Written by Jon Machota
Euless Trinity spring football report: Trojans must replace 2,000-yard rusher
Team: Euless Trinity
How the 2011 season ended: Trinity, who was undefeated entering the playoffs, was bounced in the third round by Arlington Martin, 19-7. Before that game, Trinity had ended Martin’s season four of the previous five years.
Key returning starters: As usual, Trinity will be loaded up front. A pair of Oklahoma targets, senior defensive linemen Gaius Vaenuku [6-5, 260 pounds] and Sam Tevi [6-5, 270], figure to be a handful for opposing offenses. Junior Hafoka Olie [6-0 270] will line up between Vaenuku and Tevi, representing the only three returning defensive starters from a year ago. Senior Matt Hawkins will be the full-time quarterback after spending some of last season in the defensive backfield. “I was at fault last year because I moved him to defense early in the year,” Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. “That took away from his preparation to be a quarterback. He’s just now getting where he’s comfortable.” Senior strong safety John Sitani and junior tight end Will Taylor [6-3, 250] are also expected to have significant roles.
Biggest question facing team: Will Trinity be able to find an adequate replacement for running back Joel Kimpela? As a senior last season, Kimpela rushed 209 times for 2090 yards and 25 touchdowns. Is there a runner on the roster that can average 10 yards per carry? “We’ve got a few that are vying for that position but no one has separated yet to be the guy,” Lineweaver said. Hawkins could be the player that is forced to carry the offense with his arm and legs. He was Trinity’s second-leading rusher last season, carrying 69 times for 501 yards and nine scores, and the Trojans are built to run. Even with an inexperienced group up front, Lineweaver will play to his strength and that’s the size advantage his offensive line will have over most of their opponents. Trinity is what Lineweaver calls “tight-end based” and he has no plans of changing that in the near future. Last year’s group scored seven touchdowns through the air and 62 on the ground. “We’ll have a wrinkle or two but we’re going to use the tight end,” he said. “We’re prisoners to our success. I love some of these things these coaches are doing with their offenses with the spread and things but we just can’t cut loose and do it yet.”
Notables: Lineweaver is entering his 14 season as head coach at Trinity with only three returning starters on each side of the ball. “We’re rebuilding,” he said. “It probably does lean toward one of the most inexperienced groups [he’s had].”
He said it: “The first four [games on the schedule] are water moccasins. There’s not any one that I’m saying we’re looking toward. We just kind of got to prepare for all four of them. Conceivably, we could be 0-4 and still have a good team.” – Lineweaver.
Spring football game info: No spring game.
Season Opener: At Bellevue at Memorial Stadium in Bellevue, Washington.
Full regular season schedule:
Aug. 30 at Bellevue at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Sept. 8 vs. Tulsa Union at 8:00 p.m.
Sept. 15 at DeSoto at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 vs. Colleyville Heritage (at Mustang-Panther Stadium) at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 vs. Irving MacArthur at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Irving Nimitz at 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 18 vs. LD Bell at 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Grapevine at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 vs. Irving at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Carrollton R.L. Turner 7:30 p.m.