Catholic Central High School cancels football season for players' safety

Team forfeits games because of injuries

BURLINGTON, Wis. -- Catholic Central High School in Burlington has forfeited the rest of the varsity football season because of too many injuries. 

"It was a tough decision," said Tom Aldrich, Catholic Central Athletic Director/Varsity Football Coach. 

Aldrich has coached the team for 26 years.

"Ultimately what it comes down to is you're looking for the safety of the kids," Aldrich said.

The school made the call to forfeit the varsity team's last three games when it was too dangerous to play with seven injured starters. 

"We were starting to have younger kids step in and we were starting to notice that they couldn't get the job done physically and we were putting them at risk," Aldrich said. 

Two of the three seniors were among those injured. The team was mostly juniors and many of them are now playing JV.

"We all wanted to keep playing, but we all didn't want to keep going through the same process every single game which was getting beat by a lot," said Payton Meinholz, a Junior. 

The players are trying to be optimistic. 

"We have all these juniors and we have all these really promising freshman and sophomores that we're trying to bring up," said Luke Sassano, a Junior. 

The team took a beating with two concussions and numerous ankle, knee and rib injuries. The coach believes football is still safer than ever. 

"High school football is not college football and it's not the NFL...the speed of the game and the impact of those hits it's totally different," Aldrich said. 

The Catholic Central football team plans to play again next year. 

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