Holy Trinity will play Cocoa, three other Brevard County schools in 2019


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Running back Larry Hill and the Holy Trinity Tigers are coming off their best season ever. This year's schedule includes four Brevard County teams, including a big one with Cocoa in October.

CARL KOTALA

If there is one thing that jumps out about this year’s upcoming Holy Trinity Tigers 2019 football schedule, it’s the names of all the Brevard County opponents they will be facing.

Melbourne Central Catholic.

Space Coast.

Eau Gallie.

And here’s the biggie … Cocoa. Yes, Cocoa.

Coming off the most successful season in program history — including the first-ever playoff game win — Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. has certainly stepped things up for 2019.

“It’s a very competitive schedule,” Hooks said. “I’m pleased with it. The new playoff system makes you conscious now of who you schedule. It has to be very strategic.”

After going to a points system that had the Tigers sweating out whether they would qualify for the playoffs last season — and causing controversy in other parts of the state as well —  the FHSAA has adopted a new playoff system for 2019.

The state will be using a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) formula that will be based not just on a team’s own winning percentage (35 percent), but its opponent’s winning percentage (35 percent) and its opponent’s opponents’ winning percentage (30 percent) to determine the rankings.

In other words, who you play really will matter if you want to earn a spot in the playoffs.

Holy Trinity will open practice on July 29 and open its season with the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 17 at home against rival Melbourne Central Catholic.

The Tigers will play their first regular-season game on the road against Trinity Prep on Aug. 23, followed by a home game against Seffner Christian and a road game at Orangewood.

That’s when the schedule gets really interesting for Holy Trinity — and Brevard County football fans — as the Tigers will host Space Coast and then Eau Gallie on Sept. 13 and 20.

A third consecutive home game will feature Everglades Prep, followed by a road game at Lake Highland Prep and two more home games against Coral Springs Charter and Indian Rocks.

On Oct. 25, the Tigers will visit Cocoa, which has won four state championships and been to three state title games in a row.

With a bye week coming the following week — the last week of the regular season — Hooks is hoping his team’s performance and its strength of schedule will be good enough to earn the Tigers a top seed and first-round bye in the Class 3A playoffs.

Either way, the fact that Holy Trinity will get a chance to test itself against four teams from Brevard County is something Hooks and the Tigers are very much looking forward to.

“Those games are huge for us,” Hooks Jr. said. “The success that we had last year … we’ve enjoyed that. We’ve celebrated that. But that was last year.

“What you do when you have the most successful season in the history of the school is you build on it. But it has nothing to do with this particular season. Each season is its own animal.

“… I’m excited about it. I can’t wait until camp starts.”