Trinity looks to be on the right path

Published 12:29am Sunday, September 30, 2012

Early impressions don’t always accurately portray a team’s destiny. Just as first-year Trinity Episcopal head coach Josh Loy.

Blowout losses to Jefferson County High School and Centreville Academy in the first two weeks of the season gave many people doubts about the Saints’ squad.

Here was a group of players that were used to competing for state championships — the Saints won the MAIS Class A title in 2009 and 2010, and made it to the South State title game last season. But coaching turnover and a lack of depth compared to previous seasons served as stumbling blocks for the Saints.

Loy didn’t arrive at Trinity until early July, much later than football fans would have liked. Previous head coach Ryan Porter, who took over the program after David King was hired as headmaster at Adams County Christian School, had resigned, and the Saints needed a coach right in the middle of summer workouts.

So Loy arrived on the scene and was quickly playing catchup. By the time games started for Trinity, the players were probably in mid-summer shape when they needed to be in opening night-shape.

So the baptism by fire began. After the first two losses, Trinity then faced a baptism by water — Tropical Storm Isaac, to be exact. With the Saints’ game against Bowling Green scheduled for Aug. 31, the slow-moving storm forced the game to be rescheduled to the following Monday.

In other words, the Saints had to play Bowling Green on the road Monday, then turn around and travel to Silliman that same Friday. Few would have predicted going into that week that Trinity would come out on top against both squads, considering all the challenges they had faced just getting into playing shape.

But Trinity turned the corner, and after wins against River Oaks, ACCS and Central Private, things look to be on the upswing for the Saints. There’s still district games with Columbia Academy and Brookhaven Academy left, but the Saints have positioned themselves well to compete for the MAIS Class AA South State championship.

So how have the Saints turned things around? There’s no substitute for game experience, and by starting out the season against MHSAA Class 3A Jefferson County and then Centreville Academy — ranked No. 4 overall in MAIS by the Associated Press — Trinity got an idea of just how good it needed to be. By the time week three rolled around, the Saints had already faced the best they would all year.

Secondly, the roster always had talent, and the cream has finally risen to the top. Quarterback Garrett Vinson has settled in nicely, and skill players like Tanner Cage, Demarcus Fleming and Dre McCoy give the Saints some nice weapons. Defensive coordinator Kyle Ketchings has done a good job in his inaugural season of coaching, utilizing well the talent he’s got.

Finally, you have to credit Loy for establishing consistency, starting back when he was hired, when he demanded the players show up for workouts or else. The players seem to be responding well to his coaching style, and he’s put those players in a position to succeed, which is all you can ask of a head coach.