Bishop Noll football coach Wayne Racine did something Tuesday he never thought he would have to do.
He drove to Whiting to let Oilers coach Jeff Cain know that they weren't going to be able to play Friday's game at Ray P. Gallivan Field due to insufficient numbers on the Warriors roster.
"I want people to know I'm doing it for the safety of the kids," Racine said. "It killed me. It killed our coaches. Our kids are (upset). I'm proud of them. I'm proud of our coaches. They've worked their (butts) off. As an adult, if I had a son on the team, I would have a serious problem with (playing). I just can't."
Racine said the roster peaked at 27, but when two players had to be taken to the hospital last Friday for injuries sustained in the Boone Grove game, Noll was left an estimated 13 healthy players, five of them freshmen.
"We're a MASH unit," Racine said. "I'm pretty much an optimist and I've never seen anything like this. We go and play, we're two injuries away from (having to stop the game), which would be even more embarrassing. We thought about it and decided there was no way. We're at the point of no return. I can't do that to these freshmen."
Racine thought there was no other way to let Cain know of the situation than to do it in person.
"I owed them that," Racine said. "I'm sorry for Whiting's coaches, for Whiting's kids. I don't like it. I didn't want to do it, but if I have to do what's right for my own team."
As for the rest of the schedule, Racine said it's up in the air. Four or five of the injured players are out for the season.
"It's a fluid situation," he said. "It's a day-to-day thing. If I was even practicing, we'd have nine, 10 kids. Honestly, I don't know."
With Whiting's "Senior Night" scheduled for Friday, the Oilers will now honor their group at Thursday's home girls' volleyball match against Gavit.
"It's an unfortunate situation, but I understand it from a player safety standpoint," Cain said. "Losing the senior night was one of the bigger concerns for us because that group has really put in the time and effort for the program. We told the kids, especially the seniors, to reflect on Friday night. The night off gives them some perspective heading into week nine."
The Oilers take on River Forest in the regular-season finale.
"We'll use the week to get ourselves better and get some stuff straightened out," Cain said. "We're kind of set in our ways in regards to prep-time for an opponent. We'll work on ourselves this week instead of working on an opponent for two weeks.
"It stinks, but it is what it is. We're trying to spin it positively with the kids and we're going to refocus on some things and then go from there."
In other scheduling news, the West Side at Clark and Hammond at Gavit games have been moved to 7 p.m. Thursday to accommodate a shortage of officials to handle the Friday schedule.
— Times sports writers Jim Peters and CJ Peters
Boone Grove Sectional: Morgan Township defeated Hammond Academy, 11-4, to advance to Friday's Class A semifinals against the winner of Boone Grove and Covenant Christian.
Joshua Kenworthy scored four goals to lead the Cherokees. Connor Malmquist added a pair of goals and dished out six assists. Jeremy Landgrebe and Connor Spencer also scored twice. Ryan Mudd had a goal.
Covenant Christian Sectional: Katlyn Cherry bagged a hat trick as Hebron defeated North White, 8-1, to advance to Thursday's semis in a Class A. Allison Hano added a pair of goals an an assist. Allison Betts, Riley McCullough and Brooklyn Rhoades also scored.
Wheeler Sectional: Stacey Barron netted five goals as Marquette Catholic defeated Morgan Twp. 9-0, moving on to Thursday's Class A semifinals. Kathryn DePalma and Michaela Jennings each added a pair of goals.
Hanover Central 25-25-25, Lake Station 12-7-7: Sarah Spangler had eight kills and four aces for the Wildcats (25-5, 7-0) as they clinched the Greater South Shore Conference outright for the second year in a row. Teammate Ashlie Albrecht had seven aces and 25 assists.
Gavit 25-25-28, Hammond 23-9-26: Kayla Phelps registered 15 kills to lead the Gladiators (16-13, 7-0) in a Great Lakes Athletic Conference win. Lily Earl had six aces.
Valparaiso 27-22-25-25, LaPorte 25-25-15-21: Trinity Brown racked up 15 kills for the Vikings in their win in the Duneland Athletic Conference matchup. Maya Patheja added 10 kills and six digs. Emma Terwilliger had 25 digs. Gillian Walls chipped in 16 digs and 36 assists.
Michigan City 25-25-24-25, Chesterton 20-8-26-16: Hannah Noveroske notched 16 kills to for the Wolves (29-3) in a DAC win over the Trojans. Reece Shirley had seven kills and 17 digs. Emily Kinney had five kills.
IHSA Class A Boys Regional: Illiana Christian won at Shewami Country Club with a score of 328. The Vikings were led by Lawton Bouwer's 78 as he earned medalist honors over teammate Seth Bouwer in a playoff.
Teammate Kade Bouwer was fourth overall for Illiana with an 85.