TEXARKANA, Ark. — The Trinity Christian School athletic program is heading into the Warriors second season as an eight-man football program under the Arkansas Activities Association.
Dr. Greg Jones and head coach Caleb Price started the program last year, giving students an opportunity to play football that many thought they would never have.
Price and Jones have found creative ways to keep the Warriors prepared for a season or whatever the AAA decides.
"We've been following all of the guidelines passed down from state and local officials," Jones said. "We're anticipating going into another phase which allows contact. We're still in the first phase. We're doing mostly skills and drills with no helmet. We're making sure all of our athletes are properly social distancing.
"With a young program like ours, this time we've been in has helped a lot of our guys with the fundamentals. A lot of our guys are first-year or second-year players. This time has allowed us to continue to develop those, while honoring the directives and recommendations to keep our athletes safe."
Jones serves as the defensive coordinator and also superintendent of the school.
"It's been a lot of fun growing in this game with these kids," Jones said. "It makes wearing so many hats well worth it."
The coaching staff and administration at TCS see room for growth through their extracurricular activities.
"We think the nature of football takes care of so many different types of athletes," Jones said. "Even when you consider the Friday night experience with the band, cheerleaders, sideline personnel and also the managers of the football team, you can honor so many different types of student-athletes.
"The growth and potential for us to reach more students through a program like this is limitless in how much it could help expand our programs.
Larry Berry will take over as Trinity Christian's athletic director this upcoming season.
"I'm actually in my second stint with the school as well," Jones said. "My first year here I hired Mr. Berry. I left for a little and went to coach in Northwest Arkansas at Shiloh Christian. When I came back, we reconnected and we had a opening for athletic director. With his history, he seemed like a perfect fit for us. His son graduated from here and he also helped coach our baseball program this past season. He coached two games prior to COVID-19 and he won one. I joked that he won his first game in four years."
The Warriors open up this season Aug. 21, hosting Arkansas Christian Academy.