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— The verdict is still not in on whether or not Decatur will have a high school football team this fall, but the numbers are not looking good.

Monday marked the official beginning of fall practice for the Decatur High School football team, but only three high school players showed up to participate. On Tuesday, five players came to practice.

It takes a minimum of 11 players to field a team, but as superintendent LeRoy Ortman pointed out, 11 people cannot be expected to stay in perfect health for an entire season while playing a full contact sport. In reality the team needs at least 13 players or more.

Head coach Bill Brockert said Monday that he is still hoping to have enough players for a varsity team once school starts. He said 6 to 7 players have been consistently showing up to practice over the summer and he hopes that once the school buses start rolling there will be more. The team will not be holding two-a-day practices because there are simply not enough players, Brockert said.

ÃLet the word get around that we need some more players,î he said.

ÃAll we can do is give them the opportunity to be there. We canÃ-t lasso them and make them come to practice,î Ortman said.

Ortman said the district has done everything it can to make football available. He said a final decision on whether or not to keep the program will not be made until next week. Athletic director Bobby King is out of town and several other key staff members are on vacation or attending workshops, Ortman explained.

Sports, Pages 6 on 08/05/2009

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