Three schools have dropped their football teams prior to the 2017 season

Center Platte Canyon football

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Low participation numbers have caused three schools to drop their football teams just prior to the season.

Center, Manzanola and Longmont Christian have all notified the CHSAA office that they didn't have the numbers to field a team this season.

"Any time we lose programs and an opportunity for students to participate, it's unfortunate," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bud Ozzello, who administers football. "Our hope is that these programs can build their numbers back up and return to the field next season."

Players at each program will have an opportunity to play for another school, so long as they go through the waiver process, Ozzello added, due to the fact that their school no longer offers a program.

Center plays in Class 1A. Manzanola and Longmont Christian are 6-man programs.

Because each school is dropping their teams prior to the season, no forfeits will be involved. Their opponents now have open dates in the spots where they were scheduled to play the teams who dropped programs, and are free to try and find another game, if possible.

If a team drops a program after the season has started, they forfeit their remaining games.

In an email sent to his team's opponents as well as the CHSAA office, Center athletic director Kevin Jones wrote that he hopes "to gain a program back for the next cycle," which starts next season.

Likewise, Manzanola athletic director Joe Headley said "we are planning on having a football team for the 2018-2019 season."

Last season, Longmont Christian quarterback Luke Puchino set multiple state passing records. He has since graduated.