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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Low in numbers, Malden forfeits Friday football game to Everett

Everett and Malden have a high school football rivalry that is over a century old. But the teams will not take the field Friday night for a scheduled regular-season finale at War Memorial Stadium.

Malden, which is 0-6 with just 26 points scored this season, will forfeit the contest due to the size and talent disparity between the programs.

“There are a number of factors which made the decision a clearer one for Malden,” Malden High principal Chris Mastrangelo said in a statement Monday evening.

“Our program has suffered a number of injuries that has diminished the student-athletes who are available to compete. The roster size in a game that requires physical contact could not be ignored.”

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According to Mastrangelo, over half of the 39 available players on Malden’s roster are freshmen.

Ranked No. 1 in the Division 1 North power ratings, Everett (6-0) owns the state’s second-longest winning streak at 24 games.

In 2015, Malden scored its only victory over Everett since 1991, 22-19. Mastrangelo said Malden will resume playing against Division 1 competition when the postseason begins on Oct. 26 and will complete its season with its traditional Thanksgiving Day matchup against Medford.

Frederick Forestiere, superintendent for Everett schools, said he tried to reach out to Malden officials in the hopes of persuading them to change their minds.

“It’s disappointing to break a tradition that started in 1893 [Everett won, 4-0],” said Forestiere.

“It’s an honor for students in both schools to have this contest. It’s not a question of who wins or loses — [Malden] beat us for 10 straight years (1980-89) — this was an opportunity for us to play and develop some of our freshmen and sophomores. That’s how you grow a program.”

Everett won last year’s matchup, 44-0, in an 11-0 season, raising its edge in the series to 64-49-6.

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Nate Weitzer can be reached at nweitzer7@gmail..com.