Niagara Gazette — The Lakemen are in fourth place in their division, but could move up as far as second by the end of the year if other divisional games fall the right way.
The Patriots have not played a game this year because of the low of players coming out for the team, but Niagara Catholic Principal Robert DiFrancesco said the athletic program is moving forward to schedule full-contact scrimmages against willing opponents in the upcoming weeks.
“From the beginning, our utmost concern has been for the players’ safety,” he said. “We want to make sure that they’re conditioned properly. We do have sufficient numbers, but we want to make sure the players are properly conditioned before we play any games.”
Low opening numbers forced the team to back out of its initial schedule of games. Players, parents and faculty have worked to encourage students to go out for the team, and recent numbers have grown enough to begin to schedule competitive scrimmages. DiFrancesco said it took a couple weeks to get new players in game shape, which led to the delay in scheduling.
DiFrancesco added that the athletic department is hoping scrimmage and practice experience will encourage underclassmen to return and allow the school to field a team next year.