With coach in their corner, Trinity seniors set to showcase their skills

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Sunday, August 23, 2020 | 12:01 AM


Trinity football coach Jon Miller spent time during pandemic quarantine promoting his rising senior players on Twitter.

He posted photos, links to Hudl highlights and a few strengths for each of his upperclassmen.

Now, with actual football about to be played, he wants to see them back up his words on the field.

“We have to do whatever we can to get the coaches to recognize them, especially the seniors,” said Miller, who got the idea from South Fayette coach Joe Rossi. “They’ve earned that. It was the best way to get their names out there and give them a chance to play at the next level.”

For months, players from Trinity and other schools from around the nation waited for their chance to get back on the field. With that time upon them, the Hillers are itching to compete.

Many of the senior players Miller highlighted on social media will play key roles in their quest for success this season.

Leading the offensive attack will be senior Micah Finley, a running back who also saw time at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back, linebacker and punter last season. He was an all-conference selection as an athlete.

“He did a great job during quarantine of getting stronger and improved his speed,” Miller said. “He’s been a durable player for us. He has the potential to make big plays. We’re expecting more from him defensively than we have in the past. He should be up to the task with that.”

Senior Tyson Brophy also returns to anchor both sides of the line. He was a first-team all-conference defensive tackle last season. Fellow senior defensive tackle Nathan Seaman also returns.

“Tyson is a fantastic defensive lineman,” Miller said. “To be a first-team all-conference defensive lineman in our conference is pretty impressive. We need a repeat performance and even better from him. He has to be the guy that anchors that front on the defensive side. We know he can do it.”

Junior Drew Cain returns after an all-conference season at linebacker. He will get a shot to play quarterback, as well.

“He’s just a football player,” Miller said. “Both sides of the ball, he’s versatile. He can play linebacker, defensive back, running back, quarterback. He and Micah in the backfield, that gives us a chance (to do some things). Both have to be stalwarts for us.”

Cain is competing for the quarterback job with senior Kaden Kolson and junior Connor Roberts. Roberts and Kolson also are expected to contribute at wide receiver, along with senior Anthony Phillips and juniors Tysean Lacks and Brayden May.

“We really like our skill all the way around,” Miller said. “We have kids who can do a bunch of different things.”

Senior Peyton Thompson also will be in the backfield as a fullback and was a second-team all-conference linebacker last year.

Back on the offensive line are junior Ethan Turturice (6-4, 265) at right tackle and Brophy (6-2, 250) at right guard. Sophomore Ty Banco (6-2, 235) also moved from tight end to left guard.

“We’re excited about the offensive line,” Miller said. “We have more athleticism than we have had the past couple years.”

Miller calls the Class 4A Big Eight Conference the toughest in the classification, if not the entire WPIAL. Perennial power Thomas Jefferson went 16-0 last season en route to WPIAL and PIAA titles, and Belle Vernon and West Mifflin are regular playoff contenders.

To top it off, one of the WPIAL’s winningest programs, McKeesport, dropped down from Class 5A and joined the Big Eight.

Trinity, which finished 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the Big Eight last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year, will open against Ringgold on Sept. 11 and then play Thomas Jefferson, McKeesport and West Mifflin in consecutive weeks.

“We’re excited about the group (we have),” Miller said. “We think we have a chance to make a run at a playoff spot and get back to that. It’s tough going back to back with TJ and McKeesport early on. We’ll find out how good we are and where we stand.

“It’s all about competing and getting out there and going toe to toe and play for play with those teams and having the resilience to battle back.”

Schedule

Coach: Jon Miller

2019 record: 4-5, 4-3 in Class 4A Big Eight

All-time record: 371-508-37

Date, Opponent, Time

9.11, Ringgold*, 7

9.18, Thomas Jefferson*, 7

9.25, at McKeesport*, 7

10.2, West Mifflin*, 7

10.9, at Washington, 7

10.16, Belle Vernon*, 7

10.23, at Laurel Highlands*, 7

*Class 4A Big Eight Conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Jax Banco*

Receiving: Marquese Lacks*

Rushing: Micah Finley

*Graduated

Fast facts

• Jax Banco, who led the Hillers in passing last season, is playing baseball this fall at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Division II school in Daytona Beach, Fla.

• The Hillers allowed 25.1 points per game last season, but that total was inflated by blowout losses to Thomas Jefferson, Belle Vernon and Penn-Trafford, three of the top teams in the WPIAL.

• Trinity’s lone WPIAL title came in 1948 in Class AA.

• Miller is entering his sixth season at Trinity and has a record of 19-27.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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