People outside the Euless Trinity football locker room might have seen this season, which ended in a 34-25 loss to Allen last Friday night in a 6A Division I bi-district game, as a disappointment.
At one point the team was 2-3 in district play and had to win its final two games just to reach the postseason, and it was the second consecutive year the Trojans failed to advance in the playoffs.
But ask anyone in the locker room, and they’ll offer you a different perspective.
“It was fun. No matter what happened throughout the year, I had a lot of fun,” quarterback Noah Wineteer said. “I enjoyed making those friendships and making that one last ride together as a group. We could have lost every game and it wouldn’t change how I feel.”
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Wineteer is among almost 50 seniors to have played their final game in the black and red. More than the wins and losses, the first thing he wants to talk about is his teammates.
“A lot of schools say they have a family, but I think ours is different,” he said. “I would go to bat for anybody on my team. I feel they would do the same for me. I feel we have each other’s backs through anything. I think that’s what made us so special, just that bond we all had.”
A 7-4 finish for a team with annual state title aspirations might not sound incredible, but that’s exactly how fellow senior Joel Cumbie, an offensive lineman, sees it.
“It was incredible,” Cumbie said. “This season was more than football for all the guys. We learned some lessons, not only about football, but in life. You’re going to have your ups and downs. Not everything is going to go your way. Everything didn’t unfold the way we wanted it to, but it was amazing to be a part of.”
A three-year varsity letterman with offers from Central Oklahoma and Army, Cumbie doesn’t just see this as the end of a season, but the end of a journey.
“I’ve known most of these boys since sixth or seventh grade,” he explained. “We’ve witnessed each other grow up. We’ve laughed together, cried together. We’ve suffered together and prospered together. That’s just something so special about being a senior. We’ve grown up from playing pee-wee together to being seniors in high school.”
Similarly, Wineteer has grown up in Euless his entire life, and has several lasting memories from his football career. One of those was walking out on the field for Trinity’s nationally televised game against California team De La Salle last season — his first varsity game.
“It’s living that moment you’ve always thought about,” he said. “I was finally a part of that.”
It isn’t just starters like Wineteer and Cumbie who have played their last high school football. There are role players, practice squad guys and even managers — all who have this season to take with them.
“When you spend as much time together as we do, you have some memorable experiences,” coach Chris Jensen said. “Most of our guys will never play again, and that’s just the reality of it. Some of our most special kids that I have the best memories of probably hardly ever got on the field.”
No banners will be raised this season; no rings handed out. It won’t go down as a remarkable year in Trinity Trojan lore. But for this group of seniors, it would be hard to convince them it wasn’t memorable.