Essex cancels remainder of season

John Essex High School is officially done with football season after the school cancelled its remaining three games Wednesday, sources close to the program indicated.

The Hornets (2-5) were scheduled to host Linden Friday night and McIntosh Friday, Oct. 26 before wrapping up the season Friday, Nov. 2 at Monroe County.

JEHS began the season with 14 players and has seen that number reduced in recent weeks by injuries and defections. In the wake of the resignation of head coach Jerome Antone last week, the Hornets had only 11 players remaining to face A.L. Johnson High. With the Eagles up 28-0 at halftime and JEHS having already lost another player to injury, Essex finished the game with 10 players while playing three-minute quarters in the second half.

Linden learned of the cancellation Wednesday after being contacted by John Essex principal Tiffany Davis. Essex reportedly had other players decide to leave the team, resulting in the decision to forego the game.

John Essex principal Tiffany Davis was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

It is unclear at this juncture if Essex will attempt to field a team for the 2013 season. The school has put together just seven winning campaigns in 44 years of competition. The Hornets finished 6-5 in 2005, their last winning season. Prior to that campaign, Essex had not won as many as six games in a season since 1978. The school has had four head coaches since 2006.

For Linden, the cancellation provides an opportunity to take a Friday off while ratcheting up the intensity in practice for the remainder of the week.

“We’ve just got to continue to work on us. It allows us plenty of time to get physical with each other and continue to work on the fundamentals,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said.