Kevin Spiller was about to retire for the second time.
Trinity Christian’s head football coach considered calling it a career after a long 2021 season. The Lions had just lost in the TAPPS Division II State Championship game to Cypress Christian and Spiller was ready to head. towards sunset.
But, his wife talked him out of it and Spiller had gone too far with the group who were freshmen when he took over as head coach to walk away now.
Spiller ultimately decided to return for one final season. He will be leaving school in December, making way for new head coach Riley White to replace him.
Before that, however, Spiller will be looking to lead the Lions to the title they won just under a season ago. And he’ll have plenty of talent coming back from that runner-up team to give the Lions a shot at history.
After:Lubbock Christian football fills gaps since state semifinal
Trinity Christian brings back 19 total starters – 10 on offense, nine on defense – and 28 total literati. Considering where the program was when Spiller took over, when the goal was to have enough players for a JV team, now is the best time for the Lions to get into everything.
“Just having those numbers and having some depth and having some options and being able to train without always holding a dummy or, you know, me running roads or something. … It’s pretty awesome,” Spiller said. .
Having so many players has its benefits, but it also changes the way Spiller organizes practices to keep everyone busy. With a large number of players and all those returning players, the Lions were able to figure things out this spring rather than waiting until August.
Returning players are the biggest factor in Trinity’s optimism, especially the top three in Marcus Ramon-Edwards, Zach Anthony and Hunter Mastin.
Each of the three players are heavily recruited from colleges — Ramon-Edwards has previously committed to Texas Tech — and are players Spiller points to as an example of what the Lions are all about.
Anthony is the anchor of the defense at linebacker and joins Mastin and Jeremiah Isaac as the core of the Lions offensive line, which features heavily in the Slot-T offense the team uses to take a lot of free time.
Ramon-Edwards is the star guard, having rushed for 1,778 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first year.
It’s no secret that the Lions will put the ball in the hands of Ramon-Edwards. The Lions will also use his gravity to pass the ball to other players like tight end Cade Hays. Trinity will always beat the opposing defense with running plays, but Spiller said the team will start adding tempo, even kicking the ball in occasionally to keep defenses honest.
“We think we’ve got enough good receivers and a few guys now that you can give them the ball,” Spiller said. “If you’re just trying to give us a snag or something, we’re going to try to take it this year and not be so stubborn that we’re just going to hammer it every game. We’re going to use some of that talent that we’ve been blessed.”
In the spring, Eli Reeves was chosen as the new starting quarterback. Reeves is a starting safety and played fullback last season, but will compete for the starting QB position with three other players.
After:Writing South Plains High School’s Best Football Games of the Season
The 2021 campaign has been an eventful year for the Lions. When they beat Lubbock Christian in the national semi-finals, they felt like it was good enough. Then when they lost in the state championship game, they realized they were hoping for a little more.
“Anything beating Lubbock Christian and the big win over Grace Prep was still good,” Spiller said, “but, man, there’s still this issue that you missed out on the state championship. So let’s go. Let’s go give it another shot with the numbers we have come back and see.”
Trinity Christian Lions
The head coach – Kevin Spiller
records 2021 — 10-4 overall, 6-1 in the district
Basic offense — T slot
basic defense — 3 batteries
Returning off./def. entries — 10/9
Best Feedback —Marcus Ramon-Edwards, Sr., RB/DB; Hunter Mastin, Sr., OL/DL; Zach Anthony, Sr., OL/LB; Cade Hays, Jr., TE/LB; Samuel Beaver, Jr., OL/DL.
* denotes TAPPS District I Division III game
August 26 – at Albany, 6 p.m.
September 2 — at Clarendon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 – vs. Liberty Argyle at Abilene Christian University, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — vs. New Deal, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 – vs. Denver City, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 – at Colleyville Covenant, 6 p.m.*
Oct. 14 – vs. Grace Prep, 6 p.m.*
October 21 — c. Willow Park, 6 p.m.*
Nov. 2 — vs. Pantego, 6 p.m.*