As students begin to return for another school year, many of Trinity’s fall athletes are already well into their preparations for the upcoming season.
The football team began their preseason practices on Saturday, Aug. 11. As per the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations, the team will only have “two-a-day” practices on Aug. 16, 18 and 20. The remainder of practices will occur once daily in preparation for the team’s first game on Saturday, Sept. 1, against Howard Payne University.
With a large incoming first-year class, Head Coach Steve Mohr, now in his 23rd season coaching at Trinity University, is excited by the team’s youth.
“It’s unique from the standpoint of having so much balance as far as upperclassmen and first years. Currently, we have 64 upperclassmen on the squad and 63 first-years. This is our largest first-year class since 1998,” Mohr. said “Even though teams love to have experience, I think we are experienced in a lot of different areas. We’ve got a great senior class returning, but we are also going to rely on a lot of first years helping us with our depth, possibly getting on the field pretty quickly, and as they learn the system, they could see a lot of action.”
The cross country team spent much of their off-season preparing for the upcoming season, with some team members running over 95 miles a week individually in order to maintain shape. The team is in a unique position in which they did not lose any runners to graduation while gaining a deep class of first-years. The group of 21 runners stands as the largest cross country team Trinity has ever had.
“From the amount of training everyone has done, the season should turn out very well. The future looks great. It is the most experienced team we have had. Things are looking up, to say the least,” Escobedo said.
The team will have their opening meet on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Alamo City Opener.
The men’s soccer team’s preseason practices begin on Friday, Aug. 16, in preparation for their first game on Friday, Aug. 31, against Texas-Tyler. Texas-Tyler starts the season ranked eighth nationally, whereas the Trinity Tigers start ranked fourth, thus setting the stage for an extremely important opening game.
The team remains focused on the goal of bringing home a national title, starting with co-captains Kyle Porter, Aaron Olsen and Darren McAfee.
“Every year, the goal is to win a national championship, and that has not changed. The fact that we’ve gone out pretty early in the tournament makes it pretty important,” Porter said.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, the soccer team will host the first veterans versus first-year soccer scrimmage in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.
The women’s soccer team held a camp over last weekend for current and future players, but preseason practices begin on Friday, Aug. 17. The team will have their first game on Friday, Aug. 31, against Mary Hardin-Baylor in Abilene, TX. Their first home game will be Friday, Sept. 14, against Our Lady of the Lake University.
“Everyone seemed excited and ready to play at camp this weekend,” junior Jenni White said. “We can’t wait for the season to start.”
The volleyball team’s practices also begin on Friday, Aug. 17. The team starts their season with a flurry of very competitive tournaments that will be extremely crucial in determining the team’s position in the first national poll, which will debut at the end of September. The team’s first tournament is hosted by Wittenberg University in Ohio, the defending NCAA volleyball champions. The next tournament is hosted by Cal Lutheran, a 2011 NCAA quarterfinalist. The team will then host a tournament that will include Christopher Newport (the 2011 NCAA runner-up) and Emory University (2011 NCAA round of 16).
The team is attempting to rebound from a year in which they faced many serious injuries. However, Head Coach Julie Jenkins remains confident in her team.
“I am really excited about the team. It is a great group of young women. A very talented group of returners and a very exciting freshmen class that has a lot of potential,” Jenkins said. “I feel like we had a very good spring season and the team chemistry will be better than ever.”