Titletown is a small place in Gilchrist County known as Trenton.
Trenton High School has won two high school football state championships (2013 and 2015) in the last 10 years and the school also won state titles in girls basketball (2019), softball (2019 and 2021) and baseball (2017) in the past six years.
The bar is always set high, even when the expectations are low.
Last year the Trenton football team didn’t win a single game, finishing 0-9.
However, head coach Cameron Porch saw “a bunch” of improvement as the season wore on.
“You never want to have a season like that, but it wasn’t unexpected,” said Porch, who enters his second season with the Tigers. “We started several eighth graders, and even a seventh grader a couple of games, we had a tough schedule, and trying to get things going with a new regime and get people speaking the language that you want them to speak on your terms. That’s never easy in year one.”
The Tigers only had six seniors, and started a total of five eighth graders, plus the seventh grader.
“We were encouraged because we got to start a lot of young kids,” Porch said. “At some point early on in the year we just kind of had to swallow our pride and say, ‘hey, we’re working on next year at this point,’ and play all of those young kids, let them get reps.”
Porch said the team is well prepared coming into this season.
“They bit on what we were selling them and really had a great offseason,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for any better. It’s kind of translated into spring and summer as well, so we’re excited about this year.”
The Tigers, who will compete in Class 1R-Region 4, will return a total of eight starters on offense. Although many are playing both ways, they will also return a total of nine starters on defense.
“We have a great senior class,” Porch said. “A lot of those guys got a ton of reps last year. We’ve got 13 kids in our senior class. We’re going to rely on them heavily. Our numbers lie in our senior class and our freshman and sophomore class, but we have a lot of positions and a lot of starting positions with our 13 guys.”
A team strength will be in the trenches.
Senior center Burt Corbin will anchor the offensive line.
“Big time leader for us,” Porch said. “He’ll play some defense as well.”
Senior William Keen will play right guard, while senior Rogelio Juarez will play left guard.
They also return a trio of running backs in Nick Dicpetris, who is also the starting middle linebacker, Tavin Brown, who will play weak-side linebacker, and John Furst, who will also play defensive end.
Alex Norman is another senior who will play quarterback and free safety. He broke his collar bone in a 7X7 tournament but is expected to play in Week One.
Norman said the team’s biggest strength is “playing together.”
“Because we’ve all grown together this year in the offseason, the weight room, and we all came together and play as a family now,” he said.
Noa Meyer, a senior wide receiver and defensive back, said the goal is to always win a state championship.
“We have to play good and we can’t get in our own heads,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to play well physically and mentally to reach our goal.”
The schedule is challenging with games against 1R playoff teams Branford and Lafayette (Mayo), along with rivals Bell, Dixie County (Cross City) and Chiefland.
Brown has one game in particular that he is looking forward to this year.
“Dixie County,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to playing them because they talk a lot of trash and they’re a rival school.”
The Tigers will host the Bears on Sept. 1, while the Indians will host the Tigers on Sept. 29.
Trenton, which will host a jamboree with Branford and Fort White at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night, will open the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 24, at Bell.