High School Football

Trinity’s Lions hungry to hit field after long wait

by Chris Goltermann

Fasting is never a healthy option when it comes to eating habits. But when it comes to football, Trinity Christian head coach Chris Hanson may be onto something should his Lions roar through tonight’s season opener against a tough John Milledge lineup.

Trinity hasn’t sniffed much of a game setting since losing in the first round of last year’s GISA Class AAA state playoffs. No spring scrimmage. No 7-on-7 passing competitions and no preseason scrimmage to quench the Lions’ thirst for football heading into play against a Trojan program that reached last year’s Class AA semifinals.

Both teams are going through its share of transitions after losing standout senior classes. They include 18 from John Milledge’s 12-1 season, the best in program history while improving to 19-5 overall under former Georgia Bulldog fullback J.T. Wahl.

Trinity marches on after losing its starting quarterback, top-two rushers and its two leading tacklers from a 6-5 season, also best among the Lions’ first-two ventures in GISA play following an 8-man championship.

It may all add up to a dogfight similar to last year’s 14-6 game where John Milledge used an extended third-quarter drive as the difference maker while mostly held in check by an improved Trinity defense.

The Trojans opened the season last week with a 13-12 loss to Brentwood on a rain-soaked Friday in Sandersville.

“They're physical, they execute well. It's going to be a dogfight kind of game,” Hanson said. “It's going to come down to who's the most physical and who does the least amount of turnovers. Last year, they scored, we scored, [our] defense held, [their] defense, held and they took the time of possession in third quarter and made that the difference in the game. They’re capable of moving the ball, doing good things. We've just got to minimize mistakes and execute in all three phases.”

Hanson and his staff, which now has Jeff and son J.P. as opposing coordinators on offense and defense, have kept most of its gameplan for 2013 under wraps this preseason.

Seniors Daniel Shoates and Joe Hogan have both touted as potential starters at quarterback, with Shoates seeing snaps the last two seasons. The Trinity backfield is equally brand new with transfer J.D. Farlow, who rushed for over 2,400-yards and 34 touchdowns with Heritage Christian in the Lions’ former 8-man league. Converted tight-end Conner

Owen moves to fullback and linebacker with hopes of filling some of the gaps left by standouts Drew Gibson and Edwin Rivera, both now playing for college programs.

John Milledge went through equally heavy losses to graduation that included its starting quarterback, top rusher and top receiver. Returning senior Tommy Pittman tried to pick up some of the load last week while rushing for 111 yards on 21 carries while junior Chase Register and senior Hunter Harding led the Trojans with 12 and nine tackles respectively.

Hanson may be hoping that the extended wait and the team’s energy level provide a perfect combination to starting this fall off better than in 2012.

“You would have like to have a game or scrimmage. I don't think that would have done much,” he said. “But with this group of guys, they’re hungry.”





More Sports

High School Track & Field

Long-distance standouts lead Northgate at region

In a tough 13-school alignment, Northgate track teams held their own at last week's Region 4-AAAAA meet at Starr's Mill, placing fourth amon ... Read More


High School Baseball

Lions, Hawks earn region wins; GHSA playoffs set

Trinity and The Heritage School might be GISA Region 1-AAA rivals, but Friday night they had something in common by routing region opponents ... Read More


Skinner lands lacrosse job at Truett-McConnell

Former Newnan High School lacrosse standout Rachel Skinner has been named head coach at Truett-McConnell in Cleveland. It's Skinner's first ... Read More


Oh do Kwan students excel at Atlanta Challenge

A total of 22 students from the Oh Do Kwan Martial Arts school in Newnan finished among the top-three finishers in either forms or sparring ... Read More


Middle School Track & Field Championships

Evans girls, Lee boys take leads into run finals

Evans’ girls and Lee’s boys will take slim leads into Wednesday’s running finals of the Coweta County Middle School Athlet ... Read More

Newnan High School teacher sworn in to state board

Newnan High School (NHS) teacher Chris Swanson was officially sworn in as a member of the 10-member board of Georgia’s Teacher Retirem ... Read More