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Trinity Episcopal football team training harder for the season

Trinity Episcopal senior football player JoJo Vinson does a power clean during a summer workout at the school's fieldhouse Monday evening. (Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity Episcopal senior football player JoJo Vinson does a power clean during a summer workout at the school’s fieldhouse Monday evening. (Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat)

By Reina Kempt

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Motivation is the key for the Trinity Episcopal Day School football team as they strive for a bigger and better season after losing in the second round of the playoffs last season. They started preparing for the fall on June 3.

Head coach Josh Loy is working a double shift, as he is in charge of the strength and conditioning of his team along with his coaching duties.

Loy said he is more than excited about what his team will do this year once moving up to AA.

“Our effort and hard work is definitely there,” Loy said. “There is improvement, and we’re trying to progress with our 7-on-7 work as well.”

Last year’s 21-14 loss to Simpson Academy is embedded in the back of the Saints’ mind, and senior guard Conner Pressgrove said he will make sure they don’t have the same end result next year.

“I will come in as the leader,” he said. “We’re going to have some new players, we’re going to work harder and get a ring.”

Senior offensive tackle JoJo Vinson is spending his first summer with his new teammates since transferring from Vidalia High School.

Vinson said it didn’t take him long to settle in at Trinity.

“I knew the winning tradition at Trinity, and I want to put myself in a winning position,” he said. “I love it here. These guys make me feel like I’ve been here awhile.”

Loy said he is happy about the addition of Vinson and what he will bring to the team.

“They’re excited about being here, and we’re even more excited about having them here,” he said.

When it comes to Trinity getting so close to the title last year, Vinson said he wants to be a part of the Saints’ journey back to the top.

“I think I could help a lot,” he said. “(Trinity) lost a lot of guys on the line and I want to make it better than it was last year.”

Loy has taken Pressgrove and Vinson up on their word that they’ll work harder than before. He has issued practice four times a week, two hours a day.

Loy said that as a coach, he has been working harder for his team as well.

“I went to some (coaching) clinics, and I will try to implement things in our passing game,” Loy said. “We have a new quarterback this year and he’s getting better throwing the football. Our receivers are catching the ball better, too.”

As the passing is getting better, so are the guardians of the passer. Pressgrove said he has individual goals set to further help his team.

“I have to get stronger and get in shape,” Pressgrove said. “I want to get past my max of benching 255 pounds and squatting 405 pounds.”

Vinson said he and Pressgrove will try to be motivational leaders to their teammates.

“Every day we have to push harder, and I will push my teammates,” Vinson said. “We have to push ourselves to the max every day.”

At the end of the day, Loy said he and his Saints have only one goal in mind.

“As we continue to progress, we’ll have an extremely bright future ahead of us,” he said. “Our main focus is to go out on a higher note than last year,” he said.