Holy Trinity faces daunting quest with rugged 2017 football schedule


Holy Trinity's Nate Hooks Jr. thinks this could be his most talented team.

photo by Carl Kotala

Holy Trinity football coach Nate Hooks Jr. believes his team will be loaded next season.

The Tigers’ schedule will be loaded, too.

Under the new playoff system adopted by the Florida High School Athletic Association for the 2017 season, the Tigers’ chances of making the playoffs will no longer be decided by how well they do in their district.

In fact, district play was eliminated for Classes 4A and lower and a point system will be used instead, rewarding teams for playing quality opponents rather than cupcakes.

With that in mind, Hooks not only toughened up the schedule, he added two out-of-state trips against big-time programs.

“(Under) this point system, strength of schedule is extremely important,” Hooks said. “This will be the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here and (we’re playing) by far, the toughest schedule.”

After opening at home against Cocoa Beach on Sept. 18 and Trinity Prep on Sept. 25, Holy Trinity will begin a daunting stretch.

It starts Sept. 1 when the Tigers will travel to Trussville, Ala. to face Hewitt-Trussville, which went 11-1 last season. That will be followed by a home game against Tallahassee Maclay and a home game against American Heritage Delray.

That will be followed by a road trip to Jacksonville Bolles, coming off a 12-1 season, and a trip to Moultrie, Ga. to play national power Colquitt County on Sept. 29.

The rest of the Tigers’ schedule features a road game at Indian Rocks and home games against Orlando Christian Prep, Seven Rivers and John Carroll.

As tough as the schedule will be for the Tigers, there are two potential payoffs. Not only could it help Holy Trinity get into the postseason, it could also help boost some Tigers in the eyes of college recruiters.

“Nothing but positives can come from this schedule,” he said. “ESPN has already contacted me about televising two of the games (against Hewitt-Trussville and Colquitt County).

“This is exposure for the players. Every coach wants to win games, but ultimately, my focus is giving the kids a chance to go to college. This schedule does that.”