Perfecting the Position: Trinity receivers intimidate opponents on the perimeter
Published 12:01 am Monday, October 20, 2014
NATCHEZ — Whether it is youth, size, stamina or raw ability, each Trinity Saint wide receiver brings something different to the table, collectively producing danger on the perimeter.
The freshman Demond Fleming, the basketball player Tommy McCoy, the track star Cade Wells and the freak athlete David Jackson incorporate a unit that has totaled more than 1,000 receiving yards and 15 receiving touchdowns in six games. The Saints are the only team in the area that throws more than it runs, utilizing the skill players on the edge to generate the majority of the offense.
McCoy is the veteran of the receiving corps, but what makes him more unique is his invaluable skillset.
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“He’s shocking everybody with what he’s doing,” Trinity head coach Zach Rogel said. “He’s obviously a great basketball player, but I think he’s really stepped up and made a name for himself on the football field.”
McCoy has 335 receiving yards and five touchdowns this season. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound receiver has been most effective in jump ball situations, shielding the defender with his body and timing his jumps to make leaping receptions. Playing on the gridiron isn’t that much different than playing on the hardwood for the senior.
“Say in some instances if you dunk, somebody throws you an alley and you have to go up and catch the ball,” McCoy said. “If somebody throws you a football, you have to go up and catch it.”
Leading the group in receiving is Jackson, who has 372 yards and six touchdowns. The sophomore’s 5-foot-10, 180-pound build combined with his speed doesn’t define his playmaking ability, though.
“Well, yes and no,” Jackson said. “It’s more of a pride and heart thing. Anybody can go up and make a play on the ball. You have to want to make that play.”
Rogel said Jackson is a player built to shoulder the load.
“He’s probably got the most unique skillset,” Rogel said. “He’s just so big and fast.”
Before the season started, Wells was believed to be the starting quarterback before Kevontaye Caston stepped into the role. Wells, who Rogel knew would be a key contributor to the offense in rushing and receiving situations, has recorded 160 rushing yards and 259 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns.
“Cade, I knew what to expect with him just from coaching him in baseball and in track,” Rogel said. “I knew he was a warrior. If you call his number, he’ll make a play.”
Wells said he has a seemingly endless engine, which he can attribute to staying active all year long.
“Each sport has something different that makes it difficult,” said Wells, who plays baseball, basketball, football and runs track. “Doing all of them helps keep me in shape.”
The most unlikely contributor this season has been ninth grader Demond Fleming, who spent countless hours in the weight room and on the practice field, preparing himself for playing time. In a stacked group, Fleming has mustered up 84 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
“Being a ninth grader, you have a lot to prove,” Fleming said. “People are always looking at you because you’re smaller than everybody, so you have to work harder.”
Learning a new offense and being able to gel within a short amount of time under a first-year coach is a testament to the unit, said Rogel.
“I knew they had the ability to be this good, but it’s just about being able to work with each other and keep getting better,” Rogel said.