Varsity sports come to an abrupt end at Lincoln’s newest high school


Graphic by: Kathleen Drummond

Lauren Martinez, Staff Writer

Lincoln’s newest high school Lincoln Northwest (LNW) originally canceled their football season because of the number of injuries they were receiving, which then led to their varsity winter sports season being canceled also.

LNW announced the cancellation of the rest of their varsity football season on Sept. 16.  LNW Athletic Director Rob Psencik said the season was canceled because of how many injuries the players were getting.

“Our first game was competitive. In the second game, we had a couple of concussions. In the third game, we had two kids break their wrist, and another two had concussions,” Psencik said. 

Another factor that played into the season getting canceled was the general safety of the players. According to Psencik, due to the extent of the injuries to upperclassmen, more and more freshmen were being put into varsity level games. When younger– and often smaller– athletes are playing against more experienced, larger athletes, the safety of those younger players is at risk. 

To add to these issues, LNW doesn’t have a senior class this year. The decision to keep enrollment to freshman through juniors was made in early February 2022, as the initial registration numbers for seniors was extremely low. Without seniors, the LNW varsity football team was lacking in size and experience.  

“It’s hard to plan on having those freshmen play quality minutes on a varsity level,” Psencik said.

LSE Athletic Director Kara Graham understands that this was a tough decision and said that it was an important thing to do.

“The important thing is to look at it from a safety standpoint and not just get worried that you’re gonna get beat a lot,” Graham said. 

Psencik agrees with this, reiterating that this decision wasn’t meant to make people feel like it was the athletes’ fault that the season got canceled, or that they weren’t good at playing against higher-level schools. In all, it was canceled because of the safety and health of all athletes.

Then on Oct. 7, LNW announced that they wouldn’t be having a boys or girls varsity basketball season.

According to the article, “Lincoln Northwest will not play varsity boys or girls basketball this winter, school announces” by the Lincoln Journal Star, Psencik announced, 

“By focusing on the junior varsity, reserve, and freshmen level, we can focus on developing our young players. Next year, we will have competitive varsity teams for both boys and girls basketball.” 

Also, according to the Lincoln Journal Star, LPS Athletic Director JJ Toczek said this was the appropriate decision but it was difficult to call.

Next year, LNW’s building is also going to play a factor in making these sports teams better, along with the senior class. 

This year LNW didn’t have their main gym open over the summer, therefore they were at Speedway which meant they didn’t have much opportunity for summer clinics. 

Psencik believes this is going to make the team stronger with the training and opportunities it comes with so that next year they are ready to play hard and fierce.