tuesday against No. 1 Spring Grove. 

Spring Grove is the defending 9-man state champion and has won 22 consecutive games. 

Recently, Ridgewater College in Willmar decided to pull the plug on its football season due to a lower-than-expected participation rate caused by dropouts, injuries and suspensions. The community college in west-central Minnesota has yet to decide if it will have a football team in the future. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Mpls council proposal would cut nearly $8M from 2021 police budget

The "Safety for All Budget Plan" was introduced Friday.

Shayne Munich

Minneapolis police appeal for help finding missing man

Shayne Munich is described as a vulnerable adult.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.


1 fact about every team in the high school football state tourney

One team sang a John Denver song together after clinching a ticket to state.

NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' recognizes MN high school team

The Alexandria Cardinals pulled off an improbable touchdown last week.

Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 9.18.59 AM

Here are the remaining undefeated MN high school football teams

Only five teams are unbeaten in the big school class (Class 6A).

Vikings to host 5 high school football games this fall

The games will be played at the brand new TCO Stadium.

Power outage during 6A playoff game causes postponement

The plan is for the game to be finished on Friday.

Breaking down the 6A MN high school football bracket

Eden Prairie received the only bye into the second round.