PERRY, IOWA — Perry High School plans to forfeit the final three games of their varsity football season after a string of injuries has left them unable to safely field a team. Perry Athletic Director Katelyn Whelchel made the announcement with a statement released on Wednesday morning. Whelchel tells WHO 13’s Keith Murphy that it’s purely a player-safety issue and consulted with “IHSAA, coaches, parents, and even future teams” before making the extremely difficult decision.

The full release from Wilchel follows:

“We would like to start by thanking you for your support of the Bluejay Football Program. We
understand the current challenges our players and program face are not easy. Your support of our Bluejays is beyond appreciated.

Over the last six weeks of the season the varsity squad has sustained injuries, especially within
the offense, that have impacted the depth of healthy bodies available on Friday nights. Our goal
as coaches and administrators is to provide our student athletes with opportunities to compete
while maintaining their health and safety.

For the remainder of the 2022 season, the Perry High School Football Program will forfeit their remaining varsity matchups while continuing to play their Friday night curtain raisers, pending the agreement of remaining district teams. This decision was made with the best information we have at the time while consulting coaches, the Iowa High School Athletic Association, future opponents, medical professionals and gathering input from concerned parents and students.

This decision does not just affect the football program. It affects the marching band, the
cheerleaders, the athletic department budget, and concession stand proceeds that fund other
programs. While this decision brings many emotions, our top priority is maintaining player health and safety. Continuing with the curtain raiser schedule will allow us to provide appropriate playing opportunities for our athletes.

We understand the impact this decision will have on our entire football program. Now, more than ever, this program needs the support of school staff, parents, and community members. We ask that you please keep our football players, coaches, cheerleaders, marching band members, and loyal football fans in mind as they have all been impacted greatly by this situation.”

Katelyn Whelchel