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  • Val T.

Week 3 preview: Porter returns to sideline as Caston takes on grieving Triton


Sports Editor, RTC

Caston (1-1, 0-1 Hoosier North) at Triton (1-1, 0-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

When Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski contracted COVID-19 in January and couldn’t be on the sidelines for the team’s playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Stefanski could at least watch the game on TV from his home and keep tabs on his team.

High school coaches who have to miss the game due to the virus often are not so lucky.

Caston’s Will Porter was forced to miss last week’s game against North Judson after testing positive for COVID-19 and could only hear secondhand how his team was doing. He had no visual evidence of how the game went until days later when he saw the game film.

Caston led 12-7 after one quarter before the Blue Jays came back to win 42-12.

“It’s hard for me to tell because I wasn’t able to be there at the game,” Porter answered when asked if fatigue was a factor on a muggy night in Starke County. “I do know we were a little understaffed as far as players go. I know we played around 14 or 15 kids. So yeah, obviously if we have everybody there and I’d like to think if I was there, maybe we would be a little bit better. But I’m not totally clear to answer that one.”

Porter did say that the defensive secondary was especially thin and that they were not able to sub anyone out and that North Judson exposed deficiencies in the coverage.

What happens with their next opponent covers a territory of uncharted waters.

Triton is coming off a 7-0 overtime loss to LaVille last Friday and the tragic loss of senior player Cameron Fairchild in a car accident in Wells County Saturday. The game was postponed by a day because Fairchild’s funeral is Friday and the schools agreed that Triton needed an extra day to grieve.

This isn’t the Triton football team’s first in-season experience with such grief. In 2017, Triton player Cameron Scarberry perished in a car accident, which led to a game with Pioneer being moved up to a Thursday.

Triton is led by a pair of sophomores in quarterback Cole Shively and running back Anthony Schuh. Porter said Triton will offer a wing-T look both under center and in the shotgun.

Defensively, Porter said Triton’s defense pursues well and “flies to the football.”

As for Porter, returned to school Wednesday for practice and will be back on the sideline Saturday.

“We have gotten our guys back that we were missing from the last game,” Porter said. “So we’re going to be going in this game somewhat healthy. I hope they’re getting ready for this. I hope they see the opportunity here for us to improve and play a tough opponent. But everybody in our conference is tough. Last year was a game that we were two points away from winning the game. It’s definitely one of those things (where) Triton has been on our list of the next team that we’ve got to keep going up the rung against. No team in our conference is easy. We’re looking for this to be a very competitive game.”

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