I don't know if it will work with your school system, but I'd check what kind of days out of school they allow the football players. We have an agreement with our school system that is called a "non-sanctioned" activity. Basically, the team notifies the school what the competition schedule is for the students. As long as the grades stay up (nothing below a C as I recall, but my daughter has never had an issue there, so I may be wrong), any days out are not counted in the "absent" category. The kids MUST make up the work within a week of returning. They must ask the teacher before they leave for the homework so they can do that while they are gone, etc.
This works where we are because all of the kids -- football, basketball, soccer, baseball -- have to travel and do overnights due to the great distances involved in this state. So, the skiers are treated no differently than the other teams.
Apparently this doesn't always work out, though, as we have been told we are the best team in terms of keeping our kids focussed on their work and their grades. We pay for tutors if a kid is falling behind, for instance. If you'd like a copy of the school contract PM me and I'll see if I can get one.