United forfeits Week 2 game to Ligonier Valley

Sunday, September 1, 2019 | 9:30 AM

United School District informed Ligonier Valley officials late Saturday the football team will forfeit its Week 2 game Saturday because of a lack of healthy players.

United began the season with 18 players on the roster a year after the team played in the District 6 Class A championship game.

Ligonier Valley, which outscored Homer-Center and Penns Manor by a combined 114-7 over its first two games, will improve to 3-0. United, which lost to Northern Cambria, 43-0, and Blairsville, 36-6, will fall to 0-3.

During the Heritage Conference/WestPAC media day, United players said a lot of their friends are lazy, and others try to specialize in one sport because it’s easier, leading to a short-handed roster.

This is the second consecutive season a school in the Heritage Conference has forfeited to the Rams. Saltsburg did it in 2018. Blairsville forfeited to Ligonier Valley in 2016.

“We are very disappointed that we will not be playing a football game this week,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “It’s disappointing for our community, especially the town of New Florence, our players and our district. This is the third forfeit our senior players have experienced in their careers.”

This ruins a celebration planned for the game between Ligonier Valley and United. The game was scheduled to be played Saturday afternoon at Laurel Valley High School field, and the teams were to wear throwback uniforms.

Ligonier Valley, which was to play as New Florence for the day, was changing its colors from red to blue. United, which was to play as Armagh, was to change its uniform colors from blue to red.

New Florence is celebrating 150 years.

Adding to the conflict between the programs, United officials contested the transfer of Kyle Silk, who moved from United to Ligonier Valley prior to the season. He was ruled ineligible by District 6 officials and the PIAA, which deemed the transfer was, in part, for athletic intent.

Silk tweeted Sunday he “will be playing my senior year of football at Kiski Prep.”

Beitel said he was not sure if Ligonier Valley will try to find a replacement game. He said the biggest problem is finding a team that has an open date and is willing to travel to Ligonier.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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