Just a day before they were set to play their first-ever playoff game, a fire destroys the equipment and uniforms for the Holy Trinity Football team. Barry Wygel has more from Schenectady.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- What was supposed to be a day filled with excitement as the Holy Trinity football geared up for their first-ever playoff game, turned to a day of sadness.
"All of our equipment. Our uniforms, practice uniforms, game uniforms, everything,” said Holy Trinity Football Coach John Barber.
Schenectady police were called to Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons High School around 2:15 a.m. Friday for a reported fire. The damage didn’t look significant from the outside because of the way the building was built, but officials say the field house is a total loss.
"Right now the investigation is being treated as a burglary and an arson,” said Schenectady Police Department Sergeant Matt Dearing.
The team’s football captain says after such a devastating and heartbreaking day -- come game time Saturday -- they will be on the field.
"We put in so much work in the off-season and we have for a couple years now and to have it finally pay off for us was really good,” said Holy Trinity Football Captain David Quell.
“Everything inside is a total loss – all the equipment – the helmets, the shoulder pads, jerseys, cleats – everything. And they were scheduled to play their first-ever playoff game tomorrow. Obviously it’s tough,” Schenectady Police Department Sergeant Matthew Dearing said.
And at a time where anger would be the acceptable emotion, positivity and a shared determination to take the field won out the morning.
"The message is that no matter how much negativity is out there, positive feeling and love prevails," said Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons Principal Peter Fusco. "Thank goodness, there’s been so much support that's come out, and I want to thank everyone that has reached out and pledged their support."
"It's going to be a big task all day,” said Quell.
"Football teaches a lot of things. Didn't expect this one, but we'll get it done. As a team? Yeah, as a team, very much so,” Barber said.
Holy Trinity is made up of players from both Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central High School, which is based in Troy.
Officials are looking for gear to help the team play in their Class C quarterfinal game Saturday at Hoosic Valley. Schools are being asked to call 518-235-7100 if they have any extra football equipment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the team in order to raise funds for the Holy Trinity Field House.