With non-region games scheduled for the first month of the season, many teams across North Fulton will use the early weeks of the season to iron out the kinks before tackling region play in late September.
Blessed Trinity won’t have that luxury.
Pitted against rival Westminster in their opener this Friday, head coach Tim McFarlin said that week one would be one of the most important tests of season — despite its non-region nature.
“It’s one of the biggest games of the season for our players and our students,” said the second-year coach that got his first taste of the rivalry in a 21-14 triumph last fall. “I didn’t really understand how big it was until that game, but I do now. It’s two very good private schools that compete in pretty much every sport and beating them last year was a huge win.”
Running back Jordan Denson led the way last fall, chewing up 117 yards on the ground in what McFarlin described as a hard-fought and physical game. The win was just the second in the eight-year history between the two schools and was a key in propelling the Titans’ towards a sub-region title and the first state playoff appearance in ten years.
McFarlin said that in an effort to make the state playoffs a yearly tradition at Blessed Trinity, the matchup against a storied program like Westminster is an ideal way to kick off the season — the Wildcats have gone to state in 15 of the 19 seasons under current head coach Gerry Romberg.
“We know it will be a tough game and Gerry always puts a really good defense on the field so I am sure points will be hard to come by again this year.”
BT will have an experience advantage on the field, with 16 returning starters from last year’s team including their entire starting backfield. Westminster, conversely, is breaking in a new quarterback and a new stable of running backs on a team that went 7-5 last year.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” said McFarlin.
“Westminster has been really good for a long time and we have only been around for 10 years or so. But we feel like our program is growing and really starting to close that gap.”