Trinity Classical Academy has forfeited its non-league football game Saturday night in the interest of “rest,” the school’s athletic director said Friday.
Matt Dixon told The Signal that canceling the contest against McAuliffe of Lancaster was not directly related to any one injury. The team as a whole, he said, needed an off-week in order to be best positioned for success in the Prep League, which opens play on Oct. 22.
The forfeit drops the Knights to 3-3 on the year. They will play non-league opponent Carpinteria High on Oct. 14.
“In the best interest of our team and our boys, we knew (we needed to) give them rest,” Dixon said.
Trinity transitioned to 11-man football before the 2015 season, a year in which it played the second half of its games with 14 healthy players.
Trinity — which has 26 players listed on its roster this year — has the bumps, bruises and fatigue normal to being midway through a football season, said coach Les Robinson. But the Knights also lost standout receiver Ryan DeMarois for the season on the first play of last week’s Faith Bowl against Santa Clarita Christian, a 42-2 SCCS win.
DeMarois broke his collarbone, according to Robinson. Offensive lineman Marcus Andrews is also dealing with a foot injury.
Robinson said the forfeit was a matter of managing assets on a team where multiple players play both ways.
“We’re trying to be as healthy as we can,” Robinson said. “We have a big challenge next week in Carpinteria.”
Dixon said the school made the decision Thursday morning and then alerted McAuliffe, which improves to 3-3.
“They were bummed,” he said of McAuliffe. “They were looking forward to a game. At the same time, they understood sometimes you have to do what’s best for your team.”
Robinson gave his players the news earlier this week, and the school emailed parents, Dixon said.
The Knights took a bye the week of Sept. 2. Dixon said Trinity will look next year at moving the game-free week to a later date in the season.
“We took our bye week early because our kids went on a spiritual-life retreat,” Dixon said. “We didn’t want them to be gone and come back and have a game. It seemed best to have a bye week, and that’s what we’ve done in the past.”