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Orchard View cancels varsity football game vs. Oakridge over lack of healthy players

Orchard View AD Leroy Hackley Jr. said Cardinals plan on being back to full strength next week.

Members of Orchard View’s 2022 football team posed for a group photo during West Michigan Conference Media Day hosted by CatchMark SportsNet and MLive and sponsored by VanDyk Mortgage Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at the VAC in Whitehall, Mich. (Amy Yonkman | CatchMark)

Orchard View has canceled this Friday’s home varsity football game against neighboring rival Oakridge because of a lack of healthy players, Orchard View athletic director Leroy Hackley Jr. announced Wednesday.

According to Hackley, several Orchard View players are out with concussions and other injuries, which prevent those players from participating. Because Orchard View has a lack of varsity-level players available to replace those who are unable to play, Hackley said that OV has informed Oakridge that it will not be able to play this week.

“This is a player safety decision that has been three days in the making,” Hackley wrote in an email. “This is unfortunate and as tough a decision as it is, we feel it is the right decision at this time. We plan on being back to full strength next week.”

Orchard View athletic director Leroy Hackley Jr. poses for a portrait Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in the CatchMark studio in Whitehall, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Orchard View is scheduled to visit Ludington next week and host Whitehall in Week 9.

Orchard View has an 0-6 overall record and 0-3 mark in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division this season. Oakridge is 5-1 and 3-1, respectively.

Last year, Orchard View canceled its varsity football season because of low participation numbers in the junior and senior classes. The Cardinals fielded a junior varsity squad in 2021.

Orchard View is one of six new members to the West Michigan Conference.

Orchard View and Oakridge last played a varsity football game during the 2016 season.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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