WATCH: Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Football Coaches, Players Speak on Upcoming 2021 Season
By Space Coast Daily // July 10, 2021
tigers host MCC August 27 in Week 1
ABOVE VIDEO: Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Football
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With only about a month to go until football season kicks off, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy football coaches and players are gearing up for the upcoming 2021 football season.
The Tigers finished the 2020 regular season with an overall record of 5-4, including a playoff victory over Father Lopez.
This season, head coach Nate Hooks and his Holy Trinity Tigers will look to build off the momentum from last year which features a very young and skillful group, according to Coach Hooks.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Coach Hooks. “This will probably be the largest roster that we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’ve been here seven seasons. This year, we have about 15 incoming players for the 2025 class. By far, my largest class we’ve had here at Holy Trinity and the most skillful players.”
Coach Hooks elaborated on the challenges and opportunities that come with coaching a younger team.
“The good thing is the size of the class is extremely pleasing, but they’re going to play varsity football in the 9th grade. We’re going to be a young team. In all reality, it’s a JV team playing a varsity schedule.
“We’ve had pretty good success the last three seasons. We’re the only school, along with Cocoa High, that has reached the regional semifinals three years in a row. A lot of people don’t know that.”
With recent postseason success, combined with roster number challenges, the former Space Coast Daily/FNLR Coach of the Year (2019) is notorious for being able to navigate a small roster size and produce top level talent.
“I have had to come up with unique ways, unique strategies, unique practice schedules. Everything is very different here at Holy Trinity. I would like to add that we were the only team last year in this county and that had a player that was an All American. Wide receiver James Blackstrain was second team Sports Illustrated All-American. So, we’ve had pretty good success and we produce.
One of the ways Holy Trinity is reinvesting in the football program is by hiring Steve Henderson, director of football operations, who will help develop a ‘feeder system’ that will focus on early player development with a JV squad. The idea is focused on giving young Holy Trinity football players the opportunity to get early playing time as young as 7th grade.
“So I’m really excited about the role and opportunity for me to step up and join the football program,” said Henderson.
“Our big goal is to develop a substantial football program with the feeder system. So far, we’ve been able to do that. Our goal was right off the bat to develop the JV program and create interest within our school and in the community to create numbers and be able to have a JV and Varsity football team. By doing that, we are able to create a JV team that will help our younger players and we will be able to build through the system to have some players play early as 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade, and possibly even 10th grade.”
One of the great advantages Holy Trinity has over other schools in the area, is their new Tiger Athletic Complex.
The $5.5 million state-of-the-art Tiger Athletic Complex includes the latest generation NFL-quality artificial turf field featuring CoolPlay technology; a Plexitrac athletic track surface; and a 13,000-square-foot athletic center featuring home and visitor locker rooms, concessions, restrooms, trainer facilities, a conference room, and fan plaza, as well as the 2,000-square-foot strength and conditioning center.
“We have a great group of student athletes that are very determined, not only in the classroom, but here on the athletic facilities that we have,” Henderson continued.
“86-percent of our kids participate in sometime extracurricular activity, which means they’re here on campus and they have the opportunity to use these great facilities. Our strength and conditioning program is year round and what we offer is for all of our kids to get involved. It gives us an edge. A lot of our kids are involved and they get to participate in these type of programs here on campus.”
An average of 14 percent of Holy Trinity graduates go on to play collegiate athletics, competing in the Ivy League, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, PAC-12, and Olympic development programs, as well as the NFL and LPGA.
In the 19 years since the creation of the Upper School athletic department, Holy Trinity has won more than 167 state, regional and district athletic championships.
The school offers 13 sports (21 including boys/girls options) and 50 varsity, junior varsity and junior high athletic teams, as well as 10 Lower School extracurricular sports options.
The Tiger Athletic Complex represents the school’s largest capital expansion since the construction of the 850-seat Scott Center for Worship and the Performing Arts in 2005.
Catherine A. Ford Field was completed in 2001, marking the last major addition to Holy Trinity’s athletic facilities. Holy Trinity’s Upper School was constructed in 2000, while its Lower School has been in place at its historic Melbourne location since 1957.
Phase II of Holy Trinity’s capital campaign will commence in fall 2021 with the goal of constructing a multistory classroom building to house 21st-century learning programs focused on collaboration and innovation.
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