Tigers will get their chance to make playoff history

Holy Trinity will seek program’s first postseason win vs. Cardinal Newman


Published:

Holy Trinity senior quarterback Dru Nickson came into this season having not played football since the eighth grade. Now, he and the No. 5 seeded Tigers will have a chance to make history if they can get their first playoff win Friday night in West Palm Beach against No. 4 Cardinal Newman.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

When the 2018 football season started, the Holy Trinity Tigers vowed to make history.

Now, they’ll get that chance.

The FHSAA announced its playoff brackets on Sunday based on the final regular-season point standings, and the Tigers (5-4) were the No. 5 seed in Class 3A, Region 2.

Holy Trinity will travel to West Palm Beach to play No. 4 Cardinal Newman (8-2) on Friday night at 7:30 in the regional quarterfinals.

The winner will then travel to play No. 1 seed Kings Academy (9-1), which has a first-round bye.

It’s the ninth time the Tigers have made the FHSAA playoffs thanks to a late-season run of success.

Holy Trinity trailed Pierson Taylor for the sixth and final regional postseason spot with two weeks to play, but a big win over Port Orange Atlantic allowed them to jump into the top six. The Tigers then closed the regular-season with a 47-14 win over Trinity Christian Academy and leapfrogged Melbourne Central Catholic for the No. 5 seed.

Holy Trinity will be seeking its first playoff win in school history.

“I’m extremely proud of the guys, and they should definitely be proud of themselves,” Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. wrote in an email. “No one expected us to make the playoffs.

“We only have 25 players and nine players had NEVER played a single down of high school football, yet we’re seeded higher than the team people said was better than us. Funny how things work, huh?

“Colleges such as Nebraska, UCF, MTSU, Fordham and Appalachian St. have been to HT this season. TCU, Baylor, Illinois, USF, and Virginia have been at HT on the sidelines during our games to recruit our players. Those college coaches fly to our games and tell me ‘your players are ballers.’”

While playing Cardinal Newman will certainly be a big challenge for Holy Trinity, Hooks pointed out six of the nine teams the Tigers played this season wound up making the playoffs.

Now comes the big the test. Can the Tigers make program history?

“We’ve accomplished our first goal of making the playoffs,” Hooks wrote. “With the playoffs being a new season, our new goal is to win week one ... be 1-0.”