Monday, July 22, 2024

Trojans look to rebuild

Trinity returns just a handful of experienced athletes and plenty of few faces as the Trojans look to rebuild their track program.

“We were a little worried about what the team would look like this year with so few third and fourth-year seniors,” said Trinity coach Daniel Giangrande. “Our worries have been tossed aside since we have started practices. We have a much larger team than last year and there are many talented athletes that we have not seen before due to COVID 19.”

With so many inexperienced athletes, Giangrande is focused on developing his squad’s passion for the sport and a willingness to put in the hard work to be successful.

“A large portion of our team this year happens to be students who came out for track and field for the first time or they took a few years off during COVID,” he said. “This year’s expectations are to rebuild our team’s depth and work ethic.”

Among the returning athletes are LeJon Woods and Michael Miles, who led Trinity’s 4×200-meter relay team to the state meet last spring.

“LeJon is our most dedicated athlete on the team and he was a part of our 4×200 relay team that finished 18th in the state championship last year,” Giangrande said. “Every day he is at practice he puts the work in and he helps our inexperienced athletes stay on task. We believe that LeJon will help lead our boys’ relay team back to regionals and, hopefully, back to Columbus for the state championship.”

Junior Sean Fuqua is a first-time runner but has been impressive during the preseason.

“He has shown that he has more than enough talent to be an accomplished runner,” Giangrande said. “We are planning on putting him on our varsity relays after just a few weeks of practice. Any coach would be ecstatic to have such a great athlete join their team and I know he will be playing a major role on this team come conference championships.”

Senior Bianca Pettigrew is among Trinity’s most experienced athletes.

“She may be quiet most of the time but she is an exceptionally hard worker,” Giangrande said. “She is going to be leading our girls sprint relay teams as well as helping set the example of what an athlete needs to do to get prepped for competition.”

Giangrande also expects a lot out of freshman Iniya Charlton.

“Iniya Charlton may be a freshman but she acts like an upperclassman,” he said. “She has been working on long jump several days a week for the past month and she is already the best long jumper on the team. Based on how she is already jumping, I expect her to be jumping in the district finals.”

Despite the lack of experience, Giangrande is eager to see what his squad can do. He’s confident success will follow if the Trojans continue to put in the work and develop the right culture and mindset within the program.

“Here at Trinity, we emphasize the importance of family and community,” Giangrande said. “We instill that into our day-to-day activities, both during school hours as well as our extracurricular activities. We definitely put this as a point of emphasis and I believe that this is our team’s strength. This will help us work with each other and push each other to achieve the most that we can by the end of the season.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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