Kerwin Bell ups the expectations in football

Kerwin Bell has his Trinity Catholic Celtics looking for bigger and better things. No more will anyone hear "first year program" or "startup program". Kerwin Bell has high expectations for his 3rd year varsity program. After a 4-6 season two years ago with rising juniors as the oldest kids on the team, his first senior class went 6-4 with a berth in the state playoffs. The first round loss to Tallahassee North Florida Christian was a humbling way to end a pretty good season.

The loss showed Kerwin as well as all his kids what needed to be done in the off season. Commitment was the word that needed to be at the top of each kid's priority list for football. It had to be a team concept to be in the weight room for 8 months till the beginning of the 04 football season. Mission accomplished. Trinity had an overwhelming attendance from January through August. The team lifted only twice a week the month of May due to Spring Practice, but then resumed lifting 4 times a week in June. Instead of a handful of kids lifting it was everyone not involved in other sports. If you weren't on the track team, you had to be on the weight lifting team. This is the kind of commitment it takes to win on this level. The results were amazing. Starting tailback Bradley Grant gained 25 pounds since January, most players gained 50 pounds on their bench presses, guys lowered their 40 times, increased dramatically their squat numbers.

The results on the field were just as pleasing. Trinity Catholic played host to 2-time defending state champs Jacksonville Trinity Christian in the Spring game and came away with a victory. Although the Spring games don't count on the records, it gave Trinity come confidence heading into the summer.

Trinity made the most of its summer as well. They participated in two big 7 on 7 tournaments doing pretty well in each of them. In the USF Sling & Shoot 7 on 7 Tourney, Trinity defeated 3 schools in larger classifications and ended up going 5-3 in the tourney overall. In the Westport Tourney, Trinity finished 3rd out of 16 teams. The best part about it is Trinity was only one of two 1A teams in the USF Tourney and the only 1A team in Westport's. Playing great competition only makes any team better.

This year's offense should be a strong suit. Gone are 4 starters on the offense, but there is plenty of depth to plug in the holes. Starting at QB will be transfer from Palmetto High Seth Varnadore. He backed up Joe Henrich last year while learning the system. Backing the 6'1 225 lb. Varnadore up will be rising sophomore John Brantley. Varnadore combines smarts with an extremely strong arm. The drop back passer is a straight A student and wants to go on to play college ball somewhere. He will probably get that chance after putting up some big numbers in Kerwin's offense. Brantley will play more than sparingly. At RB, junior incumbent Bradley Grant continues to lead the way. The 5'7 155 pound scat back has added 25 pounds since the end of last season and will run with power as well as speed this year. Backing him up is a kid new to the position this year in junior Courtney Graham. He combines good instincts with great 4.5 speed. Sophomore Chris Allen, 5'9 175, has a lot of potential as well. He is one of the fastest kids on the team, but lacks varsity experience. At FB, sophomore Rudell Small will be a combination type back. Not a true fullback he is great at catching the ball out of the backfield as well as being TC's most physical runner. He will get the tough yards at 5'10 185. The true fullbacks are sophomore Travis Pieron, a 5'10 210 pounder who is tough as nails and senior Jeff Taccetta, checking in at 5'11 190.

At TE, junior transfer from Vanguard Ricky Cherry will be a tremendous asset to Trinity's program. The 6'2 225 lb. TE also doubles as a very good long snapper. Backing up Cherry will be sophomore Travis Hope.

Moving to WR, senior Joey Sorrentino returns. The 5'7 165 pound speedster is a 2nd team all state selection from a year ago. Next to him will be rising sophomore Jamie Kinsler. The 5'9 170 pound transfer from Ocala Westport will be a tremendous compliment to Sorrentino. Both kids have been clocked in the low 4.5's. Senior David D'Andrea also returns but is nursing a sore hamstring that might linger into the season. Other WR's who will contribute in Kerwin's high flying offense are sophomore Deon LeCorn. He is the best athlete on the team and will start at SS/OLB as well. Junior Chaz Majors will also compete at WR as well as start at free safety. Sophomore Mitchell Chauncey will provide depth.

On the OL, all five starters return and all are seniors. The offensive line will average around 245 pounds. Senior Joe Spinelli is the anchor at 6'2 310. From left to right: Justin Decker, 6'1 250, Joey Chauncey, 5'10 216, Patrick Clayton, 6'2 235, Mike Cook, 5'11 230, and Spinelli. Senior Frank Shala will be the top backup at 6'2 230.

Moving over the the defensive side of the ball, the key for TC was to develop some size along the Dline. Getting a player in here or there will also help the situation. The starters at DL are twins Jason, 6'1 195, and Nick Butler. 6'1 210, at the end spots and Adam Long, 5'11 180, at a tackle spot. The twins are very quick, slashing type players who put serious pressure on the OL. Long is an undersized tackle who relies on his quick feet and hands. Backing them up are senior Fred Timmis, 5'10 185, sophomore Max Merritt, 5'10 240, sophomore transfer from Vanguard Enrique Robinson, 6' 245 and freshman Byron Harvey. Harvey is an interesting story and one to keep an eye on for the next few years. The half brother of tailback Bradley Grant, Harvey is a monster kid at 6'2 320. He has 5.2 speed and vertical jumps 31 inches. He has great hands and when he wants to absolutely dominates inside. If he can work hard the next few years, he could really be something.

At LB, the theme is speed and quickness. The core is mostly undersized that can run to the ball and deliver some serious blows. Leading the way is junior Sam Rashad Jacobs. The 5'8 160 bullet plays at 100 miles an hour and has the heart of a lion. Seniors Joey Chauncey and Jeff Taccetta will play the middle spot and sophomore Travis Pieron will lock the weak side spot. Others that will get on the field are juniors Al Williams, 6'2 185, and Patrick Stoner, 5'11 175.

The secondary should also be a team strength with the type of speed that is on this team. Starting at corners are juniors Kristian Roberts and Courtney Graham. Roberts is a very physical corner at 6' 192 with 4.6 speed and Graham is the quintessential cover corner. Backing them up with be junior Dwayne Small, 6' 180, and sophomore Jamie Kinsler. At safety, this is the spot on the team with the most potential. Sophomore Deon LeCorn, 6'1 205, is a manchind who loves contact. Sophomore transfer from Tallahassee Rickards is Glen Harvey. At 6'2 205 and ultra physical, he can only help the core this year. On the other side, sophomore Rudell Small will start and has great instincts and junior Patrick Stoner will be a huge part of TC's defense. Chaz Majors will start at FS after having a terrific Spring game in which he intercepted two passes against Jacksonville Trinity Christian and returned one for a TD. Backing him up will be junior Al Williams. Williams has tremendous closing speed and could become a key cog in the defense later on in the year.

Finally, the special teams should also be a team strength. Jason Anderson is the kicker and is a good one. He also excels at kickoff and punts. The punting job though is still a battle between Anderson and Joey Sorrentino, the returning punter who was 2nd in the county in average last year, with and average of over 35 yards per punt.

All in all, the Trinity Catholic Celtics are much more talented than they have ever been. If the staff can get this team gelled together, the talent is there for a run at the big time. The Spring game showed just that.

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