Coach: Steve Lineweaver
Last season: 10-3 (7-0 in District 6-5A), lost to Southlake Carroll in the regional round of the 5A Division I playoffs
Key players: DB Dany Mulanga (6-4, 200); OL Lem Galeai (6-5, 309); DL Hafoka Olie (6-0, 280); RB Homer Babcock (5-8, 185); RB Tyler Natee (6-0, 210); RB Tony Franklin (5-8, 160); QB Deion Guignard (6-2, 192); QB Christian Hammack (5-11, 163)
The big picture: Another season, same Trinity program. As always, the Trojans will be strong in the trenches, boasting an offensive line that averages 300 pounds. Trinity’s line is the strength of the defense, according to Lineweaver, who described the unit as “grown men.” Again, as always, the running game will be key in Trinity’s offensive success, and the Trojans might have more depth at the running back position than they have in recent seasons. Homer Babcock returns after leading Trinity in rushing last season with 719 yards and 10 touchdowns. Behind him is the speedy Tony Franklin, who will add 4.2 speed to Babcock’s balanced attack. Franklin was third in rushing last season with 435 yards and five scores. Quarterback is still a toss-up between seniors Christian Hammack and Deion Guignard, but look for Guignard to also return kicks and get some snaps at wide receiver, not unlike former Trojans and current TCU standout Brandon Carter. Trinity couldn’t find a dance partner for Zero Week and is forced to take its bye while the majority of the state kicks off the season this weekend. However, Lineweaver said it gives his team more time to pay attention to detail and work on solid fundamentals before facing perennial national powerhouse Jenks (Okla.) at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium. The team has been drawn together by the deaths of former players Polo Manukainiu and Gaius Vaenuku in a mid-summer car accident, Lineweaver said.
Quotable: “It was a surreal experience when you lose them so young — three of them. It was surreal. I hesitate to put it into words, what it all means. Anything I say I don’t think would do it justice. We miss them and all the boys really miss them. [The team was] really close to them.” — coach Steve Lineweaver
“We’ve improved our depth at running back just by kids have grown up through our program. They’re ready now. They looked special when they were young, but now they’ve grown up to the point where they can contribute on varsity.” — Lineweaver
Notable: Trinity opened its new indoor practice facility and football headquarters over the summer, and Lineweaver said he’s been unable to keep his kids away from their new home throughout the summer.
— Travis L. Brown
Special to S-T
Trinity RB Homer Babcock
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