Malden makes decision to forfeit annual football game against Everett

Malden makes decision to forfeit annual football game against Everett

The rivalry between the Malden and Everett high school football teams has long been one of the state's most heated rivalries, but an unfortunate change will show up in the history books when you look at 2018.

For the first time in years, the annual matchup won't take place after Malden decided to forfeit due to several of their players getting injured.

Malden superintendent John Oteri said the decision wasn't one that was made lightly, but said the school wanted to prioritize student safety.

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"The last two weeks, we have had several players seriously injured," Oteri said. "We wanted to make sure we kept the health and safety of our student athletes paramount."

Everett has been one of the state's strongest and most dominant teams for years, with a roster consisting of 115 players this season. On the other end, Malden has just 41, with 22 freshman on the roster.

"We wish them success in the playoffs," Oteri said. "But, at the end of the day, I have to focus on Malden students."

In Everett, people like superintendent Fred Forestaire aren't pleased with the decision.

"To take this away, it's like taking away a Thanksgiving game, really," Forestaire said.

Among the people who are most upset are the players on both sides of the field.

"Shocked, disappointed," one player said. "It's a game we look forward to every year."

In the end, player safety continued to be the priority.

"We're very proud of the effort our students put forward," Oteri said. "But, sometimes, adults have to make adult decisions."