It’s been quite a ride for the Trenton softball team the last three years, with the Tigers going 57-1 overall and winning two Class 1A state championships.
On Friday night, this historic team picked up their reward for a job well done.
The Tigers were undefeated and state champs in 2019, and were 10-0 when the softball season was cut short due to COVID-19 in 2020.
But Trenton returned last year to win another state title with a 20-1 record, the only loss to 4A Baker County (Glen St. Mary).
Last year’s Miss Softball, pitcher Darian Ingram, along with hitting hero Keeli Zingaro, who led the team offensively the last two years and is getting ready for her freshman year at Stetson University, were two of the players who returned to pick up their state championship rings.
Last year’s 1A Coach of the Year, Todd Bryant, had been trying to get the team together for this ceremony for awhile but finally found a good time.
“Tonight was a good night, we had almost everybody here,” Bryant said. “We also gave the 2020 seniors a ring for their season being cut short because honestly, that team was the best team I coached at Trenton.”
Trenton just missed four state titles in a row, as they lost the 2018 state title game 2-1 to Wewahitchka. Trenton was the only undefeated team in the state in 2019, and just missed three straight undefeated seasons as well.
Bryant, who retired after last season’s state title run, has turned over the reins to Clint Anderson. He expects more big things from Trenton softball.
“He (Anderson) will do a great job, they have some core kids that will move up as juniors this year,” Bryant said. “Now that I’m not coaching softball I’m going to go watch my daughter (2020 Trenton grad Hallie Bryant) get healthy and play for USF this year.”
The ring ceremony was held in between games of a basketball doubleheader between Trenton and Dixie County. The Lady Tigers rolled past Dixie County in the opener 51-4 to improve to 9-5 on the season.
Trenton rolled to a 32-2 halftime lead and played most of the second half with a running clock.
Trenton girls basketball coach Bryant Frye completely changed his starting lineup from normal, and senior Alexis Hill played most of the game and was the only Tigers player in double figures with 16 points as she won Sonic Player of the Game honors.
“We changed up the starting lineup a bit, starting to see what depth we have,” Frye said. “Typically your team starts gearing up for districts after Christmas so you want to see what kind of combinations are working and not working.”
Senior Jordan Douglas, who also picked up a ring as part of the state championship softball team, added 10 points and junior Chloe Wilkerson chipped in seven.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Monday night at Madison County. The Lady Cowboys won an earlier meeting between the two in Trenton, 53-49.
In the nightcap, the Trenton boys team caught fire, knocking down 11 three-pointers, including six during a second quarter run as the Tigers (8-6) rolled through Dixie County 67-38.
Senior Jaron Riley scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half, and junior Xavier Jones knocked down three treys in a row in the second quarter as Trenton led the Bears (6-5) at the half 40-21.
“We do tend to rely on the three ball, and tonight they were falling,” Trenton boys basketball coach Cedric Booth said. “We usually know it’s going to be a good night shooting when Tyler (Perry) knocks down some threes because he can be a streaky shooter.”
Jones finished with 12 points, senior Mason Smith hit two treys and ended up with 10 points, and Perry knocked down two behind the arc to finish with 8 points on the night. Sophomore Brandon DeMartino added 11 points.
The Trenton boys team returns to action on Tuesday night at home against Lafayette (Mayo).