VERNON, FL (WJHG/WECP) There will be no game between Freeport and Vernon come Friday night, and it's probably best just to say you have to file this one under a "crying shame"!
The FHSAA has confirmed to us Freeport will pay Vernon $2,500 to cancel Friday's opener between the two teams at Vernon.
Vernon's letter to the state body states they're cancelling the game because of "scheduling conflicts". Given this is the opening week of the season, and this is the second year of a two year contract, well it's easy to argue that reason to cancel absurd!
This obviously stems from the bad blood between the two football programs in the wake of sophomore running back K'wan Powell transferring from Freeport to Vernon a few weeks ago.
Powell with 16 hundred yards rushing and 23 touchdowns as a freshman for Freeport last season, has already caught the eye of the FSU coaches.
Freeport filed a grievance with the FHSAA claiming Vernon improperly recruited the running back.
In Vernon's email to the FHSAA, it states Freeport agrees to withdraw that complaint and pay Vernon the money to cancel the game.
This leaves each team now with just 9 regular season games, just four home games for Vernon. 25-hundred is well short of what a program makes at the gate and concession on a Friday night.
Below is the complete email Vernon head coach Gerald Tranquille sent to members of the FHSAA in notifying that body it has agreed to the cancellation.
Mr. Harrison and Mr. Damon,
VHS agrees to cancel this year's game with FHS under the following conditions:
1. FHS will compensate VHS $2500 to help with the loss of gate and concession money.
2. FHS will make a statement(letter) to the FHSAA dropping the current allegations towards VHS regarding the recruitment of K'wan Powell.
3. Both parties agree to a mutual cancellation of the contest to be held on Aug. 24th at VHS due to "scheduling conflicts."
These conditions have already been discussed per phone conversation with Coach Arntz and Principal Hope and it is my understanding that they agree to these terms.
So now both teams left with just 9 regular season games, Vernon down to just four home games, which hurts financially for certain. The Jackets will open next week at Baker, Freeport will host Pike, a team out of Troy next Friday.