The loss of three key players to injury and fatigue combined with a tough Canton Galva team for a 66-32 loss for St. John-Hudson.

Fatigue and injuries combined with a strong Canton Galva team to overtake St. John-Hudson Oct. 6 with a 66-32 loss.

With a team that only has 10 players to start with, any loss of a player is a serious matter. The Tigers lost three players to injury and had just seven that could take the field so Coach Mike Joiner decided to call the game in the third quarter to prevent any more injuries to his already banged up team.

"I called the game. I'm not going to put our guys through that," Joiner said. "This week's highlight is a low light."

Although the team wasn't playing well, they were trailing by just 10 points at the half. Then humidity, fatigue and injuries started to snowball for the Tigers.

The first injury was Kevin Neri-Leon with a sprained ankle in the second quarter. Early in the third quarter, Cashe McVey also went down with a sprained ankle. Then Eddie Ibarra, who has been bothered with a knee injury got to a point that he could barely walk. He just couldn't keep running all over the field on defense, Joiner said.

With just seven players able to take the field, Joiner decided it was time to protect the rest of the team and called the game.

Having one player go out with an injury on a team with just 10 players to start with is bad enough. But to have the team's three top players go out was something Joiner had worried about all year.

"It was the perfect storm I dreaded all year," Joiner said.

Before all the injuries, Joiner said his team just wasn't playing with the same energy and the same ability they had in previous games even though they did almost all their scoring in the first half.

"I was disappointed in the first half," Joiner said.

Joiner and the team now face a hard reality. They are going to have to play banged up for the rest of the season.

"We're going to be limping. We're going to be a lot slower than normal. Everybody will be able to play but that doesn't mean 100 percent," Joiner said.

Joiner is going back to the drawing board this week. Even with the injuries, he expects his players to go on the field and give their best effort and not quit.

St. John-Hudson is now 2-4 overall and 1-1 in District play. Their opponent this week is an away game with Gossel that just got their first win of the season last week. The rest of the regular season is Central Plains at St. John and an away game at Little River.

@GaleR_Tribune