January 10th, 2017

Trinity celebrates title No. 24

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer

Trinity celebrates title No. 24
Leaving a mark - the tradition of the Trinity's champions taking a bite of the wood of the championship trophy / cover: several Trinity football players pose with the state championship trophy

In 2001, the state champion Trinity Shamrocks football team began a tradition to leave their mark on the title trophy. How so? Individual players would take a bite somewhere on the piece of wood that held the sparkling football at its centerpiece.

It’s a tradition that’s been continued in the Bob Beatty era. The coach that’s guided the program to 12 championships in 17 seasons, doubling the football title output in Trinity’s first 45 years to a Commonwealth leading 24 state football trophies.

Mayor Greg Fischer, Trinity class of ’76, was one of the speakers at this morning’s recognition assembly. He presented Beatty with a key to the city and spoke glowingly about his alma mater’s successes on the field and in life.

“There’s a lot of hardware up here,” Mayor Fischer said as he addressed the crowd motioning to the long line of championship trophies in front of the podium. “And maybe you get used to this because you’ve been around this tradition of excellence here at Trinity High School. But I can tell you that once you leave this wonderful place it’s unusual and very hard to find this kind of tradition of excellence throughout the rest of the country.

“Sometimes while you’re going through this you think it’s normal,” Fischer said. “You may think, ‘we win championships, we’ve got a fantastic school and we’re developing ourselves spiritually’, but life’s really not that way once you get out of here. You are building that life inside of you right now to be champions not just on the field, but off the field as well and that’s something that you can take with you regardless of there’s another state championship. You can help make our city, state and country a better place.”

The entire student-body, coaching staff, team, parents and other dignitaries were in attendance. A new flag was presented to the student body with the 2016 championship on it; the football banner that hangs in Steinhauser Gymnasium had the 2016 season emblazoned on it; and the city of St. Matthews presented a new sign that will hang near campus that recognizes St. Matthews as the home of the Trinity Shamrocks, 2016 state football champions.

Beatty’s remarks included three core values of his program and a message about leadership.

“Our players determine if I’m the leader of this program,” Beatty said. “How do you go about providing the leadership that these guys provided? You have to have leadership in life. You have to have vision. Without vision, basically you have nothing. And you have to have a plan how you’re going to get there and you have to lead by example.

“What holds a country, a family, a business and what holds a team together is our core values. And core values are something that you never compromise. Our three core values include: doing the right thing; do everything to the best of your ability and to care about one another. When you care about one another you build trust.”

This group of players trusted each other and the staff to make it through a tough season undefeated and to hold that 24th trophy on the field following its 56-21 dismantling of Lafayette.

It was a season full of challenges and the team embraced them at every turn.

“The grind this summer was something we hadn’t done before,” Beatty said. “Driving home from Nashville after our 14-7 win over Ensworth in the first game of the season, we (the coaches) really felt like we were playing with a JV football team because most of the players didn’t have much experience and I wasn’t sure we could win another game. Then, after we beat Brentwood I felt like then that we might have something special. Lastly, even though we beat PRP (29-10) we played poorly. We were coming off a very emotional victory against Male and the kids treated the PRP win as a loss. We all felt like we grew tremendously from that PRP game.”

Quarterback Spencer Blackburn relished the entire process. The MVP of the state final, Blackburn got his first chance to start in this, his senior season.

“I just feel so blessed to have worked so hard with my teammates to get this title and to accomplish all that we did,” Blackburn said. “We became so close after all those hours at practice and film study and lifting and drilling. These guys are brothers for life. That’s not just a saying; it’s a reality with this team.”

And 24 state championship trophies is a testament to all of the champions that have passed through Trinity’s halls. 


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