In 2009, Trimble dropped four of their first five games before reeling off five consecutive victories and narrowly missing the playoffs.
2010 began the same way for the Tomcats as a 1-3 start to the year left no room for error.
But Trimble once again showed their resiliency by winning their final six games and grabbing the last playoff spot in Division VI, Region 23.
“We played a lot tougher competition at the beginning of the year. All three of the teams we lost to were playoff teams,” Trimble coach Phil Faires said. ”Two of them were real close games that we just happened to lose, but that prepares you for the second half.”
Outside a week two 14-6 loss to division-newcomer Wahama, Trimble dominated the TVC-Hocking, outscoring its division opponents 276-52.
“We have a good program all the way up,” Faires said. “Our kids take pride in their program and they expect to win.”
Entering the season, the Tomcats returned 12 starters, including 2009 All-Ohio running back Tyler Dyla.
Dyla again led the charge for Trimble in 2010, rushing for more than 1500 yards and adding 22 touchdowns in sometimes limited playing because of late-season blowouts.
The return of quarterback Charles Kish and receiver Austin North, as well as defenders Noah Guthrie and Johnny Stobart only raised expectations heading into the season.
“Johnny Stobart and Tyler Dyla are both guys that have started for us since they were sophomores and Charles Kish started on defense for us his freshman year,” Faires said. “We’ve really been able to rely on our upperclassmen.”
Despite the loss of many key seniors, Faires said he is confident his team can return to their place of dominance in 2011.
“We’ve got a good mixture of kids with varsity experience coming back that we can plug in,” Faires said.
As the eighth seed in the playoffs, Trimble had the task of facing number one-seeded Shadyside in the first round.
The Tomcats were overmatched, but Faires’ squad was able to hang with the Tigers for much of the first half, before falling by a respectable score of 36-20.
“We had a chance to win that game. Had we not had fumbled and given up those quick scores, it would have been a different game,” Faires said. “But that shows us what we need to get there. I’m very proud of the way our guys performed all year.”