It’s a different feeling for Trinity this year.
The Shamrocks sent a message in their final game of the regular season, knocking of Ballard 63-0 to seal the Class 6A, District 4 title. It’s a feeling head coach Bob Beatty prefers.
“I’ve got to give the kids the credit,” Beatty said. “You come to Trinity to win championship, and they earned that one tonight.
“Last year we were third in district. That didn’t feel very good. It feels a lot better tonight.”
Now the Shamrocks will get a break, kind of. After playing 10 straight games in the regular season, they have a bye week in Week 11 before beginning defense of their Class 6A state title.
“We’ve got some things we’re going to clean up,” Beatty said. “We won’t get much rest, a lot of strength training and conditioning this week. We’ll get ready for the tournament.”
And Trinity could see Ballard again in that tournament. Despite the tough loss to the Rocks on Friday, the Bruins have improved, cruising past the rest of Class 6, District 4 to earn the district’s No. 2 spot in the tournament.
Ballard head coach Mike Jackson said they’ll examine Friday night’s loss like any other, but he’s more interested in what he sees out of his team next week and into the playoffs.
“We’ve got a game at home next week and we get to play football again,” Jackson said. “We’ll try to get this taste out of our mouths. You know, winning is the best mouthwash.
“We’ll see if our kids really are what we’ve built them up to be and can be resilient, so we’ll see.”
Playing at home in the opening round should make things easier for both teams, even if the Shamrocks are playing with more of a target on their backs as the defending champs.
“There’s no pressure, seriously,” Beatty said. “That’s not something we even talk about. We don’t talk about a state championship, we talk about one at a time.”