The card I think might be successful is either not performing at half-time and explaining why, or performing terribly without the missing players and explaining why. You probably can't win on this, but your parents/community can raise a stink. Your kids could help out here too potentially.
If you have a really strong relationship with your superintendent you might be able to talk to them and get their help. I don't see that likely to work in most small school cases though. Is this year worth the battle though?