Patience is the virtue often essential to winning championships, and the Shamrocks of Trinity High School have needed ample practice of patience this fall on the gridiron.
First, the ’Rocks had to wait for the new turf field at COBO Field to be finished, with installation completion in September, which meant having to adjust practice and games off-site in the early going. Being a young football team playing a challenging and stacked early season schedule required patience to endure the maturing process of losing big with inexperienced athletes. And when the rains of Hurricane Nicole swept through Central Pennsylvania on Friday, November 11, the ’Rocks had to wait until Saturday to play their Class 2A championship tilt against host and number-one seed Annville-Cleona.
Mission accomplished on all the patience tests, as the Dutchmen were no match for Trinity’s high-octane offense, which is seemingly firing on all cylinders these cool November days. The ’Rocks scored on every offensive possession in an impressive 58-27 rout to win their first District 3 championship in 13 years. That is some 10,750 days since their last hoist of the gold hardware, and that too has taken patience to endure at a school that makes its home in the District 3 playoffs like water does a river.
Trinity rolled up 494 yards on the ground with three jaunts over 50 yards to break Annville-Cleona’s defensive back early. Messiah Mickens had 174 of those yards, yet it was the offensive line up front that paved the way for Trinity’s explosive running game. Come November when it rains and blows, running the football is paramount to beating excellent football teams in iffy weather conditions.
“We got so many talented guys you can’t find any weaknesses on our offense,” two-way star player senior Max Schlager said after the game.
No Lebanon County team has ever won a District 3 football championship, and the Wing-T running Dutchmen, hoping to break that jinx, were able to pound the football against Trinity on the wet, natural turf field.
Next up for the ’Rocks is Philadelphia’s West Catholic Burrs, who will visit Trinity’s new turf stadium this Friday when the gales of November will surely be blowing.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness