The Jordan High School football team was tagged with its first loss even before the Bulldogs took the field this season.
Jordan Assistant Principal Michael Perez said the team forfeited Friday’s opener against visiting Belmont because the school got a late start in processing player eligibility paperwork and did not have time to prepare.
Jordan, which has been winless the past two seasons, has been without a head coach since David Richardson resigned in July. Albert Wiley, a walk-on who was a B assistant coach last season, has been serving as interim coach. The selection was further delayed with the naming of a new principal, Etta Seamster-McMahan, last month.
Perez said the school expects to name a coach within a week and field a team for its Sept. 15 game against Locke. Perez said he made the decision to forfeit Sept. 2 after discussing the situation with Wiley and Betty Riley, the school’s athletic director.
“Being a walk-on, Albert Wiley didn’t quite know what was involved with eligibility,” Perez said. Players must have insurance, physical and parental consent forms completed before practicing or competing.
Wiley said he had 25 eligible players as of Thursday, but most are unfamiliar with plays because they did not attend summer workouts. “It would have been great to go and play a game, but you can’t afford to have someone get hurt when you have 25 players,” Wiley said. “It doesn’t help when some players are on Page 6 (of the playbook) and others are still on Page 1.”
Belmont Coach Robert Levy, who was not notified of the forfeit until Tuesday, does not plan to include Jordan on next year’s schedule. Belmont usually plays Poly in the season opener but Levy was forced to find a new opponent in March when Poly scheduled Cleveland for its first game.
“There are 49 teams in the City (Section), 48 able to field a team. I had to pick the one that doesn’t,” Levy said. “In March, they readily assured me they would have a team when we agreed to play. This is just a travesty of miscalculation on their part.”