New Lincoln high school forfeits game because of injuries

Lincoln Northwest’s struggles brings to mind growing pains of Buena Vista High
Injuries force a new Nebraska high school to forfeit its upcoming football game.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Injuries have forced a new Nebraska high school to forfeit its upcoming football game.

School officials say it all comes down to player safety, but it’s also a story about growing pains for new high schools.

Remember: Buena Vista High, a new Omaha public school, didn’t have enough eligible players, so they don’t have a varsity football season this fall at all.

But a different story has played out for Lincoln Northwest, which is also a new public high school there.

Northwest has enough players — and have played three games — but now, there are too many injuries, so they announced on Wednesday the team wouldn’t be playing their scheduled game on Friday.

Lincoln Northwest is the first Class B school in the Lincoln school district, bringing with it a chance to develop new rivalries. The school opened just a few weeks ago but without any seniors.

That move is fairly common these days, allowing the graduating class to stay together at their original high school. But it also means the new football team doesn’t have any seniors.

The Lincoln Northwest Falcons lost their first game to Ralston, 48 to 12, but got thumped in its next two games. Elkhorn North beat them 70-0; Plattsmouth won 78-7.

The injuries and concussions are now stacking up among the more experienced players, so school officials decided to forfeit Friday’s game against Beatrice in the name of player safety.

“Hey, let’s pull back and get everyone where they need to be from a health and wellness standpoint, and be physically ready to go next week,” said JJ Toczek, athletics and activities director for LPS.

With five games to go and homecoming a couple weeks away, the Falcons hope to finish the season on a strong note — and with life lessons on and off the field.

“Always putting the student participants’ health, safety, and well-being first — that has to be the driving force in all we do,” Toczek said.

Perhaps the team can take some comfort from Elkhorn North. Opening two years ago with no senior class, the Wolves won one football game, and one game the following year, too. But so far this year, the football team is 3-0.