St. Bernard cancels season opener due to sick players

CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - The St. Bernard Saints were supposed to play their season opener last Friday, but that did not happen.

On Thursday, seven of the team's players were out sick. That is almost half the members. Eighteen players are eligible to play this year.

"It was flu like symptoms like fever. There was also a virus so I don't know if that goes with it or not," said Coach James Tolbert.

St. Bernard is a boarding school and Tolbert says since several of the players live in dorms that may have caused it to spread.

Tolbert says when he realized a large numbers of players were out, he cancelled the season opener against Westminster Christian Academy in Huntsville.

Officials with the Alabama High School Athletic Association say because the school had to cancel for legitimate reasons, it was not considered forfeiting and so a fine was not posed.

Tolbert says most of the players took the cancellation in stride. He says, the school is trying to learn from the situation.

"You always reassess, see if there's anything you can do. So no more water bottles. We're only going to use cups. So we'll take precautions."

On Monday, Tolbert said all seven players that were out sick were back in class.

He says he feels confident the team will be ready to go for Friday's game against Jefferson Chrisitian.