Osan cancels final two football games; Daegu left scrambling
Osan American is forfeiting its remaining two games after injuries and other circumstances left the Cougars with just 15 players on the varsity roster, 10 of them freshmen, DODDS Pacific officials announced on Monday.
The Cougars are 0-5 this season and have been outscored 215 to 26. They have gone 0-12 the past two seasons since Osan resumed playing a varsity schedule. Citing a 50 percent drop in enrollment after the opening of Humphreys High in 2013, Osan played a non-varsity schedule that year.
Having to cancel the remaining games was a difficult decision, but “it was unavoidable, given the facts and the circumstances,” DODDS Pacific spokesman Charly Hoff said. The team could not continue to play with a lessened degree of safety for the players, he said.
Both remaining games were to be against Daegu, on Friday, which was to be the Warriors’ homecoming, and again on Oct. 30, when Osan was to host senior night. The Cougars are still planning some sort of event that night.
Coach Don Tusha, posting on the team’s Facebook page, said the team will continue practicing. Principal Morgan Nugent said in a phone call that it’s possible the Cougars may play an intrasquad scrimmage, including potential future players from the middle school, to help “build up the program.”
Players voiced disappointment knowing they wouldn’t play against other schools the rest of the season. “We have only two games left; I want our team to be known as the team that refuses to give up,” Christian Schmitz said in post to the Cougars’ Facebook page.
Daegu was left scrambling for an opponent for its homecoming game Friday. DODDS Pacific officials said they hoped to have an answer by midweek.
Daegu coach Phillip Loyd was also not happy with the circumstances.
“I feel really badly for the kids, who don’t get an opportunity to play a full season and prepare for the (Far East Division II) championship game against Yokota,” Loyd said.
The Warriors had already lost a game when a Korean team they were scheduled to play in September pulled out.
It’s been a rough few years for the Cougars since they made three championship game appearances between 2005 and 2008, including a victory over Edgren in 2005. The last time Osan won a game was on Oct. 14, 2011, when it beat Daegu 35-25.