Local Sports Journal

Hart High School will not field a varsity football team for the 2015 season.

According to HartPirates.com, the junior varsity team will remain intact, but the varsity team will not be competing. The announcement also appeared on Facebook early Tuesday evening.

Hart struggled in the highly competitive West Michigan Conference and is the only area school that has not qualified for the MHSAA playoffs.

The release stated: “We have recently made the decision that during the 2015-2016 football season Hart High School will not be offering a varsity football team, however, the Junior Varsity team will remain intact.  This was a very difficult decision to make, but was made after going through an extensive process over the course of the last several months and based on gathering a variety of data and information.

“This is a decision we believe will ultimately best serve the future of our program and athletes. From the beginning of this process, we worked to ensure our focus was on identifying how to best serve the current athletes and future of the program.”

There is a solid participation level in the lower grades. It is hoped that will continue and the varsity program will benefit in the near future. In short, the underclassmen will be given the opportunity to play football at the junior varsity level instead of playing at the varsity level too soon.

The plan is to restructure the program at various levels to ensure future success and change the level of participation and the current culture of the program.

A community forum will take place during the winter to share the new ideas, proposals and opportunities for the athletes at Hart High School. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the Hart Middle School Auditorium.

Any potential football player grades 1-12  at the school is invited to attend.