TRINIDAD - On Friday, the Trinidad High School Miners Football Team started its season with a difficult non-conference game against the Olathe Pirates. Trinidad also used this opening game to test how it would protect players and families in the era of COVID-19. Upon arrival at Miner Stadium (AKA Dutch Nogel Stadium), school staff checked the temperature of fans and family members and took down attendees' names and telephone numbers for contact tracing. On the other side of the chainlink fence that separated the stadium from the parking lot, a small group of fans who could not enter the stadium watched from folding chairs. Fans, coaches, and referees all wore face masks while in attendance.
Olathe came into the game with a strong start, scoring on the opening kickoff, then knocking two of the Miners out of play, one briefly and one for the rest of the game, for injuries. By the end of the first quarter, Olathe led Trinidad, 12-0.
Olathe's strong start continued in the second quarter. Olathe benefited from three bad calls in the second quarter. First, a referee incorrectly called too many men on the field. Second, the referees failed to call a face mask penalty against Olathe. Third, the referees failed to call an illegal block to the back against Olathe. Olathe capitalized on these penalties, increasing its lead to 40-0.
By the third quarter, after the numerous bad calls, it was apparent that the Miners were worn down. Olathe managed to score one last time on an interception, bringing the final score to 48-0. Miners Head Coach Justin Malano remained professional, though, reminding the players that there was still an opportunity to "have fun" and enjoy the game's challenge. At the game's close, Malano gathered his players around on the field and reminded them that football was a game of incremental improvements. "We improve, and then we improve again," Malano said, "that's how we win."
Trinidad's next game is on Friday, October 16, 2020, at Colorado Springs Christian High School (which has a record of 1–0). Kickoff begins at 7:00 PM.