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Marco Island Academy football cancels game, ends season due to lack of healthy players

Adam Fisher
Naples Daily News

Marco Island Academy has prematurely ended its football season due to a shortage of healthy players.

The Manta Rays recently canceled their Oct. 30 game at St. John Neumann because the Rays have only 13 healthy players remaining on their roster. The game was the final scheduled game for MIA, which had a bye this week, ending the Rays’ 2020 season.

“We’ve had several injuries to key players,” MIA athletic director Ryan Marie Roberts said. “It’s not safe to put a team out on the sideline with only two substitutes.”

Oasis High School defeated Marco Island Academy during their opening game of the season with a final score of 35-14 Friday, September 4, 2020.

Neumann is trying to find a replacement game for Oct. 30.

The Rays end the year with an 0-4 record. MIA has had three consecutive losing seasons and has lost 21 straight games. The team’s last victory was Oct. 20, 2017.

Marco Island Academy, a public charter school, has an enrollment of 211 students (113 males), according to the Collier County Public Schools website. Filling out an 11-man football team can be a struggle. The Rays started this season with 19 players.

However, Roberts was optimistic about the future of the program because of the growth of the school.

A permanent campus currently is under construction and scheduled to open at the start of the 2021-22 school year. The campus will include a weight room, training facilities and an athletic field. The football team will practice on the field but continue to play games at Winterberry Park on Marco Island.

More:Construction continues at MIA despite coronavirus challenges

“Having those on site will entice more students, and in particular student-athletes, to come to our state-of-the-art facility and possibly join the football program,” Roberts said.

MIA began varsity football in 2012. In nine seasons the Manta Rays have a 14-59 record.

Oasis High School defeated Marco Island Academy during their opening game of the season with a final score of 35-14 Friday, September 4, 2020.