Trinity Academy enjoying early ride to 4-0 start
When Trinity Academy football coach Jared McDaniel played at Liberal for former coach Gary Cornelsen, the intense pregame focus started on Thursdays each week.
Through Trinity’s first four games — all wins — McDaniel has questioned whether his team has the necessary focus, mainly because they have such fun.
After weights on Thursdays, they divide up into teams and play … volleyball.
“It gets pretty competitive,” McDaniel said with a laugh. “I know now that, come Friday, they’ll be ready to go. They’re just a fun group.”
Trinity hasn’t been much fun for opponents to play. The Knights, who beat Garden Plain 47-26 last Friday, have outscored opponents 167-54 with two shutouts.
They play host to Conway Springs (4-0) Friday night. Trinity, which started football in 2008, is playing its first game in its new home stadium.
Junior running back Tyler Burns has been difficult to stop, rushing for 926 yards on 78 carries (11.9-yard average). He had 379 rushing yards and six touchdowns, including a 76-yard kickoff return, against Garden Plain.
“When people ask me to describe him, he’s a game-changer,” McDaniel said. “He’s a bottom-line game-changer. An interception, catching a pass, anything. He can just change the game for you. Against Garden Plain last week, you go back and look at some of the runs. Some of them, he wasn’t touched. When you can put that combination (of Burns’ skill) with the guys up front doing their job, that’s the result you get right there.”
Trinity starts two seniors and three sophomores on its offensive line, and only Erik Hanson played varsity in 2012. Center Jacob Meyerhoff is a sophomore. Alex Ast was a receiver last season.
“Those guys are getting better each week,” McDaniel said. “They are learning to communicate with each other. They have to be on the same page. If one of them is not, then you’ll get the break down.”