The Westfield/Brocton football team will not return to the field this season.
The Westfield Board of Education Monday night approved the cancellation of the football season following the death of junior football player Damon Janes a week ago Monday.
“The Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation by the superintendent to cancel the remaining 2013 Varsity Football season during their September 23, 2013 meeting,” read a statement on the district’s website.
Janes, a junior from Brocton, died three days after suffering injuries in Westfield/Brocton’s Sept. 13 game at Portville. The small Southern Tier communities of Westfield and Brocton, which field a combined football team between the two districts, were stunned by Janes’ death and have been grieving for the last week.
The Westfield district’s statement continued:
“The pending motion was shared with players from both teams at a team meeting on Monday. During the meeting, players shared creative and positive ways to honor Damon Janes through our athletic programs and school communities for the remainder of the year and into the future. This will be a student driven effort and allow Damon’s friends and teammates to continue the grieving process off of the playing field.
“Both Brocton and Westfield continue to offer support to students and players through district counseling departments. For parents and family members in need of assistance, grief counseling is available through several agencies and local churches.
“Section VI has been notified of District’s decision to not complete the season.”
Westfield’s superintendent, David Davison, declined comment when reached by The News on Tuesday.
This weekend marks Week Four of the Section VI high school football season; the season consists of a seven-week regular season followed by playoff or consolation round games.
Westfield/Brocton, which competes in the Class D division, canceled last weekend’s home game against Ellicottville/West Valley, which was scheduled to be played at Brocton.
Westfield/Brocton’s remaining schedule consisted of a nonleague game at Nichols Saturday; a Class D game at Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake at Chautauqua Lake on Oct. 4; a home nonleague game vs. Sherman on Oct. 11; and a Class D home game vs. Cassadaga Valley on Oct. 18.
Westfield/Brocton had started the season 0-2 with an opening loss at Randolph before the Week Two loss at Portville.
Section VI football chairman Ken Stoldt announced a revised Class D playoff format Tuesday morning.
Originally, all six Class D teams were to make the playoffs, with the top two teams receiving a bye.
The revised format has the victories by Randolph and Portville over Westfield/Brocton now considered nonleague games.
The remaining teams scheduled to play Westfield/Brocton now have byes.
For the playoffs, the top three Class D teams will receive byes in Week Eight (the first round of the playoffs for Section VI teams), and there will only be one Class D playoff that week, a quarterfinal between the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams.
The 4-5 winner will play the top seed in the semifinals in Week Nine.