Young Trinity ready for shot
By By Scott Walters/EMG-Laurel Leader-Call
Nov. 27, 2001
JACKSON To call the Trinity Episcopal football season, a youth movement, might be a bit of an understatement.
The Saints will start seven sophomores and two freshmen on defense in Thursday's MPSA Class A state championship game against Wayne Academy. Game time is 1 p.m. at Robinson-Hale Stadium on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton.
Indeed, the season has been a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff and King, who felt his team would eventually mold into a state title contender. Trinity will play for the state title for the first time since 1989.
For the Saints, it starts at the quarterback position. Chad Ridley is the 5-foot-11, 180-pound signal caller. Ridley is only one of six seniors on a 23-man roster.
Ridley leads the MPSA Class A ranks with 166 total points scored, including 27 touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. On the ground, Ridley has rushed for a team-high 1,240 yards on 177 carries with 19 touchdowns. In the air, he has completed 60-of-177 passes for 1,016 yards. The passing numbers include 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
By no means is Ridley the only offensive weapon.
Teammate Walt Ketchings has rushed 96 times for 628 yards with six touchdowns. Sophomore Chase Brown is the top receiver with 26 catches for 448 yards and six touchdowns. Trinity qualified for the postseason as the Division 5-1A champions. The Saints won all five games they played within the division. The Saints stand
11-2 overall with only losses to higher-class opponents Tensas and Central Private.
In the postseason, the Saints have eliminated River Oaks (14-12), Claiborne (29-0) and Glenbrook (28-21).
Defensively, Brown leads the charge from a defensive back position. The 5-9, 160-pound sophomore has a Class A-best 10 interceptions. Ketchings, a sophomore, has a team-best 154 total tackles from a linebacker spot. Ketchings has also recovered a team-high six fumbles.
Sophomore linebacker Ivan Nastally has 100 total tackles, while sophomore lineman Kayne Troutman has 83 total tackles.
The Saints have five shutouts. Despite the youth, the unit has played well from opening day.
King is in his seventh season at the school. This is his fourth season as head coach and first appearance in the state championship game.