For The Tribune
Instead of wearing familiar gray, five Trinity Lutheran athletes now sport crimson and white on the football field.
While their school dropped their football program earlier this Summer, the Trinity Lutheran athletes are making the most of an opportunity to continue playing on the gridiron.
When Trinity Lutheran junior Matthew McKay scored on the opening play in Friday night’s scrimmage with White River Valley, it was apparent the five Trinity players who are now playing for the Indianapolis Crimson Knights are going to make an impact on their new team.
Just a few plays later, Trinity junior Sam Marksberry scored a touchdown.
The Knights proceeded to score eight touchdowns for the evening, while their opponents did not score during the scrimmage at Trinity Lutheran High School.
Mike Wilson, the Knights’ head coach, was very pleased with the play and attitude of the Trinity boys.
“These kids have meshed well,” Wilson said.
“Football teaches life lessons. These Trinity boys have been through a lot. They are outstanding students. They are outstanding leaders.
“They bring a different dimension to our team. They came from a pass-happy offense, whereas we ran the ball a lot.They are teaching our boys certain things. They are great kids.”
Coach Wilson said Trinity’s coach from last year, Anthony Levy, suggested the Trinity boys merge with the Crimson Knights.
The Knights’ rosters consists of 25 players, and the players are either home-schooled or come from a school that currently doesn’t have a football team.
Wilson said he has learned some things from his friend Levy and the Trinity boys, especially about the passing game.
“We came out ready to play, We played Trinity football,” McKay said. “It’s nice to meet new people and they are nice.”
McKay thinks his new team can go undefeated and win all 11 of its games this year.
“We have two practices here at Trinity each week and two near Greenwood,” Marksberry said.
Marksberry contributed two touchdowns and has grown to like playing for his new team.
Nathan Thomack, a Trinity sophomore, plays mostly on the defensive side.
“I really enjoy playing with this team,” Thomack said.
Trinity sophomore, Bryce Lister, who plays middle linebacker, said, “This is a great group of guys. Our coach is loving every minute of it. Coach will have us ready for Saturday’s home game.”
Trinity sophomore Avery Schwipps played a lot on both sides of the ball.
“I’ve had a great time playing with this team. I’ve had a blast,” Schwipps said.
The Knights open the season on Saturday against the Fort Wayne Crusaders at Trinity.
This season, the Knights will play at least three home games at Trinity Lutheran High School.
After the 11-game season, they’ll play in a six-to-eight-team tournament.
The Crusaders were ranked 15th in the nation last year among home-school teams.
“These kids have meshed well. Football teaches life lessons. These Trinity (Lutheran) boys have been through a lot. They are outstanding students. They are outstanding leaders.” Mike Wilson, Indianapolis Crimson Knights head coach.