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BOZEMAN — The Lame Deer football team is the latest to forfeit its 2019 varsity season due to low numbers, and it might be a few years before the Morning Stars field a varsity program again.

Lame Deer athletic director August "Tiger" Scalpcane said in an email to 406mtsports.com Friday afternoon that the Morning Stars began the season with five players. Lame Deer, a Class B school for most sports but an 8-Man program for football, had forfeited its scheduled opener last week against Broadus.

"So no football for us this year," Scalpcane said in the email. "The numbers are starting to pick up now, but they are mostly freshmen and sophomores."  

Lame Deer and Northern Cheyenne in nearby Busby considered forming a football co-op this fall but the two schools weren't able to make the Montana High School Association's February deadline for consideration, Scalpcane said. He added he might reach out to Northern Cheyenne to try again next fall.

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In the meantime, Scalpcane said Lame Deer is still looking at scheduling a handful of junior varsity games this fall.

"Most likely (we) will play a few JV seasons to see what our numbers look like for the future of high school football here before we try to schedule a varsity season again," he added.

Scalpcane said four of the 14 players returned from last year's team, which finished 0-7. The Morning Stars were shut out in their final three games, allowing 70, 64 and 66 points.

Livingston announced late Thursday that it would not field a varsity team for the remainder of the season. Last month, Grass Range-Winnett, a 6-Man program that advanced to the state semifinals in 2018, said it didn't have enough numbers; one of its players has joined the team in Lewistown.

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Email 406mtsports.com and Lee Montana newspapers Executive Sports Editor Jeff Welsch at jeff.welsch@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @406sportswelsch

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