Tigers looking to build on last season’s success
Holy Trinity lineman Rico Frasier (left) and coach Nate Hooks Jr. go through a drill on the second day of fall practice. The Tigers are coming off the most successful season in school history.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
Holy Trinity football coach Nate Hooks Jr. was feeling optimistic about his team following its second day of practice on Tuesday.
And with good reason.
Not only are the Tigers coming off the best season in program history, they’re also loaded with skill players that could make them a handful for any opponent.
“We’re picking up right we left off in spring,” Hooks said. “It’s not like a lot of guys have to learn or figure out what’s going on. We’re ready to rock and roll.”
The Tigers, who will play their Kickoff Classic at MCC on Aug. 16, are looking to build on last season when they won their first playoff game.
“No let down,” Hooks said. “You’ve got to build off of what happened last year. You can’t take it into this season, but you can use it as a stepping stone to (building) a program.
“It was the best season in the history of the school. There’s no way we can take a step backwards. We’ve got to improve. A successful season is improving every practice, every week, every month.”
While the Tigers depth will be challenged up front – they only have six linemen – they have no shortage of receivers and backs to have a dangerous offense.
“We’re pretty loaded on offense,” Hooks said. “We have D-I guys all over the place.”
In addition to quarterback Ja’Lon Hudgins and running back Larry Hill – who has more than 20 offers – the Tigers have added two more players who have been drawing interest from Division I programs – running back/slot Kevin Chandler and wide receiver Demetrius “Meech” Robinson.
“They’ve welcomed me, I feel loved here and I’m ready to work,” said the 6-foot-5, 185-pound Robinson, who transferred to Holy Trinity from Rockledge.
While Robinson, who has an offer from Florida Atlantic, gives the Tigers a big receiving threat, Holy Trinity’s receiving corps will be even tougher to deal with once James BlackStrain is able to return from a knee injury sustained during basketball season.
There is no official timetable for when BlackStrain will be back, but Hooks said the receiver is recovering well and was actually in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, visiting LSU.
Hooks pointed out that of all the schools in Brevard County, the Tigers are one of a handful of programs that had players (Seth Coleman, Lino Odenat) get a Division I scholarship last year.
Of the 23 players on this year's roster, six -- Hudgins, Chandler, Hill, BlackStrain, Robinson and DB/WR Trey Palmer) have Division I offers.
"I think we’re right there as one of the elite programs,” Hooks said.
As the Tigers continue to get ready for the season, their schedule remains in flux.
With construction of the new Tiger Sports Complex continuing, the Tigers are practicing on school’s baseball field. The Kickoff Classic was originally scheduled to be played at Holy Trinity, but that game is now at MCC and the complex won’t be ready in time for the team’s Aug. 30 game against Seffner Christian.
That game, which was supposed to be Holy Trinity’s regular-season home opener, will now be played at an alternate site that has yet to be determined.
The next scheduled home game for the Tigers is on Sept. 13 against Space Coast. It would be the first of three straight home games for Holy Trinity.
As for the team’s practice situation, Hooks said his team has been unfazed.
“No problem at all, man,” he said. “We have to make do with what we’ve got (until the field is ready). All we need is some grass. We’ll be ready.”