Mount Vernon, Mo. school district cancels girls varsity basketball season due to lack of players

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:47 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2023 at 9:32 AM CST
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MOUNT VERNON, Mo. (KY3) -With eight games left in the season, Mount Vernon’s girl’s basketball team has canceled the rest of their season due to a lack of players.

In 2021, the team finished as runners-up for a state title, now they don’t even have enough players to fill the roster. Officials cited multiple issues but they say the main factor was injuries. The school broke the news earlier today with a Facebook post saying in part:

“...attempting to continue to play competitive varsity basketball with a reduced number of available players places our team in a very difficult situation. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we make this decision for the well-being of our student-athletes.”

Lacy Stokes is a former Mount Vernon athlete from the state runner-up team in 2021, she helped lead the team to the title game and is one of the best in the school’s history, she says it’s heartbreaking.

“I definitely feel bad for the girls and the coaches as a whole and even all the other kids in high school going to games, playing in games,” said Stokes, “It’s something you look forward to in your high school experience”

The team started the year with 10 players, it finished with just five remaining. The school’s activities director, Chris Johnston says, it’s mainly due to injuries.

“It just happens to be we have a small number of young ladies who are involved in our basketball programs, or in our basketball program,” said Johnston. “We have had a couple of injuries that have caused us to have to make a decision like this.”

Current Mount Vernon student athlete Payton West added that it can hurt to put in a season’s worth of work just to get the rug pulled out from under you.

“I know how hard it is, whenever you put all of this work into playing a sport just to kind of feel like it’s almost not like you can’t do it anymore,” said West

Stokes says, to the students on the fence about playing next year, if you put the work in it will be worth it.

“I would say just step up,” said Stokes. “There are probably girls who don’t want to play, you’ve gotta try to pull them up and say ‘hey this is something we can do together we can make it fun.’ Basketball isn’t something that everyone is going to want to do but you can make it fun.”

The activities director said the team will also cancel its junior varsity season, but Johnston remains confident that they will have an uninterrupted season in the 2023-2024 season.

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