Saints spring into season: the football players work to prepare for their spring season

ELLIECLAIRE GORDON, STAFF WRITER

Carrying the momentum from its 2013 fall season, Trinity Prep’s Varsity football team is thrilled for its annual 2014 spring game against Lake Highland Prep at 7 P.M. on May 22.  The opportunity to play the Highlanders will offer a sneak peek of what is to come in the fall.

Junior linebacker Jake Bentley expresses that he is more than ecstatic for the game.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a game. This is a huge deal,” Bentley said.  “We’re restarting what used to be a very big rivalry, and I really want to get it started right with a big win.  The stands need to be packed for that game. It’s going to be an incredible experience.”

Trinity Prep’s Assistant Coach Casey Harper believes that the players will benefit greatly from playing Lake Highland, which has a new coach at the helm of their winless 2013 season.

“Even though they are rebuilding with a new coach, Lake Highland has always been a traditionally good team, so it will be an exciting challenge for our players,” Harper said.

The football players will go through three weeks of practice for their debut in the spring game.  The only difference between practices in the fall and those in the spring is that the plays are simplified because there is just not enough time to go through the entire playbook in the short spring season.

Both Harper and Bentley agree that the offseason progress has gone smoothly.  Morning workouts are offered in the weight room three days a week.  On top of that, most players participate in other sports to stay in shape during the offseason. Game film from the past season is also available for players to study during the offseason.

“They have made great strides in the weight room and are physically in very good shape right now,” Harper said.

The athletes say they thoroughly enjoy playing under new Head Coach Mike Kruczek, who led the Saints to a 6-4 season in 2013, meaning that the team was just one win short of making the playoffs.  Kruczek brings a new energy and intensity that has rubbed off on many players, especially the younger guys.  Sophomore Jared Herron, who will be entering his second year as the team’s quarterback, is excited about the success the team has accomplished with Kruczek.

“Coach Kruczek has been a huge part of our team’s growth and increasing success,” Jared Herron said.

The upcoming seniors on the football team are nothing short of leaders.  Harper mentions that they will bring a deeper sense of commitment and enthusiasm while always helping and inspiring the younger players.  Bentley agrees.

“I think this rising senior class not only brings immense experience, but also a mentality of toughness and hard work,” Bentley said.  “We want to set a good example for the younger kids to see and emulate in future years to help build Trinity into a tough, determined and respected football program,” he said.

Harper expresses that performance in the spring game foreshadows how the team will perform in the fall.  The team will also discover what needs improvement and work over the summer.  Weight training, strength conditioning, speed and agility work, and a seven-on-seven passing league are just a few tasks on top of the summer practices.

With a new head coach and a winning season under their belts, the Saints eagerly anticipate the spring match-up against the Highlanders.