Seton Catholic High School will not field a football team this season and instead will partner with King’s Way Christian in the Trico League.
“We’re excited for an opportunity for two faith-based schools to come together on the football field and honor their faith by competing together as one team,” said Phil Kent, Seton Catholic’s athletic director.
Seton Catholic, which has played four seasons of varsity football, had only 17 players — including several underclassmen — committed to the program for this upcoming season. Those players will be able to play at King’s Way Christian should they choose to do so.
Seton Catholic football coach Will Ephraim said the low numbers became a safety issue. Ephraim will become an assistant coach at King’s Way Christian, to aid in the transition, according to Ted Buck, the athletic director at King’s Way Christian.
“Our goal is that we will have our own team next year,” Kent said. “We are grateful that King’s Way welcomed us with open arms.”
Buck said it is the right thing to do. The two schools do have a history of partnership in the athletics departments.
The King’s Way Christian baseball team, which just concluded its second year of varsity, has Seton Catholic athletes on its roster. A few years ago, girls basketball players from the two schools joined forces. Buck said the plan is for the schools to partner in wrestling, as well.
“We want to make it a very positive experience for the kids,” Buck said.
The football players from Seton Catholic will certainly help the King’s Way Christian’s depth. Both schools are smaller than their opponents in the Trico League and have opted up to play in Class 1A. King’s Way, which expects a little more than 30 of its own football players when practice begins Wednesday, should be able to field varsity and junior varsity teams.
Seton Catholic is moving into its new campus this school year. The football/soccer field was not expected to be finished this fall but Kent said it should be ready for play in the boys soccer season in the spring. The hope at Seton Catholic is that its own football team would play on that field in the fall of 2017.
Buck agreed that while having a football partnership this year is beneficial, the two schools should have separate programs in the near future.
“We want to encourage them to be on their own next year,” Buck said.