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November 12, 2010
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - If the Louisville (Ky.) Trinity Shamrocks go on to win the Class 6A state title this season, the school better be prepared to make room in the trophy case.
There will be more titles to come.
The team currently ranked No. 1 in Kentucky and No. 94 in the RivalsHigh 100 is as good as it is young.
"We are young," head coach Bob Beatty said. "We are 12 games into our season and 80 percent of the kids on the team can't drive."
The Shamrocks have just 16 seniors on the roster. The rest of the team is made up of 46 juniors, 48 sophomores and two freshmen.
But the future of the team is being built around five sophomores: Quarterback Travis Wright, wide receiver James Quick, running back Dalyn Dawkins, defensive back Ryan White and defensive lineman Jason Hatcher.
Four of the five were on display in the team's 48-13 Class 6A second-round playoff win Friday night over Louisville (Ky.) DuPont Manual.
Wright completed 17 of 29 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Eight of those completions were to Quick, who had 97 yards receiving and two scores.
Dawkins added two touchdowns and 66 yards on only 10 carries; White had two pass breakups from his corner position.
Hatcher was sidelined with an injury but is fifth on the team with 31 tackles and leads all Shamrocks with 9.5 sacks.
"The three of us have all been together since fifth grade," Wright said. "I have so much trust in those guys beside me. I know if I throw it up James will get it. I know that Dalyn has my back. He can make plays with the ball in his hands but he is also really good in pass protection."
Even with youthful exuberance, Wright is quick to share the praise.
"We are still only three of the guys on offense," he said. "We couldn't be doing any of this without the other guys, without the senior leadership, without the hard work of all the guys in practice."
Modesty aside, Wright already is on pace to become one of the best quarterbacks in school history. And this is a school with some history.
He is the first sophomore to start at Trinity since Brian Brohm in 2001, and he already has tied Brohm's school record for passing touchdowns in a game with seven.
If that wasn't enough, he could eventually take down a Kentucky state record, supplanting former University of Kentucky star and top-NFL draft pick Tim Couch's completion percentage record of 75.1 percent. Entering Friday's game, Wright was at 71.5 percent.
His main target this season has been Quick. The pair have connected 70 times for 933 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season.
"It is good to be a part of the offense," Quick said. "We want to keep working hard in practice and keep getting better as a team."
Quick is a three-sport athlete - excelling at each.
His football ability has been showcased in every game this season, and will certainly be chronicled as he matriculates at Trinity.
Quick already has a trophy on his mantle. As a freshman, he lived up to his surname by winning a Class 6A 200m state title.
He also logged significant minutes as part of one of the top basketball teams in the state last year. One game, against Holy Cross, showed a glimpse of how good he could be as he flirted with a triple-double, scoring 17 points while adding eight rebounds and seven steals.
His ability is matched by his humility.
"Coach makes sure to keep us straight," Quick said. "We celebrate the win Friday night. We get back to work on Saturday. These are the playoffs. Each team we play next is better than the team we just beat and we know we have to work hard to keep getting better."
If the team is able to keep that focus, it could grow from a good group of kids to a lasting legacy at the storied program.
"We work hard," Quick said. "We know our goals and we know we need to get better each game. But if we do that by the time we are seniors we will be special."
*** End game antics ***
With the score 41-13 and under 30 seconds to play, Trinity coach Bob Beatty called timeout.
His team had the ball and the substantial lead. And it was fourth down.
The boos rained down from the Manual bleachers. Cheers from the Trinity sections drowned them out.
Beatty called a run play, a simple off tackle run to Dalyn Dawkins.
Dawkins turned the corner and scored a touchdown.
A flag on the play negated the play and set up a fourth-and-15.
Again Beatty called a run.
And again Dawkins scored on the play.
The boos versus cheers continued.
"I knew he would score," Trinity quarterback Travis Wright said. "I told him both times to score. If there would have been another flag, he probably would have gone in again."
Neither coach would comment on the play, but it certainly will not go unnoticed when the two match up next year, when they are back in the same division.