The nationwide forces that are beginning to uproot football have converged at a place called High School North.
Demographic shifts, concussions, single-sport specialization and cost — among the same issues that have caused youth football numbers to plummet around the country in recent years — have led West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North to drop varsity football this season. The Knights, with a roster of 37 players, will play a junior varsity schedule.
High School South, the other secondary school in the district, might have to do the same next year, along with high schools from four other neighboring jurisdictions, West Windsor-Plainsboro Schools Superintendent David Aderhold said.
The moves reflect a crisis for football all over the country, but one that has accelerated in this New York City bedroom community.
“We’re the leading edge of a much larger iceberg when it comes to what’s coming in youth athletics,” Aderhold said.
Football participation has dropped precipitously for some time. High school football enrollment is down 4.5 percent over the past decade, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.