Jenkins, Trimble look to control TVC-Hocking once again

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The Trimble Tomcats have a knack for writing history.

They are no strangers to the postseason, having made five consecutive playoff appearances. In 2013, the Tomcats won their first-ever regional title game en route to an appearance in the D-VII state title game. Just one year later, the Tomcats attacked and won again, marking a back-to-back Division VII, Region 25 Championships

The last two years have been for the books, winning 27 of their 29 games and securing two undefeated regular seasons in the TVC-Hocking. In the 2014 season, Trimble set a school record with 507 points, shattering the previous record of 465 set in 1980.

A new season calls for changes. The Tomcats lost 13 seniors over the last two years, including impact players like Austin Downs, Micah Couch and Tanner Koons. In 2015, Trimble is looking at 14 seniors to lead the pack, including Cody Jones, Bryce Guthrie, Dakota Smathers, Nathan Downs and Jacob Hardy.

Justice Jenkins is also ready to lead, by example.

The running back has tormented the TVC-Hocking, thrashing the record books as of late, recording 1,613 rushing yards in 2014 and 31 touchdowns in just nine games. Jenkins took home Offensive Player of the year and All-TVC Hocking honors last season as well.

He also earned the title of “go-to guy” from head coach Phil Faires.

With the loss of veteran tackles Couch and Koons, protection on the line is as vital as ever. Dante Brammer and Levi McClellan have the task of filling those shoes, a job not nearly as easy as it sounds.

But offense isn’t Faires’ biggest concern this season.

“We won’t be nearly as deep as years past. Defense is what we need to work on,” Faires said.

Faires and his coaching staff are focusing on rebuilding the spots left empty due to graduation; a veteran line that held teams to an average of just 6.3 points per game in 2014. TJ Spears and Jonathon Roback are two names to keep in mind. They’ll be taking over the spots of Couch and Koons on the defensive line. With those defensive spots filled, it makes Andrew Losey’s job that much easier.

The senior returns to the starting quarterback position with a year under his belt. In 2014, he led the offense to an average of 50.7 points per game, a statistic that made for a very happy Faires.

“He is cool under pressure and has a great sense of leadership,” said Faires.

Trimble hosts rival Nelsonville York in its home opener August 29th. Many may believe the quest for a third straight regional title begins there, but preparation has been underway for months. Because Trimble isn’t a Cinderella story anymore, it’s a dynasty.