Updated Thu, Aug 28, 2014 8:40 pm
Editor's Note: Over the next two weeks our reporters will be bringing you team previews for each team in the SEOAL, TVC-Ohio, TVC-Hocking, and our West Virginia teams. We continue in the TVC-Hocking, where Trimble and Wahama are still the top teams.
The Trimble Tomcats were a true Cinderella story last year, finishing the regular season 10-0, winning the TVC-Hocking crown, and upsetting Division VII powers such as the Shadyside and Steubenville Catholic Central throughout their journey through the playoffs.
With that phenomenal run last season, there is no question the defending Division VII State runner-ups have a target on their backs. But for Coach Phil Faires, he looks at the target with satisfaction.
“That means you had a good season before, so we will take that,” Faires said. “We know that everyone wants to be the one to knock us off.”
With a record-breaking year in the books, the Tomcats are focused on making bigger strides in 2014, but not without having to replace major assets from last years’ team.
Junior Andrew Losey is penciled quarterback to to fill the shoes of standout Konner Standley, who graduated after last season. Losey takes the reigns under center, but Tomcat fans will also see running back Justice Jenkins line up at quarterback a little this season in the shotgun formation, giving the Tomcats a “Wildcat” offensive threat.
“We need to get the ball in our playmaker’s hand,” Faires said of Jenkins. “We need to be able to use our weapons and I think we can do that.”
Along with Jenkins, Faires’ squad returns a solid wide receiver in senior Austin Downs. He is not only a playmaker, but he will be looked at as a leader this year for the Trimble squad.
Downs is one of the many Tomcats who play both ways, and if one knows anything about Trimble, it is that they pride themselves on their defensive abilities. The defensive unit was so tough in 2013, that they found a spot as a Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist, after allowing an average of just 3.3 points per game in the regular season.
“Defensively, we still think we are pretty good,” Faires said. “Our strength is in our outside guys and guys up front.”
Trimble opens their season with a major test right out of the gate in Nelsonville. The Tomcats face rival Nelsonville-York on Aug. 29 in what promises to be one of the best games of the season.
“It’s the tone for the whole season,” Faires said. “It doesn’t matter who is supposed to win. This is always a hard fought game. The kids live just 15 minutes apart so they want to earn bragging rights. It’s a huge game.”
'Gridiron Glory' airs every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB. You can follow the show on Twitter @gridironglory, like the Gridiron Glory page on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram @woubsports. You can also join the conversation throughout the season by using the hashtag #GridGlory.