Shane Swope

Holly Tonini/For the Observer-Reporter

Shane Swope has resigned after one season as head coach of the Monessen High School football team.

The Monessen High School football team’s season is over. The Greyhounds will not play again.

The Monessen School District announced Wednesday afternoon in a news release that it will forfeit its final two games, both Class A Tri-County South Conference contests – Friday at West Greene and Oct. 23 at home against California – because of what was described as a shortage of players.

“The Monessen Greyhound Football Program regretfully has decided to forfeit our remaining two games of the 2020 season against West Greene and California due to student ineligibility in regard to grades and attendance and a lack of practice participation. This is not a decision that was taken lightly by the administration and coaches. Last-ditch efforts were made to encourage student-athletes to attend practice and work on eligibility, but those efforts came up short,” the news release said.

Monessen (0-5, 0-5) forfeited last week’s game to Carmichaels.

Monessen principal Eric Manko said he held out hope that the Greyhounds would be able to field a team this week, even after the decision to forfeit to Carmichaels.

“Last week we had injuries, but even after the decision to forfeit the team continued to practice Thursday and Friday,” Manko said. “We knew that we would be shorthanded or extremely shorthanded against Carmichaels. We reiterated that the kids needed to continue to show up for practice. I attended practice Monday and we had 11 kids there. I requested that we have more at practice on Tuesday, and it turned out that we had even less.”

Monessen, in its first year under head coach Shane Swope, who was a longtime assistant at Yough, has an 0-5 record both in the Tri-County South and overall. The Greyhounds last played Oct. 2 and lost 30-6 to Mapletown. It is the only win for the Maples.

The decision to forfeit the final two games was made Wednesday and Monessen then contacted the WPIAL to inform its officials. The forfeit left West Greene in a bind. The game was to be both the Pioneers’ Senior Night and Homecoming.

West Greene athletic director Bill Simms told the O-R Wednesday night via text message that “We will hunt a Plan B on short notice. Senior Night and Homecoming are still on.”

It didn’t take Simms long to find an opponent. An hour later, he informed the O-R that the Pioneers will play Brownsville on Friday (7 p.m.) in a nonconference game.

This is not the first time that West Greene has had to deal with a mid-week forfeit. In 2013, Geibel Catholic informed West Greene officials two days before their scheduled game that it would forfeit because of a lack of players. That time, too, Simms was able to quickly arrange a game against North Star from PIAA District 5 and salvage the Pioneers’ Homecoming festivities.

J-M game sites

With Parker Field undergoing significant renovations, Jefferson-Morgan knew it would have to switch sites for at least some of its home football games.

The Rockets have played two “home” games at Waynesburg University’s John F. Wiley Stadium and have two games remaining on their schedule. J-M will play at Mapletown in a Tri-County South Conference game Friday. That game was originally scheduled as a home game for Jefferson-Morgan when the WPIAL released its reworked schedules for a seven-game season in late July but it was switched to a Mapletown home game.

Jefferson-Morgan athletic director Scott Moore said earlier this season that he was optimistic that the Rockets could play their Senior Night game Oct. 23 against West Greene at Parker Field. However, work has not progressed quickly enough to make that possible. The Rockets and Pioneers will instead play at Wiley Stadium.

Sports Editor

Since 1986, Chris Dugan has been covering local sports for the Observer-Reporter, and named sports editor in 2006. Before joining the O-R, he was sports editor at the Democrat-Messenger, and a former member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

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