CRYSTAL FALLS—Forest Park’s football players hit the winds last Friday afternoon.
Some went west to Bessemer, to see the new Gogebic Miners take down Lake Linden. Some went east to Bark River, where North Central, their opponent this Friday, won its third game of the season. And others went further south to Stephenson, where their Sept. 28 opponent, North Dickinson, won a high-scoring game against the Eagles.
Nobody went to Ontonagon: The Trojans’ scheduled Sept. 14 game was called off early last week due to a spell of recent Gladiator injuries.
It’s a forfeit and will count as a Forest Park win in the Great Western Conference standings and in the season record. The Trojans are now 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the GWC.
Hurtin’ Glads: Onto had to end its Week 2 game against Ironwood early because of injuries. The Glads made it to the end of their Week 3 clash with powerful L’Anse, but with Forest Park on tap in Week 4, school officials decided it was time to regroup and get healthy.
Coach Bill Santilli said he talked with the Glads’ coach several times. “He said it’s just in the best interests of their young kids to not put them in that position when they are not physically ready to play.”
There was talk, Santilli said, about playing a JV game against the younger Trojan players or else a scrimmage. “But at this point, he [the Ontonagon coach] said, they are so banged up that what they really need is just to lay off for a week and hopefully go from there.”
FP’s coach wasn’t happy that his team couldn’t get even a half-speed game at Ontonagon. “But I’m not saying it’s a bad thing right now,” Santilli added.
“We’ve had quite a number of starters who have been going light duty” early last week after their bruising win over Hurley Sept. 7.
Coming up: The forfeit gave the Trojans an extra week to get ready for their game with North Central at Dick Mettlach Field on Sept. 21. The Jets defeated Bark River 26-6 on Sept. 14. That makes their record 3-1—their only loss was 30-24 to Lake Linden.
Although both are Skyline Conference schools in other sports, the Trojans and North Central have not met on the gridiron since 1999.