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Harvard-Westlake drops its junior varsity football team

Harvard-Westlake has dropped its junior varsity football team this season.

There's only six juniors playing football at the school from the class of 2017. The school has an enrollment of more than 1,100 boys and girls in grades nine through 12. There will be one varsity team made up of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors at close to 45 players, according to Terry Barnum, the school's head of athletics.

Barnum said he believes the dropping of the JV team is a temporary measure. He said the middle school program tied to Harvard-Westlake has 40 students out for tackle football.

"Instead of scrapping by and surviving, we want to thrive," he said. "We want kids to have a positive experience without having to play every step of a JV game or multiple games."

Harvard-Westlake switched to tackle football for its middle school in 2005. Barnum said that has helped better prepare students for high school football but the numbers coming out for football in high school remain under pressure.

"I think this is a bubble," he said. "We feel this is a temporary situation."

Harvard-Westlake had 27 seniors graduate from last year's team.

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