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Injuries Cancel Friday Night Game

Burkholder’s Debut At?Southwestern Will Wait As Gowanda/Pine Valley Forfeits

GOWANDA — With only seven games in the Section VI high school football regular season, opportunities for the players to see the field are at a premium.

Unfortunately, one of those opportunities just went away for a pair of local teams.

This Friday night, there will be no football game in Gowanda. The Gowanda/Pine Valley Panthers have forfeited their scheduled Class C South game against the Southwestern Trojans. The decision was announced Tuesday. The official score is 1-0 Southwestern, but in terms of the standings, Southwestern will be awarded a 20-0 win to account for potential point differential scenarios.

“Gowanda had a rash of injuries last week and is unable to field the required 16 players,” Ken Stoldt, Section VI football chairman, said in an email to media outlets on Tuesday.

Southwestern, which was to play its first game under interim head coach Jake Burkholder after the resignation of Jehuu Caulcrick, improves to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in Class C South while Gowanda/Pine Valley falls to 0-6 overall and 0-5 in the league.

“In terms of our regular schedule and staying on track, it’s a little different,” Burkholder said Tuesday evening. “We’re approaching it as time to go back and look at things we’ve done the past five weeks … fix mistakes we’ve had over that time period.”

Southwestern hosts Cassadaga Valley/Falconer on Oct. 18 to close out the regular season at Charles A. Lawson Field.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting to have a bye week during a seven-week season,” Burkholder added. “It’s good for us, with the coaching changes, to have time to iron things out. … We’ll potentially go out and see some games we wouldn’t have seen, especially not having access to Class C North — that’s definitely on the radar.”

It is unclear whether Gowanda/Pine Valley will be able to play its final game of the season Oct. 18 at Portville.

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