Job Alexander

On Jan. 17, Trinidad State brought its students back from an extended winter break, and for athletes that meant getting right back to practice ahead of the winter season.

With seven athletic teams in season getting ready to play, only outdoor sports will field any spectators with COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Indoor, we are not going to have any fans in Scott Gym. Whenever we play here there are a ton of rules, a lot of which are set up by the referees,” said TSJC Athletic Director Mike Salbato.

All of the games will be streamed to the TSJC Athletics website at https://www.tsjctrojans.com/landing/index.

Men’s basketball

The TSJC Men’s basketball team is currently scheduled to play Air Force Prep on Tuesday Feb. 2, this is one of three non-conference games the team will play with their shortened season.

“Usually, we have two months of working out, practice, putting in different concepts we are trying to get across to our guys, and now we have two weeks. So, we are trying to compress that, and keep it as simple as possible and not overload them,” said Head Coach Michael Folda.

The Trojans return their experienced post players and look to use them down low as their group of freshman guards find their legs.

“I do feel like we have the talent to win a few games, but it is still really early. With COVID-19 and everything guys were not able to work out as much as they normally would when they are home,” said Folda.

Region 9 pits TSJC up against a tough schedule facing the perennially tough Northeastern Junior College, Otero Junior College and Lamar Community College.

“I hope our team stays healthy, I think that’s probably number one on everybody’s mind,” said Folda ahead of the season.

Lady Trojan basketball

The Lady Trojans will take the court on Wednesday, Feb. 3. For their season opener against Air Force Prep before they travel to Wyoming just two days later for a game at Laramie County Community College.

“I am just excited; we have a lot of returners coming back so were looking to make a bunch of improvements from last year. We were in a lot of games last year, for one I do not think we had enough legs to keep us going, and then we just had some injuries. But this year we have got eight sophomores, so I am excited to be able to see the experience taking over this year,” said Head Coach Destiny Bragman.

The Lady Trojans were hit hard last year with injuries taking out their tallest player early in the season, this year Bragman brings in a tall freshman class, their tallest measuring 6-feet 5-inches.  

Bragman hopes to use her height to get on the offensive boards and capitalize on some second chance shots.

Their offense will work primarily on a dribble drive motion, to get penetration into the paint for some high percentage shots.

On the defensive end, Bragman will use the Lady Trojans length to play the passing lanes in the extended 2-2-1 zone to force some turnovers in transition.

Volleyball

The Lady Trojan Volleyball team took to the court on Jan 22 and 23 at the Western Nebraska Community College tournament.

The Volleyball team will take the court again on Jan. 29 for the Laramie County Community College tournament in Wyoming.

“We were going off three days of practice, so we tried to use it as a practice, and I think they got a lot better. I do have a lot of injuries going on right now, so that is something that we are going to have to work through as we get a little more into it after the tournaments,” said Head Coach Karli Salazar.

In her first season at the helm of the Trojan volleyball program, Salazar is setting a foundation with the program’s freshman, and looks for them to step up throughout the season

“We are a smaller sized team, defensively we have to attack ever single ball because being smaller you don’t have the luxury of having a soft swing and the ball going down with the height difference, we have to be extremely aggressive and extremely fast,” said Salazar.

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