For the 28th time, the Trinity Shamrocks are State Champions.
Jay Cobb, who was promoted to head coach following the retirement of the legendary Bob Beatty back in Jan. 2021, wins his first State Championship as the leader of the program. Saturday’s victory for the Shamrocks marked their first State Championship without Beatty at the helm since 1994. A new era has officially begun at Louisville Trinity.
Cobb had faced scrutiny heading into the 2023 season, as Louisville Trinity boasted a combined record of just 14-13 over the span of his first two seasons. After a 2-3 start this season (losses to Frederick Douglass, Center Grove [IN], and Male), pressure started to boil higher and higher around the program. However, Cobb’s Shamrocks finished the season winning their last 10 games of the season by an average score of 38-8. Cobb, who had been the defensive coordinator at Trinity for seven seasons before his promotion, has now etched his name into the history books.
“Trinity’s fanbase, they just want you to win,” Cobb said after the game. “They don’t care who you’re playing, they don’t care about the talent you have, they just want to win. As coaches that’s all we want to do. I said that the first two years would be rough and I’ll be honest with you, I think we kind of outperformed.” Cobb continued, saying “We probably have 30 championships when you look through our coaching staff. The thing that was most disappointing to me after getting the head coaching job was that people acted like I didn’t win any. Like I wasn’t a part of five. I was.” Cobb demanded his flowers, and now he’s got them.
Trinity senior running back Clinton Sansbury was phenomenal once again for the Shamrocks and was named the MVP of the 6A State Championship game. Sansbury, who torched Bryan Station for 98 yards rushing and three touchdowns in their prior game this season, was even better Saturday night. He carried the ball 24 times for 155 yards and three touchdowns. He spoke to the media following their big victory.
“I don’t think it’s even sunk in yet,” an exhausted Sansbury joked. “We’ve been through a lot, we’ve worked really hard and I’m glad to see it pay off in the end.”
After jumping ahead early, Trinity would surrender back-to-back Bryan Station touchdowns, falling behind 14-3 after the first quarter. From there on out however, the Shamrocks outscored Station 38-6 over the remaining three quarters. The Trinity defense allowed just 252 total yards, just 35 more than their season average. The Defenders however were the first team since Sept. 15 to hang 20 points on the Shamrock defense.
Bryan Station made their first State Championship appearance in 24 years and in just the fourth year of the Phillip Hawkins era. Hawkins has totally changed the culture at Station and has layed a great foundation on the North side. Junior running back Kalen Washington found the end zone three times, scoring all three Bryan Station touchdowns.
With the win, Trinity quarterback Zane Johnson becomes the first Shamrock freshman quarterback to win a State Championship. Johnson finished 15-23 passing with 175 yards and one touchdown.
After three long years, Trinity is back on top of Class 6A. With their 28th title, the Shamrocks extend their lead to five over Highlands for the most State Championships in KHSAA history.