MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The Trinity Christian School football team was reborn just four years ago but all it took was three for the Warriors to put together a season worthy of the first Class A state playoff appearance in school history.
While last year may have been a fun time to be a player, fan or coach, the final result once Trinity reached the top 16 was not exactly what anyone in the red and gold would have hoped for.
Now headed into his third season on the hill in Morgantown, head coach Chris Simpson understands the importance of last season but also wants to make sure that his team only keeps improving moving forward.
“When you start out building a program, the kids don’t always know what the expectations are or how good the other programs are so last year was an eye opener for us,” he said, “We were honored to be there but we had a great offseason. We spent a lot of time in the gym. We added muscle and added speed so we’re ready for this year.”
There are just two players left on the Trinity roster that will have been a part of the program for all four years of their high school careers. Levi Teets and Kyle Knight both joined the inaugural team as freshman and now they are viewed as two of the undisputed senior leaders on this team.
As the first all-state selection in school history last year, Teets is excited to cap off an already impressive career and understands the legacy he’ll be leaving behind as a result.
“It’s nice to be the first guy to go all four years throughout with Trinity so it’s just exciting to be there one last season with all my guys,” he said.
As wild as the ride to the playoffs last year may have been, there came some roster attrition for the Warriors over the summer, adding and subtracting from the roster.
One new face with an interesting perspective on last season will get a chance to suit up for his senior year this season as well. Zane Yeater transferred to Trinity last year after an all-conference sophomore season at Paden City but an injury kept him out the entire season.
He’s chomping at the bit to get back on the gridiron one more time.
“I’m excited most to just play with these boys. I mean I was here last year. I didn’t get to play but I still built a real relationship with everybody,” he said, “Everybody’s a great guy. I’m really excited to play with everybody and it’s been a while so I’m really excited to get back to it.”
While Teets and Yeater profile as the feature ball carriers, there will be some changes on the offensive side of the ball around them. Freshman Parker Hopkins appears in line to command Simpson’s air raid attack and he’ll be surrounded by support not just at the skill positions but also up front by what the head coach believes is the best line this program has ever assembled.
“We made a huge upgrade this year in the line. We’ve got a lot of returners. My center’s coming back as a junior and this is his third year as a starter so what was a weakness back in the day when we started the program has now become a strength for us all across the line,” he said.
Trinity opens its campaign for the second playoff appearance in school history with a home game on August 26 against Hundred.