River Hill senior Scott Trench is what his wrestling coach Brandon Lauer calls "a throwback" - a high school athlete who excels not at one or even two sports, but three.
"It's hard to excel at the highest level nowadays in three different varsity sports," Lauer said. "But Scott brings a tremendous work ethic. You know you can rely on him to work hard, and that's why he succeeds in athletics and academics."
Trench, 18 with a 3.9 grade-point average, was the kicker and tight end for the Hawks' football team that won the state Class 2A championship; he wrestled in the 171-pound weight class and finished this season as the state runner-up; and now he heads into the lacrosse season where he is the Hawks faceoff man.
"He's a guy I'm going to talk to my teams about for years," Lauer said. "He waited his turn, paid his dues and succeeded by buying into the program and philosophy. He epitomizes the program, and he has no idea how proud I am of him and how rewarding it is to see the success he's had."
In his spare time Monday nights, Trench also mentors a group of ninth- and 10th-graders at St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, who are preparing for Confirmation into the church.
You play three sports. Do you have a favorite?
I can't answer that. I've been varsity for three years in football and wrestling, so there is a strong bond there with those guys. But I'm also the captain of the lacrosse team, and some of my best friends are on the lacrosse team, too, so I can't pick. I love doing all three sports.
Which one did you play first?
Growing up, I played soccer, basketball and baseball. I wanted to play football, but my parents wouldn't let me until I was in eighth grade. I played baseball in seventh grade and then switched to lacrosse in eighth grade. So, I had some recreation league experience in football and lacrosse before high school.
But basketball was my favorite, until I got cut my freshman year. When I was about 8, I went to a camp and there was wrestling there, and when I came home, my parents say I said, "I hate wrestling. I never want to do that again." But when I got cut from basketball, two of my best friends, Jesse Yu and Nathan White, said, "Come and wrestle. It will be a lot of fun." So I went with my friends, and I'm glad I saw it through. I didn't enjoy a large portion of my wrestling career. I don't want to say "didn't enjoy," but it was very tough on my body, very demanding, and I was losing a lot. It was very hard mentally and physically. But this year and at the end of the season, everything I did paid off, all the hard work I did. I won 10 matches in a row to get to the state finals. It was a great experience.
What did you get out of wrestling?
Looking back on wrestling, I'm going to say it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I'm going to take a lot from that. My work ethic was strengthened, and physically, I'm in the best condition of my life right now. And my best friends growing up are all on the wrestling team. There's nothing better than going on an overnight trip to a tournament and going to Cole Field House during the state tournament and hanging out with Eric Kohr and Jake Pace. Those were some of the greatest experiences of my life.
You talk about how difficult wrestling has been. Did anything funny happen this season that lightened your spirit?
Early in the season we wrestled Sherwood, and I actually wrestled a wrestler a weight down from me. I was struggling at that point in the season, and I managed to get penalized and disqualified from the match for not wrestling enough. I was called for stalling seven times. It was a River Hill record. It wasn't funny at the time, but it has become funny. My coach and teammates have teased me about it all season.
Do the skills from your three varsity sports cross over from one to the other?
A lot of the skills overlap. In wrestling, my conditioning, my strength and muscles in my arms and thighs have helped a lot, and you have to use your body as a unit in wrestling. It all has to work together. You have to know where your hands and feet are and where they're moving. It definitely helps in lacrosse, especially in faceoffs, because I'm able to be aware of the ball and use my hands and feet to drive my opponent off and get the ball for our team.
And also in lacrosse. In football, I'm a tight end and primarily used for blocking, which is similar to playing defense in lacrosse. The hand movement has to be right. Your hands have to be on an opposing player just right, just like you have to have your hands right on your stick in lacrosse to be able to block them away from the goal. In each sport it's all about technique.
Did you set goals in each sport for this year?
I was not expecting the seasons I've had. I made the All-State football team, was second in the state wrestling tournament. I would have liked to have had that state title in wrestling, but I wasn't able to finish that. A great goal for me would be to make All-County, All-Region and All-State honors in lacrosse. That would be awesome. That would make my year.
Do you have a college picked out for next year?
I have no decisions back from my applications yet. I'm really hoping for Vanderbilt, Boston College and Lehigh. But I also like Columbia and Wake Forest.
What do you want to major in?
Right now, I'm leaning toward engineering, but that may change, based on classes I take in college and what I like.
Have you been recruited in any of your three sports?
I would love to compete in a sport in college, but most of my success has come during this, my senior year. Recruiters are usually interested in underclassmen, so I haven't gotten that many looks.