In terms of tonight’s Bellevue-Euless Trinity game (Seattle Memorial, 6 p.m.), we don’t really have a horse in the race. The Herald doesn’t cover Bellevue and it’s fair to say Texas is a bit out of circulation area.
But you can’t have a game this big and not talk about it. So I called my friend Aaron Teague, a Texas transplant who now lives in Arlington (Washington, that is), for some inside information on Trinity and Texas football.
Teague grew up in Mount Vernon, Texas, about 100 miles east of Euless, and he played Texas football, which is good enough to be an expert in my book.
“In Texas you have to play football; my dad wouldn’t have let me come home if I didn’t,” Teague said. “It’s just part of the culture.”
Teague’s wife, Melissa, went to high school at LD Bell, Trinity’s main rival, so he’s familiar with the school. Euless is part of a region called the Mid-Cities, which includes the cities of Arlington, Irving, Southlake and a host of others (the Mid-Cities are named for its placement halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth). The Cowboys play right around the corner from both Euless Trinity and LD Bell, so it goes without saying this is a hotbed for football talent.
As for Euless Trinity, Teague said year after year they are loaded with athletic, big and strong players and is more of a smash-mouth football team. This year seems to be no different.
“Trinity is a very intimidating team,” Teague said. “They do a Haka Dance before the game and they smash their knees, scream and do it all in rhythm. They’re all 6-6 guys and they’re doing this while the other team is just warming up. It’s like a battle cry.
“Once the game starts they’d rather just hit you in the face and play smash-mouth.”
(Below is an example of Euless Trinity’s pregame prep from 2009)
Like most things, football is bigger in Texas. Euless Trinity and rival LD Bell are actually in different towns — LD Bell is in Hurst, Texas while Euless Trinity is in Euless, Texas — but the two schools are a stone’s throw from one another and actually share the same stadium: Pennington Field, which looks more like a college stadium than a high school one.
“They’re big rivals and they’re basically across the street from each other,” said Teague, who added that Melissa went to LD Bell but has relatives that went to Euless Trinity.
Euless Trinity and Bellevue are both nationally ranked teams and this is the first time the Trojans have ventured out of Texas to take on an opponent. Bellevue has a long history of taking on out-of-state competition, including a huge win over California’s De La Salle in 2004.
Teague said that Euless Trinity will be playing for more than just their school when they play tonight.
“They feel like they’re representing the whole state of Texas,” Teague said. “To them it’s Texas vs. Washington. They represent everything about Texas football. It should be a great game.”