The Washburn football team has canceled Friday's Great Western Conference game against Lake Linden-Hubbell.
According to the Ashland Daily Press, the Castle Guards (0-2) began the season low on numbers with less than 20 players — freshmen through seniors — on the team. A total of 19 players were listed on the program for last Friday's game against Bessemer. Some of those players suffered injuries against the Speedboys, and Washburn coach Jesse Jensen said he had little choice but to cancel the game against the Lakes.
"It was a coaching decision by me and the coaching staff," Jensen said. "We had four or five guys get beat up pretty good, and we didn't want them to get injured more than they are. We have three or four guys who are sick who have been missing school or who will miss school. "We don't have a full team. I don't feel like putting kids out there who aren't ready to play and getting them hurt."
Jensen said the upcoming opponent had nothing to do with the cancellation. Lake Linden-Hubbell has been tabbed as the conference favorite, along with Forest Park, which defeated the Guards 48-0 in the season-opener.
"We know they're a pretty good team," Jensen said of the Lakes. "But as players and as coaches, we don't give in. We could have done the same thing against Forest Park when we played them. They have a great team, but that has nothing to do with it. I'm not going to play a freshman at offensive tackle against a junior or senior who outweighs him by 150 pounds.
"We could play our 11 guys who are healthy against them, but three or four are freshmen who haven't played much football before. That's a great recipe for disaster for the team."
Washburn's next scheduled game is at home Sept. 19 against Siren.
"That game will be played," Jensen said. "Some time off will help the guys, and they should all be healthy by then and ready to rock-and-roll."