For The Tribune
Trinity Lutheran’s football players were recognized and cheerleaders were honored when the school conducted a fall awards program Monday night in the school cafeteria.
Cougars football coach Mike Wilson said in his 14 years of being a head coach, he has always believed that football is a team game and he does not hand out individual awards.
Wilson talked about each player that was present and how they contributed to the team this fall.
Wilson said the recently concluded season had been in the planning stages for about a year.
He said after he coached the Crimson Knight in the national home school tournament in Florida a year ago he began talking to Trinity officials about having a team at the school.
Trinity fielded a team this fall and ended up 3-5. Since the roster included some home-schooled students, the Cougars weren’t allowed to compete in an IHSAA sectional this season.
“Fifteen first-year players started Week 1,” Wilson said. “I can’t believe how much we improved. We started to compete as the year went on. The future looks bright.”
The Cougars started out 0-5, but the scores became closer as the season progressed. The Cougars did not score in their first two games, then lost to Oldenburg Academy 33-20 in their fifth game.
Trinity defeated Indianapolis Shortridge 14-13, Edinburgh 36-16 and Union Dugger 60-6 in its final three games.
Wilson said the Cougars passed for over 2,200 yards and rushed for 1,265 yards this fall.
He said memorable performances included Kaleb Baumgartel’s game-winning kick against Shortridge, Jack Marksberry’s nine catches against Edinburgh, and Tyler Goecker passing for over 1,300 yards in the final four games of the season.
Seniors on the roster were Nathan Thomack, Jake VonDielingen, Jacob Rowe, Bryce Lister and Nathan Carter.
Lister and Thomack received senior awards for playing four years of football.
Wilson said Lister topped the Cougars in tackles.
“I hate to see the seniors go,” Wilson said. “We’ve got to capture this momentum and build for the future. We’ve got the whole line back. We’d like to have 35-40 players come out for football.”
Cheer coach Michelle Powell introduced the cheerleaders and presented special awards.
Arabella Rollison was named the most valuable cheerleader, Briley Abraham received the Cougar Award, Cassidy Paultre was the recipient of the Senior Award, Arianna Ortmann took home the most improved award, Maia Blazek received the leadership award and Bailey Cain was named the outstanding freshman.