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Calcote returns to Trinity to teach linemen the winning way

Offensive line coach Larry Calcote gives direction to Trinity Episcopal linemen Wednesday at Trinity's practice field. Calcote is a former Saint who played football at Northwestern State University and worked out for both the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. (JUSTIN SELLERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)
Offensive line coach Larry Calcote gives direction to Trinity Episcopal linemen Wednesday at Trinity’s practice field. Calcote is a former Saint who played football at Northwestern State University and worked out for both the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. (JUSTIN SELLERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)

NATCHEZ — Larry Calcote was working at the doctor’s pavilion at Natchez Regional Medical Center when he got the call.

Trinity Episcopal head football coach Josh Loy asked the former Trinity offensive lineman for a helping hand in coaching the Saints’ offensive line.

Calcote played college football at Northwestern State and worked out with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in organized team activities over the summer. Though he was unable to make an NFL roster, Calcote was able to amass quite a bit of knowledge about offensive line play between the NFL workouts and his college days.

And it’s that knowledge, Calcote said, that he’s shared with Trinity’s offensive line in their quest for dominance up front.

“I watched them play in their jamboree game and saw that they lacked a lot of relentless effort, footwork, proper technique and staying low,” Calcote said. “What I’m teaching them is what I learned at the NFL and college level, and that’s giving them an advantage at the high school level.”

Calcote returned to Natchez over the summer to finish an internship in physical therapy at the doctor’s pavilion. He said Loy contacted him approximately two weeks before the season about the opening.

“He said he was trying to get a state championship ring and needed my help on the offensive line,” Calcote said.

Loy explained that Calcote’s football background and being a Trinity alumnus made him a good fit for the Saints’ coaching staff.

“I coached him as a junior and kept in touch with him, and he was one of my favorite players to coach,” Loy said. “With his playing experience and the way he conducted himself, I thought he’d be a good fit.”

So far, Loy said Calcote has done a great job taking the reins of the men in the trenches.

“He’s taken that group to a different level,” Calcote said. “I wanted someone who could do that.”

Senior right guard Cole Radzewicz said Calcote is different from any other offensive line coach he’s ever played for.

“He has the experience playing college ball, and he practiced in the big leagues for a little while, so he has better access to coaching that a lot of others don’t get,” Radzewicz said.

Since so much of the team’s success depends on the offensive line, Calcote said he takes his role seriously.

“The team will only go as far as the offensive line and defensive line will take them,” Calcote said. “None of it is possible without the guys up front. When I got here, I told them we’d play with relentless effort, play emotional and physical. So far, it’s showing up.”

Though he’s grateful for the opportunity to coach, Calcote said he wouldn’t have imagined getting into coaching prior to Loy calling him.

“When I was a player, I didn’t like coaches too much,” Calcote joked. “But now I can see, they’re just doing what’s best for the kids — if they’re good coaches.”

And Calcote said giving his players a chance to be successful is why he’s enjoying coaching so much.

“It’s all for the kids,” Calcote said. “Every kid deserves the chance to win. I’m not going to let a kid cheat themselves out of a great opportunity to win a state championship.”

With the Saints currently undefeated, Radzewicz said the team owes a lot of its success to Calcote’s coaching abilities.

“He’s been everything to our season,” Radzewicz said. “Before he came along, we were really raw, and he taught us a lot of different things. Ever since he came, it’s like we’ve been on key. We weren’t doing any of the stuff he’s teaching us before he came.”

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