By Chris Goltermann
Trinity Christian was rewarded for a state playoff season in its GHSA debut while having 11 players honored on this year’s All-Region 5-A Team led by Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Mitchell.
The Lions also had five players honored on respective first and second teams following an 8-4 season and a trip to the Sweet 16 in GHSA Class A Private.
Two of Trinity’s losses came to defending three-time state champion Eagle’s Landing Christian, which will play Athens Christian in next week’s finals.
Along with Mitchell, the Lions received First Team selections in seniors Zach Jones, Cameron Hellgeth, Bruin Hayes and Ethan Aldridge, along with junior Shamari Reed.
A junior defensive lineman, Mitchell hounded opposing offenses while posting 82 tackles including 19 for loss. He also recorded a team-high nine sacks and added a forced fumble for Trinity.
The Lions had first-team honorees come from offense, defense and special teams. Jones was a two-way starter that led Trinity with 1,029 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns while also posting 38 tackles and two forced fumbles in the secondary.
Hellgeth and Hayes also made big contributions to a unit that allowed 18.3 points per game as the second-best scoring defense behind ELCA in Region 5-A.
Hellgeth had 65 tackles, including a season-high 10 against Wesleyan. The starting middle linebacker remained steady while also recording an interception.
Hayes finished with 67 tackles and was second behind only Mitchell with 13 hits behind the line of scrimmage. He also had two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Aldridge, meanwhile, became Captain Clutch when it came to big kicks, booting a county-best eight field-goals including a school-record 53-yarder in a win over Our Lady of Mercy.
The four-year contributor also had successful kicks of 45 and 47 yards during the season.
Reed made contributions in all three phases including special teams as a top kick returner. The junior finished with five touchdowns, four of which came on the ground while averaging 9.4 yards over 28 carries.
Trinity’s second-team All-Region 5-A honorees included seniors Zach Seymour, Stephen Powell and Brenan Burks along with juniors Cody Jones Price and Davis McMurrian.
Seymour battled back from injuries early in the year to finish with 426 yards rushing and 150 passing while limited to seven games.
Powell also missed much of the first month of the season before rejoining a Trinity offensive line that remained in flux, but still managed to pave the way for 2,126 yards rushing.
Burks was second among Lions defenders with 80 tackles at outside linebacker. McMurrian had 50 tackles while adding two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
McMurrian also added six touchdowns as a red zone specialist on offense.
Jones-Price led Trinity with six interceptions including a three-pick game during the Lions’ first-round playoff victory over Whitfield Academy. He added two interceptions in a win over Landmark Christian.
Earning honorable mention from Trinity were seniors Carson Walter, Jake Lyle, Jalen Neal and sophomore Danny Baird.