The Trinity Tigers football team is kicking off the semester with a Friday Night Lights scrimmage against their old rivals, the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs, on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. The team expects an intense game and is excited to see what the outcome poses for the coming season.
The Bulldogs, headed by coach Carl Gustafson, have been mutual rivals of the Tigers during their time in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). As such, both teams are expected to bring in lively crowds and players are excited for the match-up.
“Beating TLU would be a hell of a win,” said Starjjil Shelvin, junior defensive lineman.
The Tigers will be facing all new competitors this fall. Shelvin hopes that a win on Friday will prepare the team for a strong entrance into regular season.
“Winning would propel us in a good spot,” Shelvin said.
Football head coach Jerheme Urban spoke on the hard work that the team has been putting in over the past couple weeks.
“This is the final dress rehearsal,” Urban said.
Specifically, Urban and Jayden Holden, senior wide receiver, mentioned the time and commitment put in by the incoming first-years.
“They’ve shown a lot of hard work, offensively and defensively, getting into the playbooks. Defensively, a couple freshman have started to stand out … the wide receivers are running good routes and catching all the balls they can,” Holden said.
Beyond the incoming players’ abilities and group motivation, Urban emphasized his appreciation for their dedication and team spirit. A quick look around the campus confirms the fellowship and sense of community between these players.
“They are committed to doing things right … committed to one another,” Urban said.
The scrimmage will give first-year players their first chance to hit the field as a team in front of a live crowd and their only chance to face off against the TLU Bulldogs. Coaches, upperclassmen and first-years alike have expressed the feeling of family and brotherhood among the players and how their time at camp has yielded that camaraderie.
“Even before I got here everyone was so accepting. I wanted to be a part of the family,” said Joshua Izi, first-year running back.
For the past couple of weeks, the players have been on campus putting in several hours every day practicing and bonding as a team. When they’re not on the field, you can catch some of that hard work in motion during players’ solo performances at Mabee Dining Hall, where first-years stand on chairs and deliver fan favorites like “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes and “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus.
The team is confident in the progress they’ve made over these last few days of summer. They’ve been on the field practicing for two hours every day since arriving on campus on Aug. 10.
“We’re excited about showing everybody what we can do. We’ve been putting a lot of work in this camp,” Izi said.
The Tigers won’t see another home game until Sept. 23, when they face the Chapman University Panthers. Urban recommends first-year students attend the scrimmage to get a feel for the stadium and show off their #TigerPride by supporting their classmates.
“Come on out and have a good time. We might be doing something after the game as well,” Urban said.