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Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas)
Longtime Harrold football coach Craig Templeton was hoping for a miracle when the first high school football practices commenced on Monday.
Instead, Templeton had to make the dreaded decision of calling off the Hornets' varsity season for the second consecutive year.
The small Wilbarger County town only had five boys who had committed to playing in 2018, so the Hornets will only be fielding a junior high football program this fall.
Templeton, who doubles as the school's principal, said Harrold should have three or four additional players next fall, so he's confident in the sport's return at the high school level.
Templeton knew Harrold's 2018 fate was shaky, which is why the Hornets only had five games scheduled instead of the usual 10.
In addition to district foes Throckmorton, Woodson and Benjamin, there were also non-district matchups featuring Patton Springs and Northside.
It was this time a year ago Harrold gained national attention after ESPN aired a Texas six-man football documentary featuring the 2016 Hornets, who were only able to field a team because Olivia Perez dressed out, allowing her friend Brady Blakeley to play his senior year.
Perez had offered to play again last year, but her services wouldn't be needed because Harrold didn't have enough to field a team anyway. It was the first time since 1938 the school didn't have a football squad.
While two straight missed seasons isn't ideal at any level, Templeton is optimistic Harrold can field more football teams in the future. Benjamin went three seasons (2011-13) without one, but the Mustangs have played every year since their 2014 return, including making the playoffs in 2015.
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