Battle of Trinity Mountain features new faces and reversed roles

 East Lawrence's Sean Holt is preparing for his first Battle of Trinity as head coach of the Eagles 

 

TRINITY - The Battle of Trinity Mountain is going to look a lot different on the sidelines this year. 

The rivalry game featuring Trinity's two football teams, East Lawrence and West Morgan, returned last year after a two year hiatus. That game, which ended in a 21-18 win for the Eagles, featured two coaches, Bo Culver and Mikel Riggs, making their debuts in the rivalry. 

Fast forward a year later and the game will once again feature two new head coaches. 

Sean Holt, who spent last year as the Eagles' defensive coordinator, is now their new head coach, while Drew Phillips is in his first year as head man of the Rebels. 

Both coaches are excited to lead their teams into a big rivalry game. 

"I'm excited. It's going to be packed and it's going to be a great atmosphere," Phillips said. "These are the kind of games you live to play in." 

The familiarity between the two communities is what Holt says make it such a big rivalry. 

"Everyone knows each other between the two schools. It's amazing how connected they are," he said. "It's one of those games where there's some added meaning to it for the kids." 

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Roles reversed 

In 2020 East Lawrence was coming off a big win in their season opener, while the Rebels were coming off a tough loss. 

Now, ironically roles have reversed. 

West Morgan opened their season with a 34-28 win over Good Hope. East Lawrence dropped a mistake filled 28-7 loss to Sulligent. 

"It's amazing how winning can mask your mistakes, while losing magnifies it," Phillips said. "We didn't play our best ball. There was a lot that happened that we need to improve on. The message to our players this week." 

The good news for East Lawrence is there is just as much to learn from a loss. 

"A lot of times you can learn more from losing than winning. I think Sulligent is a good team, but that loss was more about us than them," Holt said. "We played hard, we did good things, but we made too many mistakes. Our priority is to make sure we don't make those mistakes and I think the kids are ready to do that." 

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Handling emotion 

Rivalries breed emotion, but  how do you handle that emotion? That's what the coaches are focusing on this week. 

"This is an emotional game for the kids, we're coming off an emotional win, but we can't survive off emotion," Phillips said. "We have to remain focused on our jobs and our assignments if we want to get better and continue to win." 

But while the coaches want to make sure their players don't get too caught up in the moment, they also want them to enjoy it. 

"These kind of games don't come along all the time," Holt said. "Most of these guys will never play football again after high school, so this is their chance to make memories that will last a lifetime."

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