Trenton football preview
By Mike Ridaught
Twitter – @ridaught
The Trenton football team is expecting to make it back-to-back state playoff appearances this fall.
Head coach Bill Wiles returned for his third stint with the Tigers last year and led Trenton to the Class 1A state playoffs, falling to rival Chiefland, 21-13, in the regional quarterfinals.
“Before all this craziness hit us we were having an excellent off season,” he said. “We had a ton of kids lifting. Time will tell if we can put it back together when we get the all clear.”
With only four senior starters lost, the Tigers should be back in the mix again as one of the top six teams in Class 1A-Region 4.
Tyler Perry had a breakout sophomore season as he threw for 1,101 yards with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also rushed for an area-best 1,969 yards on 251 attempts with 18 scores.
However, according to Wiles they need to find offensive lineman that will come off the line of scrimmage with low pads and be physical. They didn’t have that last year.
“Offensive line is an attitude,” he said. “It’s a demeanor. We must cultivate that. Offensive line is the first priority for us.”
Next, Wiles said that they’ve got to increase the number of skill players in the program.
“We can’t play defensive ends at safety, which we did last year,” he said. “We played way too many kids out of position due to necessity. We were well on our way to addressing that.”
Lastly, he said his team has to have more players that really “want to”.
“We have great kids here, but we have got to be tougher, more physical, way more mental toughness,” said Wiles. “And more about ‘We’ than ‘I’.”
Trenton will open up the 2020 season on August the 21st at Interlachen. Last year, the Tigers beat the Class 3A Rams in the season opener.
Coach & year: Bill Wiles
2019 record: 5-6
Number of returning offensive/defensive starters: “We lost four senior starters.”
Key losses: Jacob Morgan (OL/DL), Brian Karanja (H Back/DB), Justin Calton (OL), Tyrese Jackson (WR/DB), Trent Becker (TE/DL/LB)
Key newcomers (Name, position & year): “Can’t say (missing spring ball prevents us from knowing).”
Most important position battles heading into the fall: I don’t know if position battles is the right way to put it for us. We need to find offensive lineman that will come off with low pads and be physical. We didn’t have that last year. OL is an attitude. It’s a demeanor. We must cultivate that. OL is the first priority for us. After that we have got to increase the number of skill kids in the program. We can’t play DEs at safety (which we did last year). We played way too many kids out of position due to necessity. We were well on our way to addressing that. Lastly, we have got to have more that really “want to”. We have great kids here, but we have got to be tougher, more physical, way more mental toughness and more about WE than I.
Outlook/expectations: We always expect to compete at a high level, be in the playoffs. Before all this craziness hit us we were having an excellent off season. We had a ton of kids lifting. Time will tell if we can put it back together when we get the all clear.
2020 Football Schedule
Aug. 14 at Crescent City, Kickoff Classic
Aug. 21 at Interlachen
Aug. 28 vs. Dixie County (Cross City)
Sept. 4 at Newberry
Sept. 11 vs. Lanier County (GA)
Sept. 25 vs. Cambridge Christian (Tampa)
Oct. 2 vs. Chiefland
Oct. 9 vs. Bell
Oct. 16 at Williston
Oct. 23 at Branford
Oct. 30 at Lafayette (Mayo)
Class 1A-Region 4 (top 6 make postseason)