With several returning starters, Trinity is set to contend againThere have been seasons when the Dickinson Trinity football team had so much depth that its second string would pitch shutouts and score at will. Recently, the Titans haven’t enjoyed that luxury.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
There have been seasons when the Dickinson Trinity football team had so much depth that its second string would pitch shutouts and score at will.
Recently, the Titans haven’t enjoyed that luxury.
“I’d say three years ago, we were down to about five offensive linemen,” Trinity head coach Randy Gordon said. “That wasn’t good.”
But this fall, after back-to-back seasons of depth charts filled with underclassmen, the Titans are beginning to see a bit of a revival in the strength of their roster.
“Sometimes you don’t have a choice of if you’re deep or not. It just comes at ya,” Gordon said. “This is a pretty good group, as far as chemistry, depth-wise and different role players.”
The Titans return several starters and role players from last year’s team that finished 5-4 overall and lost to eventual Class 2A state champion Fargo Shanley in the state quarterfinals — the same place their season has ended three of the past four years.
“We know what it feels like to be disappointed and that’s just what we’re going for — to not let that happen again this year,” senior Dylan Fridrich said.
The Titans feel they have the tools to make good on that goal, too.
First of all, they’re big.
Despite the loss of two all-state linemen, the Titans bring back five experienced linemen who weigh in at 210 pounds or more, including senior Nick Weir (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) and Cameron Berry (6-2, 250) and junior Jesse Kubik (6-7, 270).
Trinity also has speed at their disposal. Senior Brandon Sickler was an all-state defensive back, senior Mason Schiff was all-region running back and junior Brendin Steiner saw lots of time at both aforementioned positions last season.
They’re also quite athletic.
Fridrich, a 6-2, 190-pound tight end/running back/linebacker and Christian Olson, a 6-3 senior receiver, were all-region selections.
“I think, with the experience we have coming back, expectations are high,” Gordon said. “I’m excited for these kids to do well.”
It’s not that they don’t have flaws either.
“Our weakness from last year was our physicality,” Gordon said. “We weren’t very physical. Our simple fundamentals of blocking and tackling, we just weren’t very good at those. You can be as experienced, quick or strong as you want to be. If those things don’t get done, then you’re not a very good football team. If those kids can get an attitude toward that kind of thing, then it might fall in place.”
The Binstock cousins, senior fullback-linebacker Clarence Binstock and junior tight end/linebacker Isiah Binstock, could be at the focal point of improving that toughness. Both are returning starters. Isiah Binstock stands 6-3, 200 pounds and Clarence Binstock is 5-9, 190 pounds.
On both sides of the line, juniors Dalton Soehren (6-3, 210) and Nathaniel Knopik (6-1, 230) will also be expected to show improved toughness as their field time increases.
And don’t forget junior quarterback Ben Gordon, who returns for his second year as the Titans’ starting signal-caller.
“It wasn’t in the plan last year to throw him in there as a sophomore,” said Randy Gordon, Ben’s father. “Now that it’s all over it certainly has paid off, experience-wise.”
While Trinity believes it has a team capable of a special season, first thing’s first: the Titans want to win their season opener.
Trinity visits rival Killdeer, a Class A team, at 7 p.m. Friday. Both teams are expected to be near the top of their respective classes this season.
“We’re definitely progressing. We’re getting better every day,” Schiff said. “Every single drill we’re doing, every single person is getting better. Right away, we’re concentrating on our first opponent, Killdeer. We just want to get through them and we’ll game plan from there.”
Dickinson Trinity Titans
Head coach: Randy Gordon (25th season)
Last season: 5-4 (4th in Class 2A, West Region; lost to Fargo Shanley in state quarterfinals)
Returners: Brandon Sickler, Sr., WR-DB, 5-9, 160 (all-state); Dylan Fridrich, Sr., TE-RB-LB, 6-2, 190 (all-region); Mason Schiff, Sr., RB-LB, 5-10, 175 (all-region); Christian Olson, Sr., WR-DB, 6-3, 175 (all-region); Clarence Binstock, Sr., FB-LB, 5-9, 190; Cameron Berry, Sr., OL-DL, 6-2, 250; Nick Weir, Sr., OL-DL, 6-2, 290; Jesse Kubik, Jr., OL-DL, 6-7, 270; Ben Gordon, Jr., QB, 6-1, 185; Isiah Binstock, Jr., TE-LB, 6-3, 200; Dalton Soehren, Jr., OL-DL, 6-3, 210; Nathaniel Knopik, Jr., OL-DL, 6-1, 230; Jacob Volk, Jr., WR-DB, 6-3, 185; Brendin Steiner, Jr., RB, 5-6, 160.
Newcomers: Alex Binstock, Jr., WR-DB; Jacob Good, Jr., WR-DB; Cody Heiser, Jr., LB; Travis Heidt, Jr., QB-LB; Lane Herberholz, Jr., LB.
Losses: Dustin Hibl, OL-DL (all-state); Tim Brooke, OL-DL (all-state); Jacob Kubik, OL-DL (all-region); Jaden Kuhn, LB; Michael Mann, WR.
Schedule: Aug. 26–at Killdeer, 7 p.m.; Sept. 2–vs. Valley City, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9–vs. Carrington, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16–at Minot Ryan, 6 p.m.; Sept. 23–at Rugby, 6 p.m.; Sept. 30–vs. Bismarck St. Mary’s, 8 p.m.; Oct. 7–vs. Belcourt, 3 p.m.; Oct. 14–at Bottineau, 6 p.m.