Trimble County football in action against Switzerland County in 2017. (Courier file photo)
Trimble County football in action against Switzerland County in 2017. (Courier file photo)
Trimble County High School football has canceled it’s season at both the junior varsity and varsity level after low player turnout left the program with too few players to compete during the upcoming 2019 season.

The moves comes 22 years after Trimble re-established varsity football following a 12-year hiatus under similar circumstances. Trimble previously suspended its football program after the 1984 season before rebuilding with middle school football starting in 1992, junior varsity in 1994 and finally adding varsity in 1996 when the school fielded 28 players for that first team back.

The Raiders, who were 1-8 last season, played that campaign with just 27 players of which five were seniors. However, when practice began last month less than a dozen players reported. That was enough to lead high school principal Tracy Poe to shutter the program at least for this season.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the cancellation of the 2018-19 football season for the JV/Varsity level, due to low player interest and turnout at beginning of season practices,” Poe announced. “The timing of this decision has been influenced by KHSAA requirements involving player transfer and cancellations of seasons. We greatly regret that we will not have a football program this year, and look forward to the possibilities of re-establishing the program in the future.”

The Raiders have been consistently short-staffed in recent years and injuries have left the team struggling to remain competitive in Class 2A District 5 as well as Trimble’s non-district schedule. Trimble has won just two games the last three seasons including an 0-10 slate in 2015, 1-9 in 2016 and 1-8 in 2017.

Over the past 20 seasons, the Raiders are 53-156 overall while making it to the district playoffs in just five seasons with only one win in the postseason, 16-0 over Gallatin County in 2007.

Trimble did produce two winning campaigns — 7-4 in 2006 and 7-5 in 2007 — but also went winless at 0-10 in 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2015. The Raiders’ best seasons in the past 10 years were a pair of 3-8 campaigns in 2009 and 2014.

Having Trimble suspend football for 2018 impacts at least two other Courierarea programs. The Raiders were to host Switzerland County (Ind.) Aug. 31 and Carroll County Sept. 28. Both programs — Ohio River neighbors who have played each other in recent years — moved quickly to fill their openings by scheduling a game with each other on Aug. 31 at Panther Field in Carrollton.

Trimble was scheduled to scrimmage Woodford County on Saturday before opening its season on Aug. 17 at Eminence with games then at Shawnee Aug. 24, with Switzerland Aug. 31, at Bracken County Sept. 7, with Dayton Sept. 14, with Bethlehem Sept. 21, with Carroll Sept. 28, at Walton-Verona Oct. 5, at Gallatin County Oct. 12 and with Owen County Oct. 19.

Now the program will sit the sidelines while head coach Mike Isley — recently named Trimble’s new athletic director — looks to regroup for next year.