BALLSTON SPA — Stationed on the sideline for much of Monday’s fourth quarter, Ballston Spa senior Jason McCarthy cheered on his teammates finishing out the club’s win on the field and shared laughs with the Scotties alongside him.
He had earned that.
Playing in a game postponed Friday and rescheduled to Monday night with just a bit more than 24 hours notice, McCarthy scored five touchdowns in Ballston Spa’s 41-6 win against Gloversville. McCarthy played in the game a night after a close family friend died in an accident, and the senior linebacker/running back pointed toward the sky after each of his scores.
“That was all for her,” McCarthy said of his effort.
McCarthy and everyone else involved in Monday’s Section II Class A Grasso Division rain-soaked matchup only found out for sure the game would be played late Sunday afternoon. The game was originally postponed Friday after a Gloversville player and a member of the team's coaching staff came down with Coxsackievirus, which is contagious and causes hand, foot and mouth disease.
“We’re glad to get the game in,” said Ballston Spa head coach Ray Toohey, who said he was apple picking with his family when he found out Sunday afternoon he had to alert his players to be ready to play Monday. “After preparing for them all week, we just wanted to play them as soon as possible.”
Rescheduling a football game, though, isn’t easy because of the way the sport’s week-by-week schedule works and its physical nature — and there is a NYSPHSAA rule regarding how often athletes are allowed to participate in football games. In New York, there must be four nights in between games. So an athlete playing Monday, for example, cannot play again until Friday . . . and that is what the Scotties will do this week. While Gloversville (0-2, 0-2) next plays Saturday against rival Johnstown, Ballston Spa (1-1, 1-1) expects to play its Week 3 home game vs. Mohonasen on Friday.
“Yep. Crazy week,” Toohey said. “There’s zero time for anything other than progress.”
While the same goes for Gloversville, the Huskies will be relieved to get back to some sense of normalcy when they start preparing for Johnstown after a tumultuous past few days.
“It’s just been one thing after another. We just can’t catch a break,” said Gloversville head coach Jared Bongo, whose team’s lone touchdown Monday was scored by junior Addonis Jeffries. “It’s been tough. It absolutely has been tough.”
Gloversville athletic director Mike DeMagistris said the Gloversville player and coach dealing with the virus were doing better this week, but both are still on the mend. Coxsackievirus can cause fever, headache and muscle aches, and small blisters may appear on the feet, hands and mouth.
DeMagistris said his district’s high school and athletic facilities were cleaned and disinfected during the weekend, while the football program’s uniforms, helmets and shoulder pads were also treated. Additionally, new water bottles and mouthpieces were distributed to the Huskies.
“Everything is cleaned and we’re ready to go,” said DeMagistris, who said the school district’s only affected individuals were the two within the football program. “So it was contained to that and we’ve had no new reported cases since Friday.”
Ballston Spa senior Zach Washington scored Ballston Spa’s first touchdown Monday as part of a performance in which he rushed for 124 yards on seven carries. Meanwhile, McCarthy’s five touchdowns runs came on a night in which he rushed for 134 yards on eight carries.
“Our line was tremendous all night,” McCarthy said. “Couldn’t do anything without my line.”
McCarthy, though, was the one that made Ballston Spa go against Gloversville — and the one who made sure his teammates knew they had a game Monday.
“Told everyone we just better be ready,” McCarthy said of his text message to his teammates.
For McCarthy, that was extra tough to do Monday as he dealt with the emotions surrounding his family friend’s death. With another divisional game looming Friday, McCarthy said he plans to keep moving forward in her honor.
“Keep the pedal to the metal,” McCarthy said. “Just got to keep going. Can’t lay off.”
Gloversville 0 0 0 6 — 6
Ballston Spa 7 21 13 0 — 41
B — Washington 2 run (Adriance kick)
B — McCarthy 7 run (Adriance kick)
B — McCarthy 8 run (McCarthy kick)
B — McCarthy 28 run (McCarthy kick)
B — McCarthy 5 run (Kick failed)
B — McCarthy 35 run (Adriance kick)
G — Jeffries 10 run (Kick failed)