Football Long Beach Poly

Football: Frustrated Long Beach Poly Sat Idle With No Opponent

It was a frustrating week for the top football team in the city. The Long Beach Poly football team (3-0, 2-0) sat idle on Friday after Jordan canceled due to a lack of available healthy players. The empty week wasn’t for a lack of trying–the Jackrabbits said they made contact with dozens of schools who had posted on social media about having an open week, but couldn’t find anyone willing to play them.

“We were at over 30 schools that said no,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “Some of them found games with other people, but some of them chose to not play a game instead. I don’t get it. We’re a good football team but come on. We searched from San Diego to Sacramento–it is what it is.”

Barbee said he was especially dumbfounded at the lack of a willing opponent given how much work everyone put into getting this shortened Spring COVID-19 season together.

“Shoutout to the Moore League, shoutout to Compton, they showed up and played us,” he said. “This whole thing is weird–I’ve never experienced anything like it. There’s a week left in this season, period, and there’s so many coaches okay with not playing. There’s no CIF, we all have the same end date–our seniors had seven days left as Long Beach Poly football players and I’d do anything to get them one more game.”

The Jackrabbits’ attention turns to this Friday, when they’ll face Millikan at Cabrillo High at 7 p.m. in a meeting of the top two Moore League teams in the standings box.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.