With his first season as the head football coach under his belt, Jerheme Urban looks to build on the success that the team secured at the end of last season.
This goal won’t be too challenging according to Urban, as the team has nine returning players.
“I’m really excited about this 2015 team,” Urban said. “We have nine starters back on the number one defense in conference last season. Seven of them are sophomores or juniors, so they have a chance to really grow and improve as a unit.”
Opening their schedule on Saturday, September 5 with an away game in Brownwood, Texas against Howard Payne University will prove to be a tough test for the Tigers.
After holding on to a four-year winning streak, the Yellow Jackets trumped Trinity with a season-opening 30-27, but they are hoping their preparation will bring back their success.
To prepare for the upcoming game, Jai Boatman, a senior cornerback, mentions that the team will have to stay disciplined and motivated.
“We know Howard Payne pretty well. It’s a good first game for us and we know that they run the ball hard,” Boatman said.
Urban will rely on the upperclassmen like Boatman to prepare the team for the game since they are playing such a familiar competitor.
After a 4-6 record last season, the Tigers have high hopes for the upcoming season.
Ending the season on a positive note by blowing out Austin College 41-0, the Tigers are hoping to continue that momentum for their biggest competitors on the schedule: Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern University.
“We want to win conference and push for a playoff bid, and we believe with this roster, we can definitely do it,” said Sean Madlem, sophomore quarterback.
Madlem elaborated on the team’s goals, noting his desire for more consistency and feeling hopeful toward adjustments in past critical mistakes.
“We need to be more consistent and protect the football,” Madlem said. “As Coach Urban says, “˜Be the Standard.’ Turnovers have been a problem for us. They were a reason we lost a couple games.”
With this practice season underway, the team has already redoubled their efforts in improving some fundamental football skills.
“We’ve been working on ball control in practice and we believe that with the turnover contest in practice, we will be more successful in holding onto the football,” Madlem said.
The football team also has had the opportunity to practice on the brand new intramural field.
The new field is designed to be more durable and keep the field surface cooler.
“So far it’s holding up pretty great. It’s supposed to be a lot cooler than regular turf. It’s still pretty hot,” Madlem said. “Last season, we practiced on the baseball field and there were a lot of twisted ankles. So far, no major injuries like that.”
Trinity football is definitely on the rebound, and fans and players alike should have high hopes for the upcoming season.
“We have to do the little things to come out on top this year,” Urban said. “We gave the ball away quite a little bit. It really impacted our opportunity to win.”
To make sure they were ready for the season, the players organized seven-on-seven drills over the summer at the University of Incarnate Word’s Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium in order to get a good look at the incoming class.
“There are a couple kids in the secondary that can definitely contribute right away,” Madlem said.
One of these secondary players includes first year cornerback KaDarius Lee.
“I came to Trinity over the summer, have been working out and just tried my best to get ready for what we are doing right now,” Lee said.
All that hard work is starting to get noticed by the veteran players.
“KaDarius has been doing pretty good,” Madlem said. “He has quick feet for a young kid and seems very experienced.”
Trinity Football will be playing its first game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 5 at Howard Payne.