Football team will play thanks to community donations after devastating field house fire

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local high school football team’s field house and all their gear inside was destroyed in a Friday morning fire.

Police say the fire was likely set intentionally.

The Holy Trinity football team is already back out here practicing at Bishop Gibbons for their first playoff game ever on Saturday.

Many of these players you see on the field dug through the rubble of the field house that’s less than a hundred feet away from this field.

There are parents with tears in their eyes, coaches at a loss for words, and players digging through the ashes salvaging anything they can.

“We would all go there after school. So many memories are there. That’s where we lived after school where we would all hang out.” Quarterback Joey Tortello said.

Tortello says to the team, it was more than just a building.

“There’s still more stuff in there. It’s all burnt though so we can’t use it,” Tortello said.

Head Coach John Barber with tears in his eyes as he recalls building the field house from the ground up.

“We’ve put a lot of hard work into transforming that into our home,” Barber said.

Now seeing it filled with charred lockers, melted cleats, and helmets with just the face masks left.

“I just looked up there and found his brace that he’s going to need. It looks like it’s in good condition so I’m going to take it,” David Quell Sr., father of team captain, said.

Finding his son’s headband

“It’s a little burnt up but he might put that on. He wears it at every game,” Quell Sr. said.

The community is not ready to let the team’s chance at a championship go to waste. Donations started pouring in, money, as well as pads and cleats, were brought to the school.

“Seeing that we need help and just stepping up because it’s the right thing to do.”

“To help us to get to play tomorrow’s game. It touches your heart. I can’t believe how much people came out.”

Driving home the team motto of FTU, Fear the Underdog.

It’s giving them what they need to head back out on the field.

“We’re focused on Saturday and we’re coming with a vengeance. We’re looking to win,” Tortello said.

The team is practicing with shirts made by Stadium System that say Holy Trinity Strong on the back. The game starts at Hoosic Valley at 1:30.

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