Louisville Trinity Good as Gold in Kentucky

By Ryan Rohde

Louisville is the home of Fort Knox, keeper of the United States gold supply. Louisville is also home to Trinity High School, the gold standard of Kentucky lacrosse. Since the inception of the Kentucky Lacrosse Association in 2001, Trinity has been a power in the Bluegrass State. The Shamrocks won four consecutive state titles from 2004-2007, and are consistently ranked in the top five.

For coach Pete Schroeder, the road to Trinity was a short one. Stationed at Fort Knox during his time in the military, the New Jersey native made a home in nearby Louisville. Along with St. Xavier head coach Scott Howe, the two helped begin lacrosse in Louisville.

Howe and Schroeder coached a citywide team of 20 players from different high schools--and thus beginning high school lacrosse in the Louisville area. Schroeder now finds himself at the helm of one of the best programs in the state, and credits his players with the success.

"We push it as far as we can. The kids are really dedicated," Schroeder said. "We have great facilities and the school has gotten behind us, which has certainly helped us to be successful."

Though the winning mentality is still ingrained in the program, the 2009 version of the Shamrocks has a different look. Currently with an 8-3 record, they are led by a core group of sophomores.

Trinity is a young team that is still growing. Schroeder stressed that this year's team relies on playing together and making the good decisions rather than the one-on-one game.

"In years' past we were like a nuclear bomb--just press the button and we had the athletes that could break you down and score a goal," Schroeder said. "This year is different. It is more like small-arms fire. We don't quite have those athletes. We use more strategy to get guys open to shoot."

Leading this Trinity militia are two elder statesmen of the team. Junior attacker Zach Connors paces the offense while senior Palmer Simpson anchors the defense. These two field generals will be heavily looked upon as the Shamrocks enter the final stretch of the regular season. Trinity began this final leg with a great 8-7 win over No. 3 Lexington Catholic on April 15, and now faces Dunbar and Collegiate, both top-10 teams. To close out the season, the Shamrocks will battle No. 1 and heated rival St. Xavier, a team they know all too well.

Trinity plays St. X on April 29--the week of the Kentucky Derby--so the atmosphere will be primed with excitement. To get a grasp on how big the rivalry between Trinity and St. X is, there were 4,000 people at the game when the teams met in the 2007 state championship. Schroeder knows the importance of these final three games as the Shamrocks try and make a playoff push.

"We are building to a crescendo. We live in horse country, and we are jockeying for playoff positions," he said.

Trinity faces its toughest challenge of the season in these final weeks, something this young team might not be used to. Schroeder, though, has confidence in his squad. When asked if his team can win state, he responded with one word: "Absolutely."

It is this confidence that Schroeder imparts on his players. If Trinity plays with that confidence, not even the walls of Fort Knox can hold back the Shamrocks come playoff time.


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