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High School Spotlight

September 18, 2008

Midwest Region


Spotlight on: Trinity

Hometown: Euless, Texas

Group: Texas 5A


By Omar Muhammad


The Trinity High football program has risen to the national spotlight thanks to a winning tradition and a little help from the team’s intimidating dance called the Haka.


Long before the ceremonial war dance started at Trinity, football commenced in Euless in 1976 under head coach John Reddell and the team quickly gained respect across the state. Flash-forward through nine district titles and 13 playoff appearances, Reddell is now among the winningest coaches in Texas high school football history after piling up a record of 260-131-12 and 17 coach of the year honors by the Texas Football Coaches Association.


The head coach and Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Hall of Fame inductee brought a winner’s attitude to Trinity and it has stuck due to a knowledgable coaching staff and a steady stream of athletic, dynamic and coachable football players. Since the program was initiated 31 years ago, Trinity has produced five players to the National Football League – most recently Ryan McBean, who was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Head coach Steve Lineweaver, who came aboard in 2000, heads today’s Trojans. Lineweaver has kept the Trojans on the winning course by chalking up 89 wins while losing just 16 in his eight-year career.


Meanwhile, the Trojans have become one of the most recognizable teams around the nation, but it isn’t necessarily because of their success.


In their championship year of ’05, the team initiated a war dance from New Zealand called the Haka. Trinity first performed the dance three years after one of the team’s Tongan players saw a video on the Internet of New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team doing the war dance before one of their games.


The ritual is more than 200 years old and originated with New Zealand's Maori people. Since then, it has been adopted by a number of Polynesian cultures, including Tonga.


Today, the Haka is performed by the Trojans before each game and has even fueled nationwide coverage by YouTube, Gatorade, and the CBS Evening News.


While the Haka can be intimidating for opposing teams before a contest, it’s quite clear that with top-notch coaching and a steady stream of athletic talent coming into the program, Trinity will likely stay high in the Texas and national rankings for years to come.


So far this season, the Trojans are ranked #1 by FootballPower in its latest Mega Division Top Ten Football Poll and will look to stay there through season’s end.


Next up: Thursday, September 18 at Allen (State PR: 96.00, Rank: 6).

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