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2013 Trinity football preview: Title or bust

Trinity eyes a CIF crown after falling in divisional semifinals last 2 years

Posted: September 3, 2013 9:30 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2013 9:30 p.m.

Trinity Classical Academy football players (from left to right) Patch Kulp, Spencer Klehn, Ryan Brooks, Eli Skorich, James Almeida.

 

Taking so many steps in the last couple of years still hasn’t resulted in the ultimate prize for the Trinity Classical Academy football team.

Three league championships are a start, but the Knights’ desire is a CIF title.

Losses in the last two CIF-Southern Section Division II 8-Man semifinals, though, has provided the team with some perspective.

In order to win the truly big games, Trinity would have to grind games out on offense and get tougher on defense.

That’s the plan for this season as Trinity embarks on its fourth varsity football season.

“We won’t be satisfied unless we’re in the finals and win that final game,” said Trinity head coach Mike Buchanan. “That will be predicated on being healthy and getting through a tough schedule.”

No one can ever say Trinity ducks teams.

The Knights for the second year in a row put together a schedule of mostly Division I teams.

The thought being it will pay dividends down the road.

It certainly worked last year until the Knights were outphysicaled in a 46-28 loss to Joshua Springs in the semifinals.

There’s a very big question as to if the Knights have the same firepower to get that deep in this year’s postseason.

Trinity suffered arguably the biggest loss of any Santa Clarita Valley football team with the graduation of All-CIF-SS Division II 8-man Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Dakota Prochnow, who was also a defensive force as a linebacker.

He accounted for 46 total touchdowns.

Juniors Ryan Brooks and Colton Oshiro have been sharing snaps at quarterback and both should see significant time behind center early on.

Where Trinity is especially strong is at running back, where powerful Patch Kulp (707 yards and 10 touchdowns last season) and bruising Spencer Klehn could get most of the carries, but Eli Skorich and Nick Spinello will give the backfield more depth.

All four are returning starters.

Because of that, the Knights will rely more on the run this season.

“We want to control the clock,” Buchanan said. “Watching Joshua Springs and (Heritage League rival) Faith Baptist, they’ve been run-heavy teams.”

Buchanan said that style of play might be more conducive to this Trinity team.

However, the Knights have a lack of depth on the offensive line.

Defense is where the real experience lies, as seven players with starting experience return. Kulp and Klehn are the star attractions of a unit nicknamed the “Wolfpack.”

James Almeida, Nathan Santillana, Spinello, Oshiro, Ian Caddow and Chase Duguid all saw playing time last season.

Almeida led the pack with 7.5 sacks and Spinello had three interceptions.

Buchanan said he thinks his defense will be the best in the section.

Duguid is also a reliable kicker on special teams.

Trinity has never lost a league game in its history, going 3-0-1 in the Omega League in 2010, 4-0 in the Omega in 2011 and 3-0 in the Heritage last season.

Can they keep the streak going?

If they do, will they have even more success in the postseason?

“We saw ourselves get outmanned two years in a row,” Kulp said. “We’re not going to let that happen again.”

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