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Football: Tigers forfeit Sept. 15 vs. Bagely - Rest of season outlook good, coach says

Undermanned and battling injuries, the Pine River-Backus Tiger football team had to forfeit its game on Friday, Sept. 15, against Bagley. The Tigers entered the season with 16 athletes - eight of them seniors - and sustained a number of injuries ...

Undermanned and battling injuries, the Pine River-Backus Tiger football team had to forfeit its game on Friday, Sept. 15, against Bagley.

The Tigers entered the season with 16 athletes - eight of them seniors - and sustained a number of injuries in the team's previous game against Warroad.

"We decided to forfeit the game Friday because we felt that was in the best interest of our team right now at this point in the season," coach Tom Demars said. "We would have had 14 or so available players, but a couple of those players would have been playing with some lingering injuries from the previous week and a couple players would have been playing with little to no experience in football. It was decided that, for everyone's safety, we should forfeit the game."

However, Demars does not anticipate a need to forfeit any more games for the rest of the season.

"We have had four or five new players join the team recently," Demars said. "They wouldn't have been eligible to play this week, but they can play next week. If we can stay healthy, we should have 20 or 22 players available for the rest of the season."

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Moving forward, he also expects numbers to bounce back in the coming seasons. Numbers are down in grades 9 through 11, but more than 30 seventh- and eighth-graders are currently participating in the sport.

"From what I've seen and heard, the numbers are also very good at the fifth- and sixth-grade level, so I see the numbers being very good in the near future."

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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