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2016 football training camp series: Trinity

Trinity boasts young lineup that's learning from three senior leaders

Posted: August 16, 2016 11:08 p.m.
Updated: August 16, 2016 11:08 p.m.
Trinity Classical Academy freshman Greg Salazar returns a ball to a coach during the Knights’ Tuesday practice at Tesoro Park. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Trinity Classical Academy freshman Greg Salazar returns a ball to a coach during the Knights’ Tuesday practice at Tesoro Park. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Trinity Classical Academy freshman Greg Salazar returns a ball to a coach during the Knights’ Tuesday practice at Tesoro Park. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
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There’s nowhere to hide at a Trinity Classical Academy football practice.

But the thinned ranks allow the team’s coaches and three seniors — Caden Kulp, Beau Howell and Koby Schafer — to give a large number of younger players the attention they need.

“We have a lot of younger guys and maybe some guys are a little bit smaller, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be just as physical as anyone else,” said senior running back Caden Kulp. “So (we’re) teaching them to have the right mentality when they’re on the field and not be scared of anything.”

That mentality was groomed in the first week of two-a-day practices.

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The Knights’ only week of full-contact training is during that time, a policy coach Les Robinson has adhered to for the past three years at Trinity. It serves as an indicator of which new players have the type of aggression necessary for the game.

“This is our hell week, so this is where we’re going to find out who’s willing,” Robinson said last week. “And after this, we don’t really have contact until games.”

Robinson said it’s difficult to tell how the freshman class, some of whom had never played football before, will perform this year, although he mentioned that wide receiver/defensive back Greg Salazar and quarterback Rick Roberts show potential.

Until the fledgling players, including seven freshmen, are tested on the field, getting in the weight room, along with the fundamentals of the game, will be emphasized throughout camp.

“A lot of the beginning was just installing the offense and installing the easy routes and just breaking everything down. Over the season, we’re just going to start getting more complicated with them,” said senior wide receiver Ryan DeMarois, “but right now it’s just basics of how to run the routes or how to block.”

Trinity, which finished 4-4 overall last season, has two new position coaches to help the young players find their football legs. Eugene Bernal, a graduate of Iowa State’s football program, will serve as line coach, and Kurt Morales will be in charge of wide receivers.

Robinson chose the pair as assistants because of their patience. With this year’s youth and inexperience, they, along with the other coaches and players, will have plenty of exercise in that virtue.

“When (the underclassmen) make mistakes, it’s not because they don’t want to do it (right),” DeMarois said.

“They make mistakes because they don’t know and they don’t understand, so it’s like at a certain point, you can get a little frustrated. But right now, they’ve never played so of course they’ll make mistakes. I made that mistake when I first started playing so I can’t get mad at them for making a mistake like that.”

Inexperienced as they may be, the Knights are grateful to have bodies on the field after a 2015 season in which they only had 13 healthy players at one point.

“We’ve just got to talk to (to the young guys) every day and just stay on them, stay with it,” Kulp said. “We have the ability to do something exciting, and we could use a few more guys because every guy can help no matter what their role is on the team.”

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