ESPNDallas.com gets ready for the start of the high school football season by unveiling its preseason rankings, one spot at a time:
5A NO. 2: EULESS TRINITY TROJANS
2010 record: 15-1
Predicted 2011 regular-season record: 10-0
ESPNDallas.com spring ranking: No. 2
Division I commits: OL Hiva Lutui, (UCLA).
Why they’re here: Trinity has lifted its football excellence to a new level in the last five years, reaching the state championship game four times, emerging victorious on three occasions. While the Trojans have had their share of great players, head coach Steve Lineweaver and his veteran coaching staff are masters at melding individuals from varied backgrounds into cohesive units.
Since 2004, Trinity has either won the state title or lost in the playoffs to the eventual state champion.
The Trojans can build their defense around linebacker Brian Nance, who recorded 174 tackles to go with four interceptions and three sacks in an all-state junior season. Defensive tackles Polo Manukainiu and Moahengi Latu and defensive back Iliau Moeakiola are other key returnees.
On offense, Kailahi Kautai completed 46-of-83 passes for 666 yards and four touchdown in a part-time quarterback role last season. The staple of all Trinity teams is its massive offensive line. This season should not be any different with guard Hiva Lutui, center Dillon Dillard and tackle Henry Lea’aetoa, three all-district selections.
Holes to fill: Graduation of running backs Terrence Tusan and Tevin Williams along with QB/WR Brandon Carter represented 4,000 yards of rushing yards last season. Joel Kimpela is the leading returning rusher with 410 yards and a 13-yard average per carry, but spent most of 2010 on the junior varsity. Enrique Oquendo is the leading returning receiver with four catches for 152 yards.
Key game: vs. Colleyville Heritage, Sept. 22