View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Trinity looks for first CIF title

Third time will have to be a charm for Knights against rival Joshua Springs

Posted: November 29, 2013 10:55 p.m.
Updated: November 29, 2013 10:55 p.m.

Trinity defenders from left, Patch Kulp (42), Ryan Brooks (15) and Spencer Klehn (4) against Faith Baptist on Nov. 2. Trinity plays for a CIF championship tonight at 7 p.m.

If the Trinity Classical Academy Knights 8-man football team hopes to capture the CIF-Southern Section Division II 8-man Championship tonight against Joshua Springs, historical trends will have to be broken.

First, there’s recent history.

The Lightning have topped Trinity twice during the past two seasons — a 46-28 victory in last season’s CIF semifinal round, and a 36-34 blowout-turned-nailbiter earlier this year on Oct. 18.

Second, there’s precedent.

Joshua Springs has won the past four CIF titles in the 8-man ranks, meaning all that stands between it and a half-decade of dominance are the Knights.

Tonight’s 7 p.m. game at Valencia High marks the first time that Trinity (9-2) will play for a CIF football title, although Joshua Springs head coach Israel Hagerman points out that last year’s semifinals showdown served as a de facto championship game.

“We knew that last year our game against Trinity was virtually the championship,” said Hagerman, who has led the Lightning to a 55-10 overall record under his tenure. “We’re excited to play this year officially for the title. Our guys have been down this road enough times. We’re not focusing on the fact we’ve already played them — just on getting our fifth straight.”

The fact that the Knights and Lightning are now league opponents has added an extra element of intrigue to the blossoming rivalry.

The recent consolidation of power in the Heritage League has made it one of the toughest conferences in all of 8-man football — third-place Heritage finisher Desert Christian is the No. 16 ranked squad in the state, Trinity and Joshua Springs are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, according to

The Knights are recognized as the No. 1 team despite the loss to a Joshua Springs team with the same record. But that may have to do with the fact that the Knights’ defense has allowed 75 fewer points this year.

But by every other measure, the two teams enter Saturday’s contest at Valencia High School evenly matched.

“It’s satisfying where we are right now,” said Trinity captain Spencer Klehn, who leads the team in total touchdowns. “We’ve stayed motivated by knowing that every time we play we’re sending a message to the next team up. They’re the next team up now.”

Trinity reached the final after defeating a then-undefeated Desert Chapel team 50-32.

Of course, Joshua Springs was just as dominant in its semifinal against Cuyama Valley, winning 42-0.

It’s only fitting that the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams are playing their best before the biggest game of the year.

For Trinity, the biggest game in school history.

“Hagerman is a great coach who has done some impressive things down there,” said Trinity head coach Mike Buchanan. “We’re just excited to get them back for another shot.”


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...