Entering his 15th season as head football coach at Euless Trinity, Steve Lineweaver finds his powerhouse Trojans in a new district, 7-6A, along with Southlake Carroll and Coppell, two other teams that are often considered championship contenders.Not far behind them are 2013 playoff teams Hurst L.D. Bell and Colleyville Heritage. “Something’s gotta give now. From a fan’s standpoint it’s ‘Oh boy. This is going to be good. It’s playoffs in September, October.’ They’ll be outstanding pack-the-stadium-type games.”With three state titles — 2005, ’07 and ’09 — a fourth title-game appearance and two other state semifinals since 2004, Lineweaver and his teams have filled plenty of stadiums. What about this new District 7-6A? For us coaches, we might be gagging on our toothbrushes in August just thinking about it. These are the type of games you hope you progress [toward] and get into the playoffs, and then you take your chances when you have to play them. But now it’s early. It’s going to be exciting and we’re going to take a positive approach. I’m sure all the district’s boys are looking forward to it. Class 4A football districts for the first time are in Division I or II before the season begins, instead of seeding teams based on enrollment when the regular season ends. Do you think 5A and 6A could be done that way? I don’t see a negative in the way 4A is doing it this year, unless it’s travel issues. I’m for it either way. A lot of lesser enrollments could beat the pants off larger enrollments. I think it’s still intriguing the way we currently have it in 6A now. If I was in a lower classification moving up, I would probably like my chances better being in Division II and going against schools more like your enrollment. Allen is spending $2 million to repair a 2-year-old, $60 million stadium. Katy voters recently rejected a $69.5 million facility so now they’re considering a cheaper proposal. Are the high school mega stadiums too much? For us, 10,000 or 12,000 at Pennington Field is just fine at this point. There’s so many needs for money in education. I know I’m a football coach and some guys might disagree with me because of that, but we’re very happy with ours. Our district has spent some monies to refurbish it, so to us it’s like a new stadium now. The only thing would be seating. Some games we could use more seats, but that’s OK. It’s OK to sell out. I like a sellout. Your summer workouts, weight-room and even 7-on-7 programs are more informal than many area teams. Why is that? Years ago I was influenced by a coach I worked under here, coach John Reddell. I always felt like summertime was for the boys. Many of our kids work, [so] we open the weight room. I’ve just never gotten away from that idea of taking them away from their time with their families. We certainly encourage them to come up, but we don’t kick them off the team or brow-beat them if they don’t come. We trust [those who] have family obligations or summer jobs. Yeah, we get anxious or we get nervous when we don’t see a player come around as often as we’d like, but as long as I see that smiling face the first day of practice it’s all good. We do 7-on-7, but we end it probably a week before the state tournament. We enter a tournament or two, but maybe not as rabid as some teams. We probably do as much as Allen does. I’ve talked to Tom [Westerberg, Allen’s coach]. We have about the same philosophy. They’ve been doing all right with what they do. Why do you have a kitchen timer on your desk? During our athletic period, I work with kids in a 12-minute ‘What Really Matters’ class. One of them is how to make yourself sit down and do your homework. I use it as a display. I set the timer for 15 minutes and tell them to see how much you can do. I also use it when I have a mountain of paperwork. Before you know it, you’re interested in what you’re doing and stay with it.
Eric Zarate, 817-390-7237 Twitter: @zarate_eric