December 3rd, 2017

Hull's leadership invaluable for Rocks

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer


Hull's leadership invaluable for Rocks
Trinity's Ethan Hull cradles the state championship trophy/photo by Eric Thorne

 

When Ethan Hull ran off the field at the University of Kentucky Sunday he pulled of his helmet and showed teammates his ripped Trinity jersey.

But the Rocks senior was all smiles as he looked at the scoreboard as the final seconds ticked off the clock as Trinity claimed their back-to-back KHSAA Russell Athletic Commonwealth Gridiron bowl championship with a 38-21 win over St. Xavier.

Hull was the first to give out congratulatory hugs and he was the one who hoisted the trophy high above his teammates who gathered around him after the presentation.

“We have been putting in the work for so long starting in January in the weight room, and we only get about a month off during the whole year. And that’s just this year so we feel like we’ve been working nonstop for years and years,” Hull said. “For my senior class that is a lot of cumulative work and it all came out today in the form this championship.”

Hull is a four-year letterman both on the football and lacrosse teams, and is a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society.

Against St. X he recorded seven total tackles in the game; six solo, four for a loss and two sacks.

He finished the year with 43 total tackles with 41 of those being solo as well as 13.5 tackles for a loss. He also finished with a pair of interceptions.

“Playing football here never ends and it becomes like a lifestyle, you just embrace it and it becomes who you are,” Hull said. “The amount of work you put gets you this reward.”

The 2017 title was capped off with 30 straight victories beginning with the start of the 2016 season. His fellow seniors finished with a record of 51-7 including two state championships after a heartbreaking 20-19 loss in 2015 to Male in the title game.

Hull has not forgotten the feeling of being an underclassman during that season ending defeat. Heading into his junior year knew what needed to be done.

“I remember that bus ride back and watching the faces of the seniors and how they felt and not wanting to feel that way” Hull said. “You have to give up everything else and focus on what you want and decide if playing Trinity football is really what you want to be a part of. Once you do then that’s your life at that point.”

Trinity coach Bob Beatty can easily point to the one attribute that stands out about Hull.

“He isn’t the biggest kid out there but he as a huge, huge chest bigger than anyone I have ever coached and by that I mean heart,” Beatty said. “That kid has a chest and that’s what exemplifies the type of person he is on and off the field. What a great role model.”

 A recognized leader on the field his teammates know they can always count on him including fellow defensive players Arak McDuffie and Stephen Herron.

 “My man always has my back and when I first got here he was the first one to take me under his wing and teach me the ropes and the ways of Trinity brotherhood,” Herron said. “To be honest without Ethan here next year I don’t have anyone I can trust till we see how things go. I just know that Ethan is one of the best players you will ever meet.”

McDuffie who also helps anchor the Rocks defense grew up watching Trinity and Kentucky great Jason Hatcher and he along with his fellow seniors learned from him what it takes to win.

“Ethan is a big leader for us and basically the quarterback out there along with Nick Cardosi and Jacob Dingle,” McDuffie said. “Nick and Ethan both push everyone in practice especially when we don’t feel like being there.”

“During the summer you spend a lot of time together preparing and you learn to trust each other,” McDuffie said. “We have been together a long, long time and that’s the advantage I think we had today. We feel for one another when we are down and the opposite like when we feel like we do today.”

But just what type of leadership does Hull bring to the field?

 “He can be both vocal and by example it just depends on the day of the week,” Herron said. “Ethan somedays can calm you down and other days he tells you to get your head out of your butt.”

Hull said as a freshman and sophomore he looked up to the upperclassman and one day wanted to be that guy.

“I wanted one day to be the guy they looked up to and I want them to match my intensity and passion that I play with on the field every single day,” Hull said, “The hardest thing though is getting them to buy into that mindset,”

Beatty gave Hull a long hug outside the Rocks locker room after the game, and then lamented just how much Hull has meant to the Trinity program.

“He is what we call the great Trinity story in that as freshman he just kept getting stronger every year and then last year really started to shine,” Beatty said. “A blue collar kind of player, does well in the classroom and goes hard in practice every day.”

Beatty also loves that he never got discouraged.

“He isn’t perfect and makes mistakes but gets his butt chewed sometimes, and then gets right back in there with his head up which is what Trinity football is all about,” Beatty said.  “Ethan isn’t a big rah rah guy but is very physical and just everything about him the weight room, in practice and the classroom shows his leadership,” Beatty said. “

Hull has aspirations of playing college football and has an offer from Jacksonville State, but is waiting to see whom else may garner interest in him.

As he walked toward the tunnel leaving the field Kroger field he looked back at the scoreboard with Trinity State Champions and had one final thought.

 “I hoped to be a leader to my teammates and everyone saw that when guys weren’t doing well they could look always look to me for inspiration and that I’m there for them,” Hull said. “I want my legacy to be that I was their teammate and not a player focusing on myself.”

 

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