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1st-year Trinity coach relying on seniors to ease transition

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
Trinity FB/LB Evan McWreath during run drills on Monday August 13, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Trinity's sophmore QB Jason Vankirk dodges discs during quarterback drills on Monday August 13, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Trinity's QB duo Don McWreath (rear) and Forrest Cullings (front) get ready to pass during quarterback drills on Monday August 13, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Trinity first-year coach Ryan Coyle has one goal this season — to be competitive.

The Hillers, who finished 5-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play in 2011, want to build familiarity, play within themselves and make noise in a conference that houses perennial powers Thomas Jefferson and West Mifflin.

“I certainly hope to be in a position where we can be competitive,” Coyle said. “We know that going in it's going to be tough.

“One thing I have always admired about Trinity student-athletes is when I've seen them in film, they always had a desire to compete.”

A prime example of his affinity for competition can be seen throughout the preseason camp. Coyle said the quarterback position was undecided. Jason Vankirk, who passed for nearly 900 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, is vying for the spot with seniors Don McWreath and sophomore Forrest Cullings.

“Any time you create a situation where kids know they have to compete to win their position, only good can come from it,” Coyle said.

“Taking that approach, being as my whole staff is almost entirely new, I don't think you can go in with the attitude that your offense or your defense is set. The cream rises to the top.”

Coyle is adamant about finding the best player for each position and said he has been impressed with the team's leaders.

“In a transitional year, going from the previous program (at Mt. Lebanon) to this program, you rely on seniors to pull you through,” he said.

“You can coach technique and tweak offensive and defensive schemes, but when it comes down to it, if you can't hang your hat on senior leaders, you don't have anything.”

Corey Hunsberger will be a valuable two-way player as a wide receiver and free safety, and tight end-defensive end Jared Deep will lead on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, Coyle will look to senior linebacker Evan McWreath and senior defensive lineman Xavier Severns.

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