Trinity Catholic is undefeated. They also haven’t played a third of their contracted schedule.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it," said Trinity Catholic head football coach Cory Patterson.
The Titans were scheduled to host St. Charles High School this past week for 'Senior Night.' However, St. Charles forfeit the game earlier in the week, citing injuries as the excuse.
“It’s just one of those things, you have to be prepared to play every week. That’s the way we are," said Patterson.
What makes the forfeit extra tough is the fact that it's the third team to cancel on Trinity this year, meaning the Titans didn't play a snap for three of their games.
Priory backed out of their contract just before the start of the season and Bishop DuBourg forfeited their Sept 15 game against Trinity.
St. Charles released a statement early in the week that read:
"Due to extensive injuries within our football program we are unable to play the Varsity football game on October 13 or the lower level game on October 16. By not playing this week our hope is that we can recover some of our injured players giving us an opportunity to field the roster depth needed to play the following week for the first round of district play."
5 On Your Side requested an interview with the St. Charles athletic department. They declined the interview, instead sending over this additional statement:
"At this time, St. Charles High School only has 5 healthy linemen, offensive and defensive combined, able to play the game that was scheduled for this Friday. This fact puts the program in a tough situation and does not provide them enough roster depth to safely play the football game.
Their hope is that they can recover 2 or possibly 3 linemen by next week which could give them the roster depth at linemen that we would need to play on Oct. 20.
While we understand the disappointment of the Trinity coaches, players and fans of not having a game this Friday, our responsibility is to do what is best for the health and well being of our student athletes."
Coach Patterson finds it hard to believe a class 4 team doesn't have enough players to field a team.
“We’re down a few ourselves. We’re down our left tackle and our right tackle and our right guard right now … I mean we’re down players but we still wanted to play," he said.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association acknowledges they’ve seen forfeit trends this year, but they are giving the forfeiting schools the benefit of the doubt. They teach schools, "when in doubt, sit them out."
“I think we’re certainly seeing a lot more caution when it comes to possible injuries, certainly with concussion protocols and things like that," said Jason West, MSHSAA spokesman.
“There may be some occasions where a team has eleven players who could play but is that really an effective way to enter a contest?” he said.
The Titans are staying positive, using yet another ‘off week’ to get healthier before playoffs. Coach Patterson still hopes the forfeiting trend doesn’t last.
“Just for the students’ sake, for the guys, yeah. I really hope it doesn’t continue but you always have some kind of adversity, you just deal with it," he said. “We can’t focus on what other teams are doing. We got to start, looking in house and do what’s best for our guys.”