The magic number is one for Tolton football heading into Friday’s contest against Cuba.
The Trailblazers face the Wildcats on senior night hoping to secure their first winning season since 2015, when they finished second in Class 2 District 7.
It has been an uphill battle for Tolton (4-2) since that season. The past few years have seen them drop down to Class 1 as the wins have come few and far between. However, this season has been far more promising for the program.
“We’re worried about, really, our self-improvement,” Tolton coach Michael Egnew said. “Sometimes you have those seasons where you’re not getting many wins ... we’re trying to be 1-0, we’re trying to win this week, and we’ll worry about the record and all that stuff at the end of the season.”
Cuba (0-7) is the second straight Class 2 opponent for Tolton. Last week, the ’Blazers got trounced by Hogan Prep 44-8 on the shoulders of its dominant rushing attack. The Trailblazers watched film and will have the opportunity to correct last week’s mistakes.
“What we do is we go through each play, kind of mark the good things and the bad things that we did, and then we correct those in practice,” Egnew said. “Obviously, they run a different scheme, so we have to coach towards that this week.”
By its record, Cuba is having an abysmal season in which its defense has yet to hold an opponent to fewer than 35 points. Hoerver, Egnew says he never looks at record when determining how good a team is.
“They’re a pretty decent team. They play really hard schools,” Egnew said. “They’re a lot better, a lot more physical than their record shows, and it’s because they play a difficult schedule.”
It’s a test for the Trailblazers, who after this game play just one more before the Class 1 District 5 tournament begins. It will also be a good indicator of where Tolton stands within Class 1 and whether it could garner some consideration to move back into Class 2 with a solid showing.
MSHSAA previously organized its classes by the size of schools’ enrollments, with a 1.35 multiplier for private schools. That, rather than performance, was the biggest reason why Tolton moved to Class 1 this season.
Under MSHSAA’s new “championship factor” rule the multiplier no longer comes into play. A non-public-school program is evaluated by its performance over six seasons and can accumulate points to move up classes.