MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Barry Loyal is heading into his third season as head coach of the Trinity Wildcats. And now heading into his third year he feels the players are really taking a sticking to his coaching style.
“This group of seniors being the third year for them, they’ve really led," said Loyal. "If the players are leading, typically that makes for a better culture overall and the rest of your team typically works better, so there’s no question we’re moving in the right direction.”
Continuing to move in the right direction is key for a team looking to burst through the second round of the playoffs. After missing the playoffs in Loyal’s first season as head coach, the Wildcats pushed into the second round before falling to UMS-Wright. Loyal says there’s no doubt his guys are eager to go further.
“I don’t think there’s any question these guys are hungry to go beyond that," he said.
And part of their postseason success could come from the beginning of their season.
“We start off with two really good football teams in American Christian and Andalusia, and we played really good early on against them last year and I think that helped us into the playoffs against really, really good football teams,” said Loyal. "So their expectation is to go beyond where we went last year for sure.”
And while the Wildcats lost both those games to Andalusia and American Christian Academy last year, it set them up to go on a serious run late in the season, winning three of their final four games, that helped Trinity push into the playoffs.
With different schools placing emphasis on different team mottos, Trinity’s focus is simple.
“We really focus on family. That’s the biggest thing for us. If everybody feels like, and is, part of a family, then we’re all gone move in the right direction, so the biggest thing for us is are we taking care of our family? Are we on time? Are we faithful to our family members? Things like that is really, really a big deal for us,” said Loyal.
The Wildcats welcome American Christian Academy in the season opener Aug. 23.