Football

George School shutting down football program after 99 years

 

Written by: Pat Weider on Monday, January 2nd, 2023

 

It looks like the climb is over for George School Football

For 99 years the George School, a private Quaker boarding school in Newtown, Pennsylvania, has played football. They’ve played 745 games with a record of 292 wins, 424 losses and 29 ties. Those will likely become permanent numbers unless something crazy happens. Starting next season, the school has decided to shut down the program and will no longer play football. Many of the alumni, players, coaches, and other people part of the program are devastated by the news. The most recent head football coach is Dom Gregorio, a long-time football coach in the area. Coach Gregorio said, “These kids are devastated about the news”.

One of the factors that drove Coach Gregorie to take the George School job was the ability to offer scholarships to players in the area. The George School is undoubtedly an elite school with over 500 students who attend the school with 44 states represented and over 20 countries as well. So, with the opportunity to offer scholarships Coach Gregorie was able to attract several students to join the program. These students still had to fill the rigorous academic standards though. When Coach Gregorie arrived, he inherited 13 players on the team, by the following year he had 31 players on the team. Many were current students in the school that he convinced to come out and play; he also had some scholarship students. As Coach Gregorie said “I don’t mind trying to rebuild a program”. It culminated in last year winning 4 games the most wins the George School had since 2015. Then the news of the program closing hit the program.

For Junior football players Joseph Lifsted and Frank Marchese the news of the George School shutting down the program was tough to hear. Frank Marchese was a running back and linebacker on the team this last year. He said this about the news “I was really shocked. I felt betrayed. That’s the reason I went to the George School”. Marchese has been playing football since Kindergarten, so to think he won’t get a chance to play next football season is tough to handle. Marchese also said that he that the “whole football program was shocked”. Joseph Lifsted felt very similar feelings. He said the following “I was really shocked and disappointed going into my senior year”.

Frank Marchese pictured above running the ball

The school has told the players that they have discussed going to an 8-man football team, but for the football players involved in the program that is not the same type of football, they want to play. As someone who is a former head football coach, I understand the costs of fielding a football team are not cheap, but the benefits of playing a team sport like football goes beyond any money spent. As Joseph Lifsted said “Football taught commitment and discipline. Helping me stay focused and attention to detail”.

Joseph Lifsted pictured above

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