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Trinity Classical Academy: Football and friendship

Three quarterbacks and a wide receiver lead Trinity into their second varsity season

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.

(Back row, from left) Trinity quarterbacks Chris Buchanan, Dakota Prochnow and Spencer Klehn have a close friendship with each other and running back/wide receiver Patch Kulp (42) that helps them on and off the football field.

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Trusting your teammates on the football field is a vital component to success.

Building that trust, though, takes work — not just on the field, but off it as well.

At Trinity Classical Academy, several quarterbacks, and one of their best friends, have formed a bond off the field that has helped them thrive in a situation that might tear other teams apart.

Most teams play one quarterback.

Some play two, though it rarely works out.

And then there’s Trinity, a school preparing for its second varsity football season.

The Knights will suit up and play three quarterbacks this fall, including Dakota Prochnow, Spencer Klehn and Chris Buchanan.

And no one around the team expects there to be any problems.

“It was kind of a collaboration,” Buchanan says. “We took our attributes into effect. We were having fun with it. We just decided to put it down because of our success.”

The trio has stuck together in a situation the vast majority of football teams will never face.

“We just really encourage each other. I mean, there’s never been a harsh word between any of us three,” Buchanan says. “The team knows that we all have our different strengths, and depending on the situation, all three of us are going to get to play a lot this year.”

As close as the group is now, though, that wasn’t always the case.

“We didn’t really know each other before last season, and then last season we really gelled because I was an incoming sophomore, Spencer was a freshman and Dakota was new to the school,” Buchanan says. “It was kind of a friendship that gelled really quickly, and we didn’t want to lose that after the season ended.”

The group has continued to foster that friendship, routinely getting together at each others’ houses at least two to three times a month to relax, watch movies or play games.

Of course, football is a regular item on their agenda when they hang out.

“Almost every time,” Prochnow says. “It’s what we live for. It’s what we do, it’s our passion.”

While the group started with just the three of them, a series of injuries last season prompted an expansion.

Prior to a game in October, Buchanan suffered a concussion and Klehn experienced back spasms, leaving both of them unable to play.

Junior Patch Kulp, the team’s emergency quarterback and current wide receiver, stepped up to second string on the depth chart and the group saw an opportunity to induct another member.

Not without a little creativity, though.

“We had fun with his initiation. We had him at lunch time in front of the high school, got two students and two teachers and had him do the Macarena in front of everyone,” Buchanan says, referring to the dance. “The two students and two teachers gave up after a while, but he didn’t, so we decided to give it to him.”

The addition of a wide receiver into the group has helped it grow on the football field, allowing for an outside perspective to creep into the quarterback-heavy football conversations.

“Us three can all help each other from the quarterback perspective, but it helps having a receiver/running back letting us know what he feels. Having a receiver’s perspective as to whether he could have caught it or (if) we put him in danger is kind of cool,” Buchanan says.

And it represents the group’s focus on the game, which influences the rest of the team.

“It does,” says head coach Mike Buchanan. “For example, the group of them, they know how many days until our first game. The rest of the guys were like, ‘It’s two, three weeks away,’ and Spencer Klehn was like, ‘We’re 16 days away.’”

While the group has helped the four players build a friendship off the field, the field is where the four have parlayed their camaraderie into an unparalleled trust.

“We understand each other a lot more,” Kulp says. “We understand we can push each other, and (the team) can push us.”

And that’s their ultimate goal: to spread that trust throughout the team.

“They’re not cliquey at all. They don’t isolate themselves from the others on the team,” Mike Buchanan says. “They keep everyone welcome and you see them reaching out, which is a beautiful thing.”

In a situation that would cause friction among many teams, the Knights have persevered, with their trio of quarterbacks sticking by each other’s side out of friendship and loyalty.

“We know that we’re all going to be playing, we’re all going to have our role on the team,” Klehn says. “And so we are comfortable in what we’re able to do, and we do our role and not try to go above that.”

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