Six years ago today, Rockford defeated Trinity Bible College 105-0 in the season opener for both teams. The game was my introduction to Trinity. At the time I was working at The Forum newspaper in Fargo. Despite the fact Trinity was in the same state, I had never heard of the school and neither had many others in the newsroom. In fact, when we first saw the score on the wire, we talked about it for a few minutes before realizing Trinity was located in Ellendale, near the South Dakota border.
A few days later the sports editor suggested a feature on the school, to try and figure out what the program was all about.
This is one of the stories that came out of that trip.
I continued to follow the team's travails that season. And a year later, I wrote to several publishers, pitching the idea of a book on Trinity's program. The result, obviously, was Keeping the Faith: In the trenches with college football's worst team. In the years since, Trinity's fortunes haven't changed.
Trinity kicked off its 2009 season last week, falling to Haskell 53-12. On Saturday, Minnesota-Morris defeated Trinity 49-0.
Most of the people I wrote about in the book are now gone from Trinity, from head coach Rusty Bentley to assistant coach Eric Slivoskey. One of the characters in Keeping the Faith, quarterback Dusty Hess, is now an assistant with the team.
Here's Trinity's schedule for 2009.
Coach Slivoskey eventually served as the team's head coach for three seasons before leaving at the end of last school year. A devoted world traveler, his newest adventure took him to Finland, where he coached a team over the summer and blogged about it at Coaching out of Bounds.
Every year brings new questions about the future of Trinity's program, with doubts always being raised about the viability of having a football team at such a small school. As long as they do have a program, I'll certainly be following closely. The results, though, probably will never change much.