Demetrius Fullard with her son Bishop Maginn senior Raion Barrett during Senior Day. (Michael P. Farrell photo)
Demetrius Fullard with her son Bishop Maginn senior Raion Barrett during Senior Day. (Michael P. Farrell photo)

The dedication that senior Raion Barrett has shown during his time on the Holy Trinity football team is not unique.

But without Barrett there might not have been a Holy Trinity football team — which is composed of players from Bishop Maginn High School, Catholic Central High School and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School — this year.

You see Barrett, who attends Bishop Maginn, drove his fellow Maginn students from Albany to practice in Schenectady every day. And with just 17-to-18 kids on the team, without Barrett’s initiative, Coach John Barber said: “If it wasn’t for him doing that, I don’t know what we would do.”

Barrett and his fellow seniors — NDBG’s Todd Williamson and E.J Colon, Catholic Central’s Tim Harper and Maginn’s Jayden Williams — were recognized on Senior Day, April 10, before the Pride’s game with Cobleskill at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School. It has been a trying time for all football programs in the area, as the sport was postponed by COVID last fall and moved to the spring. For Holy Trinity - which had to cancel its first game against Lansingburgh due to a lack of players and then lost to Hudson on April 3 -  the numbers finally caught up to the team, which had to cancel its remaining games due to injuries suffered in the loss to Cobleskill.

In this most unusual and trying season, Barber said keeping the kids “motivated” was a challenge.

“What we found with a lot of the kids with the pandemic and being quarantined, they found other things to do and weren’t going to play,” Barber said. “We had the eight seniors graduate and then we had another 10 kids (all starters) transfer out or decide not to play, so our roster went from 32 to 20 within a month in September.”

Besides the numbers game of having enough kids to field a team or to have a proper practice, there was the logistics of having to coordinate with players from three schools, some of whom are learning virtually and some in person.

“I text the kids every day letting them know what the schedule is and what their status is. It has been crazy,” Barber said. “We have a core group of about 10-to-12 kids that are there every day. They are working hard and going at it and you got 8-to-10 kids that are hit and miss.”

And as always, the five seniors led, particularly Williamson, the team’s captain and one of the best players in the area. Williamson, also a star on the basketball court, did it all on offense and was instrumental in helping freshman quarterback Anthony Lucca.

“This year, he is our offense,” said Barber of Williamson, who has played football since his sophomore year.