Playoffs? Holy Trinity out to make football history


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Holy Trinity senior defensive end Seth Coleman recently committed to play for the University of Illinois.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Holy Trinity Tigers have a goal for this season.

And it’s not just to get back to the FHSAA playoffs for what would be the ninth time in school history.

“Making the playoffs will be a huge accomplishment at HT,” Tigers coach Nate Hooks Jr. said. “But my goal, and what I reiterate to the team, is that we’re going to the playoffs to win games.

“The reason I say that is … the roster is small, but it’s full of DI football players.”

The Tigers, who went 2-7 last year with 13 freshmen starters, have six players who are holding scholarship offers — including senior defensive end Seth Coleman, who recently committed to the University of Illinois.

Senior linebacker/guard Sullivan Altman, senior safety Lino Odenat, senior slot receiver/safety Preston Milo, junior running back/defensive end Larry Hill and sophomore wide receiver James BlackStrain also have offers. Senior quarterback Dru Nickson has a scholarship offer for basketball.

The addition of Nickson and Coleman, who did not play last year, plus a healthy Hill should have a big impact on the Tigers’ season.

“With Seth at defensive end, we’re adding a Division I, Power Five (conference) guy to the team,” Hooks said. “And then (you add) a quarterback who has poise, has leadership and can run and throw. Those two guys don’t make us worse. They make us a better team.”

Coleman, who is 6-foot-5, 202 pounds with a 6-10 wingspan, did not play as a junior.

“I’ve always loved football,” Coleman said. “I just wanted to come back and play with my team. I felt like it was a better opportunity for me to get where I want to get.”

Nickson, who has not played since the eighth grade, has a chance to be the best quarterback the Tigers have ever had in Hooks’ five seasons.

Hill, who missed much of last season with a broken finger, should be a big fixture in a Holy Trinity offense that also features Tyrel Harris at wide receiver, Carlos Estronza in the slot and a line that will feature Andre Hutchinas, Joe BlackStrain, Rico Frazier, Altman and John Ramos.

Newcomer Benji Nicks joins Coleman at defensive end with Hutchinas and Ramos on the inside. Altman, Estronza and Joe BlackStrain will be the linebackers with the corners consisting of Trey Palmer and Ja’Lon Hudgins.

Going from 2-7 to winning what would be the first playoff game in school history would be a big leap for the Tigers.

Clearly, they think they’re ready.

“We’ve got a lot to prove,” Odenat said. “That gives us a reason to fight even more. We all believe in each other and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.”