The revelation that Andrew Goldsmith apparently won’t be playing for Trinity Christian Academy’s football team in its Class 2A semifinal game against Trezevant is definitely a blow to the Lions’ chances.
But all isn’t lost for TCA. Here are five reasons not to count TCA out.
- TCA hasn’t done anything on film it will do tonight. Goldsmith has been an integral part of the TCA offense the past four years, and his role increased this year when he rushed for more than 3,000 yards this season. But Trezevant has been preparing for TCA with Goldsmith. Without Goldsmith, no one outside the TCA fieldhouse knows what the Lions will do tonight. That could prove to be an advantage for the home team.
- With the exception of an upset win at Ensworth on Sept. 11 (the day of the final loss for TCA in its 0-4 start), all of Trezevant’s victories have come against Shelby County teams inside Shelby County. Two of their three losses were to teams from Mississippi, and the other was to Class 4A semifinalist Memphis East. For the most part, Memphis high school football and rural West Tennessee high school football are different brands of the same game. So the question is can TCA overcome any athletic advantage Trezevant might have with its complicated offense?
- TCA has experience in these types of games. In the five seasons since Blake Butler became the head coach at TCA, the Lions have played such teams as Booker T. Washington, Westwood and Mitchell in the playoffs with wins in all of those games. Most will admit Trezevant is a different team than those, particularly with their running back. But the older players like Eli Parker, Sergio Pagoaga, Chris Tucker and Tyler Thomas have experience in these games and know what to do.
- TCA is more battle-tested in the playoffs so far. TCA’s wins in the first three rounds are over Scotts Hill, Adamsville and McKenzie. Those teams finished with a combined record of 24-12. Trezevant’s wins have come against Oakhaven, Douglass and Manassas, who have a combined record of 10-26.
- TCA has proven the past two weeks there’s a reason these playoff games are actually played and we don’t just move the team we assume to win to the next round. Last week’s game could’ve gone either way considering the way the first meeting with McKenzie went. But no one outside the TCA program gave the Lions much of a chance to beat Adamsville in the second round. The Lions are playing good defense right now, and that defense has the potential to keep the Lions in the game tonight no matter how well the offense performs.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751