This year, as eighth graders, that group will face tougher competition in a new conference.
“The team I had last year is almost the exact team I have this year as eighth graders,” TCMS head coach Michael Stinnette said. “On the seventh grade team, we’re young and we don’t have a lot of size, but we’re very quick.”
Trigg is part of the first season of play in the new Southern Pennyrile Conference which consists of the Midcats, Hopkinsville, Christian County, North Drive, University Heights Academy and Todd County. Trigg notched wins over all of those teams last season except Todd County, which was not on the Midcats’ schedule.
“Those teams are usually quick and athletic,” Stinnette said. “Our style of play may not work against those teams. You can get blown out of the gym playing those teams like that. We’ll have to grind on the defensive end, slow down and execute to beat those teams.”
Stinnette said the switch to a tougher conference will be a positive for Trigg.
“The only way we can get better is to play better competition,” Stinnette said. “Playing weaker teams doesn’t show you anything about your team. Our conference is the cream of the crop in the 2nd Region when you get to high school. We’re no different than those schools. We’ve got just as good athletes as they do.”
Stinnette said fans can expect the Midcats to play a fast-paced style Trigg teams have used many times over the years.
“Our eighth grade team will have sufficient height, but we try to get after teams and turn them over,” Stinnette said.
A few Midcats joined the team late as they led the middle school football team to the state semifinals, and others finished with cross country and junior varsity soccer before hitting the hardwood full time.
“When we’re all together, we should be pretty hard to handle,” Stinnette said.
Five sixth graders join seven seventh graders on that squad.
“They’re bringing a lot of energy to the table for us, and that will help them a lot,” Stinnette said.
While the Midcats will play to win, their record isn’t Stinnette’s main concern.
“My main goal this year is to finish with all the players we start with, for everybody to finish with a good attitude and to get them ready to play high school basketball,” Stinnette said. “The kids want to go undefeated and win a conference championship, and that’s great, but in middle school, you have to build a foundation for them to use later on. It’s not all about winning, it’s about getting them where they need to be.”