Play for the guy beside you: Trinity hosts Stanley in first-round playoff game
The Dickinson Trinity football team has a simple plan: Keep doing what it's doing.
The Titans are on a six-game win streak during which they've only allowed two points.
With all aspects of their game coming together every week, they see no reason to change anything when they face the Blue Jays on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"The only thing we've been focusing on is continuing the team approach that we've had," head coach John Odermann said. "That first game we lost against Bowman, first game of the year, we just didn't have a very good team effort that game. I think ever since then we've played as a team, with individual success aside. Along the way we've had individual success, but we set that aside for the team success. That's really been the key to us winning six in a row and hopefully a seventh with Stanley on Saturday."
The week of preparation hasn't been like previous weeks. With teacher conferences in session, students didn't have school every day.
"I've been calling the seniors in the morning at 7:30, getting them out of bed and making sure that they're getting everybody else out of the bed," Odermann said. "They've responded really well to that. We haven't had a lot of complaints. The kids know that this is a business meeting on Saturday and make sure we put the work in for the victory."
While the Titans are primarily focused on themselves and their gameplan, they've spent plenty of time examining Stanley. When they both played in Class AA, Trinity and Stanley were in the same region. Last season, the Titans downed Stanley-Powers Lake 29-7.
"They don't back down," Odermann said. "If you let them hang around, they're going to hang around until the end of the game. We need to make sure we're executing and scoring early if we have the opportunity to score and make sure we win the field position battle. If our defense keeps playing the way it has been, I like our chances on Saturday."
The Trinity secondary hasn't been challenged by Region 4 opponents who have mainly run the ball, but they will likely see action against the Region 3 Blue Jays.
"They run a lot of toss and a lot of sweep kind of stuff," senior outside linebacker and guard Easton Walby said. "They pass the ball a lot too so it's more of a balanced team."
Odermann said his safeties, seniors Dillon Kovash, Noah Sickler and Aric Knopik are more than capable of shutting down the Stanley offense.
While the Titans have taken their game seriously all year, a trip to the playoffs has only deepened their will to win.
"It's win or go home," Walby said. "We just got to come out hard and give it our all, we don't want it to be our last game."
Odermann echoed a similar sentiment.
"Every game now is a bonus game," he said. "You earn them as you go. We've been really stressing to the kids, if football is not your first love, then play for the guys on the team that it is their first love. Especially the seniors. This is their last game. Every game going forward is their last game. So do everything you can for that guy beside you and then do it for yourself as well."