When Collin Trent wasn’t celebrating touchdowns in the end zone, he was showing up in the Player of the Week nominees in the Citizen Tribune virtually every Sunday. Trent, after missing all of last season with a torn ACL, returned with a vengeance in 2019, leading Cherokee High School to a 6-5 mark and earning a spot in the Class 5A playoffs. Thursday night, was named the Citizen Tribune All-Lakeway Area Football Most Valuable Player.
“It’s something that will help me keep my head up,” Trent said. “We fought hard the last few games so I can’t complain about that. We played some good teams with some D-1 athletes and we battled.”
The Chiefs’ season came to an end against South Doyle last Friday, but the MVP award gave Trent one more chance to celebrate a successful season with his teammates and coaches.
“It’s a good way to end it,” Trent said. “We didn’t end the season like we wanted to. We started off strong, but faced better competition and finished on a downward progression. When I found out I’d won this, it boosted my confidence and made me want to get out onto the field again, just to show what I have.”
Trent had to watch on the sidelines last year after suffering a knee injury before the season. The Chiefs finished 1-9 without him under center. He dedicated himself to rehabbing his knee and stepped back onto the field in 2019 with purpose and a desire to not only win with his team, but show college coaches that he could play at the next level.
“Junior year was rough,” Trent said. “Colleges look at the junior season more than anything and that hurt my chances at being recruited. We had experienced players all over and that was probably going to be my best year. It hurt, but ACL injuries happen.”
For Trent, they happened twice. He tore his right ACL before last season. He injured his left ACL before his freshman season. If it affected his speed or quickness, no one would know it.
“I’ve given a lot,” Trent said. “It’s been tough, but that’s part of life.”
Trent’s final numbers jump off the page. In the eight full games he played, he threw for 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for 479 yards and 13 touchdowns. He caught four passes for 65 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Collin recorded 25 tackles, three interceptions, three pass break ups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
He led the Chiefs on their first sweep of both Morristown high schools since 2004. In the victory over West, Collin threw and ran for six touchdowns. He accounted for all four touchdowns against East and made the game-clinching interception at the goal line to seal the 27-23 victory.
“He (Trent) meant a lot to our team,” Cherokee coach Cody Baugh said. “When he was on the field, the confidence of our team was so different. Looking forward, it’s going to be tough to replace him. Hopefully, he’s left an impact on the young guys and showed them how to work and lead. He did what he was supposed to.”
The attention and awards were a bonus too for a kid from a small Rogersville community. It made his senior ride just that much more fun.
“It felt great, to see the headlines like ‘Collin’s Calling’ and the pictures in the paper,” Trent said. “It showed me that this is what I’m supposed to do in life. For people to know who I am, it’s just a blessing and to have my teammates help me, it’s a good feeling to have.”